Friday, August 26, 2016

The Friday Five!

Ooof. It's been a rough week back from vacaye. We're in the weird end-of-summer where many other kids are back in school, but our guys still have another week and change off. We are craving a schedule, but our house is under construction. And frankly we could all use some time away from each other. But we're doing our best to remember that soon the kids will be in school and we'll all miss each other and the carefree days of the season. On that note, here's what's what this week.

Reading -- a few weeks the Cozy Reader Club asked whether I'd like to give their subscription a try for a month. The club is a clever service that delivers a curated box with a book, a new coffee or tea, and a handmade gift—all designed to help you give yourself a little "me time." Part of my problem in reading is that I get hung up picking out new books, so I really liked the idea of someone picking for me! This month's pick is Truly Madly Guilty and it arrived yesterday with a cute tin of ice tea pods, some sweet snacks, and a pretty handmade scarf. I can't wait to dig in and I love the idea of gifting the box to a new mama or friend!

Making -- Cam has been art and crafting up a STORM this week. She seems so happy to be back with full access to supplies after being on vacation so long. She seems especially glad to be able to paint again and has come up with project after project on her own with our fave liquid watercolors (the most brilliant colors and they last forever). I love seeing what she dreams up—"shaving cream painting" was probably my favorite from this week in which she basically painted on top of a container of shaving cream and shouted "beautiful!" over and over again.

Cooking -- if Cam is happy to have her art supplies back, I'm over the moon about having access to a kitchen and grill again. I love the vacation from cooking, but I miss making healthy meals for everyone. This Grilled Potato, Lemon + Zucchini with Romesco was one of my faves this week.

Wanting -- I've been back to school shopping for the kids which has been wanting to fall shop for myself. My fave grey booties are on their last leg, so I've got my eye on these (love the little flash of metallic!)

Playing -- in addition to the art closet access, both kids have just been happy to putter around the neighborhood playing all manner of pretend games this week. Cam declared herself a barista the other morning and set up a "coffee cart" on the front porch with water and our all purpose rainbow glasses (we have a set of each color way). You can see we've reached the point of summer where I direct: just go outside!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Scotland + Ireland: Edinburgh Days 1 + 2

We've just returned from our fabulous 12-day #greensgogreen trip to Scotland and Ireland! Everyone is struggling a little with getting over jet lag and getting back on a normal schedule, but while we are glad to be home, we were also all incredibly sad to end our trip. We moved around a lot more than our trip to Italy last year and I have mixed feelings about our approach to trying to see a little bit of everything. On one hand, we got to see a lot of both countries. On the other, I felt like we didn't get to spend much time in any one place and I left each city and area of the countries feeling like we needed at least an additional day there. I guess we'll just have to go back!

Monday, August 22, 2016

DIY Tiedye Playdough Bath Soap

Our kids can smell the bathstore LUSH from miles away (who can't, really) and they are obsessed with their moldable soap. Its fantastic, but, like everything else in there, it's expensive. Now being a DIY veteran, I'm fully aware that "doing it yourself" often ends up costing far more in money and effort than simply sucking it up and buying it. BUT we found an incredibly easy recipe for playdough bath soap. Then we tie dyed it. BOOM. It's a snap to customize and you probably have all the ingredients all ready!

Friday, August 19, 2016

The Friday Five!

We are still on vacation (having a fabulous time exploring Scotland + Ireland), so I'll keep this Friday Five short.

Reading -- our late nights out on this trip means we haven't had tons of time to read before bed. But the kids have been happy to go to sleep with an audiobook on and Philippa Fisher and the Fairy Godsister has done the trick every night.

Cooking -- I have cooked nothing, but have eaten (and imbibed) plenty (SUCH a cleanse is needed when we get home!). We've eaten all sorts of delicious things, but I think last night's Dublin dinner at The Pig's Ear might have been my fave. The Tartare of Irish Beef Brisket, Picked Onion + Seeds, Smoked Cheddar.

Making -- we haven't done a whole lot of crafting on the road, but we made some cool origami on our visit to the Scottish Museum of Modern Art. So I think I'll pick this up for the kids to try out when we get back!

Wanting -- I blew out my hairdryer in Scotland, so now I need to replace my fave! I've had to dry my hair and then braid both sides into a low bun the entire vacation to deal with the weather over here.

Playing -- the kids have been working their way through all the Travel Games + Activities I brought and I've been very happy with my choices. BUT their Nonna also brought along one of these pinball arcades for each of them and they've been obsessed. They've also been loving this Cranium Brain Breaks Game, which has kept them busy while we've planned and prepped during vacaye.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

DIY Outdoor Obstacle Course

A few years ago we ran an obstacle course race together as a family and it was a HUGE hit. Since we've moved across the street from a giant park, the kids have been after me to put our own course together. So I hit up our local dollar store and with the help of a few additional doodads, set up a super fun course that is also easy to break down and re-use. Head over to Z Living to get the goods!

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Interview the Kiddos -- August 2016

Even though I constantly chronicle the kids' lives on the blog and in our book, I am the WORST at printing out photos, keeping baby books, and the like. One of my most favorite family activities we did was the Q+A a Day we kept up for a while -- it was such a great way to document the kids' personalities. But, alas, I failed at doing the daily task. We originally borrowed that idea from our friends at No Monsters in My Bed, so I decided to borrow another from them! A regular interview of the kiddos. I'm going to try and do them every three months, but we'll see how it goes! Thanks No Monsters!!

Cameron -- age 6 years, 3 months
FAVORITE COLOR - rainbow, and green, gold, and silver. and multicolored.
FAVORITE BOOK - Mercy Watson 
FAVORITE SUBJECT AT SCHOOL - reading, art, and writing
FAVORITE SONG - Barbara Streisand/Llorenzo Llama version
FAVORITE FOOD - mom’s lamb meatballs
FAVORITE MOVIE - Jem and the Holograms
FAVORITE TV SHOW - Wizards of Waverly Place
FAVORITE TOY/GAME - Penguin game 
WHAT ARE YOU SAVING YOUR ALLOWANCE FOR? - buying stuff like for art and books for the poor.
FAMOUS PERSON YOU'D LIKE TO MEET - Mommy — you’re famous!
BEST FRIEND - mommy, Kane, daddy, Zoe, Uncle Steve, my cousins. I have lots of best friends.
FAVORITE THING TO DO AS A FAMILY - sidewalk chalk paint
FAVORITE PLACE TO GO AS A FAMILY - Ireland + Scotland — I bet it will be fun.
FAVORITE THING TO DO AFTER SCHOOL - hang out and relax with my family.
FAVORITE GAME TO PLAY WITH KANE - me and Kane do like playing Artemis and Apollo with pretend arrows and swords.
DREAM VACATION - Ireland + Scotland. And Hawaii.
FAVORITE MUSEUM - The Renwick and History Museum Innovation gallery (National Museum of American History).
FAVORITE SEASON - Winter because I love snow.
WHAT DO YOU WANT TO DO THIS SUMMER? - kiss the Blarney Stone.
FAVORITE MEMORY FROM THIS SPRING - playing with my friends.
FAVORITE SPORT - oooh, that’s a hard one. Basketball.

Kane -- age 7 years, 9 months 
FAVORITE BOOK - The Unwanteds (audiobook)
FAVORITE SONG - Shut Up and Dance 
FAVORITE MOVIE - Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 1 and 2 
FAVORITE TV SHOW - Just Add Magic 
WHAT ARE YOU SAVING YOUR ALLOWANCE FOR? - most recently, Pokemon cards. 
FAMOUS PERSON YOU'D LIKE TO MEET - That’s physically impossible, but it’s Benjamin Franklin.
WHAT DO YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU GROW UP? - A billionaire. Someone who owns a lot of businesses. No, the president. 
FAVORITE THING TO DO AS A FAMILY - Spend time together — I don't care, as long as we’re together. 
FAVORITE THING TO DO AFTER SCHOOL - It depends on the season. In winter it's having a snow ball fight. 
DREAM VACATION - Going to the moon. 
FAVORITE MUSEUM - Museum of Natural History (National Museum of Natural History) 
WHAT DO YOU WANT TO DO THIS SUMMER? - go to Jamaica again
FAVORITE SPORT - wrestling 

Monday, August 15, 2016

Balloon Stamp Painting

At this point in the summer, the kids are sort of over trying new things. They are over each other. They are frankly over me (how dare they!). But they both donned immediate huge smiles, laughed, and had a total blast when I broke out this balloon stamp painting project last week. I honestly can't remember where I spotted this project first—somewhere in the depths of Pinterest, probably. It's not an original idea, but it's a truly fabulous outdoor paint project. I highly recommend giving it a try to get you through these dog days of summer!