Trick or treat mix

Our favorite game day watching snacks are either queso and chips, or candy popcorn. After a Target run this past week, I picked up some festive additions to our candy popcorn to create a fun trick or treat mix. Here are our treat mixes items (plus two bags of popped corn…I’m asking for an air popper for Christmas):

 

I always put the popcorn, pretzels, marshmallows, and a few white chocolates on the parchment paper first:

Then I melt the chocolate according to package directions and drizzle it all over the popcorn mix, then add sprinkles all over the top:

And voila! Trick or treat mix and Saturday college football! And a little bit of the driving range beforehand:

Happy Monday!

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Life lately

One of J and I’s favorite activities when going to his check-up appointments is memorizing the different animal fact posters. We’ve made it through frogs and butterflies, this time was dogs:

End of the week mood:

I went on a field trip with A on Friday and it was very fun. By the time the boys finish elementary school I’ll have an excellent knowledge of Alabama history.

The many gestures of playing Mario:

 

It may still be 100 degrees, but I’m putting out the Halloween and Fall decorations anyway:

And finally, we had a great time celebrating B on Saturday! He’s the best! And Auburn won their game! Woot!

 

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A few things

I knew I wouldn’t have time to go to the store before a birthday party J is going to this weekend, so I found these fun items on Amazon:

I kind of want the pen case for myself. And the pens are a great price!

I love my Drunk Elephant Hydration Serum for nighttime, but I’ve been on the hunt for a vitamin C serum for daytime. This one from Target may fit the bill:

It has good reviews on Target, and so I’m thinking about picking it up on my next Target run (or adding it to my next Target order).

We checked out a new coffee shop on Friday last week and I’m already thinking about when we will go back:

They had me at iced dirty chai latte. So good!

I also picked up a few Fall things at the Anthropologie sale:

My absolutely favorite wind down activity:

I’m currently watching Scandal as research for the Crisis Communication class I’m teaching and I am totally hooked. Don’t spoil it for me! I’m behind a couple of seasons. Also, as much as I use my iPad, I love a good print magazine. The current issue of InStyle, plus painting my nails (OPI Cajun Shrimp) is perfection.

And finally, how I recipe plan, screenshot from Destin Duchess for baked chicken dinner:

Unfortunately I’m not going out! Happy Thursday!

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Camping Monte Sano

This past weekend we rented a camper and headed out to spend the evening at one of our favorite local parks. In high allergy season, B wanted to take the boys camping, but sleeping out in a tent would lead to lots of allergy issues for everybody. As a compromise, B rented a trailer. We headed out with a very simple plan, hike a bit, make hot dogs and s’mores, and play Go Fish. Monte Sano has a multitude of trails, and although we have hiked many of them, we haven’t yet hiked them all. We did a portion of the fire tower trail and blue trail to take a tour of the camp ground areas:

And we also cut through the Japanese Gardens:

This is definitely one of the gems of Monte Sano, we love this spot:

And the bamboo forrest:

I think one of the boys’ favorite things from the trip was all of the deer. We saw several, including a fawn (that I couldn’t capture a picture of), but I did get this one:

Although it’s still pretty hot here, the abundant tree cover on these trails keeps it much cooler:

We had a fun time and the boys are already talking about the next time we go!

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Packing their own lunch

In a brand new decision this year, A decided that he wanted to make his own lunch. J quickly joined in and also declared that he wanted to make his own lunch. Inspired by Mix and Match Mama’s post on this awhile back, I decided to let the boys give it a try. I say give it a try, because I wanted to make sure they understood that if they made it, they were also going to put away everything they got out to make it, that they cleaned up any messes, and they didn’t turn it into a crazy role playing game that involved yelling (if you’re thinking…how can your kids turn making lunch into a game….oh they can. They Mary Poppins’ stuff to the extreme here. Here’s a little bit more about what I did!

First, I made sure things were easily accessible:

One spot for, yogurt, cheese sticks, apple sauce packs, lunchables, etc. I also cut the grapes into smaller bunches, made small bags of carrot sticks, and then got the celery bags that are individual sticks.

Then, I made a guide list for them:

It’s not fancy. There is no pretty design, or written on special paper, I just made a list. They have to get one thing from each group, and then I check it at the end.  Then they zip it up and put it in the fridge. In the morning I slip in an ice pack, and write on their napkins (they’ve had a note from me everyday on their napkin since preschool. My Mom did that, too!). They were so proud that they made it all by themselves!

 

This is definitely a routine! We are headed back to school this week, I can hardly believe it. And no, the five Fritos were not for J’s lunch, ha! I also set out their back to school surprises:

 

New books for them to read in car line (Magic Tree House for J and The Van Gogh Deception for A), new socks, and Musee bath balm, because who doesn’t need a nice calming bath after a busy first day of school?! Happy back to school, friends!

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Currently reading…summer edition

A bit of what we’ve been reading this summer….

We are all about the series this summer! And a Crisis Communication Textbook. Ha! Along with the boys’ reads and my work read, here are some of the other books I’ve read from May-July.

About the Night

A story about star crossed lovers, who are forever changed by the divide of Jerusalem. It is sad in parts, but so wonderfully written and insightful. You’ll remember it long after you read it.

Park Avenue Summer

Perfect for summer, this story is historical fiction of sorts, featuring an up and coming photographer and the editor who changed the entire direction of the original Cosmopolitan magazine.

The Murmur of Bees

This by far one of my favorite reads of the year. I don’t want to give anything away, but essentially it is about a baby who is found and taken in by a family, and his journey with and apart from them. It’s a story about the strong ties of family and overcoming adversity.

Cat Among the Pigeons

My most current Agatha Christie read. It is a mystery (obviously) surrounding a school setting, with a murderous hunt for treasure.

A Piece of the World

Another historical fiction based on Andrew Wyeth’s inspiration for the painting Christina’s World, this was a very interesting read. So much so that I now have the Museum of Modern Art on my list to go see the painting in person.

Maisie Dobbs

This has been on my list for awhile. I’m a fan of Forever 35 podcast, and one of the hosts has talked about this series being her favorite, and they interviewed the author. It is kind of along the lines of Agatha Christie, but it has a much more personal connection to the investigator. It is also set in a very specific time period (right after World War I), and the author does a lovely job of intertwining the effects of the war with the mystery.

A has read every Percy Jackson book, and is re-reading the ones discussing Greek mythology:

Mythology was one of my favorite classes in high school and college, so we’ve had lots of fun discussions about the different myths!

J’s series of the summer has been Harry Potter. We are only letting him read books 1-3 for now, but this is the first time (and he loves to read) that he is reading everywhere we go. In the car, waiting at the pool, first thing when he gets up in the morning:

He’s been asking to watch The Chamber of Secrets all week, so this past weekend we watched it:

He was so excited! His favorite characters right now are Professor Dumbledore and Professor McGonagall. And Harry Potter, of course. We are still debating if he can watch the third movie, but he’s already planning to go back and read the first three again.

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This and That

This week we tested out Picky Palate’s Fire-Fly Disneyland recipe:

It turned out really tasty and the boys loved that they thought at first we were only having Fritos for dinner:

I actually browned the meat (I didn’t use sausage) and then added all the ingredients into my slow cooker on low for about 7 hours. This is awesome for a group or party!

We also made red, white, and blue popcorn this week:

And went to a local Concert in the Park that the kids had a blast at:

And I had a crab cake sandwich that I might be headed back to Concerts in the Park in July to have again:

It was from one of our local food trucks, In the Bun, and it was so good!

And I’ve also got this coffee on my list to get next time we’re at the Arsenal Coffee truck:

And finally, my parents’ pool is open! The boys are going to have a blast!

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This and That

This is the Nintendo game announcements we watched this week in anticipation of new Switch games.

This is J checking out his first set of summer books from the library:

This is me trying to visualize the rug I bought for in our bedroom once we get hardwood in there:

This is B checking out the boys’ Father’s Day Cards….that they made with scented markers:

This is J helping me make snickerdoodles for Father’s Day lunch:

And finally, this was Sunday dinner:

Happy Monday, friends!

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JCrew Factory List

School’s out, summer vacation is here, and we’re feeling fine!

I mentioned having a few items on my list for the Vineyard Vines for Target Collection. After the big release, here are my actual purchases:

If you’re wondering if I got up super early to get these items, the answer is yes. I randomly woke up at 2:00 a.m. (B and I have being trading off with different medical issues, yay for mid-thirties), and couldn’t go back to sleep. I had a favorites list saved, and I just opened my iPad and ordered it all. The quality of the pullover and pants was heavier weight than I expected, which I appreciated for the price. I’ll probably be more likely to wear the pants in fall/winter here. The swimsuit is adorable, definitely my favorite. The shorts are great quality, but I was very glad I got the XS, because I saw an early review online. The sunnies were a wild fable purchase, and they are super fun. Anyway, now that I’ve shopped that collection, we are headed to the beach soon to have family time, beach time, and some outlet shopping time!

Every year, I make a list for outlet shopping at JCrew Factory. I typically try to find some things at the outlets for Under Armour, Aacis, Gap, and Kate Spade as well, but for JCrew Factory I make a list! JCrew Factory carries some of my favorite basics, and I like to stock up while we are there.

First up, is graphic tees. I love a good graphic tee!

Second, is the teddie sweater. Made of lighter weight cotton than JCrew’s typical merino sweater, these are wearable summer through mid-fall.

Next, low wedges. Great for trekking across campus, or going out to dinner, these are low enough you I can wear them with shorts, jeans, or some of my work pants.

Its already 95 degrees here and in the summer I love my easy pajama shorts. These come in a variety of pattens and are perfect for mixing and matching with cotton sleep tees.

I’m so excited they’ve kept their scalloped shorts! These are some of my favorites.

My old white pants are super stretched, so I’m on the hunt for a new pair.

Some of B’s favorite tees we pick up from JCrew Factory including striped and henley’s.

And finally, the boys and I always pick up fun socks for B for Father’s Day.

We are definitely all looking forward to our beach vacation! Until then the cousins are making do with trying to create an impromptu slip and slide:

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