Friday, April 29, 2016

Friday Favorites - Outdoor Toy Edition

Woohoo for Friday!

Today I'm sharing some of our favorite outdoor toys! Now that Spring is in full swing, we are outside every day.

{ONE} - Swingsets

My kids LOVE playing on our swingset! They go on it every time we are in the backyard.

We have one similar to this one but this looks pretty awesome as well.

And I know my kids would just love it if we ever upgraded to something like this!

I know a huge swingset might not be in the budget for everyone, I saw these that look just as fun!

Flexible Flyer "Triple Fun"  Swing Set

Flexible Flyer Fun Time Fun Metal Swing Set

{TWO} - Playhouse

My kids have really enjoyed this little playhouse my Mom and Sister/BIL got for Ella's 2nd birthday. Now that Avery is moving around, she loves to hang in here too!

I saw these others that look super fun too!

Little Tikes Picnic on the Patio Playhouse

These are not cheap either, that's why it's a good idea to ask family to go in on something like this as a gift :)

{THREE} - Crazy Coupe

Every kid needs one of these, am I right!? We have one since Brayden was 1 and all the kids have loved using it.  Right now it's one of Avery's favorite outside toys


{FOUR} - A Sandbox

This is something else that I think every kid needs (given their parents are OK with sand being everwhere, LOL)

I was fortunate to have my hubby build one for our kids and this is hands down Ella's favorite outside "toy"


I think this one and this one are great options too!

{FIVE} - Water Table

Another huge hit in the toy department! All of my kids have LOVED playing with a water table.  We broke it out this past weekend when we had some really nice weather and all 3 kids played with it for hours! Hours people!! We have this one and love it!

This one looks awesome and we may need to ask for an upgrade this summer :)

More of our favorite outside toys would be a tee ball set, a basketball hoop, stomp rockets, and of course bubbles and chalk!  Oh and water balloons! who can forget those! I saw these on Amazon and have them in my cart ready for when I place my weekly order. Has anyone used these before? I hope they're not an epic fail...

During the summer, all of this stuff is pretty much spread throughout our lawn and it looks like a hot mess, but I love it, it shows kids live here and are having fun!

What are your favorite outdoor toys??

Oh and in case you missed it, I shared my Mother's Day Gift Guide yesterday, you an check it out here :)

Happy Weekend!

Linking up with:

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Mother's Day Gift Guide

Happy Thursday, Friends! 

I thought it would be fun to share my Mother's Day gift guide, I wouldn't be upset if any of these happened to be waiting for me Mother's Day morning (wishful thinking for that camera, but hey, a girl can dream)

What's on your Mother's Day wish list?

*linking up with Home of Malones for Thoughts for Thursday

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

10 Ways to be a Fun Mom

Today I'm linking up with Karli for her 10 on Tuesday series (which I love by the way!)

I am all about being a fun Mom (while also being able to maintain my parental authority, that is) and giving my kids a fun childhood.

Here are my 10 ways to be a fun Mom

{ONE} - Let your kids jump on your bed (while you are right there of course) 

They will love this and it will bring pure joy to their little faces

{TWO} - Have a water balloon fight (weather permitting of course) 

Fill a bunch of water balloons up before they get up and leave them outside in a bucket filled with water. Once it's warm enough to your liking, surprise your kids and tell them to head outside and that it's every man for himself

{THREE} - Take your kids on a scavenger hunt

Check out Pinterest and find a printable that is free and looks good to you. Head outside in your own backyard or to a local nature center and get your hunt on.

{FOUR} - Play Hide and Go Seek

I don't know about yours, but my kids love playing this game and it's fun for all ages!

{FIVE} - Build a fort and watch a movie under it

My kids get so excited when I saw we're going to build a fort! We have 2 sets of these crazy forts and it definitely makes fort building more fun! Take it a step further and pop some popcorn or have some other kind of yummy snack.

{SIX} - Have an impromptu dance party

My kids LOVE when I turn on the music and start dancing! Bonus points for burning off some energy

{SEVEN} - Play zombies and be the zombie

Brayden came home a few months ago asking to play zombies. I guess they play it as school all of the time. Of course yours truly is always the zombie first - the way we play is I walk around with my arms out like a zombie (duh) and I can only walk, not run, to catch the kids. Once I tag one they become the new zombie.

{EIGHT} - Take your kids to an arcade

Enough said :)

{NINE} - Have a surprise ice cream date

Every couple of months, I surprise my kiddos and tell them I'm taking them for ice cream (or froyo, or a milkshake, whatever works!) This is always followed by loud excited screaming :)

{TEN} - Have a tickle fight

My kids love being chased and tickled! And they love tickling right back.  Hearing their laugh is probably the sweetest sounds and I know laughs are pretty much guaranteed with tickle fights!

So there's my list, I would love to hear some other ideas on how to be a fun Mom!

Monday, April 25, 2016

Weekly recap {4.25.16}

Oh Monday, we meet again! I'm here to recap our week of shenanigans :) It was a pretty low key week for us since the girls were sick earlier on but we still had lots of fun mixed with lots of whining :)

Monday was SO nice so we headed for some fro yo after dinner :)

Ella HATES taking pictures ( you would think by now she would be use to it, but nope!)

Tuesday when Brayden came home from school, this is what I pulled out of his folder! Gotta love big brothers! That 1 with all the 0's is how much he is selling them for LOL

These 2 being their silly selves

Brayden did so good at swim lessons this past week! When I went in to get him, his teacher told me he was advancing to the next level, which is HUGE for him!! Last year he was stuck at the lowest level for months without ever advancing (he does not love when water touches his face and you had to be ok with that in order to move on) Well fast forward a year and they agreed to put him in the next level up from the bottom and he was thriving! This was only his 3rd week and he got moved up! I am one proud Mama that's for sure!

Thursday was another gorgeous day so I took the girls to a fun local park.  I love it because there are no wood chips just a rubber ground. The girls had the best time!

After the park we came home for lunch then some more outdoor time. These girls love bubbles!

Thursday night the hubs and I headed out on a sushi date at Benihana.  It was so yummy and so nice to get away just us

yayyy no kids!

Friday night we headed to my BIL & SIL's house to celebrate my nieces 7th birthday!

Saturday morning started off with Ella's swimming lesson and she is doing so well too! She wasn't loving her lessons at first (she doesn't like going under water which surprises us because she has no problems with water ever like her big brother)

While we were at swimming, the boys were at baseball pictures.  Us girls came home and hung outside for a while because it was so nice again!

Then we went to Brayden's first game!! Ahhh I am officially a baseball Mom! Something I've so been looking for to :) I plan on dedicating a whole post to his first game but here he is up at bat!

Sunday was another gorgeous day! In the morning I went through my clothes and made a huge pile to donate and finally got around to going through my shoes.  I got rid of about 10 pairs that either don't fit or I would just never wear again.  It feels so good to get rid of stuff!

The hubs had a football game in the morning so while he was gone, I took the kids to another local park.  All was going well until Ella had to pee 10 minutes after getting there.  We didn't want to leave so I did what any normal Mom would do, took her behind our car so she could pee. She wouldn't have been seen by anyone at the park or the street and I had wipes on me so all was good, until I told her to squat and before I finished my sentence she just started peeing, all over herself and my hands. 

Needless to say, it was time to go home.

Once we were home and all cleaned up, we headed outside to play on the water table! I still can't believe how much entertainment this provides my kids. They played with it for HOURS!

It was so nice we even got to enjoy dinner outside! That's a great day for sure :)

And that was our week!

Friday, April 22, 2016

Friday Favorites {4.22.16}

Hello Friday! This week has been a doozy and while I'm hoping all the kids are finally better, now this Mama caught the sick bug.  Hopefully it's nothing more than a head cold because we have a fun weekend ahead.

Now on to my favorites for the week:


In case you missed it, Monday I shared an awesome Etsy shop!! Seriously Malibleue has the prettiest jewelry, you have to check her out!


This article.  It is so spot on. If you are a Mama to young kids, read this.


We have family pictures set for next month so now I'm on the hunt for the perfect outfits.  I have an idea for everyone but not sure of my own outfit yet.  I am loving the chambray + black and white skirt look though...

chambray shirt, black and white, stripe skirt, red pumps, mint clutch, iconic look:
black and white striped pleated a-line skirt + chambray shirt + crystal statement necklace:

I already have the top but this skirt looks like it could work and it fits the bill


It seems totally unnecessary, but I want one of those fuji film instant cameras... anyone have one?? Do you like it? It just looks fun, but I'm sure the hubby would say I have enough cameras..


Favorite memes of the week 


But girls don't know how to have stupid dangerous fun... Once I wanted to jumped into the pool from my roof... I missed the pool and broke my arm and leg... I can't wait to do it again!!:

Ha ha, living with little kids, this happens regularly

Funny Pictures Of The Day - 34 Pics:

Yep, all the time

Funny Pictures Of The Day - 42 Pics:

Hope everyone has a happy weekend!

Linking up with:

Thursday, April 21, 2016

what's for dinner?

I'm back today to share with you some more tried and true recipes that have been BIG winners over here! I hope you enjoy these posts (I know I love hearing new yummy recipes!)

I pin everything to my Pinterest boards - if you want to follow me, you can here

This loaded soup was DELISH! However, I would add about 1/2 cup less of the milk it requires. We felt ours wasn't thick enough.

Loaded Broccoli, Cheese and Potato Soup - so full of flavor and so many delicious ingredients. This soup will keep you warm and full any time of year! { }:

This dish was made by yours truly and it is soooo good. It's really not spicy but if you don't like spice at all you can omit the cayenne pepper or just use less

Easy Dinner: Sun Dried Tomato Pesto Pasta w/ chicken:

My whole family LOVED this dinner.  It was super easy (hello croc pot!) and so tasty! I know some people get turned off by the whole cream of whatever soups, so if that's the case I'm sure you could find a homemade recipe out there for that part.

Fast, easy to make, beef stroganoff, that is family friendly and cooked in the Slow Cooker or Crock Pot! This is one of the most popular recipes on this blog and for good reason. - Eazy Peazy Mealz:

Andrea is always sharing delicious recipes and this is for sure one of them! We make this probably every other week and it's another family hit!

The Results Are In... and Dinner's Served

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

weekly recap {4.20.16}

Happy Wednesday! What a week this has been, the girls came down with croup 1 day apart so I basically got no sleep Sunday or Monday night.  Have I mentioned how much I HATE croup??!

Ok, now that I'm kind of functioning thanks to about a million cups of coffee, I can recap our last week.

Monday started off going to the park district to pick up Ella's dance recital tickets. These girls were showing some serious love when we were leaving.

After some grocery shopping, we headed to the park since it was pretty decent out. Avery is such a big girl at the park now! I honestly can't believe how fast time with her is going.

Ella wanted to ride her bike to the park this day and I always feel guilty about leaving our dog at home when we go out, but I think next time he has to stay home because pushing a stroller, walking a crazy dog and making sure your toddler doesn't fall off her bike is a little too much for me to handle.

Tuesday we headed to our neighboring towns library.  It's actually the library I grew up going to but I haven't taken the kids here ever and I'm not even sure why? They were having a fun barnyard puppet show.

But first, it was playtime since we got there a little early

Ella finally mustered enough courage to go sit on the carpet with the other kids :)

Meanwhile, Avery is practically napping. That's her laying down.

After the cute puppet show, they had a decorate your own cookie into a pig station set up.  It was so cute!

Later in the day was dance for Ella and I didn't even realize it was visiting day which means you an sit in on their practice.  Of course the day I didn't have a stroller for Miss A! She was all over the place and was not having sitting on my lap.

Wednesday we headed to Ikea and this one was cracking me up how she was sitting in the cart. #neveradullmoment

Wednesday night this boy had swim lessons and since he did so good, he got to pick something from the treasure chest.  He is loving his new dracula teeth and puts them on to scare me on the daily :)

Thursday morning we hung around and played with Brayden's bunchems.  Ella was having a blast creating a rainbow and Avery was loving throwing them everywhere

We then headed to our library for story time.  I swear, Avery does the library like a boss.  She basically owns the place.

After the stories, it was craft time! Ella was so proud of her butterfly and so was I :)

Thursday night after dinner, we headed to Brayden's school park.  He had been asking to go there for a couple of days because he said his friend from school was going to be there.  I of course just thought that was kids talking but when we got there, she really was there and he was in Heaven :)

Avery was obsessed with covering her foot with woodchips then kicking them off... hey whatever makes her happy

This is my view every morning when I come back from bringing Brayden to the bus (it's right across the street)

Saturday was such a gorgeous day!! We started our morning with Ella's swimming lesson, then headed to Brayden's baseball practice.  Me and Miss A tried taking a pic together and while I may not know exactly how to angle the camera, Avery was too cute in this not to share

There's the hubs pitching to Brayden. I love my boys!

Later in the day we headed to the movies to see Zootopia! Since we didn't have a sitter, we had to bring Avery with.  It was her first movie so it needed to be documented.

Sunday morning we headed to Trader Joes and I got a glimpse of some of my favorite people on the way out :)

We noticed Avery seemed warm and lo and behold she wasn't feeling good.  She spent the rest of Sunday on the couch with a fever, poor girl!!

While Avery napped, we headed outside to play!

My sweet Ella picks me a weed flower every time she sees one :)

The rest of the night we just hung out and relaxed and snuggled with Miss A (who thankfully woke up fever free on Monday but then came down with croup)