Thirty-One Chill-icious Thermal

I’ve mentioned once or twice (ok, maybe more) that in addition to being a stay at home mom and a blogger I am also a Sr. Consultant for Thirty-One Gifts.  I love Thirty-One products.  They’re cute and functional and they make my life easier!  I love my Retro Metro Weekender for traveling.

I pair it with a Zipper Pouch for my toiletries and personal items and a Flat Iron Case for, well, my flat iron.

I carry the Explorista Crossbody as a diaper bag.

Also paired with a Zipper Pouch to carry diapers, a Free to Be Soft Wallet and a Mini Zipper Pouch to hold hand sanitizer, lip gloss, nail clippers, etc.

My favorite items, though are my thermals!  I have a Fresh Market Thermal for bringing home my groceries and packing food for trips to the lake.  I have a Picnic Thermal for picnics and a Lunch Break Thermal for packing just for myself.

But the thermals I’m really excited about are the new Chill-icious Thermals!

Chill-icious Thermals

Aren’t these the cutest?!?!  I’m so excited for Cupcake and Pumpkin to have their own thermals (Hoo’s Hungry and Tweet-Heart).  They even have matching ice packs!

So, why am I telling you all of this?  Well, these adorable thermals are only going to be available in the month of August and I want to make sure you don’t miss the chance to get one (or more!) of these cuties before they’re gone.  I’m taking orders, starting today for these thermals.  I’m submitting the first round of orders on Aug. 3, so be sure to get your order in by then if you want to get in on this deal early!

For every $35 you spend in August you can get one of these thermals for just $10.  So, buy one thermal, two ice packs and get the special pricing on the second thermal!  Two thermals and two ice packs for just $45!  Of course if you only need one thermal you can order something else to get you to the $35 minimum.  If you have any questions about this deal just let me know!

August Thirty-One Monthly Special

August Thirty-One monthly special

Whale Pajamas

Cupcake has a thing for whales.  She’s always been a fan.  Her two favorite bathtub toys are whales.  She had a whale birthday party.  She speaks whale.  Maybe I should start calling her Dori…….

We were out shopping one day and I found some pajamas on clearance and gave a few options to choose from.  I was not the least bit surprised when she picked the whale pajamas.  She wanted to wear them right then and there, but they were long sleeved/footed pajamas and well, it is summer.  She was distraught because I wouldn’t let her wear her new whale pajamas.

Momma came up with a brilliant plan! Make her some summer whale pajamas!!!  Whale pajamas

I used McCall’s M6643 to make these shorts.  I was going to make pants, but I only bought 1 yard of fabric, which wasn’t enough.  The pattern is for a wide legged bottom with elastic waist and a tie (purely for cuteness).  The wide leg meant showing off more cute whales!

whale pajamasShe was so excited about the fabric when it arrived.  I was so excited about the fabric when it arrived.  I hadn’t seen in it person.  I ordered it from  And I only bought one yard because it was a bit on the pricey side.  But it was the cutest whale fabric they had.

Whale pajamasDoes she love them?  Yes and no.  She was pretty excited about the shorts, but she refuses to wear them because they don’t have a matching shirt.  The white tee shirt is unacceptable because it’s a “daytime” shirt.  So the shorts have been sitting in her drawer for over a week and she has yet to sleep in them.  Now I’m thinking I should have made her a nightgown instead.  Sigh.

At least she had fun jumping on the bed with them on.  And she gave her sister some modeling lessons.

whale pajamas


Once Upon a Time…..

there was a girl who was redecorating her red and white bedroom into a new grey and yellow bedroom.  She had her heart set on a beautiful striped duvet cover from West Elm but couldn’t justify the price (or convince hubby to let her spend that much on a just a duvet cover).  She settled on a nice duvet cover for half the price from Target.

Target beddingI liked it.  It was fun.  It was the colors I wanted. It was in my price range.  It fit the new wool comforter we bought because we found out Oscar was allergic to down.  Everyone was happy.

Target beddingThen one day a certain preschooler was feeling a bit under the weather.  She curled up in bed with daddy while momma cleaned up the mess she made in her room when she had a recurrence of “the spits” in our bed.  At the time I wasn’t thinking.  Of anything else other than cleaning up the mess that is.  Naturally I threw the messy bedding into the washing machine.  Yeah, the wool comforter didn’t quite come out the way it went in.

A new comforter was put on the shopping list and hubby and I decided that even though we had a queen sized bed we might like a king sized blanket.  Hubby is a blanket hog.  We were in no hurry to replace it since we don’t use the comforter much in the summer.  In addition to a new, bigger comforter we would need a new, bigger duvet cover.  And the waiting paid off!!!  The West Elm bedding that I had been pining after finally made it to the clearance section!  (and I had a coupon code for an additional 20% off!)

West Elm beddingAin’t she pretty?  I know it’s nothing spectacular, but this girl loves stripes (and polka dots)!  It makes me happy.  I’m sure you’re thinking “where are all the decorative throw pillows?”  Well, I save those for the guest bed and the couch.  Ain’t nobody got time for throw pillows when they’re tired and just want to get to bed.

West Elm beddingI opted for a down alternative comforter this time around.  Even though I loved the wool comforter I just don’t think it’s practical at the moment.  I want to be able to wash it at home if “the spits” were to occur again.  And considering the girls are 4 and 1 I wouldn’t be surprised if it happened again some time.  This mom of young kids needs low maintenance.

Oscar and I were the first to give the new bedding a go and I think we both agree that we can live with it.  Which is good because I think we’ll be living with it for a long time.

I love you, stripes.

Let’s take a poll!  Stripes or polka dots?

No News Monday

Top of the morning to you!  Happy Monday.  I’m struggling this morning.  6:00 am came way too quick.  Maybe because Cupcake had me up a few times in the 2 o’clock hour.  I wish I had something super fun or cute to share with you this morning, but well, my camera isn’t back, yet (it’s scheduled to be delivered today!) so I’ll wait to show you my weekend sewing projects.

We’re back to our summer routine this week.  Pumpkin and I will be off to Stroller Strength and Cupcake has her last week of Summer Recreation.  Swim lessons are over.  And I’m over swim lessons!  I always sign us up for the July session so I don’t have to worry about the weather and darn if I wasn’t in that pool most of the last two weeks in 60 degree weather!

Swim LessonsThis was Pumpkin’s first year at swim lessons.  She did great!  There were some tears, especially on the chilly mornings, but for the most part she was a rock star.  She loved jumping in and is a great paddler.  She is not a fan of back floating or blowing bubbles.  This was Cupcake’s 4th year and it is amazing the change in her!  Last year (and every year before) she cried just getting into the pool.  This year, no tears!  She jumped in, she floated, she blew bubbles.  She just wouldn’t go all the way under.  It was a BIG improvement!!

Hubby had Friday off so we hired a babysitter and took the convertible out for a ride!  I haven’t been in the convertible in a long while!  (Pumpkin couldn’t ride in it last year because you can’t fit a rear facing seat in it.  She’s still rear facing, but I could legally turn her around for the convertible ride.)  We took an hour long ride down south to Harrison’s Tomb.

Harrison's TombIt was a beautiful afternoon for a drive.  Hubby forgot to put sunscreen on.  You can call him Lobster.  We then stopped for beer and ice cream before returning home.  It was nice to get out for an afternoon date with the hubs.

Other than that I’ve been trying to clean up and organized.  I’m working on unloading baby stuff we don’t use any more and craft supplies that I haven’t touched in years (to make room for stuff I do use).  It’s exhausting work!  But it’ll be nice to not have the space back!

Well, I’ve rambled enough.  We’ve got a big week planned.  An IKEA trip, a tea party, a big party with foam and water games at the park.  And a reading rally to finish up our summer reading programs for the library.  And now I really  have to go because I hear a dinosaur coming down the stairs……….



Messy Fun: Colored Bubbles

I had seen Crayola Colored Bubbles in the stores before, but we had never used them.  I was hoping we could make some artwork with them, but the colors don’t stay.  I guess that’s kind of the point. They want them to wash off your skin and hopefully your clothes as well.  The girls and I were strolling through Joann’s the other night and I found a huge display of Crayola Colored Bubbles on clearance, so I picked some up.

Messy Fun: Colored Bubbles

Cupcake couldn’t wait to dig in and play!

This is definitely an outdoor activity.  The bubbles are not guaranteed to wash off.  So we headed out to the back porch and set up for some messy fun.  Wearing a bathing suit is an optional step, but it doesn’t hurt to put them in something you don’t mind getting messy as the color may or may not wash out.

Messy Fun: Colored Bubbles

I gave the girls a piece of white paper and let them blow the bubbles at the paper.  The bubble solution is extra drippy, but it just made it extra fun.

Messy Fun: Colored BubblesPumpkin was a little hesitant at first.  She wanted me to hold the bubble wand.

Messy Fun: Colored BubblesBut it wasn’t long before she really had some fun, too!

Messy Fun: Colored BubblesThere were lots of bubbles, lots of drips and lots of colors!

Messy Fun: Colored Bubbles

Momma couldn’t resist getting in on the action a bit, too!Messy Fun: Colored Bubbles

When the girls were lightheaded from blowing all those bubbles we stopped and admired our work.

Messy Fun: Colored Bubbles

The girls wanted to let their pages dry and to keep as art work and I would have loved that, too, but once the bubble solution started to dry we were just left with this.

Messy Fun: Colored BubblesIt seems that only the yellow retained color (which was also true for color that was on their skin).

All of the color washed of the porch with a quick spray with the hose.

So, we didn’t end up with any keepsake art, but we had fun in the process.  The girls really enjoyed watching the bubbles pop on the paper and seeing the colors make pretty patterns.

We have lots of bubbles left so I know we’ll be doing this again soon!  It was a fun way to break up the day!

Have you tried colored bubbles?


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Fit Mom

I have a goal to be a positive, healthy role model for my two daughters.  There’s a lot of pressure on girls and women to be thin and pretty, but I hope to show these girls that the goal in life should be to be healthy and active.  The best way to do that is to start with me.

I’ve complained before about my weight. Particularly after having a second baby.  And while weight isn’t the most important thing my first goal was to fit into my prepregnancy clothes.  In order to do that I had to lose some weight.

I’ve been wearing a Fitbit for years. I’ve actually had it since it first came out, but then I lost it.  So hubby got me a new one.  And then we found the old one (a year and a half later) and now hubby has one, too!  I love that it gives me a snapshot of my activity for the day.  It tells me when I’m being lazy, when I need to step up my game.  I love the dashboard these days because you can link to friends and see how many steps they’ve taken and make a little competition out of it.  I really try to get to 10,000 steps every day.  Even if I don’t get to that number every day I usually average it over the week.

My Fitness Pal has been a great tool on this journey.  I know calorie counting isn’t for everyone and I really didn’t want to do it at first.  I felt like I ate pretty healthy.  Logging my food was an eye-opener.  After spending the better part of 4 years pregnant or nursing I was still eating like I was still pregnant or nursing.  Using MFP to log my food really put things into perspective for me.  I love that most food is already in the database.  If it’s not you can easily add it.  And there’s an app, so you can log on the go.  You set your goals and MFP tells you how to get there.   And for me it’s not about off limits foods.  Nothing is off limits.  Everything in moderation!

Of course none of the above does any good if I’m not active.  I’ve talked about running before.  I’m still doing that!  Actually, I’m doing a lot of that.  I try to get a few runs in per week, which is a little more difficult with our busy summer schedule.  I do what I can even if it means running to and from the pool for swim lessons (it’s only 1.6 miles away and it’s downhill on the way there and uphill on the way down and I’ve got 66 pounds of kids in the stroller).  I also like BeFit.  It’s a YouTube channel with a ton of workout videos.  They’re great for days between runs or when I can’t get a run in (hello, stormy summer, I’m talking to you!).

I’m also participating in Stroller Strength again this summer.  I’ve been doing this program since Cupcake was 3 months old.  I love it.  It gets me up and out of the house at least 2 days a week and the girls see me exercising, so they know it’s important.  I’ve made some great friends and had fun while keeping active.

Clearly the effort has been worth it.


With a little hard work I lost 10 pounds in 6 weeks.  It was enough to put me in my prepregnancy clothes.  I was pretty darn happy.  After that picture was taken I lost another 5 pounds.  Even some of my prepregnancy clothes are too big now.

I’m not following a strict calorie count any more, mainly because dropping the calories was affecting my running.  I didn’t have the energy for long runs and since I’m training for a 10K and a 78 mile relay race the running is more important.  But honestly my goal is strong not skinny.  I’m living a balanced, active life and I’m loving it!


What are some of your favorite ways to stay active?


Disclaimer: Links to Amazon are affiliate links.  When you make a purchase using one of these link I receive a small commission though your price remains the same. Thank you for your support



Summer Reads

Our local library has a summer reading program for kids and adults to encourage people to read, take part in art and activities and get in the library.  The girls have been working hard to complete their reading requirements and we’ve been taking a lot of trips to the library.  We’ve picked up some fun reads this summer, some of which might need to become permanent on our bookshelves.  Here’s what the girls (ages 4 and 1) are loving.

Go Away Big Green Monster by Ed Emberley

Both Cupcake and Pumpkin loves this book with is die cut pages.  As you flip through the book the monster’s features appear one by one until the monster is fully revealed.  Then they disappear one by one until you tell the monster to go away. “And don’t come back until I say so!”  The book emphasizes shapes and colors as well as facing fears.  Cupcake wants me to read this one over and over and over again and she even “reads” it on her own.


Not a Box by Antionette Portis

This one is a part of our home library (and it’s one we’ve been gifting to friends) and it is so fun!  See that box?  Well, it’s not a box.  This little rabbit has a quite an imagination.  There aren’t many words in the story.  The pictures tell the story.  I love this book because my girls loves to play in boxes.  They loves this book because they love to play in boxes.  The author has another book out called Not a Stick that I think we’re going to need to get, too…………

Dinosaurs?! by Lila Prap

I have a future paleontologist on my hands.  Cupcake is obsessed with dinosaurs right now so I was looking for a fun book that taught her about different types of dinosaurs, but was easy to read and had a bit of fun mixed in.  This is that book.  It’s recommended for kindergarten and up, but if your child loves learning about dinosaurs you might want to give this one a try.  The illustrations are great and the chickens are funny.  Wait, didn’t I just tell you it was a book about dinosaurs?  Yeah, the chickens narrate the story and talk about how they descended from dinosaurs.  My paleontologist approves!

Tiptoe Joe by Ginger Foglesong Gibson

This one is a favorite of Pumpkin’s.  We read this at story time at the library in the spring and have since checked it out twice.  And now Cupcake likes it, too.  Joe leads his friends through the forest to show them a secret.  We meet a few different animals that aren’t the usual characters you find in children’s books, like a donkey, a moose and a beaver.  The book is repetitive and rhymes, which is great for preschool age and the secret at the end is too cute!

Cupcake is also into some classics these days, particularly Berenstain Bears.  We’ve been reading those when we visit Noni and grandpa.  She likes to look at the back of the book to see some of the other titles, where she always asks for Too Much Junk Food, so we picked that up at the library this week.  It’s fun reading books that I used to read as a child to her and all the books have a great moral of the story.


If you need more book suggestions check out my Kids’ Read page!


Have you discovered any great books lately?


*links to Amazon are affiliate links.  When you make a purchase from one of these links I make a small commission though your price remains the same.  Thank you for your support.




Roasted Corn and Coconut

I don’t know about you, but I’m always looking for simple and delicious side dishes that are a bit more than just roasting a vegetable.  But I also want it to be healthy.  I was so excited when my friend Katie introduced me to Roasted Corn and Coconut.  I know, you’re probably thinking roasted corn and coconut?  But seriously you have to try it!  It’s so good!

Roasted Corn and Coconut #sidedish #recipe

And don’t base your decision not to try it on my horrible photos either.  I’m without my camera.  I know they say the camera doesn’t take the pictures, but I have no control over this camera other than turning off the flash and well, yeah.  I guess I’ll just have to make this again when I get my camera back and retake the pictures.  Moving on.

The funny thing about this recipe is it contains two ingredients that the hubby isn’t really a big fan of, cilantro and lime, but he likes this!  Woo woo!  Cilantro and lime are two of my favorite things, so of course this is right up my alley.  I served it up with Mexican Chicken Burgers and we all gobbled it up!

Roasted Corn and Coconut


Roasted Corn and Coconut


  • 5 ears corn, kernels removed (2-1/2 cups)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced jalapeno pepper, seeded
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 4 teaspoons lime juice
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degree F.
  2. Mix corn with olive oil and jalapeno in a medium bowl. Spread the corn mixture out evenly onto a baking sheet. Roast corn, stirring once, until browned slightly and crisp tender, 10 to 15 minutes.
  3. Return the corn mixture back into the bowl and mix in cilantro, coconut, and lime juice. Serve warm.
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Actually, now that I think about it I’m excited to make roasted corn and coconut again once my camera is fixed!

So, tell me.  Are you going to give it a try?

New Playset Canopy

So I’m not all at settled back in from our vacation, but I had to make a little time to sew.  My house is a mess and my kids are off schedule, but they have a new playset canopy!

Playset beforeWe got this playset second hand from some friends who moved thanks to the military.  We were sad to see them go, but happy to get a good deal on a playset for the girls!  It has a few years under it’s belt and we had a harsh winter so the canopy wasn’t looking too hot.

playset canopyIt was pretty grody and the lower canopy had a big rip in it and looked like it was on the verge of tearing again.  That sounded like a project to me!  So I hit up to browse the outdoor fabric and found some fun fabric to work with.

playset canopyI removed the old canopies, which was pretty easy to do since they were just held in by screws.  And since I was planning on hanging my new canopies the same way I saved them.  So I was off to the sewing room to get my exact measurements (I had taken rough measurements so I knew how much fabric to order), but there was a problem.

Messy sewing roomIt looked like a Thirty-One catalog and a toy store had exploded in my craft room.  I hate when that happens.  So I cleaned up and while I did so Pumpkin pulled my camera strap causing my camera to crash to the floor and rendering it useless to me.  Yeah, it doesn’t work.  It’s in a box, on it’s way to Nikon for repair.  #sadpanda

So I don’t have any step by step photos.

I measured the old canopies and added hem allowances to each end.  I added 1″ to each of the long sides and 1.5″ to each of the short sides.  I folded the long sides under by 1/4″ and then again by 3/4″ and stitched.  Then I folded the short ends in by 1/2″ and again by 1″ and stitched.  That was it.  Except it was a lot of stitching because the larger canopy measured over 100″ long.

I did this for both pieces and then I remembered that I could just steal hubby’s point and shoot camera.

New playset canopyI picked up this large eyelet kit for the project so I could attach the new canopies the same way the old ones were attached.  I lined up the old canopy on top of the new one to mark where my holes needed to go, then used my Crop-a-dile to punch a hole in the fabric.  I tried to use the Crop-a-dile to set the eyelets so as not to make a bunch of hammering noise while hubby was watching the World Cup, but it wasn’t big enough, so I ended up using the setting tools that came in the kit.

Then it was back outside to put my new canopies up!

New playset canopy #sewingThe good new is they fit like a glove.  The other good news is I only dropped one screw in the grass.  I really could have used another set of hands to hold the canopy in place while I secured it.  The bad news is I still haven’t found that screw.  Anyone have a metal detector I can borrow.

New Playset Canopy #sewingAnd this is how the playset looks now.  Cupcake loves the new polka dot canopy.  Pumpkin doesn’t really have an opinion on the matter.  New Playset Canopy #sewing

Of course I love it!  Yellow and polka dots?  You can’t go wrong!  It’s a pretty straightforward and easy project, so if you have a playset canopy that could be sent into retirement you might want to consider making a new one.  And I think I’ll start removing it for the winter just to help it last a little longer.

Have you been doing any sewing lately?  Or playset updating?


Linking up with Remodelaholic.

*Links to Amazon are affiliate links.  When you purchase from an affiliate link I will receive a small commission, though your cost will remain the same.  Thank you!

Did You Miss Me?

So last week I was on vacation.  Did you notice I was gone?  I had hoped to get a post or two up before leaving, but it was a crazy week leading up to our trip and it just didn’t happen.  We set out to the lake for our pseudo-staycation on Thursday (the 3rd) and spent 8 days away.  We called it a pseduo-staycation since we were staying at my in-laws’ lake house, which we visit several times a year.  And we didn’t do touristy vacation stuff every day and we spent time with family.

We spent a good deal of the 4th wearing sweatshirts.  It was chilly!  Who’d have thought we would have to remove our sweatshirts to change into bathing suits?

At the beachIt sounds crazy, but it actually wasn’t too cold to swim.  Well, the water temperature and the air temperature were about the same, so there wasn’t a noticeable temperature difference.  And the sun was out so that helped.  Pumpkin preferred to stay on dry land.

At the beachCupcake was all about the back and forth.  In the water. Out of the water. In the water. Out of the water. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.  We had the beach to ourselves (we’re apparently the only goofballs willing to take a dip in that weather?) so it was pretty fun.

Because we were in a small town and in the lake region there weren’t any “real” parades going on.  We could have drove 20 minutes into town for one, but who wants to make that drive in and then back out again and deal with traffic?  Not I!  Besides hubby and I had already driven into town earlier in the day to munch on our DiRusso’s sausage sandwich!  Luckily the neighbors had a parade of their own!

Golf Cart ParadeThe neighbors who have golf carts and 4-wheelers decorated their transportation and made their way through the streets waving and tossing candy.  The girls loved it!  And I loved that we just had to walk to the road!

Pumpkin was fading fast after dinner, so we put her to bed, but Cupcake was all about having more fun!  She couldn’t wait for sunset and the festivities that come with the holiday. But first we had to catch fireflies.

Catching firefliesShe’s really good at catching them herself now.  And she is so enthralled with them!  She could catch fireflies all day!

Even more fun was had after the sky got dark!  I scooped Pumpkin up from her bed and took her down to the boat to watch the sky light up!

FireworksWe are so lucky that the fireworks show is on the beach directly across the lake from us.  We just head down the hill, grab a seat on the boat or dock and enjoy the show.  We have a great view with very minimal effort!

Man, that was an eventful day.  And it was just the first day of our vacation!

Saturday was family reunion day, so there was a lot of cleaning up, food prep, food eating, family time, a cornhole tournament, games for the kids, Bingo, dessert, naps, chatting, and more swimming.  And we passed out after the day was done.

Sunday was the family golf outing.  I don’t golf, but hubby does, so it was a girls day at the lake.  We went out to breakfast, I went out for a run, we hung out at the lake and we managed to get in a boat ride!

Driving the boatPumpkin loves to drive the boat.  Though I’m not sure who was more excited about the boat ride her or Oscar.

Boat rideOK, it was definitely Oscar.  He sure loves to go boatin’!

Post boating we got the fire going so we could get roasting!

Roasting marshmallowsIt’s not a vacation without roasting marshmallows!  We love s’mores and the girls were so excited to help make them.


Monday was our low-key day to recooperate from the weekend.  Of course we spent the morning on the beach.

Buried in the sandUnfortunately we were stuck inside the rest of the day due to a storm that rolled through.  But we had some fun nonetheless (thanks to the box of toys and the milk crate of books Noni brought out to the house).

Stan HywetOn Tuesday the girls stayed with their Noni and hubby and I headed up north for some kid free fun.  We started off at Stan Hywet Hall where we somehow managed to dodge the two storms that rolled through first by eating lunch and second by hanging out under a covered patio.

Then it was off to Hoppin’ Frog Brewery.

Hoppin' Frog

Hubby liked the beer.  I tried the shandy.  I’m not a beer person, so it wasn’t my thing, but the food on the other hand was amazing!  The guacamole was delish and the jerk chicken tacos were so good!  Oh, and the berry quinoa on the side was so good, too.  I left that place stuffed!  And refreshed because it’s nice to have some me and hubby time.

We spent a good part of Wednesday on the beach.

Playing togetherThe girls had fun building sand castles together and I even convinced Pumpkin to get wet.

SwimmingShe wasn’t happy about it, though.  Cupcake on the other hand seems to love the water now!  She was much braver this year than in the past.

We met Noni for dinner that night and headed to the local park, which has several different carnival rides.  Cupcake rode most of them, but Pumpkin got in on the action, too.  But only when she could sit really close to someone.

carnival rideThey have airplane rides, car rides, a ferris wheel, a carousel, a train ride, swings and a rollercoaster.  Cupcake wanted to try it all!  Including the rollercoaster, which we knew she wouldn’t like (she doesn’t like bumpy rides in the car or when you go over 40 miles an hour in the convertible).  We tried to talk her out of it, but she was adamant that she wanted to ride it.  I’ll spare her the public humiliation, but the look on her face when that coaster came around is priceless!  She was terrified.  The coaster goes around the track 3 times, but after the first go-around they stopped and let her off.  And even gave her a ticket back to use on another ride.  And she cried and cried.  Luckily a ride on the carousel cheered her right up.  The whole way home, though all she could talk about was how much she didn’t like that coaster.

Thursday we headed north again to the Akron Zoo.

penguins at the zoo

The girls had a great time getting up close with the penguins and seeing some of the other animals.  The zoo was a great size for us.  Not too big, so we really got to see everything we wanted and we didn’t have to spend the entire day there to do it.  We also got to visit with some friends who came down to join us. It was great getting the kids together and catching up.

stingray at the zooCupcake was a little disappointed there weren’t any elephants, but I think the touch tank made up for that.  She got to touch a starfish and got to see a stingray up close (she could have touched the stingray, too, but she was afraid).  We really had a great time and I would highly recommend the Akron Zoo for anyone with small kids.  The small size, the easy flow, and the interactive areas made for a great experience.

We got one last dip in the lake on Thursday night before declaring ourselves officially worn out.

Last dipFriday morning we packed up the car and headed home.  We spent the weekend getting back into our normal routine and getting ready for the fun this week is going to bring (like swimming lessons!).

I’m really glad we decided to vacation at the lake house this year.  We had a lot of fun and got to try some new things without spending a ton of money and without needing a vacation after our vacation.

Anyone else vacationing lately?