Back to school outfit, A style

Back to School StyleIt’s a tradition in our house to pick out back to school outfits, and with the addition of being in kindergarten A also has some new cool school items. I thought I would share a bit more about them if you would like to read…

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Two weeks from school…

AJ It’s hard to believe that in just two short weeks our summer will be done and A will start kindergarten and J will start preschool. This summer we have traveled a little bit, played a lot, and enjoyed all the good parts of summer (watching cartoons in the morning, having cousin time, and eating lots of popsicles would top the boys’ list). We are about out of writing practice worksheets, and I am close to out of activity ideas, so I think it’s a good time for school to start! I know A is very ready to get back to a classroom setting, and I am so excited for everything he will learn this next year. While I am a bit nervous about how J is going to take to preschool that first week, I know it won’t be long before he is marching in there hat on, hands in his pockets, ready to play!

For the last two weeks of summer A told me his ideas of what we should do, so here is his list:

1. Play with his cousins

2. Check on the garden at Granna and Papa’s

3. Eat pizza

4. Eat ice cream

5. Run in the sprinklers

6. Play Mario

7. Watch a movie

8. Play Legos

9. Color Mario pictures

10. Play Legos while watching Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Definitely a list we can tackle in the next few weeks and completely A. Happy Tuesday!

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Art with Kids: Primary Colors

Art with Kids: Primary ColorsWe have just a few short weeks before the boys start school, and for a few of those afternoons we are getting together with friends to do art in the afternoon. Our first lesson was about primary colors and sketching if you would like to see..

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Friday Favorites

July 20141. Our produce pick up from this past week was overwhelming! It was really tasty, but I was glad that I decided split it with my sister. We are still making our way through all of the cherries, plums, and tomatoes.

2. The snap cubes have been a big hit with the boys, especially because you can make shapes out of them, which has basically developed them into Lego tower territory.

3. The boys decided to be my mini-stylists for a day and picked out ALL of my jewelry for me to wear. So…apparently more is more.

4 & 5. Oh, J. I do wish that boy had more personality. ;)

A gorgeous flower shop worth the many sneezes I would undoubtedly endure upon entering.

So that’s how you make iPhone photos look gorgeous.

We have a whole host of tomatoes and more on the way, so I was happy to find a bunch of ideas for prepping and cooking them.

Making all those readings of “Polar Bear, Polar Bear” a little sweeter.

Great travel books, whether or not you are traveling this summer.

Have you read the Elephant and Piggie books with your kids? They are A’s new favorite read aloud books. We are looking forward to sharing (and making) some ice cream, but until that book comes in at our library the boys have been reading “I will Surprise my Friend” and then trying to hide behind things and scare each other. An impromptu activity if you will.

Loving the trendsetting style of Diane Kruger.

One day B and I will have nightstands that are twins. Until then we are settling with our first cousins twice removed nightstands. HA!

And speaking of ice cream (we were talking about that, yes?), I found a great way to count down our last days before school starts again.

B and I used to make this tomato-tuna-pasta dish when we were dating. I just found it’s more elegant older sister. When we met she sounded something like Ina Garten.


Such a cute and a classy way of taking on the cropped top trend.

I feel like this post is mainly about reading and ice cream. So…a book about ice cream seems fitting.

And that’s it! Have a great weekend!

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All about fireflies

Both boys are fascinated by fireflies, so it seemed like a perfect July activity to discuss a little more about them!

We read The Very Lonely Firefly book (one of the surprises in their July box)…

The Very Lonely Firefly

Then we did a little worksheet that told us more about the anatomy and make-up of a firefly…

FIrefly WorksheetWe also made good use of the hand-me-down science book we received from my nephew, by talking about the different parts of insects, how fireflies are beetles, and how they are different than spiders:

InsectsAnd we talked about how animals use parts of their bodies as tools and what fireflies might use as a tool:

FirefliesWe drew and colored our own fireflies (this craft was our inspiration)….

Fireflies IMG_6128 IMG_6129 IMG_6133And of course we have plans to go out and catch some fireflies at some point, but we haven’t quite gotten to that yet. However when we do we will be using these:

Mason JarsGood old mason jars. I’m not sure what else you catch fireflies with! Happy firefly studying!

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Make-up favorites, part II

Splurge Worthy Make-Up

I have loved make-up pretty much as long as I can remember. When I was growing up my favorite thing about Halloween was getting to wear make-up. I can still remember in 6th grade trying to convince my Mom of make-up items I needed. When I was in college, one of the things I always splurged on was make-up. From Dior shadows to NARS palette’s I had couldn’t resist new trendy sets. Having two boys and, you know, life responsibilities I can’t splurge the way I used to, however, there are some products that I am committed to and keep on hand. These are my top nine!

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Re-done Chicken Flatbread

chicken flatbreadSo after having to switch up some food items because of B’s allergies I re-did my chicken flatbread recipe that I posted a few months ago. It turned out great, and I thought I would share!

Ingredients (Serves 2…one flatbread per person)

Two small flatbreads (I used the Stonefire naan from Target, but I also saw a version from Costco that I believe is completely soy-free)

Two boneless skinless chicken breasts chopped

Thai sweet chili sauce

Barbecue sauce (I used Sweet Baby Ray’s original barbecue sauce because it’s soy and onion free)

1 cup of mozzarella cheese

1/2 cup julianned cucumbers

1/2 cup shredded butter lettuce

2 tbs chopped cilantro

Sriracha sauce*


Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

In a medium non-stick skillet cook the chopped chicken with 2 tbs of the barbecue sauce until cooked through. Spread about 1-2 tbs of the chili sauce on the flatbread. Top with the chicken, mozzarella, and drizzle with more barbecue sauce if preferred. Bake for 5-7 minutes (I baked them on a pizza stone, but you could also use a cookie sheet). Top with remaining ingredients, dividing them among the two flatbreads.

*Optional: Drizzle lightly with sriracha sauce (it’s spicy!)

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A’s favorite bike trail

nature preserve trail 5I wanted to call this post “the trail that did me and my allergies in”, but that seemed long-winded. After successfully navigating many weekends of hiking with the boys, this past weekend’s trail apparently crested my allergy limit. It was either that or the lively game of kickball we played with my sister’s family that afternoon…or probably a combination of both. I finally had to tell my outdoor loving boys that for one day Mommy could not go outside to play. Anyway, this is one of A’s favorite trails, so I thought I would share….

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Friday Favorites

Friday FavoritesSmiles all around! A completed a week of Little Gym camp with cousin J, and to say they had the best time would probably be an understatement. We are at the point in the summer where A really needs some outside things to do (outside of the house), and the camp couldn’t have come at a better time. This weekend we are looking forward to dinner with friends, letting A ride his bike on one of the trails, checking on the garden at my parents’ house, and getting our first basket of produce from here. My sister and I are going in together on a basket and I am excited about what we will be splitting. I’ll share next week! Have a great weekend!

How to create a great summer-proof smoky eye.

Ten things you should not buy at the grocery store. A would totally disagree with the lunchables one.

Ah, there really is nothing like an organized pantry.

Keeping this in mind in case we ever get REALLY serious about hiking.

If you aren’t interested in creating a smoky eye, how about a bronzed peach make-up look?

A terrific travel log of Charleston. Makes me think it would be a great fall break trip for the boys and us!

A sweet little car print that would be great in either of the boys’ rooms….or in your hall bath, K! Check it out!

I have a collection of mirrors throughout or house from exotic places like Wal-Mart and Lowe’s. Grouping them all together one day would be a cool idea.

So, I tried the pretzel bun sandwich at Wendy’s on Thursday…and I’m telling you right now it’s not this good. No matter what Boyz II Men says.

Hey, you know what people are doing at IKEA in China? Sleeping. No, seriously.

And speaking of IKEA, I’m adding the cart featured in this article to my list.

Sweat-proof summer make-up. I’d love to try these products and see how they hold up in our humidity!

A plan idea for next year’s garden at my parents.

Another great summer read….I don’t think I’m going to finish my list if I keep picking up side books!

And lastly, a frozen coconut limeade sounds like the perfect weekend drink for the summer!


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Summer Fun Box 2

I am waiting another week or so before I introduce the second summer fun box to the boys, but I thought I would go ahead and share what we picked out.

Summer Fun & LearningFor this box I was thinking of things that both boys would enjoy. I realized after getting the last box that a lot of the items were geared more towards A’s age (the puzzle and books), and even the stack of counting cards has received more usage from A, who likes lining up the trains and animals. Anyway, for this set I thought more of broader age range to encompass both boys’ interests.

1. Instead of getting a map floor puzzle, I went for an actual map. When I was younger a friend of mine’s parents always had this huge Rand McNally map in their kitchen. I don’t know why, but I always thought it was the coolest thing. I got this one from amazon for CHEAP (like 6 dollars). I’m thinking about creating a make-shift frame for it and putting it at a low spot in the kitchen so the boys can see it at eye level.

2. Mario Kart 8. We recently jumped into the 2012′s and purchased a WiiU. We’d been saving for awhile and when Mario Kart 8 came out it tipped the scales. A doesn’t know we have gotten this yet, but he is already pumped about the prospect of playing it on-line with his cousins.

3. Clone troopers. B works with a bunch of guys who have grown boys. And our boys are reaping the rewards of this because ever since A was born, we have gotten a slew of hand me down toys. Which includes many classic Gi Joe vehicles (we have an ottoman FULL now), that go with B’s GI Joe base. However, many of the action figures are falling apart and B found these guys on sale, so the boys have so more action figures to play with.

4. The Very Lonely Firefly. We are doing a little firefly lesson this week (I’ll share more about that later), and so this was the perfect book to accompany it. Plus, it’s a board book that J can carry around and read on his own.

5. A train puzzle. J is always looking for new puzzles to put together, and although that sweet boy tries, he gets very frustrated with the map puzzle I purchased last month. This is a great step-up from his other puzzles without being too advanced.

6. Counting cubes. For A to work on categorizing number amounts and for J to work on color recognition (“It green!” he proclaims…for any color).

7. Push-up popsicle molds. I saw this on an Instagram feed I follow and couldn’t resist. The boys, especially J, are obsessed with Popsicles and these are supposed to be slightly less messy.

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