Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Chahlee, our Jersey Elf



Yes, it is true. 

The Clark's are one of the millions and millions of families that take part in the 'Elf on the Shelf' every year.

If you haven't heard of 'Elf on the Shelf', you may have been living under a rock for the past eight years, which is totally fine! But your 'Elf' comes in a box with a book. As the story goes, every year, your elf, which you name, comes to your home after Thankgiving and watches over the kids and reports back to Santa at the North Pole on if you've naughty or nice. He leaves on Christmas Eve and returns again the next year.

People get pretty creative with their elves and what they are doing every day. Pinterest has LOVED the 'Elf on the Shelf' series because I can't tell you how many different pins there are of elfs taking baths in marshmallows, sipping hot cocoa, hanging from a light fixture, etc. The list goes on.

I take a look at that list every year. And every year, I never use a single one. Not because I do not want to, but totally because of my lack of effort! 

We've had our Elf now for probably five years. And we've moved, Charlie - that's our elf's name - around for five years.

Sidenote: I have no idea how we came to name the elf Charlie. But Sloane has ALWAYS said it with a Jersey accent. "Chahlee". And last night, as I was reading the 'Elf' book to Reece, I said, "Do you remember our elf's name?" And his response was, "Elf". No, but close, son. "His name is Charlie!" "Chahlee?" What is it with my kids?! It's the one word they say that makes them sounds like they came straight from 'Jersey Shore', with Pauly D and JWoww.


Year one with our elf was probably a bust because Sloane didn't get it one iota. Year two she started to get it and we actually had to pick our game up and move him around every night. Some nights, Charlie was in the same place for three days in a row and we said that he was tired. Or that was the best place for him to watch over her and Reece. Year three and on have been better. Sloane knows why the elf is here, what his purpose is and is excited to see him.

Reece has no idea what is going on, which is not a surprise! My guess is that this is the year he finally grasps the point of the elf and has fun searching for him.

Listen, I get it. I get why people turn away from the 'Elf' and it's purpose and how you shouldn't choose one time of the year to make your kids be better individuals.

Maybe you are a better parent than me because this is all about bribery. And it's something we use all year round with our children. Does that make us good parents? Probably not. But does it work? Sometimes.

And I'll take that sometimes over never!

We have fun with it - as much fun as we can. It's Matt's job to move the elf around every night and sometimes he fails, and I give him crap for it. But sometimes he finds great places for Chahlee to hide.

Do you see him?!
Sloane came downstairs last night after we had put her to bed and was looking for something, then asking questions and we kept telling her it was bedtime (also, it was the season premiere of 'Fixer Upper' that was I was not taking my eyes off of) and she needed to go back upstairs. All of a sudden, she finds the elf, who made his first appearance last night. Her eyes lit up, she had a huge smile on her face, we reminded her he was reporting back to Santa that night, and she high-tailed it to bed.

Now do you see him?!

In all seriousness, this is my favorite time of year. I love the magic that comes with the season and the extra gleam in my kids eyes when we talk about Christmas. The elf is just a fun addition to the madness at our house. If we can get our kids to behave a little better because their is an elf watching, I would gladly accept an elf in my house all year long!

Found him!

I just hope he isn't watching me!

Happy Hump Day, everyone!


Tuesday, November 29, 2016



It has been over a week and a half since my last post and I have been busy.

I have no clue what the hell I have been doing... but obviously it has been enough to keep me away from the blogging world!

First off, I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! This has been quite an off year for me - the only bright spots in the year have all encompassed my children in some fashion. But because it being such a weird year, it's made me really focus on the good in my life and I know I have a lot to be thankful for!

We spent all of our break traveling (because if you know me and my family of five, that is what we do best). We spent Sunday at Matt's grandparents house, eating great food. We stayed there until Tuesday - the kids and I went to visit my aunt Sally and her crew on Monday which is always wondeful - then drove to Manhattan Tuesday afternoon.

Off to Aunt Sally's!
Matt and I got to go watch the K-State basketball team play Tuesday night, which was a nice way to spend the evening. Away from those beloved children of mine for two hours. :) Too bad I was so tired, I could barely keep my eyes open.

We had pictures scheduled with our favorite photographer, Wrenn Bird Photography, for Wednesday morning and as my luck would have it, it was cold. We've taken pictures with Wrenn since Sloane was one and not until last year have we had cold weather. Now we are back-to-back cold weather picture takers and though my oldest two are Minnesota-born, you'd think they grew up in south Texas.

"Mom, it's so cold!" "I'm freezing!"

And in classic Allyson/Mom fashion, I told them to suck it up, they lived through 50 below temperatures, they can handle 37 degrees! :)

Poor Wrenn did the best she could with what she had to work with!

The rest of my siblings and their respective families arrived Wednesday evening: my brother Jordan, Alex and their mini dog, Stanley, my sister Lauren, Sam and little Perry.

The rest of the time at my parents was spent either in front of the TV, drinking all of my mom's Coors Light (that would be Jordan, Sam and Matt), at Target (that would be my sister and I), reading Black Friday ads (that would be my dad), or holding babies (that would be my mom). Alex is almost eight months pregnant so she got to do whatever she wanted! :)

Saturday was spent at beautiful Bill Snyder Family Stadium with 56,000 of my closest friends, watching as my Cats played poorly against the worst team in the Big 12. BUT it was a win, and we take a win in any fashion! Plus it was Bill's 200th win at K-State so it was fun to be there for that!

We got up Sunday and packed the car up to get back to Arkansas, in hopes of missing the rain (we drove the truck and Wrigley, our 10-year-old lab was in the back). We did not miss the rain.

Because that is my luck!

Can I just say that seven days of vacation is no vacation for me! I'm more tired now than I was when I left!

BUT... it was a wonderful getaway. And whenever I'm with my family, I'm in my happy place. I can be myself, I can pass kids off, I can laugh really loud, I can speak my mind, I can just be. And that is what family is all about!


Friday, November 18, 2016

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday everyone! It's been yet another week full of fun at the Clark Household!

Sloane came home from school on Wednesday with a 100 degree fever, though you would never have known anything was wrong with her. And school policy is that you can't return to school until you have been fever-free for 24 hours. Which meant no school for her Thursday.

And I quickly remembered Thursday by 7 AM why Sloane being in school every day is something she and I need! :)

I will take any and all recommendations on vitamins, probiotics, WHATEVER you give your kids ... Sloane has had stomach ache's, headache's, etc. constantly this school year. I realize that this sort of comes with the territory of kindergarten and building up immunity, but man... I'm sick of seeing notes from the nurse in her backpack!

ANYWHO -- Friday Favorites!
I posted this on my Tess and Elm Facebook page yesterday, but I love Chubby Sticks from Clinique! And just in time for Christmas, Sephora has a Clinique Chubby Stick gift set for only $25! The set includes six different shades of lip color and a pink tin.

NOTE: What you see is what you get. These don't twist up to provide more lipstick. Just a little FYI! 

But I love this as a gift idea for quite a few people on my list! 

I spent the late afternoon/evening with my wonderful friend, Gabrianna, last Saturday. She helped Lauren and I tear down from our Two Dots event, which is a lifesaver! Thank you to my good friends that come and visit us at these shows, sometimes buy stuff, and then help us teardown. Those are keepers, people!

Anywho... one of the many things we talked about were these Smartwool Sleuth Socks. I had commented after trying on a pair of booties at DSW that I couldn't wear a good pair of socks with them. Hence Gabe with the mention of these socks!

They might be between $10-15, BUT ... they keep your feet warm when it's cold out, and cool when it's warm out. They come in 13 different colors on Amazon and are perfect for shoes that you don't want to see your socks!

I'm a sucker for a good sock. And also, another great stocking stuff idea! Thanks Gabe! 

Yet another great stocking stuffer idea I found while browsing on Amazon, my new past-time. :)

These Topgirl Cosmetic Brushes are just like the Beauty Blender that I love and have mentioned on here before. But they are $2.48.

Yes. $2.48.

That can mean the quality might not be super amazing. But I think it's worth a shot at under three dollars! Shipping is $1, but if you want to make sure to get them before Christmas, I'd pay a little extra.

Found a new Essie nail polish that I'm going to have to try over the winter months...

Ready to Boa is a deep maroon with a bit of a gold shine to it! It's a really pretty color and I'm all about the dark fingernail colors during the cold winter months!

Except for around Christmas when I like to wear a fun red color on my nails!

Is there a better name for a nail polish?! I tend to lean towards the reds that have a bit of orange in them -- the other options seem to... grown up for me. 

Something I obviously have a problem with and should look into. :) 

Back to Brickyard Buffalo... because I have a newfound love for it!

I'm going to need this sweatshirt. It's so stinkin' cute! And it's $24.

 I'm also loving these... that would be great with my Smartwool Sleuth socks! :) $34.99 on Brickyard Buffalo! 

And I might own a pair of Hunter boots, but that doesn't stop me from loving these rain boots as well!

Oh Brickyard Buffalo... you are the devil in the best way possible! :)

Everyone have a great weekend! I'll try and have a few posts next week -- the kids are off of school the entire week. We'll see who survives - me or them. :)


Thursday, November 17, 2016

Etsy Finds of the Week

Friends... it has been one of those weeks.

You know the kind, where you have approximately 522 things to accomplish but no time to accomplish any of them?

Two Dots had a big show over the weekend in Kansas City so I had to spend any free time I had this week to taking pictures and posting items to our site and social media. Which means something had to get left behind... Sorry Tess and Elm!

But I'm up bright and early today so I could bring you some Etsy Finds of the Week!
 Letters from Santa
$18 + 

This shop came across my Instagram feed this morning and I immediately clicked on it! My kids would lose their minds to receive something like this! I was gone this last weekend and all I heard about when I got back was how they talked to Santa on the phone! 

I LOVE these handwritten letters - it's hard to be able to write like Santa, but one of Santa's Little Helpres, who just happens to have an Etsy store in her part time, does a very nice job with it! 

The letter are customized to each child, hand stamped and sealed with wax! 

If you want one ASAP, contact the seller! 

Really good reviews!
 Christmas Tea Towel

I LOVE this shop.

Like... I didn't know which one item to pick. I ofcourse had to go with this one because it's from one of the best Christmas movies ('Elf') and because it's $12.

How do you find a more perfect stocking stuffer than this for $12?

I had leaned towards some aprons as well because I also think this shop's selection is adorable! 

Please go look at this shop and tell me what you like! The options are endless and with great reviews! 

Fresh Boxwood Wreath
By: NaturDesign

We all know my obsession with boxwood. I believe one of my last Etsy Finds was of the mini boxwood wreaths I purchased last year to hang up on my glass cupboards in the kitchen! 

Well I just came across this wreath and for $39, it's hard to pass up! It's fresh boxwood an will look so great with a bright red ribbon tied around it hanging on the front door! 

The colors will vary depending on if you hang it outside or inside. 

Five star reviews from this seller and can ship in 3-5 business days! 

Everyone have a great Thursday!


Friday, November 11, 2016

Friday Favorites

Well friends... we made it to Friday. To say it's been a week for the ages is an understatement. Election Day in our country is such an incredible day for so many reasons, but mainly because we are SO lucky to be able to cast our ballot for who we want.

Not who we are threatened to vote for. Not who we are told to vote for.

For who we personally want to vote for.

Though the election may or may not have went as you wanted or expected, the sun will continue to rise. And as my best friend said, "This only teaches me to be a more kind and tolerant person and do better for others."

And she is right!

Be the change you wish to see in the world.  - Ghandi

Let's do some Friday Favorites!

I am on the Sephora Beauty Insiders Club (join it, it's free) and when you shop there, you rack up points and can turn them in at any time for some free sample goodies.

In one of my sample packs, I got a small version of the Nars Satin Lip Pencil in Rikugien. And I went through it WAY too quickly! The color is really, really pretty (especially for the Fall) and will look good on everyone.
 When I ran out, I tried to find a replica version via Mac and came home to see if it was close to the same color and it was sorrrrta close but still too dark. So... it's back to Sephora for me to pick this back up!

Last year at Christmas, I received a pair of Minnetonka Moccasin Bootie Slippers (and I love to support homegrown Minnesota whenever possible). And I LOVED/LOVE them! I wanted a pair of slippers that I knew would last me through a few winters. And these will definitely do that!

These are the Chrissy version and they are made with genuine suede and have a thin rubber sole so you can wear them out when you have to walk to the mailbox to grab the mail or on the back porch to tell the dog to get off of your nice porch furniture!

If you don't personally need a new pair of slippers, what a great Christmas gift idea! You'll be loved forever!

My husband is hard to shop for. I mean, if he'd let me pick out his entire wardrobe, that would be fun, but not very exciting for him and he wouldn't really love it. Because Matt has his own style. And that mainly includes blue, blue stripes, blue and white stripes and blue checks.

I love him and blue does look good on him.

But when his birthday rolled around, I was trying to find something fun to get him that I knew he wouldn't scoff at and actually wear!

Hence, these amazing New Balance shoes!

He was actually excited about them because he could wear them to work, they weren't just another sneaker and hey, they looked cool, too!

I had to send back for a different size (I'd size down if you purchase these) and just now as able to find the size I wanted (they are sold out of larger sizes on the New Balance site). But I did eventually find them again and he loves them!

Also... another possible good Christmas gift idea?! ;)

If you have been a Two Dots shopper over the years, you will know that now is about the time when we stock up on our Fleece-lined Leggings!

These leggings are amazing. And comfortable. And cover your belly. And one size fits all (truth). And are $11. We sell out of them so quickly every year so this year we have a good stock to start out with in both black and navy!

I promise you that if you buy these, you will be SO happy that you did. And will never want to take them off!
And the winner of the Morphe Eyeshadow Palette Giveaway is... Casee! I'll be in touch to get your gift to you!

Thanks to everyone who participated!

If you are in the Kansas City area, come see Two Dots tomorrow at Gift Gallery. The doors open at 7:30 am on Saturday and they will have mimosas available until 9 am, then the doors close at 4 pm! There will be over 40 vendors in attendance - and I am almost scared to wander around in fear that I will end up buying what I make with Two Dots! EEK! It's going to be a fun day!

Have a great weekend!


Thursday, November 10, 2016


Happy Thursday everyone! I'm throwing you off a little this week. Thursdays' are usually designated for Etsy Finds of the Week. And most of the time, that will always be the case.

But today, I wanted to do something a little different. We are going 'Pinteresting' (copyright that)! I LOVE Pinterest, but never have enough time to sit and spend the hours that I want on it. So today I'm designating some time to some of the things that I have found recently that I love! 

It's hard to narrow it down, but oh-so-fun...


Ugh! I've wanted an old wooden church pew for awhile. I love that it is a great decor piece as well as extra seating! 

Someday. ;) 

This is my kitchen.  

Well, not MINE mine, but if I were to create a kitchen, this would be it. I LOVE the wood countertops and the white walls! 

I'm now on the hunt for this rug! 

I'm constantly looking for something to put at the entryway to our front door and I LOVE this planter and boxwood! I want something that will look good in that spot all year long but that I can dress up with pumpkins or ribbon, etc. 

I love, love, love this room for a little girl! It's not too far out of my comfort zone. Plus the framed wallpaper would be a cinch to do! 

Ever since Joanna and Chip Gaines came into my life, I have a new found love for tiles. Not boring tiles. But fun tiles, like the one above! I would LOVE to use them on a floor or as a backsplash someday.

Keyword being someday.

I did some pantry reorganization this summer (it was fun and stressful at the same time) and this post definitely helped me out, in regards to the baskets for potatoes, labels, glass jars, etc.). A good find!

What a fantastic pop of color during those cold winter months! Another good idea for the front entryway!


It's finally cooling off here in northwest Arkansas so chili is on the list of must-make items!

That's all for today! Like I said, I LOVE Pinterest! If you like some of the things you've seen, you can follow my Pinterest page by clicking here!   

Don't forget to enter my Morphe Eyeshadow Palette Giveaway below - I will announce the winner on Friday Favorites! :)


a Rafflecopter giveaway

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