Monday, June 26, 2017

update || surgery, procedures, doctors, oh my

I’ve had A LOT happen over the last few months regarding my chronic stomach issues. I’m doing a small recap to update everyone, as well as fill people in if you’re new here. Bear with me; it's a long one.

necklace

A little over a month ago, I had my gallbladder removed. For most people, when their gallbladder is removed, it’s for no other reason other than gallstones/sludge, and the pain associated with that. It’s usually a “simple” surgery, if there is such a thing, and everything is much better after their surgery and that’s that.

My case is a little bit different.

If you’ve been following me for a really long time, then you may know this, but if not, here’s a bit of my background:

I’ve struggled with chronic pancreatitis for about 4 years now. My first case, they think but aren’t sure, may have been caused by a medication that I was taking and it was a RARE side effect. I’ve been hospitalized for it four times, but I’ve had so many flare ups that I couldn’t begin to count how many I’ve had.

Even with your first case of pancreatitis, your pancreas is never the same again. But, usually, it’s not too big of a deal afterwards if you don’t have it again.

But in my case, I had two serious cases of pancreatitis twice in one month that forever damaged my pancreas and my digestion. There was even one point in the hospital that Kyle asked the doctor what was going to happen if they couldn't get my pancreas under control, and she had said, "Well, we can talk about that if that happens." Talk about fear.

Anyway, your pancreas holds enzymes, which are released when you eat, helping to break down your food before it reaches your small intestine. Your pancreas also produces insulin, which controls your body’s blood sugar levels.

Because of my pancreatitis history, my pancreas doesn’t produce the digestive enzymes as efficiently as it should. I take digestive enzymes to help supply what it can’t make, but there’s still a lot of food I can’t digest well, which causes a lot of stomachaches, nausea, and stomach cramps.

Furthermore, with the damage to my pancreas, my blood sugar levels are all over the place all the time. I constantly have to carry food with me because it’ll drop with no warning, and I’m really sensitive to sugar because my pancreas will basically go into overdrive when I eat a lot of sugar. This usually isn’t too much of an issue, except during breakfast. I can’t eat anything like donuts, cinnamon rolls, etc. because it’ll spike my blood sugar so high that it’ll make me nauseous all day. When I do eat these things, I have to eat something with it, like eggs, to stabilize my blood sugar. 

I’m very thankful in the fact that I don’t currently have diabetes, but I’m at a very high risk for it because of my history.

Anyway, now that you have had an entire health class about the pancreas, let me now go into the more current issues at hand. 

The first thing my doctors checked during my first case of pancreatitis (after confirming that I wasn’t a raging alcoholic) was my gallbladder. Issues with your gallbladder is the second leading cause (next to alcohol) of pancreatitis. Mine looked fine; however, so they never discussed taking it out.

Fast forward to three years later and a few episodes of pancreatitis. A few months after Lilli was born, I started having horrendous stomach issues. I would have to go days without eating because I wasn’t able to keep any food down. I was nauseous all the time, and my stomach constantly felt like it was digesting knives. And absolutely nothing helped. 

At this time, my previous doctor had moved on to another practice that I wasn’t able to go to, so I was without a doctor. I tried another doctor, but had an absolutely awful experience with her, and I later found out she had her medical license revoked, for reasons that they wouldn’t release to the public.

Eek.

But I had to find someone who was able to help me. It was to the point I could never leave the house, and I was trying to take care of a one year old, all while not being able to eat and hunched over in pain all day. 

A few months after looking into doctors, I came across my current doctor. He was accepting patients, but it was about a two month wait to get in for new patients. I was willing to wait, because he came so highly recommended. 

I wait those two (and a half, technically) months, and in that time I was able to eat like “normal” for about 5 days total. I was miserable, and I basically ran into his office the day of my appointment. 

I immediately liked him from the moment I met him. He was so friendly, and was genuinely concerned about what was going on. I even started crying in my appointment (I’m telling you guys I was m i s e r a b l e), and he promised he would help me figure out what was going on.

As fate would have it, about two weeks later, I thought I was going through a bad case of pancreatitis. Most of the time, I just have a flare up, and I don’t go to the hospital anymore because it usually goes away after a day or so. But this time was different. I waited a couple days, and I was vomiting up everything I ate, and I was in so much pain that I couldn’t stand up. I called my doctor, and he sent me to the doctor for an ultrasound of my entire upper abdomen.

They called me the next day and told me that I had sludge in my gallbladder. Now, normally, if you have sludge in your gallbladder it’s usually not a big deal. Many people have gallbladder sludge, and it goes completely undetected unless it starts causing issues, like pain and digestive issues.

My doctor referred me to a surgeon, and that surgeon told me it needed to come out. He said that even if my gallbladder showed “clear” four years ago, that it was protocol that it should have come out with chronic cases of pancreatitis because it could still be malfunctioning, causing pancreatitis. He was appalled that I still had it after four years of problems.

You guys, I was furious. I was so mad that no one in those four years even thought about taking it out. But I was so filled with hope at the same time. I was praying that it would be removed, and all my problems would disappear. 

We had already planned our trip to Disney the following week, and he said it could wait a couple weeks, but needed to come out when we got back. I made the appointment for two and a half weeks later, and pushed through the pain and nausea until then. 

The day of my surgery, I was so nervous because it was my first surgery, but I was so excited to get it out. I just wanted this mess to be over with.

After my surgery, the nurse had explained that I had a extra inflammation in my ducts, which would take a bit longer to heal and I would have some extra pain at the top of my stomach for a while. They told me after a couple days, I would be back to a normal diet and I would feel great.

Sigh. If only. 

The first week after my surgery was rough. So many people had told me that I would bounce right back, and that was not the case. I wasn’t able to take my pain medication because it was causing me so much nausea and I was so out of it, and I wasn’t sleeping because I was in so much pain and couldn’t move without help. I was a mess.

After the first week, I still wasn’t able to eat anything that wasn’t toast or applesauce without throwing it all right back up. I had so much anxiety, because I wasn’t able to pick Lilli up, and I wasn’t able to eat. My mom had to go back on Sunday (5 days after surgery), and Kyle had to go back to work on Monday. I cried all Sunday evening because I had no idea what I was going to do on Monday all by myself with a toddler. 

And really, all I did was lay on the living room floor while Lilli played with her toys in a big circle around me. Thankfully, my normally not-flexible-at-all child understood that I had a “boo-boo”, and that she couldn’t touch my stomach and I couldn’t pick her up. But - she’s still a toddler. It seriously took all my effort to get up and fill up her cup, or make her lunch. By the time I would finish a task with her, I’d either vomit from the nausea or lay down in pain - or both.

After another week (two weeks after surgery), I still wasn’t able to eat and I was still nauseous all the time. I had my follow up with my surgeon that Friday, and I sat in his office crying because this wasn’t “normal”.

He said that he was just the surgeon, and his only job was to remove the gallbladder, and whatever happened after that was up to my doctor to fix.

thanks.

So, I met with my doctor the following week. He referred me over to a Gastroenterologist (GI), and I had an appointment to meet with him a week later. I had about four days where my stomach felt completely FINE. I have no idea why, and I didn’t eat any differently, but I was in heaven for four days with no nausea, pain, and being able to eat. I was actually almost considering cancelling my GI appointment, until my symptoms returned the fifth day.

So, now in present time, I had my appointment with my GI two weeks ago. He gave me some medicine that calms down my nausea enough to eat, but he said it probably wouldn’t help completely, just enough for me to eat. Mornings are the worst for me, and I usually can’t eat until a few hours after I wake up. I have to eat with caution, but I’m thankful to be able to keep food down.

I'm not sure if my pain is related to acid reflux or another cause. I've even worried a couple times that I had a full blown pancreatitis attack because the pain in my upper stomach is just awful. It feels like someone took a hot knife and told me to swallow it. It's awful.

Basically, my GI said that it’s either one of two options: 1) having my gallbladder removed uncovered the real underlying problem, and we just need to figure out what it is, or 2) having my gallbladder removed caused more issues, and we just need to figure out what they are to fix them.

Are you tired yet?? Haha. I sure am.

So, my next step is having an endoscopy done. This was supposed to be done last Thursday, but they had to postpone it until tomorrow (more waiting, yay). After that and depending on what it shows, we will go from there. 

I’m very, very thankful to have such an amazing team of doctors behind me. Both my primary and my GI are great doctors, and I’m very happy that Jesus placed them in my life at just the right time. 

But, it’s still so hard. It’s hard not knowing what’s wrong, or knowing if it’s something I’ll deal with for the rest of my life. It’s hard having my hopes up for the surgery to work, and to be hit with this mess afterwards. It’s hard being a wife and mom when I’m so sick all the time. It’s just hard.


But Jesus’ grace and strength is getting my through this, and His hope allows me to have hope for the future. And, if all else fails, at least I know that my eternity in Heaven will not be in this body. ;)

Friday, June 23, 2017

friday introductions

Happy Friday, friends!

I have quite a few new faces on my social media outlets lately, so this Friday I’m changing it up from my normal five on friday series to give a quick introduction!

shirt
If you’re super new around here, my name is Brandi Little. I’m a firm believer that Jesus Christ is our savior. I’ve been married to my hubba hubba, Kyle, for almost 3.5 years. I have the upmost honor of being a mama to our daughter, Lilli. Together, Kyle and I own a small business, Little Lumber Co. I’ve been blogging for about a year and a half. I love to blog because I love to write. 

Here are ten random facts about me:

one || I can’t stand bitter coffee. I’m guilty of adding too much sugar, #yolo.

two || I change my mind frequently. 

three || I’m very creative, and we have a lot of DIY’s in our home.

four || I love to design my home neutrally, but decorate with splashes of color, since like I said, I change my mind frequently. I also decorate heavily for the holidays, so keeping it more neutral helps with that.

five || The sound of the beach calms me down.

six || I love tattoos.

seven || I’m a giant germaphobe. I am always washing/sanitizing my hands, and every part of me tingles with anxiety when Lilli puts someones toy in her mouth/a kid sneezes near her/she touches the ground/etc. I know, it’s a problem.

eight || I’m a night owl, and I do not do mornings well.

nine || I’m a homebody and I have no shame in it. 

ten || I don’t like wearing a lot of makeup, as you can probably tell by my photo up there. I never have time to apply it in the morning, it makes my face feel dirty, and if I’m not wearing it one day, I don’t want to be unrecognizable.

Do we have anything in common? Be sure to let me know if we do!
Wanna get to know me more? Follow me on Instagram and Pinterest!


Have a lovely weekend!!

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

currently reading

One of these days, I swear I’m going to write and/or read for a living. #gimmeallthebooks



The Silver Linings Playbook || I saw the movie before I read this book, and even though the movie was “different”, I still enjoyed it and wanted to give the book a shot. I actually really, really enjoyed it. It was both funny and kept me interested throughout the whole thing. It also gave a look into mental health awareness, which I am always grateful for. 

overall, 4/5.

Here If You Need Me || I actually found this book at a thrift store, and it sounded good so I grabbed it. I figured, it was only .50 if I really hated it, haha. It is a true story, and was written as a biography but was like a story line. I don’t usually read books like this, but it wasn’t half bad. The beginning was better than the rest, in my opinion. I sort of lost interest half way through, and I had some conflicting thoughts about my faith versus her faith. I don’t think I would read it again, but I don’t regret buying it!

overall, 3/5.

The Life I Left Behind || Ahhhh this book. This book was…conflicting. The cover made the book sound like an on-the-edge-of-your-seat kind of book, which I love, so I grabbed it. Here’s why it was conflicting: the story line was REALLY good. The author had a great imagination and it was a great story. But, it was SO hard to read. The chapters bounced around, and you had to REALLY focus to figure out what year/time/area you were in. I’m not a fan of books that jump around, but this book had really good potential. It was just frustrating to read. Also, the ending: I was literally sitting at the kitchen table at dinner when I finished, and I read the last page and looked up at Kyle and said, “Wait, what?” haha.

overall, 1.5/5.

Two by Two || Nicholas Sparks is my homeboy. He’s my favorite author ever, and if I ever write a book, he’s my inspiration. I love his style of writing, and I have NEVER read a book of his (which is all of them, in case you’re wondering) that I didn’t love - including this one. This one was different than his normal style, but not in a bad way. It had a love story in it like his usual style, but it focused more on other loves in life - like children, family, and general happiness. It was great, even if it was a change of scenery for him.

overall, 5/5.

Who Do You Love || I liked this book a lot more than I thought I would. It did jump between characters and time frames, but not in a hard-to-follow way. It touched on the “hush hush” areas of society that many people don’t talk about, but the author did it in a way that makes you want to go help every person ever. The only part I didn’t like about it was that the main male character was kind of a jerk. Some of the things that he did or said in the book kind of put me off. There were even a couple times I was like, “Oh, I’m not rooting for him anymore.” I don’t like characters like that in “love stories” because it worries me that a young girl is going to read it and think it’s okay for a man to treat her like that. But other than that, it was a good read.

overall, 4/5.

Prodigal Son || I think this is the first book by Danielle Steel that I have read, but I’ve seen her name many times. I was very happy I did though, because I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Her writing almost reminds me of Sparks’, and I think that’s why I enjoyed it so much. It seemed like a plot that he would write about. It was very good, and even though you could kind of figure out the ending early on in the game, I would still recommend it. I look forward to reading more of her books.


overall, 4/5.


Monday, June 19, 2017

DIY preschooler pattern project with fruit loops

I’m very excited today to host my first ever guest post!

Today’s post is brought to you by Edcuation.com, featuring a learning activity geared towards preschoolers.

- - - - - - - - - - 


Practice patterning the fun way—by playing with your food! Using a Fruit Loop-type cereal and yarn, help your preschooler create crunchy, edible patterns. Start with a simple ABC, 3-color pattern and work your way to more complicated ones as she works on small motor skills and developing her understanding of shapes and patterns. She can even nibble while she works!

What You Need: 
  • Fruit Loops or other loop-shaped cereal in a variety of colors
  • Small bowls or cups
  • Scissors
  • Yarn or string
  • Masking tape

What You Do:
  1. Have your preschooler sort some of the cereal by color, putting each color in a separate bowl or cup. She can also do this on a plate or cutting board.
  2. Help her cut three pieces of yarn, each just over one foot long. Wrap one end of each piece of yarn with masking tape to create a "needle".
  3. Have her gather groups of cereal pieces in three different colors. Can she lay out an ABC pattern on the table? Get her started threading this pattern onto the yarn. Encourage her to thread at least 6 repeats.
  4. If necessary, sort more cereal!
  5. What other patterns can she make? Ask her to again choose three colors of cereal. Now have her string an AA BB CC pattern, again stringing several repeats.
  6. Now it’s your turn! Choose three different colors of cereal. On the table, lay out an A BB CCC DDDD pattern or another of your choice. Ask your child to describe the pattern to you. Now have her string an A BB CCC DDDD pattern of her own.


When you're all done, strung cereal can be hung outside for the birds or unstrung and munched by your young pattern maker.

Friday, June 16, 2017

five on friday

Happy Friday, friends! I hope you've had a lovely week!

O N E || landscaping

We are finally making a dent in our front landscaping!! I love to plant flowers and to decorate our front porch, but I’m not a big fan of the digging/tilling/dying in 98 degree heat part.

Our progress:

sign || shirt 


Stay tuned for the final reveal!

T W O || nice floors

Something else we are finally making a dent in: our floors! We let them sit in our house for about a week so they could acclimate to the humidity in the house, and we just started installing them a couple days ago. I’m sooo in love with the color and I can’t wait to see how they look in every room!



T H R E E || gymnastics

As promised, here are some pictures from Lilli’s first day at gymnastics!
She had so much fun and other than trying to keep up with her, I had just as much fun watching her run around and explore. :)

lilli's bow

F O U R || jackpot

If you follow me on Instagram, I posted on my stories my Old Navy jackpot during Super Cash week!

Old Navy is like my new Target. I always walk out with more than what I came for. But in my defense, they always have the BEST deals.

I scored my entire workout outfit, the black shirt, the striped shirt, the olive shirt, blue shorts, yellow sandals, the mint dress, a shirt for Lilli, and her bathing suit all for under $50. ding ding ding - jackpot.



F I V E || AGT

via


Have you all been watching America’s Got Talent?? My mom and I watch it “together” (we text throughout the whole thing while we watch) every year and this year has been pretty good! It always makes me smile seeing what “talents” people have.

latest posts


shop news

Nothing new to report this week, but as always, you can save 10% on your purchase for reading my blog!
code: {LITTLEMOMMALIFE}

Have a great weekend!!

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

bloom with grace

“Biblically, waiting is not just something we have to do until we get what we want. Waiting is part of the process of becoming what God wants us to be.”

I’m not a patient person. Just ask my husband how patient I am.

I’m about as patient as my toddler is when she’s hungry, tired, and bored.

I’ve always been impatient, and it definitely doesn’t do me any favors in life.

via

Kyle and I have definitely been going through a “frustrating” phase in life, ever since our whole trying-and-failing-to-sell-our-home-ordeal. From illnesses, to surgeries, to a more-than-usual fussy toddler, to things just plain not working out, it seems like we are constantly having doors slammed in our faces.

And I know. I know I know I know - when a door is closed, God is doing us a favor by not letting us walk through those doors. I know, and I’m so thankful for His graciousness and protection.

But it can be so.dang.frustrating.

I try really, really hard not to complain. I know it can always be worse, and I have an incredibly blessed life that I’ll never take for granted.

But if you’ve ever been through a stage in life where it’s nope.nope.nope.nope.nope time after time, then you know what I’m talking about. It can be hard, no matter how good-for-us those “no’s” are.

I was reading my devotional the other day, and I came across the quote that is at the very top of this page. It was a very quiet “oh” moment.

Waiting is hard, so very very hard. It’s even harder when you don’t even know exactly what you’re waiting for. But that waiting - it’s not all for nothing. So many times in life, it’s so tempting to say, “well, that was all for nothing.”

But waiting is not one of those things.

In fact, waiting is almost like a giant blessing in disguise. 

Have you ever seen this picture?


This picture hits me in the feels every single time I see it. It’s giant reminder for me that while we are going through a lot of doors closing [slamming] in our faces, there’s one heck of a great door up ahead that we just can’t see yet. Why settle for an “eh” when there’s a “WOW” up ahead?

Even though the waiting is still terribly hard, it’s comforting to know that there’s something big coming. This time is not all for nothing. The jerk downstairs is constantly trying to rip joy from us {John 10:10}, especially in our waiting periods. We are at a low point during waiting, and he uses that to his advantage.

But we don’t have to let him. We don’t have to get discouraged, mad, or upset. We can let God take this waiting time to change us, to transform us into something incredible. We can wait for what we want with joy, knowing that this time is preparing us for something incredible, no matter how long it takes. 

Today, if you’re struggling with a “no”, or even just a “not yet”, don’t let the enemy take hold of that. Lay it on Jesus’ feet, because we were not meant to carry these burdens. 

It’s coming. The time and moment I'm waiting for is coming. And when it does, I know I’ll be so grateful for this waiting period.

Let your hope keep you joyful, be patient in your troubles, and pray at all times. - Romans 12:12


Friday, June 9, 2017

five on friday

Happy Friday, friends!

This week has been incredibly busy, but so incredibly great, too!

Let's get startedddd:

O N E || my hands hurt

When I closed my shop, I had no idea I'd get so many orders. I've been working on them every night after VBS, and I've barely made a dent in them. I'm so, so thankful, but man my hands hurt!!

T W O || VBS

Speaking of VBS (vacation Bible study), yesterday was the last night and I'm so sad!! I've had so much fun helping out, but it will be kind of nice to be able to eat dinner with my family again. ;)

I was super happy that I was able to do this mural for the kids to write their names on. I think my favorite part of the whole thing was being able to let my creative side run lose. :)


T H R E E || tumble

Lilli starts gymnastics today and I'm so excited. I've been telling Kyle since before Lilli was born that I wanted to do gymnastics with her, and it's finally here! Pictures to come. :)

F O U R || watch your step

We got our hardwood floors (laminate hardwood floors, let's be real here) this week and even though I know it's going to take forever to do our whole house, I'm so so so excited to see what it looks like when it's finished! My arms are very, very sore from carrying all this in, though. :)


F I V E || will you accept this rose?

Have you all been watching the Bachelorette? I'm shamelessly addicted, and I even got Kyle into it. Even though he usually just makes fun of everyone the whole show. :) I'm rooting for Dean, Kenny, or Peter. Who are you rooting for?


latest posts

+

shop news

We've added a few items to the shop this week: this clothespin storage + this "hello" sign. I'm obsessed with the "hello" sign! It would be a super cute home warming gift. Our Rustic Mountain Shelf is still our most popular item. :) 
{You can use code "LITTLEMOMMALIFE" for 10% off your purchase!}
See our shop HERE.

Have a lovely weekend!!

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Beauty Counter | unboxing my samples

I went to go write my overused "Happy [insert day here], friends!" and then it took me way too long to remember what day it was and decided I should just start off with something different.

Like....

Howdy, friends!... nope, not cowboy enough for that.
What's up, friends?!... nope, I'm too tired to be that hip today.

How about a simple, How are you today, friends? :)

That's better.

anywayyyy

My sweet friend Jordan over at Latte's and Living was so kind to send me some Beauty Counter samples to try out. Kyle and I have been super conscious of the items we have in our home, from cleaning supplies to makeup, so this is right up my alley.

According to Beauty Counter's website, their products are filled with all good and nothing bad. I love that they are honest about everything that goes into their products, and you know it's safe when you put it on your, or your child's, skin!

Here's what I got in my sample box:


Jordan went above and beyond with her packaging, and everything was so pretty. It made me appreciate it even more!


I've been on the hunt for some new shampoo and body wash for Lilli. I just order some from the Honest company to try, so I'll have to compare the two!



My skin became incredibly dry after having Lilli, and I've struggled finding something that keeps my skin hydrated all day long without looking greasy. I'm excited to see how these work, since they have an all day system for your entire face.


This is something else I've been on the hunt for: foundation. Since my skin is so dry, I have a hard time with liquid because it highlights the driest parts of my skin, but I have a even harder time with powder since it's putting dry makeup on dry skin. I'll have to see if these work!


The white jar is sunscreen; we are currently using a brand that we found at Target with minimal ingredients, but it's so thick and incredibly hard to rub in. I can tell just by looking at this one that it's going to be easier to put on, and it still has an SPF of 30. The black jar is a charcoal mask. I love face masks, but rarely have time to put them on. I've heard charcoal is super good for the skin, so I'm pumped to see if it helps my dry skin. The cream jar is a skin tint. I'll have to research this, because I've never used a skin tint before! I don't like products like bronzers, because I want my makeup to look as natural as possible without anything added that doesn't "have" to be. So I'll have to see about this one!


This is a soothing face oil. I currently use THIS face oil at night, so I'll have to compare and see if it's worth the switch. :)


After I try everything out, I'll be sure to write a post of what I thought about everything, full opinions and all!

Have a great day, friends! (at least I got that one right ;) )


Wednesday, May 31, 2017

memorial day

Hi friends!

I'm a day late posting this because we actually had an extra long weekend (#hallelujah)! I don't mind starting the week on a Wednesday. :)

We started our weekend fun on Friday. Lilli and I met one of our friends for lunch, and even though Panera was crazy crowded with school getting out that week, it was still so much fun. Lilli and her friend are the same age, and they were laughing with each other the whole time. :)
Kyle and I had our normal Friday night indoor date night, complete with a movie and ordering dinner in. Well, Kyle ordered dinner in and I had some super bland meal because I'm still not able to eat a whole bunch. Lol! We watched Fantastic Beasts, and we loved it just as much as we did the first time we saw it. #HarryPotterForever

Saturday was nothing spectacular. We worked around the house and did some shopping. Nothing wrong with a "boring" day. :)

Sunday is when the real fun began. We went to church (in our matching outfits, of course), and then headed over to Kyle's family's cookout. Lilli had a blast. She played from the moment we got there until we left around 5 pm. She didn't even lay down for a nap (which we totallyyyyy paid for later, but it was worth it).

sign

so chill
we found out that her suit was a little too big...
She is obsessed with water, and loves to swim. She was in the pool with Kyle for an hour (I still can't swim with my incisions), and then played in the kids pool until lunch. She ate a few chips and then immediately went back into the pool and played for, I think, like three hours?? She absolutely loved this pool, so much so that Kyle and I are thinking of trying to find one for her.

bow
Sunday evening we headed out to my parents house. It was a 2 ish hour drive, and Kyle and I fell asleep very shortly after arriving. We are the oldest 20 some year olds that we know, lol!

Monday we had a cookout with my family, and Lilli rode in a wagon for the first time, complete with a tractor pull and all. (Can you tell we are country folk?)




bows
We are outside all.the.time when we are at my parents house. They live on 4 acres of pure bliss, so we  do everything we can outside. We always have the best time!

bow

I hope you all had a lovely weekend, and a great week to come!

Friday, May 26, 2017

five on friday

Happy Friday, friends! Friday’s are always so much sweeter when it’s a long weekend! What are your plans for the weekend?

O N E || the last chapter of LSBBL


If you’ve followed me for a while, you may have seen that I own a shop called Little Stitches by Brandi Little. I opened it about 3.5 years ago, which is why this decision was so bittersweet. After much prayer and long, long days of thinking, I decided to shut down LSBBL. I can feel that it’s time. My passion for it is not what it once was, and my passion has shifted to other areas in my life. I’m hosing lots of sales and giveaways on the shop’s Instagram, and it’ll officially close down on June 1st. If you interested in snagging anything, you can view the shop HERE.

T W O || woof, woof


Did you see my post this week about our farmhouse-inspired dog crate? It’s one of my favorite projects (and posts) ever. You can see it HERE.

T H R E E || rain, rain, go away

Has it been non-stop rain where you live?! My goodness, it’s been a constant flood where we live! I love thunderstorms, but I’m missing my sunshine! The weekend forecast has been changing from rain to sunshine, so I hope the sunshine wins out!

F O U R || mercari


I also posted about my Mercari haul this week; you can see that HERE.

F I V E || let’s eat

Are you one of the few people left that uses recipe books more than Pinterest, haha?? I am! Don't get me wrong, I love Pinterest, but I love having the actual paper version of my recipes (I am the same way with books), and I’m always on the hunt for cute new recipe cards to add to my recipe binder. I usually print them off, and that eats up my ink like crazyyyy. I started searching on Amazon and found these beauties:


Aren’t they so pretty? The price makes them even prettier: $8.99 for 50 of them! That’s such a steal, and these are super high quality. The only down fall: there is no specific spot for the “ingredients” part of the recipe, but I just mark off a spot on each card. Totally worth it for nine bucks.


Have a wonderful Friday, and even better weekend!

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

my mercari haul

Hi friends! Happy Wednesday! I'm super happy that we are halfway through this week. If you saw my Instagram post this morning, then you know I'm writing this with my eyelids have closed, and I may or may not accidentally take a nap while writing this.

Haha I only wish I was joking.

Anyway! Have you all ever heard of Mercari?

Mercari is an app like is just like Poshmark and ThredUp. You sell clothes you no longer want, and you can buy clothes for very reasonably priced.

I don't buy from here super often, because I wait until I have enough credits from selling my clothes before buying new ones. Otherwise I'd buy all the things and Kyle would get concerned about all the packages on our door step. :)

I recently did a small haul, though, and wanted to show off what I snagged for a grand total of... you can see the answer at the bottom of this post! ;)


I got both this forest green top and black Old Navy skinny jeans in this haul. I love this green top so much, but it is a little large on me. The back is a little lower than I prefer, so I'm going to see if I can make it work with a strappy tank top that I ordered that I'm waiting to arrive. But the back is so beautiful - look at that ruffle detail!


I also snagged those black skinny jeans for an amazing price. I have three pairs of these jeans, but for some reason, these didn't fit me like the others do! I'm wondering if they are an older edition, or maybe because they are black versus blue jean. Either way, I'm going to resell them because I can't get over the fit. 



I also got this pretty pink tank top! This is also a little big on me (yay for losing weight - but bummer being in-between sizes!), but the straps are adjustable so I can make this one work - yay! The color is perfect for spring and summer, and I love the beaded detail at the top.



I haven't decided about this dress yet. Things I love about it: It's length - it's so hard finding lengths that work on my short height, but that also cover my bum. The length is perfect on this! I love the material - it's a heavier material that's perfect for fall and winter, and that fabric is also super forgiving. I absolutely cannot stand when things hug my body - I couldn't even stand it before I had a "mom bod". Lol! Dislike: The color is difficult to describe, but I'm not sure yet if it looks good with my skin tone or not. The waist is also a bit big on me, but I can't tell yet if it's that noticeable. What do you think - keep or not keep?



I was super excited to snag this matching set of Under Armour workout gear! Workouts are always better when you're wearing cute workout clothes, am I right? ;) These thankfully fit perfectly, and I love the colors of both. 

Here's a break down of the prices:

Green tank top: Regularly: $35. My price: $3!
Black Old Navy skinny jeans: Regularly: $30. My price: $10!
Pink tank top: Regularly: $15. My price: $3!
Green Forever21 dress: Regularly: $20. My price: $5!
UA black tank top: Regularly: $40. My price: $3!
UA purple sports bra: Regularly: $45. My price: $3!

So full price, I would have paid $185. Nope. I love to find clothes and that I love and feel good in, but I never pay full price for anything unless I need it. Even then, I have a hard time doing it, lol! That's the main reason I shop on Mercari and Poshmark.

Total, plus the $9 shipping, I paid $54! But really, I only paid $9 because that's the only thing I didn't have enough credits for. Even still though, that's a huge discount for brand new clothes!

If you're interested in joining Mercari, you can use my referral code and you'll get $2 free to spend on any purchase! Just download the Mercari app, and enter in code ZTMSUN.
If you're interesting in joining Poshmark, you can use my referral code and you'll get $5 free to spend on any purchase! Just download the Poshmark app, and enter in code JGRRI.