Friends & Friends (6.7.22)
As a parent, one of my greatest joys is seeing my kids play together. But right behind that is seeing them play with their own friends!! Friends that they seek out on their own and enjoy laughing with.
Yesterday I spent the day at Mazen’s school at Field Day. I volunteered at the Dunk Tank as multiple classes came through to dunk the principal!! It was hilarious (and I have sunburn lines all over my body from standing in the sun!)
More than seeing Mazen dunk his principal, I loved seeing him with his teacher and class! These guys spend so much time at school, but we don’t get to actually be there to see it happen! But I hear names of his friends and classmates all the time, so as the kids came through the dunk tank and Dr. K was shouting them out I recognized so many names I’d heard at the dinner table.
Birch has a buddy too! They talk about each other everyday, and the report from their teachers is that they are inseparable. We invited Birch’s friend and his mom to the pool for a playdate and these two had the BEST TIME!
Especially because Birch is a pandemic toddler, he hasn’t had as much interaction with peers as Mazen did when he was young. So it’s been so great to see him giggling with friends!
Summer Things (5.24.22)
The Adult Pool
Pool season arrived this weekend!! I think our temps reached 95 degrees. It was HOT! I took myself up to the ACAC rooftop deck after class on Saturday and breathed in so much happiness. I hadn’t been up there in YEARS and it is such a perfect setting!
The Family Pool
Later that day, we went to our summer pool for a soft opening and live music. The water wasn’t even cold, and we all got in!
Our pool re-did its rickety play structure into this gorgeous tree house. We will be spending a lot of time there this year!!
We’ve also been hitting the splash pads before the pools open for good. Although B prefers the hot playground side!
Beautycounter’s Summer Sale Is Almost Over
The Beautycounter sale is ending soon. If you want to try some reef-safe zinc-based sunscreen, brighten your skin for summer, or overhaul your complexion with the aging line, Countertime, now is the time to get 15-20% off your entire order! (There’s also a great travel set that’s less expensive to use for summer travel and test drive it out!)
Did you hear Madewell is 25% off all week/weekend too?! I might have to head over there!
Summer Berries & Pastries
One of Thomas’s clients gifted us a box of Marie Bette pastries. We loved them all weekend!
Smoothie bowls are also on the summer menu!
My friend Erin owns Dogwood & Thistle with her hubby the winemaker. The Sauv Blanc was excellent at the Wool Factory wine tasting last week!
Our sun is gone today, but I hope it’s back tomorrow!
Mother’s Day 5.10.22
Hi!!!!!!!!!! We had a cold and cloudy weekend here that was brightened by Mother’s Day!!
Mother’s Day Picnic
Birch’s school had its first in-person event (EVER for me!) with a Mother’s Day picnic! It was so sweet to see him play with his friends and meet some of the other mothers. (I know some friends and some mothers from passing but not all!)
Our team won our division championship!! It was a bit of a miracle given that we had to play woman down due to a last minute absence on our team. But we pulled off a 3-0 win with lots of good passing!
Mother’s Day at The Quirk Rooftop
At Mazen’s request, we went back to the Quirk Rooftop for dinner. It was too cold and windy to sit outside, but the ambiance on the inside is super nice too! Nona and Grandpa joined us as well.
The most delicious cocktail: The Driftwood. It had grilled pineapple, bourbon, bitters, and simple syrup.
We shared a cheese board, shishito peppers, salad and pizzas. Plus apple crisp! Delicious! (Mazen was sad they took the nachos off the menu 🙁 )
Daddy’s New Toy
Father’s Day and Mother’s Day must have gotten mixed up because Thomas got himself a new toy that the boys are very excited about! (Inspired by him watching the Formula 1 show on Netflix….!)
Life Lately 5.3.22
It’s been a minute since I did a Real Talk post!
I said I wasn’t going to let these real time posts drag me down when life was busy, and clearly things have been busy. I’m still catching up from my trip to Washington with Beautycounter, and came home to a bunch of errands (2x dentist appts, haircuts, etc.). I hate running errands because they make my day so inefficient! I think batching them into one long “errand day” is the most ideal.
Rewinding back a few weeks….
Tom Tom Festival
A few weeks ago Charlottesville celebrated its founder with the Tom Tom Festival. For two days our downtown pedestrian mall turned into a block party with events, live music, and open containers allowed (!) Having finished my 10 day quarantine, it was like a rebirth into the community I love.
SO many people were out and about!
Mugs + Smooves!
Sunny Days Ahead
The boys picked the coldest day of spring to have a water balloon fight.
Nona and Grandpa hosted the boys for a sleepover last weekend and we had the WHOLE HOUSE TO OURSELVES! We went out for dinner at Tavola (long-time!!) and then came home to install a new Simplisafe doorbell – lol.
We spent the next morning brainstorming ways to change our house. More to come on that soon!
Cheers to Mazen for running 27 laps in his school’s Walkathon!
I love it when the boys get trims, and yet with their school schedules it’s so hard to find the time. Hence why Mazen’s hair looked like this recently:
Here’s the during…our compromise was super short back and super long bangs!
And the after!
Birch is next.
I did some spring shopping and am obsessed with these new Lou + Gray Poplin Pants!! Love the fabric and cut. They’re also 30% off! I also bought these similar style pants from Madewell. These are both like a dressier version of the joggers I live in.
Daily Harvest Topped with Gratisfied Granola Clusters
Birch On Birch
Pics from Easter 4.19.22
We had a beautiful Easter in Charlottesville! The weather was on point (even though it sleeted the next day!) and while we weren’t feeling all that great, we did our best to celebrate.
If you missed it on Instagram, both boys came down with covid symptoms. They are both on the mend now, but it was a bit rocky for a few days there. Easter was Mazen’s worst day (he woke up with a fever) and he wasn’t very happy about it!
The Easter Bunny wrote them a nice note and brought them plenty of cheery up goodies. Did you know the EB shops local at Alakazam? Love it when toy stores are a one-stop shop!
As per Younger family tradition, the EB hid their baskets so the boys had to hunt for them in the morning. Birch’s was in the corner of the guest room, and Mazen’s was well hidden behind a frame in the basement fireplace!
Thomas and I filled eggs the night before for an egg hunt in our yard. So sad to miss all the public ones this year, especially because egg hunting is Birch’s year-round favorite pastime!
Gussie wanted to show that he hunted for his bone and found it in the tall grass!
We ended the holiday with our favorite family dinner: taco night!
Hope you all had a beautiful weekend! Can’t wait for more warm ones to come.
I’ve Waited A Long Time For This 4.13.22
What’s worth the wait? A gorgeous day in the mid-80s!!! Finally we can wear shorts and tanks without feeling cold.
What’s not worth the wait?
Yep, it finally reached our household. Do I look like I have a fever and body aches in this pic? Probably not because sunshine and fresh air really helped. Birch and I ate our lunches outside, picnic style.
So far I’ve been the only one with symptoms, and it was just one bad day of feeling sick and has turned into a head cold. TGF vaccines.
Honestly the hardest part has been parenting through it all. Wish I could curl up and watch Netflix, but instead I was pushing a scooter around the block : / I’m trying to smile through it all, but not being able to rest much has been really hard.
I’m trying to stay away from Mazen and Thomas as much as I can, but you know you can’t separate much from a three year old : )
We have no idea where I got it. Our best guess is eating inside a restaurant on BHI, either from our server or a droplet in the air. This thing is SO contagious!
Thanks to my amazing mother in law for dropping off food this week <3 Revolutionary Soup + the Adam’s Apple sandwich.
Birch will be out of school for a looooong time since he is not yet vaccinated, so we did some painting lessons yesterday. He is very talented!
And that’s that.
I Am Ending The Blog 4.1.22
Friends, it’s been a really lovely 15 years. But the time has come to close up shop.
It’s fool-able because it’s believable, right? 15 years!!
Not to worry – I’m not going anywhere except…
We’re heading to Bald Head Island for Spring Break!
Thomas, Birch and I are heading down this morning for the week. Yep, that means Mazen is missing, which is super sad because he LOVES BHI!
However he is going to the one place that might be more exciting for an almost-10-year-old: Disneyland! He’s in California with Matt and Katie for the week.
I can’t wait to hear what he thinks of my favorite ride there – Indiana Jones. I went with my California cousins right after it opened in the 90s and it was super cool.
My First Visit To Disney
We went to Disney World for the first time when I was in 4th grade.
Sometime around when the fashion looked like this:
My favorite Disney World ride is (was) Alien Encounter. I am devastated that I just Googled it and it closed in 2003!! I loved how scary it was to feel the alien around you in the dark. I also love Space Mountain and the E.T. ride over at Universal too. (I guess I really like space things!?) And Pirates and Small World. Classics!
We went back to Disney when I was in middle school.
The fashion then was more like this:
We would love to take both kids to Disney World in the next year or so. I get so overwhelmed thinking of all the details of planning and crowds and cost, but it’s something that we definitely want to do. Thomas has never been!
I can’t decide if we want to do a shorter trip and just skim the surface or go all in, see all the parks, and stay for a week. I get exhausted just thinking about theme parks for more than two days in a row. Please share your recommendations!
Obviously we have to take Birch to Pirates of the Caribbean! And I haven’t been to Universal since Harry Potter World was built – is it as magical as it seems?
This week I’ll be on Island Time
But this year, we’ll be relaxing by the marsh and hanging out with my parents for the week.
I’m planning to do a mid-week blog post with some photos, but otherwise will be taking the week off of regular posting.
Have a great spring break!
Real Talk 3.22.22
I have spring things to share today!
First, my mom’s birthday was Sunday – the first day of spring! HBD Mom! We’ve been enjoying lots of warmer weather, and I hope it’s here to stay.
My favorite days of the year are warm (but not hot or cold) days where we can throw open all the windows in the house. That is until it’s so windy that plants are blowing over!! #fail
Irish Soda Bread
Also my favorite bread of the year from Great Harvest! I picked up two loaves before St. Patty’s Day and frozen one to have it last beyond. SO GOOD toasted to a crisp with butter!
Mazen started golf lessons yesterday! Thomas bought him some new clubs to fit his height since he’s older ones were a few years old.
We aren’t sure if Birch will be able to use all of Mazen’s old clubs because Birch is left handed! (Like me!) Should we teach him to golf rightie? Most lefties (like me) are fairly ambidextrous when it comes to sports, so I think he could easily learn. But we obviously want him to be comfortable!
With warmer weather comes dining outside and cold smoothies! Love the Daily Harvest Acai and Cherry (it’s my favorite flavor) with granola on top. Enjoyed in the sun!
Caraway Home + Asparagus
We needed new sheet pans and I bought us these baking sheets from Caraway Home for Christmas. This is not sponsored! They are the BEST SHEET PANS EVER. Caked on food literally wipes off. I bought one medium and one large. The large has handles on the side that I like for easy lifting. They are seriously awesome. I hope they stay looking this nice!
The spring asparagus cooked with roasted potatoes, salmon and an amazing ranchy sour cream sauce. All Blue Apron
Our Little Blue Truck
Birch and I walk past our friend’s house every morning on the way to school. He has a blue truck that he uses to deliver Meals On Wheels. Birch always comments that it’s THE Little Blue Truck. We took our friend Birch’s book to read, and that afternoon he had something for Birch – the springtime version of the book! So sweet of him, and Birch was thrilled.
Real Talk 3.16.22
I said I wasn’t coming back this week, but I am energized! Popping in to share some pics from our family fishing adventure yesterday.
I feel so grateful that 1) We both have jobs that allow us to do things with the kids in the afternoons and 2) the weather is finally getting warm!
Mazen and Thomas were convinced the fish were still hibernating (do they do that??)
I was convinced the snakes were coming OUT of hibernation when we had to walk along the shoreline to get to the boat! YIKES. I had a really scary experience at a summer camp when I was young were supposedly harmless water snakes were coming up to my canoe and attacking it. It was very odd, and I have no idea what prompted them to do this. So I decided to stay on the dock!
Birch was convinced they’d catch a fish. He was right!
We are so lucky to have fisherboys in the family.
We fish at the pond next to Thomas’s parents’ house, so we brought dinner to cook for them afterwards. I scooted up to the house to make it while the boys finished up. This was a Blue Apron focaccia pizza with Italian sausage and salad on the side. It was totally delish!!
Hope you’re enjoying these quick posts!
New Real Talk Series 3.15.22
I’ve been thinking of adding a fourth post each week where I just sit down to write what’s on my mind. Just like in the olden days!
It’s so hard to believe I used to publish TWENTY ONE blog posts a week!
I always tell people that it was easy to do because my content (what I ate) auto generated and I just wrote fluff around it. Turns out people used to really love fluff! Do you still?
KERF will be 15 this year!
Over the past year or so, I have gotten into a really wonderful flow of working ahead. I LOVE working ahead.
I think I have shared before that when I was in college I would ask for the reading list over the summer so I could get a head start on the stack of books assigned for the course. This meant I had more flexibility in my semester – mostly for play! (nerd alert)
I absolutely hate procrastination, and I’ve always needed flexibility to minimize anxiety and pressure on myself. I don’t work well under pressure.
The never-ending blog calendar has always been and love-hate for me. I love creating posts, but I don’t love the feeling of having to create posts forever. Working ahead has taken some of that stress away.
Working ahead on blog posts has taken so much of the pressure off of my weeks.
My virtual assistant, Hillary, and I have a content planning system inside the productivity app Asana. We geek out over its organization all the time.
For the past year or so, I’ve been focusing on writing posts that are SEO optimized and more “helpful” and evergreen topics that I’m excited to write about don’t require me to write so at the moment.
This is a good thing. And the evergreen posts are doing well, too.
I am working a few weeks ahead at all times. That means if Birch is home from school, or I otherwise get an interruption in scheduling, or just need a day off, that can happen worry-free.
As you know I’m still doing travel and lately recaps as trips or photo collections populate. But they seem to be fewer and far between. As much as I like working ahead, I do miss being in the moment. Those posts are always the easiest and most fun to type up!
Real Talk Series
I started to think that in addition (not instead of) my regular 3 posts a week I could sit down and just type up some thoughts with a photo or two and share the day with you all like I did when this blog was young. I have absolutely no idea if I’ll like this style or not or if I’ll do it more than once or twice a month. But it seems like a good bridge between evergreen posts and the old real-time blog posts that so many loved over a decade ago.
I always have a million ideas swirling around, so these posts could focus on a topic of the day or be a round up of favorites – really whatever feels good in the moment.
Toss in a nice photo of breakfast and it’s a blast from the past!
I’m attempting to do this without pressure. If I feel like posting I will on a Tuesday, Thursday, or Saturday. And if not, that’s cool!
One Long Post
The last detail of this news is that I think I’m going to stack tidbits on top of each other and republish the same post rather than having real talk after real talk posts go up that might be hard to find or clutter up my back end. I might delete the oldest one as time passes so there are no more than 5-10 updates on one page. I hope that makes sense!
There’s nothing particularly juicy in this post – just wanted to set the stage for next time so it doesn’t seem so out of the blue!
Back to the future!
Greek yogurt bowl with granola, peanut butter, and pears!
What do you think about this idea?
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