Beauty Survival While in Stay at Home Order by BB and Binks

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Now that we’ve been home for awhile the regular beauty regimes are needing to change. I was scheduled get my hair colored on March 28th. Yeah that didn’t happen and it won’t be happening for awhile. Unfortunately the grays are popping! Because I have such dark hair they are really starting to shine. I have been using Color Wow Root Cover Up. I love this stuff. It covers up really well. It’s kind of like an eye shadow. It doesn’t smear or fall on my skin. It simply covers up the grays. This products isn’t just good for now but it’s great for those in between hair colorings. It also lasts a really LONG time. Honestly, I’ve had mine for a couple years.  It comes in several colors from dark blonde to dark brown

Without Wow Color Root
With Wow Color Root

Binks and I definitely have eyebrows! Another thing we’re missing is getting our brows and my…eh hem stache waxed! Three products that Binks introduced me Surgi Wax, Parissa, and Finishing Touch Hair Remover.

Binks has always struggled with waxing because she breaks out from it. These strips don’t do that! I just ordered some too. Just as my hair is revealing it’s true colors, my brows are a bit out of control and becoming a legit unibrow😬

How are your hands?! Mine are so very very dry! All this washing is seriously drying out my hands!!! My knuckles even started to crack. My favorite lotion is Gold Bond Ultimate Healing Lotion. It is nice and thick but actually soaks into the skin quickly. I sort of hate lotion but this stuff is by my bathroom sink and my kitchen sink. It’s truly the best! Goodbye cracked knuckles and crusty feet…you know you have them too. 😉

I don’t know about you but I’m finding it hard to find time for self-care. Sometimes putting a face mask or eye masks just feels so good and gets rid of some toxins in the skin. These are some of Binks and my favorites. Wander Beauty gold eye masks Blaq eye masksPaula’s Choice Clay Mask Ballon Blanc Therapy Face Moisturizer.

I often do these masks while my littles are taking a bath.

Are you someone who puts makeup on everyday or you just don’t care? My friends know that I am a makeup girl. I like to get up and just get ready. I never reapply so you get what you get but I don’t feel super productive until I get my makeup on. I have olive skin so dark circles are very prevalent. I just look sick without concealer. So I tried something new for you all. I did just half my makeup so you could see the difference. What do you think? I’ll include my makeup too if you like what you see and want to see what I’m wearing…now.

On the left is me in my natural state and on the right is my finish daily look. There are some products I have used for a long time and then there are some I change. One thing I change often is moisturizer. SPF is a must but my skin likes to change it up. I have many that are in my rotation but I have found that I need to switch it up for some reason. Right now I’m using Paula’s Choice RESIST Daily Hydrating Fluid Face Moisturizer SPF 50. I’m a big fan of Paula’s Choice. I’ve tried quite a few products. The price point is pretty nice too! I use Rodan & Fields Active Hydration Bright Eye Cream (if you need a Rodan & Fields consultant email us and we’ll share you a name). Both Binks and I swear by this eye cream! I have taken breaks from it and I always go back. It really does work. My undereye is usually much darker if you can believe it. The next step in foundation, I change this product a lot too. Different seasons call for different foundation. Right now I’m using Bare Minerals Complexion Rescue Hydrating Stick SPF 25. This is a new one to me but I’m liking it. I use a foundation brush to blend it evenly! I’d say it’s a little lighter coverage but in the nicer weather that’s what I like. Next I use MaryKay yellow undereye concealer. I love this stuff and have used it for 20 years. I’ve tried other kinds but ALWAYS go back to this one!! (I don’t have a MaryKay consultant so if anyone knows one let me know, I ordered on Amazon). I also use Bare Minerals Original Foundation loose powder. I’ve used this for 10+ years. I just love the feel of it and the coverage.

Next comes eye shadow. I switch this all the time. It’s fun to have pallettes where you can just put on what you are feeling that day. Binks has given me a few and I’ve received some in my FabFitFun boxes. (If you want a free box code let me know and I’ll send you a link). Then eye liner. There are three I love and have for many years. Lancome Artliner for a liquid look (takes a few seconds to dry), Lancome Waterproof pencil, and Bare Minerals Lash Domination (this is the one I use most often). The blush I like the most in Lancome Subtil Oil Free Powder Blush.

What we must remember, and I struggle with this, is that we must take care of ourselves. This seems to be extra hard these days. But if we sneak a little time away each day we will be better off. Our families will benefit too. I’ve been trying to write this post for days and just keep getting interrupted. Today we were trying to do distance learning and the stress was just too much. After tears and screaming I called it. This is a time where we need to care just as much about our mental health as we do about school work, if not more. I piled the kids in the car, I let them choose what they wanted for lunch. We then took a long drive. We came home renewed and happy. This was self care and IT IS NECESSARY!

Our New Normal by BB

~some links are affiliate links and commission are made but at no additional cost to you~

My Designer, Kian, with Space Makers. Helping me make choices for our bathroom remodel. Touching elbows instead of hugs or handshakes.

Well life just keeps changing daily. We are now on day 13 of quarantine because of Covid-19. It’s hard to believe our country is going through this. You listen to the news and it feels so desperate. The death toll keeps rising. We really don’t know how many people are truly infected because there aren’t enough tests. Hospitals are desperate for enough PPE and ventilators. It just feels like a bad movie.

With all this scary stuff there are little rainbows. I am loving having dinner together each night and it’s not rushed. Unfortunately this is such a rarity a lot of our “normal” days. Every evening we take a family walk with our pup. In fact, we go for multiple walks a day! It’s been beautiful out. I’m beyond grateful it’s not January in Minnesota and having to be secluded. My two oldest kids are actually playing together. Ok you guys this pretty much never happens. They will go hide up in Bubba’s room, turn on the Echo Show, and dance away. Two weeks ago this wouldn’t have happened…ever!!!

I get to use my rusty teaching skills as I try to homeschool. We won’t have formal distance learning for another couple days but we jumped right into it two weeks ago. I explored the internet and Amazon. I found some awesome craft and science kits to help us stay busy. I’m incredibly thankful for being a stay at home mom right now. It’s been so busy keeping up with the kids, school work, and keeping up the house hold.  I think about my amazing friends that also are juggling a full time job from home as well. It feels impossible to me.  I truly admire them.

What I do know is we are all trying our hardest. One day I feel like I can conquer the world. The next day I want to crawl into the corner and suck my thumb. I may or may not have sent out an SOS to Sissy’s teacher today because I needed backup and I knew Sissy would listen to her. Her teacher personally called her on her way home from work. How incredible! The kindness I’m seeing is overwhelming!  Sissy told me I roasted her by calling her teacher but she was glad to get to talk to her.

When we walk around the neighborhood people are so eager to say hi and check in to see how we’re doing. I think we’re all missing and craving our normal interactions. I know my kids are!!! Today they were so desperate to be with friends that we went to the neighbors’ driveway and I drew a box that they had to stay in, which of course was a minimum of 6 feet apart. They couldn’t touch, get close, or share the sidewalk chalk they were using to draw. They just want to be together. They miss each other so much!

We are making a list of all the books we are reading. I want to see how many we can read during this time. It helps the kids visualize their hard work too. I’d like to say I’m reading my own book but that would be a lie. I’m hoping once distance learning starts the schedule will take a little pressure off me but I’m not sure that will be the case.

Oh did I tell you we’re in the middle of remodeling part of our house. Yikes!! It’s going to look beautiful when we’re done but it displaces us a bit. The master bathroom is getting a full overhaul which means we had to be out of our master bedroom. All the closets are stuffed. We’re all sharing one bathroom. I needed my own bed so there is a king size bed in Sissy’s room. The kids are sharing rooms like musical chairs. It differs every night where they are sleeping. But honestly it really hasn’t been that bad.

Oh and did I tell you my dog has a UTI…again! Haha it’s been nuts here but I can’t complain…okay I can. My house sort of smells like pee. After a vet visit today I’m hoping Rosie is on the mend!!  I’m so thankful for a great vet who looked closely at Rosie and gave us medication to help with the UTI.  I spent the day vacuuming all the carpets with Arm & Hammer carpet deodorizer.  It really helps with the urine smell!  I’m also so darn thankful for the Bissel Spot Bot, it really helps and getting spots out of the carpet!  And it’s an incredibly beautiful day out so I opened up all the windows to just let fresh air in the house.

Now I have some staples in my wardrobe while we are home.  VIV leggings, as I’ve mentioned before, are my ultimate favorite leggings!  These are a staple!  Right now I’m loving the yoga band ones but I also have the regular high waisted ones that I’m crazy about too!  They aren’t see through, you can get solid colors or patterns, and the best part they are under $15.  You just can go wrong with that!

Another go to staple is my Kut From the Kloth jeans. It’s so funny when I do run into someone and I’m wearing jeans they always comment on how I dressed up haha. The awesome part about Kut jeans is they are so incredibly comfortable! I absolutely love how they felt but also how I look in them. They are definitely my favorite and I’ve been wearing them for many years. I did buy some of the shorts for Spring Break and chose these ones. I’m a huge fan.

I got this linen jumpsuit/overalls which I am loving! Again, for me it’s about comfort. You can also add a different belt to switch it up. It comes in three colors. Shhh, don’t tell my husband but I may have to buy it in the other colors. I know I’ll be wearing these a lot this summer. Adding a denim jacket is a cute touch too. I found this denim jacket before my Spring Break trip and really love it. It’s super soft denim. It also comes in 8 different colors

So we are all just doing our best! Remember the longer we stay home and stay away from others we will be able to get back to “normal.” We need to be aware that when we aren’t following this and practicing social distancing we are really putting other’s lives in danger. There is my soapbox moment.

I wanted to mention that there are tons of good sales right now if you are looking for you or your kids. I also wanted to include some craft items I got for the kids and I so we can have fun at home…and I don’t have to plan anything!

Lastly my dear friends Rakuten is having some great percentages. You sign up and the first time you spend $25.

  • Kiwi Co up to 15% off
  • Shoe.com 5%
  • Wine.com 5% haha
  • Gap 4%
  • Hulu $5 back
  • Disney+ up to $12.50 back

Summer Dresses by BB

Dressy or Casual?

I love wearing dresses in the summer! They look adorable on every body type! And the BEST part they are comfortable! I’m not huge into shorts because I have…shhhh…big thighs. I never feel good in them. A dress makes me feel cute and keeps me cool in the hot summer. I searched for some dresses for every body type at different price points!

Adjustable Strappy Side Slit Midi Dress

Run Ahead Smocked Minidress

Alina Stripe Linen & Cotton Shift Dress

Monica Drawstring Dress

Casual Short Sleeve Empire Waist

Elegant Ruffles Cap Sleeves Midi Dress

Border Floral Tie Waist Dress

Swimsuits by BB

I searched out highly rated swimsuit at a good price point! These swimsuits all come in a variety of prints and colors so the options are endless. I ordered the top left and love it so much. Looking forward to wearing it on Spring Break!

Women One Piece Swimsuit High Neck Plunge Mesh Ruched Monokini Swimwear

Women’s One Piece Swimsuits One Shoulder Swimwear Asymmetric Ruffle Monokinis Bathing Suits

Women Push Up Padded Printed Sporty Tankini Swimsuits Bathing Suit S-XXL

Women Two Piece High Waisted Flounce Bikini Set Pom Pom Trim Swimsuit

*all links are affiliate links and commissions can be made.

Stonewall Kitchen by BB

I’be seen this brand in stores but as a single gal I wasn’t really in need of “fancy” kitchen items and food. When I got married, my mother-in-law starting gifting me with items and…well, I fell in love! The thing I really love about Stonewall Kitchen is it’s super high quality and looks classy. It’s a perfect gift item if you’re going over to someone’s house or need just a little more for a gift. Everybody loves it!

Stonewall Kitchen, LLC

Well I have a few FAVORITE products. Each Christmas I look for my heavy gift bag my mother-in-law has given me for the past several years. I know my sister-in-law also gets equally as excited for her heavy bag. We’re gifted two bottles of Maine Woods hand soap. You guys this stuff smells AMAZING! She has also given us other soaps, all of which we love, but Maine Woods is something special. Especially in the winter!

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Then she gave me this DELICIOUS Wild Maine Blueberry Jam. I’ll tell you what, it is fantastic. I’m not a huge jam eater but I love this stuff. It’s so good on baked cheese (if you haven’t had this oh boy it is good). I air fry the baked cheese and top it with the blueberry jam. Talk about a treat!

On the Stonewall Kitchen website you get 15% off your first order. You also get 4% cash back on Rakuten. If you need a treat for yourself or for a gift. There is no Stonewall Kitchen item we haven’t liked, my mother-in-law said to include that!

Top Sellers for This Week

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We thought we would let you all know what were the big sellers each week.

  1. Chi Dog Shampoo. It honestly smells so darn good. It makes Rosie smell good for days!

2. Shelandy Pet Blow dryer. I guess we have some dog lovers in the group! This thing is awesome if you bathe your own dog! Is it bad that I’ve thought about using it on my daughter to speed up the blow drying process? haha

3. ALINK 12-Pack Reusable Rainbow Metal Drinking Straws with Silicone Covers, Stainless Steel Straws for 30oz / 20oz. I got some of these this week and my family are fans! The silicone cover is nice because then the metal doesn’t touch your teeth. It comes with cleaning brushes which is awesome…especially with kids!

4. Apperloth Women’s Leather Fashion Jackets for Juniors Long Sleeve Zipper Plus Size Lightweight Moto Jacket. There are 11 different colors. What I like best about this is it’s stretchy and super comfortable. Almost like wearing a sweatshirt. I have the olive but there is an orange one I’m thinking about. 5% off now at checkout.

5. Now Designs Ripple Kitchen Towels and dish towels. These towels are seriously the best! There are tons of colors. May I suggest darker colors. Let’s be honest they won’t stain as quickly. I have orange ones I’ve had for 12 years!

6. NOW Supplements, Vitamin D-3 5,000 IU, High Potency, Structural Support*, 240 Softgels

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You Know You’re Getting Old When…by BB

This Christmas everyone kept asking me what I wanted. I just couldn’t think of much. But their were three things I really wanted and DID NOT want to buy for myself. They weren’t particularly exciting for my family to buy for me but I was pretty darn excited to get them

First, every time I stay in a hotel I always LOVE the vanity mirror that lights up and has magnifying on one side and regular mirror on the other. Our last trip my hubby asked if I’d ever want one…umm yes please! Then I kind of forgot about it. Well guess what showed up on Christmas day. My hubby is so good at remember those little things I say and getting them for me. Much better than me. My memory sucks. (There is also a 10% coupon right now)

Second, New dish towels. Yes this does not seem exciting but I will tell you my mother-in-law introduced me to the very best dish towels around! She gave me some for my wedding shower (12 years ago) and I still use them. They are called Now Design Ripple Kitchen Towels. She’s also basically bought me all of the ones I have for Christmas or my birthday over the years. The store we typically bought them from stopped selling them and frankly we were super bummed. THESE REALLY ARE THE BEST TOWELS!! The dry dishes, they last forever, and there are tons of colors to choose from. Well some of my towels…from 12 years ago are ready to be replaced so when my sister-in-law asked me what I wanted I said towels. She found them on Amazon. Yahoo!!! I was so excited. My brother-in-law said that wasn’t a real gift…it is if you’re getting old 😆 If I may make a suggestion, I prefer darker colors because they stay looking nicer longer. You are still using them to clean things in the kitchen.

The Now Design dishcloth is awesome too! Seriously whenever I go to someone’s house and they don’t have them I judge. No I don’t but I do think that they should get some. I won’t use any other towel.

Third thing I asked for that makes me old is the Shelandy Pet Blowdryer. Yep I asked my mom to get me this. Was I serious?! Yep I sure was! Rosie loves to dig and that means lots of baths. I’ve been using my blow dryer but kept seeing the Shelandy Pet Blowdryer and I wanted it! And let me tell you I am so excited to get it and used it for the first time yesterday and IT IS AWESOME!!!

I didn’t get these for Christmas but they are a must if you have a dog! Well that is if you want to have your dog smell like a spa. Chi for Dogs Shampoo and Chi for Dogs Deodorizing Spray smell so good! I would use them on my own hair. They smell amazing and last for multiple days, which I haven’t found with other products.

Tried and True by Binks

These are some of my favorite every day/week products!

Chi Tea Tree Hair and Scalp Serum. This is refreshing to a tired scalp especially after a headband or pony tail day. Light weight and smells amazing. Adds shine.

Gold Bond Neck and Chest Firming Cream. When you don’t want to waste your expensive face lotion on your neck. Doubles as a face and hand cream

Essie Nail Polish-I like Splash of Grenadine. Fast drying, smooth and glossy, this color pops and stay on well. You can add a second coat a few days later right over the top to freshen it up. This doesn’t yellow my nails and is easy to remove. They also have a 6 pack for under $25!

Caviar Overnight Rescue. My hairdresser recommended this product to help my hair grow around my face. This is where I was getting breakage. It’s helped dramatically. My hair is thicker and longer.

Scarf hair ties R HORSE 10 Packs Bowknot Hair. These are so cute and dress up a pony, bun or braid.

Erase Your Face. It’s true! These reusable cloths take off all your makeup, including mascara, with just water. My friend Anne told me about them.

Garnier Micellar Water Garnier SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Water, For All Skin Types, 13.5 Fl Oz. This is a great makeup remover and helps get skin clean after workouts.

Reusable Cotton Rounds Coolcos Key Ring Bracelets. I love these. They are soft and absorbent. I love the zero waste. Easy to wash and softer than cotton balls.

Do you have frequent headaches? Whip up some magnesium lotion. By Binks

I have headaches all the time. In fact, I see a headache neurologist once a year. Other than the inevitable prescription meds, she directed me to take magnesium daily and drink tons of water. Both help to stave off the headache cycle. Through research I learned magnesium is more easily absorbed through the skin than taken orally. Supplements are great, and I take those too, but recently made a batch of magnesium lotion, which is amazing and doubles as a thick moisturizer applied to my feet and legs. The recipe is very simple. It’s best to apply at night as magnesium is known to help sleep.

Beeswax. Certified Organic Yellow Beeswax Pellets 1lb by Mary Tylor Naturals, Premium Quality, Cosmetic Grade, Triple Filtered Bees Wax Pastilles Great for DIY Lip Balm Recipes Body Creams Lotions Deodorants

Magnesium flakes Now Solutions, Magnesium Flakes, 100% Pure, from The Ancient Zechstein Seabed, Highly Concentrated, 54-Ounce

Coconut oil Garden of Life Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil – Unrefined Cold Pressed Plant Based Oil for Hair, Skin & Cooking, 14 Oz

Shea butter Organic Shea butter (1 lb) USDA Certified, Raw, Unrefined, Ivory From Ghana Africa, Amazing Skin Nourishment, Great for Eczema, Stretch Marks and Body by Mary Tylor Naturals

Recipe:

Combine 3 tablespoons of boiling water with 1/2 cup magnesium flakes and stir until melted.

In a double boiler melt 1/4 cup coconut oil, two tablespoons beeswax and three tablespoons shea butter.

Let both cool slightly and combine. Add a few drops of essential oils (optional). Whip with an emulsion blender or regular beater. Transfer to a cute jar.

*all links are affiliate links and some commissions can be made


The Best Wallet in the Universe By Binks

Struggling to find your credit cards? This Travelambo wallet organizer is the best! It’s RFID protected and seriously holds all my credit cards and gift cards in a way I can see them all at once. It’s super affordable yet high quality. It also has two large zipped pockets for your cash and receipts. I bought one in red for my mom and a couple friends have asked me where they could find one. Sometimes I use it as a clutch when I don’t feel like carrying a purse. It comes in all sorts of colors. I have the standard black. I recommend getting the one on the link rather than a different brand. I tried a different brand and the quality was not good.

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Hope for 2020 by BB

Those Little Moments

Wow 2020 started with a bang for Binks and me! We are so very excited to start this adventure of our blog and Facebook page. There are definitely some growing pains as with any new project but we’re up for the challenge, we hope you’ll be patient and stick with us!

Sharing is Caring! That’s what they say at my kids school and we hope you can help us by sharing our Facebook page, website, and any post you like!

I have been asked a few times about the products we talk about and the links we share . Binks and I love trying products and we love sharing them with the people we come in contact with. I often share links to things I love. We are posting the things we have tried and we love. We are affiliates to Amazon, Target, Rakuten, Kiwi Co, and Weight Watchers, but we are also consumers. This means when you click on our links and purchase we receive a small commission but it’s at ZERO cost to you!!! And rest assure we are not just doing this for a commission, we truly want to share the things we love. If you ever have any questions please reach out to us at bbandbinks@gmail.com

Now for me personally…I’ve been a stay at home mom for 7 1/2 years and I love it but Little Man just turned 3 and I just needed a new challenge. I wanted something that would give me a mental challenge and let me tell you this whole project has been nothing short of a mental challenge. When I was in my 20s I vowed never to be that old lady who didn’t know how to keep up with technology…well I’m that old lady who didn’t keep up with technology. So this is a big challenge but I’m loving it. I also have a friend who’s been helping me a long the way, thanks Samara.

Balancing this and my family is a bit tricky too. I’ve always admired moms who work outside the home. There is so much work to get done. I’m only a couple weeks in and feel a little overwhelmed with meeting all the needs of everyone and the house. I have to say I think it’s good for my kids to see me doing something for myself. They don’t always love having to wait.

So for 2020 I hope for the adventure to continue! I hope for continued health and happiness! I hope for patience and others around me to grant me their patience as I embark on this new adventure. My ultimate hope is to just take time to truly take in my life. With three kids there is always so many moving parts. But sitting back and looking at them and soaking in a moment like the picture above is what’s it’s all about. There is nothing significant about the picture except they are all together, not fighting, and just being. I love it! May 2020 bring you peace and love! And of course lots of BB and Binks!

Happy New Year 2020. By Binks

I’ve decided 2020 is going to be a great year. For 4 years I’ve been writing down at least one thing a day that made me happy. Looking back, there are some themes, mostly work related and special times I’ve spent with my son. Some days there is a lot to write about and some days, hard days, I struggle to write at all…However, in the 4 years, there has not been a single day where I couldn’t think of at least one thing made me happy. Often it’s a little thing. A smile from someone I admire, an unsolicited hug from my son, the way the sun glows though my living room shades in the afternoon, finishing a project I’ve been putting off, etc. Sometimes the entries are completely personal and random. Laying on the floor listening to a Radiohead deep track, getting told by my son to stay out of his room because he’s making me a birthday present, made the perfect cup of tea, nailed a presentation at work…I’m driven by accomplishments and they do make me happy. I’m also driven by social connections and these are the comments that make me smile as I read through my journal. Thinking and recording things that make life meaningful everyday adds joy and hope to my life. It allows me to take a moment to acknowledge the little things that make life so wonderful. I encourage our readers to follow suit. You can start a journal in any format. I use The Happiness Journal by Gretchen Rubin is a 5 year daily diary meant to record your daily joys. Make 2020 a great year to remember.

What’s in Your Shower by Binks

It’s winter. In Minnesota. One of the coldest and driest climates in the world. My skin is dry in the humid summer so it’s double dog dry in winter. I swapped my soap for body wash a few years ago and it’s helped. Here are my current favs. I like to mix them up. Bonus, none of them leave a film in my shower like bar soap.

1. Method Pure Peace with peony, rose and pink sea salt. It’s has a great scent and washes off without residue.

2. Olay Age Defying with Vitamin E. This is especially mild and smells nice.

3. Dr. Bronner’s either peppermint or rose. (I love all things rose. BB would strike that and replace with eucalyptus or unscented. She hates the smell of roses). If I have unscented, I’ll add a few drops of essential oil.

4. Stemulations Daily Micro Derm Scrub. This is a great gentle exfoliating scrub. You can use it for your face. I got it from a FABFITFUN box and have purchased it several times since. https://share.fabfitfun.com/x/HTpoM4

My son goes through a lot of body wash. I’m just glad he showers. Method has some great scents for men, but he’s just as happy using the Pure Peace. He’s even requested it when we ran out.

Don’t forget to use Rakuten for an additional percentage back

*Links are Affiliate links so bloggers may make commission

Who Has Time to Actually Read a Book? by BB

Oh my gosh before kids I would come home from work every day, make dinner, and then take a hot bath and read. Read, Read, Read! I love reading and getting to submerse myself in another world. Now with kids, I find so little quiet time to sit and read. I feel like I always have a million things to do.

A couple years ago I discovered Audible. It’s changed my reading. I can now listen to books and I love it. I can keep doing all that needs to be done but also listen to the stories. I moved to Woodbury in 2012 and quickly joined a neighborhood book club. It is so much fun! In all these years I bet I’ve only actually read a couple of the books. I always listen to them.

When I’m doing my laundry or getting ready in the morning I always have my audible app going. Seriously, it helps this mama continue to submerge myself in books. One challenge I have is following along with more complex books. We read one book that took place in Russia and because I couldn’t see all the names I had a hard time following who was who. I’m a visual learner so this can be a struggle. But that hasn’t happened often.

Honestly I’m so thankful for audio books. Not only does it allow me to still “read” books but it fits into my life. It’s also fun to get kids books and if we’re going on a road trip we will listen to a book instead of just watching movies or playing on technology. If you haven’t tried audio books I highly recommend it!

Did you know you can even give Audible as a gift? I didn’t! So cool.

*Links are affiliate links and profits can be made by bloggers

Oh Rosie Doodle! by BB

In March we were on a family trip to North Captiva Island, Florida. If you haven’t been, you should. It’s a magical rustic island where there is little to do but swim and explore. We had the best time ever! While on this trip the conversation came up again about getting a puppy. Over the 11+ years we’ve been married we’ve talked about it. Once at a school auction we bid on a pup, yeah we were outbid. Once there was a litter of beautiful English Cream Golden Retrievers that we almost picked one but decided against. Thankfully, because I found out a few weeks later I was pregnant with Bubba. The conversation has gone back and forth many times. I think we both knew someday but just didn’t know when the right time would be.

Here we were on this amazing vacation and I’m not exactly sure how it came about but I found a litter of Bernedoodles. What is a Bernedoodle? Well I had never heard of them. They are a mix of Bernese Mountain Dog and Poodle. We contacted the breeder and she had one girl left. We wanted a day to think about it. We called her the next day saying that we indeed wanted the girlie. SHE WAS SOLD!!!! Wahhhhhh! We were so sad. I may have even cried a little. What this did help us with was knowing we were really ready for a pup. So our search continued.

We soon found a great breeder in Northern Minnesota called Northwood Doodles and Kristin had a litter about to be born of F1 Bernedoodles. We felt really good about the breeder and decided to make a deposit. We were in! Now we had to wait for the pups to be born. On March 18, 2019 the litter made it’s appearance. One girl and six boys. ONE GIRL? We really wanted a female pup and we knew we were third on the list. Fortunately for us the people before us dropped out and we got first pick. Rosie was ours! Rosie you ask? Yes because Mama loves a good gimlet made with Rose’s lime juice.

Now comes the point where you prepare your house for a puppy without your kids knowing about it because you are surprising them. I’ll post about that experience later. But what I will tell you is that puppies really don’t need as much as you think. Just like children. But what you do NEED is a carpet cleaner. This Bissel Spot Bot has saved our life!!! And of course don’t forget the Bissell Advanced Pet Stain And Odor Spot Cleaning Concentrate. Seriously puppies go ALL THE TIME and don’t know where is the proper place to go. Now we love our girlie completely, but let’s be honest my house would be so disgusting if we didn’t have this little carpet cleaner in our life. What’s best is it does the work for you! You just set it on the spot and push a button. Let the cleaning begin effortlessly! It’s also great when you bring your pup somewhere else. The cleaner is completely portable! Grandmas and Nanas all around thank us!

I mean come on Baby Rosie is the cutest!

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Rise and Shine by Binks

How many of you have a hard time waking up in the morning no matter how well you slept? That’s me. I could sleep 4 hours or 9 hours and still feel completely out of it in the morning. I’d love to hear your techniques for waking up. Here are some I’ve tried:

Putting the coffee maker in my room so all I have to do is reach over and turn it on. I have the Ninja Coffee Bar and love it. Still haven’t figured out the milk situation as it seems silly to put a mini fridge in my bedroom.

Amazon Echo and ask it to wake me up with the news in the morning. Sometimes I try new things like waking up to a podcast or heavy metal…nothing too soothing so I fall back asleep.

Refreshing facial spray to wake me up. Something with peppermint or tea tree oil.

Gradually lighting alarm clocks. These do not work for me as my room is typically lit by the time I need to get up. That said, I haven’t tried them in the winter so maybe I’ll bust it back out.

Please, I beg of you, share your proven methods of waking yourself in the morning. I’m ready to try anything. Comment below. I’d love to hear about products you’ve used that you love. I’d also love methods you’ve tried that have helped you!

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A Good Jacket by BB

I love jackets! Come on, who doesn’t love a good denim jacket, but my latest jacket is a faux suede moto jacket. I saw it on another blogger’s post and had to have it. How many of you see an ad for cute shoes or shirts and you click on the ad and buy them? I hate to admit that I have quite a few times and they show up and they are total stinkers. They aren’t the color you thought, the fit is funny, or are totally cheap. It’s a total waste of money. Who knows how you even return that kind of purchase?

Binks and I want to introduce you to products that we already use and love. We want to share the things we’ve found through trial and error. We both LOVE to try new things and buy ourselves some goodies. I often share my favorite things with people. Most people who are around me have received a link from me. This blog is a place where we can share the things we love with all of you! Please share out site to get the word out. Trust that we only put products out here that we love. We don’t want to share just to share. We want you to enjoy the things we love too!

I have this Apperloth Women’s Long Sleeve Zipper Closure Motorcycle Biker Faux Suede Female Jacket in olive green but it comes in tons of colors. The best is you can just wash it at home. It is true to size. It’s soft and very moveable. EVERY TIME I wear it I get compliments. Today I had my daughter’s holiday program and thought it was something I could throw on. Sure enough my good friend told me she liked it. I told her she can look on my blog for the link because I was going to write about it today. This is a very fun jacket and I highly recommend it!

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Leggings Leggings Leggings by BB

Now something about me. I am pretty good at starting things but sticking with them is definitely my struggle. I go all in for 2 weeks and then… But here I am over two years later and I’ve joined Energy Group Fitness Studio here in Woodbury. It’s female focused, however, you do see men from time to time. It’s a small studio that really makes you feel a part of their family. I so appreciate that. They notice when you don’t come. I also appreciate this. Most importantly for me, they have childcare one class a day during the week, which makes it possible for me to go. My weekly goal is to attend three classes and most weeks I make it a priority. My favorite classes are Pilates Mat and Yoga Sculpt. The teachers are incredible! For the first time EVER, working out and feeling like I need it is mine. I always heard about that from other people and never understood. Now I’m one of those people

When working, out you need cute clothes. It makes you feel better and a part of the club. I always liked Lucy athletic clothes, and was so sad when they went out of business. I’ve tried so many different brands and they just didn’t work for me. I am curvy and most brands just roll on down my belly. It’s not a good look. I randomly came across VIV Collection leggings on Amazon. I’m in love! They are cotton, they are not compression. They can be worn daily or for working out. There is traditional waist bands and yoga waist band. You guys, I’m in love with these. And the best part they are inexpensive!! They cost around $13.99. Patterned or plain, one size and plus size. I always get compliments on them and they STAY UP!!!!!

So be inspired to step out of your comfort zone and find a cute pair of leggings to do it in.

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If you are in the Woodbury area and are looking for an awesome fitness experience please come over to Energy Group Fitness Studio
First class free*
*Must be resident of MN/WI | One Per Person | Must be new to Energy 
“Just Try It!” – Two weeks’ unlimited classes for $25​