Meet the Sullivans

June 29, 2016

DIY Backyard Dinosaur Island

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #BringTheTropicsHome #CollectiveBias

The days of summer are long and hot, my friends! We've been staying busy with camps, classes and what not, but every once in a while what we really need is a day at home to just BE. A day at home recharges us, lets us spend some extra time enjoying each other and might even allow me a little time to get some house work in... if I can occupy my little men for a few minutes!

One of Owen's favorite things to do in the backyard is play in the dirt, so I made him this adorable and inviting Dinosaur Island to play with. I like to think of it as a fairy garden for kids who love dinosaurs!

It's quite messy, but with the stain fighting power of all® Fresh Tropical Mist™ I knew it wouldn't be too tough to handle! The scent of which is actually what inspired me to bring the tropics to our very own backyard with this Dino Island! 

To get started making your own Dinosaur Island you'll need:

a planter or container
enough dirt or sand to fill it
small dinosaurs
small trees / plants

I was able to pull most of these items out of Owen's supply of toy dinosaurs. The palm trees came in a set of dinosaurs, but I also think that planting succulents in the pot would not only serve the same purpose, but it would also be really pretty!

To get started I filled the pot with soil I purchased at the garden store, and then arranged a little pool for the dinosaurs using an old baby food bowl. I arranged the dinosaurs for Owen and the invited him out to see it! He was so excited and blown away by his very own Dinosaur Island!

He played with it non stop for about 45 minutes the first time -- which allowed me a little time to play with Luke and clean out our sand toys -- and has continued to request some time out in the backyard to play with it. I love that it keeps him occupied and lets him have fun and get a little messy!

Or should I say A LOT messy? Yikes! That t-shirt used to be bright white!

Luckily, when all was said and done I was able to make his white t-shirt bright white again thanks to the all® Fresh Tropical Mist™ I had picked up at Safeway the day before! What I love about all® Fresh Tropical Mist™ is that not only does it smell absolutely amazing, it also contains in-wash pre-treaters for great stain removal, which is definitely what we needed with all of that dirt.

And personally, I love that it enables me to bring the freshness of the tropics home with the trusted cleaning power of all®. Fresh Tropical Mist is the newest scent from all®, and the light, fresh and floral scent made me feel like I was on a tropical island and not in our hot garage doing laundry!

To find NEW all® Fresh Tropical Mist™ in store near you, visit all®'s website and click Where to Buy! And if you'd like to bring the freshness of the tropics to your home click here for a coupon to use with your purchase!

June 28, 2016

Out & About with JJ COLE

We received product samples from JJ Cole in exchange for this review. All opinions are my own.

The thing our family likes most about summer is how often we are able to be out and about! Since the weather is pretty mild here in the bay area it's easy to enjoy almost any activity year round, but there is just something more enjoyable about spending a warm summer day outside!

One of our favorite things to do on a Saturday morning is visit the farmer's market located near our house. We like to stroll around visiting all the vendors, checking out the produce and fun things they're selling, and usually pick up something for lunch along the way. I've been using my JJ Cole Citrine Lattice Freeman bag to hold all the produce along the way. The diaper bag comes with these cute little grip attachments to hand the bag on your stroller, and makes visiting the Farmer's Market with two little ones so much easier!

Owen's favorite part of the farmer's market has always been sampling the fruits and vegetables they're handing out -- and I credit this with introducing him to a few new favorites every once in a while. Her recently tried blueberries again and has decided they're on his list of faves once again -- score one for mom!

By the end of the third aisle we set up our picnic on the lawn with all of the food we've bought and let the kids play around on the lawn. I think this is Owen's favorite part since he like to play with all the sticks and pine cones, and roll down the hill.

I am absolutely in love with my JJ Cole Outdoor Mat! In my opinion it is the BEST picnic blanket there is. The outer fabric is durable and water-resistant, and I like that it doesn't get tangled up around kid's feet when they come traipsing through for their lunch. And if those sweet little kiddos get a little messy drinking the drippy, juicy fruit we've picked up at the market the blanket just wipes clean!

This blanket is amazing, my friends. Everyone needs one in my opinion!

It's also incredibly easy to fold and up and carry. It's stitched so that you couldn't possibly fold it incorrectly (so that means it's husband proof too!), and the whole thing velcros together and has a nice little handle to make carrying easy.

The blanket and diaper bag are available for purchase on!

What is your family's favorite way to get out and about in the summer?

June 24, 2016


This has been a seriously long week, my friends, and I'm so thankful it is Friday! Anyway, here are a few scenes from the week...

Owen has had bike camp all week in Palo Alto, which in traffic requires a 40 minute commute door to door. I took Luke with me the first day, and then my amazing, wonderful mom stepped in and offered to babysit him for me in the mornings all week long! What a huge help and relief it has been to not have to drag both kids out the door and to Palo Alto at 8:30 in the morning all week. And the added bonus is that I've been able to get some extra time to myself to study, handle some preschool business and get my life in order. Thank the Lord for grandmothers!

Like I said, Bike Camp! Owen has been in Avid 4 Adventure's Learn to Bike Camp for preschoolers this week. He has been exhausted everyday when I picked him up and fell asleep on the journey home most days. The camp requires them to ride without training wheels, which is a really fun adventure for Owen. And guess what?! When I picked him up yesterday he was riding his bike and pedaling WITHOUT TRAINING WHEELS! It is so amazing, and we're really proud of him. You guys, I am beyond thrilled! I, of course, will be blogging all about his experience very soon!

Avid has day and overnight camps in California and Colorado if you're interested in checking them out!

Luke has had a big week too! He started babbling a whole lot more this week and has started with a lot of "dadadadada"! I love hearing him "talk" and use his little voice more. AND he slept last night from 11:30pm to 6am this morning, which is huge for us, since he's usually up every 2-3 hours a night. Maybe this is the start of something?

Dinner has been a struggle this week since I'm out for most of the first part of the day with Owen, and when I get home I just want to hang with Luke. It's really hard tying to cram in all of the things I usually get done in a day into half the time.

Anyway, I made Stuffed Red Peppers this week and subbed Trader Joe's Riced Cauliflower for the brown rice, and I swear you cannot tell the difference. Go grab yourself some cauliflower and give it a try -- you'll thank me.

If you live in the Bay Area near a Five Little Monkeys Toy Store make sure you check out their $5 Summer Activity classes! I signed Owen up for a few of this summer, and our first class was this week. He got to make a cute little stepping stone with his hand print in it. For $5 I didn't have to do any of the set up or clean up, and it was a fun little activity for us to do with some friends. Some of the other activities include: dinosaur excavation, paint a bird feeder, science lab, and paint a plate.

Owen finished his first session of swim lessons this summer and got a great report card! He's working his way to being independent in the water, and what a relief it will be when he is. I worry all the time that he wouldn't be able to swim if he fell in a pool, so I'm happy to see him making some progress. He's reaching all kinds of milestones this summer!

My friend Kristy shared this on her Facebook page earlier this week and I laughed out loud when I saw it! Owen's room was all decorated and peaceful when he was a little baby, and he still has a whole room to himself, while poor Luke's room is the nursery / guest room / Keith's closet. Poor 2nd child!

That's all for now! Have a lovely weekend, my friends! 

You can see where I'm linking up HERE!