A Weekend In Quebec City

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Last weekend we packed the car and headed north for a few days of exploring, adventures and running. I love signing up for marathons in cities I’ve never been. That way we get to travel and explore the area as well as run the race. It’s a double win! I was only running a half marathon this time but we decided it would be fun to take the trek up to Quebec City to run. It was a little bit longer of a drive than we had hoped for (almost 8 hours) but we all survived. On the way there and the way home we stopped for a good hour at a playground to let everyone stretch their legs and have some fun.

Quebec City was beautiful! My most favorite place in the world is France, so this is about as close as you can get with out crossing any oceans. Love the charm, the language and the history of this Canadian city. There was so much to explore! We barely scratched the surface, we sure tried though. We walked EVERYWHERE on Saturday. Maybe not a good idea when you’re running a race the next morning, but what are you going to do? We loved all the little alley ways, beautiful architecture, cobblestone, huge green lawns, and exploring the walls around the city. We stayed at the Le Chateau Frontenac. What a beautiful hotel! They had some great views and a lovely rooftop terrace to enjoy. It was a great last hurrah for the summer!

My race went well. It was extremely hot and totally not my fastest race by far but I finished and got my medal to add to the wall. More on the race in another post.

Happy Monday everyone!

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Weekend Links

Why do holiday weekends always mean retail sales? I don’t really get it but I am not complaining either. I was pretty excited when I got the Loft email this morning about their 50% off fall items (including LOU & Grey!!!) this weekend. I may or may not just ordered some great basics to transition into fall. Here are my favorites…

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Lou & Grey Maxi | Easy Tee | Lou & Grey Romper | Shirtdress | Spacedye Zip Pocket Dress | Camo Skirt

I few of my other favorites from around the web…
1. Loved this post about breastfeeding. Had me crying I was laughing so hard.

2. With Fall on the horizon I’ve been on the hunt for cute sweaters. Love this grey one with subtle heart, a cardigan with striped sleeves and this super cute sweatshirt.

3. Best cover of a song ever! Mates of State can do no wrong in my book. Love them.

4. I may not be going back to school but I am pretty obsessed with all the cute backpacks out there. Love using a backpack for a purse. So much easier! How cute are these… 1 | 2 | 3 | and of course a little girl one as well.

5. Julie is so dang cute! Loved this post. So glad they moved a little closer to us. Road trip!!

6. This tart cherry frozen yogurt is on my list of things I NEED to make before the summer is over.

7. We have been traveling a lot lately and this weekender bag from Everlane is hands down the best travel bag ever. I am head over heels in love with it. It holds so much and just looks so cool. I can’t get enough of Everlane.

8. Monica has a new site! It’s great and you should check it out and subscribe if you don’t already. So much fun, wisdom and sweetness over there.

9. I have some travel coming up this month. I am headed to San Francisco for a fun little trip and then I am speaking at the Influence Conference the end of September. I have been looking for some cute (not tOo high) heels that I could wear with jeans and not kill my feet. Love these black and leopard pair. Look pretty perfect to me!

10. Speaking of Influence Conference!!! Who’s going?? I am super exciteD but don’t know a lot of people going. Please let me know if you are going, would love to meet up! Also tickets are only on sale until the end of this weekend! Better grab one quick. It’s going to be an awesome time.

11. Nordstorms is having 40% off sale this weekend. They have great items in the kids sections. Check it out!

12. We recently bought this b&w american flag tapestry for one of our walls. I had my doubts I would like it but oh man! it’s so awesome. Totally completes our living room.

Our Everyday Style | 08.29.14

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I think I’ve had to come to the realization that this just isn’t my season when it comes to blogging. Which I am sure most of you could have figured out already. Hello like 3 posts all month! Feeling neck deep (in a good way) with real life and motherhood these days and blogging just is not happening all that much. I am ok with that. It’s life and I really am enjoying ours. The girls are just so busy at this age. They keep me on my toes with pretty much no down time till after they go to bed. Seriously, can someone with 3+ kids share their wisdom because I can’t figure out how we’re going to be adding more kids to the mix (yep, still waiting for our first placement). Finley in and of herself is a full time job. That girl is mischievous but she sure has a stop you in your tracks and melt your heart kind of smile- even when she is coloring on your bedspread with a sharpie. DOH! I wouldn’t change our days for anything. Even with the chaos, exhaustion and practically no “me” time, these girls are my everything. Heck! That is one of the reasons I wanted to homeschool. I just want them around.

I love taking these “Our Everyday Style” pictures. It’s like a little record of the 3 of us at that particular moment. This one can be labeled: End of Summer 2014. On this day in particular I woke up early to go to a Foster Care meeting with Faithbridge at a local church in the area. What a cool organization. When I got home the girls and I did some errands, visited the library, and cooked some delicious chocolate zucchini muffins before heading to the town pool for one of the very last times this summer (boooo!). It wasn’t a particularly extraordinary day but one that represents this season of life.

and can we just talk about how cute the Minnetonka for Hello Kitty collaboration is??
Love all their new mocs and boots for fall.

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OUTFIT DETAILS:
Jen:
Jumper: Madewell
Polka Dot Chambray: forever 21
Mesa Boots: c/o Minnetonka
Glasses: c/o David Kind

Rowan:
Dress: Gap
Tights: Target
Hello Kitty Moccasins: c/o Minnetonka

Finley:
Vest: Target
Ruffle Top: Target
Jeans: Gap
Double Fringe Booties: c/o Minnetonka

#picturesbyrowan
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Currently | Rowan Edition

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All things pertaining to Miss Rowan Winter:

Working on: This girl is head over heels in love with coloring. About a month of so ago it clicked. The whole staying in the lines and picking out different colors for hair and clothes. She got it. It’s been non stop ever since. She will sit and color for hours. She is getting so creative with drawing too. The things she comes up with… they are impressive! I just love hearing her thought process behind every drawing. Warms my big art teacher heart.

Anticipating: Her birthday!! Rowan turns 4 on September 12th. We are trying to find a good balance of simple yet special for her this year. She has literally been talking about her birthday everyday for the last 6 months. Talk about pressure! Hahahha! At first is was a frozen party, then a minnie mouse and frozen party. Then a pirate party. A my little pony party and now a surprise party. Oh boy! I better think of something before she changes her mind again. I can’t believe she is going to be 4. 4!

Listening to: We’ve been listening to a lot of phonic cd’s lately in the car. “Apple, Apple, A, A, A”. Lots of letter sounds, lots of number counting songs, etc…They are cheesy but she loves them. Also don’t get me started on the amount of times we’ve listened to the vbs cd she got at vbs last week. I wake up singing them in my head. Ugh.

Eating: We love all the readily available fruits and veggies during the summer. Eating lots of cut up, fresh veggies lately. We convinced her that bell peppers are called “candy peppers” and that they taste like candy and make you run really fast. Totally worked. Sucker.

Thankful for: Her! She is such a special little girl. She’s so sweet and kind. Loves to follow rules (breaking rules makes her very nervous, such a first born thing!). She knows what she likes and will stand up for it. She has such passion for life yet feels such sorrow when things are going wrong or there is injustice. Having such high highs and low lows can leads to quite a few meltdowns though. We are working on learning to handle and express our emotions. She is super brave, always climbing the tallest trees, slides and jumping fearlessly into the lake. She’s the best big sister. Always concerned for Finley’s safety and well being. Giving constant hugs and kisses. She is bright and eager to learn. Loves doing new things and going on adventures. I am so thankful for what she brings to our lives.

Planning: For a new school year to start. I was having a really hard time with what to do for PK this year and kindergarten next year. I wasn’t feeling settled about sending her. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do though. I have some deep issues with our current education system (most teachers are wonderful! I love them and their hard work but I am talking curriculum and standards). Love this TEDTalk. I did a lot of research. A LOT OF RESEARCH! and decided that I really fell in love with the classical education model. After a lot of prayer and consideration, I withdrew her from her current school and we decided to sign her up for a homeschool curriculum called Classical Conversations. We are so pumped about it. It will be something we take year by year. I am not saying we are going to homeschool her forever but for now it’s the right choice for our family and we couldn’t be happier.

Loving: Her current favorites are: her bff Ceanna, My Little Ponies, coloring, having ” extra cold” water with ice, apples, jumping on the trampoline with Daddy, going to camp/vbs, eating at Chipotle, bagels, and making Finley laugh

Clean Eats | Strawberry Rhubarb Chia Jam

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My Grandma and Aunt always used to have the most delicious homemade jam at their houses growing up. I loved sleeping over and having it on toast in the morning. Is there anything better than homemade strawberry jam? Mmmmmmm. I’d been looking for a yummy clean eating recipe that didn’t use tons of sugar or pectin when I realized you could make quick and easy jam with chia seeds. How cool are chia seeds? They are so fun. We use this strawberry rhubarb chia jam on just about everything. Toast, mixed in yogurt, on top of ice cream, on waffles and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Give it a go and see what you think!

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Ingredients:

2 stalks rhubarb, washed and chopped
1 lb strawberries, cleaned and chopped
½ C honey
½ C chia seeds
You could add a bit of fresh lemon juice if you wanted as well.

Directions:

1. Place rhubarb, strawberries, and honey into a pot and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from stove.
2. Using an immersion blender or regular blender, blend ingredients together. Add in chia seeds. Stir and let cool a bit.
3. Scoop mixture into ball jars and seal tight. The chia seeds will absorb liquid as they sit in jars creating “jam”.
4. Keep in fridge for up to 2 weeks.

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Hi, I'm Jen!

Welcome to my personal lifestyle blog. It features topics such as motherhood, family life, fashion, cooking, and all sorts of adventures. I hope you enjoy what you find!

Jen Loves Kev
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