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

What on Earth Should I Plant in My Veggie Garden?

So, here are some tips about what to plant in your veggie garden that we’ve figured out along the way. We hope they will point you in the right direction in deciding what plants to get and what seeds to start.

This post may contain affiliate/referral links. It is a way for this site to earn advertising fees by advertising or linking to certain products and/or services. There is no additional cost to you, while we receive a small amount from purchases made through the links. We only share items we truly love and believe in.

Easy tips and strategies for planning your best veggie garden yet!It may be a bit early to think of gardening for some of you and we know the groundhog saw his shadow and all that jazz, but here in California we are getting warmer and warmer everyday.  Winter was very, VERY mild this year and never really held on.  I’m sure this sounds wonderful to some, but we really missed the snow,  rain, and chilly weather that reaches a lot of areas in our state.  After that horrific, record breaking drought and wildfires, we hoped for more than just one wet year (2016-2017).   It wasn’t meant to be apparently, so now it’s time to move on and be grateful for longer days, (and hopefully some spring showers!)  Longer days mean there will soon be new fruits and veggies popping up in grocery stores, farmers’ markets and possibly your own back yard!  Not sure why you should grow your own food?  Check out our post about why you should consider homesteading and why its great for modern families.Morro Bay Overlook Highway 46

“I’ve never grown my own food, what on earth should I plant in my garden?!”

One of the questions we get asked a lot is, “I’ve never grown my own food, what on earth should I plant in my garden?!”  It’s a good question and super complex.  Until we moved to the cottage, we always had limited space to plant or unique gardening circumstances like minimal sunlight, poor soil etc.  As we’ve mentioned before, we both grew up with summer gardens that we loved,  so we knew we just needed to work with what we had and figure out the rest.  We learned that even a small deck can provide a good amount of fruits or veggies if you choose the right ones for you and your family.  You may not be able to grow everything you want, but you’ll know what you can grow successfully and save yourself a ton of money and frustration. Continue reading “What on Earth Should I Plant in My Veggie Garden?”

DIY “A” Frame Chalkboard Sign Tutorial

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

This post may contain affiliate/referral links. It is a way for this site to earn advertising fees by advertising or linking to certain products and/or services. There is no additional cost to you, while we receive a small amount from purchases made through the links. We only link to products we personally love!

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”

Summer Produce Series Coming Soon…

Produce season is upon us! It is one of those times during the year where farmers’ markets get fuller and if you are fortunate enough to have your own trees and vines in your yard or homestead…you probably have fruit coming out of every drawer and bin in your fridge!

Produce season is upon us. It is a relatively short season, even in some parts of California. Some farmers’ markets in the mountains are just now seeing the first fruits of all their hard work.

It is one of those times during the year where farmers’ markets fill up with vendors and if you are fortunate enough to have your own trees and vines in your yard or homestead…you probably have fruit coming out of every drawer and bin in your fridge! At one point last week, our entire dining room table was covered with strawberries and plums.
This leads to our first series on the blog; a week of daily recipes to help you preserve and cook your way through all that produce! Continue reading “Summer Produce Series Coming Soon…”

Never Board…

Games for the whole family that will capture your attention and make you fall in love!

This post may contain affiliate/referral links. It is a way for this site to earn advertising fees by advertising or linking to certain products and/or services. There is no additional cost to you, while we receive a small amount from purchases made through the links. We only link to products we personally love!

Okay, that’s a cheesy title, but it’s true! As big time board game enthusiasts, we are never “bored” when it comes to unplugged fun with friends or our two year old!

Definition: any game played on a board, especially one that involves the movement of pieces on the board, such as chess or checkers.

Growing up, this term had a very different meaning for me than it does now, some twenty years later.

Back then we would play the “classics”: Chess, Checkers, Monopoly, Life, Sorry, Clue, Risk, Stratego, Battleship and the board/card game Sequence. Continue reading “Never Board…”