Trader Joe’s Holiday Finds

Like every other working mom, I love me some TJ’s.  I sadly now live over an hour from the nearest one 🙁 , but I make a trip about once a month.  There are so many staples there, as well as great finds for gifts, home, and beauty items…


But seriously guys, get theeee to a Trader Joe’s.  They have olive wood cheeseboards for $11.99 and bowls for $5.99! These are normally over twice the price.  These would be amazing hostess gifts.  I also picked up the paperwhites, they were $9.99.  I love these as a living centerpiece. They had other bulbs that were a bit cheaper, which would also be a thoughtful gift.

They had lots of holiday greenery, including Rosemary trees for $9.99, “grinch” trees, and boxwood wreaths.


I was so excited to see the bath and body gifts.  I LOVE the triple hand cream set (this is equal or better to any more expensive brand, for $7.99! Usually I get a sugar scrub set, which I didn’t find this year, but I did find the bath bombs set.  I am going to save these for my girl’s stockings… and the chocolate I will use for my coworkers.


Do you have a Trader Joe’s addiction as well?  What are your favorites?


A “Trolls” inspired birthday party💕

My big girl turned 6 this year!

Last year we didn’t have a big party so I knew I had to step up my game for this year. My daughter informed me Poppy the troll was going to come to her birthday party a few months ago so I knew I had to deliver.

Honestly, I’m not wild about kids characters and themed birthday parties… but I decided to just have fun with the trolls theme and it was a blast!

I started out by planning my daughter’s perfect outfit. It was still around Halloween time when I begin the planning so I was able to snag two troll wigs from target. Aren’t these “Sunshine” shirts I ordered from Etsy so fun?   We also got troll hair for everyone to wear.


I knew Poppy the troll would be coming and doing face painting, but I wanted to plan lots of stuff to keep the kids busy. My daughter had lots of trolls coloring books so we set up a coloring station.

We had to bring some California traditions back with us to the East Coast and give her a unicorn piñata! My sweet girl cried when the piñata opened because she didn’t want to hurt the unicorn 🦄. The piñata was a big hit!


We did a snack station for the kids where they could make their own trolls inspired snack mix. I Just put out some popcorn, marshmallows, pretzels, along with all different kinds of sprinkles in pink, purple, and blue as well as little m&m type candies.

This was followed by, of course, cupcakes! These rainbow toppers are the stuff of my dreams… Purchased from Etsy… Which I put on store-bought cupcakes from the grocery store. We got so many compliments on these!

I kept the decor simple with balloons and a few banners I purchased at target.

Of course, we like the adults to enjoy themselves 😉 at our kids birthday parties so I set out a bar for the adults and a charcuterie plate for them.

Overall, this party was tons of fun and pretty inexpensive. Our absolute favorite thing was the face painting 😍

Thanksgiving Ideas

Hard to believe we are just one week away from Thanksgiving!  I have always loved Thanksgiving because I love to cook and we make it one big party.  While traditionally Thanksgiving may get overshadowed by Christmas, I make an effort to keep Thanksgiving fun.

When we lived in California, we always had a friendsgiving which was also wonderful.  This year, I’m happy to be celebrating at my parents house.  However you celebrate, here are some ideas to make it special.

  1. Signature Cocktail – We always make a cocktail for the adults, even if it’s just champagne and cranberry juice. It feels so festive! Below is one we made and added a sprig of rosemary for garnish; so easy!img_6107
  2. Decorating – Keep it simple.  I like to bring natural elements inside, of course, such as pumpkins and fall flowers.  Here is our dining room’s current state:


I had made this wreath with a friend at a mom’s night out; I added a “gather” sign from Target’s dollar spot and voila!  My house was done.  Or, as done as it was going to get…

Gather fall thanksgiving door

3. Keep the kids busy. I always try to get some kind of simple craft for my girls to complete while I’m in the kitchen. I really love the crafts from PaperSource – they are elegant and still easy enough for young kids.  Here is their turkey centerpiece kit which I have ordered for our celebration.turkey craft

4.  As for the food, again, I believe in keeping it simple.  Last year, I admit that I bought most of the food from Costco and things turned out just fine, nobody noticed or cared!  As long as we are together…

Hope everyone’s Thanksgiving planning is going strong!

This Weeks Steals and Deals

Hope everyone had a great day off yesterday, thanks to our veterans. If you missed it on Insta, Check out my sweet daughter’s picture for all the veterans… Including my brother stationed in Japan.

So… Among other things… I’m a shopaholic.  I am always shopping but there are some deals right now I can’t help but share!

20% off Anthro Home Items.  This is a great time to pick up gifts and holiday items! Here are some of the items I’m getting.  Sale ends today!



FriYAY! Happy weekend !

I started the weekend by grabbing coffee at my favorite place 💕 and I totally scored at the sweet little free library.

Anyone read these? I usually get and give the kids books here but I was so excited to find two books I was interested in! (You had me at lululemons!)

My girls and I are dealing with a rainy Friday afternoon by making hot cocoa and cookies… and binging on Christmas movies. Too soon? Don’t tell me! 🙉

Mama’s had Baileys in it ☺️

Enjoy your weekend everyone!

A trip to the Pottery Barn Outlet

My husband and I recently bought a house on the Chesapeake Bay which pretty much has not been updated since it was built it in 1992.  The thing is, it already broke our budget, so although I am dying to do multiple upgrades, I am pretty broke right now.  So… I was thrilled to see that there was a Pottery Barn Outlet less than two hours drive from us in Fredricksburg, VA.

There are some amazing pieces and deals here!  It’s my new go to.  But, don’t comes thinking it is like the Crate & Barrel outlet or similar, like I did.  It is not. Things are mostly in boxes and you have to search for what you want.

On my first visit I came by myself and was able to find a number of great lighting and accent pieces for our home which I LOVE, such as this vertical succulent wall.


It seems to be mostly returned items.  If they have something new, it is at least 40% off the regular price.  Yay!  From there, they also have some clearance specials running 40 – 60% additionally off marked prices. So as you can see, the potential for savings is huge!

The succulent wall was 50% off the regular price of $255.  It was new and in the box.

I won’t post everything, but I also found some great lighting. I went there dying for this Mia Crystal Chandelier.  mia-faceted-crystal-chandelier-o

I had my fingers crossed to find it as I couldn’t afford the regular price of $299 – $499.  I asked an employee if she could look it up in the computer and see if they had one.  She told me sadly no, but I kept going through boxes until I found one, mislabeled!  I believe it cost me around $60.  I was thrilled!!!

Obviously It’s worth making a trip.

There are a few tricks I wanted to share- Things I wish I had known!

  1. It is truly a warehouse.  There are items piled up and mostly still in boxes.  As you can see below, If you want a couch or dining table, this is the place.

2.  There is no delivery or assembly help so you have to plan ahead… I have a mid sized SUV but sadly to get any kind of large piece I would have to hire movers.  I asked the employees and they recommended renting a truck.

3. There isn’t much help.  Bring something to cut open boxes with and your smart phone to google names of items to find pictures on the website.  Things are separated into sections and in boxes that may or may not be opened.  I ended up giving my phone to my kids this past time and cutting open boxes with my keys.  Also, things are in the wrong boxes, etc sometimes.

4. They don’t carry West Elm currently.  There is Pottery Barn Kids furniture and PB Teen items.

5. There is a small kids section with a tv and some craft items.

6.  There are no returns.

So there you have it!  I’ll definitely be back as I make progress on this house.  Anyone else out there a design addict?  It’s worth going to a PB warehouse near you.