Welcome to my little spot of the internet!

Hi! I'm Lacey!

I am a full-time working mom from North Alabama. I love my family, my friends, and my God!

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Monday, June 30, 2014

Cleaning up the Playroom

I don't know what I would do without my playroom!  I have two very blessed little girls that have a ton of toys!  I try to somewhat keep my house in a little bit of order by keeping these toys in a specified room.  However, that room had gotten so out of control they had no idea what they had or where to find them!  So since I am in my declutter mood, I decided to take on the playroom!
First thing I did was buy new shelves!  I would love to have beautiful cedar floor to ceiling built in shelves but I'm on a budget plus that would be tough for someone who is only 26 inches tall to actually be able to get to anything she may need so I opted for the cube organizers from Lowes instead... Practicle and affordable! I spent a whopping $100 and got all these awesome shelves that I guilted my husband into picking up and putting together before I even got home!  I mean seriously doesn't that look so nice and organized... all toys in their rightful space... only play with toys from one cube at a time and put back before getting another... ha right I am just going to keep telling myself that is going to last!
I created a little "home" area with their doll furniture and kitchen things and tidied up the "boutique."  I still really need a couple of more cubes to help organize that area a bit but it's coming along.  Arts and crafts are neatly stored away in a drawer as well as Barbie clothes and the train sets.  All the "Little People" have their own box as well as Hadley's little princesses and Polly Pockets and the book case has been tidied up!  When I got done, Hadley kept finding toys and saying "Oh Wow where did you ever find this?"  Sad... I know!  And best of all during this whole process, I cleaned out a garbage bag of trash and a whole garbage bag plus some for the yard sale (that was a total flop but that's another story :-)!) And we even have room for new Birthday presents! Yah for decluttering!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Brittany's Home

My friend Brittany moved to LA last year to teach but she came home for a visit this week so she had a little get together at her house for everyone. Brittany has been one of my very best friends growing up.  We spent many many many hours hanging out at Applebees and spending the night with each other, going to the drive in movie and ball games, laying out, and going on vacations! So many fun memories together! I always love getting to get together with Brittany and her family and catching up.... plus her mom always makes the best food!

Hadley pretty much thinks "her Mommy's friend named Brittany that lives in California" is pretty much the coolest person ever.. She even named her special doll after her.  I don't think she has any idea what California really is but she knows you have to fly to get there so it must be pretty cool. Maybe I can take her to visit in a few years! And hopefully I can go back and visit Brittany in Beverly Hills and live the California life for a few days again next year... I had the best time when I did last January! 

But before then, I am looking forward to hopefully getting together with my BFF again at the beach next week!

Saturday, June 28, 2014

I made you, But you made me a mother...

This has got to be the sweetest ad I have ever seen.  Every word of it is so true and touching and right on the truth about being a mother!  I love my babies and I am so grateful they made me a mother! 
"And we will walk hand in hand until you let go..."
I dread thinking about the day when I have to let go of my babies... cherishing every little moment I have with them now.  I love it when they are little and just wish they could stay like this forever!

Friday, June 27, 2014

Happy 5th Anniversary

Five years ago, we said I do!  It seriously feels like it was just yesterday that we got married and here we are five years later already!
Since we said I do...
We had two baby girls that are the most wonderful in the whole world!
We bought a fixer upper and, well we fixed it up.
We went to Disney World and visited the beach a few times.
We felt like VIP in Cincinnati with JJ cheering on the Reds!
We sold our fixer upper and bought a new house.
We bought and sold a few cars... and a few boats... and some lawn mowers ;-)
We watched Alabama win 3 football National Championships and a softball one to!
We celebrated lots of birthdays and holidays!
We spent lots of time with some wonderful friends and even made a few new BFFs!
We fixed boo boos, built a doll house, dressed up Barbies, and rocked baby dolls.
We tried lots of diets, cooked hundreds of meals, and completed some projects.
We cried some tears, hugged some loved ones, and smiled a lot!
We said lots of prayers, thanked the Lord, and counted our many many many blessings.
We lived.
We laughed.
We loved!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Clear the Countertops

I get in these really big declutter moods sometime and tend to go a little overboard.  One of those times is now considering we are having a yard sale next week and I have a ton of junk to get rid of!  I don’t know about you but my bathroom counters and my dresser tend to become a collecting place for all types of things from old makeup to toy spoons.  I am not sure really how it gets there or where it comes from or why there are 5 Barbie shoes in the bathroom but I do know that it drives me crazy!  Our dresser in our room is the worst of them all.  It is where my husband empties his pockets and where I tend to collect all my little beauty samples I get along the way.  So I decided to fix that! 

       The bathroom counter!  We are lucky to have a very large double vanity sink in our hall bathroom.  However, that also means that there is more room to pile up junk we don’t use or need.  I love the idea of decorating with your bathroom items such as qtips and cotton balls so I revamped this counter with that in mind.  I already had these apothecary jars that I filled with q-tips and cotton balls and I found this stacked glass jar at Hobby Lobby on clearance for like $5!  I moved several of my things that had been strewn in the drawer to these little compartments so they are easy to get to.  In the large glass jar, I put my hair brushes that also had been tossed into another drawer.  This not only decluttered the drawers, but it also helped me to fill some empty counter space to add a little more decorating.  I stored my hair dryer and curling irons in the box in the cabinet and cleaned out my hair products that I don’t use anymore and moved my actual ones I use into the drawer that I cleaned out.  In the other drawer, I reorganized all of my headbands and clips with a little box.  I put all my baby products in a different box under the other cabinet and got rid of the diaper caddy I had it in. 

      My Dresser!  I put my makeup on in our bedroom most days.  Somehow my “makeup area” has become a collection of every piece of makeup I had ever owned and filled with tons of makeup bags and products that I rarely if ever used.  So I ventured to Hobby Lobby and bought this cute little storage box that looks like a book to hold my every day makeup.  I also got these cute little jars to put things such as my brushes in.  Doesn’t it look much better than a bunch of makeup bags and old Birchbox lids (yes I was seriously using those for my makeup storage)?  I also converted from he and she sides to one nice little basket to hold both of our everyday products such as deodorant and cologne.  Now, instead of having two junked his and hers sides, we now share one neatly organized space that is functional and pretty!
      The Kitchen Counter!  I am so embarrassed at what a bad job I had done with keeping a neat and tidy kitchen.  We always come in the garage door that enters straight into the kitchen so whatever is in our hand tends to end up on the kitchen counter.  It then is formed into little piles so I can pretend that I have it organized but still always ends up with a bunch of junk piles to be filed away later.  So I rearranged the layout of my counter space a little bit so I would be forced to use other parts of the counter.  It may just turn into new places for junk but hey, at least I tried right?  First I moved my mail organizer to the other side of the kitchen so I wouldn’t be as tempted to lay it all right when you walk in the door.  I moved my candy jars to where it had been so that the other side of my kitchen had plenty of room for cooking and prepping and the jars were now in place of where all of my junk previously collected.  So now, at least my junk has to go somewhere else!  And best of all, I moved my fruit bowl to the middle of the counter so when I am tempted for a snack, it is the first thing I see instead of venturing to the pantry for some sugar loaded processed moon pie!


Wednesday, June 25, 2014

30 in 30 Wardrobe Challenge

I have been in a major wardrobe funk lately.  I just don't seem to like anything in my closet.  Loft was having a 40% everything sale a few days ago so I filled up my cart with a whole new wardrobe.  Then I decided that I was crazy and didn't really need $238 of new clothes considering I had a closet full and about 3 tubs of clothes in my garage to sell at the yard sale!  Sooooo I decided I would try a 30 in 30 challenge.  I had started trying it back in the winter and didn't really follow the rules so it was a huge flop!  Anyways, so this time I am going to do better.  It took a bit of thinking to really figure out what items to use but I decided on a some pretty neutral items with a few pops of colors and designs.  You are technically supposed to count shoes and jewelry as an item but I am just not that good yet so I have 30 pieces of clothing. Oh and one more piece I forgot to add... no buying new clothes at all during the next 30 days... I have to only work with what I have!  I moved all of my other clothes out of my closet and into the playroom closet so they are there if I decide I really just absolutely have to have them but I am definitely going to do my best to stick to my 30 pieces in my closet! Another bonus... my closet looks so neat and roomy now and I can actually see everything I have! I may even do this to Jarrod's closet and see if he even notices!
So here are some of the items that I chose....
Bottoms - dark jeans, black pencil skirt, black crops, MJ ruffle pants, black shorts chambray shorts, white shorts, animal print skirt, red pants
Tops - lacy tank, a few solid colored tanks, a few solid colored tees, a few "nice and dressy" tops, a couple of printed colorful tops, and a few cardigans.
Dresses - White dress, black dress, blue lace dress, green casual dress, black maxi, and a casual navy knit dress
I am not very creative at all when it comes to "fashion" but hoping I can get creative with this!  Most of the items are very neutral (white, black, denim) or some shade of blue or green, and then I have a few brighter colorful items to mix and match as well!  At least I shouldn't have as much laundry piled up right?

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The Must Haves in My Fridge!

I have really tried to cut grain and dairy out of my diet. After all my diets I've tried over the years I have found this is the easiest and simplest one to follow as well as gives me the best results.. You just need a little extra planning. There are a few key things I try to keep all the time to make this diet a little easier. My top 10 Staples in my fridge for a no dairy, no grain diet….

1 – EGGS… and egg whites!

2 – Condiments and things for cooking – Mustard, lemon juice, lemon pepper, hot sauce, olive oil, coconut oil, vanilla extract, honey

3 – Pickled Things – pickles, sauerkraut, jalapenos, jarred peppers (I don’t like olives but they would be nice to add as well if you’re an olive fan)

4 – Bacon – especially turkey bacon!

5 – Greens and Veggies – some type of lettuce (lettuce, kale, spinach), frozen mixed veggies, green beans, sliced squash and cucumbers, tomatoes (yes I know it is technically a fruit).

6 – A good black coffee!!!

7 – Frozen Fruit for smoothies… individually bagged! Fresh fruit chopped and ready for a quick snack. And dehydrated fruit is a great snack as well.

8 – Boneless, skinless chicken breasts – there are sooo many dinner choices you can do with this!

9 – Avocado – I am a HUGE fan of this! You can add it to just about any meal to really add flavor!

10 – Almond or Coconut milk – great for smoothies or to fix your sweet tooth!

These are the items I buy pretty much every time I go to the grocery! We eat just about every one of these in some form every day and all my recipes revolve around them.

I try not to keep snacks in the pantry besides stuff for the kids (and my husband). There are very few things that are clean and healthy that you store in the pantry!

5 Little Changes

For the last several months, I have really been focused on being healthier.  I gained a ton of weight with my first pregnancy and it took me about two years to get the weight off plus some.  I didn’t gain quite as much with my second pregnancy but it seemed tougher to get the weight off this time!  In the last 15 months, I have lost almost 30 pounds!  I still have a few pounds to go to get to my perfect goal weight and I am currently doing a Paleo based diet (I try not to eat grain or dairy) along with tracking Weight Watcher points.  I have always done pretty well with WW but I found that eliminating the grain and dairy helps me to stay within my points and helps with belly bloat!  So here are five little changes I have made over the last year that I believe have made a huge difference with my weight!

#1: Drink coffee.  If you don’t like just plain coffee, try a skinny vanilla or caramel latte from Starbucks! It's only 2 WW points and 100 calories for the tall.  It helps me to drink a few cups before and with my breakfast and it holds me over until lunch.  Plus you still get the caffeine like a Sundrop or Mt. Dew.  You can even get an extra shot of espresso and not add any points or if you think you need the next size, it is only one point more.  It is about $3. I usually just drink regular black coffee but I reward myself with one every once in a while if I have time to stop.

#2: Add a salad. I've been trying to add a salad to my lunch with Balsamic vinegar dressing or if I want to splurge for ranch, I get it on the sad and just dip my fork in it and then get a bite of the salad.  It is plenty of dressing without having to eat 6-10 points worth!  Leave off the cheese as well. You won’t even notice it is gone!  You can buy the bags of salad and divide it out into storage containers and have your lunch ready.  I usually dress my salads up with lots of extra fresh veggies and avocado.

#3:  I cannot resist Mexican but I found a healthier way to get my fix!  First of all, try to resist the chips and salsa but you just cannot work up the will power to say now, put 8 chips (about 2 WW points) on a napkin in front of you and put some type of obstacle between you and the rest of the chip basket.  You can load those few chips up with all the salsa you want for nothing!  Or even better, ask for pica de gala. It is free as well and gives you a bit more!  For my entree I get a taco salad with grilled chicken and no cheese, cheese sauce, or sour cream.  Instead load it up with pica de gala and guacamole.  Guacamole is about 2 WW points for a ¼ cup which is usually about what they serve on a salad and is very good for you. Another alternative is the fajitas but I just eat the meat and veggies with salsa and guacamole, not the tortillas and rice that comes with it. I know it might not sound as appetizing as a cheesy greasy burrito or fattening chicken and rice but it really satisfied my Mexican craving and kept me full!

#4: If you must get fast food, skip the fries!  I know that is an extremely difficult task to do but you can do it!  Most places offer a side salad now or a fruit cup.  If you just have to have fries, get a kids meal instead.  They have smaller portions!  Hold the cheese and mayo and you can save about 4 or 5 points!  Watch out for the yogurts at fast food places – they sound healthy but you might as well just enjoy the fries for about the same points!

#5: Replace your bread with lettuce wraps!  You can even buy romaine lettuce already cut up like slices of bread at the grocery story.  I usually add some guacamole or pesto with some turkey and tomato slices to make a healthy little sandwich!  I also love a cucumber and tomato sandwich with a tiny bit of olive oil mayo!

A Kiddie Carnival Birthday Party

Hadley's most favorite place in the whole world is the Kiddie Carnival!  So what better place to celebrate her upcoming 4th Birthday than at the most wonderful place in Athens (according to every 3 and 4 year old in town).  It came a huge down pour right about party time but luckily we had a covered and enclosed pavilion we could set up in.  By time we ate cupcakes (and chocolate pudding cake because Hadley says she doesn't like icing) and opened presents, the rain blew on through and they were able to ride the rides!  It was a little wet and messy but that didn't slow them down!  All the little ones had a great time... even the babies!  After we got home, Hadley was going through her presents and said "Mommy thanks for coming to my party.  It was the best day in my whole life!"  I believe we can call it a successful party... rain and all!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

My Favorite Blogs

I love reading blogs.  I love reading about other people's lives and finding all of their little tips and tricks and bits of advice that I would've never known about! So I thought I would share a few of my favorites lately.
I have read Kelly's blog for years!  She is just a normal mom from Arkansas that has two little girls.  She posts about their every day life, spiritual posts, and my favorite thing she has are her weekly "Show Us Your Life" posts where bloggers can link up to "show" each other whatever topic she has planned for the week.  Her SUYL posts range from single friends and working moms to easy dinner recipes and favorite vacation spots.  Kelly has such a sweet personality and I love her love for God and her guidance on raising little girls!  I feel like we would be friends in "real life."
I first discovered Kate a few years ago on Pinterest where she posted her hair tutorials.  Her blog is mostly about beauty and fashion.  She is definitely my go to girl for hair and makeup advice.  She was a hair stylist but now is a stay at home mom with her new little boy.  I love to go to her blog for all  things beauty... if Kate says she likes it, I usually do to!
I actually just discovered this blog but have been stuck on it a lot lately.  Carolyn is 45 and has 5 kids and pregnant with her 6th!  However, her story is remarkable.  She has sturggled with infertility for years and gone through IVF and all that kind of stuff several times and then was inseminated with the wrong baby and gave birth to him and had to give him to his real parents.  She then had twins through a surrogate but now at 45 has discovered she is pregnant the good old fashioned way... with no fertility treatments or drugs!  She definitely has an interesting story and I just love following her pregnancy!
And of course my all time favorite that I just have to share...
She is my long time BFF and pretty much the coolest girl I know!  And I promise her posts will make you smile!

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Plan Your Meals

I find that my life to be sooo much easier when I plan a little bit!  I keep a 3 ring binder to organize my life a little bit!  It includes my calendars, my budgets and financial planning, my menu planning, and my coupons!  I keep this with me or at least close by just about all the time. 
I use a meal planner and grocery shopping list every single week.  We may not always stick to it 100% but it helps me to eat healthier and spend less money on eating out and junk food!  I guess I should call it more of a guide!  Usually on Friday, I try and fill out my meal plan for the next week so I can go grocery shopping on the weekend.  It lays out everything for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks so I don't have to buy a bunch of food at the grocery that I know I won't eat and helps to see where I might be needing to eat lighter one meal to allow room for a bigger meal I have planned.  I then transfer my meals to my grocery shopping list so I can lay out all the ingredients that I need and make my trip to the store a little more efficient.

Simple and Efficient!