20+ Things, 5/2

J.Crew Swim

Hello! Here are the first things that come to mind this morning:

  • Mitch and Emma are coming home from North Carolina tonight. I’m writing this in advance, but Lucy and I had a mommy-and-me long weekend together. I planned out everything in advance: pancakes at Summer House (Lucy’s favorite), a trip to the toy store to support local, a stroll through the zoo, scooter practice, arts and crafts, coffee and cookie outings, Noodle walks, playground visits, and pasta and movie nights. I’m going to assume we did approximately one tenth of that and yet I’m utterly exhausted, haha. But I know it was the best. And can’t wait to see Mitch and Emma and hear all about the wedding!
  • Update: We did literally none of that. 😆 Because I decided to do potty training with Lucy. The weather was awful and we had zero plans—and it just felt like the perfect opportunity. We had a really tough first day due to some terribly timed tummy issues, but then the clouds parted and I think it clicked?! Only two accidents yesterday (one of which was in a closet?! 🆘) and this morning, she woke up dry and immediately tinkled in the potty. Of course, I know we’re not out of the woods. But I can’t believe it’s happening. Many thanks to her teachers today for being such rockstars and having her sit on the potty every 30 minutes. You guys are wonderful! (Btw: This is what’s worked for our family, but every kid is different, for sure!)
  • Carly found these ADORABLE beach toys, and I’m in love. Our beach toys are looking pretty rough, and these durable silicone toys come in their own bag. Simply rinse the toys in the bag and then hang up to dry. I also feel like these reusable snack bags would be amazing?!
  • Have you heard of Stasher? We don’t use disposable baggies very often, so once we run out, I’m thinking about getting rid of them all together and going the reusable route. These work with sous vide, too! (Did you know that Mitch invented this and now sells it on Amazon?)
  • Lucy’s birthday is on Thursday! We’re having a small family celebration at a favorite restaurant, and then cake and presents—mostly play kitchen stuff as well as a Jojo Siwa doll (for MUCH cheaper) and a Pete the Cat game—at home. And then next weekend, we’re having her party at a trampoline park because trampoline parks are her favorite places on earth. How is she nearly three?! We love our Lucy!
  • Speaking of trampolines, I’m going to do a DIY trampoline makeover. This is the trampoline we own, and while the girls absolutely adore it, it’s visually very offensive. And it’s now even more offensive-looking because it’s been through three Chicago winters. But getting rid of it really isn’t an option; Emma and Lucy would be heartbroken and honest, Mitch and I depend on it. SO. I have the best idea ever, haha. Instead of getting a new one (which will likely look just as bad as most trampolines come in loud colors), I’m going to spray paint the frame white and then cover the padding and trim in Sunbrella fabric using heavy duty adhesive tape and outdoor velcro so it’s removable and thus washable. I’m not the craftiest gal out there, but I’m very motivated, and I think I can do most of this at night after the girls go down. And Jess—who is super talented with spray painting—and Carly—who is super talented with crafts/sewing—are only a text away. (Ha! Sorry, Jess + Carly.) And if all else fails, I feel like the dry-cleaner on our block can help me fix my mistakes. She’s my bestie.
  • My all-time favorite sneakers are available in a ton of sizes right now! Isn’t this color the prettiest? (Sizing: TTS. I wear a 7.5 in flats and took these in a 38.)
  • The Mama Notes is a great IG account for moms of small children looking for fun activities and hacks. I’ve really been trying to do activities with the girls with materials we already have in our home. It requires some creativity and planning, but wow has it cut down on our kids’ gear/toys. Highly recommend this account for ideas!
  • Our wildly talented friends Meg and Joe are starring in a new HGTV show called “Renovation Goldmine” and we’re so proud of them! Wow. It feels like just yesterday that we were sitting on the beach with the Piercy Family talking about their goals for the future. And they made it happy! So happy for you, guys. Congratulations!
  • Lucy asks “carry you?” when she wants me to pick her up, and it’s the cutest. It’s obviously because we used to ask her, “Do you want me to carry you?” And she now thinks “carry you” means “carry me.” Love little language confusions like this in children; they always work themselves out in the end but they sure are sweet and innocent.
  • These packing cubes are adorable. Packing cubes make travel so much easier, btw, in case you’ve never tried them! They clearly organize the suitcase’s contents, but they also help prevent over-packing. I know that I can only bring as many tops, for example, that fit into the tops cube. Easy peasy. (Note: These are the packing cubes I personally own!)
  • This Target pillow looks like it’s $200 yet it’s ~$20! Target always delivers.
  • My mind is on bathing suits. At the moment, I love this one, this one and this one. Classic swimwear that’ll never go out of style.
  • The famous $34 maxi dress comes in a stripe?! I’m into it. Man, it’s still so cold here. Hard to believe that we might be wearing pieces like this in a few weeks.
  • The Larkin Family is obsessed with Larabar for on-the-go healthy snacks. They only have a few simple ingredients, so I can feel good about giving them to Emma and Lucy. Do not send to school, however, as they contain nuts.
  • These are really cute velcro Mary Janes for little girls. Somehow Emma and Lucy have nearly grown out of their school shoes! Would love to avoid buying new ones as the school year is coming to an end and who knows what size they’ll be in September, but also don’t want them to be uncomfortable.
  • I’m going to try to turn one of our old wooden baby gates into an outdoor deck baby gate. I just need to get the darn attachments off the wall. I could paint it white! I think it would look awesome. Will give the other two to Jess if she still wants them, haha. Sorry, Jessica.
  • You need to try OUAI shampoo and conditioner. The fine hair products are out of this world! They don’t weigh down my hair, and leave it feeling bouncy and hydrated. The refills are great, too.
  • I found a cute doggy bag dispenser from a Ukrainian Etsy seller. I’m sick and tired of the darn doggy bag rolls unraveling everywhere. Enough is enough, haha. Attaching this little dispenser to Noodle’s leash and calling it a day.
  • I found a dress for my cousin’s wedding on Nantucket! I really love it. Thank goodness, because I wasn’t finding anything for a while there. Phew. Will show it to you soon!
  • Speaking of pretty dresses, have you ever seen a more beautiful dress? Wouldn’t wear this to a wedding, but sigh. Gorgeous.
  • I made Danielle’s homemade play dough and I’m never going back to store-bought. It was so easy! The only thing I’ll say is that make sure to use low heat so as not to actually burn the play dough, and consider adding vanilla extract for scent. By the way, we use these tools, this tea set, and these pots and pans for play dough fun. Was tired of the tons of tons of junk; fewer, better-quality toys nearly always win.
  • One Home Project Every Day update:
    • I measured the trampoline pad to begin the trampoline makeover. Okay, you’re going to laugh at me, but I went out there yesterday to take the pad in, and turns out it’s totally connected to the mat. (The pad is what covers the springs and the mat is what you jump on.) Hahaha. Luckily, there is enough space available to attach the new material by velcroing roughly two inches under the pad before the seam starts. Honestly, guys, this might be a huge fail. But time will tell, and I’m determined.
    • Photo Organization Project (POP): Sad news. The data recovery team could not get my photos off my old laptop. So we’re bringing it to another place that I’ve had success with in the past. In the meantime, I’m using an extremely rugged, dropped solid state hard drive to back up my remaining files. And then I will use Backblaze (and also backed up on another SSD) to back that up. Never again! (Said Kelly Larkin every time this happens.)
    • I started organizing the game cabinet in our living room. It’s a mess. None of the boxes are the same size so they’re always being shoved in there haphazardly and then spilling out when we open the doors. I did a lot of research (HA) and finally settled on these cases. I think there may be one or two that might not fit, but we’ll cross that bridge once we come to it.
    • Mitch sold an old camera, bench, booster seat and table + chairs on Facebook Marketplace. Get the stuff out! It’s been really interesting watching our listings. It seems like Facebook chooses to promote one or two items every week, and we get lots of offers on them. In the beginning, we thought that there was zero interests in some stuff, but turns out that it’s just a waiting game. Eventually, almost everything sells!
    • We listed a couple of additional things on Facebook Marketplace. Because it’s addicting and I am loving having an organized garage. Makes life a lot easier and less overwhelming.
    • I finished cleaning and organizing the garage shelves. Yay. It looks so much better, and now we can find everything we’re looking for. We categorized supplies and then put them in these very affordable containers.
    • I finally found the perfect dog bed for my office, and Noodle loves it. It’s on sale right now!

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