Friday Wrap: A Few Good Finds

Hello, dear friends! Friday happened again. So that’s a good start to the weekend. I’ve been a busy little shopper, researcher and reader this week. Here are five of my favorite finds of the week:

{ONE} Party Goods

My twin girls are turning 11 years old!! We’re having a small party next weekend, so I’m in search-and-stock mode at the moment.

I found some adorable paper straws and cups at Walmart! I’ve never seen anything like this in their aisles, so I was pleasantly surprised to spot these finds.

The brand is Gartner Studios, which you can also find online. They must have designed a few product just for Walmart? Regardless, it’s all super cute stuff. Here’s a better look…

This shows the full kit, which comes with paper flowers and even some adhesive tabs so you can attach them right where you want.

We decided to sample one. You know, for research. Cheers! 😉

These snack cups are the perfect size for a large scoop of ice cream – maybe even served over a brownie. Mmm. I like where this is headed.

Look how cute these patterns and colors are?!

Oh, so I forgot to mention, the theme for the party is still yet to be determined. Just because A&C are identical twins doesn’t mean they always agree on everything. Sigh.

So far, we’re down to a unicorn-mermaid-fairy party. At least they’re somewhat related. You know, mythical creatures. You’ll have to check back next week to see where we landed.

{TWO} Teddy Bear Toast

You may remember how much my girls adore bears? In fact, last year’s party was a full on bearthday celebration. Maybe that’s what nudged me to make this sweet snack for them?

I can’t take total credit for this. I found the idea on Pinterest (where pretty much all great ideas are born.)

All it took was a piece of toast, nut butter, sliced bananas (using the tip of the banana for the nose) and three blueberries. It’s super easy – and everything actually tastes good together.

P.S. The plate is from my Pioneer Woman dinnerware set that B bought me for Christmas last year. Still loving them to pieces.

{THREE} Local Honey

If we’re friends on Facebook, you may have seen this post about endangered bees. Yes, you read that right. Endangered bees – like the bumble kind that we need to pollinate our crops, which provide our food. There’s a species up in MN that’s considered nearly extinct. Sad face.

While the news is tragic, we can think of it this way: at least some of our bees are finally being protected. Also, there are things we can do to help the bee population near us.

First and foremost, we can buy local honey! I found this yummy treat at a local market.

Keeping beekeepers in business helps the overall population of bees. Plus, fresh, local honey just tastes better. Some people even say it helps with allergies.

Other things you can do? Grow a garden to invite bees to pollinate and populate, and limit the pesticides.

{FOUR} Tinted Lip Oil

I could spend hours in the beauty section of Walgreens. No joke. I love checking out new products, smelling all of the shampoos, sampling nail polish on my thumbnail (I hope that’s legal), and trying to determine the right shade of color to dye my relentless grays.

Today’s outing included the discovery of tinted lip oil. Check it out…

Just as the name implies, it’s a lightly tinted oil that you brush onto your lips. It’s basically lip gloss, but once I applied it (after I bought it) I think it’s more moisturizing than a gloss. It’s also not as shiny.

I’m pretty conservative when it comes to lip color. Side story: I wore bright red lipstick to a formal event one time, and it nearly made the kids cry. They thought I was a clown.

I went with the option closest to nude, called Caramel Cloud. It really doesn’t have much color, so I almost wish I picked something a tad darker. Here were my choices…

{FIVE} This Quote >>

So…I finally caught up on reading my current issue of Real Simple, and really loved this article by Marjorie Ingall that was titled, “How I Finally Tackled All of Those Half-Done Projects.”

This gem of a quote (above) was found in the article – and came from a life coach who tried to nudge Marjorie to completion.

I thought this was a fascinating way to think about time management. She’s essentially saying we need to strip away the stuff that doesn’t contribute to our happiness and purpose. When we do this, we can have a healthy schedule – one we love and can easily manage. Life doesn’t need to be so hard.

Then there’s this fantastic last line:

“A good motto and an ironic conclusion: Perhaps being a little more chill and self-forgiving about not getting more done could actually help me get more done.”

Here’s to taking it easy on ourselves.

XoXoXo,

-Kate

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A November Welcome + Permission Not to be Perfect

The month of November holds a special place in my heart because it’s when I celebrate my wedding anniversary, my mom’s birthday, Thanksgiving, and cooler air with the most gorgeous leaves on our sugar maple trees.

In fact, you know that fresh-start feeling on New Year’s Day when everything gets rebooted – like a computer? You examine your health, habits, relationships, and any projects that had been sitting idle and nudge them into motion? I actually get this feeling now.

I try not to let the “bigness” of the upcoming holidays and busy schedules overpower me.

Sitting in the joy and gratitude of November is an awesome way to recognize the month.

I’ve seen lots of people take on gratitude challenges this time of year. In theory, this is a beautiful idea. And this is one of the best lists I’ve seen so far >>

30-days-of-gratitude

I have to admit that while I want to join the ranks and post something online that I’m grateful for each and every day, the thought of this challenge is both exciting and stressful to me. As someone who steps in and out of the grip of perfectionism, this type of activity can be a trap.

I’ll get all gung-ho…for a few days. I might even buy and new journal and special pen just for the occasion. But by the fifth or sixth day, I might miss writing something down. So I try to get back on schedule, maybe even backtrack. Then I miss another day. At this point I have holes. Holes that taunt me from their stupid blank pages. Instead of letting go, I leave. I ditch the idea altogether, because I feel like I failed. Then I feel guilty for messing up and giving up.

And this was supposed to be a peaceful and enjoyable experience…about feeling grateful?!

I do realize how crazy this sounds. It’s still hard, though. So I’m taking a cue from Brene Brown and am writing myself a permission slip.

“Kate, you have permission to mess up. Even with a simple gratitude challenge. You can skip a day, forget a day, or even not know what the hell to be thankful for, because it’s a tough day. You’re imperfect, and that, in itself, is perfect.”

So today I take on the challenge of sharing my thanks. I won’t promise to post something every day…or even once a week for Thankful Thursdays. I’ll simply start by sharing five things I’m grateful for today, on this awesome Friday. And let’s see where it goes from here. >>

{ONE} My mom’s 80th birthday

mimi-clark

My sweet mom, Mimi, is turning 80 years old this weekend! My entire family (all five siblings) will be gathering for the first time in we-can’t-even-remember-how-long to celebrate my mom and all of her awesomeness. I’m so thankful we’re able to pull this off, and I can’t wait to see my mom’s smile when she sees all of her babies in one spot!! 😉

{TWO} Friends I can lean on

friends

More times than I can count on my hands and feet, I’ve relied on friends to help me out. Whether it’s a carpool ride, point of view, beer buddy, listening ear, high five, or encouraging hug, I’ve been blessed to have the comfort of friends around me. Not all of them are pictured above, but this was taken at a recent GNO and shows a few of my incredible friends here in Arkansas. I love and appreciate them so much…they have no idea. <3

{THREE} The beach

beach-sunset

I’m still basking in the memories of my recent trip to the beach with Brandon. Sometimes if I’m quiet enough, I can hear the ocean waves and taste the salty air. I’m obsessed with the ocean and am so thankful B was able to score that lovely trip to Laguna. P.S. That picture has no filter.

{FOUR} This phrase…

contribute-more-than-criticize

Okay, so this is another Brene Brown reference. I was recently watching a video of her talking to Oprah, and she made this bold and tearful statement. More than anything, she wanted to be known for contributing more than she criticized.

It struck a deep chord with me, as I sometimes look with a critical eye at situations and even people. And as I scroll through my Facebook feed full of criticism about politicians and life’s situations, I can easily get caught up in the drama. So I’m thankful for this reminder – and motto.

How can I contribute instead of fanning the flames of negativity around me?

{FIVE} The right to vote

Speaking of politics, in a way, Tuesday is an incredibly important day. As a U.S. citizen, and more specifically as a woman, it’s our right to be able to vote.

There were many women before us who had to fight for this right. The ultimate sign of gratitude for their efforts is for us to stand up and voice our opinion through our vote.

No matter who you’re rooting for (or even against), that’s not the point. The ultimate message is to let yourself be heard. Take a moment to read up on the issues and get to know the politicians in your district, state, and country. Then get out there on Tuesday, if you haven’t already, and cast your vote. Your voice matters.

Okay, friends. That’s a wrap for this first friday of November. Here’s to a messy, mismatched weekend – that’s perfectly imperfect.

XoXo,

Kate

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10 Beautiful Quotes for Welcoming Fall

You’ve seen me profess my love of the fall season, so this should come to no surprise that I’m truly and officially excited for today. I can finally say, “Happy Fall!”

In fact, I found ten different ways to say it. Feel free to share any of these on Facebook, Instagram or wherever you want to spread seasonal cheer.

{via}

And finally, as I mentioned on my personal Facebook page…”Here’s to turning new leaves, opening more doors, and seeing the beauty in all colors.” #findingreasonwithintheseason 

My love to you all this fall!

Kate

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Random Acts of Kindness: Inspiring Quotes

Today I’m going to issue a challenge! Let’s see how many people we can reach with a message about kindness.

Jump on your Facebook page, Instagram account or Twitter feed and tell a meaningful story or share an inspiring quote about kindness. And if you really want to step up your game, send a “just because” love note to someone close to you! <3

I gathered a handful of quotes to make this challenge even easier. So share away, and encourage others to join you in Random Acts of Kindness Week #RAKWEEK

 

 

Have a beautiful day spreading kindness, joy and love!

-Kate

 

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Inspiration from Dr. Wayne Dyer

Dr. Wayne Dyer was an inspirational author with one of the most calm, confident, and uplifting demeanors.

I was actually introduced to his books back when I was in high school. My dad was observant and caring enough to recognize I was searching for meaning, and he provided great books and support. I grew to love and read all of Dr. Dyer’s books over the years. Two of my favorites are Manifest Your Destiny and Wishes Fulfilled.

I still turn to them from time-to-time and am amazed at the coincidence that occurs. No matter what I’m going through, I happen to pick up JUST the right book and turn to JUST the right page for comfort or understanding.

My husband feels the same way (who is also hooked on these books.) We have since given I Am, and  Incredible You! to our kids.

Incredible You I Am

In memory of Dr. Dyer, who passed on to his next adventure on Sunday night, I wanted to share a few of my favorite quotes with you.

I hope at least one of these messages finds a place in your heart.

Have a blessed day, and go do something amazing!

-Kate

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Christmas Blessings

Hello, dear friends. It’s officially Christmas, and I hope you’re having a wonderful day filled with love, laughter and lots of good food! I gathered a few of my favorite sayings and song lyrics to celebrate the day. Feel free to share.

silent night

Source: Nest of Posies

sweetness

This one comes with a lesson in hand-lettering! Source: Skillshare (P.S. A great place to learn or hone your creative skills)

irish blessing

With my Irish roots, I had to include this family favorite. Source: Marie McKeown

Hugs and best holiday wishes,

-Kate

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