Weekend hike

We took a weekend hike and it was filled with butterflies! This was our local nature preserve, about a half mile walk to it, about a mile until we hit an impass, and then a mile back out. It was a great easy hike and close to home, too!

Look at our friendly hitchhikers!

J brought his notepad and pen to take notes on what he saw…

There was quite an active stream…

 

And my favorite part of our hikes is listening to the boys’ conversations:

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Our favorite local donut shop

Several years ago B and I went to a food truck event and split a box of these amazing fresh, warm, and small donuts at this airstream trailer shop called Bigfoot’s Little Donuts. Then I took the boys for a back to school treat. Now that airstream shop has a store front and my sister and I took all the kiddos for an end of summer breakfast. It is just as amazing as I remembered it, and you’ve got to try it, friends! Here is a look at their menu:

They also have different specials if you follow them on Instagram! We picked the Cookies and Cream and the Cinnamon Sugar:

Pretty eye catching right? And they melt in your mouth, they are made to order, and oh so delicious! The kids ate two boxes and we ordered a third to take to my parents:

And we took a picture with the store mascot (of course):

We had a great breakfast! Their staff is awesome, and they split milks and waters for the kids. It was a great end to our summer vacation! I’m not sure what I’m going to do with myself without having five kids at my house two days a week, ha! Besides work and all. I’m so glad these five have each other!

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Back to school treats

For the teachers….

For the kiddos….

We are ready for fourth grade….

And first….

I cannot believe summer vacation is over! The boys were ready to go back to school, I was ready for them to go back to school, but I still had a moment of “woah, did it really end that fast?” We did a lot this summer! We went to the beach and Texas! We had loads of cousin time, ran laps through our “family farm”, spent hours at the pool, went fishing, and saw The Incredibles, Han Solo, Hotel Transylvania 3, and Christopher Robin. We played Fortnite, MARIO, and Kirby All Stars. We read a whole bunch of books (J read thirty Magic Treehouse books!), and we made it to story time at least three times. There was VBS, FCA, baseball camp, and swim lessons. And best of all we slept in (some, my kids get up early), took time to be lazy, and spent some afternoons just doing nothing.

To me that is the best part of summer.

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Friday Favorites


First day of school uploading…in 3, 2, 1.

A take on basic black work pants.

Dirt free house plants.

Marinated white beans, also known as I’m at that point of summer cooking.

If it’s good enough for Blake Lively, well then count me in!

Summer work outfits. Especially helpful since summer here can last until November.

I don’t know who made this, but I would definitely read it:

J and I are headed to go see Christopher Robin this weekend, and I’m pretty sure we’re bringing Eeyore:

And that’s it for the weekend! I’ve got two school supply bags ready to take to meet the teacher, lunchboxes ready to go, and first day of school outfits! Now if someone could please tell me how I have a fourth grader and a first grader that’d be great.

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Trying something new at Disney

For our past two Disney trips, we’ve always started with Disney Springs. ALWAYS. Part of it was because we were staying at the French Quarter and it was a quick boat ride away. Part of it was because I wanted to do some shopping before the boys got Disneyed out at the end of the week. And both times, we found that the boys wanted to buy all the souvenirs before we had even hit a park. And then at the parks they’d see more souvenirs that they’d want to buy, leading to whining, pouting, and complaining. Also, occasionally tears. Some may have been mine. Ha!

As we were planning our Disney trip this year, I told B, you know, I don’t know if I want to go to Disney Springs. At all. I’ll pause while you get over your shock. Now, if you’ve never been to Disney World or if it’s been awhile, I highly recommend Disney Springs. They have awesome restaurants, fabulous shopping, etc. However, for us I felt like we needed a change. So our plan to deal with the souvenir issue has been two-fold. First, I’m getting the boys each a Disney Gift Card for their souvenirs. It’s something tangible that once it’s gone, it’s gone.

Second, instead of heading straight to Disney Springs when we get there, we are going to the Animal Kingdom Lodge. B and I stayed there on our honeymoon about thirteen years ago and every time we go to Disney we talk about going back to Animal Kingdom Lodge to visit. And if you’re thinking, what can you do at a hotel all day…check out Disney Food Blog’s post on Animal Kingdom Lodge. There are great restaurants, play areas, plenty of kid activities, and lots of animal viewing spots. It’s something that the kids will be excited about without having the urge to buy, buy, buy right away. It’ll also be cooler, as Disney Springs has large areas with no shade if you aren’t in a store.

We’re looking forward to trying this out! I’ll be sure to share our experience when we return!

 

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Salmon with herbed butter

Is this the easiest meal you’ll make all week? Yes. Unless you’re eating out all week. Then, no. Two salmon fillets, a quick herbed butter, and lemon slices, all cooked in the oven for about twenty minutes. And you’re done. Purchase frozen brown rice from Whole Foods, and have dinner on the table in under thirty minutes.

Ingredients

2 salmon fillets (mine were defrosted ones that were originally frozen from Costco)

Herbed butter (see below)

One large lemon

Directions

Place salmon on nonstick foil, sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Dot with herbed butter:

Layer lemon slices on top:

Cover tightly with foil:

And bake in a 400 degree preheated oven for 15-20 minutes until done.

Herbed Butter Recipe

Combine 4 tbs softened butter with three tablespoons fresh rosemary, the zest of one lemon, and salt and pepper to taste.

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Friday Favorites

In which we are soaking up the last bits of summer with chips by the pool.

Out my shoes and in my feelings.

Slow cooker cowboy beans.

Classically French.

Passing down bangles is such a lovely tradition!

Korean short ribs, yes please!

I’m knee deep in nonverbal lesson planning and then I found this: “Southern women can say more with a cut of their eyes than a whole debate club’s worth of speeches.”

Yoga goals.

A raft of otters.

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Ladybug craft

I have to share this cute craft and story idea that J came up with for my niece. He decided to make ladybug paper plates and worked very hard on an example. My personal favorite part was the hidden smiley face on the underside of the paper plate! I really think J is going to end up being an imagineer at Disney or Pixar. He starts about every other sentence with “hey mommy, what do you think if….” and then he’ll end it with something like “if butterflies had wheels so they could both drive and fly.” And that will follow with a ten minute discussion of how he could actually make that happen. To support or paper plate ladybugs we watched The Grouchy Ladybug:

And a quick video on how ladybugs fold their wings:

And a lengthier one that they started getting bored about why ladybugs are called ladybugs:

And then we made our paper plate ladybugs:

 

 

 

All you need is two paper plates per kid, some construction paper, glue, scissors, and crayons. You just put the wings in between the plates and glue the plates together. Then color one side like the ladybug, and the inside is the ladybugs hidden face! So fun! If you want even more craft ideas for ladybugs, the boys and I did a ladybug activity day three years ago. You can find it here! Happy ladybug learning!

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