Friday Favorites

Hello Friends!  It's Friday!
I saw something on Facebook that said there are just 18 Fridays left until Christmas.  WHOA!  This year and summer are flying by!

I'm teaming up again with my girls, Narci and Andrea, to share our Friday Favorites.  :)

I have "A Little Bit of Everything" for you today...(you like what I did there?)

Bike Riding:
 This kid cracks me up.  Apparently, he was inside without a shirt and when he heard we were going out to ride bikes he skipped running up to his room for a shirt for just putting on his winter coat because you know THE STAIRS!  We live in Texas.  Odds are he never would have survived a bike ride in that coat.  #thatkid

Tomorrow is our anniversary and NOTHING says, "Happy Anniversary" like two bikes and a kiddie bike trailer, right?  We've been seeing the Shulls go on family bike rides (they're stroll by our house every once in a while) and they make them look SO fun!  We decided since our big kids are finally big enough to ride solo-it was time.

My thoughts on bike riding...
*It is REALLY fun to go on a bike ride as a family.
*We went overboard the first weekend and my tush was in SO MUCH PAIN.
*Nixon thinks the legit bike brakes are overrated.  At a four-way stop (Actually it's an 8-way stop but I've never heard anyone say that before), Nixon and I held up SIX CARS while he attempted to stop himself.  I must add he was never in danger, but I'm positive my face was extremely red and NOT from the heat.  hahaha!
*It's a great way to get out and be active with the entire family, but if you have a favorite padded bike seat cushion-PLEASE let me know.  :)

This kid is becoming so independent.  He can pretty much hang with the big kids the majority of the time, but when I see things like this I'm reminded how little he still is.  :)

A Visitor:
My cousin, Kody, had to work in Dallas this week so he came and stayed with us.  My kiddos have loved having him here.

Nixon thinks he's the coolest.

Yesterday, we headed to the Dallas World Aquarium.

It was the perfect little adventure for a hot Texas day.

Bowen was pumped about seeing a "Dory" fish.  #andaboutwearingflipflops

We saw the fish, birds, and reptiles, and then we headed straight to Hopdoddy's for a burger.

Owning It:
If you missed it, Natasha from Hello Happiness was here yesterday sharing her crazy and it was GOOD!  

I hope you ladies have a fabulous weekend.  We have a birthday party, fun with friends, and an anniversary dinner on the calendar.  See you back here, Monday!  XOXO

Owning It

WAHOO!!  It's OWNING IT time, which means I've invited another blogger friend to join us over here to share her crazy.  You know the funny, strange things that we ALL do?  I love for fellow bloggers to come over and OWN IT by CLAIMING THE CRAZY!  :)  Because, let's be real-we all have some crazy.

Today, I have a fabulous blogger friend to share with you.  Do you know Natasha from Hello Happiness?  I started reading her blog years ago and am SO EXCITED about her being here today!  You guys...she has the cutest family, the most adorable girls, and her house is amazing!  You must pop over and check her out, but first here's her crazy...

Hey friends... I'm Natasha from Hello Happiness and I am ecstatic to be here with Erika as part of her Owning It guest blogging series. I've been a lifestyle blogger for eight years, and absolutely love this creative outlet, which has followed me through this crazy adventure called life. 
I'm a wife to Jeff, mother to Caroline (4) and Carson (3), and owner of a children's boutique called Sugar Bit. You can find me on Instagram, where I love to post about all things fashion, food, fitness, and fun! 

 photo via Amy Riley

Now let's get down to business with my confessions and how I am "owning it":

ONE || I am a Nazi when it comes to stationery etiquette, spelling, and grammar. I cannot stand when people misuse words such as their/they're/there and you're/your. Seriously, it drives me bonkers. This may stem from my love of English way back in school, but I will spare you the details of my math abilities because they stink. And when it comes to sending out party invitations, four to six weeks is common courtesy... I could stand on my soapbox for days when it comes to these types of things... maybe it's because I'm southern??? 

TWO || I don't recycle... there, I said it. Our family probably should because we have a heap of garbage when the trash collectors come each week, but honestly, it's just one more thing that I'd have to add to my already overflowing to-do list each day and this mama doesn't have time for that nonsense. Now I do LOVE to purge through closets and kitchen cabinets and such, so I'm hoping that makes up for that other lack of responsibility and waste?? 

THREE || I hate potatoes. My husband tells me I am completely un-American because it's a staple in everyone's diet, except for mine. I have a weird phobia of white food [except ice cream] and it is something I have tried to remedy, but it's just not happening. Like to the point that mashed poatoes make me want to gag. 

FOUR || My grandfather built me a stage when I was little and I used to make my entire family watch my "productions" whenever we got together. As you can imagine, I am a HUGE extrovert and love attention... I took dance for 12 years and was all about singing and dancing... at my 30th birthday party, my husband and best friends had my stage and made me dance in front of everyone at the party in my tap shoes = no shame in my game! 

FIVE || I LOVE to plan parties... you know those people that go all out for their kids' birthday parties?? Yes, that's me. Judge all you want, but I cannot help it, it's my love language. I create Pinterest boards with detailed inspiration, work with graphic designers for custom party goods and such, and always try to think outside the box when we're planning the girls shindigs... I may not be Betty Crocker, but I love to throw a good themed party! 

SIX || My girls match pretty much every single day... I know people think putting their kids in coordinating outfits is totally weird, but when you own a children's shoppe, it's totally acceptable and almost assumed. Plus, I know there will come a day [sooner than later sadly] when they will refuse so I am doing it while I still can!!

photo via Amy Riley

SEVEN || I've never been one to "collect" things, but it seems this year sunglasses has become an obsession. I have WAY too many pair and am definitely guilty of having multiple pairs in the same style with different lens colors... I know, I know, I need to cut back!

There you have it... random nonsense about me that I am not afraid to own! Thanks to Erika for having me and come over and say hi soon. OXOX

Natasha...THANK YOU so much for stopping by!  I loved your crazy and could completely relate to a few of those.  However, I'm still in shock that you're not a fan of potatoes?!!  hahahaha!!  #iwishididntlikepotatoes #whataboutafrenchfry

Make sure you check out all the cuteness over at Hello Happiness.  You can find Natasha over on Instagram here.  And Mamas...Natasha's children's boutique, Sugar Bit, has some of THE cutest things for babies all the way to tweens.  

If you've missed some past Owning It posts,
You can read Megan @The Butler's Quarters HERE.
You can read Mel's @ Larson Lingo HERE.
You can read Leigh's @ Balancing By Faith HERE.
You can read Ashley's @ The Vanilla Tulip HERE.
You can read Kathryn's HERE.
You can read Elaine's @ House of Hargove HERE.
You can read Sheaffer's @ Sheaffer Told Me To HERE.
You can read Elise's @ Cheers Y'all HERE.
You can read Andrea's @ Momfessionals HERE.
You can read Kelly's @ Kelly's Korner HERE.
You can read Olivia's @ Snyders Tell All HERE.
You can read Narci's @ Grace and Love Blog HERE.
You can read Fancy Ashley's HERE.
You can read Kelly's @ Redhead on the Run HERE.
You can read Shay's @ Mix and Match Mama HERE.

Thanks for stopping by!  XOXO

What's Up Wednesday

 I'm joining MelShay, and Sheaffer for their What's Up Wednesday link-up!

What we're eating this week:
Our dishwasher is broken.  The part has been ordered, but I dishwasher is broken.  There are many things I love about the olden days, but hand washing dishes isn't one of them.  :)

What I'm Reminiscing About:
These two last year on the first day of school.  Nixon headed to kindergarten and Ebby Lee went to first grade.  Now, I feel like they're old pros, so the first day will be WAY easier on everyone, including this mama. 

What I'm Loving:

I was loving this last month and I'm still feeling the same way.

What We've Been Up To:
If you saw my post on Monday, I've been getting everyone ready for school.

What I'm Dreading:
I'm feeling a little bit OVER the heat.  This week has been cooler and I'm SO thankful for temperatures in the nineties. 

What I'm Working On:
I'm STILL (eek!  I said this last month too!) working on finishing the front bathroom and the front sitting room.  We just had a chandelier hung yesterday in the bathroom so it's almost completely finished.

What I'm Excited About:
Football season is right around the corner.  As much as we miss Tab being gone (when we don't join him), the kids and I really do have a blast in the fall.  Some football games, a destination wedding, and lots of movie nights are on the agenda for us this fall.

What I'm watching/reading:
Big Brother
I shared my thoughts about Big Brother yesterday.  :)

Luckiest Girl Alive
I'm about three-fourths of the way through this book and oh my goodness....has anyone read it?  I  bought it because people compared it to Gone Girl.  I thought Gone Girl was a bit dark but really suspenseful.  I feel like this one is just disturbing.  I wouldn't recommend it unless you like really dark books.  I'm almost finished though and feel like I can't quit now, so I'll give you a recap later.  If you read it, PLEASE tell me it gets better at the end.  I need happy and light!!! 

What I'm Listening To:
The song, Try Everything, has been on repeat at our house.

What I'm Wearing:
Right now, I'm wearing swimsuits and cover-ups, but this fall I'll be sporting my new Nordstrom finds.  You can see my favorites here.

What I'm Doing This Weekend:
This weekend I have a DATE NIGHT scheduled with this cutie.  We celebrate eleven years of marital bliss this weekend.  Well, maybe eight years of marital bliss but eleven years of marriage.  haha!  I kid!!

What I'm Looking Forward to Next Month:
Routines!  I'm looking forward to some structure!  ha!  But until then...we're soaking up the late bedtimes and lazy days of summer.

Thanks so much for stopping by today!  Happy Wednesday!  XOXO

Top Three-Big Brother Moves

Hey Friends!  Happy Tuesday!

I'm in complete shock that our summer-though still several weeks left-is starting to come to an end.  We're going to soak up these last weeks of summer like you wouldn't believe.  I hope you're doing the same thing with your people.  :)

It's no secret I'm a HUGE fan of ....
This show gets me EVERY SINGLE TIME!

First of all, it screams SUMMER!  Right??  I love that in the middle of summer when you can stay up a little later than normal anyway-it's on THREE nights a week!  Some might say that's WAY too much, but not this girl!  I also think all the twists and unexpected craziness are constantly keeping us viewers on our toes.

I love a Top Three list like no other, so I thought it'd be fun to share my FAVORITE BIG-MOVES so far this season on BIG BROTHER!  (And I'd love for you to share yours!)

If you're watching and aren't up to date, you might want to skip this one.
James' Nominations

In real life I would NEVER be okay with what went down on Sunday night.  I was a Frank fan just a few weeks ago, but he's not on my current list of favorites.  I must repeat-in real life James' backstab move would NOT be okay, but it's BIG BROTHER!  I was SHOCKED that James went back on his word after the ENTIRE house heard him make a deal.  But-I completely understood that it was the safest way to keep the majority of the house on his good side.  And I have a feeling if Frank and Bridget somehow manage to stay in the house this week, James JUST might be able to charm his way back onto their good side in order to remain safe.

Tiffany Spilling

When Tiffany was on the block and literally had NOTHING to lose, she spilled the beans on the majority of the house being against Frank.  I LOVED that she got the drama all out in the open and split up that big alliance.  Didn't you?  In the end, it didn't help her enough to save her, but she sure made that last week in the house a little more exciting.

 Paulie's Backdoor

In those early weeks, I was not a fan of Paul (you know the guy with the big beard?).  He came in a little cocky, but now-after ALMOST being sent home-I really think he's funny.  Most of his interviews make me chuckle.  But...when Paulie was the HOH and he backdoored Victor, it was a GOOD move.  Victor is a beast during those competitions so it was definitely a great move.  However, when he battled himself back into the house, the backdoor thing meant nothing.  #butgoodtrypaulie

Those have been my favorite moves so far.  What about YOU??

A few other thoughts...
*I must add that moment on Sunday night when Frank blasted to Davonne that Nicole had told him she wanted him out....I wanted to hide under a blanket and never come out!  Poor Nicole!!  UGH!  She kind of needs to be smarter than that though.  RIGHT?
*I can't wait for that Zingbot to arrive.  BEST episode EVERY year!
*I can't believe there are so many couples!  A ton of people are coupled up this season.  Who's gonna start taking those couples out?
*Do you remember last week when someone said that "you never want the house to know how it feels to not have you in it" to Zakiyah and maybe Michelle (I can't remember?)?  When Zakiyah muttered, "Well maybe we should go downstairs so the house doesn't know how it feels without us in it."  I LOL'd.  That was funny! 

This Big Brother season is NOT disappointing!  Please share your thoughts!  
See you tomorrow for "What's Up Wednesday".  :)

Let's Talk...School Days

Happy Monday, Girls!!

If you give me the topic, SCHOOL DAYS, on July 25th my mind is always going to go to what I need to be ordering, checking on, scheduling, etc.

AAHHH!!!  This sweet picture melts my heart!

I was the newbie kindergarten mom who waited until the second week of August to order a backpack WITH her name embroidered so I had to pay a ridiculous amount to have it expedited to ensure it'd arrive before the first day of school.  

This summer I wrote in my planner to order backpacks the first week of July.  #imnotevenkidding  And I can report they've all arrived.

My plan was for them to use their backpack for two years, but I've gotta be honest...after one full year of using them all day, everyday-they're kind of gross.  Not falling apart, but dirty.  Especially this last year because Ebby Lee's was a light pink.  It showed EVERYTHING.  Ugh!  So all that to say, now I just evaluate the backpacks and if they're super dirty-we order a new one.

We get their backpacks from Pottery Barn Kids.  They have a TON of colors, styles, and patterns.  Everyone can always find a favorite.  Sometimes they choose a color I want to give a little side-eye to, but it's just a backpack-so we go with it.  :)

All that to say, if you're thinking of ordering a Pottery Barn backpack and want your child's name embroidered, then you should get to ordering ASAP.  #dontmakemymistake

Here in Texas, it's crazy hot for a sweet forever.  We'll be wearing shorts until October.  I wish I was kidding.  It makes school clothes shopping really easy though.  I typically purchase a couple new things they can wear to school, but for the most part we don't need typical "fall" clothes-like jeans, sweaters until much, much later.  The one thing I do stock up on before school start is SHOES!

Ebby Lee is READY in the shoe department.  At my kiddos' school, they have to wear tennis shoes three days a week.  The other two days they can change it up a bit.  Nixon never changes it up, but Ebby Lee prefers to wear Ugg boots in the winter and ballet flats any other time.  She had this exact pair of flats a couple years ago, so I was excited to see them in the Anniversary Sale this year.

And Nixon chose this pair and another similar pair (that I can no longer find) that both had velcro.  If you're a mama like me, I couldn't love the velcro more.  :)  haha!

If you haven't done your shoe shopping just yet, I highly recommend you check out the goodies on sale at Nordstrom right now.

Another thing I always order before school starts are Monkey Bar Buddies for Ebby Lee.  The Monkey Bar Buddies slogan is "Undergear that gets it".  I always order several pairs of the little shorts.  They're kind of like spandex, but Ebby Lee wears them under dresses.

I asked you guys for your favorite kid water bottle recommendations a few years ago and these were your faves!  We've been using them ever since!  I always stock us up at the beginning of the year.

I get my favorite planner ordered with all the best accessories.  :)  If you're similar to us, we absolutely LOVE the lazy days of summer with not much of a schedule in sight, but around August we start craving some consistency. 

I also am on my "A GAME" when it comes to meal planning at the start of the school year.  I've shared some of our favorite back-to-school dinners before here, here, and here.

When my kids head back to school I'm always a bit sad.  Don't get me wrong, sometimes it's loud chaos at my house, but it's so nice to have everyone here.  However, on the first day of school two years ago, my girlfriends and I started a new tradition.  This back-to-school breakfast always helps my first day of drop-off.  

If it's your first year sending one off to kindergarten, then I highly recommend heading to the mall.  hahaha!  #itusuallyworksforme

Should we be doing anything else to get ready for BACK TO SCHOOL?  If I'm forgetting something, PLEASE help me out!  :)  XOXO

Friday Favorites

Wahoo for the WEEKEND!  I'm so happy Friday is here.  Aren't you?  :)

I'm teaming up with my friends, Andrea and Narci, to share our FAVORITES on a FRIDAY!

 Last week, Shay, Narci, and I headed to our local Staples to meet the real-life ERIN CONDREN!  You guys!  She couldn't have been sweeter!  She took time to really chat with us and we had the best time meeting her.

 A GREAT little Girl's Night  :)

 The crazies and I finally Found Dory.  Get it?  :)

I shared our latest FAMILY PHOTO session with you on Wednesday.  I got asked about the dress I was wearing and unfortunately, it's all sold out.  And Ebby Lee's dress is sold out as well, but this same brand has a lot of cute goodies.

 This is how my people feel about our Errand and Grocery Shopping Day!  They don't realize sometimes I feel the EXACT SAME WAY!

Teacher Ebby Lee had reading time and then rest time.  And apparently Teacher Ebby Lee doesn't play.  #shemeansit

I shared our Home Tour earlier this week.  See it here if you missed it.  I wanted to answer a couple questions from the tour...
The wall clock is from Nebraska Furniture Mart.  I'm pretty sure this is the exact clock. 

 Those navy/white pom pom medallion pillows (on the brown leather chairs) are from Pottery Barn.  They're on sale now!  WAHOO!

The leather coffee table is also from Nebraska Furniture Mart.  I couldn't find it online. :(

And the NORDSTROM ANNIVERSARY SALE is open to EVERYONE today!  I shared my favorites yesterday.  Happy Shopping!  Also...a few other goodies arrived late yesterday.  This blanket is everything people have told it would be and more.  Three kids were fighting over it last night.  This shawl is super cute.  I'm horrible at purchasing items like cardigans.  The plaid-button ups or fun blouses always catch my eye, but those cardigans are the items I tend to grab all fall long.  A couple items are still on the way.  I'll keep you posted.  :)

I got to have lunch with this girl and her family yesterday!  Misty and I met SIXTEEN summers ago when we were waiting tables and serving up catfish.  We became fast friends and kind of lost touch for several years.  Thanks to Facebook, we've reconnected!  Her family is in town visiting some family friends and we got to catch up!

We had a CREW with us!  Needless to say, these kiddos did a pretty fabulous job and let us girl talk for a long time!  We hope to see their family again soon!

Don't forget-on Monday, Andrea and I will be chit chatting about SCHOOL DAYS!  You should join us.  :)

Have a GREAT weekend!  XOXO