Summer of Us – Walden Pond

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Walden Pond was made famous as the home to Ralph Waldo Emerson and even more famous by the words of Henry David Thoreau. I’ve visited the area before but I’ve always wanted to go to Walden Pond in the summer to swim and beach. Walden Pond Reservation has a capacity of 1,000 visitors at a time which includes all areas (hiking, beaching, picnicing, etc…) so it’s tough to go on weekends because as soon as the parking lot fills up (around 10 or 11am in the summer) they close it – ugh! So this made the top of our list of things to do this summer while we could go mid-week when it’s less crowded.

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We packed a lunch and some beach toys and went for the entire morning – it’s beautiful there!

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The water is so calm and perfect for little kids (as I had heard from friends that go regularly). And there was a good amount of shade for this little guy and me. Ps. I’m wearing a J. Crew rash guard, the perfect postpartum bathing suit top!

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A few notes if you go this summer:
– Parking us just $5.
– There is a little ice cream truck that sells hot dogs, soda, and ice cream but that’s it. I suggest bringing food.
– It gets crowded even on weekdays during the summer check their twitter feed for up-to-date capacity closings. They will post when they’ve closed parking as well as when they’ll re-open (usually 3 or 4 hours later).

Time for Mom

Couple Things…

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Our first summertime family adventure was to go strawberry picking at Verrill Farm.

Is this really the perfect place to rest?

Another reason it’s great to have your husband on paternity leave? He has time to make ribs on a Wednesday – yum!

Holding hands, melts my heart…

 

Last – my Charred Corn and Zucchini with Basil recipe was featured on today’s Friday Five on the Northeast Bloggers Network – check out all the other summer recipes featured today!

The Summer of Us

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When I was working full-time, I did fundraising events for a very family-centered non-profit (JDRF) where I met tons of wonderful children, amazing parents, and strong families. I’ll never forget hearing a member of the Board of Directors mentioning his wedding anniversary was coming up and they were taking a trip as a family to celebrate. They didn’t just celebrate the anniversary as a celebration of their marriage, but as a celebration of the start of their family. How sweet is that? In honor of our 5 year family anniversary last week, I thought I would start a new series here on the blog for the summer. Not only do we have an adorable new member of our family, but we are in a lucky position where my husband gets a lengthy paternity leave from his job and in essence has most of the summer off! In celebration of this we’ve made a short list of local things to do as a family.

For the most part we’re keeping to our normal routine with lots of low-key family time – see photo above, most afternoons at our house are spent outside in the yard with toys, bathing suits, and sprinklers. But now that our little guy is getting bigger we’re going to start tackling that list and I’ll share our adventures with you as we go! We are so lucky to have this time together as a family of four, I am sure we’ll look back at this time fondly for years to come.*

 

*We do have a newborn and a toddler, so I hate to sugar coat things and make it sound sweet and perfect all the time. There are plenty of blow-out diapers, sleepless nights, and temper tantrums. In fact, our days sometimes feel very long but the time is speeding by so we’re making the most of it.

Fourth of July on Pinterest

I love the Fourth of July – it always makes me feel like summer has really begun, right? And I cannot believe the fourth is a week from Friday. Time to start planning some patriotic projects! Here are some fun Fourth of July ideas from my archives…

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What to Wear

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Patriotic Ice Cream Cones

 

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Fourth of July Strawberries

And if you want MORE ideas – I am excited to be a part of a fun Fourth of July Pinning party curated from the ladies at Domestic Bliss Squared. I wanted to share the Board with you in case you’re looking for any creative Patriotic ideas for the fourth – recipes, crafts, and styles ideas. Click here to view – have fun!

The Blogger's Digest

Couple Things…

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We had father’s day breakfast at a local favorite restaurant al fresco!

We made one of our favorite summer recipes for dinner this week – Charred Corn and Zucchini with Basil.

Just my friend Martha liking one of my Instagram photos (follow me here!) Get the DIY on the patriotic ice cream cones she liked here.

Siblings in stripes! They are just the cutest together…

And…5 years ago today I married this guy and life got even better…

 

Have a great weekend everyone!

Decoupage

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Decoupage is the craft of decorating an item by gluing layers of paper on top of something to cover it – and let me tell you, there is no easier craft to “master” than decoupage. And I say “master” because there’s really no way to mess up decoupage so your project will always come out looking great! I wanted to create a special piece of art with our new guy’s name to hang on his nursery wall (I’m thinking above the tickle monster and family photo). I saw these craft letters at Paper Source and thought decoupaging them in paper to match his nursery would be a great idea. Today, let’s talk about the decoupage part and in a few weeks I will post how I put everything together.

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To decoupage, you’ll need: Mod Podge, craft letters (or whatever item you want to cover), a brush for the glue, scissors, pieces of paper cut into small-ish pieces.

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Start by covering a small section of your craft letter with a thin layer of Mod Podge. Lay paper over and continue over the entire letter covering with more paper and glue – you can glue over the paper too if you’re layering over pieces to get it to stick down.

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Use your fingers – get messy!

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Once your letter is completely covered, brush a final layer of Mod Podge over the enter thing and let dry completely.

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See, there’s really no way to mess this up! If you live locally, I will be teaching a Decoupage Craft Class this fall at Arlington Community Education – stay tuned for a date to be announced!

Stylish Wipes On the Go

We hit up a cute little festival in our town over the weekend where there were bouncy houses, pony rides, balloon animals, and lollipops – essentially a dream for a 2-year-old. We timed it perfectly with our new guy’s feedings and had a good hour or so to hang out and have some fun. Plus, I savor the time I’m able to just get out of the house these days!!

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I have a list of “must-haves” when I leave the house that I can contain in my mom purse (snacks, toys, diapers) and at the tippity top of that list? Wipes. For the obvious reason of diaper-changing but for oh so much more… Really, they are the go-to for any spill, sticky fingers, messy face, or a general “hand-wash” when no sink or water is around. Enter Huggies Clutch ā€˜nā€™ Clean Wipes. Not only are they Huggies brand wipes (which are our fave) but they come in the most adorable clutch-style pouch that you can just keep refilling.

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And you know how I feel about remaining stylish while in mom-mode!! Click here for more info about these stylish wipes.

 

*Disclaimer: I received compensation and goods for this post, however all above opinions and thoughts are my very own – we really do use wipes like no one’s business.

 

The Blogger's Digest

The Peonies Have Bloomed

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I have been quiet all week! If you follow me on Instagram, you know our sweet baby boy was born last Thursday morning and we’ve been in the newborn bubble ever since. I forgot how wonderful, tiring, exciting, emotional, and tough these newborn days really are. Luckily our Z has been over-excited if anything about baby brother’s arrival, phew! And she is constantly asking to hold him and play with him – soon enough, Z! Although her nightly bedtime routine does now include a little brother time as he lays on her knees.

So don’t mind me over here as I remain in a little bit of survival mode and post more sporadically. I do have some fun projects to share in the coming weeks like his baby announcements (which I made weeks ago! Now we just need to add his photo) and a little decoupage project.

Oh, and the peonies finally bloomed in our backyard so I can join bloggers everywhere and post a photo of the flower of the moment. Have a great weekend!

What to Wear – Postpartum

Unless you are genetically lucky (or a Hollywood star) it’s going to take you some time to get back into your skinny jeans after you have a baby. Since my guy is coming any minute now I have moved on from maternity style to think about what I’ll be wearing this summer in my postpartum days of feeling chubbier than my norm. When I had my Z, the weather was cool so my postpartum style included yoga pants (obviously) and jeans that were a size or 2 larger than my norm. This time I’ll be postpartum in the heat of the summer so I’m lucky I’ll be able to wear flowy skirts and maxi dresses – only when I feel like getting out of yoga pants, ha! Another thing that I’ll be sporting is the newly trendy dressy tie (or elastic) waste pants. Have you seen these? They’re like fancy sweatpants! And everyone is making them! I got the pair from Zara below, but I’ve included plenty of links to others I’ve seen out there.

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1. Nursing Scarf – I am by no means an in-public nursing aficionado and still rely on some sort of blanket/cover/scarf thing to ensure privacy. This nursing scarf is pretty cute.

2. Gilligan & O’Malley nursing tank from Target – perfect for summer as it looks more like a top than a nursing tank so you don’t have to wear something over it.

3. Loose-fit Printed Trousers from Zara – the print of these is perfect for summer. I am showing how I’d wear them every day with a nursing tank and my Birks, but you could easily dress these up with a buttoned top or dressier tank and strappy sandals once you’re out of the barely-leaving-home infant stage. Here are some other links to similar elastic or tie-waste pant options: GAP, Asos, Asos, Lord & Taylor, Bloomingdale’s, Old Navy

4. Skip Hop baby bag – we haven’t used our baby bag as much now that Z is older, but infants require SO much while out and about we’ve taken it out of the closet and will use it constantly. Ours is actually the Wave Dot design but the one above looks cuter with this outfit.

5. Silver Gizeh Birkenstocks – I think I said enough about these shoes yesterday.

Happy Feet

Back in my mid-college days, I went through quite the hippie phase. I hung out with a hippie crowd, I started listening to a lot of Bob Dylan and Cat Stevens, I thought about turning my hair into dreadlocks (but after like 4 days of not washing my hair I quickly changed my mind), and I wore big ‘ol brown suede Birkenstock sandals. Sometimes with socks – those thick hiking socks. What a look – I think I may have just surprised you a bit! It was a fun phase, but thankfully I grew out of it. So you know I was wary when I heard that Birkenstocks had made a comeback since to me that would always be ugly hippie shoes! I immediately declared I would never follow this trend.

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Fast forward – a week or so ago my Z and I hopped into Nordstrom to check out summer sandals at the half-yearly sale and I walked away with my usual type of cute, on trend sandal for summer. Well, I got them home and tried them on again and immediately thought about how in like a minute I’ll be a mom of 2 – spending my days nursing, going to the playground, running errands, and all of those sorts of things. And how most of the playgrounds we go to are either sand or wood-chip covered and these sandals would be ruined in one wearing. You know I feel strongly about maintaining my sense of fashion while being a mom but something had to change so, they went back.

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Soon after we were at one of these wood-chip and sand-covered playgrounds and I saw a mom happily walking around in her…Birkenstocks! And she looked cute, not hippie-like at all. I decided it was time to reconsider. After a major internet search of style, colors, and whether anyone was selling them discounted (no one is AND Birkenstocks are always discluded from online coupon codes, boo) and decided on this style called Gizeh in silver.

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You like? I love em and if you haven’t heard, Birkenstocks are actually really good for your feet – they mold to your foot after just a few wearings and provide great support. This is also something I need because in my early 20’s I went through a Sex and the City Carrie Bradshaw phase where I would only wear 3 to 4 inch heals wherever I went from work in the morning through drinks after work and boy am I paying for that now (I’ll need foot surgery some day!). So that’s my story of my recently declared happy feet. This post was not sponsored by Birkenstock, I didn’t get anything for free (I didn’t even get a discount and I almost never pay full price for anything) – I just wanted to share my story of what I thought was comfort winning over style – until I realized I actually think these silver Birks are totally cute.

Epic Mommy Adventures