My Fall Bucket List

I absolutely love the fall season! The brisk mornings, warm afternoons and beautiful foliage. What is not to love!

Check out my fall bucket list!


What’s on your fall bucket list?


Mean Green Outside: Use the Super Strength Cleaner and Degreaser to tackle tough outdoor and DIY projects


At least twice a year we host family and friends in our outdoor space for birthday parties. A few short weeks ago we wrapped up Tallen’s fifth birthday party. Currently, we are planning for Trace’s third birthday (Halloween costume) party.

One of the largest tasks when preparing for parties is cleaning.  And I’ll be the first to admit, our outdoor space and furniture can get pretty disgusting. (I’m really bad about leaving it outside all year round.)

As I had mentioned a few blog posts ago, my husband and I have always used the Mean Green product line and we have had a great experience using it outdoors, especially on our lawn furniture.

Up-cycled Patio Furniture 

Simply spray your item(s). In this case they were my lawn chairs, deck chairs and table and let the Mean Green Super Strength Cleaner and Degreaser set for a few minutes. After a few moments, wipe the product and grime off with a damp rag. Yes, it’s that simple and yes, this product delivers.

The Mean Green product line has always met my expectations and always gives me great results. You can bet your bottom dollar, I will be reaching for my Mean Green products again for Trace’s birthday party at the end of October!

Have you tried the Mean Green product line?

Learn more at Mean Green

Disclosure: I was sent Mean Green Products to review and was compensated for my time to write this post. All opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way.


Planning for a Birthday Party

Two weekends ago we hosted family and friends for Tallen’s fifth birthday party. Hosting birthday parties can seem like an overwhelming task, but a little preparation can go a long way!

Here are some tips and tricks on how to throw a birthday party your little one will remember.

4-6 Weeks Before

  • Choose a date/time/location
  • Select a theme/invitations
  • Mail/send invitations
  • Menu

2 Weeks Before

  • Create a to-do and grocery list
  • Delegate tasks
  • Select bakery and order dessert
  • Purchase decorations/centerpieces
  • Reserve special items; photographer, inflatable, etc.

1 Day Before

  • Prepare food items
  • Pick up items from the bakery
  • Clean the party area
  • Decorate

Birthday Party

  • Set the desert/treat table
  • Cook/reheat food items
  • Greet your guests
  • Party!

Post Party

  • Mail/send Thank You Cards




Lessons Learned in the First Month of PreK

Well, it has been officially one month since Tallen started pre-kindergarten. That is almost hard to believe, but we have made it and are quite adjusted. With any new parenting adventure, you can always expect bumps in the road. Here are three lessons we learned as we navigated this new transition.

Prepare Younger Siblings – We did not prepare our younger son, Trace for Tallen’s start of pre-kindergarten. Honestly, we were so focused on Tallen and school that we ignored him. Sad, but true. Our boys are two years apart, and Trace has been attending daycare with Tallen since he has been born. He had anxiety. He cried in the mornings on the way to daycare asking where his brother was. He had diarrhea. He would run to Tallen’s room when I would come to pick him up, only to realize Tallen was not there. He was pitiful. It was hell. We were not prepared.

I would highly recommend preparing younger siblings. Talk to them. Make an extra fuss over them. Include them. Reassure them.  I am not sure what the solution is, but do not ignore them and how the change could potentially affect them. We failed miserably!

Embrace the Village – My husband and I are fortunate that my mother in law teaches at the elementary school Tallen attends. At first I felt bad that she was bringing Tallen home from school. I have a hard time accepting help, however, I am accepting the help and embracing the village – well maybe not quite a village, but you know what I mean!

Anxiety – It is alright to feel anxious. For years I thought I would be happy when Tallen went to public (free) pre-kindergarten, especially having two in daycare. But, I was wrong again! I was nervous that his class size was essentially tripling. I was nervous about him eating lunch. I was worried about older students. I was worried that I did not know the teacher(s) or parents. I was nervous and worried about everything. Like I said, it is alright to experience those feelings and eventually they will subside

What was your experience sending your first child to pre-kindergarten?

What tips would you share to help ease the transition?

I Did Something I Have Never Done Before

Today I did something I have never done before. I hired a house keeping service to clean our home. Typically, I make an honest effort to maintain a clean home – I don’t do well in chaos and I can always hear my grandmother saying, “Cleanliness is next to Godliness.”

HOWEVER, in the last month, things have gotten away from me. To tell the truth, I became so overwhelmed with my Six Sigma Certification for work, a lot of things had “gotten away.”

I kept telling myself, after this certification/exam is over I’m going to work on x, y and z, but let’s get real, it did not happen! After a week of procrastinating and my son’s upcoming birthday party this weekend (the pressure was on) I decided to call in the professionals. It took a lot for me to ask for help. For starters, I felt ashamed. How can I not keep my own home maintained? Isn’t that my “job” as a wife and mother? Second, I could not get past the presumption that cleaning services were for the “rich.” And hell, we are far from rich! Who do I think I am getting a “house keeper?”


The expectations we face oftentimes are unrealistic. As mothers we face so many pressures. Pressures we place on ourselves and pressures that society places on us. We are expected to bring home the bacon – well at least some of the bacon, fry it up, and clean up the frying pan. It’s too much.

Our homes should look like a spread in Southern Living. Our children dressed as if they could be in a Gap advertisement. Our husbands out of Brooks Brothers and us Mommies, like we walked off the runways of New York Fashion Week. Again, too damn much!


Today I did something I have never done before. Something that goes beyond hiring a house keeping service. I made the choice to stare unrealistic expectations in the face. I made the choice to ask for help. Perhaps this will be the beginning of me asking for help.

What unrealistic expectations do you face as a Mom? Won’t you ask for help?