Friday, July 25, 2014

seven twenty five fourteen

The past week flew by for us. I cannot even believe that it's Friday already. We've spent most of our time at the pool lately and because of that, I don't have a whole lot of pictures this week. 

What I do have is a $125 TARGET Gift card giveaway! My friend Sarah is celebrating 5 years of blogging and a few of us joined in to help her celebrate. So make sure to scroll to the bottom to enter. 

Each week while Brookelyn is at dance Cohen and I have some time in downtown Milwaukee. Sometimes we browse (and spend more money than we should) at Whole Foods and sometimes we drive to a neighborhood or area of the city that we haven't been to yet. Last week we drove through the buildings that used to house the Pabst brewery. When we first moved to Milwaukee my friend took our family photos on these grounds, and it's one of my favorite places in the city. The old buildings are just gorgeous and I love that the old sign is still there over the street. 
Speaking of awesome things in the city of Milwaukee. Last Friday night our family hit up Leon's Custard stand. We were impressed! The whole place had that old school feel, they played old school music, people sat in their truck beds or raised their back hatches and sat in the back of their cars. Fun place for sure & tasty frozen custard, of course.
Sunday I had big plans for us to paint the living room walls and then, decided that it was too beautiful of a day to spend inside. So, we piled into the car and drove up the coast of Lake Michigan to Sheboygan, Wisconsin. We first stopped to have lunch at a little cafe on the lake. Cohen loved walking the boardwalk and checking out the fishing boats and nets.
 The four of us spent a few hours at the Bookworm Gardens and had a great time. We all loved it, and I posted all about our visit here.
Another Monday, another night at the beach for volleyball. Brookelyn is doing really well and finally picking it up. We're proud of her progress.
I can't tell you how good it felt to see this. Paying off a car is something Matt & I have done twice now and both times it's been exciting. We're excited to go (hopefully) a year plus without a car payment!
Yay for new glasses! Last week I got my new glasses and this week my new sun glasses. Apparently I have a thing for Ray Bans right now, because both pairs were my favorite of all the ones I tried on! 
This goofy guy! It's hard to take a picture of him without him posing all crazy. And, of course this is blurry because he couldn't stop moving. Yet another fun day at the pool for us.
We've got a busy weekend of cleaning house & packing for vacation coming up! What are your plans?

Here's that giveaway I told you about! Target GiftCard Giveaway

$125 Target GiftCard Giveaway

Organized by: Sarah Halstead
Co-hosts: Mama Mandolin * Moms Without Answers * Juggling Act Mama * Airplane Rides and Guacamole Sides * Alyson M * Behind the Camera and Dreaming * Typically Simple * Oshiro Design

Rules: Use the Rafflecopter form to enter daily. Besides the mandatory blog comment entry, all other entries are optional. Giveaway ends 7/31 and is open worldwide.

this months in post feature ad - sponsor is..

Thursday, July 24, 2014

#14Booksin2014: Summer Reads

Did you give yourself a reading goal this year? If you haven't followed along or are new to the blog, my goal this year was to read 14 books in 2014. That's not a whole lot to some people, but for someone who can go months on end without even picking up a book, that's a big goal. And, I'm happy to say that I'm doing well and think that I might even surpass that goal! 

Rather than sharing July and August book choices with you, I've combined 4 into two months. Because, let's be real- things are busy around here and I've not had a whole lot of time to sit and read. Or, I should say that I haven't allowed myself that time to read. I'm working on it though. So, here are my choices for Summer Reads! 
Summer reads. #14booksin2014 #readabook #books #summerbooks #summerreads 

 photo whistlingpastthegraveyard.jpg
Whistling Past the Graveyard by Susan Crandall. This month it's our (Brookelyn & me) turn to host the mother - daughter book club that we're a part of and we chose Whistling Past the Graveyard based on the reviews on Amazon. And, we're happy that we did. The two of us have really enjoyed it, it's a great book for any age. The story takes place in the 60's (circa 1963), a young girl runs away from home (where she lives with her Mamie) to find her "famous" mother in Nashville. Along the way she's picked up by a black woman. Their relationship is a special one and we loved reading about the good & bad times they shared. I don't want to spoil it for you, so I'll only say that. Brookelyn & I are almost completely finished with the book. I would definitely recommend this book, it's a great one to read alongside a child 10 or older too.

 photo thebestofme.jpg
The Best of Me by Nicholas Sparks. I'm a big Sparks fan and have heard that this is yet another great book. I'm anxious to read it and hope that it'll be a good one for while we're on vacation in August! Are you a fan of Nicholas Sparks' books or no?

 photo wildlosttofound.jpg
Wild by Cheryl Strayed. This is another that I've wanted to read for a long time and just haven't picked it up yet. From what I've heard, the story is awesome and I'll love it. If you've read Wild, I'd love to hear your thoughts, minus spoilers. 

 photo everysecretthing.jpg
Every Secret Thing by Laura Lippman. This is yet another that's being made into a movie (as we speak) and the story is so intriguing! Hoping it'll be a good summer read, something that'll keep me entertained.

 photo everythingchanges.jpg 
Everything Changes by Jonathan Tropper. I read this one over the last few weeks and loved it. Jonathan Tropper is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors. There were surprises, sadness, laughs and love in this book that kept my attention the entire time. I'd highly recommend it! 

What are you reading this summer? Who are some of your favorite authors?

this months in post feature ad - sponsor is..

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Be Brave: Printable

We're working on Brookelyn's room still and I made this simple printable for her room. We love Sara Bareilles' song Brave, and so this quote just seemed appropriate for a girls room. Sweet, simple and yet a great daily reminder! 

There are 5 different "Brave" color printables to choose from. Simply click the link below each and download to print. My watermark will NOT be there when you print! Enjoy.
I wanna see you be brave! #brave #bravegirls #girlsroomdecor #roomdecor #printable #freeprintable

 photo bebraveblackaquagreywatermark.jpg
Aqua & Grey 

 photo bebraveblackpinkwatermark.jpg 
Black & Pink 

 photo bebravecoralnavywatermark.jpg
Coral & Navy 

 photo bebravenavygreenwatermark.jpg
Green & Navy 
 photo bebravepinkcoralwatermark.jpg
Pink & Coral

Where will you hang yours? What do you need to be "brave" for today?

this months in post feature ad - sponsor is..

Monday, July 21, 2014

Bookworm Gardens

This summer we're trying to visit as many new places here in Wisconsin as we can. And, trying to spend as much time possible outside because once winter hits, we'll be happy that we enjoyed the nice weather. One night while browsing the #wisconsin on Instagram I came upon a few pictures of the Bookworm Gardens in Sheboygan. Nobody that I know had ever mentioned them & I was surprised. Judging by the pics on IG, the place looked really neat. And, seeing as our kids are both huge fans of books and reading, I jotted it down in my phone so that I wouldn't forget. 

And I'm glad that I didn't! Because this weekend the kids, Matt and I had a blast at the gardens. The grounds were gorgeous, so lush and green. 
 photo bookwormgardengates.jpg  photo bookwormgardenssheboygan.jpg 
Each little area had it's own theme, based on all different books. And, there were beautiful flowers throughout the entire place!
The Magic School Bus
 photo bookwormgardensmagicschoolbus.jpg  photo bookwormgardenbus.jpg  photo bookwormgardensbus.jpg  photo bookwormgardenstennisfence.jpg  photo bookwormgardenscouch.jpg  photo bookwormgardenscreek.jpg 
A Girl Named Helen Keller.
 photo bookwormgardenhelenkeller.jpg  photo bookwormgardenslily.jpg  photo bookwormgardens1.jpg 
Little House on the Prairie. This was probably Brookelyn's favorite (and mine too). The cabin, the stove hanging over the fire, the covered wagon. It was all so cool to see!
 photo bookwormgardenslittlehouseprairie.jpg  photo bookwormgardenswagonfire.jpg  photo bookwormgardenslilhousesign.jpg  photo bookwormgardenscoveredwagon.jpg  photo bookwormgardenskidslittlehouse.jpg  photo bookwormgardenslittlehouse.jpg 
Little Red Riding Hood (and the 3 bears made of sticks behind the chairs)
 photo bookwormgardens3littlebears.jpg 
There was even a little place to build your own fairy house. Sticks & pineneedles and shells were there to use. 
 photo bookwormgardensbuildfairyhouse.jpg  photo bookwormgardensfairyhouse.jpg  photo bookwormgardenspath.jpg  photo bookwormgardensteahouse.jpg  photo bookwormgardenswalking.jpg 
Winnie the Pooh.
 photo bookwormgardenswinniethepooh.jpg  photo bookwormgardenspoohhouse.jpg  photo bookwormgardenssucculents.jpg 
Mr. McGregor's garden from Peter Rabbit.
 photo bookwormgardenspeterrabbitgarden.jpg 
Another favorite for all of us was the Charlotte's Web Barn! SO cool.
 photo bookwormgardenscharlottesweb.jpg  photo bookwormgardenscharlotteswebbarn.jpg  photo bookwormgardensbarnhouse.jpg  photo bookwormgardensbarn.jpg  photo bookwormgardenswaterpump.jpg  photo bookwormgardenswateringtree.jpg  photo bookwormgardenslillypads.jpg  photo bookwormgardenspond.jpg  photo bookwormgardensflowers.jpg  photo bookwormgardenssheboyganwi.jpg 
Stuart Little. If you look closely, you can see him there in the front door.
 photo bookwormgardensstuartlittle.jpg  photo bookwormgardenspurpleflowers.jpg 
Inch by Inch.
 photo bookwormgardensinchbyinch.jpg  photo bookwormgardensmonsterhouse.jpg 
The Three Little Pigs.
 photo bookwormgardensthreelittlepigs.jpg  photo bookwormgardensfunkyflowers.jpg 

 photo bookwormgardensheboygan.jpg  photo bookwormgardenWI.jpg
Considering that the Bookworm Gardens were only about an hour away, I'm sure we'll be back to visit. We spent almost 3 hours just walking around, letting the kids take time to play and enjoy their surroundings. There were benches and rocking chairs for adults to relax in, a gift shop with gardening themed gifts for kids & adults, and cold water which was nice. The bathrooms were clean and the staff was friendly. There was even a gorgeous patio that can be rented out for parties. I didn't get any photos because there was a baby shower and I didn't want to be creepy! 
If you're in the Milwaukee area or further north in Wisconsin, I'd definitely take a day trip! We had a great time, the kids absolutely loved it and have already asked to go back. 

this months in post feature ad - sponsor is..