Friday Favorites

Friday FavoritesWe managed to get in only one Art in the Afternoon this summer, but it was a fun one! We followed the directive from Under the Sycamore’s Georgia O’ Keeffe lesson. Now on to a few of my favorites from the week on this hot, yet unusually not humid Friday afternoon.

How I imagine I’d dress if I lived in Seattle or a log cabin. Or just in the Fall.

Fancy traveling.

Buttermilk breakfast sandwiches from scratch.

For the fancy gardener.

Curtains. You’re hanging them wrong. Unless you’re hanging them right, then good job, you!

An ode to the corner where Instagram pictures are taken.

Creating creativity.

Casual Fridays.

A great collection of picture books you may not have read or own.

“If you were shrunk to the size of a pencil and put in a blender, how would you get out?”

And finally, the back to school wreath my sister and I made this week.

Happy Friday!

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Lots of rocks

WSW: RocksMy nephew is fascinated by rocks & my sister had brought a kit of items to make pet rocks, so this Wacky Science Wednesday seemed like the perfect time to discuss rocks. We watched our standard Bill Nye episode (you can probably check it out from your local library…it’s Rocks and Minerals), and then spent the rest of the afternoon making pet rocks.

I had great plans to make a chart of the different types of rocks and the layers of the Earth, but we spent a lot of time on our pet rocks and it’s summer. Worksheets, be gone!

WSW: Pet rocksThe boys could hardly sit still from their excitement about making their pet rocks. We went from one a piece to each of them making four.

WSW: Pet RocksTo make the pet rocks you really only need simple supplies: rocks, glue, googly eyes, pipe cleaners, pom poms, feathers, and pipe cleaners. We painted ours as well, and I found that to get the paint to dry you need thin coats, and it will take about two-three hours (we painted them in the morning, then decorated them in the afternoon). It was a little messy, but worth it! Only one more Wacky Science Wednesday before the boys are back in school! I can hardly believe it!

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The breakdown of an errand run…

Lunchboxes. Shoes. Sunglasses. It’s difficult to define what it’s like to run errands with kids, unless you have run errands with kids. The mere action of getting them in and out of the car (especially when they are strapped in like they are prepping for Nascar) is tiring enough. Taking them to the mall is on my list of least favorite activities. Very least. For some reason at places like Dick’s Sporting Goods, Kohls, and the mall they act crazy. And I mean CRAZY. However, both boys needed their feet sized and new shoes, so we had no choice but to go to the mall. Thankfully I had a secret weapon:

Errand BreakdownThe promise of chick-fil-a for good behavior. I have a 75% success rate with this (as opposed to McDonald’s 90% success rate because they “have better toys”), and thankfully it was a success!

And we managed to pick up new kicks:

Errand BreakdownTry to guess whose is whose. Considering the boys are only a size apart (least I remind you they are THREE years apart in age), I wish you best of luck.

Before that we had a very disappointing trip to Target where they had NO blunt tip scissors and only ONE Mario lunchbox:

Mario LunchboxSeriously, Target? I kind of felt like using Mario’s move on the guy at Target who asked me if I needed help then shrugged his shoulders like this:

shoulder shrugwhen I asked about more lunchboxes and scissors. Cool, Target. I’m starting to wonder if they are just hiring animatronic figures (ala Disney World) that just say the same two phrases as they pass you in the store (“Hey there how are you today?” “Need help finding anything?”).

On a brighter note I re-placed my sunglasses from Francesca’s that I lost in the ocean, and the boys managed not to destroy anything in that store:

SunglassesAnd I went, got samples, and then realized it was going to cost me the same amount to re-paint a headboard for J’s bed, than it would be to buy one…and that’s when the boys started tossing a pillow case at each other in the art store. And that’s when I went home and ordered a headboard from Pottery Barn. Done.

potterybarn headboard



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Four plates of chicken florentine

Chicken FlorentineOne of our very favorite summer dishes, you can pull this together in a guaranteed twenty minutes. For us I make it exactly the way the recipe states, but for the boys (who tend to pick through and ask “where’s the sauce?”) I keep jarred marinara sauce on hand (our favorite is Target brand’s marinara) and just heat up a cup of it and pour it over top. Grab some Tuscan bread while you’re getting the marinara and you’re good to go! Happy Monday!

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Friday Favorites

Friday FavoritesGetting in morning Mario play time before summer vacation is over!

Homeowners who color block their books for organization are my fave.

Happy belated birthday, Disneyland.

Breakfast burritos are our new favorite throw together dinner. With this recipe I had enough left-over to freeze several ones to warm-up for breakfast!

A sharp rectangle tote, and the added little scarf on the handle is perfection.

Do you remember the “very special episode” TV features from the eighties and nineties? Apparently they are out of style. But how will the next generation learn about the dangers of caffeine pills??

For birthdays: minimal work garland & work free garland.

Eat, shop, & see in San Francisco.

Starting your day better. You’re still not going to get me to exercise first thing in the morning.

Genius road trip binders.

Sorry, scorpions.

Another reason I’m excited about Whole Foods opening in our city.

So, don’t put your phone in your back pocket and then sit on it. Are we still doing this? With 300 dollar phones? Really? In other news…I wonder if that ever happened with Zach Morris’ cell phone.

Pretty sure the only way you will get me camping is if I’m staying in a condo near a camp-esque area. HA!

In opinion news: I tried Bumble & Bumble’s new air dry creme and give it an “eh”. Their regular styling creme is still better. Why mess with a good thing?

And finally…a robot paper doll chain to give kids something to do for that last week of them saying “I’m bored!”

Happy Friday!

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In a blink of an eye…

We went from this…J's new bedTo this:

Big Boy BedOverly cramped in his toddler bed, J was desperately in need of a full size twin bed. He was thrilled with getting a big boy bed, and was announcing it to everyone when I told him it was on the way (which I waited until the very last minute to tell him…J has NO sense of time, so once you tell him about something, he expects that whatever you tell him will happen immediately). I’m hoping for sweet dreams and more space for J in his new bed. And more space for his peeps!

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Bugs and Plumbing

WSW: BugsI almost had to call this the Wacky Science Wednesday that wasn’t, because as we were labeling our bugs (ladybug worksheet), a nice little old lady came to our front door to inform me that our yard was flooding. And by flooding I mean water was shooting out into the street from the main water line to our house. Amazingly, while I was turning off the water, calling B, my parents, and a plumber, the boys labeled their ladybugs! On their own! Amazing!

We watched our standard Bill Nye episode (You Tube bug video), and came away with the important information that 1) insects have six legs, 2) arachnids have eight legs, 3) bugs are gross. So, definitely important scientific learning.

Since several of the Wacky Science Wednesdays haven’t always had things for J to do, I decided to incorporate some reading into our WSW, and was inspired by this Momfessionals post (there are SO many ideas in this post, you could spread them out over days if you find your kids super inspired). I checked out Eric Carle’s The Grouchy Ladybug from the library, and the boys (ALL of them…I was impressed…remember I have a 9 year old nephew) loved it…although I had to warn my sister when she arrived that they ran around yelling “HEY YOU! WANT TO FIGHT?” for about fifteen minutes after reading it. Bet Eric Carle didn’t think about that reaction when he was penning that tale. We had a second talk about the trouble the ladybug got him (or her…it’s not really apparent) self into by yelling that throughout the book.

Then we made our own grouchy faces:

WSW: BugsSeriously my nephew J…cracked me up. “I only smile for pictures,” he said. HA!

And then we went to work making our paper plate lady bugs:

WSW: Bugs WSW: Bugs WSW: BugsI didn’t have metal brads, so I punched a hole through the two plates and connected them using a pipe cleaner. A little variation, but still cute!

WSW: BugsAnd you can see little grouchy faces when you lift up their elytra (that’s right, that’s what it’s called!):

WSW: BugsA WSW that almost wasn’t, but we managed to pull off through our main water line getting fixed. Success! We love bugs!


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Road trip to Nana and Grandpa’s

My in-laws recently moved into a new home in Tennessee, and this past weekend we took a road trip to see their new house. While I have to say I was a little sad for them to move from being near to all of my favorite stores, it is great to have them only three hours away instead of twelve. Two movies and we were there!

The boys were super excited that they had their own beds (with Lego sheets no less) at Nana and Grandpa’s, and they were thrilled that they had a boat! That we could take to get to places! Like a fort! And a place for lunch (what A was most excited about, obviously. Direct that boy to food and he is pumped)!

We packed a lot of adventures into two days, and the boys were total troopers. Most amazing was they both napped in the car at the same time (something that hasn’t happened in two years).

Taking an after dinner walk around the neighborhood…

Road Trip Headed out on the boat to the revolutionary war fort…

Road TripFort Loudon…a full scale revolutionary war fort:

Road Trip Road Trip There was a hill that was straight out of Little House on the Prairie…which was awesome (so I made the boys re-create running down the hill):

IMG_8772 Road TripAll the boys…

Road TripAnd here is the place where they stored the food (featuring yours truly):

Road TripAnd this very life-like soldier replica:

Road TripAnd later on we met a horse! (which J loved, but was a little shy to actually pat the horse):

Road TripA’s favorite spot on the boat (the co-captain’s chair):

Road Trip And this was J’s favorite spot on the boat:

Road TripAnd lastly, here’s a picture of J looking way older than three:

Road TripIt was a terrific weekend!

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Friday Favorites

Friday FavoritesThe boys’ favorite picture: Can you spot A & J?

Two work casual outfits that are on my list: heels style & flats style.

A fancy little play table that would be perfect for J’s room.

Black & white sea graphic note cards, great for sending a quick memo or thank you.

Picking produce successfully.

Popsicles! That’s what we haven’t made yet this summer.

The carry-on bag I have my eye on.

I could eat artichokes every day for the rest of my life. Seriously.

Trying to come up with a way to incorporate a bookshelf and nightstand in our room…I think I found my solution!

Mario Maker…AKA: How B & A will spend their nights this fall.

To read, or not to read….

And finally, summer on a plate.

Have a great weekend!

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Lego sculptures

On Tuesday the boys were spinning their wheels, I was out of activity ideas, and I decided that we needed an excursion before it got too hot to be outside. I threw together snacks, a thermos of water, and my camera in a backpack and we headed to go see the Lego sculptures at our local Botanical Gardens.

Lego Sculptures Lego Sculpture While we may have gotten turned around a bit without our expert navigator to help us (that would be B), the boys had a great time and we used up all our energy for the morning!Lego Sculptures Lego SculptureHere are the boys favorite sculptures from the day (a BUNNY!):

Lego SculpturesJames’ favorite was of course, the bunny, A loved the butterfly, and my favorite was the bison and calf in the middle of the wildflowers. A loved that each sculpture had a written description with it and the number of Legos it took to build it. He is currently at work putting together some re-creations of the things he saw. Morning mission accomplished! Now to find something to do after nap time…

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