Day Out at the Outlets of Little Rock

 

This post has been made possible by the Outlets of Little Rock. Compensation has been provided for my time and social media influence. All opinions are my own.
Day Out at the Outlets of Little Rock

There are two things I love: Shopping and Starbucks! Luckily, the Outlets of Little Rock has both. They opened up in late 2015 with over 50 stores to choose from. Over 50 stores y’all! Today, I got to go shopping with some fellow bloggers and enjoy delicious treats from a variety of shops.

Outlets of Little Rock

We made our way around the stores, collecting goodies and filling our bellies as we went. I think I added about 5 million things to my Wishlist. This pair of shoes was one of them.

I would die for this shoe from Corkys Footwear

Others stops included Tommy Hilfiger, Corky’s Footwear, and Beef Jerky Outlet. I had no clue they even made Kangaroo jerky! We tasted different kinds of Jerky

Kangaroo Jerky from Beef Jerky Outlet

Sweetness Overload

One of my favorite stops was the Lindt store where we learned how to use our 5 senses to enhance our chocolate experience. I thought I already knew how to enjoy chocolate, but they helped me really enjoy it.

Lindt Five Senses Demonstration

Starbucks spoke my love language by providing drinks and samplings to the bloggers. I went with my typical Starbucks order of a Caramel Macchiato.

Caramel Macchiato

Giving Back

The Outlets are getting the community involved in different ways. In February, they hosted a Wish-A-Thon to raise money for Make A Wish children, and served Coffee with Cops in January. Coming up on April 22nd is a Food Truck Festival. This is a great way to get your grub on and support a cause. Some vendors are Black Hound BBQ, Eat at Eric’s, and Cypress Knee Food.

If you are shopping for a gift for somebody, the Outlets of Little Rock is the place to go. They seriously have something for everybody. I can’t wait to go back with the kids.

 

Best Reads Of 2016

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In 2016 I set a goal to read 60 books. I figured at 1-3 books per week it was totally doable.  I forgot the fact that I read somewhat fast. I completed 197% of my goal. That’s 118 books. Nearly double my goal. Oops!

Here are some of my best reads of 2016 in no particular order

Best Reads of 2016 by Aduke Schulist

Joe Pickett Series by C.J. Box

I judge books by their covers and when I picked up the third book in the Joe Pickett series by C.J. Box, I was intrigued. Joe Pickett is a game warden who lives in Wyoming with his family. This series follows him as he investigates different crimes that have been committed in his area. I ended up getting hooked on this series and read every single one that I could get my hands on. I hear there is a new one and I can’t wait to read it.

The Call by Peadar O’Guilin

When it is your turn to be called, will you be ready? Nessa, the protagonist of The Call trains along with her classmates for the inevitable; to be called. She only has 3 minutes to save her life and herself from the Sidhe. Will she survive? I can picture this book being made into a movie. I passed it onto Kaia when I was done, and he loved it.

The Nice Girl Syndrome by Beverly Engel

I tend to be a pushover, so this book spoke to me and what I wish to become. While I haven’t been in an abusive romantic relationship, I have been emotionally and mentally abused and I feel like I am constantly being manipulated. This book helped me find out why and learn more about myself in the process. I definitely learned some tips on how to stand up for myself.

The Bunker Diary by Kevin Brook

The Bunker Diary is another one I passed onto Kaia when completed. I have never been one to read the ending before I get there, and this book made me want to. Instead, I read non-stop and finished it in one-sitting. It was addicting! I was not expecting the ending. It’s one that you must read yourself.

13 Hours by Mitchell Zuckoff

Want to know what really happened during the September 11, 2012 Benghazi attack? Read this book! The inside knowledge and details given from those who were there answer so many questions surrounding the attack.

Five by Ursula Archer

This book has a treasure hunt with a twist. When a lady is found murdered with coordinates tattooed on her feet, Detective Beatrice Kaspary begins a mad rush trying to find all the body parts to complete the “cache” and find the killer. I liked that Five contained geocaching, but it was a little gruesome.

This completes my best reads of 2016. As you can see, I have a pretty eclectic taste in books. Have you read any from this list?

What were some of your favorite books from 2016? 

Four Favorites

Four Favorites

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Happy Saturday! The last time I shared some of my favorite things was this Fall, and considering we are heading into Spring, it is time for some updated favorites.

Four of My Favorites by Aduke Schulist

Photography
This is my obsession right now! I must take ALL the photos! I’ve always loved photography, but as I am venturing into business mode with it, my love has ramped up. I finally feel like I am mastering things that took me years to begin learning. I’m slowly upgrading and adding to my equipment, so that makes it even more fun! One thing I’m doing is learning editing via Lightroom and it’s only $9.99 a month! Y’all I notice a HUGE difference in the quality of my edits using Lightroom. (Affiliate link below) (Check me out on Facebook at Aduke Schulist Photography)

Aduke Schulist Photography Favorites

YouTube Speed Cleaning
Seriously guys, this is just too much fun. I found speed cleaning videos and gotta admit my first thought was “Weird!” but now, I can’t get enough. I love watching other people clean their house. I love seeing the messes get turned into happiness, and it’s great motivation for me to clean my own house up.

Canadian Reality TV
I’m not even sure how this favorite started, but I have been binge watching Canadian Reality TV shows on Netflix lately. I imagine the obsession here started from a simple Netflix recommendation. (Side note: Why do people act surprised when they get caught trying to smuggle something across the border?)

Webinars & Workshops
My first experiences with these related to school, so I was never in a hurry to willingly sign myself up for some, but thanks to Facebook ads, I’ve been getting lots of opportunities to learn more about subjects that interest me, like blogging and photography.

What are some of your favorite things right now? 

Stand Still. Stay Strong. Have a VOICE.

VOICE

Stand still. Stay strong. Have a VOICE.

Voice is my 2017 word of the year. I probably started thinking about it in October and one day it just came to me. It may seem like a funny word, but I promise there is a story behind it.

2017 Word of the Year

 

In 2016, I worked through a lot of the issues in my past. I was able to sort through and put away some things that had always bothered me. I was able to find myself in the midst of everybody else and part of that was realizing I have my own voice.

To me, voice represents speaking out and standing up for myself and my family. Far too often I have kept quiet when I shouldn’t have. I have let people walk all over me to avoid conflict rather than speaking up. Coming from a verbally abusive past, I feared conflict. I didn’t want to say the wrong thing and anger somebody, so I just kept quiet.

Finding My Voice

Thanks to some dear friends who played the part of therapist and some great books, I was able to figure myself out and why I was the way I was. I was also given new techniques to try and I am already finding relief from using my voice.

Voice also represents the physical in that I want my house to be a reflection of me and my beliefs. I want my children to have their own voice too. When we moved into this house, nothing was changed. I didn’t decorate or paint. I only hung what few pictures are hanging because there were already nails in the wall.

As you may have seen, I began the process of decorating and organizing at the end of the year starting with my laundry room. Throughout the year (and probably longer) I want to work on making my house mine and letting it speak for me. When somebody walks in, I want them to get a sense of me.

I added the quote at the top to my planner to remind me everyday to have a voice. 

What is your 2017 word? Or what are some of your goals/things you are working on during 2017?

The Perfect Gift for Grandpa #giveaway

This post has been sponsored by Pop Pop Shoppe.

The Perfect Gift for Grandpa

Can you guys believe it is almost Christmas?! I can’t, but I’m so excited for Christmas to come. I’m going to thoroughly enjoy spending it with loved ones and spoiling them with goodies. One person who is getting spoiled this Christmas is the kids’ grandpa aka Pop.

The Perfect Gift for Grandpa

 

Hands down, he is my kids’ favorite person and my go-to babysitter. Not only does he watch my kids for me when I have to do something, he spoils them with his cooking (whatever they ask for) and sweet poems like this one that he wrote to Aloshua a few years ago:

Somewhere in the loving arms
of a mother who cares
is a beautiful sweet baby
and the troubles he bears

He is loved so much
by one and by all
From his aunt and brother
to his Nanny and Pa

He is quite special
a precious little gift
and if you’re around him
your spirits, he will lift

Even with all of
the trouble he knows
tenderness and love
is all he ever shows

He will grow up strong
maybe a leader of men
and all who will know him
will surely call him friend

But for right now
he has much to endure
the love of his family
he has this for sure

The pain he once knew
and the troubles he used to bear
all seemed to have vanished
almost into thin air

Someday he will be
a handsome young man
with ideas of his own
and having his own plan

The time he is little
you will wish you could keep
for when he is grown
a tear you will weep

Tears come to my eyes just reading that. How can we not spoil such an awesome grandpa like that?

So, for Christmas this year, I am including a basket from Pop Pop Shoppe in with his goodies to make the perfect gift. I simply added a few lottery tickets and this handmade tag to give it some extra oomph.  The basket is filled with some of his favorite popcorn flavors including yellow cheddar, and caramel. It even has a bottle of wine and some cheesy puns.

“We are so glad you are our POP. We love you a LOTTO.”

The pre-made baskets are to die for, but you can even customize your own with a variety of delicious flavors that your recipient will love. Flavors include Pickle Pop, Wedding Cake, White Chocolate Vanilla (my new favorite), Hot Chocolate, White Cheddar, Cinnamon Roll, Butter, Confetti and more! For a complete list of flavors visit Pop Pop Shoppe on the web.

Pop Pop Shoppe is located at 416 South University Ave. Suite 130 in Little Rock, Arkansas. Your comment below will get you 1 entry into a drawing for a Pop Pop Shoppe prize valued at $40. For every friend you refer in the comments you will get an additional 2 entries. Winner must pick up at the location listed above. Drawing will end Dec 18th at 11:59pm CST and winner will be announced on my Instagram @AdukeSchulist, Dec 19th, so get those comments in.

What is your favorite Pop Pop Shoppe flavor? Or, what flavor would you like to try?