6 Favorite Memories of Summer 2016 (So Far)

My kids go back to school in like 27 days which sounds absurd but also appropriate because we’ve been out of school since Memorial Day and we’ve had a fun filled, busy summer that isn’t even over yet. We’ve still got some fun summer memories to make in the next couple of weeks, but I thought I’d share some of our favorite summer moments so far, at the bidding of Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop. Per her instructions, here are 6 of our favorite memories from this summer (so far).

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Sunsets on the river at our campground in June. We went camping for 5 days last month which was craziness and awesomeness.

You can read more about the trip here.

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I took my ten year old to a Mallards baseball game with his cub scout pack and I have to say it was probably my best experience at a baseball game with the kids ever. We had fantastic weather, good seats and I think having just one kid to dote on made it easier to relax and have fun while we ate our weight in walking tacos and cotton candy.

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We did two weeks of swim lessons last month (we’ll be doing another two week session in a couple weeks) and I continue to love the pants off the pool and swim instructors. Small class sizes and enthusiastic swimmers who come out of the pool lamenting that the classes aren’t longer are just two reasons we love it there. A shady spot to catch up with a good book while they are in the pool does not hurt either.

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My little girl turned seven last week and we celebrated over the weekend with so many good friends who joined us for a Wild Horses Party which almost didn’t happen when massive storms and a sensible husband who pointed out that our house was too small to hold all of us indoors threatened to ruin our fun. Then my sweet friend who lives nearby volunteered her home at a moment’s notice to host the party and after a frantic dash to transport all of the party supplies and food and then actually set up, frost the cake and fill goodie bags…

I took a deep breath and looked around at all of these wonderful friends we have made in our new town (yes it still feels new after seven years – shhhhhh) who gathered around us to celebrate, who offer help and support when needed and who don’t bat an eyelash when I’m not at my level best and love me anyway. We had a great night filled with bandanas and plastic horses, carrot cupcakes and crock pot bratwurst, a gaggle of giggling children and good conversation with some of our favorite people.

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For years bowling was rather hit or miss for me with the kids. Those balls are so heavy and my kids are so clumsy and for a long time it was more work than seemed worth it for the sake of a casual day out. But at seven and ten, my kids are finally at an age that lets them bowl pretty much independently and they only scare the pants off of me occasionally when they fling that ball down the lane. We’ve been making major use of the Kids Bowl Free program, meeting up with friends on weekday mornings to escape the muggy heat and catch up while the kids work on becoming Star Bowlers and drink slushies.

13619817_1248273465217888_13476747633771453_n It’s been a summer of movies this year between date nights, family outings and girls night out, I’ve been truly pampered. I swear most years I see 3 movies in a year if I’m lucky but we’ve somehow managed to see Finding Dory, X-Men Apocalypse, Captain America: Civil War, Love & Friendship, Popstar, Me Before You, Secret Life of Pets and Ghostbusters this summer. Thanks largely in part to our theater’s Five Dollar Tuesdays.

These are six of my favorite memories from this summer thus far.

What have been some of your favorite moments?

My Summer Capsule Wardrobe: For Like a Real Body.

I’ve always thought the idea of a capsule wardrobe or a momiform was so clever, but a lot of times the “capsules” I see online do not line up with my reality due to either price, body shape or lifestyle. But I was tired of saving my two cute tops for days when I was going somewhere and wanted to look like I have a sense of fashion, so taking their capsules as inspiration, I spent the last year or so taking a good long side eye look at my wardrobe, purging and purchasing in bits and pieces until my closet started to look more inviting. I’m trying to get rid of any clothes that I find myself hesitating to take out of the closet. The ones that don’t quite fit right or don’t actually flatter my body no matter how great that sale was that day. You know?

Now I’m not saying my wardrobe is utter perfection but it’s been working a lot better for me lately and I thought I’d share the over all vibe of my closet – if you condensed it down into a capsule. I have more clothes than this guys, I don’t like doing laundry that much. But most of my items are basically a reiteration of the following:

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I have the best luck shopping for my curvy pear shaped bod at Kohls, JC Penney and occasionally Target and Dressbarn. I also get boxes from Dia & Co. when I’m tired of scouring the mall and so far I’ve had pretty good luck with them – they are like Stitch Fix for curvacious ladies and they are responsible for sending me my favorite pair of jeans and a flouncy skirt that gives great twirl.

Would you like a breakdown explanation of the pieces above? Of course you would.

TOPS

So most of my tops are either a cute patterned blouse (the one above is from Dressbarn), a versatile tank (this one is from Kohls) in a fun print or color and basic tees that are still flattering and carefully cut. I like my tops a little on the long side but they can’t be baggy sacks. I like them to be drapey but in clever ways that make me look vivacious and not like a busted can of biscuits. They all have to be Team Players and do their part or they’ll get relegated to the Pajama Pile.  And I’m always cold, so a cardigan is usually close by. I tend to only wear long sleeves in the dead of winter, so these tops will get me through the majority of the year.

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Most days you are probably going to find me wearing dark washed denim capris that apparently most of the world considers a fashion faux pas. I am either delusional or I have the one body type that capris like. Either way, I probably pick them up 75% of the time so you’d better tell me I look flawless in them next time you see me, mkay? On days when it’s hotter than sin, I’ve finally started wearing honest to blog shorts that show my knees and everything. I was really sensitive about this for years because I think my knees are weird looking but then it got HOTTTTTTTTTTTTT one day and I finally decided that people probably have better things to do with their time than dwell on my weird knees. So. For dressier than denim days, I’ve got a cute pair of pinstriped skinnies that I honestly have no idea where they came from but they look kind of like the photo above. Or I’ll pull out a maxi skirt that can dress up or down. Stripes are always good. Have you noticed I like stripes? Further Requirements: My pants must have pockets or I will hate them forever. They must not be a dumb length (which is difficult when you are 5’2″ and plus sized). They must hold their shape ALL day because I will be an angst ridden mess if I have to pull them up all afternoon because they’ve stretched out.

SHOES

Guys, I have the worst feet. They don’t like anything and they always hurt. If I wear cheap shoes, this problem is magnified times 1000. You’ll probably never see me in real heels although sometimes I rock a wedge sandal. Most of the time I’ll be in flat sandals or a slip on by brands like Clarks who seem to give a half a hoot about arch support. If I have to walk for more than an hour I’ll put on some sneakers (I’ve been wearing ASICS lately) but I’ll bitch and moan the whole time because I hate wearing socks.

What does your wardrobe look like? Fave place to shop?

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Currently. 

Reading The Versions of Us by Laura Barnett with my book club. It’s kind of a sliding doors style novel, compelling but sometimes confusing. 

Eating a cinnamon almond biscotti with a miel latte at one of my favorite coffee shops.  

Listening to coffee shop chatter, my kids discussing toy crocodiles and cinnamon Raisin bagels. 

Thinking about last minute details for my daughter’s birthday party this weekend. She turns 7 on Thursday. 7 going on 17.

Looking forward to team trivia tonight. I’ve been absolutely pampered with girl’s nights lately and I’m running on fumes but loving it. 

What have you been up to lately? 

Quick Lit: July 2016

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It feels like it’s been forever since I’ve linked up with Anne’s Quick Lit series so I’m going to give you guys a full recap for the last two months just in case you missed out on hearing about my bookish tendencies in June because there were some goodies last month! Here is the low down on what I’ve been reading lately:

 

    • 25852870Eligible by Curtis SittenfeldI’m a sucker for Pride and Prejudice adaptations and thoroughly enjoyed this one. Sittenfeld took some interesting departures from the original but overall I think it was an excellent modernization. I would imagine some people might not enjoy a few liberties taken, especially P & P purists, but I thought it was a lot of fun.

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  • Old World Murder by Kathleen Ernst – I live in Wisconsin so it was a lot of fun reading a murder mystery that takes place in my state. Lots of local references to enjoy. Additionally, it’s a good and compelling story that took awhile to build but kept my interest and then consumed my interest in the second half. It ends on a cliff hanger that led to me immediately downloading the next book.
  • 13449693The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater – I’ll be honest, I didn’t love this as much as I was hoping too. I think the hype got the better of me. Something about the book kept me at arm’s length and I wasn’t able to really lose myself to the story. But it ended with a lot of questions still unanswered that have me considering reading the next book at some point. I liked a lot of aspects of this book, I just didn’t quite love it.
  • 18079710Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead– I really enjoyed this. One of the rare instances where having seen the movie first did not deter me from reading the book later – I think this was an interesting take on the world of vampires and I’m definitely planning to read book 2!

28669464Right now my book club is reading The Versions of Us by Laura Barnett so that book is on my front burner. It’s kind of a sliding doors style story of how two people’s lives would be depending on how small details of their lives play out.

What are you reading right now?

 

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Link Love: Vol. 23

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When my husband came home last night I had this half delirious look in my eyes that he smartly interpreted as, “I’ll get the wine.” If you’ve been having one of those weeks also, I sympathize. Let’s distract ourselves until dinnertime, m’kay?

Must watch videos: Michelle Obama talking to Rory Gilmore and these adorable little girls.

For a Laugh: Fake animal facts at the LA Zoo by Obvious Plant (love him)

All the Feels: Can I do it with you? Mommas everywhere can relate to this one. It caught me right in the feels.

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As Political as I’ll Willingly Get Here: David Tennant reads Scottish Trump insults. He completes me. Also I need to learn more of these amazing UK swears / insults.

Up Your Insta Game: This Instagram hack is deliriously easy and majorly improved my life.

Nerd News: J.K. Rowling says her American wizarding school, Ilvermorny, is in Massachusetts.  This seems fitting to me and not just because I’m from there.