Friday, July 22, 2016

The Friday Five!

I'm beyond excited that it's Friday and we can knock this week off. I decline to share the details because I'm ignoring them. Instead, here are a few good things we were up to ....

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Reading -- I spent my spare time cleaning up after the storm this week so no new books for me. But Kane started a new audiobook series, which promises to be a mix between The Hunger Games and Harry Potter. He's already on the second book, so I'd say it's a winner. 

Making -- Cam got this great embroidery kit for her birthday and has been all about it this week. She still needs a little help, but can do a lot by herself. 

Playing -- the Pokemon madness continued with me finally acquiescing in the kids' never ending requests to get real Pokemon cards. I refuse to figure out what any of it is, so they bought a starter set and got to business. 

Cooking --my Whole30, on which I was doing SO well, took off when the storm madness hit. I'm still trying to keep it as clean as possible though and this was a big winner for the whole fam. 

Wanting -- since we have to do some work at the house we are weighing our options of a partial or complete redo of the master bath. I want gold + marble. Something a little more sleek than this, but similar. I'm pretty sure we're going to put it off, but a girl can dream. 

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Fave Kids Sheet Sets

About this time every year, I tuck my kiddos into bed each night and notice that their cute little feetsies are dusted with summer despite several dips in the pool and multiple showers. Summer feet are summer feet, no matter how hard I try. Coincidentally, I also start thinking it's time for a bedding refresh for each of them. Working in a fun new sheet set is a great way to update their rooms without breaking the bank. And gives me some cushion time to wash their bedding more frequently, too. Here's a few I've been loving lately.


Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Ocean City, NJ Boardwalk

I truly never really heard about New Jersey growing up. Maybe that was just a Midwest thing. Sure, I knew that it was a state (I think), but not much beyond that. And anything I gleaned as I grew older was not favorable.

But my New Jersey gentleman of a husband proudly declares his birthplace "God's country" to anyone and everyone who will listen. And as soon as I visited the beach town he grew up in, I had to agree. But I still find the whole boardwalk culture completely foreign to me. The huge crowded beaches. Massive amounts of bad for you food. Rollercoasters and arcades. It just wasn't what I grew up doing. BUT I decided to ride along with the kids and their grandparents on their Ocean City boardwalk trip this year and we had a BLAST.

We lucked out at pretty much everything. Sweet parking spot. Early bird visit to an uncrowded pier of rides—I even went on the rollercoaster with Cam. A short trip to the arcade followed by an immediate seating at the kids' favorite Manco & Manco where they devoured an entire pie. Hard ice cream, fudge, and saltwater taffy rounded it out.

And although you won't find me back on that rollercoaster ever, ever again, it was all worth it just to see the constant joy on their faces and their sheer determination to absolutely destroy each other at the bumper cars.

Friday, July 15, 2016

The Friday Five!!

We've been jammin' over here to get ready for several book events we've had this week. We had our first book signing and maker workshop yesterday afternoon at local art studio Little Loft. It was so much fun to see all the kids working hard to make collages and to see Kane and Cam try their hand at signing books. And, in case you missed it, I did a super fun interview on Sirius XM's Kids Place Live on Tuesday—Absolutely Mindy is absolutely just as much fun as she sounds on the radio! You can find the replay of my interview HERE. Plus we're busy prepping for our book launch and workshop at Kit + Ace on Sunday. So much for a lazy summer!

Here's what we did in between all of that!

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Reading -- we FINALLY finished Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes (it was excellent, but just a slog through to read it aloud) and just started Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library. I was trying really hard to talk the kids into a shorter book so it wouldn't take another two months to get through it, but this seems to me a much quicker read so far.

Wanting -- we're starting to think about what to pack for our trip to Scotland + Ireland this summer. I loved wearing slip on sneaks on our last big trip, but I forgot to find proper socks for them. I saw these on Say Yes blog this week and now I want them!

Making -- we made lots of collages to test out what supplies would work best for our workshop yesterday. I didn't get to take good photos at the event, but I'll try to get a post up soon with a link to what we picked because I think it worked out really well!

Playing -- we couldn't help it, we joined in with seemingly everyone else to play Pokemon Go this week. I actually kind of love the it's like an interactive geocaching, but I don't love that I have another form of technology to try and limit and monitor. So far the kids have been good about keeping the asking to a minimum and I must confess that when a Pidgey jumped out into Kane's room when we were checking before bed the other night and every single family member screamed, I was hooked. Get the scoop here (and follow the article link at the bottom for a more in-depth explanation of play)

Cooking -- I know I featured this grilled chicken recipe in our recent 30 Days of Dinner, but it's worth mentioning again in case you missed it. I doubled the recipe and there was not one bite leftover. Not one scrap.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Grilled Chicken, Burst Tomato and Artichoke Skewers with Goat Cheese Dip + 30 Days of Dinner!!

We were on vacation for two weeks of these 30 Days of Dinner, so there was LOTS of eating out and indulging. Needless to say, I'm a few days in to a new Whole30. Had to! So I don't have tons of new recipes to share this month, but the featured one is so outrageously good it makes up for the slim numbers overall. Family literally licked their plates. If you're not doing dairy, just skip the dip (but I heard it was deeelish).

Friday, July 8, 2016

The Friday Five!

We've spent a fabulous week at the beach, which always leaves me questioning whether we should just pack up our busy city lives, find flexible jobs, and move to the sea. I always feel happy when I get back home though too. Grass is always greener, I guess. Here's what else we've been doing at the shore besides working on our tans (which I must confess, are phenomenal) ....

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Reading -- I started Innocents and Others this week—it's taken me a bit to get into it, but I think it has some interesting things to say about loneliness and the search for connections. I think I'm mostly just anxiously awaiting the third Neapolitan Novel, so I'm not happy about reading anything else. The kids started reading The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe with their Nona this week. The Chronicles of Narnia are hands-down some of my favorite childhood books so I love that they've started exploring them! 

Cooking -- we've been eating our fair share of boardwalk junk food this week, but I made one of our favorite steak recipes the other night with basil from my FIL's garden. This one is always a winner

Wanting -- current mood.

Making -- I've been making some amazing Jersey shore manis for Cam this week. Rhinestones are her favorite, obvi.

Playing -- we had a really epic color war as part of our Family Olympics this year. 

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Grow Your Own Crystals!

This science project was one of our most favorite from our Summer Bucket List so far! The crystals grew incredibly fast and are super sturdy. And we are all about anything mythical these days. Head over to Honest to Nod to check out how we made these awesome unicorn crystals!