Now that we are officially in our back-to-school routine, I am trying to keep our mornings organized and calm. Starting the night before at bedtime we set out our uniforms and clothes for the next day, pack our backpacks, check our homework and, in rare cases, prep or make breakfast. Starting the morning off organized usually keeps us on track and on time.
Now that the little lady is off to school too, we have to spend a few more minutes getting ready and doing hair. I have turned to a few simple hairstyles that I rotate throughout the week. While it's so easy to rush out the door with her long locks hanging in her face, I make a daily effort to get it out of her face so she isn't fussing with it all day long. Try these simple styles, add a bow or headband and you're set for the day!
ONE | Brush dry hair, using a curling iron or wand make large ringlets all over. Run fingers through hair and add a bow or headband. You can put the curls in at bedtime and run fingers through in the morning to save on time.
TWO | Brush dry hair back towards the crown of the head, add a headband, gently tease the crown to add volume and definition.
THREE | Start with a side part, twist or roll hair over to the opposite side and secure with a ponytail holder. Take the side pony tail, twist it and then wrap it around into a bun. Secure with bobby pins. Add a bow.
FOUR | This is very similar to three but with a braid. Start with a side part (I part it more to the side than usual for this style) and french braid it along the side of the head. Keep the braid going over the back of the head and end at the opposite ear. Secure hair with a ponytail holder, twist the pony tail and wrap into a bun. Secure with bobby pins. Add a bow or headband as an accent.
*This post is in partnership with Little Kate Designs. With their wide selection of bows you are bound to find something for every outfit. Each style is unique and made of quality material, including 100% leather. Head on over to their etsy shop to view all styles and make sure to check them out on Instagram here.
Things have been a little quiet around here, which means that life is full and busy. We've settled into our fall routine, and surprisingly, it's a bit slower than I expected. We decided to hold off on a couple activities this year so we wouldn't have to rush around as much. And, I'll be honest, with Jonas getting sick last fall our life was quickly turned upside down for several months. I've learned that I need to be prepared and one step ahead of what could happen.
This summer was good, really good. We were happy and healthy, we were carefree and active. So imagine the surprise we went through when some elevated test results came back the first week of school showing inflammation in the small intestine. And just like that, bam, the feelings of stress and fear rolled in like harsh winter waves on a rocky beach. It is difficult to express how a mother or father feels when their child is sick. It is difficult to put into words the weight you carry around daily.
At this point we were symptom free, but with autoimmune diseases life can change over night. Just as quickly as his test results, he suddenly started having stomach pains. Thankfully, they only lasted one week. As soon as we saw those test results I knew it was time to go back to a strict lifestyle of clean eating. Like I said, this summer was good. So good that I started to turn a blind eye and let him eat foods that he and I both knew he shouldn't. But he had no symptoms, no typical IBD indications, no stomach pains, nothing. So what caused this inflammation? Was it the foods I allowed him to eat? Was it the stress of starting school? I'm not sure we'll ever know, but we do have an MRI scheduled for this week and would love all the prayers and positive thoughts that you can offer. In the past all his MRI's have been good so I hope this one is no different.
Now that we are back on the strict diet of clean eating and SCD (Specific Carbohydrate Diet) I thought I would open up a bit more and share this journey over on a new Instagram account. You can follow along here for updates on our son, what we eat, recipes and more.
And just like that, we are sending summer off. Our house is now filled with the hustle and bustle of the start of a new school year, our days have fallen into a routine and in the evenings we are exhausted. While I fully admit I am never ready to see summer end, I do love change and the start of a new season. And this fall I've decided to start off in the right direction; organized and prepared.
Since our soccer schedule consumes most of the week and my husband works nights at our restaurant, I run a tight ship and keep to my schedule the second the kids come home from school. A routine is certainly important, but in my opinion a balance is better. We balance our schedule between a strict routine and impromptu play and adventures. We balance responsibility and chores with downtime and free time.
“Live a balanced life – learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some.”
I have found that finding balance truly is the key to life.
*This back to school post is in partnership with FabKids
FabKids is JustFab's fashion club, started by a team of parents including mom and actress Christina Applegate. FabKids is a convenient way for busy parents to shop. It's an outfit club -- so parents get monthly selections of super affordable, high-quality fashions personalized for their kids.
FabKid's back to school selection includes quality clothing for affordable prices so you can shop must-haves for the school year! Check out more of their back to school trends here.
After several rounds of experimenting and researching, we have discovered the smoothie bowl and it has been a crowd pleaser across the board! In fact, it has quickly turned into our go-to after school snack. It's an easy way to pack in fruits and veggies, fiber and protein. We love smoothie bowls so much I'm hoping to make it a new recipe series here on the blog.
This Strawberry Peach Smoothie Bowl was the perfect treat for a hot August afternoon. While strawberries aren't currently in season, we are at the end of our peach season and our fruit bowl has been overflowing with them. Since both strawberries and peaches are on the "dirty dozen list," they are some of our fruits that we always make sure are organic or locally sourced. I've always done my best to eat organic, but since Jonas got sick this has become a priority. I keep a list of the "dirty dozen" and "clean fifteen" on the refrigerator and even keep this cheat sheet in my purse so it's handy when I head out to the grocery store.
Before I pick the kids up from school, I prep the ingredients and set out the various toppings on the counter. Smoothie bowls are a great way to sneak in healthy goodies, especially for Jonas who struggles with IBD and intestinal issues.
STRAWBERRY PEACH SMOOTHIE BOWL
1 cup organic strawberries, fresh or frozen
1 organic peach, fresh or frozen
1 frozen banana
1 cup almond, hemp or oat milk
1 scoop plant protein powder
1 droplet liquid Vitamin D
1 tsp fish oil
Blend ingredients together in a high-speed blender. The texture should be thicker than a smoothie drink.
Pour into individual bowls and add toppings.
sliced fruit (banana, kiwi, blueberries, strawberries, peaches)
hemp seeds or chia seeds
Serve and enjoy!
*Please note that not all these ingredients are SCD or Paleo legal. You can adjust accordingly.
It seems that each summer is unique in its own way and holds a sense of singularity in time. Even as an adult I can reminisce about that one summer we spent out on the lake, long boat rides over calm waters and sitting still on the docks until I could hear my mother yelling from our house which was nestled on top of the hill. That summer was filled with blossoming friendships, night swimming off wooden docks and sleepovers inside the hot balmy screened-in porch that sits at the back of our house overlooking the water.
Every summer of my childhood tells a different story and these stories have become tiny collections, like luminous sea shells, gathered together in the back of my mind.
This summer is no different.
With the stillness of our daily routines, we have weaved together the story of summer. Our story unfolds with children's laughter circling the neighborhood, late night swim sessions in a warm pool, bike rides through the quiet park and running across grass touched gently with the wetness of morning dew.
We found freedom this summer.
We found new friendships through our daily activities.
We found courage to attempt something new, like a front flip off the diving board or a solo kayak ride in the ocean.
We found joy and laughter.
We found the ability to let go and unravel.
“Let us dance in the sun, wearing wild flowers in our hair...”
Susan Polis Schutz
*This post is in partnership with A Pocket Full Of Sunshine, an online boutique for trendy and affordable children's fashion.
A Pocket Full of Sunshine boutique specializes in affordable, trendy items for your little ones. They pride themselves on their detailed attention to current trends, reasonable prices and superior customer service. With their wide selection of children's attire, you are bound to find several pieces that meet your individual style.
Find A Pocket Full Of Sunshine on their website, Facebook or Instagram.