This & That: Summer Edition

Hey there, Wednesday!

I have had a bunch of random, summer related questions lately, so I thought I’d do one big random post on summer stuff.

Starting with, the biggest question around these parts lately…

where did you get your big duck?

Right HERE.  Thank you, Amazon.

Speaking of which…

Creamy Lime Pie Pops

…another popular question around here has been about my popsicle recipes

Patriotic Pops

where do you get your popsicle molds?

Years ago, I bought “fancy” popsicle molds, but you know what, they did not work.  For the last few years, I’ve been using these right here.  They’re inexpensive, easy to use and always turn out great popsicles.  I buy the sticks HERE.  (And you can see all of my popsicle recipes HERE.)

I love summer for so many reasons…but, it’s really hard for me to keep any sort of workout schedule like I do during the school year.  Between vacations, sports camps and such, it’s just hard.  Plus, my big kids don’t necessarily want to wake up early and go to the gym’s kids area because it’s summer and they want to chill at home.  So, I try to still hit my Monday and Wednesday classes, but if I can’t, then these are my two FAVORITE ways to workout from home (I do these on days I don’t go to the gym)…

I love, love, love the Yogaglo app.  You do have to pay a monthly subscription for this app, but friends, it’s the best yoga workouts outside of going to an actual class.  You pick the type of yoga you want to practice that day, the duration, the teacher (I love Taylor!), the level…it’s so easy to use, and I’ve never been disappointed with a class.  Another workout app that I love is this one…

…I feel like everyone on Instagram is talking about this one and for good reason.  IT IS FANTASTIC!!  You also pay a monthly subscription fee, but goodness, this app takes care of everything from cardio to weights and everything in-between.  Whenever I complete one of these classes, I am worn out.  For me, it’s hard to make myself workout hard at home (you know…really exhaust myself), but this app makes it easy.


Okay, I ordered it!  I asked you guys for help with the mosquitoes getting me and many, many, many of you suggested bathing in this stuff.  So, I’ll keep you posted!  I also had a lot of you say that because my blood type is O negative, I attract mosquitoes even more.  Who knew?

I was looking around on Pinterest the other day for something to use with my kiddos this summer to you know, keep them motivated/reading/helping/stimulated during the summer and found this one…

…I like this one!  Any other tips in this department?  I just don’t want my kids to not be productive human beings for 3 months and then return to school in the fall behind.  I liked how this one covered everything from cleaning to reading plus playing outside and being helpful.

Also, I think I mentioned this tip last year or the year before, but one of my friends posted on Facebook that every day in the summer, she puts out a bin for each of her five kids and in it is their snacks for the day.  She puts a combination of fresh and packaged stuff in the bin and those are their snacks.  If they want to eat them all up by 10:00 AM, that’s fine…but that’s all they get for the day.  Isn’t that genius?  I feel like my kids want a snack every five minutes during the summer, so I’m going to try this.

You guys know how much I love to read over the summer.  These are the three books that I’ve pre-ordered for my summer beach/pool reads…

Give me all the Elin Hilderbrand.  I’m pretty sure I’ve read every single one of her books, so I’m super pumped about her newest one coming out this June.

Oh Emily Giffin.  I love you too!!  I’m already pre-ordered this one too!

And Beatriz Williams…well, I either love her books (two have been in my top 3 for the year two years in a row now!) or I don’t like them at all.  Ha!  I’m hoping this one proves to be another fave!

And then last but not least, people have emailed me about this…

…my packing system.  You can read about how I pack HERE.  That happens to be a cruise post but the same rules apply for land vacations too 🙂 .

That’s it!  One more sleep until SUMMER VACATION!!

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  • Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog June 6, 2018 at 4:40 am

    Your giant pool duck is amazing!
    I love Emily Giffin too. I should preorder her new book as well! 🙂

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

  • Taylor June 6, 2018 at 5:00 am

    Love this post!

  • Erika Slaughter June 6, 2018 at 5:05 am

    Those books look GOOD! And who knew Skin So Soft was still a thing? That takes me back to my childhood!

  • Elspeth Mizner June 6, 2018 at 5:48 am

    Can’t wait to try some of the ice pops! Great idea about putting snacks out! Love it!!

  • Narci Dreffs June 6, 2018 at 6:02 am

    oh, yes!! Give me all the summer tips!! I love that summer list! I am going to try that with my kids!

  • Andrea June 6, 2018 at 6:13 am

    My favorite online workout program is The Balanced Life with Robin Long! It is always a great Pilates workout!

  • Jodi June 6, 2018 at 6:33 am

    What brand are your sunglasses? Thanks! Love your blog!

    • Mix and Match Mama June 6, 2018 at 7:17 am

      Thank you!! They’re RayBans from Nordstrom!

  • Ashley June 6, 2018 at 6:40 am

    We will have to try this popsicles! Any tips for unpacking and settling back home? That’s usually the worst part for me!

    • Mix and Match Mama June 6, 2018 at 7:16 am

      I try to be really organized about that. We unpack out in the garage. I find that if I drag all of our suitcases in the house, then my house feels chaotic. We unpack and bring things in from the garage, so that the mess stays out there. I also try and leave my house clean, laundry done and dishes put away, so that I’m not returning to a mess.

  • Ramona June 6, 2018 at 6:45 am

    Thank you for the summer tips! I’m heading to Massachusetts next month to spend time with my 7 and 6 year old grandsons so this is great! Thank you again for all you do for us and sharing your family! Your kids are so adorable and beautiful!

  • Lynn June 6, 2018 at 6:50 am

    During the summer, my kids also spent 15 minutes per day working on a typing program (yes on electronics). You can find free ones on the computer, and I think it’s important to teach them good methods so they can be fast and efficient in their world. Also, they picked a foreign language and spent 15 minutes per day on an app or program like duolingo, mango languages, etc. Your library may have access to a free one from their website. They also did 15 minutes of a math facts game. So they had some useful electronics in addition to the pure fun electronics.

    • Susie June 6, 2018 at 12:24 pm

      These are excellent summer suggestions! Yes to useful electronics. And speaking as an elementary teacher, it’s soooo important that kids keep working on their math facts/skills over the summer. And I love the foreign language idea!

  • Amanda Wilson June 6, 2018 at 7:12 am

    Thanks for the reminder about the snacks I remember you mentioning that. Definately going to have to use that one!! Summer is so close!!!!!! eeeeeeeeekkkkk!!!

  • Suzanne Dotson June 6, 2018 at 7:21 am

    To help with mosquitoes you might want to get the Spartan Mosquito Eradicator. I have several friends that have had huge success with this. They are easy to use. You can get at feed stores or order online.

  • Kelly June 6, 2018 at 7:31 am

    Ok, if you attracting mosquitos because you’re O- is a thing then that totally makes sense for me because I’m also O- and a mosquito MAGNET!! I’m going to have to look that up, very interesting! I can’t wait for The Summer Wives to come out! Just in time for my vacation. 🙂

  • Meghan Bolhuis June 6, 2018 at 7:39 am

    Hi! I don’t usually comment, but had to share a productive summer idea for your kids that a lady in my hometown made up! It is a summer goal list that your kids can set their goals for the summer (like “a book I will read is”, “a language I will learn at least 20 words in”, etc.) You can find it here:

  • Gardner Story June 6, 2018 at 7:55 am

    Shay, do you have tips on packing for a trip for a baby? I have a 10 month old (she’ll be 11 months in a few weeks, which is when our vacation is) and I feel like there’s so many things I think I should bring, but probably aren’t necessary. Would love any tips you have for how to lightly/smartly pack for a baby!

    • Mix and Match Mama June 6, 2018 at 1:18 pm

      That’s hard! I haven’t had a baby in a long time (insert a sad face), but I would say less is more. Kids typically don’t need as much as we think they do!

      • Gardner Story June 7, 2018 at 6:47 am

        Thank you so much 🙂 I tend to overpack so that’s a great reminder ha.

  • Erin H June 6, 2018 at 7:55 am

    Dryer sheets work awesome for the bugs too! Just put them in your pocket or in your hat or in your lawn chair. Sounds weird but I swear it works!

  • Lauren G. June 6, 2018 at 7:56 am

    Any luck finding a waterproof cover for the kindle?

    • Mix and Match Mama June 6, 2018 at 1:17 pm

      Nope. I ordered one that was recommended but the glare was awful and it was hard to turn the page.

  • Kristina June 6, 2018 at 8:09 am

    I like the Summer Rules chart but I think if you recreated it and reprinted it as Summer Goals or something more positive it would be better received and more accurate! A lot of those things aren’t rules and I think the kids should see the list as a positive reminder of how their day should be structured and not an enforced system that makes playing etc. a rule. They’ll probably feel more like you too since you’re a list maker and goal oriented person!!

    • Mix and Match Mama June 6, 2018 at 1:17 pm

      I like that spin on it!

  • LeeAnn June 6, 2018 at 8:10 am

    A am also a mosquito magnet! and blood type O negative! I had heard many years ago about the Skin So Soft being a repellant – I will have to try it! I can’t even enjoy sitting on my patio without being attacked!

  • Andrea June 6, 2018 at 8:21 am

    Yes! I have O positive and our son is O negative. We both are always being eaten alive while my husband gets none. Ridiculous!!

  • Meredith June 6, 2018 at 8:22 am

    You should try the Skin So Soft insect repellent.

    • Mix and Match Mama June 6, 2018 at 1:16 pm

      Ordered some too! I can’t wait for this stuff to arrive!

  • Meredith June 6, 2018 at 8:24 am

    What I meant was the spray, I’m not sure how much good a bath oil will do.

  • Emily June 6, 2018 at 8:32 am

    What type of class do you go to Monday’s and Wednesday’s?

    • Mix and Match Mama June 6, 2018 at 1:16 pm

      It’s a mix of cardio and weights, kind of like a boot camp class.

  • Teresa Flahaut June 6, 2018 at 8:32 am

    Wow Shay! I’m O negative as well! Never heard that but could explain horrible reactions to no-see-ums! Avon Skin So Soft is awesome!

  • Emily June 6, 2018 at 8:33 am

    What type of class do you go to in Monday’s and Wednesday’s?

    • Mix and Match Mama June 6, 2018 at 1:16 pm

      Like a weight/cardio type…sort of like a boot camp style.

  • Erin Port June 6, 2018 at 8:40 am

    I am O negative and wow mosquitos love me, who knew blood type mattered? I remember my grandma using skin so soft now they you mention it!!!! Yay summer!!!

    • Mix and Match Mama June 6, 2018 at 1:16 pm

      I didn’t!!!

  • Kristine June 6, 2018 at 8:44 am

    Skin So Soft works. A little drop goes a long way. I am a mosquito magnet also. I think one will fly 5 Miles out of its way to bite
    Mine get huge and itch for days. I read a tip and it works. I heat some water in the microwave. Put a metal spoon in the water to heat. Place on bite. (Be careful not to burn yourself). I do it for a couple minutes. Then put a drop of dish soap. The heat kills the irritant they inject that makes us itch. The red bump may stay but the itch is gone or dramatically decreased.

  • LeeAnn June 6, 2018 at 8:45 am

    SO MANY great tips and ideas in this post! Can’t wait to try some of your popsicle recipes. I make smoothies (protein powder and lots of fruits and veggies) and pour them into the push up type pop molds, and then freeze. Kids love them and they are nutritious! Love your blog!

  • Suzy June 6, 2018 at 8:47 am

    Can’t wait to read all three of those books!! Some of my very favorite authors 🙂

  • Megan June 6, 2018 at 8:51 am

    You can find problem of the day/writing prompt of the day calendars on Pinterest… great for keeping kids from forgetting everything they learned during the school year 😉 i send them home with my students every year.

  • Melissa P. June 6, 2018 at 9:05 am

    I saw all of the comments on the Avon Skin so Soft too – so it was the bath oil everyone was referring to, not the ‘Avon Skin So Soft Bug Guard Plus’?

  • Melanie June 6, 2018 at 9:27 am

    BTW, the Skin So Soft is good to put on your dogs, as well. It’s good for their coat and a “temporary” flea protectant. AND, it smells good!

  • Kelly June 6, 2018 at 9:41 am

    What do you do with everyone’s wet bathing suits, towels etc. at the end of the day? Do you have a specific place to hang them to dry, do they go straight to the laundry room or something else entirely?:)

    • Mix and Match Mama June 6, 2018 at 1:15 pm

      I typically put them straight into the washing machine…but that creates a laundry backlog. Sometimes, if I know we’re going to swim the next day, I’ll just leave them outside to dry. Towels are always tricky!

  • Aimee Harmon June 6, 2018 at 9:57 am

    Yes!! The snack bins! I am doing this now and it’s genious! My kids understand it (4 & 6) and I even put “tickets” in there for refrigerated items. The tickets are just pieces of paper with that item written on it. Once the turn in their ticket, no more yoo-hoo! Or whatever it is. It’s worked so well and I’m not being asked 4 million times a day for a snack. Love! I also found a “bored jar” on pinterest. It’s just a jar that has various activities in it, everything from sweeping to playing hide & seek. They love that too! ha. They have even asked me if they can pick from it. I let them. This is my first summer at home with my kids, so I wanted to make sure I did it right. lol. So far so good! I think!! 🙂

  • Kerri June 6, 2018 at 10:13 am

    Just ordered two great books!! Marriage Vacation (based on the show Younger) which I think you got me into! And Also the latest from Devil Wears Prada…”When life gives you Lululemons”…Those are my summer reading! Also, I was excited for Elin Hildebrands new fall series that will be based on Virgin Islands!!! Can’t wait!

  • Courtney June 6, 2018 at 10:29 am

    Thanks for the popsicle suggestions – I am definitely adding this to my summer list! 🙂

  • Laura Bennett June 6, 2018 at 10:42 am

    I should have asked this question earlier, cause it would have been perfect for this post, but what do you use to keep your “pool hair” moisturized? My girls have finer hair and out salt water pool is drying their hair out so badly. Any tips?

    • Mix and Match Mama June 6, 2018 at 1:00 pm

      I use coconut oil!! You can put it on before you get in or after as a mask. I swear by that stuff!

  • Amanda @ That Inspired Chick June 6, 2018 at 11:12 am

    That duck cracks me up! Matthew and Mason would love that thing! It is massive!! I’m going to try to make popsicles this month. I’m not sure which flavor to start with though!
    That Inspired Chick

  • Julia June 6, 2018 at 11:24 am

    I’m going to see Emily Giffin when she’s in Dallas next month for her book release!

  • Yley Allen June 6, 2018 at 1:42 pm

    Love that summer rules sheet! Definitely going to use that- we’re on day 3 of summer vacay here. I really don’t want my son overdoing the screentime this summer! I l’ll have to look through your last few book posts. I’ll be on an airplane next week and I’ll need a good book!

  • jen June 6, 2018 at 1:58 pm

    While my kids had little summer chores, the main thing was that any electronic use was connected to reading. However minutes you read was how many minutes you got to do anything electronic. If they got tired of reading, they just played outside, but still no electronics. Worked wonderfully! (I’m a teacher and it’s what I suggest for my students.

    One more book recommendation – The Marriage Lie by Kimberly Belle. GREAT. (Full disclosure: she’s one of my college roommates, but the book is great.) She has a new one coming out in a few weeks – Three Days Missing.

  • Angela Ellingson June 6, 2018 at 2:11 pm

    Love these types of posts! You always have so much goodness to share! I just love you Shay! 😉

  • Meredith June 6, 2018 at 2:51 pm

    Over the summer when I was in elementary school not only did my parents want us to read a lot, they also bought us educational workbooks (from B&N I think) that were for the next grade level we would be starting in the fall. We were required to do a few lessons each day before we could have free time/play time. While I did dread doing them as a kid, I think it was important to keep up the school rigor and help prepare us for the next grade. I’m hoping to do that with my children when they are older. And I’m about to look into your travel tips again as I will be traveling solo with my one year old for the first time next month! Aaahhh…I’m so nervous!

  • Michelle June 6, 2018 at 5:10 pm

    I just read The Wife Between Us. Thank you for including this book in your review. I could not put it down. Never saw that ending coming.

    • Mix and Match Mama June 7, 2018 at 5:35 am


  • Kim nations June 6, 2018 at 8:24 pm

    The SSS should work. I sellAvon snd I sale slot this in the summer. We also have it in a smaller bottle with a pump on it. Good luck. Love your blog.,

  • Amy June 6, 2018 at 9:30 pm

    My daughter and I get bit all the time when we visit Chicago and Annapolis to visit family. I have heard Skin So Soft works and I think the smell is so much better than Off! Or similar products!
    My Mom also told me dryer sheets repel Mosquitos…Google it- you will find research like:

    Bounce Fabric Softener Keeps Mosquitoes and Gnats Away. Some people have sworn by the power of Bounce dryer sheets—and specifically Bounce, too—to keep mosquitoes away from them, and gnats out of their garden. Now scientists have proven the power of fluffy white sheets as an insect repellent.Dec 30, 2010
    Bounce Fabric Softener Keeps Mosquitoes and Gnats Away
    Lifehacker › bounce-fabric-softener-kee…

    • Mix and Match Mama June 7, 2018 at 5:34 am

      I am going to try that!!

  • Lindsay June 6, 2018 at 9:45 pm

    I ordered some books from Amazon called Summer Bridge Activity books for my kids to review over the summer and they love spending time doing them each day!

  • Karen Guest June 7, 2018 at 12:32 am

    I am the only one in our household losing sleep lately listening to mosquitos buzz around me at night, and googling the best ways to kill them…making sense now as I’m also O-…will be trying Skin so Soft soon!

  • Sheaffer Sims June 7, 2018 at 5:44 am

    This should come as no surprise to you, but I don’t have one exercise app on my phone. I wonder how many you have.

  • Regi June 7, 2018 at 9:57 am

    Hmmm……that’s very interesting to hear about blood type O neg being mosquito magnets. I must be the exception to the rule, as I’m O neg and don’t get bothered nearly as much as my B pos hubby. But I’m not complaining! I will be trying the Skin So Soft as a repellent because he can hardly sit outside for 5 minutes without getting chewed up!

  • Beth Dunham Swindig June 7, 2018 at 10:29 pm

    My Mom is now a retired school teacher but when we were kids we had to read during the summer. We participated in the library’s summer reading program which helped motivate us. Also, we had to do math worksheets to help keep those skills fresh as well. Now my parents have found math worksheets online to help keep my niece and nephew’s math skills current.

  • Minda June 10, 2018 at 11:54 pm

    Another product you can use to keep mosquitos away is Victoria’s Secret Bombshell body spray/perfume. Not only does it smell amazing, but it’s a great bug repellent!! I originally bought it for the smell, and later read an article about it being used against mosquitos. Every Summer if I’m outdoors I sit in peace while everyone else is getting ate up! You can google if you’d like and there’s a ton of article recommending it.

    • Mix and Match Mama June 11, 2018 at 5:28 am

      No way?!?!