Saturday, June 21, 2014

Family Vacations are the BEST...especially in Maine

We just had an amazing week in Maine!  The kind of week where you wake up early.....relax, spend time with family, go on an adventure, relax, swim, relax, smores, and just plain relax! It didn't fly by....but it didn't drag was PERFECT!

We rented a lake house on Crescent Lake in Raymond Maine, and I absolutely LOVE it there!  We always find a house to rent close to Naples, because we love the little shops, the lobster, and the entire area!  All of my cousins, Aunts, Uncles, and Grampy live within an hour and there is PLENTY to do, and I have never left there without feeling revived and relaxed! (except when my kids were toddlers....that was a LOT more work!)

Here are some of my favorite pictures of the week! 

Kacey was in LOVE with her new little cousin, Sam!  Such a cutie!!!!

I could not even get enough of the little guy!  I am still in shock that my baby cousin is married and a dad! Makes me feel old!

My Aunt and Uncle are growing strawberries and they let the kids pick them and take them home.  They were honestly better than Florida Strawberries!

They take strawberry picking VERY serious!

My sister and her family were only able to come up for two days....but is always my favorite to see my kids play with my niece!  They are really just great kids and are the 3 best friends that anyone could have! 

These kids saved every can and bottle and picked up 4 bags at my Aunt's house!  They thought they were going to be RICH after turning them in at the redemption center....and walked away with $15.  Still big time money and bought them ice cream for a few days!

We found the coolest place this year!  They went "sledding" and when Collin grows one inch we will be able to go back and do the zip line and ropes course! 

They wanted to see a this one at mini golf had to be enough for them!

Flowers are prettier in Maine! 

This little guy is all about swimming and boating.  He isn't much into fishing...and neither are it works! 

Kacey and Chad were wobbling me all around and planned on leaving me in at the island so that I had to swim back.....suckers.....I am faster than both of them.  They didn't stand a chance!

Pretty sure he turned into a New Englander while we were there on this visit!  He wore his On Lake Time shirt daily and bought a new Red Sox hat with his money! 

Kacey was constantly in the water searching for clams, fish, and anything she could find.  She has no fear and will touch anything!  She even was totally calm when she looked down and had a leach on her leg! (thank goodness I was up in the camp....I would have FREAKED!)


It kind of makes my heart skip a beat at how cute they look in their shirts

Boothbay Harbor!  I wish I had a basement...or a bar so that I could put an old wooden boat in as a bar!  I LOVE EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS!

It still hurts a little to see how fast they are growing....yet every stage is even cooler than the last!

Boothbay is a MUST stop if you are in Maine!  The little shops and restaurants are amazing!  

We split the lake house with my parents, and it was SO great!  Love that my kids get to hang out with these two so much!!!!!

A nice relaxing week was EXACTLY what we needed!  This guy has been my +1 on our Maine trips even before we were dating!  Pretty sure he loves it as much as I do!

This week my inlays are down at a beach near our house, so we will be having a beach week! I LOVE summer and all of this family time! 

***Check out more pics of our vacation here  and our lakeside outfits here***

Monday, June 16, 2014

On Lake Time - In Maine

We have been visiting Maine nearly every summer (and some winters) since I was born...and it is a tradition that I will never break!  I LOVE Maine!  I love seeing my family!  I love living the lake life!  

This year we were able to make it up to go to my baby cousin's wedding!  It was BEAUTIFUL, and we all had a really great time!   Having my sister and her family, and my parents all here for the weekend was perfect!  

My Grampy!  He broke his back 2 times....still walks...and is still rock solid! 

Father's day hugs!

This baby will be framed in my house!  I think my Grampy lives for visits with all of us!

After the reception....the wedding turned into a party at my cousins house.  This is how we party in Maine....and yes that is my dad in the middle....and yes this was his idea!  

We had a big bbq with our cousins last night for Father's Day!  My dad was on cloud 9 being able to spend such a fun day with all of us! He is such a wonderful dad and always has supported my sister and I in whatever we were into.....and he is the BEST grumpy ever to our kids! We are all so lucky!

 I was on cloud 9 because everyone was super excited about wearing our "On Lake Time" shirts, and being twins for the day! 

This guy right here is such an AMAZING father!  He works so hard for his family, comes home with a smile every single day....changes clothes and immediately jumps right into their sports, homework, or whatever else we are into for the day!  He never picks up his phone or works from the second he steps into our home...and knows how to put the three of us first.  He makes me want to be a better mom/wife every single day!  So glad he had such a fun family filled day!!!!!

It made me so happy that we were able to be in Maine to spend Father's Day with my Grampy!!!!!  (he totally wore his Yankees shirt inside out as a joke because everyone is Red Sox fans except for him! I thought he was losing his mind and needed help getting dressed when he first arrived!)

Daily smores....a must!  I even found gluten free graham crackers and have totally chowed down nightly. (and daily!)


If you have EVER been to Maine in the are fully aware that the water is FREEZING!!!!! But when you are from Florida and you are used to water being warm......this is pretty much painful!  The kind of painful that takes your breath away as you swim....and then you suddenly turn numb and you forget how awful it all feels!  Well, I made the plunge and swam out to the floating dock to relax with the kids today!  Very refreshing!!!!!

Today was a big hike!  It said "easy trail" but I am pretty sure if you ask my mom about it...she will inform you it was NOT easy!  The view at the top was all WELL worth it!  

The rest of our vacation is going to be just as fun and adventurous!  We have plans for more hikes, daily swims, smores, visiting family, and just relaxing!  

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

My Secret Smoothie

 I am not an avid fruit/veggie eater.....and I honestly just don't make the effort.  I always buy them, cut them up for my kids, but rarely choose to eat them for myself as a snack.  I prefer to drink my fruits/veggies.

I get sick of smoothies after days of having them.....UNLESS every single smoothie tastes like a peanut butter milkshake!  That is something that I don't ever get sick of!

I was going through jar after jar of Almond Butter....until my husband found out about this powdered peanut butter!  I have no idea how they do it...but they manage to crush peanuts into powder...remove most of the fat....and make it taste amazing in your smoothie!   PERFECT! I use PB2 and you can read up on it here.

I generally use one big spoonful of the peanut butter powder, any frozen fruit that I have at the time, a handful of spinach or kale, and coconut flavored water. (I also use almond milk from time to time, but in the summer I think it is too thick.  It does taste more like a milkshake when I use the almond milk though)

Turquoise rimmed glasses, and now I am thinking of adding a few of these to the mix

I have been using this blender for years and I honestly lOVE that it has different cups because I can make my kids smoothies with milk, and I don't have to worry about it mixing into my drink.  I have been contemplating making the switch to a vitamin, because I picture myself making smoothies, soup, hummus, guacamole, and more smoothies.....but I just can't seem to make the jump!  I actually received one from my mother in law for Christmas a few years ago...and my husband and I thought it was too nice of a blender for us!  Now I want to poke myself in the eye for not keeping! 

I am a creature of habit and rarely change up my smoothies...but I am up for some new recipes if you have any!!!!!


Monday, June 9, 2014

Lake Living

I am super excited as we plan for our lake house visit in Maine!  I lOVE Maine and I have spent almost every summer there my entire life!  My parents grew up cousins and grandparents live there, and I have a special place in my heart for it!

Two Years Ago on Kacey's 8th Birthday in Maine!

I love watching my kids experience the same places, and things that my sister and I did when we were little! I love taking them to my grampy's house and watching them explore!  I EXTRA LOVE eating lobster, and my sister and I vow to eat lobster EVERY SINGLE DAY while we are in Maine.  It just seems right! 

I have been packing in my mind for weeks on what I want to wear!  I love holidays for the themes, and I honestly feel like when I pack for vacation I tend to theme it out!  If I am going to the beach.....lots of flow dresses and anchor themed.  If I am heading to the mountains.....lots of sweaters and layers filled filled with snowflakes and deer.  And when I pack for the lake house.....I pack in comfy, cozy, layers.....soft everything!  I just think Lake Living = Cozy and relaxing!  No different outfit for need for anything except for sweats and tees! PERFECTION!

Here is a list of my mind.....Lake Living looks like! (with a random flower shirt that I just really want!)

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9 / 10 / flipflops 

This is LITERALLY what I am packing!  We are flying on an airline that charges for EVERY LITTLE THING (like we even have to pay for peanuts if we want them) and I selected one carryon bag for each of us! I have to fit in hiking/running, swimming, wedding dress (my cousin is getting married while we are there), and the rest will look exactly like this!  Now...fingers crossed that it fits in my carryon luggage.... or at least that Chad doesn't fill his bag so I can sneak my stuff in it. And SO  thankful that we have laundry inside the lake house!!!!! My nightly campfire outfit might be the exact same every single night...and I am fine with it!

Even though I am not leaving suitcase is literally packed!  I generally pack weeks in advance when I am super excited...and then have to repack again because I have "borrowed" from it on a daily basis!  (sweatshirt, tshirt, boots (still on sale), jeans (not available anymore but these were from the Gap) and check shirt)

I can't wait to see all of the pictures of everyone in their On Lake Time shirts this summer!!!!!!

Friday, June 6, 2014


Today is our 3rd day of Summer Vacation and I am EXHAUSTED!  We have been up at the crack of dawn and down way past our bedtimes.....but have had a blast!  Today is our lazy day where I have plans of actually going to the grocery store so that we have food in our house, and maybe cooking a real meal!  (maybe!)

Here is what we have been up to......

We have a community pool, and we have met up with friends both days.  I remember I used to spend ALL day....EVERY day at the pool when I was growing up!  All we had to do was pass the swim test and we could ride our bikes to the pool without our parents and just spend the entire day! (pool rats!) I LOVED it!  We don't have lifeguards, and I wouldn't want to miss out on the I tag along! I am still the world record holder (of our family) for holding my breath while swimming the length of the pool! BAM!

Getting in a super hot and steamy car after being at the pool for a few hours is AWFUL... so we prefer to ride bikes.  (and it maybe JUST maybe they will wear out even faster if I jam pack their day full of exercise)

Chad surprised us with tickets to see the Rays VS  Marlins game last night and we were 4 rows behind the Marlins dugout.  Collin was SUPER excited, and Kacey actually seemed pretty stoked too!  (and less excited about posing next to a DJ Kitty)

I went to middle and high school with a player on the Marlins, and Chad played AAU baseball with him!  Our kids now consider us the COOLEST PARENTS EVER because they got to see him, talk to him, and he threw them a ball with his signature.  Collin has already declared that we HAVE to go to the store and buy a ball case for his signed ball! 

Chad and I decided that as people cleared was totally cool to send our kids a few rows down to the first row.  They thought they were cool eating sunflower seeds and drinking beer, and we pretended we were on a hot kid less date! (beer actually belonged to whoever was sitting there first, but makes for a better story if we sent our kids away AND let them drink beer)

Thank goodness they like each other! 

These kids walked away with FOUR balls!!!!!!!!! 1- signed and thrown to them by our friend from the Marlins 2- Man a few seats from me SAVED MY LIFE and caught a fly ball and gave it to them 3- I randomly sat down in my seat at the beginning of the game and a practice ball was literally just sitting there 4- another Marlins player threw a ball at them while they were sitting in the front row. (assuming it was because they were drinking beer)

I hope you all are enjoying your summer vacation....or counting down the days till yours begins!  I have a few tutorials that I am working on for a fun little sewing project this weekend!  Can't wait to share!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

End of The Year Gifts and Goodies

I know it is totally cliche, but I honestly have no idea where this school year went!  It really feels like we just ended last summer and started up at school again!  I couldn't be more excited about this summer vacation...BUT I have to say that I don't wish away these years!  Having a 2nd and 4th grader just seems so big time to me!

This little guy has grown so much this year!  Not just in size, but he has totally grown in his confidence, his love of reading, has turned into a shockingly good athlete, has a great group of friends, and is just a really good guy! I was honestly SUPER nervous when I found out I was having a boy because I felt like I didn't KNOW boys, or how to raise one, or what they were really into.....but this little guy makes me feel like I was MADE to be a boy's mom!  I couldn't be more proud of this sports loving little man and can't even wait to see what he convinces me to get myself into this summer! 
The thought of having a 4th grader scares me to death!  How is my baby girl going into the 4th grade???!!! How am I the mother of a 4th grader????!!!!! 

Even though I am not ready for this next step....she sure is!  She is a confident girl that is a loyal friend, math wizard, super soccer player, and has the ability to tell it like it truly is!  I love getting to speak to her and share stories about when I was growing up and having her REALLY listen!  For every event that she is facing in this big world...she wants to hear a story of how I went through the same thing when I was her age.  I love that!  It allows me to sit back and put myself in her shoes and at her age....which is totally genius of her because instead of me giving her a "mom speech"..... she makes it so that I can relate to her!  SHEER GENIUS!  I am super excited to have this summer with my girl to grow and experience life as a 4th grader all over again through her blue eyes! 
The summer is SOOOO MUCH sweeter knowing that these two are best buds! 

With the end of the school year coming up for everyone...I have put our Anchor totes on sale for $15 in our shop!  (they will ship right away)  It is a super fun way to present an end of the school year teacher's gift....some ideas to fill the tote...

Beach Towel
Starbucks/Dunkin Donuts Card
Favorite Books
Spa Goodies

Teacher's are just so awesome!  They handle the chaos of our summer vacations x20 kids x9 months out of the year!  Show them how much you appreciate them!!

Monday, June 2, 2014

Summer Fun Ideas for Tweens

I have been searching for Summer Fun lists online, and the majority of them are geared towards toddlers!  I don't have toddlers...and I just want some fun fresh ideas to entertain my kids and their friends this summer. I honestly have no idea what ages are considered "tweens", but I am considering my 7-10 year old kids because they are too big for toddler/kindergarden age fun and they still need to be supervised all the time.

 I have been wracking my brain and took 4 super cool kids to breakfast this morning and drilled them on fun stuff they have never done...want to do.....and are basically free.  It is easy to entertain your kids spending money to entertain them.....but I subscribe to the old school summer of just having good old fashion fun!  And fun can be free!

Here are a few of what we came up with....and I am going to add another list soon.

* Camping in the backyard with some of their friends.  They put up the tents with their buds, plan the meal, and games!  (allow for plenty of room inside if it rains or if they can't stay outside all night)

* Let them plan a meal, make the shopping list, and pick items out at the grocery store. (maybe even give them a budget to plan meal around)

* Download an app that allows them to earn points to cash in for money, events, or whatever they are interested in. (baseball cards, books, whatever!) Give them jobs that they usually wouldn't do without complaining and allow for bonus points.  We did this last summer and included feeding the dogs, taking out trash, loading dishwasher....all stuff that they normally would complain about.

* Plan a "book club" with their friends.  Pick fun books, have them meet at a coffee shop, book store, or someones house and let them feel so grown up and excited about reading over summer.  They can do a skit about the book, report, draw your fave scene....or just read it and eat donuts and talk about it!

* I "hire" my kids to help me package orders and organize inventory and I actually pay them.  They definitely don't HAVE to help me, they can choose if they want to.  BUT if they decide they want to help, they have to really work hard and I pay them. (suckers....the money actually all goes into their savings acct but I seriously do write them checks and they get to deposit like a real paycheck)

* Go to an amusement park and let them plan out every single ride they want to do.....and promise to do them all with them!  I am honestly nervous about this one because there are a few rides that I can't even stand at Busch Gardens.....but I am going to go for it anyways.

* Free movies at the theater. (call your local movie theater to see if they do this...ours offers free movies twice a week and my kids love it!)

* We generally go once a summer and paint pottery.  The kids love it....and I LOVE it!

* Let them rearrange their room and plan it all out themselves!  I literally woke up the other day and my 9 year old daughter had moved her bed, dresser, and everything around in her room ALONE!!!! She was so beyond proud of herself!   Do I think it looks!  Does it take every ounce of strength in me not to move it all back while she is in school....yes!  BUT.....was she BEYOND proud of herself after she did it....YES!  So it is staying!  (I used to do the EXACT same it actually made me almost cry w excitement when she thought of it on her own)

* Organize a kickball "league" with their buddies.  We play kickball almost daily in front of our house.  I go around picking up my kid's friends at their houses and they LOVE IT!  Nobody ever remembers the score, nobody fights, everyone is tired...and I couldn't love it any more than I do!

* Go for a bike ride and let them lead the way!  Often times I set out on a bike ride and I have planned where we will go and when we will be home.  I have been letting my kids decide the route lately and it is AWESOME!  I usually am annoyed at how they don't look when they cross a street they just literally follow me.....and this gives them the opportunity to lead......look ahead.....plan......and feel awesome!

* Art projects....Any art project is fun!  It is amazing how even big kids like to do silly little crafts or experiments and totally get into it!

* We go to the pool at least 3 times a week.  It wears them out BIG TIME...and they beg to sit and watch tv or a movie after we get home!  PERFECT!!!!!!!!

* Go Geocaching! We have never done this before, but I just searched for apps and there are loads of local treasures to find!  We aren't really planning any local hunts right now, but we are mapping out fun little finds along our hike we will be going on in Maine.  I am actually really excited about this!

* Plan a "surprise dad at work" day!  We visit his office and kidnap him for lunch, or pack a lunch and have a picnic there.  (we honestly do this almost once a week)

I hope this helps you plan out your summer fun list...and stop freaking out that you will soon have kids telling you "I'M BORED" all summer long unless you figure out some fun ideas!

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