Monday, August 25, 2014

august favorite things

At the end of every month I look around the house to see if there is anything I’ve picked up recently that I want to recommend or rave about to you all. I saw these bracelets on Kelly Stamps’ blog—they’re $5 each at Walmart—and since I’m there so frequently, I sought them out and purchased a couple! They also have hot pink, orange, and black with several style varieties of each. So far I have found them to be of a nice quality. They are nice and solid, and they open on a hinge. Kelly also introduced me to the Instagram account @WhoaWaitWalmart. They find some really cute things that are worth searching for at the store. :)

Secondly, I love these $10 simple v-necks from Target. I’ve picked up Peach and Heather Gray. The above picture makes it look really pink, but it is actually faded and coral like shown below. I could wear these tees every day. Just don’t be like me and splash butter all over the front when you’re baking. . . any ideas on how to get that out??
Merona Vintage V-neck Tee.

Linking up with Andrea and Erika!  I can’t wait to see what everyone else posts about!

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Have a great day!

Come back tomorrow for a delicious S’more cookie bar recipe!

life lately

Although Steve starts the new school year today (teaching four classes), I’m not ready to admit that summer is over. My birthday is on Sunday (the 31st), and it will always be summer to me until September 1st rolls around :) This past Friday was my mom’s birthday. We celebrated with her—eating a feast at Pizza Hut, enjoying the boys, and singing happy birthday to her at our house accompanied by eight candle-lit devil’s food cupcakes. Nothing but the best for my sweet mama! :)

Saturday morning, Steve had a date with a friend to pour some concrete so I took Nolan to Lowe’s for the Build and Grow workshop. My mom and Don met us there, and we helped Nolan build a “Robot Puppet,” which was a big hit with the little guy :) We made a brief visit to JoAnn Fabrics, and returned home for a lazy afternoon with Daddy. We made some chocolate chip pancakes and did some baking for the church picnic.

Sunday morning was our church’s big “Rally Day” to mark the start of the new Sunday School year. Nolan is going to start Sunday School with the 3, 4, and 5 year-olds, and he is going to absolutely LOVE it! Steve and a friend pulled out their guitars for some classic worship music time. Nolan ran around enjoying the great outdoors. After the service everyone sat down to the annual chicken barbecue, with lots of salads and desserts. Yum! And Ephraim stole the smiles of all the ladies :)

How was your weekend? Hope you’re having a fantastic Monday! xoxo.

Friday, August 22, 2014

friday favorites

It’s time again for my favorites from the week! If we were meeting up over a cup of coffee and a donut right now (I would love that!), these would be the things I’d most likely be talking about :)

1. Almost-three-year-old FUN behavior

We had a box from Target arrive on our porch yesterday, and once it was unpacked, Nolan promptly climbed in, grabbed a blanket and Hammie the dog, and declared it nap time. Unfortunately, there was no real nap, but it was one of those “He’s never done that before!” moments :)
While playing Play-Doh, he wanted to keep making little pigs. What was fun for me was the dialogue that the pigs were having. I LOVE listening to him start to make up conversations.
2. E attached at my hip

It is the cutest thing that even at 6.5 months, Ephraim thinks he and I are one person. If he is not touching me, or in sight of me, he is in tears. I’ll admit that it’s frustrating when I really want someone else to hold him for a while so I can shower or eat. But for the most part, it’s quite adorable how he giggles to himself when I pick him up and hold him close.

3. Uncle Josh

Uncle Josh joked that he was disappointed he didn’t make it into my day-in-the-life post since he was out of town last weekend. So here you go, Josh. :)  The boys love having him around to teach him things like secret handshakes.

4. BLTs

My mom and I made some oatmeal bread the other day. We started making it at 3, and it didn’t come out of the oven until 10, so it was a labor of love! With some fresh garden tomatoes (from our friend Carol), lettuce, and crisp bacon, the sandwiches were so delicious!

The bacon came from Aldi—it was nitrate free and still very tasty. I am super impressed and excited about Aldi’s SimplyNature line. I came home with quite a few items like grass fed ground beef, sweet potato chips, and Clif bar knockoffs—all that I’ve tried has been yummy!
 aldi simply nature


We are celebrating this pretty lady today. Thanks for all that you do for us, Mom! Nolan is very excited to help you blow out the candles on your cupcakes :) We love you, Mormor!

Linking up for Friday Favorites with Andrea, Erika, & Narci.

What are your weekend plans?

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Thursday, August 21, 2014


Today is Kelly’s Korner’s “Show Us Your Singles” day, and I want to share a little bit about one of my best friends, Meghan. We’ve been friends for eight years, and I am SO grateful to have her in my life!

I had her write a brief bio about herself:

My name is Meghan. I am 27 years old. I live in Pennsylvania.


1. I am a special education teacher. I teach students with autism at my former middle school. It is my dream job, and I am truly blessed to have started the program!

2. I am extremely close to my family. I spend a great deal of time with my parents and grandparents. I also enjoy visits from my aunts, uncles, and cousins. I am also a part of a very close-knit church family. I have gone to a small town church all of my life—even my dad grew up there.

3. I have a chocolate lab who will be a year old in September. He is definitely spoiled and is considered my furbaby! He thinks he is a lap dog and expects me to hold him.
4. I live in my late grandparents’ house. I am slowly remodeling it. It is has been a wonderful experience! I have learned a lot about home improvement.

5. I enjoy reading and crafting. I don’t get to spend as much time (as I would like) doing either of these things.

6. My favorite season is autumn! I love when the leaves change colors and there is a crisp breeze. I love the scents of autumn—pumpkin, apple, cinnamon.

7. Some things I like to do are—fish, sit around a campfire, get ice cream, go to the drive-in/movie theater, go for a walk or a drive, and cook.

8. I love Pittsburgh sports (Steelers, Pirates, and Penguins). The Steelers are my favorite of the three. Hines Ward was/is my favorite player.

9. My favorite TV show currently on TV is “The Big Bang Theory”. My favorite TV show of all time is “Gilmore Girls”. On rainy, cold days, I love to sit with a blanket, popcorn, and watch a movie.

10. I like: decorating my house with moose, the color purple, coffee, chocolate, s’mores, and ice cream. :)

If you’d like to contact Meghan, leave a comment or shoot me an e-mail (racheljulia31 at and I’ll get you in contact with her!

on His peace


There are moments in your life when you learn something, or an event happens, and all of a sudden your life isn’t what it was five minutes before. You feel like something has been altered. It may be good, it may be bad, or it may be something you can't put your finger on right away, but you know that in that moment, God is always there with you. I had one of those moments this week. As my mind raced away from me, barreling down one worst-case scenario after another, the only choice I had was to rest in the peace that comes in knowing He is in control. Once I made that choice, I understood that it is the ONLY choice—and it was there all along. God doesn’t wait for my okay to give me His peace. It’s there before I even know I need it.

When the situation resolved happily, I found that God had used this minor trial to mold me a little bit more into who He wants me to be. For example, I had gotten a little bit whiney in the past few months about the littlest of things. And now, I’ve gained some perspective, and I see that these little things mean nothing in the grand scheme. Now that I have put the whining aside, I am experiencing so much more joy in my day to day life.

Accept the peace that waits for you daily. Keep your focus on God in the ups and downs, and the rest falls into place.


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