Red Chair Lavender Festival

Red Chair Lavender Festival

Dress (Old Navy – sold out, similar options here & here) // Earrings // Sandals  —  Cole’s tee/shorts/sandals  —  Evan’s tee (similar)/shorts/sandals (sold out, similar here and here)

We are really fortunate to live in a place where it seems there is always something going on. And I really love experiencing of all of our local activities, businesses, and foods – so when I starting hearing about this local lavender festival, it sounded right up my alley. I’ve seen this festival floating around social media, and even heard a bit about it from a friend who attended last year, and thought it sounded like a really fun afternoon for the family. When I lived in Palm Springs I used to go to this little cafe that had the absolute best lavender lemonade, and I was pretty sold hearing this festival had not only lavender lemonade, but tons of lavender infused dishes and ice cream. There was also some great live music, a classic car display, demonstrations (they were making lavender oil right on site!), and various classes (like wreath making). They also had U-pick lavender and face painting for the kids! We had a great time strolling the fields (as you can imagine it smelled amazing), sampling all of the lavender foods, and browsing the vendors. We brought home some great lavender goodies, and as I type this, I’m smelling the lavender oil we bought diffusing in our house! And for anyone who missed the festival or doesn’t live locally – you can order all of their amazing lavender goodness online (I’m already thinking of Christmas gifts).

All of this lavender goodness has me inspired to put our own lavender plants at home to use and bake something yummy this week! What’s your favorite way to use lavender?

Signature

Life Lately

Sweet summer days are officially here in Boise. Days full of swimming, bike riding, ice cream, and staying up way too late. I’m a routine person and being so off of our normal schedule admittedly gives me a bit of anxiety. However I know that getting back to “real life” with our structured routine will be back before we know it, so in the meantime I’m determined to soak up these days and embrace a fun and sugar filled summer.

Our neighborhood threw a block party last weekend, and it was a lot of fun playing games and getting to know some of our neighbors we hadn’t met yet! There were games, food, and even an ice cream truck – which of course the kids thought was so cool.

Cole’s shirt/shorts/sandals  —  Evan’s shirt/shorts/sandals

My shirt/shorts/sandals/earrings (J Crew, old – similar)

And because one ice cream isn’t enough…after the party we biked down to our favorite ice cream shop – The Stil! I even tried one of their “boozy ice creams” (a strawberry rośe) which was delicious.

We went to the waterpark again this week and spent an entire day there. I bought this swimsuit last summer and it’s still a favorite! It comes in several colors and several styles as well. And it’s on pretty major sale right now!

My suit/similar beach skirt/hat

Cole’s swimsuit  —  Evan’s swimsuit

The kids have been wanting to live on their bikes, so we’ve been taking tons of rides. We even came across some deer grazing the other night just right off the trail!

We had a great 4th of July! We went downtown for the annual Liberty Day Parade in the morning, had a BBQ at home in the afternoon, and spent the evening picnicking in the park watching the big firework show.

July4.19-6

Dress // Flip Flops  —  Cole’s shirt/shorts/sandals  —  Evan’s shirt/shorts/sandals

July4.19-5July4.19-4July4.19-3July4.19-2July4.19-1

Have a great weekend!

Signature

Summer Afternoon at the Boise Train Depot

Summer Afternoon at the Boise Train Depot

My top // Skirt // Espadrilles // Sunglasses // Earrings // Similar Bag — Evan’s shirt (similar) // Shorts // Sandals — Cole’s Shirt (similar) // Shorts // Sandals

During the summer, I really try to get the kids out of the house almost every day. It may even just be for a short walk or even a trip to the grocery store, but I feel like my kids are happier and better behaved if we can at least get out for a bit. I definitely want to take advantage of as many educational activities as we can throughout the summer, and hopefully give the kids opportunities to learn something new! One thing we have never done despite driving by multiple times a week (crazy I know), is spend some time at the train depot. It’s a quick stop (literally you can read the signs and watch the videos in 20 minutes or less), and it was fun for the kids to learn a bit about this Boise landmark and “Big Mike” who is now permanently stationed there! Plus it is just an incredibly beautiful place to stop and walk the grounds and I definitely want to go back soon – ideally to catch one of their tours or open houses!

Signature

Life Lately

Life Lately

At the start of summer I (foolishly) convinced myself we wouldn’t be all that busy. I would have tons of time to study for my nursing refresher, finish all the projects I have lined up around the house, and of course keep my kids perfectly busy and entertained every day. Ha! I’m not exactly new to this mom thing so I certainly should have known better! While I feel like I’m doing a pretty good job making the kids summer fun & keeping them engaged with lots of activities…I’m really slacking on the personal front. I’m really behind on my studies, I have only begun getting some of my home projects rolling and I haven’t been getting many workouts in. Motherhood is ALWAYS humbling and a reminder that you can’t be superwoman and something always has to give. But right now, I am enjoying the time I’ve been spending with my kids and the memories we are making this summer. And I know I will finish everything – it’s just taking me longer than I had planned! Such is life.

What we’ve been up to…

First – we got our family photos back! We work with Tamara Kenyon (who is the most amazing photographer here in Boise!) and as always, I’m thrilled with how they turned out. Here’s a few of my favorites:

My dress  //  Cole’s shirt/shorts  //  Evan’s shirt/shorts (similar)

This year we purchased passes to the local waterpark – Roaring Springs – and we’ve been spending a lot of time there. It is actually a great waterpark and a ton of fun! It has even received recognition for being one of the top water parks in the country on TripAdvisor. We’ve also got Evan in swim lessons downtown every Saturday morning. It’s a little rough forcing ourselves up and out the door every Saturday, but it’s also kind of nice getting an early start to the day/weekend – plus we’ve been going out for breakfast every week after his class is over! We’ve been going to The Griddle and it has become one of our favorite breakfast places.

 Breakfast quesadilla – highly recommend that and their breakfast burrito! I also love their omelettes. Their sweet options (like the waffle with a scoop of ice cream & their french toast) look incredible but we’ve yet to try them.

The other day I took the kids to the park and then somehow convinced them to also do a short hike (they may or may not have complained about being bored and hot the whole time). But I really enjoyed it and couldn’t believe how many wildflowers there are this late in the year!

QuarryView6.19-1

We also spent an afternoon at our local zoo. They are currently undergoing some renovations so I’ve been excited to go check it out this summer! I think the new changes are going to be really positive and looking forward to seeing it once it’s completed later this summer.

I wore this outfit which has really become a summer uniform for me. This is now my 3rd pair of dark green, paper-bag style shorts that I’ve purchased this summer. They are just the perfect casual mom shorts, that still look pulled together and the color is a perfect neutral.

Tee // Shorts // Shoes // Bag // Necklace // Sunglasses

As you may have seen in my previous post, we went cherry picking last week which was a ton of fun for the whole family. If you live in the Boise area, you must get up to Emmett for fruit picking this summer! Such a short drive, yet you feel so removed from the city. I wore this outfit that day and I have to point out my new entry way mirror! Overhauling my entry way is on my to-do list and this mirror was my first update. I’m on the hunt for new lamps next!

Mirror

My shirt (J Crew, old – similar here, here, here, here) // Jeans // Bag // Necklace // Lipgloss

Another home project I’ve been working on that is almost finished is my pantry – and I can’t wait to share about it on here soon! That has been a project that is literally years in the making. As in I’ve been staring at Pinterest inspiration for years and thinking “one day.” I’ve finally just bit the bullet and I am SO excited about how it has come together…and my family is pretty happy with how functional it has been for everyone too!

We also spent an afternoon at the Boise Train Depot this week and I wore this cute skirt that I scored on major sale! I can see it being styled so many different ways and will be wearing it a ton the rest of the summer.

Top // Skirt // Earrings // Similar bag

Have a great weekend!

Signature

How We Celebrate the 4th Of July

How We Celebrate the 4th Of July

(Throwback to 4th of July 2012!)

When we were living in California, the 4th of July was a brutally hot holiday (Palm Springs in the summer is frequently 110-120 degrees). Our typical day involved hiding out somewhere inside until the sun went down, which at that point we would venture out to watch fireworks. Our favorite way to watch was to eat a late dinner at a restaurant with a rooftop patio (and misters!) where we could watch the fireworks in relatively cool comfort. While it was a lot of fun, I have to say I love celebrating the 4th here in Boise as we make it an all day fun celebration!

We always start our day with the Liberty Day Parade downtown Boise. My favorite place to watch is near the capital building – but you must get there early to snag a shaded spot! Because we try to get there early we typically pack along a breakfast in a cooler and snack while we wait. Yes it’s extra – but I like to bring a patriotic inspired breakfast – typically homemade blueberry muffins and strawberry milk. Just a little tip – parking in the downtown garages is free on the 4th!

After the parade we typically head home to BBQ and spend the afternoon swimming or even just playing at home in the sprinklers! Because it gets dark in Boise so late in the summer and the firework show doesn’t begin until around 10:15pm, we try to squeeze in an afternoon nap or at least lay down with a movie for a bit.

Around 7:00pm we typically start packing up and heading back downtown to Ann Morrison Park for the big firework show! While they do have food trucks at the park, we like to pack our own picnic along with balls, frisbees, and glow sticks! We always pack along chairs and blankets so we can lounge and relax while we wait for the show to begin! Here is my list of essentials for 4th of July…

4TH OF JULY ESSENTIALS

FourthofJulyEssentials-1FourthofJulyEssentials-2

One // Two // Three // Four // Five // Six // Seven // Eight // Nine

Signature

Cherry Picking (And Homemade Cherry Pop Tarts)

Cherry Picking (And Homemade Cherry Pop Tarts)

My top (J Crew, old – similar here, here, here, here) // Jeans // Sandals // Necklace // Lip gloss // Evan’s shirt (Gap, similar) // Cole’s shirt

Friday was an unusually cool summer day here in Boise (our high was mid 60s!), which I thought would be perfect weather for spending the afternoon at the orchard picking cherries! We always have an absolute blast going out to the country for a few hours and enjoying the tranquility – and my kids love getting to feel like little farmers for the day!

What is almost as fun as picking the cherries is eating them once we get home – and making delicious treats! I thought it would be really fun to make some homemade pop tarts with our harvest and found this recipe which I modified with just a few little tweaks. I’m not gonna lie…these are labor intensive and take a long time to make! (Next time I would make the crust and filling at night & refrigerate overnight, then assemble & bake in the morning). That said my husband said these are one of the best treats I’ve ever made!

CherryPopTarts-1

HOMEMADE CHERRY POP TARTS

Ingredients

Dough:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, diced and frozen
  • 1/2 cup ice water

Filling:

  • 4 cups fresh cherries, pitted
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 teaspoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • pinch salt
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons cold water

Assembly:

  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 tablespoon sugar

Glaze:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1/4 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • Pink food coloring
  • Sprinkles

Instructions

Make the dough:

  • In food processor, mix flour, salt, and sugar together by pulsing a few times. Add the frozen diced butter & pulse until coarse crumbs form. Set the food processor to low and add the water in small amounts at a time until dough comes together. Do not over-work the dough (you want to see bits of butter within the dough). Wrap the ball of dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour to overnight.

Make the filling:

  • In a small saucepan, stir together the cherries, sugar, lemon juice, and salt and cook for 3-4 minutes, or until the cherries are soft and bubbly. Lower heat. Whisk together the cornstarch and water, and stir into the cherry, stirring constantly and slightly mashing cherries with spatula or wooden spoon, until a thick jam forms. Remove from the heat, transfer to a bowl, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to cool.

Assemble:

  • On a lightly floured surface, roll dough with a rolling pin into a large rectangle, about 1/4 inch thick. Use a pizza cutter or sharp knife to cut the dough into 3×4 inch rectangles. This should make a total of about 20 rectangles. Place 10 rectangles on a parchment lined baking sheet.
  • Whisk the egg and water together, then lightly brush the edges of the dough on the 10 rectangles. Place 2 tablespoons of cherry filling in the center of each rectangle. Lay another rectangle on top, pressing the edges with your fingers and then crimping with a fork. Continue with remaining pop tarts. Refrigerate for 20 minutes, along with the remaining egg wash.
  • While the pop tarts chill, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F with rack placed in the center of the oven.
  • When the pop tarts are ready to bake, lightly brush the tops with the egg wash and sprinkle the tops with sugar. Use a fork or skewer to poke small holes on the top of the dough to allow the steam to escape. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool before glazing.

Make the glaze:

  • In a bowl whisk together powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla extract. Add a drop or two of pink food coloring. Drizzle over cooled pop tarts and top with sprinkles.

*Note – I use this cherry pitter and I highly recommend it!

Signature

Summer Camping Trip at Redfish Lake

Summer Camping Trip at Redfish Lake

Today’s post is a very photo heavy one with lots of photos of the camping trip we took last week! Several months ago we reserved a campsite at Glacier View Campground at Redfish Lake just outside Stanley Idaho (a few hours from Boise). We had some friends join us, and the kids really had the time of their lives building forts, playing at the lake, roasting marshmallows, and staying up late to make wishes on shooting stars! I confess, although I love nature and being outside, I’m not really much of a camper. But I did love seeing how much fun the kids had and camping really is such a terrific experience for them. The campsite was really nice and clean with actual toilets (a real luxury when camping!) and they also had playgrounds for the kids. It was also walking distance to the Redfish Lake Lodge which was darling (I would love to stay there one day!) and they had tons of water activities to take advantage of. We also had lunch and ice cream at the lakeside restaurant one day, which was a real treat after several days of cooking at the campsite. I still can’t get over the beauty of Redfish Lake and the Sawtooth Mountains – it is truly an incredibly stunning place. We even had a group of deer come visit us at our site one night (and the camp hosts let us know to be cautious as bears had been sighted recently!).

The kids had so much fun, and they are already asking when we can go on our next camping trip! Being prepared and having good gear also made a big difference in making the camping trip a lot more enjoyable, and I wanted to share my gear recommendations and camping tips!

CAMPING GEAR RECOMMENDATIONS

Utensils // Stove // Tent

Roasting forks // Over fire grill // Air mattress

Cast iron cookware // Lantern // Percolator // Water Jug (perfect for a handwashing station)

CAMPING TIPS

  • Prep all food beforehand! I had burger patties formed & frozen with wax paper between them, pancake mix prepared and frozen, and also made an overnight breakfast casserole that was ready to throw on the stove the next morning! Having everything prepped ahead of time saves a lot of time and makes things a lot more simple.
  • Use disposable dishes. Yes I know it’s not the most eco friendly, but it sure is a lot easier to use as many disposable things as possible.
  • Bring bug spray and sunscreen. You definitely get exposed to the elements, and you are going to need these!
  • Make a foot washing station to keep the tent clean. I placed a door mat placed by the door of the tent and we made the kids take their shoes off before going in. I also had a plastic pan of water by the tent door to rinse off feet that were really dirty.
  • Rinse free bathing options. I packed along rinse free shampoo and lots of baby wipes to clean off a bit in-between showers.
  • Be prepared for temperature extremes. The temperature swings were pretty wild on our trip. The days were really hot (we wore tanks and shorts), but at night it got down into the low 30s. We were prepared with really warm sleepwear, as well as warm sleeping bags, multiple blankets, winter coats, and wool socks.
  • Bring first aid supplies. The mosquitos would often come out earlier than expected, and we would get a few bites before getting bug spray on. And despite being vigilant, Evan leaned up against the fire pit and got a small burn to his leg. I made sure to have lots of skin ointments as well as Tylenol, Motrin, and Benadryl.
  • Pack toys and camp decorations to keep kids busy. While I was busy cooking, I had several activities to keep the kids away from the fire and busy. We had balls, frisbees, sand toys, bubbles, bug catching kits, and glow sticks. I also brought along some solar lights and tasked the kids with making our campsite “homey.” They also were given camp chores to keep busy helping out as well!

Happy camping!

Signature