Five Friday favorites: things I’m loving right now

I currently have 12.5 days left of school. My children have been out of school since May 12 and I am in a big hurry to join them. Sadly, there is no way to fast-foward the time, so I’m just going to have to wait it out.

I have already promised my little girls that I’ll be kicking off our shared summer vacation with a little pool day fun. I’d love to share my favorite beach bag and its contents with you all today. Links are provided below the grid 🙂

Clockwise, from top left: 1. LL Bean Boat and Tote zip top bag, XL $49.99; 2. Sun Bum, Premium Day Tripper Travel-Sized Sun Care Pack , $29.99; 3. Lily Pullitzer flamenco one piece swimsuit, $154; 4. Bando Bluetooth Shower Speaker, $37; 5. Premium Personalized Striped Cabana Beach Towel 35″ x 60″ – Monogrammed Pool Towels, $50; Maui Jim PUA fashion polarized sunglasses, $349

What are your favorite things to pack in your pool bag?

5 Instagram-worthy Outdoor Kitchens: a Pinterest round-up

5 Instagram-worthy Outdoor Kitchens: a Pinterest round-up

outdoor kitchens

 

Looking to spoil your husband or father this Father’s Day? One easy way to do that is with an outdoor kitchen. While some outdoor kitchens are hugely expensive, there are several low-cost ways to build an attractive outdoor kitchen your whole family will love.

This Pinterest round up will include five beautiful outdoor kitchens you can build yourself without breaking the bank.

  1. Cinder block outdoor kitchen via Cool Creativity 

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Cinder blocks are inexpensive and easy to work with. This outdoor kitchen looks like it cost  a pretty penny, but didn’t.

 

2. Small cinder block cook space

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Maybe you don’t want a full on galley kitchen outdoors, but you want just a little more counterspace. This small footprint outdoor kitchen, also made from cinderblocks, fits the bill. Besides, isn’t it cute?

3. Modern wooden outdoor kitchen

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Have a stack of scrap wood or pallets you’d like to repurpose? Use some of that wood to build a counter and outdoor kitchen space. You may want to make sure the area around your grill is cinderblock, though.

4. Rolling outdoor kitchen cart

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Maybe you love the idea of an outdoor kitchen, but you want some flexibility in its location. If so, then this easy to build rolling barbecue cart might be for you!

Lastly, you guys know how much I love anything rustic. I fell in love with this rustic farmhouse outdoor kitchen. The blogger wrote very specific, easy to follow building plans, too. I just might have to try this one.

5. Rustic industrial outdoor kitchen

 

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I love this so much- that galvanized metal and the wooden counter top. It also would be easy and cheap to build.

I hope you have enjoyed this Pinterest roundup. Happy Father’s Day to all you dads out there. Regular posting schedule will resume next week.

 

 

 

15 Free Summer Activities For Your Family

I don’t know about you, but we struggle to find fun, free ways to occupy our time toward the end of summer. There are plenty of activities you can pay to do, but that gets expensive. Today, I am going to share 15 awesome ways you and your family can have fun this summer…for free!!

1. Go on a nature walk

You don’t even have to leave your house. Go for a walk around your yard. Check out the trees, the flowers and see if you can spot any small animals or insects. You never know what you may find (but watch out for snakes).

2. Blow bubbles

This one may cost just a little, but it’s a lot of fun for your little people. My girls are now 10 and 5 and they still love blowing bubbles. You can even make your own bubbles from dish soap.

3. Have a Photo shoot

Put on a cute outfit, play dress up or do each other’s hair and snap some pics! The sillier, the better.

4. Bake something from scratch together

You would be surprised what you can make from things you already have in your cabinet. Whip up some delicious treats and enjoy them together.

5. Swing on a swing

This was my absolute favorite thing to do as a kid. I absolutely loved it. So it’s no surprise my kids love it, too.

6. Have a water fight

Use water balloons, water guns, soaking wet sponges, water hoses, or whatever…grab something with water and have an all out battle. It’s a blast!

7. Go on a picnic

Grab a blanket and some snacks and head outside. You don’t even have to leave your yard. Find a shady spot and spread out the blanket, and have a tasty snack.

8. Make a backyard movie theater

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String up a white sheet and borrow a projector. Use your smart phone and a DIY projector if you can. This is a low cost way to have some easy family fun.

9. Set up an obstacle course

Use what you have to create a backyard obstacle course- hula hoops, pool noodles, a slide, you name it. Then, pretend you’re a contestant on American Ninja Warrior. It’s a blast- you can even take turns being the announcer.

10. Karaoke or dance party

Put on some costumes, pick up a toy mic, and belt out one of your favorite songs. We have tons of fun with this at our house.

11. Build something

Grab some blocks or LEGO’s and have a contest: let your imagination flow and see what you can come up with.

12. Make a bucket list

What is something you want to do during your life? Where do you want to travel someday? Make a list and share it with one another. You may be surprised at how similar yours and your family members’ lists are.

13. Go to the library

A lot of places will let you get a library card at age five. Most libraries do not charge a fee unless a book is lost or damaged. Check out some books from your local library and enjoy them together. Our local library even offers a summer reading program and story hour each week.

14. Make something fun

Draw or paint something, make a bracelet or sew a pillow. Look at the craft supplies you have and see what you can create.

15. Exercise together

Take a walk together, do yoga together, or try a YouTube exercise video. Find one you all like and give it a try. Exercise has so many benefits- it helps you sleep, it boosts your health and it evens put your mood. Use it as a free, fun way to spend time together too .

I hope you have enjoyed this list! What ways does your family like to spend time together and have fun?

Intex Quick Set Pool Review

We had a Target version of an Intex family pool at the start of summer. It was 7 feet in diameter with a bench and it held 200 gallons of water. It was great.

Until we came outside one morning to find it leaking badly and partially deflated. I tried to patch it and make it last but to not avail.

Due to the quarantine, kiddie pools are hard to come by. I had heard good things about the Intex Easy Set pools and found a smaller sized model for a reasonable price.

I knew where I wanted the pool but the spot wasn’t level. I used our garden tiller to level up the spot.

I raked out the dirt so it would be level and I used stall mats to ensure the kids could hop out of the pool onto a dry, non muddy surface.

Set up is super easy. Take it out of the box and spread it out on a level surface. Inflate the top ring with a hand pump. If you’re using a filter, follow the directions and assemble and connect the filter. If you aren’t using a filter, insert the plugs into the holes.

Then, after you have put the plugs in the filter hose holes and made sure the drain is closed, begin filling your pool. As your pool fills, your sides will rise. Be careful not to overfill it.

Finally, when your pool is filled, enjoy it with your family!

There are a lot of things I like about this pool. If we had a little bit larger of a pool we would have gotten the pump and filter. This pool is only 294 gallons so we are doing fine with our chlorine dispenser and our pool vacuum. I like the fact that is durable and easy to set up- it also is really easy to clean.

If I were to reorder this, I’d get the eight foot instead of the six foot. I don’t really consider that a con, since that was my mistake and no fault of the pool. Even at six feet, the four of us can sit together comfortably.

In short, if you are looking for a small pool for you and your small children with low maintenance, look no further than an Intex Easy Set.

Enjoy and we will see you again tomorrow for a furniture re-do.

Free summer printables

Hi, all! We took a few weeks off because we were struggling to produce new content due to the pandemic. We decided to take a break and that breather was just what we needed.

If you have followed my blog for any length of time, you know I love to make free printables for each season. I realized this week that I have not created any summer printables for you guys. I created three simple prints with quotes about summer. Feel free to download and enjoy for your personal use only. These are not to be used commercially. For best results, print no larger than 8×10.

You all know how much I love quotes!!
Very, very true!!
It surely is!!

To download, just right click on the printable and save it to your device.

Enjoy!!!