FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL INTERVIEWS (2021).

well, it’s that time again for another year of school and one of my favorite yearly blog posts.

our three brave girls weren’t so ready for summer to be over, but were excited to be back around their friends. i am so looking forward to watching more of them and the lessons that they learn – both in school and in life.

our girls started eighth, fourth, and second grade this year. we kicked off the new year with some of our typical “first day of school photos”.

and just like previous years, we made sure to do our first day of school “interviews”.

i asked the girls these questions and had to include mason too!

Kaylei

  1. age: 13
  2. grade: 8th
  3. what i want to be when i grow up: interior decorator
  4. favorite color: green
  5. favorite movie: fast & furious
  6. favorite place to be: at: in my bed
  7. favorite food: every food
  8. favorite subject in school: i don’t have one
  9. what do you love: mom
  10. favorite memory from this summer: going to florida

Aubrey

  1. age: 7
  2. grade and teacher: 2nd – Mrs. Timmerman
  3. what i want to be when i grow up: a vet
  4. favorite color: teal
  5. favorite movie: home alone
  6. favorite place to be: at: our house
  7. favorite food: hot dogs
  8. favorite subject in school: math
  9. what do you love: everyone in this house
  10. favorite memory from this summer: celebrating kaylei’s birthday so i could see how much money she got

Mahkena

  1. age: 9
  2. grade and teacher: 4th – Mrs. Binning
  3. what i want to be when i grow up: a plant shop owner
  4. favorite color: pink
  5. favorite movie: jurasic world
  6. favorite place to be: at: the plant store
  7. favorite food: mcdonalds
  8. favorite subject in school: art
  9. what do you love: family
  10. favorite memory from this summer: getting winnie jo

Mason

  1. age: 3
  2. what i want to be when i grow up: captain america
  3. favorite color: blue
  4. favorite movie: harry potter
  5. favorite place to be: at: hotels
  6. favorite food: candy and cinnamon rolls and pancakes
  7. what do you love: daddy
  8. favorite memory from this summer: snuggling with my family

“say yes to one more book, one more hug, one more kiss goodnight, tuck them in and snuggle them tight. one day you will tuck them in and they’ll be grown. they will smile and tell you they can do it on their own.”

AUGUST 2021; OUR MONTH IN VIDEO

August was full of more birthdays, mini getaways, and football games. Here’s a peek at our month and the life I’ve thankful for.

JUNE 2021; OUR MONTH IN VIDEO

Happy June ya’all!

This month was full of celebrations between Father’s Day and birthdays, backyard adventures, and bringing home our new Winnie girl.

Here’s a look at our month; hope you enjoy!

Our first few days with Winnie Jo; a photo diary.

John and I have been tossing around the idea for a while of adding another golden retriever to our family. As our girl Maci Bo gets older, we wanted her to have another dog around to keep her young. And yes, we have Mazi, but let’s be honest we don’t call her “Big Mama” for nothing. She plays with Maci, but she can often show her cranky-old lady personality and isn’t always a big ball of energy.

We did some research and came across a farm in Wisconsin that had some puppies that were available to go to a new home. Saturday, June 19th, we woke up and VERY spontaneously decided to make the drive and “look” at the puppies. Look is the keyword, but let’s be real, we were coming home with our Winnie Jo.

Winnie was the third puppy introduced to us and it was one of those things that when we met her we just knew. All the other puppies when we would walk away would wander off, but Winnie wouldn’t leave John’s side. Ultimately, John had told me to make the final decision, but as soon as I saw how much she just wanted to be around us, the decision was easy.

So, that started our story with miss Winnie. It was a cuddly ride home; the whole time she sat on my lap and was just begging for love from John and I. She enjoyed staring out the window and took many breaks in between for a quick nap curled up on my lap.

I swear it was like bringing a new baby home and introducing her to the family. She’s the cutest ball of fluff right now and the kids are all obsessing over her. We’re excited to watch her grow, but hopefully not too fast…we are loving this puppy stage.

Enjoy these photos of our first few days together as a family. We sure love you, Winnie Jo…even your terrible, stinky puppy breath.

32 THINGS IVE LEARNED IN MY 32 YEARS

32 years old today, and there has been quite a few things that I’ve learned through the years. I’ve made good choices, stupid choices, and learned that sometimes the only explanation for your actions is, “it seemed like a good idea at the time.” But through it all, I’ve learned.

And firsthand, from my own experience these are some of things that I’ve learned:

Seafood is still disgusting.

Your children pay attention to EVERYTHING that you do. Literally EVERYTHING. Don’t say anything in front of a 3-year old you don’t want repeated.

Soul mates do exist; believe me. I’m one of the lucky ones that found mine.

Having a big family is such a blessing. A benefit too; more kids to pay for a fancier nursing home when you’re older.

Life is much better with a golden retriever.

Work at a place where you actually like your boss and co-workers. Life is way too short to deal with Karens.

No matter how old you get, shots still suck.

Record your life. Have those memories to look back and smile at later.

Friends change and that’s okay. Sometimes the unlikely friends are the best friends.

Grey hairs come a whole lot sooner than you expect.

“One more episode” actually means four more episodes.

Hanger, it’s real.

Kitchens are made for dancing.

I will never be as happy as my two dogs.

McDonald’s Coke taste better than any other coke.

The person who invented Grocery Pick-up is a genius and all we mothers appreciate you.

At this age, you can pull a muscle in your sleep.

Costco is a very glorious place.

Airfryers are the bee’s knees.

Have date nights weekly with your significant other; make that time for each other.

Don’t get drunk and order food on Doordash; you will probably end up with $70+ of Chipotle on your front doorstep. Oops.

Spend as much time as you can with your grandparents. That time is so valuable.

Even if it scares you, still do it. Try those new opportunities.

It is possible to wrongly cook macaroni & cheese…sorry kids.

Sometimes those college degrees aren’t worth it.

Chips and salsa are the best snack.

Dad jokes are actually funny.

Never turn down the opportunity to take a good nap.

Caffeine is your friend.

You don’t need to buy every single houseplant you see.

Getting forehead kisses will never get old.

You can never say “I love you” too much.

EASTER 2021

i hope you all had a wonderful easter whether you were celebrating at home relaxing, around the table with family, or alone. we were so lucky this year with amazing weather here in illinois; it always makes the day a whole lot more enjoyable when the sun is shining.

this year was a little different for us as we only had the two littles with us while the older girls were spending the holiday with their dad’s family. we missed them bunches and can’t wait to celebrate with them when they come home.

we started our morning searching around the house for easter baskets. it only took a few trips around each room for the kids to finally find them and i think they were more than happy with the surprises the bunny left them…new jammies, shoes, swimsuits, toys, and candy. they sure got spoiled!

the four of us made sure to sneak in some quick family photos in our matching outfits before leaving the house. i still can’t get over how adorable the kids looked with their hair all done and in spring colors.

aubrey and i got our matching dresses from amazon; you can find them here. i was pleasantly surprised with the quality of them and how comfortable they were. us girls sure loved that they had pockets too!

we went to family’s for a big breakfast and it was perfect. the food was delicious, the mimosas were tasty, and being able to spend that time with family was my favorite.

the kid’s got to do an easter egg hunt around the house after breakfast and finished with buckets full of candy and big smiles on their faces.

the rest of the day we just spent time together and enjoyed the nice weather with a cook out and a family walk. we had a great easter and sure hope you did too!

Shop Spotlight: Abigail’s Boutique

happy friday, beauties! it’s been a VERY long time since i’ve done a shop spotlight but i couldn’t resist sharing my love for a new boutique i stumbled upon…abigail’s boutique!

lacey owns the cutest online boutique located in fort worth, texas. her boutique offers trendy, affordable style that gets delivered directly to your doorstep. her shop is always offering new items and i can’t get enough of the variety…from jewelry to fashionable workout gear, there is always something i’m adding to my cart!

i wanted to share a few of my recent favorites with you in hopes that you check out her boutique.

and want to save some money? use the code ‘SHAY15″ for a great discount!

cute workout attire makes working out a whole lot better; am i right? and this set is my new favorite!

this wristlet has been my go-to lately, especially while running quick errands to the store. it’s so much more convenient that my big ‘ole bag and i love the fun tassel. unfortunately, i don’t believe it is still available in her shop anymore but you can find other cute matching checkered accessories including this cute wallet and matching backpack!

want to talk about cozy tops? i’m loving this buffalo plaid top for everyday wear, especially paired with some black leggings. you can find similar ones like this one that used to be in her shop here.

i saw this bright pink dress matched with the leopard belt and immediately thought valentine’s day outfit! the bright color matched with the fun print of the belt is so fun together!

this was my very first item from lacey’s shop and is immediately what got me hooked! the julie leopard sweater coat is long and so cozy! i like to pair it with a pair of boots and it keeps me warm all day. it’s on sale right now so run before they’re completely gone!

a few more of my favorite pieces include the sweater weather pullover and black turtleneck top!

i love supporting small businesses and this one is so worth supporting. go give lacey a follow too over on her instagram as she’s always sharing outfit inspiration.

and DON’T FORGET! USE THE CODE ‘SHAY15″ FOR A GREAT DISCOUNT!

5 Things I love monday

the holiday season is officially over and it’s the time of the year where you start to get back in to the routine of things. where the weather is dreary and your missing all the joy of the holidays; the excitement starts to dwindle. but rather than focusing all that, id rather focus on the things that bring me joy.

which is a perfect time that i thought it may be fun to do another one of my renditions of “10 things i love sunday”, so here are some things i’ve been loving lately:

this cardigan from abigail’s boutique. it’s super warm and cozy. it’s my new favorite to just toss on over a cute shirt and head out the door with.

  • our kids are really enjoying this fun find we got for them off of amazon. what kid doesn’t enjoy building a good fort?
  • my planner for the near year. yes, i know i probably should have held off on getting and setting up a new planner for the new year after a lack of one for last year, but i couldn’t pass on that pink color.
  • i’ve been obsessing over one of my favorite purchases from amazon. i love that it’s a mix of a romper and a maxi dress, lined with all the lace detailing. toss on a hat and it makes a perfect boho vibe.

this phone case and the best part is that it’s only a couple bucks. i bought it on a whim because i was bored with my old case. i wasn’t sure i’d like the square design, but surprisingly, i love it!

what things have you been loving lately?

Amazon office must-haves

we’re all guilty of it; seeing those items that are all over social media and tik-tok and we can’t help but want it. there are so many neat gadgets out there that influencers are reviewing that it’s hard not to.

and now with working from home being the new normal for a lot of people now, i wanted to do a quick post with some fun must-have office finds found on amazon.

1. Bluetooth Keyboard, Jelly Universal Device for Tablets & Phones

2. Foldable Monitor Stand Riser

3. Flash Drive Photo Stick Memory Saver for iPhone

4. Adjustable Stand-up Desk Converter

5. Handheld Fan Rechargeable

6. Ultra-Thin Webcam Cover Slide

these are all so functional and with the holidays approaching, would make great gifts too!

things we’ve been loving lately

hey all! it’s been a while since i’ve done a post like this; i figured it was time to share some of our recent favorites that we’ve been loving lately. you guys seem to really enjoy these and i’m sharing quite the variety of items today!

first, lets talk technology! with quarantine affecting us all; i’ve found new hobbies to enjoy and recently have been dabbling in digital illustration. i downloaded the procreate app on my ipad and using my apple pencil i’ve been slowly adding more and more finished pieces to my completed collection.

i’m really enjoy creating new art for our home, including some of our family and one of my craft studio. if you’re looking to have one done, shoot me a message; i’m sure we can work something out!

speaking of family, we recently got new family photos done and knew after doing some re-decorating within our home, we wanted to create a gallery wall using some of our new photos.

let’s be honest, large canvases are typically not the cheapest, but i stumbled across an online canvas company and have nothing but amazing things to say about it.

if you’re interested in ordering canvas prints, i’d HIGHLY recommend checking out CanvasChamp.com they are super inexpensive, offer a wide variety of sizes, and sell other custom items. they are always running great promotions and offer many different codes to save. my favorite is when they run their buy 2, get one free deal. interested in saving more? let me know and I can share a link with you.

our gallery wall turned out better than i had expected and it’s my favorite thing to walk into our home and see these. seriously check out CanvasChamp.com, you won’t be disappointed!

alright lastly, let’s talk about something near and dear to my heart…our pups! recently Buddy Bandana reached out to me about helping share their mission and i was immediately on board.

for those who don’t know Buddy Bandana spreads awareness and raises money for rescue organizations across the country. every purchase they donate a portion to no kill shelters to support and save animals in need.

i don’t receive anything from the sale, but am all about supporting a great cause! use code “OkayToBeShay” at checkout to save 40% on all orders and free shipping!

maci girl and I thank you @officialbuddybandana for the matching bandana/scrunchie set!