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…..here 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

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday friends!  So, as you probably noticed…..I never got around to my (Shopper’s) Therapy Thursday post yesterday!  Whoops!  Between the gym, grocery shopping, work, ballet, (more) grocery shopping & dinner-making, I just ran out of time!  I’ve never been a late night blogger, so once dinner was done & my Shameless-watching had commenced, I knew the post would have to wait until today & just get combined with my Friday Favorites – no biggie!  We kicked off our week by both Mac and I taking Monday off (darn allergies of his have lead to an asthma diagnosis), but even with that, I feel like it’s taken a looooong time to get to Friday.  Anyone else?  I keep telling the kids that once the month of May arrives, school will be over before we know it AND our Florida trip will be JUST around the corner…..I sure hope I’m right!

FASHION:  How cute are these two rompers from Dottie?  I started spring with a $100 online credit thanks to their “buy $50, get $100” promotion, but really struggled finding anything I liked.  It’s taken 4 returns for me to find 2 things worth keeping!  Crazy, right?  It figures!  I had looked at a few rompers last summer, but never tried one on!  These were too cute to pass up & really exceeded my expectations when it came to fit, sizing and comfort!  I think both of these will be perfect for lunch and/or dinner out this summer…..and, once I have some color on my legs!  Check ’em out: FITNESS:  Today officially marks 6 weeks for me – the END of my recovery from inguinal hernia surgery!  Hallelujah!!  Like I said in my previous post, this 6 weeks has really gone by quickly & once I was over the hump of feeling absolutely horrible, I found myself forgetting about the surgery.  That all said, I’m back to planks, burpees, mountain climbers & crunches TOMORROW!  I experimented with a few slower mountain climbers during a class yesterday morning & felt great, so I’m confident I’ll get back up to speed in no time!  Also, I can’t tell you how good it feels to be back to RUNNING with my bestie and fave running partner!  We’ve been incorporating 2 days a week for an early run & THAT was just like riding a bike….I just need some new shoes!  FOODIE:  My dear friend, and fellow fitness + coffee lover, Erin recently posted about Califia Farms Toasted Coconut Almond Milk as a replacement to her coffee creamer (a serious vice of mine….something I’ve always just “given” myself because I just can’t let go….and, let’s be honest, there could be worse things I could be eating/drinking!).  I’m always trying to find something to replace my brand name Hazelnut coffee creamer, so I decided to give her suggestion a whirl & picked the toasted coconut version up yesterday.  I have definitely tried the coffee creamers AND pre made cold brews by Califia Farms….the creamers were weird-tasting (in my opinion), but the cold brews…delicious!  I love anything coconut, and TOASTED coconut….even better!  I’m happy to report, after giving this a whirl yesterday afternoon in the form of a “post school, pre ballet lesson” cup, it is DELICIOUS!  While I definitely miss the sugary kick my creamer gives, I DO like how creamy and rich this version is!  If you are a coffee cream addict like myself,  I highly suggest giving this a whirl in your beloved coffee!  FUN:  This year Parker was chosen to be in a cute club at school called the Wellie Wisher Club!  If you know American Girl, you know who the Wellie Wishers are!  Their goal?  Simple….just being a good friend!  I love that simple message!  Every 2 weeks the girls would meet (with their dolls) before school & talk about friendship and doing good deeds.  Park LOVED being part of the club….and toting her super cute Camille with her to meetings!  This past Wednesday was the last meeting for the girls & they decided to make it a “Muffins with Mom,” which was SO cute! 

I’m looking forward to getting this show on the road today & am meeting my bestie for a nail date before I head into school (LOVE my new 1/2 day work schedule)!  The weekend looks to be super rainy here, so my hubby will be thrilled to learn that I plan on “cleaning crap out” all weekend!  It’s time we get some rooms redecorated here!  I’m on a mission!

Hope everyone has a GREAT Friday!

xoxo – Jamie

Friday Fitness Update + Fave (Warmer Weather) Fitness Wear

Who knew 6 weeks would go by so quickly?  I mean, I still have 1 week to go, but as of NEXT Friday I will be officially “cleared” to return to my normal fitness routine!  That surgery was no joke, people!  Of course, I’ve been exercising regularly SINCE I was two weeks post op, but have had to avoid abdominal & core-specific exercises.  Crunches/sit ups (of any kind), planks, mountain climbers, push ups, and burpees were all forbidden until my abdominal muscles fully healed at 6 weeks.  Like my last surgery, I’ve spent a TON of time on the treadmill AND have been doing cardio classes with light weights at the gym.  That said – I’M READY TO PERK UP THESE MUSCLES AGAIN!  While I can’t see myself diving right into lifting anywhere close to how heavy I was lifting prior to my surgeries, I AM anxious to return to group fitness classes that focus on weight lifting + interval training.  Many of my girlfriends have joined a local Orangetheory & I keep hearing rave reviews (which in itself has been hard because I haven’t been able to try it)!  I can’t wait to try a class soon!  There is also a new barre studio opening in the area that I’d like to give a whirl!  I’m so excited to GET BACK TO IT!  That is, conservatively, of course – I can’t imagine having to go through that surgery again!!!!!  Since you guys know I am a group fitness junkie, let me know what classes you’ve been taking (and loving) lately??  It’s going to be time for me to shake things up once I’m back at it! 

As I start thinking about ramping up my fitness routine, of course I’m ALSO thinking about fitness wear for the upcoming warmer months – ESPECIALLY since I’ll be exercising down in steamy Florida in June (Don’t worry – I already have 2 fitness studios I’ve contacted about checking out while we’re down there!)  Take a look at a few things I’ve purchased AND also a few things I’m adding to my wish list for this summer:

THESE Old Navy running shorts (currently on sale)!  I bought these a while back (in Ditsy Floral), and am going to purchase a few more pairs because the floral prints are SO cute!  I will start wearing these once I have some color on my legs! My FAVE Zella Speedster shorts.  I wore these constantly last summer (and the summer before – even through Disney)!  They are so lightweight, cute and comfy!  Look for them on sale from time to time at Nordstrom, but know that they’re a great investment regardless!  Fave tanks?  Easy!  Athleta’s Chi tanks!  I haven’t tried the “high neck” style yet, but I reallllllly want to!  The “shadow stripe” styles are lighter weight than the originals, but you really can’t go wrong!  I love a good racerback & these are perfection!  These C9 Power Shape sports bras are my new faves!  They are supportive, lightweight & comfy!  I’ve done plenty of cardio in them to know that they will hold up well!  They are on sale so often that I try to pick one up whenever I can!  I’ve never paid full price for one yet!  Score!  And now…..a few items on my wish list:

THIS hat by Zella!  You know I wear a hat whenever I workout (and don’t feel like washing my hair) & this one is two of my fave colors – score!  I’ve seen this Nike sports bra mentioned on various blogs – I love the style & color options!  I might have to try it! 

Then there are THESE super cute Nike capri joggers – !!!  Perfect for running errands & lounging! 

Can you tell I just looooove “activewear?”  My closet is a mixed bag of:  Old Navy, Zella, C9, Nike, and a little old school Lululemon.  Nike shoes are always my “go to” for training and running & I’m also in need of a new pair!   Again, I never buy when they’re not on sale, so I watch Nordstrom like a hawk for great deals on my fave styles!

Considering how LONG it took me to write this post – I need to hurry up & get on with the day here!  TGIF!  Let the 7 day countdown begin!  I’m BACK next week friends & I can’t wait!

Happy Friday!

xoxo – Jamie


Easter, Lovely Easter!

Easter weekend did not disappoint at our house (once again)!  We spent Friday night relaxing after school/work.  Our usual Friday Night Pizza was enjoyed on the deck with friends & good tunes compliments of our gal Alexa!  The hubs worked all day Saturday, but the kiddies and I managed to run a few errands & hit up Starbucks before we dove into baking and decorating our annual lamb cake with my mom.  The cake turned out GREAT this year!  I just love this tradition!  After our cake-baking, we went to an early Easter Sunday service at church & enjoyed another relaxing (steak) dinner on our deck with the hubs when we got home!  Despite staying up a little later than normal on Saturday evening (it was SO nice outside), my little bunnies were up early on Sunday morning & digging into their Easter baskets before 8am!  After a few cups of coffee at home, we trekked to my parent’s house to meet up with my brother’s family for Easter brunch.  My mom put together an amazing brunch (asparagus frittata, berry french toast casserole, bacon, coffee, mimosas, etc.) & afterwards the kiddies couldn’t wait to start their Easter egg hunt!  I still can’t believe all of the loot they came home with – not only candy this year!  Grandpa Bunny spoiled the kiddies with money in eggs, too!  It was so fun to watch Mac & Park help Mary find eggs, sort & count her findings!  They love their cousins so much!  And, speaking of cousinS, it was so special spending Teddy’s first Easter with him!  Goodness he has all of our hearts – he is just the sweetest!  The weather wasn’t as awesome as it was last Easter, so when it looked like it might rain a bit, we headed home to rest up for the second round of Easter festivities (my parents were coming back to our house later in the day for more Easter traditions – the power walk with my Mom & Easter dinner).  We had a chance to rest a bit before my parents came our way & once my mom and I felt we had the all clear, weather-wise, we headed out for our annual Easter power walk!  We kept things close to home this year, but did manage to get a good walk in!  I love that my mom takes her fitness seriously like I do!  She’s such an inspiration!  After our walk, the boys took off in the cart to do a little fishing while the gals got Easter dinner ready.  A glass of wine (and all dinner prep) later, the boys returned & we enjoyed our dinner together.  (Grilled pork chops, Cesar salad, roast asparagus & mashed potatoes).  It was delicious!!!  We capped the beautiful day off with some play in the yard & an evening golf cart ride with my mom!  It was just SUCH a great day!  My kids love Easter Sunday almost as much as they love Christmas – for them, it’s another day filled with their favorite people, lots of laughs, fun & love.

I hope all of you enjoyed a special day with friends and family!  I’ll keep those amazing Easter memories in my head today as we ship our taxes off (boo!) & dig into a very busy week!

xoxo – Jamie

Friday Favorites: Easter Edition

Happy Friday!  Well, we survived our first week back to school after Spring Break & I can report that not only has it gone just fine, but the week FLEW by!  I just hope that the rest of them do the same as I am back to work daily (but only 1/2 days)!  This week has had GORGEOUS weather, too, so that’s helped!  We are anxious to head into Easter weekend here – warm weather, family & fun!  In fact, how about a few favorite things I’m going to look forward to over EASTER weekend?

Our Annual Lamb Cake:  My mom and I started a fun tradition of baking a traditional “Lamb Cake” with Parker for Easter.  We always have so much fun making this cake (and laughing about how worried we get about the head falling off)!  Parker enjoys the “decorating” part of the cake – meaning, she can nibble on jelly beans as we cautiously cover the cake with coconut & attempt to make our little lambie look cute!  Here’s a pic of the cake from last year: Brunch / Egg Hunting with Family:  This year we’re doing an Easter egg hunt AND brunch at my parent’s house on Easter Sunday.  Parker is already counting down the days because the girl LOVES Easter with a passion!  It’s next to Christmas for her!  Me?  I’m excited about enjoying mimosas with my sister-in-law and hanging with the family on Sunday morning!  As much as I am NOT a huge breakfast fan, I DO enjoy brunch.  Weird, I know.  My mom is planning an egg frittata, berry French Toast casserole, bacon (my kiddies LOVE bacon), cinnamon rolls, coffee, (and mimosas)!  Can’t wait!  Annual Easter (POWER) Walk With My Mom:  Fingers crossed the weather cooperates because my mom and I have a “fitting” tradition of talking a long “power” walk on Easter Sunday!  Once we’re done with egg hunts, church, brunch, etc., we toss our Easter outfits to the side & pull on our workout clothes (that usually end up staying on for the rest of the day)!  I love that my mom is a fellow fitness lover!  As you can see, she looks amazing!  LOTS of time outside & LOTS of golf carting:  It’s safe to say that we’re all enjoying our new toy (the golf cart)!  Whether it’s a quick trip to the golf course, a fishing excursion or to pick up a forgotten item at Fresh Thyme, goodness it’s come in handy & been such fun!  Last night Park & Daddy took off on a little pre-dinner cruise together – so cute!  Maybe we’ll even take it to get pizza tonight?  Teddy’s First Easter:  It’ll be my sweet nephew’s FIRST Easter & we all know what a huge blessing that little guy has been to our family!  Every “first” we get to spend with him will be so special! 


I hope you all have a blessed Easter weekend – enjoy lots of time with family & friends!  Until then, though, who’s tried the new Toasted Coconut Cold Brew from Starbucks?  It’s been calling my name since I heard about it AND it’s our weekly family Starbucks run, soooooo……… maybe I should give it a whirl?  I AM working all day today…..

xoxo – Jamie


(Shopper’s) Therapy Thursday: Swimsuits (again)!

Okay, I promise that this could be my very last post about swimsuits!  As you know, I’ve purchased several over the last couple of months & have, for the most past, liked every single one!  When does that ever happen?  I DID end up sending THIS one back last week – not that it was poor quality or a bad fit.  It just wasn’t my style: Thanks to Amazon Prime’s lovely return policy, sending this back was a breeze AND allowed me to get right back online & purchase another suit in this ones place!  Good thing because I had seen the cutest one piece on several Instagram accounts AND knew I could find a duplicate of the expensive (like, silly expensive) Anthropologie version easily.  Hey, I’ve gotten quite good at replicating outfits and just finding BETTER deals!  Sooo, ironically not long after I discovered the SUPER cute suit I mentioned above, I also saw a VERY similar style on Target’s website – like, crazy similar.  Then, because I can’t go without giving Amazon a chance, I did a little searching & discovered an even LESS expensive, almost IDENTICAL style being sold!  I read the reviews (always a good thing to do) & decided why not give the Amazon version a whirl?  I already knew how easy it would be to return the suit if anything was amiss!  I’m already planning on ordering the navy (and maybe even the floral – who knows?) version if the black and ivory fits well.  For the price (under $20), you seriously can’t beat it!

Now, for the funny part – do YOU want to try to guess (without clicking the links above) which suit is Anthro, Target and Amazon?  Here’s a pic of the three suits together – which is which?Crazy, right?  I was even told by one of my friends that she ordered both the Anthro AND Target suits at the same time & ended up liking the Target version much better.  How great is that?   Fingers crossed that I have the same luck with my Amazon find!  It’s shipped, so I’ll keep you guys posted!

Until then…..less swimsuit talking, I promise!

Happy Thursday! 

Easter posts to come….

xoxo – Jamie