Thursday, January 26, 2017

Thursday Confessions

I'm not sure why I love sharing such randomness about my life (and sometimes embarrassing I might add), but I LOOOOVE Thursday Confessions post! Don't you?!

|one|

The older I get, the more I really LOVE dark chocolate. You couldn't get the 15 heck the 25 or 30 year old me to even touch it. Now, it's all I want. I feel one step closer to being a legit grown-up..


I've just got to try and learn to love coffee. The last big and final step.

|two|

Have  you ever tried the website Take Them a Meal for sharing meals for friends and neighbors in times of need? I seriously think this is one of the best ideas ever! It's so stinkin' simple for a group of church members or friends to sign up for a specific night to take dinner to new parents, someone recovering from illness or surgery, etc. I love using this site for our friends as we all are going through the next phase of lives and adding babies to the mix.



|three|

Call me a nerd, but I am obsessed with office supplies stores. Kid in a candy store obsessed. I rarely ever buy anything, but oh all the pretty pens and planners and stationary and folders and THE POST IT NOTE SECTION!!!


|four|

All of the hospital, Imaging, Anesthesia and doctors' bills have come in from my hospital stay, the girls' c-section, and their 17 and 18 day hospital stay...and an ER trip for Stephen for a BAD stomach virus back before Christmas. I am THRILLED to report everything is paid off except for one LARGE bill on our sweet Mae Parker. She's on a 12 month payment plan which we knocked down to a 4 month plan from the get-go. We joke that she'll be officially ours in May, but until then she's on loan. We've had to adjust our spending in other areas but are SO happy to have that much debt paid off so quickly!


|five|

I've spent several hours this week at work in training for a "new" purchase requisitioning program. Men hate change, but men especially hate change from anything that starts with "this will all be done online now..." Insert the moaning, groaning, weeping and gnashing of teeth. Is it Friday yet?


One more day. I think I can, I think I can.

Happy Thursday friends!

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Show & Tell - Steals & Splurges

Today, I’m linking up with Andrea for her Show & Tell Tuesday series and we’re talking all about the items we’d splurge on and what items we’d save on.



Here’s the deal, I’m a VERY simple person. I also don’t like to pay a fortune for anything. Zip, zilch, nada. That being said, my splurges and steals are pretttttty basic, as you’re about to soon find out. Before I start, there’s a couple more “Splurge” items  that I should’ve added to my carefully crafted collages but failed to. Given the chance, splurge on your vacations. Obviously don’t put yourself in debt over it; the point of vacation is to enjoy it and how can you enjoy it knowing you can’t afford anything you’re doing. So, save for nice vacations. Splurge on a dreamy beach vacation, splurge on fancy dinners every night, splurge on Spa treatments, splurge on Disney trips! AND, when debating Queen or King size mattress, always, always, ALWAYS buy the King. #biggestmistakeofourmarriage

Steals


I am a firm believer in buying store-brand items as much as possible. One of the biggest savings area for me is in the canned and frozen veggies sections at the grocery store. I cook quite a bit and with us (hopefully) making the girls baby food in the coming months, we’ll probably be buying more and more of the frozen veggies to steam and puree for our little ladies.

My heart skips a beat every time I see someone wearing Hunter boots. Quite honestly, I’ve come verrrry close a couple of times to buying myself a pair. HOWEVER. I just can’t make myself click that little “Place Order” button. Would they come in handy, sure. Would I use them enough to justify the purchase…I don’t know. I feel like I would only use them for big rains or snows (do you even wear Hunter boots in snow?!) and that would only be to walk from the parking lot at work to inside at my office, then I would change into something else, because it would just be too much shoe to wear around a hospital all day. #knowwhatimean So, a couple years ago I ordered a pair of rainboots off of Amazon for a fraction of the price of Hunter’s. I’ve rarely worn them in the rain, because they’re just too clunky and hot. In snow, they do just the trick, only I still change into a different shoe once I’m settled in my office. Sadly, I’ll probably never be a Hunters owner and I’m ok with that. I’ll just continue to drool over everyone else’s pics.

Give me an expensive pair of sunglasses and I’ll lose them in a week. Give me a cheap pair at Kohls that are on sale, with a 30% coupon and $10 Kohls cash…and I’ll have them forever.

I love to give pretty wrapped packages and gift bags for all occasions, but truthfully those things can add up quick. I often opt for these basic brown kraft bags, dress them up with colorful tissue paper and maybe some ribbon and call it a day.

Photobooks are the way to my heart, but they can become SUPER expensive by the time you get all the pictures and pages you want added to them. I finally dove into the world of Chatbooks and I doubt I’ll ever go back. This app pulls photos and captions from your social media accounts and camera roll turning them into a cute little 6x6 book. I just love these things!

Splurges



As much as I hate the little increases each year, I will (probably) forever pay for XM Radio. For me, it’s totally worth it. I love music, I love SO many different genres and so many different eras of music…it’s just worth it for me.

I know what I’m about to say is going to contradict what I said earlier. So yes, I prefer to buy store-brand of grocery items BUT somethings I will spend the extra dollar or so on to get name brand because IT IS better. Ritz crackers is one of them. These are a go-to topping for chicken or hashbrown casseroles, great with salads, great with tuna for lunch….store brand does not taste the same. I’m picky about my butter snack crackers. Haha (like I said...my splurges are quite basic, lame, whatever you want to call them)

I was the girl saying “I won’t pay $12 for baby laundry detergent”. And I do. Because it smells heavenly. I don’t use Dreft all the time. (I alternate with All Free & Clear) – but I do use it occasionally and use the Dreft Stain Remover…um…nearly every day because it was sent straight from the heavens.

Another must by name brand item…Puffs tissue. I’ve tried and tried to like store brand and even Kleenex brand, but I just can’t. My nose prefers Puffs.

If you saw my post yesterday sharing our girls’ newborn photo session, then you’ll know what I am a FIRM believer in investing in good photographers. Like, whoa nelly, knock your socks off photographers. For us, photos matter. Photos will last and be passed down for generations to come. It may not come cheap, but it’s worth every penny spent.

What about you? What are your steals and splurges? 

Happy Tuesday!


Monday, January 23, 2017

Newborn Photo Session

Now that the girls are closing in on being 4 months old, I find it an excellent time to share their "newborn" photo session. (can you hear the sarcasm flowing?)

Since the girls had a long hospital stay, and life was hectic for a couple of weeks after bringing them home, we didn't get these photos made until they were almost 6 weeks old. To our favor with them being preemies, size-wise, they more than acceptably passed for "newborn". We also used this time for our first family photo session and Christmas photo session. 

As with our last couple of photo shoots, we relied again on Matt Copeland to capture this special time with our new little family. You can check out more of his amazing work here. He's recently moved to Nashville, so any of you in the area needing an amazing photog LOOK. HIM. UP. It'll be worth every penny I promise. Heck, if you're not in the area and just traveling to Nashville...it's a great city for family photos!

I have had every intention of getting some of these printed for gifts, but it's just not happened yet. To be totally honest, I have three of these on canvas in our house and one frame in the girls' room. That's it. One of these days...I'll get caught up in the photo department. 

We did manage to get our Christmas cards out in the nick of time and used photos from this session for our Christmas Card / Birth Announcement. (You can see those here.)

Sit back and enjoy this photo overload...












































Matt if you're reading this, thank you for the anxiety reducing chat at Blue Coast Burrito. (I maaaay have started freaking out a tad when the move to Nashville news posted on social media.) Nothing like reassurance over chips and salsa that everything is going to be ok! You were one of the very few people who knew so early about our twins news and our obvious choice for their first photos home! You sir, rock. 

It really doesn't seem like that long ago when we had these pics made, but gosh, the girls have changed SO MUCH. I'm learning all too quickly about how "babies don't keep." It's heartbreaking but in the most joyous way possible. 



Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Letters

Dear Weekend, 
I was worried you would fly by in a flash but luckily you seemed to linger with us. We thoroughly enjoyed our laziness, extra long Saturday naps, morning pancakes and pretty Sunday dresses. We look forward to your return in just a few more days. 



Dear Office Remodel, 
So last summer, I had you repainted a pretty taupe-ish gray after years and years of a robin's egg blue color. You looked nice, but something was missing. Thankfully with a new art piece, a new lamp, and some new frames...I sort of like spending my days with you now. Don't get me wrong, I'd rather be home with my babies but if I can't, at least my little room in that big hospital feels like "me" again. 



Dear Bath & Body Works Semi-Annual Sale, 
Thank you for introducing me to past fragrances that naturally I now love and can't find anywhere. Cocktail Dress.....straight from the heavens. 

3 Bath & Body Works Cocktail Dress Crystal Peonies Body Cream

Dear Facebook Boutique Stores, 
You people are going to make me go broke with your cute clothes and darling baby girls clothes. Why did this have to become a "thing" AFTER I gave birth to two daughters? Life was cheaper before your businesses. 

Image result for facebook shop  meme

Dear friendly lady at the Ear, Nose and Throat Office, 
Thank you for clarifying some mis-information we received shortly after the girls were born. You were kind and courteous which isn't always found on the other end of the phone first thing on Monday mornings. I bet your an office favorite over there. 


Dear Chalk Paint, 
Thank you for making DIY projects quick and easy! You're my go-to solution for any decorative change my little heart desires. 


Happy Tuesday!