Archive for August, 2012

As my final “Back To School Post” I decided to post a few outfits my kids will be wearing to school this year…

Waiting For The Bus

Outfits from left to right in bottom picture: M – Blazer & Boots – Target,  Pants – Old Navy, Tie – JcPenny’s, Tee – The Children’s Place; P – Plaid Shirt, Monster Tee & Jeans – The Children’s Place, Tennies – Gift; G – Top – Kohl’s, Skinnies & Zebra Scarf – The Children’s Place, Shoes – Gift; E – Dress & Tights – LLBean, Boots – Target

All of their backpacks are from LLBean because they have a lifetime warranty.  We get our children them at the beginning of Elementary, Middle and High School so Miranda’s is no longer featured since it’s her 3rd year using it but here is Pierce’s and Gabrielle’s.  We also get them the matching lunchbag.

Playing Preppy

From left to right in bottom picture: P – Plaid Shirt – Kohl’s, Vest, Skinnies & Boots – The Children’s Place, E – Skirt, Shirt & Tights – The Children’s Place, Boots – Target, Hair Accessory – Homemade, G – Shirt – Justice Girls, Skirt – The Children’s Place, Shoes – Gift, M – ShirtSkirt & Shoes – The Children’s Place

Schoolhouse Rock

From left to right in middle picture: G – Shirt and Scarf – Charming Charlie (Sorry they currently don’t sell things on-line), Pants & Boots – Old Navy, P – Gorilla Tee – Old Navy, Pants & Shoes – The Children’s Place, Costume Hoody – Kohl’s, E – They are all items from when my older girls were young, so sorry but can’t find them, M – Pants & Tee – The Children’s Place, Skirt – Kohl’s, Boots – Target (I apologize that all of the items for her outfit seem to be sold out so couldn’t get any links.)

My kids helped pick out all of their outfits and we had so much fun, playing around and laughing while getting taking these pictures!  I’ll try to download a slide show to LE’s FB page later on that shows you more of the fun photos I took.  We laughed so hard when looking back at them.  Though it may be one of those things that’s funnier for us than you!  

For now it’s time to say good-bye to the “Back To School” posts.  We leave tomorrow to go camping over labor day weekend and when we come back it will be a busy schedule with school starting September 4th and extra curricular activities quickly getting underway, but we are looking forward to them all.  (The kids a little more than my husband and I, ha, ha.)

Wishing you all an EXQUISITE school year!


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(Dress – Francesca’s Similar, Belt – Gift, Shoes – Maurices, Jewelry – Claire’s)

I love it when my children get in on my photo shoots.  Originally my son was standing in the background spitting water off of the porch…

…(hence the little drip on his cheek that looks like a tear), but eventually he got bored with watering the lawn and decided standing in front of me making goofy faces and acting like a monkey was more fun.  I enjoyed his monkey play.

It was love at first sight when I saw this blue crocheted dress in Francesca’s.  The moment I took it off the rack I knew I’d be pairing it with the owl belt my wonderful friend, Morgan (owner of The Scarlet Poppe) got for me.  I also thought I’d be wearing a pair of boots with it but the brown of my belt didn’t match the brown of my knee-high brown boots so it was the perfect excuse to buy the penny loafer heels I’d been eyeing up at Maurices.  I can find an excuse to purchase pretty much anything as long as it fits into my budget!

I’ve had this dress since the beginning of August but was saving it for my cousins reception (My cousin who’s wedding I posted about here.) where I had a wonderful time with some of my favorite family and friends…

I always laugh so much when I’m with these people. With them I have some of my favorite memories!

More of my favorite people!

My grandpa and grandma cuttin’ a rug. As you can see nobody even bothers dancing when they are on the floor because our dancing fails to compare.

My narcissistic companions and I. (Right to left) My cousin, Becky, my sister, Karlee and I (we’re missing my cousins Cindy and Julie).  We’re always joking around about how we’re the life of the party, everyone wants to be with us, etc.  Don’t worry we aren’t really that incredibly vain, it’s all in good fun!  

It was such a fun night and decided it needs to fit into my Exquisite Moments!  I feel so blessed to be part of the best family in the world.  Love you all so much!

*Outfit Info. – Highlighted link means it is linked to the exact item.  Highlighted link with the word similar means I could no longer find the item but found something similar.  If the store name is not highlighted I could not find the item or a similar one.

*Linking up with 

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I’m sitting here on my porch watching my daughters sit at their lemonade stand at the end of the driveway and working on fulfilling my promise to you…showing you the final outcome of my hair.  With the help of you, some friends and my husband I had it basically narrowed down to this color and style, but keeping my length.

This is what my hair looked like before…

After discussing with my hair dresser that I was looking to go auburn but did not want it to end up orange at all she suggested a dark auburn that turned out like this…

As you can see it took more to the dark then to the auburn so my wonderful beautician penciled me in on her day off, today, and added some red, red to it.  The result…

(I could really use some lipstick in both of these pictures!)

So it’s now red but still not what I’m looking for.  I was afraid to go with a red tone that might be orangey or brassy but I think when I go in again in a few months I’m going to go with something like one of these colors and not let my fears hold me back from getting what I really want.  If I don’t like it then I guess it’s back to my natural brown color.

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(Shirt – Charlotte Russe, Jeggings – Maurices Similar, Shoes – Gift, Wrap – Claires, Necklace & Earrings – Gift)

This shirt has been one of my favorites for the last couple of summers.  It’s super comfy, I love the crochet back and its an easy dressed up casual style.

As I was looking at these picture though I began to wonder if this was the last time I’ll be wearing this shirt.  After all I am going a shade of red today and red hair and a hot pink shirt may not look the best together.  This idea slightly scares me off from dying my hair today.  Will I be able to go through with it?

By the way, thanks to all of you who offered advice on which hair style and color I should do at my hair appointment today. I’m bringing those pictures and a couple other I found this morning to my hair stylist and having her help me choose what’s best for me.  With the combination of your help and hers, I’m sure I’ll love it!

*There’s a change to how I post my outfit info…If the store name is not linked that means I could not find the item or a similar one.  If the store name is linked with the word Similar than the item couldn’t be found but I found something very similar to it, if the store name is linked than I was able to find the exact item I’m wearing..

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Summer’s fading fast and the idea of my kids going back to school is making me sad.  Holding onto moments like today are so important to me because I know that soon I wont be able to take my kids to the river for a picnic under the shade of a tree.

I wont be able to watch them wade through the water searching for shells.

As I watched them all playing together trying to balance on an old fallen log laying in the river…

I thought of how much my youngest daughter will miss having her siblings around to play with all day.  Who will climb on rocks with her?

She told me the other day, and a few times since then, that her brother Pierce is her best friend and it makes me sad he wont be around during the day to run around and be silly with her.

As I watched her jumping in the river and getting more wet than was originally planned, I realized that, yes, we’ll miss them very much during the day when they are at school, but we’ll have some fun of our own.

And at the end of each school day we’ll all be together enjoying each other’s company!

Sure the beginning of school in two weeks marks the end of summer, but it doesn’t mean it’s the end of fun.  We’ll make more fun memories and have many exquisite moments like this even during the school year.  We were talking today at the river about all the fun things we want to do in the fall and are very much looking forward to them while living in the moment of today!

And, yes, I got in the water too for some shell searching, rock hopping and got wet up to my knees!

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(Shirt – Wet Seal, Jeggings, Cami & Necklace – Maurices, Belt & Boots – Charlotte Russe, Bangles – Claire’s)

Yes, I’ve posted this outfit before in my 30 Wardrobe Challenge and it was also part of my very first WIW outfit in No Broken Bones, but I’m serving it up again because it’s one of my ways of dressing for a Packers game when I want to be a little more stylish.  I wore this last Thursday when the weather was a B-E-A-UTIFUL (said like Jim Carrey) 65 degrees!  Perfect day!

Unfortunately that weather didn’t last long though and it’s supposed to be 83 degrees tomorrow.  Even though I don’t want the heat it will be nice for when we’re at the Minnesota Zoo tomorrow.  Super excited to go with my kids and family tomorrow!

Oh, and please remember to help me pick out a hair style by visiting last weeks’ post Need Some Help.  I haven’t gotten very many votes yet and I really need help deciding.  Thanks ever so much!

*Linking up with 

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I said that title like the Capital One vikings while typing that out and I bet you will now too!

Today’s “Back To School” topic is, you guessed it, lunches!  If you have picky eaters like I do, you will rarely be able to take advantage of the lunches your school has to offer so you will have to pack about 90% (or maybe even 100%) of your kids 180 lunches they will have at school this year.  The problem I often would run into with packing lunches for my kids is that they get bored having the same old thing every day.  Over the last 5 years I’ve had to come up with ways to fight off lunch time boredom but before I share those with you I thought I’d share a few rules we have about packing lunches.

Lunch Packing Rules:

1)  They have to help pack their lunches.  First of all this teaches them responsibility and helps them to learn how to make their own lunch so that you aren’t still doing it when they are seniors.  Second of all it avoids the “I didn’t want that for lunch” complaint.  If they are helping you, then you know that they will be happy with what’s in their lunch.

2)  Their lunch has to include a protein.  Wether its peanut butter on their sandwich or turkey bites in a baggy, there has to be some protein in their lunches.

3)  Their lunch has to include a fruit or vegetable.  I don’t care if they have both a fruit or vegetable, but it has to be at least one or the other.  I also don’t care if it’s fresh, dried or canned, as long as they are getting a serving from the fruit and vegetable group, I’m happy.

4)  If they are going to want soup or left overs that need to be heated they need to leave a note on the counter the night before school so that I can heat it up right away the next morning, put it in their thermos and pack it in their lunch boxes.

And now onto how I’ve learned to help…

Fight Off Lunch Time Boredom

Wrap It Up – Keep burrito shells on hand so that your kids can choose between a sandwich or a wrap.  My kids enjoy both and  like that they have the choice between the two.  Keep deli meats, lettuce, tomatoes, whatever it is your kids like on their wraps/sandwiches on hand and let them help build it the night before school.


Lunchable Style – My kids love Lunchables but I very rarely get them for them (Maybe 2 times a year, maybe.) because they are so expensive.  But they are always thrilled when we have summer sausage on hand and I let them exchange a sandwich or wrap for some crackers with cheese and meat!  It feels a little like a Lunchable and gives them another switch up on the sandwich.

Some Like It Hot –  On cool fall and winter days my kids occasionally like to bring warm soup to sip at lunch the next day or we might have had their favorite hot dish for dinner and they want to bring left overs.  It’s super easy to throw these things in the microwave in the morning, pour it in their thermos and place in their lunch boxes in the morning.  And it’s another way to fight off sandwich boredom!  Just remember to pack crackers if they are bringing soup.

Cut It Out – My kids love it when I cut their sandwich out with a cookie cutter.  LOVE IT!  When I saw the picture on the right on Pinterest I knew right away what their first day of school sandwich would be…isn’t that the cutest cut out sandwich ever?!   I know my kids will love the sprinkles!

Surprise Them – I love it when I pick my kids up from school and they say, “Thank you so much, Mom, for putting a cookie in my lunch today!”  Who wouldn’t like to open their lunch box and find a brownie, candy, chips or some other treat inside?  Yes, I know they aren’t the healthiest things to put in your child’s lunch but it’s okay to satisfy a sweet tooth now and then.  I think my kids favorite thing that I surprise them with is when they open their thermos expecting juice and it has hot chocolate instead!  Another surprise my kids love is when I leave a little note in their lunch box for them.  This little “Love You To Pieces” jar is such a cute little note and treat in one idea, though for at school it would probably be best in a baggy.

Make A Date – My kids love it when my husband or I join them at school to have lunch with them and their friends or take them out for lunch.  We only have lunch with one child at a time so that it’s special for them.  I prefer to take them out to eat but my kids love it when we stay at the school because they like to introduce me to their friends.  Either way it’s a fun little date!

I hope you gain some useful tips that you and your child will enjoy.  If you have any other ideas to spice up lunches that I haven’t shared feel free to share below in the comments section.  I always enjoy hearing from all of you!

* All pictures are courtesy of Google imaging and other sites.  Most of the images link to other great lunch time ideas like what to pack, healthy lunches, etc. and are worth checking out.

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