Wednesday Amazon Favorites!

Happy Wednesday Yall! 2020 is in full swing and like everyone else we are trying to hit refresh, get organized and make improvements for the new year.. So far, so good – don’t ask me what that looks like in 3 months though! Lol. Anyway – one of my guilty pleasures is Amazon shopping and for a while I was doing pretty good at sharing the fun finds with you guys and I want to get back to that! I love both the convenience of quickly shopping and getting free shipping on things that I would otherwise have to make a trip to the store for AND finding random good priced deals!

So here is a round up of my favorite Amazon buys this week!

After we got all of our Christmas stuff down and put away, I wanted to just kind of refresh our living room a little. Throw pillows and blankets are one of my favorite ways to change up the look/feel of a room without making a huge change or breaking the bank! I wanted to keep the room light, airy and kind of neutral and these cream velvet pillow covers were the perfect find! They’re super soft and such good quality. I also found these leather pillow covers that I LOVE. They add such a sophisticated look! I love that they are both pillow covers so that if I want to switch up the pillows for the next season, I can easily store them without taking up a ton of space. These pillow inserts are really comfortable and can be used with different covers anytime you feel like switching up your decor!

I LOVE throw blankets and I am obsessed with the color of this one! Adds a little bit of color to the room, but is subtle and still kind of neutral. The knit is so pretty and perfect for spring which is just right around the corner!

I feel like decorating and organizing always go hand in hand and I’ve been working on getting my closet better organized and functional. Pants have always been one thing that I have had trouble keeping neat – either they get shoved in a drawer (which is a pain) or they get hung up and the weight of them bends and ruins hangers. I grabbed some of these S shaped hangers – they’re super sturdy, can hold up to 5 pairs of pants and save a TON of space in the closet.

One of my New Years goals was to not eat out as much at lunch. We do pretty good at dinner, but lunch is harder for me! It’s so easy just run grab something to eat with friends or coworkers rather than actually spending time preparing a lunch for the day. BUT! I found these divided glass tupperware containers and have been trying to prep lunch for me in them when I prep the kid’s lunches. When they are done ahead of time it’s much easier to not want to go out – which saves money AND calories…Because it’s way harder to eat healthy when I eat out! I love that these containers are glass and can be microwaved without worrying about the effects of heating plastic AND they come with a cute little set of utensils!

My 2nd new years goals is to read more! I took some recommendations from yall and settled on The Nightingale as my first book of the year. I am about 3/4 of the way through it and have a hard time putting it down!! It’s about sisters living in France during WWII/the Holocaust – such a good story and while I haven’t gotten to the ending yet I am loving it and would highly recommend it so far!

Another book I have enjoyed spending time reading is this New Morning Mercies Devotional. It’s a daily devotional giving insight and encouragement through the Gospel with suggested Bible reading/study verses. I’m obviously only a couple weeks in, but have enjoyed the daily readings!

Well, that’s a wrap for this week! Thanks for visiting the site – hope you enjoyed it. Have a great rest of your week!

Best Gifts for the Travel Junkie & Our Cabo Vacay

Happy Wednesday Everyone! Christmas season is in full swing and I hope you guys are enjoying it as much as we are! With just 2 weeks left, we are trying to slow down a little, avoid the hustle and bustle and really focus on spending time with family and friends and celebrating Jesus! For me, this means finishing up Christmas shopping ONLINE! Lol.

As I was thinking about this Cabo recap I decided to put together a little gift guide for the travel junkie in your life! I love to travel and I think these would make great gifts for people that are on the go frequently or that have a big trip coming up! All of these are available in Amazon Prime! (hello quick shipping – it’ll be here by Christmas!)

  • IFly Luggage – I have this luggage for myself and the kids and we love it! It’s lightweight, but durable. It comes in several size & color options and is easy to spot when picking up checked bags! Best of all, you can’t beat the price!
  • I LOVE this leather backpack and use it everytime we travel! Fits my laptop and everything I need to carry on without being too bulky. And it’s stylish – I get comments on it everytime!
  • Packing Cubes – These are perfect for your OCD travel junkie that likes everything to have it’s own place or for those who like to unpack when they get to a destination. They keep everything super organized and compact and make unpacking/packing back up a breeze!
  • Travel Jewelry Case – Keep your jewelry organized with this 3 compartment travel case!
  • How Cute is this passport wallet!?
  • You know when you’re on the plane and just can’t get comfortable with your neck pillow? THIS is the solution! I love that you can reshape it!
  • Kid’s Kindle Fire – We try to limit electronics when at home, but these things ARE AWESOME for trips and plane rides. They’re MUCH more affordable than ipad/other tablets and come with a kid proof case.
  • How cool is this activity tray?! We usually pack the kids bags full of activities for the plane – puzzles, coloring stuff, small games, etc. – and it never fails that we are attempting to crawl under the plane seats to pick up colors or game/puzzle pieces. This is the perfect solution! Even a little cup holder for the drinks that get knocked off the airplane tray EVERY. DANG. TIME. Will definitely be packing these for the kids for our next trip.
  • Luggage Scale – Anyone else over stuff their bag then frantically pull stuff out and shove it in their husband’s bag so they don’t have to pay for an oversized bag?! Well, now you can do all that at home before you go!
  • Portable Charger – These are always so great to have in the airport/on planes!

Back to Cabo! (but really, can I just go back?!) We loved every minute of this trip and can’t wait for another trip to Mexico! Matt was already in Mexico for the Baja1000, so I packed up the kids and headed to Cabo San Lucas/San Jose del Cabo with the kids and our close friends then Matt met us when he was done with the race. Let me tell you – This place is SO DREAMY.

Accommodations: We rented a house on AirBnb and honestly, I was a little nervous about not being at a “resort,” especially with Matt not being there for the first bit of our trip…but y’all it was THE BEST DECISION. Hacienda Del Mar was beautiful and the host/property manager were incredible. I will put a link here so you can check out photos and such but honestly, it was more breathtaking than the pictures show!

The view was amazing and we woke up to the most beautiful sunrises every morning. The house was completely stocked with everything we needed and there was a really nice grocery store just around the corner. The neighborhood had a gorgeous private beach and the house was stocked with sand toys, chairs & umbrellas to make for a perfect day in the sand. The undertow made it to where the kids couldn’t get into the water, but they had a blast running from the waves, playing in the sand and exploring the tide pools.

Hacienda Del Mar is located between San Jose del Cabo and Cabo San Lucas (about a 20 minute drive to Cabo San Lucas) and we LOVED it. It was so nice to be away from the super tourist area in Cabo San Lucas, but close enough to go in for a day. Overall, I would highly recommend Hacienda Del Mar – there is a good chance we will stay there again if/when we go back!

Activities: We had 3 full days to spend enjoying Cabo. The first day we stayed in the neighborhood, went to the beach and let the kids play in the pool. It was super nice and relaxing and such a good way to start the trip! Matt made it down from Ensenada late that night.

The second day we went down the road to Cabo Surf Hotel and Spa. It’s a beautiful little hotel, had a great restaurant and the kids were able to take surfing lessons! The instructors were super sweet and all 6 kids (ages 5-9) were up on a surf board, first try! We also rented a couple of boards for the adults to use, but unfortunately we didn’t do as well as the kids. Probabllyyyy should have taken lessons as well. Ha!

That evening we took the kids into Cabo San Lucas to The Office on The Beach – a really fun restaurant right on the water. Live music, good drinks and great food!

The third day we went on a catamaran trip from the marina in Cabo San Lucas. Our property manager suggested that we just go to the marina rather than booking online. She said she would be able to barter in person and she was RIGHT! We got an awesome deal on a private catamaran trip for the 10 of us. We made a quick trip to the famous arches, saw a few humpback whales and spent a little time snorkeling.

I think this was everyone’s favorite part of the trip. The catamaran was really cool and the kids LOVED seeing all the fish, whales and sea lions!

Andddd… then we were all sad when it was time to pack up and head home! Usually by the time it’s time to go home we are all ready, but we all wished we had a few more days! It was a great trip and we loved that the kids got to practice their Spanish speaking some. Definitely thinking about making this a pre-Thanksgiving tradition!

My Next Race & Training Tips!

After basically taking a year off from running, I’m FINALLY getting back to it! I’ve tried several times over the year, but I felt like either my body wasn’t ready for it or my head just wasn’t in it – which was fine, I just tried to focus on staying active in other ways. About a month ago I started back up, and talk about feeling defeated! I could barely run a mile at the pace a ran a whole marathon. Thankfully, it’s alllll starting to come back and I have been able to start increasing distance and gradually getting closer to my old paces. Hopefully I’ll be able to keep up with my old running buddies soon!

Now that I’m back to being able to run somewhat consistently – I’m super excited to start training for a race again! While I want to eventually run another marathon, I decided to start with a half and just see how the training goes. I’ll be running the Austin Half Marathon in February! I began training for this race a couple years ago and ended up not being able to run it because of a small injury, so I’m pretty pumped to give it another shot.

Signing up for another race means having to get back into a training routine, which for me, means lots of early morning runs. It’s not always easy to force myself to go to sleep early or drag myself out of bed before 5am – it takes quite a bit of discipline and dedication. Here are a few tips that I’ve found helpful in finding and sticking to a training routine!

  1. Figure out the reason you are doing it… For me, it’s a combination of my love of running and just simply wanting to stay healthy and active. It’s super important to me (and Matt) to set an example of an active lifestyle for our kids. It’s also super important to me to stay active so that as my kids get older I am still able to do things with them – run, hike, ski, or whatever other adventure we can come up with. I love committing to races because it gives me short term goals that will eventually lead to this long term goal of mine!
  2. Find a friend or community. I feel like this is a super important piece of being able to stick to a routine. Over the years, I’ve found a few good running friends. It’s SO helpful to have people to schedule workouts with, find encouragement from on a rough day and to hold you accountable to sticking to your plan. I’ve found that it’s much easier to get myself up at 4:30AM when I know that I’ve committed to meeting someone.
  3. Hire a coach! With the world of social media we are living in, there are a TON of online coaching/training programs, many that are very affordable. While you have to be careful to find someone that really knows what they are doing, having a coach can be a game changer. I love having a week of workouts planned out for me – it breaks the whole race/training goals down in to small goals (I’m all about the idea of doing small things that with consistency add up to something big!). My workouts vary including long runs to build cardio and distance, recovery miles and interval training designed to help increase speed. For this race, I’m working with my sweet friend, Abby. I have been running with Abby for years, but she recently decided to venture into coaching and I’m super excited about it! She’s one of the toughest athletes and has achieved some big things (including qualifying for the Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii) all while being mom to two awesome girls AND working full time. You can look her up on IG (@aamultisport). I love that I can program the workouts she gives me into my watch – It gives the workout to me step by step and can tell me when to speed up or slow down if I’m doing a paced run!

I get asked all the time about running accessories, so I’m going to link a few below! A recent find that I’m pretty excited about it this running light. Running before the sun comes up requires running with a light of some sort and for the longest time, I’ve run with a headlamp. The good ole headlamp went out and I found this awesomeness to replace it! I love that it goes over the shoulder and around the chest and it’s SO BRIGHT, which is really nice considering how clumsy I am!

Men’s Gift Guide

I feel like the guys in my life are ALWAYS the hardest to shop for…why can’t they make it easier?! I mean, women are easy right?? A good pair of shoes or something sparkly and we are happy! Ha! I’ve rounded up some of Matt’s favorites – and a few extras that he may or may not be getting for Christmas this year. So Ladies and Gents, sit back on your couch, relax and get that Christmas shopping done early online!

Muskox Flannel Shirt: Flannel and holidays go hand in hand. The Muskox Grand Flannel comes in several color options, is heavy weight, soft, and super warm. Great for layering and hiking in the outdoors and transitions perfectly for a casual day at the office or dinner with friends. The perfect shirt for the adventurous man in your life.

Skif Knife: Skif Knives make great gifts for the outdoorsmen! Matt carries a Skif Knife with him everyday. There are many options to choose from, making it easy to stock up on several for stocking stuffers. These are great for the guy that has everything – no one ever has too many knives!

Armani Code: A good smelling man is the gift that everyone will thank you for. Armani Code is seriously the best smelling cologne – Matt’s worn it for years and I’m obsessed. Smells of citrus and woods, it’s perfect for the love in your life. Ladies, you can thank me later! 🙂

Overnight Bag: Travel in style! Whether he travels often or not, a leather weekender is a great go-to overnight bag. The genuine quality and sleek look of this bag are well worth the purchase. This duffle is perfect in size and can be used as an airplane carry-on bag too!

Rugged Waterproof Boot: These boots were made for all weather in mind. Rugged and 100% leather, these Rockport Rugged Bucks boots have a suede-like waterproof material keeping the moisture out. The great thing about these is that they can easily be worn as a casual everyday shoe or a boot for an active, adventure seeker! Stylish, comfortable and practical all in one.

Muskox Mountain Henley: This thermal knit shirt is simple, soft, and stylish. The Mountain Henley pullover by Muskox is great for layering under the Muskox Grand Flannel or wearing alone. I love finding shirts that Matt doesn’t feel like he’s dressed up in – but also look nice for a casual night out, a family function or even church…because let’s be honest, this is about as dressed up as Matt gets! Definitely replacing some of his decade old tshirts with these!

Muskox Canyon Quarter Zip: Keeping with the Muskox trend here, I am loving the look of this Canyon Quarter Zip. The best features of this pullover are the front pocket zipper and thumbholes. Athletic and practical!

Ariat Boots: Every man needs a good pair of boots. Matt’s favorite boots are the Plano Western Boot by Ariat. Ariats are notoriously comfortable and and hold up so well. Whether it’s his first pair
of boots or his fifth pair, he will love the comfort, support, and compliments.

Amazon Alexa Show: This is a great gift for the man in your life, but what I really love is how awesome it is for the whole family.  We have one in our kitchen and LOVE IT. From music playing when we are cooking, to easily being able to ask “Alexa, what’s the weather like today?” as we are rushing to get kids ready for school! All the times you need to look up something on your phone while in the middle of cooking with stuff on your hands? Alexa saves the day! It’s perfect for tech lovers who want to convert their whole home to a smart home and user friendly enough for those not so tech savvy.

10 & 11. Garmin Fenix 5S or Forerunner 235: One of the #1 questions I get is “what running watch do you use?” Well, this is it! I have a Garmin Fenix5S and LOVE IT! The Fenix is a multi-sport watch designed to easily track running, swimming and biking stats. I got this watch a couple years ago when I attempted the whole multi-sport thing (which ended up not really being my jam). I love the look of this watch, but it is a little over kill (and pricey) if you are just looking for a running watch. If you’re looking for something more simple (and afforable) check out the Garmin Forerunner 235. I used this one for years and loved it too!

Asics Gel Kayano: RUNNING SHOES! These are by far my favorite distance running shoes I’ve owned. I’m on my 3rd pair of the same shoe because they are that good! They’re light and breathable, but provide great support and cushion for when you are really putting in the miles and pounding the pavement.

Adidas ¼ zip: Let’s be honest, this brand never disappoints. The Adidas Quarter Zip Top is such great quality. This is the perfect pullover top for any outdoor activity, but those early morning, cold runs really call for it!

Portable Charger: For the guy that’s always on the go, a portable phone charger is the perfect stocking stuffer! Matt and I use these all the time when we travel (which means getting a lot of work done from our phones) and don’t have access to a charger throughout the day!

With one month left until Christmas, I hope this little guide helping in finding the perfect gift and calming some of the Christmas craziness! Wishing everyone a great week!!

‘Tis the Season! – Holiday Gift Guide For Her

I LOVEEEE the holidays and I LOVE gift giving – but I think we can all agree that with all the hustle and bustle, parties, decorating, shopping for everyone in your life all at one time, it becomes a little overwhelming! So I’ve put together a list of some of my favorites that I think would make great gifts to give or receive! So all you guys out there struggling to know what to get for that special lady in your life – you’re out of excuses!

1.Born To Be Wild Sweater ($49) – One of my favorite parts of growing up was shopping with my grandmother. She was a stylish, classy, spunky lady and had the best taste. Nana always bought us clothes for Christmas and opening them and the fashion show that followed was the greatest. With that said, clothes – especially sweaters – will always be one of my favorite gifts! This “Born To Be Wild Sweater” from The Linc is EVERYTHING. I love the color and the subtle gold print makes it perfectly festive for this time of year. With it’s forgiving, over-sized fit and S/M or M/L size choices, it makes it easy to get the size right when buy for that special someone.

2 & 3. Barefoot Dreams Blanket ($118) & Socks ($15) : Anyone out there a budget shopper but also love to splurge when it’s worth it?! ME! Barefoot Dreams is one of those splurge worthy brands – especially when needing a nice gift for someone! My all time favorite blanket is the Barefoot Dreams Waffle Knit Throw Blanket. You’ll never want to get off of the couch once you’re wrapped up in one of these.  It’s so soft and screams luxury. And if you’re in the market for a luxury gift with a smaller price tag, the Barefoot Dreams socks are your answer. Whether they’re worn with boots or at home on the couch, they are SO soft and comfortable, you’ll probably end up wanting to keep them for yourself.

4. Capri Blue Volcano Candle ($28): Another “hardly ever splurge on it for myself, but it makes an AWESOME gift” are the Capri Blue Candles. Everyone loves candles, especially long lasting ones. They have tons of scents, but my favorite candle on the planet is the Capri Blue – Volcano Scent. Y’ALL! IT SMELLS SO DANG GOOD! I would have it burning in my house non-stop if I could! The tropical scent will make you feel like you’re on vacay… or wishing you were! These make great gifts for friends hosting holiday parties, teachers, co-workers, basically anyone.

5. Revlon Salon One-Step Hair Dryer and Volumizer ($59) – These next two are my go-to hair styling tools! If there’s one thing we love in Texas, it’s big hair! I use a few hair tools to achieve volume and I think they’d make a great gift. Revlon Salon One-Step Hair Dryer and Volumizer creates a smooth blowout that gives so much volume! One thing I love about this is that it’s an all in one tool that replaces your typical blow dryer, brush & flat iron. This Revlon hair dryer makes my morning routine so much easier! 

6. Rootie – My go to hair tool I use to achieve voluminous hair at the scalp is Rootie the Rootlifter hair iron by Voloom. This thing is a game changer! It gives your roots a boost by lifting the hair up and away from the scalp. Gift this to the favorite girl in your life and tell her to put away that teasing comb and hair spray and give this a try. The Rootie provides greater hair volume that lasts all day and even in between washes. I’m obsessed.

7. Erin Condren Planner: Have a girl in your life that is always going 100mph and you really don’t know how they get it all done?! If the answer is yes, this is the gift for her. Here at The Linc, us girls love our Erin Condren LifePlanners. They are completely customizable, personalized, and perfectly created for your life in mind. Organization has never been cuter! Whether you’re shopping for a high-school or college student, a stay at home mom drowning in kids activity schedules or a professional bouncing from meeting to meeting – this is a gift that will come in handy ALL YEAR LONG.

8. Unshakeable Devotional: The holidays are the most wonderful time of the year. After all, Jesus is the reason for the season. Devotionals are simple and easy, yet very thoughtful/meaningful gifts. This year I plan on gifting several of these Unshakeable Devotionals by Christine Caine. Who doesn’t need a daily dose of strength from God’s Word?! And with the new year just around the corner it’s the perfect time to commit to setting aside a little time each day to fix our eyes on Jesus.

9. Snuggle Sesh Hoodie: Has anyone noticed that I have a thing for super soft stuff?? Welllll, I do. And this hoodie really hits the spot. I love the charcoal color and that I could be lounging on the couch or throw it on with jeans and booties and look put together in an instant! This will definitely be one that’s opened up and instantly put on Christmas morning!

10. BeautyCounter Bath and Body Set: I recently started having allergic reactions to some of the bath and body stuff I was using – huge bummer…BUT, it lead me to some of the Beauty Counter Bath and Body stuff. This set is THE BOMB. Their daily shampoo and conditioner removes buildup all while making your hair silky smooth to touch. The body wash and hydrating body lotion’s scent is citrus mimosa which had me at hello. Gentle and seriously made for every skin type.

11. I am a huge fan of Winter. Sweaters, boots, and scarfs… I love them all. One winter accessory I am not a fan of is dry skin. Going back to that allergic reaction – I was frantically trying to find something that didn’t bother my skin! Beauty Counter’s Body Butter is like heaven in a jar and this trio is the perfect gift! Stocking stuffers anyone?! This holiday collection comes with 3 different scents giving a variety of options all of which I love! 

12. Beauty Counter Sugar Scrub: Another product I love by Beauty Counter is their Sugar Body Scrub in Lemongrass. From the moment you open the jar you’ll smell the energizing citrus and lemongrass oils. Some ingredients they use are brown sugar for exfoliation and almond oil, apricot oil and sunflower oil which hydrate the heck out of your skin. A little goes a long way, so you’ll only need a small amount which is great for keeping this stocked in the shower at all times. It’s luxury in a jar – trust me!

13. Who doesn’t love a good value set? I love Tarte cosmetics and was so excited when I found this Winter Wish List Color Collection. This palette includes 9 eyeshadows, blush, gel liner, and mascara. I use (and love) the Deluxe Lights, Camera, Lashes 4-in-1 Mascara as well as the gel eyeliner. This is definitely one to gift…or maybe even add to your own wishlist! 

14. Tarte Gold Duster Brush Set: A fresh set of makeup brushes makes any girl happy. Tarte’s Gold Dusters Brush Set is incredibly affordable for the quantity and quality of everything that comes with it. The set of brushes include a powder brush, contour brush, highlighter brush, eyeshadow brush, and a smaller eyeshadow smudger brush. The makeup bag alone is worth the purchase! The bag has a clear window in front that showcases the 5 brushes and has a hidden magnetic pocket to store eyeshadows, blush, and primer. Another great stocking stuffer!

15. Tarte Timeless Smoothing Primer: Primer is key! Not only does Tarte’s Timeless Smoothing Primer prep the skin for makeup but it also fades out pores, lines, and wrinkles. What woman wouldn’t want this?! This is such a perfect stocking stuffer! Seriously, if you’re not using a primer and have had any interest in trying one this primer is the one to grab.

16. Need a one stop shop for a complete outfit?! We got you. This is one of my favorite outfits of the season from The Linc (and will carry your girl right on through the rest of winter). This sweater is so cozy and I love the colorful popcorn yarn it’s made of. It’s available in sizes S-3XL! The Turning Heads Jeans will be sure to do just that! They’ve got the exact right amount of stretch and look good on women of all shapes and sizes (and are under $50…WHAT?!)! The Miss Independent Tote is the perfect carry-all and is available in gold and olive green. Complete the look with our Roma booties in wheat (size down a size in these!). And when in doubt – jewelry is always a good solution and a gift card never disappoints! 🙂

I hope this helps in finding the right gift for someone you love and subsequently reduces some of the (unneeded) stress of this joyful Christmas season! I’m hoping to get my shopping done early and focus on spending time with family and friends and the Perfect Miracle that was given to us in JESUS!

Life Updates…

Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. – Galatians 6:2

The last 3 weeks have been the most trying weeks of our entire lives.

The loss of Jake is something that we are going to feel for a very long time. He was such a huge part of our lives and was such a light to so many people around him. His wife is also one of my closest friends and watching someone you love go through so much hurt and pain without really being able to do anything about it is just… HARD.

As many of you know, Matt’s brother, Mark, has spent the last year battling a super rare form of cancer. Just a few weeks before Jake’s accident, he got news that it’s taken yet another turn for the worst – the cancer is now in his chest and jaw and no conventional forms of treatment are really helping so they’ve moved him on to clinical trials. Jake was also a close friend to Mark, so he and his wife, Jaci are trying to navigate this loss while also trying to navigate their own struggles…and again – watching the people you love go through so much hurt and pain without really being able to do anything about it is just… HARD.

BUT. HOPE.

While the last 3 weeks have been filled with pain, sadness, fear, anger, and questioning a lot of things that we were never meant to understand while still on this side of Heaven. We have HOPE. In the midst of all this struggle, GOD keeps showing up.. reminding us that He is present and He is good. He’s in the perfectly timed phone calls from a friend calling to check on us, He’s in the songs that speak straight to your heart when you need it most and He’s in a community of people that have come together to take care of each other. Many of you…people that we don’t even really know have been the hands and feet of Jesus through your prayers for Jake’s family, Mark’s family and our family, through your sweet comments and messages of encouragement and through your willingness to give financially to help lighten the load both through the GoFundMe account for Jake’s family and through t-shirt sales in support of Mark. There is no amount of money that could ever take away the pain of loosing Jake or the pain of watching Mark fight this battle with cancer – but all of your generosity in both cases has helped to ease the fear of what the future holds has allowed time to be spent focusing on family and healing. We have seen Galatians 6:2 lived out so well in our local community and from people all over the world and that brings HOPE. So THANK YOU, from the bottom of our hearts for being Jesus’s light in what can be such a dark world.

So from here we are going to keep pushing forward and holding each other up as we go. Jake was always such a source of encouragement in all the things I have ventured out into recently – the blog, Instagram, creating my own line of shirts, the athletic line… so even though some days it seems trivial and pointless given everything else that’s going on in life right now, I’m going to keep moving foward and I’m going to find the joy and the good in it all – just the way he would have!

Lake Tahoe Recap

Happy Friday Y’all! It’s been a crazy week around here and I’ve just been wishing we could go back to this beautiful place for just a little bit longer! Lake Tahoe is one of my all time favorite places. The mountains and the lake are absolutely breathtaking. I don’t know about you, but there is just something about the mountains that is so calming and peaceful to me – so reassuring of God’s presence and grace.

Many of you sent messages asking about various part of our trip – where we stayed, things to do, etc. so I figured this would be a good place to round it all up!

This year we stay in South Lake Tahoe, across from Heavenly Village at the Zalanta Resort. I cannot say enough good things about this hotel. It was beautiful and the staff was SO friendly and accommodating. Seriously – They made us feel like they were only there for us. We stayed in one of their 2 bed/2bath residences, which was perfect for our little family. Plenty of space and a full kitchen – not having to eat out EVERY meal was a lifesaver. It was really nice being able to relax in the mornings, make breakfast and sit out on the patio overlooking the village rather than having to get up and rush out to get breakfast for the kids.

The pool was right on par with the rest of the resort – beautiful and relaxing. It was heated a little, which was great for us Texans that aren’t used to summer temps in the 70s and the hottub was like heaven. We spent a couple afternoons relaxing poolside between activities and dinner.

The Zalanta Resort is right across the street from Heavenly Village and the gondola and about a half mile from the lake. We spent 2 days on the mountain and 2 days enjoying the lake. The views from the gondola on the way up the mountain were incredible. There is a stop half way up with an observation deck, a little shop, a cafe and a small hiking trail. Both times we went up, we made a pit stop there to take pictures, soak up the view and hike a little.

We got the Adventure Passes, so once we got to the top of the mountain there was a whole day of activities waiting for us. The kids LOVED their kid’s zipline, climbing wall and tubing. The first day we went up, the kid’s ropes course was closed, so we attempted the regular ropes course as a family. They were all about it through the ground school, but once we got up there Adalyn and Linc panicked a little and wanted down. Our little wild child, Annie, went for it. She did great on the first level (15ft) then it became a little too much once she got to the 30ft section. Their instructors were so patient and sweet with her. They attempted to talk her into continuing by herself, but ended up having to go up and walk with her through the rest of it. The 2nd day, the kid’s course was open and they LOVED it.

The 2 days we spent on the lake were awesome too. We had access to Lakeside Beach and Marina through our hotel. One day we rented a boat from the marina and explored the lake. I’m pretty sure the highlight of Linc’s trip was getting to “drive” the boat. Emerald Bay was about a 20 minute ride and absolutely beautiful! We hiked around it last year and it was really fun to see it from a different perspective this year. The 2nd day on the lake we played on the beach and went parasailing. The lake and mountains from a parasail look like they’re from a post card! The lake is SOO BLUE. All of the staff at Lakeside Marina and their crew that took us parasailing were so great. Very friendly and patient with the kids on the boat and getting them ready to fly. They definitely went the extra mile to make it a great experience for all of us.

In the evenings, we explored the village and it’s many restaurants, played puttputt, watched a magic show (was really fun and great for the whole fam) and let the kids bounce on the trampoline. One night we hiked up the mountain a little ways to watch the sunset over the lake, which might have been the highlight of the trip for me!

Overall, we loved our trip and can’t wait to go back. Have you guys been to Tahoe? If so, where are some of your favorite places to stay and things do to?!

July Amazon Haul

I can’t believe it’s already the middle of JULY!! Where is this summer going?! We only have a month left before the kids start school! As I was picking out Amazon stuff to share with y’all this month, I really tried to find stuff that could be worn now AND carried into the fall. You guys requested dresses, rompers, top and shoes… The dresses, tops and shoes were a success, but the romper I ordered didn’t turn out so great. With Amazon, sometimes you don’t know what you’re going to get, BUT it’s so easy to return that I don’t mind having some fails here and there.

Floral Print Wrap Dress

  • Sizing: TTS. Wearing a small
  • Quality: GREAT. I love this dress! The fabric is awesome and I love the print. It’s very comfortable and super flattering. It comes in a variety of colors and a shorter length.
  • Price: $25-$30 depending on size and color

Felt Hat

  • Quality: Waiting on this hat still (the one I’m wearing is from Nordstrom), but I’m going to link it anyway because it’s so cute, has such great reviews and is super affordable!
  • Price: $16.45

Off the Shoulder Lace Hem Top

  • Sizing: TTS. Wearing a small
  • Quality: Love it. The lace detailing on the front is so cute! This can be worn now with cut offs and sandals or into fall with jean and wedges or booties.
  • Price: $12-$15 depending on size

Linking jeans, booties, hat and white pants here also!


Lace Kimono

  • Sizing: One size!
  • Quality: Good! This will be super cute to wear with shorts or as a swimsuit cover up now and will be really cute with jeans come fall. Comes in a bunch of colors, but I’m really digging this greyish purpleish color!
  • Price: $19.99

Racerback Bodysuit

  • Sizing: TTS. Wearing a small
  • Quality: Fantastic. I ordered a white and a black and I’m obsessed! I love the buttons on the front and it’s super comfortable. Great with shorts and skirts now and will be perfect to wear under cardigans in the fall. It comes in several colors and prints….I may end up with one of each.
  • Price: $16.99

Floral High-Waisted Two Piece

  • Size: TTS. Wearing a small
  • Quality: Amazon has really impressed me with swimsuits this season and this one is no exception! Comes in several prints!
  • Price: $25.96

Peep Toe Booties

  • Size: Wearing a 6.5, but wish I had sized down to a 6.
  • Quality: Good for booties under $40! They are really cute and I’m excited to wear them with jeans this fall. They aren’t the most comfortable I have ever owned (they aren’t terrible, just not great) but I think that may be because a 1/2 size down would fit better.
  • Price: $30-$40 depending on size and color

Including shorts, jeans, sandals, necklaces and bracelets in links below!


Striped Button Up

  • Sizing: TTS. Wearing a small
  • Quality: Awesome. I love the way this fits! Slouchy, but still flattering. I wasn’t totally sure about the stripes when I ordered, but I think they’re cute! It comes in several other prints/solids – really considering ordering the olive green too!
  • Price: $20.99

Pierre Dumas Sandals

  • Size: Slightly small. Sized up to a 7
  • Quality: I have already worn these sandals a ton and they are so comfortable!!
  • Price: $24.95

Peep Toe Booties

  • Size: Wearing a 6.5, but wish I had sized down to a 6.
  • Quality: Good for booties under $40! They are really cute and I’m excited to wear them with jeans this fall. They aren’t the most comfortable I have ever owned (they aren’t terrible, just not great) but I think that may be because a 1/2 size down would fit better.
  • Price: $30-$40 depending on size and color

Peplum Top

  • Size: TTS. Wearing a small
  • Quality: Love this top! The high low peplum is really fun and I love this color! Would be REALLY cute with black jeans in the fall!
  • Price: $16.99

A-Line Spaghetti Strap Dress

  • Size: TTS. Wearing a small
  • Quality: Great quality, but was expecting the fabric to be a little softer/more flowy. Still cute, the material is just a little thicker than I was expecting it to be.
  • Price: Mine was $21.99, but I just realized some of the colors are as low as $13.99!!

RayBan Dupes

  • Quality: They look and feel almost exactly like the RayBans I have. The gold on these is slightly more yellow, but not really noticeable. I do wish they just didn’t have a logo instead of the knockoff logo on them, but it’s so small that it’s not a big deal! Definitely a good buy if you aren’t wanting to spend $100+ on sunnies or want an extra pair to wear at the beach/river/lake where they could easily get lost.
  • Price: $19.99 (RayBans $153.00)

Leather Wrap Bracelet

  • Size: Wish it was a little smaller on my wrists, but I have pretty small wrists.
  • Quality: Super cute!! And they have lots of options for color and such!!
  • Price: $12.57

Andddd… That’s a wrap!! What are your favorite finds from this months Amazon haul?!

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

Morning Y’all! Every year Nordstrom has a HUGE anniversary sale which includes major discounts throughout the store, including staples that you see throughout the year as well as brand new fall arrivals. They open it up to Nordstrom Cardholders first (both in store and online) so that they get the first pick! We made it back from the beach just in time for me to be able to shop the sale yesterday – the first day that it’s been open to all regular cardholders. The sale will open to the public on July 19 and run through August 4th! I’m super excited to share my picks with y’all and will do another round up of my favorites once it opens up to the public!

I will admit, I am not a huge Nordstrom shopper…Y’all know that 90% of the stuff I wear comes from Amazon and is less than $30 – but sometimes I like to splurge a little too…and this sale is a great time to do just that! I tried to pick up splurge worthy staples that I could style a variety of ways and mix and match with stuff I already have in my closet.


LEITH Longline Cardigan

  • Sizing: Runs a bit big. Wearing an XXS
  • Quality: EXCELLENT. So excited to pair this sweater with basically everything this fall. I’m seriously considering ordering another color.
  • Price: $69, marked down to $49.90

Treasure & Bond Plaid Boyfriend Shirt

  • Sizing: Since it’s a boyfriend style shirt, it runs a little on the bigger side. Wearing an small, but could have gone down to an XS
  • Quality: I am obsessed with how soft this shirt is. SO SO comfortable.
  • Price: Reg. $69, marked down to $45.90

FRAME Le High Waist Skinny Jeans

  • Sizing: TTS. Wearing a 26
  • Quality: I don’t think I have ever bought a pair of jeans over like $75 and was really excited to splurge on these! THEY FIT SOOO GOOD. They’re distressed the perfect amount and I have a feeling I will for sure get my money’s worth out of these jeans.
  • Price: Reg. $210, marked down to $139.90

Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Shoreline Low Top Sneaker

  • Sizing: TTS. Wearing a 6.5
  • Quality: Awesome. I’ve had several pairs of these over the years and LOVE THEM. They take some breaking in, but are SO comfortable.
  • Price: Reg. $60, marked down to $39.90

Brixton Joanna III Wool Felt Hat

Booties and Belt are linked from Nordstrom, but not included in the sale. Shorts are linked from Abercrombie.


LEITH Longline Cardigan

  • Sizing: Runs a bit big. Wearing an XXS
  • Quality: EXCELLENT. So excited to pair this sweater with basically everything this fall. I’m seriously considering ordering another color.
  • Price: $69, marked down to $49.90

KUT from the Kloth Diana Skinny Jeans

  • Size: I sized down one. Wearing a 0/25 and usually wear a 26.
  • Quality: These things fit like a glove. I actually think I like them more than the Frame jeans!! I love the dark wash and the hem and they are SO comfortable.
  • Price: Reg. $89.50, marked down to $59.90

Lucky Brand Yimina Wedge Bootie

  • Sizing: TTS. Wearing a 6.5
  • Quality: I LOVE these. I live in booties in the fall and winter and Lucky Brand never disappoints. I love the snake skin print and could walk in these for days.
  • Price: Reg. $129.95, marked down to $86.90

Tory Burch Everly Leather Tote

  • Quality: I LOVE THIS BAG. Kind like the jeans – I usually (read NEVER) spend a lot on purses/bags, but I was really excited about this one. I love the color and the gold hardware. It’s got tons of pockets and zippers, which is always awesome. If you are in the market for a splurge worthy bag on major sale, THIS IS IT!
  • Price: Reg. $528, marked down to $352.90

Shorts, sandals and take are linked from Abercrombie and American Eagle


Caslon Side Snap Tunic Sweater

  • Sizing: TTS. Wearing a small
  • Quality: SO FREAKIN SOFT. I might live in it.
  • Price: $79, marked down to $49.90

KUT from the Kloth Diana Skinny Jeans

  • Size: I sized down one. Wearing a 0/25 and usually wear a 26.
  • Quality: These things fit like a glove. I actually think I like them more than the Frame jeans!! I love the dark wash and the hem and they are SO comfortable.
  • Price: Reg. $89.50, marked down to $59.90

SPANX Faux Leather Leggings

  • Sizing: TTS. Wearing a small
  • Quality: I actually bought these leggings last year, but saw them included in the sale! These leggings are AWESOME. Super slimming, but comfortable. Wore them a done last year and plan to again!
  • Price: Reg. $98, marked down to $64.90

Lucky Brand Yimina Wedge Bootie

  • Sizing: TTS. Wearing a 6.5
  • Quality: I LOVE these. I live in booties in the fall and winter and Lucky Brand never disappoints. I love the snake skin print and could walk in these for days.
  • Price: Reg. $129.95, marked down to $86.90

LEITH Rib Wrap Sweater

  • Sizing: TTS. When I picked it up, it looked so tiny on the hanger than I picked up a small AND a large to try on because I’m not a fan of tight sweaters, but the small fit great!
  • Quality: Love the material and the vneck!
  • Price: Reg. $49, marked down to $31.90

FRAME Le High Waist Skinny Jeans

  • Sizing: TTS. Wearing a 26
  • Quality: I don’t think I have ever bought a pair of jeans over like $75 and was really excited to splurge on these! THEY FIT SOOO GOOD. They’re distressed the perfect amount and I have a feeling I will for sure get my money’s worth out of these jeans.
  • Price: Reg. $210, marked down to $139.90

Lucky Brand Yimina Wedge Bootie

  • Sizing: TTS. Wearing a 6.5
  • Quality: I LOVE these. I live in booties in the fall and winter and Lucky Brand never disappoints. I love the snake skin print and could walk in these for days.
  • Price: Reg. $129.95, marked down to $86.90

Halogen Square Buckle Leather Belt

  • Sizing: TTS. Wearing a small
  • Quality: AWESOME. Love the suede leather and gold combo and feel like I will be able to use it to accessorize a ton of outfits.
  • Price: Reg. $49, marked down to $31.90

Shorts and sandals are linked from Abercrombie and Closet Candy Boutique.


That’s it! Hope y’all are able to find some pieces you LOVE in this year’s sale! Have a great weekend everyone!!

FAQ

Happy Monday Y’all! I’ve done several Q&A things on IG, but never get to all of the questions and answers always have to be super short and sweet so I figured the blog would be a good way to answer a few more and go more in depth on some! SO! A couple weeks ago you guys submitted questions on IG and I’m answering them here!

YouTube/Social Media

  • Do you ever wish the camera wasn’t on and filming?
    • Yes, for sure! Thankful for the freedom that we have to just turn it off when we need to breathe.
  • What was your life like before YouTube/How has it changed/How do you handle it?
    • Life is for sure different than what we imagined it would be before all this started. Before YouTube became a big part of our lives, Matt was working full time at the clinic and I was at home trying to survive having 3 babies in 3.5 years. I am a planner and like to know exactly how things will go, where we will be, etc… And that is just pretty much impossible with what we do. Five years ago, we couldn’t have planned/guessed/imagined what life would be like today…and I have no idea what life will look like in another 5 years. That has been a HUGE learning curve and lesson for me, but I am learning to live in the NOW and not worry about what we can’t control because God’s got all that covered. We love the freedom/flexibilty it has given us to make our own schedules and love that a lot of times we can include the kids in our day-to-day!
  • When are you going to start your own channel?
    • I get this question ALL THE TIME. Proobbaabbllyyy not going to happen. First of all, I can’t talk to a camera nearly as well as Matt can. Secondly, I think we all get enough camera time as is. 🙂
  • Do you like working with Matt?
    • He’s the worst. JK. We work really well together! Matt is the creative/content creating mind that keeps life moving a million miles an hour and makes sure that we’re always laughing and I’m the logical one that *attempts* to keep things running smoothly. Lol
  • How do you stay grounded?
    • We’re just a normal family and want to stay a normal family… School parties, car pool, soccer practice, dance classes, making sure homework gets done, etc. We sit down and eat dinner together and tuck the kids into bed together *almost* every night. We get to do some pretty cool stuff mixed into all that because of our jobs, but at the end of the day our family/kids are #1. 🙂

Marriage/Family/Faith

  • How old are yall?
    • 33
  • When did Matt propose?
    • We took a trip to San Diego right after my 21st birthday and he proposed on that trip!
  • How long have you been married?
    • 11 years this month!
  • Do you go to church?
    • Absolutely!! We love our Sunday mornings worshiping with our family, friends and church family.
  • Favorite Bible Verse?
    • I feel like this changes depending on where we are/what is happening in life.. But one that I always go back to is Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to proper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” This verse isn’t meant to assure us that everything is will be sunshine and roses all the time or that whatever trials we face will come to a swift end…But to assure us that even in the midst of pain, suffering or uncertainty, we can find hope, joy and perseverance. The LORD does have a plan for all of us – it may not look like what we plan for ourselves, but his plan is good and perfect.
  • Parenting Advice?
    • Guys, we are winging it… and I feel so unqualified to answer this question. LoL. Some days I feel like I have it all figured out and other days I feel like I’m totally failing… Like when I lost my flipping mind the other day trying to pack all of us and our whole dang house for the beach and the kids were running around like maniacs not listening and DEFINITELY not helping. Rather than “advice” I’ll just share a couple things we try to focus on in our house? We TRY to teach them to be loving and kind – love and be kind even when you don’t feel like it or don’t feel like someone deserves it. (Totally failed on that one in that above example of loosing my mind…Key word was try, people…). We also try to teach our kids independence and responsibility… kids are way more capable than we give them credit for sometimes! Now…Y’all got any parenting advice for me?!
  • What was it like having the kids so close together?
    • Uh, crazy hard. (Y’all wanted real answers, right?!) Like I was pretty sure Matt was going to check me into an institution at some points… There were times I wished they weren’t so close together so that I could “enjoy” their baby stage. But we made the most of it, we all survived (somehow) and now we LOVEEE how close they are – it really makes life in this stage that we’re in so much fun.

Fitness

  • How do you stay motivated to workout?
    • I’m definitely not always “motivated.” A lot of times the last thing I want to do is workout. I’d rather eat cupcakes and shop online… BUT it’s important to me to try to stay healthy and active, not only for myself, but for my kids too! I want them to learn a healthly/active lifestyle AND I want to still be active and able to keep up with them as they get older! I want to see my grandkids hike up a mountain someday!
  • What is your workout routine?
    • I don’t have a set routine, but I have shared some of my workouts here! I will try to get some more posted soon…But… summer with 3 kids. Ha!
  • Are you still running?
    • A little, but not consistently right now! Enjoying a break from distance training!
  • What do you recommend to new runners/How do you start?
    • Running is something that takes time to build up to…If you are new to running, please be patient with it! I recommend starting with a walk/run schedule. You can find tons of these online, but for example, you may start by walking 2 minutes then running for 30 seconds for a total of 20-25 minutes. Gradually decrease your walk time and increase your run time!
  • Favorite Running Shoe
    • I have been wearing Asics Gel Kayanos for a while now! I really like them!! Currently debating whether I want to buy another pair to branch out! I let you know if I find another pair I like as much as my Asics!
  • Running Watch

Ok, that got super long! I saved some other questions that I will answer on another post sometime if y’all liked the style of this one. Hope everyone has a great week!