Friday Favorites

Happy Friday, friends! I hope everyone had a great week. This one seemed to fly by. We've had so much going on over here that I'm hoping to put together a life lately post at some point to fill you in on some exciting stuff. 

This has been a short work week for me so maybe that's why it feels like it went by so fast, too. I'm actually out in Chicago with my sister visiting our brother. It's a trip we try to do yearly but weren't sure if we could make it happen this year. Everything ended up falling into place and my Dr was ok with me traveling, so here we are. 

The weather has been so blah for over a week and nothing but gray skies and rain. I ended up passing on going to NYFW this week because I just didn't have the energy to trek my pregnant self into the city while it was pouring. I know, I know, some of you are probably thinking, are you nuts?! And I probably am. I LOVE going, but I just wasn't feeling it this time. Hopefully there will be more opportunities to go in the future, and if not, I'm so appreciative for the ones I've had. Thankfully the weather in Chicago is supposed to be beautiful.

Ok, so why don't we get into some favorites, shall we...

1. Pop Up Gala aka Diner en Blanc: 

if you've ever heard of the famous diner en blanc events then you know it's a big deal and a pretty awesome concept. I would love to attend one in a major city one day, but for now, there's a local one by us that's very manageable, the same concept, but on a smaller scale. I've been going with my best friends for the past three years now and each year it falls around my birthday. They are the sweetest to surprise me with some cupcakes and make it an unofficial birthday celebration. 

We had so much fun this year even though it drizzled a little and was on the cooler side. My friend did an amazing job with arranging the center pieces and putting them together. Word on the street is that our table won for best decor. We can't officially confirm it because somehow when they were announcing things we weren't paying attention and couldn't really hear. 

We laughed, we ate, we drank. My friend even brought me non-alcoholic chardonnay which I didn't even know existed, so we still got to do a fun cheers and drink out of pretty glasses. After three years of going it finally felt like we got it right. From food to decor it seemed liked we had everything we needed and were able to just relax and enjoy the night.

2. Cape May Trip: 

in case you missed it, I shared earlier this week more about our family trip to Cape May. It's one of our favorite beach towns with so much to do and some pretty awesome free attractions too. If you're local or even looking for a destination to consider, I would recommend to check it out. 

3. Campfire Safety With Kids: 

speaking of Cape May, we brought our Airstream with us and stayed on a campsite. We realize how important fire safety is with the boys especially if we're starting one to do some cooking or roast up those marshmallows for s'mores. I shared more about our experience and some pointers that might be helpful for you.

4. Favorite Purchases: 

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if you remember, I shared some of my favorite purchases a few weeks back and Old Navy happened to get me again this week with some super cash I have (don't forget to use yours if you have it), along with H&M, a turtleneck poncho I got from Liam & Co, and a duster that Katherine shared in some of her favorite fall looks to replicate. Yeahhhh, I did a bit of shopping. But they were all great deals and things I can use in the weeks to come.

I have been living in these cropped joggers and pretty much change into them as soon as I get home from work. They also have them in non-maternity so I know I'll be getting these as well. I need things that I'll be able to wear to work so these pants in the dark green khaki color with a sweater should work out well for fall. I picked up this pair of black flats because mine are on their last leg and I love how versatile these are. I also picked up another pair of leggings and decided to get them in gray. Can you ever really have too many pairs of leggings?


5. Chicago:  

Chicago is one of my favorite cities so I thought it would be fun to share an older post that I did about enjoying a long weekend. For this trip, I think we're going to keep it more low-key and instead of doing some kayaking on the rive we'll be doing some fishing on the lake. I'm pretty sure an amazing brunch will be involved that I can't wait to indulge in.
I hope everyone has a great weekend! Here's where you can find me linking for all the link up fun. Don't forget that we have our monthly Girl Chat link up on Thursday where we'll be sharing our fall bucket lists. I hope you will join us and I can't wait to read about what you're looking forward to.


Campfire Conversations And Fire Safety With Kids

As you can see we are in camping mode over here and I can't say I'm really sorry about it. We've worked hard to finally get our airstream on the road so we are just a little excited that it's finally happened and we can create some fun family memories. 

One of the things that seem to go hand in hand with camping is sitting around a campfire. I'm not actually sure that a trip would feel complete without it. When we had our first adventure in Hershey we had a bit of a campfire fail. Well, not a total fail, but it wasn't all warm and fuzzy campfire vibes and the ease of just sitting around and enjoying it.

For starters, we purchased the wood directly from the campsite and it happened to be wet. This made it extremely difficult to actually get a fire going. Eric is always amazing at this stuff and his inner boy scout comes out and before we know it we are set. This time it wasn't so easy.

We didn't have the proper kindling, the sticks we were finding were also damp, and we forgot to bring some old grocery ads or newspaper to help get it going. Lord Jesus please forgive us, but we went into our glove box and found offering envelopes from some weeks that we missed and used those to jump start it. I felt bad because I knew deep down this isn't what a burnt offering was intended for. We also had a mishap with little nugget that could have been so much worse but we are so thankful it wasn't and that someone was there to help him. Long story short, Eric went off to try and find some dry sticks and leaves and he thought the boys were with me. I thought the boys went with him (it was an honest mistake on both our parts) and before I knew it a nice couple was carrying my crying boy back who had tripped and fallen into a fire ring on another campsite that wasn't being used. He was covered in soot with tears running down his face and told me, mama I fell in an old tire. My heart about melted and all I wanted to do was sit there and hold and hug him. I feel embarrassed to admit this even happened, but I think it also goes to show that as parents, things can happen in a split second and none of us are perfect or ever intentionally mean for something to happen.

After that, Eric and I knew that we needed to put some best practices in place when it comes to camping, and specifically dealing with kids around a campfire.

This time around we were better prepared (no more tithing envelopes) and we brought our own wood so we knew it was dry and ready to go. We also made sure to get a fire going around dusk instead of when it was really dark out so everyone could see better at what they were doing.

We also made sure to prep the boys before our trip and then talk to them about fire safety while we were there. They're young and curious but also need to know that fire can be such a dangerous thing and not something to be taken lightly.

If we decide to do a fire it's part of mine and Eric's responsibility to make sure that one of us is out there with them at all times. They know that they are never to put anything into the fire expect for marshmallows when mommy or daddy are around. Even when Eric or I add more wood to the fire it's to be done at an angle where they are placed in and never thrown in to create sparks or flying embers that could hurt someone or something else.

Another great idea that we read about was creating a fire ring. You can bring a piece of chalk or involve your kids to collect rocks or extra sticks and make a wider ring around the fire. It should be a good distance away and explained that they can't go over that fire circle. This is to keep them at a distance to avoid them getting too close.

They also know there's no running around a fire, no playing ball or anything that could go up in the air. We also keep water near by in case anything were to get out of hand and the boys know and practice stop, drop, and roll. We pray that it will never have to be put into place.

campfire-safety

After we felt comfortable and confident that the boys understood we did sit with them and allowed them to roast marshmallows and makes s'mores.

Some of our conversations sounded like this...

A: how come a marshmallow gets so fat when it goes near the fire?
Me: that's because it gets warm and starts to heat up and melt

Little nugget: but it looks like a booty
Me: I don't see that. Let's not talk like that (why does it always have to resort back to potty words?! )

Little nugget: we can't get too close to the fires because our feet might get bleedy
A: eww bleedy
Me: well he is right, we should never get close to the fire and you definitely never put your feet in it

A: if a bug flies near the fire will it die
Me: if he gets too close it could happen

Little nugget: daddy has really long arms so he won't get burned (referring to him putting more wood in)

A: I think I just like to eat the chocolate and a regular marshmallow. Can you pick the brown spots off mine?
Me: so you really don't like roasting marshmallows?
A: no, I like putting them on the stick but I don't like eating them after the fire. You can have it

Me: Ok, it's time to come inside to get ready for bed and wash those dirty feet off. Daddy's going to put the fire out.
Little nugget: but pumpkins stay outside
Me: yes, they do, what does that have to do with anything?
Little nugget: I want to be a pumpkin and stay outside
Me: not tonight kiddo

Cape May Family Trip

We're back from another camping adventure and I think every time we go we are learning something new, making a list of things that we could use, and getting a little better each time. 

We decided to spend time down in Cape May which is one of our favorite beach towns in NJ. Unfortunately it's about three hours from us since it's at the very bottom of the state, but if it was closer, I'm sure it would be a high priority for a regular go-to beach destination. 

Cape May has so much charm, is family oriented, yet still has something for everyone. Another great feature, there are a bunch of different campsites you can stay at. That was a total win for us, because you know, all the airstream adventures have us all kinds of happy. 

Not into camping? I get it. It's definitely not for everyone. In fact, now that we have our own travel trailer underway, I don't think I could go back to tent camping. Nothing wrong with it, at all. It's just personal preference now. There are so many amazing bed and breakfast spots in Cape May and some that have even been rated the most romantic spots and even the best spots in all of the US. There are also hotels right near the ocean or I'm sure some Airbnbs or other rental options as well.

We decided on a campsite that was about a 10 minute drive from the beach which worked out great for us. We spent most of our afternoons at the beach, followed by walking around the heart of Cape May on Washington Street, and also checking out the shops and arcade for the boys on Beach Ave. If you're visiting, The Lobster House is a great restaurant to check out and we also loved the lobster rolls and crab cakes at the Ugly Mug. We all enjoyed the flavorful pancakes at Uncle Bill's. Eric got the sweet potato pancakes and I got the pecan ones. The boys of course devoured their chocolate chip pancakes and I snuck a few bites from them too. I mean how can you resist a little chocolate in the morning?!

After we packed up from our beach days we would head back to the campsite to enjoy the night filled with camp fires, silly conversations, and unfortunately some pesky mosquitos that did us all in. Not even bug spray was keeping those suckers away. Ugh, one of my least favorite things about the summer.

I think the combination of being out in the hot sun near the water and then finishing it off with the fresh air at night had everyone sleeping like babies. We'd wake up to the sound of birds chirping and the boys climbing into our bed wanting to get the day started. Thankfully this all took place after 7:30am, so I couldn't really complain about that. We had a few mornings where we kept it to a slow start and made our own breakfast in our Airstream. Working burners to cook up some eggs and sausage were a beautiful thing.

At one point, I saw A running off in the grass and then heard an odd sound. All I kept thinking was, what in the world does this boy have, and please don't let him get bit. I ran over to see what he was up to, or maybe I should say, waddled and lightly trotted over to see what he was up to (maneuvering with a pregnant belly isn't the easiest thing right now). I saw him pick something up and then have the biggest smile on his face so I knew he caught something. Sure enough, it was a baby bunny. He was so proud and so gentle with it.

Of course little nugget came running over too and wanted to have a turn holding him. The bunny was so adorable and as long as they were cradling it, it stayed calm. The boys loved spending a few minutes with him before we let him hop back off.

Actually, the boys found some interesting things on this trip and it seemed like every time I turned around someone was holding some critter or catching something #boymomlife.

When we were on the beach a horseshoe crab washed up and the little girl it came up next to was too scared to hold it. A couldn't have ran over there fast enough to take a look and pick him up. After a crowd of people gathered around we all helped it back out to the water to swim on its merry way.

Ok, so back to Cape May. This town has so much charm that even if you just decide to spend some time walking around and admiring it all, I don't think you'd be disappointed. There are also some great free activities you can do which is nice because some times going away can get pricey. We didn't get a chance to do all of these on this trip, but have gone before and would definitely recommend them.  The Cape May Zoo is a great free trip and you can decide on a donation that you feel is appropriate. We've always had a great time whenever we've visited and look forward to making this apart of another trip. Sunset beach is also amazing which is at the southern most part of Cape May. The true gem here is the pieces of quartz that have been rounded and smoothed as they travel down the Delaware and resemble diamonds. The Cape May Lighthouse is also another great one to check out and see. There are some other great attractions to see and do like whale and dolphin watching which is a big one around here. I was so excited that we got to see our own dolphin show while sitting on the beach and some of them even jumped up out of the water. I forgot my phone in the car that day and would have loved to catch it all on video, but you know what, it was really nice to not have it with me and enjoy the moment. I could have walked back and grabbed it but something about not having it, yet still knowing where it was (you know, like not lost or anything) was really refreshing. I'm kind of sad that I found out about this too late because it's definitely on my list for next time to visit an Alpaca Farm. The Jersey Shore Alpaca Farm has private tours and open farm days where you can come and interact with them. It sounds like a lot of fun and I've always found llamas and alpacas so interesting. There's also the Cape May Winery you can check out and spend sometime in the vineyards. With me being pregnant and all,  we decided to pass on it this time.

As you can see there is a ton to do and see in Cape May. The variety of things to see really make this destination special. I'm glad we got to go on another adventure and look forward to our next camping trip and the next time we get a chance to make it back to Cape May.

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday, friends! I hope everyone had a great week. This one seemed to go by really quick for us, but boy was it a hot one. Maybe it was the anticipation of the long weekend ahead but it seemed to fly. We're headed on another Airstream adventure and took some additional time off of work to make it an extra extra long weekend. I'm thinking I'm going to keep it a little quiet around here next week and enjoy plugging into some family time. 

Here's a look at some of my favorites from the week...

1. Airstream Kick Off and Hershey Adventure: 

In case you missed it, we had our maiden voyage as some have put it, I love that by the way! After all of our projects on our Airstream we took it out on the road for the first time. We visited Hershey with the boys and all had such a great time. We're hoping to make this a yearly trip.

2. Random Thoughts: 

We can all use some randomness in our lives here and there, so I decided to share some thoughts that just popped into my mind. It seems like a lot of us share the same frustrations when people don't RSVP.

3. Fun Mail:

The past few years I haven't really made a big deal about my birthday. It usually always falls on Labor Day weekend so keeping it low-key, spending time with family, and having an extra day away from work is good enough for me. I couldn't not mention how sweet and thoughtful Andrea is and  how extra special she made me feel when all these goodies arrived in the mail. I really don't know if they come any sweeter than her and she has such a heart of a gold.

4. Favorite Purchases:

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I have to give myself a pat on the back because I did so good this summer with not buying a lot of things. I really tried to stick to what I actually needed and anything else I wasn't sure if I would wear, I didn't hit purchase. 

Well Old Navy got me this week with their 40% off sale. Did anyone else catch that? This fall is going to be tricky for me because part of it I'll be super pregnant and the other part I won't. I started worrying about my feet swelling towards the end and having to stuff them like sausages into flats or boots (let's hope that's not the case, but you never know). I found these adorable open back mule booties and decided to get them in the mustard color. I thought if anything having the back open would help with my foot not feeling too constricted. I also went with this super long open front sweater and decided on heather green. I thought this with the booties could be really cute for fall. I need a new pair of leggings and was happy to see they had the full panel maternity ones available in my size in black. 
I couldn't help but pick up a few things for the boys and some of these I'll be saving for part of A's birthday presents. It's every kids dream to get clothes, haha. I couldn't pass up these thermal henleys and these patterned jersey leggings that I could for under $4.  We also love to wear our vests in the fall. I have one from A that little nugget can wear this year, but A still needs a new one. I picked this one up for him and I have always loved their frost-free line.

5. Flash Giveaway:

Speaking of clothes, all of my PinkBlush fans head over to my instagram (@beautifully_candid) for a flash giveaway I have going on. What's a flash giveaway you say? Well, it only runs through 9/1 but it's a good one. Enter for your chance to with a $75 gift card that can be used during their current Labor Day sale (more details there). They have maternity, non-maternity, plus sizes, and even kids clothes!

I hope everyone has a great weekend! For those enjoying the long weekend, I hope you get some extra time with your family or have the best time doing all the things you enjoy.

13 Random Things

This post is going to be a little all over the place and I'm really just rolling with it for whatever pops into my head. I love to come across random posts that share thoughts where I feel like I get to connect with the person behind the blog a little bit more. This will probably be just as random as the pic I'm using, but I needed something, because all posts need to have a pic, right?

1. Bed time with kids:
I used to think we had a pretty good handle on bed time with the boys. They were bathed, brushed, and story read by a certain time and then placed into bed and would fall right to sleep. Now, not so much. This was all before little nugget was really talking and now I feel like we've lost some control. They become extremely hungry right before (like we never fed them), start messing around with each other, and seem to want to prolong things constantly. They always want us to lay with them and tuck them in about 10 more times. I know one day I'll look back and miss all of this so I'm trying to take it in stride.

2. Rubbernecking:
Ugh I just can't with people. Please keep driving and mind your own business. When we were coming back from our camping trip, an 18 wheeler must have caught on fire, it was hours before, but there was such a backup just from people stopping to look. This one was kind of interesting because it was carrying milk and you could see all of the gallons in the back, but still, keep driving—please.

3. Summer ending:
I used to get really annoyed when people would say summer ends when school goes back. The fun technically ends for kids, but we still have summer up until the middle of September and I'm not one to rush the seasons, except for winter that is. We're planning on enjoying it as much as we can.

4. Excitement for fall:
This is going to sound contradictory because I love summer so much, but I also love the fall, too. This fall will be even more special with baby boy coming. I'm a little worried that I won't be able to enjoy all the things because I'll feel huge and uncomfortable, but I'm going to try and make the best of it.

5. Call the copies:
Back to driving. I drive an Explorer and it's really funny that I can tell when someone thinks I'm an unmarked cop car. You'll see them slam on their breaks or look in their mirror when I'm behind them and slow down. You would think me wearing my bright mirrored sunnies would give it away, but I'm convinced there are not a lot of smart drivers out there. Anyway, Eric and I always laugh when we go around someone and they are clenching the wheel and trying not to give us the side-eye to look and see if we are in fact a cop. We were laughing at a recent encounter, and then all of the sudden little nugget blurted out from the backseat, call the copies! We were all cracking up!

6.  TV Shows:
I feel like this summer Eric and I didn't find a good series to get into. TV over the summer sucks in my opinion. We always resort to home improvement shows, real housewives, or impractical jokers. Last year we watched bloodline and big little lies and couldn't get enough of them. I'm really looking forward to fall TV.

7. Not RSVPing:
A's 5th birthday is coming up and we're already in full on planning mode over here. He wants a reptile party #boymomlife, and he has no clue that we're surprising him with someone coming to the house with snakes, lizards, and an alligator. One thing I can't stand, when people don't rsvp. It never fails, there is always someone who doesn't bother to respond.

8. Mosquitos or Mosquitoes (I never really know):
Apparently both forms of the word are acceptable so I'm going with mosquitos because it has one less letter. Ha! Anyway, I can't stand them. We've had two treatments at our house this year because I couldn't even load the boys in the car without getting bit up. They're one of those things I want to ask God one day when I get to Heaven, why in the world did you create them?

9. Autcorrect:
It's put me in some funny situations before but I also had a complete spaced out moment the other day. Maybe it's pregnancy brain, but I sat staring at a work email and just stopped typing because I expected outlook to finish my word. Not cool.

10. All the hair:
I love our dog so much. He'll always be my first son, but recently he got a skin irritation and started losing a lot of hair. Apparently everything is fine and it's more of an allergy, but the hair, it's too much. We have this medicated shampoo for him that we have to use and seriously his hair seems to be everywhere. I'm vacuuming twice a day and it still doesn't seem to be enough.

11. Pregnancy thoughts:
I can't believe that on Friday I'll be in my third trimester. I had my glucose test but my iron seems to be low so I'll be on supplements. Which I guess isn't so bad. We still have no name options. I know we'll narrow some down but for some reason we can't commit to any.

12. School supplies:
I took A shopping for school supplies because we got a list of things he needs and would you believe he tried to pick out a $60 puma backpack. I was like, hold up, you're how old and this is how much?! In his defense, he thought the puma looked like the tiger from Tiger Schulmann's which is a karate school that he wants to try out. Thankfully he settled on a $19 frog backpack.

13. Laundry:
I can't seem to keep up with it. Tonight Eric and I folded three loads and put them away. I'm always trying to pawn it off on him. I know, I know, just fold it and get it taken care of. I'm sitting here glancing at two more loads that need to be done and I just can't do it. 
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