Tuesday, July 17, 2018

June 2018

Happy Tuesday! Today I am linking up with Erika and Ashley for Tuesday Talk and am talking about all the things we did in June.

  June felt like a crazy busy month (which is why I am just getting around to blogging about it now) AND it just flew by. I can't believe we are already half way through summer now as I write this. In some ways, I will be ready for routine and a schedule but in other ways I am loving the laid back and laziness of summer :) 

Here is what June looked like around here...

Gabriella had two weeks of swimming lessons at the beginning of June. She loved it (for the most part) and did really well. We've noticed her practicing what she has learned each time we have been at the pool-woo hoo!

My sister and I loaded up the car with 6 kids and drove down to the city to visit the Shedd Aquarium. Our kids had a blast (as always), and we love any excuse to get into the city.

We spent lots of time at the baseball fields watching my nephews play little league. The highlight for the littles was the concession stand :)

Little miss had her first urgent care visit when she took a tumble of off the trampoline and partially dislocated her elbow. 

We went strawberry picking with Nana and cousins at the cutest farm one afternoon. It was a beautiful day and the first time any of us have done anything like this. I highly recommend!

We went to our town's Libertyville Days complete with carnival games, rides, food, and a parade!

Gabriella attended her first VBS! Our church had Sports Camp (their version of VBS) the last week of June, and she loved it! I wasn't sure how she would do or like it , but she had a blast. I still hear her singing the songs :)

This guy turned 2 at the end of the month! I blogged all about our two year old here and celebrating his birthday here.

I also did a "weekend in the life" post over a June weekend (aka the busiest weekend ever #alltheactivities) here

That is a wrap for June! July has been much more laid back and relaxing :)

Friday, July 13, 2018

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday! It's been a minute since I've done Friday Favorites. I just can't seem to get my blogging together this summer :) But that's ok! It's been a full summer of fun here.  Today, I am  linking up with ErikaNarci, and Andrea with some of my favorites lately.

Reading is always a favorite of mine and this summer I set a goal to read 18 books. I thought it would be a stretch but I am currently on book #12 :) Funny when you don't look at your phone so much you realize how much time for other things you have! This week I posted my June book review here.

 My favorite little guy turned 2 a few weeks ago, and we decided that having a Saturday birthday is the best thing ever because we can celebrate ALL day long :) This year we spent the day celebrating in Chicago and ended with a family dinner. 

Speaking of birthdays...I decided to start doing something for my kids to remember their birthdays each year and some how incorporate the theme or what they happened to be into at the time so I had this made (and will have to back track 3 years for Gabriella and 1 year for Madden). I went with Unique Chalk on Etsy and they were wonderful to work with. 

Visiting the Lincoln Park Zoo is a big favorite over here. On Madden's birthday, we visited it for the second time and loved it even more than the first. It is really clean and pretty with beautiful views of the city, plus it is free. If you are ever in Chicago definitely stop in to walk around!

Swimming has been a big favorite around here too. And even better when Manny has a random weekday off (hello 4th of July!), and we can spend the afternoon at the pool. 

That's a wrap for this week! What are some of your favorites this summer?!

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Books (June 2018)

Happy Tuesday! It's one of my favorite days of the month because I love sharing what I have been reading and then linking up and finding more books to read! :) June was a busy reading month-I read 7 books...and liked almost all of them.

So here we go....
I read my first Erica Spindler book last month and loved it so I gave another a try, and this one did not disappoint either! This book is about a police officer who is called out to investigate the murder of a well liked college professor in the town she grew up in. While at the crime scene the police officer finds a piece of evidence that is linked back to a horrific night she experienced 15 years prior. Soon another person tied to her case 15 years ago turns up dead and the police officer falls under suspicion. I really liked this book and when I thought I was figuring it out there were more twists!

This was my second Mary Kay Andrews book and I will now be reading all of her books. This was a sweet beachy read about a woman who is struggling in her marriage and heading home to Bell Isle with her tween daughter for the summer. She has arranged to meet her soon to be ex husband at the ferry to take them all to the island together where they will tell their daughter that they plan to separate. Well her husband never shows up and once on the island she starts hearing rumors and finding out who her husband really is. She navigates the summer dealing with family issues among other things all while trying to figure out what has happened with her husband. While this is a beachy chick flick, it does have a little mystery to it too which I really enjoyed.

The raising compassionate kids part of this book caught my eye so I decided to check it out. The author goes through 29 "rules" to raising smart, sensitive, and self-sufficient kids. I thought her approach was interesting and I did pull some things that I definitely want to do. This book also helped me see some things in a different way, and I appreciate that. However, I didn't really love this book, it was ok. Just with most parenting books, there was some stuff I agreed with or wanted to try and some stuff that I didn't really care for either.

This book is about a pilot's wife who learns the plane her husband was piloting has exploded. As the investigation unfolds, the wife learns of a secret life her husband was leading and begins her own search for the truth. This was a quick and easy read for me. It kept my interest but wasn't as interesting as I thought it would be. I would say it wasn't until 3/4 of the way through the book that it got interesting as the wife started taking the investigating into her own hands, but overall, I did like this book.

This sweet little beach read is about a couple who are planning their summer wedding close to their home on Nantucket island and have invited their grown kids (and their families) to spend weekends during the summer at their house to get to know each other as they begin to blend their family. The bride-to-be has two grown daughters, both dealing with issues in their marriage, who have had a distant relationship. And the groom-to-be has an unhappy daughter and then a charming and a little bit mysterious son. This book navigates through the summer and mostly the bride-to-be and her daughters as they deal with family and marriage issues and learn to overcome them. I loved this book! It was a sweet read, and I really wasn't sure how things would end up playing out!

This book discusses scientific discoveries that explain why habits exist and how they can be changed. I have a few bad habits (biting my nails, self-control when eating) that I've been wanting to change and/or (kind of trying) for years to change so I thought this book would be interesting, and it was! I was a biology major in college so the scientific part of this book was interesting to me, but what I most loved about it were the stories of companies and people (some I had heard of and some I hadn't) who had transformed their life or company by focusing on patterns that shape every aspect of life. They were really encouraging and I learned some really good insights and some new things to try!

This was my last book this month, and I flew right through it! I don't really know anything about Ali Wentworth, but she is hilarious. She takes each chapter in this book to talk a little about her life and some of the lessons she has learned. She gives tips and some pointers of different situations that she or someone else has been through, and they were good! I loved reading about bits and pieces of her life and really liked this book!

That's it for this month! I set a goal to read 18 books this summer, and I have read 11 so back to reading :)

Linking up with Steph and Jana for Show Us Your Books!

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Madden's 2nd Birthday

Last Saturday (6/30), this guy turned 2 and we had a blast celebrating him all day long!

We started off the day with donuts, cousins, and annoying noisemakers.

And then we headed into the city to spend the day there. Our first stop was the beautiful Lincoln Park Zoo.

We walked through some of Lincoln Park and had lunch at one of our favorites from California-Dog Haus. This guy loved having us all to himself while his sister slept in the stroller :)

Next, we headed to Michigan Avenue to walk around. Our first stop was Sprinkles Cupcakes. #theBEST

We walked around Michigan Avenue a little and popped into a few stores. I have been dying to take Gabriella into the American Girl Store so we stopped in, and she could have cared less. I kept pointing out all the dolls and she would just say "I don't know, mom." The only thing she cared about were a few stuffed animals :( Ha ha!

Next stop was the Disney store where our cars loving boy stocked up...

We ended our day with a family dinner!....and of course more cupcakes!

Our all day celebrating wore this guy out but he had a great time!

Happy 2nd Birthday, Madden Jax!