Spring Trends 2016

Happy Spring! It's raining and cold here lately but I am stubbornly keeping my windows open and my Spring clothes on. Soon to be prominent in my rotation are the lovely shoes posted above! My friend sent them over the pond for my fortieth birthday and I am love. She's must more fashionable than me and with one gift of shoes, managed to make me up my game for some more Spring trends. Here's what "in" this Spring: Off the Shoulder Updated White Shirt Daytime Lingerie Pleats Ruffles Stripes 90's inspired Wraps Romantic Ties   Those strike throughs? Aren't happening for me. I don't wear anything that requires a special bra (off the shoulder) and anything I wore the first time (nineties). Also, I don't iron (pleats). But the others, yeah. Even daytime lingerie in the form of some silk pajama pants. I am planning on working all of these into my everyday style wearing those awesome shoes whenever possible! Check out my mood board below the cut alone … [Read more...]

The Best Box for Food Loving Cooks

In just a couple of weeks I'll be reviewing the new MARY's secret ingredients box . I loved my … [Read more...]

Simple Italian Pot Roast

Somehow pot roast always ends up befuddling me. I buy it on sale and then it sits in the fridge staring at me, just daring me to make it. "Kate, you know you are going to dry me out!" it coos whenever I dare reach for it. So for this #PinterestRemakes challenge, I decided to tackle one of the many many Italian pot roast recipes I have pinned over the years. The problem is that so many of them seem to be meat only. And I am lazy. So I wanted to incorporate a veggie too. That way it's a complete meal. Read on for my simple Italian pot roast recipe. … [Read more...]

Spring Clean Your Passwords

In all your Spring cleaning, don't forget to do your digital spring cleaning! A good place to start is this inbox spring clean I shared a few years back. And this year as part of the U.S. Cellular Blogger Brigade, I am sharing smart ways to help improve your password habits. and bed are to take some time to update your tech agreement with your kids. Don't have one? You can download a Parent/Child Agreement here. If you have bad password habits, take comfort in the fact that you’re not alone! According to a Harris Interactive survey, more than half of Americans realize they need to change their password habits. Among the password habits that need attention are reusing passwords and creating weak passwords, such as your dog’s name, 12345 or password123. When it comes to protecting valuable information, those passwords share common patterns, creating vulnerability across the various accounts we all use every day, ranging from the ones that need to be most secure, like bank … [Read more...]

A Spriteful Start to Spring With Fairy and Gnome Stories

Hard to believe the snowy weekend we had involved the first day of Spring! If it was cold in your part of the world, I bet you are as ready to greet Spring as I am. Today while shopping for crafts, for our egg hunt I was definitely in the Spring mood after seeing all the cute mushroom, fairy, and gnome decorations at Michael's! I can't think of a cuter way to celebrate the beginning of the season. If you want to get into the spirit of sprites, here are some adorable books about gnomes and fairies: 1. No, No Gnome: I spotted this new book at our local bookstore and instantly loved it. Kids will love the simple wording and the phrasing is perfect for beginner readers. 2. How to Find Flower Fairies: Feed your child's imagination with this whimsical pop up book all about fairies and their homes. Then take your kids on a fairy hunt. 3. Gnomes: You will have to track this book down as it is out of print in the U.S. (it's available on Amazon from used book sellers) but it's totally … [Read more...]

Zootopia : A Cross Country Review

Disclosure: this is my last post as part of the Fandango Family Blogger Group. I have so enjoyed working for with Fandango on reviewing movies with my family. And falling in love with the ease of Fandango! Thank you to Fandango for sponsoring my blog and treating me and my family to so many great films! When asked to review Zootopia, I was so excited! But then I realized I was going to be in France the weekend it premiered. What to do? Well obviously see it and discuss via FaceTime like a modern family. And with Fandango, I was able to send tickets to my parents via email back in the states. So here is our cross country, cross generation review! … [Read more...]

Mini Breaks with Mini Babybel

"Mini Babybel provided me with product, a $50 movie gift card, a fort building kit, a board game, and a sweepstakes entry for this post. No other compensation was provided." Early in the year, Mini Babybel contacted me about writing a post about the family weekend. Of course I said yes. Because I love those little cheese wheels. But then life happened, and I kept waiting for the perfect time for all four of us to break out the package and have a perfect weekend. HA! As anyone with kids knows, weekends can be more packed than the week. And the terror twins don't even play sports! So as the weeks sped by the little cheeses started to disappear and the box of fun games and movie tickets sat sad and neglected. So I took a new approach: mini breaks... … [Read more...]

Packing The Perfect Plane Bag

So, there's something big I haven't discussed here on the old blog... on Saturday I am headed to Paris for ten days. I know! For years, I have been saying I wanted to turn forty in Paris. And after hoarding miles, begging my parents to come take care of the terror twins, and saving our duckets on March 6th, I will turn 40 on French soil. And to make it even better, my British bestie is coming over with her husband to celebrate with us. It's Mum's day in the UK on the 6th so it will be a double celebration. Of course, I want to bring her girlies treats. And she and a high school friend asked that I bring over some American goodies for them (evidently footed jammies are not a thing in Europe.) Plus all the shopping I want to do. So packing space is at a premium. I have been scouring Pinterest like a fiend for packing advice. Most of it I already knew but I was struck by this pin from Back to My Roots , a blog I had not heard of but am now obsessed with. I couldn't help but … [Read more...]

Putting the E in STEM

This post is part of my partnership with U.S. Cellular. (picture courtesy of U.S. Cellular) This week something pretty cool happened in my city. An engineering associate from U.S. Cellular visited the Boys and Girls Club in Columbia to conduct an “Ask an Engineer” session. It gave the students a hands-on look at how the company’s high-quality network operates. It also gave them an inside look and information on career opportunities in engineering. Talk about STEM education! At these events, U.S. Cellular engineers demonstrate how the network operates and how U.S. Cellular regularly monitors it. It's all in celebration of the 65th Anniversary of National Engineers Week. U.S. Cellular is working to help increase understanding of and interest in engineering and technology careers by holding these “Ask an Engineer” sessions at Boys and Girls Clubs throughout the country. The goal of U.S. Cellular’s “Ask an Engineer” sessions are to bring engineering to life for kids and show … [Read more...]

Movies That Induce Irish Catholic Guilt

As the Ides of March approach, it's time for me to review my Kiss Me, I'm Irish Pinterest board. Even though I left my Catholic faith behind, the Irish guilt remains. It's a burden that the Irish I meet seem to carry. I often feel the weight of years of my forefathers on my shoulders when I even think something wrong. And if I forget, all I have to do is cue up one of the following movies and it all comes back. I mean #firstworldproblems and all when I look at what my Irish brethren went through. As St. Patrick's Day approaches, I encourage you to sit down and watch one or two of these. I guarantee by the end you will be crying into your green beer. Consider it a small price to pay for getting March 17th as a free for all of kissing and wearing green! … [Read more...]