Hi there! It’s been awhile. I am knee deep in prepping for 2 upcoming December kid’s birthdays and holiday planning. So, basically I am racking my brain to come up with gift ideas that make my kids excited- and make me want to invite more things into our house!
So far- here are a few of my favorite things this month-
The Lettermate. My sister sent this link to me and I had ordered it in less than 2 minutes. I LOVE good handwriting. I have tried calligraphy too many times to mention, and I deeply respect a good looking envelope. So, this is the best $10 I could have spent in order to make my addresses look as pro as they can get.
For my little:
Felt Tales– a set of these were handed down to us and my daughter has loved doing it for over 2 years. I just ordered a new mermaid one for her bday- love that there is no mess and can be a car or bedroom toy.
Uni the Unicorn– love the twist this book has… this unicorn doesn’t believe in GIRLS! Too cute. Clothes Pony sells this locally.
Singing Machine- Karaoke– my mom send this to my daughter for her bday in December- we all know kids love to hear their own voice! Had great reviews and I think she may freak out.
For my boys:
Well, this is always hard as their wishlist becomes more unrealistic each year!
The Snow Kick Scooter– Our local Learning Express sent out a video of this and I think they look cool- anything to keep us moving in the winter! (On sale locally for $79)
Adult coloring books are everywhere right now- saw a cool animal one at Michael’s for my soon to be 11 year old. I think he will love learning how to draw these faces, etc.
Hopefully my mother in law doesn’t mind me sharing this find she had- The RC Tarantula. My 8 year old loves things like this- and I told her that she has nailed it!
Another amazing idea she came across- The IPad Paintbrush– I want one! great reviews.
I am hoping for PW’s new Dinnertime! cookbook and a subscription to the Food Network magazine. (It’s all about food for me!)
My mother-in-law gave me a ChicWrap for my bday as “Ree” uses it -and frankly, if Ree likes it, I do too! I love how my saran wrap doesn’t get stuck anymore! Oh, Ree, why can’t I just head to your place and cook beside you to learn all your tricks? (Or Ina for that matter, the Hamptons would be nice.)
Happy Thanksgiving to you all next week! Always love getting your gift ideas!
Here’s what’s new over here-
Brooke loves cats. Which is funny as I am not a big fan and am allergic. She spotted cat shoes at Nordstrom over the summer and has wanted them ever since. Last week we passed these shoes again and she begged to try them on. I asked the salesperson about them as they are kind of jellyish and she said parents rave about them. They have some smell combat that reminds me of a strawberry shortcake doll- AMAZING. Plus, when she leaves them in our mudroom, they smell wonderful and fight the terrible smell of the boy’s UA shoes. Why can’t they put this smelling combat in my boys shoes!? Seriously. As a side note, I tried so very hard to get her to buy these ballet shoes rather than those cats- but even the salesperson knew I was dead ended. In all honesty, the cat shoes are growing on me, but– If you can buy a pair, buy the ballet ones- TOO CUTE!
Williams Sonoma has restocked their fall candles and they smell wonderful. All their essential oil candles are worth smelling if you can stop in. Makes your house smell like fall.
So, if I can’t be Jennifer Aniston, I may as well try her Living Proof line. With the rage all about the Living Proof Dry Shampoo, I picked up a can at Nordstrom. It definitely does the trick, but don’t spray at the hairline else you will look like Casper- like I did heading late to tennis one day!! I was licking my finger in the car to rub it out! I guess the point is to spray IN YOUR HAIR- not on your skin!
Yesterday, I dusted off an Ina Garten cookbook and made her Homemade Granola Bars. Ina never disappoints! I felt like the number one mom ever until my kids were like “These are awesome!” and then grabbed the corn syrup Target bars on the way to school. I will still make them again as they were super easy and so delicious. Next up is her Baked Potatoes with Yogurt and Sour Cream. That is on the menu for tomorrow night! And for dessert this weekend- is Cooking Lights Hasselback Apples. Doesn’t it look amazing? Please let me know if you try any of these!
And, always- I enjoy hearing from you. I have joked that as a blogger, you can often feel like you are having a very one-sided convo… it’s lonely somedays! Thanks for reading and feel free to comment!
My friend Heather introduced me to the Madewell slub v-neck tees and I am wearing mine daily. At this point of the year, I needed new ones so it was great to find a good fit- they run big, FYI. I also love the Cotton Citizen tees that are sold locally at Solemates- the softest fabric and they wash great.
As for shoes- I bought these Andre Assous shoes when I was in Chicago and they feel like slippers.
My friend Susan from restyle design gave me the Lafco Ski House candle for my birthday. Love this smell and she told me that after she uses them, she cleans it out and uses as a makeup brush holder or organizer in her home. What a beautiful idea! And have you smelled Jo Malone’s new scent- Mimosa & Cardamom? I just added the candle to my guest room as we are very “booked” this October!
Speaking of books… Just started reading Come Away with Me, by Karma Brown. Karma is actually a friend of mine from my working days in Chicago. Totally excited for her to see her book getting amazing reviews! I am 20% in and in awe she wrote such a great book! I about fell over tonight when I was on my local library page and her book came up as a recommended book for me!!! Wow. Congrats, Karma!
I am also looking forward to JoJo Moyes new release – After You.
Looking forward to fall arriving in Colorado…
I always share my favorite recipes so here is my most recent home run. Fish Tacos with Avocado Sweet Corn Slaw by Iowa Girl Eats. I bought halibut (never cheap, but so delicious) and omitted the cabbage as I just don’t like it! But everything else, we LOVED. My kids gobbled it up and my husband said it was better that the fish tacos we always go out to eat for. High praise! She has the best recipes over there- search them and tell me if you find some you love! Haven’t ever made one we didn’t like. (after we all had seconds, I didn’t even use a corn tortilla, just made it into a salad and it was just as good).
We hung a porch swing this month. I hesitated for years as I wasn’t sure if it would just collect dust, or collect appointments to the plastic surgeon. So far, so good. I bought this Sunday Porch Swing at Ballard on major sale- which is good because unless you hang it yourself, you have that bill to pay too. I also bought rope instead of the chain and that wasn’t expensive at all, but added a lot more character to the swing. We have used it everyday since it was hung. Read the reviews if you are considering it!
I stumbled upon Original Sprout hair products for my daughter and have now spread the bottles into my boys showers, too. The deep conditioner is my favorite for Brooke as her fine hair gets so knotted – and it smells so good. It actually helps me know if my middle son washed his hair rather than just wetting it! Plus, People magazine featured Princess George’s favorite things and supposedly he even uses it- if it’s good enough for royalty…
Another note about hair, my sister had a wetbrush when we saw her in Chicago. I quickly bought one on amazon for the rest of our trip and then bought another for me at Target when we got home. If you need to brush hair that’s wet, this is the brush.
TuffTaag is now my top choice to have on our suitcases for travel. These things are indestructible and easy to spot. It was time to move away from furious scribbling on a flimsy temporary bag tag at the airport at curbside check-in!
Finally, an early bday present for me was an Optrix. Most of you know I am crazy for photography and I have wanted an underwater case to be able to photograph my kids with my phone. Optrix seemed to be the clear winner and it’s soooo easy to use. I bought the one with the 4 lenses and have found I use two mostly- and just love this extra point of view!
That’s all for August- my boys start school in the morning! Always love hearing from you all- let me know if you have any great summertime finds!
Usually when I tell the kids we are having chicken for dinner, it’s met with a serious groan. zero excitement. UNTIL… I watched a cooking segment on The Today Show for Airline Chicken. Simple, fast and fresh- make this chicken with basil butter! I don’t care for bone-in chicken, so I just make this on my stovetop with chicken cutlets. I also halve the butter. It still tastes wonderful! Easy summer dish-