Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Second Annual Christmas in July Gift Exchange Matches!

Today is the day you have all been waiting for. It is MATCH day! Here are the matches for this year's Christmas in July Gift Exchange, check out the original post for all the details. We are so excited about this and thrilled to have so many people join in.

The list on the left is you and then the list on the right is who you are buying for. Note that you are not buying for the person that is buying for you, that way you have the chance to get to know more bloggers.

Be on the look out for an email from Elizabeth either tonight or tomorrow with the information that your partner provided. If you don't get an email by Thursday, please send an email to Liz at chasinmasonblog@gmail.com so she can look into it.

Some things to remember:
- please ship your packages no later than Monday, July 13th, and don't forget to keep the tracking number
- box contents should be around $20 before shipping
- come back to link up the goodies that you & your kid(s) received on Monday, July 27th. No blog? No problem! Share on social media with #xmasinjulygiftexchange

Merry Christmas and Happy Shopping!

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Sweet Sunday

June 14th - 27th
All of our simple and sweet moments from the past two weeks.

Sweet Turtle Soup - Sweet Sunday
Spontaneous smooches are my favorite.

Sweet Turtle Soup - Sweet Sunday
Playing with her tubes and puff balls.

Sweet Turtle Soup - Sweet Sunday
And, then balloon rockets in the afternoon...until my throat hurt from blowing up that balloon for her.

Sweet Turtle Soup - Sweet Sunday
Putting on mama's shoes.

Sweet Turtle Soup - Sweet Sunday
Playing dress-up. I feel like such a girl mom now.

Sweet Turtle Soup - Sweet Sunday
Horizontal tire swinging. I think she likes this way even better than vertical tire swinging.

Have a sweet Sunday!

Friday, June 26, 2015

Summer Bucket List!

Sweet Turtle Soup - Summer Bucket List 2015
Here it is! The Summer Bucket List! I'm ready for it. And, do you know what the best part of it is? That when we are done checking things off of our list it will be the start of fall. There aren't many things that I like better than the start of fall, especially if you kick it up a notch and make it the start of fall in a place that actually has a fall. But, by gosh in the meantime we will grill pizza and attempt to not die in a canoe.

Hey, did you know I also had a Summer Bucket List last year? Check it out!
Sweet Turtle Soup - Summer Bucket List 2014
 [ Beach Fun / Sweet Treats / Finger Paint / Fireworks / Water Play / Family Walk / Park Discovery / Beachnic ]

And, while I have you..don't forget that if you want to sign up for the Second Annual Christmas in July Gift Exchange that today is the last day to do so. You can sign up right here!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Our Favorite Summer Dessert

Sweet Turtle Soup - Strawberry Pretzel Salad
I posted this recipe on the blog almost two years ago, but since it is a huge favorite around here especially over the summer I thought I'd mention it again. You can find the recipe here. It has a pretzel crust, a cream cheese center, and a strawberry top. Perfect for any get-togethers this summer or the Fourth of July!

Enjoy, and let me know if you try it.

Bonus: Make it along with this Raspberry Moscato Sangria!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

DIY Fourth of July Poppers

Fourth of July craft
Want an amusing, cheap, and simple Fourth of July craft? Look no further! I had a ridiculous amount of fun playing with these poppers after I made them. I even ran out of confetti and now need to buy or make more.

Fourth of July craft
Paper towel rolls or toilet paper rolls
Festive paper
Double sided tape
Festive tape, such as washi
Scissors, pen, and a ruler

Fourth of July craft
Cut your paper towel rolls in half if using, or do nothing if you are using toilet paper rolls.

Fourth of July craft
Measure and cut your festive paper to fit your rolls. Measure each separately if your paper towel rolls are various lengths, like mine.

Fourth of July craft
Wrap three pieces of double sided tape around your rolls and attach your festive paper. You only need to wrap the paper once so cut off the excess. Use the festive tape to tape over where the edges of the paper meet.

Fourth of July craft
Cut your balloon in half, and tie the end in a knot. Stretch the balloon over one end of your roll so that it is taunt without bending the roll, and secure with your festive tape.

Fourth of July craft
And, that is it. Just sprinkle in some confetti and gently pull your balloon tail.

Fourth of July craft

Fourth of July craft

For another easy Fourth of July project check out last year's straw fireworks craft.
Fourth of July craft

Monday, June 22, 2015

Second Annual Christmas in July Gift Exchange - announcement!

Elizabeth, Jamie, Amanda, and I would like to invite you to...a Christmas in July Party!

Last year we had so much fun sending and receiving summer boxes full of amazing things for the kids that we wanted to do it again this year. Not to mention many of the participants said they'd love to do it again, and who are we to disappoint all our blog friends?

The idea is to fill a box with anything you think your partner's kid(s) would love - water toys, craft supplies, books, etc, and the limit is $20 before shipping.

You can sign up here to participate from now until Friday, June 26th. You don't have to be a blogger to participate, but we ask that you share what you receive on social media with #xmasinjulygiftexchange. The matches will be emailed and announced by June 30th.

Send out your packages no later than July 13th, please keep your tracking number in case something goes astray. Don't forget the wrapping paper! Then come back on Monday, July 27th to link up and share what you received.

We are limiting this exchange to US residents only.
Sweet Turtle Soup

We certainly hope you will sign up. It is always a treat to receive something special in the mail.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Happy Father's Day

Happy Father's Day!
Aria and I are pretty smitten with this guy. We also couldn't wait to give him his "King of the Grill" plate, so Father's Day Eve it was. And now we've got a day full of nothing planned - just how he likes it.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Spring Bucket List - Have a Tea Party Outside

Sweet Turtle Soup: Spring Bucket List - Have a Tea Party Outside
Done! Finished! With this last item our Spring Bucket List is officially complete. I've already got a whole slew of fun items gathered together for our new Summer Bucket List. Done with one and onto the next. Is it slightly crazy that I'm already excited for fall? Good thing I have another list of fun things to get me through my least favorite time of year. But, first...the tea! It almost didn't even happen because I repeatedly forgot about the whole thing. Finally (yesterday) I let Aria pick a tea party dress from her insane collection of fancy dresses and surprised her with a tea set I had hidden just for the occasion. At first she was a little confused that there wasn't any actual tea or liquid in the pots and cups, but she came around to the imagination side of things quickly. It was a perfectly dainty way to start the day.
Sweet Turtle Soup: Spring Bucket List - Have a Tea Party Outside
Sweet Turtle Soup: Spring Bucket List - Have a Tea Party Outside
Sweet Turtle Soup: Spring Bucket List - Have a Tea Party Outside
Sweet Turtle Soup: Spring Bucket List - Have a Tea Party OutsideSweet Turtle Soup: Spring Bucket List - Have a Tea Party Outside
Sweet Turtle Soup: Spring Bucket List - Have a Tea Party Outside
Sweet Turtle Soup: Spring Bucket List - Have a Tea Party Outside
 For the rest of our Spring Bucket List click here!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Summer Reading Challenge - first check in

So, how has your summer reading been going? Ours has been fantastic lately - not only Aria's but also my own. I finally finished the book I'd been reading on and off for four months and then I read another five so far this month. Feeling very literary currently. As for Aria, we've taken home so many books from our local library that we've had to move on to another branch. We actually returned one bunch of books but couldn't pick up another bunch for a couple of days and we were all going a little book stir crazy. Only so many times I can read about Minnie's bow-tique, you know what I'm sayin'?

I'm excited to see what Liz, Stephanie, and everybody else has been reading. Here's how our first three weeks shaped up!
Summer Reading Challenge - first check in
And, because I literally went through and read every single title in the easy reader section of our library to pick out books from the three themes I randomly decided upon here are a dozen favorites from the first three weeks.
Summer Reading Challenge - first check in

I read There's a Dragon Downstairs, Princess Bess Gets Dressed, and Kitty Princess over and over and over and over - those may have been Aria's faves. I really enjoyed Dragon's Extraordinary Egg, Blue Chameleon, and Have You Seen My Dragon. But, out of the almost 50 books we checked out these were all winners. Maybe they will help you in your Summer Reading Challenge too.

Go ahead and check back at the original post for all the details if you need a refresher, and/or please let us know what you and your babes/toddlers/kids have been reading by linking up. Three weeks down, nine to go!

Sweet Turtle Soup

p.s. Remember you need to have participated in the challenge as well as linked up at least once to be eligible for the giveaway on August 20th, the final check in!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

[Guest Post] Getting to know Sarah from Foxy's Domestic Side

Hey guys! Happy Wednesday. Today I have a guest post Q&A sesh for you from one of my fave bloggers Sarah from Foxy's Domestic Side. She has the best wardrobe ever and looks fabulous in everything - I'm seriously jealous over here. I love visiting her blog and reading about the million things she and her family have gotten into on any given weekend. She's even recorded a few vlogs recently, which always fascinate me. I'm constantly baffled by all the things she can accomplish - working, being a mom, wearing cute outfits, hiking very early in the morning, making photo books, crafting, and in general being so go go go. If you aren't already you should definitely be following her and her blog, but first check out our Q&A.

Thanks so much for answering my questions today, Sarah!
Style Blogger Spring Challenge - (these ladies have seriously changed my life, I joined Alison's (from Get Your Pretty On) Style Challeges, in a time of my life when I needed to work on me and not just being a mother. It has gotten me out of my comfort zone and I've met some pretty amazing people. A new Challenge is started this week!)

Make sure to stop by her blog today, and tell her Courtney sent you!
Or, visit her on facebook | instagram