Friday, August 21, 2015

Cookie Recipe for Baking with Kids

This morning I woke up at 7 with Ellie. Of course, she wanted to watch a show. I've been trying to do as little television as possible so instead I suggested we bake muffins. She brought me her "fairytale cookbook." One my Mom had given her. We couldn't find something we had all the ingredients for so we looked at Pinterest. I typed in "baking with kids." I found the perfect cookie recipe and we made them for breakfast. Hey, it's Friday and it's summertime. Cookies for breakfast sounded like the perfect plan. 

Summer woke just as we started to bake so she joined. They took turns adding the ingredients, then while I mixed I let them play with flour. Bold move, I know. But, it's all about having fun even if it ended up all over the kitchen floor! They took turns rolling the dough into small balls, flattening it with their palm and making a thumb imprint. I added the jelly, then baked them for the full 15 minutes.  

Thumbprint Jelly Cookies

After breakfast Nick and I decided to surprise the girls with a trip to Build A Bear. Ellie has been asking to make a bear every time we have been at the mall. They recently filled up their Happy Jars (read more here). They picked out their bears, stuffed them and added a heart, gave them a "bath" and picked out their outfits: Ellie chose Elsa and Summer chose Anna. Elsa and Anna Bears. They've been playing with them all day. And, they should- those little bear outfits aren't cheap!

Hope you have a great weekend! 

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Nordstrom Sale Purchases

I don't have a Nordstrom card so once the sale opened for the public I immediately ordered these jackets for the girls for the fall. I wanted something they could both use while the weather gets cool and something Ellie could use everyday for school. I ordered the purple for Summer and hot pink for Ellie. 

I ordered this vest for my husband. He has a few North Face jackets, but I like the vest so I'm hoping it will work on him. This is the time to buy North Face! There are some great sales.

Ellie really has no fall clothes except for her dresses, which can be layered with long sleeve shirts underneath and leggings (which, she also needs). I got her these jeans and she tried them on this morning. She fit perfectly and are so soft. I ordered her a 5 (she will be 5 in April). In the past I've ordered her jeans from Gap, but as she's gotten older they don't fit her well. She also loves the top.

I ordered myself another pair of these Hunter book socks. I have them in gray and wear them all the time with my Hunter boots. These socks rarely go on sale!

I love this basic top. I haven't received it yet, but I'm hoping it will fit. I know I would get a lot of wear out of it in the fall.

These earrings are sitting in my cart. I love gold hoops and these got great reviews.

I don't shop at Loft very often, but I saw this top in the store and loved it. It just went on sale with 50% off and I ordered it online. 

The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale ends in 5 days on August August 3rd. Now is a great time to shop for fall and winter since prices will go back up. Happy Shopping!

Monday, July 27, 2015

Weekend Recap

Saturday morning I did my boxing class at 7:15, then came home and showered and got ready for the day. We went to our neighborhood farmer's market and stocked up on fresh fruits and veggies. We stopped home to drop them off, then went food shopping at Whole Foods. Every time we go there the girls run off, sing and dance for people in the store and find toys and dress up. Sometimes they put on scarves and shirts and walk around with toy umbrellas. They always make people smile. 

The girls picked out the mini cucumbers & I'm looking forward to trying these yellow zucchini

We came home and ate lunch. I love Whole Foods chicken salad and the girls had their chicken noodle soup. We went to the pool for an hour in the afternoon since Summer didn't want to nap. I ended up not going in today and it was nice to sit and watch. Nick went in with the girls for a change.

Nick and I had a date night Saturday to celebrate our 6th year wedding anniversary. We went to White Dog Cafe. I heard so many great things about this place and I love the area so we decided to try it. The restaurant uses all organic and seasonal foods so the menu is always changing. We started with the hummus trio. The beet hummus was my favorite. I had the scallops, which were cooked perfectly and so delicious. Nick had the filet and the truffle fries. We sat outside on the patio since the weather was beautiful.

 Celebrating 6 years of marriage (going on 13 years together)!

My Mom babysit for the girls and when we got home the house was clean, the playroom was organized and the girls were sleeping in their own beds! This was the first time we've come home from a date and the girls were asleep and didn't wake up until the next morning. I cannot express how nice this was! Thanks, Mom!!

Sunday I had to work at home all day for my part-time job. Nick took the girls to the playground, then brought Summer home to nap and took Ellie to the pool. Yesterday was my niece's first birthday and we celebrated her and her older brother (who turns 3 tomorrow) last night at my brother's house. 

 Relaxing with Summer on the hammock

Hope you had a great weekend!

Monday, July 20, 2015

Summer Favorites!

It's been a while, which means we have been busy enjoying our summer! I can't believe it's already halfway through the summer and I don't even want to say that or think about it because I don't want it to end. This has been such a fun few months enjoying our freedom everyday. No school, no camp, no commitments. We've been checking off our summertime checklist (another post to come).

I was up early this morning and went for a 3 mile run at 5:30. It was already 80 degrees and so humid out, but it felt great to get it done! Yesterday it was close to 100 degrees and we spent the afternoon at the pool. I didn't take any pictures, but it was a big day because Ellie swam for the first time without her puddle jumpers! I was so proud of her for even trying. We went in the big pool and she pushed off the side and swam to me. I've been working with her a bit and my husband was teaching her to float on her back. She was so excited! It's a start at least.

I thought I would share some of my favorite things I'm loving this summer:

After reading that Neutrogena face sunscreen doesn't really protect from UVA rays (and I've worn this for years) I was on the hunt to find something better. I love this one and although it's a small bottle it's lasted over a month now and I wear it every morning over my moisturizer. I love that it's light and non-greasy.

This cheek tint has been my go-to everyday. It's perfect for the heat and humidity we have here and I love the color it gives me. I bought the travel size because I wasn't sure how often I would use it, but I wear it all the time and to the pool over my sunscreen, too. I only use a bit at a time and I still have a half of a jar left.

Here are a few other must haves!

Summer Favorites

1 // We use this picnic blanket (in a bag) all the time. It's so easy to zip into the bag and keep in the stroller or carry on my arm. We use it for picnics at the park and zoo and at the beach. 

2 // I mentioned this bracelet here and I wear it almost everyday. It's just one bracelet with a magnetic clasp.

3 // I love these rashguards. I bought it in black last summer and in yellow this year. It's so lightweight and can be used for exercise outdoors, too. It has a zippered pocket in the back. 

4 // I live in American Eagle jean shorts. My favorite brand.

5 // My new favorite accessory. Plus, it's only $15!

6 // Love these waterproof sneakers for kids. My girls love them, too. Comfy and cute. 

7 // Homemade popsicles are a treat and there are so many variations! I grew up eating vanilla yogurt popsicles and I thought they were the best. 

8 // Gotta have water for me and the kids and this keeps it cold. I have taught Ellie the importance of staying hydrated and she loves to say, "I drink water to stay hydrated not dehydrated." Sometimes she gets it mixed up. So cute.

9 // Puddle Jumpers are a must have for the pool. Every toddler is wearing these. The best.

10 // My favorite summer shoe! So comfortable. 

What are your summer must haves?

** Affiliate links are used in this post. These are all items I own and recommend!

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Weekend Recap + Furniture Steals

Ellie slept at my parents Friday night for the first time with her two cousins. She was so excited. Every time she talked about it she lit up. They went out to dinner and ice cream, watched a movie and had the best time. I love that the three of them are so close and that they love sleepovers at Grandmom and Pop Pop's house!

Ellie to Summer: "Summer, are you going to miss me? It's okay I will always be by your side."

Nick and I had plans to watch a movie together, but Summer didn't go down until 9:45. Nick was already asleep and I was tired myself. So, it was a pretty uneventful night. I did wake at 6:30 the next morning and went for a great 5 mile run before Summer even woke. It was nice to have a quiet house. However, we did miss Ellie even though she was only gone one night!

 I started before my watch did so it was exactly 5 miles!

I scored these chairs for $10 a pair. They were posted on Facebook and they even dropped them off to me. They need new paint and reupholstery. I just need to decide on the fabric. They are gorgeous and I absolutely love them!

Summer and I also bought this globe yesterday morning for only $20. I have been wanting to get one for the girls playroom and this was another great deal. I love the gold. I pointed out to Ellie where we live and she asked for me to show her where her Aunt Mia lives and other places I've been to.

Summer and I then met my Mom, Ellie and her cousins at a Fair. I used to go here when I was little and it's so fun I can now take my girls. Ellie was so tired from the sleepover that she fell asleep on the fire engine truck ride! We played some games and Ellie got a lemon stick. Two minutes later after this picture the candy stick got stuck in her hair. She continued to eat it without it (she loves lemons). It was a fun afternoon!

This morning I went to my Barre class, then reffed lacrosse tryouts in the afternoon (I ran 4 miles). Tonight we went out to dinner (kids eat free on Sundays). We had to stop for kids toothpaste on the way home and the girls and I walked home from there. It was a nice end to the weekend!

Friday, May 15, 2015

Friday Favorites

I've rounded up a few of my current favorites today:

What I'm Loving Now

I'm thinking of buying these two prints. The Roses one for our downstairs bathroom and the Ginger print for our living room. That snow cone maker reminds me of a Snoopy one I had growing up. It would be a special treat for the girls on hot days. These grill pans would get a lot of use since we've been using our grill a lot lately. It would be perfect for cooking veggies, sliced potatoes and shrimp.

Today Ellie has soccer and we usually get to the park early to play at the playground and have a picnic. Tomorrow Summer has a makeup Little Gym class and we are going to a fair so that will be fun for the girls. Sunday I'm doing my Barre class and I am working lacrosse tryouts later that afternoon. It's supposed be another weekend of hot weather! We skipped spring this year and went straight from very cold to very hot (80s). Hope you have a great weekend!

** Affliliate links are used in this post. These are all items I love and would like to purchase!

Monday, May 11, 2015

Mother's Day Recap

Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend and a Happy Mother's Day. I sure did! Every year is great, but it just gets better. I'm so thankful and blessed to be Ellie and Summer's Mommy and I think about it everyday. Having children was the best thing that has ever happened to me (I know I've said this before) and I couldn't imagine life any other way. 

My husband promised me that he would take care of the girls all day and I could do what I wanted. He told me to pamper myself with a massage and manicure and pedicure, which was so nice! The woman I prefer at 3000 BC wasn't working on Sunday so I didn't get a massage. I did get a manicure and pedicure and added the extra ten minute massage. I started my morning getting up early and was surprised with flowers, balloons, and cards. It was Ellie's idea to "make Mommy pumpkin muffins because she loves them." So, Nick and Ellie baked me muffins and they were delicious. I had it along with a cup of coffee on my way to run in Chestnut Hill. // Side note: I ended up dropping the top half of my iPhone in my coffee, but luckily it is still working after I put it in rice! Close call! // 

I had a short, but good, sweaty run before my favorite Barre class. Again, I had to remind myself not to run before Barre as my legs were burning on top of what I normally feel. My favorite teacher (and owner) was teaching so I knew it would be an amazing workout. I love this class. It's so worth the $$. She incorporates some yoga and pilates and not only is it a tough, strenuous workout, but it's relaxing, too. Thanks to my cousin for introducing me! 

After my nail appointment (I got pink because Ellie wanted me, too) we went to see Nick's Mom and stayed for an hour. Then, we had to get home to nap Summer. First, we did the hand prints for my Mom's terracotta pot. I remembered painting her a pot back in High School and she has kept it all these years! We did the hand prints, I wrote on it, and Ellie painted in a heart I drew. Summer is not a fan of getting paint on her hands so I had to bribe her with an M&M. 

During Summer's nap my Mom came over to work in our garden and Ellie helped her. I bought her child size gardening gloves from Target and she was excited she could help Grandmom. Seriously, it's the sweetest thing that Ellie enjoys working in the garden with her. Last week when we went to the plant store to buy the pot I pointed out the bulldozer working with the piles of mulch. Ellie said, "Did Grandmom put the mulch there?" I just love that she associates all flowers and gardens with my Mom. Ellie also put on her bathing suit to be sprayed with the hose so she had a fun time outside.

My Dad made dinner for my Mom, Nana, and my family. My brother and his family had other plans so we missed them, of course, but it was nice to have one on one time with my parents. My Dad made a delicious dinner of a watermelon salad and an amazing Shrimp Scampi entree with fresh pasta. I'm still thinking about it and have to make it soon. Ellie sang "You are My Sunshine" for everyone and the girls played in the field across the street for a while with my Mom. It was a great evening! 

 My parents and the girls. Definitely framing this one!