2017 Summer Bucket List

All you need are some friends, a few sunny days, and you'll be set this summer with this fun mix of indoor and outdoor things to do this summer // #summer #bucketlist

I'm not sure why I called this the adventurer's summer bucket list, because, um, hello, there's an "inside" category here. So clearly not as wild as the graphic above may suggest. 😉  This year I'm choosing to focus on all the fun things there are to do instead of the fact I'm just going to get more and more pregnant and thus sweaty #SweatFest2017. Let's move on.

Things to do this summer...
  • 1. Make greek yogurt strawberry popsicles--I can't wait to try Sam from Elah Tree's recipe (pictured below*)!
  • 2. Girls night DIY cocktail party (I'll be making this and the rest of you can drink this)
  • 3. Try a bright new nail polish & lipstick
  • 4. Plant something new...or plant something new outside!


  • 5. Visit 2+ beaches: Ocean City, NJ & Stone Harbor, NJ are on my list!
  • 6. Watch the sun rise one morning 
  • 7. Outdoor girls only movie night! (Someone you know has to have a projector, right?)
  • 8. Host a last-minute/low-key/for-no-reason  get together and use Beth's tips for pulling it off!
  • 9. Read an easy beach read...lounging in your back yard or by the pool! (Jacqui's got good suggestions here*)
  • 10. Plan a friendcation--I've never gone on one but camping would be an easy, inexpensive getaway! Now who wants to come with?!
  • 11. Bonfire, of course. Do you even know me? Obviously this would be on my list 😉 
  • 12. Hike a new trail (and by "hike" I mean "casually stroll" #hellosecondtrimester)
  • 13. Float in a fun pool floatie (like this donut one!)
  • 14. Low-key picnic with friends or family (check out these summer picnic essentials)
*Images used with permission, of course!

What are you hoping to do this summer? What are some beach reads you're adding to your list?
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Beach Vacation Packing Checklist: for her & for baby

We're going on a weeklong trip to the beach this summer, and it's our first vacation just us (+Aiden) that we've taken since our honeymoon! Top things I'm excited for: a week of just us, curly fries at the boardwalk, the ocean, cleaning sand out of my bathing suit bottoms. Jk. Not that last one.

Last summer, I did a bunch of day trips with Aiden to the beach (here are my tips for bringing a baby to the beach). However, having to pack for a WEEK has me asking all the seasoned mamas I know for tips! I've included their suggestions, along with what I'll be packing for myself.

Easy packing checklist for yourself and your toddler when you go on a beach vacation this summer // via @ahopefulhood

For her (that's me):

1. Floppy hat & baseball hat as a back-up (see my indecision about floppy hats here)
2. Sweatshirt
3. 2-3 bathing suits
4. Extra snacks/frozen food for your room/house (so you aren't eating out all week/midnight snacktime)
5. 3 shorts, 1 pair of pants, a dress or 2, summery shirts
6. Rainbows (or other flip-flops) and nicer sandals
7. Cover-up (something like this?)
8. Toiletries
9. Sunglasses

For the baby/toddler: 

1. I'm no hippie, but this is some ACTUALLY chemical-free sunscreen.
2. Pop-up beach tent for oceanside naps (like this one)
3. Stroller
4. Pack-n-play (since we're all sharing one hotel room!)
5. Swim shirt, trunks + hat
6. Native shoes (which Aiden's been wearing for a month now...PERFECT for outside)
7. Reusable swim diaper + a pack of disposable diapers (we used that reusable swim diaper ALL summer last year and loved it!)
8. Things he normally sleeps with (to make it like home) which for us includes this video playing all night long haha.

Here's a snapshot from our last beach vacation together, 5 years ago on our honeymoon! We look the same, right?

What do you bring on your beach vacations? Have you ever gone to the beach with a baby? What are your tips?
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Before & After Becoming a Mom // Part 1

Thanks for sending me an item to review, PinkBlush. You're the realest and I love you. (Too far? 😉 )

I get the vibe that some people assume that having a baby changes EVERYTHING ABOUT LIFE and thus changes EVERYTHING ABOUT YOU. "If you have a kid, your personality will drastically change as you suddenly are only able to discuss diaper brands and sleep schedules. Suddenly you turn into a boring schmuck who can't hang out ever because you had a baby".......right?

I promise, it's not like that. (Actually, maybe for some people, it is?)

Here I am, over a year into being a mom, and I can confidently say that I'm still the same me. Sure, things change and life looks different, but I haven't gone off the deep end with skirted bathing suits & "the mom cut." 😉 (Thanks, Chelsea, for getting me thinking about all this!)

Before & after having a kid, I still...

1.  ...am mostly clueless. When I was in college, in my first year of teaching, and now in being a mom: I generally have no idea what to do (hello, it's all new) and I rely on prayer, advice from those wiser than I, and trial-and-error. 

2. ...have to run style choices by my trendy younger sister. Being a mom has not made me out of touch with fashion: I was that way before I birthed a child. My poor sister (who took these pics!) still gets texts like "I'm in Ross, this is $15, is it cute? Is it worth it?" Thanks to PinkBlush for helping me not stay 3 years behind trends 😉 P.S. I wore that kimono in 90-degree sunshine and it was so light and breezy I forgot I had it on.

3. ...tell long and pointless stories. Instead of them being about things my students have said to me, they're sometimes about things Aiden did today. Sorry, Devin. (Jk he loves it....right????)

4. ...love crafting. Exhibit A, B, and C

5. ...play the piano on a worship team. I've done this (with a few short breaks) ever since 7th grade when I joined our youth group team. Now, my piano-worship-practice time is interrupted by a baby climbing up on my lap and pushing keys with me. Before, my practice times were interrupted by my own easily-distracted mind. 

6. ...get energy from being with people. As a teacher, that was built into my day and friend-dates were scheduled into my calendar. Now, I have to put more effort into filling my week with baby-friendly meet-ups and activities. Just the same, quality time with others is still important to me and is something I make time for! #Extrovertlife

Spring Bump Style // thanks to @ShopPinkBlush

Has a major life event changed things for you? Are you still the same before and after some big life change?

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5 Ways to Spend Memorial Day Outside

This year, Memorial Day is my husband's birthday!! He's finally turning 25 (and I've been 25 for MONTHS so like, gosh, what a newb he is 😉 ), and we're going to spend the day however he wants (probably something that avoids crowds, small talk, obnoxious liberals, and other things he hates).

HOWEVER. Maybe the rest of you have a day off without husband-birthday-shenanigans planned, in which case...

here are a few suggestions:

*Disclaimer. These are best enjoyed with others. No judgment if you create an elaborate taco bar for just yourself. But if you know anyone else in your town/city, invite them over: acquaintances, old friends, family, your hairdresser, neighbors, etc. 

1. Classic cookout + yard games. Last year I got Kan Jam and I AM IN LOVE. That plus burgers that were on sale (thanks, grocery stores, for putting things on sale based on the upcoming holiday)...it's perfect. More perfect if you make this lemonade cocktail recipe.

2. Backyard Taco Bar. (This could be a good inside option if it's cold/rainy!)

3. Picnic at a local park. Everyone brings something, frisbees could be banned/brought (depending on your audience), kids can roam freely, you don't have to clean your house, the perks abound.

4. Hike a new trail. This is not for everyone. We love getting outside and doing something free + active, but if sunshine and bug repellent aren't for you, might I suggest a movie marathon? Bowling? Basket weaving?

5. Beach/lake getaway. This takes more planning, but it would be so fun to take a quick friend-cation to a lake or to the beach since you've got that extra day off! (And let's be real, even a day trip would be fun.)

What are your plans for the 3-day weekend?
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