Friday Favorites

It's Friday guys! And if you're a parent, this means that even though you had to drag, bribe, and/or shove your children out of their beds every morning this week, tomorrow they will be up at 6am. 

Fortunately, this is why the Good Lord invented technology. (Maybe for science and stuff too. But mostly so tired parents can have 30 extra minutes on a Saturday morning.)

Because I'm #currentlywearing UGGs and sweatpants, I feel the need to torture myself with summer clothes.  This dress is accidentally on purpose heading my way via the nice people at UPS. 

anthropologie dress that wants to come live with you. And me. 

anthropologie dress that wants to come live with you. And me. 

free people sandal

free people sandal

I don't think it's at all rash or dramatic to say that IF I COULD MARRY THESE SANDALS, I WOULD DO IT.

What?

This video made me do ALL THE LAUGHING. Because this is SO. TYPICAL. And also because I kinda want that little girl to be my new bestie. 

I know, you probably thought I was a professional food photographer because of the artistic way I left the rim of the plate so messy. You're welcome.

I know, you probably thought I was a professional food photographer because of the artistic way I left the rim of the plate so messy. You're welcome.

The best food I put in my mouth this week is this sweet potato, quinoa stew recipe from my friend Mallory over at Hopefully Plated. Mallory is essentially an angel who ensures that my kids don't eat a steady diet of chicken nuggets and tater tots. Y'all follow her for lots of inspiration....trust me, girl is GOALS.

Finally, my favorite words this week came from my daughter. She saw me writing a blog post, and asked if she could "talk" to you guys. And this is what she had to say:

I love mommy's blog. I think mommies can be pretty no matter what other people think about them. (Whew. Well THAT makes me feel better!-S) Mommies are really good at deciding what to wear, and what to do. If I could tell mommies one thing, I would say I don't care what other people say you can't do, just do what YOU think you can do. 

When I'm a mommy, I want to show the people who think mommies can't do cool things that moms can do anything they want to do. 

I like when my mommy writes on her blog, and shares it with other moms who want to do things they think they can't do. (As opposed to the times she sees me writing and tells me that she wants me to quit the blog because it "takes too long." -S)

I admire moms because...they protect their children, and they are brave.

Yes moms, we are brave. We can do anything we want. But we cannot pee alone, because that is obviously not allowed and let's don't GET CRAZY.

I'm pretty much gonna start letting AG blog for me, as soon as I can teach her to use my computer for something other than watching Wheel of Fortune on YouTube. 

Until next time,

shopbop sale picks

Y'all. Shopbop, also known as a potential threat to my kid's college funds, is having a huge sale. And since this is critical info, and since I love you guys, I'm rounding up my favorite pieces to shop. 

(It may also be because I have a slight to very dangerous shopping problem, and have been perusing the sale like it's my job.)

Dear Shopbop,

Should you decide that you would like to forgo Gigi Hadid, and send ME free clothes to style, I would be more than happy to accept. 

(I am also not holding my breath here.)

Your mission, should you chose to accept it, is to check out these sales and then buy that ISH as fast as you can. 

7 Reasons You Should Be Going on Day Dates

So today I have my total girl crush friend, Katie Leipprandt, from Crazy Joy guest posting. I AM ALL THE EXCITED FEELS, because I know y'all will love her as much as I do. Not only is she a total baller mom of FOUR (p.s. she homeschools them, because #BOSS), she and her husband still do adventurous things like surfing in Costa Rica, and other cool stuff that I mostly watch on tv because I am not fun or adventurous.

I love her post SO much, and you will too. P.S. I may or may not interject (I will), and my comments will be italicized. Because I am FANCY.

Are y'all as obsessed as I am? How cute are these two? I mean, dressing up as Zootopia for Halloween? #winning

Are y'all as obsessed as I am? How cute are these two? I mean, dressing up as Zootopia for Halloween? #winning

Meet Katie's family. How precious are they?!

Meet Katie's family. How precious are they?!

If I have heard any one piece of marriage advice consistently repeated over the past decade, it's this: never stop dating your spouse. And I absolutely agree. I mean, who doesn't love dating? (I do!) You have an excuse to wear clothes that won't be spit-up on, eat food you didn't cook and explore places that don't have hand sanitizer dispensers on every wall.  You might even get lucky at the end of the night. (Like, maybe with a foot rub? Or the gift of Netflix? --S)

Dating my hubs seemed pretty easy in the early years before we had kids, but 12 years into this marriage thing, date night can seem practically impossible to coordinate. We know dates are LIFE GIVING, but we're at the stage of life (I'm looking at you house full of tiny needy people) where money is tight and the hubs and I are both exhausted by our days. At the end of a long day, #netflixandchill (okay maybe just #netflix) seems way easier than dressing up and heading out on the town. 

Enter day dating. We became accidental proponents of day dating when a sitter cancelled on us a few years ago and we used a pinch hitter who could only come MUCH earlier. While we had to mentally shift gears, when we got home that night (at 8pm!) we were hooked. Side note: we highly recommend working out with the sitter ahead of time that you will require text notification when the kids are all snug in their beds...then girl you SIT in the driveway if you have to until that beautiful ding comes in on your phone.  (Yes! Classic parenting #wisdom. --S)

If you're not day dating, here are 7 reasons you need to get on it, STAT: 

1. Breakfast. Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day and you can get a truly killer breakfast meal for $15 - mimosa optional. Isn't there something just so indulgent about going out for breakfast? 

2. Babysitters are way less in-demand on a weekend day. Heck, this gives them the option to still go out AFTER they bank $40 for playing UNO with your brood. 

3. No stilettos necessary. I mean, you do you. And if that's heels at high noon, then girl be my guest. I personally feel that daylight hours mean that comfortable flats are required attire. 

4. Matinees cost less. Use the $4 you save on your ticket to splurge on the peanut M&Ms, no sharing necessary.

5. Lunch reservations are usually easy to come by at that hoity-toity place that's booked solid at 7pm for the next 6 months. 

6. Your babysitter is actually earning that $40 keeping up with your tribe instead of watching Netflix while Facetime-ing her friends with her feet propped up on your coffee table. 

7. Assuming you didn't fall asleep in the car on the way home (no judgment here if you did), you could have enough energy left after not spending the witching hours with your kids to spend the second part of your date in a -ahem- very married kind of way.  (What do you mean, Katie? Like going to the grocery store? Home Depot? We are obviously very exciting. And married. --S)

Do you love a good day date as much as I do? What are your go-to day date activities?

(Also, are y'all as OBSESSED with Katie as I am??  I know your answer is yes, so go follow her on Snapchat (@leipprandt), Instagram, Facebook....and read more at Crazy Joy. Thank you so much, Katie! Will you come live in my neighborhood and be my best friend now? Please and thank you.)

friday favorites + a GIVEAWAY

it's fri-yay favorites, y'all! Today, I'm gonna tell y'all my favorite things I'm EATING. WEARING. WATCHING. READING. ACCESSORIZING.  (Holy AGGRESSIVE CAPITALIZATION, Batman. It's Friday. I feel sassy.)

EATING

These days, I'm just really enjoying a light kale salad, and some roasted veggies. Hahahahahaha, NO. Maybe if that salad and veggies are topped with girl scout cookies. 

(Remember this #FASTerWaytoFatLoss program I've posted about? I'm starting round 2 on Monday, because the Girl Scouts apparently have a diabolical plan to make me gain 100lbs.  And I need the extra motivation. Who's with me? )

WEARING

I would like to say I'm frolicking around the A in this: 

But realistically, it's a little more of this. 

(Both are my new loves. And I don't feel bad about it.)

WATCHING

This Is Us. Because I am a human being with a heart. Listen, you can't NOT be watching this show. 

I love them all. ALL. And I may or may not pretend that they are my family. Because, NORMAL.

I love them all. ALL. And I may or may not pretend that they are my family. Because, NORMAL.

Can I be Elizabeth Hurley when I grow up? I mean, HOLY AMAZING GENES, BATMAN.  

Can I be Elizabeth Hurley when I grow up? I mean, HOLY AMAZING GENES, BATMAN.  

The Royals. Um, hi smutty escapism! Welcome to my binging couch. (Can that be a real thing? More importantly, how can I make that my job?) Anyway, this show is about a fictional royal family, which basically counteracts the smutty and makes it classy. Because, ROYALS. Duh. 

READING

The Marriage Lie by Kimberly Belle. Listen, as much as I love to binge watch bad (awful) tv, I am, and always will be, a book nerd at heart. I read about like I eat, which is at any and every opportunity. I haven't finished this book, but I can't seem to keep my nose out of it--READ IT, if you enjoy good things. 

(Update: I finished it last night. AND OH MY WORD, THE ENDING. And that's all I'll say about that.)

ACCESSORIZING (with)

This necklace. I do not exaggerate when I tell you that this is my absolute FAVORITE necklace in the universe.  Y'all have seen me wear it on the regular IRL, in social media life, here on the blog. It basically never disappoints. AND EXCITING NEWS (with AGGRESSIVE CAPITALIZATION again): Regan Allison Designs has partnered with RATMJ to giveaway one of these beauties!  All you have to do is follow @reganallisondesigns on Instagram, and the Regan Allison Designs Facebook page.  (P.S. you also have to follow RATMJ on Facebook and Instagram, but I am just assuming that y'all already do, because you are my people.)

PLUS, for y'all who are too impatient to wait and just want to buy it now (ME), my girl Regan is offering 10% off for all RATMJ readers. Just order via her Facebook page or Instagram, and mention RATMJ10. Boom. 

UNTIL NEXT TIME (because we are EXCITED!),

monday favorites + sales

Welcome to Monday Favorites, y'all! It's a new series, inspired by the way I couldn't get my ISH together in time for a Friday Favorites post last week. I would like to say that I'm surprised, but I actually KNOW ME. 

(Also, this is not a regular series. I totally plan on being ON POINT from this day forward.)

(Maybe.)

Anyway, I feel that since winter lasted all of two days this year, we should probably look at spring stuff. What the heck, let's just skip to summer because it will undoubtedly be in the 90's next week.

just click on the images above, if you feel like stocking up on the most awesome spring/summer finds EVER in the history of warm weather.  (Rash. I just made that up. But they are pretty awesome finds in my book.)

Also, it's Presidents Day people. And this is AMERICA. So OBVIOUSLY we should all shop our faces off. FOR THE PRESIDENTS. 

Here's a few of my fave sales, happening around the world wide web. (The answer is yes. I am totally aware of how uncool I am.)

Nordstrom Winter Sale : Hecks yes, people! Up to 40% off....so YOU GET A SHIRT, and YOU get a shirt!

H&M Sale, Up to 80% off : I would like to tell y'all that I don't already have a massive UPS delivery headed my way from this one. 

But y'all know me better than that.

Anthropologie : Everything on SALE is currently free. J/k, but it IS an additional 40% off the already low sale prices. And I ain't mad about it.

Madewell :  Madewell and I are currently in a relationship. It's new, but I have a feeling this one is going places. Like my amex bill. (p.s. 30% off all sale items)

Until next time, 

14 years my valentine

Happy Valentine's Day, y'all!! If I could, I would Oprah the heck out of all of you today....and YOU would get a valentine, and YOU would get a valentine....BUT....since I can't, I thought y'all might enjoy hearing more about my 14 years of valentine-ing with this guy. (And even if you DON'T enjoy it, it's happening. My blog calendar says so.)

14 years, 2 houses, 2 kids, 1 dog, several ER visits (mostly for John),  about 37 seasons of the Bachelor, and at least 15 lbs ago. Wouldn't trade it for a minute. 

14 years, 2 houses, 2 kids, 1 dog, several ER visits (mostly for John),  about 37 seasons of the Bachelor, and at least 15 lbs ago. Wouldn't trade it for a minute. 

I don't wanna brag, but he's pretty good at valentine-ing. (I mean, I'm better. But let's throw him a bone, since it's v-day, okay?)

With all that said, I wanted y'all to hear from John today. He's grudgingly agreed to answer a little list of questions I've been pestering him with compiled. His answers are in italics, with my comments peppered in because I basically CANNOT BE TRUSTED.

1. What is your most memorable valentine’s day to date?  With me. DUH. Because it better not be with another girl, and WHO IS SHE?!?!?!

I'll never forget the valentine's day where you were pregnant with AG. You ordered some mushroom risotto, and the minute it came, you COULDN'T BEAR TO EVEN HAVE IT IN YOUR GENERAL VICINITY. So, like the gentleman that I am, I gave you my beautiful steak and ate your mushroom risotto instead. 

Barf. 

(How many men would willingly part with a steak and eat something gross for you? He's a keeper, ladies. #romance #alsopregnancyvomiting)

2. What are some things on your valentine’s day wish list? ASKING FOR A FRIEND.

Socks, something for the kids, or nothing. Because I HAVE YOU. 

(Oh, har-de-har har. Apparently he DOES read this blog! Good thing he's cute.)

3.  Who let the dogs out? (I'm sorry, I had to.)  

Hopefully you or Ally Grace, before he poops on the floor.

4.  What is the most romantic gesture you have ever made? 

When Sherri and I were dating, she had to go away for a week on business.  I was dying, because I didn't want to have to go a week without seeing her.  (AWWWW) Fortunately, she was only a couple of hours away, in a little town called Sandersville.  So, I began scheming on how I could surprise her.  Sandersville is a cute little place, but there isn't a whole lot going on, at least when compared to the ATL.  Like a lot of small towns, there is a main drag with most of the restaurants and shopping.  Sherri was staying at the Quality Inn right on this strip-o-pure-excitement.  I jumped in the car and drove down there to scope things out.  You need to know that Sherri loves surprises, so what better than a surprise scavenger hunt in the great town of Sandersville.  I went from place to place setting it up and recruiting Sandersvillians (muhahahaha) to help me.  The young lady working the front desk at the Quality Inn was up first.  She called Sherri and told her that there was something waiting for her at the front desk.  From there Sherri had to stop at McDonald's and tell them she had a nice Badonkadonk (we are well-matched in maturity level, clearly) before the cashiers would give her the next clue.  She then made a stop at Captain D's and had to say something ridiculous that I forgot. (well, I remember, so allow me to fill you in: I had to say "Honey you lookin' good, and mo' gooder than a plate of Neck Bones
Tenderized and yummy." I couldn't make this up if I tried.) 

Finally, she arrived at Dairy Lane.  If you haven't been to Dairy Lane in Sandersville, drop what you are doing, it's road trip time.   Dairy Lane is a classic small town burger, hot dawgs, bbq, and milk shake diner.  It's been there forever and is an institution in Sandersville.  Mrs. Walters, a wonderfully sweet older southern lady, was there working and was delighted to help me surprise my bride to be.  Sherri arrived and.......(nearly killed him, but also LOVED EVERY MOMENT.)

We then had one of their amazing milk shakes and dinner.  It was a good day and did the trick.  

5. What are some things that you would share with other guys who want to know how to love their significant others better? 

Wow, that's easy and tough at the same time.  Easy, because a lot of the answers are obvious.  Tough, because they can be hard to consistently do well. Here are some thoughts that come to mind:

- Put your spouse before yourself - Yikes that's hard.  I feel like we are wired to do the opposite, but this is one of the best ways to love somebody.  If you are putting their needs/desires first, other stuff kind of falls into place.  Maybe start off the day thinking of one way you can serve them

- Help out - It's easy for me to fall into the routine of focusing on my responsibilities/things and Sherri having hers.  It can go a long way to surprise you spouse by doing something that normally falls onto their list.  Fold some clothes, get the kids out of the house so your spouse can have some free time, wash all of the dishes, let your spouse sleep in (BTW - I'm not saying men don't wash dishes or fold clothes, but I know a lot that don't and they are probably going to throw things at me for this)

- Little sweet things - Random flowers,  text messages, notes hidden somewhere you know she'll find them.  Super easy.  Put a reminder on your phone for once a week.  Relationship strengthened.  Mic drop. (Ladies -  you can't get mad if yo man puts a reminder on his phone to send you something nice.  We brains not work good.  Cut us some slack, because we tryin to tell you that you fine)

- Continue to date Her - Weekly date night if possible.  You plan it.  Don't always rely on her to find the sitter.  Think ahead about what you want to share with your sweetness while at dinner.   Open up.  Another hard one.

6. What’s so special about star wars? And pearl jam for that matter? 

I'm confused.  Does this question actually need an answer?  Is it not blatantly clearly undisputably obvious?  They both are freaking amazing!!!!  

7.  What is you most favorite thing about me? Besides my love of shopping, I already know how much you admire that.  

Beside your smokin hottness?  (I'm biased). You are genuine, selfless, loving, hilarious, wise and kind.  You have a huge heart for others including your 3 kids (I'm one).  You love me in spite of all of my craziness. I'm lucky.

Yep. I'll think I'll keep him. 

Until next time,

valentine's gift guide for him

1. facial fuel

sometimes, when I get nervous, I walk up to my husband, put my hands on his face, and just smell him. (Mary Katherine Gallagher thinks you should definitely give this to your man for valentine's day.)

2. adidas superstar

I want to get these for John, mainly because he likes to make so much fun of me when I wear mine. He refers to me as "gangsta" and "his lil rapper." I just want to return the favor and beatbox every time HE walks into the room. 

3. fitbit blaze watch 

this watch is awesome, and hey, if he doesn't like it, then YOU CAN HAVE IT. See what I did there??

4. smart tech accessories and cables case

One thing we know about men is that they always, always, always have all the new technology. Which comes with a lot of "hey babe, have you seen my charger," and "you took it, didn't you?!" This will solve all the unnecessary blaming, because it was ONLY THAT ONE TIME, and CAN'T YOU JUST LET IT GO?

5. double old fashion pewter initial glass (set of 4) 

If your man's drink of choice is a strawberry daiquiri or a blue hawaii, well....at least he'll look cool drinking it out of this. 

(Hopefully.)

6. moscow mule man crate 

nothing sounds more manly than getting your guy a MAN CRATE. Right? And there are all different kinds--the whiskey appreciation crate,, the spicy jerkygram, or even the exotic meats crate. I've linked to these here, as they all sound vaguely dirty, and I'm afraid of what google might turn up. 

Until next time,

valentine's gift guide for her

love cuff | rebecca minkoff clutch | gilded greetings cheese board | city faux leather backpack | topshop ruffle sweater | luella vanity organizer | sunset stripe pouch | love heart strings sign |

Listen up ladies, today's post is one that you might want to share with your significant other. Or really with anyone that can be tricked into giving you a valentine's present. Let's all say it together: husbands like it when we help them

I'm actually not sure this is entirely true. But let's just go with it, for the sake of the post. 

(If you're lucky enough to have a "galentine" this year, then don't even worry. She's already selected, purchased, AND wrapped the perfect gift for you. #whoruntheworld #girls)

And for my guys who are reading, here's some advice....good chocolate, good wine, great foot rub or massage (and sorry, it doesn't count if it's from YOU, unless you are a licensed masseuse), taking the kids and sending her to a hotel for the night, so she can netflix in peace...these are a few of our favorite things. 

(Don't act like you didn't just Julie Andrews that in your mind.)

 Until next time,