Friday, June 15, 2018

Friday Favorites

Hey, Hey Friends!

The first official week of summer has been a big success.  We managed to hit up the pool three times, host friends in our own pool, attend two camps, and have a lot of fun with our people.

I'm joining my girls, Andrea and Narci, to share our Friday Favorites.  Each week we host the link-up and invite you to join us.

My list today is a hot, random mess of faves...

Just yesterday, Ebby Lee had a fun little girl's night with Marla and they made this cute coaster for me.  Marla said it was so easy to make, but you guys know how creative Marla is.  I'm not sure my average person creative skills could whip this out so quickly.  ha!  She said that it's tiles from Lowe's or Home Depot, use Sharpies for the design and then add drops of rubbing alcohol.  Turned out super cute AND I really did need it for my desk.  

They added those little felt dots to the back to keep from scratching my desk.  Tab doesn't know this but he has one for Father's Day.  It'll be perfect for his office too!

This was my afternoon cup of coffee yesterday.  :)  I was one happy girl.

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Nixon got this Electronic Battleship for Christmas a few years ago.  This past week Tab was out of town several nights so the kiddos and I stayed up past our bedtimes and had GAME NIGHT.  This was the game of choice and it was so much fun...a new family FAVORITE!

Tab and I used to have to always help with the coordinates and such, but now that they're old enough to play me...super fun!  :)

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I mentioned my kiddos attended two camps this week...Ebby Lee went to volleyball camp in the afternoons with Kensington.  Can you see them in the middle of the circle leading stretches?

While Nixon and Bowen attended football camp in the morning all week long.

Bowen won the "kick" competition for his age group.  He was pumped!

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I finally finished Sophia of Silicon Valley.  You guys!  I hadn't lost my mind at all when I said that I thought it was similar to "Devil Wears Prada".  That was correct!  I'd say it's a Silicon Valley and "Devil Wears Prada" mix, if that makes any sense?  This story is "loosely based" on one woman's real life, which was super interesting to me.  Sophia comes from a family with overbearing parents and really feels the need to prove herself to them.  She slowly works her way up the Silicon Valley ladder bouncing from company to company under MUCH stress and intense situations. She has to decide if making it to the top is really worth it after all. 

I thought it was good, and definitely worth a summer read.

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I told you this already once this week, but it's a favorite that deserves to be mentioned again....Bowen and I are obsessed with this Lavender Lotion.  I'll find him sneaking into my bathroom for just a little more.  

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If you missed my How We...Wednesday post, I shared how I plan summer vacations.  I mentioned some of the destinations on my bucket list and lots of you guys gave your recommendations, helpful tips, and other tricks in the comments.  Definitely check out the comments!

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Okay, everyone...set your DVRs for June 27th the new Big Brother premiere of 2018!  You know me...I cannot WAIT!

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I've eaten at Zoe's Kitchen a handful of times and I'm pretty sure every time I order the wrong thing.  Yesterday at the pool,  Shay and Brooke ordered for me and you guys...my food was SO good! 

We had the protein plate, grilled prosciutto and cheese sandwich, and hummus.  (And all shared/tried all the things.)  If you've never had those items, go today and try them.  Then let me know what you think.  My lunch was so good I wanted to go back to Zoe's for dinner.

If you get something else that you love, please share!  I need to expand my Zoe's horizon.  ;) 

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And one last thing for you today, our sweet friend, Meagan, wanted me to share this...

"Due to the sensitivity of the matter, we cannot share any details at this time but please know we're so thankful for all the support, love, and prayers.  From the bottom of our hearts, thank you!"

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I think that wraps it up for today.  Don't forget to join the link-up if you blogged your faves too.  Have a great weekend and I'll see you back here on Monday!

XO

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Growing Up

Happy Thursday!

This first week of summer Nixon and Bowen are both attending our local high school's football camp.  They're absolutely loving it, by the way.  If your local high school puts on sports camps in the summer, the Slaughters recommend them.  We're big fans in our house.

On Monday morning, I was helping the boys get ready.  Bowen wanted a "football shirt", and I was making sure they both had everything they needed.  I made them both water bottles, but Nixon politely declined letting me know he already had a Gatorade ready.  A few minutes later, Tab asked again about drinks.  Just making sure they both had them ready because it is HOT here even at 8:00 in the morning.  And I pointed to the water bottle I'd made for Nixon and told them he's taking a Gatorade.  Tab looked at the "cup" I was using and said, "Erika, he can't take that to football camp".

Exhibit A...


It was in that moment that I wanted to laugh hysterically and sob quietly on the floor.  For a couple reasons...

1. I mean I know Nixon is eight.  I have to constantly buy new clothes because he's outgrown his others.  But I was about to send him to football camp with a SIPPY CUP!  {Tab's words, I'd still say a "water bottle".}  Bahahahahahaha!   
2.  Nixon was super polite about it and just nicely got himself a Gatorade, which made me proud of him. 
3.  My Nixon is growing up right before my eyes.

I seriously laughed for a good five minutes because I just hadn't thought one single thing about it being too little.  It was just a cup, in my mind.  And then I got all sentimental about how he's growing up right in front of my eyes.  Sometimes it's hard for me to see but it's happening.  #whetherilikeitornot

I think Gretchen Rubin nailed it when she said, "The days are long but the years are short.". 

Basically, you're gonna look up one day and still be serving them in a sippy cup even though they can read chapter books and burp the alphabet.  Time goes by so fast, mamas.  We gotta enjoy all the moments.

And then I've gotta get myself to Amazon to order that boy a water bottle.  ;)

XO

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

How We...Plan Summer Vacations

 Hey Everyone!

I'm pretty sure I say this every month, but once again...it's one of my favorite days of the month.  The time when Shay and I host our How We... link-up!  The hope is for us to share HOW WE, you guys share how you, and we can all learn a little from each other.

Today the topic is HOW WE...PLAN OUR SUMMER VACATIONS!

I've gotta be honest.  Since becoming a travel agent, I think about vacation destinations ALL THE TIME!  Tab would completely agree with that statement.  ;)

I'm sure every family has some criteria when making out their vacation plans.  Here's how we do it in our family...

*BUDGET*
As much as I wish I didn't have one of these, we do.  ha!  We tend to look at our vacation money as a whole for the year.  So, if we've done a big Spring Break trip, then we'll take a less expensive summer vacation or vice versa.  As much as I'd like to check all the destinations off my list, budget comes first. We have to prioritize where we want to go with the money we have set aside.


*SCHEDULES and WEATHER*
When we decide on destinations, we then figure out the best time for us to go...winter break, Spring Break, summer, etc.  We also research the best times to visit that area and hopefully, it aligns with when we can visit!  Our Disney Land and Sea trip due to scheduling and temperatures just made more sense for us during Spring Break.  

And our Vail/Denver Spring Break 2017 was the same way...scheduling and weather made this trip work the best in March.

This 2016 Disney Cruise as well, BUT it'd also make a great vacation in the summer months.


*FOOTBALL* 
(Kind of goes along with scheduling)
This is gonna also speak to coaches' families...ha!  Not a typical thing most people are thinking about when planning trips, I'm sure.  Tab typically finds out the week after all football games are over and bowl games have been announced when and if he's officiating a bowl game.  We kind of have to play the "what-if" game when it comes to budgeting and such with trips around football.  We keep that in mind when planning for summer vacations.  Again, something most people aren't thinking about I'm sure, but I'm keeping it real!  :)  In 2017 when we got Tab's assignment and looked at our kiddos' school schedule, we realized we had a week to work with to hit the slopes. We booked our Colorado Ski Trip super last minute in December last year. 

We oftentimes get to check cities off our box due to a football game Tab has.  We can turn a game into a little getaway and get to visit places like...Atlanta, Georgia.


Well, more importantly on that trip...Stars Hollow.  :)





*VISITING FAMILY*
If you're like us {and don't live super close to most of your family}, we can turn a little long-distance family meet up into a little vacation.  There I go checking more places off my invisible box.  ;)  Last year over Thanksgiving we had a quick little vacation in Branson, Missouri.  Growing up, this was our go-to vaca spot being just about four hours from my hometown.


*ADULT TIME*
Tab and I try to have a nice mix of grown-up trips without kids and family trips.  Like to Park City last year in 2017, we left the kiddos at home and made it adult-only with the Shulls.

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We keep all of those things in mind when planning our summer vacations...are we doing other little trips throughout the year, what's the budget like, how much time do we have, etc. and then we make our plans.

A super memorable summer vacation was our week in Mexico.

One of our favorite summer destinations are the white, sandy beaches of Florida.  We've vacationed in a variety of spots in the Destin area and are looking forward to adding another trip to our books in just a few weeks.

I pretty much always have a running list going of places I'd like to visit.  Tab and I discuss periodically and we're also getting input from the kids.  A few spots on my immediate bucket list (if you're like me, I have a bucket list for a variety of kiddos' ages)...

*Marcos Island, Florida (I was just chatting with some friends about this at the pool on Monday)  We're big Marriott fans and Marriott resort there looks so nice.  I've heard great things!

*Hilton Head, South Carolina (Southern Charm has me wanting to go ASAP!-ha!)

*California Spots with the kiddos...Tab and I have been several times, but the kids haven't.

*New England-I'd love to do this in the fall but football makes a fall trip SO tough.  My kiddos had an absolute blast in NYC so we want to hit some other spots on the East Coast eventually.

*Yellowstone, Yosemite, and Grand Canyon-if you've done any of these trips with your family, please share what age is too young, in your opinion?  How old should Britt be?

*Europe-of course, I'm adding this one to the list.

And I could go on and on, but I'll stop there.  :)  I'm telling you trips are on my mind constantly and a huge part of that is due to Mix and Match Travel.  I love talking to families about vacation destinations and helping them plan a fabulous getaway. 

What about YOU?  What's on your family's vacation destination bucket list?  And how do you decide where your family is heading on vacation?

If you blogged, please link-up with us and be sure to join us next month when we chat about motivating our kids.  Happy Wednesday!


See you tomorrow!
XO