Back To School Prep & How to Make it Easy

I can't believe I'm already preparing for Back to School!  I feel like we didn't even get a full summer so I'm very much not ready for school days but once we get into the swing of things it will be nice to have a routine and have some more time sans kids to get things done.  Back to School can be one of the craziest times of the year so I wanted to share some tips and tricks with you to not only make the transition easier but also to add in some fun and keep the smiles flowing from Summer Fun to School Days.

Being prepared and ahead of the game is my number tip.  Do as much as you can the night before because the morning is so crazy no matter what.  In our house we always lay out the next days clothes as well as pack lunches.  I suggest involving your kids in both of these processes because it teaches them responsibility and it gives them confidence.  I also feel like they have some buy in power when they help make decisions and are more likely to feel good about the activity when they helped with it.

To make your child's lunch more fun try adding a snack that they love and will make them smile. Our kiddos love Goldfish®  so this is a special treat in Emily's lunch.  I also love including lunchbox notes to make Emily feel special and loved!  I found these Lunchbox notes HERE.

This will be the first time in Emily's life where she is gone all day every day and so I am planning quality time when she gets home from school.  First order of business will be washing her hands, putting her shoes away and hanging up her backpack.  But after business is taken care of a special snack and activity is in order.  Again to make life easier we prep snacks ahead so it takes less time to get from the pantry to the plate.   Again I love involving my kiddos when I can so Emily made this Goldfish® Trail Mix which makes her feel so big and appreciated.  As you can see from the video it's very simple for little ones to make on their own.  {Side note...I just told Emily what we were doing and she ran with it.  This isn't scripted, rehearsed or reshot over and over.  She loves doing this kind of stuff and is always talking about blogging.  Kevin asks me, "What are you creating?!?!"}

Although educational activities are super important Emily will be learning ALL day so I'm planning activities that are just fun.  The goal is laughter and smiles; not learning.  I created this Tic Tac Toe board for our family and you can download your own copy to use.  This game combines fun and a snack.  We play the game and then when we're all done we share Goldfish® and some smiles.  It's the little moments that we will always cherish and although our kids might not remember these moments they'll definitely remember the feeling!

For more fun ideas with Goldfish®  click HERE.

Top 10 Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Picks

School starts in less than a month and Fall will be here before you know it! (Insert sad crying faces times a million.) You know you'll want new pieces for Fall so start shopping now. Even better take advantage of the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale going on right now for some amazing deals. If you're a cardholder you have early access currently but don't worry the sale opens up on July 21st for all. I'm sharing my top 10 picks from the sale that satisfy just about the whole wardrobe. Even with the sale it looks like I better sell a house to justify all these purchases. But who could resist?

Remember this isn't marked down merchandise from last year. There are crazy markdowns on new items. Plus Nordstrom has the best customer service with FREE shipping and returns so you have no excuse to not shop the sale. Happy Shopping!!!

Fourth of July Fun

Our Fourth of July weekend was very busy and filled with lots of fun!  We headed to Shaver with great friends for the weekend where we spent most of our time on the lake.  We played on the beach, cruised on the jet ski, listened to loud music, ate our hearts out and just had fun.  Both of the girls said riding the jet ski was the highlight of the weekend.  Thank you to the Marsh family for your generosity and the invitation!

On the actual holiday we went over to friends for swimming and a bbq.  We had the best time playing around and enjoying the best of summer.  I played the longest, hottest game of corn hole but it was one of the highlights of the day for me!  We ended the night with sparklers and fire works.  Thank you Serpa Family for throwing an awesome party like always.  

I needed to bring an appetizer to our 4th of July party and deviled eggs are always a hit so I knew I wanted to make them but wanted them to be more festive so I turned them up a notch by making them red, white and blue.  After boiling the eggs you peel them and place them in colored water for about 20-25 minutes.  I removed them and let me dry on a paper towel before slicing them open.  You make the filing as usual but just add lots of red food coloring.  I then used a star tip and piping bag to fill the eggs with the mixture.  Voila--- festive deviled eggs.  I think I might just have to do this for Easter in different colors.

Whose ready for some fun?!?!

Shop my look below.

Friday Favorites 7/7

Not sure where the time is going but it's mid summer and we've been having lots of fun:

We've spent several days at the lake and lake days might be my favorite part of summer time.

We attended my goddaughter's dance recital which was so fun to watch her perform.  She did great!

I'm part of a non profit organization called PINC.  We had our annual event in June which was a huge success.  The donation amount for Heart of the Horse Therapy Ranch will be announced soon:)

We had a low key Father's Day at daddy's request.  We did brunch at Pane and hung by the pool most of the day.

Us girls are quite blessed by this daddy!  

We braved the heat and attended Movie in the Park with great friends.  It cooled off and was such a fun night with a petting zoo, bubble station, clowns, balloon animals, treats, food trucks and the movie Sing.  I can't wait to do this again next year.

Peonies are by far my favorite flower (although I have tons I love) and they just make me happy!

Can we stop and talk about how I caught my girls blogging?!?!?!

Happy Friday and have a safe weekend!