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A Father’s Day BBQ With Marshalls


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This is going to sound horrible but the fact is my wife and I aren’t the best hosts when having a BBQ, party, or just having friends over. It’s not that we don’t want to – per say (LOL), but after a long work week, we just want to kick back and relax (or party). This year we decided it’s finally time to start stepping up our game. We figured the first step to becoming great hosts is having the right home essentials to make our porch look inviting and feel like you’re away on vacation rather than actually at home. We hit up our local Marshalls, like we do every week (or sometimes twice a week), and scored some great finds. We couldn’t wait to see how everything looked all set up, so we decided to have a test-run and throw ourselves a pre-father’s day BBQ. Of course it decided to rain that day, so we took it indoors and spent the afternoon in our screened-in porch. We just got back from the Caribbean so we wanted it to be bright and feel a little exotic. We scored a bunch of really cool flamingo pieces – like these dinner plates, a serving plate, and this fun table cloth. For cups, we went with classic BBQ mason jars (but with the handle, to make it more functional). We already had a picnic table, but wanted to add some more seating so we also picked up these really chic looking white outdoor chairs that are made of some sort of rubbery plastic – almost like the same kind of material they use for jelly shoes! We added a few plants around the table (to be honest, the more plants the better) and made some pink lemonade in our new beverage dispenser. This will probably be one of the only times you will see this used as a non-alcoholic beverage dispenser (LOL). My wife and I like to find new cocktail recipes during the summer weekends to relax & sip by the pool. One of my son Nate’s favorite pick-ups were these cute little pig corn-holders…they really are too cute. We used them with our corn trays that we actually already had from a previous Marshalls shopping trip. We’ve been searching for a larger home cooler/drink tub for awhile now and finally found one that we were happy with – love the white with the wood handle. I love the Marshalls home section, but rarely do I leave that store without an apparel piece in hand! So…onto my outfit! I wanted to be ready to jump in the pool at any moment the sun came out but I wasn’t in the mood to look and feel so casual. This summer I’m all about comfortable, flowy shirts – and this designer button down was just that. I paired it with this classic spring green bathing suit. The linen top really elevated my bathing suit and made it feel more like an outfit rather than just a bathing suit. We actually also picked up Nate’s little tie-dye tee in Marshalls as well. He loves that store – but mainly the toy section (haha). We are so happy with the way our porch turned out and can’t believe how it transformed with just some small decor additions. Now, we cannot wait to tackle the outside porch and find some new outdoor seating pieces! Our pre-father’s day BBQ dress rehearsal was a success so I think my wife and I may finally be ready to host! Since Father’s Day is right around the corner – here are some gift ideas you can pick up at any Marshalls, that I’d personally love to receive: a new wallet or money-clip card holder, new grilling utensils, cozy pajama pants (my son always picks out a fun print at Marshalls – last year he picked out these lounge pants covered in sharks for me, and I LOVE the fact that he picked them out himself…so much more special that way), new shoes (I mean, this is a no brainer for me – I might have more pairs than my wife), or just stop by any Marshalls and they always have that cool little section of the latest gadgets and unique gifts for any guy! Overall though, just getting quality time to spend with my family is honestly the best gift of all. Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there! Check Out My Feature In Their GET INSPIRED Section!

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Trying to stay in shape these days feels harder and harder – especially during the holidays! Between juggling work, the blog, house chores, and spending time with my family, it doesn’t leave much time for fitness. These days I’m finding that if I want to work out as much as I would like to, I need to find ways to include my son. We’ve been bringing Nate to the track lately. He loves trying to race mommy and I around. Sometimes we’ll even have an imaginary game of baseball and run the bases over and over. The kid loves to run, so it works out! It actually started lightly snowing when we were shooting, but it made it all the more fun for Nate! I also recently starting going to a Cross Fit gym by me a few times a week. The gym actually allows me to bring my son to watch while I’m taking my class. It’s adorable watching him try to copy the moves and workouts from the corner. He’s a big fan of burpees and box jumps LOL. Not only does he enjoy being included in getting active with my wife and I, but he also loves that he can match daddy. One of the many reasons we like going to Marshalls is that they have something for the whole family. They also have some great workout equipment! My wife recently got a yoga mat, I got a muscle roller, and I also picked up this jump rope, which I’ve really been into lately! (Of course we had to find one for Nate as well, so he can join in). I’m a big fan of keeping it simple when it comes to activewear so I love an all-black fitness look. The long-sleeve RBX shirt is great for winter. It sort of has a mock turtle-neck and the inside has a fleece feel. I’ve been looking for fitted & tapered workout pants for a while now. They’re actually not so easy to find, and most activewear pants that I come across are baggy and sloppy looking. I was so happy when I found these! I LOVE the neoprene material that was used in this outer jacket! I love the silhouette with the scoop hem in the back and the fact that you can take half of the sleeve off and still be able to rock it in warmer weather. I’ll definitely be purchasing more of these technical looking sweatshirts by PUMA for 2017. Love the look and versatility of them! I wore these black ECCO sneakers to complete my fitness look. They’re very clean looking since there are no laces, and they’re also very comfortable and easy to slip in and out of. Its like wearing a slipper that you can run in! We lucked out and found some coordinating all-black activewear for my son as well. Marshalls really is our one-stop shop for brands we love for my entire family! Check out my feature on the Marshalls Blog!

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BlueCollarPrep for Marshalls

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Usually a perfect Friday night for my family and I is a little date night. Nothing too fancy but something that has a little something for everyone…a trip to our local Marshalls. On the surface it might not sound that exciting, but it’s a night that has everything we need after a long work week. We’re able to spend some time together doing something we all love…SHOP! We’re lucky enough to have our favorite pizza place, Home Depot (we’re homeowners, we live here), and liquor store (for after Nate’s asleep) all in the same shopping complex. We usually start our night by getting some pizza and filling our bellies so we don’t have to rush shopping and Nathan’s not cranky. We then head over to Marshalls to do some shopping! It’s a great store to bring our son Nate to because it not only has clothes for him, but we can also bribe him with a toy if he behaves and let’s us shop LOL. Depending on how good he is during the week also determines the size of the toy. Usually we just get him a little toy truck, book or puzzle (we shop at Marshalls way too much to be getting a full-sized jeep every time we go). Sometimes we’ll even grab a little snack from the checkout or home goods area to snack on while we’re walking around. We actually grabbed a bag of Jalapeno chips ($2.99) to take to the park with us, but unfortunately we were too hungry and the chips were too good and never made it to the park to be in our shots. Before we head to the fitting rooms, we always hit up the home goods section – a good portion of our house decor and kitchen utensils are from both Marshalls & Home Goods. We love the hopes of finding that one unique piece! The outfit I picked up had a great variety of brands…which is another thing I love about Marshalls. What other store can you have access to all these top brands at such affordable prices?! I’ve been trying to grow my hat collection but with such a small head I have a hard time finding a hat that fits just right. This plaid ‘Life is Good’ hat ($9.99) is a perfect fall pick up and goes great with the preppy look I was going for. The green in it was really brought out in combination with this Vineyard Vines vest ($59.99). Fall is a good time to break out the vests and a great way to add some color or texture to your outfit. I kept the shirt simple with a classic white button down from Jack Spade ($24.99)…which happens to be one of my favorite menswear brands. I also got a great pair of New Balance sneakers ($39.99) which I wore with no socks. I know some people aren’t a fan of going sockless but it’s comfortable for me and I do it all the time, and most importantly I like the way it looks with most of my outfits. However, you can easily go to the Marshalls sock section and pick up a pair of no-shows to get the same look. While I was shopping in the shoe section I also found and bought Nate the cutest all black Onitsuka Tiger sneakers ($19.99). I own two pairs of sneakers from the brand already and love their retro style. Of course he looked adorable in them! We took our Marshalls finds to one of our local parks to play, explore and shoot. Unfortunately one of our favorite little streams was a little dry, but it didn’t stop us from exploring (Nate loves exploring and hiking). We still got to throw some rocks…just with a lot less splash. Heading over to the playground, Nate was a little too excited and wasn’t watching where he was walking and tripped and fell. Poor little guy got a boo boo on his knee but was excited he didn’t mess up his new sneakers LOL That’s my boy! My family and I pretty much have the same routine at least 2 Friday’s out of the month LOL What can I say…we love pizza and love our Marshalls, in hopes of finding that perfect hidden piece! We also love the fact that you can hit up another Marshalls location and find completely different pieces. Boy do we get excited when we’re away for the weekend and drive past a new Marshalls to scavenger LOL We love the shopping rush of finding that perfect #MarshallsSurprise! Check out my post on the Marshalls site as well!