Friday, September 23, 2016

The Friday Five!

This week has been a little nuts, so I'm keeping it short and sweet for this Friday Five!



Reading -- I have mixed feelings about Gwyneth, but I'm finding a lot of good recipes in It's All Easy. We finally finished How to Catch a Bogle (everyone loved it!) and just started Woods Runner.

Playing -- Kane has a lot more homework this year and we've been trying to really stay on top of it. He has loved his math homework so far, which is usually in the form of a fun game. And I love that the whole family gets in on it. This week we played round after round of Garbage. All you need is a regular deck of cards, but I like this sturdy set.

Wanting -- I'm not a huge fan of plaid, but I love a good windowpane pattern. Especially if it's black + white. I'm obsessed with these Kate Spade PJs.

Cooking -- I have my kitchen back!!! I couldn't believe how much it bothered the whole family to have to eat out or order in for more than a week. We are all so much better off for a slew of reasons when I cook at home. These super simple Lamp Chops with Pistachio Tapenade were so fast to make and a winner with everyone.

Making -- with the return of our kitchen, we also got our arts and crafts area back. The kids haven't wanted to do anything particularly organized, but they've been so happy just messing around with everything in our art cabinet, all of which seems new again! And they wouldn't put our fave watercolor pods away.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

2016 Fall Bucket List -- 50+ Ideas of Fall Family Fun!

Happy Fall!!! We had such a good summer, but I'm ready for some sweater weather. It is the first day of the season, so we only thought it fitting to share our new Fall Bucket List! From recipes to outings to DIYs, we put together over fifty fun ideas for the family to do together this season. And we can't wait to start!!


Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Kane's Favorite Fall Looks!

Kane had incredibly specific ideas of what he wanted his fall back-to-school wardrobe to look like. He told me: dress up clothes ("for a party, like a tuxedo"), skinny green pants, and striped shirts. He said no characters (which I generally wouldn't get him anyway -- house rule) unless it was a minimal graphic design. Needless to say, we had a few negotiations over shopping. But I think we arrived at several looks that work for both of us.

Much like Cam, I'd say that Kane has moved a little more in the alternative direction, but there's still plenty of prep there too. And he is wearing a lot darker colors these days, which might just be my attempt to co-opt them to wear a uniform of all black and grey like me. At least he has continued to resist the all Under Armour look, although I'm sure that's coming some day. Here's what he's working.

Everyday Stripes -- still his main look, Kane dons skinnies and a striped shirt pretty much every day. He's branched out a little to include a few graphics, but if stripes are available, that's what he's wearing. He also started collecting leather and wax coated bracelets this summer from everywhere we traveled. And then friends starting bringing them back for him from places too. He's got a whole armful.

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Party Dress -- Kane equates dressing up with a party, but he would like to party every day. He'd still dig for rocks and play soccer though, so I just can't get down with letting him wear a suit to school. I did stock up on other "dress wear" though that he can rock to school. Everything else, we save for weekends and random parties, including kitchen dance parties.


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Sporty Casual -- he does not like to wear elastic waist pants (sometimes I really wonder if he's my kid), but if he rocks them on the weekend, he keeps it stylized in joggers, funky tops, and sweet sneaks. And even though he likes to give his dad a hard time about football, in our house, you are an Eagles fan.



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Friday, September 16, 2016

The Friday Five!

I'm glad it's Friday, but this week (and upcoming weekend when we'll be a roaming family while the last of our floors are hopefully finished up) can suck it. Here's all the things we (crankily) did this week.


Reading -- I grew up in a sailing family, so even though my strongest personal sailing skill is lounging, I'm getting a kick out of the sailing-obsessed family in Before the Wind which takes place on Puget Sound--another temporary home of mine. Kane and his friends at school have been running some kind of rock shop on the playground during recess and he has been bringing home pockets FULL of rocks. He checked this Rock and Gem book out of the library and has been pouring through it in hopes that he's dug up the next Hope Diamond.

Playing -- I've finally succumbed to the fact that I will not be doing any serious long distance running without constant PT and pain. It's annoyed me to no end and I've gone through cycles of not running at all, ill-advisedly running one off long stretches, and unhappily running 3 mile loops just to get it the aerobic exercise. I tried this new running app this week that's designed for weight loss and kind of love it. It's like running with a trainer without having to run with another actual person (hey, I like running by myself). I don't know if it will lead to any weight loss, but I'm mostly doing it to mix up my running routine and it's working.

Wanting -- I hated on Lulu a long time. But after spending lots of time in workout clothes, I can't help to love it. It's started to get a little chilly in the mornings (yay!!) so I have my eye on the classic Scuba hoodie in a new print (and yes I hate myself a little bit just for that sentence).

Making -- without our normal arts and crafts area, we still haven't been making much. But Cam has been working on a self-portrait at school and is all in a tizzy to get out the oil pastels at home as soon as we can. I love oil pastels and we have this great student set, but we hardly ever use them. So I'm committed to trying out a few new projects!

Cooking -- Our kitchen floors are being redone so I haven't cooked a thing all week long. It's making me insane. I feel like all I've consumed this week are salads in the car. And the kids are sick of eating out and not having our regular breakfast. Hopefully just a few more days until I get my kitchen back!!

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Scotland + Ireland: The Dingle Peninsula Day 6



We went round and round about which western coastal area of Ireland to visit. Most people do the Ring of Kerry, but since we were doing just a day trip and driving ourselves, we wanted to skip the crowded tourist loop. I really wanted to check out the lesser known Beara Peninsula—it was a touch closer to Cork and was supposed to be much, much less crowded than Kerry or the Dingle Peninsula. Plus there was the option to hop across to a little rocky island refuge and see a pretty amazing mountain pass. But after the third or fourth Irish person we asked about it appeared to have never even heard of it, the others in our group really wanted to head to Dingle. I'm pretty sure we were all just saying it wrong, but I went along with the group's decision. And it was one of my favorite days of the entire vacation.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Final 2016 Summer Bucket List Update

We had a fabulous summer! I finally feel like I had just the right balance of camp, travel, and free time with the kiddos (although I think they actually would have liked more camp). We actually didn't knock that many more items off our Summer Bucket List this last month--mostly because we had a lot of DIY projects left and we were either traveling or out and about in DC because we've been doing work on the house. But 73 things for the whole season isn't too shabby (last year we hit 55 and 46 the year before that). Here's how we finished it up!



61. - 62. 2 New Museums -- we went to lots of new museums this summer, but the two I'm counting are the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art and the National History Museum of Ireland.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Scotland + Ireland: Cork and Kinsale Days 5 + 7

We headed out of Scotland to Cork, Ireland on our fifth day of vacaye. I was sad to leave Edinburgh because there was so much more I wanted to do there, BUT we were meeting up with my MIL and FIL in Cork and the kids were beyond excited for that. The flight was super easy and quick and we headed right to pick up our rental car at the Cork airport.