Monday, July 31, 2017

Weekly Recap {7.31.17}

Happy Monday!!

Today isn't like every other Monday, today we're enjoying ourselves on our family vaca and that definitely makes this Monday that much better.

I did want to document our fun little week we did have though - it was filled with play dates and gorgeous weather!

Monday we had a little breakfast play date at one of our new favorite parks - this is the park I've talked about before, it's at our towns nature center. The kids LOVE it here. We stayed for hours, then it became so out of control crowded, we headed home


While Avery napped, Brayden & Ella did their scooters, rode their bikes and did some gem mining

Tuesday morning we met up with some other friends at another local splash pad. We packed lunches and hung out for hours! Together me and my friend have 7 kids, and of course with that many there was no chance in getting a group photo.

Wednesday we headed to the zoo with more friends!! Ella really wanted to take this pic with her siblings then when she got up she got so nervous!

I made sure to pack our week with tons of fun stuff for the kids because Thursday was my day to get everything done for vacation, which included getting this little studs haircut! I stopped in a random place because it was very last minute when I realized his hair was out of control and I couldn't have been happier with how she cut it!

That was our week! We are now enjoying family time and having a blast! Oh, and tomorrow my BABY will be THREE?! Someone hold me

*linking up with B Loved Boston & The Sirois Family

Friday, July 28, 2017

Friday Favorites - Vacation Edition

Happy Friday! Wow what a week this has been!! We are prepping for vaca and I of course filled our week up with non stop play date fun which has left me with little to no time to do the stuff I actually need to do. I don't know if that's a win or a fail!

Anyway, since we are almost on vaca, I thought I would switch it up and do my Friday Favorites all about our past trips!

Every year since Brayden was 1, my husbands family have all gone on an annual vacation together. Over the years we have started to multiply and what was once just the 13 of us is now 18 (that's 10 adults and 8 kids!) - And to think, my one sister in law doesn't even have kids yet!

I love these vacations and I'm so blessed to have amazing in laws. We all get along really well and just have so much fun together.

Now let's take a stroll down vacation memory lane...

{ONE} - Grand Haven, MI - 2011

This was our first year doing this whole family vaca. We had a huge house right off the lake and it was a nice and relaxing time!

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All my sister in laws and Mother in law!

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{TWO} - Wisconsin Dells, WI- 2012

This year we went to the Dells. I had never been so it was a fun first experience for me. My in laws rented a house in a development just minutes away from the town. I was super pregnant this trip with Ella and remember feeling very uncomfortable most of the time (I guess that could have been a sign, she came early, just a couple weeks after we got back!) - We went into town and did all the fun stuff; mini golf, ate at all the fun restaurants, did the Duck tour and more! We swam a lot at our rental too but mostly I remember just feeling huge and out of breath.

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Look at that belly!

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{THREE} - South Haven, MI - 2013 

We found South Haven the next year and instantly fell in love. If you've never been and are in the area, GO! It's such a cute little beach town. We stayed in a huge house right across from the beach and were also within 5 minutes walking to town. We loved that this town had it all

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{FOUR} - South Haven, MI - 2014

Came back because we loved it so much! This year Avery was born day 1 of the vacation so we missed the first half and went up for just a couple of days toward the end of the trip. I remember people thinking we were crazy for taking our brand new baby there just days after she was born, but I still stand by that being the best decision. Going from 2-3 kids ROCKED our world and getting just a little bit of a break (even if I had to basically sit the whole time) was worth it.

{FIVE} - South Haven, MI - 2015

Back again!!


{SIX} - Green Lake, WI - 2016

We switched it up last year because my Father in law and hubby wanted more of a fishing vacation. When we stay in South Haven, it's more just a beach town and you're not staying right on the lake, at least a lake you can fish on. We had an awesome house right off Green Lake and this was such a fun trip! The kids LOVED fishing off the dock and there was also a cute little town here too (just not the same as South Haven) -

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Wow, that was so fun looking back at these pictures!! I can't believe this will be our 6th year - in a way it seems like that number should much higher and in other ways I feel like I blinked and we are here!

Happy Weekend!!!

Linking up with:

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Greek Yogurt Recipes

I mentioned before my love for Greek yogurt - it's become a new favorite ingredient of mine as well. I love being able to swap out mayo or sour cream and use Greek yogurt because 1. it's healthy! and 2. it's delicious!

Today I thought I would share some recipes I've been making on repeat using Greek yogurt

ONE - Deviled Eggs

Gone are the days where I make these with mayo! Now I whip these up using Greek yogurt instead and they are a healthy snack during the week

healthy deviled eggs

TWO - Mashed potatoes

By using Greek yogurt I can add some key nutrients and also not feel totally bad after eating them

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THREE -  Taco Dip

You will not even notice the sour cream is missing - the Greek yogurt is even better in my opinion!

This lightened up version of the classic 7 Layer Dip is the perfect appetizer for game day parties. Made “skinny” with light cream cheese and fat-free greek yogurt, this dip will disappear quickly! About 15 years ago, I was living in my own apartment and was hosting my very first Tupperware party. I had recently …

These were made by yours truly and they are such an easy, yummy, healthy snack!!

Another one by yours truly. We make these all the time! Substituting Greek yogurt makes these a tad healthier and they are just so good!!

Those are just some of the things we love to make with Greek yogurt. Like I mentioned before, pretty much any time a recipe calls for sour cream or mayo, I just swap it for Greek yogurt. When we eat enchilada's for dinner, I dip them in Greek yogurt instead of sour cream. If we're having baked potatoes, I do the same. These are small changes that can really help you get more nutrients into your diet, and who doesn't want that!

What do you make that uses Greek yogurt? I'm always looking for new ways to use it!

*linking up with Jessi's Deisgn

Monday, July 24, 2017

Weekly Recap {7.24.17}

Happy Monday! What a fun week we had - Brayden had his last camp of the Summer. This one was at our towns Nature Center and it was called Nature Pirates. He actually won a mini scholarship for this camp by writing an essay and drawing a picture so we were super proud of him for that!! He was very excited for his first day!

After we dropped him off, me and the girls headed to a local splash pad - it was HOT out and they had a blast playing in the water.  The splash pad is connected to Oberweis so ice cream was a must!

When we picked Brayden up, he showed us his pirate flag he made that day and told us all about walking the trails looking at bugs, using their treasure maps to find their daily treasure and he even held a few frogs!

It was so hot we headed home to play and have a popsicle (don't judge, I know the girls just ate ice cream hours earlier LOL)

The rest of the week, we had a daily ritual. Drop Brayden off at camp then head inside the nature center to look at the turtles (this was Avery's favorite part of her day!) Then me and the girls would head out to do stuff. 

Our nature center just built this amazing new park that gets SUPER crowded by like 10am, since camp started at 10 we made sure to get there early some mornings to play

 The girls and I made it to story time at the library on Wednesday and then went outside to draw with chalk as part of the story time activity.

Avery was either not napping or taking them super late because pick up for Brayden was 2pm. I had to snap this pic because she is currently obsessed with our disney princess book and falls asleep with it every nap and every night

More nature center fun!

Thursday we made chalk paint and had a blast with it outside!

The girls also helped me pick veggies :)

Thursday when we picked Brayden up, we went to the other side of the nature center which has a working farm. The kids wanted to go into the gift shop and get these cute little pencil sharpeners (not for sharpening pencils of course LOL)

Then it was back to Oberweis for more ice cream!!!!

Friday morning at camp drop off Brayden found a millipede and shared it with his sisters :)

The girls spent the morning/afternoon at my Moms so I could actually get some cleaning done. Rick was going to the Cubs game with friends so I drove him to the bus during that time too.

I picked the girls up then we went and got Brayden. It was his last day and he made the girls some pirate hats :)

We went home for Avery to nap and the kids to relax then I decided to run out and get the kids McDonalds for dinner since Rick wasn't home and I didn't want to cook. Originally I was going to let them play at the play area (this one really is awesome) but I saw the clouds changing while we were driving and thought we should get home to the dog who would be freaking out shortly if a storm came through. Well within 5 minutes a CRAZY storm came through and I couldn't see a damn thing. I managed to pull into a parking lot where we sat it out, all while giant hail was smacking against our car for 10 minutes straight. My poor kids were hysterical and I was just trying to remain calm - the whole thing lasted 15 minutes and when I went to drive home all the streets were flooded! After several detours we made it but it was so crazy. I can't believe how much damaged and flooding happened within minutes!! They said the storm hit an isolated area (like 5 mile radius) and we stuck smack dab in the middle of it. They also said it was a microburst not a tornado like everyone though. 

This is a busy, main rd that was flooded, the side streets were so much worse!

Anyway, we got home, recovered and I had a big glass of wine!

Saturday we had my nieces 1st birthday and I have no pictures = fail. It was a nice day despite the night before and everyone had fun.

Sunday we had plans with my Mom. My sister and BIL actually didn't meet us because they got roped into meeting their neighbors by their other neighbors. We went to another local splash pad which was nice because again it was HOT. After the kids played for a while we headed to Buffalo Wild Wings for lunch. In the afternoon Avery went down for her nap, Rick took the bigs to his parents to swim and I actually got to sit outside and read! It was so nice until I noticed dark clouds coming through. I went in, Avery was just getting up and then a storm rolled through shortly after.

Rick and the kids got home a little after, we fed them dinner and relaxed the rest of the night.

Now it's a full fun-filled week ahead!!

*linking up with B Loved Boston & The Sirois Family