Saturday, August 17, 2019

Faster Way to Fat Loss

Hey there friends!  I have jumped on the Faster Way to Fat Loss train and I am LOVING it!  If you don't know what I'm talking about, it's a healthy lifestyle plan that incorporates intermittent fasting, carb cycling and macro tracking.  I had been stalking people on social media who were following this plan and was shocked by their before and after pictures.  After months of dragging my feet, I finally decided to commit.  And boy am I happy I did!  After just 3 weeks, I feel amazing, have no more bloating, and my shorts are fitting looser!

The Faster Way really encourages you to stay off the scale.  But, I cheated.  Oops.  I mean, it's so hard to stay off the scale!  My coach, Ingrid, is going to get onto me for this, but I am so happy about the result, I really want to share it with you.  So, do you want to know how much weight I've lost in 3 weeks?  10 pounds!  Y'all, I can't even believe it.  And more than the number on the scale, I FEEL so good.  I have more energy, don't feel deprived, and I get to eat meals with my family instead of cooking separate meals for myself.

I've received several questions regarding the Faster Way to Fat Loss, so I am going to try and cover them here.  If you have any other questions, feel free to leave a comment below!

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Thursday, July 18, 2019

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale 2019

I was a little lackluster about the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale this year.  I think partly because a lot of the items they had were the same or very similar to items I already own.  Another part of me didn't want to spend a lot of money because we are currently in the middle of a mini makeover in our kitchen!  And looking at this pretty quartz (which was just installed a few days ago--so excited!) makes me happy we saved our pennies.

But, I did purchase a few things, and it's definitely a great time to snag something if you have been holding out for a sale or you need some pieces for fall.  I love ordering from Nordstrom because they offer free shipping BOTH ways, so you can try something risk free and ship it back at no cost to you if it doesn't work out!

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Monday, July 1, 2019

Why the Ford Explorer Should be Your Next Vehicle

I had the super fun opportunity to drive a 2019 Ford Explorer Sport for the weekend, courtesy of Midwest Ford Dealers, and let me tell you, I was impressed!  I have never owned a Ford, but after having this vehicle for several days, I am now highly considering it for my next car!  And the boys were extremely sad when we had to give it back to the dealership.  Whomp, whomp.  I wanted to share some of the uber cool features with you, so keep reading to see what blew me away.  If you prefer to watch a video of my review, scroll to the bottom of this post to see that!

Bells and Whistles:
As a mom, I really like having a third row for those times when you are bringing a friend home from school, or you just want to spread the family out on a road trip!  The Explorer does offer a 3rd row, with the option of either a middle bench seat or captain's chairs.  Because we have 2 kiddos in our family, the captain's chairs were a perfect fit.  They gave each kid their own space, and it was extremely convenient to have the walk through access to the back seat.  You can move each captain chair forward or backward, which is nice if you need more space for a cumbersome rear facing seat, or to allow more leg room in the third row.

The beautiful thing about the Explorer is that you still have trunk space when the third row is up!  So many 3rd row SUV's don't have this luxury.

One of my favorite features is the PowerFold third row, meaning the third row seats can be stowed at the push of a button!  You can choose to fold them, stow them, or just have one seat up and one seat down!  So many options depending on your needs.

Whether you have an Android or an iPhone, you can sync your phone with the Explorer's control panel.  The screen becomes a monitor for your phone.  I have an iPhone, so I could talk to Siri, access my contacts, play my music, and use my maps!  It is so nice to have access to the apps I am already familiar with.

Also, the entertainment system on the Explorer was amazing!  It has a wonderful sound system and you can customize the bass if you really like things thumping.

You can download an app that lets you control your Explorer from your phone!  You can lock and unlock your car from the app, and even automatically start it!  Proximity is not an issue, so you could be in the middle of Target and start the vehicle out in the parking lot!  And speaking of the automatic starter...This is such a wonderful feature for all seasons.  It's SO nice to have the ability to cool off your car on those blazing hot days and equally as nice to warm it up in the dead of winter.

And drumroll please....this is my FAVORITE feature of the 2019 Ford Explorer...
The hands-free, foot activated liftgate allows you to open and close the trunk by simply holding your foot underneath the back bumper!!!  With the key in your purse or pocket, you can have your hands full of grocery bags (or children) and open the trunk with your foot!  I want to buy this car for this feature alone!  This has been so fun to play with.  I bet I have opened the back hatch 100 times already because it's just so dang cool!

Safety Features:
As moms, we love all of the fun bells and whistles, but most importantly, we want to keep our family safe.  The Ford Explorer has SO many amazing safety features.  There are airbags built into the middle row seatbelts allowing an extra layer of protection for little bodies in the event of an accident.

Lane assist notifies you if you cross over a yellow line, ensuring you stay in your lane.

Side mirror lights let you know if a car is in the lane next to you or in your blind spot.

The SOS Post Crash Alert System will activate the horn and flashers in the event the airbags are deployed.  And this vehicle has tons of airbags to keep your family safe!

With front and rear cameras, you can see where you are parking/backing up to avoid running over that bike that was left in the middle of the driveway!  And, I loved that the rear camera has a washer!  I can't tell you how many times I have had to hop out and physically wipe off the camera on my car because it was dirty and I couldn't see.  This feature is incredibly handy.

It is 4 wheel drive with Advance Trac, which helps maintain control on ice, gravel or wet roads.  This is great for those of us midwesterners who deal with crazy winter weather!

Automatic high beams allows you to have your bright headlights on, and when the sensors detect an oncoming car, they will automatically convert to the regular headlight setting until after you have passed the oncoming vehicle.  No more switching back and forth between your brights!

I was also impressed with the cruise control.  You can set your speed at let's say 70 MPH.  If a car slows down in front of you, the Explorer will automatically slow down to mirror the speed of the vehicle in front of you.  When that vehicle speeds up or gets out of the way, the Explorer will speed up to reach the previously set cruise control speed!  This is SO handy to have if you do a lot of highway driving!

These are just a few things I wanted to touch on, but the Ford Explorer is packed with so many other great features, so be sure to check out Midwest Ford Dealers to see all of it's specifications and options!  #driveitlikeafordmom

Click this video below to see some of these features I mentioned in action!

Thank you to Midwest Ford Dealers for sponsoring this post and letting me experience the amazing 2019 Ford Explorer Sport. All opinions are my own.

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Thursday, June 20, 2019

Target BOGO 50% off Sale

Everyone's favorite sale is happening now!  Target is offering buy one, get one 50% off on women's dresses and shorts, women's sandals, and swimwear for the entire family!

As you may already know, I LOVE Target!  But, who doesn't?  I rounded up some of my favorite shoes and swimwear for you!  OH, and you can mix and match.  I ordered 1 swim item and 1 pair of sandals and the discount applied.  So, don't feel like you have to get two things from the same category....unless you just want to!

I wanted to make a few notes about the shoes I personally own.  You guys know my love for the rose gold Birkenstock knock offs!  They are SO extremely comfy and I have worn the heck out of mine!  I am ordering another pair because I love them so much!  These are a must have!

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Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Red, White and Blue

4th of July is just around the corner!  It's hard to believe because I always view the 4th as the halfway point for summer...which is a little sad to think we are that much closer to school starting up again.

We are headed to the lake with family to celebrate the 4th.  I love watching the fireworks over the water because it's like two shows in one!  I am looking forward to so many things.  The yummy food, the smell of fireworks, the laughter from loved ones, swimming in the lake, seeing how excited the kids's all just so great!

Let's hear it for all of the red, white and blue stuff that's out right now!  I like to dress for the seasons, but I feel like any sort of patriotic holiday inspires even those who are not necessarily into dressing festively to break out their stars and stripes!

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Sunday, June 9, 2019

Father's Day Gift Ideas

A few weeks ago, I asked you guys for help on gift ideas for my husband's birthday, and boy did you deliver!  I wanted to put a post together with all of the great ideas because we can all use a little help in that department, am I right?  Men are so hard to shop for!

If you need a gift idea for any man in your life, check out this Ultimate Father's Day Gift Guide!  Save it to reference later because men are so hard to buy for!   *

With Father's Day coming up, this is the perfect time to check out some of these suggestions, and if you don't need any ideas this year, then be sure to save this post to reference later!  Most of them are available on Amazon Prime, so there's still plenty of time to get it before Father's Day!
I will link what I can.

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Wednesday, May 22, 2019

My picks from the Nordstrom Sale

I had a few minutes last night, so how did I spend them?  Browsing the Nordstrom sale, of course!  I was really surprise by all of the goodies they have marked down right now, so I rounded up some of my faves!

Nordstrom Sale picks!  Come check out the best of the best during Nordstrom's sale!  So many great things marked down.  Hurry before it ends!

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Friday, May 17, 2019

Summer Sandals

Happy Friday, friends!  This week has been insanely busy to say the least.  May has proven to be a busier month than December, and I am ex-haus-ted!  With all of the end of school year festivities, I feel like my head has been spinning and I'm just trying to keep up.  On top of everything else we have going on, my dog went missing Wednesday.  After we searched  and searched and searched, he finally came wandering back into our yard uninjured.  Don't you wish you had a video camera to see what your pets are up to all day?  That punk had us so worried!  I'm just glad he made it back home safely.  To say I'm excited for the weekend is an understatement!  I will be cracking open one of those Strawberry Lemonade Natural Lights fo-sho!

Today I am sharing some fun summer sandals from American Eagle!  They have a great selection of shoes and the prices are hard to beat.  Currently, all of the AE and Aerie brand sandals are ON SALE, so you can score some amazing deals on these and more!

I love being able to snag super cute summer sandals at affordable prices!  I rounded up some adorable sandals and you won't believe the prices!   Midwestern Mama

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Thursday, May 2, 2019

Planting Spring Pots

I honestly can't even believe I am writing this post because I have never been one to think of myself as having a green thumb.  I have killed succulents, air plants, aloe, and even lucky bamboo.  That probably isn't very lucky, is it?

Container Gardening:  How to create beautiful flower pots with the Thriller, Spiller, Filler method!  Midwestern Mama #containergardening #flowerpots #annuals #flowers

But, over the past few years, I have planted a random assortment of annuals in pots and placed them around the patio and driveway area and they just bring me so much joy when they are in bloom!  I love the variety of colors and textures and I think it's fun to mix and match them to get an endless number of different outcomes!

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Saturday, April 27, 2019

Sofia Jeans Collection from Walmart

Hey friends!  Happy weekend to ya!  We have a super chill weekend planned and I am SO looking forward to it!  My sons both want to hit up some garage sales (trying to make their allowance dollars stretch a little further), so we may venture out and see what treasures we can find.

Have y'all seen the new Sofia Vergara collection at Walmart?  It's so stinking cute!  I ordered a couple of things and I was very impressed, so I hopped on the website to see what other goodies they have and there are lots of adorable pieces!

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Thursday, April 11, 2019

IKEA Tarva Dresser Makeover

So far, 2019 has been the year of finishing things I meant to do in 2018.  And I have to say, I am off to a pretty good start!

One thing I have been able to check off my list is finally getting this dresser completed for Beckham's room.  After making his bed last year (I will get a post published on that soon), I wanted to find an unfinished dresser, which I could stain with the same Old Barn Milk Paint stain to coordinate.  Finding an unfinished dresser was more difficult than I thought!  Enter good ole IKEA!

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Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Things That Made Traveling Easier, and What I am Ordering For Our Next Trip

We are just back from our trip to Paradise Island, Bahamas, and I am in full laundry mode.  WHY is there always SO much laundry to do whenever you leave town?  It seems like we go through so many more clothes.  Anyway, we had a really great time and it was definitely nice to feel that warm sunshine after the harsh winter we have endured!

I wanted to share a few things that made traveling a little easier and also a few things I saw other people had that I immediately put in my Amazon shopping cart to have for our next trip.

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Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Curling Wand Hair Tutorial

A while back, I asked you guys what you would like to see from me, and one of the requests was for a hair tutorial!  So, although I am no expert, I put together a little video to show you what I do when I actually take the time to curl my hair.

I have been using this wand for several years now and I love it!  It is super inexpensive, but it holds curl better than any other wand or curling iron I have tried in the past.  I will link all of the items I mention in the video.  Scroll down to shop the post.

Shop the Post:

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Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Easy Instant Pot Taco Soup

I love a good, hearty soup! It has been colder than a polar bear's toenails here in the midwest and cold weather always makes me want warm, comforting soups.  This Taco Soup is a favorite because #1), it's super easy to make, and #2), three out of four people in this house will eat it...and that's a win in my book!  It's amazing served with some cheese quesadillas (which is what family member #4 usually eats when we have this soup).

I shared this recipe on Instagram previously, but I wanted to post it here also because I know not all of you are on the 'gram!  And, it's good to have an actual post to refer back to.

Easy Taco Soup / This hearty soup is sure to please everyone and is easily doubled for a crowd!   /  Midwestern Mama

I use my Instant Pot to make this simply because I can make the entire thing in one dish and not have to clean any other pots.  Can I get a hallelujah?  But, you could definitely make it on the stovetop or the crockpot.  Seriously though, if you don't own an Instant Pot, HOW ARE YOU SUCCEEDING AT LIFE?  I use mine at least once a week, if not more.  It is a workhorse, and I love it so!  

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Friday, March 1, 2019

American Eagle Try On

One of my most frequently asked questions is in regards to my overly distressed pair of jeans.  Whenever I post a pic of them, I always get asked where they are from.  I got them at American Eagle...but 3 years ago.  Last year, AE did not have a pair that in my opinion equaled the fabulousness of mine, but this year they came through!  And, they are exactly the same as the originals!  And, American Eagle is currently having their friends and family sale, so most items are 30% off!  

I'm sharing these highly coveted jeans and the rest of the goodies I recently tried on below.  Warning, there are lots of awesome finds...and one major dud.
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Friday, February 22, 2019

Ready or Not...Swimsuits Are Here!

I am so conflicted because I so badly yearn for that spring and summer sunshine hitting my face and giving me a glow!  BUT, I am not looking forward to shedding this sherpa pullover that has become part of my body, only to find out that what I thought was padding from my fluffy shirt is in fact my own personal padding.  Winter.  It has a way of creeping up on me...and taking residence in my thighs.  

But, like it or not, swimsuit season is around the corner.  And for some of us, that corner is getting closer and closer.  We usually lay low for Spring Break, but this year we are joining the best of them and taking the boys to the beach!  Despite my lack of enthusiasm for donning a swimsuit, I am SO excited to get the heck out of this midwest weather and get some vitamin D!

Naturally, with a beach trip coming up, I have been on the hunt for all things beachy...including swimsuits.  Below, I'm sharing a few that I've recently ordered along with some others that caught my eye.
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Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Lovin' Lately

Hey friends!  It's been a LONG time since my last Lovin' Lately post, so it's well overdue!  I have a few things I thought about writing individual blog posts on, but then considering the reality of that actually happening was little to none, I decided to combine them all here!

I have been stalking the Ugg McKay boots since last year.  I love my Uggs, but I love that these aren't so bulky.  However, I didn't want to spend that much on them.  Then, I came across these for a fraction of the price!  I wanted to try them to see if they were cheaply made, but I have practically lived in them since they arrived!  They have a wool blend lining, are warm, and super comfortable!  I am so happy with this purchase!  I love that they keep my feet toasty without feeling like clown shoes.  I got my normal size.

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Friday, February 15, 2019

January Instagram Roundup

All I can say is thank goodness January is OVER!  With the crazy weather we had here in the midwest, it seemed like the longest month ever in the history of...ever!  I know winter is nowhere close to being over, especially considering we are getting another winter storm this weekend, but if I keep thinking spring thoughts, maaaaayyyybe spring will come sooner than later???  It seems that damn groundhog was a bit confused this year.  The kids aren't going to know what to do when they have to actually go to school for an entire week!  It seems like they have been home more than they have been at school.  They love it now, but come May, they will be ready for SUMMER!

Here's the roundup for last month.  Click on the picture to see which items are linked.  As always, I try to link exact items, but when those aren't available, I do my best to find a similar one for you!

I'd love to know if there is something you are shopping for currently.  Vacation clothes?  Spring style?  Anything in particular?  Let me know!  Have a great long weekend, friends!  Any fun plans for President's Day weekend?  

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Friday, February 8, 2019

Coconut Cashew Squares (Whole 30 Compliant)

You GUYS!  I can't believe I have not shared this yet!  I typed it up several months ago, and it's been sitting in my drafts just waiting.  Today is your lucky day!  It's no secret I have a major sweet tooth.  That's one of the reasons I wanted to do Whole 30 for the second get a handle on my sugar addiction, which was out.of.control!  (You can read my thoughts regarding my second round of Whole 30 here)  But guess what you can't have when you're doing Whole 30?  Yep.  Sweets.  Bummer, huh?  Enter these delicious coconut cashew squares which are pretty much sent from heaven!

These Coconut Cashew Squares are sent from heaven!  Whole 30 and Paleo approved!  /  Midwestern Mama

Now, technically you're not supposed to substitute processed sugary treats for other sweet things while you are on Whole 30.  All of the Whole 30 rule followers are going to slap me on the hand for that.  The idea is that you are trying to train your brain to stop craving sweet things, especially after a savory meal, when you wold most likely have dessert.

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Tuesday, February 5, 2019

How to Add a Pom to ANY Hat!

The pom pom craze is REAL!   And, I'm not mad about it.  I love having a fur ball (or two) on top of my head!  The truth is, I feel a little naked wearing hats that don't have a pom on them!  They are just so fun!  And cute!  I have a few beanies that are just plain (no pom), so I decided to spice them up by adding a little fluff to the top!  

Add a Pom to Any Hat!  Turn a regular beanie into a pom beanie for under $3.  This super easy project requires zero skills and is so easy you will be adding poms to all of your hats!  See more at

I happened to find some cute fur balls at Hobby Lobby and they turned out to be the perfect accessory to an otherwise boring hat.  My store had several different colors to choose, white, brown, grey, and some that were a mixture of the previously mentioned colors.  And the best part is, each pom cost $2.99!  If you use your 40% off coupon, and an existing beanie, this project could potentially cost you a whopping $1.80!  If you are in need of a beanie, my Hobby Lobby store had those as well.  
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Tuesday, January 29, 2019

JCPenny Try on

Hey chicas!  I have taken a little break from shopping and buying.  Kind of an unofficial, unplanned break, but I was just worn out and over it by the time Christmas rolled around!  Anyone feel that way?  But, now the stores have refreshed their inventory, and I am also feeling refreshed!  I stopped in JC Penny the other day to make a return, and I was surprised by so many cute things out on their racks!  Naturally, I decided to do an impromptu try on sesh for ya!  

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Tuesday, January 22, 2019

How I Painted My Tiled Kitchen Backsplash

We have been talking about renovating our kitchen ever since we moved into this that's over 3 years of cussing and discussing.  We go back and forth because it's not the worst kitchen you've ever seen, however, there are some changes I would like to make.  But then something comes up, or we get busy and put it on the back burner.

Painting your tiled kitchen backsplash is an easy, inexpensive way to refresh your space for less!  For under $100 you can completely transform the room!  This is a DIY even the unskilled can tackle!

Kitchen renovation talk has recently come up again.  I love that our kitchen is all white, but it's very dated, and there are things I would love to change.  Ideally, I would love new cabinets that extended to the ceiling (getting rid of that soffit), a new countertop with an extended bar area for counter height bar stools, a farmhouse sink, new backsplash, and updated appliances.  So, the practical husband is asking WHY would we pay all of that money to have ANOTHER white kitchen?  Because it's better I tell him.  But, he's not super into that answer.  Go figure!  ha!

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Monday, January 14, 2019

New Year, New Goals

Tonight I'm gonna party like it's 1999!  Is anyone else feeling extremely old knowing that was 20 years ago.  TWENTY.  I'm officially a grandma.

So, it's a new year.  And that means everyone is setting new resolutions and goals.  I have been thinking a lot lately about my goals and what I want from this space, and just life in general.  It's so overwhelming sometimes to look at the bigger picture, but it's good to sit down and evaluate things periodically.

I struggle with finding a balance between managing this blog and also being a mama.  I started this blog as a creative outlet for myself, hoping that one day it would turn into something more.  I didn't really have a timeline or a goal for myself, but just the hope that by the time Beckham went to kindergarten, I would have established myself enough to try and grow this into a small business.  This plan seemed easy enough, but it turns out that this blogging world is SO incredibly time consuming.  Not having been on social media prior to starting the blog, I was unaware of how much time is involved in writing not only blog posts, but then also posting on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest.  Coming up with content, taking pictures, editing pictures, writing captions, linking items, etc.  It takes a whole heck of a lot longer than you may think.

New Year, New Goals!  This is the year of being who I want my kids to become.  Who's with me?  Midwestern Mama

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Monday, January 7, 2019

December Instagram Roundup

January is usually a rather slow month for us, but this year is going to be an exception to the rule!  Things are happening at the French household, and it's crazy how quickly this month is going to flying by.  This nice weather we have been having is so fabulous!  I usually dread January and February in the midwest because it's grey and cloudy and just rather depressing.  To have not only the sunshine, but also weather warm enough to play outside has been good for everyone's soul!

I am rounding up the looks I shared for the month of December, so you can check them out below.  To shop the looks, just click on the photo!  If I was unable to link an exact item, I do my best to find a similar option for you.

A little tip:  If you see something you like, but don't want to purchase it right now, you can click the little heart to make it a favorite.  ShopStyle will then email you when that items goes on sale!  It's so handy!

The pictures aren't showing up on the email version of this post, so you will need to open the email in your browser to view them,  If you still can't see the widget below, you may have to pull this up on your desktop.  It works on my phone, but I have heard from some of you that you can't see it.  So, check it on a computer and you should be good to go!

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