I should have written this (super long) post a week ago. But life got in the way. We had a small fire. It happened on Friday, July 28 around 12:30 pm. We’re all okay and made out with minimal damage to our home.

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There’s something about the beginning of a school year that gives me a sense of nostalgia. It makes me wanna buy school supplies. I would send you a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils if I knew your name and address (name that movie). I remember being a kid and getting so excited about picking out my new school supplies and outfits – carefully planning my first day of school ensemble. Needless to say, since A is heading to pre-school this year (today was her first day), I just couldn’t help myself. She’s been in preschool for 2 years but this is the first year she’s held to a school calendar and schedule. So even though she’s still at the same school, this year feels different and we’re all taking it very seriously. While she doesn’t actually need any supplies for the classroom, we wanted to be sure to have everything we need to support and reinforce her learning at home. Thankfully, Walmart.com’s everyday low prices and smart rollbacks made it convenient and affordable (I saved 15% compared to a competitor!). Here’s what we did to prep for A’s first day of Pre-K.

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Have you ever tried on a piece of clothing and thought, “Oh my goodness, this is perfect” and fallen in love immediately? If you’re like me, that’s happened to you way more times than you can count. My latest “Oh my goodness” piece is the Black Surplice Back Tie Tank Top from Filly Flair. Priced at less than $35, this super flattering blouse has some of my favorite elements: v-neck, draped front (because mom gut), flowy material, and it’s transitional!

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My husband has tried to convince me to get rid of the old rocking chair that sits in my 4.5 year old’s bedroom many times. He says it takes up too much space. We bought it from a yard sale group on Facebook before she was born and I have spent countless, priceless hours in it with her. We definitely got our money’s worth. That old chair doesn’t see much action these days but I just can’t part with it. Not yet. See, the moments in that chair are rare, but they’re so special. Last night was one of those rarities; one that brought me to joyful, nostalgic, bittersweet tears. I’m running out of time.

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I’m 3.5 months into my new gig as an at-home mom (I purposely remove the word “stay” from “stay at home mom”) and I have learned a lot about myself and my kids in that amount of time. While it still feels like a vacation compared to the rat-race of my working-mom-life, I can easily see how and why many stay-at-home moms become lonely, exasperated, and frustrated. I have already had my fair share of days where I felt at least one, if not all, of those emotions. Being home with my children is one of the best gifts I have ever received. But just like any valued treasure, their is maintenance and care that comes with it. One of the things I quickly figured out is how important it is for my girls and I to get out of the house every single day. Here are 5 benefits I’ve found.

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