7.27.2016

What's Up Wednesday :: July 2016

It's the last Wednesday of the month, that means it's time for our What's Up Wednesday Link Up!

Link up with  me, Sheaffer & Shay the LAST Wednesday of each month so we can read about What's Up with YOU!

Here we go!
What We’re Eating this week..... 
Sunday - Pool Party in our backyard with neighbors, we made Montreal Tri Tip &  Caprese Orzo Salad  :
 Monday- Chicken Apple Sausages & Tortellini Salad

Tuesday - Dinner at the Giants Game...I had my favorite....Philly Cheesesteak!!!
 Wednesday - Out to dinner with friends to check out a new restaurant in town!

Thursday - Shrimp Orzo Salad

 Friday - Friday Night Pizza Night!
Saturday - Brother in Law's Birthday Party
 And, because it's summer & I'm not teaching, I am home in the mornings for breakfast & lunch.
Here is what I have been having for breakfast:
 Oatmeal & Fresh Berries:
 Ham & Egg Muffin Cups:

Lunch this week has been chicken salad sandwiches (with tomatoes from my garden)

And, of course...my summer obsession....It's 2 eggs, some grated zuchinni from my garden, tomatoes from my garden & a sprinkle of cheddar cheese. Of course I add Chalula on top because it's my favorite! YUM!
I also like making fun desserts in the summer......These are SO good!
Recipe {HERE}
 Everything is better in a mason jar :)
Saw this & it's SO true!

What I'm Reminiscing about.....
I am  reminiscing about Luke. He turns 4 in less than 2 weeks!!!! What?!?!
These photos turned up in my timehop a few days ago.
I can't believe these were taken 4 years ago, when I was 8 months pregnant with Luke!
Can you believe there was a 9lb 6 oz baby in there?!? See more of the photos {HERE}
It seems like just yesterday he was born, but on the other hand, it feels like Luke has always been here.
I can't believe he is almost 4....Claire was 3 years 11 months when Luke was born, that seems crazy to me!

What I'm loving.....
Rodan + Fields announced an AMAZING special yesterday and I am LOVING it!
I love that I can offer you guys over $200 in FREE product!
 Christmas in July? I think so!

 For anyone who purchases a Redefine Amp It Up Special, you will receive an ENTIRE BOX of Acute Care ($220 value, overnight wrinkle-filler) to speed along those results!
Acute care fills wrinkles while you sleep...perfect for expression lines.

This is a CRAZY GOOD DEAL!!!
 This is for a limited time, but we all know that these specials go FAST!!!!

Redefine and AMP Roller Before & After: This offer is good for NEW and CURRENT Preferred Customers!  

Email me to get this amazing deal before it sells out!  

melissa_larson17@yahoo.com

Here are some of the items the Redefine AMP it up Special come with & this is the small amount you need to use each night....the products last 3-4 months. A little goes a LONG way!

All our products come with a 60 day empty bottle 100% money back guarantee, so you have nothing to lose for trying it out!

What We've been up to.....
July has been a fun & busy month including:
Going on my dad's boat for his birthday
4th of July
Waterskiing with friends
Performing Arts Camp for the girls
Swimming Lessons for Luke
Week long trip to Lake Tahoe
Giants Game

What I'm Dreading.....
That school starts in 2.5 weeks
UGGGGHHHHH!!!!
I could seriously cry.
This summer is going by WAY too quickly & Target has all the school supplies out.
 *SIGH*

What I'm Working On.....
Luke's 4th Birthday Party!
Here are his invites:
I LOVE how they came out! Luke is so excited for his "diggy" party.
I can't wait for his party....I love parties...here are some of his past birthday parties:
Luke's 1st Birthday was a Nautical Theme:

Luke's 2nd Birthday was a Train Theme:
 
Last year was a Firetruck Party:
I love throwing parties :)

What I'm Excited About.....
Going back to Tahoe in a few days for another week of fun....one last summer hurrah!
 If you haven't been to Lake Tahoe before....you need to go!

  Tahoe is my happy place :)

What I'm Watching........
The Bachelorette!
I think she is going to pick Jordan!

That is the only show I am watching this summer, because I am too busy reading!!

What I'm Reading.....
I have read A LOT of books this month. Almost an embarrassing amount.
I haven't been watching much TV & I was in Tahoe for a week & we don't really have internet there, so I was able to do a lot of reading at night when my kids were in bed.

At the end of June, I read 1st to Die by James Patterson.

I LOVED it & found out it was a series. There are actually 15 books in the series!
It's based in San Francisco and it's about 4 women who refer to themselves as "The Women's Murder Club" because they all work in similar professions...One is SFPD, another is the chief coroner, another is the Assistant DA and another is a crime reporter/writer for the SF Chronicle.

I LOVE the characters & I am totally hooked on the series.
I read 6 of them this month!!!! AHHHH!!!

2nd Chance:


3rd Degree:


4th of July:


5th Horseman:


6th Target:

I give this series a 5 out of 5. I can't wait to keep reading the rest!!!! SO good!

I took a break from the series to read a couple other books I had been wanting to read.
I loved Mary Kubica's other 2 books & was excited to read her newest one:
Don't You Cry:
 It wasn't as good as the other 2...I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars

Last month I read The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah and loved it, so wanted to read more of her books. I devoured this book:
Firefly Lane:

4.5 out of 5 stars....SO good!

What I'm Listening to.....
I love listening to Pandora's Top Hits when I run.
These are 2 of my favorite songs currently:
 I love Stitches by Shawn Mendes & love this song also:

What I'm Wearing.....
Let's be honest....It's summer. I am ultimate lazy when it comes to my wardrobe in the summer.
I wear my bathing suit or yoga pants & a tank top or I wear shorts & a tank top.
I look like a ragamuffin in the summer! Hair in a top knot or a braid with a hat. Flip Flops everyday.

I am all about comfort in the summer! And, being lazy with my clothes!
Summer is when I am lazy with my clothes since I don't have to teach.
I am wearing a lot of this....Running clothes & running shoes:
If I'm not wearing running clothes, I am most likely wearing a bathing suit & a swim suit cover up.
For my birthday in May, I got a Nordstrom gift card & I used it to buy these flip flops. So comfy!


I did buy a couple rompers on sale & I LOVE them!
Here are the ones I have:
Love THIS one...so comfortable!

 You can't go wrong with a solid black romper like THIS one...it can be dressed up or down:

I also like THIS one because it has sleeves (it also comes in olive or rust)

Rompers are so comfy! All of the ones I posted aren't too short for me...I am 5'9 and the small & medium sizes fit!
What I’m doing this weekend.....
Saturday we are celebrating my brother in law & nieces birthday and then we are heading to Tahoe!

What I'm Looking Forward to next month.....
Next month I am looking forward to Luke's 4th Birthday!
I am also looking forward to our 14th wedding Anniversary on August 24th!
I am hoping we can go away for a night to celebrate.
I am NOT looking forward to school starting next month. UGH.
What else is new.....
In case you missed my home tour last week {HERE}
We recently gave Claire's room a re-do:
 See more photos {HERE}

We are also still working on our backyard re-do....the cement has been poured & we have new steps!
The next phase is the outdoor structure, new grass & then the outdoor kitchen.
It's coming along....slowly but surely :)

Question of the month is:
What was your favorite part about summer?
How do I narrow this down to one thing....
This has been a great summer...my favorite part might have been that we DIDN'T do Swim Team this summer! The past few summers we have done swim team & it takes up SO.MUCH.TIME
I love the social aspect of it because tons of our friends do swim team & I also love that the kids get good exercise 4-5 times a week, but I don't miss dragging my kids to swim practice each day & waking up early for meets.

I have loved that this summer has been pretty laid back & not too scheduled.
One of my favorite parts of summer would also be that Luke has learned to swim so we are one step closer to taking down the pool fence ;)

Going to Lake Tahoe is always my favorite part of summer. I grew up going to Lake Tahoe every summer when I was a kid and now that we have our own kids, I love doing that as well & making memories with them in Lake Tahoe.

 I think if you asked my kids, they would also say that going to Lake Tahoe is always one of their favorite things to do each summer :)

Of course, other favorite things about summer are also:
Slow mornings, living in pj's & bathing suits, swimming everyday, staying up late, all the fresh fruits & veggies that we eat, no homework, no grading, having all day to hang out with the kids.
 Sigh.....I love summer.

+++++++++++++

If you are new to my blog, thanks for stopping by!
Feel free to follow along! 
You can find me on Bloglovin, Facebook & Instagram

I also have a $50 Kohl's Giftcard Giveaway on THIS post that ends August 1st.
Make sure and enter HERE if you haven't already!

Can't wait to read about What's up with all of YOU!

7.21.2016

Backyard Camping + A $50 Kohl's Giftcard Giveaway!

This post is sponsored by Kohl’s.  
I was paid for this post and received the included camping products as compensation.

One of my kids favorite summer traditions is camping in our backyard.
Kevin started this tradition about 4 years ago when the girls were 4 and 5 years old.
Kevin loves to camp & go backpacking (which we did 1-2 times a year before we had kids)
But, the thought of camping with little kids made me a little nervous, especially because when my kids were little they weren't the best sleepers. 
So, about 5 years ago, Kevin had the genius idea of testing them out with camping by camping in our backyard.
This was a great way to see if our kids liked camping. 
He made it realistic....set up a tent, sleep in sleeping bags, make s'mores and have campfire food. 
My girls LOVED camping in the backyard and since that first time years ago, they have added "Backyard camping" to their summer list and it is one of the things the girls look forward to every summer.
I am so glad Kevin thought of this idea because we realized our kids love to camp and it created excitement for them to go camping in Yosemite each year.
You may not know this (I didn't!) but Kohl’s has recently built out their camping department.
You can see all the amazing camping gear they have HERE
I am so excited to partner with Kohl's to tell you about their camping department and share some of the awesome camping gear that they have and that we were compensated with. And, there is a giveaway at the end of this post!

We got this AWESOME 8 person tent:
You can get it HERE
Kevin picked out this tent because he is the camping expert :)
He picked out an 8 person tent because we are a family of 5 and we wanted lots of room in the tent!
Some reasons he picked this tent were because of the features:
Angled windows keep rain out even when opened & water resistant
Rainfly provides weather protection.
Snag-free pole sleeves make for easy setup
It really is easy to put up...he pretty much put it up by himself while we watched :)
One of the reasons we all like the tent is because it is tall enough to stand in & has a really cool mesh roof so you can see through it.
 Some other camping necessities are a sturdy ice chest like THIS one that keeps things cold for up to 4 days. I also love that it clips on it so critters can't get into your cooler!
My girls like the cooler because it has a flat top and they like to use it as a table for playing cards.
My girls also love these chairs HERE.
Perfect for camping, the beach or watching an outdoor movie. And, light enough for the kids to carry on their own since they have a carrying strap attached to them.
  When we have our Backyard Camping night, we always make S'mores:
After we make S'mores we set up a movie outside & project it onto our house.
My kids get so excited about sleeping in the tent because they have a lot of room to spread out & we make it comfortable for them. 
A couple of tips for being comfortable while camping:
1) Get an air mattress or sleeping pad
(We like the self inflating ones like THIS or THIS one for kids. If you have room in your tent for an air mattress, THIS is the one we have for us)
2) Make sure you have a warm sleeping bag
(We need to get Claire a warmer one, but Kate has THIS one & loves it)
3) Have a lantern/flashlight/head lamp next to your sleeping area. 
(We have these lanterns & these head lamps)
My kids also like to bring their favorite stuffed animals....and Dolls
My kids love camping & being outdoors...even if it's just in our backyard!
I love that my kids love backyard camping so much....I will be honest....I prefer hotels over camping, but my kids (and husband) LOVE camping, so that is what makes me like camping.
I didn't grow up camping & my first time camping was when Kevin & I were dating. 
Camping creates such great memories & it really is fun to be out there & unplugged...even if' it's just in your own backyard for a night!
 Are you a camper? 
Have you tried backyard camping? 
What is your favorite (or least favorite) thing about camping!

I am so excited to giveaway a $50 Kohl's Giftcard....you could use it to get some new camping gear!

To enter the Kohl’s gift card giveaway, click on this link HERE to enter your information for a chance to win.

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Ends 8/1/16 at 11:59:59 p.m. PT. 
Open to legal residents of the US/DC who are 18+ yrs of age. 
For official rules click here:  
Good Luck & Happy Camping!  
Winner will be contacted on or about August 8, 2016.

LinkWithin

Blog Widget by LinkWithin
Pin It button on image hover