Friday, December 30

friday favorites: the staycation edition

Happy Friday, Friends! I'm actually a little sad to see Friday come. It reminds me that my staycation is quickly coming to an end. I realized yesterday that I really have nothing productive to show for it. So, to foster some motivation within, I made a list (because I can't function without one) and am now slowly starting to mark a few things off. I have through Monday to conquer it all. Tuesday will be a reality check - for the entire family. Nevertheless, I am so thankful for the time off and the time home with my boys. God is good.

Since my week has been filled with a ton of laziness and a few mundane chores, I really have very little to share with you - that wouldn't bore you to tears, of course. So, instead of chatting about how many loads of laundry I folded, or how my children were constantly asking for a drink and a snack, I thought I'd share some random thoughts.

Wednesday, December 28

2016: a year to remember

For the past few days, I have taken some time to reflect upon the past year. It amazes me how every year goes so much faster than the one before. My parents always warned me that as you get older, the years go faster, but I was too naive to understand or appreciate their wisdom. I've decided to try and slow 2017 down to the best of my ability, but I suppose those efforts will prove fruitless as well.

I didn't rejoin the blogosphere until November, so most of the year is not documented in any way. That means I have a lot to cover in this post. Do bear with me as I reminisce over the memories of 2016. They are in no particular order of importance, merely a download of what I recall.

Friday, December 23

twas the Friday before Christmas

Merry Christmas, Friends! Is anyone else a little surprised that it's the day before Christmas Eve already? Christmas always sneaks up on me, but I feel like it did even more so this year. I have today off from work, so my focus will be wrapping presents and baking goodies. I haven't wrapped the first gift, and I have a couple of pans of peanut butter fudge to make and a sausage cheese dip that's oh so yummy. (I plan to share these recipes with you soon, promise.) Before I delve into "get things done" mode, I wanted to share a few things with you from the week.

Jack the Elf has been quite creative. The boys' favorites were the days when he borrowed the play cell phone and when he vaccinated cattle.

Monday, December 19

7 must read children's books, 2016 edition

I'm finally finished. I have every single Christmas gift on our list purchased. Of course, there are no guarantees everything will arrive prior to Christmas, but that's the risk you take with waiting until less than a week before the big day and refusing to shop from somewhere other than the comfort of your own home. I vow to do better next year, I do.

Despite the fact that I procrastinate like a boss, I am actually pretty excited about the awesome things I snagged for the family and friends on our list. I would love to share them with you here, but lots of those family and friends read my blog and I'd hate to spoil the surprise.

So, let's take a completely different path and chat about what I can share instead... children's books. If you're looking for some last minute gifts for the little ones in your life, here are 7 books with which you cannot go wrong.

Friday, December 16

my favorite books of 2016

It is with great relief that I welcome the arrival of Friday. Our family has been battling the stomach bug, and it has made for a long week. The nasty little thing arrived on Monday afternoon and began picking off one family member right after the other. It wasn't until Thursday that we were all back in our proper places at school and work. God is good.

As a result of the stomach bug's visit, I really have very little that's worth sharing with you this week. So instead of boring you with the details of how we fought the bug and how I didn't earn the Mom of the Week award, I thought I'd chat about my favorite books of 2016.

Tuesday, December 13

a little something new, 5 reasons to change your blog design

I decided it was time for a change. I know some bloggers keep the same blog design for years, but I'm just not one of them. I grew tired of the one I had and craved something new, something fresh. I wanted a template that was simpler, less cluttered - one with a little more class. Plus, I wanted a template that was mobile friendly without having to use one of the default Blogger mobile views.

My previous template was designed by Emily at Blogaholic Designs, and it was perfect. Until it wasn't. I remember that I was incredibly happy with how easy it was to upload that premade template, so I ventured over to peruse her new designs since my last visit.

Friday, December 9

i've got everything under control, i do...

Friends, I'm so happy to see Friday. I have been in one of those funks this week in which I cannot even stand myself... And as such, I'm sure the folks I've been around haven't exactly been enjoying my company either. If you fit into that category, I promise to do better! (And yes, that applies to husbands - ha!)

Image result for friday

I usually have a pretty good list of things from the week to share with you on Fridays, but today my thoughts are scattered and my brain is jumbled. So, keeping with that theme, I'm simply going to share some of the random crazy going through my head and let you be on your way.

Wednesday, December 7

say hello to junebug & bean

Friends, I need to introduce you to a little shop called Junebug & Bean and the fabulous lady behind its creativity. 

Junebug & Bean creates personalized and monogrammed gifts for all occasions. Pillows, scarves, tumblers, planters, garden flags, purses, shirts, etc. Use your imagination! For Christmas, she's put together some of the cutest ornaments, pillow designs, flags, lanterns, and other really neat stocking stuffers. I love how she can personalize just about anything. Take a look at what she recently put together for me. 

Monday, December 5

weekending: date night plus a gilmore girls revelation

Friday night was date night! We rarely get all dressed up and spend the evening out on the town, so this was a treat. I received so many compliments on my dress. Believe it or not, it was the most comfortable dress I've ever worn. No zippers, total pullover. I picked it up at Belk, so if you still have some holiday events to attend, this is perfect. I meant to get more pictures and ones of better quality, but it just didn't happen...

Aside from date night on Friday, this weekend was pretty quiet. Those kind of weekends are my absolute favorite. 

Friday, December 2

pull up a seat, let's chat

 Tennessee Smoky Mountains - October 2016

I am so very happy to see Friday come! It has been one of those crazy busy weeks where I'm pretty sure I forgot to even pee a couple of times. Ever have those weeks? I so hope I'm not the only one.

First and foremost, I need to talk about Gilmore Girls... in detail. So, I'll save that for last so you can read what else has been going on without the spoiler. I'll let you know when I circle back to Gilmore Girls so you can stop reading if you have yet to finish A Year in the Life.

Tuesday, November 29

erin condren lifeplanner review and giveaway

I have a confession. I am slightly obsessed with my Erin Condren LifePlanner

Okay, let's chat about the birth of this obsession. I was having lunch with a friend from work one day, and she was raving about this Erin Condren planner she received from a friend. This new planner was perfect - stylish, functional, fun, and basically life altering. Since we share a love for office supplies and all things stationary, my friend said that I absolutely had to get one and promised that it would not be something I'd regret.

So, I took the plunge and splurged on a LifePlanner a few months ago. I can say without hesitation that my friend was absolutely right. Even so, I'm not certain she realized at the time that she would be fostering an obsession, not just recommending a product. 

I truly adore my LifePlanner. Not only does it look amazing, it is also completely functional and incredibly fun - especially for an office supply/stationary junkie like myself. I first purchased the planner and then went back for accessories. Ohhh, the accessories...

Back to the planner, here is just a small list of what I am so obsessed with:

  • You can use dry erase markers on the front and back covers
  • There are inspirational quotes woven throughout the entire planner
  • Each week spans across two pages (I have the vertical layout)
  • Every page has space for notes of any sort
  • There is a Notes section towards the ends with lots of different kinds of pages
  • The planner comes with an assortment of stickers to start with
  • A double-sided folder is placed towards the end
  • The clear zipper pouch holds all your planning accessories
  • You keep your place in the planner with a clear bookmark

Those are the basics. I eventually gave into my love for accessories and have added to my LifePlanner... a to do list bookmark, extra snap-ins, more stickers, and of course, I had to have a pencil pouch to tote around all my colorful pens, pencils, and dry erase markers.

Below are a few snapshots of my planning pal.


Isn't she beautiful?! I knew you'd think so. I'd love to hear your thoughts on the EC LifePlanner. Do you have one? What can you teach me on how to best use it? Do you want one? What's your favorite design? 

I really do consider this my favorite product of the year. So much that I want one blessed lady to receive their very own EC LifePlanner. The design is Full Bloom and will not be personalized. Just follow the steps below to enter! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Friday, November 25

i'm an honorary gilmore girl

Happy Friday, Lovelies! I hope all of you have had a wonderful Thanksgiving! It is truly one of my most favorite times of the year. I love being surrounded by lots of family, love, fun times, and of course great food! We really do have much to be thankful for - God is so good...

Now, let's chat about about the week with some Friday Favorites.

November 25th has finally arrived! And, I am totally ready. My sister-in-law picked up this awesome shirt for me, and I seriously cannot wait to start watching. I'm hoping to get through as much Gilmore Girls as possible before we head to my parents for Thanksgiving dinner, but have every intention of finishing it before the day ends. I will most likely abstain from any social media or blogging until I've finished so as to not accidentally see any spoilers!

In case you missed it, I joined Instagram! Would love for you to follow me (theclassychaosblog). Please say hi and I will most definitely follow you back. I do have a question though. It seems as though very random people started following me. What's your take on that? Do you follow everyone who follows you? Or do you only follow those that you recognize? How did they even find me?

Do you ever feel proud when you piece an outfit together that seems to really work. That's how I felt on Thursday when I threw together this ensemble for our Thanksgiving Day outings.

I haven't reached the point where I'm responsible for much of the cooking when it comes to Thanksgiving, but I do make some mouth watering peanut butter fudge. I plan to share the recipe with you soon.

Little J is reaching the age where he loves to play family games. For his birthday, he received Pie Face and Connect 4. His enthusiasm for them is infectious. Our entire extended family has had a blast playing these the last couple of days. I absolutely recommend them if you are looking for some family friendly, broad range of age type games. I will share, though, that Little L hates Pie Face. He literally cries the entire time and clings to me for dear life. He cannot handle whipped cream covering anyone's face. I kind of fear he will forever hate whipped cream as a result of this game!

Hasbro Pie Face GameHasbro Connect 4 Game
Well, that about sums up my week. Come to think of it, that's really just the last couple of days... They were so awesome I barely even remember the first part!

Happy Friday and weekend to you!

Linking up with April | Five on Friday, Erika | Friday Favorites, and Amy | Oh Hey Friday


Wednesday, November 23

wordless wednesday: november sunset in the bluegrass

Hope you and your families have a most wonderful Thanksgiving!


Monday, November 21

weekending: fresh flowers, big bucks, and trilogy trouble

Happy Monday, Lovelies! I hope your weekends were everything you had hoped they would be! I am sitting here wondering where it went exactly because it definitely flew by. Let's see...


I had a supervisor once who always bought herself fresh flowers and kept them in her office. I've gotten into the habit of picking some up every couple of weeks when I go to the store. I keep them on the kitchen table at home, and I absolutely love them. I find them inspiring and empowering, like her.

I took a vacay day on Friday and enjoyed a "Trista-Day." I went to the grocery store by myself and watched television without any interruptions. Can anyone else relate to how groundbreaking that is? Oh, and I had lots of chocolate and tried to get reacquainted with the blogosphere. By the way, the weather was a crazy 80 degrees - beautiful but definitely unusually warm for middle of November in Kentucky. 

Speaking of that especially warm weather... I'm pretty sure that was the catalyst for the migraine I awoke with on Saturday. Ugh. The temps and atmospheric pressure did a 180 during the night and my pressures never respond well to drastic changes like that. I was down for the count until at least mid-afternoon.

Just in time to see the hunters roll in with this 8 point buck! Little J really wanted to go even though it was getting lots colder and it was raining buckets. Hubby did the actual shooting but Little J was along for the ride and hasn't stopped talking about it since. Please do ignore how terrible I look... Remember, I was recovering from a migraine!

On Saturday evening everyone else in the family crashed. I had slept most of the morning, so I ended up staying up past my bedtime watching Divergent. Now, I've read Divergent and Insurgent, but not Allegiant. It's been so long since I read the first two that the movie was basically new to me. And now I'm torn. Should I just go ahead and read Allegiant or read the first two again so that I can go into the third with the proper background? Maybe I should skip it altogether like I did the first time - all the reviews I read said readers would be disappointed if they were fans of Tris and Tobias's romance? Please opine!

Divergent Trilogy (3 Book Series) by  Veronica Roth

Sunday was cold. I was walking into church when I realized it was time to break out the winter coat and tights. I used to love the colder weather... But this year seems different. I think I've aged!

As a side note, I went a little modern and created an Instagram account for the blog:  theclassychaosblog Would love it if you could head over and follow me. I will totally follow you back! It's a little bare at the moment, but I have all intentions of changing that!

Happy Monday!

Linking up with Biana | Weekending


Friday, November 18

these five things: friday favorites

Oh Friday, how I love thee! I am so incredibly stoked to see you this week. Even more so than usual since I'm spending the day at home... ALONE. It's a toss up between binge watching TV and stuffing my face full of chocolate or being responsible and getting a head start on things like cleaning, laundry, and grocery shopping. Which would you choose?!

As for the week in review, here are a few of my favorites.

This turkey...

I am incredibly proud of our family turkey project for Little J's class. We were given a drawn turkey that we had to cut out and then decorate with whatever we liked. We used some leaves and petals from an old artificial bouquet that I had, seeds from a gourd that Little J had recently destroyed, snippets of a camo paper napkin, and then part of the wrapper from a piece of Babybel cheese. Does this not look awesome??? I think kindergarten is bringing out the creative in me...

This book...
I shared my thoughts on Die Young with Me earlier this week. I love that it reads like fiction but yet it's actually a biography. It's humbling and incredibly inspiring. If you enjoyed John Green's The Fault in Our Stars, this just may be up your alley. 

These memes...


I'm sure you've seen the tons of memes regarding the election and Joe Biden that are circulating the web this week, so these I'm sure come as no surprise to you. BUT, these are two that really stuck with me. The first because there is so much truth to that statement. I'll refrain from any soapbox rants at the moment because it's Friday. The second because it literally made me laugh out loud for a solid minute. When I shared it with the hubby, he didn't seem to think it was all that funny, and that just made me laugh even harder. 

This sale...
The Pur Minerals 4-in-1 Pressed Mineral Makeup Foundation is my favorite, and I do some serious stocking up when this sale comes around. The sale is only good for this weekend. Plus, when you spend at least $40, the shipping is free!

This change...


Until this past weekend, it had been almost a year since my last post. So, this week I've been doing a little updating. One of the first things I noticed that needed changed was my welcome photo. I was a brunette! That is no longer the case, as I have returned to my blonde ways... Which do you like better? I promise you won't hurt my feelings. I seriously can't decide from one day to the next. Oh, and the fact that the outfits are practically identical was purely incidental!

Well, I so hope you each have had a fabulous week! Happy Friday! 
Linking up with April | Five on Friday, Erika | Friday Favorites, and Amy | Oh Hey Friday


Tuesday, November 15

die young with me: a memoir

Let's take a few moments to chat about the next book you're going to want to read.  

First, I need to say that Die Young with Me is not the type of book I would normally read. As a matter of fact, I only read this book because I personally know one of the author's relatives. 

A few things worth mentioning. It is full of foul language. I don't particularly care for hearing or reading such words, so I used a substitute to read in place of them when they appeared. It's not pretty - meaning that it is a very real account of what a male high school teenager might experience and think. I can assure you, there were times that I was most definitely out of my comfort zone.
I can also say that once I started reading it, I didn't want to put it down. It is very well written and incredibly engaging - the author effectively draws you in to his world so much that you feel as though you are actually there in the flesh. His forthright and unfiltered perspective is not only humbling, but it's also inspiring. 

I sincerely have a deeper compassion for those battling cancer than I did before I read his story. It also serves as a reminder that it could be you or your loved one in the blink of an eye. Life is precious and a gift from God. May we live it wisely.

Below are two excerpts that I grabbed from Goodreads

In the tradition of John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars and Me and Earl and the Dying Girl comes the incredibly moving true story of a teenager diagnosed with cancer and how music was the one thing that helped him get through his darkest days...

But their plans are cut short when Rob is diagnosed with a rare form of cancer that has already progressed to Stage Four. Not only are his dreams of punk rock stardom completely shredded, there is a very real threat that this is one battle that can’t be won.
I hope you'll add Die Young with Me to your short list. And when you've finished reading it, I'd love to hear your thoughts.  Enjoy!

Saturday, November 12

time flies when you're having fun

Well, hey there. My, how time flies. It's been almost an entire year since my last post. Honestly, life happened. I couldn't juggle it all and some things were simply shoved to the back of the shelf, like this blog for example...

Which I've been thinking about lately. A few friends of mine have asked about it, claimed to miss reading my ramblings, and suggested I jump back in to posting again. I will admit that I do miss blogging, but time is precious and always seems to be in short supply. Even so, I find writing therapeutic. As such, I am thinking about knocking the dust off of her...

I probably won't be posting quite as often nor in as much depth as I did in the past, but it would be more frequently than say... once a year! My renewed goal is that blogging stays purely enjoyable. No stress or pressure to get a certain number of posts out per week. I only intend to post when the creative juices are flowing. Plus, I need to learn how to do short and sweet as opposed to long and complicated.

Ironically enough, I'm already piecing together a list of things I need to tell you about. A lot has happened in a year! I am seriously making a concerted effort to not spill the complete content of my thoughts out in this very post. Patience grasshopper...

So, what do you think? Anyone still interested in the ramblings of this working mom trying to juggle the everyday chaos that life throws her with some ounce of class? Do say hello if you are. It would truly make my heart smile.

Hope you're having the loveliest of weekends...