Monday Musings

1. Isabella goes back to school two weeks from today.  Can I get an “amen”?  I know she is so excited to go back.  Because we moved between her kindergarten and first grade years, this will be her first time returning to the same school after summer.  I can’t wait for her to realize that she will see the same friends from last year, and probably have many of them in her class again.

2. Speaking of back to school, it was tax-free weekend here in Texas this past weekend and I braved a few stores for some of the awesome deals.  The girls both picked out a pair of new shoes.  Sophia was totally predictable and picked out an adorable pair of pink Converse.  Isabella was also totally predictable and picked out a pair she knew I would not like at all.  She and I are having some style disagreements lately, but alas, I let her choose the pair she wanted.

3. I’m so ready for Fall TV programs to return.  I’ve even resorted to watching Deadliest Catch with my husband because there’s nothing else on.  I did also get sucked into Botched on E.  I pretty much watch the entire show through my fingers, but man, I can’t look away!

4. A few weeks ago I made a trip out to Stonebriar Centre Mall in Frisco to visit the LiftTOUR.  I was able to get fitted and donate a bra with some encouraging words to a woman in need.  I chose the Vanity Fair Next to Nude bra and it has quickly become my new favorite!  The partnership between Vanity Fair and Dress for Success is a product of Vanity Fair’s recent “Women Who Do™” initiative ­– a powerfully uplifting campaign that aims to create a movement where women always feel supported and lifted in their daily lives.

For more information about Vanity Fair lingerie and for the full LiftTOUR dates and locations, visit  For more information about Dress for Success, visit

5. I’ve been hard at work on my office makeover this past week.  I’ve made not one, but TWO, trips to IKEA.  The first time they were out of the bookcases I needed, so I had to go back two days later when they received in the shipment.  Which means I drove an hour both ways, with both girls, and loaded up 155lbs of shelves all by myself.  I am literally bruised from head to toe after trying to muscle those awkward boxes into the back of my car.

6. During our first trip to IKEA, we picked up some adorable felt food for the girls’ play room.  I made the switch to all felt food when we did the play room makeover last year and threw away all of the cheap plastic junk.  Seriously one of the best parenting decisions I’ve ever made.  I am in love with the cupcakes and Velcro slice cheese.

7. Do you link up at Pin It Thursday?  Check out last week’s Pin It Thursday post and find out how to win a $25 Target gift card!

8. I posted last Friday about my love for StitchFix, but I also have a new obsession: Fabletics.  I’ve pretty much accepted the fact that I live in workout clothes about 80% of the time, so I decided it’s time to start investing in some quality pieces.  I love, love, love Fabletics.  It’s a monthly service, similar to StitchFix, but instead of having to remember to send back the unwanted pieces, you can just skip that month’s outfits all online.  For my first order I received a pair of camo capris, a black tank, and a turquoise sports bra all for $25.  Each month after that is just $49 for a three piece outfit.

9. James took a day off last week and we decided to take the girls to the U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing.  It was really neat to see how it all works, especially because it’s one of only two places in the U.S. where they print money (the other being Washington D.C.).  There were some exhibits and historic pieces to look at, and a self-guided listening tour through the facility.  You aren’t allowed to take any cameras or cell phones inside, so I don’t have any pictures to share.  It was free, and air conditioned, but I think 7 years old might have been a little young to really grasp what was going on enough to care (hello, they are PRINTING money!).

10.  I’m currently searching for outside of the sandwich lunchbox ideas… share your favs with me!  And be sure to follow my Pinterest board dedicated to all things back-to-school lunch:



Monday Musings

1. I know it’s Tuesday.  I didn’t get a chance to write my post last Monday, and I’m late again this week.  Humor me.  When you’re a stay at home mom and your husband works 24hrs on/48hrs off you never really know what day it is anyway.

2. Did you see this picture I posted on Instagram this weekend? H-o-l-y M-o-l-y!  I love that these pictures are almost identical, even down to the head tilt, but man-oh-man what a difference!  It’s easy to get discouraged when I don’t see the scale moving as much as I want, but this picture definitely proves that all my hard work has paid off.  #nonscalevictory

3. In other news, I just found out we are getting a Krispy Kreme and Dairy Queen super close to us.  I feel the urge to go for a run just thinking about it. #doughnutsfordays #blizzardsftw

4. Isabella went to Girl Scout camp last week and had a blast.  I was a little nervous about her going to overnight camp so young, but she did great.  I sent her with a disposable camera (which cost $15 these days!) and was SUPER disappointed when the film didn’t turn out.  I so wanted to see what she deemed “picture worthy” :)

5. We are on the downward slope of summer my friends!  I feel like there’s pressure to soak up every single minute of summer with your kids, or like I should have some major mom guilt for wishing it were August.  But you know what, I don’t, and I’m okay with that.  Isabella loves routine and structure as much as I do.  She thrives on schedule and she is “good at” school.  I totally get that and I feel like I’m a better Mom during the school year.

6. We do have a few more fun things up our sleeve before summer ends.  James and Isabella both really want to visit the U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing.  And we haven’t had a sno cone all summer (!!!!) that needs to happen a.s.a.p.

7. Have you ever tried Stitchfix?  It’s basically having your own personal stylist once a month.  They send you a box of five items with a style card on how to wear each piece.  Keep what you want, send back what you don’t (in a pre-paid envelope)- all with no commitment.  Not going to lie, the first two times I tried it, I wasn’t a fan.  I didn’t love anything they sent me.  The third fix I ended up keeping a fantastic leather tote, and for my fourth fix I kept this dress:

8. I recently discovered Fit Radio.  It’s an app (iPhone, not sure about other devices) and it blows Pandora OUT OF THE WATER when it comes to bumpin’ workout music.  The 90’s genre is my jam. #yourewelcome

9. I spent the day today meal prepping some freezer crock pot meals with my girl friend.  We made 14 meals!  I’m pretty excited.  Maybe I’ll work on a post with all the details.

10. I bought this dress the other day to wear to a wedding in a few weeks.  I don’t love it, and it’s a little big.  I thought a belt might help break it up and give it some body?  What color?  It’s a deep hot pink in person.  Help!



Monday Musings

1. I think I’ve decided why summer has been so difficult for me to handle.  I’m an introvert, and I need that time alone to recharge.  I think that’s one of the reasons I’m able to handle being a firefighter wife.  I miss James terribly when he’s gone on shift for 24 hours… but I also love being able to sit alone on the couch and watch RHOC in peace and quiet after the kids go to bed.  With Bella home from school, I’m not able to recharge during Sophia’s nap. #introvertproblems

2. One thing that has helped keep me sane has been my two hours a week my trainer comes and I get to work out.  Sophia naps and Isabella plays a game on the computer (and does an amazing job staying quiet upstairs the whole time).  Sweating is good for the soul.  And so much cheaper than therapy. #truestory

3. I love the start of a new month.  I always feel so renewed; ready to attack with a list of things to start and finish over the next 30 days.  I’m the type of person that needs to start something either on the first day of the month or on a Sunday.  I don’t know why I can’t start something just on a random Tuesday.  Tomorrow is fine, because while it’s a Tuesday, it’s also the 1st.  #makestotalsense

4. Since June is coming to an end that means the “june bugs” go away too, right?  As I’m sitting here typing this I can hear them crashing into my front door.  So creepy.  #idontdobugs

5. We just started watching Orange is the New Black and I am obsessed.  Also, the theme song is Regina Spektor so I knew things were going to be good. #OITNB #teampiper

6. I have a confession to make: I hoard magazines.  Not just because I’m afraid to throw them away or anything, but because I fully intend to go through and read them.  So what if some of them date back to 2010?  I finally sat down with a stack of them this weekend.  It was weird looking at Thanksgiving recipes. #gobblegobble

 7. Isabella has camp next week.  As in: stay-overnight-away-camp.  Surprisingly, I’m not freaking out yet.  Not surprisingly, I haven’t packed or prepared a single thing.  We are supposed to receive an information packet… and I’m still anxiously awaiting that bad boy. #ticktock #noseriously

8. Need any last minute recipes for the 4th this weekend?  Try my

9. Today was a really great Monday.  I found $10 buried in the bottom of my purse.  I found a Tom Thumb gift card that I thought was only for $25 but ended up being for $50 and was able to fill up my tank!  Sophia and I celebrated by picking up hot fresh tortillas and eating them in the car while waiting on sister to get out of art camp. #winning #littlethings

10. Last week I shared that my latest obsession is tortilla soup.  The lovely people at Cookwell & Company sent me some of their goodies to try.  Cookwell & Company is best known for their 2-Step products: chili’s, soups and stews; and also have a lot of Gluten-Free chioces!  You may have seen their Better Than Good Bacon Jam in a commercial during the Superbowl.  (Cookwell is available online, at all HEB stores, and select products can be found at Central Markets.)


We tried the Tortilla Soup with some rotisserie chicken, sliced avocado, and shredded cheese… oh my yum!  Totally satisfied my craving.  I can’t wait to try the other variations.

You can connect with Cookwell & Company via ~
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Monday Musings

So I used to do a quick top 10 of life’s current events on Monday but I guess life got too busy and I haven’t done it since… um, March 25 of last year?  #oops  Sometimes I feel like I don’t post much “personal” stuff on here, so I’m bringing Mondays back! #yaymondays

1. Y’all, summer might kill me.  Isabella is so bored.  I’ve never appreciated teachers more while simultaneously envying them less. #saints #truthtalk

2. We play tons of games throughout the day, lately it’s been a lot of “LIFE”, where I make up stories that I’m married to Adam Levine with 7 children.  Adam might be the only person that could persuade me into having 7 children.  But no way I’m ever owning two mini-vans because #nannies #duh

3. James was in a training class last week which meant he worked 7am- 7pm every day instead of his normal 24hrs on shift, 48 hours off.  And then he went to Oklahoma Friday and Saturday to do a side job.  Which meant when he got home on Sunday I spent the day went wandering around Target.  And while I was shutting down the store, I scooped up these super cute earrings.  And a new swimsuit.  And maybe some jean shorts.  And diapers. #momlife #youneverfullyescape

4. All of our shows (Blacklist, Chicago Fire, Newsroom, Greys) are on summer break, which means James wants to watch things like the world cup, while I want to watch Sister Wives and Marriage Bootcamp Reality Stars.  Especially since I can’t watch my trashy tv during nap-time with Isabella home now.  #firstworldproblems

5. We sometimes compromise with Chipotle picnic style in the living room and Texas Rangers baseball.  Though, I’m still super bitter about the Kinsler trade. #gotigers

6. So I shared my June goals on Instagram regarding my fitness journey (#EmGetsStrong).  1. Gluten-free 2. No processed/ added sugar 3. Gallon of water a day.  I did great with the gluten-free and no processed/ added sugar for the first two weeks of the month.  Since then I’ve pretty much been falling off the wagon.  I failed miserably at the gallon o’ water a day thing from day 1.  It’s amazing that after being off of flour/sugar for even just that short amount of time, I can feel a difference now when I eat it.  My fingers swell and I don’t sleep as well. 

7. Speaking of fitness- I am obsessed with cute workout tanks.  They are pretty much all I wear now.  To the point that I can do a workout clothes only load and basically call it good on laundry for the week.

8. I picked up this Soap & Glory-Sexy Mother Pucker Gloss Stick from Sephora and it might be my favorite purchase of the summer so far.  I got the “Nudist” – natural pink beige shade.  It’s vanilla flavored and not sticky at all.

9. In other recent news, I got a new tattoo a week or so ago.  I already had seven, but they could all be “hidden” with clothes.  This is my first “big girl tattoo” and my most visible.  James made me wait two weeks before booking the appointment to make sure I was sure. 

 10. Even though it’s summer, I’ve been obsessed with chicken tortilla soup lately!  Have a fav recipe?  Share it with me!!



Monday Morning Mumblings

1. I have sat down to write three different times today and the words just aren’t coming (partly because I have so much to share with you I don’t know where to start!).  So I’m going to revert to my old “Monday Mumblings” and make a list.

2. Today is my first official day as a stay-at-home-mom.  I left my “dream job” in the corporate world to stay home with my babies.  More on this later…

Funny Family Ecard: Yes.. I am still in my pajamas. What did I accomplish today? The kids are still alive. Say thank you. Now... say I'm pretty.

3. I went to Blissdom this past weekend!  Wow!  I am exhausted ha-ha, and actually had a huge migraine crash yesterday that wiped me out for the entire day.  So much information and networking (and swag!), I still need time to process.  More on that later…


4. Sophia is JUST about sitting on her own.  I don’t know who is more anxiously awaiting this milestone, Isabella or Sophia.  They are so cute playing together.


5. Hubs wants to start “Insanity” together.  I was supposed to do the “fit test” tonight.  That didn’t happen.

6. I baked the best vanilla cupcakes ever today, and proceeded to eat no less than four of them.  That did happen.

7. Did I mention that my iPhone decided to reset itself on Thursday, hours before Blissdom.  And that the last time I backed up my phone was January?  Sigh. #aintnobodygottimeforthat

8. We found Bella some super cute furniture this past weekend.  Her room is finally starting to look like a room after the move.  I’m debating painting it, but I have zero vision when it comes to that.  Will someone just come handle that for me?  I’ll bring cupcakes. K, thx.

9. I made a cute Easter peeps printable for you, but I had major drama with Adobe today and didn’t get it posted.  Sneak peek:

"You're One of My Favorite Peeps" free printable #printable10. Are you on Vine?  If you are, look me up: SweetBellaRoos.  (I’m not sure if it’s on anything besides the iPhone.)  Also, anyone know anything about this mailbox that is going to change my life that I am #104,435 in line with 246,102 behind me?  Have you made it to the top of the list?… was it… life changing? #allthecoolkidsweredoingit


Monday Morning Mumblings

So apparently when I hit ‘publish’ WordPress took that to mean ‘please delete my entire post and be sure not to save it either’… so I apologize for the blank update.

1. I’m a horrible mother and BellaRoo still does not have a Halloween costume.  Yes, I’m aware that Halloween is next Wednesday.  You’re correct, that is a week away.  Gah!

2. BellaRoo got to dance before the Varsity football game last week.  It was super cute.  I planned to leave right after the dance, but she informed me we had to stay to see #7.  Of course I asked why, and her response “… because the other girls said he’s CUTE!”  Oh my.

3. I’m almost afraid to say it out loud… but Sophia has slept at night for the past THREE nights.  That’s like 24hrs of sleep right there ladies and gentlemen.  I feel like a new woman.

4. We took Sophia up to visit my work last week, and we stopped to get Mexican food on the way.  It was sooo good.  I wish we had better places on our side of town.

5. The only time I really had terrible heartburn during my pregnancy was when I ate brownies; something about the cocoa.  So of course I couldn’t wait to make them again to make sure that was just a fluke.  Luckily it was- no heartburn!  (Don’t worry, I didn’t eat the entire pan testing my theory, I took them to an event).  Which leads me to my next important question… middle or corner piece?

6. Remember how I posted that Maverick jumped the fence that morning?  Well he did it again.  This dog is trying to kill me!  Seriously, just stay in the yard and let us love you!

7. So I am going to work out for the first time IN OVER A YEAR tonight. Wish me luck! And by that I mean pray I don’t die.

8. How fun has Online BlogCon been?? I’ve met some great new friends and so enjoyed all the posts!!  Ashton & Dorothy did such a great job.  If you missed out this year don’t make the same mistake next year!

9. I finally made a trip to JoAnn’s over the weekend.  Look for some cute kid-friendly crafts soon!

10. And because I can’t have a M-M-M post without a pic of this cutie…



Monday Morning Mumblings

1. I can’t believe it’s already mid-October!  One of my friends posted on Facebook that we are in the “Glitter Season”- meaning those of us with kids won’t have clean floors again until Easter. So true ha-ha.

2. I have no idea what BellaRoo is going to be for Halloween this year.  She is getting to the age now where I can’t get away with picking out her costumes alone anymore.  I’m hoping to still be able to “gently guide” her in picking one out.  My baby is getting too big y’all!

3. Speaking of babies getting too big, I can’t believe Sophia is almost 6 weeks old!  I finally got around to making her outfits for her monthly pictures.  (So we’re a little behind on month one…)

4. James was asked to go speak to all of the kindergarten classes at BellaRoo’s school.  He did such a great job; the kids were just in awe of him.  When he put on his air pack one of the kids yelled out that he sounded like Darth Vader ha-ha.  Another little boy just kept staring at him and telling the kid next to him that James was a “REAL fireman!”  100 adorable kids full of excitement– and questions!

5. So as a firefighter wife that means I’m also a single mom every third day.  Of course these are the days that one kid is throwing up, one kid is up all night, we run out of milk for breakfast in the morning, there’s a huge bug in the house, the cat throws up on the floor… all of which have happened to me so far.  But on this lovely morning I get a call at 7am from a neighbor that Maverick is in her back yard.  GREAT! As I am trying to get one kid fed, and one kid off to school, now I have to go get the *(#&^% dog!  Thankfully she brought him by so I didn’t have to get the girls out.

6. Last night Sophia slept from 12-5, ate, and then slept until 9am… Like slept at night time… When normal people sleep… While its dark outside…! This no sleep/ sleeping at weird hours thing is killing me.

7. I have my six-week check-up today after having Sophia.  I’m so ready for the Dr to release me to work out!  I’m only 13lbs away from my pre-pregnancy weight… but before you hate me for how quickly the weight has dropped off, my body is nowhere near what it was pre-baby.  In fact I’m not sure it will ever be the same.  Sigh.

8. I guess I got a little too anxious about being able to work out… because I signed up to do a 5k next month!  It’s one of the “color in motion” color runs (where you wear all white and people douse you in color as  you run past).  I’m super excited.  There’s a couple other Texas Bloggers signing up to run too so it should be a lot of fun!!

9. So raise your hand if you are attending Online BlogCon?  If not, go now and register while there is still time!!!  Well, I was soo soo excited when Ashton & Dorothy asked me to design the website, and I didn’t think I could be more excited… until I saw my design recreated in chocolate by Aimee! How fun is that??

10. I’ve finally been baking regularly again!  I made some yummy Fall treats last week- Chocolate Reese’s Pieces Cookies and Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars coming soon!



Monday Morning Mumblings

1. So as you can see I’m pretty much a day behind on everything here.  Story of my life lately, but when you have a baby that sleeps all day and is up all night… I figure you get a pass on some things… like being late with blog posts.  And you get bonus points for some things… like showering and eating 3 meals a day.

2. Speaking of Sleeping Beauty… she is officially smiling now.  As in smile because I see Mom not because I have gas- smiling.

3. Did I mention BellaRoo was out of school Friday and Monday?  She was pretty much bored with me and ready for school by breakfast on Friday… it was a long weekend.  Two days off for Columbus Day seems a bit excessive to me… just sayin’.

4. Another highlight of this weekend- the cold front! Fall is here in Texas, y’all.  Although I think it’s supposed to creep back into the 80’s this week.  Either way, it was cold long enough for me to go boot shopping… I may or may not have bought two pairs.

5. We celebrated our anniversary last week… in true new parent fashion.  Champagne, year old cake, and a baby monitor.  (Excuse the poor phone quality pic)

6. I won’t have to apologize for poor pic quality for long though… Hubby bought me this sexy fella for our anniversary:

7. I bought a Groupon last week for a class to learn how to use my DSLR… maybe I will learn to venture out of Auto.  I’m pretty excited about that.

8. One of my friends asked me to bake goodies for an event she had at work… so I made these cute little Halloween-ish cakeballs.  Don’t you just love that green color?  So pretty.

9. I can’t believe it is almost time to start thinking about Christmas.  I know, I know I just posted a picture of Halloween cakeballs and now I want to jump in to Christmas… but if you think about it there’s really only like 4 more pay periods until then.  Anyone started buying gifts yet?

10. I launched a new page on my site yesterday… Design.  See it there at the top?  I created some new blogger templates for purchase.  Go ahead, check them out… you know you want to!  These are all available in my Etsy shop.


Monday Morning Mumblings

1. I can’t believe it’s already October!! And I can’t believe tomorrow is my one year wedding anniversary with the Hubby! (Bring on the frozen cake!)  And I really can’t believe my baby girl will be one month old tomorrow!

2. I’m kind of glad to be putting September behind us.  Don’t get me wrong, 9/2 will always be one of the best days of my life… but somehow it seems like I’ve lived a lifetime between then and now.  Maybe that’s what happens when you don’t sleep and all the days run together…

3. I’m so sad that I’m still unable to get my engagement ring back on.  I’ve lost 37lbs, 18 away from my pre-pregnancy weight, and I still can’t get my ring back on??? Gah so sad.  I think I’m more upset that I can’t get my ring on than I am that I can’t fit any of my jeans.

4. Speaking of not being able to fit into my jeans, I can’t wait to work out!  My six-week check-up is two weeks away and I plan to go run a mile right after.  Ha-ha, maybe not… but for real…

5. We got out of the house this weekend- childless!  James and I went to the Ranger game Sunday night and left the kids with Grammy.  (Thanks Grammy!)  We went with one of our favorite couples, I ate an obligatory ballpark hotdog, it was perfect weather, and the Rangers won… all in all, a successful outing!

6. We actually made two trips out of the house last week- one night while we didn’t have BellaRoo we took Sophia with us to Olive Garden.  It was glorious- well the food and the Moscato were, the fact that our kid slept the entire time but the 18mo-24mo old at the table behind us whined/cried the entire time… not so much.  Either way, did I mention Moscato??

7. Photoshop is $700?  Am I missing something?  That’s the most outrageous thing I’ve ever heard.  That’s more than my DSLR was…?  Tell me that all of you that have PS did not really sell your firstborn for it?  Where did you buy it from?  I’m willing to make a quick trip across the border if we need to…

8. How stinking cute is my family?  I absolutely love Sophia’s face in this picture ha-ha

9. BellaRoo has started buying her lunch at school.  I had big plans at the start of school to be all mom-of-the-year with her lunches… but then I had a baby… and then I realized that you have to make them… and well she loves buying her lunch.  The first day we let her buy she came home and told us that they gave it to her “for FREE!”.  She didn’t quite grasp the concept that I had just deposited money into her account the night before ha-ha.

10. BellaRoo has been able to write her name/the alphabet/numbers 1-10 since early last year in pre-school, but lately- now that they are really working on it in her class, she has started getting some of her letters/numbers backwards.  S, 5, 9, J- some of them are consistently backwards, but sometimes she just throws a random one in there, and I know she knows them.  Anyone have any experience with that?


Monday Morning Mumblings

1. So it’s not the morning… I just had a baby, give me a break.  How long after you had a baby do you get to still use that excuse?  Some days even with my 5 year old I feel like it still applies.

2. Speaking of that sweet little bundle of joy, she has her days and nights backwards.  She is sleeping peacefully as I type, but come 2am it’s time to party.  As in “it’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to”…

3. Everyone has been so sweet to offer to help- sweet friends that don’t even live close by and people who have survived the newborn stage and lovingly feel for me ha-ha.

4. My Texas Blogger ladies sent me this adorable blanket, made by the talented Jennifer from Finding My Way in Texas.  She has a shop, so go check her out!

5. I actually baked something!  I will post about it later, but it was nice to get back in the kitchen, and it made my house smell like Fall… yum!

6. Has anyone rushed out to get the new iPhone?  I’m ready to drop kick my iPhone 4; I have NO reception anywhere.  It’s BEYOND annoying.  I literally have to use my husband’s phone if I want to call anyone.  I have visions of needing to call 911 and being all “Can you hear me now?!”

7. BellaRoo has started Kickball, usually it’s only a Spring sport but this year they are trying a Fall league.  She is so excited.  Our first game is this weekend.

8. I posted this on Twitter earlier– you know you’re a Mom when your kid spits up all over you and you clean them off first.  This was our third outfit of the day yesterday…

9. I can’t believe it is almost my wedding anniversary!! (October 2nd)  And I can’t believe Miss Sophia will be one month old that day.  Time is going too fast.

10. We had newborn pictures done last week, and I can’t wait to see them!!  I love having so many photogs in the fam– I just wish they lived closer!