Tunics in Spring are a Lovely Thing!

I received this tunic to review from Cents of Style. This post contains affiliate links.

I will freely admit that spring is not my favorite season, but there are still many things I love about it! I’m happy to say goodbye to wind chills and hello to spring rain. Icy roads can go away and make room for new growth. By this time of year, I’m also happy to put away the dark plaids and heavy sweaters in exchange for flowy, flowery, bright spring clothing!

While fall beats spring as the best season of all in my opinion, March is my favorite month. Our youngest son was born in March (8 days late – I think he just wanted a March birthday). St. Patrick’s Day is my favorite holiday. The Hubby and I started dating on March 17th. And tomorrow, on March 25th, I will turn 36 years old.

Yep, I just admitted my age on the internet and I feel no shame. At 36 years old, I feel more beautiful than ever. I am stronger, healthier, more confident, and, most of all, secure in who God made me to be. Part of this confidence has come from embracing my talents and personality. Another part has come from finding a style that fits me and my lifestyle. I don’t feel stuck in a box. I wear what I want – things that are modest, that work with my active lifestyle as a boy mom, and that help me feel beautiful.

Tunics have been one of those items for me. I can throw on a tunic with leggings or jeans, for every day or a date or church, dressed up or down – I always feel good in a tunic. And I have a new favorite tunic from Cents of Style:

The Staci V-Neck Babydoll Tunic is everything I want in a tunic – flattering, long, and available in lots of colors.

This steel gray is a great spring color because it has a hint of blue/purple and pairs perfectly with floral accents! I think I also need this tunic in the lovely olive color! I usually wear a size small in tops and this is a small in the Staci V-Neck Babydoll Tunic.

There is much reason to celebrate today because this tunic and another lovely tunic are on sale from Cents of Style for just $19.95 this weekend! Just use the code TOPSTORY to get your tunic – or many of them – for just $19.95 each + free shipping!

How do you like to wear your tunics? What are some of your other favorite spring styles?

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4 Additions to Your Day for Better Health!

This post was sponsored by Nature Made as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.

My life has completely changed since I started running five years ago. Before running, I only thought about my health when I was sick or when I wanted to lose weight. Now, taking care of my body is one of my top priorities. If I don’t keep myself healthy, all of the other important things in my life suffer – my family, my friendships, my ministry. Staying healthy is not a selfish thing for me. It is vital to me being the best wife, mom, friend, business owner, and more.

Most of us know that maintaining a healthy body includes eating right and exercising regularly. These are two very important components, but those two things alone aren’t enough. There are many other simple additions to your day that will maximize the health and performance of your body so you can keep up with your busy life!

just add water

How many of you are drinking 64 ounces of water a day? It might not be enough. You should actually be drinking half your weight (in pounds) and even more if you’s sweating during the day! Proper hydration will keep your body systems functioning at their best level!

just add stretching

Sore muscles don’t just need rest – they need to be stretched and massaged to prevent injury. Just as you make time to exercise, plan for recovery for your body as well. Since I added regular yoga, foam-rolling, and massage with a foot ball and massage stick, I’ve noticed that my legs are better able to bounce back after a hard workout. Stretching is also very relaxing, which is always good for my overall mood and health!

just add sleep

Never underestimate the power of a good night’s sleep. Sleep is your body’s chance to heal and recharge. YOU NEED SLEEP. I don’t know what your schedule is like – you may work late into the night or have to get up at the crack of dawn to take a child to a practice. Look at your life and find time for sleep. Set an alarm to tell you to go to bed, if needed!

just add vitamins

It is vital to your overall health to support, not sabotage, your immune system. Eating the right foods will help with this, as will vitamins and supplements. Choosing a vitamin like Nature Made® Immune Health: Vitamin C Softgels helps me stay at my best and keep up with my active lifestyle. I trust Nature Made® because of their commitment to quality as shown by being the #1 Pharmacist Recommended brand! You can find their vitamins and supplements at your local HyVee, like me, or other trusted retailers.

Nature Made® wants to help you stay motivated in making your health a priority, so they are partnering with Men’s and Women’s Health on Facebook to give you and your friends so many fun prizes! Visit the Nature Made® Facebook page through April 9th to find all the rules and enter giveaways for prizes including Blue Apron, Lululemon and Sephora gift cards, as well as FitBits and a one-year membership to Nature Box!

To top it all off, Nature Made® is giving away a SPA VACATION! This spa vacation grand prize includes a 4-day/3-night trip for two to the Red Mountain Resort in Ivans, UT – doesn’t that sound heavenly?! Through April 9th, you may enter for a chance to win the Grand Prize by visiting their sweepstakes page and clicking where indicated in order to complete and submit the registration form for one entry into the Grand Prize drawing! Do it now before you forget!

What will you add to your day to improve your health?

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“Love in a Box” + Embrace Grace

I received this product from Embrace Grace in exchange for a review. This post is part of the FrontGate Blogger Network.

In a time where there is lots of division, arguing, name-calling, and finger-pointing, I am always looking for things that are lovely and wonderful to share with you! Today, I want to introduce you to Embrace Grace.

Embrace Grace is a non-profit organization working to provide support in practical, emotional, and spiritual ways for young women who are experiencing unintended pregnancies. They partner with churches to train and equip them to be a safe, non-judgmental place these young moms and their families. It is a beautiful thing to see this kind of loving support system being spread throughout churches and Embrace Grace is on the front lines!

I just love their “why” statement:

Most churches advocate life and discourage women from getting abortions, but once a brave and courageous girl chooses life, a lot of times the church then steps away and has nothing to offer her for support at that point. She is then left with nine months of being scared, worried and feeling alone. She journeys into a season of being a single mom without direction and guidance from a spiritual family. This is where the Body of Christ can minister to women who are desperately searching for a Savior. This is where we can speak into their lives and hearts that will have an impact for generations to come!

This beautiful necklace and journal really represent Embrace Grace well – they are pro-love for these young moms and want them to know they can make brave, strong choices because they are not alone!

Embrace Grace provides curriculum, resources, and training for churches, but they also have another cool initiative involving pregnancy centers.

“Love in a Box” is a box of hope-filled resources distributed to pregnancy centers to be passed along to a young, single woman with a positive pregnancy test. Each box includes a Fearless Journal and pen, a Bump in Life book, a baby onesie, testimonial letters from both girls that chose adoption and girls that chose to parent, an invitation to join an Embrace Grace group, and a Brave Girl letter that can be written by YOU!

I love what Embrace Grace is doing and I love how you and I can get involved with this wonderful ministry! Here are a few ideas:

  1. Start an Embrace Grace at your local church so young women with unplanned pregnancies have a support group.
  2. Partner with the Embrace Grace national organization through prayer and support!
  3. Download and print the brave girl letter and mail to the following address to be placed inside a Love in a Box: Embrace Grace, Inc., Attn: Love in a Box, 700 W. Bedford Euless Rd., Ste. G, Hurst, TX 76053

I am so thrilled to know of this kind of love and hope being spread around in the name of Christ. It is a chance for us to not just say we are pro-life, but to be the hands and feet of Jesus in supporting those lives!

One more thing: you can enter to win your very own journal and necklace from Embrace Grace! Just go to the giveaway page for your chance to win! Good luck!

Have you heard of Embrace Grace? Which resource in the box do you think is the most valuable for a young woman receiving it?

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Leprechaun Chase 10K Race Recap!

I received this tank top to review from Miles and Pace. I am an ambassador for PRO Compression. I was not compensated for this post and all opinions are 100% my own!

Oh, man! I haven’t done a race recap in so long and I’ve missed doing it, so watch out! I’m going to be catching up on some races from last year, but let’s start with my most recent one because it is SO MUCH FUN!

The Leprechaun Chase is a 10K right here in Nebraska that starts at the Strategic Air and Space Museum between Lincoln and Omaha and winds through the hills of Mahoney State Park. Yes, parts of Nebraska are hilly and we live in those parts!

If you’ve been around here for any length of time, you know that I am very proud of my Irish heritage and love all things related to Ireland, green, St. Patrick’s Day, etc. The Leprechaun Chase had been on my list to try for a while and I finally ran it for the first time last year with a friend. The race did not disappoint as people were DECKED OUT in everything green and wonderful.

This year was different because I decided to race the Chase. Even with the hills and unpredictable weather, I wanted to give it a shot. I’m currently training for my third full marathon, but my coach/husband worked in some great 10K specific workouts in the weeks leading up to this race.

Of course, choosing my race kit was a top priority. I landed on green, rainbows, and a pot o’ gold skirt!

Miles and Pace JUST came out with this fun St. Patrick’s Day-themed tank and sent me one to wear on race day! It is so fun and all the green items in their shop ship free this month when you use the code LUCKY at checkout! PRO Compression socks are a must for every race for me, but this was my first time wearing a Sparkle Athletic sparkle skirt and Shwings lightning bolts for a race! You CAN race hard AND have fun!

All the pre-race jitters and worries were present and the weather did not help. Early March in Nebraska can be snowy, rainy, stormy, icy, windy – you just never know. Race time weather ended up being warm – 73º – and windy. VERY windy. More on that later…

My goal for the day was to break 50:00. My previous official PR was 51:04, although that was on a course that was .28 miles long, so I knew I could easily beat that. I lined up with my friend Kim in the “Lasses” lane. At the Leprechaun Chase, the women start first and the men (Lads) start 5:30 later. They are literally chasing us down! If a woman comes in first, the lasses get free beer, and if a man comes in first, the lads get free beer.

I took off with the women at 4:00 PM. I am a morning runner, so the late afternoon start felt very weird, but I did a much better job of fueling and hydrating throughout the day this year, so it worked out ok. I started off strong because I knew the hills wouldn’t be so bad in the first few miles and it turned out the wind was mostly at our back for the first 3.5-4 miles.

Normally, I wouldn’t want my first mile to be my fastest of the race, but I’m glad it was this time around because it saved my overall time! My first three miles felt very strong at 7:40, 7:52, and 7:54. And I was still smiling!

Things got real in the middle of the fourth mile when you start making the climb back up all those lovely hills you just went down. Yikes. Mile 4 felt like the same effort as the previous miles, but came out as an 8:04/mi pace. It was a fight and it was about to get worse.

Let’s talk about the wind. We already established Nebraska is hilly, but it is also W-I-N-D-Y. It was especially windy this weekend. 25+MPH during the race. Not cool. I run in the wind and the hills often, but that combination during a race was rough. We turned into the wind around mile 4.5 and they didn’t let up the rest of the race.

This is all I remember from the last two miles – the bagpipes, trying to get my breathing under control, powering up hills and cursing them in my head, making sure I didn’t lose my footing on the short, but TOUGH, off-road uphill turn before mile marker 6, checking my watch three million times to see how close I was to breaking 50:00. Oh, and trying to will myself to not throw up.

Usually, seeing a milestone near the end is encouraging, but even after seeing the huge rocket in front of the museum, I knew I had one more hill to conquer before the end. I was pushing so hard but only running 8:04 and 8:06 for miles five and six, so I knew I needed one last kick to make sure I saw a 49 at the start of my time.

After passing mile marker #6 and getting to the top of that last hill, I was able to pull out a 7:17/mi pace to finish out the race and come in at 49:21 (official time)!

I was elated, but also TOTALLY DONE and had to lean on my hubby who was waiting at the finish line to keep myself from falling over. The “I’m going to throw up” feeling passed after a couple minutes and I was able to enjoy celebrating with our many friends who were also racing that day!

I am so proud of every single one of them and how hard they ran in those crazy conditions! I absolutely love sharing this love of running with my hubby and our close friends!

This was my first race as an ambassador for many wonderful running companies and I was proud to show them off – from socks to insoles to repping my favorite hydration solution on my arm!

And before we left for the day, we had to make a visit to the photo booth!

Please enjoy me making a fool of myself. You’re welcome.

If you’re wondering if you should sign up for the Leprechaun Chase next year, the answer is YES, but you better watch for the signup! This race sells out super fast every year. One way to guarantee being signed up for this two other great 10Ks is to do the BRIN Blackout which includes Leprechaun Chase, Cornfield Cornfield, and Harvest Moon Hustle. Watch for sign-up info from Pink Gorilla Events and BRIN Running Series in the fall!

Next race: the Omahalf, a brand new half marathon here in Omaha in April!

Thanks to the Leprechaun Chase for the free race photos! Why can’t every race do this?! It’s so great!

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We Built a House: The Basement

This post is sponsored by Nebraska Furniture Mart. We received products and a gift card as compensation.

We’re continuing home tour week today with a look at our basement! I did a Facebook Live video tour of the basement yesterday, but here’s a recap for you!

A finished basement was on our list of musts in the new house because we wanted a dedicated space for two things:

  1. Having guests stay with us
  2. Letting the kids play and be loud

It has been SUCH a blessing to have a space where the boys can wrestle, play games, and be loud and crazy without driving us all crazy! When we’ve had friends over, the kids and parents are all having fun in their own spaces and I LOVE IT.

The high ceilings in the basement are just perfect because it doesn’t feel closed in and dark. We have games, puzzles, Legos, and more for the kid to use and so far they’re keeping it pretty organized!

The furniture from our living room in the old house was just right for this basement family room space. Even with the coach, loveseat, chair, and ottoman, the space still feels wide open!

One new piece we needed in this family room was an entertainment center. The TV needed a higher spot than the low shelves we had previously and we needed storage for movies and game systems. My husband spotted this entertainment credenza and it was exactly what we wanted and needed at a very affordable price. He and my dad put it together that afternoon and I just love the look of it! There were SO many choices at Nebraska Furniture Mart, so whatever your style, you’ll find an entertainment center you love!

This kitchenette in the main basement area feels like a bonus to me – something I never thought of having, but it was in our builder’s plans, so we went with it. I’ve started to find great uses for it, such as a popcorn bar for the kids during our Super Bowl party! Of course, having this space required another refrigerator, so we picked out another LG fridge – much more basic than the one on the main level, but just right for the kitchenette. I love that it has an ice maker in the freezer, mainly for entertaining. We’ve also stocked it with water bottles and some healthy snacks for guests or for the kids if they get hungry or thirsty while playing.

It’s really hard to get a good picture of these smaller rooms, like the bathrooms, pantry, etc., but I wanted to give you a little peek at our guest bathroom. The Hubby had the grand idea of making the guest bathroom a nicer space for our guests with a nice glass shower door and tiled walls.The bathroom is a lot more open than many basement bathrooms and I LOVE how it turned out!

Last, but not least, is the guest bedroom. Yes, it is super basic right now, but it has a bed and space for guests to stay, so I’m rejoicing in that right now! The furniture in the guest room is part of our bedroom set from when we got married. I believe this was our first Nebraska Furniture Mart purchase and it has held up so well over the past 14 years! I’m glad it still has a place in our home even though we’ve moved up to a king-size bed – watch for that in our next home tour post on the bedrooms!

I did leave one room out in the basement – the exercise room. As runners, this was an important room for us to add into the floor plan to house our treadmill, weights, yoga mats, and more. We’ve already made good use of the space, but I want to get it all finished up before I share it here with you. It might be a while since we’re waiting on getting a new treadmill, but you can get a sneak peek at what it looks like now in my Facebook Live video from yesterday!

We still two posts to go in our home tour – the bedrooms (upstairs) and my office! Tomorrow (Thursday, February 23), I will do a Facebook Live about the upstairs, so join me over on my Facebook page for that fun! See you there!

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We Built a House: The Main Floor

This post is sponsored by Nebraska Furniture Mart. We received products and a gift card as compensation.

It’s about time I shared a house tour, right?! Before I dive in, here’s a little background on this “we built a house” story:

When The Hubby took a job here after residency, we knew we wanted to move into something with a little more room as our “forever” house. We wanted a large, open concept main floor and a guest bedroom, plus a basement for the kids to enjoy. We looked around at houses for sale here and there, but we didn’t find what we wanted, so we started to explore the option of building.

Last spring, we toured a few models and fell in love with a two-story home. It didn’t have a guest bedroom in the basement, but we were able to add it into the plans, and by April 2016, we were picking out lots. That process took FOREVER so I’ll spare you those details (mostly because I don’t want to relive it). Finally, in July 2016, we broke ground and the building began.

Someday I’ll go into a VERY LENGTHY post about building a house, but today is not that day. For now, I’ll just say that I felt like we were making decisions nonstop from July through December. ALL THE DECISIONS. But it was totally worth it, because when we moved in on December 30, 2016, we moved into our dream home.

Today, I’m sharing with you the main floor. Two disclaimers:

  1. I am NOT a designer or master decorator in any way. You will never see me featured on a home decor blog and I am JUST FINE with that. Our home fits us and that’s exactly how I want it. There are still some blank walls that need art or photos – I’ll get there eventually!
  2. I’m not showing you the office…yet. I’m finishing up a few last details and hope to have it ready by later this week. It was the last room to get any attention!

Welcome to our home!

This is what you first walk into when you enter our home. Everything is open on the main level (except for the bathroom and office) and it has been absolute heaven for this girl who loves to entertain and have everyone in the space without feeling cramped.

We had this table as our main dining table in our previous home and it fits this space right by the entry perfectly. I can’t really call this a “formal dining” room because we use it for so much more than that – space for coloring and puzzles and games and yes, sometimes eating! We chose to switch out the carpet for more hardwood in this area and I’m super glad we did. Also, I’m in love with that light fixture.

With two living rooms in this house, we needed another set of furniture, so we went to our second home, Nebraska Furniture Mart. We ended up with this fabulous couch (similar) and a matching loveseat (similar), which both recline. We basically all want to be in this living room all the time. It just feels so warm and cozy.

While at Nebraska Furniture Mart, we were also searching for a table for the breakfast nook and a little extra storage for the main level. We found a table we loved and this matching sideboard called our name. It has been the perfect room divider and storage place for cookbooks, vases, and even some decks of cards.

How beautiful is the matching table?! It is a counter height table with six chairs, so the five of us eat dinner here nightly and love it. I often sit here for bible study or planning in the morning while eating breakfast because I love all the natural light!

And that brings me to the room that has my heart and soul…

The kitchen. Excuse me while I happy sigh as I have a million times since we moved in.

The gorgeous quartz countertops. The huge island where I can prepare food while the kids eat or do homework on the other side. The beautiful vent hood. The slow-close drawers, including a drawer for the trash cans. THE POT FILLER. I could go on and on because I adore this space.

The double wall ovens. The walk-in pantry. That fabulous fridge. I’m telling you – picking a fridge is not easy, but Nebraska Furniture Mart employees were so very helpful in narrowing down our choices and getting us the best deal. Hint: buying appliances in November is a VERY good idea. Thank you, Black Friday deals. There’s a sneak peek at my office through that pocket door. I can’t wait to have it all done to share with you!

Did you see these bar stools peeking out, too? We tried to keep our old bar stools, but they were just a little too high (and pretty beat up), so we found these beauties at Nebraska Furniture Mart – where else? Since the kids will be sitting on these the most, we had them try sitting on several options, including some fabric, some with backs, and some that spin (NO, THANK YOU). In the end, these wide saddle-like wooden stools were a favorite for all of us. Sturdy, comfortable, and good-looking is a win in my book!

Around that corner is our mudroom/drop zone and a powder room. It is a life-saver to have that space for backpacks, shoes, coats, and more, as well as a bathroom on the main level.

I love every part of this home we built, but this main floor is a dream. I have loved being here with our family and welcoming people in. Baking, watching football, playing games, pizza + movie nights, fellowship with friends – everything we love fits perfectly in this space.

Throughout this week, I’ll be sharing more house tours here on the blog, but also on Facebook Live! Join me today at 11:30 AM CST for the first live tour over on my Home with the Boys Facebook page and stay tuned for the times for the rest of the week!

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Three Ways to Wear a Floral Skirt

I received this skirt to review from Cents of Style. This post contains affiliate links.

Let me tell you this: I haven’t always been a floral girl. Sure, as a child, I had cute flower-covered Easter dresses made by my mom. My sister and I were even matching. But as I got older, I strayed from floral prints for quite a while because they were just TOO girly for me.

Then I had three sons. There were no flowers or girly things in sight. As I was dressing my boys in blue, red, and black, I started to crave more of the feminine things for myself – curling my hair, putting on makeup, and yes, florals. I now have floral-patterned shirts, tunics, and skirts in my closet and have just the little girly touch I need in my house of boys.

I don’t want to jinx anything, but our weather has been quite heavenly this week and I think it’s safe to say spring is in the air! There’s no better way to celebrate this spring-like weather than by breaking out all the floral skirts! Cents of Style had the same idea and put all their floral skirts on sale today! Grab your favorite – floral or pencil, super soft, sizes S-3X – for just $19.95 + free shipping when you use the code FLORALSTORY this weekend!

This adorable mint floral skirt is included in the sale and I’ve styled three different ways to celebrate this fabulous weather!

comfy casual

Floral skirts don’t always have to be fancy. Throw on a graphic tee and your favorite Converse for a comfortable every day floral look!

mixing patterns

I tend to get nervous when someone mentions pattern mixing, but this skirt eased my fears. Black-and-white stripes and black flats make this a great Sunday best outfit!

sweet + sassy

Gosh, I love a good floral skirt with cowboy boots. The denim jacket and bold tee layered together help you stay warm on a cool early spring date night!

However you like your floral skirts, this Cents of Style sale is for YOU! Use the code FLORALSTORY all weekend to get your favorite skirts for just $19.95 + free shipping!

Are you a floral skirt girl? How would you choose to wear yours?

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My Son’s Favorite Hand Soap (And How to Get It Free!)

This post contains affiliate links.

Weird title, I know, but that’s what I’m hear to tell you about today.

Last month, as we were settling into our new house (tour coming very soon), I received my latest Grove Collaborative order. In this order was a new Mrs. Meyer’s hand soap we hadn’t tried before – Lavender. I wasn’t sure how I would feel about the smell, but I ordered it because the packaging would look good in our house full of grays.

When it arrived (along with some other household favorites), I knew the color would be perfect and was ready to put it next to my kitchen sink, but then our oldest son let me know he didn’t have any hand soap in his bathroom. I gave it up to him and left it at that since I still had the Apple Cider Mrs. Meyer’s hand soap at my kitchen sink from the fall (I miss fall).

Just a couple weeks later, I was getting ready to place my next Grove Collaborative order and thought to ask him how the soap was working. His response totally surprised me:

“Oh Mom, I LOVE that soap. It smells SO good!”

Not at all what I expected from my ten-year-old son as he has never commented on the smell of soap before, but what a happy surprise! His response was what convinced me to keep that Lavender Mrs. Meyer’s hand soap in my cart AND add the Lavender dish soap to my order, as well! Once I smelled it, I was convinced: everybody needs a little Lavender Mrs. Meyer’s in their home.

Here’s the good news for you – you can get your own Mrs. Meyer’s hand soap FREE! And if you’re a new Grove Collaborative customer, you can get even MORE free right now!

When you try Grove now and and place your first order of $20, here’s what you’ll get:

  • Free Mrs. Meyer’s Hand Soap
  • Free Mrs. Meyer’s Dish Soap
  • Free Grove Collaborative Kitchen Towel
  • Free Grove Collaborative Walnut Scrubber Sponges
  • Free Shipping & 60 Day VIP Trial

Already a Grove customer? They’ll add a Mrs. Meyer’s hand soap to your next order for free. Just click here!

The free 60 day VIP trial is especially convenient. VIPs get free shipping, which makes it easy to keep your home stocked up on essentials from favorite brands like Mrs. Meyer’s, Seventh Generation, and Method. Plus you’ll get free gifts, price matching, exclusive sales, and extra-fast customer service.

Go grab your kitchen essentials kit now — supplies are limited and this offer ends February 12. Here’s how it works:

  1. Sign up for Grove Collaborative here. You will receive the Kitchen Essentials Set for free when you sign up!
  2. Answer 4 quick questions about your home that Grove Collaborative will then use to customize your first basket — this takes under 30 seconds!
  3. Once you’ve answered the questions, you can finalize your basket of products to suit your household needs by adding or removing items.
  4. To receive this offer, your order needs to be a minimum of $20. Choose the combination of products and scents you love and receive in your first box.
  5. You made it! Click Finish & Pay and place your order.

That’s it! We hope you love the Lavender as much as my son does, but if Lavender isn’t your thing, there are plenty of other wonderful, natural scents to chose from!

Are you a Mrs. Meyer’s fan? Which scent is your favorite?

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The True Story of the Three Little Pigs at The Rose!

I attended a complimentary preview of this show at The Rose Theater.

The Rose Theater is an Omaha treasure. The Rose puts on the most wonderful children’s theater performances and our family enjoyed everything about it last year! The talent is top notch, the stories are unique and fun, and the whole family can enjoy the music, humor, and beautiful theater atmosphere.

I really didn’t think I could love The Rose more, but then yesterday happened. They took one of my very favorite children’s books and performed as a musical. I died from happiness. And now I’m sharing it with you.

First, please tell me you and your children have read The True Story of the Three Little Pigs by Jon Scieszka. If not, I’ll wait while you go order it from Amazon or request it from your library. Go ahead. No, really. Do it.

I fell in love with this brilliant children’s book as a child and I still have so much of it memorized. Scieszka cleverly tells the the story of the three little pigs from the wolf’s perspective. It is just delightful.

Take that delightfully clever story, add 60s-style clothes and music, and involve the audience in the performance as the jury for the Big Bad Wolf’s trial, and that is the magic we witnessed at The Rose yesterday! The five-member ensemble cast took us on a captivating journey into the courtroom of Judge Juris Prudence (HA!) where the Mr. Wolf is getting a not-so-fair trial from the pig-biased judge and prosecutor.

The little man and I had so much fun following the story of Alexander T. Wolf (left) as told by courtroom reporter Lillian McGill (right). These two are rockstars, with amazing voices, great dance moves, and lots of hilarity! Lil McGill keeps the audience engaged and informed throughout so they can decide what will happen to Al in the end – is Mr. Wolf guilty or not guilty? The kids went crazy when they got to chime in and celebrated as the cast sang about their verdict – NOT GUILTY! The fun part – each show could end differently based on what the audience decides!

The show is recommended for families of children ages six and up, but my 4.5 year old loved it, too! The show is approximately 60 minutes long without an intermission.

The True Story of the Three Little Pigs at the Rose Theater runs January 27 through February 12, with performances on Fridays at 7 pm, Saturdays at 2 pm and 5 pm, and Sundays at 2 pm. Tickets are $20. Discount ticket vouchers are available at all area Hy-Vee stores. Members of The Rose receive four free tickets to the production.

I have FOUR TICKETS TO GIVE AWAY today!

That’s right! One of you will win four tickets to the show of your choice (based on availability)! Just leave a comment below answering this question: Do you think Alexander T. Wolf, aka The Big Bad Wolf, is GUILTY or NOT GUILTY of intentionally killing the piggies? Do you think you’ll change your mind once you hear HIS side of the story?

You can also earn extra entries by sharing this post on Facebook and Twitter!

CLICK HERE TO TWEET THIS >> The True Story of the Three Little Pigs is at @RoseTheaterCo! Win 4 tickets from @homewiththeboys!

Just leave an extra comment for each way you share the post on social media! This giveaway runs through Monday, January 30th at 8PM CST. One winner will be chosen at random and notified via email.

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The True Story of The Three Little Pigs is sponsored by Children’s Hospital & Medical Center, Nebraska Furniture Mart, Baird Holm, the Nebraska Arts Council and the Nebraska Cultural Endowment. Special opening night activities are sponsored by Kiewit Companies.

SPECIAL NOTE: The 2 pm show on Saturday, Feb. 4 will be interpreted for people who are deaf or hard of hearing; the 5 pm show on Saturday, Feb. 4 is designated as sensory-friendly, with special accommodations made for families attending with a child on the autism spectrum. The 2 pm show on Saturday, Feb. 11 will include audio description services for audience members who are blind. Contact The Rose Box Office at (402) 345-4849 for more information.

The Ultimate Guide to Brain Breaks eBook

A Sock Love Story: Featuring Me + PRO Compression!

Once upon a time, a runner put on her first pair of compression socks after a long run and fell in love at first wear. As her husband says, it was like “a hug for her legs.” She wore her one pair of black compression socks for recovery during training for her first marathon, but that just wasn’t enough. She added a few pairs to her collection and started wearing them during her runs, too. She saw improvements in her running and recovery and she had way too much fun pairing socks with outfits, especially for races!

Ok, enough of the third person…

I think you get the picture: I really love my compression socks. One brand has won me over with their great product, fabulous designs, and winning attitude all over social media. I’m talking about PRO Compression, which shouldn’t be a surprise if you follow me on Instagram or anywhere else! I’m super excited to announce today that I’ve been chosen to be a PRO Compression Ambassador for 2017!

There are plenty of studies that show the positive effects of compression socks, including combatting muscle soreness and fatigue and speeding up recovery. On top of that, PRO Compression features moisture-wicking fabric (to prevent blisters) and true graduated compression (the amount of compression decreases as the distance to the heart decreases to aid circulation).

The scientific reasons are great, but let’s talk about the designs. I already own many, many pairs, but I want every new one they release because they are FABULOUS. I currently have at least five more pairs on my wish list. PRO Compression also releases a Sock of the Month each month, so I know I’ll be coveting another pair once February 1st hits!

What does me being a PRO Compression Ambassador mean for you? I’ll be sharing the Sock of the Month each of the month, along with special discounts, race meet-ups, and more both here and on social media! Stay tuned because it is going to be an AWESOME year! Whether you’re training for a marathon or on your feet all day as a nurse, doctor, teacher, etc., compression socks are for YOU!

Do you wear compression socks? Own any PRO Compression? What are your favorite designs? (The Gibblers – the rainbow ones shown above – are a must have, in my opinion!)

The Ultimate Guide to Brain Breaks eBook