Brantley Plays Soccer - Year 2

For the second year this year, we enrolled Brantley in Olathe's Mini & Me Soccer program.  He really loved it last year (recap here) and at the very least, it gives us something to do for 30 minutes on the weekends.  The program, geared for children ages 2 1/2 to 4, spanned six weeks, and though the kids don't actually play a soccer game at this age, the program teaches them some basic drills and encourages following directions, listening to a coach, etc.  Brantley did a decent job of listening last year, but executing the drills was another story; all he wanted to do instead was score goals.  However, it's amazing how big of difference a year made.  Not only did he execute the drills to a tee this year, he was really good at all of them!  (Scoring goals was still his favorite part!)  Of course, he'd probably tell you it was his new cleats and shin guards that made the difference. ;)  We didn't buy those last year, but decided to buy both this year and Brantley thought it was a pretty big deal.  Especially since his baseball book tells him cleats make you run faster.


Friday Already?

Happy Friday!  I almost forgot what day it was, seeing that every day feels like a Friday now that school is out! ;)  This is my fourth day of summer vacay, but the boys have gone to daycare for most of the week.  I treated myself to a pedicure on Monday and a hair cut + highlight yesterday.  Both were fabulous and just what I was craving.  And now it's Friday.  Not only Friday but Memorial weekend, as well--the unofficial kickoff to SUMMER!  Our neighborhood pool opens today and though I don't know that we'll get there this weekend, pool season basically means life is good!

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This planter has been in my Amazon cart ever since seeing it on Leah's blog a couple of months ago!  I finally bit the bullet and purchased it last weekend.  It wasn't prime (boo hoo) but it is supposed to arrive today!  I can't wait to plant some herbs - basil, cilantro, and mint are what I have in mind.  I just hope it's sturdy enough to hold up in the crazy thunderstorms we've been getting lately!  On a related note, I saw this pin on Pinterest.  Has anyone ever tried freezing herbs in olive oil?  Sounds like a great idea in theory, and could save me a little money come fall and winter!


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I saw this Amazon Beauty Box on another blog yesterday and had to share!  It's $9.99--but you get a credit for the same amount a week after your product ships!  Too good to be true?  Sign me up!

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I'm on the hunt for a new Crockpot - one that is programmable because often when I'm working, I'm gone for 9 to 10 hours of the day, which is too long for most crockpot meals.  I've ruined a meal or two by turning them into mush.  Anyway, I was searching Amazon the other day and came across this one.  It's wifi enabled and can be controlled from your phone!  Though it's a little a lot too costly for my taste ($130!), I think the concept is super cool and if money were of no object, you bet I'd buy this thing in a heartbeat!  Instead, I'll settle for the $45 #1 best seller model because let's be honest, that version will satisfy my slow cooker needs!

Sidenote: I have this Crockpot travel bag, which I love, but it doesn't work with my Hamilton Beach brand slow cooker.  Just another good reason to upgrade!

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I mentioned in my Mother's Day wish list post that I've wanted a "fanny pack" for years and years.  My to-do list for this week included shopping for a Patagonia Atom Sling until last weekend when I saw someone sporting a Thirty-One Sling Back Bag.  I couldn't buy one fast enough!  I feel like it's even more mom-friendly than the North Face and Patagonia versions (drink pouches on both sides) and I can not wait for it to arrive!  If only I had it for strawberry picking earlier this week...

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And finally, I looked back at Holden while driving the other day only to see this.  I still can't get over his nonchalant attitude and think it's hilarious that wearing his Donald Duck hat was no big deal to him!  (Also, I know his car seat harness is likely too high.  Mental note taken.)

Before I go, just a couple of reminders for you!  One, today is the final day to sign up for the #Boymom Box Swap!  Details here.  And two, don't forget about our Foodie for a Year link-up on Tuesday, June 7th!  We'll all be sharing a favorite summer recipe!

Have a great {three-day} Memorial weekend!

Linking Up With:
Momfessionals and A Little Bit of Everything for Friday Favorites 
September F A R M for Oh, Hey Friday
A.Liz Adventures for Five on Friday

Brantley's First Year of Preschool

It's been just over a week now since Brantley finished out his first year of preschool.  It was a successful first year and I wanted to jot down a few notes before I forget some of the little details.

// Brantley adored his teachers - Mrs. Brewster and Mrs. Schapper.  And he really wanted to please them.  He was never overly interested in learning how to write his name until we told him Mrs. Brewster had suggested it.  From that point forward, he would come to us and ask if he could practice writing his name.

// There was a show & tell rotation throughout the year.  Brantley had a turn three or four times.  Among his show & tell items: his Donald Duck hat from "Mickey Mouse's House", the batting practice baseball Daddy caught at a Royal's game, and lastly, his "Jesus book."  We helped him come up with the first two items (earlier in the year), but the "Jesus book" (kids' Bible stories) was all his idea and he was dead-set on taking it.

// The show & tell person was also the leader in class that day.  Brantley was the very last leader on the final day of preschool and he was so excited about that!

// Shortly after he started in September, Brantley told us he had a new girlfriend - Natalie.  By the end of the year, he had moved onto Lilly and Olivia instead (but not our neighbors with the same names).

// Though he seemed to love preschool itself, he didn't always love telling us about it.  From what I've heard, this is normal for a 3-year old, especially one on the younger end.  However, he got a little more willing to summarize his day towards the end of the year.

// Brantley attended preschool with two of his daycare buddies - Jace and Drew.  Although it was his first year in school, I was never nervous for him, as I knew he'd always be in good, familiar company.

// According to Brantley, his favorite part of preschool was snack time.  Go figure.

I am so thankful for our daycare provider, Ms. Stephanie, who took care of both drop off and pick up from preschool twice every week.  She also took these photos on his last day.  I'm not sure why, but I totally teared up when I saw them.  As a teacher myself, I am just so thankful Brantley had such a positive experience in his first year of school and I think these pictures really show how much he loved his teachers (and vice versa).

After their last day, Ms. Stephanie took the three boys out for a special lunch.  Again, I am just so thankful for our second mommy who treats our kids like her own and arranges to do such a special thing.  I don't know many daycare providers who would do this!!

And since they never made it to the blog, here are some pictures from Brantley's spring music program.

And a photo from Muffins with Mom.

And finally, a comparison photo from his first and last days of 3-year old preschool.

I know he's already excited to begin again in the fall and I hope we have as good as an experience next year as we did this year!

Groupon Coupons

This is a sponsored post.  However, all opinions are my own.  #Grouponcoupons

Confession: I am not a couponer.  Looking through ads, clipping coupons, comparing prices...totally not my thing.

But you know what is my thing?  Saving money straight from the touch of a button on my phone.  Because I'm all about convenience.  That, and technology.

I've been a fan of Groupon for years, and I have enjoyed discounts on things such as wine tasting, meal-delivery services, oil changes, salon services, game tickets, photo books, and my personal fave--Starbucks.  But did you know there's also such a thing as Groupon Coupons?!  I was recently introduced to the idea and I am seriously blown away by all of the coupons available!  For example, right now there are 66,502 coupons at 9972 stores!

And at some of my favorite places too, such as Target, Old Navy, Forever XXI, Walmart, Banana Republic, Beauty Brands, Macy's, Amazon, and Buy Buy Baby!

All you have to do is go to Groupon's coupons page.  You can browse by featured coupons, stores, or categories.  Once you find a coupon you want, you simply follow the prompts to utilize your coupon!  It's that easy, I promise!  And coupons are available for both in-store and online options.

And then, because you're saving money, you might as well head over to the clothing department and get yourself a new top or two.  Because saving more = buying more in my mind! ;) ;)

For more info on Groupon and their coupons, check out their Facebook and Twitter pages.  In the meantime, happy couponing!


Happy Friday!  This is my favorite Friday of know why?  Because at exactly 11:07 today, the school bell rings for the final time this school year and I am free from students FOR THE SUMMER!!  Technically, teachers have to come back on Monday to "check out" but I plan to stroll in late, stroll out early, and take a nice, extended lunch break that day. ;)

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Speaking of teacher stuff, I give multiple choice finals in all of my classes (because hello, no one wants to spend three days grading finals this time of year), but our school district is not lucky enough to have a scan-tron machine.  However, did you know there's an app for that?!  I've been using ZipGrade for three semesters now and it's fabulous!  All I do is input my answer key and then snap a photo of each students' final.  Boom, one class is graded in under 10 minutes!  Fellow teachers, check it out if you give multiple choice tests!

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This tee.  It's the best non-maternity, maternity top.  I found it at Target a week ago, bought two, and went back a few days later for two more!  And I may or may not have worn one four out of the five days this week!  Note: They're on clearance right now online, but there are limited colors and sizes available.  Another note: why can't they make these in fun, summery colors?!

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I started taking baby bump photos at 8 weeks (photos on Instagram - @sarahbsides), but then my photographer (hubby) went down for the count...and I know better than to ask him to hobble up the stairs for a picture.   I'm 13 weeks today but I haven't gotten a photo since 10 (pssst the bump has grown!).  Problem solved.  I order this tripod from Amazon and it should arrive on my front doorstep tomorrow!  Speaking of baby bump photos, as recommended by Brittany, I am using the Baby Pics app to add the weeks to my photos.  It's the cutest app with so many fun graphics!

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My hair is getting long (for me, anyway) and I don't hate it for once, but my hair is so straight and fine that long hair = stringy hair.  I've been attempting to curl it with my flat iron and although I'm no pro, I am improving little by little.  Turns out, my $15 flat iron from Target (on Amazon here) is good enough!

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And finally, last summer I challenged myself to take at least one DSLR photo of each of the boys each week.  Here are a few of my favorites.

This summer, one of my fellow KC bloggers, Megan at Crazy Bananas is hosting a 30-day photo challenge throughout the entire month of June.  As if that's not enough for this self-proclaimed mamarazzi, the challenge will include daily inspiration, tips, giveaways, and prizes.  And did I mention it's FREE?!  I couldn't sign up fast enough and I think you should join the challenge, too!  (Or not...because then I'll have a better change at the prizes!)

Go here for more info and to sign up!

Happy Friday, friends, and happy last day of school to many of the local teachers!!

Linking Up With:
Momfessionals and A Little Bit of Everything for Friday Favorites 
September F A R M for Oh, Hey Friday
A.Liz Adventures for Five on Friday