Friday, May 27, 2016

Friday Favorites: Memorial Day Weekend Edition

Hello friends!  It's Memorial Day weekend!  Otherwise known as the official kickoff to summer in the Shull house.  We. Are. Pumped.  

Today, I'm linking up with Erika, Andrea and Narci and sharing all things summer/Memorial Day/long weekend related.  Speaking of which...because it's a long weekend (my kids are home both today and Monday), I'm going to leave this post up until Tuesday and spend time with them instead of on the internet.  So...after today, I'll see you Tuesday.  Happy Memorial Day friends!

So, Memorial Day always holds a special place in my heart.  It was Memorial Day 2007 when I found out I was pregnant (after my first IUI).  We lost that baby a month later, but the day was special and I'll forever hold it in my heart.  Fast forward one year...and I couldn't find a picture, but it was somewhere during this era...

...that we had Memorial Day 2008.  I was pretty pregnant here and headed on vacation.  Every time I see an old picture of myself...I always notice my tongue thrust first thing.  God bless myofunctional therapy and braces ;).

Here we are on Memorial Day 2009 with our baby Kensington and bonus, I'm pregnant!  That's three Memorial Days in a row that I was pregnant.

 On Memorial Day 2010, I have a new baby and a mouth full of braces. Sigh.

 Look who we hung out with on Memorial Day 2011!  Nixon (1), Ebby Lee (2), Smith (1) and Kensington (2).  Sweet babies!

 Memorial Day weekend 2012!  We had no idea that on the other side of the world, their baby sister was about to be born ;).

 This was the week of Memorial Day 2013. 

 We moved Memorial Day weekend this was one of our last pics on the steps at our rental house.  We took lots of pictures on those steps!

Our first Memorial Day weekend with Ashby London!  

So...Memorial Day always makes me think of being a mom and THAT is a favorite of mine!

Speaking of those kiddos...

...we were heading to go swim and I took a pic of some of our favorite kid related summer essential things. 

 I get asked A LOT about kid shoes.  It might be the number one question asked on my Instagram.  If you've asked, it's probably been about the shoes in the middle...those would be Ashby's feet and she's wearing Natives.  In every single picture I post, I would bet 99% of the time, one (if not more) Shull kid has Natives on their feet.  

Here are questions I get about Natives:
1. Where do you get them?  I always get them at Nordstrom.
2. How do they run? True to size.
3. How do you clean them?  I hose them off in the sink and let them air dry.  If the white looks dingy, I'll use a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser.
4. Are they comfortable?  My kids LIVE in them.  They are without a doubt the favorite shoe of all three Shull kids.

 Natives reign supreme at our house year around.  We love them!  But what's happening on the other side of Ashby's feet?  Well, my big kids are into their new Toms flip flops. They're very reminiscent of the Toms flip flops I bought last year (see the next favorite below for that!).  The soles of these shoes are very soft and they don't rub my kiddos' the wrong way.  My big kids are in love with these flip flops which is great...because all summer long, we live in easy shoes like that!

See both sets of flip flops (plus orange!) here.

While you're looking at the Nordstrom shoes, you can look below for some other fun summer essential kid stuff (so much is on sale!).  Now is the time because it's their Half-Yearly Sale...lots of deals!  I tried to select most things below that are now 40% off!

So, after our Disney Cruise, I was asked a lot about our pool bag situation and here's what I use.  This is just a basic tote you buy at places like Target or Walmart.  I don't spend much on them (like $5 or $10 at the most!) and I use them until they're too gross to use any more and then toss them and buy a new one.  These totes are especially good when you travel to the beach because instead of putting your nice beach bag filled with bits of sand back into your car or suitcase, you can just leave it behind.  

 Look!  Both Erika and I have these bags right here. Mine is black (like above) and her bag is turquoise.  I love bringing a bag like this on a trip because you can bring it home or if it's disgusting (sand/pool/sea/spilled sunscreen), you can toss it.

Speaking of my Toms flip flops from last year...

...I wore my flip flops this week with my new shorts and that same Caslon tee I can't quit as I was leaving the gym.  This was the perfect outfit for working at home/walking to my kids' school/ playing at the park and then later, going for a bike ride.  Just easy for a (almost) summer day.

These shorts are cute, right?  I was headed home and then outside for the rest of the day, so these were the perfect thing to throw on.

Have you guys been keeping up with my Every Day in May challenge on Facebook?  Each day, we're doing something good for ourselves.  Here's what we have done so far:

May 1: No caffeine for the day
May 2: Write down 3 things you're grateful for that day
May 3: Read instead of watching TV after dinner
May 4: Schedule your annual skin check/OB appointment/dental cleaning (whatever you've been putting off!)
May 5: Drink 6 to 8 (8 oz) glasses of water today
May 6: Pay it forward! (Hold open a door, buy someone a drink at Starbucks...whatever you can do to pay it forward)
May 7: Be intentional with the people you're with today
May 8: Tell a mom that you know that she's doing a great job
May 9: Go to bed earlier than normal
May 10: Wake up earlier than normal
May 11: No social media after 6:00 PM
May 12: Walk the extra mile (park further away, take the stairs instead of the elevator...just go a little further today)
May 13: Write 3 cards and send them to 3 different people
May 14: Clean out a junk drawer
May 15: Stretch or do yoga
May 16: Meatless Monday!  Go vegetarian for the day!
May 17: Have a quiet time
May 18: Walk one mile after dinner
May 19: No sugar for the day
May 20: Do a fitness activity at home off of Pinterest
May 21: We stay positive all day long
May 22: Clean out a closet
May 23: Eat dinner without any electronics
May 24: 30 minutes of exercise
May 25: Donate something
May 26: Spend time with your girlfriends
May 27: Enjoy a meal (or at least coffee!) outside

I always say that the September 1 edition of Southern Living signals the beginning of fall for me (and makes me squeal with delight!)...but that being said, this cover here sure did make me happy this week... pretty is that?!?  I read it on the sidewalk while my kids played.  The cover just made me happy.

Speaking of happy (and all things Memorial Day!), make sure you check this out for your weekend...

From burgers to sides, appetizers, other grilled goodness and desserts too.  I have your weekend covered!

And speaking of which...

My Red, White & Blueberry Cheesecake should be on your menu.

See my easy (and FESTIVE!) recipe here today.

Have a wonderful weekend friends!  I hope you spend it with good food, friends and family.  See you on Tuesday!


Thursday, May 26, 2016

Boston 2016

Hey there Thursday!  

So, over the weekend, my parents, Kensington and I went on our annual trip to Boston to see the Red Sox play at Fenway.  Here's the deal...Ashby is still on the fence about which team she's pulling for...and right now... she says she's a Yankee fan!  


How could I have lost another one to the evil empire that is the New York Yankees?!?!  


Next year, when she's a little older and wiser, I think I'm going to bring her with us...but this year, she was happy to stay at home and have fun with those other two losers Yankees.

Here's a little recap of our trip.  We heart you Boston!

At the airport about to leave.  I love having this special time with my oldest girl!

She is such a happy little camper for someone who had to get up and ready at 4:00 AM.  Instead of missing a traditional day of school, we picked her Field Day Friday.  She was totally fine not spending the entire day outside doing sporty stuff ;).

(Pssst: this is the jacket I mentioned yesterday along with the top!)

We arrived in Boston and were hungry!  We headed to Quincy Market where Kensington got a slice and we got...

...lobster rolls.  Be still my heart.

A little pre-game shopping at Faneuil Hall.

Love spending time with my mama too!

The weather was spectacular the entire time we were in Boston!

My dad took this.  Chatting with my mama while looking at the water.

Around 5:00, my mom and Kensington stayed back at the hotel for their traditional room service/watch a movie night and Dad and I headed to our Friday night game.

Oh Yawkey Way!

We had to stop off and see our brick!

My dad loves his brick :).

My happy place.

So glad my dad taught me about Jesus...and the Red Sox.

Friday's game was extra special because the Sox inducted their 2016 Hall of Fame class before the game.  Two of my favorite former players were inducted along with David Ortiz.  This made the night extra fun!

Friday night lights.

The next morning, I read a really good book and had my coffee and oatmeal.  My book review is next week!

And after breakfast, we headed out to walk our favorite streets before the game.  Charles and Newbury Streets are my favorites.

Oh how Kensington loves a park and especially the ducks.  We stopped so she could run around and play.

Two of my favorite girls.  We just needed Catherine and Ashby to complete our set.  Too bad they're Yankee and Mariner fans...

Papa Jay and Kensington have such a special little bond.  They kept each other company all day!

We had lunch outside on Newbury Street.  The weather was amazing and my Chorizo, Egg and Black Bean Burrito with guacamole on top was too.

Kensington loves the "human statues".

For Saturday, we had a 4:00 game and everyone went.  Of course, we had to see the brick!

Such a special bond between my dad and me...and now between K and me.

She pays attention, asks questions and really absorbs the game!

That moment you look over and realize you've done an excellent job of parenting. #Papi

So, Academy Award winner J.K. Simmons sat in front of us.  #starstruck

Since we saw an afternoon game, we were back in our hotel by 7:30.  That called for room service brownie sundaes!

My parents stayed back and went somewhere else after Boston, but Kensington and I came home on Sunday morning.  This is us on the plane.  I love this sweet girl of mine.

Well, that wraps up Boston 2016.  It's always good to get away for the weekend but it's always even better to come home.  We missed our other three!

Okay friends, dinner tonight was SPECTACULAR!  We couldn't get enough of...

It's simple, it's rounded out with a salad, it's on your table in minutes and your family will LOVE it!


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