Friday, June 28, 2019


Happy Friday, friends!  I feel like I've been gone from the blog for too long.  I took an unexpected break from here all week to just do a bunch of things that took up my spare time and now I feel like I have a million things to post about but can't possibly fit them all in today.  So stay tuned for next week!  It'll be my last week of blogging before we leave for our little vacation!  Whoohoo!!  

But today, I'm linking up with some of my favorites--Erika, Narci and Andrea-and bringing you a few things I've been loving this week!

I'm in full-on vacation/road trip mode right now so when I saw this online at Target I had to have it.  Have you seen these?  They are insulated cooler backpacks and they hold a ton of stuff!  

I put my water bottle up next to it so you could get an idea of the size but these supposedly hold 20 cans, are leak-proof and have extra pockets outside for your keys, wallet, sunscreen etc.  

Throw in some ice packs and your drinks, sandwiches, and fruit and hit the beach, the lake, a yacht...whatever.  ๐Ÿ˜‰  (For us it's more like a pontoon boat. ๐Ÿ˜‚)

These babies are a seasonal item so once they sell out, they'll probably be gone until next year.  Right now, you can grab this one on sale HERE for just $16 (20% off!) AND they also come in a patriotic design HERE too.  

Backpack Cooler Americana - Sun Squadรข„¢ - image 1 of 3

Both styles are basically sold out all over our area in the stores so make sure to check online first!

I know this backpack will come in so handy this year on our vacation (more on that at the end) and will free up an extra hand to carry #allthethings to the boat, beach, BBQ, tailgate...see how useful?!


I've talked about these a few times in the past couple of months but my favorite new sandals this summer are the Tory Burch Miller look-alikes from Sam Edelman.  Tory Burch will set you back around $200 (ouch) while the Sam Edelman's are around $50.  Same style, crazy comfortable and just as cute!


Right now, you can grab them in a ton of colors for under $30!!  I'm guessing popular sizes/colors will sell out fast so don't wait too long on these!  Mine fit me TTS and I have them in the Saddle Brown.  Be sure to click the "See all colors" arrow if you aren't seeing them all.  Can't rave enough about these.  This is the best deal you'll find on high-quality TB look-alikes, I'm sure of it!

Now speaking of bargains, I'm about to show you what I just bought at the one and only WALMART.  Yes, Walmart.  From what I can tell, they have stepped up their fashion game and if you look hard enough, you can find some super cute stuff at rock bottom prices.  And I'm here for it!

The other day, I was scrolling through IG and saw this picture.

$5.96 for some cute little shorts with fringe and pretty colors?  Plus an elastic waistband?  Yes please! (Honestly, they had me at $5.96.)  I literally threw some shoes on and headed straight to Walmart because I may hate my legs (don't get me started) but I love the feeling of comfy shorts in the summer.  And I'm really trying to get over my insecurities.


I finally found the striped ones but they only had my size in two of the colors.  Long story short, I ended up with one of the green striped pair in a S(3/5) and a black striped pair in a M(7/9) b/c those were my only options.  But it's probably what I would have chosen anyway.  Both sizes fit me great. (I'm typically a size 6 but leaning into that 4 area thanks to Keto! Whoop whoop! More on that next week.)

 There really wasn't much difference between the sizes though at all.  The waistband...oh that waistband.  It's wide and soft and super stretchy.  It doesn't dig into you or annoy you.  And they are the perfect little shorts to throw on over a swimsuit too.  (Or with a wrinkly tshirt which is what I've been wearing all day.)

I was so bummed that our Walmart didn't carry the pretty floral ones though.  But have no fear.  I jumped online when I got home and ordered a couple of those as well.

And as I was walking to the changing rooms, I passed by a rack of cute white shorts and grabbed a pair on a total whim.  I have NO luck with white jeans and white shorts.  I'm a curvy girl in the hips, thighs and butt and they just make me look bigger than I'd prefer.  

So I didn't hold out a lot of hope for these but they were TOTAL WINNERS.  I love them!  They have the perfect amount of stretch, are soft but still feel like denim, and are the perfect length (they are just barely past my fingertips and I'm 5'5").  And even though you can see a hot pink thong if you look hard, they are the least see-through pair I've ever tried on. I'll just make sure to go a little more neutral underneath when I wear these out.  ๐Ÿ˜‰

Oh and the best part?  They were $13.92!!!  I didn't even check to see how much they were until I got home and was ripping the tag off.  Sizing wise, these seemed to be TTS for me.  I got them in a 6 and they were a little loose but right now I'm in a weird in between phase so ๐Ÿคท‍♀️.  I would say go TTS.  I may buy these in a 4 as well just to see.

Don't believe my hype?  Go read the reviews on these HERE.  You can find "Best shorts ever!!" at least 3 different times just on the first page of reviews.  

You go, Walmart. #virtualhighfive

Ahhhh!  Are y'all watching BIG BROTHER!?!  I mean.  It just isn't summer until Big Brother starts!  I'm pretty happy with the contestants this year right off the bat.  There have been seasons where they've introduced the houseguests and I'm all "Ugh.  Really?  I don't get good vibes from any of you!".  And I knew it would take a couple of weeks to warm up to them...and then I feel stupid because I love them and every season.  But this season, I'm feeling good about guests. 

 Thoughts so far...  Jackson needs to slow his roll or he's going to get a huge target on his back (more so than there is now after winning that Camp Director position). Such a cutie though.

 Aquaman look-alike Jack is legit.


Not a bad dupe, right?  hahaha  Seriously, a nose job and some botox to arch those eyebrows a little and he'd be a dead ringer.

My current favorite is Analyse.  She's gorgeous for sure but she's also a total badass on the soccer field and I love that about her!  She's going to give the boys a run for their money in some of these competitions.

Do you watch BB?!

A couple of weeks ago, we decided we'd had enough of our giant cable bill every month.  It was insane and when I looked at it closely and realized we were paying $30 a month just in "fees" and taxes, I'd had enough.  I did some researching (i.e. googling) and finally settled on switching over to the Amazon Firestick. (We went with this one.)  We got two for now.  One for the bedroom and one for the living room.  We'll add a couple upstairs soon too.

So once we did that, we had to choose our new streaming service and say "peace out" to our cable company.  They tried everything to get us to stay but I was holding firm.  Since I already used Hulu's basic plan I decided we'd just upgrade my plan to the Hulu (no ads) + Live TV.  They had one of the best packages from the ones I looked at and since I was familiar with it already, it just seemed like an easy first choice.

Image result for hulu

So now we are in the "getting used to a whole new setup" phase with the TV stuff.  Craig was a little grumpy at not knowing what he was doing in order to get to what he wanted but he's getting the hang of it.  We all are.  And it is a terrific replacement.  We still have all of the channels we watched before and it comes with a (built-in) DVR with cloud storage.  We also still have Netflix and Amazon Prime so between all of that, we're pretty set.

It hasn't been perfect though.  Like Wednesday night, for example.  If you have Hulu, you may have noticed that it basically stopped working for a couple of hours during the debate (and Big Brother...).  People were NOT happy, including me, and were really coming after Hulu Support on Twitter.  It was fixed after a while but still.  Not cool.

My only other problem is that it doesn't have MTV!  Now, I haven't watched MTV in years but hello!!  The Hills started this week!!  And I can't watch it!!  Such bad timing.  So I'm still working on finding a way to watch it.  Anyone want to share their cable log in info with me??  ;)

Image may contain: 6 people, people smiling, people standing, sky, night, text and outdoor

We are going to give Hulu a shot this month and see how it goes but I'm wanting to try a month over at Sling as well.  Since these both have month to month contracts it's no big deal to switch it up.  (LOVE that.)  Sling actually has MTV too so there's that.  Plus, it's a whole dollar cheaper.  (After all my add-ons.) #score ;)

Anyway, if you are looking to cut the cable cord and have been too scared, just do it!!  I was a little nervous because y'all know I LOVE my shows but we cut our bill about 60%.  So a small blip every once in a while is actually (almost) worth it.  We'll see how Sling compares next month.
As for the rest of my favorites, don't forget to click on over to Jane today because they have all the greatest stuff at the best deals!  Seriously, I was organizing and purging my closet for the 4th time this year and 90% of the things I wear on a regular basis are from Jane.  Boutique fashion at Amazon prices.  I like it. (PS:  Jane the website not Jane the girl.  Just for those who aren't familiar with our beloved Jane. ๐Ÿ˜‰)

I've also got a TON of great deals posted over in my Daily Deals group so be sure to swing by there every day to see what I've found!

And of course, head on over to grab some goodies from my Etsy shop!!  I'll be headed out of town in a little over a week so this is your last chance to get in orders that will ship before then! 

And as for my vacation, we are headed to Branson, Missouri this year!  Craig and I both used to go as kids and have such fun memories!  We can't wait to see it through our own kids' eyes!  We asked around about hotels and resorts and there were some amazing places but honestly, just give us SPACE over fancy amenities any day.  With a giant husband and two growing boys, I just can't handle living in a hotel room with those three for a week. #isthatmean? #mamaneedsspace

So instead, we're going to be in a 2 bedroom condo, right on Table Rock Lake with a gorgeous view, fully furnished kitchen, plus some great amenities.  (Pools, snack bars, marina, game rooms etc.)  It will not be as fancy as some of the resorts suggested to us but when have we ever been fancy?  (The answer is never.  We are never fancy. ๐Ÿ˜‚)

View From Patio

I plan to spend a lot of time on this balcony with my Kindle.

This will be the first year we haven't gone to the beach in a very long time which is MY happy place but the boys decided they wanted something different this year and we were game.  As much as I'd like to say maybe Craig and I can get away to the beach by ourselves sometime before the fall, I know that will never happen.  Sigh.

Image result for i need your help

So I need your help!  If you're familiar with Branson, please let me know where we should go, where to eat, what to do...all of it!  So far we're planning on a day at Silver Dollar City, a day on the lake, putt-putt/go-karts etc, maybe the Titanic Museum...what else?! I know there are a million things to do but I need to get this narrowed down. As a reminder, the boys are 9 and 11 if that helps.

Please feel free to drop a comment below, DM on Instagram, or message me through Facbeook.  

See you ladies next week for a new "Let's Talk..." post, some life lately and possibly a third installment of Amanda Answers!  And if I can get my act together enough, I may even have my June Book Review ready! 

Have a great weekend!



  1. You always have so many clever finds!!

  2. Anonymous6:56 AM

    We just ditched cable too! We are trying out NetFlix (which we have had) and Philo. I had never heard of it until I kept getting facebook ads for it. It has MTV and is either $16 or $20 a month depending on the package you pick. It’s worked out really well for us and we don’t miss our dish at all!

    1. Philo was on my list until I realized it didn't have Bravo! I need my Bravo fix. haha

  3. Question-We cut the "cable cord" for a while but I ended up missing out on sporting events on TV, plus my husband is a Fox News junkie and he missed not having live updates. It has been about 5 years since we tried the switch-have they made changes in this department?

    Also, I only have one child and I still look for two bedrooms or at least a separate living room with fold out couch when we travel so I get needing the space. :) So sorry no beach trip this year-you need to plan a girls trip to the beach!

    1. Yes! We get all the major news channels live and from what I can tell, all the major sports ones too. (There are 17 sports channels in our package.) You can go to and see the channel availability for each option. We chose the Hulu + Live TV (no ads) package. So we can stream live TV on all our favorite channels but we also have a ton of on demand stuff plus the cloud DVR. Its pretty much exactly what we were getting with cable except for much cheaper and no cable boxes and DVRs cluttering things up. You can try it out for a week for free!

      And yes, I'd love a girls trip to the beach!!

  4. WHY just WHY can I not order those white shorts online? I need them. All of them.

    1. Oh no!! I just went back and saw that they were only available in stores!! This might call for a special trip to Walmart, girl. haha

  5. You need to do the Alpine Coaster. Look it up! It was fun when we went last year.

  6. I love those insulated backpack coolers; now that my boys are teens we can rarely fit all our food in them anymore but they were great for trips to the zoo when I needed hands free to wrangle little ones and I still use it every now and then for hiking and bringing drinks/ snacks.

  7. That Walmart IG feed is SO good! I love it. We went to Branson a few years ago with our 3 year old so I can't really help in the age range you are looking for, but we did have a great time at Silver Dollar City. I think it will be good for your boys, too.

  8. For Branson we liked the Butterfly museum, Silver Dollar and Bucket & Boards show. The Dolly Parton Stampede is good too.

  9. Katherine12:22 AM

    We went years ago when my boys were your age. If they are adventurous, take them zip lining. My hubby also took our oldest who was about 12 at the time for a helicopter tour over the lake and he loved it.


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