Posts tagged beach
Summer Bucket List

One of my favorite activities to do with my kids? Dreaming. At the ages of 3, 6, and 8, they are specialists in the fantastic, over-the-top story kind of ideas. They also know how to love the simplest activities into wonderment.

This time of year, as school winds down, and the sun stays out longer, we begin making up our summer hit list - all of the fun we want to experience together while we have some time away from the usual routine. I love hearing the activities that make the list every year (bubbles, fireworks, the beach), and I feel that momma twinge that these beauties are growing too fast when I hear about the bigger wishes of seeing the ocean and renting a kayak.

I'm sharing our list again this year, as well as last year's list, in the case that they might inspire some summertime unexpected experiences for you and yours. Also, check back to this post that has oodles of other amazing summer ideas for you to soak in.


Do you have some ideas you're adding to the list? Share them with us!!

xoxo, MJ

P.S. Check out my friend, Amy Allen Clark over at and her 100 Days of Summer series. I love having all of her go-to projects ready for those days when I need something to break up the "Mommy, I'm bored" incantations.

Living vicariously: Ireland

Tuesday, we're here!! And it's time for you to meet another wonderful. This is Claire, the fabulous big sis of one of my besties. She's an Irish friend I've had for many years who shares a passion for exploring design and crafting. We're living vicariously Ireland.

For the past few weeks I have been happily soaking up the joy from all the summer ideas on Pinterest and my favourite blogs. Summer picnics, frozen treats, BBQ salads, floaty dresses, outdoor weddings, birthday parties in the park, drive-in movies... Images such as this beautiful picnic scene are the kind of days I am dreaming about.

And then I remember that I live in Ireland.

Now, don't get me wrong, there are many wonderful things about living in Ireland, the 'craic', the great culture, the stunning scenery, the friendly locals, however it is also fair to say that we have a fairly complicated relationship with Summer weather.

Put simply, you are likely to need your raincoat for all but about 2 weeks of the year. I'm not saying that it rains all the time, because it doesn't, just a little of every day. We have light showers, heavy showers, every kind of shower except for Wedding and baby showers (but that is a whole other issue!). It means that only the most optimistic of party-planners are seduced by outdoor paper lanterns and luminaries, as damp paper doesn't look good in any language.

Last year I moved to live at the coast  in the most Northwest corner of Ireland, beside amazing wide golden sandy beaches, miles long. Here is my local beach on one of the ten or so days of summer we've had, truly glorious.
Today, in the middle of June, I'm looking out at driving rain and 54 degrees. My garden chairs are calling to me, bemoaning the fact that I promised them sunshine and lunches and dinners al fresco, and they have barely a dent so far.
But you know, the Irish summer makes you hopeful. There is nothing like the rush in the shops for shorts and flip-flops on the first day of sun in early May when 'exam weather' arrives to make a whole country think that this will be the year of the hot summer, just like the ones when we were kids and the sun seemed to shine all summer long. My mummy will inevitably tell me about the long range weather forecast, which promises a summer of BBQs and Vitamin D for everyone.

Then when we stop being hopeful, about the middle of July, we start being grateful. Grateful for even two sunny days in a row. Grateful for warm dry days at the beach, with hot tomato soup  after you swim in the cool Atlantic, even if the sun doesn't shine. Grateful for the beautiful green of the country and for a pub with a fire on and some nice pub grub.
And there is nothing as hopeful or as grateful for a sunny summer day as an Irish Bride! Not many people outside Ireland know that the summer weather for weddings is actually controlled by a small statue of the saint of the Child of Prague.

It is traditionally placed under a hedge the night before a wedding to ensure a dry day for the bride. Before the weddings of both my sisters there were multiple statues under multiple hedges placed by my mum's friends.. and it did work for them!

However, for those brides who do have to use their umbrellas after all, there is still gratitude. For a bright day, or that they at least got from the car to the church without the rain, and if all else fails, that the notoriously fragile neck on the Statue survived the trip under the hedge! (There are many Irish homes where a beheaded statue of the Child of Prague awaits some super glue after an over-enthusiastic game of football indoors) :)

So come to Ireland... and bring your raincoat!

And as for me, I'm off to Portugal for a week to lie on the beach where I am guaranteed a recharge of Vitamin D!

Claire xx

I wanna go!! Thanks so much for joining us, Claire. We'll see more of Miss Claire on Thursday, when she offers us a lovely DIY. How about you, friends?  Have you enjoyed an Irish summer?  XO, MJ

New on Mondays: Funday Fashion Monday

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...

Can we go ahead and agree that a great beach cart and sand game are accessories? Good.

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.


Summer hit lists

Have you seen these floating around the interwebs, friends? Great big, beautiful lists of simple, fun, wonderful summer activities that make you wish you were seven again.

Well, maybe this summer we will be. My fam has joined in the fun, too. In the past, we've made our lists over dinner conversations as the school year waned to a close. This year we again had such conversations and now we're writing them down and posting them pretty for all to see.

My job commitments grow more extensive in the summer so I have to be sure to keep these kinds of lists front and center so that I and the rest of the happy inhabitants in our home can have a carefree summer.
So cheers (imagine me and you holding up our virtual Slurpees right now, only I really am holding my medium watermelon kiwi right now) to a great 10 weeks. Here are some easy, breezy summer lists you should check out:

100 Things to Do this Summer and
100 More Things to Do This Summer from Honest to Nod

101 Things to Do this Summer from Toy to the World

10 Things Every Child Should Experience in the Summer from 52 Brand New

40 Free (or nearly free) Things to Do this Summer from The Centsible Life

Let's Play from Lasso the Moon

30 Summer Activities for Kids from Lil' Luna

Join Camp Classic Play over at

441 Things to Do This Summer from We are that Family

(This one keeps growing) The 100 Days of Summer and The 100 Days of Summer ('12) from Mom Advice

And you just have to read this inspired post over at Hands Free Mama.

Here's our list. Please feel welcome to pin or download and make it your own great summer list.

 I have my own summer list that I'll share with you next week as we move into the Summer Edition of Pars Caeli.

Ah, we're summer lovin'.

Have a great weekend, friends. We'll be kicking it at home, knocking off some of these moments like hanging out by the pool and tie dying summer shirts.

See you back here on Monday! Thanks for a great's so lovely to have you over.


PS. If you enjoy a good photo party, follow me and many others by using the hashtag #instacamp (Chookooloonks offers a new prompt each Monday) and #100summerdays (run through It's super fun to see all the great summertimes captured on Instagram and shared through Twitter.

PPS. I made the above image (with the Slurpee) in Phonto. It's a quirky photo app with tons of great fonts that you can add to your images. Check it out.

Okay, I'm done now. :)