Monday, July 31, 2023

July Coffee Chat

Hey Friends! I wanted to wrap up July with a coffee chat.  It's hard to believe that August is almost here and that the kids start school on the 7th.  Only iced coffee and maybe a breakfast sandwich will do when it's this hot out.  We're melting in the Midwest.

1. Olive loves getting solo time with me or Kevin.  This past weekend she planned out a fun outing for us.  She needed new tennis shoes for school and then we came up with a to do list together.  We hit all our favorite spots (Academy, Marshalls, Consignment shop & HomeGoods) with a stop for lunch in the middle at Jason's Deli.  We chatted and had a great time.  We also checked in with the boys and brought a little something back for them.

2. Fletcher and Leo moved into their shared room officially this week.  They were both so excited, but we're struggling a bit to get everyone to sleep through the night in their new spots.  I know they will settle into their rooms, but I'm tired from all the middle of the night wake ups.

3. Our garden is doing well!  I bought the wrong tomatoes that vined instead of grew tall.  They weren't doing well so we pulled them up and replaced them.  It thrills me so much to go out and cut fresh herbs from my herb garden and harvest veggies from our vegetable garden.  Thankfully Kevin waters everything every day and we have all been working hard to help things grow.

4. We're hosting a big work dinner party at our house in late August for Kevin's coworkers to celebrate some new hires.  It'll be our biggest party of new friends at our house so I'm working hard to make sure everything is just right.  I found these pretty butterfly napkins and am working on the menu, the flowers, the seating and praying for perfect weather that evening.  HomeGoods has the best napkin selection.  I'd love any extra happy thoughts and prayers for this dinner the last weekend in August.

5. This is our last full week of Summer so that means that we are in full back to school prep mode.  We've gotten the new tennis shoes, the new clothes, ordered supply boxes, refreshed lunch packing supplies and have an open house to go to later this week.  I need to give everyone haircuts this week and then I think we are set.  The kids go to an amazing school and we are so excited for all of the opportunities they will have this year.  Fletcher is going into 2nd grade and Olive is starting 5th grade.  Leo is just 3 so he and I will be enjoying another year home together before he goes to PreK.

6. Olive woke up one day and decided she loves STITCH.  She's Stitch obsessed and it's really sweet.  We had never really paid much attention to the movies so she's having us catch up on the movies and the shows.

7. Have you purchased outdoor lights for your garage or light pole?  I'm in the market for new outdoor lights, but the options online and in stores like Menards are overwhelming.  Send me all your links, brands or favorite store tips.

8. Do you have a favorite night time/sleep bra?  Send me all your recommendations because mine could use an update.

9. Do you aerate your own lawns?  Kevin's wanting to get ours aerated and we'd appreciate your tips.

10. I exercised 29times this month and I'm so proud of myself!  I added it to my daily to do list.  It was a priority and I figured out a way to exercise with the kids home.  Yay!  I have some good momentum going into August.  I give all the credit to our new treadmill.  It's so easy and convenient to exercise quickly during the day.

Thanks for listening!  I'd love to chat with you in the comments.

Friday, July 28, 2023

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday, friends!  I hope you've had a nice week.  It's been HOT in the Midwest so doing our best to not melt in the heat.  We are wrapping up our Summer break and enjoying our days together.  I have lots of favorites to tell you about this week!

1 // Happy Anniversary~!

Kevin and I celebrated our 19th anniversary this week.  We didn't do anything fancy this year - work, kids to the dentist, errand and Door Dashed dinner.  I surprised him with his favorite Crumbl cookies for dessert and he surprised me with pink roses like we had at our wedding.  We stopped by campus to reminisce about getting married here 19 years ago.

2 // Belt Bag

I was skeptical at first that belt bags would be convenient or comfortable, but I love them!  They are so easy to wear and are perfect for moms on the go.  Mine holds my phone, keys, mini wallet, lipstick and a little snack for the kids.  I've got it in black.  Would you believe it was just $8.98 on Amazon!?  I've got my eye on a couple other colors for Fall - orange, black and white checkered, camel and pink.  Here are my Amazon links!

3 // Toddler Milestones

Leo has been going through so many big milestones lately.  He's only napping on occasion, he moved to the brother bedroom with Fletcher and he's sleeping upstairs.  That means that our sleep has all been impacted and we're all feeling a little more tired than usual.  I know he'll figure it out, but those milestones are tiring for everyone.

Look at his cute new dinosaur bedding!  It's both of our favorites!

4 // Polka Dots Play Cafe

We met some friends at this cute play cafe this week.  Leo and I have been several times y ourselves because the big kids are at school.  We all went this week and they all really enjoyed themselves.  The boys are eager to go back :)

5 // Vegetable Garden

Our vegetable garden is thriving!  We swapped out some plants that weren't doing so hot and then added some compost to help everything that was doing well - okra, zucchini, green peppers, kale, etc.  It's so fun to check in and harvest vegetables every day with the kids.

6 // Midwest Summer:

Chasing Sunsets

We have the best sunsets where we live!  Leo checks on them every evening and then gathers us all around if it's a pretty sunset.

 & Lilly Pad Lake

In our old neighborhood, we had a giant lilly pad lake.  We enjoyed it so much!  The kids and I found a new lilly pad lake near our new house and we all got so excited.

7 // Cousin Back to School Lunch

My parents invited us over for a back to school lunch.  It was so fun.  Leo decided that my mom's oatmeal cookies were so good that he would just have those for lunch.

8 // Fresh Bouquets

Fletcher has watched Kevin deliver grocery store flowers to me for years so it's my favorite when he goes out and picks me a bouquet of wild flowers.  It was not cold enough for this hoodie, he just wanted the hood because it was raining.

9 // Construction Leo

He loves a good costume.  It's my favorite to see what he strolls into the room wearing.

 Pirate Leo :)

10 // Visiting Great Grandma

We got to visit both of the kid's great grandmas.  We delivered favorite foods, flowers and got to say hello.  They're lucky to have such wonderful greats.

11 // Snack Shack

I let the kids play with all of the boxes that came after the Prime Day sales and look what they invented.  The Snack Shack filled with all their favorite snacks.

12 // MNO

I headed an hour North and my friends headed an hour South so we could meet for dinner.  I always look forward to these fun evenings catching up with some of my favorite friends.  It's the best dinner with best friends.

13 // Chef Salad

We had these big salads for dinner this week an they were so good!  We used several things from our garden, a new veggie chopper and three meats.  I could eat this favorite meal for dinner every single night.

14 // Bath time

My best parenting advice for little ones - bath time makes everything better :)  Hard day.  Grumpy moods.  Sickness or Tantrums.  A ducky bath will change everything.

15 // Meow

Topher turned 14 earlier this month!  He's the sweetest.  We got him when we lived in Utah.  He's lived in more states than most people - Utah, Arkansas, Mississippi and two cities in Indiana.  He's the sweetest and just seems to get friendlier and more lovey as he gets older.

It cracks me up when I find Pearl perched like this.  Sitting under the barstools is her favorite!

And I opened our linen closet to find this furry feline.  Penny likes hiding in cozy spots.

Have a wonderful weekend!

See you back here on Monday.

I'm linking up with Momfessionals

Wednesday, July 26, 2023

Sourdough Waffles

I'm always on the hunt for recipes that call for sourdough discard.  I hate wasting it and I have learned that it is so delicious in cookies and now waffles.  I found a simple recipe, made a few adjustments and can't wait to share it with you today.  My family - kids and adults - loved these sourdough waffles.


I doubled this recipe to make waffles for dinner for my family.


2 eggs

1 cup sourdough starter

3/4 c Buttermilk

3 T melted butter 

2 t vanilla

1 cup flour

1/2 t baking soda

1/2 t salt

2 T sugar

Optional: chocolate chips, butter to top waffles, syrup and berries.



Stir all ingredients together until well combined.  Makes 4-5 waffles.  I made regular waffles for the adults and chocolate chip waffles for the kids.  I served these waffles for dinner with scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage and berries.

These waffles were delicious fresh out of the waffle maker and delicious reheated the next day.  If you have a sourdough bread starter going, you've got to give this recipe a try!

Monday, July 24, 2023

Summer Outfit Ideas for Moms

Hey Friends!  I'm kicking off the week with a round up of Summer outfit ideas for you.  I am trying to get better at snapping outfit pictures on our way out the door and it helps that my kids are getting older and can be my photographers.

1 // A pretty sleeve

I love these GAP tops that I purchased last year at Sams.  They have the prettiest sleeves and they are t-shirt material.  They are a favorite option to wear with cute shorts or skirts.

PS Happy Anniversary to this handsome guy!  We've been married for 19 years today.  He'd tell you any shirt with a Notre Dame logo on it is a solid wardrobe option.

 2 // Time and Tru Dresses from Walmart

I picked up this striped t-shirt dress in  two colors this season.  I love it so much!  I added a belt big hoops and dressy braided sandals.  It's casual and cute.  I wore it to church and it works perfectly for date night, lunch with the girls and anything in between.

I found this striped dress at Walmart this season.  It also came in a dark jean and I love it so much - cute buttons, drawstring waist and pockets.  Time and Tru dresses are some of my favorite.  Scope out their end of the season clearance for some really cute dresses on major markdown.

3 // Printed tee + Drawstring shorts

If you see me out and about with my crew, I'll probably be wearing a version of this outfit.  It's comfy, cute and works for errands, playgrounds, Bible study and splash pads.  

I picked up this belt bag on Amazon this year to try out the trend.  I love it and am definitely considering ordering another color or two to wear this Fall and Winter.  Can you believe they're only $8.98!?!  I love trying out trends with inexpensive Amazon finds.  I adore the black and have my eye on the hot pink, camel and black, black and white checkered and the orange  This bet bag has been around town and on all of our trips this Summer.  It has two pouches, 2 pockets and easily holds keys, a mini wallet, cell phone, lipstick and a small snack.  You can't beat the Amazon price! 

4 // Floral Dress

I love wearing dresses to church when it's get this hot.  This dress is a Knox Rose dress from Target last year.  I adore that line and their dresses.  I think I scooped up every one I could find last year.  Can't go wrong with added a coordinating headband, dressier sandals from TJ Maxx and Kate Spade studs.

5// Matching top & bottom

I picked up this outfit in purple and black last year.  It's so easy and so comfy.  I wear it often with bracelets, studs and birks.

These jelly bracelets are still such a hit!  I love them so much and so do everyone I've shared them with!  They'd be such a fun back to school gift for teachers the first week of school, friend gifts or party favors.  The price is amazing and the quality is, too! 

6 // Printed top & drawstring shorts Part 2

I love this combo.  GAP has great options for both.

7 // Short Sleeve Chambray

I don't think I've ever owned a short sleeved chambray shirt until now.  I found this while I was grocery shopping at Meijer (that seems to be my fashion theme lately for my stage of life) and I love it!  I wore it on our recent trip with black shorts and my black belt bag.

8 // Knotted headbands always and forever

I tried on this outfit before going out to dinner with friends and I asked Olive for fashion advice.  With or without the headband.  She said with so I didn't argue :)  This one is from Vineyard Vines.


If your pajama drawer could use a refresh, I have the perfect pajamas for you!!  They're $16.97 from Walmart and they are so nice.  The brand is Joyspun and they've got really affordable nightgowns with pockets and these button down pjs with pockets.  I own them in 3 prints.  I got these fruit pjs and was so impressed with the quality, the way they washed and the patterns that I ordered two more to update my pajama stash.  Here's the Walmart link: Joyspun PJs

I went to bed with wet hair and woke up to big hair and cute pjs :)

I hope this gives you some outfit ideas for yourself for the rest of Summer!

Do you have any go to outfit combinations like me?

Friday, July 21, 2023

Wisconsin Favorites

Happy Friday!  I've got one final Wisconsin post to wrap up this unintentional Wisconsin Week here on the blog.  We had a great trip so it's fun to share the highlights with you.  We loved the Wisconsin Deer Park and the Dells Duck Tour that I shared earlier in the week.  The rest of our time was filled with relaxing, enjoying our favorite spots and some new favorite activities.  It's neat to see what the kids are learning to love to do here as they're getting older and it was fun to invite my parents up to Wisconsin for a couple of days with us.  They had never been and I think they'd tell you it was pretty great!

We have visited Wisconsin in the Spring, Summer and Fall and stayed at Wilderness Resort.  I'm going to make a bold statement, but I think Wisconsin in July is my favorite.  It's warm enough for all the outdoor parks to be open.  There's tons to do inside and out and it's just such a pleasant, patriotic time of year to visit.  I could see us making July in Wisconsin a tradition.

Wisconsin Highlights:

1 // Kevin's birthday

We got to celebrate Kevin's actual birthday in Wisconsin this year.  We did whatever he wanted all day long and then we headed to Bobbers Island Grill for dinner.  The food was good and if you're up for it they have a giant sand box for kids to play in if you dine outside.  

Real life: Leo knocked over my entire glass of pink lemonade in my lap about 5 minutes after we sat down at our table.  I wish I had ordered ice water.  haha

We noticed that people decorate their condo doors for birthday so I sneakily packed decorations for our door and our room.  The kids helped me make signs in secret so Kevin was surprised to wake upon his birthday to see the room looking so festive.

2 // Extra Snuggles & Late Bedtimes

We all enjoyed staying up late, snuggling and sleeping in a bit.  The kids spent way too much time talking about which bear was which kid :)

3 // Outdoor Water Parks

Leo loved standing under this water fall.  Silly guy.  The big kids preferred the slides, lazy rivers and obstacle courses.  The first time we came here Leo couldn't walk yet.  It's way more fun to come now that he's older :)

4 // Dreamy flowers

I admired the flower beds and flower arrangements all week long.  They were STUNNING!  They put together the prettiest combinations of flowers.  Every flower bed and pot is packed with every color of the rainbow.  I snapped pictures for inspiration for my flowers for next year.  I won't bore you with every flower picture I took - just two of my top favorites.

5 // Swim outside

We tried all the different outdoor pools and the crowds weren't bad at all.  I was proud of each of the kids for being brave to try new things - big slides, going down the slides solo and being little fishies.  The water was chilly some days and perfect other days.  We swam regardless and hopped in the hot tub with the big kids from time to time.

6 // Red, white & blue

We loved all of the patriotic decor for July 4th.

7 // Kids Club

The kids had the best time doing the free crafts, activities, glitter tattoos and winning coloring contests in the kids club during the week.  It was a favorite hang out spot for all of us.  It's a hidden gem at Wilderness Resort.

8 // Claw Machines

All the kids love a good claw machine.  They're actually pretty good at them so it's fun to see them win.  Squishmallow machines are always a favorite and Leo loves the rubber ducky machines.  He's the best arcade date because he's just happy to run around and pretend to play everything.  Much less expensive than going with the big kids.

9 // Patio Plans

We loved looking over the maps and brochures to find new things to do this trip.  The kids tried go kart racing and we discovered some new short cuts connecting the water parks.  Leo was very into the maps and brochures.  If only he could read...

10 // Our spot

This bridge is one of our favorite spots on the resort property!  I think we've taken a family picture on it almost every time we have visited.

2021 family picture here.  The kids have all grown a lot.  Olive is eager to pass me up!

11 // Wisconsin Dells Riverwalk

We headed downtown to check out the Riverwalk for the first time.  It was so pretty!  I was snapping a picture of the group and a man kindly offered to take a picture with our whole group.  It was pretty and shaded and such a pleasant spot to walk.  The boys loved watching the boats go by and there are several restaurants nearby.  Kevin would recommend the beef jerky outlet downtown and while most places weren't stroller friendly, there was tons to see and do.  This downtown area is definitely bustling with things to see and do.

12 // Our View

We enjoyed this pretty view from our condo patio all week long.  It was a favorite for sure.  Our room was pretty far away from all the water parks, but we ended up loving our quiet corner of the resort.  We got lots of good exercise walking everywhere.  Leo rarely uses a stroller at home, but happily hopped in his stroller to get pushed around Wilderness Resort.  We loved being on the ground floor so the kids could hang out there without any worries.  We saw deer and bunnies and the weather was just perfect to hang out on the patio a lot.

13 // Horseback Riding

Olive's dream came true this trip - she got to go horse back riding.  Fletcher decided to go along and he's glad he did.  Kevin said they had the best time until they got poured on the last 10 minutes of their one hour ride.  They were all brave, learned how to drive their horses and were so excited to tell us about their adventures through the trails through the woods around the resort.  The trail actually went right by our room at the top of this hill so we sat on the patio and waved to them when they went by.

Kevin splurged on the picture package because he knew I'd love these pictures.  Correct - pictures are my favorite.  He also snapped a few pictures on their ride.  They can't wait to do it again with me the next time we go to Wisconsin.

 #1 Dad always doing all the fun things!  The kids were so proud to tell me everything they learned about riding horses and about the funny personalities of each horse.

14 // Eating Out

We don't eat out very often when we're at home so it was a favorite to dine out and enjoy some good food!  We loved Mr Pancake, Bobbers, Pizza Ranch, Moose Jaw Pizza and Noodles and Co.

15 // Gem Mining

We loved gem mining in Tennessee earlier this year so the kids were eager to try it in Wisconsin.  Spoiler alert: Tennessee was way better (tons more rocks for half the price!)!  We didn't come home with many rocks from Wisconsin, but it was still fun.  It was freezing!!  Leo's teeth were chattering as he sifted his sand.  We bundled up as much as we could and I kind of loved it.  Jean jackets in the summer is basically my dream come true.

16 // LOVE

We LOVE Wisconsin always and forever.

17 // Wiggly Tooth

Fletcher has a thing about losing teeth in Wisconsin.  His first tooth fell out here and as we were loading up to leave on our last day, he hands me a tooth.  Never a dull moment when you're traveling with kids!!

I hope you put Wisconsin on your travel radar and get to visit here someday!

Have a great weekend :)

Linking up with Momfessionals