[July 2018] 11 Things

Welcome to a new feature on How To: Simply … 11 Things! Each month, I’m going to be sharing 11 things about my life, as well as 11 items that I’m absolutely loving during that month. Fun, right? Yes, I’m all about sharing tips and tricks that help simplify life. But, I thought I would provide some personal info about yours truly (aka moi). So, without further ado …

[JULY] 11 Things that Happened This Month

  1. All of the rain we’ve been having lately has made me feel a bit cabin feverish. With two toddlers at home (one of whom recently switched to one nap a day), I’ve been slowly running out of fun things to do inside our home as we hide out from the rainfall. Thankfully, we’ve received pockets of sunshine here and there and we’ve made the most of it as we spend as much time as possible outside. Being a stay-at-home and work-at-home mom coupled with the record setting rain that we’ve received had me wanting to go on an adventure with our kiddos. I asked my son if he was ready to go on an exploration and he shouted, “Yes!” So, we packed some snacks, rain boots, and an umbrella and set off even though there was rain in the forecast. Rain or shine (or clouds), we were going to discover a new place in our area. I’ve sprinkled some photos from our Sugarloaf Mountain Adventure throughout this post. You can find more photos here. Before our little adventure, I knew Maryland was absolutely beautiful, especially the Frederick area. But, after what we saw during our exploration, I couldn’t help but fall in love with Maryland all over again.
  2. A month or two ago, we were at our local park and our son stood and watched a tee-ball game. After he watched the game, he kept asking to play. He really wanted to wear a jersey and a hat. He’s been practicing his batting skills. This former softball player could not be happier. So, I signed him up for his first team which starts this fall. To say I’m excited would be an understatement. I can’t wait to see him out on the field.
  3. If you’re in search of rain boots for your kiddos, I highly recommend these boots. When they arrived, our son wore them around the house. He loves them! It’s so cute watching our kiddos wear the boots.
  4. Our raised garden is growing tomato plants that are taller than me. What?! And people said that I didn’t have a green thumb … pffft. Ha! Anyway, I’m super excited about all of the tomatoes, cucumbers, and zucchini that we’ve been devoured over the past few weeks. I ran into an issue with our Roma tomatoes thanks to blossom end rot, but I sprinkled some bone meal on the soil and voila! We’re back in business. Now, if you have any recipes that involve bell peppers (they are almost ready to be picked), cucumbers, onions, and.or tomatoes, then please be sure to share in the comments section of this post. We have about what seems like hundreds of green tomatoes right now (we planted eight tomato plants … yikes!) so we’ll be up to our eyeballs in red tomatoes soon.
  5. Our daughter said the word “ball” today and then chased after her favorite ball. So cute!
  6. Our son started have play dates with his best bud at school. To see their excitement as they play together warms my heart. They are into the same things, run around a million miles an hour, are completely non-stop, and are so nice to each other. It’s so fun to watch our son enter into this part of childhood.

  1. If you’re in search of a new hot dog recipe for an upcoming summertime BBQ, then this recipe for Grilled Hot Dogs with Bacon, Caramelized Onions, and Spicy Mustard Sauce is guaranteed to please. You are going to love it.
  2. Our daughter is now a one-nap-a-day kid. Man oh man does she love her sleep, though. Up until a week ago, this was her schedule: 8:30 am:  Wake up / 10:00 am: Take a nap / 12:00 pm: Wake up and pick up my son from school / 2:00 pm: Take a second nap / 5:00 pm: Wake up / 7:00. pm: Go to bed and sleep through the night. Both of our kiddos have been sleeping through the night non-stop since four months of age. What’s my secret? I’m allll about routine. I don’t have everything parenting-related figured out, but I do know that routine makes a world of a difference and kids thrive on it. This is her schedule now: 8:30 am:  Wake up / 1:30 pm: Take a nap (both of my kids take a nap at the same time) / 5:00 pm: Wake up / 7:00. pm: Go to bed and sleep through the night. Not having her take a morning nap has been quite a transition since I’m a stay-at-home work-at-home mama. That’s parenting for ya! As soon you have it figured out, life throws you a curve ball, am I right?
  3. I’ve always been about exploring new places and now that my daughter is officially only taking one nap a day and she’s a relatively easygoing kiddo, her new nap scheduled has me looking for places to check out around our area. I love going exploring with our kiddos. Speaking of which, feel free to share cool places for us to check out in the Maryland area. Please comment below!
  4. We purchased tickets to see one of my favorite bands, Florence + The Machine. I cannot wait to see her perform when she comes to town. I have a special bond with that band. I felt my son’s first kicks when I was listening to her music. After he was born, I was playing her music and he immediately started dancing. When I saw her for the first time after he was born, I actually cried happy tears when I saw her appear onstage. I promise it wasn’t an ugly cry … just a few happy tears. I danced the night away and can’t wait to do it again in October.
  5. A few weeks ago, we went over to my brother-in-law’s house to spend the night. We don’t get together often (even though he lives 45 minutes away) because work schedules get in the way. But, when we do get together, it’s always a lot of fun, especially for the kiddos (he has a one-year-old). After arriving at their home, our nephew was walking up to me and made a beeline for my husband and gave him the biggest hug. To see him hug my husband was the cutest thing ever … until our nephew walked up to me later that night and gave me a huge kiss. Now that was the cutest thing ever. He’s such a lovebug.

[JULY] 11 Items I’m Loving Right Now

As I mentioned before, each month I’ll be sharing 11 items that I’m loving right now. Check out my July picks below. They are focused on simplifying the kitchen. For tricks on how to always have a clean kitchen, check out these 10 simple habits for a clean kitchen. If you want to grab an item for yourself, a loved one, and/or a friend, simply hover over the item below and click on the + sign.

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