Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Entertainment with Erika

It's been a while since I've shared what I've been reading and watching.  This summer I tried to step my reading game up (once my sweet baby started sleeping through the night-prior to that I always chose sleep!).  I've read some good books this summer.  You need to add these to your list!

What I've Read...
I LOVED this one!  This is Elin Hilderbrand's latest book and I definitely recommend it.  It's a super girly, beach read but I was like this...
when it came to this one.  The book is about two identical twin sisters who couldn't be more different.  One has spent most of her time on Martha's Vineyard.  The other has been on Nantucket.  Through a series of events they switch islands, secrets are revealed, and it's GOOD!  I don't want to give too much away-but if you're an Elin this one!

Jennifer Weiner is a very well known author (I think of In Her Shoes when I hear her name).  This book is all about her own life, own experiences, and how she got where she is today.  The first half of this book was hard for me to get through, but the second half picked up.  If you're a Jennifer Weiner fan, you should give it a try!

In this book, Kate discovers she can change the outcome of her life by her Facebook status.  Anything she writes, becomes true.  (Can you imagine?)  I really enjoyed this book and it makes you think about the picture-perfect lives we see on FB, Instagram, and just doesn't exist.  

Not that the covers of a book really matter, but I think Kristin Higgins has some of the cutest front covers.  

This is what Amazon says, "Letting go of her ex-husband is harder than wedding-dress designer Jenny Tate expected…especially since his new wife wants to be Jenny's new best friend. Needing closure, Jenny trades the Manhattan skyline for her hometown up the Hudson, where she'll start her own business and bask in her sister Rachel's picture-perfect family life…and maybe even find a little romance of her own with Leo, her downstairs neighbor, who's utterly irresistible and annoyingly distant at the same time. 
Rachel's idyllic marriage, however, is imploding after she discovers what looks like her husband's infidelity. She always thought she'd walk away in this situation but now she's wavering, much to Jenny's surprise. Rachel points to their parents' perfect marriage as a shining example of patience and forgiveness; but to protect her sister, Jenny may have to tarnish that memory—and their relationship­—and reveal a family secret she's been keeping since childhood. 
Both Rachel and Jenny will have to come to terms with the past and the present, and find a way to help each other get what they want most of all."

It's a great chick-lit read.

Most Elin Hilderbrand books are super girly.  We can guess the ending after finishing the second chapter.  And the endings are SO good!  Well, this one is different!  This is way more suspenseful than any of her other books.  I loved this one!

In this book, we hear the entire love story of a couple.  It's told from the girl's perspective where in the end she's forced to make a choice between her past and her present.  The story is told very differently than most so it was a good change for me. 

Reading now...
I don't know what Amazon was doing when they recommended this one for me.  I'm not a huge dog person, but let me tell you-this book might change that!  haha!  I'll keep you posted on this one.

The Proposal
I forgot how much I love this movie.  I watched it on the flight to L.A. and was reminded how much I love this movie AND Sandra Bullock.

The Blind Side
Isn't this one of the best movies EVER?!

Big Brother 19

Oh my goodness!  This show gets me sucked in quicker than any other reality show.  I'm completely torn this season.  I wasn't a Cody or Jessica fan, but I hate how the other side of the house is bullying them.  (Josh, I'm looking at you.)  And it is really getting under my skin how the majority of the house acts like they're the victims when in actuality or at least in the editing world they sure aren't making it appear that way.  At this point, I don't have any favorites.  I thought Paul last season was great to watch but I'm so eager for some people to rally against him.  WHY is it taking them so long?!

A sweet reader, Dayna, sent this to me this week and I couldn't agree more!!  RIGHT?!
Thank you, Dayna!

Do you guys have a favorite?  I'm ready for a BIG move to happen.  I'm just not sure who it'll be!

If you have any great recommendations, please send them my way.  :)  Have a great day today!  XO

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Tuesday Talk

Hey Ladies!

It's Tuesday, which means it's time for TUESDAY TALK around here.  Once a month, Fancy Ashley and I host a link-up {and we'd love for you to join us} where we TALK about anything and everything!  It's the third Tuesday of every month, if you missed it today mark it down on your calendars for next month-September 19th.

Today, I'm talking FALL DRESSES.  I don't know about you but I love wearing dresses.  {Maybe I get that from Ebby Lee?}  I think they're even more comfortable then jeans or pants, paired with booties they're so cute, and the fall in Texas is perfect dress weather.  When Nordstrom reached out to ask about me sharing some dresses with you, I of course said, "YES".  

Dresses + Nordstrom = YES

Depending on the dress {and how "dressy" it looks},  I wear dresses to run errands, to church, out for date night, and much more.  I grabbed a random assortment of dresses to share with you today, so no matter what the occasion you might find something you like.  :)

I must say please excuse my look and my lack of shoes.  #keepinitreal

 Cold Shoulder Dress
This one comes in GREAT fall colors.  I had my hair back so you could really see how the cold shoulder looked.

This is more realistic to how I'd actually wear the dress.

Cotton Emporium Casual Dress-{sold out at the moment}
These are a few other options by the same brand that are definitely a more casual, here, and here.  I loved this dress-it was just a TAD too short for me.  Anyone under 5'6"...this is for YOU!

This dress will be able to take us all from late summer to fall by switching out the shoes from a nice pair of heels to some cute booties. The length was super church appropriate on me.

I feel like they out did themselves with this one.  Two of my favorite and flare AND tweed!

This one comes in similar style but floral pattern {that I might like even more-super cute}.

Love everything about this one...the sleeves, the colors, the it all!

I loved the length of this one and again...thought it was perfect for church.

This one is definitely out of my comfort zone, but I kind of liked it.  Imagine it with a denim jacket in the fall or worn just this way with some fun wedges for a night out.

This dress sold out recently and is now back in stock!  It'll be a fall favorite!  You can see those booties here.  (Mine are Greystone.)

In all the pictures, I'm wearing these earrings.  And for sizing purposes, I'm wearing small or a 4 in everything.  A few of the shift dresses were a little on the bigger side but for length purposes I'd stick with those sizes.  

Thank you to Nordstrom for sponsoring this post!

I'll be sharing some of what I've been watching and reading with you tomorrow.  Hope to see you here!  XO

You can scroll to see all the dresses I shared today..

Monday, August 14, 2017

Britt Post Adoption-3 Months

Happy Monday from this sweet girl!  :)

I cannot believe this girl has been ours for three months.  In some ways it feels like we've had her for years but in other ways we're still learning so much about each other.

Britt has grown by leaps and bounds this month {Humble mom brag moment...haha!}.  She's begun taking steps.  You should our family of six celebrate when she does this!  We have her walk from person to person all the time.  She's definitely not walking on her own but she's making such improvements.

I think I've mentioned before that she doesn't like being on her tummy.  Crawling is her enemy but this smart thing has mastered a way to "crawl" all while in the sitting position.  I really should video this for you.  Not really what we were trying to get her to do, but she's figured a way to get herself around this place.

 She can make the funniest faces {Please note her face above}.  She will laugh at herself and then even cover her mouth like she really shouldn't be laughing.  She mimics EVERYTHING the big kids do...even the naughty things!

She's now saying, "Uh-oh" and she'll shake her head both "yes" and "no".  She's understanding more and more of what we say.
 I have no doubts about her knowing we are her people...she is home.  She's sleeping all night long now {only took her about two months to figure that out but it felt like years...haha!}.  She's hit or miss on the food situation.  We have her big palate surgery coming up at the end of the month.  Cleft mamas, please send me your helpful hints.  I'll take ANYTHING!  Cup suggestions, food suggestions, just anything that worked for you please send me your recommendations!

She is teeny, tiny but has touched all five of our hearts in such BIG ways!  We're so very thankful she's ours.

This faith journey has been simply incredible.  When I see my big kids fight {yes, fight-keeping it real} over who gets to play with Britt, or when I see Britt's face light up when Tab walks in the door after work, I'm reminded of how far we've come.  Our God is a BIG God.  He's turned our family into a family of six that might look a little different from the outside but love each other so big on the inside.

"I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him." 1 Samuel 1:27

If you've missed any of my adoption posts, you can see them here...

And I've answered some adoption questions in these posts...

If you have a question you'd like me to address in Part 3, simply e-mail at  I promise to get those questions answered.

And bloggers-don't forget tomorrow we're chatting with TUESDAY TALK.  We'd love for you to join us!

Friday, August 11, 2017

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday!

Narci, Andrea, and I are teaming up {like we do every Friday} to bring you FRIDAY FAVORITES!  You can join us.  Simply blog your faves, grab our graphic, and add your blog to the link up.

I'm not sure about where you live but around here it's BACK TO SCHOOL mode in high gear.  We're trying to squeeze every last ounce of fun from our last few weeks.  On Wednesday, I blogged about how I gear up for back to school.  {You can see the post here.}  Today, I want to add a little more to our BACK TO SCHOOL talk by chatting about school clothes.

When Nordstrom reached out to ask if I'd be interested in talking kids' clothes again, I was quick to jump on it.  Not only does Nordstrom make it super easy with online shopping {makes my life SO much easier}, free shipping, and easy returns but they carry some amazing brands for kiddos.

Tucker + Tate is the brand I'm sharing with you today.  I've blogged about this line before back in the summer {and I'm showing them a little more love}.  This brand washes well, wears well, holds up through recess and p.e., and is so reasonably priced.

My big kids are getting old enough they really have opinions on what they wear.  So before sharing some goodies with you I decided to do the unthinkable.  I took all four kiddos to Nordstrom, showed them the Tucker + Tate line, and let them choose their favorite outfit.  You'll never believe who was the most opinionated about his/her clothes...{NIXON}!!  

I was actually pretty impressed with what they chose.  These were their FAVORITES...

I must say this combo made Ebby Lee think cute glasses while it made me dream of all things college football.  Mamas of schools with black/white as your team out the bow for your other school color and these are PERFECT for GAME DAY!

Again, the pom poms and glasses were styled by Miss Ebby Lee herself.  :)  This cardigan would be the perfect way to transition this dress from late summer to fall.

And the very same thing for Miss Britt with her's a super cute way to take the romper into the cooler months.  Especially when the mornings and evenings are chilly but the days are still HOT!  Let me add...right after this picture the lawn care service began mowing my neighbors yard and Britt wasn't a fan.  #theonlypicItookofher

And these are the boys outfits...didn't they do a good job choosing?!  How many more years until Nixon refuses to wear a matching jacket as his little brother?  ha!  The tees with pants are perfect for fall and paired with the jackets they're even better.  {Please note, all my kiddos have plenty of shoes but taking pictures in the summer outside is simply hot so I let them for go the shoes.}

And the girls chose these dresses as well.  Ebby Lee still loves a dress.  This simple cotton dress will wash and dry perfectly for school days.  Britt's dress runs a little big.

Sometimes they are so sweet to each other and it melts my heart.

As you're thinking about some great transition clothes, please check out the Tucker + Tate line.  I promise you'll be so glad you did.  :)

And just for fun, some of my FAVORITE outtakes...
If you guys only knew the shrieking and sound-making, I was doing.  What is Britt looking at?

Bowen's face  :)

And my personal favorite...the fall.  Big sister, Ebby Lee, swooped down just in time to catch her.

I hope you guys have a GREAT WEEKEND!  XO

And a big THANK YOU to Nordstrom for sponsoring this post.  :)

To see all of the kiddos' goodies, you can scroll here...

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Workin' It Wednesday-Back to School

It's the second Wednesday of the month, which means Shay and I are WORKIN' IT.  Every month we share ways we "WORK" a topic...whether it be laundry to keeping kiddos busy in the summer to decorating for the holidays...we share what works for us.  (And even some things that just don't work.)  We invite you to join us the second Wednesday and share how you WORK IT as well.

Today, we're talking about how we gear up for BACK TO SCHOOL.
If you had asked me last week if I was ready for school, I'd have quickly said, "NO".  But this week things are changing.  ha!  My kiddos are bickering more, everyone's almost over the pool, the days are hot, and that means one thing-it's time for school to start!

This summer has been full of super late bedtimes, even later morning wake-ups, all the snacks (everyone is always hungry around here), and absolutely no schedules.  I must say it's been glorious, but it's time for us to know what day of the week it is.  :)

This is how I WORK at getting my people ready for school to begin in late August.

The first thing we do is order BACKPACKS.  I made the mistake Ebby Lee's kindergarten year and waited until just a few weeks before school to order her backpack (with her name embroidered on it) and I had to pay a ridiculous amount to expedite it to ensure it arrived in time.  Now we order backpacks in July.  :)  During preschool days, they recycled backpacks and used the same one their entire preschool careers (they went two days a week) but at elementary school when you're using your backpack every single day they begin to get gross and dirty.  In the past we've always ordered from Pottery Barn Kids.  They have a variety of sizes, tons of different designs, and are all so cute.  I must say Nixon was conflicted and kept telling me he wanted an Under Armour backpack instead, but when we began the hunt for those they didn't look near as fun.  We went back and forth and finally he found one he really liked at Pottery Barn Teen.  He's far from teen years but just keep that option in mind if your kiddo isn't finding one they like.  Ebby Lee opted for a purple floral and Nixon found a black camo.


I'm not sure about where you live but here summer weather will be hanging on until late October.  I typically don't go crazy stocking up on BACK TO SCHOOL CLOTHES because we'll still be wearing mostly summer clothes for a few months.  I do add a few things to their closet and we always choose something new for the first day of school.  Then when it gets cooler-usually in October-I stock up on fall clothes.

Ebby Lee's go-to clothes for back to school are Matilda Jane and Nordstrom.  These two places make dressing an eight-year-old easy.  They both have tons of items that are both cute and modest-very age appropriate.  She still prefers a dress over pants any day and loves a ruffle (even a ruffle pant) like no other.  Because of her love for a dress, she always wears Monkey Bar Buddies.

For Nixon and Bowen we tend to go to Under Armour or Nordstrom.  We can find almost anything at Nordstrom (so I have to mention them again).  The boys are pretty easy...we get a few new shirts and a few new shorts and they're set!


The big kid's school has a rule that on p.e. days you must wear TENNIS SHOES.  We make sure to start the year with one new fresh pair of tennis shoes for each kiddo.

 You know that reset button you can push on Monday?  Well there's nothing better than the reset button of a new school year.  This mama is on TOP of her organizational A game when school starts.  Granted, by May 1st I don't even know my own name, but in August, I'm Mrs. Organized.  I have every sports' practice, appointment, and special event highlighted in my planner.  My favorite planners are these from Erin Condren.

And a little flashback to last summer when I MET ERIN CONDREN!  :)

(Please excuse my ran -errands-all-morning-with-all-kids-in-tow look.)

You know what else I'm on top of in August?  MY DINNER COOKING GAME!  I have all our dinners highlighted in my planner, have my grocery lists all ready to go, and am ON it!  My favorite cookbook is need this one in your life.  And I have a feeling this is gonna be our new BFF, we should go ahead and pre-order Simmers RIGHT NOW! (Yes, a cookbook full of slow cooker recipes out on October 1st!)

My big kids think they've outgrown the Nalgene water bottles so we got them each a S'well water bottle for the upcoming school year.  Water bottles are something we tend to lose little pieces to...that little part that makes the water not leak when you turn it upside down...where do those go?  (Those little plastic things are partying some where in my house with random socks!)  

After all that, Moms-I hope you made yourself some fabulous plans for the first day of school.  I always meet a group of ladies at a local breakfast spot as a little send off to school.  You should do something fun.  You deserve it!  :)

What about you?  What do you do to gear up for back to school?  I hope you join us next month when we chat about transitioning our wardrobe.  Happy Wednesday!  XO