Happy Monday, friends! How was your last August weekend?
We spent lots of time at our Church as this weekend was our parish festival and picnic. On Friday we had a little bit of date night at the parish Casino Night. I'm not much of a gambler but I did try my hand at some roulette and black jack. No profit but only lost $3 so I'm considering that a win!
Sunday we enjoyed the Mass, picnic, and bouncy houses all outside, and it was warm, warm, warm!! And still wonderful.
I had the last of summer fashions on my mind with the 80 degree temps. Here's a simple outfit I put together on a tight budget. All of these lovelies are under $40.
Thanks so much for indulging me in all these Funday Fashion Monday posts! It's been a ton of fun to highlight all the best of summer. Looking forward to something new next Monday!
That skirt: Nordstrom's is offering this tiered skirt at a great price right now, and this color is warm and rich. I find the at-the-knee length perfect for afternoons that involve a lot of picking kiddos up and down...no worries of showing more than you want!
Those flats: These flats come in a whole rainbow of shiny. And check this pricetag: $15. This sea blue is a lovely transition tone from summer to fall.
That funky necklace: My friend, Mo, makes some great jewelry, and I love the chunk and tone of this necklace. It's a natural beauty.
That easy tee: Stripes are good any time of year, and I'm drawn to the softness of these wide stripes.
The hobo: Bag, that is. I like the simplicity and muted yellow is a great neutral.
The printed scarf: Gap has some great scarves to add a burst of print. I'm all about tying scarves around my purse or head/hair if around the neck doesn't fit my mood. How about you?
We're heading into the first full week of school and a busy work week. How's life over with you?
Hello, hello friends! Welcome to a wonderful week. So glad to have you here! How was the weekend for you? Did you get hit by a terrible thunderstorm like we did? Crazy hail and lightening, too. Thankfully all of our trees and home stayed fully in tact.
We hung around town and escorted our little ones to birthday parties, the zoo, and back-to-school shopping. Today's outfit is inspired by this weekend's happenings. It's easy, slouchy, and relaxed to take you through whatever casually comes your way, even a surprise afternoon nap.
The fab earrings: I love the natural, sculptural edge these earrings add. Bonus - they're from a great little Etsy shop, too!
Those shoes: A fun flat to take you through the zebras, emus, and kangaroos!
That fun skirt: Love the stripe and the bold contrast, and the kint and easy waist scream comfy.
This easy, everyday tank: It comes in every color under the sun, and I love green with a great black and white.
The everywhere backpack: I know it's because I'm in back-to-school mode, but a great grown-up backpack is a welcome solution to the carry-everything-for-me mom.
Are you in the mode for Fall shopping yet? I find myself scouring the new arrival pages for all my favorite stores.
Let's have a good week, friends. We deserve it, no?
Hello friends!! Happy Monday. Were you roasting this weekend like we were?? We spent most of our time at the pool and added a nice trip to the movies as well. Brave was our family movie of choice (Have you seen it yet? What did you think?). Besides the gratuitous bear violence, I thought it was great, and I did make my children promise not to turn me into a grizzly. It made me reflect on the beautiful albeit challenging connection of mother and daughter. I feel really blessed to have that possibility twice over with my little girls.
Movies have been a part of our summer. We took a trip out to the countryside a few weeks ago to see our first family drive-in movie. I felt totally transported back to a different, simpler life, and my kiddos loved staying up, underneath the stars, to see the very colorful Madagascar 3. There are only 400 drive-ins still operating in the US, and I definitely had the sense that I was experiencing a bit of history, perched in the wide open parking lot. All in all, it was a whole lot of fun, and I highly recommend checking out a drive-in if you're anywhere near one.
So here's my relaxed, hanging-out-at-the-movies summer garb.
That shirt: Stripes say crisp, clean summer to me, and this soft tee from Loft kind of goes with everything I own (you, too?).
Those sandals: Another great flat to take you from the theater to the parking lot and even out to the concessions for a tub of popcorn. Love the color from Ruche.
Those shorts: Loft does these shorts so well. Not too short, not too long and comfy enough for lots of movement.
This necklace: I'm into long lately, and I can't resist a vintage butterfly.
That clutch: Most outings require a lot of stuff and, therefore, a big bag. Movies, not so much. The detail beading on this clutch from Target makes it feel extra special to me.
Those nails: Typically I'm a gloss, neutral kind of gal when it comes to nails, but there are so many fun summer colors out that I've been trying a few surprises. This blue from Essie makes me think ocean, and that's just about the best thought for a hot summer night. :)
Here are some pics from our trip to the drive-in. I'm sticking with the marketing and hoping to visit again soon!
In my worklife, I have the grand opportunity to attend many lectures and conferences on the latest trends and research in education. As I've mentioned before, my husband and I are both trained educators with fond remembrances of the rich habitat of a classroom, and I enjoy dipping back into these forums whenever I get the chance.
While attending a panel discussion yesterday on the state of science and math education, I was intrigued by new-to-me concepts of making science come alive and relate to children of all levels and backgrounds. And as a brilliant scholar narrowed the conversation to a single thread, I was struck by his question:
Where is the possibility to pursue your curiosity?
He argued (well) that science should be, foremost, a pursuit of our curiosities - a way for each of us to make sense of the physical world around us.
Fast forward ----> This brings me to another new summer feature here on Pars Caeli, Mommy & Daddy School. Because my husband and I are both teachers by formation, it's just in our blood to want to "teach" our children. Of course this happens all the time during the school year. Parents are the first and primary educators of their children. But, in the summertime, we take it to a different level and run our beloved Mommy & Daddy School.
Research has proven that children learn best when the learning is continuous. Don't we all?
I want my children to be lifelong, everyday learners, curious and inquisitive about the world to which they contribute. I also want them to know and feel that knowledge is powerful.
And so as June approaches, furniture and traffic patterns change. Our cozy red, mission-inspired dining room is converted into a space for curiosity. And these multipurpose 9-cubes from Target find their way up from our playroom and are prepped to house projects, books, folders, and anything else that catches our fancy. Note: this is them before. Soon you'll no longer be able to tell they're white because we cover them with labels and "really interesting stuff."
I have three little people with whose amazing minds I get to work - ages 7, 5, and 2, and I want to make sure that each feels honored and encouraged in the space.
And so that means along with these lovely white spaces ready to be filled, we also have lots of these...because little L's loudest wish on the big summer list was to build lots of legos. So you better believe that we have lots of legos and a lego table in here for him (and because he has two older sisters, there's a lot of pink legos, too).
I believe children need open space in which to explore their questions, a structure on which to organize their answers, and a gallery in which to share it with the world. What does this mean practically? A large table, individual storage space, lots of writing and creating materials.
We're just starting up our learning, and I love to begin by asking them what they want to learn this summer because these ideas are our primary curriculum! I'm always surprised by what they offer. Here's where we stand:
M: learn to use a sewing machine
C: learn to go all the way across the monkey bars by myself
L: learn to ride bike without training wheels (this is gonna be a tough one at two, but we'll definitely work towards it)
We also start off by measuring each other and making a great big growth chart on which we also measure other important items (like special blankets and toys) to learn how other objects compare to us in size.
All of these artifacts get posted in the "red room" for us to look at all summer long.
I love being surrounded by my children's accomplishments and dreams. It's a room of such energy.
Follow along every Wednesday as we explore some of the fun activities and projects taking place in Mommy & Daddy school. We'll be reading, crafting, exploring nature, taking on great IPad apps, praying, exercising, experimenting and more! Phew, and taking naps.
How do you nurture your curiosity? Is there a space in your home for you or your children to do so? I'd love to hear!
Thanks so much for popping over! Happy Wednesday.
PS. Here are some great ideas from education experts on simple ways you can keep learning together this summer.
Hello, friends! I've missed you...happy Monday. How was your summer weekend? Mine was filled with all sorts of goodness that I can't wait to share with you.
...But before I do, did you notice that happy, little badge up there on the header? I'm all about badges these days as my 7-year old needs them ironed on (or worse yet - sewn on) her vests and backpacks. So, I decided we needed one over at Pars Caeli, too. This one is to announce all of the lovelies I'm planning for this summer of fun. Can you tell I relish summer? (Actually, Fall is my favorite - yikes, wait to you read my excitement over that one.) As a mom, I can't help but plunge into the joy of summer with my three kiddos and see it all fresh and wonder-ful through their eyes. More to tell as the week goes on, but we're kicking it off big here.
For the summer I'm switching things up for Mondays. Pattern Play Monday is converting to Funday Fashion Monday. Sandals, sundresses, hats, accessories, and more! And, yes, I'll still be challenging myself to be more pattern-rific, but we'll take some jumps around to explore and soak up all the amazing summer fashions loading up store windows.
My weekend was filled with the end of the season soccer games, dinners on the deck, a great roadtrip, and some fun by the Lake.
Are you headed to the water this summer? The most amazing things happen to my family when we reach the great wide open waves: hubby becomes a kid again and goes right for the shovel to begin the grand sandcastles, M who is sometimes hesitant and pensive grabs the closest floatation device and runs to the water, C who is a bundle of jumping energy completely calms down and spends most of the time rolling around in the sand, relaxed, and L who is designated the follower by his big sisters begins to take charge and explicate a great narrative of all he wants to accomplish in the sand. As the mom of this merry band, it's awesome to see the delightful transformation.
So, on that happy note, here are recommendations for fun family fashions at the beach...
If you have not played OGO sport, you need to. It's super easy and great for all ages. You bounce the puff ball back and forth on the black, bouncy interior of the disks, or you can use them as frisbees. Great for the beach or backyard.
This beach cart. I spent a ridiculous amount of time on the worldwide web looking for just the right cart to transfer our tons of stuff. Let me save you the hastle and recommend you get this one. It doubles as a table with cup holders, and when practically everything gets sandy, it's great to have a raised surface for beverages, phones, and keys.
I loved strolling around town after the beach in this maxi from Old Navy. Pink and orange is my favorite summer combination!
This striped tote from Land's End is big and durable with stripes weathered to perfection.
Retro swim fashions always catch my eye, and this tiny polka dot has vintage charm. Go grab one from Old Navy.
And to top it off this touch of neon. I saw so many spectacular summer hats as we walked the beach today. Well done, ladies, well done. This one is a great, affordable find from Target.
What are you wearing to the beach this summer? What are you must-haves to carry your goodies?
**Not pictured: a jumbo container of watermelon. We must have drippy watermelon on every trip to the water.
Thanks for popping over! It was spectacular to have you here. See you tomorrow...wishing you a bright week.
Today I'm wearing my favorite wrap dress with this mint candy-striped geometric. It's fresh and just what I need to kick start the goodness coming our way this week. I've been seeing so many cute geo patterns lately. Can I share some of these lovelies with you?Shopbop could bring a whole new level of sophistication to the simplest tank.
That fun wooden necklace is from a great DIY from Laurie over at agirlwhomakes. Check her out. I'm thinking my wardrobe could use a little some bright baubles.
The clutch is from Target (I continue my love for Target), and comes in a few different tones to add some new angles and hues to your outfits.
Have you incorporated some new geometrics into your wardrobe? I'd love to hear!
Thanks for stopping over! It's always lovely to have here.
We've all had the experience of walking down the aisles of Target, intent to find those four things on the list, and somehow realizing that we do really "need" that one dollar pop-of-pink frame or the cute patterned box (I have thought of a hundred and one uses for those...but I think all of mine are collecting dust in the basement). That place is just dangerous.
In prepping for C's birthday, I spent some quality time with the shelves of Target, and it did not disappoint.
I'm always looking for cute gifties for my two little ladies, and trying to keep my eyes open for great presents that we can bring to friend birthday parties that won't thin my pocketbook. Here are three gems that got the thumbs up from my 5-year old.C is a total natural at Jenga, too. On her first round, she blew me away with her steady hand. That neon and pink zip wallet is a hit and now proudly holds her brand new (pretend) princess phone. And the candy striped slap watch - delish.
Do you have any tried-and-true birthday or just-because presents that you keep on hand? I always try to have a few great picture books and some games ready to go for whenever a happy moment strikes.
Have a bright weekend, friends! We plan to make some birthday party invitations for C's big blast with her girlfriends, read some Hunger Games, and start planting away. Oh, and if I had to guess, the kid's sprinkler is likely to get aimed my way.
I indulged in some of my favorites bites for our family dinner out: calamari with lemon, butternut squash ravioli, and four-layer chocolate cake. So, so yummy. My kiddos held tight to the reminder, "Let's all be good to each other, it is Mommy's birthday," and we relaxed and soaked in the celebration.
My favorite part of the day had to be these little notes I found all over my house and stuff. My dear hubby made sure to put these 30-some messages in all my usual stopping points (the bathroom mirror, my nightstand, the mantle). The top shelf of the fridge made me laugh. :) A simple gesture that made me feel surrounding and reminded of the great love we share.
And if you're in the mood for a 2-minute break with some fun attached, head over to Molly's site, where she and her readers are helping me decide what statement my new umbrella should make! Voting is open.