Saturday Morning Pancakes

Saturday morning pancakes with the kids.*This post was created in partnership with Kohl’s. All opinions are mine and I have a lot of them. 

Over the last year, my husband has started making us pancakes on the weekend. It doesn’t happen every weekend. But they have become a fairly regular occurrance. It is something we all look forward to and has become really special to us. Of course it happens on special ocassions (like birthdays or holidays) but it also makes an ordinary weekend morning feel extra special. Because of our busy schedules, we find it really hard to share meals with each other. Our pancake breakfasts are super informal but mean the world to each member of our family.

Saturday morning pancake tradition. He follows the same recipe each time. Since this is pretty much the only thing my husband cooks, it has been really fun to watch him perfect his technique and see him make this his own. I try really hard to bite my tongue and offer tips. Is that hard for anyone else?

Houseware and entertaining picks from Kohls. #adAlthough the plain pancakes are tasty, lately we’ve been jazzing them up with bacon bits (omg! Do it!) and chocolate chips. Because, chocolate. My husband falls on the less is more side. But I don’t think you can ever have too much chocolate. Sometimes I try to sneak in and add more chocolate chips to my pancakes without him noticing…

Patterned melamine plates, large Food Network spatula, red hand towel and large blue melamine plate c/o Kohls.

On Saturdays, dad cooks pancakes. When the boys wake up in the morning, they immediately grab their electronics and play their favorite games. It keeps them entertained while dad is busy at the stove. I love that if we are having pancakes, it means that we don’t have anywhere to run off to. It’s the perfect family time.

Music in the kitchen. I think I cook better with tunes. And we always have music playing in the kitchen. No matter if I am cooking, or my husband is making his pancakes. We always have a speaker to listen to our favorite playlists. For mornings, my husband generally picks this indie-focused Songza playlist. Or sometimes it is classic rock. And since we usually let the kid’s pick the music at dinner, we finally have control! It’s glorious! No Kidz Bop. Not on my watch.

Sol speaker and clear acrylic ice bucket (no longer on the site) c/o Kohl’s.

Fresh berries for pancake breakfast. My job for the pancake breakfast is very small. I am in charge of the fruit. My kids love berries so I try to make sure they eat them as much as possible. And fresh strawberries are SO AMAZING with chocolate chip pancakes.

Cutting mat and yellow and white bowl c/o Kohl’s

Coffee and pinterest. A perfect Saturday morning. And once my job is done, I get to sit and relax! Yes, you read that right. I get to drink coffee and play around on Pinterest while I have a delicious, home-cooked meal made for ME! It is awesome. I usually hang out in the kitchen, with the music playing, slowly starting the day.

Vera Wang pants c/o Kohl’s

Fresh berries for pancake breakfast.The way they inhale the berries (not the blueberries, they don’t love those), you’d think they never get them…

Tony Hawk tank top c/o Kohl’s

Patterned melamine plates from Kohls. #adWhen the pancakes are close to being ready, we call both boys in to the kitchen. We have a really nice dining table, but we would rather eat in the kitchen. We keep the music playing, pass the syrup around and enjoy being together.

Pokemon shirt c/o Kohl’s

Saturday morning pancakes.More berries please…

Just about every Saturday, Dad makes pancakes and we eat them together in the kitchen. And even more berries please…

As you can tell, Kohl’s has a little bit of everything. I’m in love with the kitchen department and love the Food Network products as well as the selection from Kitchenaid. I love that I can go pick up some new clothes for the boys (and myself, holler!) and a large spatula for my husband to use on his self-declared “world famous pancakes.” It is a great place to go when you need a bunch of different types of things for a special ocassion, whatever that may be in your life. I was supposed to pick up a gift for someone else when I was there. But I got distracted by the LC Lauren Conrad department…And have you seen the cute MILLY for Kohl’s collection?? Adorable!

And one of my favorite parts about Kohl’s is that you can get SO much for your money! I took some time to figure out how to use coupons and Kohl’s Cash and I felt like I stretched my dollar.

For $200, plus some Kohl’s cash I had earned, I got the items noted above: 5 melamine plates, one ceramic bowl, two kitchen towels, a spatula, the cutting mats, the speaker, an ice bucket, the Pokemon t-shirt, the striped tank top and my Vera Wang pants, PLUS a pair of shorts, a short romper, two pairs of underwear, and a bikini top. BOOM. I love Kohl’s.

Thank you for supporting brands, like Kohl’s, that let me share our favorite life moments with you.

*This post contains affiliate links.  Read more about my editorial policies here.

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Summer Travel Essentials

My summer travel essentials. The items I need to have with me when I head out on vacation.There is nothing better than travel during the summer. This year I am SO excited to share a place with my kids that my family vacationed every year growing up. Which is also where my dad vacationed as a boy! It is going to be so special. And I CAN’T wait! I’m sure we will also end up in Palm Springs (a few times) and who knows where else! Today I’m sharing some of my summer travel essentials. Be warned. I am not a light packer. You may be able to do without these things, but I know what I need to have a good time. I hate forgetting things at home. And I like to be prepared for just about every possible scenario.  I never leave home without a good sun hat. This one, from Goorin Bros. (similar style) (remember it from Mexico) is awesome because it packs really well. I have to wear a hat in the pool or on a boat or anywhere where there is too much sun. And it’s cute. I also have to bring along a good portable speaker. On a girl’s trip, it is essential for getting ready and setting the tone for the evening. And with my family, music and instantly change moods (thank you, Uptown Funk!!) I never leave home without one.

My summer travel essentials. A good tote bag is a must for magazines, snacks and whatnot. I always have a tote bag with me on a trip. I pack it full of magazines, snacks, water, whatever I think I’ll need depending on the days activity. It’s perfect for a car trip and then the contents change from day to day. It has to be larger than a purse, like this one from RVCA, but smaller than an overnight bag. And I like it to be a darker color so that it doesn’t show the inevitable dirt.

My travel essentials: Yoshirt custom phone case with kids photo (makes a great gift!) and my fave perfume that is hard to find.When I am away from my kids, I really like to have pictures of them handy for when I miss them. I just made this Yoshirt custom phone case and it is awesome. Since you always have your phone with you, you can see your kids adorable faces the entire time you are away. And of course I am going to leave it on my phone all the time. I also recently found my favorite perfume in a travel size and it has changed everything. Years ago I had it in a travel size and then it leaked on a trip and I stopped taking any kind of perfume with me. But I realized that it helps me feel put together for dinner out. I found a site that has some harder to find travel sized perfumes and ordered my signature scent. I have taken it with me on my last few trips and it’s made me really happy. I can’t believe I traveled for so long without any perfume!

Amuse Society bikini and XO, G wine for summer travel.You guys, I’m totally not a wine-o. I promise. But you know how expensive a glass of wine can be at a resort. I’m in love with this XO,G pinot grigio. The packaging is darling, they are super easy to pack and you can just have a glass at a time. You don’t need a wine opener, or a glass. These are perfect for the hotel room as you are relaxing in the evening or to take with you on a tropical excursion (where allowed, of course – drink responsibly…) And you can bring home whatever you don’t drink, which you totally can’t do with a bottle.  And of course you need a darling swimsuit like this one from Amuse Society. I’m in love with this adorable pattern.

Coolibar leggings with SPF for summer travel. Be prepared for being stuck in the sun with comfy leggings that provide sun protection. I’ve recently fell in love with garment bags. This lightweight Cinda B bag in Noir is perfect for quick trips. I wouldn’t check this on a plane for a weekend away, it is fantastic. I love that I can store my clothes, keeping them from getting as wrinkled as they might be in my suitcase, and look chic doing it. There is something kind of fancy about a garment bag, isn’t there? And a small hard shell suitcase with wheels keeps everything super easy.

Coolibar travel umbrella to keep you sun safe on vacation. If you know my history with skin cancer, then you know that I can’t really worship the sun any more. This Coolibar travel umbrella is a must for me when I travel. It easily fits in a tote bag so I can take it with me and I know I am protected no matter where I end up. It’s light and has a vent so that air can move through it making it perfect for a breezy day. It is hard to tell from this picture but the exterior is sort of a metallic silver so it is pretty neutral to match whatever you may be wearing. It feels really sturdy, for being made for travel, so this will last for tons of trips.

Coolibar leggings with SPF for summer travel. Be prepared for being stuck in the sun with comfy leggings that provide sun protection. And you always need a good pair of comfy pants on vacation. What I love about this pair from Coolibar is that it provides sun protection as well. These can be used to work out in, or just lounge. Did you know the tops of the knees are a really common place to get skin cancer? Think of sitting outside in the sun all day at an 8 hour baseball game. Having some protective pants is key. These would be perfect for time on a boat but are just as perfect for wine time. See there I go with the wine again.

What are your travel essentials?

phone case c/o Yoshirt, wine care of XO,G, swimsuit c/o Lulu’s, garment bag c/o Cinda B, travel umbrella and leggings c/o Coolibar

*This post may contain affiliate links.  Read more about my editorial policies here. Some items have been supplied by the brands noted above (where noted “c/o”). As always, all opinions are mine and are truthful and based on my personal experience. 

Vintage Jewelry

Vintage Necklace with jeansI’m not a huge jewelry person. I don’t have enough disposable income to splurge on really great pieces. And I am pretty picky with the quality and the overall look of a necklace. My fingers only look good in rings when my nails are painted, which isn’t often. And bracelets tend to drive me insane when I’m writing or typing or generally living my life though out the day. That being said, I LOVE a good vintage piece. Especially when there is a story or connection attached.  Before my grandma passed away, she gave me some of her jewelry. The pieces are worth nothing, and worth everything at the same time. I have SO enjoyed wearing the jewelry and think of her whenever I wear it. I can’t wait to pass it along to my nieces some day. Or my son’s wives (Holy crap. They are just 6 and 8 years old. That fast forward thinking is making me go fetal for a moment…)

pretty vintage jewelryRecently, my mother-in-law brought over a few things that belonged to my husband’s grandmother to see if I’d like any of them. I kept a few things including the necklace shown in the first photo and the gold and green one directly above. I thought it was so special that my mom-in-law would think of me and I love that I get to enjoy some jewelry that B’s grandma probably enjoyed as well. These will be shared with my niece on my husband’s side. She’s 12. So when she grows out of her Claire’s phase and if these are her style, these will be ready and waiting for her. Hopefully by high school.

I keep my eyes out for vintage jewelry when I’m at thrift stores, etc. but have yet to find anything extraordinary like those left to me by family. What is your favorite piece of jewelry? What’s the story behind it?

 

Things I Love : November, 2014

Take time to stop and bake mini donuts with your kids. Random things that I loved this month…

I usually work on blog stuff in the mornings. Even the weekend. So it was a really nice change of pace when my son found our mini donut baker in the garage and all but demanded we make them immediately. So we did.  And they loved them. And it was really fun to make something for breakfast and take a little more time with them instead of being on the computer. I guess sometimes you have to stop and smell the mini donuts.

The styling in Bon Appetit Magazine is the best. They get me. I die for food magazines. I rarely make anything from them, but I have to read them each month. Over the last year or so I’ve been falling in love with Bon Appetit and their styling. They just get me. It’s all I can do to wait patiently for the new issue to arrive each month. The creative direction is SO GOOD. Like, I want to rip out these pages and decoupage them on my dresser like I did with bands in high school.

Celebrating a friend who is following her dream. This didn’t happen in October but I didn’t download the photo until now so it missed last month’s ‘Things I Love.” My dear friend, Erika, was an extra on Brooklyn 99, one of my fave shows. So of course we had to have a viewing party at her house and experience it together. It was the Halloween episode. She nailed it. I love watching her explore this new path in her life and think she is awesome. See her on Cougar Town here.

My favorite Erin Wasson for RVCA shirt and vintage necklace. You guys. I’ve only been wine tasting twice now but both times I really felt like I needed to wear this vintage grape necklace that my grandma gave me. Do you really need to have a good luck charm for wine tasting? Because I think this is mine. My grandma wasn’t in to wine per se although she always ordered a Chablis when we ate at the pizzeria. One of the funniest conversations I ever had with my grandparents was them making fun of pretentious wine tasters and the adjectives they use to describe the wine. I will never forget it. I love this necklace. And this shirt. I will die if anything happens to it. It’s Erin Wasson for RVCA and it is my all time fave. If we’ve hung out in person you have certainly seen me in it. And I love my new necklace from Shop Serene Sky. I won it at a blogger event and it’s totally my style! So glad I didn’t win the free month of exercise.

Fried Green Beans from The Habit. Dearest fried green bean, how did I not know about you until now? I saw someone post about these on their instagram account and later that day went to try them. I adore green beans. It’s the world’s best vegetable. And fried?! Yum. This was my first time at The Habit, although it is in the same parking lot as my Joann’s so you know I’ve passed it and smelled it like a gazillion times. The burger was also amazing! Can’t wait to go back and try out more things! I also love that they put a gummy hamburger in the kids meals! Nice touch.

Nerds against bullying! You know I love Nerds, right? They are my fave. But if Nerds and green beans got in to a fight, I’m not sure whose earrings I would hold. That’s not true. I would mean mug the green beans and back my Nerds. And then eat the green beans and then the Nerds.  So when Geeky Hostess posted this it made my heart sing. Candy against bullying. Now that is a cause I can get behind. Well done Wonka.

High waisted jeans changed my life. YOU GUYS! I’m sorry to shout at you but these pants changed my life. So I’m pretty cheap about my denim. I used to buy pricey pants, and they really did fit and wear well. But it just isn’t the right time for me to spend a lot on good denim. So I’ve been hitting the cheapy stores for my pants. These stores usually go for a younger audience so the pants are all low-rise and terrible whiskering. Well, I finally came across that was high-waisted (but not in a Jessica Simpson high-waisted pants debacle, high waist) jeans and they are awesome! The whiskering and details are still not something I would typically go for, but the fact that my muffin top is fully ensconced in these pants is amazing! I instantly felt pounds lighter. Shirts lay nicer. And I don’t constantly have to hitch them up. Because they sit above my hip bones, they don’t slip down much to create saggy butt. Life changing. So now I wear them every day. I apologize in advance.

Kids on the red carpet. This one is also from last month. My husband has a friend who is an artist and he created some custom pieces for a show at the Long Beach Museum of Art. One of the pieces is a sort of team photo from a made up sport and my husband is one of the players. So of course we had to go see my husband hanging on a museum wall.  We took the kids and they were so much fun to have there. My oldest dressed like he was going for an art heist (here he is missing the beanie and hood up). And my youngest was super in to the receptions happening outside including dancing like a spaz to the band and sucking down Sprite from the bar. And, of course, we had to get them on the red carpet. The docents only had to talk to the boys a dozen times to remind them not to touch anything.

My favorite wines from @lorimarwinery/.I have new favorite wines! I fell in love with Trio from Lorimar Winery on my first visit (a red with notes of coconut, yum). But this last visit I was lucky enough to get to taste even more of their wines. Their sparkling wine is my fave sparkling! SO delicious!  And the Grenache Blanc is where it’s at. I can’t wait to crack that baby open! Looks like I’ve got my holiday drinking game plan set.

Tillamook Chef event with Haven Gastro Pub at Provisions Market in Orange. I was invited to attend a Tillamook cheese event a few weeks ago and it was amazing. Tillamook partners with chefs from all over the country and has them create sensational dishes using Tillamook product. This event was in conjunction with the Chef’s of Haven Gastro Pub and Provisions Market in Orange. The servers strolled around with platters of beer and cheese beignets and other delightful cheesey dishes. There was a fantastic cheese tasting spread set out complete with beer pairings and then there was this Mac and Cheese. Best. Ever. For this recipe they used the Extra Sharp White Cheddar and added bacon and other yummy goodness.  The event was awesome but my favorite part is that they are sharing all the recipes! I want to make everything!  Here is the White Cheddar Bacon Mac and Cheese.  I fell in love with the Black Pepper White Cheddar and can’t wait to find that again in a grocery store. Mmmmmm.

Things I Love : October, 2014

Dying over the colors on this Good Housekeeping magazine. Crap. October is over. That means that the holidays are right around the corner. Life is just moving way too fast. I’m going to make every effort to slow it down a little bit and actually enjoy the holidays this year. But for now, here is what I loved during the month of October:

Good Housekeeping NAILED it with their November cover. I never pick up this magazine but the colors really spoke to me. I’m not even a huge fan of Eva Longoria but I really loved the graphic design and so I bought it to check it out. I enjoyed the magazine and look forward to seeing what next month’s cover looks like. Maybe they are trying to young it up a bit? I love me some Erin Phraner and I know she works at the mag so…I’m going to just give her all the credit since it has a crisp clean look like her site :)

Ghostbusters Krispy Kreme donuts! When your oldest son loves Ghostbusters and Krispy Kreme puts out Ghostbusters themed donuts, you drive way far out of your way to pick up a few dozen. Not sure when they will stop selling these but I am guessing Halloween so RUN to your nearest store and buy some! They were so much fun. They also had ones that looked like the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man!

I can't stop wearing this House Dress from Henry Mack. I can’t quit wearing this House Dress by Henry Mack! It’s super comfy, can be dressed up or dressed down and I love the pattern! I wore this dress 3 times in one week to all kinds of events. One to a nice dinner out sponsored by a local magazine, a fashion show and a blogger event where I paired it with comfy flats. So versatile. I’m hoping they get more prints in soon! This is def a staple in my wardrobe.  Do your kids live for a photo bomb opportunity?

He is finally out of a car seat! Look how happy that makes him! Look at that face!!! It’s pure joy because this was the day we realized that it was legal for him to ride without a car seat. He felt like a million bucks. I still have him ride with the bottom booster most of the time to ensure that he is the safest. But I now know that he can ride without one. They are growing up WAY too fast!

Just the Wine drops for neutralizing sulfites in wine which I have an intolerance to. YOU GUYS. A few years ago my doctor told me that with my allergies and history of headaches that I should probably not drink wine. My nose gets all stuffed up. I get headaches pretty much immediately and the next day can be pretty unbearable. And that can be after just one glass. I pretty much stopped drinking champagne or sparkling wine completely because of the instant headaches. But stop drinking wine altogether? Absurd. Recently, I’ve been feeling exceptionally miserable after drinking wine. So much so that one morning I woke up and decided I couldn’t drink it anymore. Luckily, a mere 5 minutes later, I was reading OC Metro and came across a story on Just the Wine. The symptoms listed in the story were pretty different from mine, but I decided to try them out anyway. I am still trying them out to see if they really help me with my wine consumption. And so far I think the answer is yes! My nose still gets stuffed up, but I’m not getting the headaches like I had been. I tried these drops in a mimosa the other day and had no headache at all! These do not prevent headaches the next day due to over consumption. You put 3 drops in your 6 ounce glass of wine and give it a stir for 20 seconds. This is basically food grade hydrogen peroxide and it neutralizes the sulfites. I even take them with me when I go out now. My husband says it looks pretty shady when I put them in my wine but I don’t care. You can read more about them here.

Self-serve Iced Coffee at Whole Foods.Somewhere along the way I started upping my daily coffee intake. But as the day goes on, I’m less inclined towards a hot cup of coffee, and turn instead to iced.  So I was super excited to see this Cold Brew set up at my local Whole Foods! I pretty much have no understanding about what the different brews are, but love that you can serve yourself. And it was delicious too! I feel like this might be the next big thing. They took out their juice bar. And while this doesn’t exactly replace that, it seems like this is where the focus has shifted. And I quite like it.

Finger Limes! I finally got to try finger limes. The inside is not like a normal lime but are like tiny little balls that are tart and crunchy and awesome. While at Whole Foods, I came across a package of Finger Limes! I had seen them in a food magazine last year and almost went so far as to order them online. I’m a lime fanatic and these sounded super interesting. But I thought it might be a little obsessive to buy limes online. When I came across the package, I FOR SURE had to try them! They smell just like a normal lime, but the insides are totally different. I took the tip of my knife and sort of scraped at the flesh and these little orbs came out. They are crunchy and tart with a limey flavor. These would be so awesome as a garnish for a cocktail or appetizer. I made my whole family try them because who knows when the next time I’m going to have finger limes again! The kids thought they were hysterical. LOVED them! If you see them, pick them up!

The first time he was able to dip his cookies in Cow's Milk! He's outgrown that allergy! This kid has had food allergies since he was one year old. This right here is the first time he has ever dipped Oreo‘s in to cow’s milk. We are so grateful that he has outgrown that allergy. He seems to be fine with eggs as well, but he still resists the foods that were harmful to him for so long. This was such a great moment for me to see him acting like a normal kid and not being afraid to try the milk. I know that over time he will learn to like eggs as well. So cool! And we’re keeping our fingers crossed about the nuts as well. Because Butterfinger.

*I’ve been making some changes to the back end of my blog and as a result I have lost my spell check! I read through this post to the best of my ability but there could very well be some errors…I don’t need to know about them. And I guess I shouldn’t rely so heavily on the spell checker, but I do! Fingers crossed I can figure out where it went!