Monday, August 25, 2014

S'more summer please

I really cannot believe summer is over. My oldest goes back to school on Wednesday - two days from now! What better way to close out summer than with a back yard camp-out and s'mores party? We actually designed this invitation for a birthday party and thought it was such a super cute idea. 

The tent under the stars on the back just might be my favorite of this s'mores party design.

We hope you enjoy these last moments of summer. Happy roasting!

Monday, August 18, 2014

September resolutions

As much as I hate to see the summer coming to an end, I always feel like September is a good time for new resolutions, or mainly, refreshing my eternal quest to become more organised. The school supply list is made, the uniforms bought, and now to tackle some of the paper chaos that school brings. One thing I am terrible at is keeping kids pictures, papers and certificates organised. So this year, I am trying something new - preparing ahead with these files:
A folder per school year
I am busy catching up on Rebecca's last 2 years, including report cards, special artwork, certificates and photos.  I am also TRYING to remember to take first day last day photos like these:

First Day Year 1
Last Day Year 1

I'm keeping Finn's Reception folder and Rebecca's Year 2 folder in my filing cabinet to put things in through the school year.  The rest are going in the loft - clearly labeled so I don't have to open and close 10 different boxes every time I look for something.
One box each
I have also FINALLY set up email addresses for both the kids. It's been on my "to do" list for about 5 years. My intention is to email them photos of days out, send them a soppy love note, or tell them what they are into at the minute, like Finn's recent fondness for photo bombing.
Finn the Photo Bomber 
Please, please send us your organising ideas…we will share them, try them and hopefully use them to make our lives just a little easier.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

A treasure hunt birthday party

Our little Eva Bean turned four last week and we celebrated the occasion with a treasure hunt among family and friends! The birthday girl had requested a treasure hunt themed party back in June and has not wavered from the theme all summer. 

This is the invitation we sent out to friends and family a few weeks before the big event. 

And what Love and Life invitation would be complete without a snapshot of our little treasure hunter on the flip side?

We kept things simple with snacks like Pirate's Booty

and watermelon on a stick. Because everything tastes better on a stick, right?

Once everyone had a chance to make a pair of custom treasure hunt binoculars (more on that soon) and decorate a bag for collecting the loot, we were off. Four silly, rhyming clues around the yard led us to this hidden treasure (or kiddie pool filled with sand and toy necklaces, rings, jewels and gold coins).

Here is one of Eva's best buds showing off a favorite find.

And here are a few more of the crew enjoying their loot and a little pizza.

The forecast was for rain all day with the highest chance being from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. which of course was the exact same time as the party. We set up a little tent just in case, but luckily for us the rain stayed away!

Our little chocolate loving birthday girl could not wait for cake and this treasure hunt themed cake from a local bakery — Henry's — did not disappoint

I just love this cake faced shot of me and my birthday girl.

And a little sister love to end the day. 

Phew... as much as I love a good party, it sure was nice to put my feet up at the end of the day. What about you? Do you love to host a party and feed on the excitement or does being the hostess with the mostest simply wear you out? I think I'm some kind of hybrid of the two. I always feel exhausted after hosting a big gathering, but I love doing it and every time I think "that was the last party I'll host for a while," I seem to decide it's time to plan another. Speaking of which... what are y'all doing next weekend? Want to come over? :)

Monday, August 4, 2014

A Mini-vacation

As much as I adore home, sometimes it is nice to just get away. Last week we went on a mini-vacation to Maine. In theory, I would love to rent a house on the water somewhere for the entire week or even two, but because of other commitments we knew that just wasn't in the cards this summer. 

Our first stop was in Freeport where we made the obligatory LL Bean stop. We didn't take advantage of the 24/7 hours. Yup, they are open all. night. long. But we did take a moment to snap a few shots on (and next to) the giant boot.

We checked out a few light houses...

saw some of the beautiful, rugged coastline...

and spent more than one afternoon on the beach.

Despite the fact that I never really felt "oh, this is so relaxing" while we were there, I do think we were relaxed. Things that might normally annoy me (clutter) or Ben (traffic) didn't seem to bother us. We laughed. A lot. The girls had fun on our excursions, but also just loved exploring the house. I wish I'd taken a picture of them in their "secret hideout" which was basically a teeny walk in closet under the eaves of the barn-like house we were renting. 

So in the end maybe a mini-vacation was just what we needed. Not too much time off of work for Ben to stress about being away and just the right amount of time away from it all. It was good just to get away from the every day routine and be together. Just the five of us. 

What do you think about a mini-vacation vs. a longer one or even two-week trip? We'd love to hear your vacation experiences both with and without kids! 

And what vacation is complete without a family cliffhanger?