TBT: A day in Chuck-town

Almost 3 years ago we took the kids to Folly Beach for the day, then wandered around Charleston until it got dark.  We went to the battery, and White Point Gardens and took photos of the kids sitting on the cannon (in the dark!) and this happened.  Katie looks so done with the photo taking.

may 5th post

Style Steals!

Another great deal from Cents of Style!  Perfect for end of the year teacher gifts, a fun and quirky graduation present for a friend, or even just to brighten up your summer wardrobe!

Style Steals for May 4th, 2016, our basics- gold, silver & patina earrings for –

may 4th post

Mothers Day with Uncommon Goods

Its almost Mothers Day, and I hope that everyone has gotten their cards and gifts in order.  For those of you that have not, I wanted to tell you about this fun website that I found called Uncommongoods.com

UncommonGoods was started after founder Dave Bolotsky visited the Smithsonian Museum craft show in Washington D.C. and was captivated by the variety of unique handmade goods and the talented people behind them.   He wanted to create a company that offered unique goods, and also bolstered the artisan market.  People love things that are unique, creative and all together “uncommon”.   Gifts, artwork and beautiful pieces that make your friends and family say “where did you get that?”.  When Rocky from UncommonGoods reached out to me about a sponsored post, I checked out the website and was completely on board with everything they are doing.  The company itself, headquartered in Brooklyn, NY  has worked to create a sustainable business in all its aspects, using sustainable or recycled materials whenever possible, choosing environmentally friendlier packing materials, and printing their catalog on Forest Stewardship Council [FSC] certified and recycled paper.  They also employ between 100-200 people (depending on the season), and their seasonable hourly worked earn 50% more than minimum wage for the NYC area.  (1)

I thought I would pick a few items that I think moms everywhere would love!

Are you confused on what to get your wife for Mothers Day?  There some great ideas on the Mothers Day Ideas for Wives page.  There are so many amazing ideas on here!  I am pretty partial to jewelry, and there are so many beautiful necklaces and pendants to capture the heart of the mother of your children!  Take a look at some of my favorites!


L to R –  Growth   :   Mother of the World  :  My Heart within Yours  :  Custom Beach

They also have a collection of their Top 25 gifts for Mom.  Can’t decide on your own?  Let Uncommongoods.com’s list help you!  From imaginative tea sets and beautiful scarves to decorative desk accessories – this list has it all.


L to R –   Birthstone Wishing Balls  :  Silk Patchwork Scarf  :  Wine Soap Set  :  World Tea Set


You can see all the ideas for mom on the UncommonGoods.com on their Mothers Day gift list.   You seriously cannot go wrong with anything on these lists.  There are many options for shipping, from fast to slow and all points in between.  Details on shipping can be found on their “Shipping Options” page.  They have a live chat option on their website if you need or want to ask questions – I love live chat options because I cannot always sit around on the phone waiting on hold!   UncommonGoods also happily gives their phone number as well if you need to check on this order!


(1) – information found on their website under “Our Story
This is a sponsored post.  I received a gift card as payment for this post.  However, all opinions are my own!  We love this website and look forward to purchasing from them and detailing my experience!

25 things

There are dozens and dozens of things that make me ridiculously happy, but I thought I’d break it down a bit to 25 of my favorites!

1. Dr.Pepper
2. Black Eyed Peas radio on Pandora – lots of dance music
3.  Snuggles from Reecie, even if she does attack my feet in the middle of the night.
4.  Planning for this summer day trips to Folly or Sullivans Island.
5.  Cupcake brand Moscato D’Asti
6.  Chromecast – netflix in my bedroom, yes please!
7.  Bones Season 10
8.  Snapchat (my username is kjnsmom)
9. Poker Nights
10. Theives Cleaner from Young Living (ask me about this one!)
11.  baseball caps and ponytails
12. Loreal BB Cream
13. When Jake pulls me to him and dances with me in the kitchen to Otis Redding songs.
14.  Essential oils.
15.  Saturday mornings at the farmers market downtown
16. Twitter – I love twitter…for realsies.  Ha!  (follow me:  @kjnsmom)
17.  LulaRoe Leggings.
18. happy mail!
19.  Starbucks Peppermint Mocha Frapps (yum!)
20. Pinterest, and secret boards on pinterest!
21.  Sleeping with the windows open.
22.  Shandon Baptist – so good for my soul.
23. Surprises (either giving them, or getting them!)
24. Cheesy pick-up lines, Jake and I are so goofy sending them back and forth.
25.  Finding the planner that I want to buy, and it being reasonably priced!

dance with me

So…I’m a girly-girl at heart.  I love romance and romantic gestures.  If I could rank all the romantic gestures a guy can do for a girl I would have to have flowers, sweet surprise texts, and random slow dancing.  Shortly after we started dating, we were watching TV and Jake kept playing with his phone.  Didn’t bother me too much, as we both tend to do that in the evenings while we watch TV.  I remember going into the kitchen to get something and I turned around and he had pushed the ottoman out from in front of the couch.  I asked him what in the world he was doing and he pulled me to him and said “come here”, and hit play on his phone and “our song” came on the speaker he had strategically hidden on top of the TV stand.   Melt my heart y’all, seriously.

Fast forward a month or so, and we were making dinner at my house with the kids.  I had Pandora going on my phone and one of my favorite songs came on.  We were just sitting down to eat, but Jake pulled me up from my chair and started to dance with me to Otis Redding’s “Sitting on the Dock of the Bay“.

A few mornings ago, I told him that I found another song that I wanted to dance with him to.  His response was “well make a list, because we have a long future together”.   So here is the start of the list of songs I want you to dance with me to. 

 Sitting on the Dock of the Bay – Otis Redding

Have I told you Lately that I love you – Van Morrison

Die a Happy Man – Thomas Rhett

Till Its Gone – Kenny Chesney

Somewhere Over the Rainbow – Israel Kamakawiwo’Ole

and lastly….Into the Mystic – Van Morrison


5-4-F – Essential oils

 Many of you know that I am a Young Living Independent Distributor.  I am part of a huge team called the Lemon Droppers. I love my essential oils, and use them daily!  Like all Lemon Droppers, we all have a “gateway oil” and a long list of favorites!  


#1 -My gateway oil was definitely Valor.  Valor is a mix of Black Spruce, Blue Tansy, Rosewood, and Frankincense essential oils.  It has an uplifting scent that is very calming to me.  When I’m having a particularly stressful day at work, I roll this on my wrists and across my chest and just breathe it in.  Most Lemon Droppers will tell you, this is hands down the #1 oil they try to keep on hand.



#2 – Cedarwood – one that is on my monthly order because I never want to run out!   We diffuse this in the evenings with Lavender to create a calming environment for sleep!  My son loves this oil, and has a roller-ball on the top of “his bottle”.  He uses it before bed many nights.  It has a warm and woodsy aroma to it.  


 lemon#3 – Lemon – lemon is one that I try to keep on hand as well, because I love to give out samples of.  People love its fresh clean scent, as well as how yummy is tastes when added to water.  I put a drop of our Jade Lemon Vitality oil in a glass of cold water and drink it in the morning while I’m getting ready.  My kids like to diffuse it in the mornings because it just gives the house a nice clean scent.  Other great scents in the citrus line are Lime, Orange, Grapefruit and Citrus Fresh.

#4StressAway – this is another one that is great at helping calm me.  It has a 4630very tropical scent to me, and is a blend that contains vanilla, ocotea, lime, cedarwood and others. It is a favorite to diffuse at night before we go to bed.  Stressaway also comes in a roll-on, or you can buy the larger bottle and add a roller ball to the top.  Roll-ons are perfect for throwing in your purse, so you won’t be without this goodness!

5313#5 – Northern Lights Black Spruce – I couldn’t even keep the first bottle at my house because Jake snapped it up for his diffuser at his house (yes ladies, he is very supportive of my business and loves the oils like I do.   It smells like what I imagine heaven smells like.  It is amazing before bed, or anytime we want to take a nap.  It is absolutely heavenly, and I’m glad I took a chance and bought this one (and I did buy another bottle, because we will quickly run out of the 1st!)


If you are interested in any of the oils I have mentioned or have questions about essential oils in general, please do not hesitate to reach out to me.  Leave a comment, find me on twitter or facebook or shoot me an email.  I’m happy to talk about my experiences!


 Here is our current Premium Starter Kit, which allows you to get a diffuser and a collection of oils for 1 low price – and does not obligate you to the business or to ever buy anything about.  It is such a great deal!  I do give incentives to those who buy the kit, depending on the month.  Free oils, free accessories or even cash back.  I see how much of a difference these oils have made in my life, and I love to share that love with others. 


Wordy Wednesday – Mis Hijos

Back in February, Allison blessed me again by taking our family photos, and as always – they are gorgeous!!  She took individual photos of each of the kids, and group shots too.  She even got some silly ones of us jumping (the one of me looks like an injury waiting to happen). 

I will post more soon, but for now – here are my littles, mis hijos, my life.



No matter how you say it, its a fact of everyday life in most American households.  We are obsessed with certain TV shows.  Admit it, you are too.  Here are a few that Jake and I have been watching lately.


House_of_Cards_main_charactersWe started watching House of Cards with Jake’s roommate.  We usually watch 1 episode on Tuesday & Wednesdays nights, so you can imagine its taken a few weeks to get through Season 1.  We have 1 episode left I believe.  We did make it a “drinking game” of sorts, where you have to take a sip of wine (or beer, usually I just have wine) whenever Frank talks directly to the camera.   So far, I love it!


Of course I am still keeping up with Scandal.  Lucky for me Jake records it for me, kerry-washington-scandal-zoom-e9de0685-3629-4934-b596-a185e3cd63f6
so that if I miss it coming on “live”, I can still catch up.  This season has been insane.  As a friend said to me, someone “flipped Liv’s bitch switch”, and the last episode I saw, oh my did she ever.  I can’t say for sure I like this new side of her, but I do love how the dynamic of OPA is evolving, I just wish they’d clue the new guy in a little.  I also love seeing the relationship between Liv & Abby develop, and am I the only one that sort of wants to see Abby jump in bed with Fitz?  I’m the only one?  Ok, cool – will keep that one to myself.  I do hope they leave the relationship between David and the VP intact, someone around here has to have some sort of happy ending don’t you think?

Other shows we have been enjoying:

  • Fixer Upper – obsessed, we are totally obsessed with this show.  We actually have the rough plan to build a shiplap headboard (I’m totally serious here). I just love Chip and Joanna together, they seem to have such a wonderful relationship.
  • Aerial America – this is something we watch when we catch it on.  Its such a neat show, and dedicates an hour to each state showing you the view from the air of each states landmarks and special towns.  Its a splash of travel, a splash of history and its a good show to watch while we cook dinner, because its not one of those shows that you HAVE to watch every minute of or you will be behind (like Scandal or House of Cards).

What are shows you have been watching lately?  Do you have a favorite you think we should try?  Let me know in the comments!



Weekend Wrap-up

Sometimes our weekends are jammed packed (ok, much of the time most of them are jammed packed).  This weekend was no different really.  I wish I had a lot more photos to go with it, but this weekend I really just took it all in and didn’t pull my phone out to take many photos.

Friday was just an easy night as they usually are.  We got pizza, and the kids had a sleepover with 2 of the kids who live down the street.  They were easy, which is always helpful.   Jake surprised Katie by bringing over The Breakfast Club (apparently, one of his favorite movies) and a movie tht Katie is currently obsessed with.   After we had dinner, Jake and Katie went to Publix and grabbed ice cream.  He surprised me with wine and roses too (I love surprises!).  Easy evening.

Saturday, I got up early and went to Publix to get stuff for breakfast and lunch.  I made sausage pinwheels (recipe coming soon!) for Jake and I, and cinnamon rolls for the kids.  After we did that, and hung around the house for a bit we took the neighbor kids home (and ended up dropping off the 2 little ones too) and headed to Lowes.  We love Lowes, we are such enthusiastic DIY’ers (as evidence by our shared pinterest boards).  We ended up buying a lawn mower and a new house key (and by we, I mean Jake bought a lawn mower, I just helped load it in the car).  We did pick out some paint colors to put in our “someday” binder we have.

Saturday evening, we had our department end of the year party at one of our professors homes downtown.  They have a gorgeous home, and everyone brought food and wine.  It was nice to visit and talk to my colleagues and our graduate students.  I got to love on all the babies, laugh with my graduate students and get to see some of our professors who have been on sabbatical this semester.  It was lovely to be able to share it with Jake and my kids.  The kids even got to swim!  The Spruill/Doyle home is beautiful, and perfect for this backyard party!  We got home, I got the kids ready for bed, Jake watched a show with Katie and we headed to bed.  Then the fun began.

…haha, no not the normal going to bed fun, but a puking kid “fun”.  Natalee got sick, and we began the dance of “in bed, out of bed, in bed out of bed”.  Eventually around 1:30, I sent Jake to the store to get Pedialyte.  Poor guy.  He knew I said dye-free, and that I wasn’t brand loyal.  So he came back with CVS brand unflavored pedialyte. Wow…that stuff if nasty.  I sipped it to show Natalee it was okay to drink, and made the mistake of her seeing my awful face.  She said “I’m not drinking that, you made a funny face”.  After a straw, and some ice she finally agreed to sip it.  Then we kept up the running to the bathroom until around 5am.  We did bathtub time, asleep in the recliner time (she slept, I laid there awake).  Finally I got her settled and was able to sleep some.  Needless to say, we did not get to church yesterday.  Jake got up with the kids, and let me sleep.  Then I got up and we just had a lazy afternoon not doing much of anything.  We watched the race, did sneak out to Walmart to grab something I’d forgotten I needed for dinner.  I came home, and got a crazy cooking mode and made dinner, premade the taco meat for tonight, made brownies for Jake’s team at work, made muffins for the kids for breakfast and managed to keep the kitchen clean at the same time.

It was nice to have a Sunday slowdown, but I hated that it was because Natalee was sick.  What did you do this weekend?  We ended the night by watching Frozen as a family, as Jake had never seen it before.  I had to stop the kids from quoting the entire movie by telling them that it was okay to sing the songs, but to let the characters do the talking.  ha!

Happy birthday Jake!

Happy birthday to this man……


who makes me laugh like no one else can….
who willingly wears garnet & black when he’s more of a Michigan blue guy….
who tries to teach me stuff about hockey even if my eyes glaze over….
who will let me yell at the TV when political commercials come on….
who respects that we are on opposite ends of a political spectrum (and still loves me)….
who puts up with my brand of crazy (and my total commitment to it)….
who will debate with me about college athletics (satellite camps?)….
who starts new traditions with me and the kids (pizza Fridays!)….
who lets me completely trash talk about football (#clowneycoming)….
who lets me make a mess in his kitchen cooking, and eats anything I make with a smile….
who surprises me every single day with his kindness and his love. 

I love you babe!