Archive for May 2017

What's Up May...

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

It's What's Up Wednesday where I dish on everything from what we are eating, watching, reading, listening to, wearing and doing!  I love to peak into everyone else's lives and get lots of great ideas.  #hellogilmoregirls  So let's grab our caffeine of choice and get to it.  It's the last day of school around here so we are all doing a little dance party and singing this ;)!

{What We're Eating}

My girls love to bake so we did whip up this fun pie coming to the blog soon!  Here's a look at what's for dinner this week --

Monday - grilled cheese sandwiches (when we got home from the lake)
Tuesday - walking tacos (kids request ;)
Wednesday - Italian Chicken with Potatoes
Thursday - Daddy's sourdough pancakes & bacon
Friday - Dad's on duty because V and I are in TX

We also made this yummy dish as a side -- one of my favorite summer dishes!

{What I'm Reminiscing About}

The first day of school pics.  How can they change so much in a year?  WOW!  Today is the LAST day of school!

Solon 1st Day of 1st Grade

Vera 1st Day of Pre-Kindergarten

{What I'm Loving}

We love the lazy, fun, memory-filled days of summer! #enoughsaid

{What We've Been Up To}

In mid-May we took a little road trip to MN to see my Mom for Mother's Day and to see my niece as Aurora in Sleeping Beauty!  It was a fun, very fast trip.  We even squeezed in a trip to the Como Zoo (which we highly recommend).

Memorial Day weekend we headed to the lake and my sister and brother-in-law from Seattle SURPRISED us.  We had no clue they were coming.  It was so fun to see them since we hadn't since Christmas.  What a fun way to kick off lake season with the whole family together again :).

My cousins (who are like brothers) were there with my Aunt Chris too!  The weather was a little windy and chilly at times but we snuck in a big, competitive game of baseball, several boat rides, fires, lots of eating, board games, hot tubbing, and fun!

{What I'm Dreading}

Leilani ran into her Savior's arms on Monday.  Although, we knew it was coming, nothing prepares you for the death of someone you care about, especially when they are just 10 years old.  Unfortunately,  her funeral is this weekend and I will be in Texas at my cousin's graduation.  I am really bummed I cannot be two places at once.  We are still having our Leilani's Lemonade Stand on Thursday.  Her wish was for everyone to know Jesus as Savior and have assurance that they will be in heaven forever.  So although we weep now, it's not without hope.  We will see her again!

{What I'm Working On}

We are working on our summer bucket list.  If you missed my Facebook Live talking you through why and how we do our bucket list, be sure to go check it out!  I will be sharing more of our actual bucket list on Friday!

I am doing a giveaway and partnership with Jord watches tomorrow and Friday on Instagram so make sure to follow me there.  I am in love with my new watch.  

{What I'm Excited About}

SUMMER -- pool, lake, no school, no schedules, filling up our love tanks, you name it, we love summer!

{What I'm Watching/Reading}

So I am trying out Audible this month because I love listening to podcasts in the car but we have lots of summer road trips and I thought it would be a great way to get in some more fiction reading.  Have you tried it?  My thrifty self says it might be too pricy when my trial runs out but with your trial you can pick 2 free books, so that's awesome!   Give me your thoughts!

I downloaded Never Unfriended by Lisa Jo Baker.  I like it, lots of great wisdom.  I won't lie, non-fiction can often lose my interest. I have to read it in chunks so I am halfway through.  I have struggled with friendships, I don't think I am alone.  This is a good read to work through some of those emotions, how to be a better friend and how to move past some of that hurt with great practical application!  Have you read it?

I also downloaded The Tender Years by Janette Oke.  It was a fast "read" at just over 3 hours meaning I got through the whole book one way on our recent MN trip ;).  Janette Oke is the author of the When Calls the Heart book series which has been turned into one of my favorite shows, When Calls The Heart. I have not read that series BUT I have been told after book 1, they are different.  I like her style of writing, this book was a bit too fast if that makes sense.  I would have liked more character development, etc. BUT it's a series so I do want to keep reading.  

Next up on my kindle shelf is...

I love this author, so I can't wait to kick off summer with this book!  It's a series so you know I am extra excited about that ;).

I also have this book and am SLOWLY working my way thorough it - mostly because there is so much good advice.  I need to stop and take it in.  She also wrote this book everyone is talking about!

Of course I am still working my way through Gilmore Girls but now that I am in Season 2, I am HOOKED.  I thought it was a little slow to get me hooked but I am all in now!  If you are just starting, keep on keeping on ;).    

We are also watching the Stanley Cup Finals.  #pittsburghproud #gopens 

{What I'm Listening To}

I am loving this song, this song, this song, and this song right now! 

#ecleticmuch #schoolsout #summer

{What I'm Wearing}

The weather has been all over the board in May so I am still wearing all the things.  This is the time of year, looking at the weather is important.  I love my weather app!  Anyone else love looking at the weather?  #tellmenotjustme

Sweater (Nordstrom this winter) // Tassel Necklace (gift) // Jeans // Shoes (similar)

Pretty much my go to summer lounge outfit ;) #beinghonest
Jacket (Lu Lu Lemon) // Shorts (similar) // Tank (similar) // Flip Flops (similar)

{What I'm Doing This Weekend}

This beauty is graduating from high school!  Her momma would be so proud of her.  She died when Madelynne was just a young toddler.  Her mom went to ISU and guess where Madelynne is going too? ISU, which means she will be much closer than Texas (where she currently lives).  I told her the bedroom in the basement was all hers anytime she needed a "home" away from home!

For my other cousin's graduation, Solon got to go alone (since I was 2 weeks from giving birth to Lucy).  So this time Vera and I are going and leaving Scott, Solon and Lucy home.  Vera can't wait for her special trip by herself :).  

{What I'm Looking Forward to Next Month}

This gal is turning TWO.  #Holdmenow

{What Else is New}

We have had some highs and lows this month but I think I covered it all for now ;) I will do our Perfectly Port in Pictures post next week so check back then ;).  

{Bonus: Favorite Vacation}

We took young children and headed down under, mate!  Scott's sister lived there for 3 years with her family so we thought it was the perfect time to go visit.  We had the best 2 week vacation and fell in LOVE with Australia!  I may have over-blogged the trip ;).  

You can read ALL about it ;)

Travel // Day 1 // Day 2 // Day 3 // Day 4 // Day 5 // Day 6  // Day 8 // Day 9 // Day 10 // Day 11 // Day 12 // Day 13 // Day 14

So there you have it for What's Up Wednesday!  What are you up to these days?  Any good recommendations for me?  I love these posts and hope you do too!  See you on Friday to talk all about Summer Bucket Lists, we are making ours tonight to kick off summer ! #yippee

Until next time, keep on keeping on!  #TRIBEKOKO

Linking up with Sheaffer and Shay for What's Up Wednesday, check out their blogs for more fun!

The Jord watch was given to me but all opinions are my own.  Affiliate links used.

Five Friday Favorites: May....

Friday, May 26, 2017

Gee golly whiz!  May has zipped right by us and here we are on the cusp of summer.  #yippeeskippee Memorial Day in my mind is the kick off to summer, anyone else?  The pools open, lake season begins, school wraps up and our schedule gets filled with all sorts of fun!  Speaking of which, I am doing a Facebook live TODAY at 1 PM CST talking all things "Summer Bucket List".  Simply like my page and join me.

Once a month I share a few of my favorites that I think you might love too :).  In no particular order, let's get sharing!


My hands may be full but you should see my heart (and my caffeine intake ;).  Us mommas can carry heavy loads!  We have been having fun talking about our favorite drinks and it was fun to see what keeps you going moms!  Make sure to follow both my Instagram and Facebook pages to join in on the fun conversations!  I even picked your brain about the great fish debate #mykidswantone.  You had SO much wisdom.  I will be asking for more advice soon and I know you will all are so wise!

The point of this favorite is actually my new jeans.  You guys I hate (shouldn't use that word) strongly dislike shopping for pants.  Anyone else?  I really wanted a pair of frayed hem jeans with a distressed look.   I found these at Old Navy.  I got my actual size but they do stretch out so I suggest sizing down.  They are super comfortable!  The price is right especially with a coupon or sale!  


Speaking of my new jeans, while I was out shopping I was alone so I actually could try things on!  I rounded up some of my favorites I am loving this season!  My favorite shorts, my go to summer purse, comfy mom sandals and more!  What are you loving right now?  I am still on the hunt for more pom-pom and tassel accents!  


Tiny, fake, potted plants!  I have the brownest thumb but  I love plants.  At our local Michaels they have these darling little potted plants in terra cotta or stone pots.  They are usually 40% off or you can use your Michael's app coupons and they ring up to around $3!  They have a ton of varieties including succulents!


Our van does not have built in DVD players so when we go on long car trips our kids have an iPad.  Long story short, we acquired 3 without purchasing any of them ;).  That's a story for another day.  So each kid has their own with a pair of headphones.  We just got the Amazon basics ($12.99) for Solon!  

The only problem was Lucy wanted to watch too!  So I looked online for a fix and I found this car headrest holder.  We have tested it out on a recent road trip and it worked great.  I will say it works best if your iPad has a case, otherwise the iPad can slip out going around corners.  We have this case, which by the way, we have had for 6 years!    I simply downloaded our digital copy of Trolls and Lucy watched that!  She was squealing with delight.  


My last favorite is hammy-downs.  They aren't just for kids!  My mom has been cleaning out and she gifted me a new purse and this cake stand (Here is a similar one).  Funny enough I asked for one for Mother's Day ;).  I got it - ha!  Have you ever gotten any good hammy-downs?  It really is true, one man's trash, is another man's treasure! 

Before you go -- 

Here are your favorite blog posts from this month...

Creating an Art Cart and I Need Help tied for first!  If you haven't read them, you should!

Our Day in the Life post was popular too.  I love those kinds of posts too!   You also were curious about 11 Finds at Wal-Mart this spring. Anyone get anything from the list????

Of course, you all have been so supportive with our Leilani's Lemonade Stand as we honor Leilani in her final days and help her cross it off her bucket list!

Here are my April Favorites!

I hope you have the best weekend.  There won't be a post on Monday, I hope to enjoy the full LONG weekend with my family before we gear up for the last 2 days of school!  Don't forget to join me this afternoon at 1PM CST on Facebook! Keep on, keeping on #tribekoko!

Linking up with Erika and Andrea for Friday Favorites, Meet @ The Barre for Friday Favorires, Cup of Tea for High Five for Friday, and Smidge of This and North Carolina Charm for Five on Friday.

This post contains affiliate links.

A Quick End of Year Teacher Gift...

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Happy Thursday friends, you don't hear me say that very often but I had that fun extra post about Leilani's lemonade stand on Tuesday!  If you didn't read about it, go do that and then hop right back over here.

It's the end of the school year for many of us.  We are T-3 days left around here, not that we haven't been counting down for the last 180 days or anything ;).  Before we head into summer mode, it's a good time to thank our teachers for all they have done for our kiddos all year long.

Gift cards are a fan favorite friends amongst teachers.  I can say that with certainty because I was a teacher ;).  Go to Pinterest and look at all my pins of cute ways to gift gift cards, most of them require just a printer and something to affix the gift card to the printable!

Today I have a little printable to go along with a gift card to a restaurant of your choice.  Most teachers do their fair share of lunch duty so now it our turn to take over lunch duty and treat them to lunch this summer!

Simply save this graphic to your computer by right-clicking (make sure to keep the .jpg).  You can also find the pin icon in the top left hand corner so you can pin for later use.

Open up the file on your computer and prepare to print as shown in the above picture!

In the printing options choose 4 copies per page.  This makes sure the graphic is just the right size.  If you choose 6, 9 or more copies per page, the graphic will be much too small. 

I suggest printing your cards on plain white card stock for extra durability.  Once printed, you just have to cut them out.  If you want your child to write their teacher a note, simply have them write it on the back of the card before affixing the gift card!

You can attach the gift card with a circle of tape, rubber cement or photo squares.  My gift card came in a pack that already had the sticky dots so I simply unstuck it from the card and on to my card with no need for additional adhesive.   #winnerwinnerchickendinner

Your teacher is sure to remember you and be so thankful for a fun, yummy lunch this summer on you!  They don't get to go out to lunch very much during the school year.

How are you thanking your teacher this year?  Please share in the comments.  They continually keep on, keeping on.  #tribekoko :)

Don't forget to join me tomorrow at 1 PM CST for my monthly Facebook Live! Series.  This month we are talking about summer bucket lists.  I can't wait to learn with all of you.  Make sure to like my Facebook page, see you tomorrow!

Linking up with Home of Malones for Thursday Thoughts, check out her blog for more fun!

Affiliate links used.

Leilani's Lemonade Stand...

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Leilani arriving home with her family after 600 days in the hospital!

Leilani: A sweet 10 year old girl in our church about ready to meet Jesus face to face.  She has fought the good fight and healing is coming, just not the way we hoped.  It's heart breaking and unimaginable.  Our hearts are broken for her family.

She was born with a heart defect that required a heart transplant at a very young age.  At about 8 years old, her new heart started to give out.  She spent the next 600 days in the hospital fighting for her life.  She underwent her 2nd heart transplant in 2016.  Unfortunately the wait took a toll on her body and other internal organs.

She came home earlier this year to live her final days, was granted a Make-A-Wish trip to Florida and has continued to live out her faith and her mantra "overcomer".   She has had a bucket list full of fun things she hoped to do in her final days.  It included gardens, dates with her family, eating her favorite meals, reading the Harry Potter books and seeing Beauty and the Beast.   Things many of us take for granted.

The list also included a lemonade stand.

She is too sick now to have a stand of her own but that doesn't mean we can't help make that bucket list item a reality.

On Thursday, June 1st we invite you to have "Leilani's Lemonade Stand"  

It's the first day of summer around here and what better way to kick it off then with the age old tradition of a lemonade stand.  All while we share the remarkable story of a sweet young girl, who loves the Lord so much, has fought so hard and always shared the hope we have in Jesus, our Savior.

So are you in?  

All you need to do is host a lemonade stand on Thursday, June 1st in your neighborhood.  Post a picture with the hashtag #Leilanislemonadestand and print the graphic if you would like to display at the stand.

How to donate your proceeds -- 

Donate to Make A Wish 

Click here - select the amount you wish to donate.

Next under "options" please select "Donate in Honor or Memory", then choose a card type of your choice and fill out the Honoree information - Leilani Lahey.  If you wish, in the from category list "Leilani's Lemonade Stand by (blank)".

Last make sure to click local chapter and choose "Make-A-Wish Iowa".  Save and continue on with the next form!  


The Lahey Family Go Fund Me Account 

Please click this link here for funeral expenses and other expenses incurred during Leilani's medical stays.

Helpful Promotional Supplies -- 

Here is a Lemonade Stand tract to share the gospel with your patrons.  Simply save this photo, by right clicking.  Make sure to save it as a .jpg.  Open the file and choose print.  You can click number of copies you want to print on the print form.  I suggest print 2 or 4 copies per page.  

We hope you will join us.  If you can't participate on that day, please help spread the word by sharing the graphic found on my Facebook page or visiting a local lemonade stand!

Leilani took the lemon life gave her and always made lemonade.  If you have any questions,  please contact Erin Port at!  Thank you!

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