Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Your 2nd Favorite Shade of Shay...

Yesterday, I told you that your 3rd favorite Shade of Shay was my Getting Dressed post, well today, I have your 2nd favorite...

This one really caught me off guard!  I did not expect this to be your second favorite Shade of Shay...but it was :).

To see the original post, click here.

I'm so glad that I've been able to encourage some of you ladies to get outside and get moving!  With swimsuit season upon us, it's never too late to get going.

You know what goes great with a good fitness post?  Mentioning how on my foodie blog today, I'm talking about One Pound Meals.  

You know what those are, right?  Those simple little meals that you can whip up for your family in less than 30 minutes...and you can substitute a pound of ground beef, ground turkey or ground chicken in any of the recipes.  How fabulous is that?!?!  Trying to cut back on the red meat?  Just use a pound of ground turkey in any of these recipes.  Click here to see them all!

And tomorrow...the #1 Shade of Shay.  And let me just tell you...I was shocked.  I really, really, really didn't see this one coming.  After over 50 shades, I think it's funny that you guys liked tomorrow's the most.

See you Wednesday!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Your 3rd Favorite Shade of Shay...

I'm going to count down the top 3 Shades of Shay from the last year over the next 3 days.  I went back and looked at the stats plus the number of comments and found your 3 favorite Shades of Shay.  Are you ready for #3?

Your third favorite Shade of Shay is...

You ladies realllllly loved this post about getting out of our sweats and into real clothes every day!

To go back and read the original post, click here.

And don't forget, on my foodie blog today, it's Meal Planning Monday!

What will the #2 Shade of Shay be????  You have to come back tomorrow to find out!  Let me just say this, I was really surprised when I saw which one it was :).

Happy Monday!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Shay's Pajama Party: April with Erika!

Today's Pajama Party is extra special...because it's with one of my very best friends Erika!

You guys all know Erika!  Her little family and my little family are super tight.  We spend pretty much every single day together...it's true love people :).

Back in July when I came up with this Pajama Party concept, I knew Erika would be perfect for April.  Why?  Because both of her oldest kids have April birthdays and Erika is always doing something fun and creative to celebrate them and Easter.

Side note: Erika and I met because we were both in our mid-20s and both going through infertility problems.  (You can read my story here and Erika's story here.)  One of our mutual friends told us we would get along great because we were both trying so hard to get pregnant and she thought we could struggle through yucky fertility problems together.  

Well...God had big plans for our little friendship...not only did we become forever friends but within an 18 month period, he blessed us with two kids each.  Yes!  Two infertile girls each had two kids within those 18 months.  

I'll never forget where I was standing in my house when Erika called to tell me she was pregnant with baby #2...at the time, I had 10 month old and was 3 months pregnant with baby #2 and Erika had a 3 month old.  Ha!  God thinks he is so funny sometimes!  So, Erika's first two babies are 12 months and 3 days a part.  Love it!  (And her 3rd sweet baby boy Bowen was born three years later, he's one right now...and I picked out his name...just sayin'...I did.)

Meet the Slaughters!  That's Ebby Lee (who turned 5 on April 9), Erika, Bowen (1), Tab (one of my hubby's besties!) and Nixon (turning 4 tomorrow!).

Erika and I are no strangers to seeing each other in our pjs and sweats...we each love wearing our comfy clothes (and going to each other's houses in our comfys too!).  Today, we're curled up in front of the TV (because after this PJ Party talk, we're totally going to watch Real Housewives together!), drinking coffee (mine with a splash of creamer and Erika's with about 30 splashes) and eating coconut macaroons.  It's time for our pajama party!

First up...food.  Both of us girls love some yummy food!

What is your favorite thing to make for supper this time of year?
Erika: This is going to sound like a Mix and Match Mama advertisement…ha!!  But…my very favorite thing to make for supper is Shay’s Spinach and Sun Dried Tomato Meatballs.  Delish!!!  My family of five all loves them.  I love that I’m feeding them all meatballs filled with spinach!

Me: We love meatballs too!  But we also love, love, love Pasta with Bacon and Corn.  So yummy!

What is your favorite treat to make with your kiddos this time of year?
Erika: We love Mix and Match Mama’s Easter Rice Krispies Treats.  My daughter loves that they’re pink and my son just loves that they taste good!!

Shay: My kids are all about the Cadbury Creme Eggs right now...and my Cadbury Creme Egg Brownies are their favorites!

Speaking of Easter...we now start talking about Easter traditions, food, and crafts (well, she talks about crafts and I pretend to know what she's talking about...I don't even own a glue gun, remember?).

What is your traditional Easter meal?
Erika: We don’t have a “traditional” thing we do for Easter every year.  We don’t have a lot of family who live close, so it tends to change based on who is in town.   In the past, we’ve actually gone out to eat just because it’s easier than make a big meal for only the seven of us.  (Tab’s parents included).  This year my plan is to cook brunch-type foods.  I’m super excited about giving it a go!  What are the odds the night before I suggest a restaurant??  We’ll see!

Shay: Since before I was born, my mom's side of the family has met for lunch after church.  Right now, this is still the tradition that we do with our kiddos...however, we're contemplating starting a new tradition beginning next year that is more personal to the Shull kids (and doesn't require the hour drive from church to lunch).  

Last year...sigh.  Believe it or not, that was the best picture I have from Easter lunch 2013.  Sigh.  Again.

How do you decorate your house for Easter?
Erika: This year I tried something a little different.  I bought some very neutral Easter/Spring pieces.  I’m loving it!!  I have some bunnies, eggs, and some added things thrown in.  I was going for a more Pottery Barn/Restoration Hardware look and I love the way it turned out.

Click here to see how Erika made this super cute Easter banner!

Me: This year, we are packing and moving into the new house (yay!), so our house is decorated with cardboard boxes this Easter ;).

What do you put in your kids' Easter baskets?
Erika: Two-thirds of my kiddos have birthdays around Easter every year, so I try to be super practical in Easter baskets.  I like putting things they really need like a beach towel, pool toys, or flip flops.  I always throw in some little toy and a couple pieces of candy.

Me: In our family, the grandparents provide the Easter baskets for the kids.  I have no idea how or why this tradition started...but growing up, I always received my Easter basket from my grandparents and now, my kids receive their baskets from Lovie.  I'm off the hook until I'm a grandma (which let's all pray isn't for a looooooong time!).

How do you keep Jesus in Easter?
Erika: We have the Resurrection Eggs and I strongly recommend those for preschoolers or toddlers!!  We do that activity a LOT leading up to Easter. We talk about Jesus all year long, but we really try to talk about why Easter is so important.  This year we’re also doing the Resurrection Rolls.

Shay: Andrew and I always feel like if we're talking about Jesus 365 days a year and keeping Him in the center of our lives, then it's easy to keep Him in holidays too.  We don't really talk about the Easter Bunny and stuff like that...they'll hunt eggs and wave at the Bunny at Easter lunch but it's just fictitious (like Mickey Mouse at Disney World).  They know that the real reason we celebrate is to recognize Christ's death and resurrection. 

Now...Erika always has great birthday ideas for her kiddos' in April.   I asked her what her biggest tip is for the combo party and here is what she said...Plan, plan, plan!!!  When my kiddos were younger, I did parties together because it was easier.  I didn’t want my friends to have to spend  too much time celebrating with us.  I’d strongly recommend doing that!!  Now they’re older and they have different friends and different interests.  It just doesn’t work for us anymore.  I also work hard to make their actual birthday a special day.  You don’t have to do anything crazy or over the top.

 Here's a look back at Erika's parties...
Ebby Lee (2) and Nixon (1) combo party: Lumberjack and Jill Theme

Ebby Lee (3) and Nixon (2) combo party: Easter Theme

Ebby Lee's 4th birthday: Princess Party Theme

Nixon's 3rd birthday: Dog Park Theme

And you know that at the end of every party, I always ask my co-hosts the same set of questions...here are Erika's answers:

1.       What is your favorite cosmetic?  
Benefits “They’re Real” Mascara is probably my very favorite.  I LOVE this mascara!!!  It really makes my eyelashes look longer and fuller.

2.       What is your favorite beauty product (not makeup)?  
Right this second, I’d choose Agave’s Healing Oil.  I have extremely dry hair and this completely changes the texture…from dry to smooth.  Yes, please!!

3.       What is your favorite TV show?  
Any Real Housewives or Dateline….hahaha!!  I’m very diverse in my t.v. watching!

4.       What is your favorite vacation destination?  
Um…tough one!  I LOVE a vacation where I can lay on a super soft lounge chair by a pool.  One of our favorite places was the Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas.  We spent a day there on a cruise so we haven’t officially stayed there.  But…we will!!  It was gorgeous!!  And…it’s a great place to go with or without kiddos.

5.       What is your favorite pair of shoes?  
My red Hunter rain boots!!  They span ALL seasons!!

6.       What is your favorite nail polish?  
For spring, I’m loving Live. Love. Carnaval by OPI.

7.       What is your favorite chick-flick movie?  
I love girly movies…How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days or Sweet Home Alabama!

8.       What is your favorite book?  
My very favorite is the book, Same Kind of Different as Me.  It’s a GREAT story with a GREAT message!

9.       What is your favorite ice cream?  
I love some cookies ‘n cream! 

10.   Who would star in a movie based on your life?  
I’m going to go with famous people I’ve been told I resemble….Heather Graham, Molly Mesnick, or Katy Perry!   If I’m going on my favorite actress, I’d choose Sandra Bullock!!  She could dye her hair, right?

11.   What is your least favorite household chore?  
LAUNDRY!!  I don’t mind the washing and drying part but putting it away gets me EVERY TIME!

12.   What’s one quirky fact about yourself that most people don’t know?  
I grew up in a super small town out in the country.  My parents still live there…on a gravel road.  I’m from Zalma, Missouri, population 92.  My graduating class had 12 people!!   It’s a BEAUTIFUL place, but it’s very different from my current town of over 100,000!

I hope you all enjoyed having Erika over at my PJ Party as much as I did!  I just love, love, love this girl!  Erika is so funny (without trying to be), self-deprecating, sweet, sincere and will always be there for you.  Thank you so much friend for hanging out with me today!

To find more of Erika, you should check out her blog here.

You can also find her on Pinterest, Instagram and Face Book.

And on my foodie blog today...something Erika looooooves...  

You guys...these are awesome.  Like stop what you're doing and make them right now kind of awesome.

Happy Friday!

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