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Life Lately: Fourth of July

We had an amazing Fourth of July! We are determined to do new things, make fun memories, and enjoy life this year. So much stress has been relieved since our big move and we are having more fun than we’ve had in years. This year we decided to take the kids to Carowinds for the big fireworks show. We bought Gold Passes earlier this summer so we can go whenever we want and park for free. We didn’t even leave our house until 5:30pm. There was no rush, no pressure to ride every ride, no frantic pace. It was just an easy stroll through the park, riding whatever rides we wanted, and having fun. 

Mason rode his very first roller coaster- The Intimidator! He loved it! Maia and Matt went on it with him. Zoey isn’t tall enough and I don’t like to pee in my pants. So we waited from the safety of the ground and took pictures.

We spent a lot of time in the Camp Snoopy section because Zoey is tall enough for all of those rides. And honestly, it was fun! We all enjoyed the Pirate Boats, the Hot Air Balloons, and the Spinning Cups. Camp Snoopy is just my speed. Ha!

We talked Zoey into going on her very first roller coaster too- the Woodstock Express! It’s like a mini roller coaster. It took her a few minutes to warm up to it but she enjoyed it! We even took a selfie to commemorate the occasion.

After Zoey’s roller coaster experience we left Camp Snoopy behind for dinner and then let the big kids hit a few more of the thrill rides. They did a few more roller coasters and big rides before we took a break at the fountain to listen to some live tunes and wait for the fireworks show to start. 

The fireworks were great! We had a great view and the kids loved them! It was definitely worth the drive and fighting the crowds.

After the fireworks we still had a couple of hours until the park closed so we hit up a few more rides and waited for the crowds to thin out. 

It was a great Fourth! This was the first year we haven’t attended our neighborhood’s annual party at the pool so we wanted to start a new tradition for the kids. Tyler had previous plans so he didn’t join us but the rest of us had a blast. 

Favorite Things Friday {7.6.18}

1. I’ve been working hard on getting the remaining things done in the new house. I’ve done a lot but it’s just the final few things that need to be finished- curtains in some rooms, wall decor, etc. We’ve had some rainy days lately so I’ve been dragging the family around to IKEA and Hobby Lobby and World Market and HomeGoods. They’re thrilled. Everyone wants their rooms done but nobody wants to know how it gets done. I’m currently working on finishing up the final details in the bedrooms and getting the 2 front rooms furnished and decorated. I’m not going to do a formal living and dining because it’s a waste of space so I’m doing an office/sitting room on one side and a bar/lounge on the other side. I found this amazing tree stump table at HomeGoods for the bar! I love it!

Zoey fell in love with this giant Bull Grill that we found at HomeGoods. She was very disappointed to find out it cannot live at our house. Honestly I think Matt was disappointed too. Ha! Then I had to dash her hopes of having her own princess carriage in the backyard. For $699 the princess carriage better come with a fairy Godmother and some dwarves to clean my house. Just sayin’. 

3. It’s been so nice in the evenings lately that we’ve been grilling out a lot! Between the grill and the Instant Pot I haven’t turned my oven on in over a month! We’ve done pork chops, tilapia, beer brats, and steak recently and I love the simple clean up! I love summer. LOVE IT!

4. I recently bought an air fryer. I’ve been working on stepping up my dinner game lately. We’re all tired of the same old stuff so I needed to change it up. The Instant Pot has been amazing and this air fryer was my next step. The first night I bought it we made chicken wings and french fries. Oh holy cow! The chicken wings normally take almost an hour in the oven to get crispy but they were done in less than 2o minutes in the air fryer! The french fries took 18 minutes and were so crispy! I’m in love! I can’t wait to make more stuff!

4. Matt bought a new car. He loved his Mustang so much that he bought another one. Tyler’s car needed about $7500 worth of work done and we weren’t willing to put that much into a car that is only worth $11,000. So we traded Tyler’s car and Matt bought a new Mustang for himself. So Tyler is driving Matt’s old Mustang. You’ve never seen a happier 17 year old. Now he needs to take his happy self and find a new job. Ha!

5. We fulfilled another item on our Summer Bucket List this week! We took the kids to see Jurassic World 2 and it was amazing! The kids loved it and so did we. Next up is Hotel Transylvania 3! 

Life Lately: Exploring Our New Hood

Moving close to the kids charter school means that we are already very familiar with the area immediately surrounding the school. But our new neighborhood is a different story. We are about 4 miles down the road from the main street with every single thing you could ever need- Target, Walmart, Lowes, Old Navy, and about a gazillion other things. Any place you can imagine to eat is on this one main street. So our main focus was figuring out where the other stuff is- the parks, the libraries, etc. We were driving home one evening taking a short cut that a friend told us about and we stumbled across the best park! We stopped and the kids spent over an hour climbing around.

Of course, one of the very first things we found was the nearest Target. Ha! 

And one of the next things we located was the nearest Little Caesar’s Pizza. If we get pizza take out it’s always from Little Caesar’s. You cannot beat the price when you’re feeding this many people and I’m addicted to their Crazy Bread. 

We also found the closest library to our new house. We are big library people. It’s no secret that I love to read- currently there are about 200 books on my Kindle TBR list. But Maliah and Zoey are also huge readers. Mason enjoys reading specific books- he loves nonfiction, the I Survived series, and a couple of other series. Other than that- no. 

We’ve really enjoyed learning our new area and finding new things. It feels brand new but it also feels like home because it’s so close to school. We really love it here!

2018 Monthly Goals: July


I accomplished a lot in June! It felt so good to get back on track and do some things that didn’t revolve around moving! ha!

June Goals:

1. Get the rest of the house unpacked. DONE-ish. I still have a couple of boxes but they are things that don’t have a spot yet so I’m waiting. 

2. Finish the decor in each room. DONE-ish. ha! The main living areas are done- kitchen, dining room, and family room. All 3 bathrooms are done. I’m 90% done in the bonus room. I’m only waiting for curtains in the master bedroom. And I’m getting there with the kids bedrooms. 

3. Figure out the backyard. DONE. It’s fantastic! I added a hammock, the hot tub, the trampoline, and then I had to figure out where to put everything. It took several weeks and lots of trial and error. Matt’s over it. ha!

4. Organize all the things. DONE. Every closet, cabinet, and drawer is organized. And it feels great. 

5. Take the kids on some outings. DONE. We did the zoo and the movies already. I did buy season passes for Carowinds so we’re going to do that soon. The kids are having a good summer so far!

July Goals:

1. Finish the kids bedroom decor. I’ve bought their new bedding and some of the decor. Now I just need to put it all together. 

2. Find some new recipes for the Instant Pot. I’m loving the instant pot. I want to use it all the time. Now I need new recipes to try! I’m scouring Pinterest!

3. Create a cleaning station in the laundry room. I have enough room and it will make life easier so I want to create a cleaning station in the laundry room with duplicates of all the cleaning supplies I use on a regular basis. It’ll be so much easier than carrying everything up and down the stairs. I already bought a stick vacuum for downstairs and it was life changing to not have to carry a vacuum up and down all the time. 

4. Finish the bonus room. I want to create an art center for the kids and I need to hang some things on the TV wall. I think I’m going to do movie posters. 

5. Sort through school uniforms. I need to list the ones we’ve outgrown for sale and make a list of what I need to get for the upcoming year. People will start listing things fast and furious in late July/early August and you have to be ready to jump on the things you need or they’re gone!

6. Furnish and decorate the front 2 rooms. They’re intended to be formal living and dining rooms but we won’t be using them as such. I’m doing a office/sitting room on one side and a bar/lounge on the other side. I’ve already ordered some of the furniture and I can’t wait to pull it all together! Decorating is my favorite part!


Favorite Things Friday {6.29.18}

1. I finally broke down and bought myself an Instant Pot. The big 8 quart one went on sale on Amazon and I snapped it up. I already have a handful of recipes saved and I’ve tried the spaghetti, orange chicken, and Bang Bang Shrimp already and they were aaaaaaamazing! So easy and so fast and cleanup was simple. I’m hooked! I cannot wait to build my recipe collection! I’ll be sharing some of the really good ones soon!

2. I’ve been waiting for a few years to get a large wooden sign with the Forever Young lyrics. I wanted one so badly but I had nowhere to hang it in the old house. Well in the new house I made sure to leave a wall free for my sign. And when Small Wood Home had a big sale last week I snapped up my sign. I love it. I love it so hard. And it’s perfect where I wanted it. 

3. There’s been a lot of Amazon Prime packages showing up on my doorstep lately courtesy of insomnia, margaritas, and late night impulse shopping. Luckily they’ve mostly been useful things…..although the giant bag of kitty litter wasn’t needed. Not sure what happened there. But the most recent purchase that arrived was a Quesadilla maker. And it’s awesome. How did I live without it before? No seriously, how? The first night I made 6 quesadillas in less than 15 minutes! The kids are thrilled!

4. So I was shopping at Sam’s Club recently for the necessities and this fabulous giant flamingo pool just flung herself into my cart. I mean, what was I supposed to do? It was kismet. So I named her Poppy and brought her home and now I love her. Ha! Seriously though, this pool is HUGE and amazing. It was on sale for $40 and it also doubles as a float for the lake. The kids love it and I love to sit in it and get some sun with a margarita. Basically I’m living my best life right now with my Hillbilly Hot Tub, my Flamingo pool, and summer. It’s awesome to be so happy and less stressed after 6 months of constant panic and stress. 

5. I’ve been enjoying the heck out of my hammock too! I can’t tell you how amazing it is to sit in a hammock with a new book and enjoy my backyard without being eaten alive by mosquitoes! We rarely used our huge back deck at the old house because we could not control the mosquitoes! Now we’re outside all the time and I love it.