Target is underrated.

Let’s dive right in, have y’all seen target’s dollar spot items lately?! If you are wanting CHEAP, CUTE, & STYLISH decor, check them out!

I walked into target the other day and stopped at the dollar bins like I usually do, because if I don’t come home with a $1 toy for each of my kids they think I don’t love them anymore.

Judge me, I’m a sucker.

So I’m walking, scoping out the bins, and was shocked at all their fall/Halloween decor. It was so cute! Check out this mini colander, and these adorable mini apples!!

Aren’t they adorable! Each were only $3! I put them up on my kitchen shelves in a cute little display.

I think I spent a total of $20 in the dollar bins and was able to decorate two areas of my house for fall/Halloween.

Not only does target have those steal deal bins, they have a STARBUCKS! Hello! What could be better? Oh, I know! That Starbucks offers FREE refills on iced coffees while you’re in the store! I know, your jaws just dropped on the floor. Pick them up and go get you a coffee and some steal deal decor!

I started my coffee bar decor for the fall and these adorable spooky trees were the perfect touch! Also complementary of Target dollar section.

Now before you freak out over my rae Dunn Hocus Pocus mug, I know.. how, right?! Again, it was target! Fake it because I’ll never get a real one since they are impossible to find. It’s a black hearth and home mug with a decal from Etsy. 🙂 I didn’t have to spend $100 on Mercari for a mug that I can make myself. Yet again, I saved you money. YOU’RE WELCOME.

Walmart has always been known as the “cheap” store to hit up when you need decor, but target has got them beat! In my opinion at least.

It may not be fall YET, but you’ll need these amazingly cute $3 towels to display on your oven.

Recap, target has got you covered with cheap, cute decor, free Starbucks coffee refills and so many things to choose from! I’d love to see what YOU have found in the bullseye playground! Drop your photos below and have a great Sunday!

Sincerely,

MomStar

Three steps to an inviting home.

Hey y’all! Happy Monday!! My kids are starting school today so I am down to one now. I have a third grader and a Pre- K kiddo as of this morning!

Now it’s just me and my 18 month old! We miss brother and sissy today, but we’re going to have some fun and count down the minutes until we can pick them up!

I was watching a show this morning on HGTV ( I know, everyone’s favorite!) and something caught my attention. A woman and her sister walked into a home and immediately commented on how it smelled. She said it smelled like cats. Do cats have a smell? I don’t know because I actually despise cats. Sorry cat lovers, but you won’t find me near those sketchy animals.

Anyways, she said it smelled like cats and the whole walk through of the house she couldn’t focus on the beauty of it, because all she smelled was cats. She was looking around trying to see where the cat’s liter boxes were, or climbing gyms, whatever they use, to see where the smell was coming from.

Ultimately, she didn’t pick that home because of that reason. I don’t blame her though, cats are gross.

It got me thinking though! What makes a house warm and inviting? I did a little research and found a few things that other people said makes them feel comfortable in someone else’s home.

1. Obviously, the smell.

Fresh, clean scents make your guests feel like they are walking into a well maintained home. They feel welcomed to sit down, not feel fearful of using your bathroom and feel confident eating good foods. It’s crazy right? How the smell of cotton can change people’s confidence in your home. I mean, sure, the smell of dirty diapers and cats pee is probably not the most inviting, “come stay at our home,” type of smell. So yeah, I get it. Go pick you up some febreeze room spray and some linen candles and get your home smelling like the laundry aisle at Target.

2. Blankets and Pillows. Yup, lots of them.

I read that when people see blankets and pillows around your home they feel more “invited” to come in, sit down, and feel relaxed. Makes sense, right? Just have a few areas around your home where your guests have the option to take a seat, grab a book and get cozy. If they are spending the night, you want them to feel comfortable if they couldn’t sleep, or wanted to just wind down and read a book. Helpful tip: homegoods is a great affordable store to find throw pillows and cozy, super soft throw blankets for that empty chair in the corner of your dining room. You’re welcome!

3. Pictures on the wall.

Seems obvious right? You wouldn’t believe how many people just don’t decorate their walls. When you walk into someone’s home and see cute signs, plants, and pictures from their family vacations from the last 7 years, you’re going to feel like you’re in a loving, family oriented home. Again, homegoods is a great store to get some 9.99 frames and “home sweet home” signs for your front door.

So there ya go, picture frames, blankets/pillows and a good smelling candle will really give your home the first impression you’re looking for.

Budget friendly stores Homegoods, Marshalls, TJ Maxx, Kirklands and Hobby Lobby. Also the target dollar spot is amazing!

Tip for kirklands: Download their spin to win app for discounts and deals!

Tips for hobby lobby: Their website has a 40% off coupon that you can use anytime on any full priced item.

I hope this helped you and vamped you up to drive over to target and grab a few cotton candles for your cozy reading corner that you haven’t made yet! Again, you’re welcome!

The last time.

On days like today, when my voice box has tapped out from all the yelling I did, when my thoughts are jumbled from not sleeping the night before, when my body is so tired that I can’t even find the energy to make myself dinner, I need that 10 seconds to myself. I need that quiet, hiding in the closet time with a kit kat bar, time. I need it to collect myself. To pull myself up by the shirt and remind myself how lucky I am to have kids to yell at. How lucky I am to lose sleep over a baby with a tummy ache. How lucky I am that I was so busy with three beautiful children all day that I forgot to eat dinner.

You’re allowed to be tired, you’re allowed to be angry, sad, stressed, irritated.. you’re allowed to drink a whole bottle of wine in the bath tub after you tuck those little demons in for the night.

We’re human, you’re human. So you’re also allowed to feel guilty. You’re allowed to make mistakes. You’re allowed to cry… you’re allowed to yell.

As long as you remember after all of that, that you’re lucky. You’re lucky to have the title of Mom, or Dad. You’re lucky to have a child, or children to wake up to in the morning, to make you laugh, to teach things to, and to hug whenever you damn well want.

Not everyone gets that blessing.

We take for granted the time we have, the opportunities we’re given.. if your baby asks you to read a book that you’ve already read 2,000 times.. because it’s her favorite, just read it again. Why? Why put yourself through that torture of wanting to ram your face through a wall? It’s simple, because at some point.. there will be a last time your baby asks you to read that book. Then you’ll miss little bunny fu fu hoping through the forest, and you’ll wish you could read it one more time.

There will come a time when you wipe the last dirty face, there will be a last time you sing to your babies, a last time they climb into bed with you, a last time they call you, “Mommy.”

It’s sad to know that you won’t know when that last time is.. so cherish all the time you do have. Let them tell you all their silly stories, because when they are 13, starting their periods and wearing a choker necklace, they are going to walk right past you like you don’t even exist. You’re going to wish you let them crawl into bed with you that stormy night that the thunder woke them up.

Before you even know it, your kids won’t be “kids” anymore. So make sure all their firsts, are memorable lasts for you. Those memories will be all you have to look back on.

Time doesn’t stand still, so catch it when you can. ❤️

School supply shopping is a scam.

I have three kids, two of which are going to Elementary school this year. I get their supply lists and begin glancing it over. The first thing I notice, in big bold letters is, “Do not label supplies with your child’s name.” UMMM WHAT?! Why the hell not?! I bought it. My child picked it out. I should be able to bust out my label maker and slap a sticker on all their supplies in a cool font.

But no, not in today’s world! All the fun is sucked right out of it. I know when I was little I LOVED going to target or Kmart (Kmart used to be the best by the way!!) and carefully pick out all the cool supplies. Glitter pencils, gel pens, notebooks with my little ponies on the front. Though, of course, you had to pick up a couple Lisa Frank folders. You know, the rainbow ones with puppies or dolphins on the front. You weren’t school ready until that Lisa Frank folder was sticking out of your backpack with your bead buddy keychain, that you made the night before, hanging off your zipper.

I mean, it was the best of times. Now? Now I have to walk into Walmart and grab all the basic crap out of a bin in the middle of the isle, and cross it off the classroom list. Not my children’s list, the classroom list! I can’t label his things remember? So I’m buying supplies for everyone else’s kids, I’m buying 8 packs of tissues for everyone else’s snotty noses. Which is fine, I mean, I have no problem helping out my children’s classroom. It is their classroom, that their apart of too, so some of the things I’m buying may end up in their hands… but let’s face it.. all the glue sticks will get thrown in a glue bin regardless if you bought white glue, glitter glue, or invisible glue.

Would someone really know if I only bought 4 packs of number two pencils or 3 packs? Probably not! I bet some parents don’t even buy supplies at all because they know the classroom will hand it out on the first day of school. Those are the smart parents. Getting their children free erasers and stuff. Kidding. Totally kidding.

Kind of.. haha.

Seriously though, I wish my kids got to experience the excitement of starting their first day of school with their puppy notebook, pink gel pen, and blue pencil box with a secret compartment for their “things” in it. What’s next? Everyone needs to buy a solid color book bag and hand that over too?

Well, it is what it is. That’s how public schools are into nowadays. My kids don’t even need to go with me to get their supplies, their getting the basic, boring colored spirals & a clear pencil box.

Who thinks Lisa Frank needs to make a call and demand her products be on every school supply list? I’m down to sign that petition. Until then, you’ll find me at target buying 17 glue sticks for my child’s classroom.

Sincerely,

Momstar.

How to show off your house, without the hefty price tag.

Hey y’all!

I know most of us have Pinterest pages and most of us have those wishful boards that are titled “Dream House” or “Backyard Oasis.” Am I right?

We all see things that we wish we could afford, or that we could walk past every day in our own home. Unfortunately, fancy things cost money. You can’t even buy a nice coffee table anymore without throwing down a car payment or two at Nebraska Furniture Mart. So why not build it? Why not build that beautiful bench you have saved on your “Hallways Board,” that stunning wood mantle that you see with 6 little stockings hung on your “Holiday Decor” board? Why not, right?

Probably because you don’t have time to do it or because you think it will cost just as much to do it yourself. You would be pretty surprised to find out how much time it doesn’t take to make a bench, or a coat rack. Honestly, think about how much time you waste driving to stores, looking at different pieces of furniture, trying to visualize that piece in the exact spot of your home you want it for. Measuring things, getting disappointed when it’s too long or too short. Driving to the next store only to see a bench you really love but it’s the wrong stain color and it won’t match the little hint of lavender you have in your dining room. Think about how much time it takes to FIND exactly what you want. Why not put that time towards MAKING exactly what you want.

Below is a picture I screenshot from a website that was selling floating shelves. They provided a couple different stain options and length options. Which is nice, but again, what if your wall that needs shelves is 9 feet long and you need shelves that are 4 1/2 feet long? You’d have to settle for what’s being offered or keep searching.

Anyways, for 6 floating shelves it comes out to a smidge under $500 bucks. Shipping not included. Oy. That’s going to be a hard pill to swallow. So here you are at checkout, possibly settling for a stain color that may not match (& let’s be honest, you don’t have the option to return because it’s custom made and I’m sure you’re not going to want to pay to send those puppies back). & possibly a size that isn’t quite what you need for that perfect spot in your dining room above your 7 foot dining table. Save the frustration, save your wallet and do it yourself!

My husband has not always been the best wood worker. It took him a lot of practice and YouTube videos and mistakes to finally feel confident enough to make furniture. I wanted floating shelves in our living room so bad. I love the modern farmhouse style and I love wood furniture. My husband, Charles, I’m going to start calling him by his first name instead of being all proper and saying my husband all the time. So anyways, Charles said he would build floating shelves for me. He did 6 shelves, at 5 feet long. Stained it with briarsmoke (That color wasn’t even on any of the options when checking out.) and hung them to the studs on the wall. They turned out beautifully. I’ve attached a few photos below to show you.

Now, look at those stunning masterpieces, how much do you think Charles spent in wood, stain, nails, etc? Would your jaw drop if I said under $125 bucks for all 6 beauties? Well, pick your jaws up off the floor because it’s TRUE! You can have beautiful pieces like this in your home that fits your budget!

If you’d like a list of materials to buy, drop a comment below and I’ll send it on over!

Moving on, hacks to showing off your work, flawlessly.

How many of you see photos on Pinterest and think, “well I need a fancy camera to make my photo look that good.” WRONG! You don’t. This is coming from a photographer.. you don’t need an expensive camera for your photos to look like they belong on Pinterest or a modern farmhouse catalog. All you need is a little angle practice, good filters, and a phone. Angels are EVERYTHING. Really they are. I’ve attached two photos below to show you the same item, taken at different angles.

Which photo looks better? I’m going to place all my money on the top photo and win this game. It’s the same towel, the same kitchen, the same colors… but it’s taken at a different angle! You don’t need a $700 dollar camera for your photos to turn out page worthy. You just need to study your angles. If you have an IPhone, using your portrait setting in your camera and scrolling over to contour light will blur your background out and give you a vivid photo of your subject. Seriously, try it out. It will change the way you take photos! (Below are photos of my shelves using that camera hack.)

Sincerely,

MomStar

Anxiety is a Mother.

I had such amazing feedback from my first entry and I want to thank y’all for taking the time out and reading what I have to say. I think women uplifting women is a beautiful thing and it’s also something that isn’t preached enough.

As women, we tend to be guarded. We have this automatic sense to act stronger than we may feel. Women judge. We all do it, some more than others.. so we never want to reveal our weaknesses. I’ve always noticed women seem to be in competition with other women, who can lose the most weight, who is more stressed, who has more patience with their kids, etc. I can go on and on about what I observe women doing to each other. Why can’t we all just be supportive of one another and not judge? So many things are left in secret because we don’t want to feel weaker than someone else. We don’t want anyone to think they are stronger than us, more equip to handle situations than us, or more ahead of us in general. So we bottle it up and seal it with a nice little ribbon and send it on down the river.

We shouldn’t have to do that. You’d be surprised how much you may have in common with someone once you really sat down and listened to one another. Everyone needs a friend. Everyone needs someone to listen. To care. To understand.

I’ve been battling with anxiety for the past two years. When I say anxiety, I don’t just mean I’m scared to be home alone because I fear a man in a black hoodie is going to break in and stab me with a knife. (Although, that is one of my thoughts every time I hear a noise.) I mean, I’ve been battling something that I could no longer control on my own. I’ve always had little things happen where I say, “omg this gives me such bad anxiety.” But just over this past two years has it gotten to the point where I feel like I’m dying. Like death just knocked on my door and turned the knob a few times to scare me.

At first it was just heart palpitations. I say “just” because it gets much worse, but heart palpitations are just as scary as anything else. I became obsessed with checking my heart rate, being so overly cautious of when my heart would skip a beat. I had a calendar on my phone of all the days and times that I thought my heart stopped.

Then, the choking started. No, I didn’t choke on my hidden bag of skittles in my purse, I would choke on nothing. I felt hands squeezing my neck and I physically could not swallow. I would start coughing and grasping at the air to catch my breath. It was one of the scariest things I have ever been through.

The worst of it all was the headaches. Every single day my head hurt. It felt like a blood pressure cuff was squeezing my head and I would feel my head pulsating all day long. It hurt, it was uncomfortable, it was torture. I saw doctors, had CT scans done and really embarrassed myself with all the trips to the hospital I made because I was convinced the pain and discomfort was a brain tumor.

My left eye was blurry for over a year. I saw floaters in my eyes for over a year, and I hated what my life had become for that year.

I’ve had my license for 12 years and have never been in a car accident. When all of this was happening to me, I backed up into a mailbox in my husbands truck, which had a back up camera, because the floaters were so bad they blocked out most of my vision. The truck is okay y’all, I know if you’re a man reading this, that would be your first concern. (My husband’s was, but I knew he cared about my well being too.) I didn’t hit it hard, but hard enough to know someone was going to wake up to a little dent in their mailbox.

I contemplated life a few times. Is this really how I want to live my life? Can I be the mother and wife I need to be when I can’t even get out of bed without crying? Was I going to kill myself? No. I wasn’t. I had three beautiful children who needed me and didn’t see me as “sick.” I hid it well. (another one of women’s greatest talents.) I never let them see me cry. See me stare off into nothing. See me crumble. I was their whole world and to them, I’m perfect.

At one point, I lost 35 pounds. Not from the natural, healthy way of diet and exercise.. but from not eating. I wasn’t not eating on purpose. I would try. I just couldn’t swallow food. Yup, you read that right. I got to a point where I physically couldn’t swallow food. I would cry trying to get it down. I was so brain washed that this food was bad for me, that ibuprofen was going to give me stomach ulcers, that too much coffee was going to make my heart beat too fast. I had all these ridiculous theories engraved in my brain. They were real to me though. I honestly believed them.

Looking back now, I think, omg how didn’t my husband divorce me?! He married a psychopath. He stuck by my side through all of it. All the hospital stays, all the nights I laid in bed and cried, all the days when I needed to be alone, all the fits, the breakdowns, the panic attacks. He stood by my side in my sickness. That’s what anxiety is. It’s an sickness.

Today, I still struggle with it. I am on medicine now, so it’s better, but it’s still there. I am a stronger woman because of what I went through. I am a wiser person because of what I went through. So please, reach out. If you are dealing with anxiety, depression, addiction, whatever it may be, don’t be afraid to find a friend. Don’t be afraid that someone will think less of you, or that you aren’t suitable to take care or your family. (That was one of the main reasons I stayed silent.) I promise you, people who genuinely care and want to see you succeed will be the listening ear you needed and the helping hand to give you. No one is perfect, we all have our faults, our experiences, our traumas. We can learn from one another, we can grow, we can see, we can understand one another if we just listened.

Someone may have seen me on a bad day and said, “damn, she let herself go.” Instead of judging, think…”I wonder why she looks so down?” I wonder if I can help. Be the leader, not the follower.

Sincerely,

MomStar

Here it goes, intro I suppose!

Hi everyone. First, thanks for reading. I’ve been told I should start a blog so many times I’ve lost count.. apparently I’m interesting. I guess I lead an inspiring life that should be shared, so here we go.

I’m a mom of three. Yup, three. My kids are 8, 4 and 1. I’m also a stay at home mom. It’s ALSO summer vacation right now and that means I am home all day, everyday, with these little monsters. I probably shouldn’t even have to say it but my wine cabinet is fully stocked during the months of June to August.

My husband works full time and is sometimes gone for days at a time. (Another reason my wine cabinet is fully stocked.) Now, before I have some people say, “hey at least it’s only a few days.” You’re talking to an ex military wife. I’ve been there, done that. So yeah, I’m basically one of the strongest women alive. (Joking..kind of.)

My husband has been through two combat deployments (11 bravo.) to Afghanistan. I know what it’s like to not see him for a year at a time. It sucks. So a few days for me now is a breeze. I miss him, don’t get me wrong but I won’t pretend like I hate having the T.V all to myself at night and eating ice cream without feeling guilty. It’s nice. Ha!

Back to the kids, having kids is expensive. Having three kids is expensive. The world we live in today is expensive. I mean, 7 dollars for an iced caramel frappe with foam, skinny milk, 1 pump vanilla and 2 double shots of espresso is a bit ridiculous don’t you think? With that in mind, my husband and I are big DIYers. Is that a word? Well, it is today. We do a lot of do it yourself projects. We looked at a few websites and stores to buy a farmhouse kitchen table, I wanted one so incredibly bad.. until I see the price. 1,200 for the table.. chairs not included. WHAT?! That was on the cheaper end too. So my husband says, “I can make you one.” I won’t lie… I laughed. My husband hasn’t always been the best do it yourself-er. (again, that’s a word today.) But, I trusted him. He did it y’all, he built me a beautiful farmhouse kitchen table for less than half the cost. He picked up a real liking to wood working, so he kept at it. I kept searching Pinterest for projects and he kept completing them like the amazing man that he is.

We have saved so much money doing projects ourselves and building what we want. So part of my blog is going to be our projects. I’ll provide step by step instructions and photos (I’m a photographer as well, it’s one of my many talents.) showing how it was done. I’m sure y’all are interested in anything that will save you a buck or two, or 200.. right? Of course!

As I said above, I am a photographer. It’s always been a good little side hustle and I really enjoy doing it. I also really enjoy cooking. Which brings me to my next blog topic, some things will be recipes for the on the go moms, (again, instructions and photos to follow) crockpot recipes, easy step recipes and so on. I’ve been a stay at home mom for eight years, so I’m sure you can imagine the amount of recipes I have up my sleeve. Stay tuned for those!

Have you ever read something that you related to so much that you felt like someone went into your brain and copied your exact thoughts?

That will be me. I’ll do that. I’m going to talk about the real, raw, blunt truth about life as a wife and mother. The things people may feel bad saying out loud, the thoughts you think you shouldn’t have. Yup, I’ll be the one to say that sometimes I put the kids to bed angry, sometimes I’m so mad at them that I don’t even kiss them goodnight. Then I feel so incredibly bad about it that I go up there and kiss them while whispering I love you in their ears.

This blog will be a little bit of everything. It’s not only my life, but it’s the cheat sheet to decorating, it’s the cookbook to 15 different flavors of pasta, it’s the hack guide to removing coffee stains from your teeth. It’s real. It’s REAL LIFE.

I hope you stick with me and enjoy what you see and read. I promise it will be worth the time from your day to pop over and see what’s practical, not perfect.

Sincerely,

Momstar