Friday, July 31

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday, party people!  Here is what I have been loving this week!

My hair looks & feels like a bird's nest. Curls on curls on frizz.  While in Florida this spring break, I decided to straighten it one night.  Big mistake.  Huge.  At one point my brother-in-law looked at me in horror (as my hair was getting bigger & bigger during our outdoor dinner) and said, "Um, are you ok?"  I have tried expensive hair products & I have tried cheap hair products.  And they do the same thing.  Which is nothing.  So, I might as well spend my money elsewhere & go with the cheap-o stuff.  Enter Suave Rosemary & Mint.  It smells SO good & makes my scalp all tingly with a mint feeling.  Definitely on the favorites list this week.

My sunroom has officially been transformed into Dane's playroom.  And, we both love it.  Still the perfect little nook for my morning now just includes trains, cars & any type of ball. #boymom

I try not to give Dane too many sweets.  He is such a great eater now & really loves a good variety of fruits & veggies, which I hope continues.  However, when I am in the mood for a healthier dessert option I always turn to CCK (Chocolate Covered Katie).  Her desserts are fabulous & really good for you!  I made her chewy granola bars last week & Dane gobbled them up.  He thinks they are cookies & I am not planning on correcting him anytime soon.  ;)

Snacks by the pool with my little D are definitely on the favorites list this week.  We have been almost every day.  And my new Kendra Scott earrings are a current fave also...thank you Nordstrom Anniversary Sale!

This blog post . Oh my.  I can already see myself moving his backpack a million times to find the perfect spot.  It is that time of year when everyone is posting pictures of their babies heading off to kindergarten, dressed in new clothes with big toothy grins.  I love & hate these pictures.  I love them because it is fun to see how proud my friends are of their kids & how big they have grown.  I hate them because I know I will be posting these pictures soon enough.  I taught kindergarten for 9 years and always was baffled at the parents who were so concerned, upset, sad, distraught, etc over their children going to school.  I mean - the kids are fine.  And they are.  But, I get it now.  I simply can't imagine my little Dane getting on a school bus one day.  I totally get the "a child is your heart walking outside your body" quote.  Like whoa.  But it will be ok because I am already planning on staying in the adjoining dorm room next to him in college. #showershoesdane

What have been your favorite things this week?  Cheers to the weekend!

Monday, July 27

Nana's Cinnamon Toast

Growing up my mom (Dane's Nana) always broiled our cinnamon toast toast versus using the toaster.  Interesting, right?!  We had a toaster, so I'm guessing it was just her fancy way of doing things.  And I like fancy.  Dane loves his toast this way now.  Try it out with your Monday morning coffee, fruit or eggs!

Nana's Cinnamon Toast 
(serves 4...or double for more)

* 4 pieces of high quality bread
* cinnamon/sugar mix 
* butter

Directions: Turn broiler on.  Spray a cookie sheet with Pam.  Butter the bread and then sprinkle your cinnamon/sugar mix on top (I use a generous amount of butter & cinnamon/sugar).  Place on cookie sheet and put under broiler.  I usually crack the door open while broiling, because this does not take long at all.  Watch carefully to avoid burning.  Remove from oven when the edges are turning a slight brown.  The toast will be crispy on the outside & soft & gooey on the inside!
Serve immediately.  Enjoy!    

Friday, July 17

Friday Favorites...summer children's books!

Welcome, FRIDAY!  It's The Hubs' birthday today, so this post will be short in sweet.  Coffee & a family breakfast out are calling my name.

This edition of Friday Favorites will be about sharing my favorite children's books for summer!  Dane will be 20 months at the end of the month and one of his most favorite activities ever is listening to stories.  #raisingareader 

I started reading to him at a very young age & he just loves it.  Being a former kindergarten teacher, I know firsthand the importance of early literacy encouraged at home.  I am SO thankful that he loves books & can only hope that his love for reading grows.  I think the teacher heart in me also loves organized books, so all of his books are organized in themes based on the seasons.  Don't judge.  We are loving his summer books right now & I just added a few new ones to his bookshelves!  

ONE.  Sea Rex by Molly Idle
I read through this book while at Barnes & Noble the other day and had it ready to purchase when Dane threw a colossal fit upon being removed from the train table.  #toddlerprobs  So, I abandoned the book & purchased it on Amazon that night!  This is an adorable story with great illustrations.  It is about a dinosaur at the beach and learning the rules for swimming: wear sunblock, don't swim after eating, always jump in feet first, etc.  I think it will be one we can read again and again every summer because it is fun & also has great lessons for beginning swimmers. 

TWO.  Baby Loves Summer by Karen Katz
Oh gosh.  We own about 10 of Karen Katz' board books.  Great for infants/young toddlers, they are "lift the flap" books with different fun themes & colorful illustrations.  The summer themed one is perfect for right now and Dane will point out things like "towel" and "hat" that he notices we take to the pool also.  

THREE.  The Boy And The Ocean by Max Lucado 
The Boy And The Ocean is a Christian themed children's story with some of the most beautiful illustrations I have ever seen.  It is pretty lengthy, so geared toward older toddlers+ but tells the story of a boy and his dad near the ocean, with his dad explaining that God's love for us is deep and never-ending, much like the ocean.  We will definitely be keeping this book around for awhile.  

FOUR.  Hello by Highlights 
We all remember the Highlights magazines as kids, right?  They were always in my doctor's office & at the library.  One of Dane's Christmas gifts this year was a subscription to Highlights for babies/toddlers called Hello.  They are short books and include poems, a short story, hidden pictures to look for and other fun things!  The Hello books recently have all been spring/summer themed so it was the perfect edition to his summer bookshelf.  They are also easy to hold for little hands & can be thrown in a diaper bag for road trips!  

FIVE.  Hooray for Hat by Brian Won
I saved the best for last.  Dane requests that we read "Hoo Hoo Hat" at least 10 times.  An hour.  No joke. Sometimes it is the first word he says when waking up in the morning.  When I think of summer, I think of the zoo and this adorable book is about various zoo animals who are feeling grumpy and eventually cheer each other up by giving their friends a hat.  The text is simple and the animals are fun to identify.  I think it is so important to teach our children the importance of helping others and this book definitely helps teach that.  Add this to your summer bookshelf today!  

And there you have it.  What are your favorite summer children's books?  I would love to hear & add them to my list!  Happy Reading!

Tuesday, July 14

Tuna Tuesday

There are two types of people in the world.  Those who like tuna and those who hate it.  If you are tuna lover, read below.  ;)

When summer rolls around, I always look for easy, no-mess dinners & lunches.  My chunky tuna salad fits the bill.  It's what the Carters are having for dinner tonight!

Chunky Tuna Salad
(makes 4 sandwiches/wraps)

12oz can of tuna, drained well
1/2 onion, finely chopped
2 hard boiled eggs, chopped
2-3 heaping spoonfuls sweet relish (I use low-sugar)
Miracle Whip (or real Mayo)
1 T sugar or 2 packets sweetener 

Directions: Drain tuna & add in all ingredients.  I hard boil two eggs, but only add in one egg yolk.  Sometimes it dries out the tuna salad if I add in both, but feel free!  I'm not a huge Mayo fan, but it is a must in this recipe.  I don't measure it and just keep adding to get the consistency I like.  Feel free to add more/less salt & pepper and/or sweetener.  Toast bread for tuna sandwiches or use my favorite - lettuce wraps!  Serve with veggies, fruit or chips.  An easy dinner (and lunch the next day!) tonight!
*recipe can easily be doubled to serve more*  

Friday, July 3

Friday Favorites

Happy FRIDAY!  Here are some of my favorites from the week!

Dane's playroom is currently in process.  We are taking my beloved GIRLS ONLY bright pink sunroom and turning it into a playroom for my beloved (still hot pink. #sorrydane).  I ordered this wall art & can't wait to see it in person!  Soooooo true - right boy moms?!

Another library find.  This was on the must-read shelf when walking in and I thought it was non-fiction or a self-help type of thing.  Instead, it was a fictional novel about a young girl going on a 300+ mile hike through the wilderness.  Now I am nowhere near what you would call and "outdoorsy" type of gal, but it kind of made me want to check out the hiking books at Dick's!  I would recommend!


Three & four are both pink favorites.  I love pink normally, but for some reason I am more hot pink obsessed this summer.  I love this Mary Kay lipgloss (Shock Tart) & OPI nail polish (Pink Flamenco).

We finally found our summer binge show...True Detective (HBO).  We are through Season 1 & caught up with Season 2 now.  It is a murder mystery show that makes you look over your shoulder before walking up the stairs at night.  Plus, there's Woody Harrelson.  He is a Hanover Grad so that will always have my heart.   

What are your favorites this week?  Happy Red, White & Blue to YOU!