Friday, May 31, 2019

Summer Entertaining with Cracker Barrel

This post was sponsored by Kroger.  All opinions expressed in the post are my own and not those of Kroger
This post was created in partnership with Cracker Barrel and Kroger!  All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.

We've been having the most amazing weather lately and it's making me so excited for summer!!!  Bring on all the barbecues with friends, dinners on the back patio, and date nights in. Eating outside is one of my favorite things to do.  Somehow food tastes better when you can feel the sunshine and fresh air!

One of my favorite things to make during the summer are charcuterie boards. They're so easy, so tasty, and can easily please everyone at the table!  I love making them when we have friends over, it's always a crowd favorite. Sometimes Eric and I even skip dinner, put our kids to bed, and make a charcuterie board for a little date night in.

A charcuterie board staple is cheese.  My go to is always Cracker Barrel cheese!  You can pick it up at your local Kroger store, my closest store is Fred Meyer, and it tastes amazing. Lately, my go to has been the new Cracker Barrel Rich and Bold Cubes.  They're the perfect size and so easy to just throw on your board. I actually buy them for my kids as an easy snack too!  They're the perfect grab and go snack if you're always on the run like us.

When I'm making a charcuterie board, I try to make it as colorful as possible.  Some of the things I love to include are:

-Cheese.  Try the new Cracker Barrel Rich and Bold Cubes from your local Kroger store and save yourself some time!  You don't have to spend time cutting cheese into perfect slices because all of the work as already been done for you!  I also like to mix in a soft cheese.
-Meat.  I love cured meats like salami and prosciutto.
-Crackers and bread.  I like to include some crackers and sliced french bread.
-Fruit.  Sliced pears, berries, and/or grapes are usually my go to's.  I also throw some dried fruit on (cherries, apricots, or mandarin oranges) if I have it on hand.
-Olives and/or pickles.
-Chocolates.  I always include a little something sweet on charcuterie boards.
-Other fun things I like to include are dried vegetable chips, fruit spreads, and spicy peppers.

When putting your charcuterie board together, start by anchoring your board with bigger items (like cheese and bowls).  Fill in more space with meats and crackers.  And finally, fill in smaller spaces with nuts, fruit, olives, pickles, peppers, or chocolates.  Don't worry about things being perfectly placed, you want it to look a little messy.  Mix things up and push them close together so that you can't see the board underneath.  If you're feeling fancy, garnish with some fresh herbs (I like to add fresh rosemary sprigs).  Serve with some delicious wine and ta-da you've made the perfect charcuterie board!

I can't wait to make some epic charcuterie boards this summer.  Bring on the sunshine and all the summer entertaining! I love that Cracker Barrel has made making a charcuterie board so easy with their Rich and Bold Cubes.  I'll take any time savers I can get! You can find them at Kroger stores (Fred Meyer if you're local).  And don't forget they make great snacks too, like cheese sticks, cheese dip and pretzels and even new portable pairing boards.  They're the perfect size for grown ups and little people alike!

Cheers friends, to allllll the summer entertaining and eating out on the patio!



Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Six Year Old Girls Gift Guide

Our Sloany girl turned six a few weeks ago and I had so much fun shopping for her birthday gifts.  She has such a unique personality and knows exactly what she wants these days!  It made it fun finding her gifts that were just right and that I knew she'd love.  I got a lot of questions about what we got for her so I wanted to share! Happy shopping!

(Sloan actually got this camera for her birthday last year and it has been hands down the best gift we've ever gotten her!  This year she asked for more  film.)
(I also got her this matching  watermelon sweater!)
(We also got Sloan a slime toy called  Poopsie and she loved making it!)

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Sloan is Six!

I cannot believe our Sloany girl is six!!  Six seems like such a big kid (just ask Sloan, it IS a very big kid :))!  We had so much fun celebrating our big girl on her actual birthday and at her puppy dog themed breakfast with friends last weekend.  Our girl is so lucky when it comes to friendships.  She has known most of her closest friends since she was born.  I feel so blessed to see Sloan around her little friends, they all love each other so much!

Sloan had school on her actual birthday which was really weird.  It felt so strange being away from her for part of the day, but we definitely made the most of the time we had with her!  She woke up to a room full of balloons and then we headed downstairs for donuts.  After school we opened gifts, went to Playdate PDX (so so fun if you're local), had 10 Barrel for dinner, and ended the night with cake at home.  It was a great day for an even better girl.

A few months ago we had breakfast at one of our favorite places, Mother's Bistro.  While we were there Sloan said she wanted to have her birthday party there.  I was like wait, you want to go to a restaurant and I don't have to throw a birthday party??  LET'S DO IT SLOANY GIRL!!  So we went for a little puppy dog themed breakfast and it was everything she wanted and more.  She felt so grown up and special, it was so cute.  She's been telling everyone that she had a grown up brunch for her birthday because she's not a little kid anymore :).

I made sure Sloan's breakfast still felt like a party by adding a few little puppy dog touches.  All of the little girls got a puppy dog stuffed animal and made them collars out of pipe cleaners, beads, and a a little charm.  My friend Lisa made the cutest puppy dog cupcakes (check out lilac butterfly cakes on facebook if you're local!).  It was the easiest party I have ever thrown (hello, no clean up!) and it really turned out so cute.  Plus our big girl had the very best time!!

Six year old Sloan is pretty amazing.  She is the fearless leader of her gaggle of siblings, LOVES school and her friends, plays soccer and does ballet, could do art all day long, has two missing teeth, and is the life of any party (girlfriend does not ever shy away from attention).  We love our girl so big and love getting to watch her grow into such a wonderful young lady.

Party hat c/o Little Blue Olive

There is a balloon garland/arch tutorial on my "party time" highlight bubble on Instagram!

Sloan's party dress c/o  Pink Chicken NY  /  Sloan's headband c/o  Ellia May Designs

And a few from her puppy dog party...

Dresses are from  Taylor Joelle 

Birthday crown c/o  Everly's Story

Plush puppy dogs  /  White puppy dog carriers (they were the perfect size for favor boxes!)  /  Each box also had a little puppy sticker book in it

The girls made the puppy collars out of pipe cleaners, beads, and little charms.  They turned out so cute!

Monday, May 6, 2019

Riding In Style with the Chicco NextFit Zip Convertible Carseat

Eric and I have been getting out with the kids and soaking up this sunshine as much as we absolutely can!  Even when its chilly, we love bundling up and letting them run around and get there wiggles out!

Eric recently got a new truck and can finally fit three carseats across the backseat.  We were lucky enough to get to try out the newly updated Chicco NextFit Zip Convertible Car Seat on our latest outdoor adventure and we were all so impressed.  Phayre Bear usually gets Sloan's hand-me-downs, so we decided she got the new carseat this time.  She loved it so much and kept telling us how "cozy" she was :).  We chose the NextFit Zip in the Geo Fashion, I love the way it looks.

Chicco has been manufacturing baby gear for decades, including the number-one rated KeyFit30 Infant carseat.  They also have a full line of play yards, highchairs, strollers, and more.  They recently updated and restyled the entire NextFit convertible carseat line, which includes a variety of models.

First and foremost, I have to say this was probably the easiest car seat we've ever installed.  It features a tightener and belt locking system that makes it easy to achieve a tight with LATCH of the vehicle seatbelt.  For Phayre, we installed the LATCH connectors that attach to your cars seat anchors.  Once they are attached, you pull on the LATCH connectors to tighten.  They are clearly labeled, pull side one to tighten and remove the slack and then pull side two to secure the carseat in place.  We watched the installation video on the Chicco website and it was so easy to follow step-by-step.  There are a ton of other helpful videos on there too!!  For installation help, check out this video.

The Chicco NextFit Convertible Car Seat can accommodate children from 5-65 pounds, s o if you're looking to only buy one carseat that will last your child through the years, the Chicco NextFit is a great option.

My favorite feature is that the NextFit Zip features a zip-off pad.  The upholstered part of the seat zips right off and can be machine washed!!  If you've ever been on a road trip with small children, you know how convenient and practical this feature is ;).

The carseat also has two cupholders, which I thought was a really cool feature (we were only able to attach one because we had two carseats right next to each other).  Overall, Eric and I were both really impressed by the Chicco NextFit ZIP Convertible Car Seat and would definitely recommend it!  Your child is sure to not only be safe, but comfortable too!

I love taking off on these little adventures with our three.  I can't believe there's going to be four so so soon!!!

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