Friday, February 23, 2018

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday!

Why, oh why do those short weeks always seem longer than the regular weeks?  Is it just me?

I'm happy to see you, Friday.  I've teamed up with my girls, Andrea and Narci, to bring you FRIDAY FAVORITES.

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A Little Gifting:

This week Nordstrom reached out and asked me to talk about one of my favorite unmentionable brands, Natori, and a few gifting ideas.  Let me tell you...I never thought I'd ever be talking about BRAS on this blog of mine where my sweet Grandpa reads daily!  But Natori bras are the only bras I wear so I couldn't resist sharing.


These Natori underwire bras are my favorite. If you're in the market for a new bra {and if you're like me, this is one of the last items you purchase for yourself!}, you should check out this bra!   I also want to highlight some of my favorite different types of underwear options they have...cotton briefsthongs, and bikinis.

The wide range of price points available at Nordstrom makes gift giving all throughout the year seamless {AND SO EASY!}.  They offer free shipping/free returns directly to the recipient of your gift and they will take care of all your gift boxing needs from wrapping, supplying you with the products you need, or including a sweet little message.

I've included a few gift giving options for you...

For Baby Gifts/Showers-




For Wedding Gifts/Showers-





And I'm including my outfit yesterday.  If my birthday was coming up, I'd love some athleisure pieces like the ones below...

Zella leggingssweaternecklace, and a long cami make the perfect looks-like-I'm-going-to-the-gym-outfit.  :)

My tennis shoes would make the perfect gift too.  {And they're on sale now.}

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Baby of Mine:

Even though it was pouring down rain yesterday {again} we ventured out to downtown McKinney to enjoy lunch at one of our favorite spots, Snug on the Square.  Britt would choose to eat carbs and dairy all day long so she was in heaven with the creamy macaroni and cheese they serve.

I want to say a HUGE THANK YOU to everyone who took the time to leave a comment, send an e-mail, or write a message about Britt's speech.  Earlier this week, I asked for any helpful tips and resources when it comes to speech and you guys delivered.  THANK YOU!!  I even got some messages saying other readers were encouraged because they kept thinking they were the only one whose kiddo was a late talker.  Please know hearing all your comments and stories were not only encouraging to my mama heart but others as well.

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Celebrity Big Brother:

We just talked about this recently....is Celebrity Big Brother as good as the regular summer edition?  Absolutely NOT!  It's not even close, BUT I just can't stop watching!  This week finally got better {in my opinion} and it ends on Sunday!  haha!  If you're watching, who are you cheering for?
#teamross

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Chips and Salsa:

This is SO ME!!!  Anyone else?  Why can't I just eat like three chips?  

#becausetheyresogood

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I hope you guys have the BEST weekend!

And please link-up with us!

XO


Thursday, February 22, 2018

Our Week in Pictures

Last Friday night was the big kiddos' school dance and like every year before we met the Shull family at a local pizza spot for dinner.  This is the ONLY picture I have of dinner...
And I didn't even take it!!  Odds are Bowen said, "Ashby, say cheese!".  And sweet Ashby did just that!


Love getting to hang with Shay and her crew!

A couple times throughout the dance, the lights come on and the fifth graders do a little square dance they've been working on in p.e.  Nixon is dreading the day he has to do this and Ebby Lee probably knows the number of days until it's her turn to perform.  ha!

*Sidenote, I took a square dancing class in college AND I loved it.  


Oh my goodness!  This little group of third grade girls was looking so stinkin' cute!  

The last volleyball game of the season with this crew.  Until Coach Erika realized there's a post season tournament so we actually have a couple more on Saturday.  

Every single girl on this team has improved so much.  We're signing ourselves up for another season of fun!  And we're looking forward to it!


My parents were in town {step-dad drove home and mom stayed for the week.  We hadn't seen them since Thanksgiving so we had a late Christmas on Saturday morning} and after volleyball we made our way over to this new area in Frisco.  It's near the Star Center, where the Cowboys now practice.  And the highlight of the afternoon for the boys was this little turf field.  The Slaughter boys are in the chaos pictured above somewhere.


There they are!

We had a late lunch at City Works Eatery and Pour House {our food was really yummy} and then we let the kiddos burn a little more energy after as well.  If you're local, you should check out this spot.  Lots of cool restaurants are there and it looks like shopping will be popping up soon.

Someone didn't want to miss any of the action!  She saw Bowen take a few accidental spills so she lunged herself onto the turf on purpose.  #monkeyseemonkeydo

We spent the rest of the evening watching the Olympics!

Monday, there was no school but the loudest game of kickball ever on our street.  Until the ball got stuck in the tree...#boo

On Tuesday, my mom, Britt, and I had a MALL DAY!  It was crazy, yucky outside...pretty much rained all day long.  But we were nice, dry, and getting our shop on inside. 

It was a little short and sweet today, but I hope you enjoyed what's been going on around here!
XO

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

What I've Been Priming

I've said it before and I'll say it again....I'm nosey.  Aren't we all just a bit?  It's the whole premise behind enjoying those, "Day in the Life" posts.  Right?  

I was placing a little Amazon Prime order and it hit me...I should share WHAT I'VE BEEN PRIMING lately!  


I'm sharing for several reasons...

1. Sometimes Amazon Priming things don't cross my mind until I've already gotten out of the house with the kiddos, run the errand, and arrived back.  Sigh.  I'm hoping this helps someone!

2. This post is in no way sponsored by Amazon Prime, but I've already told you I'm nosey.  I'm hoping a few of you reading are as well and you enjoy this post.

3.  It might give you a few ideas for something you should Prime to yourself ASAP.

4. I left out any books and Christmas gifts that were ordered via Prime but other than that...this is for real what has arrived in our house!

*Don't pay attention to my crazy faces.  You've been warned.  :)

In no particular order...


This little gadget has over 11,000 reviews with a four star rating, which seems pretty good to me PLUS it's under $22.  The winter months wreak havoc on my dry heels so I was intrigued and ordered!  This just arrived last night and I haven't even had time to try it out!

Have you HEARD of this game?  {See what I did there?}  We had a fun family game night last week and this was the show stopper.  One person puts the headphones on {they're playing all kinds of sounds so you can't hear a thing} then another person reads a sentence to you.  You have to lip read to understand what they're saying.  Some of the things my people said were hilarious!  If you have a game night coming up or just want to make a Tuesday night a little special, order this!

This little product was popping up everywhere.  I saw it on blogs, heard it on podcasts, read about it online...I'm telling you it was haunting me.  So I ordered it a couple weeks ago and have been using it as a toner after I use my cleanser both morning and night.  It's supposed to make my skin "BLOOM".  Again, this product has 4.5 stars with over 10,000 ratings so it has to work.  Right?  And the price is GREAT!

Keeping it real, friends!  Somehow we have all the beads but can never find the ironing paper.  I did a quick little prime order and it was at our house in no time!

Pampers Diapers
{Figured you knew what these look like}
Let me tell you when the delivery guy put this big box on my front porch I had a big ole smile on my face.  :)  Mama didn't have to lug them from cart to car and car to house.  Prime did it for me.  :)

I've tried a ton of different dry shampoos and I always go back to this brand.  This dry shampoo actually sprays out some white powder which lightens up my hair/roots and gives it some extra volume {that tends to be lost when I need to wash my hair}.  The "blush" version smells delightful as well.

A few weeks ago I asked for your favorite eye cream recommendations and someone recommended this cream.  It's a great price point so I gave it a try.  But-is there a specific "eye" version or do you guys use this all over your face as a moisturizer?  I used it a couple times and then decided I need to do a little more research.  Please help me out with that!  If you have this product, what are your thoughts?!

Have you heard of dermaplaning?  It's an exfoliation process that essentially shaves the skin's surface.  This gets rid of dead skin and little hairs and is proven to be highly effective for your skin.  Lots of bloggers do this themselves and after years of reading about it, I finally took the plunge.  I buy these little facial razors and do it every two to three weeks.  You can find a ton of YouTube videos on how to do this, but it leaves my skin feeling so fresh and clean.  I must say-I've never gotten any kind of razor burn, acne, or anything like that but I don't want to say it couldn't happen. 

If you have access to the internet, then I'm sure you've heard of this product.  Hahaha!  I feel like it's everywhere!  I even heard about it at the park one day when several moms were discussing the dreaded cellulite and this was the product being mentioned over and over again.  To be honest, I ordered it several months ago, added it to my coffee every day for a week or two and then forgot.  I haven't used it since, but I'm gonna begin again tomorrow.  If you've used this and recommend it, please let us know how it's helped!  At this point, I'm not convinced I'll reorder.

I've shared this root boost with you before, but I wanted to round the list out at a solid ten.  :)  I spray this on damp hair right before drying and then blow dry.  I've also been known to add to dry hair.  It does add some texture, but I don't notice the volume as much as when I add to wet hair.

What about YOU?  What have you been PRIMING lately?  Or do you have any of these products and have some opinions about them?  I'd love to hear!  Thanks, friends!

XO

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Tuesday Talk-Speech Talk


Hey Everyone!

I hope you had a great weekend.  We did a lot of Olympic-watching, staying up late, and sleeping in every morning.  It was a good one!

Today, Ashley and I are hosting TUESDAY TALK!  The third Tuesday of every month we invite you to join us and chat about anything and everything!

I truly feel like we're all girlfriends here chatting about things going on in our lives.  Each month, I'm trying to bring you a legit question I'd for sure be asking if we were at my favorite lunch spot possibly eating a bacon and candied jalapeno pimento cheese.  {Yes, on second thought.  We'd definitely be eating that.}  So I love hearing your responses and truly take them to heart.

Last month, we talked about the very important topic of WHERE DO YOU PLACE YOUR KEY FOB.  {I'm kidding on the "VERY IMPORTANT", but I know I would have asked you that question over lunch.  :)}  And you guys were passionate about it. 

The topic today might not trigger those same feelings, but I'm hoping some of you passionate mamas, teachers, or special friends know what I'm talking about.  And you help a sister out!

I'm gonna ask the question, set the stage, and ask you one more time.

To anyone out there with any speech background, what else can we be doing to speed up Britt's speech progress?  I'm talking certain books to read, any I-Pad games you recommend, just anything you can think of?

To give you a little background, my oldest three kiddos began talking at an early age and talked pretty much all day long, non-stop.  I never even thought about speech with them.  They all talked really early and a lot, so I'm a rookie in this field.

Britt very early on started saying, "Mama".  {From what I've read this is very common for cleft kiddos.}  She also says, "Uh-oh, yeah, and hi" on her own without any prompting.  She goes to speech therapy once a week where they're working on receptive language which I seriously think she's nailing if I'm being honest and bragging just a bit.  #mombragmoment  The therapist is also working on all kinds of sounds, combining some sounds, and repeating sounds like "Papa, baa baa, Dada".  

My mom is in town this week and her grandma name is, "T-Nonnie". We've shortened it and have worked on Britt saying, "Nona" and she's mastered it!  She also said, "Nixon" which we weren't even really working on.  Nix would have been stoked with a "NIX" sound.  haha!  But she said it twice and it sounded great!

All this to say, I feel like she's starting to make some major strides with her speech and I know there have to be so many resources out there that I just don't know about.  If you have any suggestions for resources that would help, please let me know!

I have a girlfriend who told me to read the same "100 Beginning Words" book over and over.  But the book we have has SO MANY WORDS she doesn't know.  Maybe I should keep this up?  OR maybe not yet?

I want to do everything I can to foster her language so please let me know your thoughts!  And I'm hoping other moms, caregivers, family members, friends, or others might get some ideas from this post for kiddos in their lives as well.

Thank you for this little space where we can all help one another!  I'm looking forward to reading your comments!  

Thank you!

XO




Friday, February 16, 2018

Friday Favorites

WAHOO for the weekend!

I'm happy to see the weekend arrive.  We have fun plans on the weekend horizon-Valentine's Dance, my parents are coming to visit, NO SCHOOL ON MONDAY, and that's just a bit of the fun!

It's Friday, which means I've teamed up with Andrea and Narci to share my Friday Favorites.  Each Friday we invite you to join us and share your favorites as well.  Simply link up to the blog post where you're highlighting your faves and voila!


Book Review:


Oh my goodness!  This book...whoa!  If you like those thrillers like Gone Girl, Girl on the Train, etc., then THIS BOOK IS FOR YOU!  About halfway through the book you learn something and I was in complete shock.  I couldn't put this one down.  Be warned-it's definitely rated "R".


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Favorite Product:

I've mentioned these glasses a few times, but I think they deserve their own little spotlight.  I've shared before that my name is Erika and sometimes I have trouble keeping up with things.  Like my debit card, car keys, and such.  I KNOW there's NO WAY I'd be able to keep up with a pair of sunglasses I spent more than $20 on and that would stress me right out!  So, I sport these sunglasses all summer long.  If {let's be real-WHEN} I lose them, it's not a big deal.


For the upcoming spring/summer I purchased four different pairs of sunglasses and spent less than $60.  Now is the time to stock up!


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Celebrity Big Brother:

Please note...this is NOT a FAVORITE, but I want to hear if you're watching.  Are YOU?  I know a lot of you are Big Brother fans, but WHAT do you think of this season?  I'm a few episodes behind, but I'm currently having that feeling of your most favorite movie ever making a sequel and the sequel falling FLAT!!  Anyone else?  I'm hoping after a few more episodes I won't feel like that!


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Olympics:

Who knew the half pipe was gonna be my favorite Olympic sport to date?  A sweet reader sent me this graphic and I could NOT stop laughing.  This was me earlier this week.  I mean Chloe Kim AND Shaun White!  Were you watching??!


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Valentine's Day:

Yesterday, the littles and I went to the big kiddos' school for Valentine's Day parties.  Our first stop was Nixon's class.  This crazy kiddo LOVES this girl so much.

After hanging with Nixon for a bit, we did a little switcharoo and then joined Ebby Lee at her class party.

Wednesdays are our busy sports' night with practices and such.  I was fully expecting to eat at different times and whip up a quick dinner, but my valentine picked us all up for a quick meal out.  I chose La Madeline because three words-CHICKEN CAESAR SANDWICH.  The sandwich is basically a chicken caesar salad ON the most delicious bread. Can you tell I'm a fan?  And since it was Valentine's Day, I didn't feel an ounce of guilt about eating it.

A picture with 4/5 of my valentines. :)

I shared this on Instagram {you can follow me at slaughteren} on Wednesday night, "One year ago today, I opened up an email with the file for this precious baby. Her file told a story of such a brave girl.  I remember thinking as I stared at her little face that her eyes were missing something. There just wasn’t a sparkle. But a year later I now know it was love. This precious baby was missing the love only a family can give. It’s safe to say her sparkle is now present and it’s here to stay. This special day of love has a double meaning for our family of six."

Hope you have the BEST weekend!  Since the kiddos are out of school on Monday, I'm gonna take a vacation day myself.  See you back here on Tuesday for Tuesday Talk!

XO

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Our Week

Hope you had the best Valentine's Day yesterday!

Here's what's been going on around our house...

We had a sweet family friend wedding last Friday.  {Remember my dress dilemma?  Dress #3 was the winner!}  These sisters were READY to see that gorgeous bride!


My handsome dates :)


I know you can't tell much from the picture, but trust me...the bride was absolutely gorgeous!


Mackenzie and her bride sister, Caroline, have been babysitting for us for years.  My kiddos love them, I love them, and they really are just the sweetest girls.  They were both looking absolutely gorgeous on Friday night.


Bowen is a big fan too.  Can you tell?  haha!  #hissmile


Britt loves to dance.  I really thought she'd be tearing up the dance floor but she didn't love the loud music.  She kept covering her eyes up!


We got to the parking lot and realized we'd never taken a family picture.  So we snapped one in the parking lot.  Meanwhile, Bowen was sad we were leaving.


Saturday, we had sports and Miss Madeley snapped approximately seventy-five pictures of Britt but this one was almost promising.  By the way, Miss Madeley is stealth-like when it comes to my phone.  I have no doubts Shay and I noticed five minutes after she had it.  #shesgotskills  And I think I've mentioned before Madeley can pretty much talk me into anything.  So there's that.  :)


While we had our Mystery Dinner Party on Saturday night, the kiddos stayed with Marla.  {And Britt did great at the sleepover!}  So Sunday morning, I was up early with my handsome valentine driving to get them before church.

See you back here tomorrow for Friday Favorites!
XO

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

How We...Take Care of Ourselves

 It's a LINK-UP DAY!  You guys know I love me some link-up days.  If you could see me at this moment, I'm probably sporting some JAZZ HANDS!

Shay and I are hosting HOW WE...  Last month, we shared HOW WE...DO GOALS/RESOLUTIONS.

This month we're talking HOW WE...TAKE CARE OF OURSELVES.

You know that old saying, "If Mama Ain't Happy, Ain't Nobody Happy"??  Well, I've got a little secret.  Unfortunately, it rings true in our house.  If I get stressed out about anything, I start to get snappy with the kids, short-tempered with Tab, and trust me...no one in the Slaughter House is all smiles.  {Well, except maybe Britt...ha!}  I've learned a few things about myself over the years that have helped me get a handle on how I tackle the stress and maybe a few of these will help you too.


By the way, I think this topic could be taken a ton of different directions.  {Health, fitness, skincare, etc.} I'm sharing more about how you keep your mama cup full.  These will be fun to read.  :)


One thing I've learned over the years is it's okay to spend time, money, and effort on me.  This used to be so difficult for me to do.  A spa day?  No way.  A pedicure just because?  Absolutely not.  A quiet bath while the kids hang with dad in the other room?   I'd feel guilty about missing out on family time.  As a mom, all of our time, money, and effort can get caught up in our kiddos and family, but let me tell you...you need to invest in yourself as well.  

When I'm taking care of me, everything else flows so much more smoothly.

These are some ways I take care of me...

*Get Up Early for My Quiet Time

My entire day runs better when I carve out a bit of my morning to spend time reading God's word and in prayer.  Some nights I don't sleep good and push that alarm back.  I skip the quiet time and my day is all off.  I'm not even kidding.  It messes up my entire day.  By setting my alarm for an earlier time, I get some quiet minutes all to myself and time in prayer.  It's the best way to start my day.


*Do Something Just for Me

I got a massage just a couple weeks ago {Here's a little secret...it wasn't even my birthday or anniversary} and I didn't feel guilty about it.  Tab had been out of town a ton in January.  I'd been solo parenting and the idea of a relaxing fifty minutes was just what I needed.  It reset my mama button and helped our week just run a little smoother. 


*Take a Bath with the Door Locked and a Good Book

Now this one doesn't happen every night with sports and such, but when we're at home in the evenings I love LOCKING the door {Tab can handle all the crazy} and reading a book while I take a bath.  The best way to end a day!  It doesn't take too long...just fifteen or so minutes {Not gonna lie, I've been known to be in there for way longer and little hands start knocking on the door!} and I get out feeling so refreshed!


*Appointment Time Solo

With Britt not in preschool just yet, she's with me pretty much 24/7.  I realized back in the fall...sometimes I just need a few minutes to myself.  I mentioned it to Marla and she offered to watch Britt so I could get my hair done solo, hit up other appointments, or just get some work done.  Let me tell you mamas with littles, I've taken many kiddos and babies to appointments.  ----MAJOR STORY ABOUT THAT---I remember having a tiny, baby, Nixon, in the midst of bottle feeding and major spitting up.  He was probably three or four months old, which means I also had a fifteen or sixteen month old Ebby Lee.  I decided I didn't need to spend money on a sitter and took them both with me to a hair appointment.  You guys!  I took a pack-in-play to set up for baby Nixon and thought Ebby Lee would toddle around.  I'm sure I showed up looking a MESS!  I mean.  Can you imagine?  Another sweet lady who was waiting to get her hair done offered to hold Nixon for me.  I remember being SO appreciative for this lady.  {Sidenote, the next time you see a young mama with two tiny babes at the hair salon, offer to hold one.  You will MAKE her day.}  Did I mention baby Nixon was a spitter-upper?  Because he was.  And while sweet, nice lady was holding him, he lost it ALL OVER HER.  It's one thing to be wearing your own baby's spit-up on your shirt, but it's a completely different thing to be wearing a stranger baby's spit-up on your shirt.  Sigh.  A hair appointment solo is just good for the soul once in a while, and clearly back in the day almost eight years ago I should have sprung for a sitter.  :)


*Call it a Night

I think as women, moms, and wives we can tell when we need a night out.  A night with a meal prepared for us, no baths to give on the agenda, and no dishes to clean up...when you need that either call up some girlfriends and plan a night or call a sitter and plan a date!


*Exercise 

Taking a walk, heading to the gym, grabbing an at-home workout are all things that are good for my body {and I know it}.  So carving some time throughout the week {wish I was saying daily, but I'm not-ha!} to do just that really helps!

The most important thing about taking care of ourselves is realizing when you need it AND doing something about it.  You can't pour from an empty cup, Mamas...take care of you!  You deserve it!

I could go on and on about things I do or what we should do for ourselves but these are apparently the front runners. :)  What do you do to take care of yourself??

Don't miss it next month when Shay and I discuss MOM FAILS!  I'm starting my list already! 


And a big ole' HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY TO YOU!!  Tonight is crazy busy for us so we're celebrating in the dining room tomorrow night and we might even bust out the fancy glasses.  Hope you celebrate big with your loves!

XO