Dimples and Tangles


This post is sponsored by Walmart.

It's that time of year for allllll the back-to-college prep!  With two college students in our family, we've been busy making lists and checking them twice and rounding up what they'll need to be prepared to move back to campus.  They will both have full kitchens this year so that adds another layer of things we'll need.  Stocking 2 kitchens is no small feat, but you can get everything you need for college kitchen spaces for less with Walmart's low prices.

We recently made a shopping trip to pick up some of the things they'll need.  (If you want to see our fun shopping video, click here!  They did such a good job!)  Caleb was most excited about the coffee... always!  It's so nice to be able to find everything in one stop, Walmart has all of the kitchen essentials at their every day low prices!  We got them all stocked up, now we just need to spend a few weeks before they head back to school on some cooking lesson refreshers- ha!

Here are our kitchen essentials picks that we are making sure are covered this year. Shop this interactive collage by clicking on the item photo for more details, or see the links and description below.

Knife and Kitchen Tool Set- The block for countertop knife storage saves on drawer space, all of these pieces are such a good value for $20! 

Plastic Dinner PlatesTumblers, Bowls, and Small Cups- love the $0.50 price(!) and that these are safe for microwave and dishwasher.  Both of my kids have already been using these and they're great, several colors available.

Serving/Storage Bowls with Lids- A bigger bowl or two does come in handy, especially for late night cookie making!

30 pc. Kitchen Gadget Set- everything they'll need to whip up something yummy!  I love that this set is all-in-one for less than $20, no need to round up lots of individual pieces.  

$20 12 pc. Dinnerware Set- Several colors available, eco-friendly and BPA safe.  Shatterproof is definitely the way to go for college students! 

Command Hooks-  A definite must in all shapes and sizes for college! We like them in the kitchen for hanging a dish towel, utensils or hot pads inside cabinet doors, etc. 

3 Drawer Storage Cart-  This comes in SO handy at college, both of my kids have one.  The $16 price makes this a perfect solution for extra food or snack storage when cabinet space is lacking. 

Flatware Set in Tray- Both of my kids also have one of these sets, they get the job done! And $11 for 49 pieces?? Crazy good deal!

Countertop Microwave- can't beat this rollback $59 price, great reviews!

Keurig Single Serve Coffee Maker- perfect for a quick cup any time they need a boost, and at less than $60 it will pay for itself quickly in money saved making their own!

Stoneware Mugs- Start their day with a smile! 

Non-stick Cookware Set- Let's face it, college cookware is not something you really want to make a large investment in, for $17 this set will meet all of their basic cooking needs.  My son used this set last year and it served him well! 

3-in-1 Lightweight Stick Vacuum-  Easy to store, great for kitchen crumbs and rugs, under $30 rollback price!

$20 2 Slice Toaster- My daughter missed avocado toast last year because toasters weren't allowed in her dorm room, she's so excited to have one in her kitchen this year. 

Ninja Fit Personal Blender- I think my daughter could almost live on smoothies and she's learning how much money she saves if she makes her own.  Love my Ninja Blender at home and this is a great size for college at an affordable $49 price.

Brita Space Saver Pitcher- Another college must have even for a standard dorm room with no kitchen, both of my kids have and use them, $15 rollback price!

Be sure to check out Walmart's College Checklist, it's such a helpful resource especially if you have a first time college student and you're feeling a bit overwhelmed about what you'll need! 

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We always do a Spring Clean of our patio each year where we remove all the furniture, hose down the concrete and the rugs, wipe everything down and touch up paint as needed, etc.  We did that earlier this year but I never fully finished "fluffing" like I normally do.  Then, we were out of town for a good chunk of the summer so when we returned from our travels the patio was in need of some attention and another cleaning since we hadn't been here to maintain it day by day.  

I spent a (really hot!) day cleaning everything off again and finishing up some maintenance that I hadn't done earlier in the year, like giving the garden stools a new coat of paint.  (I bought random clearance stools years ago and painted them to match using this process.  It's a good method especially for pieces that will be indoors but understandably after being out in the elements all the time the paint usually chips off here and there after a year.  I sand the chipped spots where paint has peeled to try to smooth out the edges of the layered paint, then hit those spots with primer again and give the whole thing a new coat of paint.  The things I've painted outdoors usually take yearly touch-ups to keep them looking good, but I'm ok with that to get the look and colors I want. OK, that info. is more than you asked for but thought I'd share!)

As I was working I got the itch to switch some things up on the patio.  I've had the same general look and accessories out there since we completed the patio almost 7 years ago, so I'm ready for some small changes. I still love love love the black and white rugs but am wanting something a bit different, still keeping those in case I want to switch them back in the future, though! 

Here's a reminder of how it's looked.  Like I said, still love it, just ready for a little change!  (See details from these photos in this post.)

I bought some outdoor fabric last year that I intended to use this year for new pillows but never got around to making those yet.  With that in mind I started the search for a new rug.  I knew the big pieces like furniture were staying put, but I did already make one little change to the dining table and I love the way that's broken up some of the brown furniture and lightened up that spot. 

So... here's what I've been playing with!  

I've included the big pieces that are staying, this is mainly a rug and pillow change.  I think those small changes make it feel totally different, though!  I've already ordered the rugs and have the green geometric, pink leopard, and striped fabrics for pillows.  I'm still finalizing pillow choices though, some of those might change.  I'm keeping the black rattan chairs- honestly those need the most work every year since I painted them several years ago and they aren't in the best shape anyway, they always need a lot of touch ups every year. So someday if i find a good alternative I'll replace those.  I think the bit of black helps keep everything from being too "sweet" though.  The pillows shown in those chairs are actually a dark navy that almost reads black so I thought that might help tie them in, but I'm a bit unsure on that fabric and will just have to decide when I start seeing it all together in real life.  Trial and error!  

I'm waiting for some fabric that has a short backorder and restock date, so as soon as that arrives I'll finish up and share the completed space with you!  

If you're interested, here are sources to the new things that I've ordered so far, and links to pieces I already have or similar alternatives-

 (*This post contains affiliate links, including Amazon. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.  Read my full disclosure policy here.)

Outdoor Sofas  ||  Outdoor Rug  ||  Green Garden Stools  ||  Green Geometric Fabric and Pink Leopard Fabric- Outdoor Fabric purchased at JoAnn last year  ||  Navy and Light Blue Stripe Fabric- JoAnn or similar here  ||  Blue and White Line Fabric  ||   Elephant Stool- vintage, similar here  ||  Outdoor String Lights  ||  Similar Green Tray
Paint Colors Used:  Meadow Green, Gloss NavyGloss Poppy

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This post is sponsored by Walmart.

It's hard to believe that we are a few short weeks away from the kids heading back to college!  We're in the midst of getting re-organized and prepared for another year... making lists, checking supplies, and cleaning out closets to determine what we might need to supplement wardrobes for the next year.  Wrangler has some of their favorite essentials that they'll need as they head back to campus like denim, cargo pants, shorts, tees, and flannels- and they're all a great price at Walmart!

Even though both of my children have been lifelong city kids, they both have some country down deep and generally gravitate toward being happiest in jeans and a flannel on cooler days.  And I guess my daughter is an official cowgirl now after all... she's all in and completely loving her time at Oklahoma State University (OSU Cowboys)!  But country at heart or not, I think it's safe to say that flannels and jeans are a part of almost every college student's wardrobe of choice.  My kids were thrilled with these new pieces we found!

Wrangler Mens Jeans and Plaid Flannel Shirts

This girl has thoroughly enjoyed her first year at school and is counting the days until she moves back in!  Country line-dancing is one of her favorite extra-curricular activities to do with her friends while she's at school, and this is exactly what she might wear for a night out.  

Women's Wrangler Plaid Flannel Shirt and Wrangler Graphic Tee
Flannel Shirt  ||  Wrangler Graphic T-Shirt  ||  Jeans- past season but similar here

She picked out the "Wrangler 47" graphic tee to wear layered under her flannel, and when it arrived Caleb thought it was so cool he wanted one too! However, then we found this one and he liked it even better so it's on it's way to us.   He's worn some old bootcut jeans for years but this is his first time to try Wrangler's "Cowboy Cut" jeans and he can really tell a difference in the fit. He says they're so much more comfortable through the hips and fit perfectly with his favorite boots. 

Wrangler Cowboy Cut Jeans and Blue Flannel Shirt

Of course,  it's nice to know that Wrangler maintains the high standard of quality that they've had a reputation for since the mid 1900s.  They're rodeo and cowboy favorites for a reason!  

Wrangler label on plaid flannel shirt

Wrangler also has some pieces that perfectly embrace the current outdoor/hiking trend.  Both my son and my husband are big fans of these performance type outdoor cargo pants.  With a super comfortable spandex-blend moisture wicking fabric and plenty of pockets, they're perfect for hiking and outdoor activities and my guys have especially enjoyed them on our travels this Summer.  

Wrangler outdoor zip stretch cargo pants with blue flannel shirt

Shop this interactive collage for more of our favorite Wrangler picks from Walmart, just click on the image of each item for more details. 

Shop Wrangler in stores, online here or on the Walmart App!  

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This post is sponsored by Walmart.

Does your Summer wardrobe need a mid-season boost?  With thousands of new markdowns on Summer Fashion pieces at Walmart, there are some deals that are too good to pass up!  I combed through to find the best deals on the pieces with the happiest colors and patterns, with several things that will transition right in to Fall as well.  I'm a big fan of the Time and Tru Brand so a few of those things are included here, but I also tried two new-to-me brands this time- Scoop and Free Assembly- that have nice quality and big savings as well!  I'll add sizing info. in the notes below for the things that I have personally bought or tried on.  

This gauzy ruffle sleeve top has been one of my favorites this Summer!  The pants feel like pjs, they're a thick knit jersey fabric with a high waist and generous pockets.  I'm 5'7" and they hit me just above the ankle.  

Same awesome pants, different color that I can't wait to wear this Fall!  If you didn't pick up this tote when I shared it earlier this Summer, it's marked down now so snatch it up!  

I grabbed this t-shirt off the rack the day before we left on an international trip.  The hem is longer in the back and was so comfortable as a layer under a cardigan for our long flights.  I'm definitely picking up another color!  I also shared these cute tie toe flip flops a few months ago, several colors available and marked down to $9.  

This relaxed eyelet blouse is available in a few colors but you know I had to pick the green!  There is a cami-style liner underneath and the ties on the cuffs are such a cute detail.  

Green Eyelet Blouse  ||  Pink Bag- Check local store availability if sold out online  ||  White Jeans- old  ||  Similar Gold Plated Hoop Earrings

I loved the peplum waist and the fun polka dot print on this top.  The sleeves are ruched in the back for a nice detail too.  A great choice for church or a girls' lunch or date night! 

Polka Dot Top  ||  Green Skirt and White Jeans- old  ||  Pink Bag- Check local store availability if sold out online  ||  Similar Gold Plated Hoop Earrings

This skirt might be my favorite thing of the bunch.  It's begging to be mixed and matched with some fun patterns on top, or a simple chambray button up or white t-shirt would also be darling! 

Floral Midi Skirt  ||  Similar Almond Patent Sandals  ||  Gingham Shirt- old but this one would be cute too!  ||  Similar Gold Plated Hoop Earrings


(Shop this interactive collage by clicking on the item photo for more details, or see the links and description below.)

A few comments about my picks and sizing notes... for the most part I found the Free Assembly pieces I tried to run a size big, I sized down in all of them, noted below.  (TTS= True To Size)

Yellow Stripe Ruffle Sleeve Top- also in white, TTS.

Tie Flip Flops-  I bought these earlier this Summer,  now marked down to $9! Multiple colors, TTS  

Yellow Crinkle Tie Mules- Love these for Fall!  (I think these are the only things I included that aren't marked down, but they are still a good price and were too good not to share now!)

Tan Medallion Sandals- I bought 2 different colors of this exact style earlier this year, these are such a good price I just added this staple tan color to my cart as well.  TTS for the most part but size up 1/2 if you're in between sizes.  

Orange or White Wide Leg Thick Knit Pants- Such a nice weight and so very comfy!  These were well stocked when I purchased a few days ago, but check availability in your local store if not available online.  Size down, I'm wearing a Small.

Green Eyelet Tie Cuff Blouse- Runs true to size for a relaxed fit, size down if you want a more tailored fit.  Multiple colors. 

Giraffe Flats- Several other styles/colors as well, I love this orange for the upcoming Fall months, they're in my cart too! 

Faux Straw Tote with Bamboo Handles- you know I love this bag and always get compliments on it.

Faux Straw Satchel with Bamboo Handles- With the reduced price I'm tempted to get this slightly different style in the lighter color, but this one and this one are so chic too... I can't decide! 

Striped Tunic Tee- True to size for a loose fit, size down for more fitted.

Pink Block Heel Sandals- I have a similar out of stock pair that I get questions about every time I wear them, these are such a great alternative! 

Floral Midi Skirt- Runs large.  I'm wearing a Small but think I need an XS instead (which never happens... I'm usually a solid M!)  A few other colors available. 

Tie Neck Dress-  This fabric is a nice weight and the stripes are so classic!  

Shorts Pajama Set-  I bought 2 sets of these and shared them with you a few months ago.  Love them and they have an amazing clearance price of $7!  There's a large selection of styles but sizes might be limited depending on pattern, but you can't go wrong with any of them.  TTS but size up if you want them relaxed/oversized.

Gold Plated Hoop Earrings- nice quality with a nice markdown price!  These are such a staple, I wear my similar ones multiple times per week.  

Shop there and more warm weather must-haves for the entire family here

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A few months ago we passed the 15 year mark of living in our home, hard for us to believe!  I lived in the same house my whole life growing up, but the longest my husband ever lived in a house was around 7 years so this is definitely the longest he's ever lived in any one home.  Today I thought I'd share a big before and after post, with photos from when we moved in (or shortly thereafter) to how each space currently looks.  I wrote a similar post when we had been in our house for 10 years, but of course more things have changed in the past 5 years so I thought an update was in order!  That post had more in-between changes in it as well that I made throughout the years and more description of everything we changed, but for today I'll just include the earliest before photos and the most current afters.  

Some of these photos are from the MLS listing with the previous owner's belongings, and some are within a few days after we moved in.  We could not even move our things onto carpeted areas before removing it immediately after closing (terrible pet stains...yuck!) so that is why you see concrete floors in many of the pics.  It took a few weeks to get the new carpet chosen and installed.  We immediately began making some changes so it was a bit chaotic and unsettled and messy for a while.  It's obvious from the before photos I took that this was well before I started blogging, they were just quick snapshots with terrible lighting, my family in some of them, and the angles aren't the best! But bad before shots make even better after shots, right?  Ha!

I hope you enjoy walking down memory lane with us! 
















A few other things have changed over 15 years too...

We won't talk about how Ray and I have changed but our Kindergartener and Preschooler are now starting their Senior and Sophomore years of college!!  I'm incredibly grateful for this home that has served us so well over the past 15 years and has been the place where so many memories have been made! 

There are a few projects that are still on my original to-do list (hello paint allllll the orangey-oak in the office!) and now a few of these spaces that need to be refreshed, and even just a few updates I've done since these photos that I haven't shared with you yet.  So, on to the next project!  Thanks so much for following along over the years! 

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