ranch life

#FaveFiveFriday [9.16.16]

Hey, friends! Happy Friday! Things are busy, busy, busy around here because we have had family in town and other fun activities, but I’ve still got five things I’ve been crazy about this week!

  1. Downy Unstopables 


Ok, these are like little beads of scented wonderfulness that have just a multitude of uses! I’ve tried two different scents, and am totally in love. This all started when I ran across a tutorial on Pinterest on how to make your own upholstery/ air freshener spray with a spray bottle, water, and your favorite scent of Downy Unstopables. So, I happened upon these in Target accidentally, found that they smelled AMAZING, and decided that I had plenty of spare time while Steven was working nights the last two weeks to try this out. Friends, I was not disappointed.

I threw a handful of the beads in the bottom of a $.99 spray bottle, ran the water faucet until it was really warm, then filled the bottle, and let the beads dissolve. And it made the most amazing Febreze-type spray. So, I bragged to my husband that I made my own Febreze, to which he responded, “what is the benefit of making your own versus just buying Febreze?” I think he thought I’d lost my mind a little while he was on night shift. He probably isn’t wrong.

And when I thought about it, there’s not, really. But it smells MUCH better than Febreze. And I just like to DIY when I can because it’s fun.

I can say with confidence that the Fresh scent is AWESOME. As well as the Dazzle scent. And bonus, I threw a handful in with our comforter and sheets in the washing machine, and WOW! They smell SO GOOD and I will be doing that from now on.

Maybe there’s the benefit of making it yourself– you have the whole bottle to use as you please!

2. Mix & Match Mama Meal Planner Cookbook 


Anyone else have the hardest time coming up with dinner every night? Like, it shouldn’t be rocket science, but every week when I sit down to decide what we’re going to eat for the week, my brain turns to complete mush and won’t function for this purpose. I have a gazillion recipes pinned on Pinterest, and a gorgeous collection of cookbooks, but I somehow still struggle to line up a minimum of 5 recipes that we can use each week that don’t feel like we’re having the same things over and over.

Cue my newfound addiction to Instagram. I randomly ended up following Mix & Match Mama (Shay Shull), who runs the Mix & Match Mama Blog. Her theory revolves around having good base recipes that you can trade out (mix and match) ingredients to suit your family and their tastes (which I love). Somewhere through there, I stumbled upon her Meal Planning Mondays, in which she provides 5 meal recipes and 1 dessert recipe each Monday for the rest of the week on the blog. It is so genius!

At some point, she published this idea into a small cookbook for meal planning. Y’all. It even has the GROCERY LISTS in here. What more could you need????? It lists meals for two weeks for four seasons, with desserts for each week, laying out the menu, the grocery lists, and all the recipes. It has changed my life. I am obsessed.

She has a new cookbook coming out in a few weeks, and also has a book of 101 Bundt cakes, which may soon grace my cookbook shelf. Do yourself a favor and let your brain rest while you use this plan. Your brain will thank you. 🙂

3. Flatland Cavalry 


Friends, we love good real Texas Country music. We’re not super big fans of Nashville Country, so we dig more of the Red Dirt scene when it comes to country music. This group is an outfit featuring two members from Midland, TX (my husband’s hometown), along with three other members that all formed at Texas Tech (have I mentioned to y’all that I’m a Tech alum? A proud Tech alum? Guns up, and wreck ’em!).

My brother-in-law was actually the first in our group to discover them, and used one of their songs (Summertime Love) in the slide show played at their rehearsal dinner, and it’s been widespread fandom since. They have a song about Midland (which is played often in our house), as well as many other good ones. We’ve been trying to figure out how and where to buy their physical CD to use in Steven’s truck, but we may have to give up and buy it on iTunes and burn one ourselves. Until we figure it out, this has been on replay on the regular via YouTube in our house. Check out their full album Humble Folks, or their EP Come May. They tour mainly in Texas, and hit up Lubbock pretty often, so Lubbock folks, check them out!

4. #erasekidcancer (Childhood Cancer Awareness Month) 


One of the best summers of my life was a summer rotation working at Cook Children’s Medical Center at an outpatient clinic while I was in graduate school. I worked with the most wonderful staff that had the best heart for taking care of those kiddos and I was totally in love with being there.

After that summer, I began seeing posts on the Cook’s Facebook page about September being Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, and their personal fundraising effort called #erasekidcancer. You could buy #erasekidcancer t-shirts, and all proceeds go straight to research at Cook Children’s to help end childhood cancers. I bought one two years ago, and have proudly sported it since.

Earlier this month, Cook’s announced another #erasekidcancer campaign featuring fundraiser t-shirts with a Wizard of Oz theme. Y’all. I love Cook’s. I hate childhood cancer. I love The Wizard of Oz. It all goes together so well.

Once again, all proceeds from the shirts go directly to Cook’s. The campaign has 3 days left, so get your shirt soon! It’s time to #erasekidcancer!

[You can click anywhere it says #erasekidcancer to get to the Booster campaign. Click now!!]

5. PaperMate InkJoy Gel Pens 


I’ve loved the PaperMate InkJoy pens for a long time, mostly because of what my handwriting looks like when I use them. I know that sounds weird, but I think everyone will admit that they prefer some pens over others because of what their handwriting looks like. Plus, the InkJoy pens come in a beautiful rainbow of colors, which is even more fun.

They recently released a gel version, and the commercial brags at how fast drying the gel is. I actually prefer gel to ballpoint (my cursive looks prettier with gel), so when I saw a package on clearance in the School Supply section at Target last week, I decided to give them a shot.

They are the best pens. I love them so much, I’d buy them even not on clearance. I got the package that features the classic black, blue, and red, but you can also get them in the rainbow colors as well. The gel is actually really fast drying, and they do wonderful things for my handwriting (the most important part!).


That’s it for this week! Happy weekend, y’all! I hope your favorite football team wins (unless it’s Louisiana Tech because that’s who Tech is playing 😉 ), and that you have a relaxing few days! Drop me a note in the comments with your fave things, and I’ll see y’all next Friday!


3 thoughts on “#FaveFiveFriday [9.16.16]

  1. Hey, pal! What a fab #favfiveFriday post! Downy Unstoppables have definitely enhanced my laundry experience, too, and Flatland Calvary is rockin’. I just ordered my #erasekidscancer shirt thanks to your post! I still wear the one you got me when you were at Cooks- I’m right there with you on the kids cancer hating. I’ll definitely have to check out that cookbook and those pens. Looking forward to next week’s post!
    Love, your BFFL, Han

  2. I don’t know how to edit my comment, but I really do know that it’s ‘Unstopables’ and Flatland Cavalry. That’s what I get for proofreading, quickly having to put my phone down, picking it up half an hour later and submitting without remembering to make the changes I noticed before. Who knows what other typos I forgot about. Ugh.

  3. Haha, this is why we’re BFFLs. I had to change Unstopables through the whole post because I spelled it wrong (Unstoppables) the first time, and I always have to stop and check myself to see if I’m saying or typing Cavalry or Calvary. Thanks for kind words, pal! Love you!

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