My Favorite 2017 Fourth of July Finds!

This post contains items I received to review from The Modest Mammoth and Cents of Style. I am an ambassador for PRO Compression. This post also contains affiliate links.

You know I like to go all out for the holidays and the Fourth of July is no exception! Every year, it’s fun to find new patriotic things to wear and 2017 did not disappoint! For most of these, if you order now, you can have them in time for Independence Day!

The Modest Mammoth

I love shopping local, so I am giddy about this brand new Nebraska-based shop! The Modest Mammoth has THE softest shirts I’ve ever worn and they keep introducing fabulous designs! I’m wearing the Liberty tee in size small and I think I will live in it over the holiday weekend! When the sun heats up, I’ll be reaching for the Liberty tank instead – watch for a pic on Instagram soon! BEST NEWS: Both the Liberty tee and tank are just $17.76 with the code JULYFOURTH through July 4th! P.S. PLEASE check out the rest of their shirts and hats while you there – The Hubby and I are both big fans!

And that hat?! It’s my new favorite! I’ve been trying to find it online to no avail, but it is available at Husker Hounds in Omaha!

Miles & Pace

Of course I had to include a running tank! Miles & Pace is a favorite running apparel company of mine and this is my favorite tank from them so far! The USA Run Because I Can tank is a great fitted racerback tank, perfect for a day at the lake or a Fourth of July race! I think I’ll pair it with my red sparkle skirt! They even have a trucker hat to match! Get both and get free shipping with the code SHIP40 right now!

PRO Compression

Get your feet in on the festivities! PRO Compression released their brand new Fourth of July sock and it is fabulous! These are limited edition and will sell out, so use the code JULY4 to get your for 40% off right now!

Cents of Style

Don’t forget the kids! I shared these last week, but I’m still loving the patriotic raglan tees for kids from Cents of StyleThey are still on sale for just $14.95 – what a steal for these adorable tees! As usual, shipping is free!

Well, I think we’re all set to celebrate the USA around here! Bring on the family, fun, food, and fireworks!

Any fun Fourth of July finds you’re loving this year? Please share!

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USA All the Way!

I received these shirts to review from Cents of Style. This post contains affiliate links.

One of my favorite things about the summer is the Fourth of July – the lake, the family fun, the fireworks! Our Fourth of July celebrations usually include a trip to my uncle and aunt’s lake cabin in Minnesota. It’s one of my very favorite traditions from growing up and now we get to take our boys there! With tons of family around and tons of things to do, the day just flies by and lots of memories are made. After tubing, jet skis, water skiing, front yard football and baseball, backyard badminton, and fantastic food, everybody loves to settle in around the campfire for stories and s’mores. It really is the perfect summer day!

There are two holidays for which I buy everyone in the family new shirts every year – St. Patrick’s Day and Independence Day! I just can’t help myself when I see all the fun new red, white, and blue apparel appear in stores and online. With the boys growing so fast now, they definitely can’t fit into their shirts from the previous year!

This year, I picked out the boys’ Fourth of July shirts from Cents of Style!

I love these baseball raglan tees so much and so do my boys! While are July days are usually quite hot, the nights can get quite chilly, especially at the lake, so these are a great option for layering as we head to the campfire!

The classic baseball raglan tee is perfect for any age because it never goes out of style! And these lightweight tees let my boys still be active without getting too hot! They even wore them for our newest favorite activity: shooting hoops in our driveway!

Gosh, I love being a boy mom! This new basketball hoop by our driveway has been the BEST thing for our active boys – I can’t get them to come inside!

 

Now, about those shirts…

Cents of Style has all kinds of fun and festive kids’ shirts on sale this weekend only! Use the code KIDSTORY to get 50% off all kids’ shirts – some will be as low as $5! Shipping is free, too! This deal ends Sunday, June 18th, so don’t miss out!

Which shirts will your kid(s) be sporting from this awesome collection?!

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Pineapple Love

I received this blanket to review. This post contains affiliate links.

I have a long-standing love affair with pineapples.

I just can’t get enough of them. While I do love how they taste, I’m talking more about what the pineapple represents. Many cultures view the pineapple as a symbol of hospitality, placing it outside their door to indicate that visitors are welcome or putting it on their table as a sign of welcome and a gift for guests. I just LOVE that.

I have a pineapple print in my kitchen from All Good Things Collective (formerly Naptime Diaries) with this verse on it:

Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it. -Hebrews 13:2

The pineapple always makes me think of this verse and seeing it keeps my heart in line with what I want my home to be: a place of welcome, comfort, and love. I want this for guests, but also for my family. Hospitality isn’t just for special occasions and fancy events, but for every day and everyone.

In the summer, we can even take our hospitality outside. I’m thinking poolside or park picnics, and I’m taking the pineapple with me with my new Cents of Style beach blanket!

This is the most fun and festive beach blanket I’ve ever owned! I’m obsessed with the pineapple, but I also love the round shape, bright colors and fringe detail! The soft fabric on the back makes the beach blanket perfect for wearing, as well!

When you’re done sitting on this cute beach blanket for your picnic or day at the beach and the day starts cooling off, you can also use it as a wrap!

I love to wear dresses in the summer, but our evenings can cool off quickly, and so this wrap will be the perfect summer accessory! You can get your round wraps and beach blankets from Cents of Style this weekend for only $15.95 when you use the code STORYTHROW at checkout!

If the pineapple isn’t your thing, there are many other fun designs to choose from, but don’t delay because these wraps will sell fast at this great price! Remember to use the code STORYTHROW to get the $15.95 price + free shipping!

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American Dreamers + a Free Tee for You!

I received this tank for review from Cents of Style. This post contains affiliate links.

I’ve written a few times on here about the American dream. It is a concept which makes me both a little bit uncomfortable and a little bit hopeful all at the same time. I suppose it has to do with the perspective with which you view the phrase “American dream.”

It started out all hopeful so many years ago – people coming to the United States to freely pursue their dreams. Most of these people just dreamed of providing for their families. Some had bigger dreams. All associated the American dream with hope, joy, freedom.

Somewhere along the way, the American dream became something to chase. Instead of holding on to our own hopes or pursuing our own dreams, we started to compete and compare. This is the world we live in right now.

The American dream has drove many of us to despair, but I want to be a different kind of American dreamer.

American Dreamer Square

Hope. Faith. Generosity. This is my dream.

American Dreamer Tee Outfit

I don’t want to earn more money to get ahead. I want to bless others out of God’s abundance.

I don’t want to cram my calendar full with things that make me look “good.” I want to leave time and space in my schedule to love others well.

I want to care more about people than stuff, more about service than recognition, more about Kingdom than earthly treasures.

The typical American dream floating around out there leaves me with anxiety and pressure, but the dream God has placed in my American heart fills me with joy and freedom. That’s what the American dream was all about in the first place, right?

American Dreamer Tee Square

This American Dreamer tee from Cents of Style has me all fired up about living out this dream again and I love getting to share a sale on it today! It is the perfect tee to wear for the Fourth of July and spark some discussion about living out a new American dream.

Today only, get this tee FREE when you make a $30 more purchase from Cents of Style! How fun! The Fashion Friday collection is FULL of great pieces to share your American pride, so buy $30 worth from that collection (or anywhere else on the site) and get your American Dreamer tee FREE! The tee comes in navy v-neck or white crewneck! Did I mention shipping is always free, too?!

Just place a Cents of Style order of $30 or more today and the American Dreamer tee is yours for free!

The FREE shirt will be offered with a pop-up upon checkout with any purchase that is $30 or more. This offer is not valid with any other coupon code or promotion. Limit one shirt per order/customer.

Now, please tell me about YOUR American dream!

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SoCozy Hair Care for Kids is at CVS!

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of SoCozy. All opinions are my own and not edited by the sponsor.

As a boy mom, I don’t have to think a whole lot about their hair care. We don’t struggle with tangled hair, and with their short haircuts, they don’t even need to comb their hair! Just in the past year, we’ve entered the world of hair gel with our oldest, but that is the extent of the work that needs to be done to get ready for the day!

Even though our hair care needs are minimal with boys, I want to make sure what we do use on their hair is safe and effective. I’ve recently been introduced to SoCozy and it checks all the boxes for our needs – and they will do the same for your family!

SoCozy at CVS

SoCozy products are non-toxic and made without parabens, formaldehyde, sulfates, phthalates, synthetic color, propylene glycol. Free of alcohol, gluten, wheat, peanuts and tree nuts. SoCozy is committed to providing easy-to-use, safe hair care for all kids’ hair types, as well as well-researched tips and advice for parents!

We recently visited CVS to pick up some SoCozy products for our own family! CVS just started carrying the SoCozy line, so it’s convenient for your family to grab at your local store – we found it in the baby aisle at our CVS!

We don’t have much need for these items, but I loved seeing that the SoCozy line includes a detangler and styling cream – I know a detangler was a necessity for my hair as a little girl, and even sometimes now!

SoCozy at the Pool

For our boys, I bought the 3-in-1 shampoo-conditioner-wash to take along on our trips to the gym or swimming pool. I love multi-use products because they cut down on the number items we have to remember when we pack up! The mango smell is super yummy, too! It feels like the perfect product to take with use everywhere this summer, including on vacation.

I also grabbed two of the “boo!” products, which are intended to help prevent lice – and every mom said, “Amen!” We don’t have need for these right now, but I wish I would have had it during those winter months at school when lice was going around! We avoided it this year, but I’m happy to be prepared the next time a note comes home that someone in their class has lice.

Make sure to visit your local CVS to pick up these wonderful, safe, fun hair care products for your kiddos!

Which SoCozy products sound like the best fit for your family?

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What I Wore

I have included affiliate and referral links below. When you purchase through these links, I may receive a small commission. Thank you for supporting this site and our sponsorship of our Compassion child, Samson! I also received some items to review for this post.

People have asked me before how I would describe my style. That’s hard to do because I don’t really have one style. I think this is partially why I couldn’t stick to capsule wardrobe. I like to mix it up, dress to match my mood, not be held to a certain way of dressing on a regular basis.

I do know one thing: I like to be comfortable. High heels and I have never really gotten along. If the clothing is too tight to move, I’m not wearing it. Hot weather means you’ll find me in tanks, shorts, and sun dresses. Cool weather means I’ll be layering, probably with a cute hoodie on top.

Thankfully this week, we had some hot AND some cool weather, so I wore both tanks and jeans. And it was all super comfy. Here’s what I wore this week…

What I Wore 8-5 2

We headed to zoo for Member Appreciation Day last Wednesday and it was hot and humid. The last time we had gone to the zoo, I wore my hair down and regretted it the whole time. Hot, sticky mess. I wasn’t making that mistake twice, so I searched easy braid tutorials on Pinterest and came up with these milkmaid braids. The braids stayed in place, kept me cool, and I LOVED the way they looked! A Pinterest hair win for once!

The tank was a fun purchase with Zulily credit – it’s my favorite color and I have a slight obsession with pineapples, so it was perfect! I added this Work of Worth necklace for some extra color and wore my favorite Paisley + Sparrow earrings that I wear multiple times a week.

What I Wore 8-5 1

We spent the weekend at my parents’ house and, while I have plenty of pictures from the weekend, I failed to capture any of my outfits. Whoops. BUT while we were away I had the super fun privilege of meeting Jaime, owner of Noelle Mae Boutique, and sorting through her fabulous racks of clothing! I came away with several cute things to show you, but let’s start here with the Wifey tee and Kan Can jeans. The tee is amazingly soft, the kind I want to pull on every day. It made The Hubby smile big when he came home from taking his boards to see me wearing this shirt! The Wifey tee runs a little small, so keep that in mind when ordering! I usually wear a XS or S shirt and this is a M.

Now, can we talk about the jeans? I’ve been on the hunt for my first pair of distressed jeans and the selection has been greatly disappointing. I don’t need anybody but my husband seeing my underwear. I haven’t really loved any boyfriend jeans I’ve tried on either. Jaime talked me into trying a pair of Kan Can jeans in the Boyfriend Distressed II style. THEY ARE FABULOUS. They are cute, comfy, just the wash I was looking for, and the BEST PART – there are patches behind the distressing so no unwanted underwear or skin showing through! Bonus: The Hubby thinks they are “pretty hot.” His words. A note on sizing: these jeans run big, so you’ll want to size down. I’m usually a 4 or so in jeans and these are the 1/24″ size!

If you’re looking to order the tee or jeans, you’ll want to click here to get 10% off your first order of $25 or more from Noelle Mae Boutique! This is just the beginning of all the fun pieces I’ll be showing you from her mom-owned shop!

What I Wore 8-5 3

Last but not least, we had a wonderfully rainy and cooler day yesterday. I was actually wearing a hoodie and jeans much of the day. It was heaven. The sun peeked through the clouds late in the afternoon, so I ditched the hoodie, but it was just perfect to stick with jeans! The jeans, hat, and tee are all from Target – go figure. The tee is my favorite Target tee – I have it in four colors because I like the material and it can be dressed up or down easily.

I completed the outfit with gold accessories: the Aztec Chevron Necklace from Beautiful & Beloved (use code “empower” to get 15% off), the Tory bracelet for my Fitbit from Funktional Wearables, and these marvelous Sperrys with some fun gold accents. I’d love some more days like today to wear outfits like this!

What are your thoughts on your own personal style? Do you have “a style?” If so, what would you call it? Or are you more like me – go with the flow when it comes to fashion?

I’m linking up with What I Wore Wednesday at The Pleated Poppy!

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Weekend Snapshots

I have included affiliate and referral links below. When you purchase through these links, I may receive a small commission. Thank you for supporting this site and our sponsorship of our Compassion child, Samson!

As I write this, The Hubby is taking his boards, that last test before his life as a “real” physician commences. It’s a ten-hour test. That sounds like torture, right?! Please pray for him during the home stretch this afternoon!

To give him a relaxing, QUIET weekend before his test, the boys and I went up to my parents and all sorts of fun was had!

WS 8-3 1

The cousins, Urkel style. We decided this needs to be recreated in twenty years.

WS 8-3 2

Grandma made a family-style dessert to die for. Eating it outside was a genius move because ICE CREAM AND CHOCOLATE EVERYWHERE. Messy and delicious go together well.

WS 8-3 3

I finished one book that I’ll tell you about tomorrow and started this green gem by Kristen Strong. It could not be more perfect for this season of life.

WS 8-3 4

My sister and I ran eleven miles Saturday morning which was great except for the humidity and heavy legs at the end. Go away, humidity. I rewarded myself with a maple bacon donut. No further explanation needed.

WS 8-3 5

Today is my sweet mom’s birthday, so us girls had pedicures and did some boutique shopping to celebrate! My last pedicure was for my sister’s wedding five years ago. My toes are happy right now. And my niece’s fingers and toes were so adorable.

WS 8-3 6

My oldest friend – as in the one I’ve been friends with the longest – is moving away from our hometown and I am absolutely thrilled for her! We got together this weekend to process and celebrate. Macarons were involved. I was a macaron virgin before this, but the salted caramel one (on the left) from C.H. Patisserie will have me coming back for more every time we visit. HEAVEN.

WS 8-3 7

Baby niece snuggles are just the best. That is all.

WS 8-3 8Last but not least, I am the mom who took her child to church Sunday night with a giant marker scribble in the middle of his shirt. According to him, “I look cool like this.”

There was lots of other fun and games, but this is our weekend in a nutshell! What were you up to this weekend?

I’m linking up with Weekend Snapshots over at Her Heartland Soul!

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The Baseball Experiment

Our boys tried out several different sports and many of them have been through our local YMCA. They have an excellent fundamental program for many sports that allows kids to learn the basics of a particular sport before trying it in a team and game setting.

Big J has tried out soccer and basketball in this fundamental format and went on to play on a rec basketball team this year. We love the low-pressure opportunity to try out a sport before they commit a lot of time to it  – and it keeps them active!

2015 Baseball21

This summer, Big J decided to give baseball a try. For eight weeks, he has gone to clinic-style practices every Saturday morning, practicing the proper form for throwing and hitting and learning all about the fundamentals of America’s pastime.

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This past Saturday, they wrapped up the program with a scrimmage game that was both great for practice and hilarious to watch. When you have about twenty boys ranging from first grade to sixth grade who are just learning the game of baseball, the first time they play a real game is full of chaos and excitement. I loved it.

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This scrimmage game was also the first time the boys tried to hit a thrown pitch from the coach. Big J got a single on the second pitch and ran the bases hard each time a teammate got a hit! He also had some good fielding plays in the outfield.

2015 Baseball16 2015 Baseball19

He really enjoyed his time playing baseball, so this experiment was a success! I think he makes a pretty handsome baseball player, don’t you?!

What sports do your kids play in the summer? Did they try any new ones this year?

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Easy Iced Coffee On the Go with Folgers!

I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for Folgers. I received a promotional item to thank me for my participation.

I’m really picky about how I like my coffee. When I get it just the way I want it, I’m hesitant to try it any other way. I’m even more picky about iced coffee. It has taken me a long time to find any iced coffee I really enjoy, and the ones I do enjoy can’t be made at home.

Well, I USED to only like iced coffee from a coffee shop, but that all changed when I recently tried the new Folgers Iced Cafe Coffee Drink Concentrates!

Folgers Iced Cafe

Folgers Iced Cafe Concentrates are the most convenient way to make iced coffee. They come in a cute squeeze bottle just like you’ve previously seen for water flavorings. With the coffee, sweetener, and flavoring all in one bottle, you just add two squeezes of the concentrate to eight ounces of milk, stir in some ice, and enjoy!

IMG_8340

The beauty of this iced coffee is you can make it just how you like and with very few calories. I’ve tried mine with both skim milk and unsweetened vanilla almond milk with great results! I’d love to try it with coconut milk as well.

Folgers Iced Cafe Concentrates come in four flavors: Original Latte, Vanilla Latte, Hazelnut Latte, and Caramel Macchiato. My favorite was no surprise…

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We traveled for the Fourth of July and I threw all four bottles in our food bag to enjoy while on vacation. If you’re not sure the place you’re staying at for your summer travels will have the right fixings for your necessary coffee, these portable concentrates are the perfect solution. You can get milk anywhere, so bring the ingredients for great iced coffee along with you! I spotted them in my local grocery store the other day, so check yours to pick some up!

I’m still hooked on a warm cup of coffee every morning, but these hot summer afternoons are just begging for great iced coffee and now I don’t have to go anywhere (or spend a fortune) to have an iced coffee I really love!

Folgers is providing you the opportunity to win prizes all summer long on Facebook and Twitter! Each Friday through September 4, 2015, Folgers fans can enter for weekly chances to win a prize basket of Folgers products worth $200!

  • To enter on Facebook, answer in the comments of their Friday giveaway post.
  • On Twitter, send an answer to their Friday contest question in a non-private tweet to @Folgers, and include the hashtags #FolgersFridays and #PromoEntry. You still have several Fridays left to win!

Promotion is open to legal residents of the 50 United States and D.C, 18 years of age older. Internet access and a valid Facebook account are required to enter the promotion on Facebook; to enter on Twitter you must have a public Twitter account and follow the Twitter account @Folgers. Void where prohibited.

Are you an iced coffee drinker? Have you tried the Folgers Iced Cafe Coffee Drink Concentrates yet?

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Summer Love at the Courts

I started taking tennis lessons at the age of five. Tennis was a huge part of my childhood, but not in an intense, competitive way. Sure, I did some tournaments here and there and played freshman tennis in high school, but tennis has mostly been for fun in my life. I still love playing and watching the game. This is my awesome parents and sister showing off our strong love for tennis…

McCarthy Family Tennis Rock

Yeah. We’re cool. We know it.

I never want to push any activity on my kids just because I love it, but the boys took an early interest in tennis and we signed them up for lessons through our local tennis association. We have a beautiful outdoor tennis complex not too far from our house where the boys have been taking lessons for three summers now.

Little J Picking Up
We spend two hours at the tennis courts two mornings a week for most of the summer. That might not sound like much fun for some people, but I just love being at those courts, watching our boys fall in love with a sport I adore so much. When Big J hit his first serve over the net AND in, I just about jumped out of my seat with excitement!

Big J Hitting

Big J Water

While I love almost everything about our time at tennis, there is no shade and the sun can be brutal for those two hours. We’ve left the courts with extra pink skin more than once, but not this year. We go to tennis lessons armed with great sun protection from Banana Boat®!

Summer Love at the Courts

Whether we’re headed to the tennis courts or the swimming pool, planning ahead is key! This definitely applies with sunscreen. Before heading to your family outing, consider how long you will be outside and how many times everyone will need to reapply. This even goes for activities in your own backyard!

Be sure to apply 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) of sunscreen to you and your kids’ entire bodies 30 minutes before going outside and reapply every two hours or immediately after swimming or excessive sweating. One application of Banana Boat® Kids Tear-Free Sting-Free SPF 50 Sunscreen is usually good enough for us at the courts, but on extra sunny days, I reapply after an hour because they are so sweaty!

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Fair skin runs in our family, so I pay extra special attention to the face, ears, and back of the neck. The Banana Boat® Ultra Defense® Stick Sunscreen SPF 50 is great for quick, mess-free application for our whole family.

Little J Court

I have lots of love for our summer court time, and even more so when we don’t leave the courts with skin burnt to a crisp by the summer sun! Now if I could just get out there to play tennis myself a little more!

What summer sports is your family involved in? Do you have great summer sports memories from growing up?

 

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Banana Boat® . The opinions and text are all mine.

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