Friday Favorites

B and I took a long hike Friday morning, our first since the boys headed back to school. I have more pictures to share, but this one that B took of me is one of my favorites. Isn’t it nice to stop and breathe for a minute? God is great, y’all. You just have to stop sometimes and pay attention.

This picture of Echo Park reminds me of driving through California.

Indian butter chicken sounds so warm and inviting, like the last days of summer.

Lipstick primer I need pronto for work.

Creating a gratitude journal.

Tundra in our study? I’m headed to find a paint sample.

Seeing the biggest dinosaur ever is on my family bucket list for the boys.

And when we head to New York to see the biggest dinosaur, we’re going to 375 Fries for dinner.

Four Ted Talks to share with my students about moving out of ideological comfort zones.

On taking your kids on trips even if they don’t jump and down with gratitude.

And finally, advice for high school success. Saving this, I’ll need it in about six years!

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Currently reading

What did you say you’re reading again?

Well if you’re A, you’re reading anything Stuart Gibbs’ kid series (Spy School, Moon Base Alpha, & Funjungle). He’s read almost every one.

If you’re J you’re reading Narwhal & Jellyfish, Michael Hall books, and Bob books:

And B has jumped both feet into my love of getting library books and is currently reading The Watchman & The Dresden Files series.

And finally, as usual I’m reading several books at once:

There’s a new Mary Poppins movie coming out, and this one is supposed to be more in line with P.L. Travers vision of her book series. I love the original movie Mary Poppins, so I was intrigued to see how different the book character is. I’m going to say, not that different…perhaps meaner?

I really enjoyed Bob Goff’s book Love Does, so Love Lives Here, by his wife, is on my list.

I’m still steadily making my way through Agatha Christie’s books and I realized I really need to start keeping a list, because I’m forgetting which ones I’ve read.

Goodnight June is a book that fantasizes the back story of the book Goodnigth Moon. I read this book everyday to A until he was one (and beyond), so I had to add it.

Ruth Reichl’s Delicious is one of her books that I realized I hadn’t read, so I added it to my library holds this week!

Happy reading!

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The boys may be back in school, but we are still soaking up all the pool time we can get!

We’re jumping, floating, and just relaxing. Our pool is open until almost October, which is awesome because I can guarantee it’ll be hot until then or later.

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Pork tenderloin with asparagus & tomatoes

The boys and I have been watching Food Network Star and this dish was made by our favorite on the show, Jason. The boys love his cooking and his southern wit! This dish he made during a live discussion, and I recreated it for the boys this past weekend. Y’all. It’s kiss your Mama good. B insisted it become part if our monthly rotation of dinners.

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This past weekend it was time to put our imaginations and glue skills to work for Cubadega.

We colored:


And then we were ready to race:

They boys had a blast! It was a great evening of fun, fellowship, and friends!

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Friday Favorites…on a Saturday

This week has been ultra busy, which is why I’m just now sitting down on Saturday and blogging. The boys had a great first week of school and we are officially back in Scouts, sports, and school work! Let the new year begin!

If you have extra patience on your hands, make tortillas.

Visiting Oahu with kids, outside of Waikiki.

If you want to know stress…help out with kindergarten lunch.

Thinking about making this confetti cake with the boys for my birthday.

I have a slight obsession with costume design, so I’ve been reading through the rhetoric purpose of outfits from Game of Thrones.

Crispy eggplant sounds like a perfect meal to me!

Picking the right yoga pants.

A cute globe for decor.

An inviting study set-up.


And finally, J and I are going to be joining B and A on Cub Scout camp outs this year. I’m already planning and have this hoodie & these leggings on my list. Because yes, I’m a girly girl who thinks of camping according to outfits.


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First day of school

Unbelievably enough, our summer break is done and the boys are officially back in school. These eight weeks flew by, I’m not even sure where the time went! I picked up a few happy back to school treats for the boys’ teachers:

And a few surprises for the boys:

An owl (I managed to find one that looks like the school mascot) and some books for J.

And a pencil case, books, and Pokemon cards for A.

And in a blink we were up dressed and taking our first day of school pictures:

J is in Kindergarten this year! He is so excited to be at school with his brother. He is such a sweet, kind boy and he loves school! I know he’s definitely ready, even if I’m not quite ready for him to be this grown up, so fast!

A is in third grade this year! He gets to move upstairs at the elementary school, which is a big deal. He is such a sweet sincere boy and I know he’s so ready to tackle third grade! He didn’t want me to walk him in, but at the last minute he ran out and hugged me.

We got our backpacks on:

And they were ready to head to school!

B and I walked them in:

And J took a picture with the owl:

And then we walked him to his classroom and he sat down to read his book:

At the end of the day J leapt into my arms, A gave me a side hug, and we headed home as they all shared their many adventures of their first day!

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Raingutter regatta

This past weekend we gave the boys’ old boats a fresh coat of paint:

And headed out to the raingutter regatta:

Where J raced as an outlaw:

A raced in his bear den:

And A placed first in his den:

Which he was just slightly excited about, ha! B and I are both stepping up our volunteering in Cub Scouts this year, so J and I will be going to more of the camp-outs. I’m already starting to plan for what we will need extra for us going (probably a lot more allergy medicine, ha!).

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Pantry refresh

Several years ago, I overhauled and straightened up our pantry. However, as of late, it was in quite a bit of disarray:

I purchased just three new baskets and a clear can holder from Target, tossed all of the expired food, and did some serious re-arranging:

I also did some re-stocking of pantry items for back to school. Extra snacks, canned veggies, beans, pastas, and rice make it easier to figure out quick weekly meals and prep lunches. I also labeled the bottom drawers (which you can’t see in the picture), so the boys can quickly find items they use often and put things away.

And afterward is was back to work on our sails:

For the Cub Scout raingutter regatta!

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Nordstrom anniversary sale

For this year’s anniversary sale at Nordstrom, I found a couple of pieces for myself, and several deals for the boys to get them started into Fall.

First up, the best deals I found for the boys:

All of their shoes from last year are essentially done for, so I’ve been working this summer to get them updated shoes. Nikes for J (these look a lot smaller than his shoes will be), and one more pair of Converse for A. I also got them each an athletic hoodie to wear when it gets cold and they are playing sports. They each have one already, but, seriously, they need two to switch out and wash. And then a long sleeve athletic shirt for A, because it was under armour at a super reduced price, and I couldn’t resist.

And for me…

A dress for work. I wear more dresses for work than I ever used to because there are a lot of mornings it’s easier to throw on a dress than try to figure out what pants and top to wear.

And a sweater for fall:

I got this in a different color, but it’s sold out. I’m guessing they’ll restock after the sale. I looked at shoes, but didn’t end up purchasing any because it seemed like the same five pairs were everywhere and they weren’t amazing. So, that’s it! A few new things at good prices to start us toward back to school and Fall!

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