Hello from the other side of the 4th of July! I hope you had a wonderful holiday filled with fun, sun, and all 10 fingers. That’s a joke about fireworks. We kept it casual with snappers, sparklers, and water blasters at my parent’s house!
Since the 4th landed in the middle(ish) of the week, and our sitter was off, I could never quite get a grasp on what day it was. Instead of stressing about it though, we enjoyed it! The kids and I fit in plenty of backyard pool time, went to the farm (more on that below) and sidewalk chalked our faces off. It was a nice break but it’s good to be back. :)
It’s also time to plan another holiday – Gwendolyn’s FIRST BIRTHDAY! My little petunia will be one in under two weeks which doesn’t seem possible – this was the fastest year of my life. I don’t remember being pregnant last summer (the aches and pains, etc,) but I do remember with crystal clarity the day she was born. Checking into the hospital, our nurse, Anne, who really knew her way around an IV bless her heart, my heart racing while waiting for my beloved doctor to come tell us it was time (“ready to have a baby?!” she asked,) walking into the cold operating room, receiving my epidural, laying there while they got to her, then holding our baby girl against my chest for the very first time. It has been a complete joy to see her change and grow SO much this past year. I could not love her more. UGH!!
Sis is a Mama’s girl through and through, though she’s got the entire family wrapped around her little finger.
It’s so funny to watch rough and tumble Cam sweetly kiss and caress her cheek in between throwing punches at his brother (ay yi yi,) and see Lincoln by her side doing anything and everything to make her happy all day long. These relationships will evolve, of course, but for now the boys are her #1 fans.
Since G’s birthday is just three weeks before Lincoln’s, we’ll get a cupcake or something for her actual birthday then have a big celebration with family closer to L’s 6th birthday (which is also SO hard to believe!!!)
Anyway! Lots of things happening this month which I am excited to fill you in on. In the meantime, here’s what else is happening in this edition of Currently.
Rekindling: bike riding. I’ve been working with Lincoln on removing his training wheels which inspired me to get my own bike down from its hooks in the garage and hop back in the saddle! I couldn’t ride last summer since I was pregnant then recovering from my c-section, and missed it so much. That said, I took my first long ride a couple nights ago and was in HEAVEN. We sometimes get down about living in the Midwest – no mountains to climb, nor oceans to surf – but riding through the lush, tree covered trail next to creeks and streams reminded me that there is fun to be had no matter where you live. You just have to get out there and live it! I downloaded this Map My Ride app which is great for keeping track of routes and calories burned, among other things. Between riding, Orange Theory, and mowing, my shoulders and quads are buuuuurning. Hurts so good. Except two days after OT. That just hurts.
Wearing: Athleta Essence Vital Tank. I had a minor freak out recently about not having anything to wear. Not an, I don’t like anything in my closet! episode, more like, I have NOTHING in my closet! I have a habit of Marie Kondo’ing my wardrobe while pregnant and nesting, and very little made the cut last year. Anyway, I went shopping and found a couple cute. tanks. at Banana Republic, and am especially loving these Essence Vital Tanks from Athleta. They’re great for everyday running around, plus I could work out in them. I also LOVE the fact that they are high neck. I purchased the tank in black and white, which I don’t find to be see through.
Speaking of, why are 99% of shirts these days made out of see through material? I tried on nearly 20 tops between Banana, Athleta, Express, J Crew, and LOFT and nearly all of them were made from material so thin it’s see through. LOFT seemed to be the worst offender which is too bad because their styles right now are adorable! Moving on…
Laughing: Always Be My Maybe. Neither Ben nor I are ROMCOM fans, so I was surprised when he suggested watching Always Be My Maybe on Netflix a couple weekends ago. I agreed because it stars Ali Wong, whom we both love, and it was so good!! Only a few cheesy moments. I love Ali’s comedic timing and truly it was just funny. Two thumbs up.
Visiting: baby goats! One of our very favorite places in town, Howell’s, had a baby goat pen this year! We are here constantly in the fall and were thrilled to learn they opened the play yard for the summer too. This year (and maybe last) Howell’s started offering goat yoga, feeding bottles to baby goats, and/or simply playing with their baby goats. It was just the coolest thing! Those big floppy ears? I can’t. Anyway, my mom and I took the kids last week and we were ALL in heaven. Cam had his baby goat bleat down 30 seconds in (hahahaha) and Lincoln, who is usually shy with new animals, just couldn’t have been more enthralled. Gwen was…confused. Locals, highly recommend! (Pro tip: wear a shirt you don’t mind them chewing on, hehehe.)
Watching: The Last Czars. I’ve seen this Netflix original being promoted on Facebook and Instagram a ton lately so I gave it a shot and…jury’s still out. I like the style of the show, which mixes interviews with historians with a traditional drama, but the content, especially the actor/role of Rasputin is just…creepy. Bravo, I guess, because he was a creep in real life, but…ew. I’ll probably finish the series since it’s short but wanted to get your thoughts on it too.
Hanging: wall decor. I finally hung up art in Gwen’s room this past weekend – only took a year! Good grief. Anyway, I’d collected a few cute prints from Target and Homegoods over the months, but the runaway stars so far in Gwen’s eyes are the unicorn and swan head hanging on either sides of her window. She starts waving wildly and gabbing to them anytime we enter her room. It is so darn cute.
Enjoying: Amazon returns. As if Amazon priming wasn’t dangerous enough – did you know you don’t need a box to put the items you’re returning in, NOR do you need a printer to print out a return slip?! All you have to do is take the item to UPS, show them a return code that gets emailed to you after selecting what you want to return on the website, and they handle the rest. What a time to be alive! Guess I should tell you that I’m not a fan of Amazon’s clothing line. The pieces look so cute on fashion bloggers but both items I’ve ordered are made from cheap material and/or don’t fit well. Anyone else?
Devouring: peaches and cherries. Move over, watermelon – peach and cherry season has arrived! Ripe peaches are one of my favorite scents of summer – I will always remember my Mom serving my brothers and me cold, sliced peaches with powdered sugar during the dog days of summer – and cherries seem to naturally satisfy a craving for sweets like few other foods can. Both are perfection on their own, but if you’ve got a surplus of either, here are a few fresh peach and cherry recipes for ya:
Sugar Cookie Peach Cobbler for Two >
Balsamic Steak and Peach Salad >
Almond-Stuffed Chocolate-Covered Cherries >
Cherry-Almond Cookie Dough Oatmeal >
Pick a Currently category and fill me in! :D
join the conversation
I agree with your Amazon clothes comment, with one exception – https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B07JJNXGNH/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1. I have this dress in the navy/white stripe, and wear it a ton. Comfy, loose, cute… for $26, it’s perfect. It’s not going to be a piece I keep for years, but it’s great for a hot summer chasing around a 2yo!
I can’t believe you didn’t add your pulled pork tacos with peach and cherry salsa to your list! It is still one of my favorite IGE recipes-just made it last week!
My grandma always said: wait for Missouri peaches, then put in a brown paper bag til a ripe, BUT keep checking them. ALWAYS works for me. I don’t buy any other peach now, BUT Mizzou!
Have u watched The Bodyguard? really good. And I am assuming u have seen Bloodlines. Season 1 and 2 are awesome. They blew it w/ season 3. Sissy Spacek is great. As well as Kyle Chandler. LUV me some Kyle.
I think we are the only people in the world that cannot get into Bloodlines! We have tried twice and can’t get past the fourth episode!
Barb Feuerhak 07.12.2019
Am enjoying hearing about your summer with your kids. I am very appreciative of the gluten free adaptations to desserts and baked goods. Thanks!
Hillary S 07.11.2019
Kids grow up so quickly! Lincoln and my oldest are really close in age, I can’t believe my baby will be 6 at the end of August! And she lost her first baby tooth this morning. I don’t know if G is your last but my second daughter is my last, everything seemed to go faster. My little one turned 3 at the beginning if summer, it went by so fast.
Do you have a link for the water blasters?
We have the same water blasters- we got ours at the dollar store (Dollar Tree)- Our kids love them!
Yep, what Tracy said – dollar store! :D
I hate Amazon basics tshirts, but their Amazon branded swimwear and cover ups (Coastal Blue) have all been fantastic for me. Great quality and relatively inexpensive. And consistent sizing! Reviews are great at guessing how it will fit too, every single piece that I picked out fit well.
I actually like the Amazon Essentials basic T-shirts. I bought 2 this Spring. Not super thin, don’t pill, don’t cling (like some material does) and fit me nicely without being super tight or baggy. I will admit the White is slightly see-through, but a nude bra handles that issue. The best white T I’ve found so far.
I shy away from Amazon clothes for fear of exactly what you mentioned but I have to tell you the Amazon Essentials Women’s Pull on Jeggings are legit. Even the white ones are awesome — and only $28!
Thanks for the recommendation, Tara!!
Have you tried returning an Amazon item to the UPS store without a box? They charge you for the box.
I have! They have never charged me for a box. And, although I always repackage a shirt, for example, in its original plastic packaging, they said I don’t even need to do that. ??♀️
I just used this return option for an Amazon return this evening and it was so easy. I didn’t have a box and it was no problem. They just scanned the code from the email on my phone and took the items. Easy peasy. And by the time I got back home (after some grocery shopping), we’d already received the email that the money had been refunded. Awesome!
Yes!! I love that the monetary return is so fast too!
Lacey Jones 07.09.2019
I hope you will post some pictures of the kids’ birthday celebration! I always loved your posts about everyone’s birthdays :) My son will be 10 August 5 and I’m over here wondering how this is happening!!
Time does just go by so, so fast. I’m sure I will post a pic or two, and happy early birthday to your big guy!
I’ve had great luck at LOFT Outlet this summer. Their simple tees/tanks that are tie front are amazing and I’ve bought several. They wash well, are super lightweight and aren’t see through at all. I highly suggest!
Thank you for the recommendation, Sara!!
My husband and I took our 20 month old and are seven week old to Howells last week. It was our first time there. Obviously the seven week old didn’t care but they’re 20-month-old was very intrigued with the baby goats, didn’t want to get too close but he had a lot of fun baaahing and pointing at them. Can’t wait to go back in the fall!
It’s our favorite place in the fall – my boys could spend all day on the jumping pillow!
UM… I just heard you can take Amazon returns to Kohl’s and they’ll return it, and it’s free! Also, you get a 20% off coupon to use at the store as well. I have not tried this, but heard it from a reputable blogger.
Veery interesting! Anything to get customers into the physical stores these days, right?!
Hillary S 07.11.2019
You do get a Kohl’s coupon when you return an Amazon order!
I’m so with you on the see through shirts! I hate that I can’t buy light colored shirt because you can see through all of them. And summer time is not a time when I want to add extra layers by wearing a cami underneath.
Right? And since I’m nursing I’d have to add a bra underneath the cami. Too much.
Wait, are these Amazon returns at UPS free?? Because lately they want to charge me to return anything (as a Prime member) unless something is wrong, and I’m like, wait, what?
Yep they’re free! The only time the return should cost money is if you bought a product that was not marked prime!
I feel ya on the see-through shirts. The solution: Madewell whisper tees and tanks. They’re super thin and NOT see-through! I have their pale pink and don’t need to wear a cami or anything. I’m in love!
Oooo, thanks for the tip!! I will check those out! :)
Do you have any tips on how to pick out peaches from the store? I love peaches but it seems so hit or miss if they are actually good.
@Kristy.. my dad always taught me the more it smells like a peach, the better it’ll taste. It’s never let me down!
I pick ones that have a strong peach scent and that are fairly ripe, vs hard then letting them ripen on the counter. We just make sure to eat them quickly!
My husband and I started watching The Last Czars this week but turned it off about 10 minutes in. Not a fan. We were hoping it’d be the Russian version of The Crown. Instead we’re now watching Cheers from season one.
Did you like the Crown? That’s what my husband suggested when I told him this one was playing out a little odd.
OMG, The Crown is so SO good! Absolutely bingeworthy! Gorgeously photographed, amazing costumes and sets, and superb acting. Well worth your time!
Ok we will give that a go then!!
I did goat yoga last summer in Cedar Rapids! So fun. HBD to your littles!
I didn’t get the appeal until I went and played with the babes themselves. They’re just FUN! :)
Totally agree on the see through tops and on Anazon fashion. I don’t understand the appeal. Cheaply made and such an odd shopping experience.
Yes, and yes!