First and foremost… HAPPY BIRTHDAY LAURA!! I LOVE YOU.
Ok, now on to a good ol’ outfit post. Thank you to everyone who left a comment on the post the other day. I love all you guys! and I love hearing from you all. I don’t plan on stopping blogging anytime soon. This has become our family journey and it will always hold a special place in my heart. Not sure what is up this week but I’ve been bitten by the blogging bug. 4 Posts this week so far?? Who am I?
I wore this outfit to church on Sunday and decided to take some outfit pictures when we got home. I wasn’t planning for the girls to be in the pictures but they love the camera (or should I say the remote) and wanted to jump in. I can’t say no to some pictures with my girls. I can’t help but look at Rowan lately and think she is just so grown up! I mean first grade soon?!?! That is crazy. She is so smart, artistic and funny. Love her!
I’ve been trying to only really invest in quality clothes lately for myself. I don’t buy a lot but I buy a few nice items every season. It ends up being the same expense as buying a ton of random things every time I go into old navy, target or forever 21. Most of that stuff doesn’t last and doesn’t fit me great. I am starting to see the value in doing that for the kids as well. The only clothes that are in the boxes downstairs to save or pass on to younger kids are the clothes I spent a little more money for. I search the sale section of Tea Collection, Hanna Andersson and Boden like whoa! Hahahahah. Love a good deal and love the quality of all their kids clothes.
p.s. loving a more straight leg cropped jean this summer!
When we started the kitchen renovation, I searched high and low for a kitchen island that would work in the space. Our kitchen isn’t huge, so I didn’t want something that felt too heavy or took all the attention away from the rest of the kitchen. I had a hard time finding exactly what I wanted, so instead we decided to just build the island ourselves. Lowe’s sells precut butcher block tops which was the perfect start to our island! I loved using the iron pipes for the base. They matched the style of the shelf brackets and the simple design felt complementary to the rest of the kitchen. I think it was the perfect fit! Try it out yourself!! This idea could also be used for a dinning room table or coffee table.
1. Gather all your pipes and pipe fittings. Clear an area so you have room to work. Work on attaching all pipe fittings and pipes together to create the base. I started with the middle 36” bar and worked out from there. Although they’re standardized, precut pipe, there is always some variation in threading. It’s a pain but if you know that going in- it helps. Make sure you gently tighten pieces at first, remembering that you’ll need to loosen and tighten some of the connections to get matching lengths later on.
2. Add tee fittings on each end of the 36” pipe. Followed by the 4, 8” black pipe pieces in each end of the tee fittings. Set aside this “I” shaped assembled piece.
3. Work on creating the 4 legs. The order will go flange, nipple, tee, 30” pipe, flange. Repeat this 4 times to get the 4 legs of the island.
4. Attach each leg to the middle “I” piece to finish the base.
5. Tighten or loose connections to make all legs the same height. It takes a bit of finessing!
6. In an outside location, spray paint the entire base with the flat black spray paint. When completely covered and dry (may take 2-3 coats) spray a top coat of the premium finish spray.
7. Place butcher block on top of pipe base. Drill screws through holes in the flanges into the butcher block to secure together.
8. With a rag, follow directions on the Watco Butcher Block oil and seal and finish the butcher block. Will take 2 coats, with a light sand in between.
Note: This makes the island 37” tall. I wanted a slightly taller island for ease of food prep but you will have to plan accordingly for stools. A counter height stool is a bit too low and a bar stool is too high. The answer is a stool with a swivel top! We wanted them anyways because of the kids, now everyone can adjust their stool height to be perfect for them. I like having mine low so I can cross my legs and I raise Finley’s way up so she can be close to the butcher block. Works out great! Our stools were from Urban Outfitters.
Tuesday we headed down to Philly for a quick overnight trip with some friends. Kev is in love with all things hip hop and was super pumped to go see Propaganda finally. We meet our friends down there and all rented an airbnb for the night. It worked out so great, especially with all the kids! A small shared apartment with 2 bedrooms, a kitchen and a nice living room was perfect for 5 kids and 4 adults. When traveling, airbnb is such an awesome option! We didn’t have tons of time in Philly (such a bummer!). We got there around 5pm on Tuesday night and left the next day around 10pm. On Tuesday night we got to meet up with Julie and Chris (yay!!!) for dinner. Love getting to catch up with my dear friend. Still so thankful that blogging brought us together so many years ago. The guys headed out from dinner to the show and we finished the night with ice cream and just hanging out at the apartment.
^^are we officially coffee drinkers? eeeeek!
The next day we tried to pack as much as we could into one day. Whenever we travel to a new city, we love just walking all around and taking everything in. We started the day with breakfast at the Hungry Pigeon (thanks for the recommendation Julie). We headed over to Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell after that. I love how old the city feels- it’s so cool to think of who else was once walking those streets. I love history! From there we walked over to Franklin Square and let the kids play on the playground and ride the carousel. Feeling hungry, we walked over to Reading Terminal for lunch and to stroll up and down all the aisles looking at all the food. Rowan thought it was pretty neat in there. Next up was city hall, the fountains at Dilworth Park and then we headed to the Magic Gardens. That was top on my list of what I wanted to check out while we were there. I love all the mosaics you come across as you walk around the city. So beautiful! The Magic Gardens were so cool!! We had so much fun exploring and playing a great scavenger hunt game. Totally recommend it. Right across the street is a playground called Seger Park. We let the kids play there a little while before we took the walk back to where the car was. We ended up just walking a big ol’ circle around the city. We stopped at a Whole Foods on the way and grabbed some dinner because it was really the easiest option at that point with the kids. They love eating at Whole Foods and were starting to get pretty tired and whiney. We were trying to just push through and get to the car. They were overall good sports but of course a full day of walking around the city is a lot of little ones.
Once we got back to the car, there was no way that we could leave without heading over to the Art museum and reenacting Rocky. Rocky is top on Kev’s list of favorite movies. He actually just watched all of them again when Orion was born. He would take the end of the evening shift with him when he was just born and give me some time to take a shower or whatnot. The girls were totally in to running up the stairs and jumping up and down. Hahah so funny.
Thanks Philly for being so fun! We loved ya! Can’t wait to come back.
Hey guys! I’m writing on the blog! Whoa now! What do you guys think? Are blogs on the way out? Do you enjoy reading blogs anymore? Other than a lot of food blogs and blogs of friends I’ve been reading forever, my feed reader is pretty sparse. Are you satisfied with just Instagram/Snapchat posts from people? I am not sure how I feel about it all. I love this blog, but definitely don’t come and sit at the computer to share like I used to. I don’t know why? I mean, I do and I don’t. There isn’t much time nowadays, but honestly that never stopped me in the past. I used to make time no matter what. So many bloggers have stopped blogging lately and I totally understand it. Not sure if I am ready to throw in the towel yet though. I would love to hear your thoughts on it all!
Everyone is sleeping in our house right now and I just sat down here at my laptop to share a few things. Like the old days. I never use my laptop anymore. We have an iMac on our desk that I always use, but it just took it’s final breath so… well, there’s that. Maybe this is good. Maybe having to use my laptop again will make me want to write more. Hahha maybe not, time will tell.
Sooooooo Orion ate a cigarette tonight. Mom of the year award over here. We were eating ice cream outside at the local Stewarts and Orion was playing on the ground. Kev noticed he had something in his mouth and yep, there is was… a dirty old cigarette. ACK! Gross! I kind of wanted to rinse his mouth out with hand sanitizer.
Finley has been sick lately. Not sure what is really going on with her- and it’s killing me that we don’t have a straight answer to make her feel better. It’s such a hard part of parenting. Seeing our kids in pain or discomfort and not being able to fix it right then for them. Praying we have some answers this week and we can move forward with a plan for her.
Rowan has been reading up a storm lately. It is sooooooo awesome to hear her up in her room with a book, sounding out all the words and reading to her self. I LOVE THIS STAGE. It is so fun!!
Can you believe summer is half over already. Ahhhhhh! I don’t want it to end. Everytime it’s summer I think to myself why don’t we live somewhere where the weather is nicer more months of out the year. Where do you think is the best state for this? mild seasons, mostly warm, never deathly hot. I want to live there.
I came up with a ramen recipe about a month or so ago and I.CAN.NOT.STOP.EATING.IT. It’s pretty much the best thing I’ve ever made (patting myself on the back over here). I had to because I would sit here and day dream about Wagamama all day long and scheme up reason why we had to head back to Boston every week. Have you eaten there before? It’s my favorite.
I almost cut bangs last night. I had the scissors out and everything. Then I stopped to go get the mail. Random maybe but! BUT! There was a J.Crew catalog in there and ooooh thank you J.Crew model with your long, center parted hair to make me realize I do not want bangs again (well, not until next month). What I really want is to grow my hair out longer again.
I laid in bed last night figuring out how I can become a family travel blogger. hahahahahahahhaa But seriously, how can I do that? Like for real????!?!?!? Just putting it out there to the universe. Dear Universe, All I want to do is travel with my family, like to allllllllllll the places. I want to see everything and I want Kev and the kids to come with me. Let’s make this happen. I promise to take lots of pictures and write fun stories about our trips. I will love you forever and ever, XOXOX Jen.
Here are my thoughts on adult coloring books. Why are people just figuring out that coloring is fun now? Coloring has always been fun. The end.
I GOT A NEW CAMERA AND IT IS SO AWESOME IT NEEDS TO BE EXPLAINED IN ALL CAPS. HAVING 3 KIDS AND LUGGING AROUND A GIANT DSLR SUCKS. WE WENT MIRRORLESS AND WE ARE NEVER GOING BACK. TOTALLY GOT THIS CAMERA AND WE LOVE IT! IT’S SO TINY.
Ok. So ends this episode of random thoughts by Jen.
We packed up the car on Saturday and headed 2 hours north to Lake Placid for the holiday weekend. We love Lake Placid and were all totally stoked to be up there camping for 3 days. It was Orion’s first camping experience and overall he did pretty good. One of my favorite things to do in Lake Placid is head up to the summit of Whiteface Mtn. It’s one of my most favorite spots. The view is just beautiful (like stunning!) and it’s easy enough to get up there with the kids. There’s a short hike once the road ends but totally doable (although a tiny bit nerve racking) with little ones. Finley loved climbing all the rocks to the top. They’re becoming such great hikers, I love it! We spent the morning hanging out on top of the mountain and then headed into town to watch the parade and fireworks. We feel so very lucky to live so close to the Adirondacks. I highly recommend everyone coming and checking out the area at least once in there lifetime. There is just so much to see and explore. New York is really a cool state. It took sometime to win me over when we first moved here but I have to say I am a total convert. New York you have my heart.