2014 Summer Recap & Bucket List Check-In

So it has been a while no? Needless to say our summer was very full and fun and sadly, has come to a screeching halt. School is back in session and work is busy so the carefree feel of summer is behind us. Fortunately, we were able to leave summer on an amazing note with a wonderful trip to the Keys. I will re-cap that in another (terribly long) post. I thought I would touch base and see how we did with our Summer Bucket List. I think we covered quite a few things, although not all-boo.

Here are some thing we were able to check off.

Grill out once a week- We grilled out while maybe not quite once a week, definitely a lot more than usual. While in the Keys we grilled out quite a bit. It is just an easier way to feed a crowd and enjoy the scenery at the same time.  My favorite meal highlighted lobsters that we caught that day! So good.




Steak in the Keys is better than steak anywhere else.

Eat Outside- We did a lot of this! One weekend in June we joined my Mom and Dad and had lunch at The Taproom at Dubsdread. It is actually where my husband and I were married!





Hummus Plate, burgers and beer al fresco. It was a perfect Saturday afternoon.

While in the Keys we ate outside quite a bit.


This salad was made with leftover steak, tomatoes, olives and grilled veggies. So yum!


Hot dogs, watermelon and a pickle. His favorites!


Lunchtime in Key Largo wouldn’t be complete without popsicles!


“Tater” Chip Fondue at the Island Grill in Key Largo (we went to the Mandalay location this time). If you go, you MUST try the Tuna Nachos.

Make homemade Ice Cream-I did this and the kids hated it. Whomp whomp. They said it tasted like frozen milk. I will need to see about a better recipe next year.

Go to the Pool- We definitely hit the pool pretty regularly. Whether it was our community pool, while visiting family or the Keys house we stayed in, the kids definitely were little fish this summer.



The Princess doesn’t swim yet and normally will just sit and play on the pool steps. We found a couple small swim rings for her and all of a sudden she had all sorts of confidence. Similar one here. She even swam while the others were looking for lobsters-in the ocean! With that ring she feels like she can conquer the world!



This Little Man also made strides with his swimming this summer. He became GREAT with the mask and snorkel and was able to dive down almost 9 feet in the pool. Little fish I tell you.

Some of the things we didn’t check off our list.

Food Trucks-We didn’t get to any food trucks but I think we may do that when it is cooler out. It is just miserably hot now so we may need to wait for some relief.

Family Game Night-This didn’t happen but we did have a few Family Movie Nights. They were just as fun. One of our favorites was Walking With Dinosaurs.

All in all we had a really great summer. I know I keep saying it but the Keys trip was the highlight and we managed to knock off a bunch of our list items while there.

Now I am looking forward to cooler weather and a very busy fall/winter. I am going to have a new niece in October! My wonderful friends are getting married in November and Thanksgiving is shaping up to be a great family event. Christmas will be here before we know it. I cannot even believe it.

How did you guys do with your Summer Bucket Lists? Can you believe the summer is over??


Product Review: Coolerwebs

So summer is in full swing and we have been enjoying lots and lots of time outside. We have been to the beach a few times and we hit the pool as often as possible.








I don’t know about you but whenever we head to the beach or pool we like to load up on drinks and snacks and our cooler is our best friend. Normally, we will keep drinks, sandwiches, fruit, etc., all in the main part of the cooler. I was the queen of Ziplocs and Rubbermaid containers, hoping to keep the sandwiches from getting soggy and the bags of fruit from getting water-logged. Well, my brother-in-law has created a product that eliminates the need for all the extra bags/containers. The Coolerweb is a mesh bag that attaches to the inside top (or outside) part of the cooler so you can keep things cold but also dry at the same time.


Here is the product description from the Amazon listing:

“Don’t get soggy or water logged! CoolerWebsTM is designed to fit on the inside of the cooler lids or on the outside. Keeps those cooler items you don’t want sitting in ice water getting soggy. It easily installs with a peel and stick Velcro type tape.”

When my brother-in-law asked me to give one a try I jumped at the chance. We took ours to the beach to test it out. They are easy to apply. You just place the adhesive side on the cooler and the web attaches with Velcro.



We had some sub sandwiches and a bag of grapes and it worked perfectly-no Ziplocs needed!!


We also found that it is great for holding bottle openers and koozies, so they are easy to grab when you get your drink from the cooler.


As a Mom to two busy kiddos, I am always looking for ways to make our lives a little easier. These fit the bill. The kids no longer have to dig around the cooler looking for fruit, sandwiches, etc. The items they need are right in sight and they can grab them easily (the top stays open) and head back to the pool or ocean.

Now I just need to convince him to make them in super-girlie colors too. Tee hee!

Get yourself one or two to enjoy this summer!


*Disclaimer: I was given a Coolerweb to try for this review. All opinions are my own. 

Happy Friday

Sorry for the radio silence over here. I’ve been busy splitting my time between summer fun with the family and work. It’s all about the balance right?

Some random things for a Friday.

We are trying to check things off our bucket list and have been pretty successful but we still have quite a few left. 

We finally have a Trader Joe’s!! The store opened today. I can’t believe it has taken so long for us to get one. I am very excited and might even go this weekend  to be part of what I’m sure will be a very busy opening!

I am trying to think of some fun recipes for July 4th! I have a pasta salad in mind that I might just try.

The kids are having such a great time so far this summer. Here is basically a photo dump of what we’ve been up to.

Some beachin’.

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Some poolin’.

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 Some grillin’.

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 Tons of Some restaurant eatin’.

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 Some ice cream makin’.


And lots of family funnin’.

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Hope you are having a great summer too!


2014 Summer Bucket List

Today was the official last day of school for Little Man. I cannot believe he is done with kindergarten. I have been very emotional today so to take my mind off things I decided to jump on the Summer Bucket List bandwagon.

I keep seeing so many great ideas on Pinterest and all over the internet so I thought we would join in on the fun. Since I will still be working full-time, Little Man will be in camp for most of the summer, and The Princess will continue with daycare, our list will have things that can be done in the afternoons/evenings and on the weekends. I found this great printable.


I printed it out as a full-size photo on 8 1/2 x 11 paper and trimmed it a bit on the edges to fit in an 8×10 frame. I just used a dry erase marker right on the glass to write out our boxes and list.

Here are some highlights:

Make homemade ice cream

Go to the pool

Fish in the lake

Family Game Night

Eat outside

Clean rooms/playroom and donate toys

Dollar Movie

Little Man to read 6 Junie B Jones books

The Princess to practice writing her letters

Sidewalk chalk

Food Trucks for dinner


Breakfast for dinner

Mini golf

Feed ducks

Batting Cages

Ice skating

Outdoor movie or concert

Attend baseball game

Whew. This seems like a lot but I think we can do it! Little Man will be going on quite a few field trips during camp and The Princess has water day every Friday so there will be no shortage of fun things going on. Not to mention our family vacation to the Keys.

I look forward to a busy and exciting summer. Mainly to keep my mind off the fact that my oldest will be in first grade come August. Ugh.

What things are on your Summer Bucket List?


Teacher Appreciation

Takes a Hand


I cannot tell you how much I appreciate my sons teacher. I’m sure you’ve heard it before, but having your first child start kindergarten is a real emotional journey. Don’t get me wrong, we had firsts prior to this. The first time with a babysitter,  the first time at daycare (can you say emotional wreck?) but nothing really prepares you for that look your child gives you the first day of “Big Boy School” when you drop him off and you say goodbye and walk away, then look back. Luckily (or unluckily) for me my husband was the one who had to take Little Man the first day. It broke my heart when my husband described the “I’m very scared but going to be brave” look he gave. What I realize now, is that he didn’t need to be scared and neither did we. The amazing person standing on the other side of that door made the fear go away.

From day one she has taken 15 children and made them her family. I have been lucky enough to help in the classroom a couple of times and I do not know how she does it. She is the most patient, caring, inspiring person. I have two little ones saying “Mommy, mommy”  to the extent that drives me a little crazy. She has 15 little ones saying her name on repeat for 6 hours a day! She never bats an eye. Each child’s request is just as important as the next.


She goes through each day molding these little minds. She challenges Little Man. Makes him do things he may not even know he is capable of. He just adores her. When I drop him off in the mornings, I see her car at the front of the parking lot which means she was one of the first teachers to arrive. She stays and sits out in the hot sun until the last of her car-riders leaves in the afternoon (which is well after dismissal). I’m sure she leaves even later than that most days! She sends me texts to let me know how he is doing. She sent a text before a play to let us know which section of the stage Little Man was going to be on so we would know where to sit. Just today she sent me this picture.


They incubated eggs and they hatched!

She goes above and beyond. I know she is not alone either. There are so many wonderful teachers out there, many are my friends and I just think the world of them.

So the point of all of this is that yes, this week we celebrate our teachers and let them know how much we appreciate them.  What I want my sons teacher to know is that we don’t just appreciate her this week, we appreciate her every single day. I was so afraid to begin the elementary school journey. Thank goodness I had this wonderful person to help me with the transition. 

Thank you to all the teachers out there. You are helping create wonderful little humans and you are so very much appreciated. Every.Single.Day.


Weekend Things

This weekend was busy again. It was filled with family and fun, my two favorite things.

We went to my sister and brother-in-law’s house with my parents and some friends. The kids had a ball and so did the grown-ups. Talking, eating and just spending quality time together. The night ended with s’mores so you know it was awesome.





Sunday I woke up super-hungry and decided to make a yummy breakfast. We had leftover pork roast so I sautéed that with the last two eggs we had,  mushrooms, onions and a chopped jalapeno. I put this over top of a corn tortilla that I fried in coconut oil. Topped it all with a little feta, a roasted tomato slice, half of an avocado and hot sauce.  It hit the spot. I also liked that it cleaned out the refrigerator 😉


Lunch was a restaurant that has great New England style seafood. I had the fried shrimp with hush puppies. The portion was huge!!


As you can see, the hush puppies were popular.



I also managed to get our back porch all cleaned up. I am ready for dinners outside now that the sun will be out longer and the weather is absolutely beautiful.

Hope your weekend was great too.


Happy Harper Day!

Yesterday, my sweet sweet boy, we celebrated your sixth year! Everyone you meet loves you and we do too!

Here are the things you really like right now.

  • Playing Disney Infinity
  • Asking LOTS and LOTS of questions. You want to know so much about everything and I love it! It is amazing how your brain works.
  • Reading. You are reading chapter books now and are so good at it. I still cannot believe you can read to me. You are so smart.
  • Fried shrimp. This one amazes me because you are very picky otherwise. But I love that you are trying new things.
  • Tee Ball. You hit and catch really well and I am so proud of you every time I watch.
  • You’ve just started golf lessons and you really like them.
  • Helping. You are such a great helper and are always willing to lend a hand.

Things you are not really into right now.

  • Being patience with your sister.
  • Eating any veggie other than green peas and broccoli. You also really don’t like to try too many new things.
  • Anything too scary. You still come visit me in the night when you have a nightmare (I am hoping you keep doing this as I don’t know what I will do when you are too old to need your Mommy).

You truly inspire us every day and it is wonderful to see the world through your eyes. We love you more than the sun, the moon and the universe.







It’s a Virtue



I used to watch John and Kate Plus 8. Not regularly, but if I came across it, I wouldn’t change the channel. I remember a particular episode where Kate was losing her patience-a lot. She was yelling-a lot. No judgy-mcjudgerson here, I mean seriously, she has EIGHT children. In the episode, the six little ones were just wobbling around. I can’t even. Holy-freakin-diapers! I didn’t have kids at the time but I could still understand how difficult it must be to take care of all those little ones. I just think it says something that my main takeaway from the episode was the severity of her frustration. Like she was going to implode.

I have never been patient. Never. I tend to move at one speed at all times-Mach 20. Anything that pumps the breaks on my momentum tends to feel the wrath. I figured that once I gave birth the patience gene would appear. I figured it was a chemical change that happens in your body once you become a mother. I mean, once you have a baby you HAVE to have patience right? Nah su much.

Recently, I find myself sounding like Kate-a lot. Losing my patience and becoming frustrated at these two little humans that are just trying to figure it all out. I try to get out of the house and my three year old says “I do it MYSELF” at least a dozen times. Which means when I look at her before leaving I see, her shirt on backwards, toothpaste all over her cheek, yogurt on her pants and her shoes on the wrong feet. Totally adorable, but the only thing on my mind is how late I will be now that I have to “fix” all these things. In that moment I should be recognizing the look of pride in her eyes because to her, she DID do it all herself. But all she hears are the groans and sighs and all she sees is the look of annoyance in my eyes. I hate to think what that does to her.

If my son wants to help in the kitchen, and I get frustrated because the egg shells are in the mix and the flour has gotten all over the floor that I just cleaned. I should be excited that he wants to help as he is such a picky eater that this may be the only way I can get him to try new things and be as excited about food as I am.

These moments will be gone in a flash. Does it really matter that I am going to be off my schedule by the 10 minutes it will take to help her? Will it kill me to fish out the eggshells and clean the floor again? Absolutely. Not. So…in staying with my resolution of trying to better myself, I MUST MUST MUST be more present and calm. I have got to find joy in these little moments. Take pleasure in the fact that this sweet little girl is going to be independent and determined and my support will help her do that. Remember how great it is that this amazing little boy is going to be interested, helpful, smart and caring and how I react to his engagement in different activities will help him grow.

I would hate for my kids to look back at their childhood and think Mommy was always so mad or frustrated. I want them to think of these times as happy ones. I want them to remember the expression on my face as smiling, not frowning. Because this is definitely the happiest time of my life and they are the reason.



Here are a few things from the internet I found that really hit home for me on this topic.

I like this Mom’s advice.

I am seriously thinking of this. I’ve been wanting to try for a while.

This post makes my heart stop a little. I can totally relate.

Have you had luck in becoming more patient in motherhood? I need details!

Sunday Funday

I love days that turn into fun adventures that aren’t planned. We had an exceptionally fun Sunday. Normally Sundays consist of cleaning, laundry, meal planning, kids staying in their pajamas too long, laundry, me staying in my pajamas too long, grocery shopping and did I mention laundry? When we woke up to a beautiful day on Sunday (after a gross, gray, rainy day Saturday) we were itching for some outdoor fun. So we ditched the dreaded laundry and headed to the coast.

I love where we live. We can hop in the vehicle and be breathing salt air in 45 minutes (40 if you ask my husband). So a quick car trip (just enough time for a much needed nap for the kiddos) and we were there. We watched the boats from the deck while we waited for our table at the restaurant. It was breezy, but so beautiful. Just being near the water makes me happy.


Out the window



We ate lunch (which I didn’t take pictures of because it was really dark in the restaurant). We wanted to eat outside but the kids were famished and the first-come-first-served diners outside were enjoying the day too and no one seemed in any hurry to get up. A nice man at the table next to ours came over and asked if he could take our picture. This was really nice, because I never ask anyone to take our picture although I always want more family pictures of us! He was a sweet man who had 20+ grandchildren! Maybe seeing our two crazies make him miss his 🙂


After lunch we headed to the beach! We let the kids run around and step in the water. Eventually Adeline soaked her dress in the waves and we had to run to the store to buy her a shirt. I had only packed her a change of pants (the joys of potty training).


How tall is he? Ugh, time flies.


I mean she can’t like her cheek to be pinched like that. Brothers!



Making sure he isn’t too far away

Then we headed to the pier to watch the fishermen. No one seemed to be catching any fish except for this guy. He was a pro. He would dive down and catch a fish every time! We watched him catch at least 5.



Stalking his prey

Harper wanted a turn with the camera.


Love them.


After a great day we headed home and I was lucky enough to get another nap out of these two on the drive. Here’s to awesome unplanned fun family days. Now back to reality and laundry.