Friday, July 9, 2021

Picks of the Week

The kids have been getting creative with the Legos. Some kids have built multi-story houses, while the oldest made a restaurant.

It's FriYay!! I'm very much looking forward to a Mom and Minis Weekend, while the Hubs is out of town. It's been way too long since we've had one (plus it's good practice for this fall's Mom and Minis Epic Homeschool Road Trip). Naturally, there are things we've loved in the last month. Things that have helped us plan adventures, trips, games we've played, restaurants that have taken care of dinner and date nights. 

 1.) Planning our epic road trips took a new turn when we got our dog because he will be coming everywhere with us (or as many places as he can!). is a HUGE help in finding pet friendly hotels for quick overnights, fun restaurants he can go to, and even places he can go in areas we travel to or drive through.  

2.) Another site I'm getting plenty ideas from is Only In Your State. While it's not as in-depth as I would like, if I see something I like, I do some more digging to find out all of the details. Since we plan to do a multi-state trip to the PNW later this fall, I've been focusing on Oregon and Washington. I have a long list of hikes to do, fun stops, restaurants, and must sees.

3.) Summer is here, therefore it's road trip time for millions of people. This summer, Travel Iowa is doing incentives to get people traveling around Iowa. This is great for people like us, who will be traveling to all of the state parks! Check out the deal here.

4.) We're getting back out into the world and enjoying restaurants occasionally. Barn Town Brewery has an amazing patio (dog friendly), is family friendly, great for a date night, and (if you're not ready for dine in) has great family meals. Black Cat Ice Cream is back open and in a new location! It's been busy the few times we've dropped by, but it's excellent ice cream. There's a great outdoor seating area, but we prefer to walk around the neighborhood while we eat our ice cream.

5.) There hasn't been a ton of television watching, but in the past few weeks I've unwittingly been on an Elisabeth Moss kick. I finished watching Mad Men (highly recommend; I still can't believe it took me this long to enjoy it!) and started Top of the Lake. Think cop show, but set in Australia. The minis watched In The Heights (I had errands to run and had to miss it) and loved it. We're looking forward to watching Black Widow this weekend too!

6.) The minis have been big into board games the last month. The craze this week is The One With The Ball Game. I haven't gotten to play any of their new games, but this one looks fun!

7.) The minis have rocked swimming lessons this summer. This is the first time we've tried lessons through Des Moines Parks and Rec and we've all loved them! I've been able to sign them up for multiple weeks, the lessons are longer (45 minutes instead of the usual 25 or 30 minutes), and the lessons are very affordable. The minis have a list of swimming classes they'd like to take next summer as well.

8.) My in-laws gifted the minis age shirts for their birthdays and they're adorable! 

9.) I purchased this beach umbrella at the end of last summer. We forgot to bring it to Texas with us (it would have come in VERY handy), so we're just now getting some great use out of it. It's perfect for a day at the lake or beach, plus the black dog greatly appreciates the shade.

Now more from the Lego restaurant (because this is my favorite):