Insta July

How is it July 31st? 
That means tomorrow is August. NOOOOO.
I never like it when August 1st arrives.
August 1st means summer is almost over and that school is going to start in a few weeks.

August also means that my baby is turning one. Tears.

Here is a snapshot of our July via Instagram.

July 1st started out with some fun news, when I got an email from BlogHer letting me know that I was selected as one of Blogher's Voices of the Year.

I was selected for for THIS post. Such an honor!

I also got the dreaded Jury Summons in the mail. Now, don't get me wrong, I would love to serve on a jury one of these years, but when my kids are older & I don't have to find child care for them.
Luckily, I got excused and didn't have to go because I am a nursing mother. Woot Woot!
So thankful, because it was for the Superior Court...those are some serious cases. Yikes.

We attended our dear friends beautiful 10 year vow renewal.
 My sister from another mister. Love this girl.
 My dress is from {here}

 Also attended a sweet baby shower for my friend Jessica's baby girl on the way.

Our trip to Tahoe. Happy Place.
Throwback Thursday....me in a boat in Lake Tahoe when I was 4.

 Family bike rides downtown. One of my favorite summertime activities.
 A rare colorful sky for California in the summertime.
 Early morning coloring.
 A special date with Mommy for donuts while Kate was a camp.
Kate lost her 2nd tooth on 7.21.13
Party supplies for the big first birthday. Thank you, Target.

 Back in Tahoe for more fun.
 Guess who took his first steps on Monday? And, on the beach of Lake Tahoe.
I couldn't think of a better place for him to do that!
Go, Lukey, Go!

Enter the $100 Fandango Giftcard Giveaway {HERE} ends on August 12

And, be sure to check out all the fun summer salad recipes from yesterday. You can link yours up until Monday!

See you back here tomorrow for Pin-Spired!


Summer Salad Swap: Loaded Baked Potato Salad

Welcome to the 2013 Summer Salad Swap!
I am excited to share one of my go-to summer salads.
Here is what you need:
 3-4 pounds of small red potatoes (cut into quarters)
2 cups (1 pint) of sour cream ( I use light)
2/3 cup mayonnaise (I use light)
1 T black pepper 
1 T Lawry's seasoning salt
1 T garlic powder
1 lb. bacon, cooked and chopped
4-5 green onions, diced
2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese

 Cut up your red potatoes into quarters (leave skin on)
 Boil your potatoes until cooked (about 30 minutes)
 While your potatoes are being boiled, cook your bacon.

I cook my bacon in the oven at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes.

 Then I let the bacon cool on paper towels.

 After bacon is completely cooled, chop up and set aside.

 While the potatoes & bacon are cooking, I prep the rest of the dressing.
 Combine mayo, sour cream, garlic powder, Lawry's seasoning salt & pepper:
 Dice up your green onions.
 Add the green onions to the dressing.
 Stir together & put dressing in the fridge.
 When your potatoes are done cooking (test with a fork to make sure potatoes are tender). When done, drain potatoes.
 Put potatoes into your serving bowl and let cool in the fridge for 2-3 hours.
 Once potatoes are chilled,  add the dressing, the diced bacon & shredded cheddar cheese to the potatoes. Stir until fully coated.
 You can serve your salad then, or put back in fridge until you are ready to serve it.
This salad is perfect to make the night before.
 It is a fun alternative to traditional potato salad. 
SO good.

If you have a great Summer Salad Recipe, Grab a Button and add your recipe to the linky below.

Summer Salad Swap

You can add your recipe anytime from now until next Monday!
And, be sure and check out the other recipes that are linked up!


Miscellany Monday & Other Randomness

Ready for some Miscellaneous and some Randomness on this lovely Monday?
Here we go!

Turning 1 in just 11 short days.

The Royal Baby.
Was I the only one obsessing about what they were going to name him?
That 2 days of waiting was a killer. Ha! I kept checking various websites to see what the name was going to be. The odds were that it was going to be either George or James. I was pulling for James since that is my dad's name and Luke's middle name.

Welcome to the world, Prince George. 
My friend Anna {who I have blogged about here and here}is so close to bringing her son home from Africa! She is having an online auction (on Instagram) this Tuesday night to raise funds. People have donated items to be auctioned off. One of the items is a $25 Target cards that I donated. So, if you shop at Target and are going to spend money there anyways, bid on it! Plus, tons of handmade/etsy shops have donated items.
This is from Anna's Instagram  @simplybeautiful100
Be sure and follow her and check out the Auction on Tuesday night!
Or, you can always buy some of her awesome & natural body products. 
I LOVE her foot scrub & foot salve...It has saved my feet this summer. 
Click HERE to shop!

The 2013 Summer Salad Swap is tomorrow, July 30th!

I can't wait to share my salad with you! We had my salad for dinner (again) last night.

I have been invited to be Hormel Foods Extended Family Preferred Blogger.
What does that mean? They send me stuff  to review!
“In the spirit of full-disclosure, I’ve partnered with Hormel Foods as part of the Hormel Foods Extended Family Blogger Program. Throughout the year I’ll be receiving product, coupons, giveaways and promotions. However, no payment was given or expected for posting about the program, and as always, all opinions given here are fully my own."

This month they sent me a bunch of their new sandwich wraps, called REV.

 They come in 8 different flavors.
Ham and Cheese - ham, cheddar cheese & soft white wrap
Pepperoni Pizza - pepperoni, mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese & soft white wrap
Peppered Turkey - peppered turkey, mozzarella cheese, Italian herb wrap
Meat Lovers Pizza
pepperoni, spicy salami, Genoa salami, mozzarella cheese & soft white wrap
Italian Style Ham smoked ham, mozzarella cheese & Italian herb wrap
Hot Pepper Ham - ham, hot pepper cheese & soft white wrap
Italian Style
pepperoni, Genoa salami, mozzarella cheese, Italian herb wrap 
Spicy Italian Style spicy salami, mozzarella cheese & Italian herb wrap
Kevin brings a peanut butter & jelly sandwich EVERY.SINGLE.DAY for lunch at work.
I always give him a hard time and tell him that he is like a 5 year old. 
I am so glad Hormel sent me some REV's because now Kevin has taken these to work for lunch for the past week. They are packed full of protein and a much better option than PB&J (especially for a guy in his 30's. Ha!) Kevin is a fan!

Pinspired is this Thursday!

How is it almost August 1st?!?!?!
Summer is more challenging for me with my outfits because let's face it....I am mostly in my swimsuit. But, I do have a couple cute things I have worn this month!
Link up those Pinterest Inspired outifts with us!

Our garden is going CRAZY, especially our tomatoes. This is my tomato harvest one day last week.

Tomatoes galore! One of my favorite things to do with the girls is to go into our garden with a container of hummus and just pick tomatoes off the vine & dip in hummus. SOOOO good. Yum.

Speaking of our garden going crazy, besides tomatoes, our cucumbers have been growing out of control, so I decided to make some Homemade Pickles!
So easy & so good! I need to blog the recipe!

Candy Crush.
Still addicted.
Anyone else?!?!
Kevin is dominating and level 202. 
 I'm stuck at level 147
#freakingjelly #candycrushproblems

The last week and half for our family was CRAZY.
It started with the girls getting the stomach flu when we got back from Tahoe. Then Luke's poop-a-poolza. Then Kevin had to have an emergency root canal on Wednesday. And then another one on Friday. And, I had to take Kate to Urgent Care on Friday evening for a random eye infection.

 Never a dull moment!
I am the only one that didn't have anything random happen.
#knockonwood #crossingmyfingers #drinkinglotsofwine

The good news? It's a new week! Happy to have last week behind me! Yikes!
Happy Monday, Friends!

And, don't forget to enter the $100 Fandango Giftcard Giveaway HERE!

Linking up with Carissa:

lowercase letters


Mel's Must Have Baby Products {6 - 9 months old}

It's time for another post about Mel's Must Have Baby Products.
I started this series because have gotten several emails from readers/friends who are pregnant with their first babies  (or just had their first babies) and they wanted my advice on baby items.
You can see my Newborn-3 month post here.
You can see my 3-6 month post here.

Luke is our 3rd (and final) baby and since he was born almost 4 years after Claire, I had given away ALL our baby stuff.  ALL of it.
I wanted to be mindful of what I got for Luke knowing that it would only be used for him & then given away/donated. I only wanted to get the absolute necessary things to avoid lots of clutter in my house. I just can't handle clutter.

Here are my 6-9 month must haves:

Bibs! 6-9 months is when most babies have their first foods and so bibs are a necessity. I love these bibs from PBK.  They are easy to clean & have a pocket to catch the food that doesn't go in his mouth. I call them the cherrio collector!

Also around 6-9 months is when babies start sitting up on their own and taking a bath in the regular bath tub. We love these bath toys, in fact, the girls STILL use this net in the bathtub. They think it is so fun. I have to remind them that it's Luke's now.

I start giving my kids sippy cups around 7-8 months so that by the time they are 11-12 months old they are totally done with the bottle. I like these sippy cups because they are easy for babies to learn on & they don't leak (that much) I have found that all beginner sippy cups leak a little bit, but these were the least leaky & Luke is a sippy cup master now. No more bottles...ever!!!

Next is one of my favorite & most versatile baby items. This travel high chair. We got this one when we had Kate. It is perfect to keep in your trunk. We have used it when we go to friends for dinner, I use it for when our friends (or Jack) come over to our house and we need an extra high chair. I bring it with us to Tahoe and on other vacations. It folds up & stores easily...and the tray is dishwasher safe. Best $25 spent! Go get one!

A thermometer. For some strange reason, we never got a thermometer when we had Kate or Claire. We just used the ghetto one that we got when we came home from the hospital. After almost 7 years, it was on the fritz, so I finally got one for Luke that was digtial & all you have to do is swipe it across the forehead. Life changing! Ha! We love it!

Glo worm!!! We had a pink one for the girls and I got the blue one for Luke. We stick it in his crib at night and naptime and he loves it. It lights up and plays lulabys. Luckily, it survived the Poop-a-poolza! ;)

Shopping Cart Cover/High Chair Cover. I am a germ a phobe, so these are necessary, in my opinion! 
So many cute designs and they add comfort to the shopping cart & high chair at restaurants.

Pedipeds are my absolute FAVORITE shoes for babies. I don't really have my kids wear shoes until 6 months or when they start crawling and pedipeds are by far the cutest and the best for their feet. When I had Kate I bought her 6 pairs of pedipeds...can you say overboard?!?! They were just so cute. Luckily, they are good quality shoes and I was able to use them for Claire (in fact, I still have them, so if Luke would have been a girl, they would have lasted for 3 kids) I showed self control with Luke and I have only purchased 1 pair of Pedipeds for him so far. They are perfect for begnining walkers because they have soft soles. Another good shoe for early walkers is Robeez, but they were too wide for my kids (my kids have narrow feet) So, we are a pediped family :)

Ages 6-9 months is one of my favorite stages because their little personalities are staring to show & they start "playing" with toys. Luke's nursery is a Sports theme, so I got these cute plush sports balls to put in his toy basket. At about 7 months he really started playing with them. They are so soft & he loves to roll them around. And, the girls love to throw them at him (and eachother) but they are so soft, they don't hurt. Love them.

Kate got this gumball machine toy for her first Christmas and it is SO cute. The girls loved playing with it and Luke loves it also. It is perfect for a baby who can sit on their own & play with toys. Love, love, love this gumball machine.

Another favorite is the stand up activity table. Luke loves the piano part. Keeps them busy for soooo long. Perfect for when they are learning to pull to a stand.

The classic little tykes swing. We have the red one. We had one for the girls at our old house & hung it from the tree in our front yard. For Luke, we put it on our swing set. He LOVES to swing. This swing is a classic.


Luke is still in his infant seat, so I use the Snap n Go if we are in a hurry or if he is asleep in his car seat.  But, now that he is older, he likes to be able to sit up & see stuff while in the stroller, so I use this stroller that I got when I had Kate. I love it. 

It is light weight,  easy to fold up and runs super smooth. Not bulky and folds up small. It has lasted through the wear & tear of 3 kids and still runs smoothly!

When you have more than 1 kid, a double stroller is also key.

I also LOVE, LOVE, LOVE my double Bob. We have the navy one. It come in navy or orange. I got it when Claire was a baby. 
We love to walk downtown to the Farmers Market or to the Bagel Shop or Starbucks & this stroller rocks.

What I really love about it is that even though it is a Double Stroller, it fits all 3 of my kids.
Claire & Luke sit in the seats & then if Kate gets tired, she hops on the foot rest area. This is what we brought when we went to Disneyland for 3 days and it worked out perfectly! For a double stroller it is so smooth and not heavy. We have had ours for over 4 years and it is still in great shape because they are made so well.

Any must have items for 6-9 months that I left out?
Hope you are finding these posts helpful!


Blog Widget by LinkWithin