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Guys. I can’t even believe Summer is coming to an end already. Our schooling lessons have been planned, we’re getting back into our normal daily routine, and to say that I missed it all would be a total lie.
To give the boys one last spontaneous adventure, we tossed our gear in the car and headed out onto the beach. One of our favorite places in the entireeee world is Flager Ave. (New Smyrna Beach, FL). The boys usually grab a fresh popsicle at one of the local spots and we walk up and down the sidewalk peeking in at the shops before letting them run wild on the beach once the cars have cleared out for the night.
As you guys know, the boys are always in the sun, and protecting their neck is something James will tell you, I’m a total freak about. So, when I saw the vintage-style monogram hats from Rey to Z, I had to have them to step up our hat game.
How cute are these crazy littles in their twinning hats?
I know, I can’t. K would have slept in his if I let him.
Let us know what you’re doing this weekend to bring your Summer to a killer close!
Gone are the days of visiting the gym to tighten and tone with our favorite hard core workout jams plugged into our ears. With three kids, our only exercise out of the house these days is at the playground, on a bicycle with 3 minis toting behind us, or power walking through the grocery store.
These home workouts we’ve been doing are awesome! They’ve totally been a game changer to my self-confidence, motivation, and overall energy. Not to mention the added nap time every day resulting from the kids’ extra energy release in the mornings!
I won’t lie and tell you that Mommy and Me Workouts are always a walk in the park. Keeping littles focused for several reps can be tricky but, switching the boys back and forth between moves or doing short reps and repeating the routine a few times over and over seem to keep them motivated and excited!
For this workout, we do a lotttt of high fiving. High fives are just kind of a thing in our home anyway so, incorporating them into our routines is a no brainer.
With it being the 30th Annual Shark Week, we knew we couldn’t let this week pass without a recap of our trip a few weeks ago to the Shark Tooth Capital of the WORLD! Venice Beach, FL is known for it’s overwhelming count of shark teeth that have been sifted from the sand for decades. We usually pack for a trip down to the beautiful West Coast beaches a few times each summer and come home with jars full of shark teeth! The boys love it but, over the years we’ve found that pining for black gold isn’t always easy with small kids in tow so, I’m here with a few things to help you get the most out of your visit!
First thing’s first, although Venice Beach by name is known for having the most shark teeth, it’s also one of the busiest in it’s area. Not only is it crowded but, it’s sand has also been rejuvenated over the years so, finding teeth these days, aren’t as easy as when we were kids. If your goal is primarily to sift for shark teeth, I recommend skipping Venice Beach and heading a little more south to Manasota Key or Blind Pass Park!
Next, you’ll need your shark hunting gear. Okay, okay, not really but, you will need a few things:
- Water Shoes aren’t a bad idea
- Collection bag or cup (without holes so, no mesh)
We bought an actual “Shark Tooth Sifter” from a small shop in Venice during our first trip but, it’s not necessary. They’re made of a wire mesh, PVC, and pool noodles. They can get pretty heavy for kids when filled with wet sand and shells but, our Dollar Tree sand sifters work like a charm and were only a buck so, we bought one for each of the boys!
Some of the beaches are covered in shell sand so, walking up and down the beach can get painful on your feet. Sandals or water shoes are awesome for littles to keep them happy, patient, and comfortable!
Make sure whatever you’re bringing to collect your teeth in isn’t full of holes. Mesh bags are great for large shells but, you’ll be bummed when you start finding tiny little teeth only look down in your bag and notice you’ve lost your collection through the holes! We carry a small plastic jar, Itzy Ritzy pouch, or heavy duty zipping ziplock baggy!
The trouble with having zero experience or having never hunted for shark teeth before, is that it’s easy to assume you’ll be able to simply walk down to the water’s break, fill your sifter, and shake while tons of teeth show themselves through the sand. It can be that easy but, that’s not always the case.
The thing is, some of the beaches are rocky in the water, and others, the water breaks really hard but, don’t let that discourage you! More than half of our shark teeth are found in the dry sand. Seriously! Within the first hour of these last few trips, I had to sit with little Linc on a towel to keep him shaded under our umbrella and found more teeth sifting through the dry sand and shells than both boys and hub found in the water’s edge and wet sand!
We look forward to our Shark Teeth hunting trips every year! The boys have collected about 300 shark teeth already this summer and spend their days examine them with magnifying glasses and trying to decipher which teeth came from which species of shark!
We want to know if you’ve added Shark Teeth Hunting to your bucket list! Let us know below!
When I was hit recently with my first anxiety attack in what feels like a lifetime, I knew it was a sign for me to share this again. If it will help just one person to know they’re not alone, then it was worth sharing this.
I have to admit, there have been times, many times…that we’ve visited the ER upon sudden onset of symptoms following or nearly right before a severe anxiety attack.
In the last year I’ve had “cancer, blood clots, lyme disease, thyroid disease, a brain tumor, gallbladder disease, been pregnant…” the list goes on and it’s terrifying. Most of the time during these visits to the ER, I’ve completely exited my body and have no remembrance of even sitting in the waiting room or getting tests done because the anxiety has taken over my mind and body to the point of basically blacking out. It makes me a zombie. I’ve had thyroid ultrasounds, breast exams, EKGs, blood tests, X rays…and they’ve all come back normal. What?! The symptoms were real, they actually existed. I swear I’m not making this up for sympathy, I DON’T want it to be this way…
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Today kicks off Discovery Channel’s 30th Annual Shark Week! The boys are already shark obsessed so, giving them an entire week of shark filled fun is sure to amp up their love of all things finned, rubber-skinned, and dangerous!
We start the week off wrestling our favorite float from Wal-Mart. The boys have played and splashed in the pool all morning while we watch the minutes tick with Shaq on Discovery Channel’s online countdown clock!
While we fill our brains with all there is to know about sharks this week, we’ll be mixing in some of our favorite shark themed crafts, activities, and snacks! Catch our round up below!
We’re halfway through Summer already, can you believe it?! I can’t-and let me tell you, being stuck inside every.single.afternoon. from these Florida rain storms has us going crazy! So, when our Camp Castle Play Mat delivered, you can imagine our (my) excitement!
I spend hours every week planning out our lessons, activities, and whatever I think will keep the boys eager to learn and busy but, it gets tough when screaming and fighting is the daily soundtrack of life. Normally, the argument starts over a single NERF bullet out of about 2500 laying around the house and ends with someone screaming and crying at my feet because someone else didn’t want to share that exact bullet (again, THAT bullet even with 2499 identical bullets hiding in various other places in our home).
We’ve been desperate for something to fill the floor of the boys’ room that would invite them to play in their own space together (quietly) while I cook, clean, and do our weekly planning. BUT (huge one here), I couldn’t imagine utilizing one of those God-awful, old school, rubber rugs with the hideous road designs all over it. You know the one-It’s a pain to keep clean, one that even though it has a rubber bottom it still slides all over the place, you can’t get all the sand and grime out of it without the suction of your vacuum pulling it into the wheels and getting stuck in your Roomba. The kind that when a single spill destroys your kid’s favorite tree on the print, (even though its the same tree in the other 3 corners) you’re cursed to buy a new one. After some time, I’m sure it stinks, the color fades, and I’ll say what we’re all thinking here: it’s just plain ugly.
I don’t mean to sound like a rug buzz kill but, let’s be real. MOMS NEED THINGS THAT MAKE LIFE EASIER not harder. End of story. When we first saw Camp Castle Play Mats, I knew they’d be a total game changer. Not just for us but, for tons of other families like ours. They’re designed and created by a Texas mom with a heavy duty WIPEABLE vinyl, genius I know. They’re easy to roll up for storing, have bright, beautiful graphics, and easy-to-read fonts for kids beginning to read.
When our play mat delivered, I let the boys loose on it with a set of small pull back cars from amazon. Side note: Do you know what the best thing about a busy kid is? They’re busy because they want to learn and play. These busy boys (all 3) played for 2 straight hours without a single argument during their first go at their mat. I didn’t even consider rolling it up to put away because I knew this would be a new element in our morning routines. To say Camp Castle has drastically changed our days would be an understatement.
You know, its incredibly heartwarming to know that another mama like me, created something so simple yet, perfect for a family she didn’t even now existed at the beginning of her journey to success. The coolest part? She has mini mats for car rides and restaurants, custom art prints, and everything is designed by her own.two.hands. Amazing, right?
Keep scrolling for our full video review!
I’m so excited to share this post with you!
Hubs has this entire week off to spend with us so, we’re kicking things off with a day trip to the Central Florida Zoo! It’s not far from us and being that this will be our first trip since re-instating our annual passes, I knew we’d need a pretty stocked backpack for a full day!
When our Citi Babies Explorer backpack came in last week, I couldn’t wait to pack it full for a day full of adventure! We’re always going with the boys so, I knew this backpack would be perfect for our active family!
Let’s get into our packing list:
- Hats for each boy
- Swim Suits
- Drinks for the little boys
- Water Bottle for us
- Snack Cup with Trail Mix
- Picnic Blanket
- Wet Bag
- Baby Powder
- Changing Bag *Included
Honestly, I couldn’t believe anything more than 2 huge beach towels fit inside this backpack. I rolled each towel and pushed them to the bottom which left tons of room to continue stacking the rest of our necessities for the day!
I wasn’t exaggerating, look at the size of just one of those towels compared to the backpack’s size! You seriously wouldn’t think anything more that two of those would fit!
I’m a huge sucker for organization so, the fact that this backpack has 5 internal pockets, a zipper section, plus two exterior open pockets, and two exterior zipper pockets, quickly gave the Citi Babies Explorer and A+ in my book!
Check out that exterior front pocket! Each of the cup holders are insulated so, we filled the boys’ cups for the day before heading our and they stayed cold during our outing! We’re usually packing an additional lunch cooler to keep drinks cold so, the insulated cup pockets were a lifesaver!
We’re so excited to add these sweet little things to our homeschooling corner! I’m a sucker for cork boards: if it keeps a push pin in place, I’ve got to have it!
When we came across these circular cork mats on our most recent IKEA run, all I envisioned was a dreamy wall of Donut cork boards swimming with bright colored pins holding some of my favorite Astrobright projects in place!
To get started on your own Donut cork boards you’ll need a few supplies!
- Use the base of a cup or small pinch bowl to trace out your donut center from your cork mat.
- Cut the inner circle with an exact knife.
- Paint a squiggly circle onto your cork base.
- Let dry.
- Now, paint a squiggly line to replicate icing onto your dried base.
- Optional: Attach picture hanging hooks!
- Use your colored push pins to decorate your donut cork board and hang your favorite photos, projects, or cards!
How adorable is this DIY Donut Floppy Hat for today’s National Donut Day celebrations?! What makes it even more awesome is that it only took a few supplies, less than an hour to create, and can be worn until Summer’s end!
- Floppy Hat
- Acrylic Paints
- 1 1/2 inch Sponge Brush
- Crafting Paint Brush
- Paint the base of your donut with pink.
- Let dry.
- With the edge of a 1 1/2 inch foam brush, sponge on your sprinkles.
That’s it! Seriously, thats all it takes, I know! Simple, stylish, and totally mom worthy for your family trips to the beach this summer!
All this Florida heat has my heart aching for another trip to Greenville like the one we took last Fall!
As a top contender on our bucket list for the South East, we knew our official “See The Trees” trip for 2017 would be this beautiful South Carolina town! Since we don’t get to see too much of the jaw-dropping Fall colors in Florida, our entire fam jam looks forward to our Autumn road trips!
The first box on our list of things to do was marked off when we wandered through downtown and took in all of the breathtaking historic buildings, statues, and clock!
The weather was perfect for exploring and traffic was light so, wandering on the sidewalk was less risky with three littles as we walked through town! Along the road were full trees worth of leaves laying on the ground waiting for a couple of boys to toss and kick around! I bet you can guess who was first in! K was in heaven and couldn’t resist laying in the fallen leaves!
As we made our way through town, we could clearly see the beautiful Falls Park on the Reedy!
Equipped with tiny cafe’s, a suspension bridge, stairs, waterways full of ducks, and incredible falls right in the center of town, this spot definitely made for a family favorite!
See that bridge up there? It’s called the Liberty Bridge and it’s 345 feet of onlooking views of some seriously awesome cascading falls!
This bridge was one of the coolest things I’ve seen in life so far! Being that it’s suspended by cables and it was a bit windy on this day, you could feel the entire bridge sway! The boys spent most of their time running from one end to the other and looked down on the rocks in the falls below!
The boys were obsessed with the rock walls and climbing structures throughout the park so, prying them away was a chore and thankfully I had a little surprise up my sleeve that hubby and I knew was coming up in our explorations!
Not far from the Liberty Bridge is the edge of the park that is home to exposed roots of the Medusa Tree. Yes, you read that right. This tree literally looks like someone flipped Medusa upside down and shoved her into the side of a small mountain!
After touching almost every root of the tree, we were ready for a quick Pizza pit stop! We stopped into a small mom and pop pizza spot on our way back through town and filled our bellies before heading out for more adventure!
At some point in all of our trips, we like to just pile into the car with snacks, blankets, pillows, and spare clothes to hit the road and explore! It may sound a little scary but, we always make the best memories pulling onto the roadside and finding hidden streams, hiking trails, and parks!
This adventure found us under an old gothic stone bridge collecting leaves and and splashing in a creek!
This bridge is called Poinsett Bridge and it’s the oldest bridge (built in 1820) in South Carolina and presumably the oldest standing bridge in the South East! If you trek atop rocks in the creek, you can stand under the 14 foot tall arch and see well off past the bridge where the creek continues to flow!
Finding the bridge was easy, as it was on the side of the road and clearly visible after a major curve in the mountainside!
This was definitely a high in our family travels list and we will definitely be going back this year for more adventure!