happy 4th 2018

boy oh boy, it was a hot one!

we draaaaaagged ourselves out of bed {at least us girls, hc gets up early every day} and quickly got ready to head to the 4th of july hinsdale parade. i knew it was going to be a warm day but dang!!! the humidity was BRUTAL. we just sweated and sweated at 9 o’clock in the morning.

we parked hc’s jeep and walked our way to our usual meeting spot. hc had made ‘special’ beverages for us but little did he know, i am not a rum kind of gal. eep! i wish i was ’cause it was so warm and i needed a cool drink! it was a little bit miserable for the girls. i don’t know if it was too hot, they were not feeling good {because they were very sick the days prior}, or whatever it was, they were grumpy. ellie wanted to be held the entire time {holy hotness} and olive was super whiney {she kind of is in general but we won’t stress that part}. so, before the parade ended, we left. it was just too much. the heat, the sweat, the crying…it was time to go. although i still had a great time watching the parade, as i do every year!

once we got home, we wiped off, we cooled off, and everyone felt so much better. phew! hc and i started prepping a few things. we didn’t have to do much with everyone coming over, because our 4th parties are usually: everyone bring something, so it’s less stressful and so much easier!

i made festive ice cubes, frosé, and a mozzarella salad. we had a lot of salads on the menu. we had potato, mixed greens, coleslaw, pasta salad and i am sure i am forgetting another salad of some sort! hc had the fun task of grilling the burgers, corn, and dogs on the hot, hot grill. yay! what a trooper!

we stayed inside to stay cool, we hung out, and eventually the kids lit some ‘fireworks’ outside. olive was not a fan. she’s so sensitive! she was so afraid and worried someone would get hurt! she ran around screaming.

despite the high temps, it was a wonderful day! it started out hot and stressful but ended up being relaxing, fun, and very enjoyable. plus, it’s always fun to be with family! it was another great 4th on the books!

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[waiting for the parade]

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[ohmergawd i was sweating soooooo much]

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[we ran into this cute little family]

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[sister sister]

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[summer loving]

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[go cubs go!]

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[my sweet, spunky girl]

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[she loves dogs…animals]

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[checking out the parade]

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[my festive babes!]

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[festive ice cubes]

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[frosé]

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[tomato basil and mozzarella in balsamic oil]

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[cousins]

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[aren’t they sweet?!]

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[french macaron thief]

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[i love, love, love these two]

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[so much love]

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xoxo

ice cream date turned festival fun!

my sister, kim, text me asking if we wanted to meet up for an ice cream date. well, yes. the only place we ever go to is everyday’s a sundae. so, we hustled, got ready within a few minutes and out the door. as we neared the downtown area, we saw that heritage fest was going on! oh my! we were so unaware.

i called my sister and we were in a pickle. we didn’t expect the crowds and the crazy parking, so we weren’t sure if we wanted to stay or go to another place to get some ice cream.

well, we decided to stay and we met in front of the shop. we discussed our options, get ice cream or walk the festival. we decided to walk the festival but needed to get out cash, so we walked to an atm and hit up the grounds.

we started backwards, the kids grabbed ice cream first, then dinner. hey, it’s summer and it’s festival season! we perused our food choices and decided between corn dogs or corn dogs or corn dogs. hahaha! festival options are limited, yummy, and greasy!

the evening weather was beautiful. the temperature a bit cooler than usual but still lovely. we walked around, sat down to eat, the kids ran off to play games, and i took a gazillion pics. the kids were so cute together. olive was loving the games and prizes and just followed the boys around. game after game after game, we called it a night after the last one they played. it was the high striker and olive really wanted to play. the mallet was heavier than her! the women running the show reassured me olive would do well. hint hint. as olive tried with all her might to swing the hammer down on the target, the women hit the weight upwards and rung the bell! that was so sweet! olive, excitedly, picked out a prize!

we walked back to the car, loaded the girls into the jeep, and told olive to hold on tight to her huge plastic blow up barbie doll {it was probably three feet tall}, so it wouldn’t blow away in the wind!

it was such a fun night…impromptu and full of fond memories. i love life moments like these. cheers to summer nights!

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[she was so excited…i’m not sure for what – the jeep ride? the ice cream? seeing her cousins?]

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[my silly girls]

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[she’s so cute]

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[she was being sooooo silly]

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[rapunzel]

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[she loved her princess dress]

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[my babies]

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[rotary fest]

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[the crew]

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[they love each other]

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[i caught this cutie pie trying to catch up to the group. it was so cute to see her hustle]

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[she’s all caught up to the group]

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[olive loved the blow up character behind her]

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[gosh i looooooooove her. them. my girls]

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[eating ice cream]

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[kisses for her daddy]

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[eating corn dogs and fries]

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[overwhelmed by the plethora of prizes]

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[picking out prizes]

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[showing off their prizes]

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[she was so excited that the bow lit up!]

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[games, games, and more games]

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[the mallet was heavier than her. the women running the game was so kind. she hit the bell so olive could win a prize!]

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[what makes these kids happy…]

xoxo

independence day

it was a perfect morning, weather wise. it wasn’t too hot like it usually is on the fourth of july. it was a bit humid but cool.

olive had slept over at her grandparent’s house the night before on a fluke. we had a wedding the night prior and my sisters took olive to eyes in the sky festival with her cousins. we were coming home late and olive didn’t have a nap during the afternoon and had such a fun time that she was completely worn out. i think that was an understatement. she was pooooooooped. she fell asleep at my parent’s house when she got home after the festival and continued to sleep into the morning, waking up at 11:30 am. yup! she was exhausted. so, needless to say…she missed the parade. i was a bit bummed because i really wanted her to be there. she’s at an age where i know she would enjoy it!

well, hc and i made it to the parade without our daughter…whaaaa?! yes, we enjoyed going but it wasn’t the same without olive. afterwards, we picked olive up at my parent’s and headed home to prep a bit because my family was coming over to celebrate the fourth with some grilling. it was a very low key day. kim, terry, and the boys picked up the food and we hosted and grilled. it was fun, relaxing, and very laid back.

it was just my parent’s, kim, thuy, terry, the boys, olive, and my brother dan made an appearance. everyone stayed until about 5-6 o’clock and trickled out after that so we had the rest of the evening to relax. we didn’t see any fireworks…it really wasn’t in our plans {plus, i don’t know if olive would really enjoy it…i find most kids her age are just plain scared at the loud noises!}. we really just enjoyed winding down for the rest of the evening!

overall, it was a fantastic fourth weekend! we had such a great time and loved our low key afternoon with the family! we love celebrating america’s birthday!!

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[the start of the parade]

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[veterans]

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[revolution reenactment]

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[kind of being shy]

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[omg, these kids. love them]

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[checking out the chipmunk dad caught]

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[oh bennett]

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[yummmmmm]

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[38 weeks pregnant]

xoxo

happy bday america part 2

after the parade, hc and i scurried home to prep our place for our fourth party! we didn’t have a ton to do. we just didn’t have a ton of time with our guests coming over between one and two. we arrived home from the parade after twelve, so it left us little time to prep. i needed to make a small trip out to the store still and prep a few decor items. crunch times like these really stress me out! i always like to be ahead of the game versus behind or else i have mini meltdowns! ugh! poor hc.

anyhoo, as usual, we were just fine. we got everything set up and it looked purty. thuy and kim brought over the remaining items that we had purchased together the other day {at the grocery store} and some fun decorative items. we purchased old fashioned pop bottles and beer asap  our libations, we had fun fireworks, cakes, treats, games, pinanta, and a brand new play set for the kids to play on!

we prepped some apps for our guests. kim made a guac dip and we put together a charcuterie plate that was quite delish! after we served that, we got to work on some prep items for our entrees. we were having steaks and burgers, so we sliced onions, tomatoes, and cooked corn. my mom had also prepped the steaks prior to coming over and made her signature salad for everyone.

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[thuy bought festive balloons for the party]

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[happy fourth!]

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[cake, cracker jack, rice krispy treats, and fireworks!]

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[the yummiest cake]

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[watermelon cake]

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[it’s not red white and blue but it is sure tasty!]

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[jane, hc, lynne, barbara, and dick]

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[pete, lan, and thuy]

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[playing with the truck uncle hc made bennett for his birthday last year]

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[mad games of badminton]

everyone hung out outside while we were working away in the kitchen. it was so nice out…a bit warm but nothing over the top that was uncomfortable. kim had brought over a badminton set and it got pretty vicious out there. they were sweating up a storm playing each other! it was comical and great!

i spent most of my time in the kitchen, which is not what i wanted but had to do while my husband visited with our guests. i’m too controlling to let things go amuck. i just don’t want our guests {which is pretty much family} to think i don’t want to mingle but things have got to get done and i’m going to do it myself! haha! it’s just me {it’s how i roll}, so i guess no apologies!

all afternoon, we prepped food, we took stupid pictures, played badminton, the kids ran around, and we finally grilled, ate {burgers, steaks, grilled asparagus, corn, and salad}, and relaxed some more. it was a perfect afternoon with our families. we then served the delicious cakes and ice cream, along with lynne’s cookies and lan’s krispie treats!

olive finally awoke from her afternoon nap and the kids were excited to hit the piñata! olive was in no mood to do that, so that was a no go. she can be a grumper pants when she wakes up, sometimes {ummmm, just like her momma!}. anyhoo, everyone had their turn {twice} and reagan finally smashed the piñata open and down. out flung the candy and the kids jumped all over that!

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[festive treat pops by the krispie baker]

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[small hats are in]

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[avery taking her turn at the piñata]

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[bennett giving it a go]

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[reagan knocking it down!]

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[candy!]

slowly, everyone trickled out and home. it was a fabulous long, afternoon with everyone. i’m so glad we were able to get together like this and often. we love, love having family over…the most important group in our lives!

after everyone left, it was getting dark, and r + b were getting antsy and really wanted to light the sparklers and throw the pop its! it was time, so out to the mosquito filled back yard they went {even with hc spraying…there were still so many of those bloodsuckers!} and they had so much fun! they drilled through everything so fast, which was a good thing because they couldn’t be outside for very long {we sprayed and sprayed repellent but it didn’t keep ’em off for long!}.

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[ready to pop some pop its]

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[sparklers]

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after the ‘fireworks’, we all headed back in and chilled just a wee bit longer before kim, terry, thuy, and the boys left. all in all, it was a successful fun filled fourth of july! we had such a great time hosting everyone over {as usual!}. we say it often and can’t say it enough, but we always love having friends and family over. we love it! it was a great fourth indeed! happy birthday america!

xoxo

america’s bday part 1

the morning of the fourth, we attended the hinsdale independence day parade. i’ve gone in the past and it’s such a nice little parade. well, it’s not very little but it’s very nice!

we packed up and headed on over to the town in the jeep! it was too gorgeous out not to ride in this car! olive was ready to celebrate america’s birthday! she had her festive outfit on accessorized with fun red accents.

it was a bit of a debacle looking for parking. there were sooooo many people! we heeded kim’s advice and looked for parking at madison school. it was jammed packed but we created our own spot. cyops – create your own parking spot. haha!

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[ready for the fourth!]

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as we were walking towards the parade, we bumped right into thuy! perfect. she led us to our group. there, helen, michael, terry, kim, and the boys were all set up. we had coffee, thuy brought the donuts and we were set. olive loves her aunties so she was in their arms right away. we chitchatted, imbibed our beverages, and waited for the parade to start!

hinsdale is such a cute, quaint town. it’s so serene and adorable. it really is. the houses are ah-mazing and gorgeous and it’s like freakin’ cheers where everybody knows your name. haha. my brother in law terry grew up there and his mom still lives there, so it’s definitely a home base for my sister and terry. it has fun shops, yummy restaurants, and the education programs are spectacular, so it’s definitely a place to be.

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[with her auntie kim]

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[thuy, me, helen, and lan]

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[starbucks, doughnuts, and parading]

we heard the sirens, so that signified that the parade was coming. i loved all the fire engines, police cars, and vintage vehicles that were in the line up. it’s fun because they do reenactments of the revolution, there are pom squads, flag girls, and other fun things to look at. we greatly enjoyed all the music and entertainment. olive stayed, mostly, in my arms and throughly enjoyed the parade. she waved and waved at all the passerby’s. they throw out candy and goodies for all the kids as well! so, when olive is older…this part willl be fun for her.

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[the start of the parade!]

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[watching the parade with auntie kim // romper little ladies boutique // moccs my little beautiful shop]

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[the boys]

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[red white and blue]

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[my baby]

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[i tried getting a pic of sam…this is what i got]

helen and michael’s son was in the parade! his baseball team won the world series, so they had the privilege to ride in the parade. how cool! i tried snapping a pic of him with no luck. all i got was a tiny little profile. wah.

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[olive with her super auntie thuy]

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[parade’s over!]

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[i had to snap a pic of this pretty awesome house]

after the parade ended, we headed on out and home. we needed to get ready for our guests coming over for our fourth celebration! as i said earlier, we ran into thuy on our way to the parade and, funny thing is, we ran into her again on our way out from the parade! we just can’t escape one another!

it was definitely a great start to our independence day!

xoxo

happy july 3rd

last year, on july third, we had gone to eye in the sky festival in lisle. we loved it. it was fun, entertaining, and yummy {we love carnival type food! greasy and fattening}! this year, we planned on going to it but my sister, kim, suggested for us to go to the taste of oakbrook or her friend’s country club to watch the fireworks. we were game for anything. i do love experiencing something different from what we normally do!

we picked up my sister, thuy, and headed on over to the golf course. it was quite the long trek to the hot spot! lots and lots of green. we walked, and walked, and walked and finally found the crowd. they had hot dogs, popcorn, and bouncy houses for the kiddos! how fun!

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[the sunsetting on our walk towards the event]

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[she loved the bouncy house]

olive was smitten over the bouncy houses. she played in the ‘smaller’ kid bouncy house and had the best time! she is such a little spider monkey. she loves to climb anything! she would only climb up the slide versus using the ladder like any other kiddo! she dances to her own beat. she did that over and over and over and over. probably for an hour or so. i just sat there and watched her have fun. that sweet smile on her face is the best. i also wanted to make sure no big kids would run her over {and it’s always the boys…they are so rough!}! only once did she get smashed. a boy somersaulted down the slide and kicked olive in the face…not cool. not cool at all.

after a long while of playing in the bouncy house, i finally convinced her to leave. it was perfect timing because hc had brought us food! we noshed on hot dogs…yes, it was a fancy affair! olive thoroughly enjoyed eating her hot dog, she would make goofy faces while as she ate. such a funny lady she is!

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[my sweet babe]

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[my cray cray hc]

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[mmmmm, hot dog]

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[waiting for the fireworks!]

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[crazy kids…sam, reagan, and bennett]

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[crazy gals…thuy, kim, and helen]

 the sky finally turned off it’s lights and it was time for fireworks! this is olive’s first time watching fireworks. last year this time around, she was only seven months old and in bed by the time fireworks began! this year, i’m not as regimented with her bedtime but besides that, she’s naturally a night owl!

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[watching her first fireworks with dada]

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it was a very relaxing and low key evening, watching fireworks on this lovely third of july! we had a great time hanging out with everyone. thank you to helen and michael for inviting us! it was a fantastic time to experience fireworks this way.

xoxo

happy low key july fourth

our fourth of july was very low key. a lot of relaxing and hanging out together. hc had yummy dinner plans and he even baked a pound cake for dessert! how awesome was that?!

when i arrived home, hc started whipping up some good eats {such an awesome hubby}. i was hungry {as usual…this nursing state makes me voracious}! we sat down for dinner and stated what we are grateful for {we do this every time we eat}, then filled our bellies up with some good grub. thank you hc for always making a delicious meal.

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[olive had navy and white star shorts on buuutttttt she had an accident in them 🙁 therefore she didn’t have them on]

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[a delicious dinner by hc // winner winner chicken dinner]

after dinner, i cleaned up and hc, olive, and grace went for a walk. once they were back, we started making our desserts. grace sliced up the strawberries, i pulled out all the toppings and plates, and we gathered around to assemble our treats!

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[anthroplogie bowls]

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[grace slicing strawberries for our desserts]

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[my red, white, and blue peacock festive dessert!]

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[i love to pout]

after dessert, hc and grace went out to the backyard to look for fireworks. hc actually caught a firefly! one of our summer to do’s! there weren’t many out there but we got one! we still have all summer to catch more!

i tried to keep baby olive up for some fireworks but she was tired. pooped. so, no fireworks for this little one. she went to bed!

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[trying to stay of for fireworks]

after some quality time together, some festive desserts, and slightly catching a glimpse of the fireworks behind our trees, we were dunzo. that pretty much summed up our happy fourth of july!

happy birthday america. god bless our country!

xoxo

happy independence day!

happy fourth folks!

on july 4th, 1776, we declared our independence from the british empire aaaannnddd it’s been a non-stop party ever since! 😉

i hope everyone out there eats a lot of carnival foods, cotton candy, funnel cake, ice cream, & watches a whole bunch of fireworks! hey, it’s america…we always over indulge!

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[olive and i in our festive, holiday attire!]

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[carter’s star chambray dress and nordstrom’s flower headband]

happy 4th of july lovies! i love celebrating america’s birthday. let’s revel in our freedom and everyone please be safe {drinky drinky + home fireworks = you’ll shoot your eye out, so be careful, darn it!}!

xoxo