Southern Women’s Show

It has been a hard last few weeks for our family, so when my friend Kristin offered me tickets to the Southern Women’s Show through her blog, I jumped on it!  Have you ever been to a Southern Women’s Show?  If you haven’t, you should, at least once in your life.

Food, Fashion, Shopping, and so much more!  I grabbed my friend Keri, strapped on little man, and to the show we went!  I know I said many times “I didn’t know something like that even existed”, “that is so cool”, and “what in the world?”  This was one of those “What in the world?” moments:

The things we do for beauty – this is a station where women were paying $79 to have their teeth whitened.  They had guards put in their mouths that held them open for the light to shine on them.  Yes…”What in the world?”  Needless to say, I just stood and laughed at them.  Sorry if you were one of those people I laughed at.

There were big giant blow up bugs to advertise pet exterminator, there were racks and racks of bras for sell in the Belk department, and there were stations advertising a type of jewelry cleaner where they cleaned your rings (I definitely took advantage of this one).  Everything from Thirty-One to Essential Oils to Benefit beauty makeovers to PDQ restaurant food.  I am a sucker for people selling things (sometimes), so I almost was suckered into buying something called MoYou (which is basically nail art which looks like french manicures and other designs – really neat but asking way too much!) and dips that came in all kinds of flavors (thankfully Keri convinced me that $5 per pack was just too much to pay!).  Moral of the story, unless you want to spend lots of money, bring a frugal friend to talk you out of things! 🙂

The food samples were amazing, we had fun watching the chef cooking competition and the runway show, and we laughed tons.  Blake even slept the whole time, only waking up while we were getting samples at the end.  Just like a man – sleeps and only wakes for the food.  We had a great time and would love to go back in future years – especially when its not all new and overwhelming.  You should check it out too – just know if you get your teeth cleaned, I may be watching laughing.

My Favorite Things

My friend Kitty has a blog – a great blog where she talks about everything from kids to ministry to freezer cooking.  She recently did a post called “My Favorite Things” and I loved hearing about fun, new things that are working for her and her family.  I agree with her that we as a family fight hard against consumerism – so this is not meant to be a “you need what I have” post.  However, we have found a few things that work for us, so I thought I would share.  Consider this the things I am loving at the moment.

1.  My mom introduced me to Mary Kay when I was a teen and I lived by their products for the longest time.  Then, after getting married and having to pay for everything on my own, I switched to the cheaper “drugstore” cosmetics.  I recently made the switch back to Mary Kay, because, if I am honest, for me, it works better, and that is worth the extra cost.

For the longest time I have been wanting to try Proactiv to see if it would work for my acne, but it wasn’t bad enough for me to fork out the cash.  When I saw Mary Kay had an acne product line, I was so excited to try it.  After hearing from friends about how well it worked, I couldn’t order it fast enough.  I recently started using them and let me tell you, this stuff works.

I was told that my face could get worse before it started getting better, which meant it was working.  That has happened, but let me tell you, I can tell such a difference already I am excited to see what happens when it really starts working!

2.  A friend recommended this kid’s Bible to me, so we bought it for Kinsley for her birthday.  I know there are lots of kid’s Bibles out there and we have quite a few of them.  What makes this stand out for me are the questions and activities it gives you at the end of each story.  They are great questions to help kids understand the story and the Gospel, and the activities give them something fun to do to relate.  I might like crafting, but I am not creative – I am the “do it like it is done on Pinterest” kinda person – so this Bible having it all spelled out for ya is right up my alley.

3.  This lady right here rocks my socks off.

We have had the privilege of living life with her the last few years here in NC, and she is a treasure to our family.  Not only does she do a great job of loving on our community group, praying for us faithfully, loving on kids everyday in her job as a 4th grade teacher, but she serves our family and many others in so many ways – from fixing us meals, to encouraging me in motherhood and in Christ, to watching our kids for us to have date nights, to coming over when Ed is on campus in the evenings to help me get all three kids fed, dressed, and ready for bed. Such a privilege to watch her serve others as Christ served and for my kids to consider her family.   So excited for her to have her own little grandbaby to love on soon!

4.  Friends, Parenthood, and now Downton Abbey.  What in the world to do when all my shows go off the air?  Find a new one, of course.  One night, while Ed was on campus, and I was doing some work, I turned on The Voice for background noise.  After it went off, I kept the TV going and a show called “The Night Shift” came on.  It takes a lot to get me hooked on shows I have never heard about before, especially from just halfway watching them one time.  Well, I am definitely hooked.  So hooked, I went on Amazon and watched all the shows I had missed.  It is medical drama and life drama all in one.

5.  The past few weeks, my kids have been able to go outside in the backyard and play all by themselves (it is fenced in, they can’t get out, and I do leave the door open – just in case you thought I left them to “fend for themselves”).  Normally, that just means they wander around for a few minutes and yell “Mom, can you come push me on the swings” or “There’s a lizard in the playhouse – come get it out!”.  But lately, thanks to my parents’ brilliant Christmas present for the kids, my kids can entertain themselves a little better.  Let me introduce, my sanity-saver:

Seriously, this see-saw/teeter-tooter/up-and-down thing is phenomenal.  Not only does it go up and down, but it spins around and around in a circle.  They ask to play with this every single day and for the most part, it is an argument-free toy.  Don’t get me wrong, they still love to play with momma, but when dinner has to be fixed or baby has to be fed, this thing is a good fill-in.


DIY Update

One of the things that saves my sanity with having a newborn and two other kids is completing DIY projects and trying new recipes.  Though limited for time, I enjoy closure and since motherhood is not that, I love to put other things in my life that give me that.  Run 2 miles. Check.  Complete our budget. Check. Send this email. Check.  Finish a project. Check.

So, without further ado, here are the things I have done so far this year.

Etched Glass Dish – I have been wanting to do this for a while and after seeing how easy etching glass is, I was in.  I love how it turned out, though I wish it was a little darker on the glass.


Masterpieces Wall Art – With kids, and especially now that one is in preschool, we get lots of fun masterpieces to hang on the fridge.  Here’s the thing…I felt our fridge was being overrun.  So, I created this wall space for hanging their artwork and I LOVE how it turned out.  With the wood from my dad, the chalkboard clothespins from Target on clearance and the vinyl saying printed using my Silhouette, it was a very economical project too…which I LOVE also!


Valentine Wreath – While I didn’t get a picture of my actual wreath while it was up, this one is what I used to create mine – only mine doesn’t use chevron burlap but regular burlap.  The best part?  I used my burlap wreath I made last year and just attached with pipe cleaners so I can change based on the seasons.  Again, very economical!

Cheesy Bacon Potato Bites

The verdict?  These were okay.  Love the bacon and cheese, but something wasn’t cooked just right for me.  Not a keeper for us.

Chicken Tetrazinni

The verdict?  Ya’ll, just thinking about this recipe makes my mouth water.  It was so good and everyone in our family loved it.  I also love that it made a lot, enough to feed our family twice.  Definitely a keeper!

Sesame Chicken

The verdict?  It was good, but could have used some more soy sauce and sesame seeds.  I think I will keep searching for another sesame seed recipe I like better.

Strawberry Chocolate Chip Cake

The verdict?  I made this for our church small group and everyone raved about how good it was.  I liked it a lot…the only problem?  I wish it made enough for me to get seconds (it makes enough…we just had a larger group eat it).  I like that it is not too rich, but just sweet and fluffy enough.  Will be making again.

Slow Cooker Cheesy Grits and Shrimp

The verdict?  It was good, and made my recipe box of recipes to keep.  I liked that the grits were thicker, though I think I will add some more cream cheese or whipping cream to them next time, and it had good flavor.

Fruit Dip

The verdict?  This wasn’t my favorite.  I liked that it only contained three ingredients, but one of those ingredients was vanilla yogurt and when I ate the dip, I felt like that was all I could taste.  Plus, no one else in my family liked it and it made way too much for me to ever eat.  So, this won’t be making the cut.

Upcoming projects:  Teacher Gift for Kinsley’s teachers, Decal for my water bottle, Chicken broccoli alfredo shells, garlic brown sugar chicken, and whatever other urge comes my way.  Stay tuned!


I love Easter.  I love celebrating that Christ is risen because His resurrection is so central to Christianity and differentiates us from so many other religions.  I love that it means Spring is or will soon be here.  I love hunting eggs with my kids and reminiscing on how I loved doing it with my family when I was little.  I love Easter dinner and taking a day to slow down and spend it with family and friends.  Our Easter involved all of these things and so much more!

Like I showed last time, our kids had a great time going to our town Easter Egg Hunt (more like “let us put some eggs in your basket” since it was raining out) and taking a picture with the Easter bunny.

Then, our church hosted an Easter Picnic at the Pattersons’ farm.  We had a great time eating, socializing, seeing the animals, playing games, and blowing bubbles.  The scenery is gorgeous and we always love coming out to their farm as it relaxes us as soon as we get there.  Most people don’t love potluck dinners either, as it can tend to gross people out not knowing where the food came from….but for me, it is one of my favorite things.  You get variety, good food, and you don’t have to do all the work 🙂

Easter morning was filled with lots of goodies.  I am one who doesn’t prefer to spend a lot on Easter, as my memories growing up were that you only got a few small things.  However, when grandparents and parents do a basket for the kids, it amounts to a lot.  We had lots of fun opening up the bubble makers and coloring books on Easter afternoon (and the candy, of course!).

This year, it has been really fun to see Kinsley start to understand and recite the real meaning of Easter.  Between preschool, the Easter story book, the Resurrection Eggs, and our new family devotional book, she has had lots of chances to hear about Christ’s death, the empty tomb and what this means today for believers in Christ.  Until this year, she hasn’t shown a lot of evidence that she was really hearing or understanding anything we have shared about Christ, so I am very, very thankful for small glimpses of how the Spirit is working on her little heart.  I pray that one day all of our children will REALLY be able to join with us in celebrating that death has been defeated, Christ is risen, and because of that, Christ lives in their heart.  Here is our family picture after we returned from church and celebrating.

We ended the day having an Easter egg hunt with our neighbors and eating some of their bunny cake.  After way too much sugar and lots of sticky, dirty hands, mouths, hair, etc., we got a bath and called it a night.  Thank you Aunt Barbara for outfitting two of my three children with their Easter outfits – you made dressing them for Easter easy…and cute!