Cookie Exchange Guide

Happy Hump Day and last day of November!  It’s so hard to believe tomorrow marks the beginning of December and I already feel like the holiday season will be over before we know it – which if you know me… makes me so sad!

In the mean time, I’m trying to soak in as much holiday as I can 🙂 I’ve  mentioned before and I’ll probably mention it like 10 more times BUT I’m hosting a cookie exchange party next Friday night and can’t wait!  I’ve started to make lots of lists and DIY projects to prepare and thought I’d share the few things on my list!


  • Invites: First and foremost – making cute invites!  I’ll show you mine after I share the event but I just made my own! So simple and there’s a lot of free templates on google! I love getting fun snail mail compared to just bills #adultlife so I made sure to mail these instead of just email!
  • Cookies: This is a given – I can’t wait to indulge a bit – who am I kidding?! I want to eat them allll! I indicated on the invite that everyone should bring 4 dozen of their cookies and email me a copy of the recipe about a week before so I can compile them all for everyone to take home
  • Prizes & Gifts:  I have a gift for everyone to take home at the end of the party and a gift for the best cookie (everyone will vote after trying them all!)
  • Holiday Games: I have a few in mind and I hope all the girls love them too – think Family Feud and a Christmas song game – I have a running list of songs but need a lot for it so if you have some favorites, let me know!
  • Appetizers & snacks: This is a must for me because I love to eat 🙂 And we’ll need something to balance all those cookies!  I don’t think we’ll end up eating too many though so that everyone has lots to take home! Those hubbies and boyfriends want to reap some benefits of this party!
  • Drinks: I’m planning to make a big batch of crock-pot hot cocoa and of course, I’ll have some alcoholic drink options as well – #givemeallthewine
  • Festive Photo booth: This isn’t necessarily a must but if you know me (which all these girls do obv) then you know I am all about pictures so any chance I can get to make a photo booth, I’m in!  It’ll be my first one ever to tackle but I can’t wait to bring out some creativity… or if all else fails – the props will be funny
  • Holiday Jammies: I am all about comfort and Christmas #duh so I thought it would be fun to play some Hollywood Game Night games (holiday style) in our jammies

  • Decorations: This  shouldn’t be too hard since we already have our tree up and all the decor but just in case you’re not in the full festive mood – make a DIY tassel garland and you’ll be set 🙂 Or if you don’t want to make it – you can order one here or lots of other places too!
  • Fun friends:  Another given but make sure you gather up all your fun gals for this night because it’ll be a few hours of fun and hopefully can be turned into an annual event!

Are any of you planning a fun holiday party?! If so, anything I’m missing from my list?! Hope you’re having an easy week adjusting back to work – seriously though, can I just be a stay at home dog mom?! I think I’d love that job until kiddos come 🙂 Anyone with me on that?!


Weekend Wrap Up

I know I just had a four day weekend but seriously… How is it Monday already?  I need more days off.  Anyone with me on that one?  Thankfully, it’s only a four day work week this week.. Chicago on Friday!

Anyway… onto how our first Thanksgiving as a married couple went  🙂

We celebrated Thanksgiving with my side of the family so on Thursday morning we loaded up the car and dogs and headed to my Mama’s in Eau Claire.


We went to my Grandma’s and enjoyed lots of food, football and games!

After that – my Mama, Sister and I hit the stores!


Clearly we were a little exhausted!  We loved Bath and Body Works’ renovated store!!


We shopped until we dropped… or until we decided we were ready for more wine and more food.

The next morning we played the game Loaded Questions and it was such a funny game!! If you haven’t played before – you need to! But it’s not necessarily G rated so beware who you play it with 🙂


Oh yeah.. and made a Starbucks run, of course!

The puppies reaped some benefits from Starbucks as well with their favorite – pupaccinos!

Destin got one too but he was in the backseat 🙂

After our game and breakfast – we set out for more shopping because #duh.


Back seat riding with this cute little mini-me of mine 🙂


We were a little tired after so much shopping! And somehow got free massages! #winning


My brother was a little bit over it… per usual 🙂


We headed back home on Friday night and did a whole lot of couch sitting – and Stranger Things watching! I get it.. we’re way late to the game but we definitely got into it!

Saturday, we ran a few errands and started our Thanksgiving feast as a married couple.  The hubs loves to cook so he was so excited to cook a huge little feast for us two!



It was so good! And another reason I’m thankful for that sweet husband of  mine!

Oh yeah.. and we finished Stranger Things on Netflix 🙂 I won’t give away an spoilers.. although let’s be real, I’m pretty sure everyone has already watched it!

Sunday morning, bright and early, we set out to find the perfect Christmas tree!


We would usually cut down our own tree but the hubs didn’t feel like getting all wet and muddy while laying down to cut it so we did the pre-cut trees at Rum River Tree Farm.


With a PSL of course 🙂

I couldn’t decide between the White Pines and the Balsam Firs (think those were the names?!) because the White Pines were so beautiful but ultimately the Balsam won out!


And seriously…. I couldn’t believe how expensive Christmas trees were today (and everywhere when I looked online!).  I mean, it’s crazy that they run $60-$100… at least to me any way! When the hubs kept looking at the prices, I told him we could get a fake one for $150 and have it forever… but his response was a “hell no!”.  I enjoy the smell of the real trees anyway 🙂


Got this baby home safely 🙂


And she found herself a home 🙂

We put the lights on last night and will decorate it more tonight! There’s just something about the fresh tree smell and the lights that make life so much better!  If only I could keep her up all year… hmm… 😉

How was your Thanksgiving weekend?! Did you get a lot of good deals? Or waiting for today, Cyber Monday?



Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope you all are enjoying lots of food and family time today!  We are with my family today and are starting to make a list of where we need to check out for the best Black Friday deals.  I like to count my blessings every day because life really is so short but today especially, I thought I’d share a few on my list:

img_9794* this guy… it’s been a bit of a rough year for us but I am so glad I get to do life with him everyday!  He’s my favorite person and the one I truly can’t imagine my life without!  To quote Elin Hilderbrand: “Meeting you has been life’s way of making amends for all the ways I had become gypped earlier in life…” Having Logan certainly makes everything else that has happened in my life seem so small ❤


My family


It hasn’t always been the easiest road with them all but I wouldn’t trade them for anything!  Throughout everything, we’ve only become stronger together and I am so thankful I have them (some missing from the pictures) – and those not so little nieces of mine- OH my… I can’t even begin to express how thankful I am for those ones! They are so special to me!

My in-laws – all of them!  I really hit the jackpot with these ones! They have welcomed me from day one (almost 7 years ago!) and have continued to love me ever since 🙂

Friends.. (and so many more that are missing!) – I don’t know what I’d do without them!

blanket scarf

Our health – not everyone is so fortunate (and boy, do we know!).. and that we are able to do so many things.


I’m thankful for our beautiful home – most days I’m wishing for a remodeled kitchen or a bigger closet but I’m really just thankful for how far we’ve come since we met (almost) 7 years ago!


Mimosas and Queso… need I say why?!


Wine.. again, do I really need to list why?! 🙂


These little pups of course 🙂 I don’t know what we’d do without them?!

My list could go on and on – I really have so many things to be thankful for.  I will continue to count my blessings daily and hope that you have just as many fortunes to be thankful for as well.

Thank YOU for stopping by 🙂


What’s Up, Wednesday?!


It’s been a crazy week… and weekend!  We got some terrible news last week that my  husband’s Grandpa had passed away – and even though he wasn’t doing the best, it was still a definite shock!  Thankfully, we did spend a little time with him two weeks ago when we were back in Oshkosh but we didn’t think it would be the last time!  He was such a great man and was so very important to Logan – he was so loved and will be greatly missed.  We were back in Oshkosh after the Christmas Carol Friday evening and headed back home yesterday.


It’s never fun to lose someone (unfortunately, I would know) but it doesn’t make it any easier that it’s so close to the holidays.  Definitely hold your loved ones tight and tell them how thankful you are for them –

  I’m linking up with Shay to share what else has been going on in our world this past month.  So let’s get it started..

What we’re eating:

Let’s be real… we’re eating ALL the turkey we can this week and I can’t wait 🙂 Oh yes, and some mashed potatoes, corn, rolls, stuffing – etc!

Thanksgiving Memes

Seriously… love me a big Thanksgiving feast 🙂

What I’m reminiscing about:

A Christmas Carol that the hubs and I went to last Friday!  It was something out of the ordinary and definitely put us me in the Christmas spirit!

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We had Happy Hour at the Newsroom beforehand for the first time and it’s a place we’ll head back to time and time again 🙂

What I’m loving:

All the Christmas music/movies and decorations!


I promise I’m not using Starbucks cups for decorations!

I seriously can’t get enough Christmas!

What we’ve been up to:

I can’t believe it’s already December next week.. I mean, seriously where did all the time go?!  This month has seemed extremely busy but for some reason I can’t think of everything we’ve done:

An Escape Room for my SIL’s birthday

The hubs hung Christmas lights outside


I saw Trolls with this sweet friend (same girl I’m tackling Chicago with next weekend!)


Watched the movie Elf


and heading to my Mama’s tomorrow for Thanksgiving with my family!

 What I’m dreading:

Sounds funny since it’s not even the Christmas season yet but I just know it’s going to fly by (our weekends are already packed :() and then i’ll be so sad I have to wait another year!  I’m just trying to soak it all in!


Love a good date night ❤

What I’m working on:

Our cookie exchange party that is in a few weeks!!  I have so many fun ideas that I need to start making my lists – a photo booth, finish up the games (Christmas Family Feud, Christmas Carols song game, etc) and decide what I’m going to make for some apps!

This sounds fun, right?! haha!

What I’m excited about:

So many things… of course all Christmas related 🙂 I’m headed to Chicago next weekend with a friend to see all the Christmas lights and markets – so excited!

My sister might join us too which would be so fun!

The following weekend is my Cookie Exchange party and the hubs and I will be heading up to Bentleyville for the night to celebrate our Anniversary! Wow, I can’t believe it’s almost been a year since this happened…


What I’m watching/reading:

Well I finally just finished this:

Image result for elin hilderbrand books

And now want to start reading these!

Right now, I’m watching:

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I seriously love this show! Can’t believe I used to think this show was terrible! Now, I can’t get enough 🙂

I’m also still watching:

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I don’t know what it is about this show but I’m always hooked!

What I’m listening to:

Christmas music… #duh!

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and basically anything that comes up on my country Christmas Pandora 🙂

What I’m wearing:

Love a good festive shirt 🙂


And fun festive pajamas 🙂 I mean, who doesn’t love those?!



And I wore a very festive – green and red to the Christmas Carol on Friday because #duh!



What I’m doing this weekend:

We will be finally cutting down our Christmas tree, Black Friday shopping (because I’m crazy and just love the atmosphere – not the people!) and celebrating Thanksgiving!

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Thankfully I have almost all of my Christmas shopping done so I’ll hopefully be completely done after this weekend!

What I’m looking forward to next month:

See what I’m excited about above 🙂 Chicago, Cookie Exchange party, Bentleyville…. Need I say more?!

What else is new:

Not a whole lot… just every day life.

It’s been a bit of a rough year for us – and I’m definitely hoping 2017 is our year!

Do any of you have fun plans for Thanksgiving?  Do you cook the big feast yourself or go elsewhere?! Any Black Friday shoppers out there?


Wine Wednesday Gift Guide!

Calling all you wine lovers out there!! How fun are these wine glasses?! And seriously… the towel set is my total way of thinking since I’m a white wine drinker over red!  I came across these wine glasses and thought they were so fun!  One of my favorite things about drinking wine is when it’s out of fun glasses and if they’re festive… I clearly need them 🙂


He Sees YouNaughty or NiceYou Had MeTowel SetTreat Yo SelfDear SantaHoliday Gift TagAll I Need

It’s no surprise that I love wine… I mean, it’s usually one of my favorite things! My love affair started in college with Blackberry Arbor Mist which I realize is juice but it started it all nonetheless.  Now, I’m a huge fan of white wines… the sweeter the better usually – Rieslings and Moscatos are definite favorites but let’s be real.. if there’s only red, I’ll drink it 🙂

Oh yeah and if you want to know my favorite wines that you HAVE to try (or bring as a gift and just convince them to open it immediately); this one is my favorite but I really love this one! Story behind that last one.. the hubs took me to a fancy restaurant as one of our first dates and ordered this bottle of wine and it quickly became one of my favorites! Also, note that it’s marked down to $7.50 – it was at least $35 at the restaurant! If you’re looking for a sweet red, try this one!

Do you have any friends or family that are huge wine drinkers?! Or maybe even just yourself? 😉


Gifts for her under $30

I still cannot believe next week is already Thanksgiving and that this Friday we’re headed to see a Christmas Carol! It really is crazy  how fast the weeks go by!

As I was trying to think of some things for my Christmas list for Santa, I couldn’t help but share a few of these items in case you need any ideas for yourself or friends!  I just love the Kate Spade mini glitter studs and for $32 it’s a no brainer!  I love the red – they are perfect for the Holidays!  If you’re looking for a cheaper option BP has the set of two for only $9.98 (total steal!!) and they are almost identical to the regular Kate Spade studs!


Kate Spade Mini Studs/Faux Leather Leggings/BP Long Sleeve/BP Studs/ Fringe Scarf/ Bar Necklace/ Clutch/ Leopard Scarf

I own a few of these items and LOVE them – that top; one of my favorites and those leggings; they’ve been on repeat 🙂

I also love this top and think the chili pepper would be perfect for the Holidays (and it’s under $30!).

Let me know if you like these types of gift guides! If so, I can definitely do a few more with different topics; gifts for coworkers, men, etc!

Thanks for stopping by!



Weekend Rewind!

How is it already Monday?!

I feel like this…

Funny Pictures Of The Day - 54 Pics:

but decided to possibly be an adult today and do this… is one of those days  #monday    #meme    #coffee    #motivation:

I’ll just put on some Christmas music instead 🙂

And because we could all use a laugh..


None of you readers of course 🙂

Moving on… this weekend was so  nice!! We relaxed at home and honestly, didn’t have any plans for once!!

Friday night, we made homemade Shrimp Alfredo and it was mighty tasty!  I followed this recipe for the Alfredo sauce and was surprised that it was so good! The hubs isn’t too fond of pasta (I know.. who is he?!) so we never make it.  On Friday when I asked what he wanted for dinner (while at the store), I was shocked to see Shrimp Alfredo.. I didn’t ask twice 😉


After dinner, I decorated the house into a Winter Wonderland (yes, I’m that person :)) and really, I hung a few strands of garland and started the rest of the house!  I also finished My Santa on Hulu because it’s all the Christmas movies all the time in this house until Christmas!

Also, this happened..


so there’s that. Apparently little Desty was hungry….

Saturday, we ran a few errands and then the hubs hung Christmas lights.  I will say I’m thankful that he offered (or I like to think he offered :)) but precision isn’t his thing when it comes to those lights.  He doesn’t care how they look as long as they’re up there.. and I have to be OK with that…

I’m trying!

We, then had left overs for dinner (we’re crazy over here!) and I made some Salted Caramel Brownies for dessert per the husband’s request!


They turned out pretty good and it will definite stay in my recipe book – or Pinterest page because let’s be real, that’s easier sometimes!


We ended the night with watching some Zootopia, Robin Hood and Seinfeld (because Four Christmases wasn’t happening :()


Sunday, I headed over to one of my girlfriend’s house for some Mimosas, Kettle Corn and Cinnamon Rolls – hey, we’re all for brunch right?! Can I just say… I’m  not a huge fan of Kettle Corn normally but we literally ate the whole bag.. in one sitting! Whoops – she did say brunch when she invited me! 😉


For real though – I went over there to help her with her gallery wall because I like to think I have an eye for those things. Or at least people let me believe that! It was a bit nerve wrecking watching her on that ladder.. I mean, look how far down it goes!!! But I think the Mimosas took off some of the edge 🙂

The hubs golfed this morning (big shocker, right?!) since his weekends will be limited with the weather – I mean, it has to snow sometime soon, right?! He’s hoping he can go another two weekends 🙂


We ended the day with the Packer game (ugh, what is going on guys?!) and some Wreck-It Ralph! I know it’s crazy but the hubs and I actually really like the name Vanelope 🙂 Are we crazy?!

If you’ve made it this far – you’re amazing and clearly a little bored – sorry about it!

I had to share a top and basically the same as a dress for any work or holiday parties because they are 40% off until tomorrow and so cute!

Hope this weekend was fabulous for you as well 🙂


Friday Faves & a little Life Lately!

A) How is it that I’ve managed to do all link ups this week?? – it’s either you’re excited to read it or it’s boring (and you’re all “get back to normal scheduled posts ASAP!”) B) How is it the second Friday in November already and it’s still 60 degrees out?! #winning C) Is Charlie’s Sheen’s “winning” still a thing?! Because I say it all the time still and I need to make sure I don’t look like a loser every time. D) While I’m at random ramblings… I saw a personalized license plate today that said “EVLTWIN” (sorry if you’re reading this person in front of me yesterday AM) and I couldn’t believe people still choose those things?! I mean, do you ever read them and sometimes think “what was that person thinking?! Or.. I really wonder what that person is like because I’d never pick such things if I personalized mine…” E) Is it time for wine yet?! It’s been a looooooong week!

Now onto normal Friday business – Favorites with Erika!



My vest from Gap Outlet is a BIG favorite of mine this week!  If you have a store by you, I suggest running there this weekend since the prices are so much better in store versus online.  But it’s on sale for $26.99 which still a pretty good deal if you don’t have a store near you!

UPDATE: there’s a 20% off coupon code as well – STYLESTASH which brings it down to $21!


I hit up the Outlet Mall in Oshkosh with my MIL and SIL for a little Christmas shopping and was so glad to stumble upon these vests!



Last week, I mentioned we were doing an Escape Room last weekend for my SIL’s 16th birthday and it was pretty fun!  It’s kinda crazy because there are a MILLION clues and numbers and most of the time, they mean NOTHING which makes it hard to decipher which ones are important!


We got out with 1 minute to spare somehow – despite what this picture shows!  I say, somehow because we were so nervous we weren’t going to make it.  Umm, hello why didn’t the worker tell us to turn our signs around when he took these?!  I mean, I didn’t look at the sign to note there were 2 sides and they weren’t both “I broke out”!

Afterwards, the boys hit the batting cages because they wanted to show off.. my husband in the “slow pitch softball…….”


Glad the hubs aunt and cousins could join us! See you at Christmas!


The Starbucks Holiday cups are out!!! I’m still drinking my favorite, Pumpkin Spice Lattes even though they aren’t as festive anymore and it makes it so much better in a red cup 🙂



I saw the movie Trolls with a friend on Wednesday and it was so cute!


And it was great to see her (we’re headed to Chicago the first weekend of December and I’m so excited for everything Christmas!)! Also, notice the vest 🙂 I wasn’t kidding.. obsessed!


I stopped into Nordstrom on my lunch to return a few things and look for some Christmas ideas and I think I fell in love with this dress..


I’m thinking this would be perfect for Thanksgiving with a faux fur vest and tights versus leggings and booties! Don’t you agree?!


This scarf has quickly become one of my favorites! I first heard about it from Shay and as soon as I tried it, I knew I would be wearing it often!


I’ve literally been wearing it with everything – don’t believe me? See for yourself below!




I know I’ve said it before BUT I’m in love with these tops and they’re under $30!

And it’s only $19. Perfect idea for Christmas or for yourself 🙂 I may or may not have bought it for someone on my Christmas list!


As I was looking at Mud Pie for cute gifts (their prices are so great!), I stumbled upon these tumblers and had to share! There’s tons of different options and you get the tumbler, bow AND wrap and they’re mainly college football themed 🙂

Game Day Tumbler Outdoorsy | Fashion | Mud Pie

These would be cute stocking stuffers and seriously they’re $2.99!  And if you want more stocking stuffers or gifts for cheaper, they have a Cute Black Bow Bag for $4.99 and tons of Game Day Infinity Scarves for only $3.99… yes, $3.99! Love this lip gloss/cosmetic bag too! And if you have littles, they have TONS of super cute outfits for them!

Seriously… how cute is this wine glass?!

Monogram Wine Glass | Living | Mud Pie

#truestory #nailedit

Well.. I think I’ve rambled enough..

We’re putting Christmas lights up on the house (before the snow and cold come) and decorating a bit for the Holidays because I’m obsessed and don’t care that Thanksgiving comes first 🙂 I need more than 30 days of Christmas in my life!

Have you started decorating yet for Christmas or do you stick to the “day after Thanksgiving” rule? Any fun plans for the weekend?



Stranded.. Outerwear Edition

Before I start this post I HAVE to announce the winner of the scarf giveaway!

Drum roll please….. and the winner is…..

Fern Hummert

I’ve emailed you this morning so please respond within 24 hours for your scarf!  🙂

For the rest of you… there will be plenty of giveaways in December so stay tuned!

Can I just say – I can’t believe that I haven’t had to pull out my winter jacket yet and it’s November 9?! It’s crazy the weather we’ve been having and I am not complaining!  While I’d like to think the deserted island is in a hot and sunny place… I need to make sure I’m prepared if it gets cold as well!

I’d definitely bring my utility jacket because A) it’s cute and B) it’s warm for not too chilly weather! I’d also bring a blanket scarf (it’s a blanket and a scarf all in one- big score!) but that doesn’t count as a full item! 😉


Maybe my down coat.. I mean, where is this island anyway?!

And lastly – I’d bring a puffy vest – because it’s warm but not too hot if the weather is just a tad chilly!


A sweet reader, Lisa informed me that Target’s dollar section had these scarves for $7.. they are amazing and seriously the same as so many blanket scarves! Thanks for letting me know Lisa!

I just picked up this one from Gap Outlet and seriously.. it was $12!! Can you believe that?!

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Here’s the actual vest – might be easier to see!


You can follow me on Snapchat at ballwekl 🙂

What three pieces would you bring with you?

Also, I’ve started my “holiday planning” for the blog and I’d love to know what you’d like to see on here; a few of my DIY decorations, gift guides, etc? 🙂

Happy Wednesday!


Show & Tell Tuesday – Lottery Edition!


I promise I’ll get back to regular scheduled blogging soon enough 🙂 Like Thursday BUT in the meantime, I’m linking up again with Andrea to share what I would do if I won the lottery… which is actually harder to answer than I thought!

On a side note: Anyone else feel this way after daylight savings this weekend…?!

…because this is seriously how I’m feeling today!

ALSO – Today is the LAST day to enter the giveaway for one of my favorite scarves! Winner will be announced tomorrow.. Finally!


Hmm.. If I won the lottery… what would I do?!  Well, for starters, I’d definitely book a fun vacation for my whole family and my in-laws to Hawaii!  The majority of us have never been and it just looks beautiful.  I’d rent a few homes on the beach and just have a fun time for a few weeks!

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I mean, couldn’t you just imagine laying out and having some cocktails (or sodas?!) and not having a care in the world?! And to be with family would be so much fun!

Then I’d buy a beach home in Destin or Seaside, FL because it’s home to me and it’s beautiful! Maybe one of these…

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or these…

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I always loved walking along the beach and looking at all of the amazing homes so I would absolutely purchase one of those for friends and family to use as well!

And because maybe I shouldn’t just say the “fun” stuff I’d do with the money – I would take my help my family with their medical issues to help take some of the struggle away.  They all have enough to worry about with their health – they shouldn’t have to worry about the bills associated with it!

I would build our dream home (I keep saying I but really I mean, we… right hubby?! ;)) closer to our families.  I’m talking my dream open kitchen (because it’s evident by yesterday’s post that I’m a HUGE cook :)) along with a beautiful deck!  It would be great to be close enough to both of our families to have weekly dinners or at least weekly visits… then go down south all winter and spring because after Christmas.. why is there such a thing as snow?!

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LOVE the wrap around porch and plantation style home 🙂

And in all honesty.. I think I’d keep my job too because let’s be real, money doesn’t last forever! I would just go down to part-time until retirement 🙂

I would update my wardrobe as well because I’m seeing lots of designer items! #duh

I’m sure if I asked my husband what he’d do if we won the lottery and his response would be completely different than mine… it would be “invest”!  Which duh.. I agree just after there’s a little play money spent!

What would you do if you won the lottery?!