Taking Aventura to Washington, D.C.!

I am an Aventura Ambassador and received the featured clothing to review on my blog. All opinions are 100% my own.

We took a fabulous family trip to Washington, D.C. a few weeks ago and I have several posts in process to tell you all about it, but today I want to talk about what I packed to wear for the trip!

Picking out clothes to take along was a little bit of a challenge because the weather was going to be all over the place – cool and rainy some days, hot and sunny other days. I also wanted to look nice for all the pictures, but feel comfortable while we walked all over the place all day!

The best solution for me was to pack several great Aventura Clothing pieces!

Day 1 had us touring the Capitol, visiting the Air & Space Museum, and exploring the city on a cool, cloudy day! The Hartwell Hoodie was perfect for keeping me warm and fashionable, even when that giant backpack was weighing me down!

Day 2 warmed up quite a bit, so it was time to pull out the Pilar tank for our trips to the International Spy Museum and Ford’s Theatre! It’s such a flattering tank AND the fabric is so lightweight – I will wear this SO much this summer!

Our third day was another hot one! I was very happy to have this ADORABLE Easton dress (in black) on a warm day of seeing all the monuments with the family! I put a pair of shorts like these Go Anywhere Shorties on underneath so there weren’t any unfortunate wardrobe malfunctions in the wind!

The Easton dress paired PERFECTLY with the black Albany packable sun hat and I was so thankful for it when the sun was beating down on us. I love how I could fold it up so it wouldn’t take up much space in my suitcase, then unfold it with no damage to the hat and wear it once we got here!

Every Aventura piece was easy to pack, came out of my suitcase unwrinkled, and made me feel cute and comfy the entire trip! We’re headed to Utah for a road trip in a few weeks and I know I’ll be taking even more Aventura Clothing with me for our adventures! Stay tuned!

If you’d like to place your own Aventura Clothing order for your summer adventures and get 60% OFF (up to $250 order), leave a comment or email me at homewiththeboys at gmail dot com to get your exclusive one-time use code!

Check out what other busy and beautiful Aventura ambassadors are wearing on the go this spring:

Mary at Real Girls Realm

Shannon at The Simple Moms

Andrea at Momma in Flip Flops

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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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Three Must-Pack Items for a Sunny Getaway!

I received complimentary items from Avenutra Clothing to review.

I’m dreaming about hopping on a plane with The Hubby for a weekend getaway to somewhere tropical…

Beach. Water. Sun. Quiet. Sigh…

While I’m daydreaming and mentally packing my suitcase, I thought I’d tell you about three items I MUST have for such a vacation. These aren’t the only things I would pack, but they will cover lots of situations while relaxing under the sun.

Versatile, wrinkle-free sun dress

I love a basic, neutral dress that can paired with a variety of accessories to be day dress for window shopping, an evening dress for a night of dinner and dancing, or even a swimsuit cover-up! Black, grey, and white are my top choices for this piece.

Packable sun hat

Not only are wide sun hats totally in style right now, they are also great for your skin. I would go with a light-colored one to keep my head cool and it must be packable because I don’t usually have a lot of extra room in my suitcase (OVER-PACKER)!

Comfortable sandals

While I love to lay around and relax on a beach vacation, I can also get restless and want to explore. Also, I need those steps for my Fitbit! I have to have comfy sandals along to get me wherever we’re going without aching feet by the end of the day. Leather sandals (not flip-flops) are my favorite because of the look, the feel, and the durability.

These three items can be used in so many ways separately, but they also pair really well together!

Aventura 2

dress + hat from Aventura Clothing / necklace + earrings from Starfish Project / Merrell sandals from Orvis

This adorable dress and fabulous sun hat are from Aventura Clothing, a family-owned business operating with sustainable practices and using eco-friendly fabrics whenever possible!

Aventura 1

The Mallory dress is lightweight, comfortable, and oh-so-cute! I can roll it up to throw in the suitcase and pull it out when we get to our destination with no wrinkles – ready to wear! This color is great because it won’t show dirt like a lighter color and it won’t get hot like a darker color dress.

Aventura 3

And how about the fun Cruz sun hat? Just fold/crush/pack it in your suitcase and you’re ready for some shade in the sun! The hat has UPF 50+ and comes in four colors – something for everyone!

Check out more fun and functional clothing for an active lifestyle over at Aventura Clothing! And my friend Shannon is styling this very same dress over on her blog today, so check that out for more ideas!

I have my packing list all ready – now where should we go?! What do you HAVE to pack for a sunny getaway?

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The Perfect Spring Travel Dress

I received complimentary product from Orvis for this review.

Long road trips and weekend getaways, with family or friends, to a different city or state or country – I just love traveling. Seeing new places and meeting new people is a fun adventure, and we might do it a lot more often if not for the responsibilities and logistics of school, work, and activities.

Even with our schedules getting busier as the kids get older, we’ve managed to schedule quite a few fun trips for this spring and summer! It has become my mission to pack wisely for these trips, so finding versatile wardrobe pieces that pack well is a top priority. I just found a dress that meets all of the above criteria (and has a whole lot of awesome extra features) making it the perfect spring travel dress.

Have you ever shopped with Orvis? I will admit I had not heard of Orvis before a few months ago, but their new spring line for women has won me over with pieces that are both feminine and functional for an active lifestyle!

The Florence Travel Dress is a part of the lovely Orvis spring line.

Orvis Dress 1

This classic popover-style dress is absolutely divine for travel for so many reasons. Let’s start with these functional details: wrinkle-resistant, quick-drying, and moisture-wicking. The fabric is SPF 50 and and the sleeves can be long or rolled up. There’s a zipped pocket on one hip to keep important things close and safe. So. Much. Function.

Orvis Dress 1A

Function is one side and fashion is the other. I love the versatility of this dress. You can never go wrong with black, especially for someone like me who is likely to spill while traveling, but also for anyone going for a classic look. The Florence Travel Dress worked perfectly for church with some bold red jewelry and tan wedges, but for travel, I’ve paired it with these great, comfortable Merrell Around-Town sandals. I can just imagine wearing this exact ensemble on those trips when you’ll be walking for miles a day to sightsee and find new adventures!

Orvis Dress 3

The length of the Florence Travel Dress is modest and flattering and it has just the right cut where I’m not worried about the whole skirt flying up when the Nebraska wind rears its ugly head…which is happening every single day right now!

Orvis Dress 2

Can you tell I really love this dress? I may even wear it when I hop on a plane to head to Nashville this weekend (with a great pair of cowboy boots) because it will take me from plane to day to night effortlessly! And I will pack it for many trips to come for these same reasons – and to keep my packing simple and streamlined!

Now is the perfect time to shop the fabulous Orvis spring collection for women! Use the code ICSPRING to get $25 off your order of $50 or more through September 30, 2016!

One more thing…

You could win one of ten $100 Orvis gift cards! Just enter the giveaway below through May 2, 2016!

Orvis
Refresh Your Wardrobe Giveaway

I-C will randomly select 10 winners from all program entries and will handle fulfillment of the winning prizes.

What items are you loving from the Orvis spring line? How would you style this dress?

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Weekend Snapshots

We packed a whole lot in to this wonderful weekend, so get ready for some photo overload in this week’s Weekend Snapshots!

Our weekend was spent in South Dakota with family starting with a little time in Brookings…

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I’ve been going to Nick’s since I was a little girl. It’s one of those old-fashioned diner places that serve hamburgers right at the counter and I just love taking our kids there now! Nick’s is a must if you visit Brookings!

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Another must in Brookings is the Children’s Museum of South Dakota! I’ll have a full post on the museum soon if you’re thinking of visiting, but we spent the afternoon there exploring, playing, and learning! It was a hit with all of the kids, ages one through nine!

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We capped off our time in Brookings with a visit to see my grandparents! I love that our kiddos are able to get to know their great-grandparents and spend time with them!

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We spent Saturday evening downtown Sioux Falls, starting at the beautiful Falls for which the city is named! The city has done such a lovely job making a beautiful park to surround the Falls. There were four couples having wedding pictures taken in the twenty minutes we were there!

If you live in or are visiting Sioux Falls, you have to check out Fiero Pizza in downtown Sioux Falls. This build-your-own pizza place is super fun and super delicious! Each pizza is around $9 and we had eight pizzas for the ten of us. The adults each had their own and some of the kids split pizzas with a little left over. We also had a dessert pizza to top it all off! Two thumbs up from everyone in our group! To add to the fun, the table tops are chalkboards, so the kids made some art before and after eating!

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Downtown Sioux Falls also has a fun sculpture walk. Beware the alligator!

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Sunday morning found us at one of my happy places – the tennis court! The Hubby and I played some mixed doubles with my parents and the boys hit around a little as well. The older two start up with tennis lessons again this week!

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The zoo is always a great choice with our guys, so we headed to the Great Plains Zoo for the afternoon. The petting zoo and giraffes were favorites, but the kids were pretty cute, too! That face by Double J is what happens when he’s crabby and I ask him to do a crazy face. that kid. And my niece is the cutest, agreed?!

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The whole reason for our weekend getaway, other than spending fun time with family, was to celebrate our twelfth wedding anniversary! We had the best date night to celebrate, having a fabulous dinner where we talked + talked, then seeing Avengers: Age of Ultron! There is no one I would rather spend time with and I love this man way more than when we said “I do” twelve years ago! He’s just the best. The end.

Whew! I’m tired just recapping our weekend, but it was a great one!

How was your weekend? What were the highlights?

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

 

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Art Works for Your Kids!

Omaha has so many amazing things to offer for families! At the top of that list is the Joslyn Art Museum. Thanks to a grant starting last year, museum admission is now free, with the exception of the featured traveling exhibit.

We’ve always loved the Joslyn, but our love has grown with the addition of Art Works, a 1,500 square foot interactive space where kids can experience the visual arts!

Art Works

Art Works features nine stations where kids can paint, draw, build, and create art of all kinds! This permanent space offers new experiences with each visit as stations are updated to go along with current museum exhibits! During our latest visit, the focus was on Georgia O’Keeffe’s Flowers!

Art Works 1

The digital painting stations are a big hit with all of the kids!

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Art Works 4

Double J would paint there with real brushes (and no mess) for hours – every mom’s dream! All of the boys enjoyed this, especially when they realized they could email me their creations, like this one:

Masterpiece

Isn’t that fun?! They were so proud of their masterpieces and my inbox filled up quickly!

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The portrait station is super fun! You can use the mirror to draw a self portrait or the transparent side to draw a portrait of a friend! Or just draw around the oval like Double J.

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I personally love the pottery station where kids can draw on vases with dry erase markers! It’s brilliant! The station has photographs of ancient pottery for inspiration. I think I enjoyed drawing on these vases as much as the kids did!

But the biggest hit with all of us was…

Art Works 3

…the stop motion animation station! Seriously – this was SO MUCH FUN! The station has two computers with two different backgrounds and tons of figurines to use.

Art Works 2
The boys were so creative once they figured out how to put together a movie. I love this exposure to an art form they wouldn’t normally experience! They were also able to send their finished videos to me by email so we can enjoy them over and over.

Art Works Collage
I haven’t even touched on all of the great stations in Art Works – sketching, wooden building blocks, and lots more! We’ve been twice and will be going back frequently to create and explore. And remember – it’s FREE! If you live in the Omaha area or you’re visiting, make sure you take your kids to the Joslyn for all this interactive art fun!

What kind of art does your child enjoy? Which stations would they like at Art Works?

By the way, this is NOT a sponsored post and I was NOT asked to write this post by the Joslyn Art Museum – we just love it and I wanted to share it with you!

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Nashville Girls’ Weekend with Tommy Nelson!

It’s been a little quiet around here for two reasons. The first is the fundraiser we launched over at the MOB Society last week as we make the move to becoming a nonprofit ministry! We’ve only just begun and it’s already very exciting, overwhelming, scary, and wonderful at the same time! If you’d like to read more, head over to the blog to hear our hearts!

The other reason has been travel, both with family and for blogging purposes! If you follow me on social media, you probably know I just got back from a girls’ weekend in Nashville!

I have been a part of the Tommy Nelson Mommies writing team for four years and they’ve been wanting to bring us all together for a while. It worked out for all of us except for two women to meet in Nashville this weekend and it was AMAZING.

Our weekend was jam-packed with goodness. We stayed at the beautiful Gaylord Opryland hotel…

TN Opryland

had a wonderful day of meetings at the Thomas Nelson headquarters {SO cool to be where all the book magic happens!}…

TN Thomas Nelson

TN Group at TN

ate the most wonderful food at places like Puckett’s Grocery and the Loveless Cafe…

and topped the whole weekend off with a night at the Grand Ole Opry AND a surprise backstage tour during the concert! Oh my word. This was incredible, especially since Vince Gill was playing and he did a song that is very near and dear to my heart {more on the Opry experience at a  later date}. A night I will not soon forget.

TN Vince Gill

But the weekend was really all about these beautiful women…

TN Johnny Rockets

Each of them beautiful in every way, I had the best time getting to know these ladies, laughing and crying and sharing and learning. Some were new friends, some I was so glad to reconnect with in person!


TN Party Car TN Group Jump

I just could not think of a better group with whom to talk faith, writing, and motherhood {and also jump and eat my way through Nashville}! I’m thankful we had the chance to hear each other’s hearts in person as well as hearing directly from the team we work with at Tommy Nelson. These people really love Jesus AND children’s books! They are so committed to bringing more resources to parents to help their children learn about God and His Word – and they are a TON of fun!

I loved being a part of the Tommy Nelson team before, but this weekend gave me an even greater appreciation for their dedication to strengthening the faith of our children through books. It’s an honor to have a small place amongst this wonderful group!

If you’re a blogger and want to sign up to get Tommy Nelson children’s books to review, just head over here to apply! LOTS of great books coming out for kids in the next few months!

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What I Wore: Vegas Edition

Maybe you noticed things were a little quiet over here last weekend, but no worries – nothing’s wrong! We were just off celebrating our 10 year anniversary…

IN VEGAS!

Oh yes, we left the kids with Grandpa and Grandma and flew off to Las Vegas for four nights! We’re probably not your typical Vegas crowd – don’t drink, don’t gamble, in bed before midnight – but we went four years ago and discovered several reasons we liked going there to relax and reconnect.

  1. Flights and hotel are pretty cheap.
  2. We didn’t have to drive anywhere once we got there.
  3. It’s hot and we like to swim and lay by the pool – good combo.
  4. GREAT food.
  5. GREAT shows.

So we swam and ate and saw a Cirque du Soleil show and ate and went to a couple of movies and ate and worked out and had a fabulous time enjoying our time as a couple. I think these yearly getaways are one of the most important things we do for our marriage because we get to focus on only each other, act like we’re dating again, and remember why we love one another so much separate from the kiddos!

And I’d be lying if I didn’t say it was super fun to get dressed up everyday! So here’s my What I Wore Wednesday: Vegas Edition!

Vegas Red Dress Green MM

The Hubby picked out this CUTE dress from GAP Outlet a couple months ago! Totally love it – the pattern, the color, the cut – so fun!

Vegas Poolside Couple

This is how we spent much of our time in Vegas! I forgot a hat at home so I picked up this one at H&M on the Strip and snagged these fun sunglasses at Express! The hot guy is all mine 🙂

Vegas White Dress Collage

I picked up this white dress on clearance at Old Navy right before the trip! It was nice to wear white without worrying about the kids getting it dirty! I make enough messes on my own!

Vegas Bellagio Couple

Here we are at my favorite spot in Vegas – watching the Bellagio fountains! No, that’s not the Bellagio or the fountains in the background, but this is where we were viewing them and were able to grab someone to snap a picture of us that wasn’t a selfie! I got this black dress before our last Vegas trip for less than $10 on clearance at Kohl’s and it is still going strong!

Vegas Orange Dress

I think a little sparkle is a necessity in Vegas, even if I did wear this out to brunch! It may look fancy, but this clearance dress from Target was super comfy! And I just adored the color, especially with some fun gold jewelry and blingy flip flops! I think this whole outfit, including accessories, was from Target!

Now I’m thinking we might need a “What I ATE: Vegas Edition!”

Join the What I Wore fun at The Pleated Poppy today!

 

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A Little London Love

These 2012 London Olympics are making me all nostalgic.

I’ve been to London three times and I’m having such fun teaching the boys all about that amazing city!

My first trip was after my senior year of high school. The second was during my freshman year of college. And the last was with The Hubby as chaperones in 2004. All three trips were music trips! {Stay involved in music, kids! You will go places!}

Here are a few of my favorite pics from that 2004 trip…

Our hotel was just a block off Piccadilly Circus – busy place!

My oh my, do we look young or what?!

A car had just driven into this gate at Buckingham Palace – I’ve always wondered who it was…

“Westminster Abbey! Hands down, best Abbey I’ve ever seen.” {name that show!}

London Eye and the Clock Tower. Did you know that is NOT Big Ben? The bell INSIDE the Clock Tower is Big Ben! You’re welcome for that bit of knowledge!

Love the Underground 🙂

The Tower of London is so cool.

So stinking cool.

And the boys’ new favorite place, Tower Bridge, which they loudly exclaim the name of every time it pops up on the television screen!

It’s so fun to have been to a place where they are now holding the Olympics! We’re enjoying every minute of watching these 2012 games! How about you?

Have you ever been to London? Or another Olympic site?

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Friday Fun: Travel Game for the Boys

We took a little day trip the other day. As usual, the boys grabbed a couple of toys to take with them. On this particular day, the toys of choice were Hot Wheels.

As we were driving the boys made up a little game and I thought it was perfect to pass on to you!

We’ll call it: “I Spy – Hot Wheels Edition!” and it is VERY simple.

Each boy had one Hot Wheels car {you could give them two for a little variety} and as we drove they searched for vehicles just like the one they were holding!

Big J had a concrete mixer and Little J had a white van. Throughout the drive I would hear: “Gotcha!” every time one of them spotted a vehicle like the one they were holding.

They lost interest every once in a while and played with the cars instead, but sure enough, a few minutes later I would hear “Gotcha!” again!

Another variation for this game for longer trips could involve a bag of Hot Wheels held by mom or dad. Each child starts with one vehicle and when they find the matching one on the road, they switch out for a new one!

Older kids could keep score to make it more interesting, but my 5yo and 3yo could have cared less about the score and that was fine with me!

Nothing fancy, but the boys were totally entertained and we didn’t have to buy any  new toys or games to make it happen! And they’ve played this game on every trip we’ve made since that day, switching out vehicles for planes, motorcycles, diggers and so on! The fun never ends!

What free travel games does your family like to play?

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