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Wednesday, January 25, 2017

What's Up Wednesday

{What We're Eating This Week}

I recently made this Green Goddess Roasted Chicken for Jon.  I used chicken breast and paired it with a spinach salad.  He seemed to really enjoy it, so I'm adding it the menu again for next week.

This 'Green Goddess' roasted chicken is a heavenly and healthy dinner:

{What I'm Reminiscing About}

This memory recently popped up on Facebook.  It's a picture of my sister, Kimmy, and myself when we were both pregnant at the same time.  These were such special moments, not only as we were expecting, but also after the arrival of our babies.  She was, and most definitely still is, my rock.

{What I'm Loving}

The Bachelor and Fixer Upper.

You guys, it's like Christmas every Monday and Tuesday night.  I usually put together a snack/treat for myself along with a La Croix and I sit down and I don't do anything, except watch those shows.  It's glorious and I love it.

{What We've Been Up To}

We're currently contemplating updating the exterior of our home, so over the weekend we visited a model home for ideas.  The builder also does exterior remodels, so we thought we'd check out ALL the finishes, including the interior.  I took a couple pictures of the outside, but I just couldn't resist snapping away for ideas on the inside.

Isn't this place beautiful?!


{What I'm Dreading}

I'm supposed to be running an 8K in a couple weeks and although I have been running, I'm nowhere near ready for an 8K.  A very slow and relaxed 5K, sure...maybe...but an 8K?  It's going to hurt...

...I'm sure I'll throw up when I cross the finish line.  :0

{What I'm Working On}

Everything and nothing at all.

I feel like I have a million projects going on in my head for our house.  I need to settle in on one project and just go with it.  I plan to order this light fixture for our entryway so that hopefully by the time it arrives (which won't be until mid-February) I'll have more focus in my life.  ;)

{What I'm Excited About}

Sunshine...if it'll ever show up again.  It's been pretty darn gloomy here lately and I'm in some serious need of some vitamin D.  I don't mind it staying so dark so early, but I do mind needing to turn on all of our lights in the middle of the day WITH the curtains open.  Come on sunshine!

{What I'm Watching/Reading}

If you've made it this far down the list, I hope you're not easily offended.

I recently noticed a good friend of mine over on Facebook had commented about how good this book was.  I read some reviews (which were highly rated and not to mention absolutely hilarious) and decided to order a copy for myself.  I've yet to start reading it, so I'll let you know what I think about it in the coming days.  I mean, it sure does sound intriguing, right?

{What I'm Listening To}

These three podcasts!  I loooove them!  I like to tune in while doing laundry, taking a bath, driving or just so I can hear an adult voice throughout the day.  ;)

Marriage More Podcast
8 Minute Millionaire
Young House Love Has A Podcast

{What I'm Wearing}

Do you really want to know?

Here you'll find a wrinkly, yet deliciously comfortable sweater accompanied by my usual black yoga pants and Jon's socks, of course. ;)

The good news is I used Lindsay's awesome OOTD selfie tutorial to take this picture and I totally get it now.  I was always holding the camera the wrong way (thanks, girl!)  The bad news - I need to seriously work on the whole cute outfit thing.  Haha!


{What I'm Doing This Weekend}

This weekend we'll be visiting with friends, but let me tell you about last weekend, friends.  Last weekend I went to see Theresa Caputo with some girlfriends of mine at a casino.  It was a great time!

  I actually applied two coats of mascara, I wore earrings AND I brushed my hair.


{What I'm Looking Forward To Next Month}

We'll be heading to an indoor waterpark and although I'm not a fan of wearing a swimsuit, my excitement to watch and enjoy the kiddos far exceeds any reservations I have over wearing my skivvies around a bunch of strangers.  ;)

Luckily, I recently found and blogged about some cute swimsuits I found over on Amazon.  The two suits I ordered are extremely comfortable and offer a pretty good amount of coverage.

{What Else Is New}

Eliza and I treated ourselves to a quick visit to the coffee shop the other day.  I purchased a much needed latte with an extra shot of espresso and Eliza enjoyed this yummy cupcake...

...While there I noticed this table and asked if I could buy it...LOL!

FYI - It's not for sale.  It's just for customers to sit at and enjoy their morning/afternoon cup of joe.  I gave the coffee shop my phone number and asked them to call me with a price.  They're either considering a price or scared/irritated/annoyed of the woman who ask to buy their coffee shop furniture.  Either way, I hope I hear back from them!  Bahaha!

Thanks for stopping by this little blog of mine!

Have a nice day and if you happen to feel sunshine on your skin could you please package some up and send it to Michigan?  Thanks!

Marie :)

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

How to Save Money, Receive Cash Back and GIVE BACK

Today I'm joining in on the link-up fun over at Momfessionals.  The topic up for discussion is how we save/splurge in our daily lives.  Unfortunately, I ran out of time to share the "splurge" part of the link-up, because...well, life/kids/laundry/The Bachelor was on last night, so I thought I'd just share how we, not only save and earn cash back, but how it's also possible to give back via the use of modern shopping technology.  Whoop Whoop!


Okay, so this one is pretty self explanatory.  Can we all agree that as of the year 2017 practically everyone has purchased at least one item from Amazon in his/her lifetime?  You guys, my Mom, who has fiiiiiiiiiinally decided to jump aboard the technology train (love you Mom!), has even ordered from Amazon.  That's a pretty big deal.  ;)

 Seriously, I love that woman.

We order a great deal of merchandise from Amazon throughout the year, so we finally figured we should jump aboard a different train - the Amazon Prime train.  The upfront $99 cost to join Amazon Prime has been well worth it.  High five for free shipping!  Oh and um... Hello?  Two-day shipping?!  Yes, please.  Choo Choo!!


Do you love to give back?  Well, I need to share with you, Amazon Smile.  Have you heard of this?  If not, prepare to be amazed.

This site lets customers shop through Amazon with no extra charge or alternative cost to the consumer and in return Amazon Smile will donate 0.5% of each purchase to one's charity of choice.  Visit this link to sign up and learn more about this amazing opportunity to give back by the simple act of shopping for your daily needs.  Just imagine for a second if everyone always shopped through Amazon Smile; what an impact it could make on the world.

Not sure which charity to choose?

Why not use my preferred charity?  My charity of choice has been and always will be The ChadTough Foundation.


Oh my word.  I just began using Ebates before Christmas and it's amazing.

My only regret is that I didn't start using it sooner.

Simply sign up and fill in your address.  Next, scroll through the Ebates website and click on the store where you'd like to shop.  You'll then receive a percentage of your purchase (if applicable) and a check will later be mailed to you with the percentage you earned from shopping through the Ebates website.  I received my first check rather quickly AND when I signed up I also received a ten dollar Walmart gift card!  Cha-Ching!

The fact that I can login to Ebates and shop on Amazon, which also includes free shipping, is astounding to me!  It's a win-win, friends!

Let me be a saleswoman for a second and tell you that if you want to use my referral code for Ebates, here you go ------>  My referral email is [email protected]  I'll receive some moola and you'll also receive ten buckeroos.


Let's talk apps...no...let's talk specifically about, Ibotta - a cash back app.

This app, you guys...this app is aaaamazing.

What you do is download the Ibotta app, click on the store(s) where you'll be doing your shopping and click the add button to add products to your "money savings cart."  Once you've purchased said products you'll then take a picture of your receipt and scan all the bar codes.  The cash you saved on those products are then added to your "wallet."  Once you've earned twenty dollars you can then retrieve the money via PayPal, Venmo or through a featured gift card.  I've noticed the more products I unlock, purchase, and scan the more products I'm able to choose from on my next shopping trip.

You'll also receive ten dollars just for purchasing your first unlocked and purchased product.


There's also a teammate portion of the app that allows you to team up with family and/or friends to earn extra cash.  My sister and I are on a team and we've verified and unlocked several rebates since December and we now have a couple extra bucks in our "wallets" just for teaming up!

If you decide to sign up for Ibotta, feel free to use my referral code - pkigwki.  I'll get five dollars and you'll receive $10!  You can't go wrong!


Thanks for stopping by my little blog today.

Happy saving, friends!

Marie :)

This post contains affiliate links.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday!

It's almost time to kick-off the weekend and I seriously can't wait, but first I need to share with you my Friday Favorites!


Let's start here with this IG post from Madison Vining.  This speaks to me...it really, truly speaks to me...  LOL!


This week I shared some ridiculously cute and affordable swimsuits that I found on Amazon - you can find the post here.  I bought the one on the top left AND the one on the bottom/in the middle and I couldn't be happier!


Speaking of swimsuits, I recently purchased this mermaid two-piece swimsuit for Eliza and oh-my-goodness it's sooooo stinkin' adorable!  Can you believe I bought it for around ten bucks?!  I thought for sure it would disintegrate upon entering the water, but so far so good.

The fit is also wonderful.  Eliza is tall for her age so I ended up going with the XL 5/6 size and it fits her like a glove.  It's seriously the cutest thing ever!

I only wish I had had this when I was little...

Who's with me?

Oh and one last thing, the last time I checked it was for sale for only $6.39.  Score!

Here's my little silly-and-sassy-mermaid-haired-girly-girl modeling off her suit.  ;)



I've finished reading The Magnolia Story and it was everything I'd hoped it to be and more.  Even if Joanna's style isn't YOUR kind-of-style, you'll still find this book to be inspirational...I promise.  I'm never one to re-read a book, but I'm keeping this one close by for motivational purposes.


This meme.  Because The Bachelor. ;) ;) ;)


I'm trying to blog more...like really trying.

Thank goodness for those you who host link-ups, not only do you keep us bloggers (if I can even be called that) connected, but, for me, linking up keeps my brain intact.  LOL!

I'm sure most of you are already well-aware of these link-ups, but for those you who are looking for blogging inspiration and the best virtual friendships ever, look no further than these linky parties!

Have a great weekend, friends!

Marie :)

I'm linking up with AprilNatasha, and Christina for the Five on Friday link-up Paaaaarty!
I'm linking up with A Little Bit of EverythingMomfessionals, and Grace and Love for my Friday Favorites!
I'm linking up with September Farm and The Farmer's Wife for the Oh Hey Friday linky party!

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Family, RVs and a Trip to The Found Cottage

I realize it's a little late to be sharing my weekend review, so I'll make this post as short and sweet as possible.

Over the weekend we traveled to Grand Rapids, Michigan.  It's an amazing city.  We visited a children's museum, ate some delicious meals, went to an RV show and I attended the re-grand opening of The Found Cottage.

The only other time I've ever visited The Found Cottage was for my birthday last year and trust me, it didn't disappoint.  If I understand correctly, the owners recently moved from a 2,200 square foot building to a 6,000 square foot building - which also happens to be right next door to their original building.  Luckily, we just happened to be in the area for the re-grand opening and I just knew I wanted to attend.

As you may, or many not know, one of the owners of The Found Cottage is Liz Marie Galvan.  You may also know her from her blog, LizMarieBlog.  Now, I don't know about you, but to me bloggers are celebrities.  Why not right?  I mean so many bloggers I follow are inspirational, motivational and creative.  The perfect celebrity if you ask me.  So as you can imagine I was ecstatic as I entered The Found Cottage only to spot THE Liz Marie Galvan checking out customers at the register.  Inside I was screaming with excitement, outside I tried my hardest to contain my emotions (all of this in the non-creepiest and non-stalker-ish of ways).  Haha!  Although, I'm not sure if I did a good job or not!  LOL!

It was so fun to look around the store.  My creative juices were a' flowin', that's for sure.

The store carries clothing, too.  Take a look at this dress.  Oh my goodness, I wanted it soooo bad for Easter.

The floral print.  I loooove the floral print.


Unfortunately for me there was a huge check-out line that went around the inside of the store!  It was crazy.  I soooooo wanted to buy a bunch of stuff, including the floral dress, but since I had left Jon and the kids in the parking lot (don't worry - they were in the car most of the time), I had to abort the mission and instead take several mental pictures (okay and iPhone pictures) of goodies to look for when I go back in the spring.

Of course we had a great time with the kids while in Grand Rapids, too!  There was a lot of fort building, laughter and static electricity (see hair) while at children's museum...

I played "grocery store" with Henry and in my head I thought it was funny to buy lots of fish and coffee...

We ate at Panera, which was a huge treat for me since I never get a chance to go to one...

The RV show was so much fun!  Can you believe this kitchen is inside a recreational vehicle?!


Girlfriend looks a little too comfortable, if you ask me.  ;)

Jon and I took the kids out to dinner at a fancier restaurant/pub that was located in the same parking lot as our hotel.  We didn't plan on going to a restaurant like this, but we figured it had a kid's menu, so we went for it!

Oh my gosh - it was soooo good!!!  The food, the atmosphere, the drinks!  We never did see another child in the entire restaurant and it was packed...and loud, but in a good way.  As Jon and I walked out of the restaurant we kind of felt like bada**es and literally high-fived each other right outside the restaurant's front doors.  We felt so cool.  It's the little things, people...it's the little things.  ;)

Let it be known, this all occurred around 5:30 in the evening and we were all asleep by 9:30.


Yeah, we don't get out much...

There you have it.  Our high-fiving, RV showing, Panera eating, and The Found Cottage shopping weekend recap.

Thanks for stopping by this little blog of mine!  :)

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Cute and Affordable Bathing Suits from Amazon

 This post contains affiliate links.

I know, I know - it's only January, but you guys, trust me with this swimsuit blog post.  You see, we're heading to an indoor water park soon and I don't have a swimsuit to wear.  Wait.  Let me rephrase that.  Ahem.  I don't want to wear any of the swimsuits I already own.  There.  I said it.  Don't think of it as a waste of money and material, rather, think of it as a matter of comfort.  Not to mention the fact that I don't think the ten extra pounds from the holidays seem to be helping much.

Seriously, someone needs to tell me to put the chocolate down.  I'm in denial the holidays have commenced.

Anyway, I headed over to Amazon to check out swimsuits, preferably something affordable, as well as something to cover my mid-section and WOW was I surprised at what I found!  I've got to tell you, I was so impressed with all the options that I just had to share some of my favorites here on the bloggity blog.  The first four are similar, but I couldn't help but share these fun tank-top-type-tankini-suits.

This one spoke to me immediately, so I bought it within minutes of searching for a suit.  It has since arrived, I've tried it on and, you guys, it's awesome!  The tank top is completely removable and the bathing suit itself is so cute and comfortable.  Oh and the coverage.  I love the coverage!  Once I put it on I was giddy.  Truly giddy.  It seems as though I have finally found the one that "suits" me.  LOL!  Pun intended, of course.  Hardy-Har-Har!

Find it here.

Then I got all crazy and bought this one, too.  I purposely ordered it a size too small in hopes that by summer I'll lose a few pounds and add a bit-o-muscle, as well (yeah, we'll see how that goes). ;)  Even though it's a size too small, I still adore it.  Hello?  Polk-a-dots!  The tank part is NOT detachable, but it shows a little bit of skin on my upper torso.  It's so much fun!

Find it here.

Oh my gosh!  Then I found this one.  I may be convincing myself right now as I type that I need this swimsuit in my life.  ;)  I love me some stripes!

Find it here.

How about this one?  Super sporty, right?

Find it here.

Moving on to something a little more feminine.  I think this one is so pretty.  Just look at all the ruffles...and the skirt...and the fit...and the buttons...  Seriously, what's not to love about this pretty swimsuit?  Geez, I'd wear it as a shirt if I could!

Find it here.

Okay, so check out this one!  The straps, the skirt, the floral.  Love it!

Find it here.

And finally - are you ready for this?  It's a swimsuit dress, you guys!!  A. Swimsuit. Dress.  The stars have aligned and all my swimwear dreams have come true.  I had no idea - NO IDEA - that this existed and I can guarantee you that I'll be purchasing this swimsuit dress for this coming summer, well if I can wait that long!  EEK!

Find it here.

What do you think?  Do you have a favorite?  I'd love to hear your opinions.  :)