Melissa Kaylene

Thursday, July 2, 2015

What You Really Need to Keep in Your Car For Summer Adventures

This post is sponsored by Chevrolet Traverse.
What You Need to Keep in Your Car for Summer Adventures #MomLife #ChevyTranverse #AD

What You Really Need to Keep In Your Car for Summer Adventures

I am so excited to finally have the kids on summer vacation. I miss having the school routine already though! I mentioned on my Facebook page last week that unlike the previous three years we didn’t create a summer bucket list for this summer. I think after juggling our first year with three kids in after school activities (that won’t finish until July) I just didn’t feel like over committing myself. That doesn’t mean that we will not be having tons of fun this summer though – I have full intention of going on some amazing adventures and creating lifelong lasting memories with the kids – and we have 12 weeks to make them. 

What You Need to Keep in Your Car for Summer Adventures #MomLife #ChevyTranverse #AD
What You Need to Keep in Your Car for Summer Adventures #MomLife #ChevyTranverse #AD

I’m currently working on creating a chore and curriculum chart for the next couple of months. The kids are old enough that they need to do some more cleaning and pitch in a little more – but I want to do something a little different and reward them once a week for doing so. I intend to take them on an adventure like the zoo, beach, waterpark – and whatever else I decide – sometimes planned and sometimes spontaneous. There’s one thing that I’ll do to make sure that all of our summer adventures are fun and easy: keep certain things in our car so we are prepared for any kind of adventure that comes our way. If you’ve ever been on any length of road trip with kids you know how important it is to keep your car stocked with certain things, things that make your adventures just a little easier than extra pit stops or bored kids. In the summertime there are a few extra things you can keep in your car for outdoor adventures and day trips – so you don’t have to do anything but jump in the car and go!

What You Need to Keep in Your Car for Summer Adventures #MomLife #ChevyTranverse #AD

 Don’t know what you should pack? Here’s a list to get your car ready for summertime adventures!

What You Need to Keep in Your Car for Summer Adventures #MomLife #ChevyTranverse #AD

  • · Water bottles – Because it’s always good to have water with you.
  • ·  Protein bars // dried fruit // nuts – Because kids will always be looking for a snack – make sure whatever you keep in the car won’t melt –no chocolate!! Keep it minimal with lots of nuts and dried fruit that can last longer
  • ·   Hand sanitizer – Because everyone needs to sanitize after snacks or adventures.
  • ·   Hand wipes – You will need them. I promise.
  • ·  Activity books – So you don’t hear those dreaded ‘I’m bored’ words.
  • ·  Colored markers + paper – Again, got to keep the kids entertained. Just make sure they are washable markers, or use crayons or colored pencils. 

What You Need to Keep in Your Car for Summer Adventures #MomLife #ChevyTranverse #AD

  • · Sunglasses – I never forget to bring my glasses along, but the kids frequently do. Or one of them loses a pair. Keep some backups in the car. 

What You Need to Keep in Your Car for Summer Adventures #MomLife #ChevyTranverse #AD

  •   Bandages – Just in case.
  • · Bubbles – Not for in the car, but for extra outdoor fun.
  • · Outdoor Toys – Again, something fun to have for a family game if you decide to go to a park or the beach.
  • · Jump Rope – A jump rope is a must! Take it out and let them get some energy out!

What You Need to Keep in Your Car for Summer Adventures #MomLife #ChevyTranverse #AD

     Of course no family road trip or adventure can happen without a great vehicle and the Chevy Traverse most certainly falls into that category! With seating for up to 8*, best-in-class maximum cargo space, and a 5-star Overall Vehicle Score for safety**, it’s a really nice midsize SUV option for active families. My first large purchase ever was in 2004 and it was a brand new Chevrolet! It was one of the best cars I had and I love the idea of having a good midsize SUV for the 5 of us.



So now I've shared some of my summer plans and tips - do you have any to add? If there was one thing that you couldn't live without in your car for day adventures what would that be?

~Melissa
*Standard on LS and 1LT. Available on 2LT. LTZ seats 7. Not available in Ebony/Saddle Up interior color.

** Government 5-Star Safety Ratings are part of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s New Car Assessment Program. (www.SaferCar.gov) . 

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

So long, T-ball

Photos from Melissa Kaylene
Photos from Melissa Kaylene
Photos from Melissa Kaylene
Photos from Melissa Kaylene
Photos from Melissa Kaylene
Photos from Melissa Kaylene
Photos from Melissa Kaylene
Photos from Melissa Kaylene

 Right now I’m sitting in the shade at the Discover Park in Mcminnville. It’s a fun park for the kids to play at with two play structures, a sand hill, and a unique water feature. It has been unusually warm for June here in Oregon, and we’ve been close to 100 degrees for nearly a week now, and it looks like the heat wave will continue for the rest of the week.

Last Saturday (like I mentioned in my previous post) was Noah’s last T-ball game. It was his first year playing any sport (since he just turned 5) and he had so much fun. He went all out and put on his ‘face paint’ (I’m pretty sure that was Anika’s idea!) and his new favorite pair of shades.

Luckily they changed the time of his game from 4pm to 10am, because those boys would have been overheated at a game that late in the day. We even lucked out and the morning was overcast, keeping it cooler for everyone.

They handed out trophies and everyone said their farewells, then Wayne and I took the kids to our favorite ice cream shop in McMinnville, Serendipity’s.

Emma has her first softball tournament game tomorrow evening, and if they win there will be another game, if not I think her season will be over too.

I think it’s great that the baseball season overlaps with summer a bit…it’s kept the kids happy and busy and entertained…until August when soccer practices start.  ;)

~Melissa

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Blueberry Lemon Drop

Blueberry Lemon Drop Cocktail via @melissakaylene

Hello everyone! I hope you are having a great weekend staying cool and spending time with your loved ones. Today was Noah’s last T-ball game. It was the end of his first season of sports and he was so proud holding up his trophy for me to photograph. You know there will be a few pictures of that coming up soon! 

Blueberry Lemon Drop Cocktail via @melissakaylene
Blueberry Lemon Drop Cocktail via @melissakaylene

Today I wanted to share a new fun flavor for your next cocktail: A blueberry lemon drop. If you know me you know that I absolutely adore lemon drops (perhaps a bit too much) so I wanted to try this cocktail mixer from Bungalow 23.They kindly sent me three different flavors to try, and this was my first choice to open – not only because of the name, but also because the fruit used is local to me! It’s all grown in the Willamette Valley.

Blueberry Lemon Drop Cocktail via @melissakaylene
Blueberry Lemon Drop Cocktail via @melissakaylene

The blueberry lemon drop is super easy to make, and a fun twist to the original with hints of lemongrass and lavender in this premium mixer. 

Blueberry Lemon Drop 

What you need:

Bungalow 23 Blueberry Lemon Drop Premium Mixer
Ice
Premium Vodka

Combine 4 ounces of mixer with 1.5 ounces of premium vodka. Serve on the rocks or shake in shaker and strain into a glass.

Blueberry Lemon Drop Cocktail via @melissakaylene
Blueberry Lemon Drop Cocktail via @melissakaylene
Blueberry Lemon Drop Cocktail via @melissakaylene

What are some of your all-time favorite summer cocktails?


~Melissa
This post contains affiliate links.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

#AD Simple 4th of July Menu Idea

 This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SummerYum #CollectiveBias
#AD Simple 4th of July Menu Idea #SummerYum @walmart

I seriously can’t believe that the 4th of July is just around the corner. I always love the 4th of July – it’s a great time that family and friends can gather together and eat amazing food and celebrate our nation. To me, it’s like the unofficial start of the fair and carnival season, and I love all of the tasty treats you can devour at all of the fun events. 

Yesterday though, I was exhausted. As I mentioned yesterday that kids have been quite a handful the past couple of days, and we all had to do grocery shopping too – so I loaded the kids up and drove over to the Walmart Supercenter in Salem so I only had to make one stop and could get everything I needed.

I ended up grabbing a family pack of their Deli Fried Chicken for dinner last night, as well as a cute little banner and red, white and blue washi tape… and started feeling excited for the upcoming holiday. We don’t have fried chicken too often, so of course I decided to make the rest of the traditional trimmings – potato salad, corn on the cob, a green salad, and lots of fresh juicy fruit.


I didn’t know what I was going to do with the tape when I bought it, I just knew that I liked it (don’t tell me you haven’t done that before!) however, while I was mixing my potato salad a festive idea popped into my head and I decided to make our silverware a little more festive by adding the tape to the ends. It’s great because it comes off easily and really transformed them. I also added a piece of tape onto mini mason jars and wrote our names on them, and the kids loved their own personal cups. 

#AD Simple 4th of July Menu Idea #SummerYum @walmart
#AD Simple 4th of July Menu Idea #SummerYum @walmart
#AD Simple 4th of July Menu Idea #SummerYum @walmart
#AD Simple 4th of July Menu Idea #SummerYum @walmart
#AD Simple 4th of July Menu Idea #SummerYum @walmart

 The salad I made was a Red, White and Blue Salad – it’s really easy to make and tastes amazing!

#AD Simple 4th of July Menu Idea #SummerYum @walmart

Red White and Blue Salad

4 cups of baby greens
1 cup of fresh raspberries
½ cup feta cheese
½ cup slivered almonds
½ cup fresh blueberries
¼ cup thinly sliced red onion
Raspberry Vinaigrette

Mix all of the ingredients into a salad bowl and serve immediately. Drizzle your favorite dressing on and enjoy!

Makes approximately 4 servings. 

#AD Simple 4th of July Menu Idea #SummerYum @walmart
#AD Simple 4th of July Menu Idea #SummerYum @walmart
#AD Simple 4th of July Menu Idea #SummerYum @walmart
#AD Simple 4th of July Menu Idea #SummerYum @walmart
#AD Simple 4th of July Menu Idea #SummerYum @walmart

 We’ve had an overabundance of fresh little strawberries since we’ve went and picked about 32 pounds of them over the past week, so I wanted to make a fun little appetizer that was a little bit different. We also happen to have a yummy basil plant in our garden that is doing really well, so I harvested some of that, and used some fresh mozzarella and balsamic dressing to make tasty little bites that at least Wayne and I liked.

Strawberry, Basil, and mozzarella bites

#AD Simple 4th of July Menu Idea #SummerYum @walmart
#AD Simple 4th of July Menu Idea #SummerYum @walmart
#AD Simple 4th of July Menu Idea #SummerYum @walmart
#AD Simple 4th of July Menu Idea #SummerYum @walmart
#AD Simple 4th of July Menu Idea #SummerYum @walmart

 Even though life can be hectic and I’m completely exhausted at times, I’m glad that I like creating this stuff – because someday these moments will turn into my children’s fond memories.

#AD Simple 4th of July Menu Idea #SummerYum @walmart
#AD Simple 4th of July Menu Idea #SummerYum @walmart
#AD Simple 4th of July Menu Idea #SummerYum @walmart
#AD Simple 4th of July Menu Idea #SummerYum @walmart
#AD Simple 4th of July Menu Idea #SummerYum @walmart
#AD Simple 4th of July Menu Idea #SummerYum @walmart
#AD Simple 4th of July Menu Idea #SummerYum @walmart

And it all started with some yummy fried chicken. ;)

#AD Simple 4th of July Menu Idea #SummerYum @walmart
#AD Simple 4th of July Menu Idea #SummerYum @walmart
#AD Simple 4th of July Menu Idea #SummerYum @walmart
#AD Simple 4th of July Menu Idea #SummerYum @walmart

 What food do you normally serve for Independence Day? What occasions are “fried chicken” occasions? Walmart makes it really easy to create the dinner you want with their deli fried chicken! :) 

~Melissa