ranch life

#FaveFiveThings [10.14.16]

Happy Friday, y’all! I hope everyone had a wonderful week, and you’re all looking forward to a great weekend!

We made a quick trip to Waco earlier in the week to meet Steven’s brother to give back their fur-kids, Marshall and Drover, and we got to enjoy one of our faves from college/ grad school, Raising Cane’s. We went without it the year we lived in Amarillo, but they are currently building one across from the hospital here in Temple, so we should be getting our fix much closer to home very soon!

It’s been a pretty quiet week other than that, but we are excited to check out the State Fair tomorrow in Dallas! We’ll be meeting Steven’s brother and his wife there (they live in Dallas), and Steven is pretty dang excited to get himself a turkey leg. I’m not sure what I’m most excited about, other than just the experience! It’s my first time to go, and I’m ready to see what all the fried fuss is about!

Without further adieu, here are this week’s fave things!

  1. This Is Us 


Do I have any fellow Parenthood fans out there? Oomph, Parenthood just always knew how to hit you right in the feels, every. single. time. I loved it. You laughed, you cried, it was just the best combination of life observation.

Well, NBC has been able to come out with what feels like it’s predecessor. This Is Us follows multiple arcs about people who all share the same birthday. It has the star power of Mandy Moore and Milo Ventimiglia, plus guest/ smaller spots of stars like Brad Garrett (Everybody Loves Raymond) and Katy Segal (Married with Children). There have only been three episodes so far, but I’ve got a good feeling about this one, y’all. This is going to be one we all get reeeeeeeal emotionally sucked in to.

This Is Us airs Tuesday nights at 9 PM central on NBC. Catch up on previous episodes on Hulu if you’re just coming in!

2. Herb & Irma Scented Soy Candles 

I may not like to eat pumpkin, but apparently I like to smell it. I’ve been on the lookout the last few weeks for some great fall scented candles, and once again, Target didn’t let me down.

I smelled through all the options (with bonus points given to the ones in cute jars!), and decided the Herb & Irma are both adorable, and smell amazing!

They make larger candles in decorative jars, but I love these little metal tins! I have the pumpkin spice on our coffee table at home, and it put out amazing scent without even being lit! The lemon and olive leaf went to my Temple office, and I have it open on my desk unlit as well. Lemon is just the best scent to me- just clean and fresh, and wonderful!


3. Chick-Fil-A Chocolate Milkshakes 

Here in the Smith household, we have a little thing we like to call #milkshakemonday. And by this, I mean we just go get milkshakes about 3-4 days a week.


We have sampled milkshakes all around in different places, but I recently convinced Steven to stop to get them at Chick-Fil-A while we were on a trip, and there’s been no turning back since. CFA’s are the perfect consistency- creamy and not too thick, so you don’t have to strain yourself trying to drink it (like at some other places we’ve tried). They offer chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, and cookies and cream.

CFA just does everything right.

And this is probably about the time I should tell y’all that we started a jogging program this week…

4. Oxgord Pet Gate


Do you have dogs that need to be contained, but you feel bad putting them in a kennel all the time? Then this is EXACTLY what you need, friend.

We had a smaller version of this that wasn’t quite as sturdy that we used for a long time. Luna would stay in it back when we lived in Lubbock, and it was a lifesaver at the lake with Ruger just to keep him contained at times. Then, when Ruger was older, we had it in our house with a tarp for him to sleep in at night because he cried like crazy in his kennel. Luckily, we’re past that, and he sleeps happily in his kennel. Which is good because he was able to jump over that pen at that point.

Once we knew we were adding Gump to the mix, we started researching sturdier, larger pet  pens to use. I found these online at Amazon for A STEAL (especially compared to other places), so we actually got two (one for inside, one for outside, or one for each lab, or one GIANT pen, you know, the possibilities are endless).

The first time we used one, we made it into a pen and put Gump in it in the backyard while we went to small group. Ruger sat next to him while he was in there like he was protecting him, but when we pulled into the driveway later on, we could hear him howling in the backyard. So, that night, we put both of them into the pen and everyone seemed happy. Until we opened the back door the next morning and both of them came happily tootling in. Apparently, Ruger opened the door and jailbroke the two of them. So if you are really depending on this to contain, I might suggest a lock of some sort.

But! Later in the week, we decided to stretch it across our back porch so we could keep tabs on Gump without worrying if he was in danger of going under the fence. This gave them plenty of room to be on the porch, and then we could open the gate to let them out into the yard when they needed more room. It comes with ground stakes to keep it planted in the ground, so this option works pretty well for us.

As they get bigger, I don’t know how much we’ll need these, but they are nice to have for different situations, and they all break down really easily for travel, which is really nice (like when we were at the lake). If you are in the market for something such as this, I highly recommend checking this out on Amazon! (And they come in different sizes and heights– we just got the largest and tallest (40″) to have room to grow with our munchkins).

5. The Magnolia Journal 


Any Fixer Upper/ Chip & Jo fans out there??

This week, the inaugural issue of The Magnolia Journal was distributed, and it is gorgeous! Rumor has it (based on interviews that I read) that Joanna really worked a lot personally on this project, and it will continue to be one of her pet projects from here on out (which, I think she does with everything, honestly). It is a home and living style magazine featuring a whole mix of everything– recipes, gift guides, decor, style tips, etc. Joanna writes in her editor’s note that she wanted to create something that people will not only read once, but go back to for ages, and it feels like this really is something you could keep and use season after season.

They are publishing quarterly, so the next issue will distribute in February (so this has content for fall and winter). I signed up for the year’s subscription for $20 (which is a good deal because the issues are $8 retail).

I enjoyed looking through mine (the first few times!) with a nice cup of coffee and slice of cake. This is a savor type of publication, not just a flip-through and trash, so get it now and enjoy it the rest of the holiday season!


Alright, y’all, happy weekend! Thanks for stopping by! If y’all are going to be at the State Fair tomorrow, look for us! (We’ll be the ones stuffing our faces with turkey legs and fried foods!) And as always, Wreck ’em, Tech! Beat WVU!

(And aren’t my boys handsome?? Those two love their dad more than anything!)


They went with us on our jogging outing and did really well! Ruger is super fast, and has all the energy for days. Gump ran for a while, then just laid in the grass like he’d had enough. They definitely have different personalities!

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