Friday Favorites – 8/17/18

Good morning and happy Friday! I am linking up with Erika, Narci, and Andrea to share some favorites from this week.


We had a very busy fun week this week! My mom and I took the boys to western Massachusetts for three days and we did a lot!  We visited six museums in three days and had a great time! I’ll share a trip update, but I will say that the Norman Rockwell museum is AMAZING!!!! Here are a few fun pictures from our trip! See you Monday!



These boys are great travelers!


Museum 1: Eric Carle


Museum 2: Basketball Hall of Fame



Trapped in the fitness center Wednesday morning


Museum 4: Springfield Science Museum



Early risers = everyone in the fitness center


Museum 6: Norman Rockwell


My mom and I had so much fun on our field trip!

I hope you have a great weekend full of sunshine and books! I didn’t get much reading done on our trip so I am still enjoying The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George. We have a fun weekend with a girls’ night for me, a guys’ night for Jeff, and a sleepover with grandparents for the boys.

☀️ 📚 😎


Hello Monday – 8/13/18

Happy Monday! We had a great weekend with lots of fun and not quite enough sleep.  It’s summertime so we can catch up on that sleep later.  I am joining Heather and the Hello Monday girls to share our weekend.


On Friday, we split up for the evening. Luke and I went to my friend Joelle’s house for a fun summer party. Luke spent the entire time in the woods and the stream and he could not have been happier! Every time he tells about the stream, he gets the biggest smile on his sweet face!


Jack and Jeff went to a parent/child outing at the golf course and they also had the best time! Jack did really well and Jeff even let him drive the golf cart.  All four Parsons went to bed with big smiles and happy hearts on Friday night!!


I was up early on Saturday to get my run done. I was planning on running further, but I was one tired mama. I woke up in the 5’s a few days this week and it really took a lot out of me.  I don’t know what I am going to do when school starts back up…

Luke had his first travel soccer tournament this weekend.  He has cheered Jack on for two years and was pretty excited to be on the field for the FSC Impact.  I am so proud of him. They played four 30 minute games and he went hard the whole time.  We had a break between games three and four so I put a few boys in the back of the van with the air conditioning pumping.


Ready to go!



Sweaty boy played hard!


Reading my book with the “man cave” behind me full of boys and legos!

After we got home, my dad picked up the boys to go play nine holes of golf.  They had the best time with him! I took a little nap and then Jeff and I got ready to go out.  We had so much fun at a good ole summer house party.  There was flip cup and corn hole, great food, and lots of laughing!


Jeff asked if I was going on safari or to a party, but I loved my outfit. So comfy!

I decided to run back to get our car on Sunday morning.  When I put the directions in Waze on Saturday night, it said 1.9 miles. I thought that would be a perfect little run in the morning.  Well, much to my surprise the 1.9 miles is as the crow flies and not the road directions.  5 miles later, I arrived at my car.  It was a great run and I will definitely add it to my repertoire of long runs, but it most definitely was not what I was expecting to run on Sunday morning!!


My run was powered by podcasts, Waze for directions, and Map My Run to track the run.


Wake up and run (to go get your car)

I went to get the boys from my parents’ house and beat them there.  It was the perfect time for some glider reading.  My parents have the best glider on their front porch! It was my great grandparents’ and I love all the family memories that took place on the glider.


We headed to the pool for the afternoon and had some fun with friends! Lots of laughs, some reading, and great company! I made a yummy dinner and we watched the end of the PGA Championship while it rained.

We have a fun week planned! My mom and I are taking the boys on a 3 day, 4 museum field trip and we are all pretty excited about it.  I am starting to plan Day 600 in my run streak and trying to figure out how to squeeze as much summer into the rest of the month as possible!

Have a great week full of sunshine and books!

☀️ 📚 😎

Friday Favorites – 8/9/18

Happy Friday! We had a fun week full of boats, sunshine, books, parties, and beaches. I’m linking up with Erika, Narci, and Andrea to share my favorites from the week.


I decided to do my favorites a little different this week. I am pulling myself away from my book to type this and can’t wait to get back to it, so I’m doing a favorites photo drop.


I love reading about families. If it takes place at a beach, that is an added bonus. This book has both!

We are packing in as much fun to our summer as week can and have some pictures to prove it. Here we go…


Sunset boat party


When you’re in the minivan and you get your braces stuck on your shirt, it’s Kourtni to the rescue!


Beach brothers


Stack buddies


Beach buddies


I love a good human pyramid!


The mamas enjoyed a glass of wine after a great beach day! I love beaching with this girl!!


I love my boys!


Boardwalk buddies


This was the furthest south Jack and Luke have ever been in Ocean City!


Playing at the inlet waiting for the White Marlin boats to come in.


Playing with filters on the beach – I love this boy!


Playing with filters on the beach – I love this boy!


I am so proud of Jamie! She rocked her first Stella and Dot in person party! And I can’t wait to pick out my goodies! The party is open until August 22nd if you want to shop:


I wanted to learn how to put together a charcuterie board. Thanks for the assembly help Mom!


Beach run!


Luke caught/rescued a salamander at the pool.


My new planner and teacher planner came!! It was a lovely morning working on those!! 

We have a fun weekend full of more parties, a soccer tournament, and pool time! I hope you have a great weekend full of sunshine and books!!

☀️ 📚 😎

Hello Monday – 8/6/18

Hello Monday!! I’m linking up with Heather and the Hello Monday girls today.

Today’s post is short and sweet because we had a great weekend with family and friends and I’m packing for the beach with less than 9 hours until we pull out of the driveway tomorrow morning.

We hiked on the Appalachian Trail on Friday.

Such adorable hikers!!

We spent some quality time at the pool with friends on Saturday and Sunday. Look at that diving board line! I love when there are bunches of buddies to play with! 😍

On Sunday evening we headed to Annapolis for a party on Jeff’s aunt’s yacht. It was lovely and the sun really put on a show as it was setting over the skyline! 💛☀️🧡☀️💛

Have a great week full of sunshine and books!

I’m heading to the beach but I don’t think I’ll be able to squeeze in a visit to Bethany Beach Books this time. I still have plenty to read from my last two visits!

I’m hosting some fun ladies for a Stella & Dot style session on Wednesday. Check it out, host Sarah Parsons. They have some great pieces right now and I’m looking forward to a girls night in.


Friday Favorites – 8/3/18

Hello and happy Friday!  Our week this week has been a bit different than the rest of summer. Swim team is over so there is no rush to get to the pool at 10:00.  We’ve had a few rainy days with no scheduled activities. Evening sports practices started so the early dinner rush is back on.  I’m linking up with Erika, Narci, and Andrea to share my favorites from the week.


Favorite 1: SUNSHINE!! We lucked into the most beautiful day on Wednesday.  The forecast looked iffy, but a few friends and I decided we were meeting at the pool.  I crossed my fingers and hoped for the best.  Holy cow did we get the best!  The sun shined all afternoon and we ended up staying at the pool for six and a half hours! We came home, ate a quick summer dinner, and changed right into pjs.  It was a perfectly wonderful sunny summer day!  All that outside time with friends was exactly what the boys and I needed this week. We had so much fun that I didn’t even take one single picture.


I also got out in the evening sunshine with Jodi to run on Thursday!  She pushed me tonight and I am so glad we did it!


This new cup is my favorite too! Jodi found it first and I totally copied her. I just couldn’t stop thinking about it.  It was perfect today with a Very Berry Hibiscus Refresher from Starbucks in it.  I am not a big Starbucks girl but that cup plus that drink are a favorite combination.  I love to add water to the end of it and have flavored water for a second drink.

Favorite 2: BOOKS!! This rainy weather has allowed for some great reading time this week. My real favorite books happening was this:


This is the stack of books I took to the pool with me on Wednesday.  A few friends were looking for books to read and asked me to pick one for them.  Two other friends were asked to borrow a book that we discussed this weekend.  I am a major book buyer and I love to share books with friends.  It’s my own personal lending library!

Favorite 3: THESE TWO!! I decided that the boys were going to take a break from iPads and television this week.  It has been a little loud and messy around here but I am loving it.  They are inventing games, making things, playing American Ninja Warrior and Home Run Derby, reading a little, and working with me in the kitchen.  It’s been great!


There was a stormtrooper, capture the flag, nerf battle going on this week.


Perler bead sea creatures kept them pretty busy!


There was a shark in the pool.


We made breakfast berry popsicles.


Luke picked out a solar system model to work on.


Morning snuggles with these two.

Favorite 4: BEACH!! We had the best time at the beach last week with our friend families.  There were 22 of us, 12 parents and 10 boys between the ages of 6-9.  The boys had matching bathing suits and were so stinking cute!  Some of us had reading time. There wa as lot of baseball, boogie boarding, playing in the ocean, and building canals.  Everyone came home tired and happy!


The boys


Jack and Ben reading something fun.


Almost the whole gang on the sand bar.


I love reading on the beach!

Favorite 5: GOALS!! It has been six months since I set my Declare It Day goals and I checked in yesterday. I am working toward my goals, even though one hasn’t been going so well. I am determined to be a rock star.


Favorite 6: MEXICAN STREET CORN!! When we were at the beach, we were at a tasty restaurant and had Mexican street corn for the first time.  When we got home, I couldn’t wait to make it. I found a great recipe and gave it a shot.  It was delicious!! I think that Mexican street corn will be a regular addition to the Parsons meal planning!

Favorite 7: SWIM TEAM!! Swim team season ended on Saturday. Both boys swam in the championship meet and did well! I am so proud of Jack and Luke for their dedication and progress this summer! They had great big buddies! I love that our swim team is a fun for the whole family!


Happy swimmers!


Jack and his buddy


Luke and his buddy


Our happy family after a great swim team banquet

That’s all for this week! I am looking forward to heading back to the beach next week!  We are trying to squeeze every bit of fun out of summer! I have some fun things planned for the next 3 weeks before my kiddos get to have Camp Gigi with my mom and I head back to work.

Have a great weekend full of sunshine and books!

☀️ 📚 😎

Declare It Day Halfway


It has been six months since I set my Declare It Day goals.  I thought this would be a great time to check in. For anyone who set New Year’s resolutions, you are a little over halfway and might be ready to check in, re-evaluate, and maybe even recommit. So, here goes…

I set 2 goals this year. One for my brain and one for my body.

Goal 1: Read 60 books


How’s it going? Well, I am a little behind but I read a bunch in the summer so I am not too worried.  I’ve been doing a little more internet scrolling than I’d like, so this is a good check in to get my face in a book and off Facebook!  You can see what I’ve read on my Books 2018 page. I have read a lot of books that I loved this year. I finished the Crazy Rich Asians trilogy and can’t wait to see the movie coming out August 18th. I met authors for the first time, like Kristy Woodson Harvey and Beatriz Williams, and found many new books to read. I also met authors that I already loved, like Dorothea Benton Frank.  I discovered a new author, Hannah McKinnon, and am currently reading her newest book, Sailing Lessons.  I read a psychological thriller, The Wife Between Us by Sarah Pekkanan and Greer Hendricks, and surprisingly loved it.  (I tend to shy away from that genre.) I read my favorites, Summer Beach Books, and shared my opinions here.  My To Read pile is growing fast! Next up I want to read The Summer Wives by Beatriz Williams and When Life Gives you Lululemons by Lauren Weisberger.  I also have Kristin Hannah’s The Great Alone in my stack. Is there anything else you think I NEED to read?

Goal 2: Get strong.

06380783-76AC-440F-9129-21A0A374CC2DHow’s it going? Pretty much a total fail! I have been really good at keeping up my running at least 1 mile a day (today is run streak day 579), but I haven’t added much strength training. It was PAINFULLY evident last week when we were at the beach. I decided to go back to the beach yoga class with Ocean City Yoga that I took last summer on vacation and oh boy could I tell a difference. I just wasn’t as strong as I was last year! Yikes! So, I went back last Friday to the class and am recommitting to my goal.


Rainy day! Beach yoga moved inside. We could still watch the ocean while we were yoga-ing.


Looking good ladies!


The view as Friday’s yoga class! Sunshine ☀️ 🌊


The view for most of class as the fog rolled in.

On Tuesday morning, I ran a few miles and then did a short strength excercise.  I am not kidding when I say short (less than 15 min) but it is a start! I used the Fitbit Coach app and I really liked it.


I also really enjoyed the yoga classes and need to remember to go back to my Down Dog app. I like the yoga routines/practices/workouts that it offers.


Off we go everyone! 6 more months to achieve these goals!! Remember, you are a rock star, a force to be reckoned with, resilient, strong!  At least that’s what I told the girls that joined me for breakfast that day!  Keep going! Work hard!


Have a great day filled with sunshine and books!

☀️ 📚 😎

Summer Surprise Box


Happy August 1st! As a major summer lover over here, I am rejoicing in the fact that we still have a month before school starts to enjoy all that summer has to offer!! No matter what Walmart, Target, and the school supply aisles may try to tell you, summer is still going strong!! A little while back I ordered a Summer Mystery Mailer from Prep Obsessed. I love their mystery mailers because they always have something I wouldn’t have picked for myself and surprise mail is always fun!  I shared the 4th of July Mystery Mailer with you last month.

The Summer Mystery Mailer had some fun summer goodies in there. The theme is Sweet Summertime and watermelons.  I’m not a big wearing watermelons girl, but it’s a cute theme!

It was wrapped up like this with my 4th of July mailer. I love their pineapple logo and couldn’t wait to bust it open.


The mailer included a cute tote bag and these sunglasses.  They are little big for my face but I find myself reaching for them a lot.


There was also a tank top, coozie, and glitter sunscreen. I love glitter and was pretty pumped to try it!


My honest opinion about the tank top is the same as the 4th of July one. The armholes are too big to wear it without a tank or bathing suit under it. I know it’s summer, but I was a little disappointed by that. The design is cute and the quality is good though.

There was also a cover up.  It is a very cute coverup but I am not sure that I am going to wear it around the pool. It is definitly great for the beach or maybe a vacation!


Overall, this was probably my least favorite mystery mailer, but I will definitely use most of it. Like I said, I love surprises in the mail – Erin Condren’s seasonal surprise packages, these mystery mailers, FunRunBox subscription – so I’ll keep checking back to the Prep Obsessed Mystery Mailer page to find some fun new surprises.

Have a great day full of sunshine and books!

☀️ 📚 😎