Then comes summer…

I do like to make special memories with my family during the summer. More daylight hours mean that there’s more opportunities to build relationships with my kids and my husband as well as our friends.

Here in California we’ve actually been experiencing REAL seasons in 2019! Course, they go back and forth, unable to make up their mind which order to follow. But hey, it’s actually looking like summer is coming along the coast! Every foggy morning quickly brightens into a sunny day with light breezes…it’s one of my favorite parts of where we live.

While I haven’t joined the craziness of school aged kiddos with finals, end of year parties and such, I do like to make special memories with my family during the summer. More daylight hours mean that there’s more opportunities to build relationships with my kids and my husband as well as our friends.

Beach days are a must for us!

I’ve been seeing lots of great ideas to be more intentional about how the summer is spent, especially with littles. It got me thinking, there’s gotta be other mom’s or peeps out there who’d love some ideas to navigate the glorious days of summer! So here ya go…all in one place! These are some of my favorite ideas from around the internet. Happy summer everybody!

Don’t forget to tag #thesproutedcottage and the people below if you try one of their ideas! I’d love to see what you and your sprouts end up doing this summer!


Fun, FREE, printable for your summer days!
Printable courtesy of @chalkfulloflove on Instagram

Summer Bucket List by Chalk Full of Love.

There are tons of summer bucket lists out there. Just search Pinterest and you’ll know what I mean. What makes this one unique and super fun is not only the cute lettering and summer sherbet colors, but the idea of community behind each item on the list. From hosting a game night (our cup o’ tea right there, see below!) to spending the night under the stars, this list will have you making memories all summer long. I can’t wait to start this list and I have it right on my fridge as I type! Best part, it’s available as a free download at the link above

Photo Credit: @CottonStem on Instagram

Summer Banner for Kids by Erin at CottonStem on Instagram.

This is such a fun idea and can be endlessly customized to fit your fam! Erin always has such cute, crafty ideas to do with her girls. The banner reminds me of an updated version of the construction paper chains I use to make as a kid getting ready for Christmas.

Photo: @radandhappy on Instagram

Color Happy Subscription by Tara at Rad & Happy

Oh my cuteness!!! This has been a super fun find for my Sprout. New coloring pages every single month, print them as many times as you like, only $5 a month! And best part…I don’t have a million coloring books all over our house! Coloring has been a great way for me to connect one-on-one with my girl. Our Little Big Dude took up a lot of my time in those first months (what newborn doesn’t?) and coloring was something Sprout and I could do after he fell asleep for a nap. It gives me a chance to just connect with her and build our relationship. We choose one each month to put in her art journal. It’s been SO MUCH FUN!!!

Photo by Robert Coelho on Unsplash

Family Game Night

Summer is the perfect time to start a regular family game night. We are big board game people here at the cottage. Dave wrote an article a while back and built a great list of games to get you started! We love that there’s no wrong way to do a game night. A couple snacks, table inside or outside to play on, and the people you love are all you need to get started. Sometimes we’ll have friends over and make a whole meal out of the evening. Another idea that crossed our mind was “board game date night.” Get several couples together at one house and hire a babysitter to watch the sprouts at another. Make it a potluck and you’ve got a fun evening for grown-ups for a fraction of the cost to go out.

Photo Credit: @casscayucos on Instagram

Community Night at Cass House Cayucos

The specifics of this idea are definitely for my local readers, but the idea could be applied to almost any town. Live, local music, paired with delicious food is becoming so popular across the country!

About 10 minutes south of us is the cute beach town of Cayucos. Right as you hit downtown, there’s a gorgeous venue called the Cass House. It’s most known for being a fabulous wedding venue, but they’ve done a lot to the property to make it so much more. They have a bakery, outdoor grill style restaurant, and our favorite…Community Night. They host local musicians and serve up delectable tapas style dishes every Monday night from March – November. Tapas is the style of food that brought Dave and I to the central coast in 2012. Think family style, elegant, comfort food in a laid back atmosphere. Perfect date night out on a summer evening.

“Community Night is a casual dining experience where the menu changes weekly and consists of seasonal flatbreads, market salads, and chef’s specials. “

Cass House Cayucos

The Best Things in Life Are Cheese

Cheese…what more can we say? It’s one of those ingredients that can make a simple meal so much better, a small party into a great gathering, and basically make most humans the happiest humans around! It’s a year round crowd-pleaser and satisfies those midnight cravings for munchies.

Cheese…what more can we say?  It’s one of those ingredients that can make a simple meal so much better, a small party into a great gathering, and basically…make most humans the happiest humans around!  It’s a year round crowd pleaser and satisfies those midnight cravings for munchies.

Cheese Boards by the Sprouted Cottage - Tips for choosing, assembling, and serving cheeses to a crowd.

We are big about cheese around here.  Busy days often call for homemade mac and cheese or a delicious, grilled-to-perfection, grilled cheese sandwich.  Before the Sprout came along, Dave and I would often frequent our local cheese shops and select a couple types to take home for Sunday afternoon lunches and beach side picnics.  Then the Sprout came…after two months of her experiencing acid-reflux symptoms and the screams to match, we discovered that she was lactose intolerant.  Heavy sigh…cheese was a way of life for Dave and I!  Well maybe not a way of life, but we definitely survived on it often!

Cheese Boards by the Sprouted Cottage - Tips for choosing, assembling, and serving cheeses to a crowd.We aren’t the kind of people who give up easily, though.  After all, Dave’s a chef…so we set out to find ones that she could tolerate, which also meant that I could eat them while nursing.  And find them, we did!  We found many varieties that she not only tolerated, but enjoyed discovering when she got older.  Life had returned!

Continue reading “The Best Things in Life Are Cheese”

Life Starts All Over Again…

Maybe it’s the red hair, maybe it’s the fair skin and freckles, all I know is that summer is always a bit off for me. Fall is more my bread and butter. I mean walking around with auburn colored hair automatically makes me fit in better! By August I am ready for sweaters, spicy scented candles, and crisp evenings filled with falling leaves and changing colors. The California temperatures don’t always agree with me, but luckily Cambria and the coast tend to oblige.

How did the summer fly by so fast?!  There are back to school sales everywhere and my inbox is full of emails for discounts on everything from clothes to backpacks.  As a girl who loves a good discount, I can’t exactly complain!  However, I definitely feel as though summer is floating by quickly and fall will be here before I’ve microwaved my coffee for the third time!

I’m sitting here, staring at the most beautiful picture of a cottage in Idaho that was taken by a dear friend last fall.  A bit of light through halfway bare trees, leaves scattered about a fading green lawn, this is the whimsical photo that stares back at me.  It’s beautiful and it makes me so excited for the season that’s approaching.

https://www.etsy.com/shop/EvelynnsHeaven
Photo credit: Evelynn Seaberg   Evelynn’s Heaven on Etsy

Continue reading “Life Starts All Over Again…”

DIY “A” Frame Chalkboard Sign Tutorial

DIY portable, “A” frame easel chalkboard sign that is both flexible and sturdy.

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We thought we would change subjects for a bit and do our very first tutorial here on The Sprouted Cottage! Today we are going to be building a portable, “A” frame chalkboard sign.  DIY "A" Frame, Portable Chalkboard Sign Closeup

Continue reading “DIY “A” Frame Chalkboard Sign Tutorial”

Harmony…population: 18

The hills are green…”top o’ the morn’ to you” green.  There are wildflowers I have never seen before.  They are blooming full of splendor and beauty.  Their colors are so striking against those green hills; and they dance, waving in the ocean breeze.  Oh yes, that ocean is just over those hills of green.  If you listen quietly you will hear the soft rush of water crashing on shore.

This scene is not from some far away land or out of a book.  It is the backdrop for one of the cutest little pit stops along the iconic Highway 1 between San Luis Obispo and Big Sur.  Or as we have the pleasure of calling it…our backyard.

This is the town of Harmony; population: 18. Continue reading “Harmony…population: 18”