Friday, May 17, 2019

FRIDAY FAVORITES #96 | SUMMER PREP

Happy Friday, friends!  I cannot believe we are down to just ONE MORE FRIDAY before school is out!  I feel like we just started the school year! In just a couple of weeks, I'm going to have a middle schooler.  I just can't wrap my head around it. 

I love summer and I am ready for it but I will miss those peaceful 8 hours a day when I'm the only one home and can really focus on getting work done.  It's not quite as easy with what sounds like a herd of elephants running through my house day in and day out, knocking over things, leaving Cheez-It wrappers stuffed behind pillows (yes, this is still a problem), popsicle sticks all over the yard (ugh) and wet clothes EVERYWHERE. Laundry room, sunroom, bedrooms, bathrooms...you get the idea.  When it's just the boys by themselves, they aren't such disasters but throw in a neighborhood full of them and all bets are off.

24 Hysterical Memes About the Struggle That Is Summer Break With Kids

When we bought this house, I knew I wanted it to be a house that all the kids would want to come to.  I'm so thankful we have a pool, live at the end of a culdesac and have a bigger yard because of it.  It means the neighborhood likes to hang here a lot of the time.  I may hate the mess that comes with it but I love knowing that my kid is safe and not getting into anything he shouldn't.  So it's a price I'm willing to pay.  

So today's Favorites post is all about how I prep my house for the Boys of Summer. ;)  It's nothing earth shattering but I'm hoping you'll find an idea or two to take with you.


Pool stuff.  

We have a pool and it is the #1 greatest entertainer for my kids in the summer.  They are in and out of that thing ALL.DAY.LONG.  This makes for a ton of laundry because they tend to just jump in with their clothes on a lot (I pick my battles and this isn't one of them) and then they change clothes...and do it again.  And again.  I'm hoping I'll be able to cut down on this little habit this summer though.  These boys don't know they'll be doing a lot of their own laundry for the next few months.  
(Insert evil laugh...)

We wanted a better solution for changing in and out of wet clothes all day than running in and out of the house, so we added a little "dressing room" area to our sunroom.  I bought a folding room divider and leave it set up in a corner so kids can change in and out of swimsuits without coming inside.  (Lots of great divider options HERE.)  It has worked so well for us and the kids all think it's fun to change back there.

Also, our sunroom is going through a transition period right now so here are some older pics from last year's birthday party to kind of show you that area.  I didn't realize how few pictures of this room I have!


I keep a basket next to the divider for them to throw their clean clothes in while they swim and then when they get out and are ready to change again, they can hang their wet clothes and towels on this drying rack we keep out on the back porch.  This way, if they decide to get back in later, their suits and towels are ready for them, no one is tracking water through the house and it's less laundry for me.  I gather everything up and wash things as needed and we also keep a laundry basket near the back door.

Also worth noting is that I keep all of the boys' swimsuits and beach towels in a little buffet table I relocated to our sunroom a few years ago.  The swimsuits are in a basket and the towels are stuffed in and ready to grab for the boys and any guests who come over and decide to swim. 



On top, is a tray full of sunscreen and bug spray, magazines, some extra hats and whatever "pool book" I'm currently reading.  And since these pictures were taken we've also added a bucket of goggles.
In my house, we can never have enough goggles.  They are constantly getting lost and we always need extras around for friends.  We love THESE and they are definitely the most popular and most highly-rated on Amazon.

They come in a ton of colors are high quality but not super expensive.  They even have a newer model HERE that's even cheaper.

Just check out the reviews.  They don't leak which is priority #1!  
Always have fun pool floats on hand.  But oh my goodness.  Where to even start!  These days, there are a million super cool floats to choose from.  And every year, we start the summer with new ones.  (Also, every year we END the summer with popped ones.  haha)

Our Blow-Pop float is the only survivor from last year.
Although, I think one of these did too.  I just need to get them blown back up to check.  But these were a HUGE hit last summer!  They are a lot like bumper boats where you can squirt water at your brother...or yourself.  ;)  I got mine HERE.


Other favorites that have come and gone over the years...

Some of my current favorites though are...

Or if you want to go all out...the XXL unicorn.
And I'm loving seeing all the floats with glitter in them this year!  So fun!

JOYIN Giant Inflatable Rainbow Pool Float with Glitter Inside, Fun Beach Floaties, Swim Party Toys, Summer Pool Raft Lounger for Adults & Kids (46รข€ x 44รข€ x 13.75รข€)

And the taco float!!  Adorable and most-likely approved by everyone.  Although it may make you crave chips and salsa every time you see it.  You have been warned.  haha
BigMouth Inc Giant Inflatable Taco Pool Floats, Durable Pool Tube with Patch Kit Included
Our backyard looks like a bomb went off in it almost every day.  There are random balls of all sorts thrown all of the yard, pieces of broken toys that have now become swords or projectile missiles, noodles (also "swords") and everything else these boys can get their hands on.   Right now we have a big plastic bin we keep all of our backyard toys in but it's seen better days.  So I've been on the lookout for something new.  

This could totally work.  I love these as a way to organize some of your pool clutter. I love that everything can drip dry and that it's on wheels so it can roll to where we need it. Plus, you can see everything so you don't have to dig to the bottom of a giant toy bin, all the while throwing things out onto the ground until you find whatever it is your looking for. Not that that ever happens around here...  #ahem



Not everything we do is pool related though.  We LOVE backyard games.  We are big on cornhole, horseshoes and bocce ball when we have friends and family over.  It's something the adults can do while the kids swim or something we can play WITH the kids.



We leave this cornhole set out a lot so the kids can play any time with their buddies.  

We also purchased a traveling cornhole set to take to the beach with us last year and that was a great idea.  These fold up neatly into a little carrying case so you can take it with you anywhere!

And don't forget about good ole water balloons!  These are my kids favorite.  They just connect to the hose, fill up instantly and then snap off automatically without any tying required!  
What is summer without POPSICLES?!  Last year, I posted these pictures and shared my love for these DIY popsicle pouches.  The boys spent all summer filling them with Gatorade, lemonade, orange juice, water...basically anything they thought would freeze.  I got 100 pouches for $9.99 and it was so worth it.  We still have some left and you can even reuse them if you want.



THESE may be a better deal though.  They are BPA free (not something I noticed on the ones I got last summer) and also come with a little funnel for easy filling.  Plus you get 25 more.
These were a huge hit with my kids and all of their friends too and you could make them as healthy or "fun" as you wanted.  ;)

Which leads me to #7.  Snacks.  We try to keep snacks on hand a lot during the summer.  Individual bags of SmartPop, little bags of chips, granola bars, waters, etc. We have growing boys.  And I may not win Mother of the Year for this but I'm not going to stop and make them a healthy snack every time they say they're hungry.  #reallife

Kids summer eating schedule! Lol!

Our life definitely looks a lot like this during the summer!  haha

So that's a little of how we do summer around here.  We are all outside a lot and with a neighborhood full of boys, it's rarely a quiet or boring day.  Just how we like it.  :)

How do you guys do summer?? I'd love to hear any suggestions or fun things y'all do!

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Also, don't forget that my Etsy shop is still on sale!!  The sale ends TOMORROW (I extended it) so if you've been eyeing something, now is the time!!  Prices go back up soon!

I'll be back next week with my first round of Q&As from the questions you guys asked me on Instagram and social media last week!  This should be fun!!

Linking up with Narci, Erika and Andrea for Friday Favorites!

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5 comments

  1. My son is going to middle school next year, too...so hard to believe! And I'm still constantly finding goldfish trash, fruit treat trash, etc stuffed behind pillows!! Is this a boy thing??

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    1. It must be!! I'm glad it's not just happening at my house!! haha

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  2. We live right on a lake so much of this applies to us too! The wet clothes everywhere... the jumping in with their clothes on, etc. (I have one boy who even does this at the beach and then wears his bathing suit home since he prefers his clothes to a bathing suit!). All three of my boys have gotten pretty good about hanging their towel and clothes to dry but they don't always use the drying rack and I'll find them tossed over chairs and patio walls. We have tried everything to contain the floats, noodles, goggles, flippers, etc.. including that mesh and PVC pipe container which did work great until one of the of pipes cracked.

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    1. Ahhhh, I'm so jealous!!! I'd love to live on a lake! And yes! Trying to contain all the floats and everything else is a nightmare. Our big plastic bin with a lid works well but I'm always looking for something better. Let me know if you find something!

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  3. When our boys were young and wild, my best friend would say, "These are the happiest days of your life and you don't even know it!" Enjoy every minute. They grow up so fast!

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