Five Friday Faves: Volume 1 Edition 3

Disclaimer: Posts on this blog may include affiliate links or reviews in which I was asked to review an item or service in exchange for compensation and/or free items. All opinions, however, are 100% my own. My Five Friday Faves lists will from time to time include affiliate links or products my family received for the blog. 

five Friday Faves

Can someone tell me where September has taken itself to? All the sudden, it’s fall and all the things that come with it – like being busy every single night of the week and not having much weekend rest time. Anyone else?

Good thing that quality time living life as a family has given me plenty to tell you about. To keep you caught up, here are a few quick things that have been part of our lives the past few weeks, our…

Five Friday Faves

One. Juicy Juice. There’s this crazy amazing point in time when babies start to be able to drink from a straw and all the sudden running out of the house is no longer a big deal. This time is here for the twins, as shown by their enjoyment of some Juicy Juice boxes.

juicy juice splashers

Not going to lie, I indulge in the Splashers because they are delicious ways to get some juice in my day without all the sugar and calories. (Don’t believe me? Check out my post on Instagram from this morning and tell me you had to go check.)

juicy juice

What is your go to drink for your kiddos?

Two. Speaking of the twins and keeping them happy, we’ve discovered the “Little Journey” brand of baby snacks and products at Aldi. So far, we’ve tested their wipes (love), some fruit pouches, and the yogurt snacks. The girls can’t get enough of these and we go through a bag of them in two days. Okay, again, maybe the Bigs are taking some, too. (I got to test these out as part of the Influenster program – are you part of it? If not, head over on my referral link to get sampling!)

little journey

Three. Football season is back! You know we’re huge fans of the Steelers and Clemson, right? What a great season so far, huh? Yes.


Four. Y Fit. Greg and I have teamed up to battle our bodies together at our local YMCA. On Tuesday and Thursday, we do Y Fit together and it has been awesome. I HATE it in the midst of it (because I feel so weak, but I have to stop comparing this body to my body pre-twins but post-Evan). But I love it at the end. I feel accomplished and good.


Five. The fact that 1) it is officially fall and 2) my Thirty-One business has been a blessing in so many ways already this month. I’ve been able to put smiles on many faces (including my Customers, Hostesses, and family) because of the things this amazing company has done for us in my small business. (If you didn’t know, there’s an amazing special on our #1 product – here’s a link to my site!)



Now it’s your turn! List five things you’re really digging this week in the comments or on social with #fivefridayfaves – will you? Bonus – I’ll be linking up weekly with a list of others sharing five things, so who knows what else you might learn about by visiting their lists. Have a great weekend! xoxo

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Tech Tuesday: Kanex

Disclaimer: Posts on this blog may include affiliate links or reviews in which I was asked to review an item or service in exchange for compensation and/or free items. All opinions, however, are 100% my own. This Tech Tuesday post is brought to you by Kanex.

Those months just before a phone upgrade seem to drag, don’t they? When you’re spending hours in the car, listening to audio books and trying to navigate the best commute, those months drag even longer. This time around, I’m lucky enough to be backed up with two products from Kanex to make them just a little shorter.

I’m using this keychain for more than keeping my keys together. It’s got a micro USB (lightning, Apple certified!) to connect my phone to my computer. This is a quick and easy way to make sure I’ve always got a charging cable with me and double bonus, it works with my iPad. How fun is the bottle opener?


Reality is that being connected to a computer or outlet isn’t always ideal (like last week at Girl Scouts in a pavillion). The Kanex GoPower holds two charges (one for me, one for him, or both for me if I’m not in a sharing mood, ha) for your smaller micro USB devices or the iPad once. 

For charging at your desk, kick out the stand:

I have the midsized 6000 mAh, which is compact enough to travel in my bag daily or in my hand with my phone while I’m wandering around. I love the LED lights that indicate how much charge time is left, too. 

If you’re interested in grabbing up these devices, you can find all the specifics on the Kanex website. Pin this post on your gift ideas board for those “have everything” people, too!

Tell me…When could your day have been saved because of one of these devices?

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Super Wings

Disclaimer: Posts on this blog may include affiliate links or reviews in which I was asked to review an item or service in exchange for compensation and/or free items. All opinions, however, are 100% my own. (We received Super Wings in exchange for this post.)

Raise your hand if you can rattle off the name of all the shows your kids watch. Mine is not raised. You see, I didn’t know that Evan was into Super Wings until I brought him home some figurines and asked him if he wanted to check out the app. He looked at me like I was on something, like why don’t you know I like them?!?!

super wings

Super Wings is an animated television series where cars and planes work together to solve problems – together! There is also an app and a toy line. We got to check out their blind bag toys, which soon became a staple in Evan’s every day play.

After he opened his blind bag, Evan begged for the iPad so he could check out the App. He’s loving helping Donnie “make things happen” (as Donnie’s favorite saying is I’m ready to make things happen, in case you’re like me and aren’t schooled in Super Wings) and video Donnie and the rest of our Super Wings in action.

super wings app

If you’re like me and didn’t know about Super Wings until today, check them out online as well as on Sprout TV. Super Wings toys are available through Auldley Toys.

super wings blind bag


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Grandparents’ Day 2016

Happy Grandparents Day to all the Grandparents, especially our’s!

Grandma and Pop Pop



Pappy and Grammie


Next time we’re all together? Better photos for sure! xoxo

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World’s Smallest Toys

Disclaimer: Posts on this blog may include affiliate links or reviews in which I was asked to review an item or service in exchange for compensation and/or free items. All opinions, however, are 100% my own. This post, World’s Smallest Toys, is one such post. 

Are you like me and have hands that have to be constantly doing something. This need to always be moving leads to me drumming on my desk with a pen, applying lip gloss, or simply tapping at my phone to keep them occupied.

Recently, I found out about World’s Smallest Toys, a line of novelties that brings some of our favorite childhood toys into tiny sized replicas. Think: Desk perfect! Conversation starter! Stress Relief!

world's smallest toys

Ah. Not going to lie, when I saw these, I claimed them all for my own. The kids haven’t played with them. Part of that is because they’re not all for ages 3+ (several are 8+), but a bigger part is that I do not want to share. I want to play with them all myself.

Okay, so I might have tucked two of them away for stocking stuffers (perfect!), but two will definitely be going with me to my new desk (we’re anxiously counting down the days to our new office dahntahn). Can you guess which?

While you think about it, how about if I give you some of the deets on these adorable working small toys?

The toys I received to review were the Chatter Telephone, Rubik’s Cube, Sock Monkey, and Etch a Sketch. These toys join the rest of World’s Smallest Toys including: Perplexus, Duncan yo-yo, Doodletopand Rock-a-Stack. They range in age recommendations starting at 3+ and are priced from $3.99 to $9.99. You can find out more by checking out Super Impulse online as well as on Twitter and Instagram.

Alright, so did you guess which two I’ve opened? Here they are!

small sock monkey


Aren’t they adorable? Tell me – have you ever solved a Rubik’s Cube? It’s so on my 2016 to-do list now, right?

Tell me: What toy would you have kept all to yourself?

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Brown Sugar and Garlic Green Beans

This summer has been full of gardening complimented by trips to the local Farmer’s Markets. We’ve been canning, but hadn’t received our pressure canner. I knew I had to do something with the pint of green beans we picked up last weekend, so I decided to saute them up and season them. Thus, brown sugar and garlic green beans were born!

Brown Sugar and Garlic Green Beans

Brown Sugar and Garlic Green Beans

I rarely get the chance to share a recipe with you that I haven’t even had a chance to have Greg try hot, but it’s so worth you giving this a try without one more opinion. You see, he was off at his Fantasy Football Draft with church, doing “man stuff”. I was barefoot in the kitchen, cooking up a storm. He missed out on these fresh from the pan (which is the best way to enjoy them).

What will you need? 

  • Pint of fresh green beans, rinsed and ends snapped
  • 2 TBSP brown sugar (I use Splenda’s brown sugar for less calories)
  • 2 TBSP minced garlic (fresh would be GLORIOUS)
  • 2 tsp paprika (trust me here)
  • small pot
  • water

green beans cooking

I have this thing with snapping my beans. It’s like therapy for me, something relaxing about feeling them pop as I prep them for the eating.

What will you do? 

  • Bring water to boil in the pot.
  • Add the green beans and cook for about 5 minutes (until the beans are soft).
  • Drain all the water off the beans.
  • Spray pot with cooking spray and return beans to pot.
  • Continue cooking, adding in the brown sugar, garlic, and paprika.

seasoned green beans

  • Allow the seasonings and beans to get to a syrupy, golden brown.
  • Remove from heat and enjoy!

cooked green beans

These are delicious, bringing a sweet savory side to your standard “meat and potatoes” kind of night. (I paired mine with my secret turkey meatloaf – beg that recipe out of me!) Enjoy! xoxo

These green beans were from Robinson’s Greenhouse & Farmer’s Market outside of Kittanning. It is well worth the drive! 

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Fruity Pebbles Bundt Cake

In case you’re in need of a dessert to take to a gathering today, let me share with you the Fruity Pebbles Bundt Cake I put together this weekend. If you’ve got ‘lil ones in your house, you most likely have everything you need to make it, too! If not, it’s a chance to remember your childhood with a crunchy yet crumbly sweet treat.

Fruity Pebbles Bundt Cake

This cake was an idea that came to me after seeing a friend on Instagram share a breakfast bread she’d made with fruity pebbles. I wanted something fun for Homestead Jenn‘s birthday party (if you are local and don’t know my friend Jenn, it’s time you learn.). This fit the bill, I think!

Fruity Pebbles Bundt Cake

What you need: 

  • Box of cake mix (I used white)
  • Ingredients as per cake mix (I swapped in egg whites, 2 per egg on the box)
  • 2 cups + 2 cups of Fruity Pebbles cereal
  • Cake Pan – I love the look of this with a bundt pan!
  • Vanilla icing (I used a can, but you could make your own)

It’s going to look like you are making breakfast. That’s okay! *wink*


What You Will Do

  • Pre-heat the oven as instructed on cake box.
  • Grease bundt pan.
  • In a mixing bowl, mix the cake as directed on box.
  • With a mixing spoon, fold in 2 cups of the Fruity Pebbles.


  • Pour into bundt pan.
  • Cook cake according to box directions.
  • Once cooked, allow to cool.
  • Ice the cake with the icing – it’s perfectly fine to be messy here. You’ll see!
  • Sprinkle the other 2 cups (give or take) of Fruity Pebbles on the iced cake.
  • Enjoy! Bonus if you enjoy with a friend celebrating a milestone birthday. We recommend decorating and eating the same day. It’s crunchy on day one, but by day three it was softened  (though still tasty).

fruity pebbles cake

If you liked this recipe, be sure to share it – both by baking for a friend and sharing online!


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The Twins 17 Months

On Friday, the Twins turned 17 months old (don’t worry, we’re still in denial over here, too). It was a whirlwind month with the girls amazing us more every day.

Twins 17 Months

Ava started walking five days after turning 16 months old. That might have something to do with the whirlwind. We are now chasing them in two different directions. Baby proofing is officially vital. At play time she has had to go into isolation of her own playpen because she continued to bite Isla. Most recently, she’s put her pacifier to the side. It’s no longer attached to her day and night. She went four nights without it before uncovering it from under her crib mattress on Friday night (but promptly told it “night” on Saturday morning). Her favorite thing is “Number of the Day” from Sesame Street.

Isla continues to be a busy ham. She’s all about making us laugh and giving us reason to hold our breath all in the same minute. Her hair is finally growing out of the Terry Bradshaw, her teeth out of the Michael Strahan. She still favors Daddy, but started calling out for Mama more and more. When she is done eating, she makes it clear that she is done by yelling so. When she’s not racing Ava up the stairs to bed or throwing her stuffed dog around the living room, she’s busy finding fun toys in the Bigs’ toy room. Her favorite thing is “Letter of the Day” from Sesame Street.

Oh, girls. You might still be wearing 6-9 month shoes, but your feet have brought such big happiness to our world. Our nightly peek-a-boo and jumping on the bed sessions are long going to be burned in my mind. You’ve grown all too quickly, but it’s all been for the good. Lots and lots of love, ladies. xoxo


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Back to School 2016

No idea how this happened, but the Bigs have made it through eight days of school already. Before things become like Ari’s last day of first grade, we present the official back to school 2016 photos!

back to school 2016

Okay, who stole our babies and told them it was okay to grow up and into a Kindergartner and Second Grader? I mean seriously. Thank goodness they think this is funny.

Arianna will be taking on the last grade that I taught this year. Let that one sink in. She is in the grade that I was teaching when she was born.

second grade

And in ten years, back to school will be her senior year and this shirt will fit her. Sigh.

river hawks

And then there is Evan. He was so excited for full day Kindergarten + free breakfast and lunch this year (what a great score for our district!). Although he was nervous that his bff from Pre-K Counts wouldn’t be in his class (he’s not), he was still ready to give it a try.


And the Armstrong River Hawks Class of 2029 is sure blessed to have him as part of their own, aren’t they?


We are so proud of you, Bigs!



And an even bigger shout out to Greg who took this task on all by himself. I was away for work and got to join in via Skype, but he took care of all the details and photos. Thank you for making their days so special! xoxo

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Arianna’s Last Day of First Grade

Confession Time. While all of you with it parents were posting photos of the first day of school, I’ve been carrying the weight that I never posted Arianna’s last day of First Grade photo. Because who has time to get photos of their nice camera anyways?

Baby girl, Mama is sorry life gets so busy. You did amazing in First Grade and we already see great things happening in second. Love you lots, girl! xoxo


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