Friday, June 22, 2018

June Joy

June has been a mostly fun month for our family.  We've packed in lots of activities and enjoyed pretty nice weather.  Minus the week that Fletcher was sick.  Summer has been a fun one so far.  We are going on vacation next week which means I'm taking a blog-cation, too!  It'll be quiet here next week, but you can always keep up with me over on instagram @polkadottyplace.  I'll be back here in July!

It was really easy to round up the joyful June moments today:

Our country club's member-guest golf tournament was last weekend.  Kevin signed up with his Dad and they had the best time.  There were events for the guys, events for the wives/kids and it was really fun.  We squeezed in two dressed up date nights for the fancy dinners.  Both guys played as well as they could have hoped and had a blast.  Kevin's parents were in town for four days.  His mom and I got some yard work done while the boys golfed.  Great time for everyone!

 The food was definitely a highlight!  I've got to recreate that pesto steak skewer!!

The Champions dinner was such a fun way to wrap up the tournament.  They had raffles, drinks, games and it was fun to catch up with friends.

Favors for the husbands and the wives.

The menu for the night was amazing!  I gave Kevin my shrimp, but enjoyed everything else.

Kevin's dad won an award for closest to the pin one the last day.  He was THRILLED and jokingly called it the greatest achievement of his life. 

We had a low key Father's Day filled with all of Kevin's favorite things.

Loving the way our front porch looks this time of year.  My sweet potato vines are doing so well!

We've been having lots of driveway races this month.  Olive is really fast.  Fletcher can't pedal yet so he just yells for someone to push him really fast.

Olive only wants to wear dresses.  They are her #1 favorite thing.  Sams has the cutest two packs of dresses for $10.98 right now.  They've got ruffles, pom poms and come in really cute prints.  You really can't beat those prices.

Fletcher was so sad and so sick for one week.  We were all so happy when he started talking, smiling and eating again.

My mother in law and I worked our tails off spreading a truck load of mulch in the backyard.  Everything looks so nice now!  I'll have to take some pictures to give you a tour.

Olive got invited to go to vacation Bible school with a friend and had the best time!  I was proud of her for trying something new and loving it.  The highlight for her was all the new songs and the theme of Jesus rescues.  She'd come home every day with a new way that Jesus could rescue you with a matching "Bible berse".  She will happily tell you that Jesus rescues you when you're lonely, worried or when you're struggling.  We bought the soundtrack and will be jamming out to it all Summer long.

Hope you have a great weekend!!  We're supposed to get a lot of rain so we'll just have to wait and see what fun plans we can come up with for our family.

Linking up with My Glittery Heart

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Unexpected Aldi Haul

I had a different post planned for today, but I got excited about my Aldi haul yesterday and had to share it right away :)  About a year ago I started shopping at Aldi regularly thanks to my sweet friends reminding me over and over again how wonderful it really is.  Thanks Justine and Whitney

Do you have an Aldi in your area?  We have a brand new one (biggest in the Midwest) and another being built on another side of town.  I waited for the new store opening chaos to die down and went to stock up on our favorites.  I couldn't believe how BRIGHT, COLORFUL and WONDERFUL the store looked.  Fletcher and I had the best time checking out the new location.

I found some AMAZING deals on some really unexpected things. 

Every Aldi seems to have a different selection and their aisles of non grocery items are always stocked with the most random things.  You really NEVER know what you are going to find on a great deal there so keep your eyes peeled.  I really had no intention of buying a swim suit or outdoor chairs at Aldi.
I've been wanting a set of chairs for our patio for months.  I wanted to spend under $100 for a bench or chairs and a table.  I haven't found anything I loved until this trip to Aldi.  They had a stack of these metal Slat Back Chairs on clearance for $13.99!!!

I got one down and tried it out in the store.  It was comfy so I picked up two of them.  We had this giant log in the garage from a tree that we had cut down.  It made the perfect side table.  Total project done for under $30!!  

Whole Grain Granola (our favorite) $1.99
Apple Peach pouches $1.69 (our favorite)
Freeze dried pears $2.99 (good flavor, but odd texture.  Prob won't buy again)

Fit and Active vanilla yogurt $1.89 (New to us)
Fudge Mint Cookies $0.95 (Delicious knock off girl scout cookies)
Cheeses were $1.69 and $1.79
Olives $1.19
Our favorite tortilla chips $0.89
Knock off Ritz $1.39

Amazing diapers!!  You just cannot beat this diaper deal.  They work great and save you so much money.  They do run a little small so you may need to size up for your kiddo. $10.89/box.  Total mom brain moment... I went to Aldi FOR DIAPERS.  I walked out of Aldi without diapers.  Thankfully I realized my mistake and made a second trip in the store.  This is why I always shop with a list.  My brain cannot be trusted to remember all the things :)

These PB crackers are a favorite, too.  They're $2.29 a box and Fletcher broke into them before I could even take a picture.  They are tasty :)

I've loved these String of Pearl succulents for a long time.  I have not been able to find one locally until now.  Aldi had a whole display of tiny succulent plants for $1.99 each.  I bought three of these and potted them when I got home.  LOVE them!

I was not looking for a swim suit for Fletcher this trip.  Then, I spotted this shark suit combo with the rash guard and trunks for just $7.99 and couldn't pass it up.  They seemed to run big so I sized down for him.  My store had several designs for boys and for girls.

Back to the outdoor chairs.  We love them!  They're comfy and look great on our patio.  Here's Fletcher giving them a "thumbs up" and I included pictures of the tag if you're interested in more details.

See what I mean?!?  Such a fun assortment of things that you might never expect to buy at Aldi.

It's time to link up with my favorite Welcome Wednesday Ladies.
Join us with some current posts.

Monday, June 18, 2018

10 Amazon Must Haves

Do you shop from Amazon regularly?

Are you a Prime member?

Amazon has saved me tons of times when I need to order something QUICK.  Their two day delivery is my go to for baby gifts, birthday gifts, holidays and personal shopping.  Shipping costs have gotten so high that I rarely buy an item and pay to ship it myself.  It's such an easy way to shop when you're busy.  It seems like you can pretty much buy anything you could ever want there.  We don't do a lot of subscribe and save and maybe I'm missing out there?? 

These are my top, number one favorite, best buys on Amazon.

1. Need an amazing pair of work out pants or capris??  Look no further... these 90 Degree By Reflex High Waist Tummy Control Shapewear are AMAZING.  They are under $20/pair and you can buy them in two or three packs.  They come in tons of colors.  They are so comfortable, suck everything in, smooth the tummy area and stay in place when you exercise or chase your kids around.  I own the gray and black capris and am eyeing another pair in a bold color.  I would size down for them to fit like shape wear.  They have almost 4,500 Amazon reviews so you know they're popular.  They are not see through and the quality is amazing.

90 Degree By Reflex High Waist Tummy Control Shapewear – Power Flex Capri -Electric Navy-S

2. Need a game that will entertain your kids for hours, be a great game for parties or vacation??  Hot Potato is that game.  We've traveled with it and my kids have yet to tire of it after weeks of playing with it every day.  It's under $10, comes with batteries it needs and is really cute.

Ideal Hot Potato Electronic Musical Passing Game

3. My iphone is going on three years old so I've blown through several chargers.  The best chargers by far are Anker chargers.  I recently bought this two pack of chargers and have been really happy with them.  I keep one in the car.  The other one lives in my van.  The quality and price are great.

[2 Pack] Anker PowerLine Lightning Cable (6ft) Apple MFi Certified - Lightning Cables for iPhone X / 8 / 8 Plus / 7 / 7 Plus / 6 / 6s Plus / 5s / 5, iPad mini / 4 / 3 / 2, iPad Pro Air 2

4. Handwriting Without Tears.  It's the cutest workbook to help kids get in some extra fine motor practice.  It's really fun, has creative activities for kids to replicate, trace and do.  Olive and I have enjoyed working through this book.

Handwriting Without Tears - Get Set For School - My First School Book - Pre-K Activity Book

5. Never Unfriended: The Secret to Finding and Keeping Lasting Friendships by Lisa-Jo Baker.  I recently read this book and LOVED it.  She addresses everything from hospitality, to social media, to self esteem and being joyful for others.  There were so many practical ways to include others, show up for your friends and to push through uncomfortable times for your friendship to grow.  I really appreciated her reminder of the importance of seeing your friends in real life.  Spend time with them face to face and make sure that you are having that human interaction.  I think we are all pretty good at keeping up with people online, but that's just not the same as face to face time with a good friend.  Lisa-Jo Baker says that friendships will definitely inconvenience you at some point, but they are so worth it.  She talks about cheering on your friends and encouraging the women around you.  It has really stuck with me and challenged me to be there for friends, invite and include others.  The book really drives home the message that you can't have too many friends, you can always be a friendly face in a crowd and that all friendships go through ups and downs.

Never Unfriended: The Secret to Finding & Keeping Lasting Friendships

6. Agree Luv that Trays are amazing.  We craft a ton, play with playdoh and love to work on these trays.  They have a slightly raised edge to keep messes on the tray and it is great because it doesn't get in the way of working.  They are super easy to clean and wipe off.  My kids do really well with keeping their messes contained to the trays which means craft projects are a little less messy.

Argee Luv That Tray with Raised Sides 4

7. My #1 favorite hair tool... Bed Head Curlipops 1 inch wand.  It's great!  It heats up fast, is really easy to use and I love the curls.  It comes with a glove to wear.  I've been using it for about a year and it's amazing.  It's also just $14.99 and has 1,200 Amazon reviews!!

Bed Head Curlipops Curling Wand for Loose Curls, 1"

8. I've been declaring my love for Yumbox lunch boxes for almost a year now.  We own two and use them almost daily.  They have held up really well.  They get dropped, handled by kids and they still work like new.  We have had zero cracks or breaks in the plastic.  The colors are still vibrant and kids can open the lunch box with ease.  I swear my kids like their Yumboxes clean every time I serve their lunch in them.  They are top rack dishwasher safe, but I always hand wash ours for convenience.  They're the perfect lunchbox and save you money/save the environment by not having to use several plastic bags in their lunches everyday.

YUMBOX (Neptune Blue) Leakproof Bento Lunch Box Container for Kids

9. I asked Kevin to throw in an Amazon favorite for you.  He shops Amazon all the time for clothes, granola bars, books and home repair items.  It's his go to store.  He's been most impressed with the Solar Motion Sensor Lights by LEDOWP that he ordered and installed months ago.  We didn't want to spend big bucks to hire an electrician to come out and wire outdoor lights.  He did some Amazon searching and found these lights for under $20.  They have great reviews and we have been very happy with them.  They work great.  Go off when anything passes by and we couldn't be happier with them.

Solar Motion Sensor Lights By LEDOWP: Ecological Energy-Saving Lights, With 4 Intelligent Modes For Outdoor Spaces - Waterproof Motion Activated Detector For Security And Illumination (1-Pack)

10. Gardening tools for kids.  We LOVE this set of gardening tools. They are made of wood and metal.  They really work and are so cute.  They're perfect for little hands and are under $20.  We have been using them for over a year with no complaints.  Well, one complaint... why don't we own two sets??  The kids seem to always want to use the same tool at the same time.

G & F 10018 JustForKids Kids Garden Tools Set, Rake, Spade, Hoe and Leaf Rake, 4-Piece

What are you favorite things to buy from Amazon??

PS Some affiliate links included.  Thanks for reading & supporting Polka-Dotty Place!

Friday, June 15, 2018

10 Fun Activities To Do with Your Kids this Summer

Happy Friday!  I'm ready for the weekend.  Our week hasn't really gone as I planned.  Fletcher got sick (fever, sore throat and irritable) last weekend and has stayed that way all week.  Poor guy hasn't been wanting to eat, drink or do anything he usually does.  The worst part is that he's quit talking because his throat hurts and has been in a major funk.  We visited his pediatrician to get him checked out and I'm hoping he's on the mend now.  We cleared our calendar and spent most of the week at home.  We enjoyed a quiet week and are hoping for a healthy week next week.

I'm excited to share some fun things we've been enjoying this Summer.

I bet your kids would love them, too.

Summer Fun for Kids

1. Nature Scavenger Hunt
Give your kids a clean egg carton and ask them to fill each slot with something different that they find in nature.  We did ours in our backyard, but you could do it at the ocean, on a hike or at a park.  My kids LOVED filling their egg carton and then doing a show and tell style presentation of their treasures at the end.  Olive had no problem filling each section with something different.  Fletcher just happily filled his up with stuff.  Both loved presenting their findings at the end.  They did this over and over again.

2. Pool Days
Whether you have a backyard kid pool, a sprinkler or a country club - go swim with your kids!  My crew loves playing in the water.  This tiny blue pool has been used for 3 summers in a row and is still so much fun.

3. Ant Farm
Olive got an ant farm for her birthday.  We have had a lot of fun watching those silly ants.  It was hilarious to try to get the ants to go into the farm, but once that was done, it has been great.  The kids thought it was fascinating.

Our ant farm -->
Ant Farm

4. Popsicles
This is the treat that my kids request the most in the summer.  Olive loves the real fruit ones and Fletcher will eat pretty much any popsicle.  Bomb Pops are his current favorite.  The ice cream man makes his way through our neighborhood, but his popsicles are PRICEY.  I buy a few different kids for our freezer and let the kids shop my popsicle shop for much cheaper.

6. Indoor Fun
Check out the summer deals going on at your local spots for indoor fun - bowling alleys, arcades, bounce houses, movie theaters, etc.  Most have promotions or special deal days.  Tuesdays are half off at this arcade spot.  We have free bowling passes for the kids and early morning times are cheaper at our bounce house.  Great rainy day or super hot day activities.

7. Catch Lightning Bugs
Free fun every evening!!  We usually catch, observe and release.

8. Countdown
Post an interactive countdown to something fun - a road trip, a vacation, family coming in town, a trip to the park, etc.  Olive has loved taking down a post it note every day to countdown our trip to the beach.  I hung ours on our pantry door.

9. Swing Set
If you're ever tempted to get a swing set for your backyard, DO IT!!  We play on ours every single day.  Best backyard investment ever.  Ours is a Gorilla set originally from Lowes, but Kevin purchased off Craigslist and built on his own.

10. Kites
We got the kids each a kite for their Easter baskets this year.  It took the weather forever to cooperate for kite flying this Spring.  We've been enjoying the kites this summer.  They were really affordable and are very durable.  I think they are going to last us a long time.  Fletcher has a yellow one and Olive got a pink one.

Best Kites ever - they come in tons of colors and are under $14-->
In the Breeze Blue Diamond Kite, 30-Inch

What are your kids loving playing with this summer??

PS Some affiliate links included.  Thanks for reading & supporting Polka-Dotty Place!

Hope you have a great weekend!!  Kevin's playing in a golf tournament and I'm hoping to work on some yard projects.  Also, REALLY hoping Fletcher feels better ASAP.

Linking up with My Glittery Heart