Thursday, August 27, 2015

First & Second Grade, Turning 8, Preschool(!)

School started here a few weeks ago, and the kids are settled into 1st and 2nd grade. I couldn't be happier about their confidence in starting a new grade with different friends and new teachers. We can only hope that this confidence carries with them forever. This year, both kids are in school full day, which is all new for me. This is sort of a turning point for this SAHM of 8 years. I'm sad and excited and emotional and happy, but mostly proud of the kids they have become. All those years ago, this moment seemed so far away.

It has not always been easy with them being 15 months apart, living in three different states, and making sacrifices for me to be home, but it was all worth it a million times over. I wouldn't change a second of being there for them through every moment and I am truly grateful for all the time spent with them. It has sincerely been my greatest gift, job, and moment in my life to be home and raising them. Sorry for the sap, but I want to remember these feelings when they are teenagers! :)


I love school age. I love early elementary age. First grade has been my favorite so far, but I've heard that second will probably become my new favorite. I just want to bottle this age and savor every single minute. Very independent, but still love hanging out with their parents and having mom up at school. I know this won't last forever, so we are just living in every moment with them. Everything is fresh and new and an adventure and I love their positive outlook on life.

Drew turned eight years old on Sunday, and we had quite a fun-filled weekend. I just can't believe it. He grew 2 inches in 6 months and just continues to sprout up. I have no doubt I will be looking up to him soon. He cannot wait for that moment! I keep reminding him that I will always be his mother and he will always have to follow my rules no matter how big he gets! #meanmom



This boy is kind hearted and sporty and helpful and all boy and a wonderful big brother and uber conscientious. He is playing competitive soccer this year and had a win on his birthday! We also went to a Chief's preseason game, hosted a birthday party, went fishing, and to a Royal's game. What fun it is to be 8!




And finally, a new very part time job sort of fell in my lap and I am very grateful for the opportunity to start something fresh for myself as we turn a new leaf with both kids in full day school. I will be teaching preschool three mornings a week and I'm super excited! 

I'm looking forward to working with littles and their parents, teaching/sharing, and hopefully making a difference in one way or another. I'm also looking forward to having coworkers to talk to and getting dressed in clothes other than workout gear! Ha! This allows me to have something for me and still be there for my family. I'll keep you posted! xo

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Front Door Dreaming

I love, love, love good curb appeal. We are big on making our outdoor space look presentable and welcoming and warm. I love plants and gardening and a nice, well maintained yard. We live in the suburbs, in a neighborhood where all the homes are similar colors and styles, which is another reason I like to keep things fresh outside…so every house, including ours, doesn't look the same! We have a builder door that was originally the accent color on our house, then I painted it blue, and now it is glossy black. I love a black door. There is something so classic and simple and chic about it. But, our door is lacking anything interesting and it makes the foyer dark (the inside is painted black too), and is a little too "cookie cutter" for us.


We were out on a walk the other day and brainstorming ideas and looking at other homes, and we decided to start researching some new front door ideas. Of course, I turned to Pinterest for inspiration! Maybe you can see what kind of door I was dreaming about…






I guess you have figured out that I want black and glass on a front door, which means more light streaming in through the house, which is what I love! More details to come when you see what we chose!  xoxo

Monday, August 17, 2015

LLL Travels: Fraser, Colorado

Happy Monday, friends! I'm still trying to get into a routine with my days since both of my kiddos are off to full day school this year. I'm starting a new journey in a few weeks too, with a new very part time job. There is so much I want to do, and sometimes not really sure where to start! We had a fantastic summer, which included some travel for me and Steve, as well as with the kids. I wanted to share our adventures on a recent road trip to Colorado. We drove there and back (11 hours each way), and spent 3 full days in the mountains with some great friends/neighbors. A trip we won't soon forget!


Our kids are at an age where they do very well in the car. Movies, movies, and more movies kept them busy. It was nice for Steve and I to have time to chat. The views as you drive across the ENTIRE state of Kansas are what you expect them to be…flat and not much to look at. We still love you, Kansas! :)


But, once we hit Denver and started the drive up the mountain to Fraser, it was so unbelievably gorgeous!


Our friend's parents have a gorgeous home in the mountains in Fraser. The 360 degree views were something to wake up early for! Our kids were in heaven the minute we stepped foot out of the car and we had the fishing poles in their pond within the first hour.



Day one of the trip we spend at Winter Park Resort in Winter Park, CO. It is a ski resort in the winter, and sort of an outdoor playground in the summer. The hit were the alpine llides, something the four of us have never done. We saw a momma moose and her baby, we rock climbed, trampoline jumped, played frisbee golf, mini golfed, and went to the top of the mountain. It was such a fun filled day, even mom got in on the action!






Day two we were up bright and early for white water rafting along the Colorado River. We chose the half day option through Mad Adventures. We had such a great time trying something new. This was pretty calm, and the kids did great. Steve even jumped off a cliff into 50* water temps and has the bruises to show for it!






Day three we hiked around Monarch Lake, did a little shopping/eating, and the boys fished some more.









On the way back to Kansas City, we stopped at VooDoo Doughnut in Denver. Definitely a fun little novel place to try. We got the "voo doo", the oreo, the butterfinger, and a peach fritter. They didn't last long on our road trip! They are only located in Oregon and in Denver and there was a line on Sunday morning!



We were so sad to leave after three days. Cooler temps, no humidity, and the clean mountain air was making me crave fall. I was soon blasted back into reality when we hit 95 degree temps back home. :) We are so grateful for travel, good friends, well behaved children, and new memories made! Time spent with family and friends in a calm, serene setting is time well spent. We love the beach, but I think we all agreed that we LOVE the mountains just as much! What a great end to our summer break! xo

Monday, August 10, 2015

New Hanging Lantern

Happy Monday, friends! I've been a bad blogger, but I've been traveling and enjoying the summer with my kids, which holds way more precedence than this blog! School starts this week and I have so many projects and posts to get to, but let's get started with this new hanging lantern on the back covered patio.


Previously, the builder put in a ceiling fan, which would thought was going to be great when we moved in. It instead, just blew in our lovely Kansas winds and screws would come loose and it eventually became a sad looking fixture that was unusable and dangerous.


I had been eyeing a large Allen + Roth lantern at Lowe's and it just so happened to be on sale at my sister's store, so I snatched it up while I was there over the 4th of July. It was actually discontinued at the store and I got the last floor model for 50% off. Never be afraid to ask!




Here is a better idea of the scale. It's over two feet long, which is what I loved about it. I needed something large to fill up our covered patio space.


I'm lucky because my husband is handy and allows all my lighting dreams to come true! This is our 4th house, and he has changed so many light fixtures, he could now do it in his sleep! I can't tell you how much this lantern has transformed the space. I just love it!


Here is a shot of it at night. Coupled with the string lights, it puts off a good amount of light.


I have a lot I still want to do in this space, which includes a table/chairs, and adding on to the patio to create an uncovered space. I do love having a covered space more than I ever thought I would. Perfect for morning coffee and dinners outside!



This lantern style also comes in porch lights, which my sister is using on her new home. And, I will be posting about our new curtains in this space…they are drop cloths! Hope you're week is wonderful! xo

Friday, July 24, 2015

Grilled Chicken Summer Salad w/ Garlic Lime Vinaigrette

Good morning and happy Friday! We made it to the weekend!

My next door neighbor and friend had her third baby boy a few weeks ago. I knew I wanted to bring them dinner and scrolled through my Pinterest boards for ideas. I usually make a lasagna or a hot dish for friends, but because it has been so hot outside, I decided on a simple summer salad with grilled chicken and a homemade vinaigrette.


This salad looks fancy, but it's all in the presentation! This is so easy and the homemade dressing takes less than 5 minutes to whip up. I paired it with a loaf of store bought bread and some homemade ice cream sandwiches. This comes together in no time!

Salad:
*Spinach & Romaine mixed together
*Hard boiled eggs
*Raspberries
*Blackberries
*Almond slices
*Grilled Chicken (I just butterflied 2 chicken breasts, drizzle EVOO, add McCormick's seasoning to both sides, and grill in a pan on the stove top. I keep a lid over them at a high heat to get that "grilled" look and taste)
*Blue Cheese crumbles (I put this on the side because I know blue cheese is one of those things you either love or you hate!)
*Avacado (I decided to not cut these before taking to them because I wasn't sure exactly when they would be eating. I wanted them to stay fresh)

Garlic Lime Vinaigrette:
*1/3 cup olive oil
*zest of one lime + 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
*1 clove minced garlic
*2 Tablespoons honey
*2 Tablespoons heavy cream
*1/2 teaspoon salt + 1/4 teaspoon pepper

Pour ingredients together, shake, and chill.


Our friends live right next door, so I was able to take dinner to them on this tray with some fresh cut stems from the yard. Love is in the details for me. :) xoxo

You can find the original source for this salad recipe here.

P.S. I'm tagging along on a work trip with Steve next week, so it will be radio silence around here. I'm excited to explore a city I've never been to! Be sure to follow along on Instagram to see pics from the trip!
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