A Summer Running Challenge



There are some people who run, and those who don’t. Personally, I’m a yogi and HIIT kind of girl.

This past semester our boys took to running. They love it. Their school participated in Kids on the Go! The goal is to get kids to run the length of a marathon by the end of the semester. The kids run the last mile in front of their friends and family at a local high school.

Javen ran 100 miles, and Pierce ran 45 miles! Wow! Not bad for a third grader and a kindergartner. Javen won the Golden Shoe Award for his outstanding effort and running more miles than anyone else in the school. Both boys received medals for their amazing effort.

My husband never backs down from a challenge and wants to keep the running spirit alive over the summer. As a result, Javen and Kevin will see who can reach 100 miles over the span of June and July. The winner gets a Fitbit or activity tracker of their choice.

I’m so proud of their accomplishments.

I’ll be on the mat if anyone needs me.
Amanda

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How Do You Take Your Coffee?


Photo by Tyler Nix on Unsplash

First of all, you have to put something good in it. That’s what one friend told my husband when he offered her a cup of coffee. I have to agree.

About a year and a half ago, I started cutting out milk and other dairy products. (I still have trouble letting go of cheese.) At that time, I also started drinking coffee. The problem was that it didn’t taste good black. Hello? Who wants to drink bitter water? Sorry, honey. I know that’s how you drink your coffee.

Since milk was out, I opted for a newfound beverage. Did you know they make chocolate almond milk? Also, affectionately referred to at our house as chocolate nut juice. The best cafe mocha takes two ingredients. Equal parts coffee and chocolate almond milk. Heat it up for about 30 seconds, and you have a delicious hot beverage that will save you a boatload of money and calories.

So, how do you take your coffee? Do you put anything good in it?

Amanda

We Made the Move: 5 Things I Love About Naples

We now call Naples our home. Moving from Texas for my husband's job has been an adjustment. Naples has everything you could want with a small town feel. Here are five things I have grown to love since moving here.



The Beach

It has to be the first thing on the list. The water draws your eyes in with the different shades of blue and the gentle waves. Every time we go to the beach, we don't want to leave. It's a permanent vacation interrupted by work and school.

The Weather

Growing up in Texas, I'm used to the sweltering heat. Florida adds a little humidity, but we're alright with that. It helps with static in our hair. Winter is a dream. The days reached 60 degrees and the lows dipped down to 30 in January. Pleasant is an understatement.


Lush

In the mornings, the haze rises up from the ponds all around our house. It fills the field between us and the thick orange orchard. Beyond that is a dense forest of palms and pines. We live in a rainforest. Adventure calls to me through the fog, but I quickly remember that I have to make breakfast and send children off to school. By that time, the fog has lifted. One morning I will answer it's call.

The streets are lined with palms, magnolias, and pines. Trash knows better than to land on the streets. Communities beg you to look at the massive gates and ornate entrances. Mangroves line the beaches allowing you to hear the beach before seeing the beauty just on the other side. A tame, lush rainforest describes Naples best.

No Traffic

It may not be a romantic notion, but there is something wonderful about not dealing with traffic. Coming from a metro area such as DFW, I am blissfully aware of the ease of driving around Naples. Getting from one place to another is easy. Road construction and traffic jams are almost non-existent.

We heard horror stores about in-season. Since Naples is a tourist town, the winter months welcome an influx of northern visitors. I almost laughed, when winter rolled around. We were told to make reservations two months in advance for restaurants. Nope! We were told that the time needed to get around town would double. Nope! The locals have not lived in a metro area. I will take in-season over a metro traffic jam any day.


The Young Crowd

I have reached the age where I'm no longer bearing children and came to the realization that I'm not going to stay young forever. What age do you start using retinol? Why do I have to worry about wrinkles and acne at the same time? The routine of life shows on mommy's face, and then it dawns on me that I was the median age in our Texas town.

Not in Naples. The median age is 65! That's right. I just joined the young whipper-snapper club once again.

Finding friends and building a village is a little harder when most people are here only six months out of the year and have grown children. However, it has given me a different perspective on life. If you want a village you have to find it. It will not come looking for you.


Texas will always be our home, but Naples is proving to be a lovely place to live. Have you visited Naples? If so, what are your favorite spots?

Amanda

Book Review: Triangle


Teaching kiddos shapes can get a little boring after a while. Flash cards are only exciting for so long. There is hope for the parents wanting to pass along the knowledge of shapes without boring yourself to tears.

Shapes now have a story. Triangle, by Mac Barnett and illustrated by Jon Klassen, will help your kiddos learn shapes without them knowing it. Triangle plays a trick on square, but square won't let it go. He follows triangle back to play a prank on him. During the journey, they pass by different shapes.

This book shapes up to be terrific for learning. Ha! I had to.

Happy Reading,

Amanda

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Etsy: Book Themed Tea Party

During spring time, I think of baby lambs and thunderstorms. The two have nothing in common, but that's what comes to mind. Some might think of tea parties and ladies having brunch. If that's you, then you will love this collection. Make it a book themed tea party and send me an invitation. 

Fuchsia Kitten makes paper bouquets from pages of books. I'm going to say this is creative instead of sacrilege. Use these floret pages as a centerpiece for the perfect book themed tea party.

Finding a tea party invitation is not easy. I love this simple but elegant invitation from Four Wet Feet.


Every tea party needs tea cups and saucers. Via Lucia Vintage will send you a mismatched set of vintage tea cups. Send each of your guest home with a special set.


This pillow sums up my life. The only thing missing is the beach. Since this is a tea party, it works perfectly. You can get this sweet pillow from The Sweetest Digs Co.


It's an unwritten rule that tea parties must have lace table cloths. If grandma will not let you borrow one, then head over to Vintage Linens. They have a fantastic selection.


Chiki Bird you have outdone yourself! I'm in love with this hat and would not need the excuse of a tea party to wear this amazing hat. The tea party does make it less awkward though.


A book themed tea party would not be complete without a list of recommended books. Have everyone at the party write down her favorite book on Pretty Paper Cottage vintage library check out cards. Your guests can use it as a book mark and a check list for their next great read.

Tea parties are an excuse to get dressed up and eat tiny treats. Add in books, and you have the perfect tea party.

Taste Testing Scones,

Amanda