The Family Gift Guide

November 18, 2021


Here we go, friend. I'm not a big gift guide person but when I'm shopping for Christmas, I'm always thinking about things we can get for our whole family versus individuals unless there are specific needs: socks, undies... you know the basics. So I've rounded up some things I think are great big gifts for everyone so you can enjoy some quality time together!

ONE: Board games, card games, anything fun to play together. We love 5 Second Rule game the most but also Headbanz is a keep with the range in ages for our kids.

TWO: A foosball table would be so fun to add extra entertainment and create family competitions. Andrew, Drake and Eme are so competitive so they'd love that.

THREE: Record player and favorite vinyls. We just got our record player this last week and went to Goodwill today to sift through what we could find. I need to get a greatest hits album of Johnny Cash and Creedence Clearwater but it will be fun over the years to build this collection.

FOUR: Puzzles. Can't go wrong with any puzzles. Shop small with Pink Antlers, here.

FIVE: An air hockey table or tennis table would be great to keep the games going like a foosball table. Friendly challenges and great for when you want to host and entertain. I know if we had one, all the adults and cousins would be crowded around.

SIX: We got our Beast trampoline last year and freaking love it. If your family doesn't have one yet, this is a great idea for everyone to enjoy. Not only for jumping but family movie nights or cuddling up with blankets and hot cocoa just chatting.

Christmas Cards with Minted

November 9, 2021

It's the most wonderful time of the year! You know my second favorite holiday followed by Easter is Christmas so when it comes to getting our cards ordering and happy mail along to people we love, I jump on it before the madness of shipping and the postage hits. We used Minted for our cards again this year, making that 7 years in a row and as usual, they're just beautiful! They always have such a range of options and having just gotten our family pictures back, I picked simple and clean with a reminder of why were celebrate: Jesus.

If you're shopping your Christmas cards, use my code for an extra $10 off your order of $100+. It can be combined with the online site promotion making this is the best deal of the season! The code is AUBREYCARDS and valid November 8 - 15th, 2021. I always choose minted for the beautiful gold foil options they have, return address printing and customized addressing for me when I upload my spreadsheet. It gives me an easy button for shopping and checking them off my list.

A fun little hack to make your cards extra festive is incorporating your own scent with them using essential oils! Grab a gallon size ziplock bag and put all your Christmas cards inside. Then grab 2-3 cotton balls and add 3-5 drops on each of your favorite oil that reminds you of the holidays! I love Christmas Spirit for this but others that would be great are: pine, northern lights black spruce, orange, bergamot, balsam fir, peace & calming, vanilla, believe, idado blue spruce or clove.
You get to choose and customize the scent and then when you enclose them in their envelopes, it'll smell like Christmas cheer for the recipient. Allow them to sit in the ziplock 1-2 days before removing and sealing and sending them on their way!

Here are the designs I had at the top of my list when I browsed a few weeks ago before ordering:

2021 Family Pictures

November 1, 2021

They are done! Christmas cards are ordered and I am so darn happy and emotional about these new family pictures. Something came over me this year realizing we have 2 years left with our big guy. He turned 16 last month and while I know he'll always come home there's a whole new realization to him becoming an adult and making a name for himself. He is such a God fearing young man and we really only have the smallest amount of time left with impact and influence on his heart and mind.

Being these kids parents is such a privilege. I never take it for granted God choosing me to parent them and love them. To teach them and mold them. To impress on their hearts the goodness of God and this life we have. Eternity is such a treasure and I get one chance to raise these arrows right and it's a gift and opportunity I am thankful for every single day.

So here I am documenting these family pictures of dear friend, Jenna @jennawilkesphotography, did for us. She has captured our family for so many years and she is a gem always bringing out the best and giving me keepsakes to have years and years to come. 

Our New Couch

September 17, 2021


We did it! We had a mishap with our couch a few months ago that meant it was time to finally buy a new one. We loved our previous one from American Furniture Warehouse but life... ie: kids throwing up means it's time to say goodbye and get something a little more durable and easy to clean. I had always always always pictures soft and light and bright for our couches. Cloth and a light linen or suede and then I start couch hunting and I kept drawing to a dark cognac leather. It felt very bold and very out of my comfort zone but I couldn't stop thinking about them when I was looking and finally bit the bullet.

This was Andrew's pick right away. Leather is his dream and honestly, I was so sick of the light fabric couches everyone has. I am over the farmhouse looking style and want to really hone in on what draws me in. I can't quite pin point what I'd call my style but when I'm shopping I think a little rustic, eclectic and vintage with some softer dainty touches. That doesn't even make sense when I type it out but ultimately, I want people to walk in our home and feel comfortable. I want it to be inviting and cozy and like they want to cozy up on the couch with a blanket and feel at home.

This couch did that for me.

We had been shopping for about a month both online and in stores and we had been to Living Spaces 3 times before looking at this couch. It just didn't feel right. We actually were there to buy it and then I saw this Burton leather sectional. But shocker - it was out of stock. So we left empty handed. That night I was looking online at 2am and it dawned on me how it was advertised as a sectional and that showed out of stock but when you look at the individual pieces, the sofa and corner was available!! It was the love seat size that wasn't and lucky for me, I want 2 of the sofa sizes anyway to make it a bigger sectional than advertised. I immediately got up and added it all to my cart on my computer and first thing when Andrew woke up that morning we ordered! It came the next day and I've been in Burton cognac leather heaven ever since.

Really though, it's cozy and plush and BOLD and inviting and exactly what I pictured. And even a little boho. It checks off the eclectic piece of my style perfectly. So if you're shopping, you can view the collection of this couch over here!

DIY Gel Manis


Happy Friday! Last week I posted I grabbed a handful of DND gel polish when they had a labor day sale so naturally, I had a lot of questions about at home gel manis. I will be the first to say, I go in kicks of wanting to get my nails done at the salon but every time I do, it's always gel and I'm never happy. I tend to be happier when I just paint them myself at home so I finally grabbed a light and a handful of colors I'm rotating at the salon and BAM. I'm set!

Here is everything to shop and then you can of course, shop for these colors above.

You for sure want a base and top coat to have the polish adhere and set better. Don't skimp on this step and personally, I like the DND base and top coat combo best. I find it having the best results. The polish you use doesn't matter as much when you're using a good base and top coat.

Step One -
Make sure your nails are free of any remaining polish, push back and trim cuticles and then rough up your nail bed a bit with a nail file. This helps the base coat stick better!

Step Two -
Less is more!! When you are applying your polish, go light and layer if you need to and remember when applying be careful to avoid skin and wipe any excess off before putting your hand under the light to set. Apply your base coat and slip one hand at a time into your light and let it set for 60 seconds.

Step Three -
Apply 2-3 coats of your polish choice letting them set for 60 seconds between each coat under the LED/UV light.

Step Four -
Apply your top coat, again, less is more. Wipe any excess before setting under the light and finishing off for 60 seconds.

Step Five -
Using rubbing alcohol and a cotton ball, rub your nails clean to remove any stick residue left after your polish has set and voila! You're done!

For a fraction of the cost, you're now able to accomplish beautiful gel nails at home! They tend to last me 7-10 days which is the same timeframe they last me when I go to the salon. When I'm ready to remove them, I grab acetone, small tin foil pieces and cotton balls. Scuff up the polish with a nail file, soak cotton balls in acetone and then wrap each individual nail with tin foil and let sit 8-10 minutes. They will become goopy and you'll easily be able to file off the rest of the remaining polish before prepping your nail beds to paint again.


Summer Sugar Cookie Cheesecake Recipe

July 15, 2021


This recipe being shared has been long awaited so I'm finally getting to this to have for future reference - because it really is that good! We normally bake this during Memorial Day, 4th of July and Labor Day but your topping can be totally your own and would be delicious for a birthday cake or any event you need a larger sized dessert to share.

I don't have a favorite sugar cookie recipe and typically grab a loaf of the pilsbury premade sugar cookie for this dish so with that in mind, I'll just be sharing the cheesecake recipe and your instructions for everything together!

What you'll need:

1 Pilsbury sugar cookie premade loaf
16oz cream cheese
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups cool whip


Preheat your oven to temperature specified on sugar cookie loaf. In a large 9x12 baking dish, line the bottom with sugar cookie dough and smash it down with your fingertips so it's about 1/4 inch thick and covering the entire base. Bake 11-13 minutes or until lightly golden brown, set aside.

While your sugar cookie base bakes, in a standing mixer, beat (room temperature) cream cheese, sugar and cool whip together about 2-3 minutes until well combined and no cream cheese chunks are seen. After your sugar cookie base is done and cooled, top with your cheesecake filling. You can then add your blueberries, strawberries and raspberries... or any fresh fruit you desire! Kiwi, or peaches would be a delight, too!

Refrigerate until ready to serve and cut into small pieces like you would brownies when serving from your large rectangle tray.

I hope you all love this recipe and enjoy sharing it with friends and family. It's always a hit for our home and I can't get enough of it during hot summer days when we BBQ and swim. Enjoy! xx

Weekend Photo Dump

May 25, 2021


Here comes a little weekend photo dump from Friday through Sunday. It has been over a week since I got ready so I needed some blush and a pretty dress to bring me back to life after a sinus infection (darn allergies!). We cut some roses from the garden, Emery lost a tooth, Hollyn got a cutie new swimmer, trader joes had peonies, I found a darling USA sweatshirt under $20 for memorial day and the girls helped me clean all the diffusers in the house.

Simple little tasks and wins to celebrate and enjoy. I hope you had a good weekend!

My Easter Dress

March 23, 2021

photography @annaelainephotography

Easter is right around the corner and I found the perfect dress to wear! We all know I love neutrals but there's something about the pastel mint that says Easter perfectly. Add in the puff sleeves and tiered style with some springy wedges and it's a win. Click the above pictures to see some of my favorites I've added to my closet lately from PinkBlush. I love their variety while being on a budget and their wide range in sizing.

I hope you all have a lovely Easter! He is Risen!

Summer Swim Items for Mama

March 22, 2021


one, two, three (code "socute" for 30% off), four, five, six, seven

We are officially able to swim at our new house! The pool was completed and we took a dip when it was freezing cold. I remember growing up when we had our pool built and it was the middle of December when it finished but my brother and I still jumped in! The girls were so excited to do the same and I immediately started shopping around for some good coverage, basic swim suits for myself to enjoy it all summer with the kids.

I always go for black but added in a leopard and olive - can't go wrong with neutrals! I'll upgrade my birkenstocks this summer to a fresh set of white ones and some inexpensive sunnies because I'm bound to lose them at some point.

Enjoy my little round up of summer must-haves as we dig into warm weather! xo

Housework Checklist: FREE Printable!

March 8, 2021


clear spray bottle / thieves label / thieves cleaner (11517995 at checkout) / tea towel (similar)

It's here! Your free download for keeping on a schedule for housework. I haven't ever followed a plan when it comes to cleaning but has some loose things I did daily and weekly. If I look at this honestly, the monthly section would typically be done every 6-9 months and I need to be better at maintain those tasks. 

The kids help a lot with tackling things, as well, so don't feel like this has to be all on you, mama. Ask for help! I always struggle asking for help and being so angry when family members don't pitch in but shifting and being honest that I need the help has been huge for my mental wellbeing. Plus we all know we have some contributing to do and take pride in our home and I feel like that's *hopefully* setting the kids up for success later when they're out of the house.

We use one cleaner for everything in our house but add certain oils to it seasonally to change up the scent a bit. I just added Lemon Myrtle to my Thieves cleaner and when I did all this on Sunday, I was so happy with the fresh, spring vibes going on!

Click over here to download your printable! I am going to laminate mine and use a dry erase marker to easily check-off and wipe off as tasks are accomplished. I hope you enjoy it!

Easter Baskets for Little Girls


Easter is coming and I'm normally really late to collecting my thoughts on what to do for the kids and getting it compiled but I'm all set and done for all three kids! Easter is about Jesus and celebrating His sacrifice for our sins so when we're sharing gifts on Easter for our kids, we are focusing on that. I loved adding in the coloring mats from His Kids Company this year and a some books about Easter for the girls. Of course, a few fun things and they are needing new swimsuits so this was a good chance to grab those staples!

I'll pull together what I did for Drake in another post, in case you're wondering for a 15 year old. He's always tricky but staples are best!

Whimsical & Girly Playroom

January 11, 2021

We are officially in the new house! We moved in December 16th, celebrated Christmas and the New Year freshly settled and we've been working on getting each room and nook unique and decorated just for us. It's been a dream seeing it all come to life since May last year watching it be built and the journey that was and now here we are! Soaking it up and living life in these 4 walls.

One of the first spaces I tackled was the playroom for the kids so they had somewhere to enjoy and escape. We decided to add a mural wall in this room to make it extra girly and whimsical. We did the Tawny design (link here) and it's everything I imagined it would be. Add in a few more touches to make it their own, like Cuddle & Kind dolls, a bulletin board to display their art and books in every corner to dig into - they love it all!