Friday, May 19, 2017

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday friends! Welcome to the final edition of Friday Favorites from Arkansas -- unless by some chance I actually find time next Thursday evening or Friday morning to sit down and do this on the last day of school/the day before we officially leave the Land-o-Hogs behind!

Who knows?1 Maybe I'll have a last second burst of energy!

If by chance I don't (😂), I will return to you from my parent's office space in Manhattan, Kansas, where we will be bunking out until our housing situation finally situates itself in Illinois.

Can we just get some extra prayers and fingers and toes crossed that that will happen soon? Not because I'm not excited about living with my parents again. If I were going to choose who to hang out with, it would probably be them.

But I do not want them to get sick of us. Which I feel like could happen rather quickly!

Anyway... Friday Favorites, here we go!

It is that time of year. Pool season! I think we officially kicked it off last Sunday by going to the Splash Pad the day it opened! 

Pool season for us the last few years has been an almost daily occurrence. In our old neighborhood, they have the most legit pool that we lived at during the summer months! And I snagged some Target swim coverups and I have one from Old Navy that does the trick.

But then I saw this coverup on Brickyard Buffalo and had to share! It's so cute, especially if you have a suit that either has no straps, or small straps like this. It's so cute and will for sure make you the talk of the  pool! :) It's only available through the weekend for $21.90 so make your purchase soon!

I'm not sure if you all know this.

But I love JCrew Factory. 😜 For those that really don't know, I will just save you the hassle of reading past blog posts, but I spend a lot of time talking about this store. 

But for good reason!

The clothes are classic, good quality and good prices. 

And this dress is a great example of all three of those things! I LOVE this color during summer. It's a mix between a tomato red and a coral. It's so pretty and I'm trying to think of who this would look bad on... and I'm drawing a blank. 

It also comes in black ... and did I mention it's only $36.50?! 

And to go with your cute new pool coverup or new shirtdress is this adorable beach bag from Sole Society

It comes in an off-white as well, which I loved, but I know that my little grubby-handed adorable children would want to touch and so off-white just isn't in the cards for me at this time in my life.

This bag is definitely big enough to fit books, extra change of clothes, towel, etc. 

Free shipping over $50 at Sole Society. A definite must have! 

I came across these sandals on a bloggers Instagram page the other day and had to do a little digging to find them.

But I found them -- Dolce Vita's Para Slides. Love them. 

Love them, love them, love them! I think its just a cute and maybe edgier sandal - and by edgy, I mean as edgy as this anti-edgy person can get! They come in four different colors and the straps transition to a different color.

They ARE pricey at $120, but if you haven't shopped on Dolce Vita's site, then you can enter you email address and get an additional 15 percent off.

I haven't blogged about this yet, but... I started working out at Burn Bootcamp about two weeks ago. It was recommended to me by one of my former Chapman Cheerleaders (Go Irish!) who is about to open one up in Overland Park (for all my KC girls)! 

You guys... it's awesome. It's a 45 minute class and I leave sweating and out of breath. Which is the greatest feeling! 

If you are in the hunt for something to get you in shape and kick your rear, find your nearest Burn Bootcamp! 

ANYWAY -- the last thing the instructor always says before we leave the class is to remember to drink LOTS of water and try and eat 30 grams of protein shortly after class is over. I'm such a picky eater that it's hard for me to find much! 

I was at Wal-Mart though and found these little packets - almost like Lunchables - that have a meat, cheese, almonds and cranberries in them which are perfect for me to snack on and eat right after class.

But I found one that had a small thing of chocolate covered pretzels. Yeah. I'm not going to say much except to say YUMMMMM!!!!! It's a quick and tasty treat, as long as you don't eat the entire bag! :) 

And I'm going to call it a wrap today! I'm going to post about my new facial cream from SeneGence that I tried and really like, but right now, I need to wrap it up! :) 

Everyone have a fantastic weekend! 


Thursday, May 18, 2017

But First... A Party!

We are about to wrap up our two-month stay at Chateau Stone Manor, which also means we are about to wrap up our two and a half year stay in Arkansas.

Can I just say...

Where the hell did the last two and a half years go?

It's certainly scary to think how fast time flies when I remember when we were living in a hotel for three weeks before we moved into our house here! I guess we are leaving the way we came in -- temporary housing!

But before we left, we were feted by our White Oak Trails neighborhood pals last Friday night.

There was amazing food, great beer (hello cold Bud Light Limes!) and wonderful, and as always, entertaining conversation. It's funny how the crowd always separates into boys and girls, just like we are back at the seventh grade dance! But... the only way one can talk about having more babies when husbands don't want more babies is with a separated crowd. :)

Sidenote: I was not one asking for more babies!

About 15 minutes in to the party, our hosts told us the new owners of our house were gone for the weekend so we were sneaking over to take pictures in front of it!

This is my neighbor Josh. It took us 45 seconds to take one picture at the correct angle. He also wanted to make the blog!
So our big crew walks over and yet again, I shed tears. It seems that any time I go back to the neighborhood, I cry. They are usually tears of sadness, of missing the house. Tears on this night were definitely of missing the house, but also of being terrified of never having great neighbors like this again.

I know I've talked a lot about our neighborhood and how lucky we were to end up there. And I promise I won't talk about this for the next 15 years. But I just need to say again... I will miss these people. I will miss the conversations. I will miss the kindness and the laughter.

Very rarely have I met another Allyson. I guess I had to move to Arkansas to THIS neighorhood.
Because that girl to my right is Allyson as well. 
And it wouldn't have been right if Rachel didn't become the Vudu Queen and literally test out each gal's fertility with a strand of hair and wedding rings...

Lis was loving this!
I can't lie, my reading scared the CRAP out of me as it said I had two girls and a boy and we had one more boy to come. I feel like that was when I had went from only wanting two beers for the evening, to immediately running back out to the beer fridge. I definitely needed another beer after that news. 

It was such a fun night and though it still makes me sad to be leaving, I had to remind myself how lucky we were that we picked this neighborhood to live in and had 2.5 years of memories with these people and their families. 

No one will ever be forgotten.

And thank God for Facebook! 


Friday, May 12, 2017

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday, friends!

A fun weekend ahead for us as my brother, sister-in-law and nephew are coming down to visit for the weekend! We've got a jam-packed Saturday and I'm going to drag the entire family to all of it and they are going to love every second! :)

Time for some Faves...

I have professed my love for these tees before. I saw this one the other day and laughed out loud! And for Mother's Day? Yes... I had to post it.

Thanks Vanilla Ice for your poetic lines and thank you Saturday Morning Pancakes for putting in on a tee!
I have been hunting for a good face mask (not the baseball kind) this week. My face just feels... bleh. I really, REALLY want to go get a legit facial from a dermatologist, but until I can do that, I feel like a good mask will do the trick .

One of my favorite bloggers mentioned two that she likes and then I found one that SeneGence (who owns LipSense) sells. After gauging the options, I ended up purchasing the version from SeneGence for $50. 

Here were the other options: 

This version is $62, but I do truly believe that it would really help the areas I need the most help with. It purifies skin, is a deep cleanser, and helps with pores, blemishes and oiliness.

This is the other version she mentioned and MUCH more affordable at $10. It came in a few different versions but I feel like this one was most what I was looking for.

I will give you an update after I use my SeneGence version!

Ladies, these came across my Facebook page the other day and I stopped, took a picture and made a mental note to make sure to post them on Friday Favorites. 

These are fantastic summer shoes! Cute with dresses, cute with shorts, cute with skirts... and the color is bright, happy, summery! 

They are $34 from H&M. Hop to it! 

And while you're on the H&M website, browse the sunglasses. I can vouch for H&M sunglasses as I bought many pairs from there when we lived in Minneapolis,

And though maybe you aren't like me, but I refuse to spend a lot on sunglasses because I will a) lose them b) sit on them/break them c) my children.

Pick out a pair -- they are the summer accessory that you wear the most!

If you all don't have a pair of jean shorts, you need to go find a pair immediately! I own about six pairs of shorts (that don't have a Nike swoosh on them) and the only pair I ever want to wear are my jean shorts from JCrew Factory that I bought last year. Sadly, I can't find the exact pair on their site anymore, but these are close.

They are super comfy and just loose enough that they aren't sticking to my thighs. Key for summer comfort.

And that's it for this week, my friends! I'm not posting a new LipSense Color of the Week because I haven't been able to try a new one yet -- I can't wait to get my hands on some that are coming in this week so... next week! :)

Have an awesome weekend everyone! Matt is doing some house-hunting today so seriously, say a prayer that one of these is it. I feel it in my bones that one of them has to be it!!!


Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Random Musings

Some random questions and thoughts from me that I really do ponder sometimes.

Since moving into the lovely apartments at Stone Manor, we have gotten cable television back and man... is it glorious!

But do you know what I find myself watching?


Yes, you heard me right. Back to the old days.

And do you know what I watch on MTV?

Teen Mom (because I'm not sure if MTV has any other shows.. other than Teen Mom and Super Sweet Sixteen --- #lifegoals ... NOT).

And with Teen Mom comes a few questions (well... a lot more than a few but a few for you)...

1) Farrah. 

The picture on the left is when she first started on the show. The picture on the right is now.

You guys. Isn't there point in your life when you look at yourself in the mirror and say, "Woah... This is NOT getting better!"

She is straight up crazy anyway. But what she has done to herself might be even crazier than her personality!

2. Ryan. 

This guy - at 19 years old - was pretty good looking. Now at what, 25-26... he is graying. And I want to know... from what?! He sounds like the laziest human being on the planet. What has he done in his life to gray his hair? My friend Brett is 35 and has gray hair. But he is the only mortician in my hometown so he's seen more than one should by 35. He deserves gray hair.

This kid? Nu-uh.

3. Trader Joe's. 
I've been to Trader Joe's many times, but really just for their flower selection. They have great flowers at great prices. 

But everyone else is obsessed with the food and drink selection! So fill me in! What do you like from Trader Joe's and what am I missing out on?!

4. Ironing.

This used to be me.

Then kids and the rest of my life happened.

Now this is me.

I despise it. Because the last thing I want to be doing after my kids go to bed is stay up on my feet ironing my husband's shirts.

And I know he is not the only person in this world who wears dress shirts to work. So what is your trick? Just don't tell me iron-free shirts because those were made to make you THINK you didn't have to iron them.

But you do.

You have to iron EVERYTHING!

5. Mini vans. 

How this sticker hasn't made it on to my car yet is beyond me...

Probably because those that really know me know that I really was never very cool so even this sticker is stretching it! :)

I do drive a minivan. And I do think it is the most practical car for us at this moment in our lives. But you will never be able to tell me that driving a minivan that carries carseats, has sunshades for kiddos and a backseat mirror for mom to check to see what is being destroyed in the backseat is cool.

A smart money decision in your 30s? Yes.

Cool? No.

Now when I get my suburban in 2024, I will ROCK it! :)

Happy Hump Day all!


Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Life Lately

Well friends ... life lately has been a big bummer!

If you didn't see my Facebook video I posted last week on my Tess and Elm Facebook page, I talked about the big bummer.

Which was how we were under contract on a house (FINALLY!) and then had the inspection done where they found a huge crack in the basement wall. We had to have a structural engineer come to look at it to see if it was a major or minor problem.

Turned out to be a major problem. A sixty thousand dollar problem to be exact!

And not 60 thousand dollars that we felt we should have to pay (and not 60 thousand dollars that I thought the owners were willing to pay either).

I was correct because they respectfully declined to pay for it. So we had to say goodbye to the house that was too good to be true for us!

We are sort of in a weird place right now. We just kind of don't know what to do. Matt came home Thursday night from Chicago and said he had a great idea and after the showered, he would let me know what it was.

I was sort of thinking it was going to be this fantastic, genius idea.

It was a house boat. He wanted to buy a house boat.

Needless to say, my sails deflated (pun intended) quickly and I went back to looking at my phone for houses.

I know that a house will work out for us. It's just obviously not even close to being on my time frame. I finally decided to just start emailing a few preschools in the areas we want to be in and will probably just sign Reece up for something. The kid has to go to preschools for so many reasons, but mostly because mom cannot teach him anything. Teaching was not my calling in life and when you know your strengths and weaknesses, you admit them!

I'm going to choose to be optimistic at this point because I'm tired of being sad about it. And on that note...

Other things going on in our life... school is almost out! I literally cannot believe it. I can't believe that I have sent Sloane to school nine months of the year and not once forgot her snack or water bottle that she was supposed to have.

I DID forget to sign a homework folder every once-in-awhile but hey, it was a learning process for us all!

What a school year though... it is truly amazing to watch your child come home and read to you. Or write sentences. I have loved watching Sloane in her first year of school and how she has grown.

Maybe someday she will learn to pick up the tempo a little bit...

But I'm not holding my breath!

As for Reece... he has no idea how to read or write a sentence and I'm really just excited for him to write his name. I think its a little bit of the boy in him, but his care level for that stuff is non-existent.

Can someone confirm or deny this with their own boys at this age?!

We've made big strides in other areas, especially in the swimming department. Once we finished up with occupational therapy in December, I knew I needed to keep pushing him in the areas that he needed to work on. One of those was the water.

The kid loves baths and to put his head under but the pool is a different story. After taking group lessons that were filled with Reece screams, he took private lessons for a month and man... Ms. Lisa was amazing! He still screamed here and there, but he is now putting his head under, going through the extremely loud maze of squirting water at the community center pool to go down the slide and is going down the bigger slides as well.

He has come a long way and I'm hoping we can keep this up -- I don't want him to put a floatie back on!

And as for Ms. Tess... she loves me. Like... a lot. And if mommy is not holding her or she can't see me, she's crying. Loudly. Every once in awhile she will venture off to play with some toys but no more than three minutes later and she is back at my feet.

God love her.

But sometimes I need a break!

Oh... and Matt is in Chicago every week.

Did I mention I need a break?

We seriously miss him... it definitely has put a strain on us as a family and in our marriage. If you can avoid the life of a weekly traveling husband/dad, I recommend it!

And that's life lately for us. We have a busy month ahead and then what comes after school is out is still unknown (say a prayer that the unknown starts to become a little more "known" for us soon)!

And we all know how much I love the unknown!!!!!


Friday, May 5, 2017

Friday Favorites

We've survived another week... this was a long one for me. I'm exhausted and need a beach vacation.

Starting tomorrow!

With that being said...

I'm going to need this shirt for that vacation! This is a Madewell tee via Nordstrom and even if I'm not on an actual vacation, maybe this top will make me feel like I am? Even if I'm changing diapers, yelling at my son to PLEASE get in the car or telling my oldest that she doesn't need to eat any more marshmallows...

If you all have been hunting for some super comfortable, lightweight jogger pants to lounge around in... or wear around doing errands... or being a mom... stop what you are doing and go buy these! They were recommended by a blogger I follow who was about to go on a very long trip and said she wasn't sure if these were considered pajama pants or not, but she didn't care because they were so comfy!

She wasn't lying! I immediately bought them because I love joggers and I'm all about comfy when I'm chasing three tiny people around every day.

They were sold out of the small so I took a chance on the medium. I think the smalls would have maybe fit a tiny bit better, but I love them and am not sending them back! You can tighten or loosen as much as you want and they do get a little baggy as the day goes on, but they aren't falling off of you.

Did I mention how comfy they are? I threw them on with a white tee, my New Balance shoes (that I also highly recommend) and a jean jacket and was ready for the day.

If you are in the hunt for some new makeup brushes, I definitely recommend this brand! This brand of brushes are fairly inexpensive (less than $7) and you can pick out 4-5 that you really would use rather than get 200 brushes that you don't know what to do with!

I bought this one for one of my LipSense customers who purchased BlushSense (yes, we also sell makeup and skincare) for the first time and didn't have a blush brush.

You can also get this brand at Target, which is handy if you want to go and see what brush options there are!

Guys... finding time to make food for my kids has been brutal since we moved. Tess wants me to hold her ALL the time so I don't have free hands.

Which means finding time to make MYSELF something to eat basically doesn't exist.

I started eating Amy's Kitchen frozen meals a few years ago and then since moving into the apartment, they are basically my lunch every day!

They are perfectly portioned and there are some great options if you aren't a picky eater like me. I eat all of the Mexican food options and some of the pasta. Tess likes the black beans, butternut squash and kale. So that's a win!

Check your local freezer aisle if you have the same problem as me and just need something to eat in a rush!

Not trying to toot our own horn here, but Two Dots hit the jackpot on this dress. 

Sometimes I can see something and just know it's going to do well for us. This was that dress. I had to order a second pack to cover the orders we had! 

It's a great tank dress with a scooped back that can be worn with flip-flops or sandals to be dressed down or with some heels to be dressed up. You can't go wrong with this little black dress! 

We still have a few sizes left if you're interested -- just click here

Just got Plum Pretty back in stock for the second time since I started in January. People, colors are hard to come by right now because everything is SOOOO popular (like.. I'm not pulling your leg or trying to make you go, "Oh Allyson, you don't have to pump up this business to us!). I'm dead serious - there are currently ZERO colors for me to purchase right now, it's so popular.

So... I was excited to get my hands on this! This is a great year-round color! I think it's pretty now, will be so great in the Fall as well.

If you're needing some Plum Pretty, let me know! Or click here for all of the other colors I have in stock!


I wanted to give a extremely huge shoutout to all of the teachers out there in this world. This week has been Teacher Appreciation Week at Sloane's school (and schools across the country) and I am 110 percent certain that we should not be thanking these teachers five days out of the year. You should be thanking them CONTINUOUSLY! These people should be paid the highest salaries in our country, but sadly, they are barely paid. But don't you worry -- all of those legislators that continue to take away from education were once taught by wonderful teachers that got them to where they are. But they seem to forget that.

I grew up with two of the very best educators -- I know there were times that people probably felt like they could do their jobs better than my parents. And to all of those that EVER thought that, I triple dog dare you to go and be a teacher or an administrator for five days.

You will never complain again.

So to all of the former and current janitors, paras, aides, teachers, administrators out there reading this... THANK YOU. Thank you for all that you do to better our children. You couldn't pay me a million dollars to do what you do! You also couldn't pay me a million dollars to walk in a teacher's store again. I spent too many minutes of my childhood in those!!! :)

Crossing fingers you all have a dry, rain-free weekend! I'd take a sunny and warm Saturday in a heartbeat!

Happy Friday!


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