Deals · Family · knoxville

How I am staying organized these days

Yall…It’s one of those days. I have already run 100 errands this morning and now I am back home and ready to crash. But, oh. Yeah. I can’t. Why? Because my life is insanity all the time!

Yes, I am technically considered a stay at home mom, but let me tell you why that isn’t always the easiest.

We have one child in school (thank goodness that is almost over for the summer!) and one who stays home with me. So every day, we take Ford to school and then the madness starts. (Cash is a tiny tornado, so the longer I am home, the more he is terrorizing the house. It’s madness.)

I have dishes and laundry nonstop-and my dear gosh-pray for me when this baby gets here. I have a strong feeling it isn’t going to get easier.

Doctor appointments are an every week thing….and here is why. One kid in school means sickness NONSTOP. Literally, I have to pick him up early for an appt today. Then he likes to pass on his sicknesses to the other kid a week later. Let’s just say our docs know us well….

Not to mention, all the preggo appts I have to go to. ( I am considered a high-risk pregnancy because of my high blood pressure with past pregnancies so I go every 2 weeks.)

This month, every Tuesday and Thursday we have swim lessons and physical therapy for Ford’s knee. (Yeah we are trying to fix a knee injury from when he was 2.)

And of course, all the blog things going on now…Which I refuse to complain about! You all have been amazing at keeping me busy, and I love it! But I want you to know, this blog venture isn’t always easy. Maybe one of these days, I will try to give you the rundown of what each blog post entails!

I also work in the office one day a week for a Non-Profit Foundation. Let me tell you, I LOVE my job! I get to find people to donate money to and that is pretty darn fun. But with that, comes board meetings that I have to prepare for, meet with potential NPO’s to work with, emails, phone calls, work conferences, etc. That all can’t be done during one day, so my work week is whenever I have a moment to take care of those things….a lot of times….in the carline to pick up my son, driving to appointments, just whenever!

Now throw in all the day to day things that happen, and really, life can get messy if I don’t somehow stay organized! I want to share with you all how I do it!

1. My phone calendar

This is where I immediately insert every appointment as soon as I know about it. (For a long time my phone calendar didn’t work and I kept a little calendar in my purse!) This keeps me organized on the go…

But I like a backup….so…..

2. My Picture it Custom Calendar

This is my newest addition to the calendar family..and it’s so fun! I am doing my best to start meal planning a bit better, and this has a place for my meals, things to do weekly, monthly, and daily. I even have a “goals” section! It’s metal, so I can use my dry erase markers and this way we can edit as we go!

Check out our month here….

How cute that our name is at the top?? And for everyone who doesn’t know, believe it or not, it’s pronounced “Cook”!

Make sure Click here to buy one of these awesome customized family calendars, or any of the awesome things Picture it Custom has to offer… I am telling you…they are amazing! Every item they make is gorgeous!

My favorites are the Metal prints and Wood pallet prints. Their prices are amazing and the quality is phenomenal!

Check out their showroom here..

(How flipping cute is all that????? I want every piece!)

Better yet, they are a local business right here in Knoxville! Believe it or not, they are only 4 minutes from my house, so I obviously am going to support them being a little Fountain City business! ***Can I take a minute to tell yall, it’s time to shop small, OK? Little businesses need our support, and I guarantee you there are places in your hometown that could really use your love and support! Let’s build up our little towns friends!***

Now, I know plenty of your photographers could use them in your line of work, and all of their items make such wonderful gifts! (What a great surprise it would be to anyone who chose you to freeze their moments in time over another photographer!)

And all you picture fanatics like me: Sometimes you need to print those pictures off and use them as a statement piece in your house. Now is the time to do it! And what an amazing present for a bride to be, anniversary gift, or a special keepsake for a momma to be. Just thinking out loud here people.

Make sure to follow Picture It Custom on Instagram for fun giveaways and all the newest products Here! *Fun giveaway coming soon…FYI I may or may not be hosting it on my Instagram page over at @SmittenWithThree_blog TODAY!!!!!*

And if you are local, stop in and see them! Take a look at the showroom and meet the owners. They are awesome people! (Fun fact: They have 2 boys with a baby girl too!)

Ok now that my local business rant is over, make sure to look them up on IG, follow, support, and come back to tell me you did….I want to know!

All the love dolls πŸ’‹

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Family · Home · kids · pregnancy

When it rains it pours

Not gonna lie, this isn’t the blog post I wanted to share today. But feeling like I need an outlet, I came to you friends on the blog!

Just hopping right in, Ford has been really sick for the past 3 days and we can’t figure out what it is. Cash had a fever on Wednesday, and by Thursday evening it was gone! Well, come Friday morning, we had another sickie on our hands, and his has been 100 times worse.

So Friday was his ONE AND ONLY field trip of the year. We have been looking forward to this day since he started Kindergarten! It was a day at the zoo, and I got to be a chaperone! We were so beyond excited, just for him to wake up feeling a little off on Friday. “Mom, are you going to make me stay home?” Is the response I got when I asked if he wasn’t feeling well. That totally broke my heart, so I let him go to school. Well, I met him at the zoo and gathered up my troop for our fun day!

Not too long into the trip, I could tell he was REALLY off. I felt his head and realized the poor child has a fever. It’s not good. He won’t smile. He hasn’t laughed. Did’t point out one animal. Wouldn’t eat. Not good. So I gave him a dose of Motrin and hoped he could last the 2 more hours. Nope not even close.

This kid is ACTIVE ya’ll. He loves to run and play and be outside, and when he told me he couldn’t walk anymore I knew it was bad. So we happened to run into his teacher not long after, and she let us know we could go home. I felt awful! I was the chaperone for the trip and had to leave…Thank goodness another Mom came and took over for me. So we made our way out and the poor child was so so sad. Which made me sad. And then began the tears. ( I’ll leave it to the imagination as to who was crying.)

So we came home and the rest of the day was miserable. I assumed by Saturday afternoon he would be back to normal like baby bro, but that wasn’t the case. (It seems like everything Ford gets is so much worse than Cash!) So late last night, he asked for a drink -I handed it to him and he could barely hold the cup up! So we went to the ER thinking the FLU was our diagnosis. Nope-it’s just something viral that somehow mimics the flu. No strep. No pneumonia. (Which-whew! Relief! But now they can’t offer him a medication to improve.) So we came home, he slept a couple hours then woke up throwing up. Sheesh.

So all we can do is give him Tylenol and liquids and do our best to keep him comfortable! We have tried baths, essential oils, cold washrags on his head, vinegar soaked socks (that lasted all of 5 minutes) and plenty of cuddles.

We finished washing all of the pukey things, and as soon as I started another load-the washer broke. Trying to look on the bright side here…at least we washed the puke-nastiness! So now we have a washer full of water and wet clothes, a sick kid, and a tired mommy. This is the life ya’ll.

Not to mention today is Monster Jam day! I went to Chick Fil A with my dad last week to try and win tickets for my boys…and somehow we won!!!!! But since he is sick, Ford is stuck at home with baby bro parties at Monster Jam with the grandparents. That makes 2 events in 3 days he missed on account of fever. (And it is killing me that he can’t go and enjoy. He loves it so much! )

This year has just been so awful for sickness for this kid–he has been sent home for fever more times than I can count, and most of them have been on the REALLY fun days at school. And let me tell you, no child deserves those fun days more than he does! (Ok overboard Mom moment, but really, he is phenomenal.) He works so hard, never has to be reprimanded and is always respectful….(All things I have been told by the staff at his school.) He deserves all the fun days. Low and behold, he has been sick almost every time. It’s not fair! It’s time for a break yall.

Thank goodness we leave for Florida in just over a month, and let me say, it is NEEDED. I am craving the heat and ocean! And I am craving a good time with my family–who is with me?

So I guess I just needed a way to vent and hope you all will send him all the well wishes and that tomorrow is a better day. Hoping your weekend is going well and I’ll have a more upbeat post soon! Thanks for letting me vent friends!

And as always,

All the love dolls πŸ’‹

Family · kids · pregnancy

Gender Reveal

You guys! We finally know what this baby is…I say finally, but really, I am only 15 weeks along. That is pretty early to find out via ultrasound, but thanks to my best friend being an ultrasound technician, I didn’t have to wait for my doctor to tell me at 18-19 weeks. (Hallelujah!)

The first time we tried to see gender, I was 13 weeks along. Cali said she would TRY to see, but made no promises. So she checked, and last minute, I decided I didn’t want to find out…I would just wait for the little gender reveal party! She then proceeded to make a guess as to what she thought it was, but said she couldn’t be 100% sure. Either way, she told Dale and my sister what her best guess was, and I was left in the dark.

The whole time, Dale told me he was 100% sure he knew what it was (despite what Cali said.) He said Cali told him what to look for in the ultrasound, and he said he “saw what he needed to see.” I just left it at that hahaha. So I made him write down in an envelope what HE thought it was….and seal it up in an envelope. Funny enough, he didn’t trust me to NOT look at it. (I can’t lie–A few times I was SO TEMPTED to peek. But I never even ONCE picked up the envelope. On my honor.)

So just in case I was to try to look through the envelope, he wrote BOY on one side…..like so.

But when you unfolded it….It said NOT A BOY…….. Well played husband. Well played.

And on the flip side……it said GIRL

Now I obviously didn’t see this until after our reveal, but still wanted to share this fun little detail… Really…He was right all along! ( I am telling you, he knows me better than I know myself.)

Now I have felt like it was a girl since Day 1. With my boys I wasn’t sick AT ALL. This time I was nauseous every day for 10 1/2 weeks. I also didn’t have pregnancy cravings like I have with this girl! It has just been so different, I just knew it HAD to be a girl this time. But, you know how it goes. Plenty of times, mothers “intuition” kicks in….and the girl they thought they were having….is 100% a boy. So of course, I had some doubts.

Now our gender reveal was SIMPLE.

Actually, my husband did it all! We just had a few family members over and did a cupcake reveal. My daddy made the cupcakes and brought them over (And I swear the man should go into the cupcake business. They were BOMB.) He still had no idea what baby was, so Dale then took 2 of the cupcakes-one vanilla/one chocolate-and filled them with whatever color icing the baby would be! He even decorated the cupcakes and all! I was a proud wifey for all his hard work…….Lord it even caused him to miss almost half a basketball game ( his team was playing) and he still put so much work into them and had a smile the whole time. Actually a pretty snarky smile. He loved actually having a secret from me. Brat.

The plan was to let everyone grab a cupcake and then as we all bit in, 2 people would know what baby was and would have to share! Last minute, Dale and Daddy decided to make sure I got a cupcake with icing (Yeah I was pretty happy about that decision too. I was the first to see, were having a GIRL!)

* I still haven’t found out what the Batman wrappers were about…I have to get the scoop there hehehe *

My uncle got the other cupcake and he was just a split second behind me…We got it all on video for those who want to see…Just ask and I will be happy to show you! Funny enough, my grandfather was DEAD set on picking the right cupcake…..And he did! Then he realized it was chocolate and he wanted a vanilla one….so he gave his away. Hahahaha ain’t that life?

Check our dale’s Handiwork here…..

I am also just not realizing our confetti was fish. Random. Fish and Batman….I guess that is a good way to throw people off. Hahahahahaha. Oh another thing….One of the cupcakes had a slight swirl of blue icing…This made me think for a split second I was wrong about being pregnant with a girl…and later found out that was just a mistake (that he left on purpose to throw us all off.Again. Brat.)

All in all, it was a fun reveal and I was so happy my husband took the lead in it! I am usually the party planner, so this was a nice little mix-up!

We found out Sunday that baby is a girl, and by Monday morning at 9:30 I was already shopping for her. This baby may be what sends us to the poor house–I seriously thought it would be feeding my boys, but now I am thinking buying bows may be what sends us over the edge.

Again, excuse the pictures. I managed to snap them in a split second before we chowed down…I was fortunate to get these! At least you get the gist and now everyone knows, IT’S A GIRL!

Pray for my budget, and pray that my husband doesn’t get wrapped around her finger so bad he forgets who the REAL princess is. πŸ˜†

That’s it for today…But of course,

All the love dolls πŸ’‹

Beauty · Fashion

DecoscentsLab- Perfume Workshop

Ok, so we all know what it’s like to perfume shop. The WORST. The salespeople are pushy. You don’t exactly know what you want. Everything is expensive.

To say the process is annoying is an absolute understatement. But I have found the easiest and most enjoyable way to shop for perfume-and you make it to fit exactly what you want.

I was invited by Susan over at Deco Scent Lab for a perfume making workshop and ladies-I had the time of my life! I was there was there with 5 other fantastic women I had never met before, and we seriously had such a blast making a scent that was unique to each one of us. Before this workshop, I had never heard of such a thing-but now I am in love! I want to walk you through the process and by the end, I guarantee you will want to make your own personalized bottle of perfume as well!

Susan Verekar runs Deco Scent Lab and is a transplant here from Oregon! (What a trip!) She is oh so lovely–I’m not kidding dolls-Sweet as sugar! On a trip to Paris, she wanted something fun to do and took a perfume making class-she instantly fell in love. After her experience with a master perfumer, she wanted everyone else to have a chance to make their own signature scent-and look! Here we are! So here is how it works–there are over 100 perfume oils to choose from (overwhelming? You would think so, but not even close) and Susan helps walk you through which ones to start with. Is there a certain perfume you love and would like to try to recreate? She can do that! Do you know there is a certain smell (Like vetiver, coconut, apple, pine) you like, but not sure how to make a suitable scent? She can help with that!

*We just kind of started smelling the oils and deciding what we wanted our scents to smell like. I was so surprised at what I chose–and the great part is-you don’t have to pick just one scent! See below*

So you create 3 different scents based on the oils you like, and out of those 3, you choose 1 scent to make a large bottle of! It’s so simple and did I mention–the champagne?? We had drinks and laughs nonstop. Again-I happened to be with women I had never met in my life and had that much fun-now imagine how much of a party it would be if you were there with your #girlsquad. Your family. Your bridal party. Your workmates. Your hubby. Such a blast yall!

OHHH and the fact that you could make a cologne for your hubbs that you are attracted to? How insanely intimate is that? Did you know that scents trigger memories more than any other of the 5 senses we have? So make a memory y’all! I am totally in love with this idea.

Let’s talk about my perfume. The scent I made for myself seriously smells like the beach in a bottle. . It’s got a light coconut smell with a fun pineapple twist. I spray it in my hair almost every morning! I have had so many people ask me what perfume I am wearing, and I love to tell them I created it myself! (And then of course brag Susan up—I am telling you. I am in love with her!)

The other girls perfume’s smelled heavenly-exactly like ones you would buy in your favorite department store at upwards of 100.00. (Give them a follow on IG-these women are so talented! Lou in Knox is the cutest Knoxville blogger/ Rose Moss Fluers makes some of the most beautiful flower arrangements EVER and Whitney is a fabulous #Knox photographer)

It’s so much fun knowing you made your own signature scent ladies. And if you totally fall in love, don’t worry-You can recreate your scent later on. Susan keeps the formula so you can make/order another bottle!

If you want to get a group up for a workshop, go see Susan at Decoscentlab.com. Now, y’all know how I love me a talented creator? Well Susan is just that. She designs some of the most beautiful handbags I’ve ever seen and now has this phenomenal business that brings so much joy to the everyone who meets her! Take her class and I promise you won’t be disappointed.

Grab your besties. Grab your momma. Grab Granny and go make your own perfume! I obviously over-enjoyed myself at this little workshop and I want you all to experience the fun too!

Schedule a workshop of your own here.

*Shoutout to The Hive Knox for the amazing space and decor-Perfect event venue for any local Knoxville friends! *

Thanks for following along and of course,

All the love dolls πŸ’‹

Family · Home · kids

Cereal and Hot Chocolate

It’s time for a shoutout.

Ready? It’s for my oldest baby. This kid is amazing. I mean like—phenomenal, and I feel like we as parents always seem to put child no.1 on the back burner for a minute to try and not let child no.2 be a total butthead. (We slack as parents on kid 2. Don’t deny it.)

But this first child? He catches on to everything. He is smart-beyond smart and his little mind goes where other 5 years olds don’t always wander. Ford is always digging deeper into issues than we could ever even imagine he would go, and at the same time, we find him digging himself deeper into our hearts. He wants to understand death. He wants to know how our heart/brain keep us going. He wants to know how trains can wreck if they are always on tracks. (This one I loved) His wonderment blows us away.

He has always had an interest in books and has loved me reading to him since since day 1! He was turning pages in books by himself since he was an infant ( Like hello Mom? You aren’t keeping up with me!) and talked early and clearly because of it!

At 2 years old, Like we had just met and wanted to make sure it was the appropriate way to address me, he looked at me and said “Mom…….can I call you Mom?” What kid does that??? At 4 years old looks at me and says “Mom I have to pee.” So i give him the look of -you can do this yourself/no need to ask permission and say “Okaaaayyyy”. He pops his head up and says “It’s NOT OK. IT’S A DIFFICULT EMOTION.” I could have lost it. Not saying that is some genius kid comment (He obviously didn’t quite comprehend his sentence–I’m just saying-he was 4 years old. What 4 year old says things like that?

And to top it off, his teacher thinks he is phenomenal and that means the world to us as parents. We had parent/teacher conferences last week, and she relieved us of any and every worry we have about him at school. I want to share all the sweet comments she said, but afraid she want’s to keep it confidential as not all kids may have had the greatest reviews. I will say this. She mentioned “I am a nice person, but I am also honest. I am here to talk about each child’s strengths, but I am also here to share the hard stuff with you parents…….And I have none of the hard stuff to say about Ford. He is truly a special child. He cares for everyone and is so good-hearted. I have taught for a long time, and every once in a while you will get one of those truly amazing kids-and Ford is one of them.” I swear there was light beaming from my head from the pride I experienced at that moment. And not even from the academic standpoint, (Which really, if you know me, this is SO IMPORTANT. ) But to know that he is good-hearted. That got us. We couldn’t help but smile when she said he was beyond smart, so helpful and cared about his fellow students. You feel like you are doing something right as a parents when your kids are praised like that.

But lately, he is gaining independence. It’s beautiful and saddening at the same time. So nice to know it’s getting easier around here, but sad to know he is growing so quick!

This past weekend the poor child has had a stomach bug that has knocked him out. Even still, I heard him tell Cash today “Cashy, You have to be quiet! Mom is sleeping!” He knew how exhausted I was from both of them being up several times last night. Then, he made a bowl of cereal for himself for the first time ever-without me knowing. He was so proud to tell me he did it himself! Then when we were standing in the kitchen, Cash wanted a bowl, and Ford said ” Mom, I can do it for you. So you don’t have to.” Sweet, sick angel child. “Ok-go for it.” He climbed up on the counter to get a bowl, reached in the fridge for the gallon on milk, and poured that bowl of cereal like it was for the first place trophy in the counter-climbing olympics. sorry, we used every single small appliance I own today-hence the counter mess

*So sorry–we used every single appliance we own in the kitchen today-hence the huge mess.*

Later, he came into my room and it sounded like I was about to get a multi-million Dollar business proposal thrown at me. “Mom, I would like for you to please show me how to make my own hot chocolate.” Hands folded, Eyes big.

Wow. What a way to ask! “That’s ok bud. I can do it for you.” “I want you to show me.” So off we went to the Keurig! He learned, and I am sure this is just the beginning of this independence. Cereal and hot chocolate. Cereal and hot chocolate made me realize my kid’s growing independence.

Now while this may not seem so huge to you all, it’s crazy hard on this mama to think the boy who made her a mommy, this tiny infant who needed me every waking second, is now wanting to help her.When did the tables turn? His teacher is right. He is phenomenal. Through and through. And tonight I just felt the need to acknowledge it.

And I know, all kids are amazing. We all think are kids are phenomenal. But truly, embrace the little tidbits about them that make them phenomenal! Prove it-talk to others about it. I feel like we all want to shy back from telling the great things about our kids in order not to step on any toes, but let’s share their strengths instead!

Now friends, your turn–tell me what makes your kid awesome. What are their strengths? What do they say that makes you melt? How do they show their growing independence? Let me know in the comments!

All the love dolls πŸ’‹

Family · Home

The Marriage Post

9 years. Married 9 years. Is that even possible? No way-not possible. Not this couple. We are still hip and totally cool newlyweds just living the life.

Ahh crap. I’m pretty sure saying “hip and totally cool” just instantly made us lame. Yeah-sorry Dale. You get included in my lameness. We’re “one flesh” remember? Thank the Bible for that one.

But really, thinking back today, I started to wonder-what makes a “good marriage” per say? I feel like the saying “good marriage” is pretty relative, as everyone’s perception will be significantly different.

But I am not talking about the storybook marriage with the carriage and perfect hair and engagements caught on film. I’m talking- “waking up to morning breath and trotting around the house in yoga pants and no bra” marriage. The messy, beautiful, every day life marriage.

And ya’ll. I can honestly say, there are certain aspects of how to make a marriage work that always seem to fall into the equation for every couple, whether they know it or not. Here is my list ( In no particular order…)

*Disclaimer—-I am no pro-I am no guru. I just feel like we have learned so much along the way and wanted to share with you lovelies! And since my anniversary is tomorrow, I figured now would be as good a time as any to share what has worked for us along the way. *

1. Respect.

“Respect your Mate..blah blah blah.. I already know that stuff.” Ok yes, you have heard it 100 times over, but it’s true. If you don’t respect your mate, every argument will ultimately turn into a battle of who is better. Who is stronger-minded. Who is stronger-WILLED. None of these are a good thing.

I was told way back when, by a friend in her 60’s, “My one piece of advice-marry someone smarter than you.”

When she said that, I remember thinking that was a jab at us. ( I was 18 OK? Cut me some slack.) But as time went on, that comment stuck with me. I realized she was right. If you don’t marry someone smarter than you-it would be so difficult to respect that person. How can you talk about the serious parts of life with someone you think is an idiot? How can you take their ideas seriously if you think they are doomed to failure?

I have realized, I 100% married someone smarter than me. He is innovative but can also follow directions to a tee. ( I am neither of the sort. )

He is kind hearted and I have learned so much from his generosity! He has always had a sound mind when it comes to money and has kept us afloat even in the harder times! He is spiritually minded and I can’t explain in words how grateful I am for such a wonderful family head. He is the dream!

So when looking for your mate, look for the one who will make you better. Look for the one you RESPECT as a person first. And make sure he/she respects you the same!

2. Marriage isn’t 50/50.

This is one of my favorite pieces of advice. When we were engaged, I spent all my Friday nights watching my fiancΓ© play basketball with his buddies. ( Sports are his thing-but Basketball is a definite specialty. If his eyes didn’t hook me, his athletic ability did πŸ˜†) One of the older guys playing told me ” You gotta know-marriage is not 50/50.” That threw me. Of course it is 50/50! But he promptly fixed my thought process when he returned with “It’s 100/100. You both always have to give 100% to make it work.”

Wow. Now that was a concept. We both ALWAYS have to be giving 100%. Now when you are babies and in love, you think this will be easy! But when times get a little rougher, giving 100% of each other gets hard. So start early-and keep it up! Men-stay romantic. Ladies-dress up every once in a while. Keep it fun!

And on the days when one can’t give 100%, you are prepared to step in and help them! Remember, we need to walk shoulder to shoulder–because when you are toe to toe, no one gets anywhere!

3. Pray together.

This one is so important! I always feel closest to my hubbs when I hear him pray. To hear your mate speak genuinely from the heart is moving! And to hear them pray in someone else’s behalf melts your heart. Study the Bible together and things seem to fall into place.

4. Learn to Disagree.

Learn to disagree-not to argue. When we were first married, if we had disagreements, I wanted to “argue” in the form of not talking. This DOES NOT WORK. Ok? Doesn’t work. Now you know-don’t do it.

My husband FORCED me to talk when I didn’t want to and I HATED IT. But my gosh did I realize his heart in that first year of marriage. He made me tell him why I was upset ( and still does.) It’s one of the reasons I love him like I do. I have been mad before, and decided I would sleep on the couch so I wouldn’t have to talk about how upset I was. He laid on the couch with me, talked with me, cried with me- until I finally came in the room. So thankful for that night that I will always remember. πŸ™‚

I have learned over the years, I don’t have to agree with him. I just have to disagree in an agreeable way. And this is still rough! Marriage is a learning experience, and we will never master it, but that is ok. As long as we are continuing to try!

5. Don’t talk bad about your mate.

k y’all, this is huge. If you are finding you are bad-mouthing your mate with other people-you need to sever those ties. It is so toxic for your relationship! Surround yourself with others who build up their mates–not the opposite.

I used to hang out with a friend who constantly downed her husband–then realized it was making me look for the bad in mine-like I had to say something bad about Dale to make her feel better about her marriage. It can’t work that way. Look for the good in your mate and share it with others. Once they develop a bad view of them, they can’t change it, while we will love our mate no matter what! So try your best to keep the positive attitude in the forefront- your marriage will be better for it!

6. Learn from others.

Talk with older ones. See what they have done to keep things lively. Ask what makes them tick. Try to emulate their successes-but *WARNING* never compare your marriage to anyone else’s! I think comparison is what kills a lot of couples. We live in a time where everyone posts the amazing moments (because obviously, who wants to post the bad) and it seems like everyone is living a fairy tale. Let me tell you–their husbands aren’t perfect. They argue. They aren’t living a fairy tale.

This got to me for a while. My husband doesn’t buy me purses. He doesn’t come home with new diamonds for me every month. He actually doesn’t like to buy me THINGS at all. (Anniversary time is the exception.) So sometimes seeing everyone with their new bags and earrings and apple watches and what-not made me feel like I was missing out. This is the furthest thing from true.

Every person is different-and he is so giving. I have realized over the years, the way he gives to me-is his time! (Sounds cheesy but bare with me.) He takes time to build me beautiful things that I can display in my house to see every day-and maybe one day my kids will want those pieces! “Yeah, My dad made that for my mom when I was just a little guy.” Oh I’m swooning just thinking of that convo. 😍

So learn from others-don’t compare. Look for all the sweet little things your hubbs/wifey does for you and be thankful for the little things that he or she put some serious THOUGHT into. Those are the things that matter.

7. Don’t put marriage on hold to raise the kids.

Do me a favor-gross your kids out. Kiss and snuggle in front of them. Let them know you genuinely care for and LOVE each other. I always say ” We are a couple first-THEN we are parents.” If the couple dynamic doesn’t work, the parenting dynamic won’t work. So cuddle, squeeze, kiss and snuggle- these have been so important for us!

8. Apologize.

My husband is fantastic at saying he is sorry….I am not the greatest at this. It’s hard. Your pride hurts. But when it’s all over and you have admitted your aren’t perfect-life gets a little sweeter and the next apology gets a little easier. And believe me, there will always be a next apology.

9. Stop trying to change your spouse.

This happens all too often-Man marries woman. Woman is embarrassed by man. Woman tries to alter man. Man feels defeated. (Or vice versa.) How devastating! As if this world isn’t full of enough crap to make us insecure-add in our mate trying to change who we are? That’s soul crushing. So let’s try to keep the one we married-the one we married. That’s who we fell in love with after all!

10. Say “I love you.”

Overuse it. Kill em with it. Wear it out. We get made fun of for how often we kiss before we leave each other. How on the phone we ALWAYS say ” I love you.” Not just “luh-ya bye.” We make it count. We say it in the morning, at night, in texts throughout the day-nonstop. And it still means so much! To get that ” I love you babe” message during the work day still melts me. Don’t feel like if you over say it, it loses meaning. This is one of those things that has to be said to make a relationship work!

So there it is dollsβ€”just a few of the little things that have worked for us over the years. And again-no pro here. I really don’t think “the pro’s” exist. Really though, in 9 years, we have learned so much-and I can’t imagine how much more we will learn in the next 10, 20, 30+.

What would you all add to this list? What is your go-to advice? Let’s hear it!

All the love dolls πŸ’‹

Beauty · Deals

The Physicians Formula’s products you HAVE to have

Ok, I know I know. I said I would post this a while back–but sometimes I get so excited about sharing with you all, I put certain things on the back burner!!!!!

Shame on me, because these products need to be shared with everyone-they are fabulous!

No small talk today-let’s get right to it.

1. PF CC cream

The Miracle foundation. I’m telling you–it looks flawless and light. Not cakey in the LEAST BIT and so easy to apply. Here are a few benefits:

Color-correcting pigments plus Anti-aging
-Anti-aging brighteners restore a look of radiance and smoothness while UVA/UVB ray protection helps to prevent future damage
-Hypoallergenic; Oil Free; Paraben Free; Gluten Free; Fragrance Free; Non-Comedogenic; Dermatologist approved

This is what the bottle looks like:

Check out all the mess it corrects above….. That’s a win in my book! Click Here for some more info!

2. PF Nourishing Argan oil

Dry skin? Grab this. Quick. I’m telling you, it makes your skin feel HEAVENLY- great before makeup or I even like to use as part of my night-time routine for extra moisture! Check out the benefits here:

β€’ All-In-One: Moisturizer + Primer + Brightener + Protector + Treatment

β€’ Illuminating oil adds a shimmering touch of gold

β€’ Hypoallergenic; Fragrance Free; Gluten Free; Paraben Free; Non-comedogenic; Dermatologist approved

β€’ Use on face, body, hair, and nails

β€’ Glow-Renewing Benefits

You can’t argue with those benefits–I’m telling you -it’s worth it! Click Here to purchase!

3. PF Butter Bronzer

Ok-so this may be my holy grail of makeup products. If you follow me on Instagram, you have already seen my sing the “butter bronzer praises”. Ladies…It’s time for you to hop on the train. It’s a ‘universal bronzer’ in that it looks amazing on all skin tones–and that is HARD TO FIND.

And girls, the smell. It smells like the beach. Or heaven. Or the beach. I can’t quite peg it, but I’m telling you-you need this in your makeup bag….Like–Yesterday.

It delivers a tropical glow and was voted by People as a top bronzer!

I’m telling you-you HAVE to have this! Click Here to shop! Easy Peasy!!!!

So there you have it! My compilation of PF makeup you NEED to have! While I am a huge believer in using all different brands, this is one of those I hope to have more of as time goes on.

Do you like PF? Do you think you will use these? Make sure to click the links and read more on them to see if this brand is for you!!!

All the love dolls πŸ’‹

Family · Food

Chicken Noodle Casserole…mmmm…

Guys, I am NOT a cook. But I Love food–and I love EASY recipes. (Also -have the hardest time spelling ‘recipes’ for some reason)  This meal was so easy and so so yummy! 

I got the recipe from This website and she has an amazing website you should check out! I found her on Pinterest and she did NOT disappoint. Its called Life in the Lofthouse. CHeck it out! In the meantime, check this recipe out. 

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Shredded Chicken
  • 1 bag Egg Noodles
  • 2 bags 12 oz  frozen veggies (corn/green beans/carrots) 
  •  3 tbsp Butter
  • 1 cup Milk
  • 10 0z can Cream of chicken
  • 10 oz can Cream of Mushroom
  • Salt/pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic powder

I cooked a while chicken ahead of time and just pulled it off the bone and stored i the fridge for the week…and used some of that for this casserole! So if you have to cook your chicken, it will take a while longer–but if you have. Chicken pre-made, this is a 5 minute prep! 

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Smear your 13X9 inch pan with your Country crock butter.
  2. Cook the egg noodles according to the directions on the bag. 
  3. While those cook, combine veggies, butter, milk, cream of chicken, cream of mushroom, salt/pepper, and garlic powder. 
  4. Combine all ingredients with egg noodles. Cover with foil. Bake for 30 minutes

Im telling you, it was so easy!!! Check out Life in the lofthouse website for more in depth directions if you like. I also tweaked the recipe a bit –because–butter. All the butter. Check out my fav here.. 

SO simple. SO yummy! Again, check out her website Here for more details!!!! 

Let me know if you try it and what you think… 

Family · Home

How to make your house a home…Β 

I never have really thought of myself as any type of decorator, and really I am NOT. But I’ve noticed some say they love the little touches in our home! And after doing some research ( and by that, I mean strolling my house, looking for ‘touches’) I realized, those friends are exactly right! It’s the little ‘touches’ that make a house a home. And not anything fancy, or being perfectly put-together, because we are definitely NOT, but just the little things that make us happy and feel a little more connected! 

Just ask Joanna Gaines!  One thing I notice she always does, is try to add something special to the family-whether that be a tub passed down from generations, old family photos, a map local to the area, or a metal sign with their favorite quote. Jo always adds something special. And I wanted to give you a glimpse into a few of my favorite things. Que Julie Andrews ” When the dog bites, when the bee stings……” Get used to it guys, I am a song quote fanatic and they will pop up all over the blog πŸ™‚ 

“Let’s start at the very beginning. A very good place to start” Ok sorry, Julie is ringing in my head now…But really-the front area when you come in our house is a favorite! My husband made us a simple coat rack, that happens to house about 50 coats and 12 bags at all times. Beside the point. Also, notice the sweet key my hubby surprised me with..It has our initials carved in each end-How cute is that??? Notice too, precious pictures of our littles to warm up the space. Here is a “real life pic” with some of our coats and bags. Also-slightly grainy-please forgive me. Ok, Now scroll on past that one, and lets talk photos.  You noticed the picture on my first blog post?? To say I am TOTALLY SMITTEN with that picture is an understatement. It was taken by a local photographer here in good old Knoxville, TN. Her name is Hayley Harper and she does amazing work!  Click here for her website. Hit her up with any photo needs, and she will hook you up! As time goes on, I will post some more of her amazing pictures-but for now-my favorite! 

 I cant stress it enough y’all- get family pictures taken. And when you do- print them! How often do we get pictures taken (or if we are fortunate enough, actually take a decent one ourselves) and then don’t print it! It’s stuck on our phone somewhere–heaven forbid it be in the cloud–and no one ever gets to enjoy it? So go now. See Hayley. Get Photos. Print them. 

Here again-a touch. I love frames. “Big ones, small ones, some the size of your head!” See, again-songs- I can’t help myself-its really a disease. But in all honesty, this is a favorite space in my house. I have frames like this on either side of my makeup table. One of these days  I will get the courage to post a picture of it-but for now-lets pretend its pristine and organized. **Spoiler-it’s NOT**

What I was getting at, this frame-inside-of-a-frame thing….So fun! And another little touch that makes my house a home! 

The next area, is a spot on my dresser -reserved for the wild boys+dainties. I know-serious contradiction but something has to balance the crazies out πŸ˜‰  The hubbs built me this crate, I fell in love, and had to use it in our room. Thus, the dainty+wild boy corner. Another fun touch. 


From here on out you should probably know–I am obsessed with this husband of mine. He builds things, he fixes things, he has a heart of gold, he adores my grandparents, he is a true best friend –really I could go on, and at some point I will–but for now, let’s leave it at “He is THE GREATEST.” So look throughout the blog for some fun nicknames “Hubbs, hubby, hunk, the man, the handy man, the hot one,” etc throughout the blog. Just embrace it y’all. Its going to happen. 

Ok back to the post. This is my mug rack. It is my baby. I am obsessed. I love it. I love it. I LOVE IT. 

Hubbs made me this one day in the middle of a personal dilemma. Here was the thought process…” I love this frame/board and want to hang it here. But I really need a mug rack over the coffee nook. What  should I do?” Que the handyman. “Why don’t I just make a mug rack out of the frame?!” Umm.. yes. How about you do that?  A short time later and I have this amazing rack that serves as such a conversation piece over coffee with friends! Thank goodness for the hunk with a brain. 
Each and every mug means something special to me, and if you were one of the givers, you know why πŸ™‚ 

Can you guess which is my favorite? 

Lastly, the whole blog post here (or rant-whatever you want to call it) was to inspire maybe SOMEONE  to get creative with your space! Enjoy where you are and make it a little more lovey. Use pieces that mean something! Do things that other people may think are weird. GO FOR IT. Just use “a few of your favorite things…” -ok Last Julie quote. Promise. For now πŸ˜‰

Family · Home

Smitten With Three

IMG_3375

Oh my gosh-where to begin??

I’ve had this inkling for the longest time. I think about it at night….. when I get up in the morning,….when I’m doing my makeup….when my boys are acting crazy . “I should blog this. I need a blog.”

So here we are! My name is Brandi Kuch (pronounced “Cook”). I’m married with two wild boys, Ford and Cash. I’m sure you will see the term “wild boys” throughout the rest of my posts, but know it’s really a term of endearment. ‘Wild’ in the fact that the keep mama bear on her toes and well-they’re boys!

But anyways, I have this serious inclination to share all of my little ideas, hacks, feelings, emotions, breakdowns, happiness, creative moments, milestones, etc with the world. So please, follow this Southern Belle’s  journey and maybe pick up a few tips+tricks along the way πŸ™‚