Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Kiwi Crate

Have you heard of kiwi crate?  I recently came across the website via someone's blog and wow I am impressed.  You can subscribe and get a monthly crate which is basically a box of supplies for 2-3 projects and crafts.  They have crates by theme such as pirates, bugs, fairies, medeval fun, robots, music, farmers market and more!   You can order a crate as a gift or of course for yourself.  They also have a great DIY category which is filled with crafts for you to do on your own.  Check out their website and let me know what you think?  What crates would you pick for your kids?  Griffin would love space hero or robots and Sydney would enjoy safari fun or fairies.  Hint hint mom I am thinking ahead for the kids birthdays or maybe even part of Christmas. 

Thursday, July 25, 2013

a favorite

This picture is a favorite of mine.  It was taken in December of 2009 at a friend's wedding reception.  I do not remember posing but we must have been to capture this moment.  I have this picture framed and sitting on my desk, it will always be a favorite of mine. 

Sunday, July 21, 2013


Last weekend we decided to have smores for dessert. Something about summer just feels like smores essential. We toasted out marshmallows on the grill.
marshmallow cheeks
now that's a mouth full
can you tell what ingredient I added to my smore? 
oh yes, peanut butter
so yummy!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Swim Lessons

Our club offered swim lessons (for free) so we signed both kids up. Sydney is a fish already but we really want her to learn some actual strokes. Griffin is basically swimming under water on his own and is fearless.
Our lifeguards are so sweet and they have gotten to know the kids as they have grown up, we appreciate them so much.  

Monday, July 15, 2013

Getaway and Reynolda

While my parents were visiting we planned a day and one night away. We started our day at The Table for breakfast.  The decor is so fresh and comfortable.  
My date
We had a relaxed breakfast and the owner had us pick a pastry to take to our Inn to share later in the day. 
Ready to head out on our destination, Reynolda village and gardens. 
This is a picture of the outside of the greenhouse, it has been so rainy and humid here and I did not realize my lens was foggy.
orchids, they were all amazing

The gardens were gifted to Wake Forest but originally were part of the Reynolda estate, which was built by RJ Reynolds and his wife Katherine. 

there were vegetables

flowers, I love echinacea

the gardens are huge, this is a view back toward the greenhouse
the roses were amazing and there were hundreds if not thousands of bushes

the children's playhouse
Reynolda house, actually I should say a portion of the house because it was too big to fit in one picture
The house is now a museum and you can pay to tour, it was well worth the 14 dollars.  Bill and I wore a device around our neck that you could enter the number into for a room or a painting and you heard the narrator give you history.  At times it was family or staff from the Reynolds family. Much of the original furniture is still present.   In the basement of this house is a bowling alley, shooting range (rubber ducks), a skating rink, bar, ping pong tables, billiard table, changing rooms, squat quart (like racquetball I guess) and a pool. 
The rest of the village, at one time they had a post office, school, barns, and servant quarters on the estate, has been turned into restaurants and shops.
I highly recommend you read The Gilded Leaf by Patrick Reynolds and Tom Shachtman, even if you are not into history it is fascinating.  RJ Reynolds became a multimillionaire with the tobacco industry and his brother Abram eventually developed reynolds wrap.  So much of the Reynold's fortune was invested in Winston (which became Winston-Salem). 
You can visit the gardens for free and of course shop at the village.
This building was just down from our Inn and I thought it was cool, it is right in the middle of the road, and it may actually be a residence.

We stayed at the Brookstown Inn, which was built in 1837 and was an old textile mill.

We returned to Mozelles for dinner and it was fabulous. 
We had a great time away!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Sam's Party

This year Sam had his birthday party at the gymnastics place and boy did we have fun.  Sydney challenged me to the bars...... my arms were sore the next day. 
Of course Bill had to prove he could do it too!
Ellie in the pit with all the kids
Sam, 7 years old
Sydney is a monkey and loves to hang and swing.
We were happy to celebrate with Sam and cannot believe how times has flown since we first met.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

July 4th

Once again my parents came to watch our kiddos for the week of the 4th! This is such a fun tradition.
Our club has a hot dog lunch and games for the kids.  Bill and Sydney in the water balloon toss.
Griffin tossing balls into stars
Snuggling and waiting out the rain
Sydney on the high dive ready to compete for the smallest splash
it was rather small
the judges gave her a 7
My mom with Griffin
Grandpa spraying the wild man
Off the high dive for the biggest splash
cannon ball
The kids had to collect pop cans off the bottom of the pool, Sydney picked up 13!
Then they collected coins, she is quite the swimmer
Fourth of July bbq and cheesecakes!
It was a great day and we were thankful to have family to celebrate with. 
My mom posted pictures of bowling and delishi fun on her blog and here is a peek back at 2011, wow how they have grown.  Here is 2010 pictures.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Date Swap #1

We decided to try date swap with our good friends Ellie and Garret. We watch their boys one evening each month while they have date night and they watch our kids one night while we have date night. No lining up a sitter, no money is exchanged just trading off kids so we can have some time with our spouses each month.   For our first night out we went to Bistro 42 for dinner and then headed over to a new place in town called The Table.  We had coffee and dessert and just talked.   
the inside is so simplistic and comfortable
I love the chandelier with mason jars
we had a great night and our kids had fun too
We met Ellie and Garret in the baby room at the daycare when Sam and Sydney were just a few months old so we know them well and they know our kids.  There are very few people I can leave my kiddos with and not worry the whole time I am away, it is a blessing to have such great friends.
how do you find time to get out with your spouse?