Friday, April 30, 2021

Amazon Purchases- April

 Good morning friends and happy Friday!! I hope you all had a good week. This springtime weather is making me want to spend as much time as possible outside. I took the kids hiking multiple times this week and we ate dinner on the patio almost every night. I know it's only a matter of time before this beautiful weather turns into this:

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

What's Up Wednesday

 Good morning friends and happy What's Up Wednesday! What's Up Wednesday is always one of my favorite times of the month because I love to catch up with everyone and see what you've all been up to. We have had a busy but wonderful month. Can't wait to fill you in!

What We're Eating This Week: Well this week we are back to the grind of healthy food. After a weekend out of town complete with a "drink and eat whatever we want" mindset, we were definitely craving anything and everything healthy and nutritious. This salad is on the menu for tonight and my mouth is already watering just looking at it:
A couple weeks ago thought we had a viral foods taste test challenge and had a blast with it! We finally got a chance to make all those recipes we see all over the internet and then rated them on a scale of 1-10. Here is the blog post I wrote about it if you think your family might want to do a viral foods taste test challenge too!

Our overall favorite was the tortilla hack, and we have made about 6-7 different variations of it now!

What I'm Reminiscing About: All the outdoor fun we had last summer. The weather is consistently warm around here which means we are spending as much time outside as possible. I am remembering some of our hikes:
Our beach trips:
And kayaking with Lily Grace:

What I'm Loving: Our church and Lily Grace's preschool is on the other side of our backyard fence, so a couple days after carpool is done we have gone over to the parking lot to play. Lily Grace has been practicing riding her bike and drawing with chalk, and Liam just runs around chasing balls. 
It's nice to have another fun place for them to play!
What We've Been Up To: Mostly just getting our backyard all tidied up and ready for summer! All the gardening and major yard work are done, so the last thing on our list is to power wash the patio. I LOVE power washing things. It's so satisfying to see how clean it gets!
What I'm Working On: Getting all the final preparations in order for Lily Grace's birthday party. I can't believe our sweet girl is about to be 4!
What I'm Excited About: Lily Grace is going to do gymnastics camp this summer and I don't know who is more excited about it: me or her. 😂 I know she is going to LOVE it and I can't wait to hear her talk about it.
What I'm Watching/Reading: We are almost done with The Man in the High Castle and it's killing me to not know how it ends yet! 
At first I wasn't sold on the show because I don't like violence, but honestly they have done such a good job with developing the characters that I am able to see past that. I love how the writers are able to help you see the human side of "the bad guys" and make you wonder if they are only evil because of the circumstances of their environment, not their true character. 
As for what I'm reading, I just finished Our Darkest Night and LOVED it. It's about a Jewish girl from Venice who hides from the Nazi's in a small town in Italy. I love historical fiction, am fascinated by WW2, and love Italy. So this was the perfect fit!

Now I am reading The Last Child in the Woods. I have started this book more times than I can count but it has always been due back at the library before I could finish it. I am happy to FINALLY finish it. This book is about the importance of children having unstructured time in nature and how beneficial it can be.

What I'm Listening To: I am on a big country/rock streak lately. I just tell our Google Home to "play today's top country" and she always gets it right. Also, Liam has learned to say "Google play shark" (meaning Baby Shark) and I know my days are numbered before Google starts understanding him. 😂
What I'm Wearing: Nothing new! I found most of this stuff last year and have been wearing it all spring. The brown shoes I have on I found from another blogger last summer who described them as "the comfiest sandal" she's ever worn. I figured I'd give them a try and have to say, she wasn't lying! I LOVE these shoes. The other blogger referred to them as "Jandals" as in "Jesus Sandals". 😂

Also, please note that I have clearly been putting sunless tanner on my face and arms but not my legs. 😆 It's like a whole other person on my legs-- haha!!

T Shirt/ Shorts (old)/ Jandals

I did order a new pair of shorts but they haven't come in yet. I'll have to keep you posted if I like them!

What I'm Doing This Weekend: We have plans to hit up the farmers market, go on a family hike, and spend some time with friends. Sounds like a perfect weekend if you ask me!
What I'm Looking Forward to Next Month: The pool opening up! I can't wait for my kiddos to be living in the pool all summer. There is nothing better than a good post-pool nap.

Today I am linking up with Sheaffer and Shay. I hope you all have a great day!

Monday, April 26, 2021

Our Murder Mystery Weekend in DC

 Good morning friends and happy Monday! Yesterday Devin turned 33 and we were in DC with some friends to celebrate. When I had originally asked Devin what he wanted to do for his birthday I expected him to say something along the lines of "let's go for a hike" or "let's go to the Whitewater Center". That is most definitely NOT the response I got! In all seriousness he said "Let's fly to DC and participate in this murder mystery game I heard about". I literally laughed out loud. "You want to do what now?!" Luckily some of our best friends (and Liam's godfather) live in DC and wanted to do this along with us. We had a great time, even though the murder mystery game wasn't quite what we expected.

Friday, April 23, 2021

Viral Recipes Taste Test

 Good morning friends and happy Friday! Today we are flying to Washington DC to meet up with a few friends and celebrate Devin's birthday. We have a unique activity planned and I am excited to give it a try. My plan is to blog about it on Monday but we will see how busy the weekend ends up being! 


Today however I wanted to share a fun couple "date from home" nights we've had lately: Taste Testing Viral Recipes. I stumbled across a few delicious sounding recipes on Instagram and TikTok and told Dev we should give them a shot. We decided to make a date night out of it and make multiple recipes for one meal. Not only was it a fun activity to research viral recipes we thought sounded good, but then to actually make them together and rate them on a scale. This was so fun we ended up doing a round 2 and round 3 making different recipes on other nights. Here are the recipes we tasted:

Baked Feta Pasta-- I initially saw this one on Instagram but it led me to the TikTok recipe. I wasn't sure what to expect here but figured it was worth a shot. 

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Family Updates

Hi friends! I hope you're having a good week so far. Lately we have had some new/different/interesting stuff go on, but none of it seemed worthy of it's own post. I decided to write a quick little update post with some tidbits about each family member. 

Lily Grace- 

1. Our sweet girl is back in school this week after over a month off. Her class had a COVID case back in March and the class was shut down for two weeks (the classmate is fine thank God!). Then, we had a two week spring break. If you follow along with me on Instagram then you would've seen this:

Monday, April 19, 2021

Siesta Key Part 2!

Good morning and happy Monday! What did you do this weekend? We were super busy on Saturday but it was a great day. We went to our local farmer's market which just opened back up again for the season and picked up a bunch of fresh local produce. Strawberries, sweet potatoes, brussel sprouts, all kinds of goodies! Then we had a baby shower and a birthday party. All in the same day 😅 Needless to say we all slept like babies on Saturday night. 

Last week I posted the first half of our trip to Siesta Key, FL and today I am here to share the rest! 

We woke up on Easter morning and headed to St. Michael the Archangel church on the island. This is the church my family usually attends when we go to SK and we were so happy to see on their website that they were having an outdoor service. 

Friday, April 16, 2021

10 Ways We Try to Reduce Our Carbon Footprint at Home

 Good morning friends and happy Friday! So I was listening to a podcast the other day about the many benefits of buying food that is locally grown and one of the benefits was reducing carbon emissions. I am always looking for ways to try to help our family be more green and thought "I should write a blog post about that!" Maybe you are looking for some simple ways to be more green in your home too? We of course do the basic things like turning off lights when we aren't in a room and bringing our reusable grocery bags to the store, but we do a few extra things as well.  

Every single one of these things we do around our house was a simple change and honestly ends up saving us money in the long run too. Fewer carbon emissions AND saving money? Sounds like a win/win to me!

1. Stop Buying Plastic Water Bottles/Using Plastic Straws-- We try very hard to always bring a water bottle or cup with us wherever we go. 

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Our Trip to Siesta Key, FL Part 1

 Good morning friends! Today is all about our trip to Siesta Key for Spring Break! We had a wonderful time playing with the kiddos on the beach and also a good amount of one-on-one time for just Dev and I. It was honestly the perfect trip and I am so excited to share it with you! I had originally planned to turn this into one post but realized I had wayyyyy too many pictures for that. Two posts it is!

Before we begin, let me tell you that back in 1985 my parents bought a timeshare on the beach in Siesta Key for a steal. Their thought was "well we hope this works out, but if it doesn't at least we didn't put too much money into it". I think they would be the first to tell you that it was one of the best decisions they ever made. My family has visited this beach for our two timeshare weeks every year since 1985 and it has become our home away from home. I have some of the best memories from here growing up and it makes my heart melt to think that my own kids can have those same experiences. Here's a look at our trip:


Monday, April 12, 2021

Not Just a Mom-- Favorite Family Memories

Hi there! I hope you all had a happy weekend and are looking forward to a nice week ahead. We are back from the beach and are struggling to get out of vacation mode and back into "real world" mode. Thank God for coffee!

Today Adrienne, Dara, Jen, Joanne, Sarah and I are hosting our monthly Not Just a Mom link up and the theme is Favorite Family Memories. I can NOT wait to read yours too so if you have a blog, please link up with us at the bottom! If not, please leave a comment telling me one of your favorite family memories. I'd love to hear what makes your family happy :)

 As I was writing this post I kept thinking to myself "I wonder if everyone else's are similar to mine?" I have a feeling several of us might have some commonalities with our memories today. Mine seem to have a similar theme of us spending good quality "unplugged" time together exploring new things. Let's have a look:


Friday, April 2, 2021

Goals for the Month of April

 Hello friends and happy April!!!! With the start of a new month comes some new monthly goals. Let's have a look:

- Freeze It Friday-- I know I'm not the only one this happens to, but we throw away produce in our house weekly. I really hate food waste, so this kills me! I have gotten a lot better about only buying things we will eat and doing our best to use them up, but sometimes the food just goes bad before we can get to it. I have decided that every Friday this month, I am going to go through our fridge and look for produce on the verge of going bad. If it isn't going to get used in the next 24 hours, I need to wash, chop, and freeze it.... hence "Freeze It Friday". I love to pull out frozen veggies to add to soups, pasta sauce, etc and obviously frozen fruit is great in a smoothie.. there's no reason not to do this! Here's hoping I can eliminate even more food waste (and possibly end up spending less at the grocery store too!).

- Read 4 Books-- I am hoping that while we are at the beach I will be able to get a book or two in! My book list currently has 42 books on it-- I need to make a dent in it!

- Spend 15 Extra Minutes In Prayer Each Afternoon-- For Lent this year one of the things I decided to do was add an additional 15 minutes of prayer into my day. I already had my quiet time in the morning and love to pray at night with the kids before bed, so I figured a good time to add additional prayer would be the afternoon while the kids are napping. This has been a game changer! Don't get me wrong, I love starting and ending the day with prayer, but I am also tired/groggy/out of it and I struggle to focus. Throughout Lent I would put the kids down for their nap, make myself an afternoon cup of coffee, then sit down with my Bible, prayer journal, and devotional. I am really loving this and am hoping to keep it up now that Lent is coming to a close.

-- Get Our Garden Fully Prepped and Ready-- As you all know, our family loves to garden! I love getting out there and getting some sunshine while growing some of our own food. I especially love the kids helping by digging around in the dirt next to me. My mom has some lettuce and cherry tomatoes growing in pots in her sun room and Lily Grace loves to go over there and make a salad from Nana's garden. I  love that she's excited to eat salad. 😉 We have big plans for everything we want to grow this year and I just can't wait!


Simple but hopefully attainable goals this month! Notice what I didn't have on there this month? Any fitness goals. At the beginning of the year I had super high hopes of getting back into exercising regularly and doing some form of workout 300/365 days this year... well I have failed MISERABLY at that! I'm pretty sure I can count on both hands how many times I've been able to squeeze a workout in since January. Our gym finally just opened childcare back up this week, but I'm going to ease myself into it. I feel healthy, I am healthy, and that's what matters right now. Maybe in the second half of 2021 I'll have time to get back into a routine with exercise... but it sure isn't happening now!


Please share if you have any goals you're setting for the month! I always love to know other people's goals because it might inspire me to make better choices too!

Today I am linking up with Andrea and Erika for Friday Favorites. Have a nice weekend!