Staying on track with JORD wood watches


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We’ve entered the busy season of life where carving out time for one-on-one time with my children gets harder and harder. Despite that, I still try and find bits and pieces of time to do it, as its so important. Not only do I feel that it helps strengthen our bond together, I feel it helps ward off negative behaviors (early on, it was attention grabbing behaviors. now its moreso jealousy of other siblings). I also think it helps us get to really know them and gives them an avenue to confide in you, when the dinner table may not be the place they feel comfortable. And by doing something that really peaks their interest, whether it be reading at the library, biking around the neighborhood, or what have you, it shows them that we value them.

My 12 year old daughter, in particular, prefers shopping (even if its window shopping) and coffee dates to activity. Go figure (maybe its because she works out 16+ hours a week?). But I left it up to her that Sunday afternoon that her brothers were with my husband. As we left the house, she already had an extra skip in her step.

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When I do get the time to go on a date, I try and make sure that I am not habitually checking my phone. Because my phone functions as a clock, when I would go to check the time, there were times that I have been distracted by a notification and then…whoops…its precious minutes later. Minutes that surely could have waited. So when presented with the opportunity to review a wood watch from JORD, I jumped at the chance, with the thinking that if I had a watch, I wouldn’t have to dig my phone out of my purse at all. (Its been 13 years since I’ve worn a watch!)

My watch arrived, packaged carefully in this beautiful little wood crate.
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The watch I chose was the Ely in dark sandalwood and it was even more gorgeous in person than on the site.
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I have to admit, it took some time getting used to wearing a watch again. Not so much the feeling of it, but the habit of checking it, versus checking my phone. But after a few days, it became like second nature. And so far, after wearing it for a week, I’ve gotten compliments on it daily! And as a bonus, it coordinates so well with all my existing accessories.
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My wood watch from JORD is a gorgeous piece of jewelry that anyone would appreciate. And given the time of year, I’ll admit that it would make a wonderful holiday gift for that special someone, as well. And yes, they have them for men, too.

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Ladies Wooden Watches

I was given this watch in exchange for a review. All thoughts an opinions are mine. No compensation

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Four gifts holiday gift guide: need


If you’ve been following along, you know that a few years back, we changed the way we approached gift giving with our children. I wanted my children to grow up being grateful for what they had, and not be those kind of people who receive, receive and still want for more. By making the gift giving intentional and reducing the number of gifts they receive, I was hopeful that they would be grateful for the ones they got.

(If you’re new here, you can read last week’s introduction to this concept. )

This week, we’re talking about the NEED category. Or as my kids have referred to it in the past, the underwear category. Because if that’s what you need, that’s what you get. lol. As we approach fall, I try to hold off on fulfilling any needs, so that I can use them as holiday gifts.

Here’s a few ideas that are on our NEED lists:


new snowboots, because my old ones have no life left in them and my feets get chilly at the dog park!

would it be weird to ask for a bra? Because I was just sized at Nordstrom’s and found out I was way off (ugh. no wonder they were so uncomfortable! My ribcage shrunk? WTF.) and had to buy some new ones (cha-ching). But I could afford a few more.

I loved this line from Natori


Bluetooth tracking device
because he is constantly losing his keys around the house

a cool cast iron bottle opener for the new rec area


a folding panel mat, so she is less likely to break another bone at home #rolleyes

long underwear for ski season

as well as snowpants


guitar holders for the music area of the new rec room.

pads for skateboarding for the little one

snowpants for ski season, as well

For more ideas, be sure to check out all the other bloggers guides!

snow boots for the older one (and bonus that they are more like a shoe, so he can comfortably hike in them at winter camp)

Christmas Giveaway! 4 Gifts Christmas Giveaway! Target Gift Card, World Market Gift Card, and More!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

$165 Target Gift Card || $25 World Market Gift Card || Lace Arm Warmers – Forgotten Cotton || Personalized Cutting Board (9×12″) – Laserworkz || Gypsy Dreamcatcher Necklace – Gypsies Box Jewelry || $30 Credit for Keep Collective with Kassie || Adult Coloring Book – This Girl’s Doodles

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Four Gifts Holiday Gift Guide : Want


Christmas. It sneaks up on me every year and while I love it, it can be overwhelming if it allow it to be. As a parent, I want to give my kids all. the. things. But at the same time, I don’t. Because I don’t want them to grow up thinking that’s how it works. And I don’t advocate putting yourself into debt for a holiday.
Several year ago, amidst all the toy clutter, we changed how we approached gift giving with our kids. Not that we were ever big spenders to begin with, but now we had something to help give us (and their lists) direction. We go by the four gifts philosophy: something you want, something you need, something to wear, and something to read.

Now comes the fun part: I’ve paired up with ten other bloggers to present the Four Gifts Holiday Blog Series. Each Thursday for the next four weeks, I’ll be sharing some favorite things under each category to help you take the guesswork out of your holiday shopping.

And to sweeten the deal, we’ve added a giveaway (because who doesn’t like free?!) The giveaway will be live for the next four weeks, and each week, you’ll have more chances to win. Be sure to scroll down and enter for your chance to win a ton of fun prizes. One winner will receive a Target gift card, World Market gift card, personalized cutting board, jewelry, and more.

We’re kicking off the week with my personal favorite: the WANT category. This year, my whole family is getting a trip to Cancun as their want. But that doesn’t stop us from having other wants that are on our lists that our parents/grandparents ask for (plus, I have a birthday thrown in there as a bonus). For more ideas, be sure to check out the other bloggers’ guides!

her wants
S’well bottle | Mug | Vitamix | print

him wants
Go-Pro | stadium blueprints | Big Green Egg

boys wants
headphones | spy lens | controller | Bluetooth speaker

girl wants
skateboard | Nike Roshe shoes | Instax camera | stuffed Pusheenicorn

Christmas Giveaway! 4 Gifts Christmas Giveaway! Target Gift Card, World Market Gift Card, and More!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

$165 Target Gift Card  ||  $25 World Market Gift Card  ||  Lace Arm Warmers – Forgotten Cotton  ||  Personalized Cutting Board (9×12″) – Laserworkz  ||  Gypsy Dreamcatcher Necklace – Gypsies Box Jewelry  ||  $30 Credit for Keep Collective with Kassie  ||  Adult Coloring Book – This Girl’s Doodles

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Apple pie in a bag. Say what? #wayfairpiebakeoff


Nothing screams fall more than freshly picked apples and apple pie that’s baking in the oven.

Everyone has their favorite apple pie recipe, all claiming that theirs, of course, is The Best. If you’re from my neck of the woods, you know that a certain local farm sells their famous ‘Apple Pie in a Bag’ and you know that, hands down, its the best damn pie ever. Period. So naturally, I had to try and put my own spin on it. Because, why not?


I’ve only recently started making my own pie crusts. I am not sure what has held me back all these years, but once I took a look at the ingredients in a pre-made crust, I have not turned back. I found this pie crust recipe and it’s perfect (and easy!)….follow her directions and you will not be disappointed!! (and please make sure to use unsalted butter)

Let’s chat about apple varities for a moment, ok? When choosing an apple for your pie, you want something that hold up when you cook it, isn’t too sweet or too tart, and isn’t mealy. You’re looking for something that will essentially, be AL-dente when your pie is done baking. And you want something with a multi-dimensional taste to it. Your answer? Honeycrisp. Ok, maybe that’s my answer. But its the best answer there is.

For the filling:
8 honeycrisp apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
1/4 c. sugar
1 TB tapioca starch
1 tsp lemon juice
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg

Heat oven to 375. Toss filling ingredients together in a large bowl and transfer to the pie crust shell. Carefully cover your pie with the top crust (I prefer a lattice crust, but your mileage may vary). Gently brush the top crust with an egg yolk whisked with a tsp of water and lightly sprinkle with sugar.

Here’s where you’d put the pie into the paper bag if you could find a paper bag made from non-recycled materials and one that had no ink on it. But since I did not have anything like that in my possession, I made one out of parchment paper by tearing off two long pieces of parchment paper, each about 30″ long. To make a bag, you’ll place them in the shape of a plus sign and place the pie in the middle, bringing the ends up over the pie, folding and stapling to seal it, making sure that its not touching the pie (it sounds more difficult than it is. and it doesn’t need to look pretty). Place on the bottom rack of the oven and bake for 1 hr. After an hour, cut your ‘bag’ open, and allow it to cook for an additional 15-30 min so the crust gets golden brown.


Naturally, you’ll need to serve this with whipped cream. I suggest either a cinnamon whipped cream (1 c. whipping cream, 1 tsp cinnamon, 2 TB sugar) or a bourbon maple whipped cream (1 c. whipping cream, 1 TB bourbon, 1 TB maple syrup, 1/4 tsp vanilla extract)? I made both. I didn’t think the kids would enjoy the bourbon.


Don’t have anything at home to bake a pie? Don’t worry. Wayfair has you covered. From the basics to fancy, to every type rolling pin imaginable, you can find it all at Wayfair.


If the graphic didn’t indicate it, this is a pie bake-off contest between Wayfair bloggers. Naturally, I think my apple pie in a bag deserves to win. So please share this post on Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram with the hastag #wayfairpiebakeoff. The more you share, the more likely I am to win!

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a kitchen refresh


Roughly six years ago, we DIY’d our kitchen remodel on a shoestring budget. Because we were operating with minimal funds, we saved money where we could, mainly, in that we had cheap laminate countertops installed.

After six years of cooking in a cave-like kitchen (what was I thinking painting it dark brown?), it was time for a facelift. The countertops were starting to pull away from our 85 year old walls in the wintertime and there were a few pieces that were chipped. And I really, really wanted a backsplash. Scrubbing walls is no fun.

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This was one time we did not DIY. We used a local kitchen remodeling company that made the process so easy breezy. They gave me an allowance for the sink, faucet, countertops, and tile and I was like a kid in a candy store. We picked the Danze Parma faucet in chromeand for the countertops, I went with Silestone in ‘Pulsar’ and a basic subway tile with light grey grout for the backsplash. The countertops have the slightest movement of both grey and an orange-ish brown in them, allowing me to pull the color from the cabinets and pulls and incorporate a grey color into the room. So I went with Sherwin Williams Analytical Grey for the walls.
(Oh look. My sink is dirty. I am quite embarrassed, But not enough to go back and retake the photos.)

Probably the hardest decision of all were the light fixtures. The kitchen was done in May and it wasn’t until September that I finally found light fixtures that I liked. I finally found two that matched what I was looking for (ORB finish, craftsman-esque, flush mount) at Wayfair. I went with the Feiss Hounslow above the sink and the Kichler Ladero for the main fixture.

And now I can sit back and relax and enjoy my kitchen while I cook. Until its time to clean up, of course.

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