bybmg: 2017


Dear Mass Retailers,

A few weeks ago I took our son Wesley back to school shopping. He told me right off the bat that he wanted a Trolls backpack with Poppy on it and he wanted a Trolls shirt. We hit up Target and found a Poppy backpack right away. Yes, it is hot pink and yes it looks totally feminine, but he just loves it. I was so thrilled! Next, we headed to the boys clothing section and that's when the frustration hit.


Welcome to this month's edition of $10 at Target! Each month I head to Target with a $10 budget and see what I can find. Shopping at Target is an adventure, especially the times I get to go by myself! This month, I strolled around and saw lots of fun things!
Happy Friday! Della at Della Devoted, Katie at Cup of Tea, Tif at Bright on a Budget, and I want to welcome you to High Five for Friday! Each week we share the best parts of the week and hope you'll join us! We wrapped up our official summer break on Tuesday as Russ and I went back to work on Wednesday but still hope to get bits of summer on the weekends and evenings.

{ONE}


When we moved into our house two years ago, Wesley was almost two. We bought a set of bunk beds but just kept them at twin singles beds. Last weekend the boys requested they be bunked and we agreed. They love it and everything is going well with them so far!


Raise your hand if you're excited for fall! Though I love summer and the freedom it brings, we've had some tastes of fall weather here lately in Iowa and I'm loving it. I also have quite the love for pumpkin things, so that makes me wish for fall too. I even made pumpkin muffins this week! Today I'm sharing a casual summer outfit that definitely makes me feel like fall!





Every year for the past nine years, we have taken one weekend late in the summer and headed down to southern Iowa with some other couples to have some kid-free fun. We usually just hang out, go boating, play some out door games and sit around the camp fire. It's a great way to reconnect with friends without the kids around. Russ and I have been digging sangria this summer, so we decided we would mix up a batch to share! 
Happy Friday! Della at Della Devoted, Katie at Cup of Tea, Tif at Bright on a Budget, and I want to welcome you to High Five for Friday! Each week we share the best parts of the week and hope you'll join us! This week was our last full week of summer vacation.

{ONE}


This past weekend we had our yearly trip to cabins in southern Iowa with friends! It's an adults-only weekend and we've been going with the same friends for 9 years! It was so fun and the weather was almost fallish! 


Today I'm linking up with Erin at Perfectly Port Family for her 10 on the 10th series. This month is 10 Back to School Must Haves and I'm excited to see what everyone has to share! I'm a teacher, so this back to school list is partially for me and partially for the family as a whole!


Happy Tuesday! Today I'm sharing the last outfit from our vacation to Mexico. This outfit was by far my favorite of the trip, so it gets a whole post by itself!
Happy Friday! Della at Della Devoted, Katie at Cup of Tea, Tif at Bright on a Budget, and I want to welcome you to High Five for Friday! Each week we share the best parts of the week and hope you'll join us! Summer is winding down, so we're trying to make the most of it!

{ONE}



We went to our last Make It at Michael's workshop. The boys made a super hero and construction paper pizza and donuts. The third activity was to draw yourself as a super hero which Wesley wasn't really into. This was probably my least favorite of the workshops we've been to just because it wasn't making something with things we didn't have at home... but it got us out and about, so it was still fun. 

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #PilotYourLife #CollectiveBias


Some days it's hard to keep it all together. With back to school right around the corner, life will get much busier for me and I will have to work double time to make sure we stay organized and on top of things! I'm totally a paper to-do list person, so today I'm sharing a cute DIY to do list center that you can make for home or to give as a gift for that busy person in your life!

We love a good s'more around here, and today I wanted to share a couple fun ways to do s'mores that aren't the typical graham crackers and chocolate.
Happy Friday! Della at Della Devoted, Katie at Cup of Tea, Tif at Bright on a Budget, and I want to welcome you to High Five for Friday! Each week we share the best parts of the week and hope you'll join us!

{ONE}


I'm still thinking about the fun Russ and I had in Mexico last week! It was a great re-connection time for us as well as a recharge for the stay at home summer life!
If you follow me on Instagram, you know we just got back from vacation! Russ and I went to The Royal in Playa Del Carmen for five nights and it was glorious! 

Today I wanted to recap what I wore on the trip! I wore most of what I packed, but I will make a few changes for what I will take next time. I'm not going to go into detail about where every single piece is from just for the sake of my sanity, but I will highlight a few pieces and share some about each outfit. 


For traveling to our destination, I wore my Stitch Fix romper (see a better picture in my Stitch Fix Review post). This was the item that I kept from my last fix! I'm sure some people would say don't travel in a romper for a variety of reasons, but this one is so comfy! I brought a sweater for on the plane and I'm so glad I did because it was chilly. I also at the last minute decided to bring my Birkenstocks along. I'm glad that I did this too because they're easy to get on and off in security and they are comfortable for walking! And I totally realize the lighting is terrible in that picture, but that's what happens when you're tired from travel!


Russ and I had a fun summer date night in downtown Des Moines a couple weeks ago, and this is what I wore. It was a beautiful summer night and I wanted to dress up a little because we were going to a nice restaurant!

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #BoxTopsHero #CollectiveBias


Back to school is right around the corner, and now is the time to stock up on all the necessities. Being a teacher, life gets crazy for me, so I need to be prepared for back to school. Not only do I need to prepare for our family, but I need to prepare for my students and Henry's teacher!


Happy Tuesday, all! I'm on vacation for most of the week! I'll be back on Friday with a back to school post. Until then, have a great week!

Welcome to the Tuesday Talk Link Up!




Welcome to this month's edition of $10 at Target! Each month I head to Target with a $10 budget and see what I can find. This month I didn't have much of a goal going in except to browse and see what I could find. To start off, here's what I didn't get:
Happy Friday! Della at Della Devoted, Katie at Cup of Tea, Tif at Bright on a Budget, and I want to welcome you to High Five for Friday! Each week we share the best parts of the week and hope you'll join us!

{ONE}




A few years ago I started a summer tradition of taking the boys each on their own day to out local amusement park, Adventureland! I started when Henry was 4, skipped the summer he was 5 because Calvin was a newborn, but picked it up last summer for him and started the tradition with Wesley, too. This past week I took each of them on a different day. Henry last Friday and Wesley on Monday. It's so fun to experience the park differently with each of them. Henry is so into roller coasters and fast rides while Wesley is more about the kiddie rides still! I had the best day with each of them!

{Disclaimer: This post isn't sponsored. It's just me sharing my journey of what is working.}

I've been mentioning a little bit, mostly on my High Five for Friday  posts, that I have been working on dropping some pounds. Calvin turned two in May, and I needed to stop making excuses. I was really pretty lazy between babies on losing the weight because I knew in a matter of a year or two, I would hopefully be pregnant again and just put weight back on.


You guys, this post went from being just a Stitch Fix review to a comedy routine! I kid you not. Friday I had just got home from hanging out at the amusement park all day with Henry, and we were going to be gone all weekend, so I really needed to get these pictures taken so I could have this post up today! Calvin wanted to be in almost all the shots! You may crack up because I'm cracking up looking at the photos!
Happy Friday! Della at Della Devoted, Katie at Cup of Tea, Tif at Bright on a Budget, and I want to welcome you to High Five for Friday! Each week we share the best parts of the week and hope you'll join us!

{ONE}



I'm now a contributor to our local Des Moines Moms Blog. Check out my first post today!


This week, the How I Style It ladies (DellaNicole and Tif) are styling some novelty prints. It's always nice to have a piece of clothing in your wardrobe that is just plain FUN, and today's top is just that for me!
Happy Friday! Can you believe it's almost JULY?! Della at Della Devoted, Katie at Cup of Tea, Tif at Bright on a Budget, and I want to welcome you to High Five for Friday! Each week we share the best parts of the week and hope you'll join us! Life is good around here and we are living up summer!

{ONE}


I snapped this adorable picture of the boys leaving church last Sunday. Be still my heart.


Buying specific pieces for the Fourth of July is fun, but it's also great to pull pieces together that you can wear every day and make a festive outfit. If you haven't had time to shop for a new outfit for the Fourth, I bet you can pull some things from your closet and make it work!

I used to be terrible at making sure my make up brushes were clean. Partly it was because I didn't really use them a ton, but partly it was because I was lazy. Dirty make up brushes aren't good for your skin. Depending on your source, people will say you should clean your brushes anywhere from daily to monthly. I probably fall more into the monthly range, but I would really like to get to a being a person who cleans their brushes about once a week. 
Happy Friday! Della at Della Devoted, Katie at Cup of Tea, Tif at Bright on a Budget, and I want to welcome you to High Five for Friday! Each week we share the best parts of the week and hope you'll join us!

{ONE}


It was just Calvin and me for most of the week. Russ and the older two were in Colorado visiting his sister. We weren't up for taking Calvin on the 10 hour drive so he and I hung around here. We had tons of fun but ended our time with a little frustration as he had a meltdown in Trader Joe's. The sweet cashier gave me a bouquet of flowers for free as a "we've all been there" gift and it was so sweet.

Welcome to the Tuesday Talk Link Up!



This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #CraftYourCool #CollectiveBias





Welcome to this month's edition of $10 at Target! Each month I head to Target with a $10 budget and see what I can find. This month I actually had an idea of what I wanted, silly as it may be. Read on to find out!

Happy Friday! Della at Della Devoted, Katie at Cup of Tea, Tif at Bright on a Budget, and I want to welcome you to High Five for Friday! Each week we share the best parts of the week and hope you'll join us!

{ONE}


Russ's cousin, Marisa, got married last weekend to her high school sweetheart. It was a beautiful wedding. Russ did wedding video, but we had lots of family there to help me keep track of the kiddos!



It's no lie that every child is different. Henry, our oldest, was a pacifier kid. Wesley, our middle man, came out of the womb basically sucking on his two fingers and has ever since. I could go on and on listing the differences in our children, but one big lesson I've learned as a mother is totally embracing your children's differences.


I just love weddings! They make me all teary and I love the beauty of it all. The dresses, the flowers, the promises. Today I wanted to share what I wore to a wedding last weekend!
Happy Friday! Della at Della Devoted, Katie at Cup of Tea, Tif at Bright on a Budget, and I want to welcome you to High Five for Friday! Each week we share the best parts of the week and hope you'll join us!

{ONE}



Last Friday night, we went to an Iowa Cubs game. The are just a step below the majors, and games are always fun. We got a Groupon for 10 general admission tickets for just $24, so at $2.40/ticket we can totally go, enjoy some ballpark food, and not feel bad leaving early when the kids go a little wild.


Everyone has that bucket list of things they want to do someday, right? Today I'm sharing mine!



This week, the How I Style It ladies (DellaNicole and Tif) are styling some tropical style. I don't own a ton of tropical prints, but I thought I would show you how a few touches can dress up a basic dress!


If you met me a year ago, handed me a bright lip stick, and told me to put it on, I would have likely handed it back to you with a kind, "No, thank you." At that time I was a tinted chapstick wearer at most and that was about it, but things have changed! Here's why!
Happy Friday! Della at Della Devoted, Katie at Cup of Tea, Tif at Bright on a Budget, and I want to welcome you to High Five for Friday! Each week we share the best parts of the week and hope you'll join us!

{ONE}




We surprised my dad last night by the whole family getting together. Today is his last day of infusions for his Leukemia!

This post contains affiliate links. Thanks for supporting the time and love I put into this space. Please see my disclosure for more details.

I decided to give Stitch Fix another try after they emailed me saying it'd been a while since I had my last fix and would I give it another try if they waived my styling fee. I wasn't going to turn down some happy mail and the chance to possibly find some cute clothes. I put in a couple requests:

Because I can't get enough pom poms, I'm back this week with a simple and cute pom pom tassel earring tutorial! These can be made in all types of color combinations and they are pretty light weight, so they won't hurt your ears!
Happy Friday! Della at Della Devoted, Katie at Cup of Tea, Tif at Bright on a Budget, and I want to welcome you to High Five for Friday! Each week we share the best parts of the week and hope you'll join us!

I may receive a commission (with no extra cost added to you) if you make a purchase from the links in this post. Thanks for supporting the time and love I put into this space. Please see my disclosure for more details.

{ONE}



Hat (sold out but similar here)/ Necklace DIY/ Bag

TODAY is the last day of school for students. Though I do have to work two days next week, I'm thrilled to be *almost* officially on summer break! Bring on the slow mornings, adventures, and sunshine!



I blame it all on Russ and our drive back from Omaha for spring break and trying to get every big truck to honk at us on the interstate, but Calvin is obsessed with trucks. He gets so excited every time we see them and we have read so many books about trucks over and over and over. So, when it was time to think about the theme for his second birthday a few weeks ago, trucks was a no-brainer!

Pom poms are all the rage right now, and I love the pop of fun they give to an outfit. I have seen pom pom necklaces in a few shops, but I didn't see one whose color scheme really was for me, so I decided to try to make my own! Today I'll show you how I did it!


All you'll need is some scissors, embroidery thread, pom pom beads (I found mine on Amazon) as well as tape and a safety pin (not pictured). 


I cut super long pieces of embroidery thread. I would guess I cut at least three yards. I didn't en up using the whole length, but I went for having too much instead of trying to add some on. I used three different colors, tied them together in a knot, pinned the knot to my jeans, and then I simply braided them. This definitely took me back to middle school years and friendship bracelets! The braiding took a while, but it would easily be something you could do while watching TV.

I kept stopping to check the length. I wanted it to be long enough for a necklace plus a little extra length because you'll need it when you tie knots a couple steps from now. I think I finished with about 60 inches of braid, but you could probably do 50 or 55 inches and be okay.


Next, I took the tape and taped off the end of the string very tightly and cut it at an angle.


Then, I measured up about six inches and tied a knot. I used the taped end to thread through the pom pom bead.


Then, I tied a knot on the other end of the pom pom bead. I repeated the steps of measuring, knotting, adding the bead, and knotting again until I got to the end of how long I wanted the necklace to be. For me, I repeated the step six times. 


Last, I took the original end and tied it in a knot between the pom pom and the last knot I tied. I cut all the strings off.


It looks cute alone or layered with a shorter necklace. My monogram is from Southern Joy Designs. Use code BGSJD10 to get 10% off yours!

Also I thought it would be fun to send a couple readers a kit to make their own pom pom necklace. I have three different color combos to give away! Comment below on which one you'd like me to send you and I will pick three winners (US mailing addresses only, please).

{Yellow, Orange, White}


{Teal, Blue, Purple}


{Blue, Green, White}


Please comment by Monday, June 29th. I'll pick three winners on Tuesday, June 30th!


I'm linking up with Creative Corner and Happy Now.



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