We Got the FUNK: July 2015

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Random Happenings

Today as I sat on the phone with the transportation department for my sons school I realized two things.  First, my baby starts school in 12 days which means I start school in 14.  Second, we are entirely unprepared.  Mostly due to the fact that we have been so busy this summer.  So for the rest of the summer I vow to do this:

Extra Snuggles!
This one, well she is starting to become quite the princess Diva.  I think it might be an actual issue and therapy will probably be needed.  Parents you know what this is in reference to...FROZEN. During potty training week we had a huge meltdown like I have never witnessed over an Elsa shirt. Basically the child will only wear Frozen clothes and well, I am in huge huge huge trouble over here. 

Already in the checkbook
To prep for the wedding took a bit of pampering.  No problem, I am a girly girl at heart and really enjoy a nice day at the nail salon, however most of the ones local to me are not super great.  I heard recommendations about this amazing salon about 30 minutes from me and seriously it was worth the 30 minute drive.  I mean just look at how pretty it is.  It pretty much made my entire week.

Plus it smelled good and had a coffee and candy bar!  I am never leaving.
The last few weeks we have been enjoying nature in more ways than one.  We had a mama bird decide that my husbands plant hangers were a great nesting spot and have enjoyed watching our baby birds grow!  They are just so cute, although they will not let us get very close to them, that is fine.

In final random news, I am already missing the beautiful mountains of Colorado.  Living on the plains is great and all, but being right up in it is just breathtaking.  


The wedding broke our budget so for the last three days we have not left the house, which is probably why I am missing all the fun of last week.  I am really excited for payday tomorrow to you know, pay bills and then be broke again!  Life is crazy, busy, amazing and frustrating all in one.  I submit my last final for this semester tomorrow and have a good month break off from graduate school.  It will be super nice to just kick back a bit!  Otherwise I think that is all the randomness I have for today.  I should probably get dressed, or not.

How are you spending your Thursday?

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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Potty Training & 10 Potty Prize Ideas

About 3 weeks ago the peanut and I sat off on a journey to potty train.  She had been showing some interest and honestly was probably ready to potty train about 2 months earlier.  I snagged up some potty prizes, prepped for 3 days of nothing but focus and we were off.

Potty Prize Ideas, Potty training, 3 day potty training method

I used the 3 day potty training method with my son and daughter.  The basics of it are:

  • Diaper free from day 1 (this include pull ups)
  • Celebrate successes with huge positive reinforcement (more on that later)
  • Accidents should be met with a mildly disappointed face and calm demeanor with kids helping to clean them up.
  • You don't really leave the house for more than an hour.
The key to this is that you potty train your kids between 20-28 months old as long as they are showing interest.  If they are not showing interest, DO NOT potty train.  You will hate your life.  My son was NOT interested and the year long battle was not worth it.  

Our 3 days with the peanut were pretty good.  Day 1 we got her up, took off her diaper, put on her panties (although they say to let them be 1/2 naked, panties were a motivator for our girl) and she had 1 accident late that night.  We cleaned it up and I was sure that day 2 was going to be just as easy. 

Side note: We do use pull ups at night.  There is a lot of peer reviewed evidence out there to show that night time potty training has a lot to do with brain maturity and that if the child's brain is not mature enough to wake them up they will have accidents, even if you limit liquids.  

Day 2 was full of accidents and frustrations.  My son got to go with my aunt and that really upset the peanut so she was over potty training.  I had been rewarding her successes with jelly beans and now even the jelly beans and pretty panties were not enough to motivate her.  Kid just wanted to go.  So we went to Target and picked up a bunch of prizes.  I did the same thing with my son and it was a game changer.  

Here is a list of 10 potty prizes that will not break the bank.

Potty Prize Ideas, Potty training, 3 day potty training method


Once we picked up our potty prizes, we came back home (we also practiced using the potty about 5 times in the store, without success but we tried).  She had one success, we celebrated big by calling our grandma and our auntie and picking out a prize.  She really wanted her bigger toy but that was reserved for poop.  Day 2 ended with a accidents but a positive happy child who was willing to keep trying. 

Day 3 was much better.  We had one accident and it was my fault because she was in the bathroom, I just wasn't right there to help her get on the potty and turn the lights on.  She started to tell me she needed to go potty and was earning prizes left and right.  She also earned her big prize.

The last 3 weeks have been going pretty well.  She has not been in a diaper since we started and is pretty good about telling us she needs to use the potty.  During the wedding we were all so busy that she was in a pull up for portions of it (like the actual ceremony), but even then she was telling us that she needed to potty.  I do recommend the 3 day potty training method IF your child is showing signs they are ready. 

What would you add to my list of potty prize ideas?

 

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Tuesday, July 28, 2015

That One Time my Sister got Married & The most EPIC Speech was Given #Giveaway

Last week was a whirlwind of insanity, beauty and love.  My little sister tied the knot to a man that could not be more perfect for her.   It was awesome and perfect and I still cannot believe that she is married.  This beautiful woman never wanted to get married, never envisioned her wedding and never thought she would find a man like her husband.  They are perfect for each other in every single way and I am just over the moon excited for both of them.

Rehearsal Dinner

We spent 6 days in the mountains preparing for this wedding and most of it I spent crafting (more to come on that) and the men spent taking the barn from a storage space to a beautiful wedding venue. My poor husband just about lost his thumb in the construction of this.  I just love him too!


I did not take that many photos (terrible reception and the craziness of the wedding left me without my camera), and the ones that I have are from other folks who attended the wedding but here are a few sneak peaks.

Isn't she Stunning

My Sweet Boy!  I made his vest and bow tie!
That moment she sees her Husband and my Daddy sees his baby girl

The Wedding Party (sans my crazy children)
Oh yeah and I made a toast.  A really amazing, epic, hysterical toast that I am pretty sure should just go viral so I can be on Ellen or something (ha)!  My sister challenged me and I accepted so for your viewing pleasure, check out my advice on marriage and my sweet rap to the tune of the Fresh Prince of BelAir.


I cannot wait to share more photos with you all.  Shoot, I cannot wait to see more photos.  It was a great week and although my entire family is exhausted, it was perfect. So to celebrate this momentous occasion with you my wonderful readers, I am giving away another $10.00 gift card of your choice to either Walmart, Target, Kohls, Kmart or Amazon.

Enter the rafflecopter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Tell me, what did you think about my wedding toast to my sister and brother-in-law?

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Friday, July 24, 2015

Summer Treats for the Whole Family-Pet Cookie Jar #ShareFunshine [ad]

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #ShareFunshine #CollectiveBias

Summer is a wonderful time for everyone in our family.  Our kids have their mama back full time and no school.  My husband takes vacation so we get to be together more and our puppies get to be out and about and not in their dog run for the majority of the day.

I really like to give our pets some extra special attention when I am home. We recently just redid our dog feeding station and I wanted to make a special Pet Cookie Jar to accent that and to remind myself to #ShareFunshine with my furbabies too!

Pedigree Dentistix, Pet cookie jar DIY, Dr Pepper Float, Snickers Ice Cream Bar Pie, Sweet & Tangy Trail mix

I recycled some materials but basically all you need is a Jar (I used an old kitchen canister) & some pet themed and letter stickers. Then just stick them all over the jar and boom you are done. You can make this for any pet and it is a great way to upcycle. 

I filled our pet cookie jar with our favorite doggie treat Pedigree Dentistix®.  My dogs love both the Pedigree Dentistix® Original and the Pedigree Dentistix® Beef flavors. 

Pedigree Dentistix, Pet cookie jar DIY, Dr Pepper Float, Snickers Ice Cream Bar Pie, Sweet & Tangy Trail mix

Pedigree Dentistix® is our treat of choice because it promotes oral health to reduce plaque and tarter build up.  We need something like this because our dogs will not let us brush their teeth and wrestling a 70-80 lb dog is just not happening.

Pedigree Dentistix, Pet cookie jar DIY, Dr Pepper Float, Snickers Ice Cream Bar Pie, Sweet & Tangy Trail mix

I also appreciate that my dogs do not scarf them down very fast.  Their texture is great and it takes my dogs a bit of time to really eat them.  They enjoy it too!

Pedigree Dentistix, Pet cookie jar DIY, Dr Pepper Float, Snickers Ice Cream Bar Pie, Sweet & Tangy Trail mix

At around $15.00 for 40 treats (large dogs) they are priced great at Walmart as well!  This lasts us about a month and is great on the pocketbook. You can find them in the pet food isle and they are on rollback right now as well.  You should grab some and #ShareFunshine too!

Pedigree Dentistix, Pet cookie jar DIY, Dr Pepper Float, Snickers Ice Cream Bar Pie, Sweet & Tangy Trail mix

Now summer is not just about our dogs enjoying their treats, with so many family and friend gatherings this summer I needed to pull out some fantastic recipes to #ShareFunshine with everyone. While I was at Walmart I grabbed a few our our favorite treats with some delicious recipes in mind to share with my family this week as we prep for my little sisters wedding.

Pedigree Dentistix, Pet cookie jar DIY, Dr Pepper Float, Snickers Ice Cream Bar Pie, Sweet & Tangy Trail mix

If you want to #ShareFunshine you can click here to receive instant savings on Starburst® Minis Unwrapped, SNICKERS® Ice Cream Bars, Dr Pepper® Cherry, Skittles® and Pedigree Dentistix®! You can also enter the Share a Little Funshine Sweepstakes and enter to win a $100.00 Walmart e-gift card that is up for grabs each day!  I know I entered, and you should too!




Now onto some of the delicious snacks that I made to share this weekend with our friends and family to celebrate and #ShareFunshine for wedding week 2015!  



Ingredients:
  • Dr Pepper® Cherry
  • Vanilla or Chocolate Ice Cream of choice
  • Ice cream toppings
Pedigree Dentistix, Pet cookie jar DIY, Dr Pepper Float, Snickers Ice Cream Bar Pie, Sweet & Tangy Trail mix

Directions:
  • Pour your ice cold Dr Pepper® Cherry into your cup of choice
  • Take a scoop of vanilla (or chocolate) ice cream and plop it on top
  • Top with whipped topping and chocolate and enjoy!

Ingredients:
  • SNICKERS® Ice Cream Bars (4-6)
  • 1 graham cracker pre made pie crust
  • 1 tub of whipped topping
  • 1 package of cream cheese pudding mix
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 1/4 cup of powdered sugar
  • 2 cups of softened vanilla ice cream
Pedigree Dentistix, Pet cookie jar DIY, Dr Pepper Float, Snickers Ice Cream Bar Pie, Sweet & Tangy Trail mix

Directions:

  • Pour the softened vanilla ice cream into the bottom of the pie crust.  Place in freezer for about 10-15 minutes.
  • Remove from freezer and unwrap 4-6 SNICKERS® Ice Cream Bars and press them into the vanilla ice cream.  Place in freezer again for another 10-15 minutes. 
  • While you are waiting on that, grab a mixing bowl and pour the pudding mix, whipped topping, powdered sugar and milk in and use a whisk to whip up the topping.
  • Remove the pie from the freezer and pour the cheesecake topping on.  You can also cut up some SNICKERS® Minis to decorate the top.
  • Place in freezer for an hour.
  • Remove, cut and serve. 

Pedigree Dentistix, Pet cookie jar DIY, Dr Pepper Float, Snickers Ice Cream Bar Pie, Sweet & Tangy Trail mix

Ingredients:
  • 1 bag of popped instant popcorn
  • 3 cups of Pretzels
  • 1/2 a bag of Skittles® 14oz bag
  • 1/2 a bag of Starburst® Minis Unwrapped
  • 1 cup Cashews

Directions:
  • Mix all ingredients together in a bowl and munch away!

We are up in the mountains right now and have been enjoying these snacks so much.  My sister gets married tomorrow and we have been working tirelessly for the last 4 days to ready the mountain retreat for an obscene amount of amazing guests.  Our pups have been enjoying their treats and we have too.  Summer has been epic so far and with only 3 weeks left I cannot wait to see what else it brings.

So tell me, how do you #ShareFunshine this summer?

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Thursday, July 23, 2015

7 Fun Ways to Serve Summer Salads {Guest Post}

Disclosure:  This is a guest post.  Thank you very much to Whitney Hollingshead for todays great post!

Salad is the perfect food for summer. Salads can be thrown together quickly, require little to no cooking on hot summer days, and provide the perfect opportunity to eat fresh foods. Salads are also the most common take along foods to reunions, picnics, and gatherings. Switching up your salad presentation is a quick way to wow any crowd. So as we kick off the season of salad, check out these fun suggestions for various ways to serve your favorite salads and try out some of the suggested salads too.

1. Layered - Grab a large clear glass bowl, punch bowl, or even a clear casserole dish. Prep all salad ingredients and create a layer with each ingredient. Serve dressing separately.

Suggested Salad: Fancy Green Salad - Layer chopped lettuce, your favorite cut salad veggies, shredded cheese, boiled eggs, black olives, and croutons.

Suggested Occasions: Layered salads are perfect for large gatherings or picnics, barbecues, or for hosting dinner with friends.

Summer Salads, 7 Fun Ways to Serve Summer Salads


2. Parfait Style - Use your fancy ice cream sundae dishes, shot glasses, clear juice glasses, or even small dessert bowls. Layer ingredients in each individual sized container. For kids or outdoor gatherings, you can even use clear plastic cups.

Suggested Salad: Berries & Cream Salad - Prepare berry flavored Jell-O according to package directions. Layer prepared Jell-O, frozen or fresh berries, and whipped cream. Repeat layers as desired.

Suggested Occasions: Parfait style salads work well for birthday parties, baby and bridal showers, barbecues, large gatherings, and weekend brunch.

3. Glass Jars - Similar to the two ideas above, create a layered salad in a clear glass jar. Or use a glass jar to hold any prepared pasta, potato, or bean salad. While some salads can be eaten directly from the jar, jar salads can also be easily turned upside down on a plate when it’s time to eat.   

Suggested Salad: Bowtie Pasta Salad - In gallon sized Ziploc bag, mix cooked pasta with Italian salad dressing, parmesan cheese, grated cheddar cheese, and a dash of seasoned salt. Refrigerate overnight. The next day, add sliced olives, bell peppers, and tomatoes. Divide into jars.  

Suggested Occasions: Glass jar salads are great for taking to work on hot summer days, toting along on family picnics, or for taking a meal to another family.

Summer Salads, 7 Fun Ways to Serve Summer Salads

4. Plated - Many of the best summer salads that use fruit and greens are hard to serve because all of the good stuff sinks to the bottom of the greens. You can easily solve this problem by preparing your salad on small individual sized plates. As explained here, make sure you have a salad spinner to cut down on the time required to prep your greens. Next, put your greens down first on each plate and then top with fresh fruit, cheese, nuts, dried fruit, etc. Make it a meal and add any grilled meat or seafood! Dressing can be served separately.

Suggested Salad: Tropical Spinach Salad - Place fresh spinach on plate. Top with mandarin oranges, pineapple tidbits, diced mango, shredded coconut, sliced almonds, and shredded cheese of choice. Serve with poppyseed dressing.

Suggested Occasions: Plated salads are great for formal and semi-formal dinner occasion, Sunday dinners, and even weeknight summer dinners.

5. Fruit Rinds - You can use the rind from various fruits to create pretty serving dishes for your salads. Just cut in half, hollow out the fruit inside, and fill the space with your prepared salad. Consider using watermelon, honeydew, cantaloupe, oranges, grapefruit, pineapple, apples, tomatoes, bell peppers, or even avocados.

Suggested Salad: Watermelon Salad - Cut seedless watermelon into cubes (after hollowing out the rind). Cut cucumber into slices and then triangles. Mix in bowl with watermelon and 2 tablespoons of freshly chopped mint leaves. Squeeze the juice from a fresh lime. Mix lime juice with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 2 tablespoons of sugar, a pinch of cayenne pepper, and a pinch of salt. Pour dressing over fruit. Sprinkle with feta cheese and serve immediately.

Suggested Occasion: Fruit rinds add a lot of color and fun to any occasion or gathering. Smaller fruits like apples, oranges, bell peppers, and avocados are also great for salad portion control.

Summer Salads, 7 Fun Ways to Serve Summer Salads


6. Waffle Bowls or Ice Cream Cones - Instead of using waffle bowls or flat bottomed ice cream cones for ice cream, use them instead for fruit salad! Just wait until you are ready to serve the salad, as the waffle bowl or cone will get soggy from the salad.

Suggested Salad: Berry Kiwi Fruit Salad - Slice kiwis and strawberries into small pieces. Mix with blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries. Combine honey with lemon, lime, or orange juice to create dressing consistency (not too thick, not too runny). Drizzle fruit mixture with dressing and spoon fruit into waffle bowls or cones. Serve immediately.

Suggested Occasion: Using waffle bowls or cones is the perfect way to use portion control for any fresh fruit salad. As fresh fruit can be expensive, use this trick to stretch your resources and wow the crowd!

7. Cabbage Leaves - Gently tear cabbage leaves to create small bowls. Purple cabbage is especially fun as it adds color to the table. When you are ready to serve any salad of choice, simply scoop the salad into each cabbage leaf bowl and serve.

Suggested Salad: Asian Cabbage Salad - Toss bagged coleslaw mix with crushed dry ramen noodles, slivered almonds, and sesame seeds. Sprinkle with dry ramen packets (oriental flavor preferred). Add toasted sesame dressing (any bottle of prepared Asian flavored salad dressing will do).

Suggested Occasion: Break out these colorful and healthy bowls at your next barbecue, family dinner, or turn your next lunch with friends into a picnic in the park.


Have fun with your salads this summer and experiment with new ways to serve each salad. You can control portion sizes, stretch your resources, ramp up the visual appeal, and even make cleaning up a snap. Here’s to the summer of salad!

Thank you again Whitney for this great post with wonderful tips on Summer Salads!

Tell us, what is your favorite way to serve a salad?

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Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Shopping Smart to Support Schools #BTSLikeABoss {ad}


It is crazy to think that in 3 weeks I will be heading back to work for the school year and my oldest will be starting kindergarten!  This year is a momentous year for us with some big changes.  Namely full day kindergarten.  So it is time for me to get myself and my kiddo Back to School Like a Boss.

Back to school, Walmart, shopping, Box Tops, Kleenex, Scott Tissue

How is it that my little baby boy is already 5 and starting FULL DAY Kindergarten.  His school only has this option and although I am nervous, I already love his teacher, his school and he has some friends in class already.  It should be a wonderful experience. 



With Preschool the back to school shopping was minimal.  We paid tuition so all the school supplies were covered and basically I just needed to get him a little backpack, some sunscreen and a few new shirts and pants and shoes.  It would take me quite a bit of time to get it all done, and I would be running to a few different stores to find the best prices. 

With two kids and a busy summer, running from store to store is just not going to happen.  I need a good one stop shop for everything on our back to school supply list.   Walmart is my go to school supply store to get us back to school both in style and in budget.  What is even better is that I can also get everything on my list and support our little school as well by shopping smart for Box Tops! 

Box Tops for Education is a nationwide loyalty program that gives ten cents for each box top collected back to the schools.  It is a fantastic way for parents and community members to give back to schools and Walmart carries one of the largest selections of Box Tops products that I have seen. 

Back to school, Walmart, shopping, Box Tops, Kleenex, Scott Tissue

What is more is that Kimberly-Clark products have a fantastic amount of items out right now with huge box top points.  I purchased the Kleenex and the Scott paper towels and toilet paper.  The Kleenex and Paper Towels will definitely be going back to school with my little man in a few short weeks.  Kindergarteners are boogery, messes and I know his teacher will appreciate both the items and the box tops!

If you are looking to get #BTSLikeABoss, make sure to check out Walmart and help give back to your schools with Box Tops.

Do you collect Box Tops?


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Enjoying Summertime with TCBY Frozen Yogurt #Recipe #GetTheScoop [AD]




Summer is quickly fleeting and so busy.  It is easy to get into some terrible eating habits with all the backyard BBQ's and Fairs and Weddings.  If you are anything like me, you crave sweets but you need a better option.  Well, look no further and start enjoying summertime with TCBY Frozen Yogurt!

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TCBY Frozen Yogurt has literally been a lifesaver this summer for my waistline and my blood sugar. Each flavor has 3-4 grams of protein and 7 probiotic cultures with HALF the fat of ice cream.  The taste is divine too.  What is even better is that you can easily pick it up at your local store.  I found it easiest to check the TCBY website to find my closest store. 

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TCBY Frozen Yogurt comes in 8 fantastic flavors
  • Mint Chocolate Chip
  • Classic Vanilla Bean
  • Double Chocolate Chunk
  • Extreme Cookies N' Cream
  • Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
  • Chocolate Moose Tracks
  • Sea Salt Caramel Swirl
  • English Toffee Crunch
We snagged the Mint Chocolate Chip and rushed home to cool off in our beautiful backyard.  These 90+ degree days are killing us here in Colorado and a quick sweet treat is just what we needed to refresh. 


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When I say simple I mean extremely simple, you just need 2 ingredients and blender!  Grab your milk and frozen yogurt and blend it up!  Top it with some whipped creme and enjoy

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3 scoops of TCBY mint chocolate chip frozen yogurt & 1 cup of milk will give you a nice malt
Look how darn happy my little man is to enjoy a healthier, refreshing snack in this dry heat.  It is one snack I just do not feel bad about giving my kids.  Probiotics are great for digestive health and unlike ice cream this will not back up my kids digestive system.

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Would you like a chance to enjoy some fantastic TCBY Frozen Yogurt treats?  Well if you are in the Denver, Phoenix or Houston areas, you should definitely check out the "Get The Scoop" Tour!  Folks attending the “Get The Scoop” Tour will receive a $1 coupon for TCBY products, free TCBY samples, and giveaway opportunities!  You know I love coupons & freebies, so just do it. 

Can't make the tour?  Well, enter the Rafflecopter form below to enter to win a 3 months supply (6 cartons) of TCBY Frozen Yogurt!



So tell me, what flavor would you snag?

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Monday, July 20, 2015

#SummerThemeWeeks Adventure Week Recap and Beyond

Back again for another wonderful recap of our Summer!  Last week was Adventure week and boy did we have some adventures.  Here was our original plan.

Summer Theme Weeks, Adventure Week,

Movie Monday:  We spent the day at home because we accidentally overslept and missed our movie time, but no big deal, NETFLIX for the win!  Mr. Peabody and Sherman was adorable and I think the peanut was really into it.


Time off Tuesday: After pulling close to an all nighter on Monday night and then one of my classes being cancelled and finishing my 20 page, peer-reviewed preliminary action research project for my masters program, I would hardly call Tuesday, "time-off", but for the kids it was.  They spent the day with grandma shopping and baking.  Oh and also, I passed my initial review! So 5 more classes left and that Masters Degree is mine!

Water Wednesday:  We decided to go to an actual pool because my son is working on swimming in deeper water.  We headed to our local recreation center and let me tell you, my little man is doing phenomenal.  He is no where ready to swim by himself but I think in a few months he will be a little fish!  I didn't get any photos of him swimming because I was right there with him, but we did play a little in the shallows and had a nice time.



Travel Thursday:  In our adventure we decided to take on the wild animals and do something that we had not done before...feed giraffes!  We had a blast and although I am not entirely sure that $20.00 and 5 minutes was a great exchange, my kids had a nice time and it was a great experience. 





Family Friday:  This weekend was insanely busy with prepping for my sisters wedding and trying to finish school work.  The kids spent a lot of time running errands with us and playing outside in our yard.  
Blowing Bubbles with the dogs
The potty stand off was a constant in our errand running lives.
Normally I would be introducing our theme this week, but after 6 weeks, I am spent.  It has been a great run and we have a lot more adventures planned for the weeks to come.  I hope you have enjoyed them and I PROMISE to return with some new and different ones next summer. 

Thanks for a great Summer!

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