On the 16th Day of Christmas

Friday, December 16, 2022

 On the 16th Day of Christmas, which I know that's not a thing, but I am making it one! I'm here to talk about all things gift giving. I have a 12 Days of Gift Giving Guide and they are all the things I use and love. And I know they are all the things people would love to receive. Let's get started!

Have you heard of the Tesalate Beach Blanket? This is a product from an Australian based company, and when they reached out to work together, I was so excited! I've seen the ads and I love the concept, and even though we don't live by the beach, that doesn't mean it won't get a ton of use. We are definitely an outdoor family come spring to late fall with trips to the park, picnics in the backyard, and plenty of pool time. And this blanket is going to get a work out. So what is a Tesalate Beach Blanket?

This blanket is made from an engineered material that keeps water, sand, dirt, and the heft that follows at bay! It is designed to handle up to 1 liter of water without dripping so perfect for our pool side lounging! And it dries in half of the time of a regular towel! Ever had an incredibly wet car seat, from sitting on a soaked towel, after a full day of swimming? And all the debris shakes off! Perfect for fresh cut grass, leaves, and other park collectors.

I chose the beach blanket, more room for more people, in the Phoenix pattern. I thought it would also make a great rug for the patio as well, but during the winter months, I'm thinking it will be a great compliment to any room of our house when we need a fun sitting area. What a great spot for kids to gather over winter break to catch crumbs from cookies and snacks. A fun backdrop to board games, movie watching with oversized pillow and mugs of hot chocolate, or grabbing that book and sitting in front of the fireplace! And anything black and white gets a thumbs up from me!! A great gift for anyone!

So what else is on my list this holiday season? Here is the recap in one photo. Nickel & Suede earrings, PrettyGarden lounge sets (which would look gorgeous against the Phoenix beach blanket), Static Nails nail polish, Makeup Eraser, Unhide Blanket (again curl up under the blanket with a good book, laying on an oversized pillow, on the Tesalate Beach Blanket), and speaking of books, I absolutely loved Make Something Good Today. It was so inspiring. I am obsessed with my Initial Necklace from jBloom, but you can find them just about anywhere. I'm wearing the heck out of my New Balance sneakers, while carrying my Lululemon crossbody bag, drinking from my Stanley Quench Cup, and constantly applying my Glossier Balm dotcom in Birthday.

What would you add to cart today if you were shopping from my gift guide?

Happy Holiday Shopping!



*The Tesalate Beach Blanket was a gift, but all photos and comments are my own.

DIY Halloween Patch Jeans

Tuesday, August 23, 2022

 We are on the cusp of the entire holiday season circuit, and if you've been into any store recently, you will see Halloween everywhere. It is also popping up on my Facebook and Instagram feeds. Cute holiday clothing that's not in your face cheesy or old fashioned will always speak my love language. I saw these darling distressed jeans, with various holiday themes and other cute design motifs, on a site called Evaless. But instead of dropping $50, I knew that I could recreate the look for well under $50. Dare I say $25? And I did! And I can help you with yours!

First, you need a pair of distressed jeans. If you have a pair that you're tired of, and want to upcycle them for this DIY, go for it! I love all of my existing distressed jeans so I picked up this pair at Savers for $4.99! That's right, under $5 and we're still under budget. My mom had a ton of cute Halloween fabric in her sewing room, so I borrowed hers. I didn't spend any extra money there, but I can tell you that you can get remnants from your local craft store or a 1/4 of a yard in several different motifs. I found some darling pre-cut bundles on their website. They are on sale for $9. So we are now at $14. 

You will need fabric glue. I have tons of bottles, in various sizes, so if you aren't planning to use much, get the smallest bottle they offer. You can get a 2oz bottle for under $4 at Joann's as well. That's a total of $18 so far.

You will need to pin your fabric pieces into place. Do you have pins? If not, pick up a pack of 75 count for under $4. That's $22! We are under the $25 budget. Look at us go!

So now we get started. Look at your fabric. Does one speak to you more than another? For me, it was the white piece with the darling witches dress, hat, broom, and ghost. And because the knee had the largest distressed area on the jeans, I decided my favorite should go there. I cut a piece larger than the hole I was covering. Place your fabric from inside the leg of your jeans and move it around until you find the perfect scene in the window. Pin it in place. Do the same thing for all the distressed areas you want to cover on your jeans. 

I even decided to cut a small hole in the back pocket, on the opposite corner of the distressed front pocket, to create a mirrored effect. I used the same fabrics for both pocket.

Now it's time to glue your fabric into place. Turn your jeans inside out, being careful not to poke yourself with the exposed pins. Full disclosure, I do it all the time!

Add the glue in a thin continuous line either across the fabric patch or around the hole you are covering. Make sure you put the glue on the right side of the fabric, as that's the picture that will face out of the distressed portion of your jeans. Place the fabric where you want it, moving it around if need be. Do that quickly as this stuff will start to dry, making it hard to remove. Do this for every patch of fabric you've cut. Allow 24 hours to dry. Cut away an excess fabric that you don't want.

And just like that, you have knock off Halloween patch jeans for under $25!! I'm planning to recreate a Christmas themed pair and maybe one for Valentine's Day, because why not! I love a good holiday piece that may seem a little corny, but that I can give my own personal style to jazz it up!

What do you think? Is this something you would recreate? 

Happy DIYing!



Is Summer Really Over?

Friday, August 19, 2022

 It is officially back to school season, and for must of us, it marks the unofficial end to summer. Pools start closing, late weeknight movies are moved to the weekend, and the sun starts going down a little early in the evenings. Yep, summer is unofficially over.

With all the being said, as I look back over our summer, I have to say it was pretty fantastic! Every summer, every season actually, we create a bucket list. Some things we do every summer as tradition, some things are new to us. I like to make it a mix of things that I've read about, heard about from friends, or simply have wanted to do for years but the timing never seemed right. This year we focused mainly on things we do every summer, but I tried to turn some of the focus to local business. The best ice cream/milkshakes in town, DOP Donuts in downtown Overland Park, and supporting one of my favorite community theaters just to name a few. Here is the run down. 

Our hunt for the best milkshakes turned into just ice cream in general. We visited Ice Cream Bae in Park Place where you can add your favorite childhood cereal as a mix-in to vanilla ice cream, PopCulture in downtown Overland Park where you can sample gourmet popcorn after you've finished your cone or cup, Martin City Ice Cream Co in Martin City, MO with its revolving menu of fun flavors, and Summersault Ice Cream in Prairie Village where they serve up homemade and soft serve ice cream, and finally, your general run of the mill chains. 

We tried the biggest shake of all, the chocolate Winstead's Skyscraper! Talk about an epic moment! It serves up to four and four of us tackled and finished this enormous shake! A chain first was a Wendy's Chocolate Frosty. Would you consider a Frosty an ice cream or a really thick shake? It's a mixture of both, no? All in all, we loved all of the ice cream joints. My favorite would have to be Martin City Ice Cream Co. Not only was it a great mix of creaminess, thickness, and flavor, but the atmosphere of a small walk-up trailer, with ever changing flavors combined with outdoor seating at wooden picnic tables, made it so quaint. 

Have you been to DOP Donuts in downtown Overland Park? Located in an alley way off of Sante Fe Drive, this darling airstream serves up cake like donuts on Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday mornings. McKinley and I had this spot on our radar all summer and finally got our turn on a Friday morning! He woke up early just for the occasion. That's the thing folks, get there early because they are only open until they sell out and you never know when that might be! While there, take a selfie along the colorful "Eat More Hole Foods" wall! It's so cute! As are the colorful table and chairs placed on the forever green AstroTurf lawn! It was a definitely a highlight of our summer!

McKinley suggested pool time and he wasn't kidding! We were at the pool so often that I finally said, for the first time in my life, that I needed a break from the pool! We purchase an Overland Park pool pass every summer which means we can get into Stonegate, Young's, and Tomahawk for free. Unlimited times a day! And we would spend roughly four hours a day at the pool! We more than paid for our season passes this year! I personally love Stonegate because it's a stones throw from our house. We can walk there! However, McKinley fell in love with Young's. Their water slides were his absolute favorites. Tomahawk is technically still open evenings during the week dayand normal pool hours on the weekend through Labor Day. It's the largest of the Overland Park pools so it can handle the last of summer patrons that are getting their last rays and laps in for the season. 

In addition to the Overland Park pools, we spent an afternoon at the Prairie Village pool off of Mission Rd. This pool was expansive! There were four pools, including an adult only pool, one pool designated for their two slide options, and one pool for their diving boards and one additional slide. It was costly to get in, $10 a person, but it was worth a day of fun. 

Speaking of water fun, our season passes to Oceans of Fun did not go to waste! We spent at least five full days throughout the summer riding waves, tubing, sliding, and taking spins around the lazy river. And we aren't done! They are open through Labor Day as well and McKinley has personal plans of visiting at least two more times before they close. Worlds of Fun, which is still open until early November, has been on rotation as well. However, because our summer was so incredibly hot, we didn't visit as many times as we usually do. But don't worry, we will totally make up for it come September and October. McKinley is working up the nerve to ride Timber Wolf and this year might be his year.... Check out our Oceans of Fun reel!

We attended a Monarchs game on the coldest day of spring! Seriously, by the time we left, we were frozen! Late May and we were in coats, hats, gloves, and under blankets! And we could have used even more layers. It was cold! But we stayed for the end because their firework shows are so good! Last year, our first Monarchs game was in June and we were puddles of sweat by the end. But again, fireworks! Maybe one day, like Goldie Locks, we will hit the weather just right! 

If you attend a Monarchs game, then it's only fair you head to The K for a Royals game and that's just what we did a couple of weeks ago. We played the Red Sox, where Eric Hosmer had just been traded to earlier in the week, and he played his first game back at Kauffman stadium since leaving in 2017. The warm welcome that the Royals fans gave him was amazing! And why wouldn't we? He was part of our World Series team in 2015! But even better then seeing an old favorite, was the fact that we went on to win the game! Hooray! My Royal blue heart was bursting!

While continuing to look for hearts, we had a picnic on the lawn of the Nelson and then played the Art Course. I am loving this summer tradition! They added a new hole this year, brought back the bicycle hole (where McKinley got a hole-in-one), and I just love being on the lawn of this extraordinary place. After we finished playing, we walked around the exterior of the museum and checked out the sculptures that are all along the grounds. And, we were able to check off two more hearts before they were removed and auctioned off for charity. I believe were just shy of 70 hearts by the time all was said and done. Not too shabby!

We visited the newly renovated Kaleidoscope in Crown Center. We loved this place pre-pandemic, but once Covid hit, this creative space closed. And while they were closed, they took advantage of the time and revamped the entire space. It is so cool! It appears so much more open, thanks to a more industrial feel, and the individual kids creative spaces were much more spread out. You do need a reservation in order to attend, so make sure you head here to secure yours. We used every minute of our 50 minute reservation and could have used another session! McKinley was definitely in his element. Creativity runs through his veins! Get all the details from an early post here.

Lastly, we attended not one but two shows at Theater in the Park. This was McKinley's first park outing and I have a feeling it won't be the last summer we attend. I've seen shows here for years, even performing in one many summers ago. We saw Descendants the Musical followed by School of Rock and McKinley thoroughly enjoyed them both. I'm secretly hoping it will give him the acting bug and he'll finally want to sign up for a summer theater camp. If not, maybe he'll just be my plus one to shows in the future. 

We didn't finish the whole list. Summer was hot this season! However, we can still fit in an outdoor movie night before Labor Day and McKinley could break in those roller blades before his first skating party next month. He won't be an expert, but maybe he'll get his footing. 

And now it's time to start the Fall Bucket List! There are so many more things we can and want to do. Join us once the list is finalized! Peace out summer!



electric toothbrush