Monday, July 24, 2017

Weekend at the Blueberry Patch

One of my favorite annual traditions is taking the girls to the orchards for berry picking. It is something that I started when it was just Olivia and I, and it has been fun to add a little more company each year. The girls always look forward to the drive out to the farm and they love to take advantage of all the berries they can eat!

We had been anticipating the annual trip for weeks and the weather finally cooperated for us to go this past weekend. This year was the first year Brian has joined us on our typically "ladies only" adventure but it made it that much more fun (not to mention how nice it was to have some help with the girls). This was also Evelyn's first time berry picking and to say she loved it would be an understatement. If her tiny fists were not full of berries, her mouth sure was!











Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Perfectly Imperfect

I took the girls down to a small local lake that is about a quarter of a mile from our house. I had these visions of the perfect evening and the photos I would capture as the sun was setting. The girls, well, they had other plans.

Within minutes of arriving, they were soaking wet and covered head to toe in sand. They laughed, they played in the sand and they splashed in the water. Getting tired and running out of energy, we walked over to the local ice cream shop and grabbed a few cones (with rainbow sprinkles of course). It was the perfect opportunity to cool down and dry out. On the long walk back up the hill to return home the girls ran ahead and each took turns rolling down the hills.

I realized that this perfect evening that I had envisioned, the one that seemingly wasn't turning out at all like I had planned, was really the girls perfect evening.

I can't wait for them to look back one day at the spontaneous beach fun that was had that hot July night.





Wednesday, June 28, 2017

There's a new boss in town

As a mom of four, finding just the right diaper bag to fit my needs can be tough. Bags are either too big, too small or are difficult to organize.  A few weeks ago, Itzy Ritzy was so kind to send me one of their newly launched Boss Diaper Bags. I am here to tell you that this bag has gone above and beyond my expectations!

I am going to lay it all out for you.

I am loving everything about this mixed material black herringbone and leather. It's simple, modern and something my husband doesn't mind carrying around. Not to mention it wipes down with ease. This is especially important when toting around all of those cups, bottles and snacks that come with leaving the house with four kids. There are bound to be some spills! The exterior boasts seven pockets for all of your quick storage needs and the addition of a tassle clip that I love to hang my keys on when I am on-the-go. Not a fan of all black? The Boss Diaper Bag Backpack also comes in a gorgeous Posy Pop and Coffee & Cream!




As for the inside, just check out these pockets! There are ten of them. That's right! TEN! If you are keeping count this brings your running total to seventeen pockets! No more struggling to find a place to store something. There is literally a place for everything. The pockets are deep enough to hold your diapers, wipes, wallet, sunglasses, but not so deep that things start to disappear. (I'm talking about you random missing hair ties!)



























What's a diaper bag without a change pad? This adorable change pad is included with every bag. Yes, I did just call a change pad adorable. Seriously, look how cute this is! Okay, so the fresh baby toes might have something to do with it but the appliqué of "head" on the top and "toes" on the bottom was such a cute addition to this piece.


When it comes to carrying a diaper bag, versatility it is a must in my book and the Boss Bag has got it. No one likes a bag that is constantly sliding off of your shoulder. This is my first backpack diaper bag and I don't think I will ever go back! I love that the Boss Diaper Bag can be worn as a backpack or hung on the stroller for easy access with the included stroller clips. Of course, it can also be stored beneath the stroller as well but then how are you going to show off your amazing new bag?!
 So, have I convinced you yet that you NEED one of these bags?! 



























The Itzy Ritzy Boss Diaper Bag Backpack retails for $150
You can shop this amazing bag here, here and (my favorite) here!


Monday, June 26, 2017

Keeping Up

Sweet baby snuggles and sweaty post nap curls. Just of a few of my favorite things about raising four little girls. These last few months have been flying by and I am trying to enjoy every "last baby" moment Evelyn has to give. Every morning she wakes up a day older and a day closer to the toddler years and she seems more interested in keeping up with her big sisters, climbing anything and everything, and growing her vocabulary. 

Oh how I wish I could keep her this small forever.


Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Summer Bucket List

Happy first official day of summer!

Summer is one of my favorites seasons (second to fall of course)! Summertime is filled with trips to the lake, ice cream trucks, walks to the library and of course no school! It was so much fun talking about all things summer with the girls and asking them to list all of the activities they were excited to do before school starts up again in September. With all of the humidity and predicted rain for the coming weeks it will be pretty interesting with all four girls at home but we are more than excited to start checking off this list!


What's on your summer bucket list?!

Monday, June 19, 2017

Puddle Jumpers

Our girls love a good puddle. Dresses, fancy shoes, parking lot puddle... Of course they will find it. With weeks of rain behind us (and several more in front of us) these little puddle jumpers have been craving a good splash. The rain and thunder finally let up today and I am pretty sure their dreams of epic puddle jumping have finally come true.

How did you make a splash this week?





Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Operation: Entryway Facelift

Our small apartment entryway has felt pretty drab since we moved in nearly three years ago. We were renting and planned on that being short term while we were on the hunt for a house. Well, it has turned into quite the "temporary" stay.

The narrow second story hall is all of 12 sq ft. with white walls, dark wood trim/door, and the ugliest of brown/orange carpets. Two dark rectangular mirrors flanked the hall and each carried two hooks for coats/keys.

Over the weekend I decided it was time for a much needed facelift. Of course this facelift needed to keep a few things in mind:

- SMALL budget (under $100)
- No new paint
- No new flooring
- No fixing/replacing trim
- No new lighting

It was going to be no easy task but of course Target and Lowes came to the rescue!

Shopping List:
- New round mirror
- Doormat
- Greenery (low light tolerant)
- Decorative pot

My total came in at roughly $75! The look is pretty minimalist and clean, which I love. The space feels so much brighter and more open without the old rectangular mirrors. A little greenery was the perfect finishing touch. It is definitely so much more fresh and inviting.

Check it out for yourself!






Thursday, May 18, 2017

beat the heat

I love a good smoothie. They probably make my TOP 5 dessert list. Seriously!

A healthy, simple and minimal clean-up treat is a solid win in my book. I thought I would share with you a fun summer favorite of mine and the girls that helps to beat the summertime heat!

INGREDIENTS:

3C- Frozen Fruit (mango, strawberry and blueberry)
5C- Unsweetend Almond Milk
1T- Agave

TOPPING:
3tsp- Chia (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS:
- Add frozen fruit to blender
- Pour in almond milk
- Add 1T agave
- Blend until it reaches desired consistency. For a thicker     smoothie or smoothie bowl add less almond milk.
- Pour into your favorite cups and voila!

Simple, right?!

It's totally optional but the girls and I love to add a teaspoon of chia seed to the tops of our smoothies as garnish. It's seriously sooo good!





Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Music to my ears

Music is such a big part of my husband's life. Play a tune and I'll bet my morning coffee that he can tell you who sings it. Yeah, he's that impressive. He has so many stories that involve artists, songs, and concerts. I love to hear about the festivals he's attended and he frequently surprises me with who he has had the opportunity to see live. Several of our early dates were even spent traveling to see shows together.

It is no wonder that our girls have the same fondness for tunes. It is important to us to share the music culture with them and as of late, a crowd favorite has been our post nap time vinyl sessions. I let the girls pick out any album to listen to. Sometimes they get up and dance while other times they sit quietly, just listening.

Not to brag or anything but 3/4 of our girls know how to change out a record and I am sure that by 18 months old Ev will be doing the same. It's just in their blood.

This is a tradition that I look forward to continuing as they get older. Helping them to grow their own collections and passing down some of their favorites.



Sunday, May 14, 2017

You made me a mother

I have been mothering for nine years.

It is so hard to believe and even harder to remember what life was like before my girls. Finding my identity as a mother has been a search like no other. Becoming a mother so early in life I never really found myself as an individual so there has been this balancing act between who I am and who I wish to be.

These young ladies have taught me so much about life, love and happiness. I frequently find myself thinking that I should be teaching them about these things and yet I am the one continuously learning from them.

On this Mother's Day I am so thankful for them. Their patience as I learn to parent, their forgiveness for my faults and their unconditional love. Motherhood isn't easy but they make me want to do better everyday. I am so thankful that these young ladies call me mom.


Monday, May 8, 2017

On the night you were born

It has officially been a year since our sweet Evelyn Tate was born in the early hours of May 8th, 2016, Mother's Day. All day yesterday, Brian and I reminisced about this day last year. Here is her story. 

I woke up Saturday May 7th, 2016, 40 weeks and 3 days pregnant with slight lower back pain from yet another poor night sleep and we headed out for a morning at the softball fields. I remember it being so hot and sunny, I could not get comfortable. After the game we took advantage of the beautiful weather and spent much of the day outdoors, dropped Liv off for a sleepover at a friend's house and Brian grilled dinner. Around 5:30pm I started having what I thought were just some more Braxton hicks from being on my feet all day. I was used to having braxton hicks throughout this pregnancy. I remember getting a wave of energy as I started cleaning the house just in case these were more than just braxton hicks. 

By 7:30pm the contractions picked up a little and I had a hunch that this might be the real deal. This was a new experience for us as with our previous pregnancies my water breaking had been the only sign that labor was starting. Brian and I agreed that if the contractions stayed consistent we would give our midwife a call at 9pm. As 9pm rolled around I wasn't fully convinced and we decided to wait a little longer before making the call. At approximately 9:45pm contractions were starting to get pretty close and picked up in intensity so we called our amazing midwife to let her know that it was baby time and our sweet Ev was on her way.

As 11pm approached our midwife arrived. Contractions were getting really close but I was still relatively comfortable and walking around the house hoping to keep things progressing. At midnight, the contractions were every couple of minutes and stopping me in my tracks. I kept my fingers crossed for a quick labor and it seemed to work. Our sweet Ev was born into the loving hands of our midwife, fast and fierce just after 2am. She was perfect. The wave of emotions and adrenaline coursing through my body was nothing like anything I have felt before.

Evelyn, our first year with you has been so surreal. We have cherished every moment and have found so much joy in watching you grow. Happy Birthday baby girl.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

The Half Moon Market

Thank you to social media for guiding me towards events I wouldn't necessarily have know about!

The good old FB let me know last week that one of my friends was interested in a market in the area where local artisans would be setting up shop for the weekend. I clicked on the event page and immediately thought "these were my people" and I fired off a stream of text messages to my husband letting him know we would be in attendance.

The Half Moon Market was located in an unexplored part of the city for us. We knew there were a lot of local parks in the area but what we found in the historic Washington Park district was amazing. The walking trail, pond, bridges and historic building were nestled into the city almost forgetting the urban setting surrounding it.

Afterwards we headed out to enjoy a cup of coffee and a beer from Superior Merchandise Co. I can't say enough great things about this cute little shop. It is such a gem in the city and I look forward to heading back again (perhaps sans children) to relax on their beautiful patio.

Here are a few of the highlights from our day exploring the city we call home...












Monday, April 24, 2017

Weekend in portland

With spring break week coming to a close we decided to take the family and head up the coast for a weekend in beautiful Portland, Maine. We have heard so many great things about the town that we just had to check it out for ourselves.



Here are a few of the highlights from our trip...


Pizza at OTTO of South Portland- There are several locations throughout Portland. The pizza was delicious and service was fast. It was a great atmosphere for our busy crew and had an indoor bocce ball/corn hole court for some family fun while we waited. 

Saturday sanity at Tandem Coffee- I highly recommend Tandem to anyone staying in or around Portland. This cute little coffee and bake shop has such a fun modern and organic atmosphere. On warmer days enjoy your coffee and a book on the picnic tables outside of the shop. We made a second stop to Tandem on the way out of town where I ordered their Malt Coffee. If you like milkshakes and coffee this is a must have. It was so smooth and filled with that great malt flavor that seemed to enhance the profile of the roast. 


Sunday pick-me-up at Bard Coffee- I also highly recommend making a stop to Bard. Located in downtown Portland, this coffee shop did not disappoint. With an option for 12oz or 20oz... go with the 20. Their iced coffee was so smooth and full of flavor. 


Holy Donut is right! Also a must-have when visiting downtown Portland. With a line out the door they were serving up donuts on the fly. Our wait was about ten minute and every second was more than worth it. These gourmet donuts were like nothing we have had before. Bonus: You can find these delicious donuts roughly a two block walk from Bard Coffee!


Brew Tour and Tasting at Allagash- If you like good beer this is a great activity. Tours are free and were very kid friendly. Sample some of the latest beers on tap and juice boxes for the littles. The tour ran for about an hour. 






























You can't visit Portland without visiting the ocean. Thankfully our last day in town was complete 180 from previous days. The sun was shining and the temperatures reached the mid-50s. We took the girls to the beach before heading out of town. They had so much fun searching for sea shells in the sand and surprisingly stayed pretty clean. 



Thursday, April 20, 2017

Fun With Foodstirs!

Brian and I frequently joke that between the two of us, if all else fails, we will never go hungry. Every chance we get we are trying new recipes and have passed on that love of food and cooking to our girls. Whether it's trying to make their own lunches, cutting up veggies for dinner or baking dessert they are all hands on deck.

I frequently find the younger girls grabbing and mixing ingredients into inedible concoctions in attempts to make new "delicious" recipes. Their need to explore with foods can be trying at times and a bit messy to say the least. On more than one occasion several meals could have been labeled as "Death by Salt" thanks to our little helpers.

I find myself looking for fun ways to keep them involved without discouraging this curiosity. If a product can simplify prep and baking while encouraging fun I am all for it. Foodstirs kits do just that. Almost all of the ingredients were provided for us and those that were still needed were ones that can almost always be found in our house already (eggs, butter).

I enjoyed being able to take a step back and let them take the lead, aside from helping to read the directions for the younger girls and handling the oven. They enjoyed being able to do so much on their own and were so proud of the finished product.

Bonus: There was minimal clean up for me and I was able to eat a cookie or two.



This post is sponsored by Foodstirs.

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