• Life

    Friday Favorites | January 27, 2023

    Hey friends, it’s been a while so I thought I’d share a little Friday Favorites post to catch you all up on what’s been going on around here lately.

    o n e

    We have a 5 year old in the house! I can’t believe Shane is five already. It just goes too fast. We had a lot of fun celebrating this sweet boy this month. We had a little family party for him as well and he had a blast. It was definitely a recent favorite of ours.

    t w o

    Speaking of birthdays, this little girly and I snuck out on my birthday and had a little shopping date. I had some money from Christmas that I got to spend on some fun home decor. I also got to cash in my free Starbucks drink. We had a great time.

    t h r e e

    Another favorite this week is how much I am loving the home decor we bought on our little date. I am in love with these three flower canvas prints. I also bought the bunch of flowers on the mantel as well and am loving that too! It adds such a nice touch to our home and makes it all feel a lot more pulled together. Now next on the list is to refinish the brick and mantel. I can’t wait, it’s going to look so much better!

    f o u r

    I almost forgot to add this one but a definite favorite these past two weeks is my new Nespresso machine!! Tommy surprised me with it for my birthday and it’s been so much fun to have some fancy coffee. I can’t wait to make some brown sugar shaken espressos when it starts getting warmer! It’s going to be so much fun! (and delicious!)

    f i v e

    The boys have been absolutely loving having “snack trays” for lunch the past few weeks. Ever since Christmas when we had a lot of leftover crackers and cheese, we’ve been putting these snack trays together for the boys about once a week for lunch and we all have been loving it. Me because it’s so easy and them because they find it really fun and delicious! I’ve seen other people do this a lot but have never tried it and I’m so glad we finally did.

    s i x


    Another favorite is that I have been loving how much I’ve been reading this month. I decided to take the month off of Instagram and I am so very glad I did. I have gotten into a new habit that has been so much better than scrolling Instagram. When I’m nursing now I have started reading books on our library’s digital apps and also keeping a copy of the hard books when possible too and it has really helped me get into a lot more books than I usually read. I am probably going to hit five books this month, which is just crazy! I think I’m going to do a book review post in the beginning of February of all the books I read this month so stay tuned for that if that’s interesting to you.

    s e v e n

    Lastly, a new favorite is that my friend Bella from Over the Teacups, and I are starting a coffee date linkup next Wednesday! We both used to linkup with a blog every now and then and have a coffee date but we since haven’t been able to find any more coffee date linkups so we decided to create our own. It’s going to be the first Wednesday of every month so don’t forget to join us next week for the first one!

    Thanks for joining me and thanks to Andrea and Erika for hosting this linkup! 🙂

  • Life

    2022: Year In Review


    January started with me being in the first trimester and feeling very exhausted and just generally not great. We had Shane’s 4th birthday party that we had been planning all the previous year. This was the year he had his “big” party where we rented a place and invited all of our extended family and friends. It was super fun even though I was still very much in the first trimester haze of exhaustion. Unfortunately after the party all four of us came down with COVID and were very sick for a week or so. (Hence the picture of Riley and I on the couch looking miserable. 😂) We were unfortunately really sick for Tommy and I’s birthdays but tried to make the best of them and celebrated the only way we were able to, with some yummy food.


    February brought our first ultrasound and our first blood test when we found out we were having a baby girl! This was such a fun month sharing the news with our parents and being shocked ourselves. Other than that we spent lots of time inside trying to stay busy, including lots of reading and some indoor exercise videos.


    March brought a little bit of time outside as it started to slowly warm up, a growing babe, and a trip to the zoo!


    In April we celebrated a small Easter at home, our twenty week ultrasound, and had a sad sick boy. 😔


    May brought lots more time outside, which was much welcomed. The boys got into a habit of spenting lots and lots of time outside as it warmed up even more. Tommy and I celebrated our six year anniversary with a couple days home with no kids. We made dinner at home together which was really nice. We also enjoyed seeing our sweet girl grow and grow!


    In June we went to Ocean City, New Jersey for a week of relaxation on the beach. We had such a good time and can’t wait to go back as soon as we can!


    In July we celebrated Riley’s second birthday! The boys joined me at the OBs office a few times. We ate many, many acai bowls this summer. Shane started swim lessons! And we took a week vacation to Lake George, New York with Nana and Pop and our cousins! It was a very exciting month!


    In August Shane went to many more swim lessons. It was so nice to get to the little beach many times this summer even being very pregnant. 😅 (Thank God the lessons were only 30 mins, ha!) I also got my hair done for the first time in a salon just in time to celebrate our sweet girl at our baby sprinkle. I also went to many doctors appointments this month and very impatiently awaited our baby girl’s arrival.


    September was the best month yet when our girl FINALLY graced us with her appearance. We were all absolutely in love with her the minute we all met her. We enjoyed many, many baby snuggles this month (after everyone got over their colds). We also got out of the house a few times and went for walks and even was able to go fishing once or twice.


    October was when we officially started homeschooling! We went fishing a few more times and took a trip to go pumpkin picking!


    November was really fun! We went apple picking right at the beginning, Tommy and I got to sneak out for a few hours and celebrated a wedding that was very conveniently 15 minutes down the road. We ended the month getting our Christmas tree and decorating our house for Christmas!


    In December we enjoyed snuggling our sweet girl a whole bunch, baked lots and lots of Christmas cookies, and made prime rib and homemade cinnamon rolls on Christmas Day! It was a very sweet and enjoyable time of year! ❤️

    I love making these posts because it reminds me just how blessed we were each year. I’m so, so thankful for everything that we were able to do in 2022 and can’t wait for what 2023 has in store for us. In case you want to see what we were up to in the past you can see some of my other year in reviews here: 2015: Part 1, 2015, 2015: Part 2, 2016, 2019.

  • Life

    Happy 5th Birthday Shane!

    I can hardly believe our first baby is five years old today! Where has the time gone??

    It’s so easy to celebrate this boy because he is just the sweetest. He loves to celebrate and has the most fun whether he’s allowed to eat donuts for breakfast (a birthday tradition!) or gets to go on a week long vacation. His excitement is the same and it’s just so fun!

    Shaney is the best big brother and has so much pride in his title of big brother. He truly sees it as his responsibility to look out for and protect his younger siblings. It’s the sweetest thing to see. He absolutely loves playing with his younger brother and absolutely adores his younger sister. If it were up to him he would have ten younger brothers and sisters to love and play with. He just loves his siblings so much.

    He also has the most helpful spirit and finds so much joy in being a helping hand. He’s always there to let you know that he would love to help, whether that’s folding the laundry, doing the dishes, or just grabbing something for you. He genuinely just really wants to help.

    Shane is wise beyond his years and is so thoughtful and responsible. He is quick and witty and has us laughing all the time.

    Being this boy’s mama is one of the greatest joys of my life. It’s such a bittersweet thing watching him grow. Some days I wish he were back to being a sweet baby again but he makes it so much fun to watch him learn and grow. I just love the little boy he is becoming and can’t wait to watch his abilities and interests grow over the years!

    He loves to learn and loves animals and it’s been such a delight to get to teach him this year so far in homeschool. I’m so glad I’m the one who gets to be with him day in and day out and watch his abilities continue to grow.

    Happy birthday to our sweet boy! We love you so much!!

  • Life

    Best of 2022

    Best adventure, travel, or trip: By far our trip to Ocean City, New Jersey was the best trip we took last year. We had the most relaxing, enjoyable time. We had rented a house that was a few blocks to the beach. I was about 24ish weeks pregnant and we took everything very slow because of that and it just made the time very enjoyable because we weren’t trying to push ourselves to do anything just because it would have been “fun”, if that makes any sense.

    Best book: My favorite non-fiction book was definitely M is for Mama. This book was such a breath of fresh air and helped me realize how much I was doing because the internet said so. It was full of practical words of wisdom and I honestly may read it again soon. My favorite fiction book was probably The Younger Wife. Sally Hepworth can do no wrong honestly.

    Best TV show: Probably A Million Little Things would have to be my favorite this year. Or This Is Us. Or Ted Lasso.

    Best movie: Honestly, much to my husband’s despair, I don’t really like movies. We rarely ever watch new movies. The only ones that I can sit through are ones that I already know I like, haha! We watched The Grinch quite a few times and Tommy and I rewatched The Princess Diaries and that was really fun.

    Best album, song, or artist: I also don’t really listen to much new music, but my favorite artist is King’s Kaleidoscope. They make the best Christian music. Their new song All The Emotions is my new favorite.

    Best new podcast listen, newsletter subscribe, or blog follow: I really enjoy Ashlee Gadd’s newsletter. I honestly love all of her writing and really look forward to reading her newsletter’s each month.

    Best kiddo milestone: Watching Riley become a big brother! He surprised us all and handled it so well. He’s absolutely in love with his baby sister and it’s been really fun to watch them together.

    Best faith grower: We switched churches last year and it was such a great decision for our family. I think I’ve talked about it a little bit on my Youtube channel but this church is so much smaller than our last church. This switch has really grown my faith and showed me practically how the church is really meant to function as a family and not as a list of rules to “get right”.

    Best beauty purchase: I would have to say this serum. It’s been so moisturizing and I’ve really enjoyed it a lot. Ever since Melly was born and I’m breastfeeding again, my skin is so dry and it helps it feel so much better.

    Best new tradition: I wouldn’t say you would call this a tradition but starting homeschool this past year has been such a gift. I’ve had a lot of fun spending lots of one on one time with Shane and am really thankful that I get to be the one who teaches him (so far anyway).

    Best habit you created: I’m not sure if this is exactly a habit but I would say choosing to read more this year is something that I want to grow even more in in 2023. It has been really great to choose to read more and spend less time watching videos or on social media. My goal in January since I’m taking a month off of Instagram is to read a book a week. I’m already a quarter of the way through my first one and it’s been really refreshing to read a book on my phone instead of scrolling social media.

    Favorite blog post written: Definitely my birth story of sweet Melanie. I love that I have each of my kid’s birth stories written out on here.

    Best life or mom hack: Finding the app, Tumblebooks and letting Shane “watch” books on my phone when he wakes up earlier than I want him to be, haha. He’s just listening to someone read him books so it’s not really screen time and he loves it.

    Best mama moment: Definitely meeting our sweet Melly girl! She brings so much joy to our family!

    Best home improvement: We technically started this project at the end of 2021 but have (sort of) finished it in 2022, we renovated our bathroom and it has made the house feel a lot more cohesive which has been really fun.

    Best little luxury you’ve enjoyed: Getting my hair done for sure I’ve been getting my hair dyed at a salon ever since August of last year and I’ve enjoyed it so much more than I would have thought. It definitely feels like a luxury every time I go.

    the day I got it done for the first time 🙂
  • Life

    Merry Christmas from the Zinhobls!

    Merry Christmas from our family to yours! I hope that you guys had an enjoyable and fun Christmas this year.

    We had a relaxing and really fun Christmas Eve at my brother’s house and then hosted Christmas with just my mom yesterday. It ended up being so nice and relaxing. We made prime rib for the first time which turned out to be really fun and so delicious! Then we made homemade cinnamon rolls for dessert and they were amazing! We used the Pioneer Woman’s recipe and I highly recommend!

    Thank you to Basic Invites for sponsoring this post!

    I was able to work with Basic Invites to make the cutest holiday cards this year. I was super impressed with how easy they were to design. For the past seven years I’ve used Shutterfly to make my Christmas cards and while I do love the cards, it was so much easier to customize them on Basic Invite’s website. Once you choose a card you can change the color of each element on the card and they have over 180 colors to pick from. So cool.

    Another really cool feature they have is an address capturing feature where you can post a link on social media and your friends and family can fill out the form with their addresses. It’s a much easier way of getting all of the addresses you need from your friends and family. They will even print them on each envelope for free!

    Each year Tommy and I have had to text many of our friends and family who have moved throughout the year to get their new addresses. This would be a particularly cool feature for the first year that you are sending out cards so that you wouldn’t need to text each of your friends. It can be really time consuming to wait for each of their responses and then copy each address onto the website. You can also have Basic Invite send out your Christmas cards and I’m definitely going to be doing that next year. I always wait way too long to send out my cards because I hate going to the post office, ha! Not to mention it’s faster because they can send them right away and you don’t have to wait to receive them.

    Another one of the things I love about Basic Invite is that they have faith based cards too. Even after seven years on Shutterfly, I have yet to notice many faith based cards, but it was one of the first things I noticed on Basic Invite’s website. I love the glory to God in the highest card below. It’s so cute!

    I was even able to put together a birth announcement for sweet Melly girl too which was really special because I wasn’t able to do that with either of the boys. I love that I have that this time around.

    Basic Invites is such an awesome site to order cards from and I thought you guys might love them too. If you are still interested in sending out cards this year (they have designer Christmas cards, business holiday cards, and even new years cards!) you can use code 15FF51 for 15% off your order.

    I really hope you guys had a great Christmas! I’m really looking forward to this week to reset the house and to sit down and think about the new year and things I want to focus on. I’m still unsure about if I’m going to set goals for this year but if I do I will be back to share them soon!

  • Life

    Friday Favorites | December 9, 2022

    o n e

    I wanted to start by sharing what I got Melly for Christmas. For those who don’t know, Melly is 3 months old so I didn’t buy her much for Christmas seeing as she doesn’t need much! 🤣 I got her three small toys, this little teether toy being the first one. I thought it was super cute and great for when she’s able to start grabbing toys and munching on them, which will be very soon!

    The second thing I got was this ball. I’ve heard lots of good things about toys like this for babies who are under six months old or so. I’ve heard that they just love grabbing onto them so I’m excited to give this to her.

    And lastly, I got her this cute water mat for tummy time. She doesn’t mind tummy time – she actually seems to enjoy it but I thought this would make it extra fun!

    t w o

    Melly has started using this awesome sit-me-up seat this week and we all just love it. It’s so fun to see her sitting up now and she loves to be able to see everything a lot better. She’s even starting to reach for the toys a little bit, which is really fun. I also love how there’s a tray behind her, and we can spin the toys to swap it for the tray and when she gets older and is eating finger foods, we can have her sit in here and eat.

    t h r e e

    We’ve been making homemade pizza for about a year or two now and Tommy has gotten quite good with it! We use this recipe for the dough and then season it, add some sauce, and cheese and it’s so so good!

    f o u r

    I also ordered this number board this week for homeschool. Shane has loved it and it’s definitely helping him with letter recognition and learning how to count past thirty. I highly recommend it if you have a 4 or 5 year old who is learning larger numbers. It is a lot smaller than it looks though, just a heads up!

    f i v e

    Another yummy dinner we ate this week was actually a weight watchers recipe. Tommy has been doing weight watchers for about six weeks now. We had the Weight Watchers cookbook sent to us and I found this recipe in it and it was so yummy. I did add just ground turkey rather than the turkey meatloaves that they say to add and we also added parmesan cheese on top. So yummy and healthy!

    Today I’m linking up with Andrea and Erika for Friday Favorites! The links are affiliate, thanks for supporting my little blog!