A Wife and Mom Goes Camping

This wife and mom has taken to the outdoors! We decided to buy an RV so we can take our everyday adventures outside! Well, that wasn’t really the gung-ho attitude I had from the beginning, but it’s getting there. I was skeptical about the whole thing and completely aware of the extra work and expenses that come along with an RV, but the mister was pretty excited about it so here we are. The memories we’ll make will outweigh the extra work, headaches, and hassles. It will. It will. Keep saying it over and over, Lauren!

For our first adventure, we left the boys with Grandma and Grandpa and set off just the two of us. We wanted to make sure that everything would run smoothly before we had our little guys with us. For the most part, everything went perfectly! Seriously. I was surprised at how easy everything was and how comfortable our little home on wheels felt right away. Do you even fully understand how much different camping is when you have your own toilet and bed? There was really no “roughing it” involved. We even baked chocolate chip cookies each night in our oven. Nothing makes you feel at home, like fresh baked cookies! The cooking of meals was easy too. Although, I do not recommend buying a can opener at the dollar store. I didn’t know metal could just bend like that. It was completely useless. It’s a good thing my husband is always prepared, because let’s be honest, most of the delicious camping meals I make use ingredients out of cans. He’s a lifesaver.

So the whole trip was a little bit like a second honeymoon. We just did whatever we wanted to do all day long. We relaxed, we went on hikes, we watched movies, I brought my sewing machine and got my crafty on, I read a book, Josh played with tools, and built campfires. We had a great time. We’re already planning our next adventure so we can take the boys. Boys and camping go together like me and not having to rough it!

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Check out this crazy skeleton we found!

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Any camping/RV tips you want to share? Let me hear ’em!

Favorite Things Friday 9.16

I just love sharing about my favorite things. I actually wish everyone would share things they are loving right now, because I always like to learn about the new products, shows, and food that people are into. To me, a good recommendation is so important! Otherwise, how do I know if it’s any good? Actually, a little known fact about me is that I rarely every try new products on my own. I just don’t like the uncertainty of whether or not I’ll like it. Therefore, I rely on my friends (and the internet!) to tell me if it’s worth my time!

So, here’s a few of my current favorite things…

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1. Monica Potter Home Coconut Lip Balm– Ok, so this chapstick was recommended to me by one of my makeup guru friends who I know I can trust. She casually was like, “Hey, try this chapstick.” I did and my response was some sort of mix between my eyes rolling back into my head in pleasure and just wanting to sit there and smell it for the rest of the night. To say it smells amazing is an understatement. It’s not a super fruity coconut scent, it’s more of a sweet coconut cake type of smell. Plus, it glides on smoothly and feel super hydrating. More like a vaseline instead of a thick chapstick. Oh, and did I mention it’s only $4.00. Yeah. And if you get your friends to buy one too, you can order together and split the shipping.  The company has great customer service also, which is a good sign of a great business! They also offer other flavors such as Lavender, Vanilla, and Spearmint since Coconut was out of stock the last time I checked, but you can get emailed when it’s available, so don’t worry. Easy! You can order yours and see everything else they have on the Monica Potter Home website HERE.

2. Salad and Go– If you’ve in Arizona, you have to check them out. It’s such a good feeling to know you can get healthy fast food! And I mean FAST! They offer salads and wraps, delicious breakfast items such as burritos and a warm berry quinoa bowl, smoothies, and refreshing lemonades. And anything with a drive thru gets an extra star in my book! Visit their website HERE for the full menu and locations. They are popping up everywhere!

3. The Mindy Project– I know I might be late to the game on this one, but I had never seen this show before about a month ago. As soon as I started watching, I laughed out loud so many times that I knew I had found something worth watching. It’s funny, crazy, and drives me crazy with the love story lines that don’t go my way! If you’ve never seen it, please do yourself a favor and watch it. You can watch all seasons on HULU.

4. Chobani Fruit on the Bottom Pineapple Greek Yogurt– Guys. If you like pineapple, please do yourself a favor and try this yogurt. It doesn’t have a bitter greek yogurt taste at all. The pineapple flavor kicks you in the mouth right away (in a good way!) and every bite thereafter was heaven. The only thing is that it’s pretty sweet, so you might only eat half the container at a time. I usually choose to have this for dessert if I’m craving something really sweet. It’s a little high in sugar, but we’ve all gotta splurge sometimes, right? I found mine at the Walmart Neighborhood Market, so check your local stores to see where you can purchase it.

5. Kirkland’s Every Child is an Artist Clip Art Holder– The hubby and I picked this up on a date night and I love it! It hangs in our hallway above the hooks where we keep the boys’ backpacks and it is the perfect place to display some of the adorable artwork and crafts that Mason creates at preschool! Oh, and did I mention it’s only $16.99? Snag yours on their website HERE!

Visit me on Facebook and Instagram and let me know your favorite things!
Facebook:  The Extraordinary Everyday Adventures of a Wife and Mom
Instagram: @eeaofawifeandmom

My Planner

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I LOVE planners. Everything about them makes me happy. Stickers, post-its, pens, markers, writing, doodling, being organized, making lists, aaaagghhh, it just gets me so excited!

I’m so excited to share how I do my planner and planning each week!

First of all, this is the planner I am using right now…

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It’s a Spartina Mermaid Weekly planner and I am obsessed with it. It’s full of girly, empowering, and cute patters, logos, and quotes. I can’t get enough of it! Plus, it goes from August 2016 to December of 2017 so I can use it now and all of next year! You can order your own from the Spartina website here.

Another great planner is the Erin Condren planner. You can personalize them a lot of different ways. Check out her website here and use the code BKREFITBVUOGJDLA for 20% off your order! (Code expires 12/31/16.)

So let’s get into what I do to plan each week! When you open your planner, there is usually a front page/title page area. This is often called your dashboard because you can keep post-its and other useful things there by sticking them to it or making little pockets, etc. Here you can see that right now, I just keep small square post-its there. I use these “on the go” to add little things I don’t want to forget to my future week, so they’re the only ones I need with me. Plus, notice how cute this planner is. “You are mermazing.” C’mon. This planner is the best.

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Before we keep going, it’s important to know that I keep EVERYTHING that is going on in my life and my family’s life, in my cell phone calendar. That’s what I use when I sit down and plan each week in my planner. Sometimes in my phone it’s hard to really see the whole week and what we have going on. That’s why I like to sit down on Sunday night with my phone, planner, stickers, pens, etc. and plan out what the coming week looks like. It helps me get pumped and prepared for the coming week! Plus, it never feels like a chore. To me, sitting down with my planner and box of planner supplies is ME time! Time to relax and be a little crafty.

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Here’s what my planner week might look like when I sit down to start planning. You can see I have a note to remember that my parents are leaving for vacation, and also my usual things like my Body Back workout class, swim lessons, and TV shows I want to remember to watch. (Please don’t judge me- yes, I may occasionally watch Teen Mom and I do love Pretty Little Liars. I know.)

I keep the “recurring” post-its and when I take them off this week, I just flip the page and move them to the next week. There’s just something about seeing these recurring things there each week that I like and then I’ll add new ones or specific ones as I need to. The purpose of using post-its is so you can see everything you have planned for each day. Then, when you write them in you can make everything fit and look pretty.

Here’s what a finished week might look like…

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The first thing I always do is to add washi tape to the top, bottom, and between each day. If you’re not familiar with washi tape, they are small rolls of decorative tape that you can peel up and move and reposition without it hurting your paper. Be aware, they come in so many  freaking cute designs, you’ll want 20 different ones the first time you ever even look at them. They make each week feel different and festive. You can theme each week based on holidays, moods, events, or just whatever you like. You can pick up washi tape at craft stores, Walmart, Target, and online. I have been using the thinner washi tape that is only maybe half and inch wide and it fits much better. You can see in the photo that the top and bottom are a wider tape than the middle ones.

After washi tape, I add different stickers to accent areas or where I might write in certain events. I have a few different workout stickers so I always add them before I write out “Body Back”. I also always add some stickers with positive quotes on them so when I look at my planner throughout the week it makes me feel good!

Then, I start filling in my week’s events, to-do lists, reminders such as TV shows, deliveries I’m expecting, dinners I’m planning to make, anything and everything! I like to write in different fonts, colors, and sizes. It keeps it interesting.

Last, I add more stickers if I want, some swirly doodles, flowers, or words maybe, and anything else that makes me happy, or anything I love or think it needs.

Here’s a few examples of past weeks…

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The whole reason I enjoy planning like this is because all week long, when I look at my planner, it makes me smile. It love it. It’s pretty to look at and it lets me get a great picture of my whole week. Some weeks are better than others, some weeks stay pretty empty, and some weeks turn out so great that I want to carry my planner around and show it to everyone I meet! It’s just fun.

If you like playing with craft and office supplies and like being organized, this could be something to try!

Any planner tips to share, products you love, or questions you have?  Be sure to connect with The Extraordinary Everyday Adventures of a Wife and Mom on Facebook and Instagram! I love hearing from you!

The opinions in this post are entirely my own. No compensation has been given for products featured. 

How To Clean Dirty Shoes…The Easy Way

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As I’m sure is the case with most kids, my 3 years old gets his shoes so dirty so fast. One day they look brand new, and the next day they look like they’re three years old too. I know he plays hard, but I also like him to look like we didn’t find his shoes in a dumpster.

The easiest and best way to clean the plastic part of shoes is by using a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser! You may have heard this before, but it really does work. Try it. I took my son’s filthy Converse shoes and did a quick 5 minute job of scrubbing them late one night before he started preschool and they looked amazing! I could have spent a little more time getting in the grooves, but I actually didn’t care that much, so I didn’t. They looked good enough and by good enough I mean pretty darn good! Imagine how much better these shoes would have looked if I had thrown them in the washer first! On this pair I actually used the Mr. Clean Bathroom Magic Eraser because it’s what I had. They all work ridiculously really well!

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So, if you have a pair of shoes that are still in good condition, but are all dingy and dirty, pick up a Mr. Clean and give it a go! Any cleaning tips to share? Visit The Extraordinary Everyday Adventures of a Wife and Mom on Facebook!

*All opinions in this post are entirely my own. I have not received any compensation for this post. 

Wives Day

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Did you know that August 5th is Wives Day?

Here is the official origin story of this beautiful holiday. Many moons ago (about 8 or 9 years ago to be more precise), I decided the there wasn’t a day between my birthday in May and Christmas that was all about me. Now, you may be thinking that I am completely self centered and spoiled, but I will tell you that you’re {pretty much} wrong. Is it so bad to enjoy being pampered and fussed about? NO! I deserve it, you deserve it, we all deserve it!

So I looked at a calendar to pick a good date that fell somewhere in the middle between May and December and there was August 5. It sounded like the perfect date for Wives Day. I told my husband about it right then and there and believe it or not, as much he thought I was a little bit ridiculous, he actually seemed to enjoy the idea of another day where we got to “celebrate” something, no matter how silly {or completely made up!} Over the years, there have been a few times where I completely forgot Wives Day was coming up and he surprised me with plans to take me out. Man, he’s a keeper.

We usually go out to dinner and maybe do something fun. Nothing crazy but we have a good time and we get to celebrate that I’m his wife! Although, I should probably be the one who plans the night for him, since I’m really celebrating that he keeps me around!

Tell your spouse and go out and celebrate! Oh, and don’t forget to mark your calendars for next year!

Happy Wives Day!

A Jar of Mommy Kisses

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In our house, Mommy kisses are pretty important. They can make an bump, scratch, bruise, or any other type of owie feel all better. Instantly. When I was leaving for 5 days without my little boys I knew I had to come up with something that would work in place of a real live Mommy kiss.

I decided to make a jar of Mommy kisses. I filled a mason jar with cotton balls and sat my 3 year old down to let him know how they would work. My husband and I had been telling him for a week or two that I was going to be going on vacation, so it wasn’t a surprise to him. We sat together and he watched me put a mommy kiss on each of the cotton balls. He decided he needed to add a kiss too, which made it even sweeter. Then, I told him that anytime he got hurt, missed me, or needed a Mommy kiss for any reason, all he had to do was get one of them and touch it to the spot where he needed the kiss. I also told him that when he uses a kiss it goes right back in the jar because thats where we keep the Mommy kisses and he can use it again. Really, this was only so he wouldn’t be taking them out and leaving them everywhere and driving my husband crazy with pulled apart cotton balls all over the house!

It’s not that Daddy kisses don’t work or aren’t good enough, it’s just that sometimes a little boy (or girl) just needs a Mommy kiss. I left knowing that there was a way I could comfort him even though I was on the other side of the country.

It worked like a charm and the jar still sits out in our kitchen. Occasionally, he’ll use it when he needs a Mommy kiss and I can’t do it right away, or if I’m not home. What an easy way to let your children know you’re there for them, when you might not be able to be there physically! You can use this for grandparents houses, military parents who might be deployed far away, send a little baggie of kisses to summer camp, wherever they might need a little kiss.

Any sweet things you do for your kiddos when you have to travel and can’t be with them? Leave them in the comments!

Favorite Things: Summer Edition

Summer is here! The weather is hot and the pools are warm! Even though I’m originally from New York, I’m a west coast girl down to my bones now and I really don’t loathe the heat as do so many other Arizonans. Summer means tank tops, flip flops, the beach, and fun!

Here’s some of my favorite things for summer!

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1. China Mist Passion Fruit Iced Tea- Today just happened to be National Iced Tea Day so it seemed fitting for it to show up on my favorite things for summer. Although, I love it all year, not just during the hot months. This is the same tropical tea you can get at AJ’s and at Pita Jungle. Just hook me right up to an IV of it, because it’s that good. When you buy it to make at home you can save so much money. Plus, you get to drink it whenever you want. Win, win. You can pick it up at Walmart and other grocery stores in the coffee/tea section.

2. Merona A-Line/Easy Waist Dresses from Target- These dresses…I can’t even describe how amazing they are. Comfortable, cute, inexpensive, PERFECT for summer! I {may} have it in 5 different patterns. I just couldn’t help myself! Find it at Target for $19.99.

3. ChapStick Watermelon Splash- This chapstick smells so good and who doesn’t need a good chapstick for summer? I found mine at Walmart in a 3 pack along with coconut and mango too. They’re all perfect for the beach!

4. Amir Argan Oil Touch of Tan Moisturizer- I got this lotion on Amazon because I wanted a moisturizer that would gradually darken to give me a natural, sun kissed glow. I love it. It leaves my skin so hydrated and gives me a great little bit of color. Plus, it goes on like regular lotion so theres nothing to worry about when applying it like there is with actual sunless tanners. It smells good too!

5. James Michelle Necklaces- These necklaces are gorgeous and perfect for the beachy summer look. I have quite a few of her pieces and I love them all. My favorite is the engraved bar which I had made with our anniversary in Roman numerals. My second favorite is the Karma boomerang necklace. They’re simple, sweet, and chic. Check out her website here: http://www.jamesmichelle.com.

As always, tell me some of your favorite things! I love hearing about new products, shows, places, anything!

It’s My Superpower.

I’m a worrier. It’s practically my superpower at this point. I know I’m a worrier and I also know that my worrying only got more intense after having children. It’s just how it is when you’re a mom! Anything can happen in a split second and we need to make sure we’re staying on top of the situations we CAN control. Now hear me out- I’m not over protective. I let my boys take risks, seek adventure, and have rough and tumble fun, but when we’re in a situation where my actions determine their safety, I try my best to be on top of it.

The other day, just as I was pulling into the parking lot of the grocery store, my little guy fell asleep.  I decided to let him take a little snoozer while I just sat in the car and looked over my list.  As I was sitting there, I saw a woman with a few children walking to her car. She had three children trailing behind her and she was on the phone. No hands were being held, no children were in her eye sight, and my “jump to the worst scenario” sensors were going crazy. The youngest was about 3 or 4 years old and he stopped to look at some rocks on the ground. He bent down, took a couple seconds to look, and then continued to trail after his mom. But what if he didn’t? What if he stepped the other way into cars going by, what if he ran behind a car backing out? He’s a very young child who acts on impulse and as parents it’s OUR job to make sure they are safe!  The mother didn’t notice and seemed to be completely focused on her conversation. Yes, nothing bad happened and no one else in the world is probably thinking about that mom walking to her car, but I am.  It’s time we put our greatest distractions, our cell phones, down when we should be focusing on the most precious things in our lives.

I Love You, Hydro Flask

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Welcome to the best water bottle ever. The Hydro Flask keeps hot things hot and cold things cold forever! Up to 24 hours and your water is still cold! I can fill it up with ice and water before bed and then it’s still icy in the morning! Pretty much everyone in Arizona needs one, but no matter where you live, I bet you’ll love it. Here’s the beauty I got…

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You can get the amazing Hydro Flask at Dick’s Sporting Goods, but also on Amazon. If you decide to get one, you might want to also throw a straw lid in your cart. That way you don’t have to unscrew the lid, you can just open it up and hydrate!

As you can see, I’m a little smitten. Ok, not a little. I’m in love! I’m in love and I don’t care who knows it!

They’re a little pricy, but I promise, it’s worth it. Mine was the first thing on my Christmas list. If you’ve got a birthday coming up, it’s a great thing to ask for. Bat those eye lashes and work some magic!

I’d love to hear your feedback if you try one out!

 

The opinions in this post are entirely my own. I have not received any compensation for this review.  All images are property of Hydro Flask.

New Years Resolutions!

Happy 2016 from me to you! 

Do you make a New Year’s resolution? Do you actually stick to it? Good job if you do! If you don’t…well, apparently only something crazy like 8% of people do, so you’re alright.

I try not to make a resolution that is definite such as, “I will exercise every day!” or “I will cook dinner at home every night of the work week!” Making a resolution like that only sets you up for failure because there’s no wiggle room at all. The first time you forget or can’t make it happen, you already feel like you lost the battle and then you may give up all together.

I try to make a resolution that allows me to improve who I am and take small steps closer to the being the person I want to be. It’s not that I have no faith in myself or that I will for sure fail at something so black and white. It’s just that I know there are times we can’t make something happen every single day.

With all of that said, my resolution this year is a big one. It encompasses all aspects of my life. It’s completely changing my whole way of living! MY resolution is to BE PRESENT. I’ll be wearing my Keep Collective BE PRESENT bracelet as a reminder of my new lifestyle!
WAMbePresentWhat exactly does my resolution mean to me?
It means putting my phone down more. I can just hear someone telling me through a megaphone, “Put the phone down and back away slowly!”
It means checking social media LESS- it can’t be not at all, do you think I’m crazy!? Plus, I run a business and a blog…I need my social media peeps! -Yes, I said peeps.
It means browsing stupid websites less, getting lost in an endless loop of Buzzfeed articles less, and perusing Pinterest less.
It means focusing on what I’m doing right at that moment in time. If I’m playing with my boys, I shouldn’t be thinking about work, cleaning, what needs to be done tomorrow, etc. I need to be present with them. Right then and there. And on the other side of the spectrum, if I am working, I need to be working. Not checking Instagram or getting sucked into ridiculous articles. (I’m looking at you again, Buzzfeed!)
Most of all, it means that I will {hopefully} go to bed at night feeling like I got the most out of my life that day. That I focused more on what’s important to me.

What’s your resolution? It’s ok if it’s to exercise every day. Let me know how that went 366 (leap year) days from now.

I can’t wait to spend a GREAT 2016 with all of you!

*You can create your own personalized Keep Collective 2016 resolution bracelet with your own word! Visit keep-collective.com/with/laurendavis to order! Feel free to email me or comment with questions!