Monday, June 18, 2012


Our family has landed once again in paradise.  

And I have no intention of spending my time in 
paradise conversing with you darlings! 

No offense.  

But when we are away, I do enjoy actually getting away from it all

Even my social media addiction. 

It may be a bit of a challenge.

And I may relapse. 

I'll certainly be an Instagramming fool,
but I plan to otherwise bid you adieu until my return! 


Friday, June 15, 2012

Beach Trip Packing List.

Beach Trip

While it is abundantly clear to me from past travels that I actually need very little, I remain utterly incapable of packing sensibly.

This is all I envision needing:  
  • 6 tunics {because they also make the perfect cover-up}, 
  • 3 floppy hats, 
  • 6 maxi dresses {options and my favorite airplane attire}, 
  • every pair of earrings I own, 
  • 6 t-shirts,
  • 3 nicer tops, 
  • 8 pairs of shorts, 
  • 6 swimsuits {all with coordinating surf shorts and / or cover-ups}, 
  • 2 rash guards,
  • a 30lb. beach tote / carry-on {because it is holding my iPad and all my other reading materials, not to mention a million other items I'm tasked with carrying}, 
  • Bernardos in tan, gold and silver, 
  • 2 pair of Haviannas, 
  • an amazing pair of wedges, 
  • 3 pair of children's googles {and yes, I still have only 2 children}, 
  • a first aid kit,
  • reusable grocery bags, 
  • 2 cameras {big and little}, and
  • an absurd amount of sunscreen. 
Does your reality generally fail to match your beautifully organized vision? Please say it's not just me!!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Enough said.

via Pinterest

Monday, June 11, 2012

Summer Art Project.

Summer is in full swing at our house. And while we have quite a few activities and outings scheduled  later in the summer, we've spent the last two weeks primarily at home enjoying a few lazy summer days. 

One such day I had a wild hair and decided it would be both fun and interesting to see them recreate famous art instead of making yet another toilet paper roll monster {our collection is already quite vast}. My kids were not entirely convinced this was a real art project until I explained we were going to recreate the most expensive piece of art ever sold at auction -- The Scream by Edvard Munch

As I'm sure you read in May, The Scream (pastel, 1895) sold for $119,922,500 at Sotheby's Impressionist and Modern art auction to a private buyer.

Yes, $119 MILLION.

And while I cannot comprehend having, much less spending, that much money it certain piqued by duo's attention.

For at least 30 minutes.

We started with this image of the original work.

Given that I lack the "artsy" gene, I provided absolutely no guidance. In fact, I'm certain I was sitting in front of my computer during said art session. They worked completely alone - even separated from one another. 

Because this is serious business. 

Here are the resulting works of "art": 

The Scream by Boy Genius
The Scream by Little Miss Thang
So maybe the artsy gene isn't even on our family tree.  

Or perhaps kids should simply be left to create kid art, not recreate adult masterpieces? 

We ooooh and awwwe over their crazy childish creations all the time. Isn't it interesting, though, that when you have something to which to compare a creation it appears less magnificent even to a mother's eyes?

Which made me wonder what other behaviors or actions I am comparing to exceptional behaviors or actions, and by doing such, creating higher than childlike expectations? 

What do you think?  Was Roosevelt right on the money? 

Source: via Sarah on Pinterest

Or am I creating a mountain out of a lousy art project?

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Dinner this week. Kinda.

Okay, so maybe this isn't really what we are eating for dinner this week. At least not all of it. At one time. 

But it's summer. And doesn't mom need a break too!? 

Clearly a rhetorical question. 

In my fantasy world summer meal planning is a paradox. Summer is not about planning. It's about laying by the pool, reading a good book, enjoying art or science projects with the kids, and eating homemade ice cream. 

So here's a little bit of our summer so far: 

all images via Pinterest
We are currently dissolving an eggshell in vinegar. I cannot wait to feel the resulting naked egg. The kids are quite excited about the prospect to say the least. And yes, we are that family: we engage in science projects during the summer. I also quizzed them on their division facts in the car yesterday. Judge me as you will. 

We are eating Blackened Talapia Baja Tacos weekly. If I told you I loved the sauce it would be an understatement of gigantic proportions. I am obsessed with the sauce. Pure love. And this dinner is  fairly healthy, pleases everyone, and takes no time to prepare. And good thing, because I'm too busy watching the egg shell dissolve to stand in front of a stove for long. 

Inspired by this photo, I have started saving our leftover coffee every morning and making coffee ice cubes with it. Almond milk over the coffee ice cubes is a delicious afternoon treat when I need a boost and am considering yet another batch of homemade chocolate ice cream.

Tomorrow we head out of town for a little mini-family reunion weekend with the Hub's family.  I am brining this Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake. It looks amazing {fingers-crossed it is}. And, maybe it's just me, but I think it has enough cinnamon to officially refer to it as a coffee cake, which means, it is suitable as a morning snack {read: I'll be eating cake for breakfast}.  

I am currently obsessed with my homemade chocolate ice cream. It is seriously divine. Topping it with homemade Magic Shell just seemed like the logical next step. 

I hope your summer is off to a fabulous start!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Fresh Produce

If I have not previously made it abundantly clear, let me me settle the score and leave absolutely no room for doubt: I love dresses. 

And believe me, this is not because I'm fancy {as sometimes said in derogatory tone by Little Miss Thang}. No, it may in fact be because I'm somewhat lazy. Personally, I prefer efficient. 

Dressing in dresses is efficient. No matching. No looking around for a top to go with your un-ironed shorts. You put on one piece of clothing and *poof* you instantly look put together. Add an accessory or two if you want to up your game a tad. And honestly, isn't a cute dress and flip flops is just as easy as yoga pants and a t-shirt? 

Game elevated. 

Of course, the dress must match the lifestyle. I certainly have no plans of ironing. Wash and wear is the name of the game with my everyday clothing. I'm generally running all over town, grocery shopping, and schlepping kids to and from tennis and their friends'. Alternatively we've spent a day at the beach or in the pool and I want to shower off and slip into something comfortable but attractive for the rest of the day. 

So when Fresh Produce contacted me to review one of their clothing items I was ecstatic! Their casual beach aesthetic fits my lifestyle perfectly. And their price point is clearly within budget.  

I chose the Fiji Cafe Wrap Dress in Sanibel.
Fiji Cafe Wrap Dress on the model.

The dress arrived promptly and I was even more pleased with it than expected. The cotton knit is extremely soft and comfortable {imagine your favorite t-shirt} and *very important* washes well. 

The Fiji Cafe Wrap is a faux wrap dress which I greatly appreciated given the wind on the coast and the amount of times per day I bend over to pick up ________ {fill in the blank as you wish}.

And *here's the real clincher* it fits perfectly. I ordered an XS {this is a woman's brand - I am not an XS in brands that cater to the 00 set} and was pleased that it covered everything it needed to cover, hung nicely, yet loosely, around my thighs, and fell to a suitable length.

I'm sprouting out of the lantana {which is a shame because I was wearing very cute wedges}.
And I'm clearly looking down noting how badly we need mulch. 
It truly is the perfect summer dress. I've worn it for a girls' day with Little Miss Thang during which we painted pottery and enjoyed lunch and ice cream on the water {the photo above was by snapped by Little Miss Thang on our way out the door} and while relaxing poolside one evening with another family. I plan to pack it for our family travels this summer knowing I can pull it out of an overstuffed suitcase and still wear it to dinner that evening. 

I am now a Fresh Produce fan. And while I will remain loyal to their spring dresses for women, I also love the variety of casual tops, tunics and beach cover-ups.  

If all that were not enough, you should also know Fresh Produce is co-founded and still run by a mom entrepreneur, Mary Ellen Veron, and is primarily made in the USA. You’ll find the clothing sold in Fresh Produce stores and more than 500 specialty retailers throughout the US and Caribbean. Additionally, Fresh Produce now ships to over 200 countries, so women outside the US can enjoy the colorful styles, too.

As the final kicker, many of the styles are 25% off this week only!

Thank you

for sending me such a lovely and versatile dress to review! 
While I was clearly quite pleased to receive the dress, 
all opinions expressed herein are solely my own. 

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