Okay, Now Let’s Make a Decision (and enter to win a prize)

22 Aug

Back in May I let you all know that I was going to switch it up here at Pocketful of Joules and go from a 3x a week blogging schedule to a 2x a week schedule for the summer. With my new job starting and life in general, I was feeling a bit overwhelmed and decided to cut down my posting to take some tasks off my list.

For June, July and August, I mostly stuck with posting content two days a week (with an occasional third day thrown in there).

Now that it’s almost September, it’s time for me to decide whether to bump it back up to three days a week. But before I just assumed that you all want to hear from me 3x a week again, I thought I’d ask you!

So, give me a little click right here with your preference:

AND to make it interesting, leave me a comment with your favorite type of stuff to read here at Pocketful of Joules. Do you like the fashion posts with dressing room photos, product reviews or style box reviews? Do you enjoy family posts or maybe traveling posts (with or without the fam)? Do you love my book/movie/tv show recommendations? Do you like it when I just randomly rant? Or maybe you miss the old days of talking about Wild Horse Sex?

Leave me a comment below with your favorite types of posts to read from me and I’ll randomly pick a comment and send you a fun prize for your time!

Oh, the promise of a fun prize isn’t enough to get you to leave your comment? Well, what if that prize rhymed with ‘hen holler carbucks smift guard’?

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Family Travel: Fun in Philadelphia… Legoland & The Franklin Institute

21 Aug

Sometimes it’s nice to get away… even if “away” is just a few hours from your own house. Jack has been begging to go back to Legoland again this year, so we decided that instead of just driving to Plymouth Meeting, PA and back in the same day, we’d spend a night in the Big City. The Big City is what Jack calls any city — Philly, Baltimore, NYC — they are all BIG to him.

This was actually our third year in a row of visiting the Legoland Discovery Center, but somehow, I’ve never blogged about it. If you have a kid obsessed with Legos, this place will blow their mind. There are a bunch of different Lego build and play zones, a full Lego recreation of Philadelphia landmarks and also a 4D cinema that shows Lego short films. Oh yeah, and the gift shop full of amazing Lego sets and a spot where you can build-your-own mini figures!

Here are some of our photos from the Legoland portion of our weekend:

When it came to choosing a hotel, I didn’t really care where we stayed as long as it was right in the middle of everything. We ended up at the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown because they were priced pretty much the same as everyone else, but they had a Visit Philly Overnight hotel package that was PERFECT for us. The package included: free overnight parking, two tickets to the Franklin Institute Marvel: Universe of Super Heroes exhibit, a $25 gift card to some nearby restaurants, and some other stuff.

Considering that no other hotels nearby included parking and it costs around $50 to park overnight AND the two Franklin Institute tickets totaled at $70… it was quite the deal.

Of course, if you do end up booking that package it pays to KNOW what you should receive because I had to remind them multiple times that we didn’t have to pay for our parking and that they owed us the packet of tickets. Just saying.

Anywho. We checked in, went to dinner, slept in the next morning and checked out at 11am. The room was fine – comfortable and clean. The hotel was perfectly located, with the Reading Terminal Market right next store and a Starbucks in the lobby. My only complaint was that we had super loud neighbors who yelled, hooted and hollered until about midnight. They drove me crazy, but Jack and Travis slept through the whole thing.

Since we had parking until 4pm, we loaded up our overnight stuff in backpacks – one for each of us – and hit the road for some exploring. We walked around the Reading Terminal Market for a bit and then took an Uber to the Franklin Institute. Since we got two tickets in our packet, we just needed to buy one additional child’s ticket for $31. The tickets gave us access to Marvel: Universe of Super Heroes, as well as the rest of the science museum. The Marvel exhibit featured more than 300 artifacts, including comic books, costumes and props. I thought it was super cool, but Jack enjoyed the regular science center exhibits more.

We wandered through the exhibits for hours until my stomach started rumbling… then we hit up Urban Farmers Philadelphia for lunch. The food was delicious, but I was even more impressed with the décor. The place was absolutely gorgeous and I totally wanted to grab a book and snuggle into one of their corner booths for a few hours of uninterrupted reading!

Oh, one last photo of our weekend. There was a fun “I Love Philly” thing in Love Park where people were taking turns posing for photos. Well, when it was our turn this happened…

Yup. Exactly the photo I was hoping for!

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Dyeing a Sweater (and a Couple Tank Tops)

19 Aug

When I shared my July Thrift Haul, I showed you a pretty J. Jill wrap sweater that I had thrifted for $4. I loved the slouchy shape of the sweater but there were two things wrong with it: (1) it was pink and (2) I wouldn’t be able to wear it to work because it was just see-through enough that you could kinda see my arm tattoos.

I really liked the sweater through… and it was FOUR DOLLARS. So I thought I’d take a chance and try to dye it a different color!

I picked up this Rit Synthetic dye in Graphite because it is made specifically for polyester. I grabbed an old pot, filled it with water and stuck it on the stove until it started boiling. Then, I added the entire bottle of dye and a squirt of dish detergent. I stirred it a bit, wet my sweater in the sink and added it to my witches’ brew.

The directions told me to keep it near boiling and stir it consistently for 30 minutes, so that is exactly what I did. When the 30 minutes was up, I moved all my stuff over to my laundry sink (in case of staining) and pulled the sweater out while wearing a rubber glove (only one… because I have no idea where the other one went). I figured that throwing out the dye water at this point was kind of a waste, so I grabbed a couple tank tops that I didn’t love and added them in:

I let them sit for about 20 minutes and stirred every so often. Then I rinsed everything out and added all three tops to the washing machine for a bath (I added a towel to fill out the load a bit). I washed and dried the tank tops, but pulled the sweater out after the wash to let it hang dry.

And here are the finished results! First up, the wrap sweater:

This turned out a gorgeous shade of dark gray and is no longer transparent on the sleeves. Here is a close up so you can see the color a little better:

I LOOOOOOOVE how this turned out and I’m so glad I went ahead and dyed it!

Here are the bonus tank tops:

They both turned out dark gray, but the Bloom top has greenish/teal undertones. I hated that Sassy Lassy was white, so even though the text is much more muted now, I’m calling this an improvement. As for the Bloom Where You Are Top, I love the new color and how the text pops against the new dark background. I will absolutely wear both of these now instead of shoving them to the back of my dresser drawer.

It’s amazing the change a little dye bath can do to your clothes. Of course, now I’m looking through my closet to see what else I can update with a different color!

Do you personalize your clothes with dye?

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Peach Picking Fun

14 Aug

One of the perks of living in the country is that we have a pick-your-own orchard about 20 minutes from our house. I last shared about our Fruit Picking Adventures FIVE years ago (wow, time flies… also look at that chubby little Jack!)

Here we are 5 years later and we still love the opportunity to run out to the farm for some peach picking. We went and had a fantastic diner breakfast nearby and then got to Baugher’s Orchard’s around 10:30 or so on a Sunday. They charge $2 per person to ride the wagon from the market to the peach tree area. Once you get there, they provide you with big bags that you can fill, give you a quick lesson on how to determine which fruit is ripe, and then let you roam free.

We ended up halfway filling two bags, which I think ended up being around $18 once we got back to the market to weigh it and pay. It was so many peaches that we were able to enjoy them with our lunches each day and still had enough left over to slice up with dinner for a couple nights.

Of course, once they are gone I might need to stop back by the Orchard’s Market and buy a few more!

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