Garmin Vívofit Jr.

By: Nicole Mikluscak

Today I’m reviewing a kids’ product that we have really enjoyed using in our family. My daughter Lily was given a Garmin Vívofit Jr. for her 7th birthday this year. I had only recently heard about how popular the device was becoming among the kids her age at school!

This activity tracker is designed to be kid-friendly; comfortable and water resistant. Lily even wears hers when swimming!There are band choices for boys and girls. It tracks steps, sleeping patterns, and gives recommendations for 60 minutes of activity a day. Lily loves the alarm feature and prefers the sound to her regular alarm clock.

The compatible app home page. Incredibly user friendly! You can also add multiple children to the app.

One of my favorite features is the chore tracker. Your child can earn coins to redeem for agreed upon rewards managed by mom or dad on the free compatible app. You choose the chores or behavior, and send the coins right from your phone when accomplished. The app also includes mobile educational adventures that Lily loves to play. In addition, the program unlocks different trails as fitness goals are met. I love to watch her excitement when her tracker beeps because she has met a step goal!

Lily’s current adventure trail full of games etc. based on her level of activity.

Another attribute to mention – The user replaceable battery will keep kicking for up to a year, so there is no need to recharge!! Lastly, the Vivofit Jr. fits bands for the Vivofit 3. As they get older it will not look childish with a replacement band.

This is a fantastic product with useful, practical functions. Summer is a great time to give the Vívofit Jr. a try! Add summer reading and studying to your child’s list of chores and let them choose a reward for earning their coins. It’s all about BALANCE, and I love that you can alter this fitness tracker to meet your needs in all aspects of your child’s life. Let us know what you think!!


Flower  —
Minnie Mouse —

Weekend Recap from WDM!

By: Emily Heaston

Whew! This month is crazy!! Our weekend was packed full of end of the year activities for our kids and family celebrations for a special graduate!

The fun started on Thursday night with a family dinner at Fire Creek. Then Nicole and Aunt Julie got to town on Friday. They brought lots of our favorite treats from Trader Joe’s!

I woke up early on Saturday to shop the vineyard vines® for Target collaboration! I shopped a little online and saw that most of the apparel was only available in store, so I ran to Super Target and snagged some cute summer outfits for the kids! I’ll share my online purchases soon!

Then we drove to Ames for Clare & Cate’s dance recitals! So proud of my girls for working hard all year!

Every year on recital day, we get lunch at Hickory Park!

Saturday night, we had fun with family at my mom’s. Clare, Cate, Teddy, Lily & Maeve were so happy to be together. Our family had all been in Grinnell for the day for two special statue dedications in Mollie’s memory.

Sunday brought Scott’s high school graduation! We’re so proud of him–Salutatorian, football captain and quarterback, Homecoming king, and a leader wherever he goes. Congratulations, Scott! We love you!

After Scott’s graduation, we all went for lunch in Grinnell. We were having trouble finding the restaurant and couldn’t get it to pull up on the map app either. Julie visited the restaurant’s website to get the address and I plugged that in manually to get directions on my phone…well it didn’t take us to the restaurant, but instead it said, “You have arrived at your destination…” at the location of one of Mollie’s statues. I really can’t do it justice how surprised we all were as we pulled up. We all had goosebumps! She must have known I was sad to miss the dedication the day before during the dance recital. So happy I got to see it with my family. Mollie has so many ways of letting us know she is with us!

Today marks the last Monday of the school year for my kids! I spent the day trying to get my house in some state of order after our many trips to Ames for rehearsals and recitals last week! Clare’s Daisy troop bridged to Brownies this evening, and I think we just have a few softball games left before we can enjoy a little break for the start of summer!

So proud of Troop 1190! This was a great excuse to enjoy some treats baked by my girlfriend Christine!

This weekend was a marathon! I might just go to bed with the kids tonight!

The cutest cake for the cutest girls!

vineyard vines® for Target

By: Emily Heaston

Is it time to head to Clear Lake yet?! The new vineyard vines® for Target collaboration is coming soon and we’re so ready! This limited time collection arrives in stores and online on May 18th–shop early, there are so many cute things that could sell out quickly!

Get comfy–this collection is gigantic!! There are too many cute things to show you, so let’s get started with my favorites:


I love how easily everything can mix and match! Every summer, I try not to over-pack for the lake because we always end up throwing in laundry with the beach towels and you could easily re-wear all of this and still be comfortable and cute in family pics!


Perfect for Tim–practical, classic and comfortable clothing that won’t go out of style.


Gah! The stuff for the girls is too cute! I can see Clare, Cate, Lily, Maeve & Margot running around in all of this all summer long. I might be MOST excited about the white and navy polos–I buy the vineyard vines polos for Clare already for her school uniform. vineyard vines polos normally start at $42 and I’m always happy if I can stock up when they’re on sale, so I’m hoping to grab a bunch of these at $16/each! They wash up so nicely and I will be needing twice as many next year with Cate starting kindergarten in the fall!


Teddy will love this swim trunks and rashguard set and I can’t resist getting him mini-versions of Tim’s stuff!


Everything is even cuter for babies! I remember how much I used my little changing pad–so practical! Love the little muslin swaddle blankets for summer–nice and lightweight. My kids still sleep with their security blankets just like this cute little whale one!


Love this large beach bag and the small pouch you can hook into it. I end up hauling everyone’s sunglasses, sunscreen and tons of extra random stuff all summer long and especially at the lake, so I need a big beach bag! Love the whale key chain–hope it floats, just in case for my brother’s boat keys! I really need to replace some old makeup bags and love this coordinating set.


Can’t resist shopping for our dog, Yankee! He loves Clear Lake too!


The two over-sized beach towels are a must! Perfect for setting up camp under a big umbrella on the beach! Love all the throw pillows and candles for my deck!


You already know how much I love these little snack bowls and now they’ve made them even cuter! Add to cart!!!!!! Love the basket lining on this picnic bag and I will take all the stainless-steel drink-ware! There are enough tumblers and wine glasses for all of us!


Stocking up on these cute waterproof decks of cards–it takes two decks to play our family’s favorite card game, Shanghai, which our crew has been playing long before our moms were even born! I love these durable outdoor blankets and this is the cutest print I’ve seen on one. My kids will definitely need these sand toys and we’ll all enjoy the party raft! Take me to the lake right now!

Thanks for sticking with me–there was more to this collaboration than I could have expected and I can’t wait to see it all arrive in stores and in my mailbox!

The links in this post contain affiliate links and I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on my link.

Grad Gift Baskets

By: Emma Faulkner

It’s that busy time of year again, the sun comes back out and our calendars fill with events. If you’re like me, you’ve got back-to-back graduations in the upcoming weekends! You may be scrambling to think of a gift for the grad in your life and while it is easy to stuff some money into a cute grad card, I have shamelessly been there, no fear! I am here to help you with a cute and fun way to surprise that soon to be grad in your life!

Grad Baskets! I have two wonderful roommates who have just graduated from Regis University in Colorado! Yay Roomies! Congrats! I wanted to get something cute for them with things that suit their personalities and that they’ll enjoy and use.

I found all of these items at Target! Most of the little items I found in the bullseye’s playground section including fun and silly pencil socks, small candles and grad balloons. They have seasonal stuff out now and it’s right there when you walk in. I also found clearance paper shred to fill the baskets. My roomates love candles and silly socks, which is why I picked these items for them. The fun thing about these baskets is you can fill them with anything your grad loves and you can pick everything up on your next Target run!

A big congratulations to all you graduates out there. YOU DID IT!

Weekend Recap from Ann Arbor

By: Annie Wagner

Cinco de Mayo, Derby Day, and house projects galore!

After a long winter and very rainy April, Spring has finally arrived in Ann Arbor! We took full advantage of the sunny weekend tackling house projects while managing to sprinkle in some fun!

We were very pleased to wake up Saturday to a beautiful morning. After what felt like 54 months of winter, we could not wait to finally get outside! We started off with breakfast and coffee (one of the few meals a week that we all get to sit down and eat together). I made Trader Joes Banana Bread which I add chocolate chips and/or walnuts to – easy and delicious! And we made lattes with our favorite #treatyoself purchase – our Nespresso CitiZ & Milk Espresso Machine.

As soon as Margot was down for her nap, we got outside and worked as hard as we could for the two baby-free hours we had. Brian was a champ pulling weeds and mulching the plant beds while I refreshed our flower pots. We got our planters last year at Target, I linked some similar ones here and here. It’s always such a good feeling when the yard is green and the patio furniture is out!

Since it was so nice out that afternoon, we decided we had to stay outside. We went for a long family walk to…yep, you guessed it – the liquor store. Brian’s a bit of a cocktail connoisseur and wanted to get the perfect bourbon to make mint juleps for all 2 minutes of the Kentucky Derby (he chose Traverse City Whiskey Company’s Cherry Edition for a little Michigan twist!) On our way back, we stopped into the gas station and got $0.79 Slurpees – steal!! An extremely productive trip if I do say so.

While Brian concocted the perfect mint julep, I made one of our favorite and very complicated dinners – grilled cheese and tomato soup! I served it with sweet potato fries and a simple arugula salad and called it dinner! We proceeded to sip our ‘Michigan Juleps’ while we watched (cue Chris Harrison voice) “the most dramatic derby yet”.

After a busy Saturday, we all slept in (until 8…woo!) on Sunday morning. We ate our avocado toast (recipe inspired by my sister cousins which includes my new Trader Joes addiction – Everything But the Bagel seasoning), Brian went to finish the rest of the yard work and I got the “lets rearrange the whole house” bug. That was slightly aggressive, so instead we just tackled our living room. Most of our furniture is hand-me-down pieces from our parents and grandparents including an acrylic & wood table and speaker cabinet handmade by Brian’s Papa Reu and paintings by my Grandpa John. We’ve been trying to figure out a way incorporate all of these pieces with our more modern furniture like my favorite tufted bench (similar benches linked here, here and here), and I’m very pleased with the outcome!

After a productive weekend, we had our own Cinco de Mayo fiesta on our patio enjoying tacos with ingredients from our local farmers market, and my dad’s famous Margot-ritas (ingredient list below), while we rocked out to our new favorite song.

Happy Spring from A2!

Matthew’s Famous Margot-ritas

  • 2 ounces tequila made from 100 percent agave, preferably reposado or blanco
  • 1 ounce Cointreau
  • 1 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 ounce orange juice
  • Salt and lime wedge for garnish

Farmers Market Tacos

  • Trader Joes pre-seasoned Pollo Asada
  • Trader Joes Queso dip
  • Flour or Corn Tortillas
  • Butter Lettuce
  • Avocado
  • Cilantro
  • Red Onion
  • Daikon Radish
  • Mini-Peppers
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Shredded Mexican blend cheese

May Day Baskets!

By: Emily Heaston

Here in Iowa, we carry on the sweet tradition of surprising neighbors and friends with May Day baskets! I remember the excitement of trying to catch our little neighbor buddies as they left goodies on our front porch and ran off, and it’s so fun now to watch my kids eagerly deliver treats up and down our block!

My very favorite May Day memory is from 2012. Our first baby, Clare, was 8 months old and Tim walked in the door after work carrying a little May Day basket for her! He had stopped at Target and bought a whole pack of cups, just to use one to make Clare her very first May Day basket. I remember he had put a little freezer-teething toy and her favorite baby food pouches in it for her, too!

It had been years since I’d made or received a May Basket, but I’m so glad that Tim remembered to pass this tradition on with our kids! With May Day just around the corner, I wanted to share some simple ideas for celebrating spring on your block!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Plastic or paper cups–I love these Up&Up™ Disposable Snack Bowls that I used last year!
  • Pipe Cleaners or Licorice to create a handle for your baskets.
  • Popcorn–buy a bag or pop your own! May Day baskets don’t have to be complicated to be fun! My kids LOVE Pirate’s Booty, so if nothing else, you could just stick a Happy May Day note on a bag, then ‘ring and run’! These snack bags of Pirate’s Booty are always a hit when my kids receive them on Halloween too!
  • Individually wrapped candies–May Day baskets do tend to get knocked over in the excitement of trying to ‘ding and ditch,’ so this makes refilling a toppled basket easier! We usually include Dum Dums, Skittles & Starburst, or Smarties.
  • Fun-size Play-Doh–My kids love picking out special colors to give to each neighbor!
  • What do you put in your May Day baskets?

I can’t do a May Day post without including a picture of the special May Day flowers Tim and I received last year from our dear friends, Ben & Brianna! Have you ever seen such beautiful flowers?!

April Showers Bring Beer Flowers!

Happy May Day!