Friday, August 31, 2018


We don't live in the same town as any of our family, however, we are really lucky and live about 45 minutes from both of our parent's house. We go back "home" for the day or the whole weekend quite often to visit family and friends and having a bag packed and ready for Reagan helps us out so much...of course we take her with us!
 I'll share what we keep in this bag at all times, what we add to it right before we walk out the door, and other travel necessities for our fluffy girl.

I like to keep things in her bag at all times so I'm not running around trying to pack a travel bag for her and ourselves. 

Having a dispenser with a leash clip comes in handy when you travel. I usually just make sure the dispenser has enough waste bags in it to get us through our trip and that's all I bring. If you wanted to be extra cautious, throw a new roll of waste bags in your bag.

- Ziplock bag with treats
Reagan is a fan or her treats and most definitely expects one when she comes back inside from using the bathroom. 

We keep a cheap, small water and food bowl in her travel bag at all times. That way we don't have to remember to pack her set from the house. 

- Extra collar and leash
Normally we use a harness on Reagan, but I like to keep an extra leash and collar in her bag, just in case one were to break while we were traveling. 

- Baby Wipes
Baby wipes for muddy paws, to wipe her mouth if she were to get sick, etc.

- Toys
I like to keep 2-3 of Reagan's toys in her bag so that when we go somewhere she has them. If we go to someone's house for the weekend and leave her in her travel crate while we go to dinner or out for an event, I like to put a toy that she is familiar with in her travel crate with her.

- Small Blanket
I keep a small blanket in her bag for the same reason as the toys. She lays on it in her travel crate and it's something she is familiar with. I have found these for around $5 or less at Wal-Mart

- Medication
If we are going on a long car trip, then I pack Reagan's car sickness medicine. If your dog has to take medicine, put enough for your trip in a ziplock bag and throw in your travel bag. 

I absolutely LOVE these containers and they are under $5! We keep dog food in this while we travel. It has never spilled and has always worked so well for us. Reagan doesn't not eat a lot, so as long as it's half way full, it will last us a weekend or for a long weekend trip. 

- Harness and retractable leash

This crate is very similar to the one we have. It it very easy to put together and take down. It packs pretty flat, so I usually just keep it in the trunk of my car for when needed. Reagan is 8lbs, but we made sure to get the larger size travel crate so that she would have plenty of room to stretch out. 

We got this for longer trips or for when I am driving solo. Reagan isn't a huge fan of it, as she would rather just sit in my lap (#spoiled), but it works well for when we need it. We especially like this one because it's tall enough where she can see out the window in the backseat while buckled in to it. Shout-out to my MIL for the recommendation on this one and the travel crate! 

Wednesday, August 29, 2018


I know I am probably really late to the game, but I just discovered that Rifle Paper Co. offers fabric. I absolutely adore their floral prints. They are just so cute. I wouldn't necessarily use the patterns for pillows on our couch, but I think these would be adorable in a little girls bedroom or playroom. I'm thinking pillow covers, crib skirts, or a small quilt. Maybe my youngest sister would like a pillow cover out of one of these fabric pieces? 

Other Rifle Paper Co. favorites

Tuesday, August 28, 2018


The quickest way to get a big smile out of Matthew is for him to walk into the kitchen while I am making these biscuits. They are his FAVORITE. I can never make one batch of these because they are just so easy. I usually double or triple the recipe and put the extra in the freezer for a later time. The best part, the ingredients are things that can be found in my pantry at all times. 


- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 Tbsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 4 tsp baking powder
- 3/4 cup COLD butter (12 Tbsp)
- 1 egg
- 1 cup milk


Step one | Preheat oven to 450 degrees

Step two | Cut the butter up into small cubes on a small cutting board and then place it in the freezer for a few minutes until you need it. I am almost positive cold butter is the trick here. Most of the time the butter softens and melts even before the biscuits make it into the oven. 

Step three | Mix all the dry ingredients

Step four | Mix in the egg and milk

Step five | Get your butter out of the freezer. Using a pastry cutter (I don't have a pastry cutter, so I use two knives, works just as well!) cut in the butter. Just try to get most of the butter to a small pea-sized piece.

Step six | Turn the dough into a generously floured surface. You might need to sprinkle some extra flour here so that the dough doesn't stick to you. Knead the dough 15-20 times.

Step seven | Roll the dough out to whatever thickness you desire. Just remember the thicker you go the fewer amount of biscuits you will get, don't worry though, you can always double up your recipe! Sometimes I get 12 biscuits, sometimes I get 14's all up to you. Using a biscuit cutter (I don't have a biscuit cutter, so I use a regular sized drinking glass, works just as well!) cut out your biscuits. 

Step eight | Place the biscuits on a greased baking sheet or in a cast iron skillet (my favorite) and bake for 10-15 minutes. Depending on how thick you make your biscuits, they might bake longer. When there are about 4 minutes left on your timer, brush melted butter over the top of all the biscuits, gives them that golden-buttery-melt-in-you-mouth extra touch. 

Friday, August 24, 2018


We are huge fans of Amazon Prime over here. We buy a variety of things on Amazon and most of the time, because of extensive research on our ends, we love our purchases. So I thought I would share a few recent Amazon favorites with you today.

As soon as we moved back into our house after having our floors done Matthew suggested that we buy a robotic vacuum. I was very hesitant about this at first. I thought it was silly to have a robotic vacuum when I could easily sweep and vacuum myself. Matthew was very intrigued (the tech side of it) and kept bringing it up not so casually in our conversations. I tried to get him to wait until Black Friday, because I was sure there would be some good sales on them around that time. Well being the researcher that he is, he found one on an Amazon Warehouse deal that was around half the original price. So we agreed that we probably wouldn't get it for much less than that on Black Friday and pulled the trigger. I have to say that it is probably one of the best purchases we have made in 2018! I absolutely LOVE it and gave Matthew full rights to say "told you so". It connects with an app on our phones and all we have to do is open the app and push start. When it's finished it will send us a cleaning summary and it's a blue print of the area it covered. I usually start it while I'm working at home or while we're outside. I should also add that Matthew has named him Arvie. 

Matthew surprised me with this a couple of weeks ago and I have already lost count how many times I have used this. We buy block cheese and shred it ourselves (cheaper and better for you!) and our regular grater made a mess and and eventually broke. This thing is so handy and makes shredding cheese a lot easier. I have sliced some potatoes really thinly to make potato wedge fries too. Best part, it can all go in the dishwasher for an easy cleanup!

We got one for our front door and one for our back door and LOVE them. The colors go so well with our decor and look beautiful against our new dark hardwood. It's not too much color, but just enough. I can't take credit for this though, Matthew picked them out. We have tossed around the idea of getting the runner size for our hallway upstairs, too! We put these on the bottom to keep the rugs from sliding.

I have heard a ton of good things about this make up "eraser" form different beauty/lifestyle bloggers and vloggers, so when I found it on sale a few months ago for $12.99 shipped, I decided to try it out. It works really, really well! It takes off my waterproof mascara so quickly. I don't have to rub each eye for 60 minutes to get it all off either. Disposable make up wipe removers never did that for me. All I have to do it use a little warm water on this and it does the trick. I have tested it a few times and used my toner on a cotton pad after taking off my make up and the cotton pad was clean. Like I said, I just use warm water with it and rub my make up off. After that I wash my face with my face cleaner and rinse my face off with water and my hands. I use it during the week and usually wash it on Fridays. When it goes back on sale I might grab another one to have one to use while one is in the wash.

I have made soups and sauces in this and LOVE it. It's hard enamel and nonstick, so basically it's perfect. I love the Marine Blue shade too!

Now tell me, what are some of your recent Amazon purchases that you just loved?!

Wednesday, August 22, 2018


This past Friday we loaded up our car, headed to Cookeville to pick Ethan and Rachel, and headed up to the mountains for our first couples trip! The Shoats spent the weekend all over Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg. We ate, shopped, rode go-karts, and did all the touristy things in Gatlinburg....and enjoyed every second of it!

We arrived a little after 9pm on Friday night and after dropping our bags off we headed out to visit a new place (new to us), called The Island in Pigeon Forge. We got ice cream and walked around a few shops before it started to rain. After the rain set in we decided to call it a night and headed back to our hotel.

Saturday morning we got an early start to beat the wait at Paula Deen's restaurant. It was, hands down, the best meal of our trip. The food is served family style and it's bottomless. Needless to say we skipped lunch because we were so full the rest of the day. 
The dining area is upstairs in the restaurant with a gift shop on the first floor. The views were great from our table!

The gift shop was adorable too.

After our huge breakfast we drove up to Gatlinburg and went to the aquarium. It was a lot smaller than we remember, but it was still a fun experience. It's a great place for kids!

After the aquarium we walked the strip and went into a few different shops. It started to rain again, so we headed back to Pigeon Forge. 
If you are going to Gatlinburg and wanting to find a place to park to walk/eat/shop the strip, park at the aquarium, it $6 (less if under a certain amount of time) for the whole day and it's a covered garage.

We decided to go through the new Alcatraz East Crime Museum and it was really interesting! I would not recommend taking children there as it's a lot of walking around and reading different facts. 

After the crime museum we ate at Timberwood Grill for an early dinner, since we skipped lunch. I got a burger topped with macaroni and cheese and bacon (calories don't count on vacation!) and it was delicious. After dinner we went back to the hotel to change and rest before going back out that night. We were exhausted from all the walking, ha!

Saturday night we went back to The Island and walked around, we also decided to have a late, second dinner (second dinner is totally acceptable on vacation) at Mellow Mushroom. We sat on their patio for a couple of hours, chatting and people watching. The weather was incredible and it was so nice to just hangout!
We had planned on riding the huge ferrris wheel, but it started to rain, so we called it a night and headed back to the hotel. We watched a movie and then went to bed pretty late.

Sunday morning we slept in a bit and then headed to Applewood Farmhouse for brunch! While we waited for our table, I browsed their Christmas shop- so many cute things! Our meal was incredible, just as I remember from when I was younger and went their with my family. The apple fritters were the perfect starter to our meal!

We went to Tanger Outlets and then to The Christmas Place (can you really visit Gatlinburg and NOT go to Tanger Outlets and The Christmas Place??) before heading to to go-kart track. Matthew and Ethan's one request was go-karts at some point during the weekend, so go-karts it was! We spent a couple of hours riding on different tracks. It was fun and the guys were l-o-v-i-n-g it.

It was a great trip and we are excited to plan future couples trips with our best friends!!

Wednesday, August 15, 2018


If I had to choose my favorite social media outlet it would, hands down, be Instagram. I love watching people's stories as well as their regular posts. I thought I'd share a few of my favorite accounts that I follow. Also, side you ever stop and think about how Instagram wasn't around 10 years ago or about what new social media outlet will be around in 10 years?? 

| ONE |
I watch her stories almost every single day. She posts the best recipes and tips and tricks. She is definitely rocking motherhood! She keeps it real and shows the good, the bad, and the ugly with motherhood, being in the kitchen, and life in general. I find myself laughing at her stories some days and other days taking a screenshot of them to save a recipe or new product she uses and recommends. Her blog is great too!

| TWO |
Katelyn at @katelynjames
I have followed her for a few years and I love her blog. Her daughter is just the cutest little girl and her stories of her always make me laugh. Following along her heartbreaking journey with their son, James, was incredibly sad, but I admire their strength.

Lindsay at @lindsaykingdon
I have also followed her for a few years and love her blog! She posts great recipes and workouts, and I love her style! I love seeing her stories on healthy shakes, meals, and snacks and different workouts she and her husband come up with. Definitely motivates me!

| FOUR |
I remember seeing her hair posts on Pinterest when Pinterest first came out! I have loved reading her blog and watching her family grow over the past few years. Her Instagram stories are just good and funny She shares tips and tricks about everything from hair and makeup to her kids. She keeps it real and shows the 'behind the scenes' to prove that life isn't always "insta perfect'.

| FIVE |
Nancy @nancyray
Nancy Ray's Instagram and blog speak so much truth. I love seeing her work (she's a photographer), her family, and love for others shine through her feed and stories. She's also a huge Dave Ramsey fan, and even came to Nashville with her husband to do their debt free scream. Such an inspiration!

Monday, August 13, 2018


Matthew wanted to cook dinner on Friday night...ladies listen when your husband says he wants to make dinner (on a Friday night!!!!) you LET him! He created a 'Surf & Turf' meal and it was delicious! Steak and crab cakes....might just be my new favorite meal. It was delicious! We ate dinner and then watched a movie...perfect date night at home.

Saturday we had a lazy and slow morning around the house before making a run to Sam's Club for some items to stock up on. We headed to Cookeville early Saturday afternoon to hangout with Ethan and Rachel for the rest of the day. We ate lunch at a local place, Crawdaddy's, and it was just as good as I remember. I had crab cakes, again, and some roasted red potatoes! Later we went to the Putnam County Fair and got the full fair experience. Monster trucks, fair food, crowds and all!

Reagan and Lincoln got some play time in too during our visit!

Sunday after church we went to lunch with some friends to a local Irish Pub. I haven't been to many Irish Pub's, but this one had pretty good food. We tried Scotch Eggs for the first time and they were actually really good!

Sunday afternoon I cleaned out, deep cleaned, and organized our refrigerator and freezer. While Matthew cooked dinner Friday night I did the same to our pantry! They all definitely needed it and it feels so good to have everything organized and cleaned out. I have been craving vegetable soup so I made a huge pot of it for the week!