And just like that, summer is over.
Not really, of course. We still have a few official weeks left, but the start of September DEFINITELY signifies the end of the summer for me.
It’s the start of school (which I always LOVE as a kid) and the end of swimming and beach days. It ushers in cooler mornings and less humid days.
And I love every second of it.
This past month was a good one for our little fam. We geared down from summer camp and geared up for the start of school. Kieran had his first day of second grade this week, and he’s so excited to be back. Here’s hoping to a more normal year for all the kids!
Kieran’s travel baseball team also started up. We’re attending practices a couple times a week and games start in a week or so. Busy, busy!
Finn thrived and came out of his shell at preschool. He no longer struggles with drop off, and the teachers tell us he’s doing wonderfully. It makes me feel so much better about our decision to start him there. I wasn’t sure if he would take to it the same way his brother did, but it has really made him less shy and more sociable in general. He’s such a sensitive little soul, and I am so happy that he feels safe and secure at school now. He gets very excited in the car when we’re going to school.
We had a couple beach days here and there. And we had lots of days of summer sun and swimming, grilled food, and low-key evenings. It was lovely.
And now, I am ready for fall baking, fun coffee drinks, football, and cozy sweaters! Bring. It. On.
Here are some things we’ve been loving lately!
- I discovered this rose syrup recently. I bought this for a recipe I was developing for Empress Gin (you can find that recipe on my Instagram feed – it’s amazing!). I wanted a rose simple syrup that didn’t require any work (finding edible and untreated roses is tough), and this syrup is it. It tastes sweet and floral but not in an overpowering way! I find that floral syrups can taste and smell like a bottle of old perfume. This one doesn’t at all. Light and interesting! I have been adding a touch of it to all of my cocktails lately. I also have Monin’s pistachio syrup, and it is WONDERFUL in coffee.
- I started doing a little fall clothing shopping, and while I haven’t bought much yet, I did find this super cozy cardigan at Express. I bought my usual size medium in the beautiful green color, and it definitely runs a touch big. I don’t mind, though, because I tend to like sweaters to be bigger. They feel cozier to me that way. I could see this paired easily with leggings and jeans. It is SO soft! I love it.
- I also bought these jeans. I was skeptical at first – they are Express’ version of Good American jeans. They claim that they stretch quite a bit to fit a variety of body shapes and sizes. I bought them just to see – and I LOVE them. They’re stretchy and soft and very comfortable (well, as comfy as jeans can be I guess). I will probably get a couple different colors for the fall/winter.
- I also bought another pair of my favorite joggers from Athleta. I have a few of these and they are an awesome alternative to leggings in cooler weather. I wear them when I’m running around with the kids – whether it’s to the grocery store or the park – and they’re amazingly comfy without being overly frumpy or loose. They’re basically stylish sweatpants!
- Since having kids, I am all about the small crossbody purses. I’d rather wear a small bag and carry a second larger bag full of kid stuff. I always have a kid bag packed and ready to go into the car or stroller. But for my actual body, I prefer something small and light. My usual bag has a wallet built into it, but I need a SLIGHTLY bigger purse. I found this wallet to stick inside one of my medium-sized crossbody purses and while it’s nothing fancy, it’s very functional. As a busy mom who is constantly in and out of my bag, it’s perfect. It holds a lot for being so small.
- After much persuading by my sister and a growing frustration with the hair ties I have been buying for 20+ years (they break SO easily now – such a disappointment), I finally tried out the Gimme Beauty hair ties. I really like both the thick and long ones. I have very thick, heavy, and long hair with a lot of curl/wave and usually have to double up my hair ties to get anything to hold. These have been really nice so far – and I love that they don’t cause any damage.
- I bought Finn this little backpack for daycare, and it’s perfect for him! He can wear it (it’s the cutest thing ever), and it’s just the right size to hold his lunch, water bottle, and a few other small trinkets. And the print and quality is great!
- Speaking of water bottles, we’re still loving the Simple Modern water bottles for the boys. I get the larger 18-oz ones for Kieran, and the smaller ones for Finn. The best part is that the top comes completely apart and makes for easy cleaning (no mold worries) AND they keep the water cold for long stretches of time. We stocked up for the school year! The kids love them.
- Last but not least, I have been enjoying the occasional Olipop lately. I used to drink Diet Coke all the time before I had kids. Now, soda is a very rare treat. The lemon ginger Olipop is delicious (it’s like a more interesting ginger ale), and I don’t feel guilty having them because they are much better for you than traditional soda, contain probiotics, and fiber! They’ve tasted super refreshing on hot days lately.
That wraps up August! Even though it feels like the world is falling apart right now, and my heart is heavy a lot of the time, I choose hope. I choose to focus on the new season and hopefully turning over a new leaf. My children are my everything, and I refuse to allow the hurt, gut-wrenching sadness, and hate of the world tarnish their childhood. Here’s hoping for a healthy and HOPEFUL fall season! Xoxo, friends!
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