Tax-Free Weekend!

Tax-Free Weekend!

It is officially tax-free weekend here in Texas!!

“During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Comptroller encourages all taxpayers to continue practicing social distancing and support Texas businesses while saving money on tax-free purchases of most clothing, footwear, school supplies and backpacks (sold for less than $100) during the annual Tax-Free weekend.”

Today I am sharing a quick list of places that are having sales and offering some great deals for tax-free weekend, so let’s get right into it! Click the links below to be taken directly to the store:


Old Navy: Up to 50% off all jeans & tees, plus, up to 60% off kids. Styles from $4. PLUS on 8/8/20 ONLY 50% off all adult & kids active. PLUS so much more!!

Target: 30% off kids jeans Friday and Saturday ONLY + sale on kids activewear, ready-for-school sale, uniform sale, BOGO 50% off women bras

DSW: 25% off select sneakers with code ‘BOARDWALK’ + free purple kids headphones (while supplies last with kids purchase over $29) with code ‘PURPLETOONS’ or blue headphones with code “BLUETOONS’

Academy: 25% off top brands + up to 30% off athletic shoes + 25% off backpacks and lunchboxes + 25% off water waterbottles

Carters: $5 and $6 tees, shorts, dresses + BOGO free shoes, socks, and undies + up to 40% off clearance

Gap: 40% off everything with code ‘FRIENDS’ + extra 10% off with code ‘FAMILY’

Teacher Items

I found some GREAT sales on bulk items on Amazon for teachers! Here is what I found:

Elmer’s Liquid School Glue, Washable, 4 Ounces Each , 12 Count for only $6

Elmer’s Disappearing Purple School Glue, Washable, 30 Pack, 0.24-ounce sticks for only $6.99

EXPO 1944748 Magnetic Dry Erase Markers with Eraser, Fine Tip, Assorted Colors, 8-Count for only $9.99

TICONDEROGA Pencils, Wood-Cased, Pre-Sharpened, Graphite #2 HB Soft, Yellow, 30-Pack for $5.99

Paper Mate Pink Pearl Erasers, Large, 12 Count for $4.99

Sharpie 25145 Tank Highlighters, Chisel Tip, Assorted Fluorescent, 12-Count for only $5.47

My favorite pens!!

Paper Mate Flair Felt Tip Pens, Medium Point (0.7mm), Assorted Colors, 24 Count for $18.02!

BIC Round Stic Xtra Life Ballpoint Pen, Medium Point (1.0mm), Blue, 60-Count (GSM609-BLUE) for only $5!!

EXPO Low Odor Dry Erase Markers, Chisel Tip, Assorted, 16 Count for $12.49

Post-it Flags Assorted Color Combo Pack, 320 Flags Total, 200 1-Inch Wide Flags and 120 .5-Inch Wide Flags, 4 On-The-Go Dispensers/Pack for $10.62

Bostitch Personal Electric Pencil Sharpener, Blue (EPS4-BLUE) for only $14.28

Happy and safe shopping!

Friday Favorites: Random Amazon Finds!

Friday Favorites: Random Amazon Finds!

Wednesday I asked you all what you wanted to see for my Friday Favorites, and between Ulta and Amazon…Amazon WON by a LANDSLIDE! So today I am sharing a few of my favorite Amazon finds. It is seriously crazy mixed up and there is no flow to it AT ALL. So bare with me but these are some of my most recent Amazon purchases and finds:

Butterfly Garden

We just purchased this and got our caterpillars earlier this week. My boys are loving watching the caterpillars and hopefully well get to witness a few butterflies emerge from their chrysalis in just a few weeks!

Peruvian Maca

I purchase a few shelf-stable food items from Amazon but I always check the seller first (you should ALWAYS check that the seller is the brand you are purchasing). I have been adding Peruvian Maca to my smoothies and can really feel a difference. It has many benefits, from balancing hormones, cleaning up acne, helping with depression and adrenals…the list goes on!

Miracle Berry Powder

I have shared my love for the Schisandra Berry before…but I really do love it! I purchase it from Lost Empire Herbs and the quality is great! There are so many health benifits as well, and I listed those out here.

My Own Personal Laminator…Because Why Not?!

The best part of homeschooling…laminating! Haha just kidding!! But the teacher is me is seriously LOVING this personal laminator!! I love it so much! It is by far my favorite homeschool purchase! It works so well, doesn’t take up a ton of space, and makes great use of school items so I don’t have to keep printing things over and over again. I even laminated my kiddos chore charts and use a dry erase marker to check off each day! AND IT IS ON SALE!!!

Activate Creature Power!

If you have any Wild Kratt fans in your house, then they will LOVE these fun animal discs! I bought these because my oldest was always making homemade paper discs and then I found these on Amazon and knew he would love them! Sure enough, my two boys have a blast pretending to be animals with their creature power discs!

Pet Pee Pads

Ok ok…hear me out…our 13-year old pup is having some bladder issues as of late and we were going on a road trip and she needed a washable, portable mat to sit on while in the car and at my in-laws home. So I bought these two mats and they are the best! No leaks, washes well, and looks nice…for a pee pad 😉 You’re welcome. 😉

My Kids Favorite Rash Guard

I love this rash guard! I bought one for each kid and they keep them warm, versus all the others we use to buy that would freeze them out after they got wet! It holds up well, washes nicely, and keeps my kiddos from burning. Win, win, win!

The Best Leggings for Only $25!

I have mentioned it before and I will mention it again…THESE ARE THE BEST LEGGINGS EVER! Y’all, you know I don’t spend a ton of money on clothes so when I heard these were super soft and similar to some of those really expensive leggings, I just had to try it! I mean, if it didn’t work out, I would just send it back. I FELL IN LOVE! Take my word for it…the best $25 you will spend! Trust me!

And to wrap up the random Amazon find list…

The Ice Roller For Your Face!

This thing is so amazing! Just pop off that green roller, pop it in the freezer at night, and in the morning pop it back on and roll it all over your face! It is so soothing and is suppose to help with fine lines and wrinkles. I don’t use it enough to know if it really helps, but it sure feels fabulous and reduces puffiness…and thats a win for me!

Thanks for hanging in with the most random assortment of Amazon finds! Next time I will narrow my focus for you, but these are just some of my favorite recent purchases and totally random!

What are you loving right now that you found on Amazon? Share below!

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Friday Favorites: At-Home Workout Edition!

Friday Favorites: At-Home Workout Edition!

Happy Friday friends! We made it to the end of the week! We have officially ended week THREE of homeschool and I am still loving every minute of it! Monday provided such sweet encouragement and words from both of my boys and it just reinforced our decision to homeschool.

Today for my Friday Favorites, I am sharing some of my favorite at-home workout plans and products!! Please share below what you are loving and what is working for you!

Note: Click the image to go directly to the product on Amazon.


Have to start with shoes! These are by far my favorite jogging shoes! I have them in the color Blue Mirage/Purple Plumeria. I got them at a local running store last year, where they watched me walk and I tired on so many different shoes. This one provides JUST ENOUGH foam, not too thin, not too much. I usually love Aesic’s but it had too much foam compared to these. Now, I go in running spurts…I will run for a few weeks, then be over it! Haha! Recently I’ve been into walking and these are prefect for my morning walks. But they are great for running, too!

I LOVE weight lifting and need to be better about doing it! My favorite at-home DVD routine is this one! Even my 7-year old son asks to do Body Beast! It is nice because it is more like how I use to workout, with reps and drop sets. I love it!

Another plan that I LOVE is the Tone It Up app! I love how fast the workouts are, that they workout multiple body parts at one time (thing lunge with a bicep curl), and it’s just fun! The app also has a nutrition center with all sorts of recipes!

Currently I am on Day 5 of the 21 Day Challenge and it is really great! I am totally sore and feel a difference already!

Now to do both of those workouts, you need a little bit of equipment, but not much. I LOVE our Powerblocks, but it is so hard to find weights right now that don’t cost an arm and a leg! We found our Powerblock set on Craigslist, so search around and find a few weights that work best for you (recommend a set like this where you can easily move up and down in weights but it doesn’t take up a ton of room. Or get light, medium, and heavy individual weights).

These resistance bands are fabulous! They don’t ride up on you, don’t slip or fold, are durable and hold up really well! The TIU workouts use resistance bands (and sometimes puts a weight behind your knee for donkey kicks, but with my Powerblock, I can’t do that…so I use these bands and they are perfect!).

We have this DYNAPRO exercise ball (in pink!) for Body Beast workouts since I don’t have an incline seat and it works really well. And right now this one is on sale!!

I try to get some yoga in a few times a week at least, so a good yoga mat is key. And it is nice, depending on your floors, to have a yoga mat for workout moves that you go on the floor for (sit-ups, donkey kicks, push-ups, etc.). I love that these Jade Yoga Mats are made with sustainable materials, they plant a tree with Trees for the Future for every mat sold, and it is American-made.

For my yoga workouts, I do free yoga videos with Yoga with Adriene. She has a ton of series and yoga for specific ailments. And can’t beat free!!

Speaking of yoga….THESE PANTS ARE THE BOMB!!! I don’t buy expensive workout clothes and when I heard these pants are like some of the more expensive brands, I had to try it! And boy oh boy…they DO NOT disappoint!!! So soft, stays in place, love the pockets and the high waist…they are just fabulous!

Always need a good protein powder to fuel your muscles and recovery after working out and you all know my love for Truvani’s super clean, organic, plant-based protein powder! I drink a smoothie EVERY DAY and love love love it! You can see some of my smoothie recipes here:

Not Your Traditional Vanilla Latte

I am loving starting my day with a smoothie and having so much fun playing with different smoothie add-ins and options! The other day I was missing coffee…which I haven’t had since November! My husband grinds the beans fresh every morning and the smell of fresh brewed coffee enveloped and consumed me! I decided to […]

Vanilla Almond Smoothie

Y’all. This is my new favorite smoothie!! It is so so easy to make and tastes like an almond butter vanilla dessert. I can’t even describe it well because it tastes so dang good! You could easily swap the almond butter for peanut butter or other nut butter of your liking. I used only seven […]

My Favorite Chocolate Smoothie Recipe

Since battling Candida and other health issues (which I will address all of this Wednesday), I had to avoid most all fruit (until recently). Which meant I could not have my normal fruit-loaded smoothies. I also struggled to find a protein powder that tasted delicious and was safe for my Candida. That is until Truvani! […]


What else do you use for at-home workouts? Comment below!

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend! See you back here on Monday!

Vanilla Almond Smoothie

Vanilla Almond Smoothie

Y’all. This is my new favorite smoothie!! It is so so easy to make and tastes like an almond butter vanilla dessert. I can’t even describe it well because it tastes so dang good! You could easily swap the almond butter for peanut butter or other nut butter of your liking.

I used only seven ingredients (not including ice and water)!

  • organic almond butter
  • organic coconut milk
  • organic coconut oil
  • Truvani vanilla protein
  • organic hemp seeds
  • collagen
  • d-ribose powder
  • ice and water

What is D-ribose powder and why should I add it to my smoothies?

According to Dr. Axe, D-ribose, or Ribose, is created naturally by our bodies. “It is important because it helps provide our cells with sufficient energy. This is key to all of our many cells maintaining both their integrity and their function. In fact, scientific studies show that D-ribose may help a number of serious health concerns, including heart diseases, fibromyalgia symptoms and chronic fatigue syndrome.

Is D-ribose a sugar?

By definition, ribose is a type of simple sugar or carbohydrate that our bodies produce and then use to create adenosine triphosphate (ATP). Dr. Axe explains,

ATP is the fuel burned by the mitochondria found in our cells. As you may already know, ATP energy production is absolutely key to health since ATP is the body’s most basic form of energy. Even though D-ribose is a simple sugar, it’s important to note that it is not known for raising blood sugar. In fact, takers of the supplement are often warned that it can lower blood sugar.

Benefits of D-ribose

There are many benefits of adding D-Ribose to your daily routine. It has been found to boost skin health, may help manage Myoadenylate Deaminase Deficiency Symptoms, helps treat fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, it enhances exercise and supports heart health.

You can find high levels of naturally occurring D-ribose in the following foods:

  • Grass-fed beef
  • Poultry
  • Anchovies
  • Herring
  • Sardines
  • Eggs
  • Milk
  • Yogurt
  • Cheddar cheese
  • Cream cheese
  • Mushrooms

Are there any dangers to supplementing with D-ribose?

Some potential side effects include upset stomach, diarrhea, nausea and headache. Does ribose raise blood sugar? Actually, it may decrease blood sugar so, typically, people with hypoglycemia or diabetes should not take these type of supplements. In addition, you should not take it two weeks prior to any surgery due to its possible blood sugar effects.

Drugs known to moderately interact with this naturally occurring sugar include insulin and other antidiabetes drugs. Other things that may have more minor interactions include alcohol, aspirin, choline magnesium trisalicylate (Trilisate), propranolol (Inderal) and salsalate (Disalcid).

Dr. Axe

After some research and discussing it with my alternative doctor, we decided that I would benefit from adding D-ribose to my diet. I purchased this one on Amazon.

Now back to the smoothie!! Here is my delicious recipe for this vanilla almond smoothie:

Vanilla Almond Smoothie

Prep Time: <5 minutes

Ingredients:

Instructions:

Add all ingredients to your high-power blender and blend for a few minutes. Add some extra almond butter to the back of a spoon and spread it on the inside of your glass cup. Pour your blended smoothie into your prepared cup and sip away!

Did you make this recipe?

Tag #lifestylewithlauren on Instagram!

Welcome to Our Homeschool Adventure!

Welcome to Our Homeschool Adventure!

So many things happening over here in our household as well as in the world. After LOTS of prayer and conversation, we have decided that I will homeschool our oldest son this upcoming school year.

We had an absolutely INCREDIBLE first year at our local school! The principal, our son’s teacher and the whole staff are so precious and sweet…which made our decision that much harder because we loved it so much!

Thankfully our district, as well as so many others, are giving parents an amazing opportunity to pick their schooling option. Our district offered parents two choices: eLearning or face-to-face instruction, as well as the opportunity to change throughout the year, which just shows how amazing teachers and principals are and all of the resources they are using to help parents make a choice that is best for their families.

For our sweet son who is already an internalizer, worrier, and over-thinker, we feel it would be best for him that we homeschool this year. As another momma stated so eloquently, “sometimes the Lord leads you in ways you may not always understand or feel equipped for but we are called to obey, and take it one day at a time.” And that is just what we’re doing. One day at a time.

I am in LOVE with our homeschool curriculum, too! We picked Sonlight’s curriculum because it is a literature-rich, Christ-centered curriculum that is easily adaptable for multiple grades. As a former reading teacher, the books make me so happy! I love that we are reading directly from the Bible, using other books to help understandings, and the curriculum is so easy to understand and laid out beautifully. I can literally just open the curriculum and go!

I am really excited for this year and feel confident that we are making the right choice for our family at this time. And thankfully we are surrounded by many precious friends that are also homeschooling so we will have lots of time to learn and play together!

We also decided to start school earlier than I originally thought…mainly because we were all bored! Haha! It is hot here in Texas so the boys don’t want to play outside for too long, our oldest was literally walking in circles and plopping on the couch wanting to watch TV all day…so I decided it was time to start! We “soft-launched”, if you will, into first grade on Monday, July 6, 2020. I forgot to purchase one book so we haven’t touched the science curriculum yet, but so far so good! I love the routine and the one-on-one time with my oldest.

I will post often about our homeschooling journey, what has worked for us, what hasn’t, what items we have purchased, activities we have utilized, and all the things homeschool-related!

So far, I haven’t purchased a lot of extra items yet, just a few items speciffialy for our youngest so he can be entertained while I work with our 1st grader. FIRST GRADE! Oh my goodness. It still doesn’t seem real that he is in 1st grade!

Here is what I have purchased thus far:

We are using Sonlight’s ‘B’ curriculum this year since I already had completed some kindergarten homeschool work with our son the year before he attending public school kindergarten. I feel that this level is very appropriate for our first grader, even though it is mentioned as a second grade level.

Use code ‘LG20457376‘ to receive $5 off your purchase!

Everything else I have purchased on Amazon (click the image to go directly to the item on Amazon).

First Grade

These are the items I have purchased for our first grader:

Our son will use this to write occasionally so we can reduce the use of paper for small writings and for writing out spelling words.

This writing paper will be great for his “published” writing pieces and final drafts.

I got these posters for teaching with VIPKid but they are so cute and provide a great visual for both my preschooler and first grader.

Luckily we were gifted this but it is absolutely perfect for our homeschool journey! My son LOVES looking at maps and the world and this globe is perfect for him…and it doubles as a night light!

This chalkboard is on SALE! So bummed! I spent almost double the price it is listed now! I’m sure the price was marked up because I bought it when we started eLearning…ugh! Well, either way, this is an adorable chalkboard and holds up really well and is the prefect size! I wouldn’t get any smaller!

I like white chalkboard markers and these are pretty good. I feel like these don’t run out as fast as others I have bought in the past. They wipe off clean and easily, too.

Of course we stocked up on the pencils, crayons, makers, tape, glue, etc. All the stuff that he can use for arts and crafts as well as daily play (do your kids waste tape like crazy?! Nope?? Just mine?!) 😉

Preschool

These items I have purchased for our preschooler to help keep him busy while I work with the older one:

This will help our younger son stay busy and focused while also learning and feeling like a “big kid.” And it is on sale right now!

I liked this book because it included both letters and numbers so it is a one-stop shop! 😉

This is such a great busy activity for our preschooler! He loves sorting the bears, costing them, stacking the cups, and just playing with the bears!

These are perfect for my preschooler to peel and stick on paper! I use large construction paper and write his name very large and sometimes with the colors of the stickers. He then uses the stickers to put on the line of his name and spells out his name. I also just leave blank pieces of construction paper (in the colors of the stickers) out for him to sort the stickers. He just peels and sticks and sorts the color stickers!

I love these dot markers! Kiddos have so many options for these, but I love to use them with these books:

This book is super cute! So is this one:

But there are literally so many dot books available! So find one that you think your kiddos will like!


That’s all for now! As I am working with my boys I will make note of what works and what doesnt.

Are you going to homeschool your kiddo this year? Share below your thoughts, questions, concerns! Remember that we’re all in this together and we are here to support and encourage!

See you all back here on Friday! Have a blessed Wednesday!