Tory Burch and Kendra Scott on the Cheap. No… Really.

Tory Burch and Kendra Scott on the Cheap. No… Really.

Ugh!  Poshmark.  Staaaaaaaahhhhhhhp.  Look what you’ve done to me!  I promised myself I wouldn’t purchase anything, but my word.  I’ve never seen so many pretty things at such prices in my life.  It’s a struggle, guys.

I have wanted a pair of Tory Burch flats for… forever.  I’m a ballet flat kind of girl.  They’re my go-to nearly every day.  Now, I have to preface this post with the fact that I never spend more than $20 (and that’s steep for me…) on a pair of flats.  Ever.  EVER.  No, seriously, I won’t do it.  Why?  Prepare to be grossed out-I was blessed with hyperhydrosis (fancy name for your feet sweat like you regularly walk on coals… not flattering… thanks a lot, dad!).  So, guess what happens to all of my adorable little ballet flats?  They become filled with puddles.  Yep-disgusting.  After a season of flats I throw those babies out and feel no shame.

I somehow became rather addicted to my cognac colored pair.  They go with black, white, navy, you name it… can’t go wrong!  They dress up, they dress down, they always look classy with whatever they are paired with.  Thanks, Target… you rock for carrying them for years!  And yes… I do now have them in nearly every color they manufacture…

Alright… now that you have the weird background of my ballet flat obsession, here’s where a used shoe Purchase comes in.  When I began my Poshmark closet, I made a pact with myself.  I said, “Self, I will NOT purchase any used clothing.  If I find a GREAT (and I mean this has to be the deal of the century) deal on an item that is new with tags, I will THINK about making a purchase”.

Now, I have had my eye on Tory Burch flats for years, but would never dare pay $250 for  a pair.  Are you kidding?  They would be filled with a puddle in 30 seconds and I would cry because I practically gave my first born to pay for those shoes.  No, sir.  I eyed several pairs of NWT (new with tags) pairs of Tory Burch flats on Poshmark and even countered an offer, but no dice.  I stopped checking out the listings for a few days and out of the blue the former Roomie shoots me a text: “What do you think about these shoes on Poshmark?”.  Well, they’re used.  That was my thought.  Used shoes?  Then I took a look at them.  Sam Edelmans.  They looked BRAND NEW.  For $38.  Hmmm… you know, not everyone creates puddles while standing.  There just may be something to this.  I shot her a text back and said I don’t do used shoes, but they’re in amazing shape and you’ve wanted those shoes for a long time… buy the shoes.

Reluctantly, I opened my Poshmark app to take a look at new Tory Burch shoe listings.  There. They. Were.  “Used” Tory Burch flats in my beloved cognac color.  $100.  I thought “uh huh… bet those things look like they’ve been through WWIII”.  I took a look through the photos.  These things looked brand spanking new.  Ughhhh… ok.  I “liked” them.  A few hours after liking that pair I received an offer:  $75 with free shipping.  After selling a few pairs of jeans I’ll never fit in again, I have around $15 credit on Poshmark that I was considering just withdrawing for cash, but if I were to apply it to this purchase, these shoes would be about $60 even.  Not. Bad.  Alright, I don’t even know if these things will fit!  I decided to look at some reviews.  Most people complained that they’re snug and said to size up AT LEAST half a size.  I asked the seller what her opinion was.  She suggested looking at other reviews, but from her experience they fit very true to size.  Dang.  I give in.  Shoes ordered.  Anddddddd I wait.

The shoes shipped very quickly, were packaged with such care, and were absolutely perfect.  These shoes looked like they had been worn no more than once.  Indoors.  Such minimal wear on the sole, no scratches or visible wear on the leather, and so adorable.  Now, to see if they fit.  The moment of truth, y’all.  I put some no-show socks on so I don’t ruin the poor things within 5 seconds of trying them on with my puddle producing feet.

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Well, I do believe the reviews were correct.  They are snug.  After having babies my feet grew and never quite returned to their size 8 status.  They’re now more like an 8 1/2 almost 9 most days, so overall these aren’t too far off from true to size.  However, since they haven’t been broken in I’ll have to say, they just may be the most uncomfortable shoes I’ve ever worn. They darn near bruised my poor feet the first day I wore them. They are so stiff from not being broken in I think me and the Torys will need to spend some quality time while I’m home and wear them with some very thick socks to do some leather stretching. BUT… would it even matter if they were so small I couldn’t walk?  Nope.  They’re too darn cute!

After wearing them more they’ve stretched a significant amount.  I also don’t wear no-show socks with them any longer because I believe that may have been exacerbating the problem.  Exacerbating?  Did I just use that word?  I need a nap, guys…  I did, however, invest in a pair of Gekks.

What are Gekks you ask?  The most amazing no show socks EVER.  They are seriously life changing for flats, heels, and loafers.  I found them from a Facebook ad (don’t judge… I know you’re judging) and they were a little pricey, but with my sweaty feet problem I’m always willing to give options a try.  I have to say, they live up to the hype.  They have made my shoes so much more comfortable and I don’t feel like I’m completely ruining every pair of shoes I own.

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After being so used to my cheap Target flats I have to say these flats are VERY well made.  The leather is beautiful, the Tory Burch medallions add such a great touch of style without standing out too much, and they’ll go with literally anything. These were a great purchase at an even greater price.

So, of course after I found these I HAD to keep looking at Tory Burch shoes.  Well, I also found an adorable pair of Tory Burch wedges I had to have.  I got them for $40 and I know these have never been worn.  The soles are pristine and the canvas isn’t stretched or discolored in the slightest.

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You know, if you have great shoes, you then need other awesome accessories.  It’s kind of like “If you give a mouse a cookie” or “If you give a moose a muffin”.  Don’t pretend you don’t know those books… by the way, Amazon Prime Video has an “If you give a mouse a cookie” series, guys and it’s adorable.  Play it for your kids!  Ok… I digress.

Tory Burch earrings and a Kendra Scott necklace completed my collection nicely.  I have wanted a Kendra Scott necklace for a long time, but never really wanted to pay the (according to me) high price for something so simple.  They never go on sale, so I figured I was out of luck.  Until Poshmark!  I scored an Elisa necklace for $30.

When I started Poshmark I promised myself I wouldn’t purchase anything, let alone used shoes.  Well, I broke my promise.  Poshmark, you’ve made me a believer!

Llamas are the New Unicorns, Cacti are the New Floral

Llamas are the New Unicorns, Cacti are the New Floral

Man… times have changed.  I remember when unicorns were the “it” animal… or mythical creature… or whatever unicorns are.  They’re so fluffy I could DIE!  Anyway, it seems there is a new “it” animal to love: llamas.  I’m really not mad about it. In fact, the kid in me wants this backpack.   Like, really, really wants this backpack.  Who wouldn’t?  Those little llamas are just too cute.

llama backpack

And cacti?  When did this become a thing?  I mean, I know it’s been a thing for a while now, but when did we make the transition from floral and flower everything to cacti?  I have to say I definitely don’t hate it, though.  I remember online shopping for our oldest at Old Navy (because who has time to actually walk into the store???) last year in search of some cute shirts for church and coming across a coral button-up shirt with tiny little cacti and a denim skinny tie.

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Um, add to cart, please!  I thought it was SO different and unique.  Until I saw cacti EVERYTHING nearly a week later.  Oh well… at least I know I’m somewhere in the range of cool.  Maybe.  I also had to have this Kate Spade cactus necklace, because… cactus and Kate Spade, people (yes… Poshmark for $25… SCORE!).

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Uh, totes adorbs.  I know that’s no longer a thing, but I’m using it anyway…

Slow Cooker Creamy Tomato, Basil, and Parmesan Soup

Slow Cooker Creamy Tomato, Basil, and Parmesan Soup

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Photo Credit: Creme de la Crumb

More fall soup fun!  This is another easy slow cooker soup that pairs with nearly anything or can be served as an entrée.  It’s perfect for a crisp fall day.  This recipe comes from Creme de la Crumb-check out their original recipe here!

 

Ingredients

  • 2 15-ounce cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 10-ounce can tomato sauce
  • ¼ cup fresh basil, finely chopped
  • 3 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup frozen diced onion
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 2 cups shredded parmesan cheese

Roux

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 1 cup heavy cream OR half & half

Directions

  1. Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, and next 7 ingredients (through broth) to a slow cooker/crockpot. Cover and cook for 2 hours on high or 4-8 hours on low (if you are home, give it a stir every now and then and scrape down the sides).
  2. About 30-40 minutes before serving, thoroughly blend all ingredients in slow cooker using an immersion blender.  Alternately, blend ingredients in blender or food processor and return to crock pot.
  3. Prepare the roux. Begin by melting the butter in a medium sauce pan over medium heat.
  4. Add flour to melted butter and stir until flour clumps up. Slowly whisk in the heavy cream (or half & half) until mixture is thickened and smooth. Add roux and parmesan cheese to crockpot and stir to combine.
  5. Allow to cook another 20-30 minutes until cheese is completely melted. Give it a good stir before serving. Top with additional basil and parmesan cheese if desired.

There you have it-comfort food from scratch!  This is one of my favorite soup recipes because the soup is thick, has a rich flavor, but doesn’t make your stomach feel so heavy you’re miserable.  In the past I have served this soup in bread bowls (frozen Panera bread bowls are my go to-check to see if your local grocery store carries them here).  I have also paired this soup with paninis made on the George Foreman grill for an extra bit of crunch.  Any way you choose to serve this soup, it’s sure to be a hit!

 

Facebook Ads Are Officially Killing My Bank Account

Facebook Ads Are Officially Killing My Bank Account

I hate to admit it, but Facebook ads seriously suck me in.  Props to you, marketing geniuses.  I have fallen hook, line, and sinker for so many of your ads.  I’ll have to say I haven’t been duped… yet.  I’m sure my time is coming, but for now I’ve been very happy with purchases I’ve made after seeing a Facebook ad… for the most part.  I’ll dish on what products I’ve purchased (some for “free”… you guys, nothing is free… don’t fall for it… just know you’re paying SOMETHING, even if it’s disguised as “shipping”), if they were worth it, and if I’d consider them a worthwhile investment.

Several things I have bought because they were “free”.  We all know they’re not free, but honestly, paying $7.99 “shipping and handling” for a pair of leather baby moccasins is totally fine with me.  They were adorable, we got a lot of use out of them, and they were only $7.99, so that’s a win in my book.  I have also purchased “free” items such as an adorable bar necklace with a mama bear and two baby bears that says “Mama Bear” and a titanium rose gold ring that I paid $13.99 “shipping and handling” for.  Overall, the products have been cute and cheap, so no issues yet!

Some larger purchases I’ve made now (if you can even really consider them “large” purchases), are Force of Nature Cleaning SystemRitual multivitamins (which I also love), Shapermint shapewear (because… babies ruin your body…), and Gekks No Show socks (sweaty feet make it difficult to walk in heels, guys…).

I already shared my thoughts on Force of Nature and Ritual in previous posts (A Force to be Reckoned With and Maybe not a Ritual, But Definitely a Habit), but I’ll tell you how I feel about Shapermint and Gekks.

I ordered Shapermint shaper shorts and Gekks around the same time and they were both fairly slow to ship.  Well, that’s probably because I’m spoiled with Prime shipping, but hey… they were a little slower to arrive.  Anyways, I received my Shapermint Shaper Shorts first.  I opened them and was pretty excited to try them out, but a little confused by the packaging.  Nowhere on the paperwork did it say “Shapermint”, but it had a rather generic company name and generic packing slip.  Odd to say the least.  Well, they looked exactly like the photos in the listing on their website, so I figured, hey… if they work, whatever the tag says doesn’t matter.  They seemed very soft and that they might not be as prone to roll as other brands that I’ve tried and the short portion seemed to be forgiving enough to not cut into your thighs while wearing them.  I was immediately disappointed when I put them on.  They did nothing.  In fact, they seemed to be the completely wrong size because the “shaper” portion began nearly at my belly button or higher.  So, I figured maybe I could exchange them for the smaller size.  By the way, I did check their sizing chart and for my measurements I ordered the “correct” size.

 

After emailing Shapermint customer service because I couldn’t find any possible way to request a return or exchange, I received an email response in less than 24 hours saying that since mine did not fit they would ship a replacement in a smaller size and to keep the ones I have.  KEEP them?  Really?  Sweeeeeeet.  So, to Poshmark they went.  I was able to sell them in about a week or so for almost what I paid, so I was a happy camper.

Now, about the replacements… not so happy of a camper after receiving them.  Even the smaller size did nothing except make me look worse than before I put them on.  Is it possible for a shaper to make you look LARGER?  Yeah… not cool.  I don’t know that it was necessarily the size, but maybe that they just didn’t have any shaping quality to them whatsoever.  The shorts portion was extremely long and again the shaper portion started at the belly button.  I’m guessing I may just be too darn short for these shapers.  Story of my life… always too short.

Well, I will say that their customer service absolutely rocks.  They didn’t even make me return the pair that didn’t fit and sent a new smaller pair very quickly.  So, two thumbs up for customer service, two thumbs down for their product.

Gekks.  You guys.  These are LIFE CHANGING for someone like me who has puddles in their shoes within five minutes.  I love ballet flats, but I seriously destroy every pair I own because of my sweaty feet.  Well, Gekks have seemingly changed all that.  I haven’t tried them in heels yet, but I bought a pair for flats and heels and I’m sure the pair for heels will work just as well as those designed for flats.

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I am very happy with my Gekks and I say spring for them-they’re totally worth it.  They have sticky heels and bottoms, so they don’t slide and stay in place, but the toe of the “sock” is very stretchy so they fit perfectly.  I don’t even notice they’re in my shoes except that my shoes are instantly more comfortable because of them.  Buy them.  They’re awesome.

So, hats off to you, Facebook ad planters… you win.  What Facebook products have you been suckered into trying?  Let me know in the comments and make me feel better about my purchases 😉

Easy Slow-Cooker Cheesy Potato Soup

Easy Slow-Cooker Cheesy Potato Soup

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Photo Credit: Betty Crocker

You can’t get any easier than this recipe.  You don’t even have to chop potatoes… or onion!  What makes this recipe so great is the leftovers may just taste even better than the first time.  Oh, and it has bacon… who doesn’t like bacon???  I modified Betty Crocker‘s recipe to create this simple set-it-and-forget-it soup recipe.  Check out the original here!

 

Ingredients

  • 1 bag (32 oz) frozen southern-style diced hash brown potatoes, thawed
  • 1/2 cup frozen chopped onion (from 12-oz bag), thawed
  • 1 medium stalk celery, diced (1/2 cup)
  • 1 carton (32-oz) chicken broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 bag (8 oz) shredded American-Cheddar cheese blend (2 cups)
  • 1/4 cup crumbled bacon (more or less according to taste)
  • 4 medium green onions, sliced (1/4 cup)

Directions

  1. In slow cooker, mix potatoes, onion, celery, broth and water.

  2. Cover; cook on Low heat setting 6 to 8 hours.
  3. In small bowl, mix flour into milk; stir into potato mixture. Increase heat setting to High. Cover; cook 20 to 30 minutes or until mixture thickens. Stir in cheese until melted. Garnish individual servings with bacon and green onions. Sprinkle with pepper if desired.

This is a recipe I typically make when I don’t know what to make or when I have nothing in the house to put together for a meal.  I don’t typically keep celery on hand, so if I happen to not have any on hand, I simply omit it.  I also don’t typically have an American-Cheddar blend cheese in the fridge, so I use whatever we happen to have.  Colby-Jack and mild Cheddar have been favorites of mine in this recipe.  I also omit green onion if I don’t have it.

Wait for a crisp, fall day and fill up on this one!

Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Soup with Maple Bacon

Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Soup with Maple Bacon

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Photo Credit: Real Food & Ice Cream

Fall is coming… I repeat, FALL IS COMING!  Soup is one of my favorite things to make because it’s easy, filling, and makes great leftovers.  When the autumn air starts rolling in this recipe is a must have.  I found this recipe over at Real Food & Ice Cream.  Check out the original recipe here!  I made a few changes to the original to make things a little quicker and easier on a weeknight.

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
  • ½ cup yellow onion, chopped (I use frozen diced onion to speed up the process a bit and… NO CHOPPING!)
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 cup milk
  • 6 slices bacon, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons pure maple syrup

Directions

  1. Since bacon will be served with this soup, make bacon prior to serving by pan frying or microwaving the desired amount of bacon.
  2. Put the sweet potatoes, onion, chicken broth, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg in the slow-cooker. Cook for 4 hours on high or 8 hours on low, until the sweet potatoes are soft.
  3. Add the milk to the slow-cooker and puree until smooth using an immersion blender, set aside on warm. Alternatively, blend in batches in a blender.
  4. Ladle the soup into bowls (about 1-1/2 cups each) and top with maple syrup and crumbled bacon.

 

An Ode to the Automobile: A Mom’s Permanent Residence and Sanctuary

An Ode to the Automobile: A Mom’s Permanent Residence and Sanctuary

As a kid my mom drove me EVERYWHERE.  And, sometimes nowhere… we liked music and if a good song was on (i.e. Sk8r Boi, Bye Bye Bye, anything by Nelly…), why on earth would we pull into the driveway to interrupt it???  Until now I never realized how many hours my mom probably spent chauffeuring us around as kids.

As my oldest has been in preschool a little over a year now I feel like all I do is haul tiny tushes somewhere.  He’s four.  Why do I feel like I’m running around like a crazy person when he’s only four?!  Now, don’t get me wrong, I am more than happy to take him to and from preschool, to grandma’s while I work, to soccer, to tee ball, to church activities, but dang.  Four.  Years.  Old.  What will this be like when he’s… I don’t know 14?

I dropped him off at preschool one day, pulled into our driveway and into our garage, and sat there for a moment in the silence (other than the sound of raspberries our youngest had been blowing continually the entire way home) and looked around my car.  I had a real life smell the roses moment.

I realized how much rushing I do every day.  I rush to get our youngest up and fed, rush to get them both dressed and ready, rush to get our oldest to school or to my parents’ house while I’m at work, rush to a sport, rush to church, or rush to wherever we happen to be going, but what do I do while we’re IN the car?  I remember having conversations with my parents in the car, listening to music, and sometimes just driving around just because.  I take the little things for granted most of the time like actually being able to afford a car to rush around in.  My car is dirty, dusty, has more Cheerios crushed on the floor and stored in the booster seat than I can count, has extra diapers, wipes, and formula stored in front of the carseat, a giant stroller taking up the whole cargo space, lawn chairs for soccer or tee ball taking up the remaining space of the cargo, a soccer ball, some snacks in the seat back, and more than likely a Starbucks straw wrapper or two somewhere in the front.

I looked around at the dust, clutter, and the sweet little baby in the back seat and thought to myself about how lucky I really am.  We have a car.  We have extra diapers, formula, and wipes to keep in the car.  We have a stroller and chairs to clutter up the cargo area.  Heck, we have a cargo area.  We live in a community where we can safely take our child to play soccer and tee ball and to an amazing, loving church.

In my messy, dusty car I realized how little I thank God for the simple things and look around and soak it all in.  Sometimes it’s great to appreciate the fact that we have things to be messy or days to be hectic.  So moms, enjoy your messy car sanctuary.  It’s proof that you drive your kids to and from activities they love, to and from families that love them, and to and from making memories together-even if it’s messy and chaotic.  Rock that messy car, momma.  It shows you love your family and spend time with them.  Time goes too fast-embrace it.

By the way… the day after I wrote this my husband cleaned out the ENTIRE car.  How’d he know?!  I must’ve been sending out dirty car vibes 😉