Friday, May 27, 2016

The Friday Five!!

The rain has stopped (for now), the sun is out, and we can almost taste the end of the school year (btw, if you missed my HuffPo post on helping kiddos cope with the end of the year, check it here!). Here's this week's Friday Five ... I hope everyone has an awesome holiday weekend!!

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Reading -- All my library hold books came in at once, but I knew I had to start with My Brilliant Friend first. Several friends raved about it and I can't put it down. As part of my ongoing quest to stretch Kane's reading with books that actually interest him, I picked up the Brick series of Greek Myths (he loves the Shakespeare one he already has). There are some tricky Greek names in there, but he's doing a good job with it.

Making -- I bought Cam this Recycled Paper Beads kit for her birthday, but we just broke it open this week. It took us a little bit to get it going, but Cam got the hang of it pretty quickly and can do it by herself. I 100% agree with online reviewers that the gluing system included is crap, but it really isn't necessary. Regular glue works just fine and it's been a great quiet go-to activity for her this week.

Playing -- I'm in the stocking up on summer activities mode for the kids and since they've been obsessed with spies and all things mystery, I thought they might like this collaborative sleuthing game. Love it!

Wanting -- We just opened up our kiddie pool for the season and even though this float is basically as big as it, I want it.

Cooking -- I'm still on a huge flank steak kick. I marinate and grill a big piece once a week and we get a gazillion meals out of it, which the kids are almost guaranteed to eat. I love that I can serve it as is, use it in a salad, or put it in tacos too. This is one of my fave easy recipes (with or without the homemade salsa).

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

A DIY Teacher's Gift Full of Laughs

The teacher's gift we put together for Kane's class this year turned out so cute! I spent lots of really hysterical time with all of his classmates encouraging them each to write their favorite joke. And then I took a photo of each child to put with their joke. So much love and laughter. Head over to the Paper Source blog to check it out!!

Monday, May 23, 2016

Ice Cream Party!

We've been in party mode after a winter of laying low and having one party almost always immediately gets us thinking of another. Cam included some super cute ice cream tattoos in her birthday party goody bags a few weeks ago and now I'm wishing we could have a whole party about the sweet treats. Here's where I'd start ....

Friday, May 20, 2016

The Friday Five!

The Friday Five is back! Joel and I took a trip to NYC last weekend for our 10 year anniversary (TEN!). It was a (mostly) surprise trip full of all kinds of fabulousness and I've spent most of this week trying to convince myself that we don't need to move to New York. I go through this exercise every few years and I always come back around to D.C. But, there's just nowhere like New York. Anywhooooo, besides work and catching up on laundry and all other domestic non-fabulousness this week, this is what we did.

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Reading -- we finally made it back to the library to load up on books, including this super funny audiobook from Dave Barry. We're still searching for that sweet reading spot for Kane -- where the book stretches him a bit, but is something he still finds interesting. This funny graphic novel series seems to be doing the trick. Plus, he loves history.

Playing -- maybe it's because of our reading choices this week, but the kids have been obsessed with playing spy. They pooled their allowance money to load up on spy gear.

Making -- it's all spy, all the time. The kiddos have been cutting sheet after sheet from our kraft paper roll to make all kinds of disguised entries to their spy fort.

Cooking -- last night I made some kimchi burgers from Clean Eating Magazine and the kids DEVOURED them. I should've doubled the recipe because they both ate at least two servings and there weren't any left for Joel! This isn't the same recipe (the Clean Eating one isn't online yet), but it looks pretty similar. We left off the buns, of course.

Wanting -- I have a sweet tooth, but I almost always go for chocolate. Nevertheless, we stopped in Swedish sweet shop Sockerbit last weekend and I can't stop thinking about the black licorice.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Grilled Skirt Steak Salad with Cilantro Chimichurri Sauce + 30 Days of Dinner!!

I struggled to get myself back on the Paleo train after our spring break vacation, but I eventually got it together. And then I got walloped with a combo of flu + food poisoning. I was sick for days. DAYS. I'm pretty sure the food poisoning was from a bad oyster, so it only seemed fitting to share a great recipe from I Will Not Eat Oysters this month. Easy to make and a great grill, plus it's Paleo friendly.

I am planning to get to a Whole30 sooner rather than later, but suffice it to say, I'm just trying to keep it as clean as possible around these parts. This Grilled Flank Steak Salad with Cilantro Chimichurri is super easy and outrageously tasty. And I've been so psyched for grilling weather, I've completely ignored the fact that it's actually been raining for more than two weeks. Give it a grill!

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Spring Break 2016 at Bluefields Bay Jamaica

I have been so horribly deficient at getting through our recent spring break pictures and sharing our wonderful vacaye. It's probably best. It's taken me a bit to get over being back from paradise and had I written a post immediately upon return, it would have been an overshare of how much insane fun all the adults and kids had. How everyone laughed hysterically. And lounged in true vacation relaxation. And ate and ate and ate. Instead you now have a slight overshare of photos and summary notes.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Outdoor Art Space for Kids

Despite the fact that is had rained every single one of the last fourteen days in D.C., I moved forward on our spring plans to put together an outdoor art space for the kiddos. They need to get out (and, let's be real, I need them to get out) and have been loving their new studio space. Want to put one together for your own lovies? Head over to Honest to Nod to check out how we did it with The Land of Nod's help!

Monday, May 9, 2016

Cam's 6th Birthday Party!

It seems that Cam turned six and shook off whatever little toddler remained. I've been spending the morning going through her closet and clothes for the third time this season and pulling out everything she's outgrown (which seems like everything all of a sudden!). It all has me a little down, honestly. So I'm happy to share some joyous photos from her small art birthday party a few weeks ago. Paper Source was kind enough to help us decorate one of our favorite local kids art studios, Little Loft, for her party. Cam had a blast. Head over to Paper Source's blog to check it all out!

Friday, May 6, 2016

The Friday Five!

Sorry for the lack of posts lately -- it's been a nutty few weeks and I'm trying to sort everything out and keep everyone afloat. TGIF!

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Cooking -- I'm kind of obsessed with this food blog. When I want a healthy (and mostly clean or easy to clean up) recipe that's easy to make and super flavorful, this is where I've been going. It was a toss up which one of her recipes to include this week, but this Greek Marinated Flank Steak and Hummus Plate crushed dinner last night.

Reading -- Kane has made a real breakthrough in reading recently and he's on a quest to read all of the Magic Tree Bookhouse series. So he's been digging in to a few chapters every night. It hasn't been a smooth road, so I love seeing how happy he is to make such great progress!

Playing -- Cam has still been on her sensory play kick so we froze leftover waterbeads and it's been a great indoor activity during this never-ending rain!

Wanting -- for no good reason, I'm on an impractical footwear kick.

Making -- Kane dug these gorgeous LEGOs out this week and built a Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired house for me modeled after a few pentomino shapes. These are the only LEGOs I don't mind stepping on.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Star Wars Day Printables: May the 4th Be With You!

If you have any little Star Wars fans in your house, you surely know that tomorrow is Star Wars Day! In case this is news to you, here's a great roundup of easy (and mostly free!) printables to help your kiddos celebrate the day. May the 4th be with you!!

1 / 2 / 3

4 / 5 / 6

7 / 8 / 9  

p.s. these are not free, but I had to share our success with the Star Wars workbook series. If you have a kiddo reticent to work on grade skills, give these a try. They've worked wonders for Kane!