Meet the Sullivans: 2017

August 7, 2017

Back-to-School Shopping Haul with Kohl's & Carter's

This post is sponsored by Kohl’s. I received the included Carter’s clothes as compensation.

School starts in just a few short weeks, and this will be a big year for Owen as he starts Kindergarten! We've been slowly collecting all of the things he needs for school, like new shoes, a new back pack and lunch box, school supplies and of course, new clothes!


I like to dress Owen in a collared shirt on the first day of school, but after that we revert back to play clothes that allow him to be comfortable and play. After the first day we usually alternate between cotton sweats, drawstring shorts and easy to pull on pants, and some kind of tee with a sweatshirt. With help from Kohl's I stocked up on a bunch of new Carter's t-shirts, sweatpants and shorts for Owen to wear! 


I try to set our Owen's clothes for school the night before, so he can wake up and get himself dressed before he comes down for breakfast. I feel pretty lucky that Owen still let's me pick out his clothes, but I know those days are numbered, so I try to make sure he likes what he wears in hopes this will keep him from refusing my choices for him altogether. 


There were so many cute options to choose from and I love that I can find coordinating outfits for both boys, as their sizes range from 2T for Luke all the way to a boys size 6 for Owen. There aren't many places where I can buy coordinating clothes that will fit bit of my boys!

Here are the items I picked up for Owen: 



This is the best time to stock up on clothes for the start of the coming school year before everything gets picked through! If you're doing back-to-school shopping this year, make sure you take advantage of these promotions going on now:

40% - 50% off Carter's Playwear Sale at Kohl's and $10 off $50 spent with promo code BTS10! Both promotions will run from 8/4 - 8/20!
 


Do you remember doing back-to-school shopping as a kid? It's one of my favorite memories! Have you started your back-to-school shopping already??

These affiliate links are not associated with Kohl’s:

Owen's shoes
Owen's backpack

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August 4, 2017

Friday Five - Back to School, Cheap Bubbly and a Recipe

Hello, and happy Friday! This week seemed long to me. Maybe because Luke's been sleeping so poorly or because we had no real schedule this week, so I'm really happy it's the weekend again.

Let's get down to it...

| O N E | I finally got around to opening up and using the Instant Pot this week! I was so excited to get one and then once it arrived, the poor thing sat in its box in the dinning room for almost two weeks. Thus is the life of a mom with young kids I guess. Anyway, I opened it up and put it to use this week and I was amazed by how quickly it cooked and how easy the clean up was.

I will admit that the directions and warnings and dos and don'ts were intimidating. I made this Pressure Cooker Beef & Broccoli, and even the kids liked it. I can't wait to try more recipes!

| T W O | Um, where did summer go? One minute I'm stocking up on sunscreen and popsicles, and in the blink of an eye I'm buying school supplies and thinking about the first day. Owen starts school in 12 days, but who's counting? We've got the clothes, the backpack and lunch box and all the school requested supplies ready to go. I'm equal parts excited and nervous for him. For the first time in three years he'll be walking into a classroom knowing no one and I'm just hoping he'll meet some nice kids to become friends with, that his teacher is amazing and that the year goes smoothly for him.

| T H R E E | Also, do you give your child's teacher a little something on the first day? Or is that kind of like being a kiss-up? I should know this, because I was a teacher, a kindergarten teacher to be exact, but I don't remember.

| F O U R | Have you tried these little Simpler Wines cans? I woman shopping at Trader Joe's was buying a bunch of them and said they're amazing, so at $4 for 4 cans I had to give them a try too, and they're fantastic! Perfect for a concert in the park or whatever. I'll be stocking up on them and trying the Rose next time!

| F I V E | Keith and I are celebrating our SEVEN year wedding anniversary this weekend with a real date night! We've got a sitter lined up and dinner reservations made! We haven't had a real date in, I don't know how long, so we're so excited! I can't wait to have a couple cocktails and a peaceful dinner with my favorite guy.

Now we're off to the gym and to run errands! I hope you have a great weekend!

You can see where I'm linking up HERE!

August 3, 2017

Owen's Week at British Soccer Camp

Owen attended British Soccer Camp last week for a week long half-day camp. He has been looking forward to this camp since we signed him up in the spring, and it totally lived up to all of his expectations. From all of his recaps I can tell his was by far his favorite camp experience thus far!

Here's a little bit about the camp:

British Soccer Camps are the most popular soccer camp in the US. With an innovative curriculum that develops skills, speed and confidence in players ages 3-18, The British Soccer Camp provide boys and girls with the rare opportunity to receive high-level soccer coaching from a team of international expert's right in the heart of their own community. In addition to teaching new skills and improving game performance, each British Soccer Camp provides lessons in character development, cultural education and is the most fun your child can have learning the sport they love!

This is Owen on the first day of camp!
After I enrolled Owen in the camp they sent us this adorable soccer jersey for him to wear to camp, which really made him feel official and like a part of a real team. They also gave us a British Soccer Camp ball and t-shirt on the first day! (You can use the code CAMP17 to get them too!)

Unfortunately I realized the morning of the first day of camp that I probably should have bought Owen cleats, shin guards and proper socks for camp. I don't know what I was thinking! I blame it on having just moved and my mind being in a million places. They were totally cool with it though, and I promptly ran out and bought all the right soccer gear.


By day 2 he was properly outfitted and ready for more soccer! Each morning I would drop him off and check him in by 9am. While the other campers wait for everyone to get checked in they would have some warm-up time with one of the coaches. We had three coaches, two from England and one from Scotland, and they were so great! Always upbeat, enthusiastic to see the kids and very responsible. Since the camp was outside I always slathered Owen in sunscreen in the morning and the coaches made sure to have the kids reapply it themselves every two hours after drop off.

Owen tells me that for the rest of the time they would play soccer based games, run little practice drills, obstacles courses, have water breaks and even played some kind of soccer tag! For the last 30 or so minutes of the day the kids played short soccer games with their teams. I think this was the perfect camp for Owen to do this summer because he'll be starting AYSO in the fall, so now he's had a taste of what his practices and games might include.


Each day the coaches gave the campers a little challenge to do at home that had something to do with their team. Our camp had about 20+ children in it so they were split up into 4 teams, and each team was assigned a World Cup country. Owen's team was Mexico! One day they were told to research an interesting and seldom known fact about their team's country, make a flag in any shape or form (on paper, a cake, out of feathers, etc.), draw their country's flag on their ball etc. The challenges were optional, so if we had time we would do them, and I though it was a fun way to carry the fun on through the rest of the day.


We had such a good experience with this camp that I would absolutely sign Owen up for it again, and I would totally recommend it to anyone looking for a fun half or full-day camp for their kids. The outdoor camps are always his favorite!

If you would like to enroll your child in a British Soccer Camp today use the code CAMP17 to receive a FREE soccer jersey, soccer ball, camp t-shirt and poster!

What are your kids' favorite summer camps? 

July 24, 2017

Lately + Marvel Giveaway WINNER!

Hey there! We had a whirlwind of a weekend with three different groups of friends coming to visit, but it was so much fun. Now it's Monday and Owen is busy with soccer camp and Luke and I are running all the errands. Here's a bit of what we've been up to lately...

Keith went back to work last week after having nine days off for our move. It was so nice to have him around all week and for us to get some things done around the house. Last week the boys and I got a taste of what our new routine in our new neighborhood is like. I love that pretty much anywhere we need to go is now just a quick drive from our house and that we can walk so many fun places, like the park, a splash pad, school and even a beer garden.

My rug from Wayfair arrived early last week and we love it! I think it really fits perfectly in the space and the pattern will hopefully hide any inevitable stains and wear.

Owen had Summer XP camp last week! He had a great time all week and loved all the outdoor games they did each day as well as the great music! I always think it's so sweet when he comes home singing the songs and doing the hand motions. 

 
Do you ever give the recipes on boxes or spices a try? I've had success in the past so I gave another one a try last week and we all liked it! I picked up the Bruschetta seasoning at Costco. You basically mix 1/3 a cup of the spice with 1/3 cup of olive oil and toss it together with cherry tomatoes and chicken and bake it in the oven for 30 minutes. We had ours with zucchini zoodles, but it would be great with pasta too. Owen even liked it!

Another new recipe we tried last week, that instantly became a favorite, were these Cajun Baked Salmon Cakes. I've never used canned salmon before, but they sounded really good, so we gave them a try --- I'm so happy we did, because they were fantastic with a little bit of lemon, and they were super easy and quick to put together.

And while we're on the topic of recipes and cooking...

I bought an Instant Pot, but I've yet to use it, so if you have ANY tips or favorite healthy recipes to share please send them my way. I'll be sure to share any that we end up liking too!


And last but not least the winner of the Marvel Universe Live! Age of Heroes! is...



Janielle, I'll be emailing you about claiming your tickets! If you're still interested in seeing the show you can use the code MOM to save 25% on tickets to any performance!

Thanks for reading! Have a great week!


July 14, 2017

Friday 5: Sales, Rugs and a Superhero GIVEAWAY!

Happy Friday!

| O N E | Did you take advantage of Prime Day on Amazon this week? I'm sure you did, because pretty much everyone I know was buzzing about all the deals all over social media. We bought an Echo (it was such a deal and we've been wanting one) and a new Cuisinart roasting pan, although that wasn't part of the sale, but I did get a great price on it! Did you pick up anything fun during the sale?

| T W O | Speaking of sales... I'm sure you're sick of hearing about the Nordstrom Sale already, BUT since I know a lot of you are also fans of the Smashbox Photo Finish primer I have to share the deal I scored. During the sale you can get the full-size Primer AND the full-size Primer Water for $32! I had to jump on it!


| T H R E E | It took me a little while to decide, but I finally chose a rug for the family room. Our floors are dark hardwood, our cabinets are brown and our couch is like a taupe color, so I really felt like we needed to add some color to the area. What I've realized that I'm hesitant to commit to anything too out there in fear I'll get sick of it quickly, but then we end up living in a world of white and gray -- so I went with a Persian-inspired blue rug. It arrives on Saturday, so we'll see how I like it once it's in the room.

| F O U R | Yesterday we decided to take a day off from unpacking and all our new-home to do's, and take the boys on a little outing. We live close enough to walk to the train station so we hoped on the train and got off just a few stops away. It's really nice to be able to use public transportation and avoid traffic and parking when we want to get out of the house. We played at the park, had lunch and Owen got a haircut. I see many train rides in our future!


| F I V E |
In a couple weeks Keith and I have a fun little evening planned with Owen. We're taking him to see Marvel Universe Live! Age of Heroes! When we realized the show was coming to our area we showed Owen this preview video to see if he'd be interested and of course he was totally into it! We can't wait to see the show and to have a little time with just our first born. If you're interested in seeing the show you can use the code MOM to save 25% on tickets to any performance!

AND I'm giving away 4 tickets to see the show while it's here in the Bay Area! Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter to win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
The dates for the Bay Area shows are:

Oracle Arena
August 11-13, 2017

SAP Center at San Jose
August 17-20, 2017

Now we're off to the gym and Ikea (again!). I hope you have a great weekend!
You can see where I'm linking up HERE!

 

July 11, 2017

Home Sweet Home!

I know it's been radio silence from me for a while, but not without good reason! We officially moved into our new home on Sunday, so as you can imagine, we've been very busy. The last time we moved it was just the two of us, a year after we married, so we had significantly less stuff. It was (and still IS) a big undertaking, especially with two cuties to pack and think and prepare for, but we're very lucky to have a lot of family to help us make it work.

Anyway, I just wanted to pop in a share a little of this and that about our move...

We had our final walk through last Wednesday where they told us all about all of our new appliances and warranties etc.,  and then we got our keys in the afternoon! It was one of the most exciting days for us, only trumped by our wedding and the births of our children.

We got started right away unloading a few boxes. I started the long process of unpacking the kitchen and Keith and his brother installed a ceiling fan in the toy room. I came back the next two days for a few hours at a time to set up the kitchen. It took me a long time to sort through all the boxes and decide where I wanted to put everything. I wanted to make sure where I put things made sense, like having the coffee cups in the cabinet above the coffee maker, etc., but I'm sure I'll continue to move them around. I also gave a ton of things away, which feels amazing!

On Saturday our refrigerator and washer + dryer were delivered! I know I'm old now because I was so excited for our fridge to get here. Owen's favorite part of our new house is absolutely the ice maker and water dispenser in the refrigerator. He fills his glass / water bottle up no less than 10x a day!


The boys love their little toy room so much! They've actually surprised me a few times by heading in there together to play for a little while while we get other things done. We're still working on a storage system for the closet so we can contain all the toys a bit more, but like everything here, it is a work in progress.

Luke loves having a little table just his size and spends most of his time in the toy room "cooking" and putting his puppies in chairs. 

We still have our closets to unpack, but we've pretty much finished unpacking everything else.

Anyway, that's all from me for now! 

July 5, 2017

4th of July + No-Bake Ice Box Cake Recipe

Did you have a nice 4th of July? We spent the holiday hanging out in our neighborhood, as we have for the last 4+ years, to watch the fireworks on the 3rd and then to visit the carnival and watch the parade on the 4th.

Keith and Owen went to the fireworks Monday night with some of our family while Luke and I stayed home. It was a pretty windy night, and Luke isn't really keen on loud noises, so we stayed home. Owen had a ball hearing the Stanford Jr. band and watching all the fireworks. He was pretty beat by the end of the night and fell asleep on the drive home.



Tuesday morning we got ready to head our to watch our neighborhood 4th of July parade. Owen is an old pro now and came prepared with a bag for holding all the candy he scored. He really works the floats now with his smiles and waves to get as much candy as he can -- you'd think it was Halloween!


After the parade we walked over to the carnival for some lunch and games. Luke slept in the stroller most of the time, but when he woke up he and Owen had some fun on the playground. I was really hoping for a great family photo of the four of us, but I could barely get one of just the boys together!

I made an ice box cake in the morning, so after dinner we all gave it a try. Owen deemed it the "best thing he's ever tasted" and said he thought the cookies were the best part of the cake.

Ice box cakes are so ridiculously simple, but if done right, they're really good! I know it sounds weird putting cookies in place of actual cake but the cookies soften while the cake sets. I would definitely make something like this again. See the recipe below.

BERRY and WHIPPED CREAM ICE BOX CAKE 

Ingredients
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/2 powdered sugar
2-3 cups berries, washed, and if necessary, diced.
1 box vanilla wafers

Instructions
1. Beat whipping cream and powdered sugar together using a mixer until stiff peaks form.
2. Spread about 1/3 of the whipped cream in the bottom of a casserole dish, top with a layer of vanilla wafers, followed by a layer of whipped cream.
3. Add a single layer of berries, and then top with another layer of vanilla wafers. You'll continue this cookie / whipped cream / berries / whipped cream routine until you can't fit another layer. I eyeballed mine to make sure I ended with a layer of whipped cream for presentation's sake. I garnished the top with neat little rows of berries.
4. I put mine in the freezer for a few hours, but I think it might have been better of I put it in the fridge. The berries got really frozen. I think if you're taking it somewhere thought, starting it in the freezer and then letting it thaw out a bit would be a good option.

Anyway, I hope you had a great holiday with the people you love!

June 30, 2017

The Perfect Bag!

Hey there friends! I'm knee deep in moving boxes right now. I have packed almost everything we have, just leaving the bare necessities. We had our final walk through this week and next week we get the keys to our house!!! We can barely contain our excitement!

Anyway, I just thought I'd pop in to tell you about the Annual Bag Sale going on at The Great Mall, because it ENDS TODAY, so this is your last chance to swipe a cute bag for a total steal! I shared a bit about it on my Instastories last week while I shopped, but I thought it would be fun to show you a little more and show you the bag I ultimately chose.


Last week my mom and I took the boys down to The Great Mall to see what they had to offer. My mom taught me long ago every great shoppes' motto, "If you like it, just BUY IT!" Golden, right? She's my best shopping partner.

There were so many cute bags to choose from, so I had a hard time deciding which one I liked best. Let me show you a few of the top contenders!

Our first stop was at MICHAEL KORS where I found not one, but two cute bags I loved. They were on such a great sale that I probably could have bought both for under $200. This white one would be perfect for spring and summer and I loved the cute tassel detail.

The other bag I loved at Michael Kors was this cross body bag, also with the cute tassel. It came in so many other great colors too that I had a hard time deciding which one I liked most. Everything in Michael Kors is 60% off + an additional 20% off the original price!
 

Next we moved on to FOSSIL where I found a few cute, but more casual bags -- all 50% off!  I guess I have a thing for tassels right now, huh? I also picked up a super cute pair of sunglasses for $20.


We also stopped into COACH, which I haven't been to in years, but I did find this gorgeous handbag there. I think on sale it was close to $135!

Like I said, there we so many great bags to pick from, but I decided to only choose one, and I went with...

The Michael Kors cross body bag in camel! I have so many black purses and bags already that I thought it would be good to switch things up a bit. I also liked the red and navy colors, but I kind of like to stick to the basics when it comes to bag colors. I've already worn it a few times on some kidless outings and I love it! It has so many compartments.


And since the purse was on such a great sale I was also able to pick up this cute new wallet too! It's about half the size of the wallet I've been using, so it's forced me to narrow down all my cards etc., which is amazing and so much lighter to carry around.

Believe it or not the bag + the wallet were $173 and change all together!!! A total steal in my book.


A huge thanks to The Great Mall for inviting us to the sale and for treating me to some retail therapy!

Now, don't miss your chance and hit up this sale before it ends!


June 23, 2017

Friday Five - Bugs, Camping and LipSense!

How has everyone been enjoying the first official week of summer? It's been seriously hot here for most of the week, so we've been trying to get out in the morning and stay in in the afternoons. We've had a fun week with quite a few summer bucket list items checked off.


1. Our Owen is such a bug lover! This week he found and caught a cricket in the backyard! He has pretty much zero fear of creepy crawly things, which is the opposite of me. I don't want to touch them or even look at them too much, but I've become more comfortable with them since having Owen.

2. We went berry picking at Webb Ranch this week and the boys had so much fun! It was pretty hot so we didn't stay long, but both boys spent the entire time eating berries. Luke wasn't too sure about what we were doing, since this was his first time, but once he realized he could eat the berries he was really into it. We came home with lots of berries, and Owen has grand plans for olallieberry sherbet this weekend!

3. I jumped on the LipSense bandwagon and ordered Aussie Rose and the Glossy gloss and it arrived last week! It really does stay on forever, although it did fade a bit after dinner. I love the color I picked. It's a subtle pink that could probably work on most people. I think I'll likely buy another shade in the fall, if not sooner!

Here's what Aussie Rose + Glossy gloss looked like on after I'd been wearing it for a couple hours.


4. Keith and Owen took off on a father-son camping trip yesterday. Owen has wanted to go "real camping" in a tent for a few summers now, so he was so excited to be going. He packed his little backpack with all the supplies he deemed necessary, i.e. miniature bottles of water, bug spray, stuffed animals, a lantern and some snacks. I can't wait to hear all about their adventure when they get home tomorrow! 

5. Lukey and I had a great time today just the two of us. We went to Gymboree, for a walk and Target. The house was so quiet, which was nice, but by the end of the day we were both really missing our two bigger guys. 

Now we're off to the gym and Ikea. I hope you have a great weekend!


You can see where I'm linking up HERE!