Friday, September 21, 2018

Friday Favorites {9.21.18}

Hey hey, it's the weekend!! I am so excited for this one because I think it's the one where our temps will finally drop a little. Yes, I'm complaining about the 90 degree weather we've been having because once September hits, I'm over it. My perfect temp is 65 and sunny but I'll take anything under 90 at this point

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Me and this guy celebrated 10 years married this Wednesday! We went all wild and crazy and took the kids to our local pizza place that finally reopened after having a fire last year. It was cool to see it all re-done and of course the pizza is delish! Then it was home to watch our wedding video which the kids lasted a whole 10 minutes and we ended the night falling asleep on the couch to Ozark #wereold #andtired #wishistilllookedthisyoung

Image may contain: Lizzie Simantz and Rick Simantz, people smiling


Thank you for all the comments on my coffee talk post from Tuesday.  We are still deciding what to do (talk about last minute!!) as the place we originally planned for took a turn for the better the past 2 days - if that continues we will keep our original plans, otherwise, we'll be scrambling literally 2 days before to where we're going, but at least now I have a pretty good idea of where that will be.


Yesterday was our Girl Chat linkup and we talked all about Fall Bucket Lists - if you missed it, you can read mine here - lots of good stuff going on this season!


Target had their 40% off Halloween costumes this week so I was able to grab Brayden & Avery's - Ella is being Peppa Pig so instead of buying the costume (it comes with an actual pig head to put over your head) we are just getting her a red dress, pig ears & tail and we'll make her look as close as she can.

Avery chose to be this witch cat and she is going to be ADORABLE!!!

Brayden wasn't sure what he wanted but he had said Black Panther for several months so I ordered it figuring I could return if he didn't like, but he loved it!

Toddler Girls' Cat Witch Halloween Costume - Hyde and Eek! Boutiqueâ„¢ - image 1 of 1

Kids' Marvel Black Panther Deluxe Muscle Halloween Costume - image 1 of 1

I really like being on top of costumes rather than waiting until last minute - it's just one more thing out of the way so I can focus on other stuff!


I made this recipe this week to have for lunch and oh my gosh, it is SO GOOD!! It was super easy and of course I substituted greek yogurt for the sour cream - seriously, if you're looking for a semi-healthy side dish, try this! I paired it with some chicken sausage and it's been my favorite this week!

Zucchini, Squash & Corn Casserole - our favorite side dish! Zucchini, Squash, Corn, Onion, garlic, white cheddar cheese, sour cream, mayonnaise, eggs, breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese. Seriously THE BEST!!! Great make ahead side dish. Perfect for all your potlucks, cookouts and holiday meals! #casserole #zucchini #squash #corn #sidedish #freezermeal

And that's a wrap for this week - I'm off to enjoy some cooler temps! Hope you all have a great weekend!

linking up with:

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Girl Chat {September 2018}

Today is our monthly Girl Chat linkup and we're talking Fall Bucket Lists!! I absolutely love fall, it's definitely my favorite season.

Girl Chat

Here's a list of things I hope we can do this season - I'm not being too ambitious because things seem to be crazy with school and the kids' activities, but there are still several things I hope we do!

  • apple picking - we actually already did this so I can cross it off the list! (hoping to post pics soon!)
  • pumpkin patch
  • backyard fire & s'mores
  • carve pumpkins
  • trick - or - treat
  • visit the farmers market one last time
  • make some new recipes
  • have a Hocus Pocus movie night
  • roast pumpkin seeds
  • make fall crafts with the kids
  • go on nature walks and find fun/different leaves
  • start our thankful tree

I am sure lots of fall bucket lists will look alike but maybe I'll get some inspiration for something new to do!

Don't forget to follow your hosts too!

Danielle - Bloglovin / Instagram / Pinterest
Emily - Bloglovin / Instagram / Pinterest 
Lindsay - Bloglovin / Facebook / Instagram / Pinterest / Twitter
Lizzie - Bloglovin / Facebook / Instagram / Pinterest
Sierra - Bloglovin / Instagram / Pinterest / Twitter / Facebook

Girl Chat

Monday, September 17, 2018

Coffee Talk Tuesday 9.18.18

Oh look, I'm blogging on a Tuesday! I think I'm going to try a new schedule of Monday, Tuesday, Friday and once a month Thursdays for our Girl Chat link up - I hope this works out! I also think I'm going to start a new link up on Tuesdays, called you guessed it, Coffee Talk Tuesday - if anyone is interesting in co-hosting, let me know!

Anyways, today I'm talking about our upcoming vacation - some of you may remember months ago I shared that we booked our 10yr wedding anniversary trip to Anna Maria Island in Florida. My brother in law and sister in law went there over spring break and when I heard how amazing it was we decided that's where we would go. I've spent the last several months doing tons of research on what to do, where to eat, etc. I booked a gorgeous oceanfront resort and found great prices on flights. Well, not sure if any of you have heard of this awful Red Tide that is affecting most of the gulf coast beaches, but it hit Anna Maria beginning of August. Once I realized it was where we were going, I started to really pay attention and continued to watch every day, every week what was happening.

Fast forward to now, almost 2 months later and the red tide is still going SO STRONG. I feel completely terrible for the marine life that is dying by the millions and the residents and business owners of all these gorgeous beach towns. I needed to decide what to do 30 days before our trip to get our deposit back so at that time we decided to cancel since it wasn't getting better.

So now, just weeks away from what should have been our beautiful beach vacation, we have no clue what we're doing. I am hoping and praying that the Clearwater area is ok and if that's the case we will book something days before we leave, otherwise we are going to have to drive from Tampa to the east coast - I have looked into some beaches over there - Cocoa Beach & New Smyrna Beach - has anyone been to these?? Does anyone have any recommendations on east coast beaches? We really want to keep our drive under 3 hours because after flying all afternoon it really is the last thing we want to do, but we may have no choice.

I am not comfortable knowingly going to a place where red tide is present. It causes respiratory issues and there is enough bacteria that you can't even walk on the beach barefoot.

I know things could be worse, I really do, but when you have an idea in your head of how something will go and it all comes crashing down, it really stinks.  In the end, whatever we decide to do will be great, because I'll be with my most favorite people in the world.

Here's some pics from the news about the red tide - it's just terrible what is happening

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So if we were having coffee today, this is what I would pour out - I really would love any recommendations on anything near Tampa!! Oh and Disney is out, I need way more time to plan one of those trips LOL

Weekend Recap - The One with Taylor Swift

Happy Happy Monday! I am coming off a super fun weekend so the momentum is still high! Let's hope this continues because I have lots to do today!!

So this weekend was our girls trip to Indy to see Miss Taylor Swift! I saw her in Chicago 3 years ago but that time I went alone with my nieces, SIL and cousin - this time was a little more special because I got to bring Ella with me!! There was 8 of us total and when I say it was so much fun, I mean it was SO MUCH FUN!!!!

We got to our hotel a little after 4 and once we were settled in we all got ready. We curled the girls hair and most of us were doing the knot with our tees but Ella wanted no part in that, so I didn't push it. I just wanted her to feel comfortable since I knew it was going to be a long night.

We got to the stadium around 6:30 - snapped some pics then got some drinks/food and got settled in. Ella wasn't really into the opening acts so she must have asked 50 times when Taylor was coming on. After more food breaks and one last potty break it was time for her to come out!!!

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Image may contain: 8 people, including Rebecca Simantz Depa, Meagan Lewis, Joe Simantz, Lizzie Simantz and Katie Liner, people smiling, people standing and outdoor

My gosh she puts on an AMAZING show! I remember how good it was last time but this time I think was even better! We all got bracelets when we walked in which I remembered also from last time so when Taylor came on stage it was sooo cool to see them all light up throughout the entire stadium! Ella really loved that!!

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Our seats were really good but for a petite 6yr old kind of hard to see so Ella spent the entire time standing but since she's so light I had to hold down her seat with my knee - I think it went numb half way through but it was worth it to make sure she could see everything. We had so much fun dancing and singing together and to see it through her eyes was purely magical!! These are the memories I will never forget!

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Image may contain: 2 people, including Lizzie Simantz, people smiling, night, closeup and indoor

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Until her next show!!!

*linking up with BLovedBoston & The Sirois Family

Friday, September 14, 2018

Friday Favorites {9.14.18}

Happy Friday!! Today is going to be a great day because I get to run a bunch of errands by myself!! Haha it's the little things people.

We've had a great week but I think we are all ready for the weekend. With everyone in activities I am flat out exhausted by the end of the week!

Anyway, here's some Friday Favorites!!

{ONE} -

Taylor Swift here we come baby!!! This Saturday we are driving to Indy to see Miss Swift in concert and I couldn't be more excited! It's all girls and I'm bringing Ella, my SIL is bringing my 2 nieces, my other 2 SIL's are going and one of their friend - it's going to be a BLAST!! We had shirts made and I can't wait to wear them! Adults are wearing Rep and the little girls the other - so cute right!?!?!


Who has seen this mug floating around the internet? OMG I need this, my Mom needs this, just about anyone know loves Hallmark Christmas movies needs this!!!

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This cutie patootie starting tap dance this week and it seriously was the cutest thing!! She has a really good teacher so I'm hoping there will be lots of progress this year :)


I've mentioned before how Ella is our little artist - she is always drawing! The other day I saw she "decorated" our wall and she was so proud so 5 days later, it's still there. I can't bring myself to take them down, I just love it!


Girl Chat is next Thursday and this months topic is all about your Fall bucket list! This is a great topic since I haven't gotten around to posting anything yet, so this means I will next week! We would love for you to link up with us!

And that's all I've got! I'm off to go enjoy the quiet for 5 solid hours today since it's Avery's extra long day at preschool!

linking up with:

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Happy 6th Birthday Ella Bella!!

**originally meant for September 5th

My Dear Ella,

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU!!! Today you are SIX!! More than 1 whole hand!! You are growing at warped speed it seems and I feel like just yesterday you were turning 2 and we were having a Minnie Mouse birthday.

Time is flying but we are having so much fun. I absolutely love watching you grow into your own person.  You are an amazing little girl who loves hard, is so caring & thoughtful and I couldn't be more proud of you!

You are an AMAZING little artist. I have said it before but you get that from your Dad. Mama is only good for stick figures but you, you can draw just about anything you put your mind to! It's so cool to see! At night after we read to you and tuck you in tight, we can find you 5 minutes later with a sketchpad in your bed doodling.  Just recently I bought you a light for your nightstand and you would have thought you won the lottery with how happy you were!

Which brings me to that; you are the kid who is so happy & excited for things! When it's getting close to a holiday, birthday, school, vacation, anything like that you count down and every day exclaim how excited you are for the day to almost be here. You truly are grateful for the little and big things in life and I sincerely hope and pray you are always that way.

You are such a good big and little sister.  You know exactly how to take care of Avery or you are always willing to lend a hand and show her how to do something. You are very good about including her but then there are times you want your own space and I totally get that. You do very well with balancing it.  Your bond with Brayden continues to grow stronger as you get older. I can see you two connecting on another level now and it's very sweet to see. He will work with you on reading, play games with you, and when I see things like that it melts my heart.

You started Kindergarten a week ago and you are rocking it!! You love it so much and that makes it a little easier to let you go every day (although I miss you sooooo much!!)  You are reading level 1 books mostly on your own and know hundreds of sight words.

You are playing t-ball and actually really loving it despite not really wanting to try. You have your 2 friends on your team so I'm sure that helps :) Either way, it's very cool to see you be part of a team sport!!

You are still really into Minnie Mouse and I love that, but about a few months ago you became OBSESSED with Peppa Pig. I don't know how it happened because I don't remember introducing that show to you so you must have found it on your own. Anything and everything has to be Peppa these days and while I thought it was a phase that wouldn't last through summer, it's looking like it will go well into the holidays! There was even a time you spoke British and were calling Avery, George (who is Peppa's little brother in the show) You even want to be Peppa Pig for Halloween!

Ella, I know 6 is going to be a great year for you and I cannot wait to be right by side watching you grow!

I love you, Happy Birthday!!!


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Friday, September 7, 2018

Friday Favorites {9.7.18}

Oooo I'm so excited it's Friday!! I got sick mid week and that has made the week draaag. But hopefully I'm on the up and up and just in time to enjoy our weekend!

Let's get to some Friday Favorites!


This adorable little girl had her first day of preschool this week and she couldn't have been more excited! Literally I had to run after her for a hug & kiss!

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On that same day, my sweet Ella Bella turned 6!! I cannot believe my baby girl is 6, that's just crazy! She wanted breakfast in bed just like Brayden so that's what she had.  It had to be quick though because it was a school day!

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I ordered this new bra and it's more than I would normally spend but I'm so tired of having tons of $20 something crappy bras - here's to hoping this one is great! Also it's on sale!

Rose Dream Custom Coverage Underwire Bra,
                        color, Cosmetic/ Warm White


I ordered these KIND Protein bars on Prime Day because they were an amazing price and they are now my go to quick breakfast! Have you tried them? YUM!!!

KIND Protein Double Dark Chocolate Nut Nutrition Bars - 1.76oz/4ct - image 1 of 1


Now that pumpkin season is upon us, I can't wait to start baking! I bake more this time of year (well other than Christmas) and I really want to try this recipe!

Soft and moist pumpkin muffins topped with pumpkin spice crumbs and maple icing! Recipe on

Happy Weekend!!

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