Posted in Monthly Musings

Monthly Musings

Hello and Happy Thursday! Have I ever told you that Thursdays are my favorite day of the week? I’m still very productive on a Thursday, but then I also know that the weekend is almost here as well!

Today, I’m linking up with Patty and Holly for Monthly Musings.

This month’s topic is Back to School/Fall Planning. We are on week three of the school year and I’m always ready to think about fall, so I’m excited for today’s post!

1. Do you meal plan/prep? Favorite back to school recipe?

I meal plan more than I meal prep. I always plan our meals for the week on Saturday, so I can place my Kroger pickup order on Sunday. Sometimes Saturdays are too busy for meal planning and things get bumped a day, but I try my best to get organized before the week starts.

Actually, once Hayden is finished with baseball, my Saturdays will be more predictable. There are stretches of the school year where I do grocery pickup on Saturday which is my preference.

As far as my favorite back to school recipe, I’ve done muffins, fruit and yogurt for the kids on the first day of school. This year I started a new tradition with Back to School Brinner. This breakfast casserole was a hit.

I still had the muffins (made from a mix as well as some store bought ones), yogurt and fruit as well.

2. How do you buy and organize school supplies?

When the kids were in elementary school, we would take the school supply list and head to Walmart in early August. We’d actually make a day of it and get school supplies, back to school haircuts, and go out for lunch or ice cream.

This year I bought the supplies from their middle school. I figured with eight classes (and eight different teachers), I’d purchased the package deal, so we’d get exactly what the kids need.

After the first few days of school, Hadley had to help Hayden get all his supplies organized! haha

3. Any back to school traditions?

We have a few back to school traditions. Like I said, I used to have a Back to School Breakfast for the kids on the first day of school.

Now, it’s a Back to School Brinner.

Also, every year, I buy them a book for the grade their are in. It’s been surprisingly easy to find books for each grade. I haven’t looked for 7th or 8th grade books yet, but the elementary years were definitely easy to find.

Of course, there are back to school pictures before they leave for school.

4. Bring lunch? Buy lunch? Favorite lunchbox item?

Through they years, the kids have only bought school lunch to both of them bring a lunch and then even a mix in between. I’m always encouraging them to buy lunch because our district has free lunch for everyone…and it’s one less thing to do to pack lunches! The past couple of years they’ve mainly packed their lunch on their own if they didn’t want to buy.

This year, Hayden buys his lunch because middle school has a few more options. Hadley brings her lunch from home. She loves the Uncrustables (PBJ or Nutella) and usually brings fruit snacks, chips and either a fruit (She is very into raspberries right now) or a vegetable (like cucumbers!)

They don’t eat lunch until 1:00, so their teachers encourage them to bring a snack. Hayden loves Chomps, Hadley loves Cliff bars, and they both will bring snack packages of goldfish or Cheezits.

I always bring my lunch. Seriously, in twenty years of teaching, I’ve only bought school lunch on they day they serve their Thanksgiving meal!

5. Favorite thing about back to school then and now?

Even though I’m always sad to see summer go, it’s always good to get back on a schedule and get in a routine. I love the traditions we’ve started with breakfast/brinner, back to school photos, and more. In elementary school, I loved walking the kids to school on the first day.

6. Pumpkin spice – Hate or Love?

I used to love a pumpkin spice latte from Starbucks, but I don’t get those very often anymore. From September – November, I get by with a splash of creamer and pumpkin spice.

I love pumpkin pie and pumpkin bread.

Last fall, I made these pumpkin snickerdoodle cookies, and I can’t wait to make them again.

7. Do you decorate for fall?

I will let you be the judge of that…

Yes! Haha! I love decorating for fall…maybe even more than when I decorate for Christmas. Of course, my fall decorations are up for a couple of months, so I get to enjoy them longer.

8. How do you transition your fall wardrobe?

I wear summer dresses with a cardigan almost daily. My classroom is pretty chilly, so I like to have the cardigan layer if needed.

These are some of my favorite cardigans:

The navy one I got last fall, and I love it. It’s a bit heavier, but super soft.

The green one is one that I got a few weeks ago. It’s lightweight, so it’s perfect for the transition from summer to fall.

The pink one is one that’s in my Amazon cart right now.

All of these come in a variety of colors. So many great options!

9. Favorite fall fashion staples:

See # 8 πŸ˜‰

I also mix like to mix in lightweight short sleeve sweaters. They are a great transition piece.

I purchased these two at the end of summer before my trip to California. They are both perfect to wear with shorts, denim, or pants.

Tan sweater // Short sleeve sweatshirt

10. When does school start where you live?

We always start the second Wednesday in August. We start with a three day week, then have a four day week with no school on Friday, followed by a full week and then Labor Day. It’s nice to ease into the school year.

When I was a kid, we seemed to go Labor Day to Memorial Day. While we are usually out around Memorial Day, we are sometimes still in school until the very end of May.

So, that’s how we do back to school and plan for fall. What about you? What’s your favorite thing about fall?

I hope you are having a great week! Make sure to check out the other ladies’ posts as well!

{this post contains Amazon affiliate links…}

Posted in Holidays, Monthly Musings

Monthly Musings

Hello and Happy Thursday!

Today, Trav and I are celebrating our 16th wedding anniversary. Y’all, S I X T E E N years is hard to believe! Time sure does continue to fly by!

It’s also hard to believe that it’s already almost the end of June which means it’s time for this month’s Monthly Musings post.

As always, I’m linking up with Patty and Holly for this post.

This month’s topic is End of School and Summer Plans. Believe it or not, we’ve been out of school for over a month, so we are definitely in full summer mode over here!

1. Last Day of School Traditions:

While I have lots of traditions to begin the school year like Back to School Breakfast, a book to start the year, first day of school photos, walking to school and more, we don’t have many last day of school traditions. The kids let me take a last day of school pic, and that’s about it. I also get a photo of them in front of school on the first and last day. (I’m not sure they will let me do a photo in front of their middle school next year) 😩

2. Summer List:

We made our Summer Fun list a couple of weeks ago, and we’ve been able to cross a few things off the list!

3. Vacation Plans:

While we typically go to Florida for summer vacation, South Carolina is another favorite summer vacay spot for us. We are heading there soon.

4. Summer Outfits:

If I’m not in workout clothes, I’m usually in a swimsuit and coverup at the pool. I do like to wear light weight dresses as well as…

shorts and a tank or t-shirt.

These shorts from Target are a favorite! I have them in green, pink and black.

And…I’ve shared about my favorite Amazon swimsuit and cover up a couple of times this summer.

Amazon Dress // Target Shorts // Amazon Swimsuit // Amazon Coverup

5. Summer Meals:

I recently shared some quick dinner ideas. During the summer months, we grill out a lot and have baked beans, pasta salad or fruit as side dishes. Quick, easy, and light meals.

6. End of School:

We are usually scheduled to be out of school around Memorial Day. Some years, we go past Memorial Day if we have snow days to make up. That being said, our district seems to do whatever it takes (like adding time to the end of the day) to ensure we are out by May 31st. We occasionally get out rather early, like this year…we were out May 18th which was amazing!

When I was a kid, I feel like we were out around Memorial Day, but didn’t start back until after Labor Day. I wish it was like that now as well!

7. Swimsuit Type:

I used to love a tankini but the past few summers, I’ve really embraced the one piece. I just feel more comfortable in them, and there are so many awesome options in fun patterns and stylish designs.

Amazon One Piece Swimsuit

8. 4th of July Plans:

I’m not sure what our plans will be. I always start the 4th of July off with red, white, and blue waffles for the kids! Sometimes, we go to the pool or the parade downtown. We usually grill out with family or friends or sometimes just our family of four.

We always get a few firecrackers and sparklers for the kids. Then, every year, we make our way to our favorite spot to watch fireworks. The 4th of July has always been one of my favorite holidays.

9. Red, White, and Blue Clothes:

I’ve always put the kids in some kind of red, white, and blue! Sometimes, Travis and I will do so as well.

They usually let me take a photo or two πŸ˜‰

This is one of my favorite family photos of the four of us…July 2015. We were settling in to watch the fireworks, and we all were dressed in some form of red, white, and blue.

10. Charcoal or Gas Grill:

We have a gas grill, and Travis does all the grilling!

He typically uses this platter for the food that my mom painted for him in 2003! It’s basically an antique!

So, that’s a peak at our end of school and summer plans. Next month’s topic is summer fashion!

I hope your summer is off to a great start! See you back here tomorrow for Friday Favorites.

Thanks so much for reading,

{this post contains Amazon affiliate links…}

Posted in Amazon, Monthly Musings

Monthly Musings: Summer Preview

Hello! I can’t believe that May is almost over. I’m so thankful we wrapped up our school year earlier than usual, but I already feel like the first week of summer has flown by!

Today, I’m linking up with Patty and Holly for their Monthly Musings post.

This month’s topic is Summer Kickoff...which is perfect because we are officially in summer mode around here.

1. Favorite Summer Tradition:

The 4th of July is one of my favorite parts of summer. I just love that Travis always has the day off, there are usually activities like a parade or pool fun, we usually gather with family or neighbors to grill out, I love the fireworks, and I always put my kids in something red, white, and blue!

My favorite 4th of July tradition is that I always make red, white, and blue waffles. Always.

Another favorite summer tradition is going on vacation. As the years have gone on, it’s been more and more difficult to find a week to go somewhere, but we try really hard to make it happen.

We love the beach.

2. Vacation Plans:

Well, I hope it pans out, as we’ve already had to adjust the dates, but we are hoping to get to Isle of Palm, SC for a few days in between kids’ camps and baseball games!

IOP October 2018

We’ve stayed in Folly Beach, Isle of Palms, and Hilton Head through the years. The Charleston area is amazing. If I ever win the lottery, I’m buying a vacation home in SC!

3. Ocean, Pool, or Lake:

Well, all of the above!

We spend much of our summer at the pool….

We love a visit to a lake…(KY has many!)…

But…the ocean is my fave…

That being said, I love to look at the water…more than swim it like the kids do. I enjoy a cold beverage, a good book, and a great view!

Photo by Hadley: summer 2019

4. Summer Fashion Items:

Well, I don’t know about summer fashion, but I love to be comfortable in the summer. Honestly, most days are spent at the pool or at a ball game. So, I’m typically wearing a swim suit and cover up or tank and shorts, but I just bought this Amazon dress in two colors, and I love it.

Dress

This is my FAVORITE Amazon cover up. I have purchased it in multiple colors throughout the years. (I’m wearing it in blue in the lake photo above!)

Cover up

5. Favorite Summer Recipe:

We grill out a lot in the summer. I love that because it means Travis is doing the cooking, and I usually just make a side dish or two. Also, we love fresh fruit as an easy side dish or snack in the summer.

I’ve shared this post with some favorite sides, and it includes this pasta salad that I found on Pinterest and make often.

6. Strawberry Shortcake or Blueberry Pie:

Confession, y’all! I don’t like blueberries! My kids do, but I don’t. I will eat strawberries all day long, and we love Strawberry Shortcake.

Last year, we picked fresh strawberries, and immediately made SSC for dessert that night.

7. This Summer vs Summer 2020:

This summer will be very different than last summer. We will be at the pool again and able to socialize freely with friends, neighbors, and family.

While Hayden played baseball last summer, it was postponed and then there were tons of rules and regulations. Baseball is on track for this summer and those extra restrictions have been lifted.

Hadley’s doing swim team again since we are back at the pool.

We look forward to a “normal” summer again.

8. Favorite Sunscreen:

I typically use Neutrogena in the summer. The spray is perfect for applying to kids quickly, and the face stick is easy for application as well.

9. Favorite Summer Beverage:

I definitely up my water game during the summer.

For summer cocktails, I love White Claws, Simpler Wines (rose’!) from Trader Joe’s, and then I just found this strawberry margarita cocktail at Trader Joe’s a few weeks ago. It was a hit with all the moms at the 5th grade graduation get together πŸ˜‰ We just poured it over ice. It was easy, light, and refreshing.

10. Summer Garden:

Travis did plant a few things for this summer like tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers.

Last summer, we didn’t plant a garden, but check out this zucchini from our 2019 garden. We had returned home from vacation to find this guy!

August 2019

What are you looking forward to this summer?

The topic for June is end of school traditions/summer plans:

I hope you are having a great week.

See you back here tomorrow for Friday Favorites!

{this post contains Amazon affiliate links…}

Posted in Monthly Musings

Monthly Musings: Spring Cleaning

Hello! How is your week going? We are hanging in there. After two nights of baseball games, we had nothing on the calendar last night, and it was so wonderful. Besides activities, the kids are starting their end of the year testing, so we’ve had that on the calendar as well.

Today’s post may not be my most exciting post ever, but I always love linking up with Patty and Holly when I can for their Monthly Musings link up.

This month’s topic is Spring Cleaning.

Well, I should have had Travis write this post! He is a cleaner, and I’m a tidier. We balance each other out, but he’s certainly more well-versed in the cleaning department. I mean, I’ve had to ask him where we keep the vacuum one too many times. #findyouamanwholikestoclean

1. Are you doing a spring cleaning this year?

Yes, and it’s what I typically do each year. For me, the closets and the kids’ rooms are the first ones I tackle. We tend to purge and reorganize their rooms in November, before the holidays, and then again in March/April. Those are the perfect times to see what fits them, what toys/books they don’t want to keep, and toss any random items like art supplies and dried up markers!

We Travis tends to clean out, tidy up, and re-organize the garage in the spring or early summer.

2. Favorite cleaning products?

For daily use, I love Mrs. Meyer’s cleaning supplies. A friend gave us this brand in a cute basket as a house warming gift over six yeas ago, and I’ve never looked back!

{Side note: my soap holder by my sink is one of my favorite quick projects. When we moved in house, I was unpacking and realized we had a cake stand that I never used (wedding gift from 2005). So, I spray painted it, and it sits to the left of our sink to hold our dish soap, spray, and hand soap}

3. What is your must clean for every spring?

I’d swap the word “clean” for the word “purge.” I purge the hall closets and kids rooms in the spring. Travis would say his “must clean” is to power wash the back patio!

4. Any garage/shed cleaning tips?

Marry Travis White?! πŸ˜‚ We don’t have a shed, but he stays on top of the garage organization.

5. Pack rat or Marie Kondo devotee?

I think I’m somewhere in between…

I’m pretty sentimental and keep items of clothing with the kids’ names or monogram on them. I figure one day I will have blanket made for them. I have also kept a lot of their school t-shirts and some sports uniforms.

I keep school work and artwork in these storage containers from Michaels. Both kids have one for kindergarten-2nd grade work and another one for 3rd-5th grade school work.

I also have these colorful boxes with school papers, report cards, calendars and other information we need.

Most of the time when I think of cleaning, it just means purging and organizing! I always feel so much better after I do so.

6. Best cleaning hack?

…have kids so they do the cleaning? πŸ˜† or…don’t have kids so there are no messes to clean up! πŸ˜‰

I really don’t have any “cleaning hacks,” but I’d love to learn some, so feel free to share !

My latest “hack” for Hayden’s white baseball pants is to use Fels-Naptha on grass stains and dirty pants! I’m pretty sure it’s been around for years, but last fall was the first time I’d heard of it thanks to a fellow baseball mom.

Not a hack, but I just feel so much better if I pick up the house every night. It’s nice to start the day with a clean slate (literally and figuratively πŸ˜‰) each morning.

Or you could do this…

Another idea is to really deep clean a different part of the house each day or complete a daily chore. For example, clean the bathrooms on Mondays and do laundry on Saturdays.

7. Do you have help with house cleaning?

We do!

Me before our house cleaner comes:

The best gift we’ve given ourselves is having someone clean the house every other week. It’s so nice to come home to a spotless house!! A house cleaner is a treat for me. Trav’s “treat” is a few years ago we hired someone to start mowing the lawn. Truth be told, Travis loves yard work, and loves to mow the grass. We just don’t have the time in the spring and the summer to stay on top of our sizable yard! We could figure it out if needed, but it’s nice to let that task go…to someone with a zero turn mower that can cut the grass in twenty minutes rather than three hours.

Little does Hayden know, but in a couple of years, mowing the lawn can be his chore!

8. Favorite cleaning appliance?

Our dry Swifter sweeper is perfect for our hardwood floors and dog hair! Also, I’m loving the efficiency of our new washer that we got about six months ago!

9. Run the dishwasher ever night or just when full?

We run the dishwasher about three times a week when it’s full. Then, the kids help unload it and put away what they can reach and then one of us puts things away that are up high.

10. Favorite way to donate or purge unneeded items?

We tend to donate clothes and household items to the Salvation Army. I’ve sold some things on Facebook Marketplace, and I also offer good, hardly worn clothes to neighbors before donating or selling.

Recently, Travis and a neighbor split the cost of a dumpster and Travis took the opportunity to clear out a few items in the attic, organized the unfinished part of our basement, and purge items in the garage.

So that’s a little bit of a peek on Spring Cleaning in our house. Do you enjoy spring cleaning? What are some of your favorite cleaning products?

May’s topic is Summer Preview. I’m happy to report that with our last day of school scheduled for May 18, I will be living the summer life while writing that post!

Thanks so much for reading. Make sure to check out other ladies’ posts too! I will see you back here tomorrow for this week’s Friday Favorites.

Posted in Monthly Musings

Monthly Musings

Hello! Today, I’m linking up with Patty and Holly for their Monthly Musings series.

This month’s topic is Valentines/Love.

Let me just say that I like Valentine’s Day, but it’s certainly not a holiday that I feel deserves the hype that it gets. It’s a commercialized holiday, and I feel that you should show the ones you love your love all 365 days of the year.

Of course, I’ve been blessed to have had the same Valentine for almost 20 years, but I guess I didn’t start making a big deal about V Day until I had kids. Now, it’s an extra day where I focus on them, make them a good breakfast, and buy them a few gifts.

Showing Love/Love Language:

I think I show my love by writing notes. I also love receiving notes, so I guess I assume others like them too. I also love cooking and baking for others to show my love as well.

Now, as far as the five love languages go, I think my language must be “Acts of Service,” because I love nothing more than someone else unloading the dishwasher or making the bed. πŸ˜‚

Valentine’s Day Traditions:

As far as traditions are concerned, Travis and I usually find a time sometime around Valentine’s Day to go out to dinner. That’s typically our gift to one another because we often don’t have time to go out when it’s just the two of us.

Since I love receiving cards, that’s a part of the deal too. A card is all I need.

Once the kids were old enough to understand Valentine’s Day, I started making them a nice breakfast on February 14th and buying them a few things, so that’s one of our traditions.

Ever since the kids were little, I’ve ordered Valentine’s Day cards from Shutterfly to send to family.

This post reminds me that I need to order our 2021 card!

Here’s last year’s card:

{front}

{back}

Valentine’s Day Memory:

I don’t have any memories that stick out to me. I do remember loving Valentine’s Day parties in elementary school. It was always fun to make our Valentine’s Day card boxes, give cards to classmates, and enjoy tons of candy and cupcakes!

The kids love their Valentine’s Day parties as well. I know some of the excitement wanes as they get into the upper elementary grades, but I still hate that they are missing out on their last Valentine’s Day party of elementary school.

For laughs, here are the boxes they made last year:

Hadley loves details, and Hayden takes a simpler approach!

Through the years, Travis has upped his card game, and always writes my name in bubble letters. πŸ˜†

Valentine’s Day Treat:

The past few years, I’ve ordered cookies from local small businesses for the kids and Travis to share.

Valentine’s Day Fashion:

Well, since they were little, I’ve had Hayden and Hadley wear some kind of heart or red/white clothing for their Valentine’s Day parties.

Here are a couple pics from years past!

{2011}

{2015}

{2016}

I’ve already shared this in pervious posts, but Hadley loves her new Valentine’s Day sweatshirt that I got her this year from MelandMae on Etsy.

Valentine’s Day: Love, Like, or Hard Pass?

I like Valentine’s Day. I enjoy creating a special day for the kids and for Travis.

Romantic Song:

Someone Like You was our wedding song, and it holds a special place in my heart.

Dine out, Carry out or Cook?

Like I said before, Travis and I usually go out to dinner around Valentine’s Day.

Last year, Valentine’s Day was on a Friday, so I actually made dinner at home for everyone. I used a few of our house decorations to make a cute centerpiece, and I ordered paper hearts, plates, napkins, and straws from Amazon.

I also ordered the cardstock hearts, and I wrote each person’s name on one as a place card.

**I kept the extra plates, napkins, straws, hearts, and place cards in a tub, so I can use them again this year.

Pink or Red?

I think I’m more of a pink girl…or rose gold!

Flowers or Chocolate?

Both?! haha I do love flowers and the little boxes of chocolate are just perfect to satisfy my sweet tooth!

So, those are my thoughts on Valentine’s Day! I’m glad it falls on a weekend again this year. Maybe we’ll have a special Valentine’s Day brunch!!

Here are the topics Patty and Holly have thought of for Monthly Musings 2021.

Weekly Recap:

This has been a doozy of a week. I’ve been pretty tired and busy with school and the kids’ activities. So, I think I’m going to take tomorrow off from blogging.

Here are my posts from this week in case you missed one:

Make sure to check out the other ladies’ posts too!

Thanks so much for reading.

Posted in Monthly Musings

Monthly Musings

Hello! It’s the last Thursday of the month (How is that even possible?), so I’m linking up with Patty and Holly for their Monthly Musings link up.

This month’s topic is Halloween and Fall.

Favorite Fall Tradition:

Hands down my favorite fall tradition is going to the pumpkin patch. When the kids were little, they’d run around and play. We always snap a few photos, pick out our pumpkins to carve, and bring home lots of apple cider donuts! My fave.

Pumpkin patch through the years…
Last year at the pumpkin patch!

Favorite Halloween Tradition:

My favorite Halloween tradition is getting together with friends, trick-or-treating, and having dinner while the kids sort all their candy! We’ve been getting together with the same core group of friends for about ten years! Through the years, we’ve added some more friends and neighbors to the mix. We always have so much fun.

lifelong friends

Halloween this Year:

This year, hopefully Halloween will look quite similar. While scrolling Facebook, I saw a post that the CDC put out their recommended guidelines, but I haven’t read the article.

So far, Halloween hasn’t been cancelled. Fingers crossed it stays that way!

Favorite Fall Recipe:

My favorite fall recipe is Pumpkin Sausage Penne Pasta. I got the recipe years ago from a Kroger coupon packet. I think I’m going to make it next week!

Last year, due to weather, trick-or-treating was moved from Thursday to Saturday afternoon. Usually, we’d have our friends over and have chili (which we did on the Saturday night). Since we were home for Thursday night Halloween dinner last year, I made a quick and easy “spooky” dinner for the kids after seeing Andrea share about her Halloween dinner for her family.

My kids loved this! I’ll need to remember to do it one night leading up to Halloween this year.

Favorite Fall Fashion Staples:

I love fall weather. You’ll most likely find me wearing a light-weight sweatshirt with shorts or a turtleneck sweater with leggings. Those are my fall staples for sure!

Using this pic again! Used it in yesterday’s post too πŸ˜‚

Favorite Halloween Costume:

I’ll admit that I’m not big on Halloween dress up as an adult…but Halloween costumes for my kids are a must (of course!) My favorite costume combo that my twins have worn was in 2013 when they went as Batman and Robin.

I clearly remember Hayden saying he wanted to be Batman…and Hadley very sweetly said, “Well, I’ll be Robin!”❀️

Every time I see this photo, I crack up at her in her mask.

Here are their other costumes through the years! I loved last year when Hayden was a Ghostbuster and Hadley was a nerd. πŸ˜‚

Favorite Halloween Candy:

For me, nothing beats a miniature Snickers bar. I definitely love other chocolate candy like Twix or Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.

Hayden said his favorite candy is peanut M&Ms while Hadley says she loves Tootsie Rolls!

Favorite Family Halloween Movie:

Every year, I DVR It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, and we watch it as a family. I love that tradition.

Scary Movies. Yes or No?:

Scary movies are a hard no for me! I don’t need that stress in my life πŸ˜‰

Favorite Fall Beverage:

We all love apple cider in the fall, and I love a glass of Pinot Noir on a cool fall evening.

What are some of your favorite fall traditions and foods? Next month’s topic is Thanksgiving Preview.

Don’t forget to check out the other ladies’ posts! Thanks so much for reading.

Posted in Monthly Musings, Travel

Monthly Musings

Hey! Hey! I’m linking up with Holly for this month’s Monthly Musings post all about Summer Vacations & Staycations.

Top 5 Items to Pack:

  • Well, I can’t leave home without my Kindle or a book, so that’s the first thing that popped into my mind!
  • Workout bands. I try to at least workout a couple times while on vacation whether it’s a walk or using my workout bands.
  • Sunglasses. I need to have a pair or two on hand.
  • Face wash, Toner, Moisturizer. I try to keep up some kind of skin care routine even if I don’t do all the steps every morning and night while on vacation.
  • A hat. I always have a ball cap on hand or a beach hat if that’s where we are headed.

One more “must have”…

  • Melatonin – especially if I can’t pack my weighted blanket πŸ˜‚
Pic from my Let’s Look (at what’s in your carry on bag.)

Packing Cubes. Yes or No?

Yes! Packing cubes are life changing for packing. I’ve been using these for a couple of years and love them. I use them to keep my items organized, but I also use them for the kids…especially if they share a suitcase. Besides helping with organization, they do condense what fits in the suitcase. I actually need to buy a few more as I only have two colors and I’d like to have a third for each person to have their own color. Trav is on his own when it comes to packing πŸ˜‰

Warm or Cold Destinations?

I’d probably have to say warm destinations, but that’s because most of our vacations are beach vacations. That being said, I love to visit the mountains in Asheville…especially in the fall when the weather is cooler.

Isle of Palm, SC

Favorite Vacation Destination of All Time:

San Diego/Del Mar is my favorite place to visit.

Lake Tahoe is a solid runner up!

Staycation Tips:

  • Learn to love where you live.
  • Try a new restaurant.
  • Hike at a park you usually wouldn’t go to.
  • Have a picnic.
  • Go for ice cream before dinner (which is something we sometimes do on vacation)

The kids and I visited McConnell Springs Park this summer which was a first for us.

Camping, Glamping, or Uh No?

Travis and I went camping in 2002. He was testing our relationship πŸ˜‚

Last fall, we went glamping in Asheville with our friends. Overall, we had a great time…but I still prefer a cabin in the woods with a cozy fire…and tv…and cell service! πŸ˜‰

How Many States Have You Been To?

I did a quick count, and I actually think I’ve been to 22 states? Of course, some I’m counting like Missouri where I’m from and Kansas where I visit family. One family vacation when I was in high school, we knocked out three states for one vacation: Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts. Also, places like Indiana, Ohio, and Tennessee are near Kentucky and we’ve visited for both day and overnight trips. We’ve been to California a few times, and then places like Florida and South Carolina many times.

Still…22 states blows my mind. Also, while we love the beach and going to places we know, I’m glad that we are purposeful with planning other trips for the kids like our Grand Canyon/AZ/California trip. We try to plan a spring break trip to visit somewhere new…It doesn’t always work out that way, but we try!

Have You Ever Traveled By RV?

I have not, but definitely think it could be a fun way to travel and see many parts of the United States.

Most Random Place You Have Been To?

This one stumps me…I can’t think of anything off the top of my head…

I keep asking myself, “Have I been to an alligator farm?” or “Have I seen the world’s biggest ball of paint?”

and those answers are “no” and “ball of paint is in Indiana.”

I need to branch out more, I guess!

Check out the highlighted tourist attraction in your state with the link below. πŸ˜‚

First Place to Travel to After Pandemic?

If I could hop in a plane and go anywhere at any time, it would be southern California. That being said, we were supposed to spend Spring Break 2020 in New York City with the kids, so that’s where I’d head first whenever it’s safe to travel and sight see.

Vacations are always fun to think about…and I actually love a good staycation too.

Thanks so much for reading! Don’t forget to check out Holly’s post as well as other bloggers’ posts who linked up as well.

See you back here tomorrow for What I’ve Been Reading: July.

Posted in Me, Monthly Musings

Monthly Musings and 20 Questions

Well, today is a two blog posts in one kind of day. I wanted to link up with Holly for her Monthly Musings post last week, but I already had my Lake Tahoe post planned.

Then, over the weekend, I saw Trista post about her 20 Questions link up, and just thought I’d put both ideas together for one post.

Monthly Musings: Summer Kick Off

Lake or Beach?

I’m definitely a beach person, but I certainly love the lake too. I grew up going to The Lake of the Ozarks, and we sometimes are able to live the lake life in Kentucky every once in a while.

That being said, there’s nothing like an ocean view or a beach sunset. So, if I had to choose, I’d say I’m a beach person.

Ice Tea or Lemonade?

I don’t drink either very often, so it’s probably a tie. Both beverages are very refreshing.

Favorite Summer Vacation Memory:

Well, I just love a vacation with my family. Thankfully, as the years have gone on, going on a vacation with the kids actually now feels like a vacation πŸ˜‰ Anyway, the first thing that popped into my mind was last year’s vacation to Siesta Key because Hadley and I went the first few days just the two of us. Hayden had baseball games, so he and Travis arrived a few days later. Of course, we were happy when the guys arrived, but it was just a nice couple of days with Hadley that I hadn’t planned on when we planned the trip.

Favorite Summer Destination:

Siesta Key, Florida is typically our “go to” spot.

But….we also love South Carolina. Last time we went was fall break 2018, but we usually get to SC every couple of years.

Go To Favorite Summer Fashion Item:

Honestly, if I’m at home, I’m in comfy clothes. That being said, I do like easy, flowy dresses in the summer. I love these two Target dresses…

and I have three different colors of this Amazon dress

Have You Ever Been Water Skiing or Jet Skiing?

I have done both, but it’s been a long time!

Favorite Summer Movie:

Dirty Dancing and Parent Trap were the first movies to pop in my mind! The Parent Trap is my favorite movie of all time. Also, a few years ago, we went to Lake Lure in NC and saw where some of Dirty Dancing was filmed.

Goonies, Grease and Sandlot also remind me of summer.

Song That Makes You Think of Summer:

I’m the worst at knowing songs and who sings what but…School’s Out for the Summer is always played on the last day of school πŸ˜‰ and then Summertime (DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince) always reminds me of middle school and high school.

Lately, on Instagram Stories, Sunshine and Summertime (Faith Hill), Summertime (Kenny Chesney) pop up as good summer song choices.

Best 4th of July Story:

I don’t have a specific story, but…

I’ve always loved the 4th of July. I remember as a kid spending time with extended family, grilling out, and watching fireworks.

I always wanted to get engaged or get married on the 4th. I thought it would be fun to have sparklers and a few fireworks at the reception. I don’t think I ever told Travis this plan…as we got engaged in May 2004. πŸ˜‰

Fireworks:

We are definitely fireworks on the 4th type of people. I love a good fireworks display and we have a great tradition of where we watch fireworks in Lexington.

20 Questions…

with The Classy Chaos

  • 1. Introvert or extrovert? Introvert …for sure…
  • 2. Favorite movie? The Parent Trap (1961)
  • 3. Arrive early or late? Arrive a few minutes late…but not too late
  • 4. Last book you read? The Simple Wild
  • 5. Favorite holiday? Thanksgiving (followed by the 4th of July)
  • 6. Pet peeve? Slurping
  • 7. Food you refuse to eat? Mayo!!!!!
  • 8. Favorite fast food chain? Chick-fil-A
  • 9. How do you keep fit? Well—“keep fit” is misleading πŸ˜‰ I’m forever a work in progress but I like going for walks, Pilates, full body weight workouts, and HIIT workouts
  • 10. Morning person or night owl? Well, I’d say morning person…but I’m a morning person in the sense that I like 45 minutes of silence and not talking to anyone while I sip my coffee.
  • 11. Favorite drink? Coffee (wine and diet coke are close runner ups)
  • 12. Irrational fear? Falling (I hate heights)
  • 13. Go to snack? Cheezits
  • 14. Strongest sense? Hearing. My students (and my kids) are always amazed at what I can hear from across the room.
  • 15. Fictional place you’d like to visit? This one stumped me…I’m not sure.
  • 16. Kindle or actual book? Actual book (but Kindle sure does come in handy!)
  • 17. Last movie you went to see? I honestly think it was Frozen II with Hadley back in December?
  • 18. Favorite season? Autumn!!
  • 19. Beach or mountains? I really want to say a tie! Beach in the summer, mountains in fall.
  • 20. Favorite cereal? Lucky Charms

Whoa! If you made it to the end of this post, you learned a lot about me πŸ˜‰

Thanks so much for reading!