Friday Favorites: Family Fun

Happy Friday. I can't believe it is the end of the month. June has come and gone so quickly. Yesterday was my birthday. I had a great day. Spend the day with my kids then the evening with my immediate family. 

This month we have done so much fun family stuff. He is some of my favorites. Join in on the fun of Friday Favorites with Erika, Narci, and Andrea.

I took the kids to the library. This was Austin's first time out of the stroller and playing. He had a blast, but doesn't know what inside voices are. 

Ella also had fun at the library. We joined the summer reading program and got a few books. 

June wouldn't have been complete without the release of Live Action Beauty and the Beast on DVD. We had a fun movie night with themed "The Grey Stuff" for dessert. You can read about our fun movie night here.

This month Ella and I have had two mother daughter dates to Starbucks.

What is summer with out swimming, even if that means you jump in with your clothes and diaper on.

We have a Disney store five minutes from our house. Over the summer they have Disney Summer Play everyday. We go once a week and do a fun activity and earn a different patch.

A few weeks ago we had lots of family in town. We took Ella to mini golf twice with everyone. 

There has been lots of ice cream this summer already. I found one place by us that has Vegan ice cream that doesn't upset my stomach!!!

While all the family was in we had a birthday party for my father in law. All seven of his kids came home and had matching shirts.

We live close to Cedar Point and Ella is over 44" she can ride some of the rides. This is a new summer tradition we started last year. This year we brought our niece with us too. Ella loved having someone else to ride the rides with us. 

Regal Cinemas has a summer special every week on Tuesday and Wednesday at 10am to see a kids movie for $1. Each week is a different movie. We went and saw Trolls on the big screen. Ella loved it and I loved hearing all the kids singing along.

Homemade Strawberry Popsicles in this cool no mess containers. 

Nice weather calls for family walks at night. I love it when the kids fall asleep in the stroller too.

Austin had his first pony ride at my fathers company picnic. He wasn't so sure about it. (but he has no problem trying to ride my parents dog)

We live about 15 minutes away from Lake Erie but never seem to enjoy like I want to. We went for a walk there the other night. We however didn't go down to the water (lots of stairs, to cold to go in the water, Austin was a wild one)

Yesterday I let the kids play at the little play place at the mall. They had the whole place to themselves for 30 minutes. They were in heaven and didn't fight me to leave.

Hope everyone is having a great summer so far. 

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June Carpool Book Club

Happy Thursday and Happy Birthday to ME!!!!!! Up early got my workout done, getting my blog post done, answering emails, all before anyone else is awake. Now time to go get Aubriella from her dads and see what the day awaits.

Joining in Grace and Love with her monthly Carpool Book Club recap of the books we have read each month. This month I didn't read to much. So much other stuff going on.

The personal development I read was Fearless and Fabulous by Cara Alwill Layba. It was such a motivating inspiring quick read.

Summer of Secrets by Jodie Andrefski. This book what nothing like I expected, maybe I should have read the full description first. It was hard to get into it at first, but ended up liking it. It is not my typical read.

My girlfriends and I have our own little book club. Our original book we were supposed to read for June was Someday Someday Maybe by Lauren Graham. We all agreed after trying to read the book it wasn't our kind of book. We all got like 25% in and just couldn't do it. I love Lauren Graham as an actress. But this book wasn't her thing, at least for me.

We moved on quickly to our next book The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena. OMG it is a must read, can't put it down, story lines twists, plot thickens kind of book. I read this in less than a week, and I am not normally a fast reader. 

Since we read the first book so quickly we started our second book right after our discussion. Into the Water by Paula Hawkins. It was a hard read at first, I got confused a lot. Each chapter is from written by a different character. After a few chapters in you start to figure our who is who. Halfway through your hooked and can't put it down. I can't wait to discuss it with my girlfriends in the next few days.


Whats Up Wednesday

Happy Wednesday!!!! It's already the last Wednesday of the month. Its time for a link up with Shay, Sheaffer, and Mel

What we are eating this week:

Sunday- Brian made jerk chicken with mango salsa and grilled veggies ( i forgot to take a picture)

Monday - ground turkey taco salad with homemade salsa and avocado

Tuesday- bbq chicken with grilled asparagus, grilled zucchini, grilled mushrooms, grilled yellow squash, corn, mash potatoes, and mixed fruit (went to my parents for my sisters birthday, my mother went a little crazy)

Wednesday- Coconut shrimp, with corn the cob and quinoa
Thursday- homemade pizza
Friday- Cabin Club
Saturday- Birthday dinner at in-laws

What are you reminiscing about?
It was a year ago this week that my car was stolen out of our driveway and they got access to our house (but thankfully didn't take anything or enter) I look back and have learned to not leave spare keys in the car, don't leave the garage door open in the car, don't leave stroller or valuables in vehicle (wasn't replaced by insurance), always lock car and house. No matter where you live it can happen anywhere. My car ended up being out, totaled with a twist frame. 

What I am loving?
I am loving being home with my kids everyday. I can't say it enough. I have been blessed with the amazing opportunity to be home with them. Time to start doing more with them and enjoying summer.
I am also loving the gorgeous summer.

What we have been up to?
lots of family walks, mini golfing twice, a trip to Cedar Point, birthday parties, so much fun outdoor stuff, trips to the library

What am I dreading? 
Getting older. My birthday is tomorrow. Since I turned 25 (that was a few years ago) I don't look forward to my birthday anymore. 

What am I working on?

Brian and I are hosting an online health and fitness accountability group together next month with a new workout program called Shift Shop. We are going to helping, supporting and encouraging men and women on their health and fitness journey, while we do the same thing. Want more info. Check this out

What am I excited about? 
I am excited for our family vacation next month. We are going to Michigan to see family, Mackinaw Island, water parks, zoos, something different planned everyday. I did this trip a lot when I was growing up. I can't wait to include my own little family in the tradition.

What am I watching/reading?
I don't watch much tv. Rachael Ray is normally my extent and I watch her on the dvr. However my newest tv show I have been watching I found out about on Instagram. I use to love 7th Heaven and heard Barry Watson was in a new series and just had to check it out. I am hooked plus Ella likes to watch it with me. ( is kid safe) 

What am I listening to?
I listen to podcasts and not much on the radio. (I feel like an old lady saying I only listen to talk radio and I hate normal talk radio) I will put on Pandora and rock out to Britney Spears, Mandy Moore, Linkin Park, Eminem, and Disney radio though. My favorite podcasts right now are:
The Mom Hour with Meagan Francis and Sarah Powers
The Fulfilled and Fit Podcast
Coffee + Crumbs
The Marvelous Moms Club

What am I wearing? 
I have turned into stay at home mom attire. I get dressed in the morning put on a sports bra, yoga pants or shorts, and a tank top or workout tank. If I am going somewhere like shopping I will put on jean shorts. 

What am I doing this weekend?
Celebrating my birthday
Watching Fireworks

What am I looking forward to next month?
July 4th
Austin's Birthday
Family Vacation

Question of the month is:
What is your favorite 4th of July Tradition?
I love fireworks at a distance, or that I can see them actual being set off. I hate being scared by the noise. It makes me jump and jars my back in a weird way. We always see them at least once for the 4th of July holiday, sometimes more. 
We normally have the tradition of going to my In-Laws for a cookout. This year it is not happening with the 4th being on a Tuesday. Brian always has to work on the 4th so she tries to do it a different day so he can partake in the fun.
This year we have a surprise for the kids. We are going to ride in a Police Car in the parade in the city Brian works for. I can't wait to see the excitement in their faces. 

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Show and Share Tuesday- Our Home

** After fighting with my internet all day Tuesday to get this to post, the internet won. So a day late, here is Show and Share Tuesday, on a Wednesday

I have to confess I love looking at other people's houses and decor and getting ideas for my own house, or my dream house. I get so many ideas of things I love, and always a few I don't. Today over at Momfessionals it is Show and Tell Tuesdays - Home Tour. I had remembered a few weeks ago this was coming up, but then I completely forgot. This morning I spent time cleaning my house (which was much needed), straightening up, and taking photos. 

Welcome to OUR HOME
A few disclaimers:
- The lighting isn't the best
- We have lived here for 2 years, but it is still a work in progress
- Yes there are kids toys in every room 
- We have 4 outside projects going on currently, pictures of those will be posted once done
- Our basement is a disaster work in the progress, maybe one day it will be finished.

This is our entry way. We recently added the bench with storage (from Wayfair) and the mirrors (from Walmart). I love having somewhere to sit when putting on shoes, or a place to set bags down when we come in the house. Now if I could get everyone to take there shoes off when they enter the house that would be another story.

When we moved in the front window was original with the house and all the way to the floor, We replaced it with a smaller window. Modernizing the feel of the house and less fear of kids going through the window of breaking it. The focal point of the room is the fish tank stand and tv (next to it but you can't see it) 

The other side of our living room. I recently rearranged the living room to make it more open feeling and have the couch under the window instead where the chair is. I love having the space for the kids to run around. The cube shelf hides a lot of kids toys (from Walmart, cubes from 5 Below). On top of the shelf I have mint growing and a little storage container.

Off the living room is our dining room. We eat every meal at the table. I just pulled out the place mats. Lets see if the kids leave them. We still have Austin's high chair out, but he barely ever sits in it. He prefers to be a big boy. It will be put away soon. Normally on the table is also a bouquet of flowers. I forgot to buy some the other day when I went grocery shopping. (now I am waiting to see if I get any for my birthday which is Thurdsay ((hint hint)). I have a canvas already bought, and design in my head for the bare wall, just no time to do it.

This is my little spot in the dining room. I picked it all out myself and love it. The wine rack I got a few years ago for Sweetest Day (from Levin Furniture). I wanted a place to hang wine on the wall, but out of reach from little fingers. I saw this and had to have it, yes I picked out my own present. The saying "There's Always Time For A Glass Of Wine" is so true (from Drug Mart). "Every Cork Tells A Story" is a shadow box to put corks in. (from The Home Store) I have plans to make things once I get enough corks, I need to start drinking a lot more. 

One of my least favorite rooms in the house is our kitchen. I spend a lot of time in the kitchen and it doesn't have the flow or the space that I would like. When you walk in the kitchen from the dining room to your left is the stove. I hate that it the kids could run around the corner real quick and run into the oven. (for that reason we have a gate and to keep a little monster out of the kitchen) 

I don't like that we don't have much counter space. I do love the window above the sink. Ignore my cluttered fridge of lots of different activities and to do list and my hideous curtains and snowflake ribbon. The curtains came with the house. Eventually the kitchen will be redone and I will buy new curtains. I love my Cutco knives (on top the fridge).

Yes that is a portable dishwasher, no it doesn't work, at least doesn't work to my liking. I should not have to rinse my dishes well before washing them. For the amount of time and water it takes to rinse, I just hand wash them. Then I don't have to worry about having to rewash them. Normally my laptop is sitting on the dishwasher and I use it as a standing desk area. The dishwasher itself has turned into a storage unit. 
Yes I have a calendar obsession. Yes I have two on the wall and one in the little mail box. Each has its own purpose. The paper one handing has fun activities we could do, plus blog schedule, accountability group schedule, and when Ella is supposed to go to her fathers. The dry erase has the set in stone schedules color coded. The calendar in the little mail has all the actual Ella schedule with holidays, when her dad gets her, plus extracurricular activities, she is a busy bee. I also have my weekly menu on a small dry erase board. 

Off the kitchen is our little landing area. It takes you to the pantry (which I hate that it isn't in the kitchen) the side door to the house (which we never use), the garage, and to the stairs the basement. We also keep the garbage and broom here, otherwise we have a little garbage picker and broom thief. There is a nice pocket door the separates this area. 

Now lets venture back into the living room and go down the hallway.

Ella's request for her room when we first moved in was a pink and purple room. She got what she asked for. She loved Disney (just like me) and got Minnie and Mickey Moused painted on her wall. Her bed has Cinderella's castle on the top and Minnie and Mickey kissed on the feet. She loved Arial and Frozen. 
Both my kids have more toys then they know what to do with. They do play with 90% of them on rotation. I need help purging and getting rid of stuff. (I actually was going to put the castle down stairs the other day, next thing I know they were playing with it)

Austin's room is pirate/nautical themed. His bed was originally Ella's crib that she never slept in, so Austin got it as a crib. It converts to a toddler bed (obviously) and a full size bed also. He changing table dresser was mine when I was a baby. The chair was also Ella's and passed down. I used it while I nursed both kids. I love the under the sea rug. We will sit in there and point at different animals (from Toys R Us) 

My other least favorite room in our house is our small bathroom. It works for us most of the time, but who wouldn't love a bigger bathroom with a huge bathtub. It has an older school huge mirror and counter top and vanity (which is great for storage however). I am not a fan of the tile half way up the wall, or the ceiling being painted blue also. This is another room on our life to be redone. 

Last, the master bedroom. It is the only room in the house that has carpet, which I love. It is my own spot. It gets the most light out of all the bedrooms. The kids watch the TV more than we do, which is very often. It may not be anything special, but it is ours. 

Hope you enjoyed the little tour of Our Home. Have a Happy Tuesday!!!!

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