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This post is in sponsored by Jack Nicklaus Ice Cream. Jack Nicklaus Ice cream for National Ice Cream Month

July is National Ice Cream Month and we couldn’t be happier to bring you our fun ice cream cart and a giveaway (think $100 plus ice cream) today to celebrate this important occasion!

Jack Nicklaus Ice cream for National Ice Cream MonthI love putting together fun little treats for the kids and our neighbors on the fly. Using Ezra’s lemonade stand as an ice cream cart was so much fun for the boys and a great way to celebrate National Ice Cream Month.

Jack Nicklaus Ice cream for National Ice Cream Month (9 of 12)Jack Nicklaus Ice Cream was developed in partnership with legendary pro-golfer Jack Nicklaus and The Schwan Food Company in 2015 with the goal of bringing families together with an affordable, delicious dessert. We tried six flavors and there wasn’t one we didn’t love! So good!  Additionally, a portion of sales of the product goes to support Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. I love this aspect!

Jack Nicklaus Ice cream for National Ice Cream Month (10 of 12)How to put together an ice cream cart or station

Jack Nicklaus Ice cream for National Ice Cream Month (6 of 12)You will need:

  • Ice cream (We loved having a variety of flavors of Jack Nicklaus Ice Cream to share with our friends)
  • Ice cream bowls or cones
  • Ice cream scoop
  • Sprinkles
  • Spoons

Jack Nicklaus Ice cream for National Ice Cream Month (11 of 12)If you have a tray or cart, simply set everything out. Kids love to put together their own ice cream bowl. Have an adult do the scooping and let the kids own the sprinkles.

Jack Nicklaus Ice cream for National Ice Cream Month (7 of 12)Ice cream is such a fun summer treat and it’s always a crowd pleaser!

Jack Nicklaus Ice cream for National Ice Cream Month (8 of 12)

ICE CREAM AND $100 VISA GIFT CARD GIVEAWAY!

Now, one of you gets to experience this amazing ice cream! Just leave a comment below sharing what you love most about summer and your favorite ice cream flavor. Our winner will be chosen on Tuesday, Aug. 2 at noon. One randomly picked lucky reader will win the following:

  • A Jack Nicklaus tumbler cup
  • A Jack Nicklaus golf ball
  • Jack Nicklaus Ice Cream coupons
  • One $100 Visa gift card

Thank you for supporting the delicious brands that make Live the Fancy Life possible.


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This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #BTSSpirit #SweetSquad #CollectiveBias Back to School Ghostbusters Slime Cookie Ball truffles (12 of 15)Like so many mamas,  I’m already picking up school clothes, school supplies and getting our house organized for this exciting time of the year. I’m SO looking forward to creating fun memories with my boys this school year. One way I like to do that is with after school adventures and great after school treats.
Back to School Ghostbusters Slime Cookie Ball trufflesToday I’m so excited to share this fun (and easy) Ghosbusters inspired treat… our Ghostbusters Green Slime Cookie Truffles.

Do you remember the old Ghosbusters movie? I’m SO excited for the new one. It’s in theaters now and I’m looking forward to seeing it soon. When I got this opportunity, I knew immediately that I would do something with slime (ectoplasm)! Not only is it fun and colorful, but it takes me back to my childhood. Read More »


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This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #CelebrateAmazingBDays #CollectiveBias

A puppy party with American GreetingsBefore Mr. Ezra came along, all of our birthdays were crammed together in spring. Then our June baby came two weeks late, arriving on June 23. Ezra is a joyful, happy, energetic, compassionate, kind, sometimes introverted, sweet, snuggly little one. He completes our family in a way we never could have imagined before his arrival.

Ezra Jude turns twoSummer birthdays are so much fun and a new experience for us. I love being outside and hosting a more casual get together to celebrate our sweet boy. Today I’m sharing a little puppy party I put together for Ezra’s 2nd birthday. We had some illness back in June so didn’t have a birthday party for Ezra other than a small cake and ice cream gathering with our immediate families. I wanted to put together this puppy party (at his request) even though we weren’t inviting people over. Our little family celebrated Ezra just for fun with a puppy party that made him oh so happy!

A puppy party. Puppy themed cake DIY.And it was a very easy party to put together thanks to store-bought ways to customize our party and more. We used American Greetings wrapping paper, gift bags, tissue paper, stickers and cards to pull this party together.

A puppy party with American Greetings (2 of 20)American Greetings is making it easy to celebrate your favorite people with summer birthdays this year. Summer is a huge time of year for birthdays—that’s why American Greetings is taking over the seasonal section of the Walmart card department to help celebrate birthdays in a fun and meaningful way!

A puppy party with American Greetings (14 of 20)For me, parties have become something I love to do simply. Hosting over the top events is no longer appealing. I want to inspire you all with manageable party ideas… the kinds of ideas that anyone can pull off with limited time. And I want parties to be joyful for my family. To do that, I need to be my best self and our parties need to be simple. Here’s how I put together a simple yet custom and fun puppy party for Ezra.

A puppy party with American Greetings (18 of 20)Decorations and food

A well put together dessert and food table is a necessity for every party, but this doesn’t mean you have to spend a fortune or hours putting it together. I whipped this one together in less than 20 minutes.

A puppy party with American Greetings (12 of 20)For decorations, we used all of my kids’ stuffed puppies and placed them throughout the party space. We put party hats on them to add to the birthday party vibe. A custom “Be Silly. Be Honest. Be Kind.” poster was the dessert table backdrop. Read More »


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Today I’m excited to have my dear friend here sharing how she is trying to change the world one book at a time. Please welcome Aurora Whittet to the blog. 

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/bloodmark/mamas-knight-a-cancer-story-of-love

I used to think that because I wasn’t a doctor or a lawyer or a pastor that there was nothing I could do to help change the world. I was just an artist and an author. What could I really do to shape the world?

But one day when I was driving I started thinking of Tyson Cluever, a friend of mine from high school who had been diagnosed with brain cancer and had two little boys. She told me that all the books she found to help her children understand what was happening were for specific types of cancer, none for hers, and I realized there was something I could do to soften the blow of cancer on a family. So I set out to write and illustrate a children’s Mama’s Knight: A Cancer Story of Love, to help families communicate what it means for mama to have cancer. The book is personalizable for each mom with any type of cancer and is filled with activities that link to themamavillage.com, giving moms a place to go for help and ideas. 
 A book for mother's fighting cancer
Mama’s Knight has been lovingly received by moms, pediatricians and family therapists. It is so overwhelming to see it come to life. It has been an emotional journey with Mama’s Knight, as I lost my own mother to cancer in 2013, so this project has a warm place in my heart.
Mama's Knight Kickstarter: A book for moms dealing with cancer
Mama’s Knight will publish in October 2016, I am running a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds to donate hundreds of books to mamas in need. I want to help as many families as I can, but I can’t do it alone. I need your help. Donate today!
Mama's Knight Kickstarter: A book for moms dealing with cancer
 
SYNOPSIS
Mama’s Knight: A Cancer Story of Love is an emotional toolbox that can help kids and parents communicate about what it means for Mama to have cancer. The book is filled with tools and activities designed to make coping with illness easier on both parent and child, and can be personalized for each child.
Please join the Kickstarter today or if you’re not able to help, please share the Kickstarter page on your own social media including Facebook. Your support is so appreciated. 

Read More »


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BadMomsMovieGiveaway

Ladies! Who needs a night out with your bestie? I have 5 (That’s right, FIVE!) pairs of tickets to the advance screening of #BadMoms on Thursday, July 21 at 7:30 p.m. at AMC Southdale in the Twin Cities.

Let’s share a #BadMomMoment today.

My Bad Mom Moment!

I sneak bites of ice cream behind the kitchen island so the kids don’t see me. We rarely have ice cream in the house, but when we do, it’s Ben & Jerry’s Tonight Dough and I like it to last! I just have a bite or two each day for several weeks and have my own #BadMomMoment ;)

BAD MOMS in theaters July 29

In this new comedy from the writers of The Hangover, Amy has a seemingly perfect life – a great marriage, over-achieving kids, beautiful home and a career. However she’s over-worked, over-committed and exhausted to the point that she’s about to snap. Fed up, she joins forces with two other over-stressed moms on a quest to liberate themselves from conventional responsibilities – going on a wild, un-mom-like binge of long overdue freedom, fun and self-indulgence – putting them on a collision course with PTA Queen Bee Gwendolyn and her clique of devoted perfect moms.

Enter to win passes to the movie on our Facebook page

Share your #BadMomMoment over on our Facebook post for your chance to win.


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Join the conversation and share your personal stories about a Wing Woman in your life on Twitter @mywingwoman. Get the low down from one of my favorite Wing Women at www.mywingwoman.com. I received compensation for this blog post from Teva Women’s Health.

Wing Woman and Backyard fun

Life as a parent means that friendships change. Social lives change. My idea of a wild Saturday night has changed. Life is a bit simpler and yet more complex. A Friday or Saturday spent in the backyard is our new version of a perfect day. And reading a book on the porch during nap time feels like a vacation. Neighbors who are friends become a big portion of your social life out of ease, convenience and similarities. For us, contentment has come from this life.

Wing Woman

One beautiful day two years ago, a lovely woman and her young daughter visited our next door neighbors. They were sitting on the deck having a serious conversation that, at the time, I had no idea about. We were playing in our back yard with Bodhi. I had an instant connection with her and hoped she’d visit again soon.

The woman’s daughter joined us in our yard and played while the adults sat on the deck talking.

Less than three months later, this woman, her daughter and husband moved into the house right next to ours. I was thrilled to welcome them and grateful that they had children (both of our second children were born that summer) the same ages as both of ours. But I had NO idea quite how huge this was.

Wing Woman

In a matter of months, our next door neighbor became one of my dearest friends, a trusted confidant and my partner in parenting in so many ways! We constantly talk about how we are mothering together. We are raising kind, compassionate and joyful children together and doing it together makes it joyful for us too. She loves my children. I love hers. She feeds my kids and I feed hers.

Coffee

We work together to give our children magical childhoods and we teach them difficult lessons. We attempt to sit and rest while the kids play and we often give up, grab a cup of coffee and chase them instead.

Wing Woman

Our children fight like no other and love something fierce. Their relationships are perfect and beautifully imperfect. They are learning to share and struggle and apologize together. It’s not without pain and challenges, but it’s amazing doing this mothering thing with her. Read More »


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Take your toddler to lunch with Boon

We’ve been going all over town and even the state this summer. It’s been a fabulous couple of months so far. Ezra is finally at the age where we can do so much and he can fully enjoy it. Bodhi has been that way for a while.

Boon

Our summer bucket list is fairly simple this year, but includes lots of park and pool time, lunch and dinner at our favorite restaurants, picnics, farmer’s market, playing outside daily, hosting friends for a pool day and dinner plus more.

Take your toddler to lunch with Boon

This year, the diaper bag is much less full. Ezra is semi-potty trained and we just have a lot less needs when we’re out and about. I’m always on the hunt for new and innovative baby, toddler and kid products and found a fun one. I recently participated in Boon’s Take Your Toddler to Lunch campaign and these days, lunch out is so much easier.

Take your toddler to lunch with Boon

Just two days ago we walked over to our neighborhood restaurant for a quick meal and some fun play time. This particular restaurant has a playset which made it a simple and fun time for all. We brought our favorite new product with for the kiddos. The Boon SNUG Lid is fabulous and practical.  Read More »


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Summer Home Tour: A bright Front porch

Welcome to another round of A Coffee Date! I’ve been a bit absent around here lately for a variety of reasons, but I’ve been keeping a running list of all of the random and not-so-random things I want to share with you. I’m stopping by to do that today. Grab a cup of coffee (or green juice or tea or water or La Croix or whatever it is you love) and let’s chat a bit.

I just have to share…

The most comfortable sandals

A fun backpack for animal lovers

My favorite practical summer kid shoes

The cutest summer printables (they are from a few years ago, but they are new to me)

A great budget-friendly outdoor light fixture

Remember when my laundry room looked like this? It’s basically a big closet now. I need to take some time to get rid of all of the old baby clothes. So hard to let it go.

Super cute party hats

A clever DIY for marshmallow roasting sticks (I have the same ones from the Target Dollar Spot, but hers are way cuter!)

An emotional toolbox for mothers fighting cancer

A book for mother's fighting cancer

My dear friend lost her mother to cancer several years ago and recently set out to create a children’s book for mamas with ANY cancer. She wrote a book that families could use to talk about cancer with their kids, that they could personalize for their cancer journey. This 40-page hardcover book also has places to put in photos of their child and has ideas for activities to bond Mama with her children during the daunting emotional and physical journey upon them. She’s going to be stopping by later this month to share more, but please help spread the word about her Kickstarter as she is hoping to donate hundreds of books to families who could benefit from this.  Read More »


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Cooler in Cotton: Easy chic summer style

Summer is here! We’re spending long days outside playing, swimming, running, jumping, eating fruit pops and ice cream, sipping lemonade and ice tea and more.

Cooler in Cotton: Easy chic summer style

My workdays are even spent outside whenever I get the chance. Oh Summer, how I love thee!

Cooler in Cotton: Easy chic summer style

My wardrobe this year is all about function and simple style. I have found that while trendy pieces work so well for many women, I’m a fairly classic girl and prefer simple patterns and soft solids. I’ll grab an edgier piece here and there, but for the most part, I stick with the same general style.

Cooler in Cotton: Easy chic summer style

Denim, chambray, knits, cotton maxi skirts and dresses plus soft oversized T’s are my go-to pieces on a daily basis. And when I have client meetings, I throw on a cotton pencil skirt with a tank, blouse or chambray. I can easily throw on heels for a meeting and swap them out for gladiator sandals for preschool pick-up and after-childcare fun with the kids.

I put together three easy summer looks in cotton. Read More »


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Our nautical navy and white striped patio
I’m so excited to share our summer home tour with you today as a part of a group of home design bloggers. I’m sharing our new patio, our front porch, our kid areas and a super fun, super easy 4th of July Campfire S’mores Cone Recipe and setup that you can whip together for the weekend.
4th of July Campfire S'mores Cones
If you’re new here and love easy approachable home design, be sure to check out our laundry room, green home tour, family room, guest room, officeour nursery and big boy room. If you’re a regular, thanks for coming back! Let’s start the tour!
Our New Patio
Our nautical navy and white striped patio
We designed our patio very simply and affordably with only one goal in mind: Dinner outside. This can be dinner with our little family of four, with friends, with neighbors. I just wanted to create outside summer memories with our kids and we’ve already done it so much in the one month we’ve had this space.
Our nautical navy and white striped patio
The white table is from Ikea and the chairs are all from World Market. The navy and white striped chairs are priced super low right now and they are very comfortable.
Our nautical navy and white striped patio
Campfire S’mores Cones Bar
Our nautical navy and white striped patio
I love putting together fun little build-your-own snack stations for the kids. Today I put together a fun 4th of July campfire cone station using the awesome red, white and blue M&M’s®.
Campfire Cone station
It’s basically s’mores in an ice cream cone and instead of roasting them over a fire, You wrap them in foil and grill. They are delicious and super fun to put together. I used chocolate covered caramels, M&M’s®, butterscotch chips, bananas, mini marshmallows and small sugar cones.
4th of July Campfire Cones
So ooey, gooey and delicious! Highly recommend. OK, back to our home tour. :)

Read More »