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Shark Week

2014 August 14
by Katie

It’s Shark Week!  Who has been watching?  Raise your fins :)

But we aren’t afraid (ok maybe a little) and are planning a beach vacation.  We try to go to the beach every year and have yet to introduce our newest addition to the great big blue sea.  Since Jeremy’s dad already locked down the location, all we had to do was plan out activities for the kids and get our hineys down there.  Speaking of traveling to vacation spots…do you guys use a method for a great car experience?  We have done a lot of long road trips and this time we were gonna try something new.  A friend recommended getting little gifts for the boys to open for each hour of the drive.  We aren’t doing it for good behavior (let’s be honest, three kids four and under in one car for over an hour is like a shark attack)….just more like a distraction for the six hour drive.  Since we already get little goodies for the boys, this is just a fun way to give them something to look forward to…ya know, besides the beach itself.

Everything had to have an ocean theme.  And I spent right around $100 total on everything.  I started at the beginning of the summer and patiently stalked the sales and clearance rack and hit up the dollar store when the summer-time stuff came in.

We usually buy the boys two suits per summer.  This year I waited to get the second suit and I am so glad I did because (selfish motive) hopefully they will look good for any beach photos.

When it came to water toys, I let Will pick.  He told me that the ‘shooters’ were his favorite thing and then I picked out the fish loofahs to make bath time a little more ‘beach’ themed.

Some of you may not understand this but I literally screamed when I saw all three of these outfits on the clearance rack at Gymboree.  I’m not kidding.  The check out lady was like “oh you found all three sizes, didn’t you?!” and she and I had this eye-locking moment of pure unadulterated joy.  The best part was the price.  The shark sweatshirts were all under $9 and the shorts were $3 each.  I gave myself a high-five and didn’t care who saw my nerd side.

I fully expect the stickers to eat up an hour of the car ride.  Weston LOVES stickers.  Also….Swedish fish & Lifesavers….get it?  The dolphin plates are one of those weird things that will be fun and functional.  I think we will use them when we do our crafts (we want to do Elmer’s glue designs on paper with sand, painting shells and mini shell mosaics) and if the boys need a snack :)

Are my boys the only ones that get excited about new jammies?  My boys go nuts about them.  Jammies and chewy vitamins.  It’s weird.  And it seems like we never have enough.  So we found these fish and submarine bedwear that is perfect for a special treat.

Over the course of the summer, I collected cheap goodies…dollar flip flops, couponed sunblock, an additional $2 swimshirt for LJ (it matches his first bathing suit so it’ll be like two outfits for one).  The accessories are not real expensive but I think they will be useful when it comes to getting beach ready.  Oh and I also bought one of those MagicCool towels….for Jer….I might steal it though.  I get heat head aches really easily and we will probably end up arguing over who gets to use it….and then make up of course :)

The activities that we bought are just in case it rains or we have an evening in.  I got pirate masks, a sticker mosaic, trident glowsticks (see what I did there?!), Magic Grow sea animals and a three ring pool for under our umbrella.  I fully expect this stuff to be chum to our little sharks.  Since we won’t have our normal toys, these activities will eat up any fussy time that might creep in.  Vacation sometimes just feels like relocation…everything is the same (kids cry, babies need fed, meltdowns happen) but you don’t have your own prepared space to handle it…so it can even be harder.  I’m hoping that this method will give me enough activities to keep their little hands busy and their brains distracted.

I plan on handing one gift out every hour in the car per big boy.  I even wrapped them and labeled them with washi tape so they are ready to go.  Yes, they look like prepared meats….ironic since that’s what little sharks devour.  And that my friends is how you do a post full circle :)

Wooing with Blue Apron

2014 August 13
by Katie

DISCLAIMER: This is a sponsored post brought to you by Blue Apron. The opinions are 100% my own.

If I could do one thing better, it would be singing.

And then dancing.

And then cooking.

Triple threat comin’ at ya.  It would be like on dating shows when the gals do things to make themselves more memorable.  I would be that girl that would be pop-n-locking to my own accapella singing while feeding MY FUTURE HUSBAND BECAUSE I ALREADY LOVE HIM some steak and potatoes.  Specifically this one…

Blue Apron meal coming at you, my hunk of burning love.  That’s right.  That meal up there was one of the three meals that was sent recently and my man LOVED it.  He even ate those tomatoes.  And this is a guy that usually runs in the opposite direction whenever I pull out that lycopene-packed veggie (or is it a fruit?).  The point is…I am loving Blue Apron.

What is Blue Apron you say?  Well, think of it like date night delivered right to your doorstep.  Instead of going out to eat (which to us is like a tornado of tears, drama and the occasional milk-drunk kid…kinda like Bachelor in Paradise), we like to stay in but still want to eat delicious and fresh food.  Blue Apron is the solution.  It is a meal delivery service that drops off refrigerated boxes right to your door with two servings of three different meals.  And these meals are enough to woo even the pickiest eaters.

   

This past delivery, we invited some dear friends over to help eat the steak, chicken and fish we had in the fridge.  It was like Top Chef in the kitchen.  Three different meals.  Four adults.  Two kids.  Two infants.  A whirlwind of chopping and roasting and stirring.  And lots of dirty dishes.

It was like date night but on a Sunday afternoon while the babies took naps.  Perfect for parents like us!  And did I mention the food?  We were chefs.  At least we felt like professionals because legit chefs created these meals.

Besides the fact that we love getting a big box of fresh and quality food from local suppliers and artisans, we absolutely love that it pushes us out of our comfort zone.  We tend to order the same exact meals from restaurants every single visit.  This is exactly portioned meals that give us no excuses to try something new.  And surprisingly, there has never been a meal we tried that we don’t like!  I have never eaten such a variety of different vegetables, seasonings and grains.

So besides being able to win the man of your dreams over when you cook for him (kidding), Blue Apron has some other great perks about it….

  • No waste from unused ingredients!
  • Meals are $9.99 per person with free shipping
  • Available nationwide (FREE shipping to over 80% of the country…click to see if you are in the zone)
  • No commitment – you can skip or cancel the service at any time!
  • Each menu is between 500-700 calories per person
  • All meals can be prepared in 40 minutes or less
  • There is a Blue Apron Cookbook!

First 100 readers will get two free meals on their first Blue Apron order!  click here.

So if you haven’t tried it already – I can not tell ya how fun it has been to work with Blue Apron.  And even though I still can’t sing or dance, I feel like I can create really great meals with their help.