Happy Friday everyone! I don’t know about you but I think these weeks are just going by faster and faster. This is one of our very last Friday’s of summer, so I’m hoping to take the kids out to do something fun today!
Last week, Jared and I escaped for a long weekend away in Newport, RI and THAT was definitely one of my FAVORITES! It’s not often that we get to spend multiple nights away with just the two of us so this trip was much needed! The city of Newport now tops the list of my favorite places and I can’t wait to go back. I’m hoping to give you all the deets on a blog post next week!
Just before we left on vacation, Camryn had her first “sleepover” in Laney’s room and my two girlies are definitely my FAVORITE. The girls were sooooo excited about their sleepover! My bet was on them not being able to actually go to sleep and Camryn ending up back in her crib. Thanks to a long summer day of adventures, these two were extra tired and sound asleep before I knew it!
If you see these at Trader Joe’s, I want you to think long and hard as to whether not you’re going to give them a try. These things are AMAZING and a FAVORITE recent find but be prepared to have more than one to satisfy your sweet tooth. Yumm! Parker actually saw me put these in the freezer, so the two of us went bananas over them! So. Good! And healthy right?!? Because Bananas.
Okay ladies, if you give the Starbucks Nitro Cold Brew with sweet cream a try it will become your new FAVORITE way to drink coffee, it’s THAT GOOD! It’s been one of my go to pick-me-ups since I discovered it a couple of weeks ago!
This Oribe Soft Lacquer is one of my FAVORITE hair products. My hair stylist recommended it years ago and it’s been a part of my life ever since. You spray this product on your hair after it’s fully dried but before you use any hot styling tools and it helps to hold the curl/wave. You can still use a finishing spray afterwards! I did a quick search of it to provide a link and it looks like it sells at most places for $36, which to me seems like a lot, but it literally lasts FOREVER!
That’s it for my favorites this Friday! I hope you all have a fantastic weekend!
I can’t believe we’re already in the second week of August. *sigh It’s going by so quickly and we haven’t even covered half of our bucket list yet! Not gonna lie…at this point, the kids are driving me bananas more often than not but I’m just hanging onto the realization that the snow will be flying before we know it. We’re just going to do our best to enjoy the last of these summer days and check off the rest of our bucket list!
Today, I’m going to highlight some of the things we’ve enjoyed most this summer!
At the end of the school year, both of the older kids came home with summer reading challenges as well as some reading challenges from local bookstores. One of our favorite bookstores is Wild Rumpus in Minneapolis. The store is tucked away on a quaint side street near Lake Harriet, which makes taking a picnic lunch on your little day trip the perfect idea! From the moment you arrive, the uniqueness of this gem of a bookstore greets you at the door. There’s a tiny door for the kids to enter and a larger door for the adults, though you could also crawl through the dwarf sized door and you probably wouldn’t get any strange looks. Ha! Inside of the bookstore, there is a HUGE variety of books for all ages as well as some novelty items. The staff is super helpful and friendly and can even order books to be delivered to your door if they aren’t currently in stock. My kids found titles in Wild Rumpus that they hadn’t come across before in other bookstores which is really fun! Perhaps the most unexpected part of this one of a kind bookstore is that there are actually several pets that call the bookstore home and roam the shelves freely. The kids love trying to see if they can spot all of the pets as some of them are fairly elusive. Ha! (I wonder why:) I think my favorite pet would be either Caldecott the chinchilla or Neil the chicken. Perhaps yours would be the tarantula. #nothanks If you live locally and haven’t been to Wild Rumpus, it’s a must see for sure!
Another one of our favorite places to visit in the summer is Como Town! We haven’t quite mustered up the courage to take the kids to the Minnesota State Fair so when it comes to rides their experience is pretty limited and their exposure hasn’t been more than Como Town and a trip or two to ValleyFair. Como Town is located in St. Paul and is in the same vicinity as Como Zoo and The Como Park Conservatory. Entrance into all 3 destinations is free, however, a donation is encourage! I love Como Town because it’s not very big and is super easy to check out most of the attractions within just a few hours. Being that my kids are between the ages of 2-8. I try to find things that all 3 would be interested in or entertained by and this stop fits the bill! You could easily checkout Como Zoo while you’re there too and make a day of it!
This year, we visited Fawn-Doe-Rosa in St. Croix Falls, WI for the first time. I’ve heard about it over the years and had just never gotten around to making the trip and I’m so glad we finally got around to it! This place is so neat, upon entrance to the park you will be greeted by so.many.deer just lounging around, waiting for you to come feed them some of the food you purchased in the store along with your admission ticket. The park is huge and there’s a trail that winds it’s way through, you’re welcome to “offroad it” but I would not recommend it as there are lots of animal droppings for you step in, insert clenched teeth emoji here. I mean…unless you’re into testing your ability to determine which animal the “scat” came from?! Let’s just stop there and say stick to the trail. There were also chicken, goats, pigs, bunnies, racoons, etc. Laney and Camryn even enjoyed taking a ride on the ponies! There aren’t any real food options at Fawn-Doe-Rosa, so I would definitely recommend packing a picnic lunch. There are tons of picnic tables and a playground for kids to play on once their done!
One thing we have not missed out on this summer is our share of ice cream! We have made it to a few of our summertime favs and even added some new ones into the mix this year! Here are a couple of pics of our recent stops!
What’s on your summer bucket list?1 I’d love to add some more things to our list and can’t wait to recap the rest of our summer in a couple of weeks. Should I be embarrassed by the fact that it will probably include at least a few more ice cream shops? Ha!
A couple of weeks ago we spent a long weekend in San Francisco for my sister’s wedding, you can read that post HERE. The morning after the wedding our family was up bright and early to head for the airport in order to reach our final destination on our vacation, Cabo San Lucas! Despite being tired from dancing the night away at the wedding, the kids were SO EXCITED to get Mexico.
Each of the kids had their own Kindle Fires which they had downloaded books, games and movies on prior to our departure so they had plenty of entertainment. We stayed at Villa del Palmar in Cabo San Lucas in a two bedroom penthouse with an oceanfront view. It fit our family of five and my parents perfectly. The kids really loved the jacuzzi on the balcony, this along with having their own room with a TV was probably their highlight of our accommodations.
By the time we got to the resort, we only had a few hours left in the day but that didn’t stop the kids from taking a dip in the pool. We just grabbed pizza for them from the onsite Sports Bar for dinner. It was good but the woodfired pizza at their restaurant, Tomatillos , is even better!
We woke up and the kids swam for a bit before we had lunch poolside. My parents were kind enough to watch Camryn during her naptime so Jared, the kids and myself walked along the beach towards downtown Cabo. Since it’s spring break time, things started to get a little more, shall we say “crazy”, as we started to get closer to the restaurants along the beach so we hitched a ride on a water taxi to get to the marina. I’m so glad we did that, the kids loved it! We stopped at Captain Tony’s and had a cocktail while the kid’s enjoyed banana smoothies. Once we got back to the resort the kids swam and swam some more.
My parents offered to watch the kids that evening so Jared and I could enjoy a night out on the town. We made reservations at La Golandrina, which we’ve eaten at several times before. The ambiance of this restaurant is absolutely beautiful. The seating is outdoors and above you is a canopy of tree branches all strung with white lights. So beautiful. Unfortunately, this trip the food was just subpar. I would definitely recommend going there for a cocktail and maybe an appetizer but save your dinner reservation for another restaurant. I would recommend Edith’s or La Casita, both are great choices!
Day 3and 4:
More swimming…lots of swimming! HA! I was so happy I had brought swim shirts along for both of the girls to wear, the sun is so intense and it definitely helped to protect their skin. There are a ton of cute suits at Target this season, I got this one for Cami!!
When you’ve had too much sun and ice cream.
Cami’s suit before it left the store 🙂
My favorite suit was this one from amazon. I have NEVER bought any article of clothing from amazon so I was definitely going out on a limb getting a suit. I generally have to buy more expensive suits because I got a lot going up top, if you know what I’m saying, so I need suits with a little bit of support. This one shoulder ruffled suit was so cute. I love that you can wear it under a cute pair of shorts and throw on a kimono and you’re ready to go get a quick bite or walk along the beach. I’m wearing my Rachel Zoe palm print kimono, though you can’t really tell it’s length in the photo, that I got from my Box of Style last spring. I looked everywhere but I couldn’t find a link for it. I really like this kimono from Nordstrom! It’s really reasonable too, oops, might have to get that one too.
The kids swam from sun up until sundown every day. We thought about taking them to go swim with the dolphins but they were more interested in swimming so we let them be. So much of the time I think we as parents work so hard to give them all of these “experiences” but they are often just content being right where they are. It really makes me feel overjoyed to think about how much fun they had just being together and loving life during our trip. Family vacays are a cup filler for me, for sure!
On this day, Jared had actually surprised me by booking me a massage at the Desert Spa. I had never been to that spa before and it was so beautiful and peaceful, if it weren’t for wanting to get back to spend time with my family I would’ve stayed there all day! I had the deep tissue massage that day and went back the next day for a pedicure.
On the last night of our trip we met up with some friends of ours from back in Minnesota that were also vacationing in Cabo. One of my friends had set up a private boat tour to go whale watching. We had such a great time and ended up seeing 2 whales about a half an hour into our trip. It was a mama whale and her calf that we saw and they stuck around our boat for over an hour. It was so neat to watch them swim so close to the surface of the water. I got WAY TOO many pictures of our whale sighting. Ha! I mean how many pictures does one need of air bubbles coming up from the water?! At least no one can say I didn’t take any pictures.
After the whale watching tour, our crew ate dinner at The Office on Medano beach. I’ve been there for lunch and dinner before, the food is always great and the atmosphere is perfect!
On our last day in Cabo, our departing flight was 2 hours late. I was actually more than happy to stay an extra two hours, which meant we had nearly the entire day to soak up some more rays and avoid re-entry back to reality just a bit longer.
This trip exceeded any expectations I had of traveling to another country with all 3 kids. We had an amazing time and I would totally recommend this vacation to anyone, the kids are already asking “when can we go back?”. The answer…not soon enough! Good news is now that we’re back home, the temps are rising and the snow is melting. Praise the lord!
Today I’m linking up with Lindsay, Heather, Johannah, and Tanya for the first time! I actually ran across Lindsay’s blog, Lindsay’s Sweet World, a couple of years ago when I was on Pinterest looking for 1st birthday party ideas for Camryn. I ended up going with a gold and light pink pumpkin theme and it was SO. CUTE! (Am I allowed to say that about a party that I put together? HA!) You can check it out here!
Anyway, this past weekend we spent most of our time relaxing at home and getting back into our normal routine after being gone for an extended period of time over spring break. I recapped our trip to San Francisco last week and plan on recapping our trip to Cabo San Lucas later this week!
It was so nice being home, without any evening activities, for a few days. Last Thursday, I took all 3 kiddos to the American Girl store at the Mall of America. Our store here in Minnesota is closing this week, so I wanted to take Laney to get her first full size doll. After browsing the store for awhile she settled on Nanea. We’ve been reading a little bit of the book the doll came with each night and she’s loving her new doll!
After taking one for the team on Thursday, I told Parker he could bring a buddy to see the How to Train Your Dragon 3 movie on Friday afternoon and it was sooooo good! I would totally recommend it!
On Sunday morning I made Lucky Charm Marshmallow bars to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. We’re not Irish so I don’t go too crazy with the celebrating, this little treat was the perfect way to start our day. Just ask my little Leprechauns. Ha! The super difficult recipe is listed below.
Lucky Charm Marshmallow Bars
4 tablespoons butter
5-6 cups Lucky Charms cereal
5 cups mini-marshmallows
Melt butter in large saucepan. Once butter is melted, stir in marshmallows and continue to stir until marshmallows have completely melted. Take pan off of burner. Stir in Lucky Charms cereal and then spread in a greased 9×9 pan. Voila!
That concludes my very relaxing weekend recap! I’ll be back later this week with the details on our Cabo trip and Friday Favorites! Have a great week everyone!
A couple of weeks ago, my family and I were San Francisco bound for my sister’s wedding. The wedding was absolutely beautiful and we had such a great time exploring the city with the kids.
We arrived in San Francisco mid-morning and just like most places in the country, they were experiencing abnormally cold temps and increased precipitation. That didn’t hold us down though; the kids were so excited to let loose some of their bound up energy. We thought we’d be fine in our rain jackets but about two minutes in, we had spent $20 on two giant umbrellas. #wellworthit
This jacket I brought along is my new favorite rain jacket. I love the color, fit and feel of this jacket! I’m currently pretty obsessed with all things Athleta 🙂
Our first stop was Pier 45 and we were lucky enough to stumble upon a pop-up Old Fashioned Arcade museum. The kids had fun playing some games, my favorite was probably watching them play Wack-a-Mole. So funny!
Our next stop was Fisherman’s Wharf. The kids really enjoyed Aquariumof the Bay, there were so many exhibits and sea animals to see.
There are many shops and restaurants all along the wharf. The docks lining the wharf are also home to hundreds of sea lions. You can see Alcatraz from the end of the pier too; despite being to San Fransisco many times I’ve actually never visited Alcatraz. Have any of you been and would you recommend a visit?
Probably one of the most memorable events at Fisherman’s Wharf was Parker winning a giant stuffed animal out of one of those claw machines. I should preface this by saying that Jared’s dad has a serious affinity towards claw machines and whenever we visit Grandpa, he’s got a new supply of stuffed animals that he has won. When Parker initially asked to spend $3 on the machine I said no but after re-thinking it I thought it was a fine way to pass some time and who knows maybe he has a stroke of his Grandpa’s luck. Low and behold he won this beaut of a stuffed doll on the second try (same $3 dollars lest you think he swindled me out of $6 to achieve this big win)! He was so excited and Camryn was even more excited to win her special “dowy”, which she insisted upon sleeping with in the already tight quarters of her pack-n-play. HaHa!
The last big adventure at the wharf was hopping on this two-story carousel. By the time we went on it, it was getting darker out and the lights on the carousel were so pretty. Day 1 and already an unforgettable trip.
At the end of the day we headed back to the beautiful and ginormous mansion my sister and her fiance had rented to host all of the family who were to attend the wedding in a couple of days. Because our family is the largest, read nosiest, we were sequestered to the attic. The kids loved that big space all to themselves. We enjoyed a dinner of Boudin’s Calm Chowder and sourdough bread, Boudin’s is a staple of San Fran. If you haven’t tried it, you should definitely make a visit if you’re ever in town.
The next day, we spent the morning at The Exploratorium. The Exploratorium is an interactive, hands on museum of science, art and physical movement. All 5 us found it interesting, there’s truly something for everyone. It’s fairly expensive to get in but they allow you to come and go throughout the day. The museum is on the Embarcadero and close enough to other places of interest, like the Ferry Building ,to allow people to come and go easily .
We had plans to eat at the Ferry Building but I wouldn’t take the kid’s there again to grab lunch. To be fair, we didn’t go to any of the sit down restaurants but looked at menus for the smaller grab-and go shops, the menus were a bit too “fancy” for our kid’s tastes. They may not have like the lunch fare but they certainly didn’t mind the ice cream at Gott’s Ice Cream! So delish! After heading back to The Exploratorium for a bit longer we went back to the mansion for the rehearsal dinner.
The Grand Finale and last day of our trip was centered around the wedding of my sister and her now husband. Their day was absolute perfection and I was so honored to be a part of it. Delaney and I headed to my sister’s apartment bright and early that morning for hair and makeup. My sister is such a light in the world and it’s no wonder, her makeup artist is also a friend of hers. He was just the kindest, most talented human being, I had so much fun meeting him. I may just take a trip back to SF for him to do my makeup again!
The wedding took place at city hall and my sister, I’m sure, was the most beautiful bride to ever walk those halls.
Following the wedding ceremony, we went on a trolley ride through the city.
I’m not sure of the name of the reception hall, but it was such a wonderful evening. As most weddings do, this one went by way too fast. The weekend was magic and we enjoyed spending time with all of our extended family. I can’t wait to get back!!
Stay tuned next week, I’ll be taking about part deux of our trip. Cabo bound!!