FRIDAY FAVES- Amazon Haul: April Edit

Hey Fam!

I am finally coming through on this haul for you guys. I can get kind of picky about the things I end up sharing with yall because I want to make sure I 100% stand behind it. There are soooo many things you can buy on amazon and also sooo many things that aren’t advertised how they ACTUALLY are when they arrive. The UPS store knows me pretty well because of all of the things that I think will be great quality/totally a great deal and end up being a huge let down. Without further ado, I am going to share a few of the items I have found to be GREAT buys and worth every penny of a purchase off of Amazon Prime. I will save a story high light on my instagram page as well so you can see the products in real time. ENJOY!

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I will go clockwise with these.

First is my airpod case. How cute is this? I realize a good bit of you don’t have airpods— I am sorry for your depravity. These things are THE BOMB DOT COM. I use them all of the time for phone calls, at the gym, zoning out to music while I work…however I am simply showing you the case that I bought for the battery pack because it is so fragile and easy to drop/misplace. I LOVE the rose gold metal one and it’s super affordable. Do yourself a favor, if you are an airpod owner, put a case on your pack! There are tons of colors to choose from and it is sturdy and protective! Love this purchase.

The next raving item is my new makeup travel case. Now, this is ALL THE RAVE right now in the blog world. Everyone is promoting it, if you have seen this everywhere already, there is a reason. It’s such great quality and you can remove the inserts to fit what your makeup needs are for wherever you’re going. Tune into my stories for a real - life example of what I am talking about. Love this buy.

This water bottle is AWESOME. It’s an hydration accountability partner for a one time fee of $20. It’s a 64oz water bottle and has all of the tick marks to show you your progress throughout the day. Simple, yet brilliant. I use this all of the time and have been wanting to show you but decided to wait until my haul. People stop me and ask where I get this regularly, mainly at the gym and if I am working at Starbucks. Only pit fall is that it is humongous and you have to sit it in your passenger seat in your car because it won’t fit in a cup holder. Also, it isn’t insulated, so the water doesn’t stay cold all day… hashtag firstworldproblems.

I have wanted to share this vanity make up organizer with you all for a while, too. It’s a great investment… the compartments are awesome and you can re-arrange the stacks to fit where you want them to go. This will be much easier to explain on my stories, so make sure you visit my highlights of my instagram page to see it in real time. Huge fan of this purchase!

These silicone rings are a must buy. Super affordable for a set of 4. Perfect and dainty size and I love the colors they offer. I love to wear my rings when I know I am going to be active that day… whether it’s taking the kids to the park or going to the gym or hiking.. etc. My current wedding rings are a tid bit snug and my fingers swell when I am sweating a lot, these are so comfy and durable. I recommend these for anyone who has an active lifestyle!

The last and final item of this month’s haul is somewhat of a dupe option for the YETI insulated coffee mugs that are breaking the internet right now. This simply modern insulated mug is half of the price and still carries 12 oz of drink. It keeps your drink cold/hot for a VERY long time and is very light. The YETI version is a little heavier, thicker and pricier. I went with this one and am really happy with it!

Thanks for tuning in on here. I don’t do actual blog posts much, so when I do, I am always REALLY REALLY grateful for the traffic that comes through. It’s nice to see that a few people still read blogs these days. We live in an instagram world these days… I will reiterate to you all that I do get a small (very small) commission when you shop through my affiliate links. If you decide you want any of these products I would truly truly appreciate you purchasing through the link that is provided here on this page or through the LiketoKnow.it app. I love sharing my favorite things with yall, but it does take time to curate content and link all of it, I appreciate all of yall’s support! Have a wonderful weekend- peace + love + amazon prime. (insert peace sign emoji)

FRIDAY FAVES- 4 of my Favorite Fast + Easy Meals

I realize you will probably scroll past any paragraphs I type setting up this post because that is exactly what I do when I visit a post regarding a recipe of any sort. I skip on through straight to the ingredients and instructions every time, so I get it. But maybe ONE person will read this, so hello friend!

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*before you move on, just FYI: These recipes are not associated with any particular diet. They are not dairy free, gluten free, keto, paleo etc. We are an “all things in moderation” fam, so that is what you’ll get over here! Please modify these ideas accordingly, I am just telling you how I choose to make them!

I am almost ALWAYS exhausted by the end of the day. I mean, I don’t know many people who aren’t tbh. Especially my fellow mamas. There may be a small percentage of you that enjoy the challenge of a new recipe with super unique ingredients that takes 20 mins of prep + while you marinate your meat for 30 more minutes followed by an additional 45 minutes in the oven to give you more time to reduce the sauce that goes on top. Yep. You’re officially my hero… but I will admit, I typically go to restaurants for that kind of thing. This mama wants practical, predictable, quick, and easy. So without further ado, here are my mealtime hacks! Hope this helps anyone that feels the same as I do about mealtimes on the weekly!

  • Taylor Farms salad mixes are hard to beat. The Dole brand mixes are good as well, but I am loving the TF right now! You can find them at your local Kroger or Publix + probably other grocery stores but those are the places I typically shop! They come in so a variety of combinations. My favorites are the Avocado Ranch mix as well as the Buffalo mix. This is what I do:

    • AVOCADO RANCH chopped kit: dump all contents of the packaged salad into a large bowl. Shred up some rotisserie chicken and add a small amount of the dressing that comes in the packet plus a little lime juice. Heat up for about 30 seconds and then mix it into the salad. Toss and enjoy! (Add some more romaine lettuce to serve more people and add a bit more ranch dressing when needed. Flavors all mix so well!)

    • BUFFALO RANCH chopped kit: pretty much the exact same as the above but instead of using the dressing packet to flavor the rotisserie chicken, use a small amount of hot sauce/buffalo sauce/franks/tobasco… anything you want to add more flavor. Microwave for 30 sec and toss.

  • You can always bank on Taco Bowls. We do these all the time especially because my kinds LOVE them. Here’s an easy way to do it-

    • Ground turkey + taco seasoning packet

    • Seeds of Change panish style rice mix (90 second microwaveable)

    • Black bean and corn salsa (any brand) but I love the Archer Farms version from Target. It’s a good option because it’s 3 “bowl” ingredients in one. Corn + black beans + salsa. It also adds the spices for you without you having to add extra spices.. so it brings good flavor!

      • Also while we are the topic of salsa, I can’t NOT share a stand alone salsa that is THE BEST IN THE ENTIRE WORLD… it’s thin, so if you’re not into thinny dipping then it’s not for you, but I am 100% addicted and go through one container/week. Herdez Salsa Mexicana in Mild/Medium…. you may continue…

    • Mexican cheese mix (Monterrey Jack and Cheddar… any combination you’d like!)

    • Spoonful of Sour Cream (we use full fat because we go big or go home)

      (throw all of these in personal sized bowls and scarf at your own pace.)

  • Crack Chili. (I made that name up because it’s SO GOOD) Mainly because it’s made with cream cheese and cream cheese hit the brains pleasure center similar to crack cocaine. (because you needed an explanation)? ANYWAYS- This is in regular rotation at the McClure house hold. I have shared this on stories and it’s also in my highlights on my instagram page. Get a BIG POT and toss in the following *you can also throw all of this in a crockpot if you’re a planner.. do the same instructions just with 4 hours to spare cook on high heat for 4 hrs

    • 2 lbs ground turkey (or ground chicken/beef/pork) works with all the ground meats!

    • 1 packet of taco seasoning and 1 packet of ranch seasoning

      • brown and cook turkey at the bottom of the pot before adding other ingredients

    • 1 can of Rotel

    • 1 can of black beans (drained and rinsed)

    • 1 can of corn (drained)

    • 8oz cream cheese.

      • You can use 1/3 fat or the greek yogurt substitute cream cheese- I have used all of these options and there truly is not much of a difference in taste. If you’re looking to save calories and fat grams)

    • *put lid on the pot and let it congeal for 10 or so minutes and then start stirring it up. Put lid back on and let it sit for an additional 10. Stir well and serve. Sometimes I garnish with avocado. I will usually dip some tortilla chips with it as well. Bon Apetite, you’re welcome in advance.

  • Drew and I have created a pretty dang delicious Greek Bowl that is now a part of the weekly rotation. You’re welcome for sharing this as well. If you’re into Mediterranean goodness, you’ll be into this one FER SHER.

    • Grilled Chicken breast (we use Cavender’s greek seasoning) or you can use Rotisserie chicken if you’re in a bigger hurry or don’t have any raw chick on hand. I still recommend using Cavender’s seasoning though, it makes it taste REALLY good when combined with all other ingredients.

    • Seeds of Change 90 second rice packages are the best in my opinion. They are certified organic and taste great for a pre-cooked rice option. I switch mine up, but typically use the Seven Grain, Brown Basmati or Brown and Red Rice Chia & Kale combinations. They’re all delish. You can find this brand in the organic section of most grocery stores.

    • half red onion chopped

    • half cucumber shopped into 4’s.

    • feta cheese

    • pine nuts

    • feta and dill dressing (OPA by lighthouse brand)

There you have it. A few disclaimers for you. I am not into EXACT measurements unless they’re absolutely necessary. I am an “eye-baller” … these meals are very “eyeball” friendly, it’s hard to mess them up. Another friendly tip, I have found that always having a rotisserie chicken on hand and keeping your fridge stocked with some type of ground meet is helpful because they’re so versatile and you can make so many different types of quick meals with these meats. This is just something I have found at my house. West can basically eat an entire rotisserie chicken at one sitting, so you know I am all about that hot and ready kiosk at Kroger being fully stocked when I walk in the door.

Hope you enjoyed this little post and found it AT ALL helpful to the chaos that the end of the day brings. Feel free to screen shot these recipes, make them and add them to your Instagram stories tagging me so I can see! I want to know if you love these meals as much as I do! And of course if YOU have any fast and easy meal ideas to share with ME, you’re very welcome to hit me up in the comments (or on my Instagram post), I would love it if you shared your quick and simple meal ideas. The more the merrier.

Well folks, this is the closest thing I will ever have to a cookbook, so there ya have it. Happy cooking and I raise my imaginary wine glass to you all for ACTUALLY reading this post. CHEERS.

xo- Caro

Carpool Karaoke with Sittertree

Man-oh-man, this was just so much fun!

When Jody brought up the idea of doing a carpool karaoke spoof my exact reaction was “WHEN AND WHERE- I’M IN”. Anything that requires singing/performing is right up my alley and of course it’s even cooler because I was able to support and represent one of the best sitting communities to ever exist. Double win.

If you didn’t know from previous posts, I was the first ever Sitter and Family Coordinator for Sittertree. I helped recruit and screen sitters from all over the Atlanta area. I helped to make all of our families feel comfortable and well informed about all we had to offer them. I watched these families fall in love with our sitters and vis-versa. Since becoming a mom and moving a bit further from the city, I had to step away from that role, but I have loved watching Sittertree grow ever since! this community has skyrocketed and is thriving in the Atlanta area and I feel so strongly that you all need to know about it! This is why I am writing this!I will always be super thankful and forever supportive of Sittertree, hence this video and me talking about them to you guys on the reg. Sorry, I am not sorry. Mama’s and Daddy’s need breaks and should be able to get a sitter quickly, conveniently and most importantly they should be able to feel comfortable and confident in who is coming to their house to watch their children!

I was invited into this fun holiday Sittertree festivity because:

  1. The OG coordinator from ground up and the always and forever Sittertree cheerleader.

  2. Jody knows I am a HAM for the camera and would never miss an opportunity to sing Mariah.

I hope you enjoy our rendition of carpool karaoke- Sittertree Christmas edition! Also, if you are interested in giving Sittertree a try, I would love to provide you with a discount code for one free sitter request. When registering, use code: CAROLINEST and you should be good to go! You will get a phone call in 24 hours or less from one of the lovely ladies in the back-seat here and they will give you all of the information you will ever need on how to get started. Be prepared to fall in love with everything this sitting community stands for… you’re welcome in advance. Honestly, All you’ll want for Christmas is Sittertree…

EASY EATS: "on-the-go"edition

Hi friends! I put out an instagram story the other day asking for some suggestions on what the heck I can grab and eat on the go to get out the door on time when I don't feel like or have time to "cook" a breakfast meal or even a lunch meal. I have found the chick-fil-a drive thru to be way too familiar these days and I am realizing that I do it out of pure convenience (and of course delicious-ness), but that can't be an excuse anymore! T-3 weeks until Hawaii for this mama and I have GOT to get it together!

I wanted to compile a lot of suggestions I received so I can share some ideas with you guys. A small disclaimer before I ramble on: I am coming from a "I don't have it together" perspective rather than a "these are all the things I do to make my life easier" one. I am learning as I type and thanks to all of you for helping me with all of these ideas, I will definitely give you all credit where it's due! :) I am only doing this because a ton of you responded asking me to share with you what people said, and it would take WAY too long to respond to each of you with all the ideas- so, why not utilize the blog? I know. Pure genius.

(most popular) BREAKFAST BAR suggestions:

RX bars I don't know much about these yet, but I had a few people suggest trying them as they are super filling and have zero junk in them. Very pure... which sometimes means disgusting... so we shall see. 

Perfect bars I am super interested in trying these! Thanks Anna Hedges for the suggestion- I love anything chocolate and peanut butter... also, you add street cred because you have the body of a greek goddess- so I will eat anything you eat. xo.

Kind Breakfast Bars I have tried these before but they have always been so small and not filling, I definitely want to try these though, this suggestion came with a yogurt pairing. I never think to do that! Thanks CaryAnn! 

OATMEAL lovers (put yo hands up)

I have a fitness friend. Don't you love fitness friends? People who are super healthy and in ridiculous shape? Well, my sweet friend is a SUPER fitness friend because she OWNS a gym. Yep. She motivates me- but also loves me where I am at when I am unmotivated. (Payden- love you boo) xoxo. Anyways, she's got a kick booty (looking) oatmeal crockpot recipe. I am trying it this week and will let yall know how it goes- but I never think to make oatmeal in bulk and then portion it out. Brilliance. 

Overnight Oatsguys I actually have tried this before, and it's stinking delicious. I just forget to prep it the night before. It takes a little intentionality, but it really is so good and can be taken with you out the door AND you can switch up what you put in it every time. Options are endless. I linked a PIN that a friend sent me with all the different options. I am getting motivated, yall. These ideas are killer!

Energy Bites: Recipe time! Here's a quick and easy no bake energy ball recipe that would be great for on the go, it just takes a little prep, but then you're set for the week! This will take grab and go to a whole notha' level.

From the Freezer

Jimmy Dean breakfast sandwich: I have tried these before, they are actually really good! Keeping these in the freezer for a last minute grab and go is a good idea- quick lil microwave and bam! 

If you have the time and a little energy to meal prep at some point during kids naps, or before bed... these look really yummy and would be a great way to prepare yourself for a busy week of morning to-do's. You can make breakfast burritos and freeze them so all you have to do is pop them in the microwave and it's a home made breakfast so you know exactly what you're putting in your body! A bit of a healthier option than good ol' Jimmy Dean. (Not hating, just giving alternatives).

I am realizing that it's most likely going to take some meal prepping for me to get the best of both worlds. If I want quick but also healthy, I am going to have to PREP. Gotta do it. Here is one last freezer idea for smoothies. It's a list of a smoothies you can pre-package, just add milk and blend. Super practical and filling. Love this idea, thanks Linda! 

 

How helpful are you all? Thank you! I know social media gets a bad rep, mainly due to how incredibly addicted we all are to it. That's another post for another day. I do like to give credit to ol' instagram when it's due, and I love it for connecting with you guys and bouncing off ideas and suggestions on how we all try to survive this life. Also, I threw together the the energy bites listed above and they. are. amazing. Definitely keeping these made on the reg. Love you all.

xo-

Caro

 

 

 

FRIDAY FAVES: A FEW FALL FINDS

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First of all, how about those alliteration skills? Quick back pat and we can move on... I wanted to share my first (drum roll) *highly filtered because of terrible closet lighting* flat lay. Here we are. Keeping that blogger game strong and jumping on the flat lay train. WIthout further ado, here are a few of my favorite finds from super affordable stores and how easy it is to mix and match with vests. I like fall a lot for many reasons, one random reason I like fall is because 1. Cardigans on cardigans on cardigans... a cute way to cover up the addition 10 lbs, and 2. VESTS. I don't own a ton of vests because I am kind of just realizing how AMAZING they are for layering, especially in our schizophrenic weather conditions in Georgia. 

So- I went into Old Navy on a crisp sunny day looking for a some solutions to our weather problem and I see on the wall a big presentation of colorful quilted vests, and I was like "gimme all of 'em"... Then I realized that was my impulsive/irresponsible evil step sister coming out, and I had to put her back in her shiny cage and come to my senses that I will have to purchase 2 staple items at a time. Immediate gratification buzz kill. So, these are the *featured* items of this post because you can literally wear ANY-THING under these vests and have different looks entirely when you're done. So let's talk about these buys...

VESTS:

The puffier steel wool colored vest is of course Old Navy and for the cooler days, this color goes with anything imagineable. Most important it is on sale for $15 TODAY ONLY. Get you one. That is ridiculous.

The black quilted vest is a bit thinner and you can dress it up a bit too, also on sale today for $15. Run.  

SHIRTS: 

I like to pair striped shirts with my vests, but you can literally put anything under a vest. Stripes are everywhere right now though, so I got these soft ones from Old Navy as well. The white and black striped tunic tee is a good find because it can be paired with leggings as well as jeans. This other orange striped tee is just my favorite color for this time of year and super stretchy and soft, which is always a win for chasing little babes around.

This scarf is an H&M find. In my opinion- everyone, I repeat, everyone, needs a leopard scarf in their wardrobe because I think animal print is super diverse and can make a lot of looks pop. Take it or leave it. However, this particular scarf is "unfindable" online and I am haunted by it because I have searched the H&M website to death and can only find a similar looking scarf for you. Sorry, but this one is cute too! 

SHOES: 

These flats are a target find and I love 'em. Enough said. They go with so much and I am all about the tiny gold studs, it makes the black a bit less boring. 

These boots are Lucky Brand. I found them on sale at a TJ Maxx last year but they have a super similar style at Macy's this year. I am obsessed with these boots. It's good to spend a little more on boots because it just makes a big difference. They last longer and are more comfortable in the long run. If you are on a hunt for a sale fine, I recommend Nordstrom Rack because they have AMAZING quality boots for half of the department store price. 

JEANS: 

Honest moment, I'm not the size I used to be and it will probably take me a minute to get back to where I want to be. In the mean time, I am not trying to sport a muffin top as I squeeze into my pre-pregnancy jeans. I snagged these jeans from ol' faithful Target, and they are doing just fine for now. :)

Last but not least, my necklace is a Target find as well. I like how it is a bit longer than your typical statement necklace, I am so bummed because I can't find the exact one online... but the sugarfix brand at Target has the CUTEST jewelry. I urge you to peruse the jewelry section next time you're at the Tarj. 

That concludes the tour. Thanks for reading, if you made it this far. I really do love sharing my finds with you guys and I will keep doing it, even if only 4 people tune in :)

Hope you all have a FUN FRIDAY FULL OF FAMILY FUN FESTIVITIES AND FALL FABULOUSNESS!

 

XO, caro