Wednesday, September 30, 2015

What's Up Wednesday

Today I'm linking up with "What's Up Wednesday!", with Mix + Match Family, Pinterest Told Me To, & The Larson Lingo. :)

What we're eating this week...

Anything Aldi's! We love the money we save while still enjoying great eats. I made this Italian meatloaf recipe for dinner last night and it was delicious.

What I'm reminiscing about...  

High school! My 20th reunion was this weekend. How time flies! It was great to reconnect with these lovely ladies and other friends from the class of '95!

What I'm loving...

Jergens BB Body Cream Dark - 7.5 oz
I'm loving Jergens BB Perfecting Body Cream.  I used a ton this lotion this summer and felt like I really saw a difference in the look of my skin. And, it's really reasonable. So, there you go, I'm loving this cream! :)

What we've been up to...

After our super simple summer, all of the kiddos' fall activities are back in full swing--soccer, violin lessons, scouts, kids club at church!  While I miss our laid-back summer, it's fun to get back into our fall groove!

We've also attended fun, creative birthday parties for our friends!  My friend Rebecca hosted this sweet bicycle parade birthday party for her 5-year old daughter at a local park.  How fun is that?

I've also been recharging my spiritual batteries at an uplifting Christian women's conference with these amazing women!  So blessed to call these ladies family!  #shine

What I'm dreading...

The housework that's next on my to-do list! But, I know it'll feel great once it's done. Baby steps all the way!

What I'm working on...

Figuring out my new normal now that my baby is off to kindergarten...

And, prepping for a Cub scout meeting tonight!

What I'm excited about...

Fall break is just around the corner and we're headed to Surfside Beach, SC again this year! Whoop!

I'm also excited that my husband and I just started Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University. I love learning new things about how we can be better stewards of what the Lord has given us. And, Dave is a pretty entertaining guy!

Financial Peace University - Membership

What I'm watching/reading...

I recently saw The War Room with a group of ladies.  In a word--GO!  See it.  It's a powerful and inspiring movie.

I also just started reading The Red Sea Rules as a part of a women's Bible study taught by one of my favorite ladies. 

What I'm listening to...

As a singer I've been trying to vocalize more often... I'm loving Dr. Dan's vocal workout!

Dr Dan's Voice Essentials

What I'm wearing...

Yay for fall! 

What I'm doing this weekend...

Hopefully, we'll take our annual apple picking trip!

What I'm looking forward to next month...

Fall break and Trunk-or-treat at the kiddos' school!  I think we've come up for a fun theme this year!  Pics to come! 

What else is new...

This blog! Thank you for stopping by! Y'all come back now, ya hear! ;)

What is your favorite Halloween tradition?

The costumes, trick-or-treating with friends and family, and the opportunity to get to know our neighbors better!  Here's a look at our Halloween Past.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Making It Your Own: The Mudroom

When we bought our home five years we were drawn to it because of its location, neighborhood, school district, and price. We were also just thrilled to move back to my hometown! And, since we were moving from another state, we were very anxious to get settled into a home. Sometimes I wonder if we were too anxious! After we moved in we quickly began to realize that we would need to do some tweaking to make it our own. Today I'm going to show you the mudroom we added to our home-- which has become one of my favorite spaces in our house!

In the original layout of our home, from the garage you basically walked straight into our dining room/living room area. There wasn't a convenient place to put items like coats, backpacks, and muddy shoes. Not to mention the garage was so small that it barely fit two cars, with nothing else in it. The house really needed some sort of mudroom, but it just wasn't there. We lived with it for a couple of years, and then when we added a third car garage (that will be another post), we decided to make a mudroom happen.  Now we have a 2.5 oversized garage and a much-needed mudroom. I couldn't be happier with how it turned out! Here's a look at the transformation:

Making progress. We lost a little garage space, but it's completely worth it!

Drywall is up and flooring installed!

The finished product with built-in cabinets. We were extremely blessed that a retired friend of my Dad's, who is an amazing cabinet maker, took a picture I found online and made it a reality for an unbeatable price.

He also made a great broom closet in the mudroom. His attention to detail was fantastic!

We've gotten so much use out of this room-- whether it be entertaining...  

...or, simply having a place to put winter weather gear when the little ones come in for hot chocolate. 

I really couldn't imagine our home without this practical, cozy space!

 I guess that's the joy of making a home your own!

I'm linking up with A Bowl Full of Lemons' One Project At A Time and Fall into Fall. Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, September 28, 2015

A Summer on the Emerald Coast

Our family loves to travel together. This past summer my husband was on orders at Pensacola Naval Air Station for seven weeks and we went with him. Yes, our quarters were tight-- but we made so many memories during our simple, carefree beach adventure. Here are some highlights of our time on the Emerald Coast:

Our home for most of the summer was at the Navy Inn and Suites on base. We stayed in a one-bedroom suite that included a small kitchen, living room, bath, and a washer/dryer. Rob and I slept in the main bedroom while the kiddos slept on a pull-out couch and a cot we purchased upon arrival. It was small-- but it was paid for! And, for the most part no one complained about the close quarters. I actually enjoyed having such a small space to manage. Not to mention this was our dinner view most nights:

Yep. Not too shabby. Shortly after we arrived on base we discovered Barrancas Bay Beach. It has several covered pavilions with picnic tables and grills. We quickly decided that we would try to eat as many dinners there as possible. And, we did!

 It was the perfect "dining room." During our evenings at the bay beach, we also enjoyed countless sunsets--each one beautifully unique.

Usually while one of us was making dinner, the other was watching the kiddos swim and explore.  

Speaking of food--one of our favorite places to get fish to grill was at Joe Patti's Seafood Market.

We made many trips to Joe Patti's! It's a huge seafood market that my in-laws, who live in Boca Raton, called the best market they've seen in the state! We did our best to try as many new fish as possible due to their large selection and reasonable prices. Just purchasing the fish is a fun experience.

If you're ever in the Pensacola area we highly recommend stopping by Joe Patti's.  Here's our youngest trying out an oyster:

Our daily routine was very simple and usually included a trip to the beach. It was the perfect ground hog day!  Our favorite beach to visit was at Perdido Key state park, which was about a 10-15 minute drive from the back gate of the base. There was hardly ever a crowd and the beach had a very pristine feel.  We loved it!  We even had some family pictures taken there...
Rachel Yunker Photography

Rachel Yunker Photography

Rachel Yunker Photography
It was just beautiful!  Here are more snapshots from Perdido Key State Park beach.  This was on a Saturday and about as crowded as it got for us!

Our little lady loves finding sea creatures!

Perdido beach also has nice covered picnic areas that we used for many lunches!

I could get used to this life! Another fun stop near Perdido Key State Park was this cute snow cone shop.  The kiddos couldn't get enough of this place!

We also enjoyed time at Pensacola Beach.  Although it was more crowded and had a different overall feel, it's still gorgeous!!

One of my favorite memories from the summer was on Pensacola Beach. While my parents were in town we enjoyed watching the Blue Angels practice on the beach before their big air show. We brought coffee and donuts and enjoyed a show like none other! It was spectacular!

Another perk of Pensacola Beach is that there are restaurants right on the water!

Speaking of the Blue Angels, we were blessed to see them perform several times as Pensacola NAS is their home base.  Oh, how I've missed that sweet sound of freedom!

We also enjoyed the phenomenal National Naval Aviation museum on base.

We were delighted that my parents, in-laws, and Aunt's family were in town for some of our time Pensacola!

And, it was a joy to see my husband in uniform again! The kiddos were so proud of him.

There's so much more share, but these are some of the highlights of our summer in Florida.  All in all, we found great joy in having few things and lots of time to spend together! Ahhh, the simple life!

Rachel Yunker Photography

I'm linking up with Inspire Me Wednesday.  Thanks for stopping by!
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