Swimsuits this Season

Is it just me?  But this about sums me up every February when I start thinking {WAY TOO EARLY} about swimsuits!  This past year since we were headed to a sunny destination in March I not only thought about the suits but started ordering.

Many of you are probably like me and are always on the look out for a new brand or suit to try.  If so, I've got you covered in the "what worked for me this year" department.  Shay and I talked about this a bit on one of our podcasts but I thought I'd share a few more details.

Sometimes this happens.  :)

No way am I posting swimsuit pictures of myself on here...hahahaha!  Don't have the guts for that!  But I thought I'd share the suits I've loved over the last couple years.  In case you're on the hunt, maybe consider one of these...
Top and {another top} that works well for me.
These two tops come in all different bra sizes so they can work for almost everyone.  They come in many colors and can be mixed or matched with whatever bottoms you have.  Great way to spice up your swim suit wardrobe!  If you're on the search for some great bottoms, I like this pair from Athleta.  They offer great coverage and come in lots of colors.

You might have seen this one before, but this combo comes in two other colorways-a pink/red and black/white.  It's so well made.  My only hesitation when I wear this one are the funky tan lines.

Another new brand {to me}.  I feel like this top is all over Pinterest, magazines, and even the girl sitting next to me at the pool recently.  Thankfully she was wearing hers in a different color so no one even noticed.  

I can't get these pictures to work, but I bought this combination last year and it's still in the rotation.  I paired this top with these bottoms for a super classic and fully covered look.  J. Crew has a ton of other great suits including long torso options!

I've also always had good luck with this brand, but all of mine are old or out of stock.  

What about YOU??  Where's your swimsuit of choice from and do you have a certain style or suit YOU love?

Blogger friends, don't forget to link-up to our Let's Look series tomorrow {a week early}!  See you then!
XO

Friday Favorites-6.26.20

Hey Ladies!

It's been a busy week!  We had a weather delay cause an already long baseball tournament to last FOREVER plus some of our Missouri family came to visit so we've had lots going on {which explains my absence yesterday}.  Hope you've had a great week!

Today, Andrea and I are sharing some Friday Favorites and we hope you'll join us!

My FAVORITES are short and sweet this week but I want to share a bit of our fun...
Cousins swimming together in the backyard.  And can we talk about the timing of this picture?  I can't take credit!

This girly has had so much fun!  Can you tell?

 And my second FAVORITE is Nixon's baseball team.  These boys played SO HARD this past week.  They battled over and over.

And grabbed second place in the NCS World Series Tournament.

Super proud of this kid {and all the others as well}.  We're big believers in learning life lessons on the ball field...confidence, ability to overcome, working together, picking each other up, and I could really go on and on.  So many lessons learned on the field these last few days.

When "34" was pitching I might have had the worst case of nervous leg I've ever experienced, any other baseball moms feel me?

Those smiles say it ALL!

Needless to say, it's been a GREAT week!

See you back here on Monday, Friends!
XO
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What's Up Wednesday-6.24.20

I'm linking up today with Sheaffer and Shay for What's Up Wednesday.  

What We're Eating This Week...
Burgers, Sandwiches, Salads, and easy stuff like that.  Our schedule is being dictated by the weather so everything's up in the air.  Will baseball happen is the question?  We have family in town too so I'm not throwing in the towel completely but trying to keep things simple.

What I'm Reminiscing About...
I'm reminiscing about that time I took four kids to a Cowboys' game and a major storm hit while we were there!  {Please do me a favor and insert that big eyed emoji as you're reading.  THAT'S how I felt.}

What I'm Loving...
I just started this series, All American, on Netflix and am LOVING it!  It's very Friday Night Lights meets The OC.  And my taste in television is so intellectual that I loved both of those shows.  :)

What We've Been Up To...
Lots of kids' activities....Bowen had two baseball games this past week.


And both boys played flag football twice over the weekend.


Our gym only allows one parent in to observe so Tab and I took turns watching.

What I'm Dreading...
Something spilled in our garage freezer and I'm dreading cleaning it out.  UGH!  Sounds like a lot of work, doesn't it?

What I'm Working On...
Always doing the laundry around here.

What I'm Excited About...
I teamed up with Wal-Mart earlier this month and based on your responses you guys were just as excited as I was to see all the new items.  Today, I'm sharing some super cute accessories that are perfect for these summer days.  I ordered all these online and they arrived via free two day shipping.  Wal-Mart makes shopping at home super easy.  All the items below would pair so well with the ever so popular bright colors everyone's wearing this season.  

You can also shop all the items featured above as well as a few other summer goodies here...



Thank you to Wal-Mart for sponsoring this post.

What I'm Watching/Reading...

I'm still reading The Boy From the Woods.
#still

Tab and I are almost finished watching Season 3 of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.  {She's a comedian so the language is RR.}

What I'm Listening To...
All four of my kids play upstairs.  They have their moments of not getting along.  TRUST ME...they have their moments, but this extra time at home has helped them realize they have some of the best people to play with under their ow roof.

What I'm Wearing...
I found a great length denim if you're in the market for a pair of casual cutoffs.

And this dress was a reader favorite last week.  You can see all the other items in this post.

What I'm Doing This Weekend...
Any guesses?
#morebaseball

What I'm Looking Forward to Next Month...
JULY 4TH CELEBRATIONS!
They'll look a little different this year, but that holiday is always one of my favorites.

Thanks for reading today!
XO

How Erika Does...GROCERIES!

What a week!  And it's only Tuesday.  hahaha!

This past weekend was supposed to be full of baseball and the rain was determined not to let that happen.  As I'm typing this on Monday early, early morning I can hear it raining outside now, but I have my fingers crossed baseball will still be played this afternoon.  

I don't know about you, but I love taking a little look at how you guys do things in your homes.  It's fun to see the way others go about handling the big and more often than not, the small things.  

Here are a few of the topics we've covered in this series...
Three Kids {Shared when I was a mom of three}

Today, I'm talking about how I handle groceries.  This task used to take a couple hours each week and now it takes me around thirty minutes.  Winning! 

I sit down weekly with my computer, planner, and this new meal planner to figure out our meals and get the grocery shopping started.

My favorite places for recipes are Shay's blog, friends {word of mouth}, and Pinterest.

I ordered this meal planner from Erin a few months ago.  It's super helpful and makes recycling meals super easy.

This is a look at the inside.  There's a perforated edge right in the middle of the page.  See what I mean about easy to remember and recycle recipes/meals?  The pages on the left have your past meals so any family favorites are easy to remember.

A look at the process...my brother, sister-in-law, and two nephews arrived last night so with baseball up in the air my goal was to have some food on hand that was easy.

I didn't take a picture of my planner but I had my planner out as well to see what nights would be all ten of us here for dinner around dinner time, what nights kids have practice and we might be eating in shifts, etc.

I write all my groceries on the right and then hop on over to my local grocery store online.
This is my mid-online grocery order.  If you haven't tried the online grocery order, stop what you're doing and TRY IT!

It cuts down on grocery shopping time tremendously.  Typically by the time I drive to my grocery store, call, they bring my order to the car, and I return home it's under thirty minutes.  Saves me lots of time every week! 

Plus, I don't know about you but I'm an add to cart kind of girl.  I walk by the double stuff Oreos and guess what?  I'm tossing a box in my cart.  But online shopping doesn't really tempt me that way.  Well, at least when I'm grocery shopping.  ;)

I find myself really sticking to the list as well as saving money!

Grocery pick-up is CRAZY easy!  You pull into a designated spot, call, and they bring your groceries.

I might pop into the store once a week to grab something we need that's fresh.  But that's it!  Super easy!  And it saves me time.  

How do YOU handle the grocery shopping?  Do YOU grocery pick up?  And if so, what are two words you'd use to describe it?

XO


Q and A Summer Post-Part 2

Hope you had a great weekend!  It's QUESTION TIME again today!  A few weeks ago, I asked for any questions you guys might have and am sharing more of the Q and A with you.  Part 1 is from this post, just in case you missed it.  Let's get down to it.  


 I graduated college in December 2005 and substitute taught as well as tutored the spring semester of 2006 while I searched for a job.  I scored a third grade teaching position in Allen, Texas, a neighboring town, for the 2006-2007 school year and taught there for three years until we decided I'd stay home with Ebby Lee.  I blogged as well as tried a few other things before working with Shay at Mix and Match Travel.  I absolutely LOVE this job! 

 The hardest part for Tab and I {so far} were those early days of me staying at home with two babies and figuring out our new roles.  He being the sole provider, but coming home to a house with two busy littles was way different than him coming home and relaxing.  I had to learn that my job was to change diapers, feed babies all day, and the unnecessary counting of my diaper changing ratio to his was always gonna be off.  I was a horrible, "score keeper", in those early years with babies, totally admitting that! Those were {so far} our toughest years.  We were both learning our new roles as parents as well as new roles within our relationship.

If you were asking me what's the toughest part about marriage with kids right now....I'd answer just making time for each other outside of kids and their activities.  Tab has two jobs, our kids are involved in activities, and sometimes the easy thing to do is to not prioritize our alone time.  But we've learned it's way better for us.  It's not always easy to make that happen, but it's always worth it.
 Hmmmm...I wouldn't say I struggle with my weight, but I do make the conscious decision to exercise, eat well {most of the time}, and stay active in order to stay healthy.  I'm not someone who weighs myself in between those yearly check-ups with my doctor.  I try to make good decisions most of the time but want to live life and enjoy all things in moderation.
 I love so much about Texas!  If I had to choose one favorite thing, I'd choose the people. The weather here is a close second for me.  I don't mind a very short cold season.  And I know some of you reading this from Michigan are laughing that I'm even suggesting we have a cold season.  :)
My faith journey began as a young child.  I was taken to church practically anytime the church doors were open, we talked about Jesus at home, and were taught all about what living out your faith really looks like.  At the age of eight, I asked Jesus to come live in my heart and with child-like faith I became a Christian. 

I've had many ups and down, hills and valleys throughout my life when it comes to my Christian walk.  But one thing that remains is how much God loves me, loves my family, and loves YOU.  The biggest faith journey our family has been on in is adopting Britt.  You guys.  I'd be lying if I said I didn't have some major doubts at times or a few sob fests or even calling a friend to ask her to pray NOW...like NOW, because I was a mess.  At times that journey was so tough because it was by pure faith alone we were trusting in God that this baby would be such a perfect fit for us.  But God.  He knew.  He knew how amazing she'd be.  He knew how much love, fun, and sass she'd add to our family.  He knew she would change all five of our hearts in big, big ways by teaching us to love more deeply.  I knew how much our adoption journey would change Britt, but He knew how much it would change Tab, Ebby Lee, Nixon, Bowen, and me.  That journey stretched us, changed us, and grew us in our faith like nothing had ever done before.  And for that, I'm so very thankful. 

 My favorite thing has been all the family time we've had together.  Typically the spring/summer would have been busy, busy, busy with all the kids' sports, Tab was officiating in the XFL so his weekend schedule was full of travel plans, and hanging out as a family of six would have been few and far between.  My favorite things have been family movie nights, big family dinners complete with a dessert baked by Ebby Lee, and lots of game nights.
 Whoa!  Mama, whoever you are.  I feel you!  Working from home with kids at home is so tough!  The day before I always make a game plan for the following day.  I figure out work stuff and how long that will take, housework that needs to be done, as well as fun stuff with kids and try my best to figure out a time line for the following day.  Which means, I'm only working like 24 hours at a time over here, but it usually works for me.  And if you're like me and there's a busy day tomorrow that might mean waking up SUPER early to get my stuff done so the rest of the day can run as normal.
 No kids to one kid.  HANDS DOWN.  Tab and I were both working and he was officiating as much football as he could around here...junior high, junior varsity, varsity, and even some weekend pee wee games.  When I was hungry, I ate.  When I was tired, I napped.  Our schedules revolved around US.  My, oh my, did that change.  Sweet baby Ebby Lee ROCKED OUR WORLD.  In all the best ways, I should add, but that was the hardest transition.

I had several mom friends with little babies all around the same age who stayed at home too.  One day I was supposed to meet a couple for lunch and a friend called to chat before hand.  I told her I was skipping lunch because I was just SO TIRED and her response was, "Everyone's tired.  You need to come."  I'd be lying if I said her response didn't sting a bit, but it turned out to be exactly what I needed to hear.  No one prepared me for the physical exhaustion of a new baby and I didn't realize EVERY PARENT IS TIRED.  Tired in different ways I'm realizing now.  I get plenty of sleep every night with my four kids but some nights I'm exhausted from late night games and early morning practices.  Needless to say, no kids to one, rocked our world.
 Britty is one tough little cookie.  Right now we're at a bit of a stand still in between surgeries.  She just had a little dental work done last week on her front tooth and handled it so well.  For now, we're continuing with bi-weekly speech sessions.  I, as well as others, have noticed huge improvements in her speech, but now we need to focus on articulation.  She has plenty of language now.  Trust me.  :)  The other night at dinner she was trying to tell Tab about swimming at the pool and she said, "Nixon put me on his shoulders at the pool.  Right, Mom?  Did you see me?".  I could understand every word because I had a frame of reference, but it's a little tough sometimes.  There might be an outpatient surgery in the next couple years, but probably not.  Her next big surgery will be around eight-years-old.  For now we're focused on speech and getting ready for kindergarten next fall.  


I think these are the glasses in question.

Thanks so much for reaching today!  See you tomorrow!
XO

Friday Favorites-6.19.20

It's the WEEKEND!

This week has exhausted me.  The late night summer bedtimes are doing me in.  So much so, I fell asleep in the speech parking lot yesterday morning at 8:00 a.m. waiting for Britt.  What in the WORLD?!

But it's FRIDAY!  WAHOOO!!  Andrea and I are teaming up to bring you some FRIDAY FAVORITES!

First up, the Texas Broncos WON THE CHAMPIONSHIP last weekend!  I couldn't be more proud of these boys.  They played all weekend long and came out on top Sunday night.

By Sunday night, I was pacing, a sweaty mess, and a bit of a nervous wreck.  How can ten-year-old boys' baseball get me so worked up?  hahahaha!  Super proud of the Broncos!

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This is a HUGE FAVORITE from the week!  Kelly, over at Kelly's Korner,  along with her daughter, Harper, started a weekly bible study over on YouTube and it is GREAT!  Perfect for elementary age kids.  They're reading through Matthew 5-7, discussing it, and talking application as well.  All three of my big kids watched and learned.  HIGHLY recommend it for kids!

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Just spotted THIS DRESS for under $21!  On MAJOR SALE!

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After weeks of watching his older brother, Bowen finally got to play baseball this week.

To know Bowen is to love Bowen, so this was his cheering section for his first game minus Coach Dad, eight kids who came to watch, and his photographer {me}.  I even had another family text me they hadn't realized Bowen's game was on Monday or they'd have been there too!  Bowen is loved by many and we're so thankful!

Not only are Nixon's teammates' parents so sweet to Bowen but his teammates are as well.  They all embrace and love him like their own.  This week Bowen joined them for a workout {and had a BLAST!}.

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The kiddos and I go to the pool almost daily to meet friends, get out of the house, and burn some energy.  When I come home, I throw on something comfy and get to work.  I got lots of questions about two of my FAVORITE things...blue light blocking glasses and earrings.

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Those are all the FAVORITES I have for today!  Next week some of our Missouri family are coming to visit and we're looking forward to it!  Happy Weekend, Everyone!
XO
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