Friday Favorites: Summer Camp Gear Edition

Friday, May 27, 2016

Well, hello there again, Friday!

I'm linking up again for Friday Favorites with Andrea, Erika, and Narci and I'm pretty excited about this edition!  

Our first full week of summer is in the books and we're gearing up for a summer to remember.  While it has rained most of the week, it's been a good one because it has forced us to be still.  The rest of the summer is going to be ca-razy so I tried to soak up this week.  

June will bring all most of the girls summer camps.  I'm most excited about AC's first time at sleep away camp or Kamp as it's called in these parts.  Growing up, I went to a pretty cool summer camp called Brookhill Ranch.  I have the sweetest memories of that place and the lasting impressions the counselors had on me were significant, especially as a young girl.  For the last two years, Anna Claire has attended Kanakuk's day kamp.  You can see how much fun she had in 2014 and 2015.  I knew this year would be her year to step out of the comfort of day camp and go in all the way.  As of now I'm not the least bit nervous.  Sure, I'm going to miss the heck out of her, but she will honestly have the time of her life.  I just know it.

 So, while it has rained most of the week we have had the chance to do A LOT of research and planning for AC's first experience at Kamp!  I'm not going to tell you what to pack (your camp will tell you that), but I have found a few favorites you will find in my girl's load as she heads off to her first sleep away camp very soon.

Camp Trunk

So apparently the camp trunk is a pretty big deal!  Besides planning costumes for the parties at kamp, shopping for the trunk has been mine and AC's favorite thing to do!  Every camper I ask has told me you HAVE to get one, and decorate it, and put your name on it, and, and, and, and so on....I will say it has been pretty fun going back and forth on which trunk to buy.  Should we get a solid color or plain?  Zebra or another print?!  Do we really need the one with a lifetime warranty or would the one from Wal-Mart suffice?!  Inquiring minds truly want to know.  

Until then, Anna Claire has her heart set on this mint colored one from Everything Summer Camp.


So, once upon a time one of my sweet friends in Tennessee turned me on to Mabel's Labels. We have used these for close to ten years and they have held up exceptionally well.  No ironing on, no writing in a sharpie, and hopefully every chance of getting all that was sent to camp back home.  :)  These labels are a favorite and will be used on everything that is going to camp this summer! 

We do have them on blankets, jackets, and more, but they have my kiddos last names on them so out of safety, just trust me.  They have held up exceptionally well through MANY washings.  

<a href="">Sleepaway Camp Labels</a>

Aren't these just fun!  And right now they are offering FREE shipping!

Toiletries, Dirty Stuff, and randomness!!

Anna Claire's camp has several parties so I'm going to be packing her both the caboodle (for makeup, glitter, face paint and fun stuff) and then a hanging toiletry bag for shower and  bathroom necessities.  I'm sorry, but I just love a good ol' caboodle.  I remember decorating mine growing up and it was taken on many a trips to summer camp and sleepovers with friends.

I'm a HUGE fan of this toiletry bag and it has all of Anna Claire's favorite colors!  It will be perfect for all of her toiletries!

 And I hate to think about all the dirty laundry, but this dirty crap bag is perfect!  And on sale right now!

We love this sweet robe sis got for Christmas from Pottery Barn Teen.  She's a modest one, my girl, and this will come in pretty handy as she navigates through showering and changing at camp.  

Chacos, loved by camp counselors AND kids everywhere!  Anna Claire LIVES in these shoes during the summer and they make the best camp shoes!

The camp chair.  When I was a kid we had to sit on the ground and get our rears wet, but NOT TODAY!  I'm not sure this could be categorized a favorite OR a camp necessity, but it still makes the list.

Whats's Up Wednesday

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Today I'm linking up with ShayMel & Sheaffer for this months What's Up Wednesday! 


So far, I haven't had to cook!  #hallelujah  That all ends tonight and the rest of the week so here's what happening in the kitchen the rest of this week and memorial weekend.

Tonight's dinner is one of my girls favs!  And it's super easy so there's that.  :)

Remember back when I made 16 freezer meals?!  That's one of the best things I've ever done for myself and it's about time for another meal making day.  Just because it's summer doesn't mean I can't still throw some goodness in the crock pot and go.

A sweet friend of mine handed me a bag full of cow (ha) yesterday!  I've been saying I wanted to try her cow connection (grain fed cows, no antibiotics, no hormones, and just right up the road from us basically).  Yesterday at dance, she handed me a freezer bag and I squealed.  lol.  I apparently need more excitement in my life.  It's the little things.

My parents will be here this weekend for Memorial Day and the girls dance recitals.  We will get to try these out on the smoker.  Nothing better than some fabulous smoked brisket to welcome summer!  We LOVE our electric smoker and it gets a good workout between now and Thanksgiving.


I can't even handle these two!  Two kindergarten grads down and 1 more to go.  #slowthistraindown



You want ice cream for breakfast?  Sure why not!  OREOS for lunch?  Go ahead!

Ok, so maybe not that extreme, but I am loving this week.  Our school year stays so packed and summer is pretty tight with activities, trips, and vacations that it has felt SO GOOD to just be this week.  My girls are sleepers #hallelujah so these quiet rainy mornings have been some of my favorites.  And these lazy days at home are not half bad.  




It's been raining just about all day err'day so see above picture.  When not binging Fixer Upper we've had dance competition and a date day with our BIG girls.




This is two fold, really, but dance recitals are both something I dread and am so excited to see.  The girls have 3 recitals this weekend with 21 dances between the two.  Mama needs a vacation afterwards.



I'm slowly adding things to my etsy store!Just a few custom orders that I've recently done and loved!  I'll soon be adding some personalized beach/vacation necessities! 


  Keep up with Magnolia Jacks on Facebook and on Insta



While I do dread the 2 days, 3 recitals, and 21 dances between my two big girls, I am also SO excited to see all that they have learned this year!  The costuming, hair, and makeup is also so much fun and I pray they always have the sweetest memories of this time...just as I have sweet memories of getting ready for dance recitals with my own Mama.

 I also can not wait to see the rest of their recital pictures, but this is certainly a framer! 




I'm not really reading a great deal because I'm trying to write a book of my own, but I AM seriously addicted to Fixer Upper.  I know, I know.  I'm late to the game.  The rest of  America fell in love with Chip and Jojo long ago, but I've been too busy listening to Disney and running kids around.    Aren't they just the cutest?!  I've been desperately seeking my own rundown shack for $75,000 to recruit them to Missouri.  Unfortunately, I can't find one.  


And the Bachelorette....of course.  I think we have a great season ahead!



Tori Kelly....and you should be too!



I'll spare you the picture.  My favorite yoga pants and my favorite southern shirt.  #momclothes



Smoking brisket and watching my girls dance!




June is the month of camps!  I'll be busy running the girls to  dance intensives, tennis camps, soccer camp, and preparing for Anna Claire's first time at sleep away camp!  It will be a busy, busy month!


That's what's up around here!  Hope your week is going great!  I'm going to try and figure out why my fonts are in all caps and text is all over the place.  :)  Sorry for the eyesore. 




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Show & Tell Tuesday: Favorite Vacay Edition

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

I was stoked when I read what today's show and tell was about!  I'm blessed with a travel bone and I married a man with a pretty big one too.  Growing up, my parents would throw my brother and I in the car and we would just goOne summer we went west and saw everything between Arkansas and California (the Grand Canyon, Las Vegas, etc...)  Another summer we headed east and saw everything all the way up through Virginia to Maine in to Canada.  I'm thankful for those summers and the importance my parents placed on traveling.  

But this little post made me a little nervous and sad because most of my pictures were going to be hard to find.  Unfortunately, due to Alli's first 5 years of life travel has been halted significantly and limited to places we can drive to.  Which means, most of the pictures from our really big trips are not digital, not saved in a cloud, somewhere in a drawer, and maybe not even developed (gasp....remember that word).   

But...I'm going to do what I can!  Here are some of my absolute favorite trips.

Sesame Place/Philly 

When Anna Claire was little she was obsessed with Elmo!  And I mean obsessed in that it walked the line of probably  needing intervention, but we all survived and she appears fine.  Before her 2nd Birthday we flew to Philadelphia to spend a long weekend touring the historic sites, the Philadelphia Zoo, AND Sesame Place, the Sesame Street Theme Park in Langhorne, PA.  Bet you didn't know there was a Sesame Street theme park, did you?!  

You're welcome. 

We had such a great time in Philly.  John and I are both big history nerds so it was fun to see the Liberty Bell, the National Constitution Center, Independence Hall, and we even made a trip to Valley Forge. 

We've always loved a good zoo trip!

Sesame Street was truly great!  Anna Claire was able to eat breakfast with Big Bird, Zoe, and Elmo, there were shows, rides, and we ended the day with the parade.  My favorite part were the characters made out begonias and various other plants.

Sesame Place was the perfect size and the perfect fun for our then almost 2 year old obsessed Elmo loving baby girl.  My how time has flown!




Disney was a fun trip!  We went on Anna Claire's 4th birthday and spent the week bouncing through all the parks.  Ava was 15 months old and I was pregnant with Alli so I should have had my head examined, but we still enjoyed it.  We're due back to Disney SOON!  I'm counting on it!  We have to get our princess loving Ava there before that phase is over.

Mickey's Very Scary Halloween Party was probably my favorite part!  The kiddos absolutely loved tick-or-treating with the characters and we got some late night roller coaster riding in.  Good times.

Hilton Head Island 

I'm a sucker for some Spanish moss covered oak trees and I'm a complete sucker for low country.  So much so that I would move there tomorrow, pending jobs, medical care, and schools all checking out.  ;-)  When we lived in Tennessee we made several trips down to the LC.  My brother also use to live in Savannah so I have spent many days on the coast between Charleston and Savannah.  I just love that area!

This was the girls first visit to HHI in 2011.  Alli was still in the NICU and at the permission of her dr's, John whisked us away for a Mother's Day long weekend.  This will always be one of my favorite trips.  From the the lady who rented us the condo (she also had a NICU baby and when she found out our story she bent over backwards to give was such a complete blessing) to just spending those precious days with our big girls who desperately needed that 1 on 1 time with us. 

Same island, new house, one year later....

We hijacked some poor girl's wedding venue and renewed our vows.  It wasn't just the tequila talking...I have and always will love this man of mine!

We're total beach people.  Our favorite thing to do is rent a house with a pool, find the local grocery store and fish market, and completely seclude ourselves for the week.  We do the same thing every summer on 30A.  HHI 2012 will also always be one of my favorite vacations because it was the first one as a complete family of 5!      


We have been going to the Florida panhandle since I was a baby.  My Dad's sister and her family lived there so we would always vacation and visit family.  We started in Fort Walton Beach and have slowly migrated all the way down scenic highway 98.  Almost 10 years ago we turned on to 30A and we haven't looked back, migrating all the way down from Santa Rosa, to Blue Mountain Beach, to Seaside, to Seagrove, to Seacrest, to Rosemary. with 30A.  I'm a big fan of the Caribbean, but 30A holds a close 2nd place.  And the fact that it's here in the US, makes it that much better.  

A few of my favorites from our years on 30A...

My favorite boys up early for a little fishing!

Hawaii 2004

I can't leave our honeymoon out!  Actually we were married and honeymooned in Maui.  There really aren't words to describe the sights and smells.  From the moment we got off the plane (an open air terminal) you could smell the sweetness of the place....sugar cane, pineapple, who knows, but the place smells ah-mazing!  The flowers were everywhere.  I'm a sucker for some hibiscus so you better believe I was in heaven.

 We spent two days in Maui before our wedding just playing....snorkeling, scuba diving, getting massages, and celebrating John's birthday at a luau.     

Yep, that's me!  How are you suppose to pose under water?!

Swimming with the turtle!

Daddy John!

I am in desperate need now to find all these pictures and preserve them.  How did our families raise us without digital pictures?!

Our honeymoon consisted of laying poolside and eating pineapple by the pound.  We did the road to Hana, which was like a dream, we hiked, climbed waterfalls, island hopped over to visit Pearl Harbor, and beached it up the rest of our time.  We must get back, ASAP!

Like the scrapbook page?!  Once upon a time I use to do this...the are pretty funny to look at now, but I thought I was so creative then.  ;-)

The Black Beach was absolutely amazing.  One of my favorite parts of the island.

I've been to Mexico a ton of times, but I could only find a few to share from our trip to Cancun in 2005 and Cabo in 2006.  Because of our business, we would always go in January and spend 2 weeks soaking up lazy days pool and beach side with good friends.

One of the most beautiful places in the world to me is found swimming through the coves, cenotes, and ponds at Xel-Ha.  This was my second or third trip to Xel-Ha and John's first.  We swam with all sorts of beautiful sea-life, but my favorite were the stingrays. 

I'm not sure who this guy is and what exactly we did this day, but I do remember it involved a boat (which we shouldn't have been on).  See pictures below from the previous night at Margaritaville.  No judging.  I didn't have kids yet.  ;-)

That's my man right there...wearing a hambuger bun during a conga line singing "cheeseburger in paradise."  Ahhhh, those were the days!

Cabo was one of John's favorite places!  Mainly because he caught a 10 foot Marlin that is now mounted in our garage.  Ha!  We spent the first week with our friends Phil and Teri (who we also vacationed with in Cancun).  The second week my parents joined us (their first trip to Mexico).  This was probably one of my favorite vacations (have I said that about them all) because it was our last vacay before kids.  Most people think AC is a Mexico baby, but she wasn't.  Pretty close, but she's Arkansas through and through.  :)

BUT, my absolute favorite vacation spot in the world is..... 

Turks and Caicos 

We went to TCI in January 2007 and 2008 and it is my absolute favorite beach destination.  Everything is pretty much right in the world when I'm sitting on the predominantly private beach, Taylor Beach.  We could walk out in the water for a literal mile and still only have water up to our thighs.  The water and sand are unreal.  It's literally like the pictures.  All day everyday.  Like I said earlier, we're truly beach people so Turks & Caicos is right up my alley.  

Oh, this Memory Lane has been fun!  I'm in BIG need of some sun and sand after sharing all of this!  There is NO doubt about it, I've got my work cut out for me finding and preserving pictures of old.  If this doesn't make me want to do it, I don't know what will.

Be sure to head over and see who else is linking up with Andrea for Show and Tell Tuesday!   

Happy Tuesday!


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