Well if it isn’t Nell, posting on SUNDAY, for her seven quick takes. Check out what Kelly and the gang have rolling over at her blog.

1. WILD

I’m in an adrenaline holding pattern for the Minnesota Blessed is She WILD retreat this upcoming weekend. Seriously, cannot even stop being jumpy about it.

We sold out a few weeks back and I’m just so bummed for the people who weren’t able to get their ticket in time. We always sell out at these retreats and this one was no exception. I’m the ground person so the last 8-9 months have been checking my list, talking to Beth, the director of retreats, checking back in with Saint Marks, the hosts, and then telling AA my head is going to explode. HA. Mostly from joy.

Thursday we start in earnest getting everything ready and then the doors fling open Friday evening (complete with a trio of my oldest and his two best buddies playing their violins & cello for the ladies as they wait). Laura greets everyone and we eat, listen, chat, mingle, and of course, have Adoration! Saturday morning will be replete with breakfast, hearing a sister talk! confessions heard by over 15 priests from all over the archdiocese! art time, lunch time, more talks by Patty and Beth, dinner time, and then our private Mass with Bishop Cozzens and Eucharistic procession.

My mom and sister are running the kitchen, dear friends orchestrating check in, so many wonderful women helping keep the confession line going, and then a whole flock of sweet friends greeting, clearing, bussing, and of course, ensuring every single person feels loved, welcomed, and fed. I’m sewing some thank-you gifts for them and baking fresh bread (freezer is stocked!) for the priests. People have been so so so generous with their time and talents!

2. instagram clearance sale

I posted a handful of things from past collections to clear out my storage for the fall projects! leggings, rompers, but mostly I’m ALL about these linen wall quilts. I kinda am obsessed with how they look and how my designs are turning out. Insta sales ends Sunday night but I know this email comes out in the morning so I’ll extend it to noon Monday so snap something up if you want it!

If you aren’t signed up to get notifications of sales and coupons for insiders, that link is here.

3. swimming and tennis

All summer we’ve been walking up to our neighborhood pool for swimming and tennis lessons. That time has finally come to an end. With the retreat this week, and then only two weeks left before school, I’m DONE with the schleppping. HA! The kids don’t realize that they could be taking a few more lessons and I am not going to inform them of that. Planning on ice cream sundays, Planet Earth on netflix, sprinkler in the backyard, and taking in a museum or two before school begins.

4. school supplies

I had to shop for two kids for the first time! Long gone are the day of my youth when my mom would push the cart up and down the Target aisle and we would run around with our lists. Amazon PRIME, baby. The boxes keep coming and I keep thinking, Thank you, Amazon, for saving me from four small kids at Target.

This is my favorite thing we bought, though. And it’s not even officially for school.

5. clean house

I had planned all summer for this weekend to be our full-house cleaning weekend. Somehow my poor husband also put his back out so it turned into bring-him-motrin-in-bed and then keep on going. I went through attics, closets, basement, all the games and a billion decks of cards. No stones were left un-turned. I’m also icing at night but this pelvis injury is not keeping me captive!

Since we moved in almost a year ago, I hadn’t really whipped things into real shape. I know when school starts, I simply won’t have the energy. So this weekend I came, saw, conquered, and taught two kids the fine art of sorting decks of cards before just recycling most of them.

6. meals

I’m terrible at meal planning BUT DETERMINED every week to do it. Remarkable someone with so much determination could fail regularly so miserably. My Blessed is She planner helps. But even so, I don’t know what we’re eating for dinner tonight and I’ve already done pizza + mac & cheese AND pancakes + sausage this week so I’m out of ideas.

7. online retreat with Bonnie and others!

My dear friend Bonnie is one of the speakers for the Pray More Healing Retreat produced by my other friend, Annie! I’m going to try to do it and I think you might really like it to! Check it out! Cannot go wrong with anything that Annie does and Bonnie is one of the best speakers I know.

 

Lily Jade was so kind as to send over a complimentary purse. YET, as always, all views are my own (and my fierce competitors for the bag: my girls wearing Whole Parenting Goods).

I am a sucker for a good bag, one that can really tote and haul. Long gone are my days of dainty, cute purses. Nope, I need something that’s a workhorse and can handle spills, spits, and squirts.

But I also really don’t love the plasticky-diaper bags. I had a few the first few years of babies and always felt like they were designed by some dude out to make me look as rookie mom as possible.

Years ago I met the founders of Lily Jade at a blogging conference: they were just as nice as their company seems! Such kind and lovely creative folks, parents themselves who really got it.

This Meggan bag is just perfect for me! It converts into a backpack with two snaps, literally, with a thick comfortable strap that loops through the backside. The inside organizer means I’m not fishing forever for wipes or a dry pair of pants. The outside pockets mean I can grab my keys easily. And it makes me feel like a queen to have such a high quality leather purse!

If you’re on the fence about purchasing or suggesting someone purchase this brand for you, I own 3? 4? And I will never buy another brand!

They wear so well over time. The zippers and pockets keep their shape; the inside is truly easily cleaned out after ahem an unnamed four year old dumped my entire sparkling water in there and mixed raisins in for good measure. Spacious, chic without looking like you’re trying too hard, and just perfect for carrying everything in an organized fashion.

The girls couldn’t really agree on whose bag it was, but when the toddler packed her treasures in it, I think she won out.

This one is another of my favorites if you’re looking for something smaller, and then this one is my mom’s favorite! So many people I know ordered this one and really say it’s their favorite, so I think there’s something for everyone.

For August, there’s a sweet promo going on: use code LJPACKHAPPY with any bag purchase and get free packing cases!

She thinks she may be getting too big for that, but at 19 months, I’m convinced she’ll stay my baby girl forever!

 

Do you have a diaper bag/purse that you love? What are your favorite characteristics of it?

 

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