Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Children's Book Club: Shark Attack!

It's Shark Week, and our kids are obsessed! Every time we turn around they are turning on the Discovery Channel to see what sharks are terrorizing swimming the ocean waters at that moment. Sharks are serious business year round in this house though, and through some of our summer adventures, it seems like the excitement about those toothy sea creatures has been amplified.


Cute came home from our family vacation, and wanted to read anything and everything about sharks. 


From fiction to non-fiction he soaks up every. single. word. Now I know way more about sharks than I ever wanted to in my life. 

You might find us sticking to pools from now on. 

We got our shark loving little boys (and girls!) together and asked them to pick their favorite shark themed books. They were so excited about this task and made sure to pick the "very best and baddest" shark books.


10 FAVORITE SHARK BOOKS FOR KIDS


  1. Sharks Discovery Kids - This is one of our favorites! It has realistic photos, tons of great facts, and a peek at a variety of different sharks that are swimming in the ocean. 
  2. The Shark Who Learned a Lessson - This story follows Shadow the Shark, who sadly has become the ocean bully. The creatures of the ocean ban together and show Shadow a different way to be. 
  3. Clark the Shark - This is the original in the "Clark the Shark" series. Clark is a rambunctious little shark just trying to fit in at school. The series follows the lessons that Clark has to learn along the way. Great for any young school aged child!
  4. Nugget & Fang - Nugget and Fang are the best of friends. Nugget goes to school and finds that his best friend is a little different. A great book to show young children even though we are all different we can all be friends. 
  5. Finn Flips - Finn is a shark with lots of pep in his fins, but when he flips, all his ocean friends at Club Shark better watch out! A fun little story our early readers love!
  6. Hark! A Shark! - A rhyming shark book from our favorite Dr. Suess character - the Cat in the Hat. This is a fun little book to teach shark loving little ones facts about their favorite ocean creatures. 
  7. Wild Kratts: Sharks, Whales & Dolphins! -  Our favorite animal loving duo share all about sharks, and some of the larger creatures they share the ocean with. A great way to show how sharks interact with their oceanic neighbors. 
  8. If Sharks Disappeared - A great way to further the conversation of why we can't get rid of sharks even if they are sometimes scary. 
  9. Shark Lady - This new to us story has quickly become a favorite of all of our kids. This follows the true story of Eugenie Clark, one of the world's greatest shark loving scientists. A fun story and lots of great facts. 
  10. National Geographic Kids Everything Sharks - Part fact book and part activity book this is one of our shark loving little ones favorite shark books. It's great book for car rides and restaurant entertainment. 

The are tons of great shark books for kids out there, but hopefully this list has narrowed it down for you! 

And because it just happens to be "Shark Week" we are going to extend the shark filled fun by giving away one of our favorite shark tales. Pop over to Instagram to win your own copy of The Shark Who Learned a Lesson from Hawaiian children's book author Gil McBarnet



The giveaway will go live later today and the winner will be announced Sunday, July 30th. 

Happy Shark Week everyone!

Carrie Beth & Jen

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10 Great Shark Books for Kids.



Monday, July 24, 2017

Kitchen Confessions: Shark Week Snack {Shark Bark}

We love themes around here.  Doesn't matter if it is for a major holiday, a made-up one, or just a week surrounding our boy's favorite ocean animal.  Theme wear, themed decorations and theme snacks make celebrating, no matter what the occasion, more fun!  


It's shark week and the kids had so much fun helping us create this delicious shark bark to snack on all week. 
  

Bark recipes are some of our favorites because they are so dang simple!  Some melted chocolate, some sprinkles and toppings and it is done. That is our kind of recipe. It looks colorful and cute and our taste testers always approve of this yummy sweet treat.  We're sharing the details of this shark bark over on Savvy Sassy Moms today so be sure to head over and check it out!


Jen & Carrie Beth 


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Friday, July 21, 2017

Friday Favorites

Usually I'm counting down to the weekend, but this week I'm sad to see it here already.  Our kids start back to school in just one week, so the weekend being here means we are closer to them heading back to school.  Some moms are jumping for joy and counting down the days right now, but I'm in total denial.  Part of the reason is because my little Boo-Boo, the baby of the family is going to be heading off to Kindergarten.  He's nervous, but excited.  He's ready.  But I'm not.  I have an entire post in my head dedicated to this idea and all of my thoughts and feelings surrounding it, but that is a topic for another day.



Today I'm linking up with some of our favorite bloggers and sharing my Friday Favorites.  Since my little guy is on my brain and since he just had his 6th birthday last weekend, I thought I'd share six favorites surrounding the fun we had celebrating him!


I've thrown some pretty elaborate birthday parties for my kids.  From hand making decorations and coordinating every little detail, those parties were pretty.  But, they were a lot of work.  When Boo-Boo said he wanted to have an arcade party at one of those places where all I had to do was show up with a cake, I was sold.  Those kind of parties are my favorite because they are so easy and the kids have a blast!  It was the perfect little boy party.  They played laser tag, rode bumper cars, played arcade games and won tickets.  They all had a blast, even the biggest kid of them all, my Mr. 


Getting to bring home balloons, prizes from all the tickets he racked up, and his birthday gifts were definitely a favorite for the birthday boy! 


You might not be able to tell, but that ball is a giant tennis ball.  He picked that with some of his tickets and has had THE best time playing with it.  It bounces really high and is so much fun! 
My kids' favorite breakfast is donuts and the Mr. will take them once in a while to get them on the weekends.  Sometimes they ask and he'll say no because we are busy or have something going on that morning, but they always know if they ask they will get donuts on their birthdays.  And what better way to start off your birthday than with a candle in a donut?! 


Speaking of candles, blowing them out and making wishes is one of Boo-Boo's favorites.  He'd be happy if we had put candles in every single thing he ate that weekend.  He and his Papa's birthdays are only one day apart so we had dinner together to celebrate and made brownies for dessert...complete with candles! 


I have two brothers.  One lives in Atlanta and the other doesn't, but he was in town visiting friends and family for the weekend, so we all gathered to hang out and catch up.  It's rare for all of us to be together except at Christmas, so it was a nice treat!  They are such big kids and had so much fun with Boo-Boo playing baseball, trying to throw a boomerang and getting into a Nerf gun war. Watching them all play together was a favorite memory from that day. (Even if it means I'm still finding Nerf darts all over my house!)


He had been counting down to his birthday for months. He kept up with the number of days until the big day and couldn't wait to be six.  He is, by far, the funniest of all my kids and keeps me laughing with his one-liners and constant commentary on life.  He's totally obsessed with all sports and is competitive to a fault, but he's also the sweetest and most thoughtful kid.  I've always said that I absolutely love being a girl mama, but there is just something so special about the bond between a mother and her son.  



Last night our school had a Kindergarten popsicle party and we found out who his Kindergarten teacher would be.  He was so eager and happy to learn the news that he was giddy! His excitement my favorite!  Watching him run around the playground, interact with other kids and be totally comfortable and confident without even looking back for me was all the reassurance I needed to know he was going to have a blast in Kindergarten.

Carrie Beth 


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Thursday, July 20, 2017

Cocktail Confessions: 7 Refreshing Poptails

Last summer we discovered the "poptail", and this genius little invention is still a favorite cocktail of ours this summer. 


Popsicles just make everything just a little bit happier. Popsicles in an adult beverage or two make mommy a whole lot happier. ;)


From wine poptails to bourbon poptails we've tried them all! And we've rounded up all of our favorites to share with our friends over on Savvy Sassy Moms


These 7 Poptail Recipes are what summer is all about...fruity, fun, and oh so cool. Give them a try and let us know which one is your favorite!

Now this post is making us all sorts of thirsty...
Off to beat this southern heat with a little popsicle yum!

Cheers!

Jen & Carrie Beth 


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Tuesday, July 18, 2017

DIY Magnolia Wreaths {Tutorial}

It's no secret that I love all things farmhouse including the use of greenery and wreaths both indoors and out.  I have two of these boxwood wreaths that I had tried to use on my front doors, but instead they found their home indoors instead.



I've really been wanting a magnolia wreath for a while now, but didn't want the steep price tag that most of them come with.  I love the look of them though and the southern ties that magnolias have!  These were just a few of the ones I was swooning over! 


After visiting my local craft store to search for some basement decor I came across some pretty real looking silk magnolia leaves and an idea popped in my head. I decided that I'm not stranger to making my own wreaths so I got to work and made my own DIY magnolia wreaths!  I have to say, these might be some of my very favorite wreaths I've ever made and probably the easiest by far!  


I started with basic grapevine wreaths.  I had one at home from an old project and the other was 50% off at my local craft store so I paid less than $5 for it.


Then I bought this bunch of magnolia leaves that look and feel so real.  I also had a coupon for them so they were less than $10 each.  I bought two bunches for each wreath because I wanted them to be nice and full. 


One thing you should know about any type of silk flowers or plants is that they can be taken part very easily.  For this all I needed to do was pull on the leaves and they popped right off of the "stem" making it easy to take a part. 



Now I was ready to get started assembling the wreath.  I started by sticking the ends of the leaves in through the vines just so I could see what it would look like and discovered it was going to be super easy to achieve the look I was going for.  


Using a hot glue gun I put a dab of glue the ends of each leave and continued sticking them into the wreath and over lapping each one as I went along. I used two bunches of the leaves to fill each wreath and went back with any extra leaves to fill in the gaps.  


These wreaths took me less than an hour and I'm so happy with how they turned out. 


I had originally made them to go on the barn doors in our basement and I still might move them down there when the basement is complete (we're so very close!!!), but for now I put them on my front doors because I couldn't wait to have them hanging somewhere! 





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Friday, July 14, 2017

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday!!!  Even though it is summer, I still live for the weekends when our schedules are a little more relaxed and we aren't quite as on-the-go.  This weekend we're celebrating my favorite little guy's birthday, so it will be a fun and exciting weekend.



Today, like most Fridays, I'm linking up with some of our favorite bloggers to share our Friday Favorites!






A few weeks ago I got an Apple watch and I'm loving it. I'd been wanting one for a while, but wasn't sure if I wanted to commit and buy one because I wasn't sure how I would like it.  Well, the Mr. ended up winning one at a golf tournament so when he texted me to ask if I'd like one (because he already had one) I jumped at the chance!  


I'm still figuring it out and I'm sure there are so many more things I have to learn about it, but so far it's been fun. I love receiving texts on it if I don't have my phone near me and I also like the fitness tracking part of it so far! 

On Monday I shared about our houseboat trip and also these cute tanks I found.  I've had so many questions about them and both my girls and I can't stop wearing them so they are definitely a favorite this week.

These girls tanks are so cute (only $6!!!) and so appropriate for summer.  Sadly, our kids start back to school in just two short weeks and we are all digging in our heels.  We'd love to stay on summer vacay for a little while longer! 

I'm still wearing my favorite Target tanks over and over.  They are so soft, super cute with the peplum  ruffle it adds a little bit of something extra.  Plus, they are under $15!  



We've been doing some major projects at our house including our basement that is almost done and a big yard project.  When we bought our house, part of the appeal was the property. It has a small creek running through it and while we loved the water and all of the privacy, it felt like a jungle.  The landscaping is happening in two phases, but the first phase is done including the removal of trees and a creek restoration.  

Before:

There was a small foot bridge in place, but since we first moved in I dreamt of a nice bridge with sides.  I pictured my kids running across it as they head to the other side of our yard.  While we were on vacation the Mr. surprised me with a bridge with sides!  I was so surprised because he kept it a total secret, but it made me so happy and it is definitely my favorite part of our landscaping right now.  

After: 

This week my sweet Blondie has been on a week long beach vacation with a friend.  She was so excited to go, but the first part of the week was rough.  She kept FaceTiming me crying because she was so homesick.  It broke my heart, but I knew she would be fine because they had so many fun things planned.  Well, as the week has gone on she's gotten into her groove and is having so much fun. My favorite texts this week are of her sweet, smiling, happy face!  So much better than her tears! 

Last weekend we got a lot of things done around the house including hanging more artwork to the art gallery wall in our playroom.  I'd had some pieces framed and sitting on my dining room table to hang for months!  This wall is one of my very favorite spaces in my home.  My kids get so proud to see their art work displayed (some dating back to their first day of preschool!) and it is so much better than having them all just sit in a closet.  Plus, it's the perfect way to fill a big, blank wall! 


Last, but not least this week are my new magnolia wreaths!  I'm totally in love with them and can't get enough. Be sure to check back next week because I'll be sharing the tutorial because these beauties were a DIY!  



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