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Five on Friday

This week has kicked my butt. If you read my newsletter yesterday, you already know that.

Last week I was feeling organized and somewhat in control of all the balls I’m juggling and then this week got hit with some curve balls that have left me frazzled and overwhelmed. Like really dumb, annoying, inconvenient things. For example, my refill of checks getting lost in the mail…which has been complicated. Even though I got a tracking confirmation that said they were delivered to my address, they were not. So I’ve spent hours on the phone with the bank and post office this week trying to figure out next steps…which includes closing our checking account and re-opening a new one. But to open a new account, Matt and I have to go into the bank branch together between 9-5 and finding time to do that during this crazy work week has been impossible. So in the meantime, our checking account is frozen which means all our bills on auto-draft are being kicked back (including our mortgage!) and I had to rob the kids’ piggy banks for end of year teacher gifts since my debit card doesn’t work.

Additionally, our logistics have been really complicated this week while Matt and I continue to share one car after his got hit in the grocery store parking lot while he was inside shopping with the kids. The first week Matt rented a car, but long story short, we returned it when we thought his car would be ready. And then the repair shop has kind of strung us along with “it will be ready by XX” and then it’s not. Matt’s main office is 40 minutes away so he primarily has my car, and then cuts his day short to rush home to help me get the kids to their softball games and swim meets this week — oh, and to middle of the day class parties. Of course, I was planning to use this last week of the kids being in school to tackle all the errands I definitely do not want to drag them to, but nope. So this week I am thankful for Caroline’s bike (my tires are flat), Walmart grocery delivery, and McKinsey for driving me to places we both need to go.

Anyway, those are just a few of several weird/annoying things that have set me back this week but I’ll stop there. And BELIEVE ME, I know these things are trivial and it is not the end of the world (and I’ll probably regret complaining about this on the internet and come back and delete this). I just felt like my usual intro of “Happy Friday! It’s been another great week!” was definitely not genuine because I’m actually tired and overwhelmed. Thank goodness today is the LAST DAY of school and we can be officially done with all the school activities, parties, themed days, etc.!

Alright, let’s get down to business…


Last summer my Day In The (Guest Writer) Life Series was a huge hit and so many of you asked me to bring it back this year! So I am officially opening up the opportunity for guest posting. If you are interested in contributing a “Day In the Life” post, or have a topic in mind that you’d like to propose/write, please send me an email at [email protected] by Friday, June 14. 

In Case You Missed It

This week I shared…

  • My Lavender Lemonade Cocktail that is one of my favorites for summertime sipping. The secret to this cocktail…is using Chick-fil-A lemonade. And then I take it to the next level by marinating it with fresh lavender buds for 24 hours…and then give it a boozy twist by spiking it with vodka. IT IS SO GOOD. 
  • Mabel’s 1st Birthday Pawty!
  • A Father’s Day Gift Guide if you’re looking for a gift!
  • A Summer Camp Packing List for those of you getting your kids ready for sleepaway camp. Make sure to read through the post for some really great tips too!
  • Some practical tips for your Summer Bucket List as well as several bucket list printables you can download for your family!
  • My pool mahjong reel that went VIRAL!
Lavender Lemonade Cocktail

Top 5 Reader Favorites This Week

  1. Insect Repellent Spray: From my Summer Camp Packing List post, this spray works SO well to protect from ticks, mosquitos, chiggers, spiders, etc. for up to 6 weeks. Use it on all of your camper’s gear and outerwear ahead of sending to camp.
  2. Mosquito Repellent Patches: We’ve used these for two summers now and absolutely love them for all of our summer outdoor activities. We even used them for camping in the woods! If we’re playing at the park or in a backyard, I’ll stick a patch or two on the back of the kids’ shirts to help keep them mosquito-free. And if you see me outside this summer, you better believe I’ll be sporting a few green dots too. Tip: Don’t forget to remove these from your clothes before washing!
  3. Classic Stripe Resort Towel: Cozy Earth recently launched pool towels and they are SO luxurious, huge (40″x70″), soft, and beautiful. Available in 3 colors. Use code CE-CAROLINACHARM for 30% off AND a free pair of socks (add the socks to your cart, they will not automatically apply!).
  4. Deluxe 8-Piece Spice Collection: From my Father’s Day Gift Guide!
  5. Walmart Bento Box Note: Another week in the top 5! This is the absolutely best lunch box we’ve used for years and years now. I have shared this inexpensive lunchbox more times than I can count and promise you this is the ONLY lunchbox you need. It’s so much better than any others we’ve used. It comes with multiple removable and stackable compartments, locks into place, and is dishwasher-safe!

1. A Fun Summer Gift

If you need a gift idea this summer, a bottle of Pool Boy wine (I found at Whole Foods) is a super cute gift! I added a gift tag and love how fun these turned out! These are a perfect hostess gift for summer parties, backyard BBQs, etc.!

Here’s a copy of the gift tag I made in Canva! To download it, just right click it and select “Save Image.” Make sure when you go to print, you change the photo size to 3.5 x 5 inch and select the “shrink to fit setting” otherwise it will print as a huge 8×11 photo.

2. Costco Shopping List

Last week I shopped at Costco for the first time as an adult! I vividly remember my mom dragging all 3 of us around that store ALL the time when we were kids but haven’t shopped there in decades.

So many of you were blown away when I said we don’t have a membership! To be honest, I really don’t want to add another grocery store to our list. I already schedule 2 Walmart grocery deliveries each week, run in to Harris Teeter for one-off items in a pinch, shop for a handful of very specific items from Whole Foods every other week, and then also make a Trader Joe’s run about once a month. So my grocery store list feels at capacity. And a fun fact about me, I am a chronic under buyer so bulk shopping (and storing large quantities of items) oddly stresses me out. HOWEVER, I will say, I very much LOVED stocking up on summer snacks for the kids and bought MANY of the recommendations you all sent me!

For those of you who asked me to share the Costco items that were recommended by my readers, here it is!

3. Mahjong Pool Day

Last Friday I hosted McKinsey and Laura over for mahjong in the pool! It was so fun breaking in my floating game board, sipping Lemon & Basil Margaritas, and playing a few games of mahjong! It was the best afternoon and I’m hoping to squeeze in many more like this over summer!

4. Wall Calendar Tip

Our family lives by the wall calendar that hangs on our fridge. It’s a visual reminder for everyone of all the upcoming events, sports games, school reminders, parties, appointments, etc.

Each month I pull it off the fridge and add everything from my google calendar to it — plus way more. We use it to track things like pet meds, chores, etc. too. Literally everything goes on this. My wall calendars are basic, cheap, and I always go with a very minimal design. I also prefer lined calendars to keep multiple events on one day better organized.

Anyway, a few years ago I received some of the best advice from a reader to buy an academic year calendar instead of a standard year calendar and it really has been such a simple but incredibly useful tip that I wanted to pass on to YOU! Instead of my calendar running out during the crazy holiday season, I start a new calendar in June which kicks off summer for us.

My new calendar just arrived and is actually a 19 month calendar! I’ll still replace it again next June but this one will allow me to track things further out (and transfer to the new one).

Also, THIS is the heavy duty magnet hook we use to hang our calendar. I’ve tried several “heavy duty” hooks and they have either not been strong enough or scratched our fridge.

5. Platform Summer Sandals

My feet really hate all my cute, flat sandals these days. I can only wear them for a very short period of time otherwise my feet get so sore! So I’m in the market for comfortable shoes that offer good support and are cute. And I’m really happy with the first pair I’ve purchased this season — these platform sandals by Reef. They check all my boxes: cute, comfy, supportive, and bonus — they are water friendly too, making them perfect for the pool. They come in a handful of really pretty colorways.

Hope you all have a great weekend!

Promo & Referral Codes

  • Cozy Earth: Use code CE-CAROLINACHARM at checkout for 30% off.
  • Avaline: Use code 15FORJUNE for 15% off sitewide!
  • Butcher Box: Get $50 off your first box.
  • Nuuly: Get $30 off your first month’s subscription.
  • LEAN: The program I’m currently enrolled in track my macros so I can hit my protein goals. Save $10 off your registration with code CMBD39!

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Friday 7th of June 2024

Oh I know exactly how you feel! We had to buy a new car this week because my husband’s vehicle was finally done. And the day before we went to close the deal his account was frozen due to fraud. So frustrating! Grateful I had some work flexibility and the dealership was understanding so we were able to still purchase the vehicle. Man does it really hurt when you’re down a car and a spouse has a 40 minute commute. Praying it all smooths out fast!


Friday 7th of June 2024

Oh my gosh, almost the exact same situation!!! Also just found out that the repair shop only takes cash or zelle. BAHAHAHA. OF COURSE!

Toni :0)

Friday 7th of June 2024

Oh Lord, the lost checks sound like a nightmare and I’d be so lost without my debit card. 🤦‍♀️ So sorry that happened to you and while it may be trivial to some, it’s actually a huge inconvenience to not be able to access your money, especially with so many places encouraging/requiring you to set up auto transfers, etc. Hoping that (and the car, good grief it’s a lot!) gets figured out very soon. 🙏🏼💕 Also, I keep seeing all this stuff about end of year school theme days and Lord have mercy, can I just say I’m glad to be done raising kids? Like, I remember how chaotic it was WITHOUT all that, I’d want to just sit down and have a good cry if I had to keep track of all that, purchase stuff, get them ready all while working full time. Whoever came up with that idea, didn’t have kids to raise. 😂😂 Cheers to a great summer enjoying your lovely pool and backyard. 🥰

Toni :0)

Friday 7th of June 2024

@Christina, absolutely and thank you! 😎😎😎


Friday 7th of June 2024

Thank you, Toni!! What a week -- and it can only get better from here! haha. Have a great summer!