Happy Friday! It’s been a looooooooooooong week around here. Matt returned yesterday from a week long golf trip with his high school friends. It honestly felt like he was gone for a million days and we are all so happy to have him home…although I guess this means I won’t be able to continue my Ginny & Georgia Netflix binge (Yes, it’s so bad. Yes, it freaks me out for the teenage years…but I can’t stop watching!).
1. Last Weekend Rewind
I was so thankful my mom came to stay with us last weekend. We were all elated to have grandma here and it was also so nice to have an extra set of hands (especially because it rained all day on Saturday)! We had a lot of fun so I wanted to write a mini weekend rewind:
Friday: Mom arrived in time for pizza and Family Movie Night! We watched Alice In Wonderland (Johnny Depp version) and everyone loved it! After we got the kids to bed, mom and I stayed up late catching up over wine.
Saturday: It was SO rainy and gross outside so we had to get a little creative after breakfast. We were able to burn two hours by visiting the pet store and toy store. Saturday evening I surprised the kids (and grandma) with a fun hibachi dinner at Kabutos! The kids have been begging to return to this Japanese steak house ever since I took them a few months ago and were shocked when we pulled into the parking lot.
Sunday: It was a gorgeous day! We attended church then went out for lunch. Afterwards we rode bikes to the playground where Thomas was met with the biggest surprise — his old best friend from daycare (who he hasn’t seen in a year) was at the playground! Mom stayed at the playground with Thomas while I ran Caroline to her friend Austin’s house for an afternoon play date. Then we took Thomas out for ice cream at Jeni’s! Sunday night we had Pasta & Provisions for dinner before getting the exhausted kids to bed.
Then Monday morning I took mom back to the airport. It was a quick but great visit!
2. Book Review: The Four Winds
I just finished The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah! This depression-era tale was absolutely captivating and I binged through it (just as many of you had) in just a few days and finished it in tears. This heartbreaking but beautiful story follows a family from the Texas plains to the California coast in hopes for a better life. I absolutely loved the characters and should also mention that the narrator was absolutely terrific which made the story that much better! My rating?! I’d give it 4 out of 5 stars and would definitely recommend if you like historical fiction.
Book Summary: Texas, 1934. Millions are out of work and a drought has broken the Great Plains. Farmers are fighting to keep their land and their livelihoods as the crops are failing, the water is drying up, and dust threatens to bury them all. One of the darkest periods of the Great Depression, the Dust Bowl era, has arrived with a vengeance.
In this uncertain and dangerous time, Elsa Martinelli—like so many of her neighbors—must make an agonizing choice: fight for the land she loves or go west, to California, in search of a better life. The Four Winds is an indelible portrait of America and the American Dream, as seen through the eyes of one indomitable woman whose courage and sacrifice will come to define a generation.
3. Spring Dresses
I recently picked up a few dresses from Target and this sleeveless smocked dress is one of my faves! I’m wearing an XS and it runs true to size. I am also loving these new braided heels and jewelry from Magpie and Bobbin!
Target Dress Finds!
I am also excited to pull my favorite spring Amazon dress from last year back out! This dress is seriously the best. You can dress it up or down. It’s comfortable, affordable and comes in a million prints. I am definitely going to be purchasing this dress in another color — I just can’t decide which one (either this black floral print, white floral print or dark green print)! A few of my girlfriends have it in red (unfortunately not my color) and it is absolutely gorgeous. The dress runs large. I’m wearing an XS and paired it with my favorite sneakers!
If you read my April Amazon Favorites post earlier this week, you already know that I was anxiously awaiting the arrival of these stain remover pads that one of my girlfriends told me I needed to get and then share with you all. Well, they did NOT disappoint. They are designed to remove pet stains but I used one on the carpet upstairs on a mystery stain (likely mud or ketchup) that is a few months old — stomped on it a bit, let it set for 1.5 hours (the package says 30 minutes, but I forgot about it) and then came back and lifted the pad to find the stain completely gone! Impressed! I will say, these are kind of pricey since they are individually packaged, but you get 20 packets of large pads, so I recommend cutting them into smaller pieces if you have multiple stains you want to tackle at one time.
5. Mother’s Day Gift Guide
Is next weekend! If you’re looking for some gift ideas, I wanted to re-share one of my favorite round-ups!
- Leather Backpack: I’ve blogged about this a few times but it really is amazing. I use it every weekend. It’s perfect for being on the go with the kids and I always keep it packed with snacks, small toys, hand sanitizer, etc. It comes in a million colors and the quality is excellent. I also like that the zipper is on the INSIDE so my kids can’t unzip it while I’m wearing it.
- Diamond Studs: I wear these almost every day. I originally bought them to see if I was responsible enough to ask for a pair of real diamond earrings…and two months later I lost one stud and had to buy another pair! These are gorgeous and are offered in .9 – 4 carats.
- Leather Tote Bag: Amazing price and comes in 9 colors! No way this stay on Amazon for long…
- Printed Knot Headband: A super popular item from last year’s Favorite Things Gift Exchange! This is my favorite headband and the one I wear the most!
- Bracelet Making Kit: Support local with a home bracelet making kit from Beads, Inc (one of our favorite Charlotte shops!)! There are so many cute kits to pick from. Check out all of the kit options HERE!
- Jo Malone Perfume Set: I have and loooooove this little duo. It includes two of the most popular Jo Malone scents — Wood Sage & Sea Salt and Peony & Blush Suede.
- Agate Coasters: How gorgeous are these?!
- Indoor/Outdoor Slippers: I am so obsessed with these (and apparently so are 15,000+ other Amazon shoppers)!! They are so cozy and have held up super well with lots of daily use and I’ve washed them several times in the washer and they come out just as fluffy as when they arrived. They are a great price and come in several colors!
- Silk Pillowcase: On my wish list this year!! It’s anti-aging, anti-sleep crease, anti-bedhead pillowcase that’s like an eight-hour beauty treatment every night.
- Billie Razor Gift Set: I’ve been a huge Billie Razor fan ever since I discovered this subscription service at my Favorite Things Gift Exchange! This particular set includes a razor, holder, 4 refill blades, shave cream and body lotion — for $35! If the recipient loves the kit, she can always subscribe to the razor delivery service.
- M61 Power Glow Peel: Obsessed with these 1 minute facials (read my review in this post and also featured in My Daily Faves post)!
- Dutch Oven: I have a 5 qt pot and use it every Sunday for Soup Sunday! It’s one of my favorite kitchen tools! Here are a few other options at a variety of price points: Target (lots of colors) / Home Depot (lots of colors and sizes) / Le Creuset / World Market /
- Pura Smart Home Diffuser: These are all the rage right now and this one is on my wish list!!!
- Acrylic Wine Glass: My favorite glasses for outdoor wine nights! I cannot tell you how many girlfriends have fallen in love with these glasses and purchased them after a wine night at my house. They look like glass until you pick them up and feel how lightweight they are.
- Sherpa Blanket: The $15 Walmart blanket that is constantly in and out of stock!! We have 4 of these!!! They are so soft and cozy. Highly recommend! You can see them featured in this post.
- Spa Bath Pillow: Matt got me this for Mother’s Day and it.is.amazing. It’s super plush, has strong suction cups so it doesn’t slide around and features airmesh technology with 3D ventilation so it dries fast and doesn’t get hot or soggy! I highly recommend including the BEST bath bomb to go with it.
- Double Glass Mug Set: Featured a million times on my blog and most recently on My Daily Faves post. I absolutely love these mugs!!!
- The Table Fix Personalized Charcuterie Board & Made By Kippen Candle: Two of my absolute favorite things! First, I have the ginormous Bourbon Barrel Charcuterie Board and it’s absolutely gorgeous. It’s perfect for decorating behind my stove when I’m not using it as a base to serve cheese and charcuterie, appetizers, fresh baked bread or pastries! You’ve also seen me rave about my Made By Kippen candles several times on the blog. I burned the Citronella Geo Bowl Candle all summer long on our new porch and it is gorgeous and smells amazing. I’ve also purchased this candle for a housewarming gift! Kippen hand pours every candle out of her home in Charlotte and uses high quality essential oils and cotton wicks.
- Fresh Rose Face Mask: My favorite hydrating face mask for about two years now (LRT got me hooked on this). The cooling gel formula is infused with real rose petals that melt into the skin, while pure rosewater works to soothe and tone the complexion and cucumber extract and aloe vera gel help calm skin with an immediate cooling effect. I apply it at night for 5-10 minutes and my skin feels like heaven once I wash it.
- Personalized Jewelry Binder: On my Christmas list this year!
- Golden Coil Planner: The absolute best planner — ever. Get your girl a gift card so she can customize it herself! I just received my 2021 planner and am SO excited for the new layout and features. The event pages, holiday planner pages and social media pages are amazing. I’ll post a full review soon.
- goodr sunglasses: The absolute best sunglasses that look good on everyone. They don’t slip off my face, don’t fog up, don’t bounce — they are perfect. And they are polarized. And pink. I raved about them in this post!
- Maelove Pure Marula Oil: Really, you can’t go wrong with any Maelove product, but the marula oil is incredible. It’s an affordable dupe for Drunk Elephant Marula Oil ($78) and I honestly cannot tell the difference between the two products. I use the oil on my face (you can also use it in your hair) and just a few drops provides the same hydration for my super sensitive skin. It’s lightweight, sustainably sourced and cold pressed to retain its integrity. You really need to check out my full review on this post.
- Skinnytaste Cookbook: On my wish list! And so it this one!
- Temperature Control Mug: On my wish list!! (And also a super popular item from my guys gift guide!)