GEOCACHING with MY GNOME ON THE ROAM

Back in high school, Derek and his two brothers started a tradition whenever they went to Colorado to camp and hike: they took a troll and once they reached the top of a mountain, they would snap a pic with their colorful haired friend. When I saw My Gnome on the Roam, I was instantly reminded of Derek’s troll and knew it could be a fun way to document our family trips too. Last weekend, we stayed close to home and took “Rupert” (our gnome) geocaching– something I’ve been wanting to try with Mya for awhile… and with the help of Rupert, it was such a fun adventure!

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PICNIC READY with PLANETBOX

Let’s be totally real here and admit that kids “helping” you cook isn’t helping you at all. Doing twice as many dishes and prepping a meal at half the pace isn’t making anyone’s life any easier. But it brings them joy, so that’s why we let them scoop out the flour, leaving a trail of it until they (finally) dump it in the bowl. I do love cooking with Mya, but most days I just need to whip up something quick because when hunger strikes, it strikes hard. The food prep times when I welcome Mya’s help more, though, are when we picnic. Building a sandwich or stacking fruit and cheese kabobs is a lot easier than baking something from scratch. Suddenly, you’re a lot less frazzled when you don’t need 15 ingredients and precise measurements. With the help of PlanetBox, we’ve put together a how-to list to be picnic prepared.

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BOOKIN’ GOOD

Can you believe that when I first met Derek, he had never seen a Pixar animated movie? Like he hadn’t seen Toy Story. It was almost a deal breaker for our relationship. But I eventually got over it and gave him another chance. 😉 Because I don’t care how old you are, those movies are classics. (Mya and I are currently obsessed with Moana.) And little did I know, children’s books would also become a love of mine.

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WEEKEND VIBES + SWIMZIP GIVEAWAY!

Our little life is getting a whole lot more active with Leah on the move. Derek puts it into the perfect visual: You know in the movie “Step Brothers,” where Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly are sleepwalking, stumbling around, throwing shit everywhere? That’s Leah. All day every day. (In case you missed it or want a refresher, here is the clip.) And Mya’s the one following her around picking up her messes, saying over and over again “Leah, we don’t do this. You’re making a mess. Please stop this.” So that’s what we’re dealing with in a nutshell. Luckily, we were able to break out of the house and enjoy the weather a bit. Fresh air was a total game changer.

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BANDED for LIFE with QALO

Last weekend, we were running errands and decided to be spontaneous and took the girls out to a nice lunch. Yes, we like to live on the edge. 😉 We sat in a booth to “trap” them in and hoped for the best. It always amazes me how sitting at a table in public can be so eventful: excuse us while I wrestle my 1 year old from crawling across the table to suck on a splenda packet, explain the difference between a booth seat and a bouncy house to my 4 year old, and order myself a sweet little sangria. The girls weren’t horrible, but by the end of our 45 minute lunch I was definitely sweating. And sorry-I’m-not-sorry to be mushy mushy, but I kept looking over to Derek, very grateful to have him rally our girls with me in that restaurant… and every other day.

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LOVELY FINDS for LITTLE GIRLS + GIVEAWAY!

It’s probably because I’m a girl Mom, but the florals, all shades red, any heart craft, and everything XOXO are out in full force. We don’t go crazy on gifts for the girls on Heart Day, but I did pick up order the wooden heart bead set because I know Mya will love it. I also use this holiday to be a bit more practical than intended. Instead of buying chocolates and flowers (although, that’s still welcome in our home, Derek 😉 ), I’m on the hunt for the girls’ Spring rain gear. And with a bit of shopping around, I found some sweet deals.

heart glasses || dress || double heart charm || pillowcase ||
rain boots || ombre stacking toy || bead kit

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UNDER PRESSURE IN A TASTY WAY

Who would’ve thought that one of my favorite gifts received in the past couple years is a kitchen appliance– a pressure cooker. I guess that means I’m all grown up now. Or lame. Probably the latter, but I don’t even care because this appliance has made dinners easier and so tasty. At first, I was kind of intimidated to use the thing and it sat on our counter for a good month. Growing up, I remember my Mom’s pressure cooker spitting out hot water and steam for a good portion of the day and her wedging a wooden spoon in the top valve for the release, always hoping that it wouldn’t shoot off and punch a hole in the ceiling. Yeah, no thanks. Pass. But as it turns out, the design of these babies has come a long way since then and they’re super safe.

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WEEKEND FAVORITES | HOT WATER EDITION

Well that weekend went by entirely too fast. My Dad came in with an under cabinet water heater (this one in case you’re in the market) and I couldn’t say I knew what the project entailed except that it means our pipes won’t be prone to freezing anymore. Which will beat thawing them out with a hairdryer in the morning. I also couldn’t say I was much help with the installation, except for keeping the girls occupied. It was hard work coloring, playing board games, building legos, and hosting tea parties.

Mya’s now sleeping on this toddler pillow and she loves it. And I had to get her this pillowcase because… Charley Harper. Mya claims that the koala bears are her and Leah, so it obviously justifies the entire purchase.

OPI’s Lucky Lucky Lavender nail color. I seldom put a color on my fingernails, but this is subtle, soft, and sweet.

Fact: the Danes are the happiest people in the world. Reading “The Danish Way of Parenting” and gaining some tools. Halfway through and enjoying it all.

Looking forward to getting “It Takes Two” in the mail. Definitely one of my faves growing up. Can’t wait to watch it with Mya.

Reading our favorite heart books and started making Valentines. It reminded me of our graham cracker love shack from a couple years ago. Since Mya loved licking that so much, it seems like a pretty good excuse to make something with frosting and candy.

Happy week, friends!

FAMILY PICTURES 2016

This post could also be titled “THAT ONE TIME WHEN WE KIND OF DRESSED UP.” The other night when I was writing about the girls’ art station, I realized that the last three posts showcased the girls in their PJs: They wore them to see Santa and then we didn’t change out of them last weekend, soooo… it kind of looks like we’re a bunch of weirdos and don’t have our kids wear real clothes. Which is kind of true. But Mya usually has us coordinate and accessorize and keeps us up on the current trends of a 4 year old. And a couple months ago we all faked it ’til we made it at a nearby park for our family Christmas card. Here are some other gems that I loved equally as much. I mean how lucky am I… ?!

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FAVORITE ART SUPPLIES and ART STATION TIPS

One thing I’ve learned after having two kids is that “self play” is a pretty valuable trait to instill in your child. Yes, I would love to “play cars,” pretend I’m a cat, and become a master chef by just wearing underwear on my head for the day’s entirety. But then I realize that there are dishes and laundry and dust and sometimes Mama needs to just take a breath “by herself.” Because I think people usually visit the bathroom without an audience. And yet honestly, if I didn’t have Leah hanging on my leg and Mya asking me questions about puberty, it really just wouldn’t seem right. But when I do need fifteen minutes to throw dinner in the pressure cooker, the main lifeline I use is Mya’s art station. Mya does something productive and Leah throws all the supplies on the floor. And if that fails for Leah, I just open up the tupperware or spice cabinet and we’re good to go. 😛 Here are our tips for art station success:

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8

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WEEKEND FAVORITES | “ICE” EDITION

So this weekend’s “treacherous” ice storm seemed pretty tame to me. Although we didn’t attempt to leave the house, so I don’t really know. We did lots of crafts (this stepping stone was Mya’s favorite), experimented (with this science kit), played board games (this Monopoly Junior set was a huge hit!), continued on our mission to declutter, and tried some new recipes (and will definitely be making this General Tso’s Chicken again.) I also got cozy with my laptop by the fire in front of some mindless TV– I think this should become a regular thing… and so here’s some of our current faves:

Any of these PJs on major sale. I grabbed some more matching pairs for the girls for next winter. You know, just 11 months in advance because these babies are the girls absolute faves. And I will dress them matchy matchy for as long as I can. And if I knew they would wear these hats, I would grab a couple… because 1. huge pom and 2. they’re only $6!

Baking these almond flour cookies weekly. I use half the butter and they’re so addicting.

Loving this French Cade Lavender candle. So much. Shop Anthro’s sale and use code TAGTIME to get another 40% off the sale price!

It’s kind of ridiculous how much more “put together” I feel with these three baskets in my life. But anything that glorifies the act of folding and sorting clothes is a winner.

Watching “A Dolphin Tale.” Three times this week. Mya is obsessed. Hoping Derek has a trip to Tampa soon, so the girls and I can bum some free flights with his miles and meet Winter the dolphin.

Have a great week, friends!

CHRISTMAS 2016

This week was the first in a long time where we had some productive days. Like I actually went to the grocery store and made some dinners. And both girls aren’t coughing. And staying indoors hasn’t resulted in meltdowns. And I’m finally getting around to posting Christmas. So yeah, bring on the prospected ice storm, weatherman. You can’t bring us down. Santa might bring Leah down, but she’s safe for another 11 months.

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