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Molly's Money | Birthday Freebies (Free stuff just for being born!)

In all honesty, I am not a big “birthday” person. Every once in a while I will want to celebrate my birthday, but in general, on my birthday I just want to be with the ones I love eating yummy cake and Chipotle. It’s the truth.

However, over the years, I have come to learn of and appreciate all the places that will give you either awesome discounts OR free stuff on your birthday or during your birthday month! Since my birthday is coming up next month, I thought I’d share as comprehensive a list as I can come up with of ALL the places that will give you free stuff or discounts on your birthday or during your birthday month.

Now, how does this all fit into my Molly’s Money category? Well, free stuff and discounts = savings. Savings = more dollars left in your pocket, so to speak. So, it counts! Ha! There!

A lot of these do involve signing up for an email list. If you don’t want your inbox to be totally full of marketing emails from random places, I would actually suggest creating an email address that is SOLELY for the purpose of email lists. Something like “mollysemaillists@gmail.com” or something. That is not my email list email… but it’s a great way to keep all those promotional emails in one place and you don’t have to bog down your regular inbox with them.

A LIST OF BIRTHDAY FREEBIES

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Lilly Pulitzer Mimosa skirt, white peplum eyelet top, denim jacket, blue heels

A while ago (as in like eight months ago), one of my favorite bloggers and former college classmate Clarabelle posted this on her blog: “What are the three things you love most about your body?”

And, even eight months later, that post has stuck out to me for a lot of reasons. It is so rare to hear a woman speak about her body in a positive light. I think you can ask pretty much every woman out there, even the most beautiful woman on the planet, and they can find a dozen things they’d change about the way they look. Women are the queens of self-deprecation when it comes to our bodies.

Lace shorts, Lilly Pulitzer Lulu print tote, Esterlane boutique mint cardiganHeck, I know I’m guilty of it. I do it all the time. I say how much I hate this about my body or that about my body. I am the worst critic when it comes to my own appearance.

When I saw Clinton Kelly last month he said something that really stuck with me. He said, “If someone came up to you and said they hate your shoes or they hate your butt or they hate your [INSERT THING HERE], it would ruin your day. You would be sad and depressed. You would feel awful. So WHY do you continue to say the same things to yourself?

He was SO right. I never thought about it like that. But the more we degrade ourselves and the more we talk down to ourselves, the more we begin to believe what we say. It’s a vicious cycle. Lace shorts, printed top, denim vest, red TOMS

And so, Clare’s post about having confidence in your body and actually taking the time to say what you LIKE about your body is something that I think we all should be doing more often.

I can sit here all day and make excuses as to why I am unhappy with how I look… but the fact is, I have to remember – I made a human and my body has done work and God made me unique and His design is intricate and special. I’m not going to be a size 2 or a size 4. I never have been. So, why am I sitting around all day moping about the way I wish I looked when I could start speaking light to myself… speaking confidence… speaking in a positive way. Because if I start doing THAT more often, I might actually start to believe it.white eyelet peplum blouse, skinny jeans, infinity scarf

So, I am going to start, and then I’m going to challenge you.

Three Things I Like About My Body:

  1. My feet (I know this is a weird one, but I have really “proportional” feet. Nail technicians have always told me that I have nice feet… and I would agree!)
  2. My smile – I really do love my smile. I realize that my favorite pictures of myself are ones where I have a big smile on my face. I think it also has to do with the fact that I see my mom in my smile… and I love that.
  3. My nose – I have always liked my nose. It’s that button, small, round nose… and I actually think it’s kinda cute.

Now, it’s your turn. In the comments below, I want YOU to share three things YOU love about your body. And then, I’d love for you to encourage YOUR readers to share three things they love about THEIR body. Use the hashtag #LoveYourBody if you post!

I’d love to see a swarm of women on the internet speaking highly of themselves. This isn’t being conceited… it’s being confident in what God gave us and loving ourselves as we are!

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Cynthia + Doug {Engaged} | Chapel Hill, North Carolina Engagement Portrait Photographer (1)

When Cynthia’s mom emailed me about photographing an engagement session for her daughter Cynthia and fiance Doug, I knew the name sounded familiar. Then, after some connecting of dots, we realized that Cynthia and I knew each other from being advisors for the Phi Mu chapter at UNC Chapel Hill. I’d only met Cynthia a few times because she came on the advisory council right as I was about to have Lilly… so I hadn’t had too many chances to get to know her. Cynthia + Doug {Engaged} | Chapel Hill, North Carolina Engagement Portrait Photographer (2)

But, nevertheless, I was SO excited that Cynthia’s mom emailed me and honored that she would have me shoot her daughter’s engagement portraits! Cynthia and Doug met in grad school at UNC Chapel Hill and it was pretty much love at first sight.

They started dating, and rather quickly they knew… this was it. This was for real. As we walked around Chapel Hill’s campus taking pictures, I asked them how the whole engagement went down. Doug had a whole elaborate plan… they were going to the beach for a vacation, they were going to go out to a nice restaurant, walk on the beach, and it was going to be so romantic.

But then a huge storm came and ruined their plans… so they ended up having to go home and cancel their trip altogether. Well, that didn’t stop Doug. They got home, and when they were alone after an exhausting weekend, Doug got down on one knee and asked Cynthia to be his bride. Sounds pretty romantic to me.

They’re going to be getting married next year in New Jersey near Cynthia’s hometown. Cynthia + Doug {Engaged} | Chapel Hill, North Carolina Engagement Portrait Photographer (3)

Anyway, I had such a great time getting to know Cynthia and Doug. They have such a fun spirit and great senses of humor and totally were game for anything I asked them to do… and they happily put up with my crazy antics and hyperactive personality. Ha!

I thought I’d share just a few of my favorite images from the day.

Cynthia and Doug, thank you so much for asking me to be a part of your engagement! Congratulations!

Cynthia + Doug {Engaged} | Chapel Hill, North Carolina Engagement Portrait Photographer (4) Continue Reading →

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RECIPE | Chicken, Broccoli & Cheese Quiche (4)

A few weeks ago, Lilly and I had a playdate at a friend’s house and we had a quiche her mom had made us for lunch. I don’t know why, but I just hadn’t had quiche in who KNOWS how long. I love quiche! But I never make it… I guess I just never think to make it. However, ever since I left her house that day, I had crazy hunger pangs for quiche.

RECIPE | Chicken, Broccoli & Cheese Quiche (1)So, I played around with some recipes (as I am often want to do), and came up with this one and it ended up being SO delicious. In fact, I ended up making TWO quiches that night and we’ve been eating off the leftovers for a week and it’s STILL good.

In fact, Lilly is now a MASSIVE fan of quiche. Homegirl ate two whole slices of quiche all by herself. It’s also a great way to sneak in some veggies for her! Haha! Gotchya, Lil!

Anyway, if I haven’t convinced you already, let me convince you now: this recipe is delicious. And so easy to make. And, you just feel fancy when you say the word “quiche.”RECIPE | Chicken, Broccoli & Cheese Quiche (2)What about you? Are YOU a quiche fan? What recipes are you loving lately?

RECIPE | Chicken, Broccoli, Spinach & Cheese Quiche + #LetItShine Link-Up
 
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A delicious and easy recipe for Chicken, Broccoli, Spinach and Cheese Quiche.
Author:
Recipe type: Main
Serves: 3
Ingredients
  • 1 cup of cooked, steamed, chopped and diced broccoli florets
  • ½ cup of cooked, steamed spinach
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup of milk (I used organic skim milk)
  • ¼ teaspoon of ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of Mrs. Dash garlic and herb seasoning (optional, but delicious)
  • 1 cup of cooked, diced chicken breast (I used about a pound of boneless, skinless chicken breast)
  • 1½ cups of shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 ready made pie crust (I just used the generic Kroger pie crusts you get in the refrigerated section with the biscuits and cinnamon rolls)
  • Paprika
  • 1 pie plate (I used a 10" pie plate)
Instructions
  1. Before I set out to do anything in putting the actual quiche together, I diced and cooked my chicken in garlic and sprinkled Mrs. Dash on all sides as it cooked. I also steamed and cooked the broccoli and spinach, drained it, chopped it, and set it aside. Then I added the diced chicken to a large bowl and mixed the broccoli, spinach, and chicken together... adding in some shredded mozzarella cheese.
  2. Now, preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
  3. In a pie plate, lay out your pie crust and press it into the sides of the pie plate and let it rest at room temperature while you prepare everything else.
  4. In a large bowl, combine your eggs, milk, nutmeg, salt, and Mrs. Dash. Mix them together until totally blended.
  5. Spread your chicken, broccoli, spinach mixture on the bottom of the pie plate (on top of the crust, obviously).
  6. Next, pour the egg and milk mixture over top. I then topped the whole thing with shredded mozzarella cheese. You can really use as much or as little as you want here. Then bring the sides of the crust in to create a "barrier" around the edges.
  7. Then top with a few dashes of paprika.
  8. Then, bake at 350 degrees for ABOUT 25 minutes or until the egg is fully cooked and the cheese is beginning to brown on top. It may be closer to 30 or 35 minutes depending on your oven.

RECIPE | Chicken, Broccoli & Cheese Quiche (3)recipe adapted from Momtastic.

730x100letitshineWelcome to Let it Shine!   Welcome to the new, revamped Funday Monday! After two years, we decided to rename our link up to something we felt was a better fit.  Welcome to Let it Shine! Why the name? Because, we want this link up to be just that…..your chance to let it shine! We will be sharing our favorites each week here, and on social media!

The biggest change? Monthly Inspirations!  Each month we will share some fun post ideas, one for each week.    Do you HAVE to follow the inspirations to link up? Absolutely not!  If you’d like to be considered for a feature, those will be picked from the inspirations.   july inspirations_edited-1
Last week, we talked about home decor….and we got some GREAT ideas! Bathrooms, nurseries, furniture choices…..we loved it! Here are a few of our Home Decor favs…….

a few of our favs-decor
/ Bathroom Remodel / Craft Room Makeover /Dream Home Living /

Another place we will be showcasing our favs? The Let It Shine Pinterest Board! We will also be posting ideas for the weekly themes….so be sure you’re following!   let it shine hashtag_edited-1   Linking up to Let it Shine? Don’t forget to link back to our blogs or share our button, thanks y’all!

Now…..talk amongst yourselves……….

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Nordstrom-Anniversary-Sale-Shop-Online

Oh. My. Gracious. Fashion lovers, it is that time of year. Our favorite time of year. The Nordstrom Anniversary sale, y’all.

The sale starts today and runs through August 3rd! There are so many amazing deals this year and A LOT of great items are marked down. Now, because it is Nordstrom, sometimes that means an item that was like $1,000 is only $798. Haha! Ain’t nobody got time to be spending $700+ on something.

SO, I thought I would share my favorite picks that are all $50 or LESS! Yes, you can get stuff from Nordstrom for LESS than $50. It is possible.

My favorite picks from women’s clothing:

My favorite beauty picks:

My favorite picks from accessories and jewelry:

My favorite picks from little girls:

What about you? Are you shopping the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale this year? Any items you plan on picking up? Anything I should be on the lookout for? 

*this post does contain affiliate links, but this post is not sponsored by Nordstrom. These items were all picked out by me because I really, really do love them and wanted to share all the sale goodness with you!

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lilly-eleven-11-months_0013

 

Yep. Another month is here.  I say this every month, and probably will for the rest of my days, but time is going by too quickly. She is going to be ONE YEAR OLD in a month. I’m really in denial. I see so many of my friend’s babies turning one and I’m like, “Wait a second… we were pregnant at the same time. That means Lilly is almost one. I can’t even…”

Days with Lilly are getting better and better and if it’s even possible, I love her more and more each day. She’s FUNNY and boy, does she have a personality. It’s amazing. I know every mom says this about their kid, but I really am the luckiest. In the world.

Here’s Lilly’s ELEVEN MONTH UPDATE!

NOTE: These monthly photos are almost impossible to take anymore. It is like a WORKOUT for me by the time we are done. She is NOT a fan of sitting still. Continue Reading →

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REVIEW | The Montagne Jeunesse "Renew You" Sleep Spa Mask

I’ve mentioned a few times over the last few months how I’ve been trying to get into a good skin care routine. Either it’s age, having a baby, or a combination of both – but I’ve really begun to notice my skin looking tired lately. It’s looked dull, dry, and just dang tired. I can no longer just wash my face and call it a day. I’m just hyper aware now of how important it is to take good care of your skin… and so, I’m trying to head “aging” off at the pass and really start investing in my skin now!

I mean, skin IS the largest organ on your body.

So, I’ve been pretty much open to trying anything recently and seeing what works for me and what doesn’t. I know that not everything is going to work well on every skin type. Some skin types and some people will react one way to a product and others will react another way. I’m also allergic to a lot of ingredients in mainstream and some well known skincare products.

Continue Reading →

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Disney Dream Cruise (7)

One of my favorite things about summer is heading to the beach! I listed it as one of my goals this summer to make sure I get to the beach because I haven’t been to the beach in FOREVER. Well, I guess I should count when we went to Disney’s private island when we went on our Disney cruise… but that was a day for only a few hours. I’m talking about spending a few days or a week at the beach. Watching the sunrise in the morning. Beach walks at night. You know what I mean! I am counting down the days until our beach trip in August.

Anyway, in anticipation of our beach trip coming up in a few weeks, I’ve been creating my packing list of beach essentials already. What can I say? I’m a planner. I don’t like to forget anything! And since Lilly is coming on this beach trip, I gotta make sure I have everything that she will need, too!

So, here are a few of my beach essentials (in no particular order):  Continue Reading →

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July Stitch Fix Review (What I Got & What I'm Keeping!)

*This is not a sponsored post. This post does contain a referral link, so if you sign up to try out Stitch Fix, I will receive a credit towards my next fix, but that’s it. :)

I’m back for my monthly Stitch Fix review!

I actually scheduled my fix to come earlier in the month this month because I knew the end of the month would be a little hectic with some events and stuff going on… annnnnnd I really just wanted to get another fix sooner because I love Stitch Fix so much!

SPOILER ALERT: this MAY be my favorite fix yet. I kept everything! WOOP! WOOP! 

Now, like every Stitch Fix review that I’ve done, I will share what I got, what I thought of the item (fit, style, size, material, quality, price, etc.) and whether or not I kept it. Since I’ve already told you I kept everything, I won’t need to tell you that after each item. :) And, as always, I share pictures taken as I try the items on so that I can give you my first impression! I also WANTED to take them in my backyard, but it has been raining every chance I’ve had, so inside it was. I hope that’s okay.

This particular fix I requested a lot of “flowy” tanks. Even though I don’t love my arms, I have been wanting to find some cute, flowy tanks that I can throw a cardigan or denim jacket overtop of. So, with that in mind, here is my July fix: Continue Reading →

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Lilly Pulitzer Mimosa skirt, white peplum eyelet top, denim jacket, blue heels

Mimosa Skirt: Lilly Pulitzer (similar) | Eyelet Peplum Blouse: Gap (similar) | Denim Jacket: Old Navy | Bag: Stitch Fix (exact one here!) | Necklace: eBay (similar) | Shoes: C. Wonder c/o (similar)

Photos by Em Grey Photography

The other day I was talking with some friends about our favorite colors vs our favorite colors to wear. An extremely riveting conversation, I realize. However, it really was kind of interesting to really think about colors that we like to wear or we feel compliment us versus our “favorite color.”

I mean, for me, my favorite color has always been pink, but I have found lately that I’m really drawn to wearing blues and purples and I feel like those colors compliment my skin, eyes, and hair the best. Not that I don’t like to wear pink, I just don’t think it’s “my color” – if that makes sense.

Lilly Pulitzer Mimosa skirt, white peplum eyelet top, denim jacket, blue heels Continue Reading →

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Home Decor | Our Living Room Before and After (1)

I love to decorate. I LOVE home decor. I’m not a professional by any stretch of the imagination, but I do really enjoy it. I sometimes struggle with “how” to decorate… in that I often don’t know what to do with “knick knacks,” or I can’t figure out the best arrangement for furniture or pictures on a wall, but over the years I’ve found that decorating is pretty much like anything else – you can’t get “better” at it unless you practice.

Decorating, at least for me, is A LOT of trial and error. It’s putting something in one place only to decide that it’s best in another place. It’s not being “married” to any one particular layout or arrangement or color scheme.

It also is a slow process – unless you’ve got the cabbage to hire someone to come in and do it for you – which I do not. If you’re really trying to decorate a room on a budget, trust me, it is NOT going to happen overnight.

We moved into our house three months ago and it’s just now starting to sort of come together. We’re doing things room by room, a little bit at a time. It’s going to be a few years before I really think the house is looking the way we really want it to. We LOVE this house so much and it’s already so pretty as it is, so it’s not like it looks bad in the meantime while we take our time putting the “finishing touches” on it. If that makes any sense…

I’ve been wanting to share some of our progress. I shared our mini “Deck Makeover” last month. Our latest focus has been on our master bedroom, but there’s still a few things I got to do before I can fully share it.

In the meantime, the only room in the house that is 95% of the way done is the living room! I still need to put up curtains (waiting until next month’s budget for that piece) and I would still like to paint it. The neutral paint color the previous owner’s had is totally fine, but I really want a pop of color in the living room. We also would eventually like to get another loveseat for more seating. But, in the meantime, while we wait to get curtains, paint, and another loveseat, the living room has really come together and feels like us and feels like home!

So, I thought I’d share a little “before and after” of our living room with you guys!

Here’s the “BEFORE” of the living room on the day we closed on the house:

Home Decor | Our Living Room Before and After (2)

And here’s the “in progress” after!Home Decor | Our Living Room Before and After (3)

Continue Reading →

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Right Now

Right Now I’m…

wearing: yoga pants and my new Lilly Pulitzer popover that I snagged at the Summer Madness sale this week
listening: to Hillsong’s new album No Other NameIt’s been on repeat ever since it came out last week!
reading: The Bible. I’ve also got like 10 books that I want to read this summer and really need to get on that!
watching19 Kids and Counting on the DVR. My gracious I love this show. Don’t judge me.
doing: decorating our master bedroom. My husband built us an AWESOME headboard over the weekend and I’m finally starting to feel like our room is coming together!
loving: how fun and adorable Lilly has been lately. I mean, she’s ALWAYS cute, but she clearly understands us now and is being so responsive and doing things when we ask her to do them. She gives kisses, high fives, she claps, raises her hands in the air when we ask how big she is, and she’s even working on blowing kisses! It’s the best.
hating: this incessant cough that’s been lingering for like three weeks now. I can’t figure out if it’s the weather, or I’m sick, or what. The werrrrst.
wishing: our beach week was here! We are going to the beach at the end of August and I just can’t wait.
wanting: the laundry to do itself. Sometimes I feel like the laundry is never ending. Because, well… it is never ending.

What about you? What are YOU doing right now?

be sure to follow me on Instagram to see what I’m always doing “right now.”

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