Whew! I don’t know about you guys, but it has been a busy, busy summer for our little family. On top of all of the other fun things going on, we had back-to-back trips happen recently and this mama is exhausted. We finally got to go to Los Angeles to celebrate two friends tying the knot that was twice-delayed-due-to-COVID (so happy that it was able to happen!!!) where I also got to see all of my childhood friends and all of our babies got to meet for the first time which was just… everything my heart needed and more. We also had a babysitter watch Sophie for the very first time while we attended the wedding and it went better than I expected (for all of us!).
While we were on our way to LA a work trip in Boston came together for my husband the following week so we [probably foolishly] decided that Sophie and I would tag along, extend that East Coast trip and visit my husband’s family in Maine for a long weekend since it’s only a couple of hours’ drive north! We had less than 24 hours at home (to basically sleep and do laundry) before we left for Boston. It was so great to see family, but the back-to-back travel for parents (and kiddos!) is a bit of a doozy and I don’t recommend it if you can avoid it. 😬 I’m glad we visited, but I won’t be doing family trips that close together again. I can’t remember the last time I slept so hard; I honestly don’t think that I moved at all that first night back in our bed. 😂
We also timed it “perfectly” so that we ended up dealing with the heat wave in LA, then in the North East, and finally now in the PNW as we returned home. It feels as though we just can’t get away from the heat this summer and this sweaty gal has never been so grateful for air-conditioning! I hope that wherever you are, you’re managing to stay cool this summer because these temperatures are no joke.
Today I’m sharing five things that have piqued my interest or things that have been on my mind / going on in my life recently!
TODDLER TRAVEL GEAR FAVORITES
In case you missed it, I recently shared a post that included all of the gear we are now using for travel since Sophie became a toddler and has grown out of her other products. I’m talking specifically about her travel stroller, car seat and crib — all of which we have become well acquainted with over her past 12 months of life and we have recognized what functions or features would make our lives easier as a jetsetting family! I shared all of my reasoning behind each purchase and what we love about each one (aside from just portability!). If you’re in a similar stage of life, or are about to be (!!!), I hope it’s helpful for you. I’ll link the products below that I mention in the post just in case you don’t have time to read my mini reviews on each of them.
EASY TODDLER MEAL IDEA
My blogger friend Jess Keys recently partnered with Once Upon A Farm and turned me onto this item, but I had to share here as well because OMG coming up with toddler food ideas gives me such anxiety! Making sure Sophie is getting the nutrients she needs, but also giving her foods that she can safely eat sometimes feels like an incredible challenge. I love to share my meals with Sophie, but often my “meals” aren’t safe or healthy ( 🙈 ) for a baby… such as my daily coffee for “breakfast” or a few handfuls of trail mix as a snack.
Thankfully, Once Upon A Farm offers a variety of healthy frozen meal options for kiddos in 15 flavor combinations that can be served as-is (in tiny, finger-friendly chunks), mashed up, or even blended, depending on your little one’s stage. What a freaking lifesaver! And each pouch is only 3.5 oz so it’s not like these bags are huge and going to take up your entire freezer space.
I’m sure you’ve seen this brand’s pre-blended pouches at retailers such as Target or your local grocery store, but these frozen meals are [currently] only available in-store at Whole Foods (but also available for purchase direct via subscription or online from other retailers!). I’m so excited to try these with Sophie! Not only to help make sure that she’s eating healthy, but also to expose her to even more food options and flavor profiles. Our first order arrives today and I’m so curious to see which items she likes best!
JULIA BEROLZHEIMER X POTTERY BARN COLLECTION ON SALE
Julia Berolzheimer’s collection with Pottery Barn is on sale! If you were waiting to grab one of those beautiful pieces, now is the time to snag them at a lower pricepoint. I’m crazy about our melamine serving platters so now I’m thinking that I should have gotten these napkins and the terracotta pots…
Faux DECORATIVE OUTDOOR plants
I have tried to grow a few plants both in our yard as well as in some planters, but admittedly, I don’t have the greenest thumb… so after multiple failed attempts at growing “hardy” greenery I decided to throw in the towel and get a couple of faux plants for our planters. I thought about filling them with some faux hydrangea shrubs or even some sprawling ferns, but I don’t want to be changing these items seasonally so I determined that a solid “evergreen” type of plant would be best for us. There were so many options and while I also loved the look of the faux boxwood topiaries, I ultimately decided that the faux cypress version was the most appropriate for our region and the vibe of our home (in contrast, this beautiful tropical palm plant would look a bit bizarre in an outdoor planter in the PNW and would be better suited for the South).
Up close, these plants are very obviously fake, but from afar they look pretty damn realistic and I’m very pleased with their overall effect. I can’t speak to how well they’ll do in all seasons and if they’ll fade with extended UV exposure since we only just got them, but I’ve been impressed with these faux plants so far and I would highly recommend giving this option a try if, like me, you weren’t blessed with the gift of a green thumb!
Okay, I couldn’t just pick one of these to mention in today’s post so all three are all getting lumped into one category! 😉
The Gray Man was just released last week on Netflix! I’m not familiar with the book that the plot is based on, but the cast looks awesome and I’m always a sucker for a good CIA-related action thriller. Have you watched yet?? This might be one that my husband and I can agree on for movie night! 😂
“Only Murders in the Building” is back on Hulu with new weekly episodes for season 2!!! I love the dynamic of these characters and while the show is technically a mystery / suspense, the comedy is what keeps me coming back. Martin Short and Steve Martin have the best chemistry and their dynamic with Selena Gomez is so cute. I really enjoy this show! So happy that Season 2 has arrived!
Because we don’t go to the movie theatre anymore (ugh; going to the movies was one of my faaave things to do pre-baby and pre-pandemic 😭) and we rarely ever watch cable tv, we don’t often see previews for new, upcoming movies. Thankfully, I was served an online ad for the film “Ticket to Paradise” and when I saw that George Clooney & Julia Roberts were both starring in it I immediately added it to my must-watch list! Looking forward to that one coming out in October!
I hope you are all enjoying your summer so far!
Happy Friday, friends.
Sending hugs —