let the summer break begin

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25 May 2018

1. The boys have been out of school for two weeks but Julia finishes up today and we'll officially be in summer break mode. I tried to be a fun + spontaneous mom yesterday and took the kids on a "nature scavenger hunt" at the park near our house with their Easter baskets. After 30 minutes they all wanted to ride in the stroller and be chauffeured to the nearest cold water purveyor (aka our kitchen). So, it went well. No, it was fun while it lasted despite Bosco stepping in something he thought was a little pile of mud that most definitely was not a little pile of mud.

2. Simon's brother Andrew is in town for the weekend and we're torn between going to the super crowded beach with the rest of Florida or ... not. The kids still love love love the beach so I'm guessing we'll do the former because yolo, right?

3. I stumbled upon a super cheesy but super cute romcom on Netflix by the name of: The Kissing Booth. Simon was gone last night so I gave it a whirl. If you're in need of something in the cheesy romcom genre one of these nights ... I'd give it a shot.

4. I read no books this week! I did watch the afore mentioned Kissing Booth along with Jashley's Story of Us which is not the same but -- priorities.

5. So I'm thinking of doing maybe one wall of peel and stick wallpaper in at least the girls' room when we move. If you've seen or used any that you love - I'd love if you shared! I particularly love this one but when I asked Phoebe she was drawn to this mural like a moth to a flame :).

6. The sales! They're overwhelming this weekend. I don't know what it says about me that I was MOST excited to see that my dream vacuum is 44% off despite the fact that we do not NEED a new vacuum - however dreamy it might be.

7. The one sale I will take the time to comb through is right on over here because free shipping and easy label-in-box returns. This fun collaboration is on sale and I can't get over how many pairs of sandals are marked down. These aren't on sale but I saw them online and thought Birkenstock had LOST their minds but then I saw them on someone IRL and changed my mind. I love them.

And that's all for today.

Happy Summer!

when life hands you changes ...

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24 May 2018

This post is sponsored by Align Probiotics

Even though it was almost three years ago that we moved it feels like we just got completely settled here in Florida and now it's almost time to pack back up for our next move back up to the midwest.  I had sort of blocked out the stress that comes with perfectly timing going under contract on both the house we're selling and the house we hope to buy. And let's not even talk about the fun that comes with keeping a house show ready while trying to sell, because that might be my least favorite thing about the entire process, honestly. I was super guilty of hitting up drive-thru after drive-thru during our last selling/moving/buying process and I'll give myself a bit of grace since I was eight months pregnant that time around and this time I'm not but I am trying to stay ahead of the bad habit curve at the moment.

Sometimes I slip into the terrible mode of making separate dinners for the kids vs those that Simon and I eat but it doesn't do anyone any favors so I'm finding happy mediums with healthy meals that everyone will eat with little (ha) to no complaint. Florida's weather helps us stay active and I'm personally hopping on the Align Probiotics train. My mom has been telling me to take probiotics for well over a decade (thank you and sorry, Mom!) but it wasn't until I did a little deep dive into reading about how beneficial they truly are that I realized the importance of incorporating probiotics into our daily life.

Serenity, be mine.

I'm sure you know that Probiotics are good bacteria that support many essential bodily functions, including healthy digestion. Our bodies needs beneficial bacteria for a number of things and they help maintain the delicate balance between the good bacteria in our gut microbiome, which is made up of trillions of bacteria and is considered a key to overall health. One thing I personally didn't know is that when choosing a probiotic, it is important to look at the strain, which determines the health benefit.

Align is the number one doctor and gastroenterologist recommended brand, contains Bifidobacterium 35624 (say that one time fast :)) which is a unique pure strain probiotic, and has over 15 years of research under its belt. Diet, travel, changes in routine (!!), and stress can disrupt your natural balance of good bacteria in the microbiome and Align supplements your digestive system with good bacteria when diet, travel, or disrupted routine throw your system off.

If you'd like to learn more, has more infographics on the benefits of probiotics here. Additionally, you can learn more about Align specifically and get a discount on Align in stores and on the P&G Everyday Coupons site.


Among doctors that recommended a brand of probiotic in a QuintilesIMS 2017 survey.

the great bedroom rearrange of 2k18: part I

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23 May 2018

Oh, I can already sense your excitement. I can. Now that we're about to pack them all up I thought it would be the perfect time for you to see them in their unnatural habitat which is: clean.

So, a few months ago it was more than time to kick Abe out of our room. When we start having to tip toe around our own room to brush our teeth and slither into bed just so in the hopes of not waking the sleeping dragon ... it's time. The problem was ... I didn't know where to put him. I didn't want to put him in with Bosco since they are the only two that still consistently nap at the same time every day but Bosco did have the largest kids room (riddle me that -- I don't know how that happened) and a crib wouldn't fit in with the older boys but it would fit in with the girls so after measuring cribs and beds and rooms I finally had it all figured out. I just deleted a long and complicated explanation of my thought process that made me yawn upon immediate reread so I'll just tell you for now that Bosco ended up moving into the older boys old room (the smallest room of the three). Solo! Lucky duck.

I was so focused on getting the older kids' rooms perfectly arranged so that beds and at least one dresser could fit in each room that this room felt like a bit of an afterthought slash catchall but I think I ended up liking how it turned out the very best. Don't tell the other rooms.

It might have to do with the fact that of all the dressers I've repainted - this one seems to have held up the best despite taking quite the small handed beating over the past year or so.

I found the hardware at Target and will admit I have a little stash stowed away in case I need to replace a lost pull or knob and I can't find them in stock.

The rug was an eBay find and I looked at that specific crib on a few websites, read lots of great reviews, and pounced when it went on sale. I'm bummed I didn't ask Bianca to get a photo of the glider and bookshelves but you can get a decent idea of the corner from - Oh! No, actually here's a photo from January that I took. The photo quality is outstanding ...

Simon built those shelves back in St. Louis and unless the new owner asks us to leave them here - we'll take them again because they're great.

Alright, but maybe my favorite part of the room is this sweet ABC saints print that I found on Etsy (bought on my own and #notsponsored). It's fun to point out different saints while changing diapers (well, maybe not fun but something to distract babies that like to flail all over the place) and I just love it.

And thus concludes the tiny "nursery" (for an almost 3yo) tour. Bosco will definitely be moving in with his older brothers in our new house and Abe will definitely be sleeping in his own room since Phoebe can't help but wake him when "sleeping" mere feet away. Lessons learned! Never a bad thing.

Excited for room reveal numero dos?

Don't answer that. I already know the answer is yes. 

quick takes: royal(ish) edish

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20 May 2018

My photo game has never been so bad. Double dipping into the gram files yet again. It was either this or an up close and personal photo of a snake skin. Slow week! S L O W W E E K.

1. What are the odds the kids stay asleep through the royal wedding slash a little blog post tapping session on this fine Saturday morning? Slim to none but I like a challenge. Let's go.

2. I haven't gotten a great look at Meghan's dress and I'm seeing a bit of Twitter buzz that people liked Kate's dress better ... what did you think??? I say it's not a competition but - Kate's dress WAS stunning (again! not a great look at Meghan's dress yet)

3. In much less exciting news - did you see that they released the list of Bachelorette guys? I have to admit I literally LOL'd at some of those descriptions. Let the games begin! In a week!

4. On the reading docket this week I just finished Heat Wave which was good and mindless. Perfect for the beach/readers that are often interrupted by their offspring. I wish Summer Wives would hurry up and release itself.

5. I finally gave in and tried this concealer that has a cult like following and you know what? The followers are right. Nothing cakey, creasey, heavy, or shiny about it. It's GOOD. RIP under eye circles of yore.

Alright here's where I waved my white flag yesterday morning but let's soldier on. 

6. It seems like the general consensus was that Meghan's dress was slightly more underwhelming than Kate's (albeit elegant!) but her reception dress! I don't swoon often but that pretty number made me swoon.

7. On the sale front we've got 40% off clearance over here with code: SUNNY and a super rare site wide sale at ASOS (use the similar code: SUNNYDAYS) along with 40% off sale styles over at LOFT.

Alright, and now I'm off to reread The Royal We or rewatch The Crown. Decisions, decisions.

an e-stew of sorts

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11 May 2018

1. Abe looks just like baby Sebastian and Sebastian looks just like Simon did when he was Sebastian's age so let's just title this: Triplets, shall we? We shall. Or at least I will.

2. I'm going to type this up while keeping one eye on last night's episode of Grey's Anatomy because if I keep both eyes on the screen I think I'll melt into a puddle of tears after watching the previews. I'm a big Japril fan ... I can't help it.

3. Speaking of shows ... did you see the first Bachelorette preview that features a chicken and a minivan? Should be a quality season -- as always.

4. I'm guessing you've seen it but if you haven't - you HAVE to check out this insane DIY kitchen makeover c/o Sheena's unrivaled eye for design and the fact that it cost her just over $100? Unreal.

5. I've been slacking on the reading front this week but I did go to the library with the boys and grabbed Moon Shell Beach. I joked to Simon that sometimes I just need a little bit of a beach read to which we both had to laugh because sometimes is all the time in Graceland. Sue me.

6. After I told you about my new favorite drugstore mascara I saw that a favorite e-store of mine actually came out with their own mascara. To say I'm super curious about it would be an understatement.

7. On the sale front ...
+ 40% off shorts right now with code: SHORTS (these are a great middle of the road length - I have and love them)
+ extra 20% off select Nike sale styles with code: 20SPRING
+ I'm not sure I've ever seen Anthropologie's entire website on sale but .. it is! Discount applied in cart.
+ I keep hoping these pants will miraculously go on sale but so far, no dice.
+ Loft's sale is still going strong, not surprising but always appreciated.
+ and finally Gap has some cute summer baby rompers that are breathable but a nice and substantial material. Abe approves.

Alright, off to Moon Shell Beach I shamelessly trot. I hope your Friday night holds some equally wild + crazy plans. 

My experience with 23andMe

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05 May 2018

As previously blogged, I've been anxiously awaiting my results from 23andMe and they're here! Yee haw. If you've never heard of 23andMe - allow me to introduce you to the service that was created for people to better understand parts of their DNA -- including their ancestry. It sheds light on the 150+ regions our specific ancestors hailed from, genetic traits and how they may influence things like taste, hair texture etc, and also health and wellness through genetic analysis. I've been itching to do one and jumped at the chance to partner with 23andMe to send in my saliva (lol) and tell you about my experience with the service.

It was about one hundred times more simple than I anticipated, to be honest. I got the kit quickly in the mail, easily registered my kit online, gave a precious sample of saliva, sent the sample off in the box provided with return label attached and paid for by 23andMe. Easy breezy!!

In the interim, I consented to research and answered questions about my lifestyle and family health history.

And then came the detailed and extensive reprts! I almost wish Simon and I would've each done a kit at the same time so that we could've sat together and compared Health and Ancestry reports.

So, my very Swedish grandma has always impressed upon me that I am, "100% Swedish!!" and since my dad is 0% Swedish I knew that was impossible but still thought I might be at least half Swedish? No. Sorry sweet Gram!!

I know she'd be thrilled with the 16.8% Scandinavian though. I guess I shouldn't have been too terribly surprised by the 48.9% British & Irish but now I'm regretting not going to London or Ireland back in college when I had a chance because that is part of my heritage.

Anyway, that was really fun to see. Moving onto just a fraction of the wellness reports ...

This is all pretty much on the money (aside from the muscle composition but I'm willing to do a little working and digging to find where that might be hiding ;)). I don't flush while drinking, tolerate dairy, and enjoy my caffeine to a serious fault. It's interesting to know that I'm less likely to be a deep sleeper, and also likely to consume more caffeine. If I want to improve my sleep, experts recommend creating a consistent sleep schedule and avoiding caffeine, especially later in the day. Guess I should reconsider my afternoon iced coffee!

Anyway, this just skims the surface of the wealth of personalized and detailed information 23andMe provides. I was expecting pretty basic results given how simple the process was but it blew my expectations out of the water.

If you're struggling to come up with a fun and unique Mother's Day gift - 23andMe might be just the gifting ticket as it's so fun to pore over the Ancestry reports and learn how genetics can influence one's health, helping my mom to live her healthiest and happiest life. 

23andMe takes your privacy very seriously and gives you control over your genetic information. They let you decide how your information is used and with whom it is shared. 23andMe also enables you to opt-in to genetic research and link your data to study topics from ancestry to traits to disease. Your contribution helps drive scientific discoveries -- more than 80% of customers opt-in to answer surveys. On average each person’s survey answers help with over 200 research studies. Also, you can find many customer stories on the 23andMe website at

Many thanks to 23andMe for sponsoring this post!!

May the 4th

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04 May 2018

1. We celebrated Phoebe's birthday on her birthday which was April 23rd but her due date was May 4th so let's pretend I planned to blog this photo today for that very reason. She had the best birthday and got the most amazing stroller (that I found on crazy Black Friday sale and managed to keep it hidden all this time which deserves as much of a celebration as her birthday since she is the queen of sneaking and peeking) that she loves and takes around the neighborhood with me every single morning. She's very concerned about the next holiday where she gets any sort of tangible anything (Halloween?!) and I can't say I blame her.

2. We went out to Weeki Wachee as part of the celebration and in turn Rachael recommended I read Fates and Furies (there's a brief tie in in the beginning) and lo and behold! it was available at the library so I read it. It was definitely a departure from my usual breezy fare but I'm glad I read it. Am I still looking forward to Elin's newest release in June? Y-E-S.

3. Two takes dedicated to books! I stayed up WAY too late Tuesday night devouring Jen's new book. It was so relatable and right up my humor alley that I couldn't bring myself to put it down until I finished. Hopefully she's got her third book coming down the pike ... and soon.

4. I've been really loyal to and loving this natural deodorant (after trying and not loving SO many) but I keep seeing glowing reviews and recommendations of this stuff and so now I'm curious ... I'll keep you posted.

5. It's rare that I cheat on my favorite drugstore mascara because they never live up to the hype. Ever. But! Lash Paradise DOES. Big time. (My favorite fancier options are Marc Jacobs + Tarte's Lash Paint).

6. Have you seen all the amazing new Birkenstock styles? These are by FAR my favorite but ever since my sister let me borrow these for a few minutes several years ago I've been SO tempted to get a pair.

7. LOFT is having a great sale and I highly recommend these shorts and of their sunglasses. Use codeL SUNNY.

And Happy Cinco De Mayo Eve! My friend Ruth swears this is the best margarita recipe in all of the land so I might have to give it a whirl ... maybe you should too.



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