This fall season has officially arrived with beautiful cool weather and I’m so excited to share with y’all holiday gift ideas for the enthusiasts in your life! This time of year can become especially b-u-s-y and with having extra activities and parties. Walmart has always been our family’s primary gift destination since I can always maximize our budget and save time with shopping since we can find something for nearly everyone on our holiday lists (even those who are hard to shop for)! I love finding the best deals for you and Walmart keeps their prices low all season long.
As the years have gone by, we’ve become more intentional about protecting our family time surrounding the holidays. Writing lists has helped tremendously by being able to quickly tackle shopping and then focusing on what matters most this season. Shopping at Walmart stretches my time and effort since it’s a one-stop shop. Best of all, nearly every gift idea I’m sharing is under $100 (there are a handful of big ticket items). You’ll see gifts for the sports enthusiasts to outdoor family and adult games and more!
Happy Halloween!!! Scroll to see the madness. And Avery hollering “OFF WITH YOUR HEAD!” at the Chick Fil A drive-through was icing on the cake. Did you see my stories on Instagram? 😂 Aaron ducked his head out of our car and I heard 4 teen boys squeal from being scared at Aaron’s face. What a great holiday the kids had this year! We spent the day making fun Halloween Popcorn with our neighbors. In the evening, we had my parents, my sister’s family, my 2 younger brother’s and their loves, and Aaron’s sister and her family, along with some close friends over for a smoked brisket dinner served with all the fixins’. Then, all the cousins went Trick-Or-Treating together. It’s honestly my favorite cousin tradition and this year was a memorable one.
“Have I gone mad?”- Mad Hatter “I’m afraid so. You’re entirely bonkers. But I’ll tell you a secret… All the best people are.” -Alice
Happy Halloween Week! Okay, this year has flown by and we literally found our family costumes last week! I rounded up Halloween pics from the last 12 Halloweens together. SOOOO many fun memories making all of their costumes when they were little. Aaron and I still love to do a family costume but the kids can choose another costume if they’d like to go trick-or-treating in. We always go around the neighborhood with a bunch of cousins. This year, we were watching a Disney movie and all of the kids picked characters from the movie! Can’t wait to share our 13th Halloween on Saturday!
We baked up a holiday treat this past weekend that was delish! The kids watched Halloween Town and it apparently inspired them to slip into their dress-up costumes. Ethan was a vampire, Charlotte picked Cinderella, Savannah was a witch, and Avery was Tinkerbell. I wasn’t planning on snapping this pic and I didn’t organize the kids getting into their costumes. But after we finished and the kids were so proud of their homemade treats, I knew this was a mama moment that I didn’t want to forget. The magic of dress-up costumes and holidays. Thanks Aaron for capturing this family memory, xo.
This Halloween Popcorn uses our CINNABUN POPCORN RECIPE but without the cinnamon & pecans. The kids each picked out their favorite halloween candies to add-in. They chose gummy worms +edible eyes + candy corn. Aaron chose 3 different kinds of M&M’s while the Reeces Pieces were my vote! October is such a fun & festive month and this popcorn is a treat everyone will love!
Last year, Aaron’s family planned an Alaskan cruise to celebrate his dad’s birthday this past week. Since that trip was cancelled and Aaron still had closed his orthodontic office for the week, we spontaneously road-tripped to our Texas beach in Galveston. The kids had such a blast!
In our pre-kid life, we lived an hour away from Galveston beach for a year. We made lots of trips and explored the island for our favorite restaurants and spots. It was so fun to visit those places! I’ll share a string of memories from the trip along with a list of the places we hit.
fresh 10oz tub pico de gallo (tomato, onion, jalapeno, cilantro, etc..)
salt & pepper
fresh lemon or lime juice
OPTIONAL HEALTHY TIP: You can toss in shelled edamame beans. Simply mash them or leave them whole. This is a great way to cut the fat if you sub out a few avocados and bumps up the protein content. We all know how easy it is to pound a large poolside guacamole bowl, you’d be surprised with what a great additional edamame beans are! I found this idea served with pita chips at a local restaurant True Food Kitchen. Delish!
Our wedding anniversary usually rolls around soon after the kids have gone back to school. And since the 1st week of school is usually a slow week at the office for Aaron, he closes down his practice! He had an entire week off work, so we decided to spend 2 nights in Dallas and 2 nights in San Antonio to celebrate our 12th wedding anniversary. You can pop over to see earlier anniversary post and Love Story over HERE and our 11th Anniversary staycation HERE! Also, you can view all my videos from the vacation saved to my “Anniversary” story highlights HERE ON THIS LINK.
I shared a POST ON INSTAGRAM with this caption: He’s spent the last 2 weeks taking care of me and now we get to CHILL for an early wedding anniversary getaway! Honestly, I was shocked with how sweet & tender he was with me when I was awfully grumpy and needed so much help. I didn’t deserve his perfect kindness but I’ve also never felt so perfectly cherished as I have these last few weeks. And I’ve laughed so much when he’s called me beautiful every day since my surgery (and if you saw my swollen face and nauseating bruises in my stories, you know what a JOKE it’d be—and I still can’t tell if he’s serious😂) Each year seems to be one of the most stressful and exciting times of our marriage and it’s been so rewarding to get closer together because of the struggles. Our 12 years haven’t been a fairy tale. We struggled in our relationship. We struggled through our broke college years. We struggled to get pregnant. We struggled to enjoy parenthood. And sometimes, we struggled to Just. Like. Each Other. But each day he kept choosing me and I kept choosing him. He was my best decision. He is the sweetest feeling I know. ❤️
Big day for me 2 weeks ago! I’ll share the words my hubby posted on instagram since I was out for the week. But I wanted to write down the incredible smoothie recipe that my sister-in-law sent me! Highly recommend since I’ve been on a liquid diet for 2 weeks, haha. I still remember being 12 years old eating frozen almonds when my joint slipped and my jaw painfully locked up. I’m sure this small joint trauma started the inflammation that slowly led to where I’m at now. I’ve had x-rays that shows my deformed condyles and I’ve tried everything from splints to therapy to botox for my joints. I finally took the plunge to have an MRI per my Dr’s recommendation. This showed allllll the damage and inflammation along with fluid surrounding the joint (no bueno). An arthoscopy was my next step! This week I slowly started practicing 2 exercises for my TMJ. Fingers crossed for perfect healing! xo
“Aaron here. Janene had a long-awaited surgery this weekend. She’s battled severe TMJ pain for almost 2 decades. Her very first time being embarrassed around me was when we were newly dating and I surprised her at her apartment before class with a French-toast breakfast. I walked in and she was wearing her TMJ splint and had some crusted saliva on her cheek from sleeping with her mouth partially open. Super cute. Since then it’s been lots and lots of headaches, constantly massaging all of the muscles around her jaws, and trying new things to find relief. She just had arthroscopy done on both joints, which has a very high success rate, so we’re hopeful! Since she was going to be under, she decided to go ahead and finally fix her severely deviated nasal septum. When the surgeon was in, he was surprised with how broken down her septum and cartilage was, how much it was blocking the airway. He had to do some additional grafting, but everything went perfectly well during the surgery, and she’s getting some much-needed rest. Super proud of her already with how well she’s handling all the post-op fun and liquid diet! I’m sure it helps that she has an amazing and very good-looking nurse at home. 😃😜 And we’ve already been overwhelmed with all of the help given and offered by family and friends. Saying we feel grateful doesn’t quite convey how much it means. Thank you so much to all of you for always supporting her and sending your love! She’s always glowing when she shares with me sweet messages from y’all! So she’ll be out for a few days, but well taken care of. Please send prayers and good vibes her way as she’s recovering.” 🙏 #arthroscopy #septoplasty
3 cups soy or almond milk
1 cup water or coconut milk
1/4 cup walnuts (small handful)
16 oz. frozen strawberry-pineapple-mango mix
2 bananas (frozen or not)
1 large handful kale
1 large handful spinach
1 Tbsp chia seeds
1 Tbsp ground flax
1 Tbsp hemp hearts
4-6 dates, pitted
probiotic or collagen (optional)
Add ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth. This makes enough for the family
Wasn’t sure if we were shopping for pajamas or school clothes as our back-to-school tradition this year.
SO, the kids were excited the verdict came in and we’re heading back to school in person! We snagged these darling outfits from Walmart! My $9 pocket dress was so good, I got it in 2 more colors. All our outfits are linked on here, including the girls cute high-tops and their unicorn & rainbow backpacks.
My olive pocket dress is super comfortable and I snagged it in 2 other colors. Comes just above my knee and fits TTS. (I’m 5’7″ and I’m wearing a size small). My rose gold platforms are easy to slip on and I’m regularly an 8.5 and I sized down to an 8 since it didn’t come in half sizes. LOVE them! The girls have been obsessed with their purple bow shoes since they picked them out and will be so excited to wear the every day to school. And Ethan’s just happy he has a dinosaur hat!
Tell me! Are you going to school in person or online AND how are you feeling about it?
Twinning with my twins. 🍋 This package duo was yet another one of life’s HILARIOUS curve balls. I was 4 weeks pregnant when I Laughed Out Loud after my doctor told me, “We could be looking at multiple babies!” after seeing my hormone levels. 🤯🤣 ME?! A couple babies are inside me right now?! They are the sugar to my lemons, couldn’t imagine not knowing their sweet + silly 5-year-old selves.
🏫 Let’s chat PRESCHOOL!
If you’re in the DFW area or in Arkansas and haven’t heard of Pediatrics Plus and are considering preschool, I highly recommend checking out this development preschool! Ethan & Charlotte did 1 year of preschool before starting kindergarten and we were so grateful for the incredible learning experience they had at Pediatrics Plus in Frisco, TX. (They also have Arkansas locations– I’ve visited them and they are top notch!) The program is offered to children 6 weeks to 6 years old and has very low teacher to student ratios. They have skilled teachers, therapists, behavior specialists, and nurses available in the classroom. Ethan & Charlotte were in a class with only a handful of other students, half of those students having special needs. Grateful for their teachers who taught them to be individuals along with already being a super sweet team! 💛
Pediatrics Plus is a developmental preschool that provides traditional learning, along with pediatric speech therapy, occupational therapy, and even services for kiddos with autism. This was the full package preschool with overly-qualified & highly-trained teachers and therapists. It’s basically a dream program that focuses on evidence-based research for how children most effectively learn!
🌬Shimmering sunset courtesy of Saharan dust!🌅 AND we just realized Aaron put a ring on it 12 years ago 💍 He popped the question right before fireworks shot into the sky above us over the lake 🧨 To this day, it’s still 1 of the only times he’s ever (truly😉) surprised me!
TELL ME! Was your proposal a surprise or did you have a gut feeling it was happening right then?? And if you’re not there yet, which would you rather if you could pick?!
I’ve never seen so many slides and jet ski wipe-outs in my life! 😂 If you saw my Instagram stories, you know what I’m talking about haha. I love these darling babes and I’m grateful we’re free to be as silly as all get out. Happy 4th of July, y’all! 🇺🇸
Our swimsuits sold out 2 years ago, I linked a few new suits below!
Reminding me what butterflies feel like since our 1st blind date 11+ years ago ❤️
With 4 lil’ kiddos, 2 businesses, and a gazillion commitments, I always try to snag a babysitter every week for us to go out for a date night! BUT then the covid pandemic hit. With his office shut down for 5 weeks and us being home together, all while trying to teach the older 3 their new homeschool routine, we felt overwhelmed. Aaron and I were living an entirely new life together and to be completely honest, it was awful for the 1st few weeks.