my scraps

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Back to Basics | What I Wore - #ootd

I can't help myself. When all the Back to School ads start coming, I find myself wanting to go back to school shopping. . .for myself! I have very fond memories of going clothes shopping for new fall fashions with my mom. We'd head out early and hit the mall, making a day of it, with a stop for a "ladies lunch" complete with iced tea. To this day I love to shop with my mom - she has a great eye for quality and style.

It's still pretty warm, but there's been a chill in the air that makes my toes tingle with the anticipation of a great pair of boots. But for now, my feet are firmly still in sandals but I am starting to transition, grabbing cardis to take with me and choosing jeans more than shorts.

The kids are off for two weeks before school starts, so there's lots of lazy days, enjoying the last bits of summer. Dress is casual and comfortable for all us, and for me that means basics like this white t-shirt and jean combination.

Mid-Life Mom Style - White T Shirt and Jeans

Jeans - Lee Jeans
T-Shirt - Lands End
Sandals - Born (old and well-loved)
Necklace - Stella and Dot
Earrings - Kate Spade
Bracelets - AnnikaLane, Alex and Ani, Stella and Dot and Tiffany
 Do you have a favorite white t-shirt? They can be so hard to find - too thin, too short, too boxy . . .this one, from Lands End is my current favorite, with just a bit of stretch. The wedge sandals and statement necklace, give it a little kick of style.

Mid-Life Mom Style, Statement Necklace and Bracelet Stack

What are you wearing right now? Is the air getting cooler where you live?

catch you soon -
This post is linked up at The Pleated Poppy and at Get Your Pretty On

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Monday, August 18, 2014

Menu Plan Monday - 2014 Week 34

We are in the midst of winding down summer vacation around here. We are keeping things simple and casual, by using the grill, enjoying fresh produce and eating outside whenever we can. Using these strategies, limits the heat of the oven and dishes to clean up.

I've enjoyed the slower pace of summer break meal planning, and I'm thinking about how we can incorporate some of those ideas into our more hectic fall meal planning. Are you making any changes to your meal planning when the season changes?

Here's what we have planned for this week:

Monday - Phillies Game fare
Tuesday - Shrimp and Pasta, with spinach perhaps (just throwing this together off my head)
Wednesday - Flank Steak and Caprese Salad
Thursday - Grilled Chicken, Baked Potatoes, Green Vegetable (broccoli or zucchini)
Friday - Pizza Night
Saturday and Sunday -  TBD

What's on your plan this week?

catch you soon -
This post is linked up at I'm An Organizing Junkie for Menu Plan Monday

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Play it Again | What I Wore #ootd

Remember when I mentioned that many people only wear 20% of their wardrobe? If that's the case, then we are duplicating our favorite fashions time and time again. It simplifies things, but how much is too much for a favorite look?

For me, much of the decision making in duplicating an outfit, is who I will see. That can also mean, who will see me (via social media pictures and in person). If we see each other three times a year and I am wearing the same casual blouse with my jeans, that's just not good - no matter how good it may look on me.

Part of developing your own sense of style, is variety and presenting that variety in your outfit choices. For instance - here's a skirt I wore earlier this week for client meetings (I've had it for years). Typically, I wear it with a black t-shirt and black sandals, but I changed it up a little to freshen the look.
Mid-Life Mom Style - Pink Print Skirt and T-shirt

Skirt - classiques entier (Nordstrom)
Shirt - Lands End
Sandals - Target
Bag - Kate Spade
Necklace - Ann Taylor
Earrings - Stella and Dot
Bracelets - Tiffany, Alex and Ani,

With the AC on it was chilly, so I added a plain black cardi from Lands End and for my second meeting, changed into a black sandal with a small heel. Changes don't have to be huge to subtly change the whole "look", even with a noticeable piece, like this pink print skirt. 

How do you change up and style your favorite pieces to avoid outfit burnout?

catch you soon -
This post is linked up at The Pleated Poppy and at Get Your Pretty On

Monday, August 11, 2014

Menu Plan Monday - 2014 Week 33

Summer is quickly winding down, but we're planning to enjoy these last three weeks of carefree afternoons with no time constraints. There are 33 Weekly Meal Plans for 2014 up on the blog, for you to review and use to plan your own ideas for family meals. I am no super-chef. They all use ingredients found at your local store, and require a minimum of muss and fuss in your kitchen.

Let me know what ones you add to your own weekly meal plan!

Here's what I'm planning for this week's meals:

Monday - Ribs and Hot Dogs, Green Salad, Pasta Salad
Tuesday - Taco Tuesday, Corn, Guacamole
Wednesday - Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Potatoes
Thursday - Easy Dinner like Nuggets, (Summer Camp Family Fling Night)
Friday - Leftovers or Pizza Night
Saturday and Sunday - TBD

What's for dinner at your house this week?

catch you soon -
This post is linked up at I'm An Organizing Junkie for Menu Plan Monday.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

School Lunches - How to Make them Healthy AND Fun

Reusable Lunch Bag

This post was created in partnership with Stonyfield. All opinions are my own.

If I asked you to draw your "Dream Lunch", what would your drawing include? Mine would almost definitely include a menu and someone else preparing it! Well I asked my kids what their dream lunches would be like and I got this:

Drawing of a Healthy Lunch

Making school and camp lunches has become my husband's job. I plan and prepare all our dinners, so I feel like this is an even trade. What is it about making lunches that seems so difficult? I laugh with my mom, because despite her best attempts, I took a peanut butter and jelly sandwich (on white bread even) for lunch EVERY DAY from kindergarten to 12th grade and was perfectly happy.

That doesn't stop me from worrying about the variety and healthiness of the lunches we prepare for our own kids. It's so easy to fall into the sandwich, chips, cookies and drink trap. And while that is perfectly fine. . .it's even better to mix it up and include the healthiest options you can. is a program from Annie's, Organic Valley, Applegate, Rudi's and Honest Kids, to encourage healthier lunches. The site offers tons of lunch ideas for kids of all ages and dietary preferences. There are also money saving coupons to help with your lunch box shopping! Stonyfield sent me some samples and coupons to see what kind of healthy (and fun) lunch ideas we could come up with, to share with all of you.

After looking at their drawing, we had a little discussion about things we could change about their lunches to improve both making them AND eating them. My Middle School kid almost always buys lunch - he enjoys the freedom and variety offered at school, and we've made our peace with that. The second grader is more picky, and brings his lunch from home most days. In his case, we have a lot more control over what he has for lunch.

So here's what we discussed for bringing lunches from home:

Fruit and yogurt are two favorites. We're big fans of Stonyfield's Lemonade and Blueberry Yokids squeezers, and almost all fruits. So it's easy to think about including one or both of these options on a daily basis.

Stonyfield YoKids Squeezers

I'm also going to try more fruit medleys - like blueberries and mandarin oranges or strawberries and bananas. Thanks to Pinterest, I found a way to put sliced apples in their lunch too - cut them into wedges, and hold them together with a rubber band to prevent browning without using lemon juice.

Both kids are picky about the main component of lunch - only caring for ham and cheese sandwiches or for Owen, jelly sandwiches. This is where it gets rough for me, but luckily I can make some healthier decisions about lunchmeat (like Applegate) and cheeses (like Organic Valley), and look for jellies and fruit spreads with lower sugar and no added stuff like coloring or flavoring. After checking out the RocktheLunchBox site, I'm also going to try some cheese quesedillas and using whole grain waffles this year too.

Lunches need a little crunch, so Cheddar Bunnies (Annie's), Pretzels and Pop Corn are all good choices and make a great "trail mix" when mixed together.

Lunchtime drink options can include water, a milk box or juice pouch (Honest Kids) to keep things healthy.

Sometimes, dad doesn't feel like making lunches, and a portable, per-assembled lunch is a dream come true!  Luckily I found these Half-Time options from Applegate. Add an apple and a healthy drink and lunch is made in a flash!

Half Time Lunch Kit from Applegate

Making your lunch interesting and fun to look at, can have great results. Owen can't wait to pack up this bento box style lunch container from Laptop Lunches (it's even Made in the USA!)

Bento Box Lunch Ideas

Tips for Getting Your Kids to Eat a Healthy Lunch
  • Plan and shop for lunch ingredients together.
  • Go slow - even if you only change one thing, it's an improvement.
  • Read labels, and don't be afraid to share what you find out with your kids.
  • Make lunch fun with a Bento Box, re-usable bags and lunchbox they help pick out.
  • Encourage them to bring home what they don't eat, so you know what they like and what's working.
How do you encourage your kids to pack or choose a healthy lunch?

catch you soon -
Disclosure - I was asked if I wanted to participate in helping to spread the word about the program as part of my Yo-Getter partnership with Stonyfield, and received coupons and lunchbox items pictured in the post. As always, all opinions are my very own.