And just like that, we are sending summer off. Our house is now filled with the hustle and bustle of the start of a new school year, our days have fallen into a routine and in the evenings we are exhausted. While I fully admit I am never ready to see summer end, I do love change and the start of a new season. And this fall I've decided to start off in the right direction; organized and prepared.
Since our soccer schedule consumes most of the week and my husband works nights at our restaurant, I run a tight ship and keep to my schedule the second the kids come home from school. A routine is certainly important, but in my opinion a balance is better. We balance our schedule between a strict routine and impromptu play and adventures. We balance responsibility and chores with downtime and free time.
“Live a balanced life – learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some.”
I have found that finding balance truly is the key to life.
*This back to school post is in partnership with FabKids
FabKids is JustFab's fashion club, started by a team of parents including mom and actress Christina Applegate. FabKids is a convenient way for busy parents to shop. It's an outfit club -- so parents get monthly selections of super affordable, high-quality fashions personalized for their kids.
FabKid's back to school selection includes quality clothing for affordable prices so you can shop must-haves for the school year! Check out more of their back to school trends here.
After several rounds of experimenting and researching, we have discovered the smoothie bowl and it has been a crowd pleaser across the board! In fact, it has quickly turned into our go-to after school snack. It's an easy way to pack in fruits and veggies, fiber and protein. We love smoothie bowls so much I'm hoping to make it a new recipe series here on the blog.
This Strawberry Peach Smoothie Bowl was the perfect treat for a hot August afternoon. While strawberries aren't currently in season, we are at the end of our peach season and our fruit bowl has been overflowing with them. Since both strawberries and peaches are on the "dirty dozen list," they are some of our fruits that we always make sure are organic or locally sourced. I've always done my best to eat organic, but since Jonas got sick this has become a priority. I keep a list of the "dirty dozen" and "clean fifteen" on the refrigerator and even keep this cheat sheet in my purse so it's handy when I head out to the grocery store.
Before I pick the kids up from school, I prep the ingredients and set out the various toppings on the counter. Smoothie bowls are a great way to sneak in healthy goodies, especially for Jonas who struggles with IBD and intestinal issues.
STRAWBERRY PEACH SMOOTHIE BOWL
1 cup organic strawberries, fresh or frozen
1 organic peach, fresh or frozen
1 frozen banana
1 cup almond, hemp or oat milk
1 scoop plant protein powder
1 droplet liquid Vitamin D
1 tsp fish oil
Blend ingredients together in a high-speed blender. The texture should be thicker than a smoothie drink.
Pour into individual bowls and add toppings.
sliced fruit (banana, kiwi, blueberries, strawberries, peaches)
hemp seeds or chia seeds
Serve and enjoy!
*Please note that not all these ingredients are SCD or Paleo legal. You can adjust accordingly.
It seems that each summer is unique in its own way and holds a sense of singularity in time. Even as an adult I can reminisce about that one summer we spent out on the lake, long boat rides over calm waters and sitting still on the docks until I could hear my mother yelling from our house which was nestled on top of the hill. That summer was filled with blossoming friendships, night swimming off wooden docks and sleepovers inside the hot balmy screened-in porch that sits at the back of our house overlooking the water.
Every summer of my childhood tells a different story and these stories have become tiny collections, like luminous sea shells, gathered together in the back of my mind.
This summer is no different.
With the stillness of our daily routines, we have weaved together the story of summer. Our story unfolds with children's laughter circling the neighborhood, late night swim sessions in a warm pool, bike rides through the quiet park and running across grass touched gently with the wetness of morning dew.
We found freedom this summer.
We found new friendships through our daily activities.
We found courage to attempt something new, like a front flip off the diving board or a solo kayak ride in the ocean.
We found joy and laughter.
We found the ability to let go and unravel.
“Let us dance in the sun, wearing wild flowers in our hair...”
Susan Polis Schutz
*This post is in partnership with A Pocket Full Of Sunshine, an online boutique for trendy and affordable children's fashion.
A Pocket Full of Sunshine boutique specializes in affordable, trendy items for your little ones. They pride themselves on their detailed attention to current trends, reasonable prices and superior customer service. With their wide selection of children's attire, you are bound to find several pieces that meet your individual style.
Find A Pocket Full Of Sunshine on their website, Facebook or Instagram.
We're slowly getting over our back-to-school blues. Honestly, the start of the school season means the start of soccer season, music, ballet and more which leaves little time to fret over the end of summer. Fortunately, we'll have the chance to savor summer just a little bit longer this weekend with a midnight swim party and an outdoor barbecue.
Yesterday was the first day of school for the boys. It was hectic and chaotic, yet filled with laughter and joy.
A successful start to a new season!
7:30am | So many smiles, so little coffee.
12:00pm | Afternoon adventures before grabbing some ice-cream.
3:00pm | Post school downtime.
5:00pm | An early dinner before back-to-back soccer practices (homemade marinara over zucchini noodles).
5:30pm | Late afternoon sun shining through our windows and setting out new school shoes.
8:00pm | Cluttered countertops (they drive me crazy, but it's real life) and goofy faces.
8:30pm | That moment, when they should be in bed but I catch them reading together in the hallway.
One of the biggest battles I've had this summer is the snack bar at the pool. I can't help but remember back to my childhood and the endless days spent poolside with friends, slurping slushies and sneaking in the extra candy and ice-cream bars. Not much has changed these days and I admit I'm a bit lenient when it comes to treats in the summer. Except, how do you handle a situation when your children can't'really have treats? I can't paint a perfect picture, I have caved and let him have a small slushy here and there. The good news? There was no side effect. But I don't want to take steps backwards when we've worked so hard to maintain a healthy diet and a medicine free lifestyle.
Recently, Jonas has been begging for chocolate candy bars from the snack bar, something I just can't let him eat. They have everything we are trying our hardest to avoid; refined sugar, milk, soy, wheat, preservatives, artificial flavors. But I did promise him I would make a treat he could have and enjoy.
The other day I discovered Hippie Lane and their user friendly app. I now have a wide selection of vegan sweets that are free of dairy, wheat, soy, and refined sugars right at my finger tips. The directions are easy to follow, very kid friendly and every treat we have made is a hit. If you haven't downloaded this app yet I highly recommend it. In fact, I'm sending this info to our nutritionalist that we work with at the Cleveland Clinic's Department of Functional Medicine. Treats are a rarity for our son and these sweets are full of flavor and added health benefits.
So far, Jonas' favorite is the Twix Bar that is layered with a crunchy biscuit base, a sweet caramel filling and a coating of dark chocolate.
For the recipe, head on over to Hippie Lane to download the app.