Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Gamer's Gift Guide

Today's gift guide is not my usual feminine content, BUT I think it will be very beneficial for lots of people. Anyone who has a gamer in their life (aka someone who plays video games) and doesn't have a clue what to get them, this is the gift guide you need! I know there are lots of women out there who know gamers, but don't know what to buy them so I am here to help.

Since I know ZERO about video games, I went straight to the husband! He has been seriously playing video games for 32 years and he even played semi-professionally in his early adult years. He regularly plays online each week and even participates in a gaming tournament with his three best friends every year. All of that to say, the items he has selected are sure to be winners for the gamer in your life.

Gamer's Gift Guide

One thing I do want to point out is that the majority of the items in this gift guide are for Xbox, Playstation and Playstation VR (Virtual Reality). Since my husband isn't a PC gamer, we don't have suggestions for those. Please note that you will need to buy the products that are compatible with the gaming console that the gamer in your life has (Xbox, Playstation or Playstion VR). I have separated them out by gaming console to make it easy for you!


1.) Wireless Controller - This controller is only compatible with a Playstation 5 and it comes highly recommended by my husband.

2.) Charging Station (Splurge) - This charging station can charge two controllers at once and also features a cooling fan. The vertical stand minimizes space that it takes up.

3.) Charging Station (Save) - For the budget conscious folks, this charging station is easier on your wallet than the one above. It also can charge two controllers at once.

4.) Wireless Gaming Headset (Save) - I highly recommend that you purchase a headset for the gamer in your life to minimize noise for everyone! This is the more budget friendly headset and this particular headset is specific to Playstation.

5.) Wireless Gaming Headset (Splurge) - If you want a higher quality headset, this is for you! It is worth noting that this headset can be used with other gaming systems besides Playstation.

Popular Playstation Games:
6.) Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War
7.) Assassin's Creed Valhalla
8.) Cyberpunk 2077
9.) Spider-Man Miles Morales

Gaming Chairs

10.) Homall Gaming Chair (Save) - For the budget conscious, this chair comes in multiple color options and features a headrest and lumbar support.

11.) Modern Depot Gaming Throne (Splurge) - Also comes in multiple colors and features a headrest, backrest, footrest, cupholders and lights.

Playstation VR (Virtual Reality)

12.) PSVR Charger and Display Stand - My husband has this exact stand and loves it. It keeps the PSVR headset out of the way and charges it at the same time.

Popular PSVR Games
13.) Superhot VR
14.) PSVR Aim Controller Firewall Zero Hour Bundle
15.) Battlezone
16.) Beat Saber - I'll add my own plug here, this game is fun for even non-gamers like me. If you have really good coordination and enjoy music, you will LOVE this game.


17.) Charging Station (Splurge) - This is a high speed charging station that can charge two controllers at once.

18.) Charging Station (Save) - Also a charging station for two controllers, just more budget friendly.

19.) Wireless Controller (Save) - A budget friendly controller for the Xbox Series X.

20.) Wireless Controller (Splurge) - An elite controller for the very serious gamer. 

21.) Wireless Gaming Headset (Save) - A really good headset for Xbox players, just more budget friendly.

22.) Wireless Gaming Headset (Splurge) - This headset has bluetooth built in and features a battery that lasts 20+ hours.

23.) Xbox Game Pass Ultimate - My husband recommends Game Pass because this is essentially Netflix for video games. You pay a subscription and get access to over a hundred different games. The games do rotate and change almost weekly, but it gives you quite a variety of games to play. The Ultimate package (this one that I linked) also features access to EA Play. My daughter actually uses Game Pass and has found some fun new games for her to play.

24.) Storage Expansion Card - Extra storage space for Xbox Series X.

Popular Xbox Games
25.) Cyberpunk 2077
26.) Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War
27.) Assassin's Creed Valhalla

Friday, November 13, 2020

Holiday Gift Guide for Girls

I actually feel more prepared with gift ideas for my seven year old daughter this year than I ever have before. Yes, she's more vocal about all the things she wants, so that helps. To compile this list, I also asked my followers on instagram for their feedback on gifts for girls ages 6-10. So get ready for a fun gift guide with some ideas on what to buy for an elementary
aged girl.

Gift Guide for Girls

All of the gifts that are included in this guide are either items/toys that my daughter already has and loves or are items that are on her Christmas list.

1.) Butterfly Wall Hooks - This gift actually surprised me, but when I asked my daughter what are some items that she has and loves, she told me that she loves the pretty hooks in her closet. :) She uses the hooks to hang her pajamas, her purses and her camera bag.

2.) Star Shelf - I figured if we were going to have hooks, we might as well have a pretty shelf. This star shelf is pretty enough by itself, but would look awesome in a little girl's room with some fun pictures in frames. 

3.) Light Up Tracing Pad - I am REALLY excited about this gift because I know my daughter will love it. For any little girl that loves to draw, this is the perfect gift. It comes with ten different tracing sheets, colored pencils, paper and more.

4.) Spirit Riding Free Playset - My daughter loves horses and really enjoyed the Spirit Riding Free series on Netflix. She currently owns this playset and loves playing with it. The set was easy to build and comes with plenty of accessories for playtime.

5.) Realistic Stegosaurus - This is the exact dinosaur that started my daughter's huge love of dinosaurs. While she has recently moved on to preferring dragons instead, I wanted to include this in case there are any other girl dino lovers out there (I know there are lots!). The dinosaur is extremely realistic looking; I greatly appreciate their attention to detail.

6.) Walking Dragon - For the dragon lover, this is a must. My daughter has this toy in black and the quality is great, especially for the price.

7.) Untamed Raptor by Fingerlings - Here is another dinosaur that helped fuel my daughter's love for dinos. These fingerlings are responsive to touch, they will move their heads and make noises. This is something my daughter regularly plays with.

8.) Hoverboard - I must admit, this is a gift that I want for myself. HA! My daughter uses hers often and it is quite impressive to watch her ride around on. I've let my daughter ride the hoverboard inside the house and it has not scratched up my floors at all.

9.) Fuse Beads Craft Kit - I think it might be a rite of passage for all girls to play with these. The large set comes with 5500 beads and a pattern booklet to create all sorts of designs. I can't wait to work on this with my daughter.

10.) Karaoke Microphone - If you have a singer in your family, this would be such a fun gift. The microphone has bluetooth capabilities and can be used as a speaker, player or recorder. And I'm sure the kids will love the flashing colored lights.

11.) Tablet Case - If your child has a Fire HD Tablet, this case is perfect for them. It has two handles on the side, which makes for easy holding. There is also a stand in the back that can prop the tablet up for hands free viewing. And finally, it has a carrying strap. We like to place the strap over the front seat of the car, so my kids can watch hands free while we take long trips.

12.) Frozen 2 Walk and Glow Salamander - Frozen 2 was an exceptional movie, so I am all about buying the toys that go with it. You can tell from the name that this toy walks and lights up.

13.) Caboodles Make Up Case - I cannot believe these things are back, but I am so excited! I loved my Caboodles as a kid and I'm happy to share the excitement with my daughter. But do me a favor, if you buy this for your daughter, please don't buy her play makeup to go with it. Get her the real stuff, you don't have to buy expensive stuff, just get something better quality.

14.) Fire HD 8 Tablet - You don't need to spend a ton of money on a tablet for your kids, the Fire HD is the perfect tablet for them. They are inexpensive and do everything you kids want: movies, YouTube, books and games. Pro Tip: Amazon puts these on sale A LOT, so keep your eyes peeled for a good deal.

15.) Blinger Styling Tool - Girls can have fun adding bling to their hair, their clothes, their purses and more.

16.) 3D Pen - Let your child bring their drawings to life with this 3D Pen. The pen is safe for kids to use and can be touched with no burn risks.

17.) Snow Dragon - My daughter loves the FurReal pets because they are so interactive. We've bought a couple FurReal pets over the years and they all still work, so I am confident in the quality. The snow dragon has over 50 sounds and reactions.

18.) Instax Camera - A friend of ours brought her camera to Christmas last year and let my daughter take pictures from her point of view. She loved every second of it and wanted one for herself. The camera is very easy to use and is also easy to load/unload the film.

19.) Jewelry Box - This was another item that my daughter said she absolutely loved. If the little girl in your life is anything like mine, she has collected a lot of jewelry over the years. This jewelry box has lots of different compartments making it easy to organize everything.

20.) Walkie Talkie - I feel like these are another rite of passage for children. I'm sure we all remember how much fun we had pretending to be spies while playing with our walkie talkies. These are perfect if you have a child that likes to camp in the backyard.

21.) Instax Film - If you buy the Instax Camera, you need the film to go with it. Trust me, buy the largest pack available because your child will go through a lot of film. :)

22.) Twister - Games are a must for just about anyone! My daughter loves to challenge me in Twister; she highly recommended that I add this to list because she loves it so much.

23.) Scrabble Junior - This is such a great game to work on spelling! One side has an empty board where you can play regular Scrabble. The other side has words already created and you have to match up the letters to make a word. If you have a Scrabble lover in your family, tell them to buy this for a young girl.

24.) The Game of Life - We bought this game at the beginning of quarantine and have loved playing it as a family. While it is very fun, it helps children practice counting money and also helps them see that having a good paying job is important.

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Monday, November 2, 2020

Holiday Gift Guide for Her 2020

 Holiday shopping is upon us and this year I'm going to help you with your shopping! I will be rounding up some of the best Christmas gifts for the people on your list and sharing my gift guides all month long. Be sure to check back regularly as I scour the internet and stores for you to share what I think would make terrific presents. 

Gift Guide for Her

Today I'm starting with Gift Ideas for Her. The gifts included in this list are for the woman who likes pretty, girly things and who enjoys spending a little extra time on herself. Some of the items included are also on my Christmas wish list and several of them I already own and LOVE so I know the lady in your life will love them too.

1.) Be Kind coffee mug - My friend Kim started the cutest shop full of coffee mugs, t shirts and other fun items all designed to make you have a Happy Day. Check out her shop! And while you are there definitely grab that black Be Kind coffee mug.

2.) Phone Tripod with Blue Tooth Remote - For the girl who loves to take pictures wherever she goes! I just purchased this tripod and have already put it to good use taking photos of our family. The bluetooth remote is so handy too.

3.) Faux Rabbit Fur Pillow - Trust me on this one, this pillow is the softest thing you will ever touch. The pillow comes in several colors and is the perfect addition to a bed or couch.

4.) Tumbler - Dare I say this is the best tumbler I've ever tried. I've shared this before because I love it so much. A couple reasons it is so wonderful: comes in lots of different colors and sizes, comes with a straw lid and a coffee lid and keeps your ice for at least 6 hours.

5.) Handbag - Every girl needs a cute new bag that is big enough to hold all of her essentials. 

6.) Tablet and Phone holder - This stand has an adjustable height and is compatible with lots of different brands of tablets and phones. It is perfect for when you want to go hands free or need to prop your tablet up higher than a case allows.

7.) Keyring - I'm definitely adding this to my wish list as I am ALWAYS juggling my purse and phone and keys and bags and kids and everything else when I walk in the house. At least this will help get one thing out of my hands! You can put the keyring on your wrist and wear it as a bracelet.

8.) Makeup Brushes - I've never seen so many makeup brushes in a set at such a great price! This set is available in a couple different colors. A girl always likes a new set of makeup brushes.

9.) Frother - For the girl who likes her coffee extra frothy! This also comes with a travel case so you never have to settle for boring, plain coffee again.

10.) Refillable Bottles for Hand Soap, Shampoo, Etc - These bottles are perfect for anyone who likes a sleek and uniform look to the products they use. The bottles are perfect to use in the shower, at the bathroom vanity, by the kitchen sink and more.

11.) Pom Beanie - The pom on top of this hat makes it so cheery and festive. The beanie is available in several different colors.

12.) Dyson Hair Dryer - While this gift is definitely a splurge, I've heard so many amazing things about this hair dryer. This is a practical gift that will get used almost daily.

13.) Weekend Bag - A fun bag is necessary for traveling over the weekend. The canvas tote is available with other fun sayings, perfect to give your girlfriends for a girl's trip!

14.) Monogram Agate Coaster - Such a pretty addition to your kitchen or living room! I guarantee this is a gift that a girl in your life has eyed, but she doesn't want to buy it for herself.

15.) Bubbly Coffee Mug - I'm a sucker for a cute coffee mug and I bet the lovely lady in your life is too.

16.) Silk Pillowcases - Such an amazing price for a set of 2! Silk pillowcases are wonderful for your skin and hair and they just feel so luxurious.

17.) Cheese Board - The perfect addition to a dinner party or girl's night in! This cheese board also has a slicer, making it easy to use and display everything.

18.) Leopard Slippers - These are also on my Christmas list! I love moccasin slippers to wear around the house and when I saw they came in a leopard print, I knew I needed them. She wants them too!

19.) Crystal Popsocket - I absolutely love my popsocket and hardly ever pick up my phone without using it. The crystal gives your phone such a pretty, chic look.

20.) Bath Tray - For the girl who needs a little time to relax in the tub with all of her favorite things.

21.) Marble Wine Cooler - Another great item to have for a fun girl's night in. The perfect thing to keep your rosé chilled.

22.) Travel Jewelry Case - This case keeps your jewelry neat and tidy and organized while traveling. I love that there is a place to secure your necklaces so they don't get all tangled up.

23.) Travel Cosmetic Pouch - I just purchased this and love it! The pouch is huge and can hold full size bottles. There is a zipper portion in the middle, giving this three different compartments.

24.) Makeup Brush Cleaning Mat - If a girl likes makeup, she needs to have something to help clean her makeup brushes. This cleaning mat is hands down one of my favorite things ever. It makes cleaning so easy and helps to get ALL of the makeup out of the brushes.

25.) Lighted Makeup Mirror - Such a great price - definitely snatch this up! The mirror has magnified portions and can be easily adjusted to the perfect angle.

26.) Quilted Purse - Another addition to my Christmas list! This purse is so on trend at such a great price. It comes in multiple colors.


Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Favorite Podcasts

Pursuit of Pink Favorite Podcasts

I'm a huge fan of podcasts and have listened to them for several years. When driving in the car by myself, listening to podcasts is a favorite way to help pass the time. A couple of years ago, I shared a blog post with my favorite podcasts at the can read that post here. Since I wrote that post, I've obviously listened to quite a lot more and I wanted to give you an updated list of my current favorite podcasts.

This list does include some podcasts from my previous post, but they are so good that they are worth mentioning again.

Favorite Podcasts

True Crime

Cold - Possibly the best podcast I've ever listened to as the storytelling is phenomenal. It dives into the story of Susan Powell and is extremely captivating. I binged this podcast while I did chores around the house. I remember this story being covered in the news, but the podcast goes deeper. There are some creepy moments, so tread lightly. 

Dirty John - What a crazy story this one is! John Meehan is quite the con artist and I'm shocked that people have fallen for his lies over the years. This was also made into a tv mini series.

Dr. Death - Another crazy podcast, I can't believe that people get away the stuff that they do! Note: don't listen to this if you or a loved one are getting ready to have any kind of surgery.

Up & Vanished - There are two seasons of Up & Vanished. I personally enjoyed Season 1 more than Season 2, but I do still think that Season 2 is worth a listen. Up & Vanished is hosted by a filmmaker and he does an excellent job investigating and creating a story that holds your attention.

True Crime Obsessed - A different take on true crime, hosts Patrick and Gillian watch tons of documentaries and then recap everything for us. Their recaps are HILARIOUS and sometimes a bit snarky and that makes this podcast one of my favorites. Even though their episodes cover the full documentaries that they watch, I often want to check out the documentary because they described it so well.

Who the Hell is Hamish
- Another "how did they get away with it" podcast. Hamish is a true con artist who fooled many.

The Bachelor

Bachelor Happy Hour - Hosted by former Bachelorettes Rachel Lindsay and Becca Kufrin, this is usually my first stop for all things Bachelor related. They have tons of guests including many Bachelor alumni.

Mouthing Off - This podcast isn't strictly devoted to Bachelor content, but those are usually the episodes that I listen to. It is hosted by Olivia Caridi (from Ben Higgins' season) and she is such an engaging host. I hate that she was displayed as a villain on her season because this podcast made me absolutely fall in love with her. She does talk about her time on the Bachelor and how being a villain shaped her life.

Off The Vine - Another fun Bachelor podcast that also features other content as well. Hosted by Kaitlyn Bristowe, it is fun to hear her take on all things Bachelor and pop culture.  

Reality Steve - If you want spoilers on the Bachelor and other popular reality tv shows, this is for you. Reality Steve has a popular website where he has inside information into what goes down on the Bachelor and he has spoiled the ending for virtually ever season. He interviews past Bachelor alumni and also covers other shows including Big Brother.

The Betchelor - Maybe this is my second favorite Bachelor podcast (after Bachelor Happy Hour) as they often have the inside scoop of what is happening each season without spoiling anything. You can find recaps of episodes as they air on tv and they frequently have fun guests on to chat all things Bachelor related.

Boss Babes

On Purpose - The instagram story queen herself, Alex Beadon, has created a podcast designed to help fellow entrepreneurs navigate the social media world. Her episodes are chockfull of really good tips and tricks.  

Thrive Blogger Podcast - I cannot get enough of this podcast. Hosted by a blogger FOR bloggers, Thrive features SO MANY tips and in depth chats about all things blogging and social media.


Absolutely Not - I discovered Heather McMahan on instagram and she is a RIOT. She is a comedian by trade and her podcast is very funny and features tons of fun guests, including celebrities.

Swiping Up - Consider this the ENews for all things influencers. The three hosts are huge influencer fans and also love calling influencers out when they are being extra basic (Basic Insta Bloggers). This podcast sometimes is perceived as the hosts being mean, but they really are three fun girls who also accept that they are just as basic as the next girl.

The Morning Toast
- Another ENews type of podcast, but they cover ALL pop culture. Every episode includes the top five pop culture items happening at the moment.

Monday, October 12, 2020

The Pink (Amazon) Post

With Amazon Prime Day coming up, I want to arm you with lots of good products that I personally use and love. Today's post is full of items that I use almost daily and they just happen to all be pink. Pretty fitting! You can order all of these straight from Amazon

Amazon Pink Items

While I have a pretty good idea of most of the products that will be on sale during Amazon Prime Day, I imagine there will also be plenty of surprises thrown in. So fingers crossed some of these items are part of the sale. However they are all extremely affordable, so even if they aren't part of the sale you won't break the bank when purchasing.

1.) Silicone Body Scrubber - This thing is incredible. Earlier in the year, I stopped using loofahs because they carry so much bacteria. This silicone body scrubber is incredibly easy to clean and is way more hygienic than loofahs. It lathers up really well and feels amazing on your skin. I purchased one for my best friend because I love it so much and she has mentioned on more than one occasion how much she loves it.

2.) Stylus - I started using Procreate to make my own instragram story stickers and backgrounds and I needed a stylus to make it easier to draw on the ipad. This stylus is awesome! It comes with multiple tips, has a gripper to make it easy to hold and is available in multiple colors.

3.) Fire Tablet Case - I've actually owned this case for over two years and it has held up really well, even with my kids using the tablet. I love the metallic look of the case and I'm impressed that it hasn't taken on any scratches since I've owned it. It allows you to prop up your tablet at multiple angles and easily allows you to rotate the orientation of your device.

4.) Mouse Pad - I love having pretty desk and office accessories, they make sitting at a computer easier because I have nice things to look at. This mouse pad comes in multiple designs and is EXTREMELY affordable.

5.) Tumbler - I have talked about this tumbler a lot, but it is so good! I've got plenty of reasons why I love it:
-available in multiple sizes (I have the 24 oz myself and the 16 oz for my kids)
-the 24 oz size comes with both a coffee lid and a straw lid
-all cups come with two straws
-the kids straws are super flexible so you don't have to worry about them hurting their mouth
-all lids fit all cups, so you don't have to remember which lid belongs on your kid's cup and which belongs on yours
-keeps ice for at least 6 hours
-the cup doesn't sweat and make a mess
-it is a fraction of the price of a yeti
-it keeps your water or beverage ice cold all day

6.) Eyelash Comb - I love this comb because it is curved just like an eyelash curler, making it very easy to come your eyelashes after applying mascara. It also comes with a cap to cover it when you aren't using it. Plus it is such a low price point.

7.) Handheld Fan - Even though the colder months are upon us, this is still one of my smartest purchases ever. I tend to run hot most of the time and I hate to sweat, so this fan has saved me multiple times. The fan is about the size of your phone and is very light. It has two speeds and it cools you off really well. You just charge it with a USB cord. I like to keep the fan in my purse to cool me off whenever I need it.

Amazon Items Pink

Friday, October 9, 2020

Amazon Home Items

In case you haven't heard, a small little sale called AMAZON PRIME DAY is coming up next week. Because it is so popular, they are actually giving us two days to shop: October 13 and 14. To help get us ready for Prime Day, I rounded up some of my favorite Amazon Home Items. Everything pictured I either already own or have it on my wish list to purchase soon. 

Amazon Home Items

Wood Bead Garland - These are so cute to decorate with. You can drape them over a tiered tray, place them on a mantle, hang them from a basket and more. The options for decorating with them are endless.

Clear Drawer Tray Dividers - As an organization junkie, I'm all about the drawer tray dividers. And bonus points if they are clear because that creates clean lines and keeps everything neat and tidy. These are a terrific price for quite a lot of trays.

Faux Eucalyptus Spray - Eucalyptus is very popular to decorate with and these have good reviews. You get three sprays for a great price. I plan to buy several of these to use on my entryway table.

Leopard Print Pillow Cover - This pillow case was 100% made for me. Besides the fact that leopard is my favorite print, I cannot get over the quality. The fabric is thick and extremely durable. Plus it is only $10, quite the steal in my opinion. I already think I need to buy another one.

Marble Tray - Pretty trays keep items organized and make everything look even prettier. These trays are good for entertaining or containing your items. I like to display my perfumes on trays or you could also use this for keeping all of your remotes handy (in our house we have a lot).

Black Sliding Barn Door Handle - If you have a sliding door and need a handle, I highly recommend this. I wanted something sleek, black and durable and this handle fits the bill. I'm very impressed with the weight of it for the price.

K Cup Carousel - When I created my coffee bar earlier this year, I needed somewhere to keep our K cups. This carousel is very easy to spin, it holds quite a lot of K cups and it looks fabulous out on display.

Hanging Wall Planter - First, make sure you read the description and you will find out that faux plants do not come with the planter...that was my mistake (and why I included a picture without them)! However, I love these planters and cannot wait to fill them with some plants and get them hung. They are terrific quality for such a low price point.

White Lantern - I use lanterns often in my decor, both inside and outside. I appreciate that this one comes with its own light.

Folding Step Stool - For all of my short girls, get this step stool! I keep it in our pantry to reach things up on the top shelf. It gets a lot of daily use.

Acrylic Calendar - I'm considering buying one of these acrylic calendars for my office. Sometimes these custom calendars can be $200-$300. This one is custom printed so it will last forever and is only $100.

Pink Faux Succulents - I'm a huge succulent fan (remember my DIY succulent wall?) and when I saw these pink succulents I knew I needed them for my office. You get four for $20.


Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Tips To Help Virtual School Run Smoothly

Virtual School Tips

I'm sure like most of you, I have found myself doing something during this pandemic that I never thought I would do in life. For me, it is schooling my child at home. Even though once upon a time I thought I wanted to be a teacher, I never wanted to homeschool. However, we decided to choose the virtual option through my daughter's school district this year, for a multitude of reasons, and here I am doing a version of homeschooling.

Our virtual option is very similar to homeschool except that the school system has chosen the curriculum and we submit work on a daily basis. Other than that, we are able to set our own hours and complete the work when it works best for us. Also, because my daughter is younger, I sit with her and serve as her "at-home" teacher just like homeschool. She does have two teachers from our county assigned to her through the virtual system.

I'll be honest, the first two weeks I was overwhelmed. My daughter has been marvelous through all of this and said she likes doing school at home (even though she would still like to return to school). But for me finding a balance of being a full time mom, a full time wife, working part time for the theatre, running my blog and social media channels, doing all of the home duties AND being a teacher has been tough. By nature, I'm a very organized person and still felt overwhelmed - change is tough. But we have finally found our groove and I thought it would be helpful to share the tips I have put in place to help things run smoothly.

Your schooling might look different than ours, but I think some of these tips could still be useful for different schooling options.

1.) Set regular school hours.
Children thrive on a schedule, as do I, so we know that school will start every day at 9 a.m. This gives me plenty of time to workout in the morning, shower, change clothes and get the kids fed and ready before we begin. I have it blocked out in my calendar and know exactly when school will happen every day. This helps me when planning the rest of our activities for the days/weeks. We also decided to start school in the morning because my daughter focuses better at that time. Yes, there would be less distractions if I chose to wait until my two year old takes his afternoon nap, but we felt it was the best decision to start when my daughter gave the most focus. For you, it might be better to do school later. It doesn't matter what time of day you do it, I just recommend setting regular school hours so it is easier to plan the rest of your life.

2.) Take breaks.
It is silly to expect any child to sit still for hours at a time doing school work so breaks are needed. We try to take short breaks between each subject, depending on the length of time it took to complete the subject. Sometimes a break will mean we play a song and dance around. Sometimes I might need to do some work myself and need a longer break, so I will send the kids upstairs or outside to play. Sometimes we take a quick snack break. The important thing to remember is that breaks are important to help your child get their wiggles out and to help them focus again.

3.) Have lots of snacks on hand.
ALL THE SNACKS. This is very helpful because in addition to schooling my daughter, I also have a two year old who wants to do everything his big sister does. So snacks are a good way to allow him to join us at the table, without him crawling up into his sister's chair. Also, apparently doing schoolwork at home makes you very hungry.

4.) Seek help when you can.
I have a special situation where I actually go into an office one day a week and then work specific hours from home on another day. Due to this, I certainly need help to keep school happening. Luckily my parents are nearby to generously watch my children and Tolar has been able to adjust his work schedule at times to also help. We are all having to make adjustments to our schedules to get everything completed. If you have someone in your life who is able to help out in any way, now is not the time to be polite and say no. Take them up on their offer to help. Let them take your small child to the park while you work on school with your older children. Let your mother in law come over and make dinner or do some laundry. Help is needed while we are all taking on more during this time.

5.) Don't give yourself a lot of separate work to do during school hours.
As a type A person who cannot sit idle, it was VERY hard for me to follow this rule. The first several days of school, I would sit at the table with my computer work ready to go. I quickly realized that I needed to be a teacher during school hours more than I needed to do my own work. Admittedly, I got overwhelmed by trying to get all of my work complete and finish school with my daughter at the same time. So I have now switched and I only allow myself to work on things that can be stopped and started a lot. So I do more housework duties during school (like laundry) and save my other work for later in the day. If there is some computer work that doesn't require constant focus, I will work on that as I can. There are plenty of instances where my daughter does independent work and I can do my own thing. But during school hours, she needs my focus as much as I need her to do the same thing.

6.) Allow for play time.
When school is over, I don't let my kids sit in front of the tv. Instead, immediately after school is designated as play time. It helps my daughter to unwind after all of her school work and it gives my son one on one time with his sister. It also allows me time to myself to get things finished!

7.) Get outside when you can.
Living and doing schoolwork in the same place all day, every day can get boring. So we try to get outside for some of the lessons when the weather allows. Science is the perfect subject to allow for some outdoor exploration, but you can also use things you find outside for Math (counting, sorting, patterns, adding), Art (drawing, shapes), Language Arts (creating a story, letters: t is for tree, etc.) and more. Get creative and get your kids outside. It always recharges us and puts everyone in a good mood.

8.) Give yourself and your children grace.
This is quite possibly the most important. If you suddenly found yourself schooling your children when you didn't plan on it, I KNOW it can be overwhelming. But give yourself grace. Remind yourself that you are doing everything you can for your children and trying your absolute best without any specific training in this area. Cut yourself some slack. As for your children, this time is very different for them as well. Give them grace when things don't go as you planned. We are all in this together and we all need a little bit more love and grace.

9.) Reach out.
When all else fails, if you need some extra encouragement, reach out to me. I'm happy to offer any encouragement, advice and smiles that I can! The easiest way to contact me is to find me on instagram and send me a DM. Here is a link to my instagram account. I'd love to hear from you!

Friday, September 25, 2020

5 Things I'm Loving Right Now

Five Things I'm Loving Right Now

(Thank you to oNecklace for helping sponsor this post. All opinions are my own. This post may also contain affiliate links.)

We all use lots of different products and items every single day. I thought I'd share with you 5 things that I am loving right now!

1.) The best insulated tumbler.
In an attempt to drink more water in a day, I went on a hunt to find the perfect cup to help keep my drinks ice cold. Little did I know that I would find just that - a perfect cup.
This tumbler is a favorite for so many reasons and it is a fraction of the price of a Yeti tumbler.
Here are the reasons I love it:
-keeps ice for at least six hours
-doesn't sweat
-comes in multiple sizes and colors (I have the 24 oz blush pink)
-kid cups are available, they even have Disney designs
-comes with two lids: a coffee lid and a straw lid (kid cups only come with the straw lid)
-ALL lids are interchangeable, even with the kid cups
-comes with two straws (kid cups have very flexible and bendy straws, you also get two)
-keeps your water ice cold all day long

To get your own, shop by clicking this link.
And if you want to see some of my tips to drinking more water, click here.

Simple Modern Tumblers

2.) Newest podcast obsession.
If you follow me on instagram, you might know that I am quite the podcast fan. And for some strange reason, I love true crime. Why a person with an overactive imagination like myself would love true crime is beyond anything I can understand. But I absolutely love it.
Anyways, my newest favorite podcast is True Crime Obsessed. The two hosts, Gillian and Patrick, watch all your favorite true crime documentaries and movies and then they recap everything. But it isn't a boring recap, they are incredibly funny. I seriously laugh out loud all the time while listening. And every single time they make me want to watch the documentary for myself even though they've told me everything that will happen. They have such a fun way of storytelling and they always bring plenty of sass. This is a less scary way to enjoy true crime!
If you want to check out some of my other favorite podcasts, see this blog post I wrote awhile ago. I also have a podcast highlight saved on my instagram profile that features more up to date info.

3.) Jewelry I'm wearing on repeat.
I've always been a statement jewelry girl, but in recent years I have really been loving the delicate pieces more and more. My current favorite necklace is a letter necklace from oNecklace. You can get any letter on your necklace and the letter tilts to the side just slightly. I love the necklace so much that I got one with an L (for Lindsay) and one with a K (for my children's names). I wear them often and they are such great quality. They still look brand new even after numerous times wearing them. I also found this beautiful cut out initial bracelet that can also be customized with any letter you choose. On both of these items, you select the letter and the chain length that you want. I love that each item is custom designed just for you! Also, you receive free personalization on all products and there is free shipping.
Plus the wonderful people at oNecklace gave me a discount code for you to use. When you order, use code lindsay15 to receive 15% off your order.

Personalized Jewelry

4.) The best beauty blender dupe.
I've been a beauty blender fan for years, ever since Kandee Johnson told me to start using one. I love the flawless finish that it gives your makeup and it makes things easier when putting on foundation. What I haven't ever loved was the price tag. Over the years, I've tried other beauty blenders to see if I could find anything that comes close, but I always returned to the real thing. However, the Aesthetica Cosmetics beauty sponge is a VERY close dupe. And it costs $4! The density is similar and it feels exactly the same as a real beauty blender. It is definitely worth buying.

5.) Fun conversation starters.
Tolar and I have been together for almost 11 years and if you can believe it we actually still have things to talk about. :) However, we discovered a fun little game called Our Moments that can help kickstart a conversation if you need it. The game is a deck of cards full of questions to help you get to know your spouse/partner even better. We don't have any trouble talking or coming up with topics when we are together, but we love to go over a few cards with each other when we can. Card topics range from "What would be our ideal life in 5, 10 and 20 years?" to "What do most people overestimate or underestimate about you?" to "Where and when do you get your best ideas?" and MORE. We both answer the same questions and it has been so fun to learn things I never knew about my husband. This would make an excellent stocking stuffer or Valentine's Day gift for your spouse.

Our Moments Game

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Meet Auggie!

 Hi friends! Meet Auggie, our new puppy!
Auggie is a Miniature Schnauzer male puppy who became a part of our family back at the beginning of July 2020. 

Schnauzer Puppy short cut
For several years, Kendall has been asking us if we could get a dog. We always knew we would get one someday and she never missed an opportunity to ask. Two years ago we had just moved into our new house and had a 4 month old baby, so I was NOT interested in adding a puppy to the mix. But when Tolar mentioned to me at the beginning of this summer that some good friends of ours were getting a schnauzer puppy and wondered if maybe it was time for us, I said yes!

Adding a puppy to our family has come with its own set of challenges, but he also brings us so much joy! The kids love to play with him and I love when he snuggles beside me on the couch at night. He started out like any newborn and wanted to sleep a lot during the day. But now that he has gotten older, he is awake longer and loves to run around and play. 

Schnauzers by nature are protective of their homes and family. In the last month, Auggie has really come into his own and barks anytime someone enters our house. At first, it took him awhile to calm down when someone new was in the house. But now he is learning that we are not in danger when we allow people in and he doesn't bark as long. Don't get me wrong, he still barks anytime he hears the front door unlock, but he is learning to calm down faster. 

Auggie Schnauzer

Where did the name came from?

The first time I realized that Knox knew about dogs and what to call them was Thanksgiving 2019. Tolar's cousins had brought their two dogs with them and Knox bent down to pet one and said "auggie," which was his way of saying doggie. I thought it was adorable and said "I think Knox just named our first dog." So now we have Auggie, the Doggie.
Schnauzer puppy

How much does he weigh/how big will he get?

Currently Auggie weighs 10 pounds. He was just 4 pounds when he first came to live with us! Miniature Schnauzers can weigh anywhere from 15-20 pounds.

How is potty training going?

I will be honest, potty training was the biggest reason I put off getting a dog. I've never had a puppy before and wasn't really gung-ho about potty training a puppy. Potty training started out ok, especially if we were diligent with taking Auggie outside every hour. However, there were plenty of days where he had many accidents in the house and I started to think he was never going to be potty trained. But in the past three weeks or so, he has really turned a corner and barely has any accidents in the house. Luckily our downstairs is hardwood floors, so we keep Auggie downstairs primarily to make for easy cleanup. We only let him upstairs when we go up with him, because I don't want him sneaking upstairs to use the bathroom on the carpet without my knowledge. Once he is fully potty trained we will let him go upstairs as he pleases.

Does he sleep through the night?

The first night that Auggie was with us was rough and we were prepared for that. Obviously he had been used to sleeping near his mother and brothers and sisters, so we expected him to be lonely. Tolar and I decided to sleep downstairs on the couch so that we could be near him (we are keeping his crate in the living room). He slept some, but around midnight he woke up howling and crying. It was tough to listen to, but we did make it through the night. He probably spent the first four nights waking up and howling, but eventually he quieted down and now he sleeps through the night just fine. He can sleep for at least 8 hours and sometimes wants to sleep longer. In fact, there are some mornings that I open his crate to let him out and he wants to stay inside and sleep.
Schnauzer puppy sleeping

What has his biting/chewing been like?

At the very beginning, Auggie would lightly bite when we were playing with him. Unfortunately the kids got more of this than anyone. His biting of us has subsided, however he has started biting/chewing on things around the house. We have figured out that he is a slightly aggressive chewer and likes to chew wood. He started chewing on the bottom corner of one of my kitchen cabinets and I quickly started looking for solutions. A friend on facebook suggested that he needed some bully sticks to satisfy his need to chew things. So I immediately went to a local pet store and found some. While there, the owner also suggested that I try some bitter spray to deter him from chewing his favorite spots. But the owner gave me a terrific tip: I needed to give him some of the bitter spray to taste as soon as I got home. Then once I determined that he didn't like the taste (and he definitely did NOT), I was to have him watch me spray the places I wanted him to stop chewing. Genius. Any time I've used the bitter spray, I make sure that Auggie is with me and sees me spray it on areas I don't want him chewing. 

Useful tip:

Our friends who also got a schnauzer puppy told us about the app PUPFORD. It has been great! It is full of tutorial videos teaching you how to train your dog on all sorts of aspects: leave it, sit, biting, chewing, come when called and more. The first day that we tried the app, Auggie was able to pick up what we were teaching him in 15 minutes. I highly recommend this app if you have a new puppy!

Schnauzer puppy groomed

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Coffee Bar

Thank you Decocrated Curated Home for sponsoring this post. All thoughts and opinions are completely my own.
Coffee Bar Pursuit of Pink

For awhile now, we've had a sideboard in our dining room that I used for storage in the cabinet portion but the top just served as a place for me to display pretty things. While I'm ALL for showing off my pretty things, I wanted the sideboard to serve a purpose. Then it hit me; our coffee nook in the kitchen was getting crowded and we needed more space, so why not turn the sideboard into a coffee bar? And that, my friends, is what I did.

I filled the coffee bar with all of our essentials:
-coffee grounds
-coffee filters
-K cups
-a much needed spoon rest

And then I added in some touches of pretty with fun decor items. Earlier this summer I received my Decocrated Summer Box and it included the prettiest tiered tray that I knew needed a home on my coffee bar where I could see it everyday. If you are unfamiliar with Decocrated Curated Home, it is a quarterly subscription box that includes timeless, unique items to keep your home feeling comfy, on-trend and perfectly you. And Decocrated is shipped straight to your door each season, helping you refresh and spruce up your home decor. To read more about Decocrated, I wrote an in-depth blog post last year that you can see here.

If you like what you see with Decocrated and want to get your own box, you can use code LINDSAYTOLAR10 for $10 off your first box. Click this link to get started.

Coffee Bar Decocrated Tiered Tray

I'm quite pleased with how my coffee bar turned out. Enjoying a cup of coffee (with plenty of peppermint mocha creamer!) is one of my favorite parts of my day and now I love it even more because I have a pretty place to prepare everything. Also, everything is out on display making it easy to prepare my coffee since all of the essentials are right at my fingertips.

Monday, April 20, 2020

Gallery Wall and a Tip for Hanging a Picture with Two Hooks

We have lived in our new house for almost two years and it has taken me all of that time to FINALLY install a gallery wall in our bedroom. I'm in LOVE with the gallery wall and get so happy whenever I walk past it. I'm kind of glad it took me so long to install everything, because I discovered a genius tip that can help when hanging a picture with two hooks.

We have numerous other wall hangings in our house that require two hooks and we have invested too much time and effort in hanging everything straight. If only I knew about this tip earlier!!!!

What's the trick?

Painter's tape.

Yep, a strip of painters tape saved me hours of time and plenty of frustration when I hung my gallery wall.

Here's how it works.
Flip the picture onto the backside so you can see the two hooks. Then take a piece of painters tape and place it between the two hooks. Next mark on the painters tape where the exact center of each hook is located. This way you know the distance between each hook without having to worry about rulers or tape measures or inches.

Friday, January 10, 2020

Tips to Maintain a Clean and Tidy House

Out of all the questions I receive, the majority of them have to do with asking how I keep my home clean and tidy with little children in the house. I've written several blog posts about keeping a clean house and decluttering (see links below), but I still get questions so I'm here to offer more help.

To start, let me remind you that everyone has a different style to how they run their house and I don't ever want anyone to think they are less of a mother because their house looks like they just lost a game of Jumanji. There are times when my own house looks that way too and that is ok! Embrace it and LIVE your life with your children and family. Keeping a clean house helps me feel in control and less stressed, so I prioritize my daily schedule to include some housekeeping. To each their own! BUT if you do want some tips, keep reading.

Clean and Tidy House


1.) Declutter regularly.
I don't like clutter; I live by the motto that everything has its place. But in order for everything to continue to have its place, I need to go through the "things" I have and decide what I want to keep and what needs to go. Otherwise, I'm going to need to find new places.
Before birthdays and Christmas, I always go through the toys with my children and have them help pick out the items that they can part with. At the start of the new year and usually sometime in the summer, I also try to declutter each room in my house. It is incredible how much stuff we all accumulate.
Below are some links to several posts I wrote about decluttering.

Monday, January 6, 2020

Battle of the Beauty Blenders

Beauty Blenders Battle

Often, people will ask me what my favorite beauty tool is and I can 100% answer that without any hesitation: The Beauty Blender.
I've used a Beauty Blender for years and absolutely love the flawless finish it gives to my foundation application. Although, before I was a Beauty Blender lover, I must admit that I first questioned if a makeup sponge was really worth $20. And I must tell you that YES IT IS.
When using a Beauty Blender, I get flawless makeup application with minimal product waste. It actually helps to stretch my foundation longer than if I used something else. My makeup goes on streak-free with very little effort.

However, I do recognize that not everyone wants to spend $20 on a makeup sponge. So I decided to test out some of the other dupes on the market and see which one really compared. See below for my honest to goodness, true thoughts.