Monday, September 24, 2018

All Things Target: Part 1

Y'all!  Target is on FIRE lately!  They have so much cute stuff out for fall, and their prices are always amazing, so it's hard to control one's self.

I haven't done a Target try on in forever, and honestly, I usually just shop online, then return what doesn't work to the store.  But, I decided to venture into the store and browse around, and holy mother did they have the THINGS!

I am going to break this up into two posts because there are so many things to show you.  So, brace yourself because this is just one of two hefty posts coming your way!  But, it's all good.  So, so good!  And the prices are amazing!

Ok, here it goes!  Let's start with this amazing faux leather moto jacket that is under $35!  I put this on and I instantly felt like a cool mom.  It looks almost identical to the Blank NYC one at Nordstrom, which sells for $98.  

The belt is removable, so if you don't want it flopping around, it's easy to take it off.  Super cute and I couldn't believe the price!  I am wearing a small and it fit great.  Not sure I would want to wear a bulky sweater under this jacket, but I loved it with a thinner long sleeve tee!

These are the boyfriend style jeans from the Levi's line at Target.  I liked them a lot, but I will say they were a tad on the low-rise side, especially in the back.  I am wearing my normal size, and I feel like they fit true to size--just slightly baggy like boyfriend jeans are supposed to be.  If in between sizes, I would go down.  They had a little bit of distressing, and I liked the color of the denim.  This is the lighter wash option.  I am wearing these jeans for all of the pics in this post. 

This cutie button up shirt has a vintage wash vibe, and I just loved it!  It also comes in olive green and charcoal grey.

Shirts like this are so versatile because they can double as a lightweight jacket.  I just knotted the corners and it gives a more tailored look.  Fits true to size, I'm wearing a small.  This navy striped boatneck shirt is a good layering piece.  It ran small, and had a snug fit.  

This vintage wash, oversized sweatshirt was super comfy!  I am wearing a large, as it was the smallest size they had in the store, but I would probably go with a medium instead of a small to keep the oversized look.  

I liked this utility vest because it is longer than most I have seen.  For those of you who like things to cover your bum, this is perfect!  It runs large, so size down.  I'm wearing an x-small, and it was still plenty roomy.  I love all the pockets, and there is a drawstring waist, so you can cinch it to prevent it from looking so boxy.  Also available in plus sizes.

This long sleeve stripe tee deserves a mention because it is so soft, has a great length, and is a perfect basic item for layering.  And, it's only $10!

This sweet little cami is perfect for layering under cardigans and jackets!  (ignore my bralette.  I obviously wore the wrong kind of bra for this try on session!).  I am wearing an XS, so definitely size down unless you have a large chest.  And, this leopard print cardigan was begging for me to try it on!  It's cute worn open, or you could button it up and wear it as a sweater.  I'm wearing a medium in the leopard.

The same cami also comes in this pretty lavender color and grey.
And, another great cami option is this one with lace trim.  Comes in black, pink, and olive. 

This cardigan was nice and cozy.  They only had a large in store, but I would probably go with a medium.  It was soft, not itchy at all, and I love the scallop slit on the sides.  It also comes in black, brown, and a lavender color!

Incase you missed my previous post featuring Target shoes, you can check that out HERE!

Thank you so much for shopping through my affiliate links!  I love doing these try on's for you, and I appreciate you supporting me.  If you don't already know, most of the links I provide in my posts allow me to make a small commission if something is purchased through them.  It's not much, but it adds up and helps me justify the time I spend on writing these posts for you!  

Don't forget to check back later this week for Part 2 of All Things Target!  You won't want to miss it!

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Friday, September 14, 2018

American Eagle Try Ons

I ran into American Eagle to make a return, and they had so many cute things out on I took a few minutes and tried on several goodies that caught my eye.  The thing I love about this brand is the textures!  They have some of the softest things I have ever put on my body!

Ok, lets start with this adorable button up shirt, that true to AE fashion, was incredibly soft.  It felt like I was wearing one of my favorite shirts that I have had for years and had been through hundreds of washes.  I am wearing a small and it fit great, so I'd say if you are between sizes, go down.  You could totally wear this shirt open with a cute cami or striped tee underneath!  It would double as a lightweight military jacket!  Wear it tucked in, tied at the waist, tied around your waist, open, or buttoned up!  This is a really versatile piece.  Also comes in blush pink and vintage burgundy color.
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Wednesday, September 5, 2018

The Perfect Dress for Fall

Hey friends!  I hope you all had a great Labor Day weekend and got to rest up a bit!  We did just that...took the weekend to just chill for the most part, and then we did take the boys camping one night.  It's easy for us to go camping because we can do it in our own yard.  That's the beauty of having a lot of space!  Adam has cleared off an area in our woods, and the boys helped build a fire pit, so it's the perfect little campsite!  There's still a lot of stuff to pack up and haul down there, but having it so close to home is extremely nice.

So, let's talk about this dress!  It's so sinking cute!  I absolutely love the colors, the mixed patterns on the sleeves, and the flow-y feel.  It's very reminiscent of a Free People dress, but at a fraction of the price!  It has a slip built in, so no worries about seeing anything through it.

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Friday, August 31, 2018

Target Shoe Finds

Hey guys!  I hope your week has been better than mine.  I can't seem to shake this allergy gunk that has taken up residence in my head, so I've been feeling all kinds of sinus pressure.  And it's no fun, let me tell ya!  I'm ready to shake this and get back to feeling human again. 

So, what do I do when I don't feel good?  A little retail therapy of course!  I ran into Target and the shoe section was calling my name.  Literally it said, "Niki, come over here".  So I listened.  Because who am I to ignore talking shoes?

I love this time of year because the weather, although crazy, gives us a chance to play around with some fall things, but it's not time to pack up our summer faves just yet.  Target had lots of great options for this volatile weather to make the transition to fall much easier on your footsies.
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Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Organizing School Art and Paperwork

Hey friends!  This is going to be a quick little blog post for ya today!  I have been doing some cleaning/organizing and man it feels good!  It always takes me a bit to get motivated, but I'm so happy when I finally dive into it.  Now that the school year is back in full swing, the papers are rolling in on the daily.

Organize school and art paperwork the easy way!  Midwestern Mama

I thought I'd share how I organize the boys' schoolwork and art because if you are like me, it just piles up, has no sense of order and has a way of taking over my kitchen countertop.  I finally took the time to sort through it, toss the ones I didn't feel were worthy of keeping, and organize the ones I did want to keep.

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Monday, August 20, 2018

Simple Arugula Salad

Let's start off Monday with a salad, shall we?  That's how most of my weeks start off, then eventually, they end up back at queso and chips.

When romaine lettuce got recalled, I was forced to think outside the salad box.  My go to salads usually consist of romaine, kale, or spinach, so I started branching out and I am so glad I did!  I love arugula salads, but it's not something I usually make at home.  I have no idea why; I suppose it just goes back to the simple fact that we are creatures of habit, and I habitually got romaine and/or spinach.  Boring answer, but it's true.

Simple Arugula Salad with Lemon-Mustard Dressing / Midwestern Mama

But now I am living on the edge!  My arugula and I are are venturing out, and this salad is anything but boring.  So, if arugula is not something you typically gravitate towards, here's a simple salad to get you started!

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Friday, August 17, 2018

Old Navy Try Ons

I had a chance to run into Old Navy and boy did they have a lot of cute things out on display!  Sometimes I get a little bit overwhelmed in that store because they have SO much stuff.  I also had a little helper with me, so I quickly scanned the store for the absolute best stuff!  No time for random shopping when you have little ones in tow.

Lets start with one of my favorite things!  I absolutely loved this ruffle sleeve sweatshirt!  It was pretty cute on the hanger, but so much more precious when I put it on!  I just love everything about it...the stripes, the blousy sleeves, and of course the ruffle!  I am wearing a small.  It also comes in navy and white stripe, and solid white, charcoal, and mauve.  Plus sizes available in some of the colors.
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Friday, August 10, 2018

Birthday Discounts Worth Sharing

Happy Birthday to me!  It's officially my birthday, and a big one at that.  I can't believe I am the big 4-0.  I am feeling so grateful for 40 wonderful years, hopeful that I get to have another 40 years, and also a little in denial because HOW has it been 40 years already?

This post is inspired by my friend, Sarah Out and About!  She recently shared a list of her favorite birthday discounts, and I thought that was such a fun idea!  So, I am going to copy her (imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, right?) and share my favorite birthday discounts too!

American Eagle/Aerie - 15% off any purchase during your birthday month when you sign up for their free rewards program.  You can also earn free jeans and free bras with this rewards program!  I love their Tomgirl jeans.  These tees are SO soft.  And, I've had my eye on these short sleeve sweatshirts!  Have you checked out their selection of sweatshirt dresses?  Perfect for fall.

Starbucks - Free beverage or food item of your choice on your birthday!  Yes ma'am!  I don't go to Starbucks often, but I never let my free birthday drink go to waste!

Kendra Scott - This is the BEST deal in my can get 50% off any one item during your birthday month!  That's a huge savings!  Just show your ID and you get the discount!  I wear my pendant necklace all the time!  And, check out these stunning statement earrings!  I also love these in rose gold.  It's hard to choose just one thing!

Nothing Bundt Cakes - Free bundtlet on your birthday when you sign up for their email list

Sephora - They offer a free gift to all Sephora Beauty Insiders, and the gifts are usually pretty darn good!

Madewell - I have heard different things about what the birthday discount is.  I signed up for it by joining the Madewell Insiders, but I have not received anything yet.  They do state they offer a birthday discount, but they don't disclose the details on their site.

J Crew Factory - 20% off on your birthday when you sign up for their email list!

Baskin Robbins - Free scoop of ice cream on your birthday when you sign up for their email list

Anthropologie - 15% off when you join their Antrhoperks program.

Ulta - As an Ultimate Rewards Member, you can 2X points on all purchases made in your birthday month.

World Market - World Market Explorers get $10 off any purchase.  My foyer table is from here ad I absolutely love it!  They have some really cute wall decor out right now!

Kohls - This year I received 50 bonus points on my Kohl's account.  Last year I received a $5 off coupon.

Pier 1 - Save an extra 10% on any purchase during your birthday month when you sign up for Pier 1 Rewards.

DSW - $5 off your birthday month when you become a DSW VIP (free to sign up).  I love the cutouts in these cute booties!  They are perfect for transitioning to fall!

Abercrombie - Earn double points on all purchase made during your birthday month plus 25% off any purchase over $75.  The uber popular pullover is back for a the 2nd year!

At Home - 15% off if you are on their email list.

Now, it's your turn to tell me what I have been missing out on!  Do you have a favorite freebie or discount you look forward to around your birthday?

This post contains affiliate links, which means if you click on a link, I may make a small commission.  Thanks for your support!

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Tuesday, August 7, 2018

What I'm Ordering From Amazon This Month (June, July, & August)

Whoowee!  Did anyone else rack up some deals on Amazon Prime Day?  I didn't go super crazy, but we did snag a few things, some of which I will be saving for birthday and/or Christmas gifts!  Nothing like doing some extra early shopping!  Now I just have to remember where I hid them come December...

Since I didn't get the last Amazon post out until the end of May, I decided I'd just combine months again!  That and it's just easier for me to do it this way...considering the kids are home from school and I don't have a lot of free time these days!

For those of you who are not familiar with Subscribe and Save, I'll give you a run down below.  If you already know the ins and outs, please feel free to scroll on down!
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Friday, August 3, 2018

Nordstrom Sale--Last Call

Are you sick of hearing about the Nordstrom Anniversary sale yet?  To be honest, I am ready for it to be over.  It's a little strange to be buying fall and winter items in July and August when it's 100° outside, but the prices are right, so just wipe that sweat off of your brow and get it while the gettin is good!

This is the last weekend of the sale, and then prices will increase on August 6.  If there is anything you have been debating about, I would suggest snagging it now.  Several things are out of stock, but I rounded up lots of my favorites that are still available!  Don't forget Nordstrom offers free shipping and free returns, so you can always try it out, and send it back if you don't love it!

The links in this post are affiliate links, which means I may make a small commission.  Thanks for shopping through my links and supporting my blog!

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Thursday, August 2, 2018

Growing Old is For the Birds

Thank you to Smile Brilliant for sponsoring this post!  All opinions are my own.

I can barely even admit this, but I will be 40 very, very soon.  FOURTY.  Y'all, that just doesn't even seem possible.  I remember going to a friend's 40th birthday party when I was in my 20's and I thought, man that dude is OLD.  And, here I am.  Apparently 40 is the new 30.  Or at least that's what everyone is telling me.  I think only people who are 40+ are staying it though!  hahahaha!  The lies we tell ourselves.

It's amazing how you can just wake up one day and your body just starts falling apart.  I have a bad hip, my knee hurts, I get shoulder pain...I sound like my grandmother!  All of the aches and pains are starting to set in, and it's not fun, let me tell you!  What is life going to be like in another 40 years? Along with that laundry list of ailments, I also have receding gums.  This is something I haven't given much thought to, but my dentist recently advised that I need to start paying attention to the way I brush my teeth to avoid further deterioration. 

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Thursday, July 26, 2018

DIY: Faux Shiplap + a Video!

DIY Faux Shiplap!  Get the shiplap look without the cost or commitment with this removable peel & stick wallpaper!    Midwestern Mama

Hey friends!  I have been talking about changing out my blue accent wall for a while now, and I finally did it!  If you have been following me for more than 5 minutes, you know I love anything blue.  Our entire house is grey (Sherwin Williams Mindful Grey to be exact), so when we moved in, I wanted a little bit of color and decided to paint this wall and our 1/2 bathroom a bright blue.  I loved it so much, but it was pretty dark, especially in a house that is already dark.  After we had the beams removed on our ceiling, the blue paint got a little bit messed up towards the ceiling, so this motivated me to proceed with something new and different.
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Thursday, July 12, 2018

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale PART 2

I'm baaaaaack!  With more fun stuff from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale!  I think my eyeballs may pop out of my head because I have been staring at my computer for so long!  But, it's worth it if I can help you guys navigate the sale and find what you have been wanting, needing...and maybe a few things you didn't know you needed (wink wink).

No really, in all seriousness, I do want to tell those of you who don't have a Nordstrom card, and aren't shopping the early access sale...that I don't want you to get a case of FOMO (fear of missing out).  Yes, things do sell out quickly.  And yes, if there is something you want and you wait until the public access on July 20, there is a good chance it won't be available.  BUT, there are always other sales and things often come back in stock eventually.  You may have to wait a while to get what you want at the price you want to pay, but I don't want anyone to feel like they HAVE to get a Nordstrom card and HAVE to shop this sale.

Bloggers make a big deal about this sale because it's rare that a retailer discounts NEW merchandise.  But, again, there will always be another sale, another cardigan, another bootie.  So, no FOMO, m'kay?

Now, moving on to the rest of the sale stuff I promised you.  If you missed Part 1 of the sale picks, you can go read that, and if you have questions about the sale, you may find the answers in this post.

Also, just a reminder that Nordstrom has free shipping BOTH WAYS!  So, if you are debating on something, I would go ahead and order it, see it in person, and then if you don't like it, you can send it back at no charge to you!


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Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Picks PART 1

It's here!  Incase you've been hiding under a rock, let me inform you that Nordstrom is having thier Anniversary Sale, and currently the sale is only open to Nordstrom cardholders.  You can read more about that in my previous post.

Sizes are already going fast, but I wanted to round up some of my faves in certain categories.  With SOOOOO many items for sale, it can be extremely overwhelming.  But, I have scoured through the pages and I am linking things I either ordered, wanted to order, or wish I had somewhere to wear!  I hope these are helpful to you and as soon as I receive my order, I will definitely share what worked and what I love!

Use the arrows on the left and right of the widget to scroll through each category.  I tried to add comments on most of the items, sharing why I chose them for my favorites list!  First up:


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Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Patio Reveal

We have had quite the transformation in our back patio area this year!  Shortly after we moved into this house, we noticed that the basement flooded frequently during heavy rains.  We had a few different specialists come out and offer their opinions and basically, our backyard sloped down towards our house, which meant all of the rain would pool at the foundation and cause our basement to retain a lot of water.  This was an issue we were going to have to address sooner rather than later.  

Swimming Pool Patio Makeover / Black and White Patio Decor

The amount of excavation work we would have needed was not something we were excited to spend money on. I shared in a previous post, we decided to install a swimming pool and kill two birds with one stone!  After all, a pool and a patio makeover is a much more fun way to spend your dollars than on plain ole dirt work!  
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Friday, July 6, 2018

Perfect White Dresses for Summer

I don't wear dresses often.  I'm much more of a jeans and t-shirt kind of gal, as I am sure you have gathered by now, but sometimes it's fun to change things up a bit and go girlie for the day!  I love a crisp, white dress in the summer.  They are so versatile because you can wear it alone, or throw on a jean jacket, add a cardigan, wrap something around your waist, or layer it over another shirt.  And, they look great against a sun-kissed glow!  This particular dress was calling my name, and it's the perfect, breezy, white summer dress.

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Monday, July 2, 2018

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale: What's the Hype?

The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale catalog dropped last week, and style bloggers everywhere went cray, flipping through the pages, scouring for the latest trends and deals.  Why?  Because this is the biggest sale that Nordstrom has on PRE-season items.  Usually, sales happen at the end of the season on items that need to be cleared off the shelves in order to make room for new stuff coming in.  But, this sale is unique and highly anticipated because you can score some really great fall/winter goodies at up to 40% off!  So, here's the scoop:

Nordstrom grants early access to it's cardmembers.  If you want to get in on the action before things sell out, you will need a Nordstrom credit card to do so.  Sometimes they restock certain things before opening the sale to the public, but a lot of times things sell out during the early access sale and those who wait just miss out.  If you want to guarantee yourself the best selection, you can sign up for a card HERE.  Early access starts July 12.

The sale opens to the public on July 20.  I know from experience that waiting can be really frustrating.  I did it a few years in a row because I didn't want another credit card, but I finally bit the bullet because you really do get a much better selection during early access.

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Thursday, June 28, 2018

The Search for the Best White Tee

The basic white tee.... It's such a classic, and a staple to any wardrobe.  You'd think it would be so simple to find a good one.  But, nope!  It can become so frustrating!  They can be too short, too sheer, have a weird neckline, too clingy, etc.  I went on the hunt, and tried several different brands, with different price points.  And you know what?  I found it!  Actually, I found more than one perfect white tee!  Cue the angels singing!

Keep reading my review to see which shirts won my heart!
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Friday, June 22, 2018

Lululemon: A Review

I finally took the Lululemon plunge!  And it only took about 4 bottles of champagne.  During my girls trip, back in April, my friends and I went to brunch, where they offered bottomless mimosas, and boy did we take advantage of that!  We stayed at the restaurant long enough to order 2 meals, and continuously drank mimosas the entire time.  When we finally decided we had had enough (or maybe the restaurant kicked us out--my memory is a little foggy), we proceeded to invade Lululemon and try on everything in the store.  Now, I was the only one of the group who didn't already own a pair of their famous leggings, so my friends were determined to convert me.  But, I will say I was planning on walking out of there empty handed, with no regrets, if I didn't just absolutely love them.  Because while I was sure they would have to be better than Old Navy, it's hard to beat $15 leggings, ya know?

Align legging / $5 tank (size down) / sports bra / shoes

Anywho, back to the story.  My friend was showing me around the store, and the salesperson who got stuck with me (poor girl) was extremely patient and tried to explain all of the different types of leggings to me...meanwhile, I was leaning up against the wall and searching for the nearest water fountain, while acting like I was paying attention.  I managed to take a few pictures while I was there, but I didn't get a lot, and some of the pictures I can't even tell which leggings I am wearing.  #drunkshopping #bloggerfail

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Thursday, June 14, 2018

Fresh Strawberry Sauce

Ahhhh, the smell of fresh strawberries!  There's nothing better than having that first taste of summer, especially if you have access to a strawberry patch.  The strawberries you buy from the store are just not nearly as good as the fresh goodness you can pick from a plant with your own two hands.  Any strawberries will do of course, but we were able to pick a load of fresh berries recently, so I was inspired to not let any of them go to waste!

Fresh Strawberry Syrup / Sauce  :  Midwestern Mama

I made this syrup, or sauce, or whatever you want to call it...heaven in a jar maybe?...for the first time two years ago, and it was delicious over pancakes, waffles, poundcake, oatmeal, angel food cake, ice cream, and we actually even made a cocktail out of it one night!  BOOM!  I mean, how could you say no to some sweet, boozy strawberries?

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Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Easy Chore Chart the Kids Actually Like

Summah summah, sumertime!  Now that the kiddos are home 24/7, I try to enforce responsibilities and chores more than I do during the school year.  They still have things they need to do on a daily and weekly basis throughout the year, but considering Chase is in school most of the day, then has homework and after school activities, sometimes I get a little lax simply because there just aren't enough hours in the day to get it all accomplished and still get to bed at a decent time.
A DIY Chore Chart Your Kids Will Actually Use! / Midwestern Mama

But summer is a different story!  More time = more responsibilities.  We have been using a clothespin type of chore chart for a few years now, and it has been working great!

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Friday, June 1, 2018

What I'm Ordering From Amazon This Month (April & May)

Hey guys!  Or should I say gals?  Maybe there are some guys who read this...  maybe.  
Anyway I'm back for another month of Amazon orders.  I was a super slacker and didn't get this post out last month, so this one will be a combo of April and May.  And considering it's now June, I will probably combine June and July time.  

Anyone else feel like Amazon gets half of your paycheck?  I am willing to pay it though because it's just so damn convenient!

For those of you who are not familiar with Subscribe and Save, I'll give you a run down below.  If you already know the ins and outs, please feel free to scroll on down!
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Wednesday, May 30, 2018

So This Happened....

It was a long winter y'all.  Like really long.   I mean it snowed in April for goodness sake!  Multiple times!  So, what do you do during a long, harsh, cold winter like that?

Well, hubs and I poured a glass of wine, lit some candles, snuggled up under the covers, and...

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Thursday, May 24, 2018

Nordstrom Half Yearly Sale

I was browsing the Half Yearly Sale currently happening at Nordstrom, and thought I would share some things that caught my eye.  I didn't choose a ton of stuff for this post, just the things I either have, or would consider purchasing myself.  With so many items on sale, it’s can be a bit overwhelming!  There are lots of really cute things on sale though, so you can check it all out right here.

If you have a wedding or an event coming up where you need a cute dress, they have so many adorable dress options!

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Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Trying to Find the Right Denim Shorts is Like Finding a Needle in a Haystack!

You would think that getting a pair of jean shorts would be a pretty easy task.  There are so many to choose from out there, but it's near impossible to find one that meets all of my requirements!  If you follow me on Instagram, chances are you have already heard me talk about most of these, but I know there are a lot of you sweet readers who aren't on IG, so I wanted to share this on my blog as well!  And with all of the Memorial Day sales coming up, I am sure most of these will be on major sale!

Denim Shorts Review / Midwestern Mama

I have been ordering and sending back several different pairs of denim shorts over the past couple of months and it finally donned on me that I should be taking pics and sharing this with you because if we can help each other find a decent pair without pulling our hair out, then we have succeeded at something in life!  I am all about little victories, and a good pair of jean shorts has a way of making me smile!

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Tuesday, May 15, 2018

DIY Wooden Towel Rack

When we remodeled the boys' bathroom last year, we added a couple of hooks for them to hang their towels up.  I had them strategically hung at a lower level so they could reach them, however, that also meant a little too much force was applied while a towel was being hung up.  Or maybe a child hung from the hook themselves just to see if it would hold him?  Just saying.  Needless to say, they started coming loose from the sheetrock very quickly and were about to fall out of the wall.

DIY Wooden Towel Rack / Backpack Hook  --  Midwestern Mama

I liked the functionality of having them at kid level, but we needed a better solution.  Placing a board behind the hooks provided the stability we needed while also covering up the existing holes!  It was a super easy fix and has been working out great!  I wanted to hide the screws behind the hooks so that the board would be nice and secure without visible screws.  It just makes for a cleaner looking towel rack, don't you think?

DIY Wooden Towel Rack / Backpack Hook  --  Midwestern Mama

I have been seeing a lot of people using this Old Barn Milk Paint stain and I was intrigued for a couple of reasons.  #1, its a one step stain!  Can I get an amen?  It's water based, so you just paint it on and that's it!  You can do as many coats as you want to, but I went with two for this project.  And #2, it is non-toxic.  Enough said.  This is the color Weathered.


1"x 8" board, cut to size.  I used a pine board cut to 28 inches
hooks--I used 3 (These are the ones I have because they match the other bathroom fixtures, but there are less expensive hooks available at Hobby Lobby or Amazon--I like these and these!)
2" construction screws
stain or paint (optional)
paintbrush or rag to apply stain or paint
wall anchor (optional)


Measure your wall and decide how long you want your board to be.  If you know your measurements when you purchase the board, Home Depot or Lowes will cut it for you!

If you are wanting to stain or paint your board, do that next.  Allow plenty of time for your board to dry before you screw it to the wall.  Determine how many hooks you want on your board and where you want the hooks placed on the board.  Use a stud finder to locate the studs on your wall.  Mark them with a pencil to determine where to place your board.  Ideally, you would want to secure the board to 2 studs, but that may not always work out, depending on where your hooks are going to be located.  So, just aim for 1 stud at a minimum and use a wall anchor for the 2nd (and possibly 3rd) screw of you think it is necessary.

DIY Wooden Towel Rack / Backpack Hook  --  Midwestern Mama

Use a drill to secure the board to the wall where your stud is.  Using your level, ensure your board is nice and straight before screwing the remaining screws into the wall.

DIY Wooden Towel Rack / Backpack Hook  --  Midwestern Mama

Attach your hooks over each screw to cover them.  And now you have a custom towel rack that not only looks great, but is super functional and kid friendly!

DIY Wooden Towel Rack / Backpack Hook  --  Midwestern Mama

***Some of the links in this post may be affiliate links, which means I may make a small commission.  Thank you for supporting my blog!

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Friday, May 11, 2018

Sausage and Cheese Tortellini Soup

Posting a soup recipe in May is probably not ideal, especially when it’s 90 degrees outside, but this is a fan favorite!  I usually make a crockpot full of this yumminess when we have people over or when I am bringing food to a party or pot luck.  Most recently, I made it for the teachers during teacher appreciation week, and I was asked numerous times for the I thought I'd write a blog post about it to share it with all of you and also have a point of reference for when I want to share it in the future!

Sausage and Cheese Tortellini Soup in the Crockpot!

I knew this soup was good, but the some of the teachers made me feel like Jamie Oliver with comments like "that soup is heaven in a bowl!", and "eating this soup is like getting a hug from your favorite grandma!"  I mean, they were so freaking nice and appreciative for the food that was made for them!  Teachers are amazing, aren't they?
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Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Have You Ever Heard of Mother's Day?

Mother's Day is this Sunday, incase you didn't already know!  I came across a video last year that has stuck with much so that I wanted to share it with you for Mother's Day this year.

Most of you know that my Mother's Day last year was a complete disaster, which included me crying in the parking lot of Home Depot.  If you missed that post, you can check it out here.  I don't have a lot of words to add to this post because the link I am about to share pretty much says it all.  Motherhood is a gift.  I know this with my whole heart because conceiving and giving birth to children did not come easy for me.  I tried and tried and tried so hard to get pregnant the 2nd and 3rd time, but that doesn't mean that the day to day grind doesn't get to me sometimes.  I don't take being a mom for granted, and I absolutely love the opportunity I have been given, but sometimes it's just plain hard.

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Tuesday, May 1, 2018

How I Motivate Myself to Workout in the Mornings

I have been working out consistently about 4 times a week (with the exception of a week off around Christmas and another week off around Spring Break) for over a year now.  I go through seasons of life where I am pretty consistent in working out, and then I have definitely been through seasons of pure laziness.  Before I had kids, I usually went to the gym after work, but there was a time period where I was working crazy long hours, so I started getting up early and working out before the sun came up.  I liked getting my workout over with before the day had even begun, but that eventually came to an end.   After having kids, I told myself I need all the sleep I can possibly get, so I started sleeping longer in the mornings to squeeze in every minute of ZZZZZ's I could before they woke up.

tank (only $5!) // sports bra // leggings // shoes

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Thursday, April 12, 2018

Kitchen Mood Board

I have been dreaming of updating our kitchen since we bought this house.  But, as I'm sure you are aware, the kitchen is usually the most expensive room in the house to we have been putting it off and tackling other smaller projects.  We don't have any set plans on when we will work on the kitchen, or even what we will do to it, but I have been saving ideas for a while now, so I thought I would share my thoughts with you.

We agree that the kitchen needs to be updated whenever we decide to sell this house (no plans to do that anytime soon), so we are currently of the mindset that we might as well update it sooner rather than later and be able to enjoy it instead of waiting and updating it right before we sell (whenever that may be).

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Monday, April 9, 2018

Opalhouse at Target

I am loving this new home decor line that just came out at Target!  The colors, oh the COLORS!  It's very much Anthropologie meets World Market, but the price points are very reasonable.  They have everything from furniture to dish towels and tons in between!

There is a lot to choose from, but I wanted to share some of my favorites,  I have seen what our store has on display and I have to say I was impressed with the textures and the quality!  The faux plants looked life-like, the velvet pillows were extremely soft, the poufs are absolutely adorable, and there are lots and lots of details that get lost in the pictures online.

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Friday, March 30, 2018

Easter Scavenger Hunt

This is a new-to-us tradition, one that came out of panic last year.

In our house, the Easter Bunny brings the baskets.  Mom and Dad don't get credit for them.  I am not sure how that got started, because honestly, I would appreciate a little credit sometimes, but at any rate, the Bunny gets all the least for now.  I love that Chase still believes in the Easter Bunny, so I am willing to give up my cred for as long as it takes!

As most of you know, we have 2 large dogs, who like to eat EVERYTHING.  Last year was the first Easter with them, and we knew we couldn't set eggs out for the boys without the dogs ruining each and every one of them.  We ended up doing an egg hunt at my brother-in-law's house, so the kids still got to have their fun and get their fill of candy, etc.  But, that posed an issue for how the Easter Bunny was going to deliver the baskets and not the eggs.  Since we were not doing an egg hunt at home, I decided it would be fun to do a scavenger hunt to find their Easter baskets.  It was a complete last minute decision...I quickly typed up some random clues (the clues were from the Easter Bunny), printed them on plain white paper, cut them out, and then frantically tried to hide them when no one was looking.

But, it was SO much fun!  The boys absolutely loved it and they were almost as excited about finding their baskets as they were on Christmas morning!  That excitement motivated me to do it again this year.  However, this year I have planned and prepped.  Such a nice feeling to have things planned instead of running around at the 11th hour, you know!  Live and learn.

Anywho, I wanted to share what I put together incase you are looking for a fun, new tradition for your little crew!  You could of course change the wording and make them personalized to suit your family.  I am attaching a blank sheet of the eggs along with the clues I typed up this year.

I ultimately decided to print the introduction on a separate page.  I wanted it to be larger because I am going to put it on the front if the Bunny left it there for them.  
Click HERE to access all of the free printables....both the blank egg sheets and the scavenger hunt clues from this year and last year.

What is one of your favorite Easter traditions?

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Tuesday, March 27, 2018

5 Random Facts About Me

Well hello there!  It's been a while.  I had a couple of posts 95% complete and ready to publish last week, and then computer issues arose and we went out of town, so I said forget it!  It's good to take a little break, even if it's not intentional.  Last week was Spring Break for us, and that meant a lot of togetherness...which is so fun for the first few days, and then I start thinking about that whole distance makes the heart grow fonder saying.  Kidding.  Sort-of.  Luckily, the boys and I had plans to venture down to AR for a few days, so that was a good distraction.  There's an amazing children's museum in Bentonville, AR, called The Amazeum and they absolutely love it!  We also got to celebrate birthdays for my niece and nephew while we were there!  So many yummy baby faces to kiss!

I thought I would share some random things about myself.  I love getting to know other people whether that be face to face or via the internet, and I thought this would be a chance for you to get to know me a little bit better!  So, here it goes...

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Thursday, March 15, 2018

Shepherd's Pie

Just in time for St. Patrick's Day, a recipe with Irish roots! 

Shepherd's Pie / Midwestern Mama  This delicious Irish-based comfort food meal is a family favorite!

We grew up eating Shepherd's Pie, but I haven't always been a fan of this dish.  It was one of 2 meals my dad prepared on a whim when he was in charge of dinner (the other meal being spaghetti).  I don't know if it was the can of Veg-all or the half a bottle of ketchup he added to his concoction that turned me off, but I always assumed all Shepherd's Pie was created equal and I didn't eat it for many years after I left home. 
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