5 Things on My Radar in July


After a grueling pace in June (most of it was fun at least!), I'm looking forward to a slightly more relaxed July. At 33 weeks pregnant, I don't really have a choice because my body is demanding to slow down. I've found my energy levels to be astoundingly diminished compared to last time. Thanks Toddler.

1. Popsicles. All the Popsicles.
Zoku Quick Pop Maker - Amazon $50
I just bought this Zoku Quick Pop Maker because the toddler and I are ALLL about the popsicles. Not sure if my Fudgesicles officially count as a "craving" but I will tell you that I've upped my serving size to 3. This beauty arrives tomorrow and I'll promise to give you the full report once I start using it.

2. Periscope
Sorry Meerkat, things just didn't work out between us. After downloading Meerkat's live-broadcasting app at SXSW I really tried to make things work, but it turns out that Twitter's own Periscope won the battle so I recently switched over. I love the idea of this real-time broadcast technology that can either be accessed to view through the Periscope app, or through your Twitter timeline (via tweets & links within). If you haven't tried it, July is your month! Download Periscope in the App Store or Google Play and look for me @Jemstaa.

3. Comfy Sandals
Sanuk Women's Yoga Sling - Amazon $36
Guess what. My feet, already not my best assets, are pretty messed up (swollen) at this stage. Enter the most comfortable sandals I've ever found. I originally bought the pink tie-dye pair for the beach and also had to turn around and purchase these in black so I could wear them to work. Another selling point? My middle school neighbor said to me, "I love your sandals! I've been seeing them around a lot." So they're clearly trendy to boot. At least in the middle school crowd.
4. Maine


Jesus Take the Wheel, we are going to Maine. Well at least that's the plan, albeit modified, right now. For the past few years, we've traveled to York Beach, Maine every July and rented the same beach house with Matt's family. This year Grace and her grandparents will likely go up for the whole week and Matt and I will join them a little later in the week, providing everything is going well. Vacations are fun right! Not quite "relaxing" with a 3 year old so you sense my hesitation...

5. A new puppy niece/nephew!

Which one is your favorite?
Later this month, one of these six Labradoodle puppies will being going home with my sister and her fiancé and I can't wait to be a fur baby Auntie! I love pets, just as long as they belong to other people :) My husband and I are currently enjoying our pet free life for a little while longer at least after 20 years with a cat who could have easily been featured on My Cat from Hell. We probably need therapy. 

**This post includes 2 affiliate links to the products sold on Amazon. If you make a purchase, I will receive a small commission.**

Mommy and Me Maternity Shoot

Grace is into all things baby nostalgia right now which is errr fun when trying to prep for baby #2. We set up the crib a few weeks back when we were moving into our 2nd floor renovation mostly to get it out of Grace's room because she got upgraded to the BGB (big girl bed) and she's been trying to get in it or get her dolls in it ever since. Since I don't really feel like investing in a replacement crib because my 3 year old crashed through this one, I try to keep her out of it. Of course she wanted nothing to do with my plans during this photoshoot.


32 Weeks
One of my favorite things about being pregnant with a second baby is the commentary I get from my first baby. Things like, "Mommy, I love your big fat tummy." or "Make her kick me in the head again."


We also love that Grace has named her baby sister Spyder. Despite the fact she is terrified of spiders...

Start of Summer Sales! (it's the most wonderful time of the year)

School is out, the weather is heating up, and it's summer sale season in stores! I always love those precious days at the end of June and before July 4th. They feel like summer bonus days. Once we hit July, everything goes into high gear and summer just races on.

As for the my other love of this time of year? THE SALES. Here are some I've found. You have to act fast!

For Mom

Gap - Online Save 40% off your entire purchase with code: SAVE
In-store Buy one item, receive 75% off the second

kate spade - Save 25% off with code: SETSALE
(through 7/7)

Get an extra 50% off sale with code: DAYTHREE
(6/24/15)







and Grace



and Spyder (baby to be)







For the Kids
(the image below include affiliate links, if you make a purchase, I will earn a small commission)


A trip to Swiss Village Farm - the most idyllic spot in all of Rhode Island!


One of the things I love most about Rhode Island, is that even though I've lived here for practically my whole life (aside from a brief stint in Massachusetts), I continue to discover the most interesting things! One of the best parts about being a parent is that it presents a new opportunity to seek out new experiences that you wouldn't otherwise think of.

Last weekend, as we were leaving the Chowder Cook Off at Ft. Adams, we passed by one of my favorite spots on the southern Newport loop. I've always been intrigued by a swath of farmland that reminds me of Ireland. 

Actually, the arrow is just pointing to the "southern Newport loop", the SVF is closer to that green knob above the arrow (Ft. Adams).
Each year, the SVF Foundation offers their Annual Visitors Day. We made the trip to Newport (early, so the traffic wasn't too bad), parked at Ft. Adams, and boarded a trolley provided by SVF. The trolley was Grace's favorite memory of the outing... because, 3 year olds.

When we arrived, the farm was even more picturesque than I could have imagined. I'm so glad I got to see it for myself! In addition to the amazing stone architecture, the SVF Foundation also performs the very interesting work of preserving heritage livestock. 

Without further ado, I present to you: Swiss Village Farm in Newport, Rhode Island.
The most idyllic view I've ever seen in Rhode Island!

Cutest slaughter house ever. Yes, you read that right.

Big turnout for the SVF Visitors Day!

Built in 1914 by a team of masons brought over from Italy

Ceramic roof tiles from Italy made to look like bent wood shingles

So many stones!

The Farm Lady

Never underestimate a kids' need to hang on a fence.

Definitely bringing a smaller bag next time!

Grace getting to experience the "new" trolley
To learn more about the SVF Foundation, visit svffoundation.org

New Shades.. but what to pick!

Sunglasses. I can't live without them. The fact that I need prescription sunglasses makes it even more challenging. But, I guess the upside to that is that I don't lose them - unlike my husband who is a chronic sunglasses misplacer. It doesn't matter if they were free or $300. He will lose them within 3 weeks. That's why the only glasses he wears now were free. See below c/o Yasso Yogurt. Grace's incidentally are from Osh Kosh and somehow a 3 yr old has managed to keep them for 1 yr +.
**This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links. 

 So my point? Ahhh prescription sunglasses, my current pair is straight from the Optometrist and about 3 years old. Ancient by sunglasses standards and now all scratched up thanks to a toddler with an obsession for getting her hand on them. They were also covered by my VSP plan so there's that. But this year I already spent my VSP allowance on some pretty little Dior frames so what now? Pay full retail optometrist prices? Um no thanks! Instead, I'm going to check out my friends at Warby Parker. And full disclosure on the affilate disclosure? I actually became an affiliate for them after my first purchase of regular frames a few years ago because I loved the brand and the process of going through them instead of my optometrist. Listen, I'll take a VSP allowance every 2 years, but if I didn't have access to that it would be Warby Parker all the way!

Now the search for the perfect pair... Don't think you can just pick a pair online? No worries, their At Home Try-On is so easy even I can handle it! (I hate ordering things and sending them back - fyi)

Here's what I'm thinking...

Beckett is designed for narrow-sized faces. It's tapered temple arms and an impeccably crafted bridge will give you a fresh, unique look.



Madison is your unmistakably adventurous pair of sunglasses. These shades feature a traditional bridge and medium width that will suit most faces. 



Jennings is a frame for all. Their curved brow, keyhole bridge, and medium shape will leave you looking cool-as-a-cucumber whether you're smoking some shrimp on the barbie or leisurely lounging in the pool.



So what are you waiting for? Check out these awesome prescription and non-prescription sunglasses!


Grace's Last Day of Preschool Celebration

Is there anything cuter than a class full of 3-5 year olds performing on cue? Not that I've found! This was the culmination of Gracie's "first year" (first 6 months) of preschool and it was adorable. She and another friend had the task of performing "How Much is that Doggy in the Window" with 2 graduate helpers (like TA's?). At just a little over 3, she's clearly the youngest and the tiniest in the class (which makes it even more adorable). She's also the most squirmy apparently and spent most of the performance on her teacher's lap with a hold that I know well.