ranch life

#FaveFiveThings [10.27.17]

Happy Friday, friends!! I’m sure you might be thinking, “What?? She still has favorite things?? Where has she been for the last 249482834 Fridays???” And you would be right! I have been gone for a lot of Fridays!! But– there were a lot of Fridays through the summer that my favorite things were saltines, Dramamine and not throwing up, and then once that was over, I did a few other posts on Fridays instead. So, I’ve had a lot of time to think about my favorite things lately, and wanted to share some!


The Pioneer Woman Cooks- Come and Get It— Ree Drummond


Y’all may or may not know this by now, but I’m a Pioneer Woman fanatic. Just when I think she’s done torturing me by putting out products I love, she comes out with something else amazing! Her cookbooks are always no-brainer, no-questions-asked pre-orders for me, and her newest one, Come and Get It came out on Tuesday!

This one is BIG– probably thicker than her previous cookbooks and is jam-packed with recipes all designed to be quick and easy for breakfasts, dinners, lunches, and desserts– and who doesn’t need more quick options?? (I never, ever, ever, no matter how much time I have, think to myself, “What could I cook that would take an incredibly long time?”). I’ve looked through it and made mental notes of things I think we’d like but I’m excited to really sit down with it this weekend and do some meal planning!

And a few weeks ago, she also came out with a bedding line. I’m so in love. We don’t really need a new comforter for our bed, but I am DYING for this one!! Maybe Steven will go for it since our current one is floral and this is a little less girly? A girl can dream! 😉


Church of the Small Things– Melanie Shankle


Y’all. I love Melanie Shankle. Like she is one of my favorite people ever. No, we have not met in person, but I literally told a story she told on her blog to someone a few weeks ago and titled her as my “friend”. Because I believe we are. And it’s not weird, so don’t worry about it. 😉

I’ve talked about it before here, but Melanie has the Big Mama blog, and has published now four novels that are the BEST. I was chosen a few months ago to be a part of the launch team for her latest, Church of the Small Things, so I got an advanced copy back in the summer. And then I was the crappiest blogger ever and never talked to y’all about it (or anything for a long time), until now.

Anyway, it is SO, SO GOOD! It’s all about how we can be faithful in the little things of life, and how those are the things God uses to move and shape us, more so than the big, slam-dunk highlight moments.

And here’s a little bonus/ best part– she wrote a Bible study to go with it. And you can do it for FREE (who doesn’t love FO FREE??)! Faith Gateway has named it their fall Bible study, so you can access all the video materials online by signing up here. You can purchase the book, and the study guide separately if you are interested, but all you technically need to do the Bible study is the videos, and those are there online! The first video released this week, so you are still good if you want to jump in! And I’ve already watched it, and highly recommend that you do! 🙂


And for those of you thinking, “I need another commitment/ thing to do like I need a hole in the head” (I GET THAT– trust me, I get it!), the Bible study is 6 sessions long, and the first session video is 17 minutes long (including the intro video above), so it’s pretty doable (and Faith Gateway says all videos are between 15-20 minutes)! It can be done as an individual, in a friend group, or as a church group, so get started! I promise you’ll be glad you did!



Bellaband by Isabel and Ingrid


Ok, if you aren’t pregnant, you can skip this one. Or if you can successfully button your pants, you can skip this one. But if you don’t fall into either of those categories, come close, my darling, and check out this magic!

I’m a little bit in denial about my current state of clothing affairs. I have a sudden, desperate love for all my current clothing, and nearly cried in Motherhood Maternity last week because I can’t come to grips with buying maternity clothes (I’ve made it 24 weeks and now I’m out to see just how long I can last…). Luckily, it’s been a slow adjustment, and I haven’t really needed to. I bought a few maternity t-shirts from Motherhood because my regular t-shirts are getting a little shorter, but that’s it. And I’ve been able to make all my pre-pregnancy pants work with the Bellaband. It’s literally a spandex tube that has grippy material on one end (that goes over your pants), and then it stretches up over your bump. And it holds your pants up when you can’t button them, plain and simple. It looks like an undershirt, and you can get it in multiple colors (I have the black because that’s what our Target has in stock).  Try it out if you, too, are not ready for maternity jeans! 😉  (And no, that is not me, that is a stock photo from Google, just in case you are curious 😉 )


Voluminous Lash Paradise by L’oreal


I am so picky about mascara, y’all. But I think everyone is. Or I tell myself everyone is. I ventured out two summers ago and tried several different kinds before going back to my beloved Maybelline Colossal Lash and wishing I’d never changed. My biggest complaint for all of them was the brush- I have long and full eyelashes and I wanted a brush that would hit all of them without 27 coats, and it seemed that the Colossal Lash was the only one that could do a decent job. They got rid of my beloved brown color, but nothing’s perfect, am I right?

At the end of the summer, I was listening to the Big Boo Cast podcast and Melanie (yes, the aforementioned Melanie Shankle) and Sophie were talking about new make-up they’d been liking. Melanie said she’d tried out this Lash Paradise and that it seems to be a drug store dupe for the Too Faced Better than Sex mascara, but better. They come in super similar packaging, and have the similar brushes, but the Lash Paradise is half the price. And Melanie said her favorite part about it was the brush.

I tried the Better than Sex mascara a few years ago with a sample from a BirchBox, and liked it, but not enough to pay that much for it, so I was definitely intrigued to try this. And I love it! It really does have the best brush– it has long and thick bristles so it gets down to all parts of your eyelash, if that makes sense. I also switched to the ELF eyelash curler (I believe it’s $3 at Target?), and it makes all the difference as well. Between these two, I feel like my eyelashes have never looked better!

Ulta has the Lash Paradise on sale for buy one/ get one half off here if you want to try it out!


It’s Okay About It- Lessons from a Remarkable Five Year Old About Living Life Wide Open-  Lauren Casper


When we were getting ready to go to the lake back in mid June, I suddenly remembered that my favorite thing to do at the lake is read. And that I had no books to read. I had a list of books that I wanted to read after listening to all of the authors’ interviews on The Happy Hour podcast, and now was finally my time to enjoy some.

I LOVED the interview with Lauren Casper, and think she is so sweet and personable. She talked about their journey with infertility, and then their adoption story, which included bringing home two sweet babies from Africa within a few years of one another. Their oldest, a sweet boy named Mareto (prounounced “Murahto”), was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder at around 18 months old, so much of this book is about their journey in learning to see how the world works differently for him. And this is a huge point that I love– it’s not right or wrong, better or worse, normal or broken– it’s just different.

The title comes from the fact that Mareto often turns around sayings and makes up his own. For example, when Lauren was having a rough day one day, Mareto comforted her saying “It’s okay about it”, basically meaning, everything will be okay, and you’ll feel better about this soon. Each chapter has a title like this, and it’s so interesting to try to get inside his little head to understand what he means by his unique turn of phrase. When you first hear each phrase, you think it makes no sense, but once Lauren explains it in context to their situation, it makes 100% sense, and you begin to see that Mareto is one smart little cookie.

Mareto is now five years old, so Lauren admits that they have a long way to go, and that their journey has just started, but it is amazing to hear where they have been and how far they have come so far. I laughed, I cried, I finished this in one day at the lake. 🙂


I hope you found something you’d like to try today! I shared a bunch of our life lately pictures earlier this week on What’s Up Wednesday, and nothing much has changed since then! I’ve been successful at cooking every night this week (which may not seem like a huge deal, but it is in our house– I don’t think there’s ever been a week that we haven’t gone out for at least one week night meal, and sometimes it’s for all of them), but I think there has been some kind of weird wife-boss ju-ju hanging out over our house, and everything has worked out to stay on track this week with meals, and laundry and keeping everything relatively clean. Steven even commented that I was “bossing at my wife duties” this week. And I told him I was so thankful that he would point it out when I’ve got it together, and so thankful he doesn’t point it out on the weeks everything is a total hot mess (which are much more frequent!). Here’s hoping I can keep this good ju-ju rolling for another week!

This weekend, we are planning to head to Green’s Sausage House for a Saturday lunch special, and to do a little meat shopping (you get excited about weird and mundane things when you are old and married), and maybe to see the new movie Thank You for Your Service. Our movie theater recently upgraded to the fancy recliners, so I’m pretty much down to go watch paint dry there because it’s so comfortable, but I do really want to see that movie! I’m fairly certain I’ll cry (what else is new these days??), but I think it looks really good!

And, I am super excited about Halloween next week because we finally have enough kids in our neighborhood to have some trick-or-treaters!! I’ve got our candy, and we are ready to go!


Happy Friday and Happy Weekend, y’all!!

Linked with Andrea for Friday Favorites!


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