Friday Wrap: Catching Up

Yes. Hello, glorious weekend. I’m so happy to see you again!

We survived the first week of school, which included soccer practices and tons of projects at work. Thank goodness National Pinot Noir day was squeezed in there.

Brandon and I felt like it was our duty to oblige, and we had a nice evening catching up and sipping on a glass of Pinot from Oregon. We also had fun reminiscing about our trip this past fall. #wannagoback

oregon wineAnd speaking of catching up, I thought I’d share a few updates with you this week.

{ONE} The Olympics

Remember when I mentioned that my niece’s boyfriend was diving in the Olympics? Well, he jammed it out. He advanced all the way to finals. (In fact, he placed third in the preliminaries.)

When it was all said and done, he placed 5th. It was so exciting and we are all so proud of him!


This was a screen shot I took during finals.

Ipsen rankings

This shows his rankings from the prelims. See him there at third? BTW, the diver from China ended up winning gold.

This has been a great Olympics all around. We have so many amazing athletes representing our country. I hope you’ve had a chance to watch at least some of the inspiring races and performances.

{TWO} Front Door Decor

With the Olympics winding down and back-to-school gearing up, I decided to change up the front door. Here’s a little snapshot of what it looks like these days.

front door decoration

You may remember this chalkboard from the girls’ birthday? I thought it would be fun to pull it back out. I mean, it’s a chalkboard! 😉

{THREE} Buddy Bracelets

Last week I talked about surprising the girls with mom/daughter bracelets. Here’s what they look like. So far we’ve worn them every day!


The set only had one bracelet that said “daughter”, but Avery really wanted the one that said “love” anyway. Thank goodness it all worked out. #twinproblems

{FOUR} Fresh Flowers

When we got back from our trip to South Dakota, all of the flowers in our hanging baskets had dried up like raisins. I tried to strategically place them near our sprinklers, but the heat was just too much. I dumped the plants and have been staring at empty coco liners for weeks.


I finally filled them with some heather, which should be perfect this time of year. They can stand the heat and have delicate purple flowers that look so pretty on the back porch. I recommend them if you need to fill in a few spots in your garden.

{FIVE} Food & Fitness

Back in June I started a little health kick, which has been more of a shuffle at times than a true “kick.” As an update, I still like the 7-min workout, and have tossed in a bit of walking and jogging when I can. But I haven’t been as committed as I’d like, so I’ve been toying with the idea of challenging myself in the kitchen – my favorite room in the house.

I’m curious if changing my diet can really make an impact on my energy levels, skin, and love handles (which I don’t love).

Fast forward to this week…


I had one of those serendipitous moments when my friend, Allie, asked me to join her in trying Whole30. Initially, the sound of it scared me, because I have to give up cheese, chocolate and wine. But now that I’ve been reading the book, I’m excited to give this a shot.

We’re in the planning phase now, and are going to officially start on Aug. 29. If you’ve gone through this, please tell me how it went and if you have any tips for me. I have a feeling I’m gonna need some support! 😉

That’s a wrap, my friends. What have you been up to? Give me a shout as you enjoy this awesome weekend.




 photo 73bab94a-1595-47db-8a1e-0ee7d930f9df_zpsihedecfg.jpg


Friday Wrap: Olympic Proportions

Can I just say…I’m incredibly pumped about the Summer Olympics officially kicking off tonight with the opening ceremonies!


In all seriousness, I do know someone who is competing this year.

Be sure to cheer extra loud at your screens for U.S. Olympic Diver Kristian Ipsen. He’s not only an incredible diver, but the lucky boyfriend of my niece, Lilly. She’s an accomplished diver herself, and I’m super proud of her. <3


This was at the 2012 Olympics in London where Krish landed the bronze in synchronized diving with Troy Dumais.

In addition to watching every flip and turn of diving, I’ll be glued to the tube watching swimming and gymnastics. Those are my absolute favorite sports to watch. (I still remember watching the Magnificent 7.)

In honor of this special occasion, here are some fun facts to know and things to do from now until the closing ceremonies on August 21st.

{ONE} The Meaning of the Rings

olympic rings

Okay, so I knew there were five Olympic rings, but I never really thought about ‘why five’ and ‘why those colors’. Have you? This helpful article explains it all for us. It turns out, it’s not as clear cut as you might expect. Here’s an excerpt…

Baron de Coubertin, a French aristocrat and intellectual, explained his design in 1931:

“A white background, with five interlaced rings in the centre: blue, yellow, black, green and red…represents the five inhabited continents of the world, united by Olympism, while the six colors are those that appear on all the national flags of the world at the present time.”

Because the rings were originally designed as a logo for the IOC’s 20th anniversary, it’s probable that Coubertin originally thought of the rings as symbols of the five Games already successfully staged.

Now there’s something interesting you can toss into the convo during commercial breaks. 😉

{TWO} Getting All Patriotic 

You know all of those cute 4th of July decorations? Well, thank goodness I didn’t put them away. They’ll be perfect for some USA-themed watch parties. (Three cheers for a little procrastination.) Did anyone else keep their decorations up, too?!

red, white and blue mason jars

These are painted Mason jars – handcrafted by my sweet twins!

Oh, and I’m sure I’ll be whipping up some of these lovelies below at some point, which didn’t quite happen on the 4th. Oops! Good thing we have another excuse to pull out the star-shaped cookie cutter.

star shaped hand pies

High Fives for the Berry Hand Pies!

{THREE} Sampling Some Brazilian Flavor

Speaking of food AND since the Olympics are in Rio this go around, I wanted to learn about Brazilian culture and try some authentic recipes. Here are a few that are both easy and delicious. That’s worth a gold medal in my recipe book!

The first one up is a Classic Caipirinha. It’s made with Brazilian rum, limes and sugar! (You had me at rum.) Get the full recipe here.


PS. The recipe calls for cachaca, which is a type of rum, but it’s not like your typical Bacardi. You’ll want to find the real deal if you can.

Now for some sweets!

This is little number below is called Creamy Brazilian Cornmeal Cake and it’s served at breakfast or even after a meal – like a dessert, I guess. You can find this recipe (and more) on this blog!


Bonus points if you serve up the cake (or anything for that matter) on a ‘gold medal’ plate like this >

Gold Medal Plate

This gold paper plate just has a ribbon glued to the back. How stinkin’ clever.

{FOUR} Dressing the Part

Once the decorations and food are covered, all that’s left is dressing up with some team spirit. Face painting optional.

I decided to make some shirts for my girls with USA-themed iron-ons and soft, white tees. I hope I can stick the landing on these. I’ve had some iron mishaps in my past. #stilltrying

USA iron-on applique

I found these at Hobby Lobby!

{FIVE} Cheering & Playing Along

I don’t know if it’s just me, but I think THE best part of the opening ceremonies is the Parade of Nations. I love seeing all of the athletes marching into the stadium with pride and honor. I get chills every time.

Flag bearer Mariel Zagunis of the U.S. holds the national flag as she leads the contingent in the athletes parade during the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium July 27, 2012. REUTERS/Jorge Silva (BRITAIN - Tags: SPORT OLYMPICS)

This shows US athlete Mariel Zagunis holding the national flag during the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games.

If you get as excited as I do, and you want to follow along with each of the participating countries this year, check out this list. You can even see the name of each country’s flag bearer and what sport they’re competing in.

Then…during all of the commercial breaks, you can create your own version of the Games!

Here’s a great post with some funny ideas. I think Tennis Table Toppling might be my favorite idea. And for the medals >>


My kind of prizes for sure.

That’s it for now, my friends. How are you celebrating the Olympics this year? I hope it’s full of cheers. Go USA!!



 photo 73bab94a-1595-47db-8a1e-0ee7d930f9df_zpsihedecfg.jpg