no tricks, just treats

Baby number two expected in late May.
Our hearts are filled with love and joy.



...what are you doing to my child!!?
Johnny Appleseed Day || September 26th 


f r i d a y || f i v e

1  ||  2  ||  3  ||  4  ||  5

1. I love the simplistic look of this clock. Lately I'm feeling very against the clock, like in a way where time is not on my side. Days turn into weeks, and weeks turn into months. Trying so hard to switch up my perspective on time and rather than focusing on it in a measurement that has escaped, I'm looking at events and memories made along the way.

2. I've been wanting apple cider donuts in the worst way. My parents made them early this year during a snow storm, and they were the best dessert I've ever tasted. I typically do not like donuts, but these were almost cake-like. I'm trying to convince them to make more. 

3. Reminding myself of this quote everyday.  Kids are only little once and time goes by so, soo very fast; so we're fully embracing Logan's sass, quirks, fashion sense, and silly interests. 

4. I am more than ready for all things layered, especially my bed. Pulling out the throws is making my heart dance.

5. I've been wanting to get back into a yoga practice, but I have been finding it difficult to carve out a specific time without distraction. I love inspiring photos like the one pictured above as motivation.


halloween inspiration

I love scouring the internet for inspiration as a new season begins. It's a prep of sorts for all the goodness to come. There is so much that I want to do, or buy, that realistically I could never tend to it all. I pulled a few favorites that set the tone of my Halloween dreaming. Because in this house, we've been doing a lot of it. 

Logan's costume has been purchased and delivered weeks ago. She is dressing up as Hermione Granger from Harry Potter. She could not be any more excited. I don't know if it's anticipation of the frizzy hair she insisted on rocking or the special wizard powers the character carries. She has a wand but I just loved the different colors and the feel of the DIY ones pictured above.

We are all about Holiday themed crafts and do several throughout the holiday seasons, Halloween being no exception. In fact, it may be Logan's favorite holiday to craft during. She is all about the uncertainty of spooky slimy gore. This cute little bat is definitely on our craft to-do list. So is the light-up mummy with the googley eyes. I love the simplistic look of both crafts.

This past weekend Logan painted her first pumpkin of the season. We do a lot of pumpkin painting in the fall. I love the brushstoke polka dot pumpkins pictured above. They are stylish and simple and any age can pull them off. We are going to use them for inspiration next time we paint.

Witch better have my candy. Enough said. 
I am loving all the Halloween inspired T-shirts. 
Hard to choose just one.


long beach island, new jersey

The first week of August, we visited family who rented a house by the beach. We stayed two nights and it was such a nice little break from the everyday. It was great to spend a few days unplanned and out of our element. We ate good and drank even better. It was such a fun time for all of us. The house  was two away from the beach and had a beautiful pool differing from ours in the sense that it was much, much warmer. It was nice for a change...especially come night time. We swam from early morning to late afternoon  and then into the late hours of the night. 

I haven't been to Long Beach Island in well over ten years. It's about 20 minutes further out from the beach we typically visit, but still the same ocean. The change of scenery was greatly welcomed as we needed a switch. Where we typically go is wonderful, but it's pretty busy, and there are many distractions, cue: ice-cream, pizza, rides, games, and cheap stuffed animals that no five year old can deny. It was nice to solely focus on the sand + water, and nature. 

I love when the beach is easy to enjoy. Let me rephrase that, I love when the beach is set up for safe, fun, limitless kid play...insert sand bars, calm waters, and lots of shells and pebbles to explore. We had the best luck during our visit when the ocean formed into a lake-pool of sorts with an island. I have never seen the ocean do anything like it. All of the kids loved it, us adults too. We had our own little private island with a waveless ocean-pool. Little fish washed ashore and Logan just loved picking them up, filling her bucket, and assigning them each names. She ended up with a family of three: Mr. Willie Fish, Mr. Nillie Fish and Ashler. She even convinced some older and squeamish cousins to touch her new pets. She swam underwater in the ocean-- a first for her, pranced, flipped, and twirled about. She loved just being there, and I loved that too. It was fantastic and we hated to leave.

We are thankful for loving, generous, and inviting family.
If there is one thing I want Logan remember from this trip, it's just that.

back to school business

1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8

This whole school life is serious business.
There are so many necessities with too many options.
Where to begin?

Here I have documented a few things that I have either picked up already or am waiting on receiving, or ordering. Anyone is seeking ideas, or inspiration I have provided all of the links above.

When it came to school shopping, I decided to focus of simple, basic staples that would get us through a few years. I generally strive for quality of quantity, and would rather spend a few extra dollars on something durable and timeless over something trending and cheap.

I love love love Logan's new backpack, and am so happy that we decided to purchase it. It had the two most important things I was looking for in a backpack: lightweight and simple. It is easy to store + easy to clean-- couldn't ask for more as far as I'm concerned.

I went with practical and functional while shopping, only buying things that I know we would use as a family and that Logan would need in the classroom. That being said, I didn't buy the "Sorry I'm late, I didn't want to come" t-shirt for back-to-school night, but it is still on my list. ;)

I did buy a new bottle of vitamins to start our school year (as the humidity got to ours over the summer months and we needed fresh ones) and shampoo containing tea tree oil and lavender. The media has me paranoid about pesky hair bugs, so I am complying to all/any precautions recommended. Nature's Gate is usually my go-to brand for organic shampoo, but I am eager to try California Baby. I bought this brand out of convince. Target always.

A while back I ordered Logan Converse sneakers in a fun cheetah print that would essentially go with whatever she would wear. We pulled them out of the closet today and to our surprise they fit. We started our morning with a lot of excitement, it was really sweet.

I definitely was most stressing the art of packing a lunch in sending my girl off to school for a 6+ hour day. I did not want to send her to school with a sandwich every.single.day and was feeling stressed out about limited options. I discovered the Yumbox and instantly knew it would be exactly what I would need for my veggies and dip, pasta salad, waffle and syrup loving variety girl. I love that it seals the food compartments individually. I no longer stress the nut mix turning into a yogurt nut mix, and other messes. Yumbox is a really brilliant design and one I am happy to have discovered. We are excited for ours to arrive. Until then, we are using a few different containers. Effective, but tricky, and a lot of wash. I also like that Yumbox is all one piece. So many pros.

An umbrella was probably in the top five on my back-to-school list. Logan will be a car rider to and from school, and on rainy afternoons while she waits for her ride home (outside of the school) an umbrella will come in handy.

Logan's school does a staggered entry for kindergarten where they wean the students into the rhythm of school with a few days long  process. Lo has been eager and ready since day one and was less than thrilled with all the staggering, just wanting "real school" to begin. She has really adjusted well. She  comes home humming tunes, reciting facts, and telling me about another new friend. I couldn't be any happier with her transition. Having never attended any sort of formal school, I was a bit unsure about how things would go over. I should never have doubted her though, she's pretty exceptional and easy going with everything she does. School the same.

Proud mom moment.


f r i d a y / / f i v e

 one // two // three // four // five
^ I have always loved reading inspiring words when transitioning into something new, weather it be a new season, new venture, or simply having to meet new people. This quote right now speaks volumes to be as I gear up to become a kindergarten mom. I don't know how we got here so quickly, but rather then dwelling in that, I am simply going to embrace this new phase of life, with my big girl.

^ Generally we think of  back-to-school as a closing of summer, but summer doesn't officially end until the 23rd of September. I'm thinking that means plenty of time for homemade popsicles, like these Mango Coconut Creamcicles.

^ In place of listing at all of things Logan and I will be missing out on with her in school 6+ hours a day, (sigh...) I'm focusing on the things that we can do and setting some ideas aside of simple DIYs for her and I to do on days off. 

^ I loving little style, and with Logan getting bigger, the little trends are only getting cuter. Looking forward to picking out some fun, simple pieces with her.

^ The end of this month we are going to be heading up north to Maine for a mini getaway. We have been dreaming about delicious New England seafood since we confirmed our dates. Drool.



preschool homeschool-- summer + a sweet summer tutor

We received a list of the 45 words that Logan would need to know before completion of Kindergarten. We wanted to get a head start in tackling this list being that some of them should pretty familiar as we we have worked on them this past year at home. I'm big on the "Use It, Don't Loose It" method in teaching, and feel that review is always a good idea. Plus, the more familiar she is with words, the more confidence she will have in reading and writing them.

My nephews spend a great deal of the day here during the summer. That means lots of distraction for my nosey girl here. So we've been struggling to get much of anything accomplished. This morning we were all sitting around in the living room when I had the brilliant idea to have one of them work with her. I didn't have to convince my nephews all that much to work with Logan. The two younger ones (almost 12 and 13 year old) both wanted to sign up. Logan chose Angelo today.  He was thrilled and eager to teach. Surprisingly it worked out perfectly. He took his big-cousin responsibility (and the fact that he was in charge) very seriously, and in turn, Logan did too. I gave him complete and total freedom to tutor how he saw fit, I just provided the materials. After all, it is summer vacation and anything learned is something. I had to laugh a bit when I saw him return from the kitchen with a reward: juice. He's too funny. But very smart. Apparently having to earn it made it all the more enjoyable.

A few of my favorite videos for learning beginning sounds are below. They are cute catchy tunes perfect for beginning sound memorization. I wanted to share them and document them here for easy reference. We've been listening and watching them on youtube for several years, but now that Logan is learning about beginning sounds, they are even more appreciated. Phonics SongPhonics Song 2,Phonics Song 2 (new version)

The entire KidsTV123 is wonderful. It's easy listening, even on repeat. I will often play songs in the background while Lo colors or plays at the table with play dough. It's so cute when I catch her bouncing her head or signing along. A few of our other favorite songs on the channel are: Spooky Spooky- Halloween SongThe Baby Animals SongThe Planets SongColours Song 2

We plan to continue with beginning sounds, daily writing, and word recognition throughout the summer. As always we will continue to focus on Nature, as it happens, naturally. This means no formal lessons or focal points, with one exception: a nature exchange.  We have signed up for a couple of nature exchanges with friends from different parts of the world. We are looking forward to preparing our items to send out to them. We will pick through our nature box for items to share. We also have a beach date coming up where we will gather some treasures to share as well. 

It's summer. We hope to swim swim swim, eat lots of popsicles in the sun, and enjoy good food and cold beverages late  into the summer nights. 

**I wrote this post in the beginning of july and never got to posting. Better late than never. Update to follow.

summer. everyday. simple.

This summer is flying by and I cannot believe in less than one month, this girl of mine will be starting Kindergarten. We have been cramming as much as we possibly can into these long summer days: swimming, exploring, playing, and just being in the moment, together. We've been loving on each other and loving on the beach, our favorite summer spot (our favorite spot in general really.)

Bathing suits are a summer staple as we spend just about everyday in them. 
Logan has about 10 bathing suits and she makes sure that she wears them all. 

We try our best to eat healthy throughout the week, but divulge in daily ice treats. Dirty feet are mandatory and formal bed times are non-existent. While we all know routine and structure is just around the corner, we're putting that out of our minds and enjoying August and all it has left to offer. 

This summer has been so sweet to us with warm sunny days and cool calm nights. We've had just enough rain to refill the pool just as it begins gets low, and to water the garden for squash and tomatoes to grow. We've picked the fuzziest peaches and ate the most delicious melons. We visited theme parks, boardwalks, and many different pools and beaches. We are filled to the brim with special memories from our summer, but my favorite are the ones where we stayed home; swimming, sharing lattes, rearranging the dollhouse, and paging through random magazines. 

Life is so much happier when you choose to find beauty in the every day, and eventually I have found, that you don't need to try anymore, it just happens.

Hope you are enjoying your summer. 
August is my favorite. 
Sun shining, children splashing, the freshest of fruits, sandy toes, messy buns, and so much more.
Happiness everywhere you look.


cloudy night on the beach

This trip was impromptu. We battled traffic the whole way there simply because we didn't take time into consideration.  We didn't mind all that much though. We had a CD book full of all of our favorites we used to listen to when we first started dating.

The water was warmer than the air. We didn't really intend on getting wet, but the ocean had other plans. Hello high tide. The sky was full of clouds, but it was still so very beautiful. 

We collected shells-- one being a crab's shell. The last time Logan held a crab, it began to move in her hand. That photo above may have took some convincing. 

We ate pizza and ice cream and left with full tummies. 
Another successful beach trip.