Summer learning routine

I felt like a champion when I realized I scheduled my online discussions on my summer work days (also known as “things only teachers get excited about”):

And with my summer work schedule I’m also planning for the boys’ “avoid the summer slump” routine…outside of going to the pool:

Playing all the board games, puzzles, and domino mazes:

And summer road trips:

We’ll be doing…

Summer reading through the library

Kahn Academy courses in math and Pixar in a Box:

Xtramath for A (a program he can access through his school) & addition/subtraction flash cards for J


Mario Teaches Typing (super old, we found it and downloaded on our desktop for the kids)

Super Solvers (also super old, same deal as Mario Teaches Typing):

My plan is to have them switch off spending about a half-hour to hour a day on one of these four choices (reading will be everyday). They can pick one on one day, then pick a different one on another. By the end of the week we’ll have gotten to all five in some shape or form. I’m also planning to pick up a few new Smithsonian & Eyewitness books (either through Amazon or the library) like these:


J’s school also does an awesome summer learning packet:

And I’ve got a cursive writing learning packet for A:

We’re also going to take some craft days, pull out all the art supplies and just create and craft with abandon:

No artist, no story, just paint, create, and imagine. That’s the best of summer! Downtime, being bored, and learning on free flowing time. Oh and I’llalso be answering lots of this:

Continue Reading

Friday Favorites

Last field trip of Kindergarten with this kiddo! Can’t believe we are one week from summer break!

This was by far my favorite Mother’s Day card of the week:

The beauty essentials of summer. I’m adding this lip balm, and highlighter to the list.

My best dinner of the week. We had ours with quinoa and broccoli and the boys ate it up!

The float of the summer is a narwhal, and it is awesome.

I choose you, anti-aging food! Obviously I’ve been watching too much after school Pokemon with the boys.

LLaid back waves, perfect for summer.

OMG I found my shopping spot for my niece for her birthday.

Spring trends to try.

Some of the boys favorite things to do at Disney aren’t the rides.

While the boys are still in school, I’m working from home. I’ve got Chef’s Table on repeat in the background and the episode on Cristina Tossi’s Milk Bar is my favorite!

And finally, a no bake key lime pie to make with the boys.

Continue Reading

Cashew sprinkle cookies

The cashew. Literally the only nut butter that everyone in my house is not allergic to. And if you’re thinking, why not use sunbutter, B is allergic to sunflowers. So there’s that. Anyway. This is a spin on a peanut butter cookie, rolled in whatever sprinkles I have on hand, and it’s also super crumbly. However, the boys don’t mind the mess, and it’s quickly become a dessert favorite. They are easy to throw together, but you will need a hand mixer to get it nice and creamy before you roll them in all those sprinkles.


1 cup cashew butter

1 egg

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2 cups of assorted sprinkles


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine first five ingredients and beat for two minutes on medium with a hand mixer (I find this combines it better than my stand mixer). Roll a tablespoon scoop completely in sprinkles then place cookies 1 inch apart on a slipat mat. Bake for 5 minutes, then rotate the pan 180 degrees and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes until done. Cool on the pan for 3 minutes before moving to a baking rack to cool completely.


Continue Reading

Front porch refresh

From winter…

To Spring…

And our new corner nook…

Our back porch is not covered at all, so especially in the summer, we rarely sit out there during the day. Our front porch on the other hand is completely covered, and we frequently sit out front to watch the boys play basketball or ride bikes. After getting tired of sitting on the ground out front, we invested in two chairs and a small table. We also have a great view of the “mountain” from our front porch, so it’s pretty to sit out there. All the new pieces we got on sale from Target!

Continue Reading

Mother’s Day

This Mother’s Day the boys made me muffins and eggs, got me handmade cards, a new cookbook, iPhone case, and perfume. And an adorable new maple tree:

And we just hung out all day, the boys playing outside until it got too hot, J colored, I read my new cookbook, and B made literally the best brisket I’ve ever had. My sister, Mom, and I took a quick picture…

As my niece headed outside to join the big kids while finishing up her cake!

Love that girl!

Continue Reading

Friday Favorites

Friday favorites featuring two of my favorite people in the whole world, A and my Mom. My Mom is just awesome, plain and simple. She works full time, has kept the boys two afternoons a week since they were babies, taught me how to study, how to shop, and most importantly taught me how to be a good person, teacher, and Mama.

So along with two of my favorite people here are some of my favorites of the week:

A city guide to one of our favorite quick trips: Nashville.

The most colorful book of colorful paper projects, J would love this!

The best way to sculpt and tone.

A better bedtime routine.

The best investments for your home.

Spring date night details.

The best way to get hydrated skin, helpful for my seriously dry skin…apparently even in summer.

Two things to make you laugh, balance is a four letter word and the best dance-off of the week.

Finally, feels like summer.

Continue Reading

Spring reading review

It’s time for our Spring reading round-up! For as long as I can remember, reading has been our family wind-down every evening. Now that J is reading as well, it’s fun to listen to him read his books out loud to us every night.

A’s absolute favorite book right now is The Wild Robot. He’s read it at least three times since he got it for Christmas. He also read The Wild Robot Escapes and said it was good, but not as good as the original. He is also steadily working through every series of the 39 clues books, right now he’s on the Unstoppable series.


J is loving all Elephant and Piggie books, and two of his recent library loves are Petra and a Baseball Poems book.


Petra always makes J giggle, who knew a rock could be so silly?


I recently finished Teach Students How to Learn (work related). This is an excellent book if you are a teacher or parent and want to equip your kids with study skills that will help them from now through college (and help prevent the burnout that leads to drop-out):

And I read the Agatha Christie book Toward Zero, a quick little mystery read with a surprise twist:


And I also read Destination Unknown, a departure, in my opinion, from many of Christie’s other books:


And…Mrs. McGinty’s Dead, which is more of a classic Christie read:


And my most likely trendiest book was The Lying Game, that left me feeling unsettled, so if that’s the point of the book, mission accomplished:


My highest recommendation is News of the World. This book takes place right after the civil war in Texas, and it’s the journey of an older man who has been tasked with reuniting a young girl with her family. It is fiction, but it is inspired by true events and people of the time. It is incredibly fascinating and you won’t be able to put it down!

Currently I’m about 3/4 through Grape, Olive, Pig the second book in Matt Goulding’s food series. These books are a virtual tour through the food of a particular country, and I love them! Although it may not be helpful that I keep adding more countries to my travel bucket list.

Happy Reading!!


Continue Reading

Pineapple slushies

One of my favorite summer drinks, and it’s best introduced with a stack of fajitas (I used this marinade minus the tequila) corn salad, and homemade salsa.

Blend together 2 cups fresh pineapple chunks, 3 small pineapple juice cans, 1 1/2 tsp of vanilla, and just a touch of sugar to taste (about 1/2-1 tsp). Chill until ready to serve. If you want to make it adults only, add three shots of blanco tequila!

Then bring out your fajitas:

And enjoy!

Continue Reading

Friday Favorites

This week I helped host an alumni event…

Had my last class in our building before it gets renovated…

Picked up this bag for our summer travels…

And some decorations for Cinco de Mayo…

I also stopped at Whole Foods and stocked up the fridge:

And chaperoned J’s field day:

And finally finished all of my grading and exams for the semester, so I started out today by making a long list of what I need to accomplish to get my summer course completed, and start prepping another course for next Spring. In addition to all of that here are a few more favorites of the week:

Coffee cake to make with the boys this summer.

A fancier ponytail.

Summer slow cooker meals.

An otter shames a Jaguar.

Triple coconut pie.

White top + jeans.

Transforming a patio chair.

A light filled home.

Continue Reading