Tuesday, July 26, 2016

The Best Bacon and Tomato Pasta Recipe

Hey guys!  I'm back and unlike Monday's post, this post is all about summer...summer food, that is!

Today I'm sharing with you a delicious recipe from my Mom, who originally got it from my Aunt Pam.  Unfortunately, I have no idea where my Aunt Pam found this recipe.  What I do know is that when asking my Mom about this recipe she told me that she had changed a few things from my Aunt Pam's original version.

Are you still following me?

Whew.  Okay...good.

All that matters is that this recipe is aaaaahmazing, it's one of Jon's favorites, it's become THE pasta dish for family gatherings and everybody looooves it!

Check it out...

Does anyone else find it hilarious to take and/or see pictures of ingredients?!  I may have to add a bow tie and sunglasses to some of the groceries next time...you know, just for fun.  ;)

"A little to the left, green onion.  That's right.  Perfect.  Now hold that pose."

Check out this glamour shot!  Hehehe  ;) ;) ;)

Quick - go to the store.  Buy the ingredients and make it happen...before summer is over!

Are you salivating yet?  I sure am.

There you have it - a delicious and yummy summer pasta dish.  You'll love it, pinky promise!

Welp, what do you think?  Are you a pasta-kinda-person?

Gosh, I could eat pasta and chocolate for days.  Especially since both pair well with wine....... ;)

Marie :)

Monday, July 25, 2016

Christmas in July - Gift Ideas for Kids

*This post contains affiliate links.

Here we are - the last week of July.  Can you believe it?  Christmas is five months away and since some places are already displaying fall and winter and Christmas decor in their stores (ahem - Hobby Lobby), I figured why not join in on the craze and put together a little "Christmas in July - Gift Ideas for Kids" blog post.  Hey, some of us need an early start, am I right?!

The products below include some that we've purchased in the past, some that have been gifted to us and some that are on the list for this year - that is, if the kiddos stay on Santa's "good list," which they seem to be doing thus far.  *wink*

So, go ahead, scroll through and have fun!  Oh and if you feel the need to "Caps Lock" a comment about me doing a Christmas post in July, it's okay.  I'll understand.  LOL!

;) ;) ;)

Five months and counting........

Here we go...

Melissa and Doug Suspend Game

The Original Stomp Rocket
The Original Spirograph

Choo Choo Express

KidKraft Majestic Mansion Dollhouse

Boy Craft Catapult Wars Build and Battle Kit with 2 Catapults

LEGO Disney Princess Elsa's Sparkling Ice Castle

Mega Blocks First Builders Big Building Bag
'Lil Fairy Doors

There you have it.  Also, I've noticed that there are a few products that are outrageous in price on this list right now.  Please note that some of these prices have come down before in the past, quite tremendously actually.  So, keep an eye out for lower prices!

Okay, okay - go enjoy the rest of your summer.  I promise not to post anything else winter or Christmas related until at least the beginning of November...well, I'll try anyway.  ;)

Thanks for stopping by!

Marie :)

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

PVC Pipe Car Wash

It's summer and what better way to enjoy the outdoors than with PVC Pipes!

Okay, so I guess PVC Pipes alone don't sound like a lot fun.  Let me try again...


It's summer and what better way to enjoy the outdoors than with a PVC Pipe Car Wash!?



I've been wanting to make one of these for the kids since the beginning of last summer.  Therefore, one day last month, I was feeling overzealous and I decided then and there and at that particular moment in time that this PVC Pipe Car Wash thing was about to go down.  So I gathered up the kids, we ventured over to Home Depot, we awkwardly gathered our supplies, had our pipes cut to size in the store (thank goodness!) and headed home to work on our little big car wash project.  You guys - this was soooo easy to make and what's even better is that we'll be able to use these pieces for years to come!  #worldwidewebhighfive

This whole thing cost me just around fifty bucks and I think it was, and still is, totally worth the money!  Of course, if you make a smaller car wash or if you have any extra PVC Pipes just lying around (hey, you never know ;)), you'll end up saving some buckeroos.

PVC Pipe Car Wash - www.familyandthelakehouse.com

Seriously, the kids have been loving this thing!  Umbrellas, cars, bikes - our "car wash" has been providing so much entertainment!

We keep it stored in the garage and we've used it several times so far this summer and come winter, I can disassemble it and store the pieces in a small storage space in the garage.  Now that's what I'm talking about!

PVC Pipe Car Wash - www.familyandthelakehouse.com

A smile of approval!

PVC Pipe Car Wash - www.familyandthelakehouse.com

Henry likes to fill up buckets from the water squirting out on the side as well as ride his bike through the "wash" over and over again.

Sidenote:  Where in the heck is Henry's other shoe?!  LOL!

PVC Pipe Car Wash - www.familyandthelakehouse.com

Oh and I know, I know - where's Henry's helmet?  Welp, I asked him to ride through for a photo opp for the blog.  I promise he wears it all the time...okay, most of the time.

#momguilt  #keepingitreal  #seriouslywhereishisshoe

PVC Pipe Car Wash - www.familyandthelakehouse.com

Back to the PVC Pipe Car Wash!

Okay, so here's what I used:

 7 - 10 foot 3/4 inch PVC pipes cut to 2.5 feet - you should end up with 28 pieces

2 - 10 foot 3/4 PVC pipe cut to 3 feet - cut 3 of these (these will go on top and you'll have extra pipe to use for anything you want - think flag pole, signage, marshmallow shooter ;) )

8 PVC T-Joints

11 PVC Elbow Joints

4 PVC Cross Joints

1 PVC pipe hose connector thingy (yup, that's a technical term ;) )

1 hose connector

5 pool noodles

2 plastic table coverings/cloths (extras on hand from birthday parties)

1 mop cut across and hung tightly to PVC


Drill and drill bit (be sure to drill while PVC is on the ground...because it can get cray cray - take my word for it)

That's it!


Oh and you guys, once I turned on the water and it started shooting out in all directions, Henry immediately looked at me and said, "I love you" and, "You're the best Mom ever!"  Yeah, major brownie points with the kiddos!  Well, that was until I told him he had to eat his asparagus at dinner that night.  ;)

In all seriousness, go build this thing, it's so much fun and your kids will have a blast!

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Marie :)

I'm linking up over at Totally Terrific TuesdayWork It WednesdayInspiration Gallery and The Creative Gallery Link Party!

Friday, July 8, 2016

Family Friday - Five on Friday

Happy Friday!

I wanted to stop by today and play a little bit of catch up with our life happenings over here.  I haven't shared anything about my fam and/or done a Five on Friday for about two months...TWO MONTHS!?


So, here's what been going on...


Henry's kindergarten registration.

We arrived for his assessment, but Henry reverted back to his three-year-old pre-school days and refused to get out of the car.  He was reluctant, to say the least.  I reminded him that we were going out for ice cream and a new video game after we visited the "big kid school or the PJ Masks school," as he often calls it.

Oh yeah, we bribe, we bribe hhhhaaaaaarrrrd!  #aintnoshame

Anyhoo, I finally convinced him to get out of the car when I told him that I had to drop off some paperwork to the secretary and that we'd see what would happen from there (which was true - totally not a lie...just skewing and omitting the real reason of our little adventure).  ;) ;) ;)

We walked in, turned in the papers (see - doing what I told him we'd do ;)) and headed upstairs for his assessment.  On the way in, we ran into one of his best friends, with his parents (obvs) leaving after he had just finished his assessment and I can't tell you how perfect it was for Henry to see a familiar face.  I honestly think it put his mind at ease.

We met a teacher, took a picture and she whisked him off for his assesment...

I was so nervous for him, but, guess what?  He talked to the teacher and told her what he knew.  I was honestly thrilled that he had actually talked to her!  It's a big deal for my little Henry to open up to others, especially strangers.

Oh my goodness, I was soooo proud of him.

He did great!!!

Mommy on the other hand, well...  A teacher, who I've known for a long time, came up to me and asked, "Already?" (as in, he's already going to kindergarten?).  I was fine up until talking to her but mid-conversation I just lost it.  Tears...lots of tears.  I tried wiping my tears away as they came out and tried not to let anyone see me crying, especially Henry.

I was a mess.  A complete mess.  I'm telling you, this is going to be much, much harder for me than it will be for him...

Oh my heart....

He finished his assessment, received a shirt and ate a cookie!  He was liking this place.


Henry's pre-school graduation!

This was a fun day.  Not much to report, except for the fact that all the kids were adoooorable.  I thought I'd be a hot mess here, too.  But you know what?  Not one single tear.  I think I used them all up at his kindergarten registration.  There was just a lot of smiling and laughter.

It was the sweetest day.

This boy.  This boy, I tell ya'...

Oh and I had to share these champagne pineapple gifts that I made for his teachers.  Have you seen these online?  Oh my gosh, so much fun!


Henry's PJ Masks roller skating 5th birthday party!

The day after Henry's graduation, we celebrated his birthday by inviting friends and family to a PJ Masks' roller skating party!

If you've been a reader of this blog, then you know Henry is all about roller skating.  The kid doesn't care for any sports of any kind, but roller skating?  Oh man!  Roller skating is his thang!

It was a great party and practically everyone, grandparents and kids included, skated.  I'm pretty sure we should have all of Henry's upcoming birthdays at the roller rink...aaaaaaand we should re-enact this picture every year!  Too much fun!


Eliza's Snow White 3rd birthday party!

Okay, now it's girlfriend's turn.  At the end of the month we had a small little gathering to celebrate Eliza's third birthday!

She has wanted a Snow White themed party ever since she watched the movie before we went to Disney World back in February.  While at the Magic Kingdom, she picked out a Snow White dress out of aaaaall the princess dresses.

This girl was for real.  She looooves Snow White.

Anyhoo, the dress has to be hand washed, which I had washed a few times since visiting Disney.  The week before her party, I must have accidentally put it in the wash and oh my gosh - I was sooo upset with myself.  The fabric is super delicate (which I knew), so it ended up falling apart a bit.  I spent quite a bit of time trying to fix the little pieces that had fallen offt.  It's still very pretty and we love the dress, I just wish I had been paying better attention.  Oh and her headband has just naturally fallen apart because she used to wear it all.the.time., especially around Christmas, but hey - you get the idea!

She didn't care!

The clothes don't make the girl, the girl makes the clothes, am I right or am I right!  ;)

She looked soooo pretty and she felt like a princess and that's all that matters.  :)

Gosh, I love her little personality and that face.  I want to kiss it right now!

Oh to have the emotions of a three-year-old...


Our annual Lake Michigan getaway!

You guys, I may still have to do a re-cap on this vacation even though it was more than a month ago.  We had a great time, as always!  Gosh, Lake Michigan is my favorite place ever.  Seriously, I love this place.  Anyhoo, I won't give away too much, just expect a little re-cap in the near future!

Welp, that's it for us over here

Have an aaaaaaa-mazing weekend, you guys!

Marie :)

I'm linking up with AprilNatasha, and Christina for the Five on Friday link-up Paaaaarty!
I'm linking up with A Little Bit of EverythingMomfessionals, and Grace and Love for my Friday Favorites!
I'm linking up with September Farm and The Farmer's Wife for the Oh Hey Friday linky party!

Thursday, July 7, 2016

My Cottage and Barn Themed Wishlist

I'm a list kind-of-person.

I make lists for everything.  Most of my lists are usually long and I can guarantee you it would take at least three lifetimes to cross off all of my "to-dos."

When it comes to our home, I'll admit that my "wishlist" is usually equally as long.  Although, I've somehow managed to slim it down to a few favorites that have been at the forefront of my mind.

This little "list" of mine is centered around a cottage/farmhouse/barn theme.

Sidenote:  My kids use our current stools for exactly that, stools...stepping stools to be exact.  They move them across the kitchen to wash their hands and use them to reach the top of the fridge, as well as sneak snacks they know they shouldn't be having.  Not to mention the fact that our current stools also play a pivotal part of fort building.  Our current stools provide the kiddos with a bit of independence, as well as hours-upon-hours of fun.  

Needless to say, those amazing counter top bar stools you see below won't be finding a place in our home anytime soon.

But a girl can dream, right?!

The whole idea is to feel inspired, isn't it...?!


I hope you enjoy these goodies as much as I do...or will someday... ;)

My Cottage and Barn Wishlist for the Home:

Any favorites?  Are you digging this whole cottage/farmhouse decorating theme these days?  Or do you prefer more color throughout your home?  I try to incorporate color into my kids' bedrooms.  Who else does that?  I'd love to hear how you go about decorating!  So many questions!  LOL!

Thanks for stopping by, friends!

Marie :)

*This post contains affiliated links.

I'm linking up over at the Work It Wednesday link up par-tay!

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

A Framed Magnetic Chalkboard

Happy Tuesday!

I wanted to be sure to swing by today to share this little big project of mine that I've had finished for a couple of months now...

Long story short, Henry needed a place in his room to practice his letters and words, draw pictures, more specifically to draw out his "garbage machines," as he would call them, all while being able to hang up his original works of art.

I immediately thought to myself, "magnetic chalkboard!"  The idea originally came from my sister's house, who, in her dining room, has half the wall painted with magnetic chalkboard paint.

It's pretty awesome and her kids love it!

I decided to make Henry a framed magnetic chalkboard so that we can move it around his room, especially since I have a slight case of OCD when it comes to furniture arrangement...in all rooms of the house...including his...I have problems...


Seriously though, I love this thing.  The kids love it, too!  It's so fun and soooo easy to make!

First of all, pick a size for your board.  I went with a 3x4 piece of plywood.  
There are smoother and lighter options out there.  Although, I needed specific dimensions and I wanted it to be large enough so that both kiddos could be drawing at the same time without have a sibling brawl for coveted space in front of the chalkboard. <insert nervous laughter here> ;)

Once you have your board picked out, be sure to check for staples or knots in the wood.  Find which side you plan to use.

You are now ready to paint - I highly suggest painting outside.

Like I said, this is a magnetic chalkboard, so I primed first with Rust-Oleum's Magnetic Primer Paint. I knew I'd be stirring quite a bit, so I put on safety goggles in case I stirred too quickly and some paint splatter got in my eye.  Safety first, right!?

This paint, after lots of stirring, should resemble the appearance of tar.  So stir, stir, stir.

I applied two coats of the Primer and let it dry.

After a couple hours, I applied the actual chalkboard paint, which was, Rust-Oleum Chalkboard Paint.  I was lucky to have some on hand over here, so I shook the can like I was preparing a martini, stirred it (despite what James Bond would have me do) and painted on two coats.

I needed a frame, so off to Home Depot I went.  While there, I spotted this barn wood.

Have you seen these?  


Oh my stars, I was pumped - PUMPED, I say - to have found this barn wood in the store.  I knew I wanted these to be the framing around my newly painted plywood!

I had them cut to size by an employee at Home Depot.

Easy Peasy.

Luckily, Jon had bought me a nail gun for my birthday, so I had these boards nailed down in seconds.  Oh and can I just say how scary/fun it is to use a nail gun?!  It was intimidating, to say the least, but once you get going, it becomes exhilarating!  I'm sure Jon saw a side of me he's never seen before...

Think Tim the Toolman Taylor, with a ponytail.  Yeah.  Totally me.

Grunt and all.


Okay, so - here it is!


What do you think?

Oh and here's some proof of my "nail gunning skills."  <---Yeah, it's a thing.

Stay tuned for a tour of Henry's bedroom, featuring this magnetic chalkboard!

Thanks for stopping by today, guys!

Marie :)

I'm linking over at at Totally Terrific Tuesday and Creative Gallery Link Party and Inspiration Gallery and Work It Wednesday.

*This post contains affiliated links.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Summer Home Tour - 2016

Hi guys and welcome to the Waterside Home Tour!

Today is an exciting day, because it's the first home tour that I've ever been asked to join as a participant of a week long home tour series!  Yay!  You guys, I couldn't be more thrilled...and not to mention, nervous!  I must say though, Emily, blogger extraordinaire over at Table and Hearth and designer/planner/architect of this amazing home tour series, has made me feel soooo comfortable amongst this amazing group of talented women.

Please be sure to join us throughout the week as we share our coastal homes, believe me, you'll be happy you did.  Oh and just to warn you, your Pinterest account will have several new pins...I can promise you that.  ;)

WATERSIDE SUMMER HOME TOUR - A tour of 16 gorgeous homes inspired by their neighboring coasts and shores!

So, if this is your first time visiting my blog - Welcome!

I'm Marie - Wife to Jon and Mommy to Henry (5) and Eliza (3).  We live in Michigan and come spring, when the snow and ice finally thaw, we're outside and out on the lake.

We like to ski, wakeboard, tube and swim.

As for our home decor - we like to mix the old with the new.  It's a lakehouse/farmhouse/cottage vibe going on in the inside and a nautical theme on the outside.

So, wakeboard to our dock, park your boat and come on over!

Waterside Summer Home Tour - 2016 - Family and the Lake House - www.familyandthelakehouse.com

Waterside Summer Home Tour - 2016 - Family and the Lake House - www.familyandthelakehouse.com

Welcome to our home.  Come on up!

Waterside Summer Home Tour - 2016 - Family and the Lake House - www.familyandthelakehouse.com

Take a seat and enjoy the view.

Waterside Summer Home Tour - 2016 - Family and the Lake House - www.familyandthelakehouse.com

Care for some lemon water?

Waterside Summer Home Tour - 2016 - Family and the Lake House - www.familyandthelakehouse.com

Waterside Summer Home Tour - 2016 - Family and the Lake House - www.familyandthelakehouse.com

I love these happy paper straws.  I buy them all the time - they're just too fun!

Sidenote:  Am I the only one who currently has a cute paper napkin and adorable straw collection?

Please tell me I'm not alone...  ;)

Waterside Summer Home Tour - 2016 - Family and the Lake House - www.familyandthelakehouse.com

Oh, and of course, our Michigan summer wouldn't be complete without our Michigan cutting board being put to good use.  For you fellow Michiganders, a similar cutting board can be found here.

Waterside Summer Home Tour - 2016 - Family and the Lake House - www.familyandthelakehouse.com

Come on out of the sun and let's walk over to our covered deck.

I love drinking an afternoon cup of coffee up here in this shaded space.  It's so relaxing and it's a blast to watch all the boat traffic go by, especially on the weekends!

Waterside Summer Home Tour - 2016 - Family and the Lake House - www.familyandthelakehouse.com

Welp, I suppose we should head inside and I'll show you around...

We have a little command center/mudroom/office off of the deck.  I call it our "moffice."  It's a drop center for everything...and I do mean, everything.  Hence the fact that I'm going to skip right on by this area and move on toward the kitchen.

Just close your eyes as you walk by and try not to step on a Lego...mmm-kay?!

Hey, just keeping it real here, folks. ;)

Waterside Summer Home Tour - 2016 - Family and the Lake House - www.familyandthelakehouse.com

Okay, so past the "moffice" is the kitchen.

Our vintage wooden oars stay up all year and for good reason.

A couple years ago I looked everywhere for these bad boys and when I eventually found these oars - while on vacation and at an old antique shop - I had decided I wasn't leaving without them.  While wearing a long maxi dress I carried both oars as I made the mile long journey back to our vacation rental.

It was no easy feat.

So, there they are - proudly displayed for all to see!

Waterside Summer Home Tour - 2016 - Family and the Lake House - www.familyandthelakehouse.com

Waterside Summer Home Tour - 2016 - Family and the Lake House - www.familyandthelakehouse.com

Next up is our dining space and it's the first place you see when you walk through our front door and it's the most frequented room in our home.  It sits back from the deck area, but it still makes for great lake viewing.

So many wonderful memories are made daily while gathered around this table.

Well, that is until Paw Patrol comes on the tv, then the kids beeline it to the couch...sippy cups in hand!

Waterside Summer Home Tour - 2016 - Family and the Lake House - www.familyandthelakehouse.com

I painted and stenciled these chairs about a year ago and I still loooove them!  They were inspired by, who else, but the amazing Joanna Gaines.

You can read more about these chairs here.

Waterside Summer Home Tour - 2016 - Family and the Lake House - www.familyandthelakehouse.com

As for our summer decor, nothing fits our home better than lots of lanterns and small vases to finish off the light and airy lakeside feel that I tend to lean toward when decorating this space.

Waterside Summer Home Tour - 2016 - Family and the Lake House - www.familyandthelakehouse.com

As we all know, dishes need to be washed and put away.  Luckily, we get a nice breeze that comes through the house from the lake.  It makes doing chores seem not so bad.  :)

Waterside Summer Home Tour - 2016 - Family and the Lake House - www.familyandthelakehouse.com

Let's venture on into the living room, shall we?

This space is currently my happy place.  I ordered this piece of furniture about four months ago and it just arrived this past weekend, so I'm beyond thrilled to be sharing it here on this home tour!  I literally just blogged all about it on Monday!  Feel free to read more about it here.  :)

Waterside Summer Home Tour - 2016 - Family and the Lake House - www.familyandthelakehouse.com

Waterside Summer Home Tour - 2016 - Family and the Lake House - www.familyandthelakehouse.com

I was able to style it a bit for this tour, although, I can tell you that the shelves already look different.  It's so fun to move around decor and change the look of this unit.  I've loved displaying our propeller, that scale, those baskets and some of our favorite books!

I'm obsessed.  Obsessed, I say.

Waterside Summer Home Tour - 2016 - Family and the Lake House - www.familyandthelakehouse.com

The lower cabinets are currently housing games, puzzles, photo albums and baby books.  It serves not only as an entertainment center, but also as a larger than life storage unit!

Why not, right?!

The more storage, the better!  Who's with me?!

Waterside Summer Home Tour - 2016 - Family and the Lake House - www.familyandthelakehouse.com

As for our mantel, I'm keeping it simple for now.  Yeaaaaaah, we'll see how long that'll last! ;)

Waterside Summer Home Tour - 2016 - Family and the Lake House - www.familyandthelakehouse.com

Waterside Summer Home Tour - 2016 - Family and the Lake House - www.familyandthelakehouse.com

There you have it!

Thanks so very much for stopping by my Waterside Home Tour today!

This tour was so much fun to put together!  

Happy summer, stay cool, breathe in deep and don't forget to enjoy a sunrise or two...

Waterside Summer Home Tour - 2016 - Family and the Lake House - www.familyandthelakehouse.com

Thanks again.  :)

Summer Wishes,

Marie :)

This post contains affiliate links.
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