Tag Archives: summer

It Was All Good

First of all, let me just say having a 4 day weekend is one of the best things! I actually felt like I had time to do things and not being left to feel rushed and find “poof” the weekend is over.

Thursday we kept it low-key and went to enjoy our lake. Some friends showed up to keep us company. The girls were able to occupy each other and the moms got to chat and catch up. (one of the nice things about the girls growing up.) Sitting and looking out over the lake as blue skies soar above is so peaceful and is one of the aspects that makes living here in the summer wonderful.

That evening we mounted up and headed to the next town to enjoy their firework festivities for the first time. They did an awesome job! Rock on Denville! When we arrived a fantastic cover band was playing hits from the 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s. People were dancing and letting their fourth of July flag fly! It was an interesting site, this park lawn. Some people must arrive way early, because they had mini tailgating set ups going on. Their were people working on their embroidery, one woman was spinning yarn, others playing board games. If it wasn’t in the middle of an open field with not one lick of shade to be had, you might have convinced me. My daughter went and made a friend with another little girl with a beach ball. It was nice that she was occupied, saving us from the litany of “when are they going to staaaart?” And miracle of miracles, some friends found us (!) and we had some enjoyable company for the show. Denville even had an orchestra that accompanied the fireworks. It was a really nice touch. My only complaint was that the fireworks were short. But doesn’t everyone feel that way?


Little Miss Firecracker

On Friday I sent Bean to camp for half a day and ran errands. We were hosting a “drinks and desert” party that evening. I figured drinks and desert was much less work than BBQing. With the obscene heat we are having, I’m glad we opted not to BBQ. It’s too hot to stand in front of a grill!

Drinks and desert is the perfect combo. Cold drinks always feel good on a hot night. And I did most of the desert as “finger type food”, or stick type food, because everything is better on a stick. This also makes it easier for guests to sample a wide variety (and it cut down on the amount of paper products).


Everything seems fancier on a stick


The kids station. Juice boxes, silly string, bubbles, glow in the dark headbands and masks, light up balloons.


Not a party without cupcakes!

When it comes to party planning with kids involved, you cannot go wrong with 2 things: silly string and glow sticks. I need to figure out how to buy silly string in bulk. The howls of laughter and glee from spraying friends (and more importantly, being allowed to!) is awesome to hear. For those worried, it disintegrates pretty quickly from your arms and clothes, you just have to brush yourself off. I think the backyard looks pretty cool with all these bright-colored streamers everywhere after they are done. Once it rains, it’s gone.

We also used glow in the dark balloons. They have a little battery-powered light in them that pulses different colors and at different speeds. Also a big hit with the kids. You can purchase the Illooms brand at your local Wal Mart or order them online.

Besides the silly string and glow things, I think the real highlight was our purchase of a snow cone machine. My daughter was beyond excited about it and was telling everyone she got a snow cone machine. The kids were so jazzed they were practically on top of me when I was making them. And the adults figured out we could make mommy versions by pouring the mai tai’s over them. I love creative friends! The machine we purchased isn’t super huge, and can easily be taken to parties. I think we might be popular party guests 🙂

The rest of the weekend we spent chillin in our backyard. I have to say, finding a misting fan has gone up on my list of things to do. Because dang its hot in Jersey!



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Filed under Holiday, Party

Summer Will Be Here Soon

Despite the recent snow fall here in New Jersey, and projected snow fall Tuesday, summer will be here eventually. Knowing that (and getting sick and tired of looking at my daughter’s winter clothes) has me daydreaming about cute and light summer shorts. Here are a some fun finds I’ve discovered at stores that should be in most malls. Can’t you feel the sun now?

Image1. Dip dye shorts 2. Floral cuff shorts 3. Pop color shorts 4.Eyelet shorts 5. Feather print shorts 6. Sublimated floral shorts

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Dreaming Of Summer…

These cold windy days we’re having here in NJ have gotten to me. Even my daughter says “I don’t like this cold!” I agree honey, I agree!

So, I daydreamed of beaches and pools and sweating in the sun (I’m sure come August and the 100 degree days I’ll be bitching about how hot it is, but let’s not ruin the fantasy, shall we?). Then I saw these adorable girls swimsuits online. Which one, or three, to get my beach bunny?

The Chasing Fireflies catalog tutu swimsuit. Every ballerina wannabe needs one of these.

Bright, fun Gap Kids bathing suite. Perfect for not losing them in a crowd at the beach or pool.

This Janie & Jack poppy suit is so different from the rest. That’s what I love about it.

Again, bright fun and colorful. Makes me think of the tropics and drinks with little tiny umbrellas. Thanks Juicy Couture!

This MiniBoden suit makes me think of fireworks and Fourth of July.

Fun and flirty, a different take on the tutu suit from Kate Mack at Nordstrom. Any little girls girly bathing suit.

Old Navy takes me to Hawaii with this suit. Surfs up!

One of my favorites. I love the playful vibe of Marc Jaobs Little Miss Scuba. Saw it online at Saks.

If you have a little man in your house, sorry! My radar was for adorable girl suits. I think these fit the bill. Now if the sun would JUST come out!

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Filed under Clothing, Girls

Make Your Own Backyard Obstacle Course

The following is from Simple Kids contributor Amy Anderson of Let’s Explore and Early Bird Homeschool.
backyard obstacle courseI am always looking for fun, creative ways to get moving with my kids. Since my girls were toddlers we have been making our own backyard obstacle courses. Our whole family can participate in gathering items, setting up the course, and testing our skills in a friendly family competition.

One of the greatest things about a homemade obstacle course is that you can use whatever items you have on hand. A stuffed animal slalom course?  Sure! Hurdles made from rolled-up beach towels? Absolutely! As my girls get older, their creativity inspires more elaborate obstacle courses each time.

Some kids like the addition of a stopwatch to keep track of their course times.Other kids would rather just go through the course for fun.  Either way, you’ll be adding some fun family fitness to your day!

Here are some of the many activities we have incorporated into our courses over the years. Think of this list as a create-your-own obstacle course menu – pick and choose the activities that match your child’s skill level and the materials you have on hand.  Better yet, let your child be involved in choosing the activities and setting up the course.


  • Lay down a board for a balance beam
  • Walk the “tightrope” using a jump rope or garden hose
  • Stand on one foot for a count of five (or ten)


  • Crawl under a table or bench
  • Go through a pop-up tunnel
  • Lay a broomstick across two chairs and crawl under
  • Crawl through a large box (top and bottom removed)
  • “Army crawl” across a blanket or sheet


  • Hop across a hopscotch board drawn with chalk
  • Make a line of hula hoops and jump from hoop to hoop
  • Stand on a marked spot and do jumping jacks
  • Jump over soft pool noodle hurdles (prop the noodles below knee-height on two overturned buckets or boxes)

Pull & Ride

  • Pull a wagon along a twisty garden hose or sidewalk chalk path
  • Take a lap on a tricycle or scooter

Reach & Toss

  • Reach and touch balloons hanging from a tree branch (at your child’s tippytoe height)
  • Throw beanbags into a laundry basket or bucket
  • Toss paper plate rings (cut out the center) onto a water bottle for a homemade ring toss
  • Shoot a basketball


  • Walk through a wading pool
  • Toss a water balloon at a target (fence, tree, bucket, etc.)
  • Run through the sprinkler (This is a great course finale!)

Walk & Weave

  • Set-up plastic cones for a classic weaving drill
  • Walk backwards ten steps
  • Zig-zag through a slalom course of hats, shoes, or whatever else you can find
  • Walk heel-to-toe in a straight line

Next time you go to the park, pack a few hula hoops, cones, jump ropes, and bean bags for  obstacle course making on-the-go. Add in jungle gym features such as slides, ladders, and rock walls for even more variety in your course. A great activity for a group of friends to do together – or for making new friends at the park!

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Raise A Summer Reader

ByKidsHealth – taken from Education.com

When the lazy days of summer arrive and the schedule is packed with swimming, camp, and family vacations, it can be a challenge to find time for learning.

But kids’ reading skills don’t have to grow cold once school’s out. Here are some ways to make reading a natural part of their summer fun:

Explore your library. Visit your local library to check out books and magazines that your kids haven’t seen before. Many libraries have summer reading programs, book clubs, and reading contests for even the youngest borrowers. With a new library card, a child will feel extra grown-up checking out books.

Read on the road. Going on a long car trip? Make sure the back seat is stocked with favorite reads. When you’re not at the wheel, read the books aloud. Get some audiobooks (many libraries have large selections) and listen to them together during drive time.

Make your own books. Pick one of your family’s favorite parts of summer — whether it’s baseball, ice cream, or the pool — and have your child draw pictures of it or cut out pictures from magazines and catalogs. Paste the pictures onto paper to make a booklet and write text for it. When you’re done, read the book together. Reread it whenever you need to fend off the cold-weather blahs!

Keep in touch. Kids don’t have to go away to write about summer vacation. Even if your family stays home, they can send postcards to tell friends and relatives about their adventures. Ask a relative to be your child’s pen pal and encourage them to write each week.

Keep up the reading rituals. Even if everything else changes during the summer, keep up the reading routines around your house. Read with your kids every day — whether it’s just before bedtime or under a shady tree on a lazy afternoon. And don’t forget to take a book to the beach! Just brush the sand off the pages — it’s no sweat!

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