Friday, August 26, 2016

The Last Friday of Summer Break


Cue the sad violin music.  Summer is ending.  Well maybe not the heat and short wearing, tank top sporting, flip and flopping summer but summer as we have known it is ending.  I can admit this is a hard transition in my house.  My kids love school so the difficulty is for me - the mom.  In place of the pool bag are book bags and instead of late night movies we have a set bed time starting back up.  Oh just pass the rum - ho ho hum hum.

So here are some of my favorites from this week.  Per the norm I am linked up with the lovely Katie and the cute Christina!


1.  Fall House Projects
Totally stoked to start planting!  Hello fall vegetables and flowers!


I just said fall - oh my.  Well this week the husbandito has been working on our yard and a few projects.  I may have wanted a garden in March/April and he may have not had the chance to ge around to building my beds but he sure did make up for it this week.  I now have three garden beds right at my chicken coop he built this summer.
Why am I thinking about red wine right now?


He also put in his fire pit.  I think this will be a very welcome addition for the weekends when the air is cool and crisp as those apples that will be celebrated in Wilkesboro, NC in October.


2.  Pool Time
Swimming under the water.  I know it looks odd.


We had two great pool days this week.  The weather started off relatively cool for NC in August so I was quite chilled when I got in!  The kids though - they don't feel the difference!  They both had a blast swimming and splashing. 


3.  Birthday Boy
Nana took him out for Sweet Frogs!

Four?  No way!  He loved this sticker face book!



My son turned four this week!  We enjoyed cake for breakfast and a fun day celebrating our favorite little boy.  He just feels my heart with such joy!  He is so full of energy and happiness.  All birthday morning he kept thanking me for his little cake and presents. 


4.  Girl's Day
All grown up - well she thinks so!  I'm starting to see it too.


My daughter and I spent Thursday together - no boys!  We went to Kohl's where she picked out new sneakers for school.  A Sam's trip helped us get our birthday party/back to school/pantry restocked.  We had some Chicfila for lunch.  Then Lizz gave her a new look (goodbye five inches of hair) for school.  After all that we had a nice trip to the library where she stocked up on a series she loves and I checked out Eleanor & Park and another book that I cannot wait to read!  (Sorry, I forgot the title.) 


5.  Open House
This is a big year.  Third grade is a huge transitional grade and we're ready for it!  I think I am?


I guess it is official that now we have a straight up third grader in our home.  WOW!  I was told once my kids hit elementary school the years would fly by and that was no lie.  I remember her kindergarten open house like it was yesterday and now we're starting third grade?  This year will rock out - I'm loving her teacher and I'm pumped at how excited my child remains about school. 




Last week we were on vacation in South Carolina.  I recapped our favorite pieces of vacation on Monday.  Check it out for the beauty of Brookgreen Gardens and to get your beach fix!




Tasty Tuesday is BACK!  This season I'm giving you menu plans!  If you need help with dinner ideas for next week then click here to see our menu plan.  This post is totally kid friendly and simple.


Wednesday was the day I brought a sweet little boy into the world!  To celebrate him my post was devoted to him on Wednesday.  



Product Review Thursday came at you this week!  Emily from Simply A Rough Draft and I are teaming up to bring you reviews on products from our Influenster boxes.  You'll get totally honest and often differing opinions on new products.  This week we shared our reviews on Snackwells newest item and Shea Moisture shampoo!


And if you haven't tuned into my Snap Chat yet then now is the time.  I have started a new series? called Blog & Jog.  I take you with me for a few snaps (or ten) and chat while I am on my morning jog.  Topics are random and so far it has been so much fun!  I hope you'll add me and join in!


Have a great weekend!  We'll be birthday partying and fantasy drafting!
xo-
Amanda


Thursday, August 25, 2016

Biscuits and Shampoo!



Hello lovelies!  Today Emily and I are teamed up to bring you reviews on some of our Influenster products from the Revive Box!  On Thursdays we will be sharing our thoughts on items we both received to test out for you.  We aren't paid to do this and the items come to us for free.  That all means you get a totally unbiased opinion from the both of us!  Our opinions will not always go hand in hand and we think that is what makes this series so great!

This week we're talking about two totally different items....

Snackwell's new biscuits - they are trying their hand at mimicking Belvita.

&

Shae Moisture's Shae Fruit Fusion Shampoo & Creme Rinse

Here are my thoughts on each:


 An open letter to Snackwells:

Dear Snackwells -
I'm simply not a fan of your line of food products.

Sincerely,
Brownie

Ready, set, try it!

Yes, that sums up my thoughts on these biscuit thins.  I felt like mine - Dark Chocolate Mocha flavored - tasted like a form of edible cardboard.  I dipped it in my coffee thinking that was the key to getting the best flavor but I was wrong.  I tried one with milk and I still was afraid I was ingesting cardboard.

Unfortunately, I cannot speak for the other flavors of these biscuit thins because I only received the one.  The other flavors could be fabulous!  But I must ask you to step away from the Mocha flavored ones.  


Sorry this does not turn my palate on, honey.

Nutrition facts for those of you who are low carb and low sugar scream for you to stay away from this snack.  It is high in carbs (over 20 grams) and quite high in sugar.  However, if you have a carb day then you could use these for breakfast due to the high carb level.
Even though my review of this product is thumbs down I have a coupon for you so you can decide for yourself.  What I say may not be what you personally think.  That's what makes the world go 'round and round!  That is also what keeps Snackwells going strong!
If you will go over to my Twitter page you can get a $1.00 off coupon to try these guys for yourselves!


Now let's talk #sheamoisture for a hot second!

It is go time - testing out this product!

Shea Moisture is the one shampoo that has never found a home in my shower.  I was really excited to get this product to try out!  I actually put it to the test of all tests and tried it while on vacation at the beach.

This is supposed to hydrate our dry hair and dry hair I did have!  Days of heat, salt, and sand had my color treated hair screaming!

I tried the Shea Mositure Shampoo and Creme Rinse and guess what....
It was all thumbs up!


I may be dressing like college but the biggest deal is my hair looks and feels as great as it did in college!

This product left my hair silky and pretty!  The smell was amazing.  My kids could smell it wafting through the hair and commented how wonderful it smelled.

For roughly $9 a bottle I can see myself purchasing this product at my local Walmart, Target, or drug store!
So this wonderful little concoction gets two thumbs up and a big ole cheesey grin from me!


Until next week---
xoxox
Amanda

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

My baby is 4!


August 24, 2012


I really, truly have no idea how it is possible that my baby boy is turning four years old today.  There is no joking and using that line as a filler because I couldn't think of another way to open it up.  I seriously am confused at how fast this little baby has grown into a preschool kid. 





His favorite color is orange.
His heart is huge!  He loves his mommy and his sister so much he wants to marry us both (wrong state buddy!)  His daddy is his hero and he has placed him on the highest pedestal you could imagine.
His favorite food is soup and anything sweet.






He loves going to school.
When he grows up he says he'll be a "vet doctor" and work on doggies.
The kid has a deep fascination with bugs.  Which makes me nervous since he also has no fear.

His first birthday.






He sings and sings and sings.
But the best thing?  He smiles for days, he hugs us all, he loves to cuddle up in our laps.  He's the best little piece of this family's puzzle that made it complete.



I'm so in love with my little boy.  Happy birthday sweet boy!



xo-
Amanda

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Tasty Tuesday: Menu Plans for Next Week!

So next week is the dreaded back to school week.  You know what I did in July to prep for back to school?  (Wait, what did I just type?)


For some reason at the end of July I started getting anxious about the impending school year.  This year isn't going to be quite like the previous years.  Both kids are now participating in sports.  My daughter is swimming and my son is going to have his first season learning all about flag football.  That translates to a minimum of four nights away every evening.  

Am I ready for this?  Sure, bring it.  

Right?

I'm actually taking advantage of this to get my butt back in gear.  My fat butt.  Does anyone else fall off the wagon during the summer or is it just me?  I did so well with my conscientious eating and exercise and then summer hit and I was getting my exercise but eating like a kid.

Especially for the past 30 days.  (Admitting here!)

So beginning next Monday the gears shift backwards a bit and I go back to work it work it mode and eating low sugar and low carb.

Next week's menu is looking like this:


You can see my take on the Monday night dinner by clicking here!

Next week I'll be showing you how I'm packing my kiddo's lunches this year and I'll have the menu plan up for September 5th-9th.

Happy Eating!

xo

Monday, August 22, 2016

Vacation 2016 - All Recapped!










Good morning, afternoon, evening - whatever suits ya!  I'm back from vacation and not too very well rested but that's what happens when you go on vacation with kids right? HA!  I cannot complain about this trip because we had a nice time and made some sweet memories.  


Today I'm the granny pulling out pictures of my grandkids.  OK, not really but as for this post, it is a vacation recap.  Please tell me thank you since I'm not sharing every single picture I have on my phone with you!


There is also no real rhyme or reason to this post so let me work on it a bit!

I had a lot of $#it this vacation as far as food and drink goes!  I left my healthy twin behind and took down my junk eating foolish self straigh to the South Carolina Coastline!  Boy did we have fun together lol.



My first margarita of 2016.  We were at Nacho Hippo - a trendy little tex mex place that is found at North Myrtle Beach and Myrtle Beach at The Market Commons.

Salt is key to surviving the sun.  I swear I heard that somewhere.

So maybe we went to IHOP one day.  Maybe I'm totally against chains when you are on vacation.  Maybe I don't care and we ate those pancakes.  OK really that's my son's plate.  I had eggs and sausage.

Go ahead, judge me.



I drank a lot of beer, I had some Coca-Colas, I hate chips and other junk, I enjoyed Krispy Kreme.
You can say this about me as far as food is concerned:
On vacation - she lived... unhealthy.



For about five years we have been saying we're going here.  Well we did it. Brookgreen Gardens is a beautiful place to visit and tour.  I'll save you the history lesson but it is an old plantation turned into a living museum for sculpture and horticulture.  If you're curious as to what type of plantation - well it is South Carolina and the low country so yes it was a rice plantation.


Do I recommend you stake this place out if you are on Pawley's Island?  Yes, I do.  A family of four will pay roughly $40-$50 to enter the plantation and that rate will allow you to come back for an entire week.  I suggest you visit in the spring or fall and not the summer.  South Carolina's coastline is not known for refreshing summers but more sticky, hot, humid, and a bit uncomfortable are better adjectives!  The garden offers amazing sculpture, gorgeous indigineous horticulture and floriculture, a children's area, and a zoo to view animals who call this part of South Carolina home.  

This is my favorite sculpture:

If you cannot make out the info card I apologize!  This was created in Michigan when a man asked for a sculpture depicting a regular local reading the newspaper.  If you see this in person and you're from a small, rural town this man is the bronzed subject of so many men you have had in your life.  I immediately thought of my grandpa - Dadd-o - who I grew up seeing reading the daily paper every morning over a bowl of corn flakes.


Wildlife - I spotted him first!


I found the gecko.

One slight let down for me over this awesome garden and sculpture museum is that the house is gone.  I could have ventured across the street to see Atalaya Castle but I didn't.  The plantation house is no longer around and that just breaks my heart.  I love old architecture to an unhealthy degree.  The one remaining structure we could find was the old kitchen.  Many of you know that back in the day kitchens were built away from the house.  Well the same goes for this piece of property.  Below is a picture of the kitchen that served the Huntington family.  Today it is a refreshment spot.  We all picked a treat and sat and enjoyed the shady cool of the oak trees.





Here are some other fun pictures I took at Brookgreen.






Look at my little thugs in front of the panther.  Don't worry, we won't tell Gronk his future wife is all ghetto resting on the panther.  Have I told you guys about that yet?  Haha I'll save it!

DO you like Legos?  Or does someone in your household like Legos?  Well this is all for them.  Around the zoo there were sculptures made of Legos that coincided with the native animals to this region of South Carolina.  There were more than this but I didn't want to overload you with them.  Not pictured are the White Tail Deer family, tortoise and bird, and butterfly.




So let's talk about the beach...I'm a beach freak.  I love to get in the ocean - totally on board with sharks swimming around no biggie!  However, this trip we had to share the water with a bajillion jelly fish who seemed to have an infatuation with stinging me.  All in all I was stung five times.  Seriously, it wasn't a big deal and it just feels like a wasp sting (or do they bite?)  My son would pick the jellies up and tote them around without ever getting stung.  HA!  He's such a dare devil!



I really got some great photos on my morning walks.  If you follow me on Snap Chat (abullnojoke) or Instagram (abrownieworld) you may have had a chance to see them.


That girl is turning nine in two weeks.  That girl got some Justice birthday love while on vacation.  (Necklace)


So the beds were horrible in the rental.  The kids got the best bed in the place - the sofa bed!  I was very jealous.


One of our last adventures was taking the kids to Georgetown.  My husband and I love Georgetown...well we did.  This time around it wasn't quite as sweet as before.  Georgetown has historical significance and was vital in the rice trade as well as being an important port.  There is LOTS of good eating in this fishing town.  But stick with Murrell's Inlet for the best food.




So that's our vacation in a nut shell.  It was so great to get away and be semi disconnected from gadgets (no wi-fi)!  Now we will switch into back to school mode and try to enjoy this last week of summer vacation 2016!  There is a lot on the agenda....my little man will be turning four in a couple of days, my daughter is prepping for third grade and swim team, I'm working on my fall schedule, and the hubby will be starting his new position soon!


xo -
Amanda