Friday Faves

I spent most of the day yesterday thinking it was Friday!  In fact, when I was headed to ballet with the kids I had my mom on the phone & I started complaining about all of the “annoying Friday late afternoon traffic.”  To which, my mom was quick to correct & inform me that it was only Thursday!  Whoops!  Summertime!  My concept of time & the days of the week has gotten really screwy!

That said – how about a few Friday Favorites?  It’s been a while!

It’s a 10 Miracle Leave In Conditioner with Keratin:  I forget…have I mentioned my “hair crisis” on the blog yet?  If not, a quick refresher – – in May I noticed that my hair was looking awfully thin & damaged.  I rushed out and bought a few products to try to fix the problem (which I quickly just associated with using both a curling iron & blow dryer).  The coconut oil treatment seemed to help with the breakage, but my hair continued to thin out  My stylist was quick to remind me that I had undergone 2 surgeries (with anesthesia) in a 6 month period.  She said that people notice that they shed hair a few months after surgery, so this was most likely my problem.  I stuck with my Biolage shampoo & conditioner, and even bought the regular It’s a 10 Leave In Conditioner, but it still continued to thin (and scare me).  While on vacation I changed things up & bought the It’s a 10 WITH Keratin AND incorporated Biotin vitamins into my daily routine.  I can’t tell you how QUICKLY this turned things around!  My hair felt back to almost normal almost immediately!  It’s a 10 was SUCH a lifesaver!  I used it religiously now & can’t tell you how much better my hair looks & feels.  I can finally wear it straight again & it doesn’t look like a thin, broken mess!  Thank you, thank you It’s a 10!!!!   Replica Wines:  Misbehaved  It’s no secret that I enjoy drinking wine – in fact, I come from a family of wine lovers!  While we were on vacation the hubs was at The Fresh Market picking up dinner, and while he was there they were doing a wine tasting featuring Replica Wines.  He picked up the Misbehaved version for me as it was supposed to be JUST like Meiomi Pinot Noir (which is SO good).  The bonus?  Of course it has a lower price point!  I couldn’t believe how much it tasted like the Meiomi!  We’ve continued to purchase this variation here at our local Fresh Market & I can’t wait to try a few of the others!  I think the Scapegoat might be my next purchase – it’s a “replica” of Santa Margherita Pinot Grigio….then Label Envy which is like another favorite of ours – La Crema Pinot Noir!!!  Gosh, let’s be honest – I just need to try them all!  Hurry to your local Fresh Market fellow wine lovers!  Rodan + Fields Reverse Brightening Regimen:  Several years ago I sold Rodan + Fields products & loved them!  The Reverse regimen helped whip my skin into shape & I always knew if I ran into trouble with uneven tone, or those darn sun spots that I could pick this treatment up & it would clear things up quickly.  Well, while in Florida I noticed that I was starting to develop some splotchy brown spots on my forehead and one along my jawline.  That darn sun!  Thankfully I have a good friend who sells R+F & I sent her a desperate text about needing to make sure I came home to Reverse at my doorstep to get rid of these spots (and whip my skin back into shape again)!  Luckily the system was 20% off WITH R+F’s new Lash Boost product, so I hopped on it!  I started using the regimen as soon as I got it & I swear I saw changes in my skin just 4 days into using it!  It’s amazing!  Stay tuned, too, for my review on the Lash Boost!  I have heard great things about what this “lash boosting” product does for other people, but I’m a tough critic with my SUPER stick straight lashes!  We’ll see!  I hope it works miracles!  Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Picks:  I decided against doing a separate post about the sale & my picks.  I will, however, give you a little sampling of some of my favorite items (that may have made their way into my shopping cart):

  1.  Hinge Tie Front Pullover
  2. PST by Project Social T The Blonde Cold Shoulder Sweatshirt (I mean, how could I resist this?)
  3. Socialite Off The Shoulder Sweatshirt
  4. Zella Live In High Waist Leggings (a staple item)
  5. Articles of Society Mya Skinny Jeans

Again, a small sampling of some of my fave items from the sale!  If you were an Anniversary Sale shopper – I’m curious, what did you scoop up?

Hope everyone has a GREAT Friday evening!  We are changing things up a bit here tonight & doing steak fajitas instead of our usual Friday Night Pizza!  We had a fun “cousin slumber party” at my brother & sister-in-law’s house last night where we did pizza there, sooooo Mexican night we shall have tonight!

I mean….how cute are these munchkins? 

xoxo – Jamie

Mid-Week Mumbling….

Hola!  I think I’m slowly starting to pull myself out of my post vacation depression….like at a snail’s pace, but still I’m feeling better than I did on Monday of this week!  That’s improvement people!  Also, just so you know, PTD (post travel depression) is a real thing.  Vacation was euphoric – carefree, worry-free & stress-free.  Coming home, on the other hand, was back to reality which is the very opposite of all of those “free” words I just used.  Boo.

That all said, I’m trying to keep the 3 of us busy until school starts in a few weeks!  Here’s a little glimpse of what we’ve been up to & what we’ll continue to be up to here:

  1.  Spending time with friends + family.  We met up with my dear friend Tracy & her kiddos yesterday for lunch after not seeing them in WEEKS!  As much as I adore Tracy, our kids also have the best time together, so it was super fun (despite the power going out mid-lunch-purchase at McAllisters)!  Also, my bestie and her family just moved a bit closer to us, so I hope to get some quality time in with her, plus see what they’re doing in their new house!  I know it’s going to be amazing!
  2.  More swim lessons, ballet lessons, golf lessons & camps.  Yep, all of that.  We’re continuing swim into August as the kids improve on their stroke technique (and diving) – – not to mention, we have the very BEST swim instructors ever!  Park is continuing with her ballet lessons & heads to tumbling camp next week (that plus our church’s VBS called Summer Rocks).  Mac will continue with his private golf lessons PLUS I’m going to throw in a camp the last week of the month!  He continues to improve & amaze us with his talent, of course! 
  3. New fitness classes – changing things up!  What I’ve realized after undergoing 2 surgeries (both requiring several weeks of no exercise, then restricted exercise & moderation), is that my body actually CHANGED.  While (thankfully) I didn’t gain a ton of weight (like I thought I would – haha!), my body leaned out a bit.  I’m realizing that maybe I was doing “too much” before & scaling back a bit gave my body a little break/refresh.  In order to maybe stick with the “lean” trend, I’m trying to change my fitness routine up a bit!  While I still LOVE weight lifting, I’ve scaled back on how heavy I lift & focus more on the depth and quality/quantity of exercises.  Also, I shared this morning that I tried a new barre studio that just opened here in Fishers – B Present.  I have a friend who has been taking barre classes for a while & I kept promising her that I’d join one time.  Well, I knew this studio was opening & when I heard that same friend had enjoyed the first couple of classes she had taken there, I just had to give it a whirl!  It seemed like the perfect time!  Wow, I loved the Barre Boot Camp we sweated through this morning at 5am!  It was a fantastic & challenging workout – combining both barre work AND cardio bursts!  I know I’m going to feel it tomorrow (new exercises always get me) & I cannot wait to try a few more classes at the new studio.  They are offering GREAT Grand Opening specials, so if you live in the Fishers area of Indy, definitely pop in and check this new studio out! 
  4.  The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale!  I know, I know…you’ve read about a million blog & Instagram posts about the big annual Nordstrom Sale.  I know you know the deal, too….it starts early for Nordstrom cardholders (like tomorrow….early access) & then opens to the public in 2 weeks.  It’s a GREAT sale & I love waking up early the day the early access starts just to check things out!  I definitely look for a few items – my fave Zella Live In leggings (I really do LIVE in these once the weather gets colder here – best leggings ever!) new boots and/or booties for fall, winter coats for both kiddies (great deals on The North Face), Uggs for Parker (I have my eye on a pair from the Anniversary Sale catalog – they are brown with what looks like gingham bows up the back), Nike running shoes (always a pair or two on sale that are super cute), cardigans, and other random items that would be great for fall weather!  It’s such a fun sale!  If you’re shopping it like I will be, CHEERS!  Enjoy! 

So, really….that’s what’s going on here!  Tomorrow night the kids and I are looking forward to a “cousin slumber party!”  My brother is out of town, so my sister-in-law & I are getting together (with all 4 kiddies) to make pizza, drink wine & just spend some quality sister time together!  We can’t wait!  It’s going to be so much fun!

I’m sure I’ll add more posts as I recover from my PTD, so stay tuned…..I’ll be up shopping the big sale tomorrow & will def. have to share my picks!

xoxo – Jamie

Naples 2017 – Best Vacation Award Winner!

We are back from our highly anticipated  LONG family vacation in Naples, Florida & it was truly everything we had hoped for & more!  I didn’t take my laptop along with me, but definitely did a great job of documenting our trip via Instagram, so I hope you follow me over there?  If not, definitely be sure to like @coffeeandcartwheels so that we can connect!  I love, love, love Instagram (like more than Facebook anymore)!

So you might remember that the kids and I flew out to meet my mom in Naples as she was already there with her cousin.  It was Mimi, the kids and me for the first two weeks of our vacation & then my hubby was able to meet us down for the final week.  The plan worked just perfectly – we had an easy flight into Fort Myers on Tuesday the 14th & it’s safe to say that the kiddies fell in love with our condo (which was a family friend’s & we are oh so grateful for use of it) upon first sight! Mac had been to this particular condo twice before (when he was 6 months & then again when he was 1.5 yrs), but Parker had never been!  How could you NOT love this incredible view? I mean, this is from our balcony!!!  THIS VIEW every morning, everyday, every night!  Just incredible!  Our condo is one of the only beachfront condos with (easy) beach access – as in the pool deck view was the ocean/beach.  It was a two step drop down to the beach from the pool deck area & that makes this condo EXTRA special!  The kids went between swimming in the pool & ocean ALL DAY LONG!  They were so busy & truly swam their little hearts out daily!  We took a few excursions while Mimi was with us – one to the outlet malls which were located just south of the Ft. Myers airport (rainy day trip) & then another down to the Everglades for an airboat ride / alligator watching!  I wouldn’t go so far as to say that Parker was truly impressed with the airboat ride, but Mac and I loved it!  It was amazing how fast those boats go & how swift they can turn & even go over marshy areas!  Plus, seeing the gators out and about in their natural habitat was pretty incredible!  (There are many different airboat companies south of Naples, but we chose Wooten’s because it also had a cool animal sanctuary to check out!  We highly recommend this company!  Our airboat tour guide (Marco) was awesome & so much fun!  In addition to all of our swimming, pooling & beach exploring we also ATE amazingly too!  I can honestly say that I didn’t have a single meal I didn’t absolutely love while in Florida!  Between picking up fresh food to prepare in our condo (I mean, why not with that view, right?) or going out – we had some incredible food!  A few of our fave restaurants?  There are several:

  1.  Tommy Bahama (a MUST in Naples):  We ate here on our second night in Naples & despite getting seated super late, we had the BEST service & the most delicious meals.  They have a GREAT kids menu which is always nice to see & you know you MUST have their famous coconut shrimp as an appetizer, right?  My mom and I both had the blue crab salad, which was amazing!  I know I have a pic of it somewhere, but it’s currently lost in the hundreds of photos I snapped!
  2. Cosmos Pizza (another MUST):  We first tried Cosmos upon recommendation back when we were first in Naples with Maguire (2008), we went back again in 2009 & haven’t had it since!  It was a MUST during this trip, especially since you guys know we REQUIRE pizza on Friday nights, right?  We ordered carry out both times during our trip & were so happy each time – the hubs went with their Supreme & I did the Quattro Stagioni (with ham, artichoke hearts, and olives).  The second round we added the Antipasto salad & it also did not disappoint!
  3. The Turtle Club:  Chris and I enjoyed a date night while my mom was still in town!  We hit the Ritz Carlton for drinks and appetizers, then walked down the beach to the Turtle Club for an amazing (but very late) dinner! We couldn’t pass up their signature “Oysters Turtlefeller”….and lots of Miraval Rose’
  4. The Dock at Crayton Cove:  Have I mentioned that my hubby has a talent for picking out great restaurants?  We wanted a place to take the kiddies that was waterfront, but kid-friendly.  The Dock was perfect & overlooks beautiful Naples Bay!  The kids meals came in Bento boxes, which was super cute! The hubs had black grouper in key lime butter sauce & I had a seafood Louie salad with homemade “Louie” dressing.  Both were delicious!  We’ll definitely return!
  5. Tacos & Tequila Cantina:  The hubs had visited Tacos & Tequila during his last golf trip down to Naples / Bonita Springs, so he knew this would be a fun place to take the kiddies!  I mean, who doesn’t love tacos (and tequila)?  It was a fun, laid back atmosphere & the food was great!  The hubs and I split the fajita trio & we could barely finish it! 

In addition to eating out, like I said earlier – we also ate in often & enjoyed the amazing view from the condo’s balcony!  We took advantage of some amazing things from The Fresh Market, Trader Joe’s AND also visited the Third Street South Farmer’s Market to pick up the most amazing fresh crab cakes!  The market itself is SO cute & actually located just behind Tommy Bahama.  There are all sorts of gourmet and fresh vendors – fruits, veggies, breads, olive oils, olives, fresh eggs, coffees, salsas, etc.  My favorite foodie vendor there is The Bowl which serves made to order acai bowls!  They are amazing!  During our first visit I enjoyed the Key West Bowl (Açaí, pineapple, mango, banana, coconut; topped with Granola, strawberries, banana, coconut shreds, honey) and for our last visit I had the AB&J (Açaí, blueberries, strawberries, banana, almond butter, almond milk; topped with Granola, blueberries, banana, hemp hearts, coconut shreds, honey).  So good!  The rest of the fam enjoyed fresh bagel breakfast sammies, of course!  So, when we weren’t eating (and drinking), we were enjoying the beach AND pool.  Like I mentioned earlier, the kids swam almost constantly from the time we got to Florida.  Once the hubs arrived he picked up a bunch of fishing gear for his week!  We had so much fun watching him!  I loved that he was up early enjoying one of his favorite past times!  Evenings on the beach were amazing (and better for fishing)!  Once the sun would go down, we’d just chill on the beach.  It was gorgeous!  I mean….those views, that sunset!  Could it get better than that?  I’m at home day dreaming about it right now!  It truly was a perfect family vacation.  We are SO grateful we were able to spend that time together.  We’ll cherish the memories we made forever!  God is SO good!

Until we meet again Naples…..please let it be sooner, rather than later!  We love you!

xoxo – Jamie

P.S.  Did I workout on vacation?  I’m proud to say HECK YES – I hit the gym, ran on the beach or walked 14 out of 19 days we were on vacation!  I’m proud of that!  Sure, some workouts weren’t as intense as I know they would be at home, but it was vacation!  I kept pretty “on schedule” with my fitness and food just because I knew it would make me such a better mom, wife, daughter if I did!  Haha!  Not to mention….this mama DID rock a lot of super cute one piece suits!  Mom-suits rock!  P.P.S  Did we shop?  Again – of course, but nothing too crazy!  My suitcase was heavy enough COMING to Florida – I didn’t need to add more weight to it!  We hit my favorite outdoor shopping area (Waterside Shops) when the hubby was in town & had a really great morning browsing!  Naturally we had to check out that Nordstrom & it was wonderful!  It was just too bad it wasn’t during Early Access to the Anniversary Sale!  Parker loved browsing through the Lilly Pulitzer store & picked out the cutest romper for herself!  She’s an amazing little shopper!  She knows exactly what she likes!  We also checked out the Nordstrom Rack in another super cute outdoor shopping area – Mercato Shops.  It was 2 floors & really a fabulous Rack!  The kids enjoyed browsing the tiny stores at Tin City too!  I remember loving them when I was younger as well!  Downtown Naples also has great shopping, but we stuck close to Tommy Bahama & the stores that surrounded it!  We didn’t want to get too carried away dragging the kids around into store after store!  I’m sure we missed some great little shops here and there!  There’s always next time!

P.P.P.S  We dove RIGHT into the 4th of July festivities as soon as we returned from vacation!  I think that definitely made our return easier because the past couple of days have been filled with friends, great food, and amazing fireworks!  I think next week is going to be a tough one!  No celebrations??? 

Weekend Recap: The Memorial Tournament

What a GREAT weekend it was here!!  The hubs and I got away, kid-free, for 2 days thanks to my brother & sister-in-law (who let them stay over both Friday & Saturday nights).  As you know, I bought my hubby tickets to the Memorial Tournament in Dublin, Ohio for his birthday.  We LOVE attending professional golf tournaments together, so I knew this gift would be a good one!

We dropped the kiddies (and pizzas) off with my sister-in-law on Friday evening since we had planned on getting an early start to Ohio on Saturday morning.  On the way home, we picked up a few different kinds of shish kabobs from The Fresh Market (chicken, steak & sausage) & enjoyed those on the deck with some tunes and a glass of wine.  I had (over)packed earlier in the day, so when we went to bed that night (early), all I had were several episodes of House of Cards waiting for me!  The hubs, on the other hand, easily grabbed a few things & he was set!  Men!  Here’s a look at my suitcase…full of things I wouldn’t wear!  So typical!  We had no problems getting up early on Saturday as we were both excited to get to Ohio & get out on the course.  We knew we had a gorgeous, but very warm day ahead of us (so thankful for NO RAIN)!!!  We made it to Dublin in under 3 hours with our one Starbucks stop (for Cold Brew, of course!)!  We picked up our parking passes & were lucky enough to park inside the Muirfield Village neighborhood & walk right onto the 12th green!  I always stress about parking at events like this, and we really lucked out with those resident guest parking passes!  So, just like that, we were in and ON the course before 10:30am!  We celebrated by finding the “Golden Bear Club” (another perk of our tickets) & picked up 2 cocktails (Bloody Mary for the mister & a mimosa for the lady)!  Oh, and look who else I quickly found inside the Golden Bear Club – – Tiger!  A photo opportunity I could not pass up!  (Note, too, how I am wearing my traditional golf tournament outfit:  black tank, white shorts & camo Havianas flip flops!)  While I am super directionally challenged, I did manage to marry my own personal compass, so Chris and I hit all the good spots on the course in no time!  We caught up with Phil on the driving range:The Muirfield Village course is easily one of the most beautiful courses I’ve seen: We trekked, watched & enjoyed the tournament for over 5 hours, during which we walked over 7 miles!  Phew!  It’s safe to say that by 3pm, we were both exhausted…..and starving.  I forgot to mention that my hubby is back on his ever-reliable low carb diet, so picking something to eat while at the course was definitely challenging.  We picked up a (very) overpriced bag of mixed nuts, and that was it!  Eeek!  We stayed at the Embassy Suites in Dublin & once we were back at the hotel, we vegged for a bit while trying to decide where to go for dinner Saturday night (I told you we were starving)!!!  After lots of searching we decided on a cute place called Napa Kitchen & Bar.  As soon as we walked in I knew we had made the right decision – this place was warm, welcoming & decorated with hundreds of bottles of wine!  My kind of place, for sure!  The menu was full of things we love from small plates to wood fired flatbread pizzas to steak & seafood main courses.  We decided drinks (a white blend for me & a vodka cocktail for the hubs) & then on the crab cakes (for an appetizer) with a whole grain mustard glaze, carrot jalapeno slaw, caper remoulade & fresh cilantro.  The dinner entrée was a difficult decision, but in the end I went with Sesame Orange Glazed Salmon & Chris had Beef Short Ribs.  Both dishes were AMAZING & JUST what the doctor ordered for two starved people!  Haha!  While we were at dinner, pro golfer Kevin Chappell, his caddy & manager were sitting across the bar from us!  At first glance I admit I thought it was Dustin Johnson, but upon further review, we figured out who it was exactly!  Loved seeing him enjoying a relaxing dinner after a day on the course!  We had big plans of heading somewhere for after dinner drinks (and scenery), but after the long day we had, we ended up calling in lame & heading back to the hotel!  We joked about what old people we are becoming!  We always used to find it in us to go out!  My how things have changed!  (Oh, before I forget….in the pic above I’m sporting a new romper from Dottie Couture & I LOVE it!  Here’s a peek of what it looks like & a link to buy HERE !)   We were up early on Sunday morning & quickly rushed through the freebie breakfast at the hotel because…, of course!  Wouldn’t you know, too, we bumped into another golfer while at breakfast – Matt Kuchar & his kids were sitting not far from us!  How fun!  Apparently they appreciated a free breakfast complete with all you can eat bacon & made to order omelets too!

Before we knew it, we were back in Indy picking up the kiddies (who had a GREAT time with their aunt/uncle & sweet cousins)!  It was such a wonderful getaway with the hubs!  I knew we’d have a great time!  The cute city of Dublin did not disappoint, nor did the amazing weather, great company & gorgeous golf course!  It’s safe to say that we will be attending the Memorial again next year! 

It’s back to the grind today – gym, swim lessons, golf lessons, laundry & cleaning!  Only 8 days until we’re off on our next adventure… Florida!

Hope everyone had a GREAT weekend!  Cheers to a new, beautiful summer break week!

xoxo – Jamie

Friday Faves: Summer (Break) Edition

So, about what I said regarding “having more time to blog once summer break starts….” Can I go ahead and retract that comment?  Our summer break is off to a very busy start as we cram as much as we can into the next 11 days!  We have appointments, lessons, a recital & even a mini trip!!  My goal here?  Yes, you guessed it – to occupy our time as much as possible so that our departure to Florida….for 3 weeks…..would come quickly!  To say that the entire family is excited about this upcoming summer vacation would be a huge understatement!  My mom arrived in Naples (after a busy day of travel) yesterday & we can’t wait to meet up with her!!!

Meanwhile….how about a few Friday Faves – Summer (Break) Edition?  I have some good ones to share!

You guys know I’m a LOVER of sunless tanning, right?  I think I’ve shared that many times.  While I did pledge allegiance to my “go to” L’Oréal’s Sublime Bronze, I must say that I’ve discovered (thanks to a recommendation) something even better… Tanwise!  If you know me, you also know that it takes me a very long time to try new things….like this has been in my bathroom cabinet for several months, during which I only tried it 1x (and got scared because it turned my palms brown)!  The key to perfect application of this product?  An applicator mitt!  Who knew?  These babies are genius!  No brown palms, no streaks, no mess!  I actually had Parker put the mitt on & apply the tanner to my back (I hate being one-sided)! Using the mitt is THAT easy!  In fact, I was so impressed by the instant color from Tanwise that I sent a quick text to several of my fellow sunless-tanning-lovers to tell them to log onto Amazon immediately for this product!  I had several compliments, too, on my great tan yesterday afternoon…..after 1 application!  So…again, the magic formula is Tanwise + an application mitt = perfect “tan.”  Give it a whirl!  Directly related to my Tanwise talk – my favorite, favorite denim shorts (which I was finally brave enough to sport yesterday with my bronzed legs)!  Wouldn’t you know these shorts are only $12 at Old Navy right now?  I discovered these on a whim last summer as I was preparing to attend the Indianapolis 500.  I had no desire to spend $100’s on something as simple as denim cut-offs, so I grabbed these to “try” & left with 2 pairs because they were so good!  They’re the perfect length, the right amount of distressing & really just fit amazing.  I sized up a bit to a 6 just because I cringe at the thought of a “tight” short…, these are “boyfriend” style, so they are supposed to be a little slouchy.  Seriously….if you’re in the market for a cute denim short (that can be dressed up or down), get online or head to Old Navy because right now they are 50% off!  I promise you’ll love these!  Looking for perfect “dinner on the deck” music?  Here at our house we go between requesting Sam Hunt or Luke Bryan to be played by our girl Alexa!  If it wasn’t for the fact that we are leaving at the crack of dawn (see next fave) tomorrow morning, you bet we’d be attending Sam Hunt’s concert here in Indy.  Since we’re not (insert sad, sad face), you can bet his voice will be heard here all day!  He’s SO good!  Lastly….it’s also not a secret that we LOVE attending professional golf tournaments.  We’ve been talking about going to the Memorial Tournament (in Dublin, Ohio) for the past couple of years, so I decided to surprise Chris with tickets for his birthday!  Despite the fact that I’m still stressing about what I’m going to wear (typical), I cannot wait to head out EARLY tomorrow to see some of our fave golfers…. Unfortunately, not this guy, though….. A huge THANK YOU (in advance) to my brother & lovely sis-in-law for watching our kiddies this weekend so that we can attend the tournament!  I’ll gladly accept any and all outfit suggestions, although it’s quite possible the one in the pic above will be it….haha!  I’m so predictable!  Black tank?  YES!  White shorts?  YES!  Hat?  YES!  Don’t get me started on shoes….I’ll most likely tell you about the Tory Burch Miller sandals that have been sitting in my Nordstrom bag for weeks…..

This all said, three cheers for SUMMERTIME – it’s finally here!  Hope everyone has a great weekend!  Stay tuned for a Memorial Tournament recap once we’re back!

xoxo – Jamie


What A (School) Year It’s Been!

The days are long, but the years are short.”   Nothing like a good cry at 5:30am, right?  I find myself hanging on to this saying more and more now that my kiddies are getting older.  It’s simple & oh so true.  As we zero in on the LAST day of this school year, how is it possible that I will have a 2nd and 4th grader?  Who pushed the fast forward button?  How the heck did we get here?  But then I REALLY think about it….how we managed to “get here..”  Let’s focus on this past school year because SO MUCH has happened since the kids (and I) started school last August.

  1.  I started working full time as the permanent substitute teacher at the kid’s school.
  2. Mac started 3rd grade & Parker started 1st grade.  Both kids were blessed with AMAZING teachers, so we know it’s going to be a great year for both of them!  Cheers for Mrs. Pedersen & Mrs. Harrison!  We love you!
  3. Our basement flooded & our ac/furnace died…..a little financial uncertainty ensues.  We power through (somehow)!  A shout out to all of my full time working mamas who manage crisis WHILE working.  It nearly crushed me.4.  We attend my cousin Victor’s wedding in Ohio…so thankful for the break it gave us! 5.  Chris and I attend one of our favorite golf tournaments – the BMW Championship (held here in Indy at Crooked Stick).  It was a GREAT day!6.  Both kids are rocking in school…..Mama is struggling with the not-so permanent side of her new job (being a perm sub means also being sent to other schools in the district if no subs are needed at your “home” school – that is NOT what I signed up for).  I power through….as always.7.  (Chris is in the process of selling his family business).  We take a fall break trip with the kids.  It was a lovely whirl-wind of Chicago’s finest crammed into 2 days.  We had a GREAT time.  Things are looking up!8.  We receive some devastating news before we head home from our Chicago trip – our friend Alan passed away.  This was 100% shocking & still brings me to tears every time I think about it.  Chris and I attend our first funeral together to say goodbye to a GREAT friend.  It (still) hurts.9.  We celebrate my 39th birthday at Maggianos AND Chris’ family sells their company.  This is HUGE news for our family!10.  We celebrate Mac’s 9th birthday.  He is the BEST 9 year old ever.  I couldn’t be more proud of him.  We also learn some HUGE news on this day…..we will SOON have a new nephew!   A GREAT surprise compliments of my brother & sister-in-law!  11.  We celebrate Mimi’s birthday  – talk about the very best of the best.  Mimi is life.  We love her SO very much!  12.  We make our annual trip to the Indianapolis Children’s Museum to visit Santa.  (Look how BIG Mac looks!)13.  I have an “elective” surgery.  Something I’ve wanted to do for over 10 years.  Wink, wink……14.  I recover & we do our annual holiday cookie baking. Parker was a HUGE help this year!  I loved having her in the kitchen with me!15.  We celebrate the birth of Jesus – Merry Christmas16.  Our nephew Teddy is born!  He is SUCH an incredible blessing!  17.  We ring in the new year – full of hope for 2017!!!  We are refreshed as a family & it feels really good!  18.  I give up my position as permanent substitute & go back to “regular” subbing – exclusively AT the kid’s school, which was my original goal.  I love having the ability to make my own schedule!  Plus, I’ve started to get back into my workout routine & feel great!19.  We celebrate my Dad’s birthday – with 4 grandchildren!20.  We celebrate Parker’s 7th birthday.  She is the happiest, kindest, most beautiful girl in the world!  We love her SO much!  We celebrated by treating her best girlfriends to lunch & manicures!  It was so much fun!21.  I schedule a NON-elective surgery.  I was diagnosed with an inguinal hernia – boo!  The doctor predicts it was caused by weight lifting.  The surgery itself was quick and laparoscopic, but the recovery was tough and painful!  I start to binge watch Shameless on Netflix during my recovery…it is phenomenal.  22.  We celebrate Easter – ALWAYS a gorgeous day with the family & this one was no different.  It was AWESOME!  23.  School is starting to wind down…..I transitioned over to being a part time instructional assistant in April & I’m going into school daily at 12:15.  Both kids are doing incredible – we’re so proud of them!   We are looking ahead to our LONG family vacation in Naples.  24.  It IS the last day of 1st and 3rd grade for my babies (and last day as an instructional assistant for me).  We made it!  Tons of UPs (and a few downs) over the past school year.  It’s been quite a whirlwind, as you can see!  We’re praying that God continues to bring blessings upon this family & we just CANNOT WAIT for our 3 week getaway next month!  We’re so thankful for the family and friends who have stuck by our side & carried us over the past year!  Now…..cheers to SUMMER BREAK!!!!

(Lastly – a shout out to all of my teacher friends – you ROCK!  I see what you are responsible for doing on a daily basis & want to thank all of you from the bottom of my heart!  Now…..enjoy your time OFF!  )

xoxo – Jamie

Weekend Recap / LAST MONDAY OF SCHOOL!!!

It’s a Monday morning quickie post friends!  We are celebrating because it’s the LAST Monday of school for the 3 of us!  As much as it breaks my heart that I’ll soon have a 4th & 2nd grader, I am SO excited to enjoy summer vacation with the kiddies!!!  The summer calendar is filling quickly & I’m doing my best to keep us super busy until we leave for Naples mid-month!

Our weekend FLEW by like the good ones usually do… are a few recaps:

  1.  Friday Night Pizza:  I know, it’s our usual.  This week, however, we did both Naan bread and Flat Out pizzas here.  Mama is tryyyyyying to be good (as days of swim suit-wearing are just around the corner), so I opted for BBQ chicken on a Flat Out & Mac went with pepperoni on garlic Naan (my other two pizza eaters had BBQ chicken too, only they got Colby Jack cheese).  Because I HAD to try Mac’s creation, I’d have to say that both pizza options were pretty amazing.  You cannot go wrong with making your own pizza IF you pre-bake the crust before topping!  I promise, that’s our trick! 
  2. Saturday Road-Tripping / Dinner on the Deck:  Our Saturday morning started off lazy.  I hit the gym for a sweaty cardio session, but then came home to make breakfast, do laundry & watch a few episodes of Shameless while rain moved in & dumped on us for a few hours.  Once the rain started to move out, we hopped in the car to head down to help celebrate Chris’ aunt’s birthday.  We stopped to pick up dinner at The Fresh Market on our way home & ended up deciding on grilled grouper which was AMAZING!  I whipped up sides of cilantro lime rice & green beans and we were set for a fun evening of dining on our deck – tunes compliments of our dear Alexa, of course!  It was a great Saturday!!!!
  3. Sunday Funday:  And what a true Sunday Funday it was – – – filled with a little furniture shopping (we FINALLY bought a new kitchen table – I am SO excited!), lunch, and an afternoon at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway!  I might have mentioned in a previous post that Chris and I are NOT attending the Indianpolis 500 this year.  We are usually pretty dead set on going yearly, but after the BIG celebration for the 100th running last year, we decided to take this year off.  Trust me, I won’t miss the traffic, parking, and crowds!  What I knew I would miss was the sound of those cars, soooo yesterday was a pretty incredible way to make sure I got my Indy Car-fill for the month of May.  It was Poll Day, so we were treated to quite a show as the top 9 drivers duked it out for pole position!  The weather couldn’t have been better, too – – it was GORGEOUS!  Congrats to (my favorite driver) Scott Dixon on winning the pole for the 101th Indy 500!! 

I loooooooove weekends like this one – filled with family, good food & adventures!  My only regret is not seeing my brother on his birthday (Saturday), but he was at a fishing tournament out of state!  I’m looking forward to giving that guy a big hug & celebrating with him next weekend!  I mean, he is truly the best of the best when it comes to brothers.

Hope everyone had a GREAT weekend!  Cheers to the LAST week of school here!

xoxo – Jamie

(Shopper’s) Therapy Thursday

I’m so sorry I’ve been so bad about updating the blog!  With the kiddies juuuuust about out of school and my little afternoon job, it’s been tough finding the time (or energy)!!!  Because summer break is so close (like our last day is next Thursday), I’m taking the afternoon OFF today & taking care of a bunch little things, kid-free!  Gym time, a quick buzz through Nordstrom Rack, Costco & Trader Joes are on my “to do” list & I can’t wait!  While Parker loves to do any kind of shopping with me, lately it’s been like pulling teeth to get Mac to tolerate my errand-running!  Got to love 9 year old boys!

Regarding my (Shopper’s) Therapy Thursday…..I have to admit, I’m getting a little crazy about rompers!  Who knew?  Because I still had a credit PLUS a discount code at Dottie, I went ahead and ordered THIS one today after drooling over it via both online & Instagram!  I think it sealed the deal when I saw a “real” person wearing it on Instagram over one of Dottie’s models (no offense, gals)!  What do you guys think?  I love the deep V-neck and beige/black tie dye pattern! 

This leads me to my latest (and greatest) bralette discovery – – – the Victoria’s Secret PINK Lightly Lined Triangle Bralette.  This baby is perfect in EVERY way!  Last summer I lived in bralette’s from Francesca’s, BUT I always sported a strapless bra UNDER the bralette.  This year….I said, forget that – I wanted the bralette to be enough….both in support & coverage.  While there are SEVERAL Victoria’s Secret bralettes that are unattractively UN-lined and very, very unsupportive, I was thrilled to stumble across this PINK option.  It is truly bralette perfection!  I love the racerback, the lace, the lining AND support.  There is absolutely no need for that strapless bra with this!  I will sport these under all of my summer tanks, dresses, slouchy t’s, etc.  Definitely check them out!  (For sizing reference, I had to size UP to a large.  They run SMALL.  It was hard to pull the medium over my head & get adjusted!)  I have both black & pink dahlia.  Gorgeous!

I LOVE summer scents that involve ANYTHING coconut!  The smell gets me instantly thinking about sunshine & the beach!!!  Parker and I love sniffing our way through Bath & Body Works, and ended up drooling over these two heavy-on-the-coconut scented items….Waikiki Beach Coconut Body Lotion and Vanilla Coconut Foaming Hand Soap.  They both smell amazing – you know, just gearing up for our beachy vacation!  Lastly, I had my nails done earlier this week (and learned that I should ALWAYS go on Tuesdays at 10am because there was literally NO ONE in the salon)!  I updated my color & picked a new one – not as purple as my beloved OPI Pompeii Purple, but more on the pink side.  This one is called “Suzy Has A Sweet Tooth” & I LOVE it!  I had my toes done too & this color screams SUMMER! 

That’s about it for this week!  I AM going to actively search Trader Joe’s for their new pre-made cauliflower pizza crust that I’ve heard about via the internet!  My fingers are crossed that my local TJ’s will carry it!  I love the idea of cauliflower crust, but have yet to make it just because it seems labor intensive!  This could radically change our Friday Night Pizza Nights….or even make pizza night a few times a week rather than once!  Score!  I’ll keep you guys posted!  I can’t wait to try it! 

Hope you guys are having a GREAT week & enjoying these awesome, warmer temps here in the Midwest!  We sure are!  Fingers crossed they continue into the weekend & next week!  My kiddies start their swim lessons just after school gets out, so it needs to STAY WARM!  They’re going to need a little refresher course before we head to Florida!

xoxo – Jamie

Friday Faves: Mother’s Day Edition

Happy Friday friends – I had such GOOD intentions to get a blog post out earlier this week, but between rushing around here during the day and my inability to be creative at night, it just didn’t happen!  I hope to expand the blog a bit this summer when I’m home, so stay tuned for that – –  I’ve def let things slide a bit since I went back to work in the afternoons.  That said, we only have 9 days left of school!!!  Yipppeee!   The kids are doing such fun things for the next 2 weeks that it those 9 days are going to FLY BY!  Here’s a pic of the kiddies before their annual Wellness Walk at school yesterday……

I thought I’d combine a Mother’s Day last minute gift ideas INTO a Friday Faves post!  I did some shopping (online, of course) via Old Navy earlier this week because they have (almost) everything 40% off & a few of the things I picked up would be great little Mother’s Day gifts!  Check ’em out!

Cute Patterned Poplin Sleep Pants:  I scooped these cute sleep pants up for our upcoming FL trip!  I always buy new PJ’s before vacation because we DO spend a lot of time lounging around before AND after changing into and out of our swimsuits!  Love this print!  I’m obsessed with palms!!!

How CUTE are these shorts?  I love, love Old Navy’s shorts – I go between my fave cuffed, distressed denim pair(s) and white, but I might have to get these too!  You can’t go wrong with pineapple print!  (Love several of the other print options too!)

I’m obsessed with white jeans!  These are my budget-friendly favorites -mid rise Rockstars!  I just ordered THIS pair with built in sculpt & a bit of distressing!  I’d size down in these babies – mine are on a 1x wear basis right now before I have to wash & dry them b/c they stretch out too quickly!  Whoops!  That’s what you get for jeans that are under $40!  Oh well!  I’m not sure about you, but who doesn’t go through baskets full of flip flops over the summer?  In fact, I’ve been known to actually BRING a back up pair of flips with me if I am attending an event where flip flops are appropriate!  I’ve had so many unfortunate flip flop “blow out” experiences that I’ve learned my lesson!  I shove a pair in my bag & I’m set!  Haha!  Sooo…….in light of what I just shared with you – – how CUTE are these printed flips?  Stock up!  What mom doesn’t love her flips?Definitely check out the THANK YOU sale at Old Navy – and, if you’re a fellow mom shopping….why not treat yourself?  You deserve it, lady!  We have a tough gig!

Happy Friday & Happy Mother’s Day Weekend!!

xoxo – Jamie


Friday Faves from the RAINY Midwest!

Happy Friday friends!  I’m up wondering WHEN THE HECK IS THIS RAIN GOING TO STOP?  Seriously, it’s been raining here for dayyyyysssss with no end in sight until SUNDAY!  The temps, too?  Oh, it’s barely gotten above 50 degrees, so we’re all still dressing in winter clothes!  Ugh!  Come on 80 degrees – it’s the (fabulous) month of May for goodness sakes!  We snapped this pic on our way to ballet yesterday & I’m seriously considering a very similar outfit today:  leggings, Hunter boots, my fave hoodie jean jacket and a HAT.  I mean, what else should I wear when we go out to brave this monsoon? Now, moving on to a few Friday Faves I have to share with you!  It’s a random bunch, as this was kind of a random week for us, but enjoy – – – (and send paddles)!!!

  1.  During our regular Thursday evening post ballet Fresh Thyme run Parker asked if we could pick up a six pack of Zevia Ginger Ale to try.  It’s been ages since I tried any of the Zevia colas, so I decided to let her give them a whirl.  I mean, ginger ale reminds me of 1.  Being sick as a kid  and 2.  My grandfather’s famous highballs.  I hadn’t even planned on drinking one, but she urged me to take a sip of hers during dinner.  It was DELICIOUS!  Why the heck hadn’t we tried these sooner?  Bubbly, sweet & spicy (no calories, no sugar, no sodium, etc….)…. it tasted just like “REAL” ginger ale!  I can see these turning into a regular purchase for us!  If you are a Zevia cola fan – which is your fave?  2.  A friend of mine recently recommended a new self-tanner.  As you guys know, I’m a HUGE fan of self tanning/spray tans, so since she really is quite an expert tanner & traveler, I decided to give her Tanwise a whirl!  Of course it was an Amazon Prime purchase & arrived in a jiffy!    Like pretty much ALL new “beauty” products, it took me a few days to muster up the courage to try Tanwise.  I’m weird like that….and, I guess set in my old ways with my comfortable, routine sunless tanning process!  Anyway, I read, and re-read the directions, and puffed some of the mouse on my hand to start the application process……BIG mistake, as I was missing something that was not mentioned – – – an application mitt!  The palm of my hand quickly turned (and stayed) a scary shade of brown until I scrubbed it off after I was done applying.  YIKES!  Since this experience, I have tossed a St. Tropez self-tanner application mitt in my Amazon bag & am awaiting its shipment!  Now, regardless of the brown hand situation, the color was FABULOUS…..with, not a streak in sight!  Not to mention, it really seemed to be odorless!  I can’t wait to RE-apply with my mitt & snap some pics!  Stay tuned on this one!  3.  A week ago my bestie and I had a morning coffee & nail date!  We both went with one of Essie’s new pinks – this one called Excuse Me, Sur!  How cute is that?  It’s a great pink – more on the coral side, but will look even better once it’s WARM & we have some color! 

3.  Naan Bread Pizzas!  I’ve been wanting to try Nann as the crust for pizzas for a while & since today is Cinco de Mayo which calls for tacos instead of our usual pizzas, we decided to try Naan last night!  Of course we picked ours up at Fresh Thyme where they have both a regular and whole grain version.  It as just the kiddies having pizza (I’m trying to stick to salads…..hey, Florida’s next month), they used the regular Naan.  I pre-baked the Naan at 425 until it started to brown & then they went about their business for the toppings.  We baked (again) until the cheese melted & the edges were brown….probably another 7-8 minutes.  They turned out amazing (um, because I HAD to try a few bites) – light & crispy!  I foresee trying many different topping combinations on these in the future! 

Now excuse me as I go try to find our boat & paddles – time to get ready for school!  I hope everyone has a great Cinco de Mayo dinner planned for tonight!  Our kiddies have requested tacos & “cheesy dip!”  Fancy!

xoxo – Jamie