High Five for Friday | Favorites

I love rounding out the week and ending with my favorites. Like I said when I came back to blogging last week-- I'm not setting rules for the blog. So some months I may post every Friday, and other months I may not get it in every week and I'm ok with that! So here are a few things on my mind currently!
DISNEY Lularoe!!! I absolutely love Lularoe leggings (I tried my first pair last winter) but I can't stomach the price for frequent purchases. But when they released the Disney line I had to get a pair! We are wanting to go on a Disney Cruise so I am just stockpiling ;)
This Redkin Beach Envy Volume Texturizing Shampoo and Conditioner is a HUGE winner in my book this summer! I have fine "flat" hair and this gives me a bit of boost and volume! The conditioner is really light (which I struggle to find a hydrating conditioner that doesn't leave my hair limp). Ulta has their huge bottles on sale right now (for the same price as their small bottles!!). They do occasionally run a 2/$24 on their small ones so if you want a small bottle wait for that sale!
My customers went NUTS over these vinyl name sheets this week! I sold over 50 (!!) of them on various sites that I sell on. They are perfect for back to school and labeling all the things! Clipboards, folders, notebooks, water bottles, etc.

I placed my first Amazon Fresh order yesterday! I don't know why I was hesitant but it was SO EASY and came exactly as promised. I met the lady who delivered it in the driveway (which I didn't HAVE to- I just happened to be home) and she was super sweet too! There is currently a $25 off/$100 order with a free month of this service. It's regularly $14.99/month. My first thought was to cancel after the first month... but-

lets talk about that for a minute. That is a little less than $4/week which for my time, hassle and gas is totally worth that price! I didn't find items to be crazy overpriced (more than my beloved Aldi of course) but no wait, no lines, no GERMS- Holla! I will definitely be taking advantage of this again- especially during busy weeks/months! I also still love Walmart grocery pickup and will continue to use this service as well. The only difference really is Walmart is free and you have to go pick it up and Amazon is delivered to your door. It takes me about 20 min each way to get to our Walmart that does this so unless I'm out and about it's not exactly convenient.
Everything came in 4 recyclable bags-- the only "waste" was about 10 ice packs they threw over my meat and dairy. I promptly posted those on our neighborhood yard sale (for free) and someone gladly took them off my hands!

I am LOVING Younique's detox mask currently. Maybe total TMI, but I had this huge zit under my eye (!?) and after 1 treatment (and sleeping with toothpaste on it)-- it was almost nearly gone! I need to mask every few days but in reality only use it about twice a month-- I need to work on me time a little better-- but I can always see such a difference in my skin the next day! Also- I don't coat it on my whole face. My whole face doesn't need detoxing! So I spot treat (and it makes it last longer!).

First Things First | outdoor lights

While I was resting from blogging and life-- we bought a house!! I jumped back into the blogging life last week and I am so excited to share with you the first update we made to our new home.

I'm writing a post soon about all the details, but for now I wanted to show you a quick SIMPLE update that almost anyone can do (well- except me). Thank God for handy husbands!!

You can see how ITTY BITTY our exterior lights were. They were original to the house circa 1998. I literally can't believe they put that size lights on the outside of houses. Exterior lights are the earrings of the house and in my opinion the bigger the better!!

My parents gifted us the new lights as a house warming gift. Mom knew that it was something I really wanted to change pretty quickly. I actually purchased the lights before we closed on the house (!!!!). Home Depot was running a sale in April and I wanted to grab them while they were on sale. But now I forget what I got them for so sorry for that!

*side note- they have a few different sizes of this light and we got the biggest with 3 bulbs. 

In our neighborhood we have to get HOA approval for any exterior upgrade (lights, paint colors, bush removal and installation, etc.) so it took almost a month for us to submit everything to them and then another 2 weeks to get the approval. We submitted like 10 things at once so we could get started on the exterior.

We have had a bunch of limbs cut off the tree and we actually need to remove 4 more that are hanging down in this picture... but you get the idea. These new lights are about three times the size of the old lights top to bottom.

Josh installed them quickly in an evening while I was out of town and sent me the after pictures! He said that if you can install an overhead light fixture, you can install these!

We obviously still have a TON of work to do (cough grass cough). We bought this house knowing that it would need work and we have gladly accepted the challenge. I think the hardest part for us is wanting to get everything done NOW and knowing that it's just not going to happen that quickly. But that is OK! We will slowly chip away at our list!

PSA from Teacher Caroline | Laminator

I can.not. believe that I have lived 30 years AND taught 5 years of school without a personal laminator. Now that I'm NOT teaching, isn't it ironic that I finally bought one for myself? 😂

I had been eyeing the Scotch brand laminators because those are what I saw in the stores, but when I went to order, Amazon's price for the Scotch brand was slightly ridiculous. I noticed that they had THEIR OWN BRAND for less than $20! $20 was about what I was willing to spend. Also what sets this laminator above others I've used is NO CARRIER SHEET! The others I've personally used had a protective sheet over the laminating sheet pouch (which basically creates an extra step). This laminator doesn't require that protective sheet. I had great success just using the Amazon brand laminating pouches.

I actually paid $19 for it-- and RIGHT NOW it's on sale for $17.88 which is so awesome since school is about to start! Also can we have a moment for public schools starting July 31? #Icanteven I'm not even teaching and I can think of 100 reasons why I needed this. I plan to label some bins in our linen closet and I want the labels to be protected. Also with homeschooling I'm sure a bunch of things will come up that I will be glad to have this.

Also pictured are these ADORABLE snack sized baggies. WHERE WERE THESE when I was making centers for my classroom?? My first laminating project was these alphabet cards that were sent home with Emmie at the end of last year and these bags fit them perfectly! You can easily add them to your grocery pickup order (use my link for $10 off!)

Not sure how long that price will stay on Amazon for the laminator but here are quick links to grab what I mentioned! (It's only .89 cents away from the lowest price ever offered on Amazon and it's the lowest price it's been in 2 years!!).

Laminator----> HERE
Laminator sheets----> HERE
SQUARE snack bags----> HERE

* Please note that this post contains affiliate links. Affiliate links are a win win. They provide a direct link to the  products I love, and they help support the blog! Read my disclosures here

Oh hey again!

2016 was a hard year. We were (in some ways still are) in the trenches with little ones, and life, rental houses, jobs, and commitments. I had to majorly apply the breaks last July and have since been on a self renewing of sorts. I declared last fall/winter my season of rest and I began weaning myself away from commitments that were making life so crazy. And continuing to learn how to say no.

I was propelled into this rest when I lost my job last July and I realized that I didn't feel like I was doing anything well. I want to do few things well-- not many things mediocre. 

Since then I have stepped back from volunteering at school functions, stepped down from teaching preschool, and majorly cut back my church commitments. I have purposely left our calendar empty and have not over scheduled play dates and STUFF just to do them.

IT.HAS.BEEN.FANTASTIC. (clapping hands emoji)

Everything that has fallen off my commitment list has felt freeing. Almost that feeling of chopping off 4 inches of hair. I did that too. 

Oh yeah, WE MOVED IN APRIL. We had been living in a 3 bedroom townhouse all while dreaming of a 4 bedroom house with a yard. While we wanted to pay a few extra things off (my van, sell our first house, etc.) we received some financial advice that this spring was a time to jump (interest rates combined with climbing home prices-- helps to have a  hubby in the mortgage industry). I'll write a more detailed post about how everything worked-- it was simply amazing how all the pieces fell into place. 
But I am so glad that we were somewhat settled by the time summer came. This summer has been blissful. We are taking it easy, keeping our schedules clear, and watching lots of movies because RAIN!!! SO MUCH RAIN. We have been swimming nearly everyday that it hasn't rained which has been so much fun. 

I realized in my time of rest that I MISSED THE BLOG SO MUCH. I kept thinking of ideas to share and projects I wanted to document. Thankfully I started a list in my phone to keep track of everything I wanted to write about so that when I did get back here I would have a bunch of ideas to get going. 

When I stepped away I'll be honest-- I wasn't sure I was going to return. But in following my heart and my passions I realized that this is something I truly love and I am so excited to be back!

I am setting NO RULES for myself with blogging because I want it to be fluid and real life/real time. I can't wait to get back to writing posts and linking things because I LOVE IT and I have truly missed it! It won't all be house updates... I plan to throw in frugal living with deals and also some life stuff too. So happy to be back!