Wednesday, June 29, 2011

What I wore in Miami - Part one

In case you missed my post awhile ago, I've recently lost weight and needed new clothes for the summer. Right around that time my newest blog friend Andrea who is so cool, styling, and classy lady started posting what outfits she wore to work each week and linked them to others doing the same. This girl has a bottomless supply of clothes that she changes around so many times you don't know she's wearing some of the things twice or more. She has great taste and looks good in everything. Anyhow I've been wanting to join the fun too but didn't want to in the old and baggy clothes I had. So after my small shopping spree at Walmart and Kohl's I have a few outfits that are kinda cute and casual. Nowhere as cool as hers but I'm very happy with the change and the style. She has really helped me take notice of how I think about myself and want to start looking better which makes me feel so happy and confident in a new way. Even my kids and hubby are loving it and encouraging for me. So here are the few outfits I wore in Miami recently to see my daughter. Just having clothes that aren't baggy and fit well makes all the difference in the world. So here's to you Andrea dear, thanks for the boost I needed. This is part one and part two will come tomorrow or the next day.
This is new and I love it. Wanted a brown pair of shoes to match but all I have is black. I actually like what my M-I-L is wearing and want that top now. These shorts are my favorite everyday comfort ones to wear now.
I really like this shirt, it's my fave color and I like the print. Wore it with pair of jean shorts and blue tennis. I also wear this shirt with my jean capri's and will with my jean skirt too.

This is the dress I wore for the graduation. I like and don't like it. Wore it with bracelet from my sister and new shoes which gave me the worst blisters in about 10mts. I still have band-aids on. I liked having my hair pinned back for a change and want to try this more.

I love this top of my sister's and she let me borrow it for the trip. I wore jean capri 's and flip flops with it. The pattern and layers on this was so pretty, tried to take close up but didn't come out as pretty. Still getting use to taking my own self-portraits.

Finding our summer rhythm

I'm having so much fun reading all the summer ideas and ways to display summer activities all over the blog. I think this is a great idea for the parents and kids to do together. We are still in the planning and process part which means....

The start of summer break is always a little bumpy and slow to start at my house. The kids are getting use to being home and being I have to get use to them being home all day invading my space to put it somewhat nicely,lol. It takes us a couple weeks to adapt to the new found freedom for them and the noise level and the mess for me. Don't get me wrong I love that they are here and we get time together but after 9months of a quiet house and doing my own thing in peace it's hard to make the switch easily. By mid June we are liking each other and in July we are loving it and by mid August we are ready for school.

This year I have the challenge of entertaining 2 teen girls and my only boy on my own, yep 3 against one. The odds aren't good for me. I'm keeping an open mind though and want this to be a memorable one for us. I usually don't like summer, the bugs, the heat, the water, the sun, the sand, the bugs again, sorry to ruin it for those of you who love summer. I am a fall girl all the way and could stay in fall weather the rest of my life and be happy. This year though I'm embracing the summer and trying to change my attitude towards it and finding the beauty of it. I want to make the days longer and stretch out summer for as long as possible.

Ok, enough rambling and onto my ideas for the summer. The biggest one is of course having the kids in the kitchen cooking and learning about being healthy and cooking. I did a post about this below already if you want to read it. The next thing is getting the kids to the track with me and getting good quality exercise in as a family and also one on one with them. This week the kids have made a list of some ideas to do this summer which were a little impossible to do so we redid those lists and I added some ideas too which they aren't that happy about but I'm hoping they will come around. So here goes in no order

library summer program, make two new smoothies a week, make new muffins every week, have a spa day, go to the zoo, try new parks, amusement park, walking trails, starting a gratitude journal, drawing outside, one tank trips to wherever we end up, working in garden, painting girls room, lots of reading inside and outside, camping, free summer bowling, try new ice cream stands, the beach, watching a sunset at the beach, having a meal outside, picnic at the stream, practicing our flashcards, learning the capitals of states, writing book reports, arts/crafts/ sewing if possible, listening to music in the village on Thurs. nites, cleaning grandpa's garage, visiting grandma, spelling words and tests, workbooks, learning to type on computer, learning to be kind and helpful to each other, do random acts of kindness to your siblings, play with Lucky, to to the movies, go to a baseball game, bonfires, smores, camping, smash journals, painting, scrapping, learn to wash clothes, of course lots of swimming in our pool that's a given and we've already started a tradition of playing baseball each evening which is so fun and I love already.

So that's our list for now and I really hope we can do all these things. My dream is for each day to be filled with activities and fun, laughs, adventures, story's and enjoying the time we have together since it is over pretty quick. My girls are no longer into playing games, hanging with family and playing outside. They want the tv/computer/phones/ friends and that's it. My son still wants those but he's willing to play a lot too. I did want a no electronic summer except for a rare treat but the kids are really giving me a hard time on this. Thinking of making Mon/Wed/Fri no electronics as a compromise. Hope this gives some of you some ideas and please share some of your ideas with me too. Let's make a pact to have the best summer ever!!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Project Life Tuesday

I didn't take as many photos this week seems the kids keep me so busy now that I forget. They were at Vacation Bible School all week during the morning hours then we swam, babysat, read and hung out. We are still trying to find our summer rhythm which takes us a couple weeks. This year though school lasted longer due to snow days, then I went to Miami then VBS all last week so this is our first official week off together. I'm trying new things this summer knowing that my girls are in the teenage years and fast approaching the time where all they want to do is sleep and hang out with friends. That leaves me a few years left with Sam at least. Hoping to try new things this summer and really make it memorable for all of us. One of the changes is in my post below on exploring the kitchen, that will be my biggest change. I'm working on a summer list and hope to post it this week.
Some exciting news too is that the coolest and best story teller Ali Edwards is doing her Week in the Life project again and will be this summer. She has the dates planned from July 25 to July 31 and I plan on joining her for my second time. This is such an amazing project and well worth the work and the writing and the picture taking involved. It is our family's favorite most read album. I would love it if any of you would like to join me, you can read more about it on her blog (her link is on the right of my blog) and can ask me about it and I will try to help. Since this big project is less then a month away I'm going to try and keep my POTD limited since my kids will have to endure the camera 24/7 soon. I figured I would give them a break for a couple weeks then when it's time bring it out and start snapping away. This truly is such a fun and a real look at our day in and day out life, I can hardly wait!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I do have future posts planned that our not related to PL so stay tune for more story's and happy lists and such. Have a great last week of June and safe and Happy July 4th everyone.
Renee took this one for me, Sam wanted a buddy to sit with. Love this one
My husband caught fish on father's day, he was so happy but wanted more. We had it for dinner that night and it was good.
Doesn't that look yummy, my first smore of the night, love these. It's officially summer now
The kids swim almost everyday but it hasn't warmed up much so they only go in for half hour before it's too cold to take it anymore. C'mon sunshine where are you??
Here is Colt having tummy time which he likes and scoots forward now, this boy is ready to play with the big kids. Love those blue eyes
Here is sweet little Colt just shy of 5months and full of energy. He can scream now and doesn't like his swing so we pulled out the stroller and it worked like a charm. Sweet dreams baby.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Exploring in the Kitchen

The kitchen usually is the heart of the home. Where we gather with our families and loved ones to share a meal together. Sometimes though to get here is a challenge, you know what I'm talking about. The rush to get dinner fixed, to make sure everyone likes it, to remember which kid is eating only white things right now, to clean up the spilled milk. Ok you get the picture now? Not very pretty is it. Stay with me folks there's a reason why I'm writing this right now, truth be told it's my 3rd attempt. It all started this past Sunday when reading a recent found blog Learn As I Go, by a sweet and thoughtful lady named Deborah. Her post that morning was on exploring your kitchen and finding something new or a story to tell. This made me think all day about our kitchen then about the kitchen's from my past. It has changed so much over the years and I have to say only the past 2 years have I really gave much thought to what my family was eating and how it effects us. I just bought a bunch of box/cans/frozen/fast food meals and cooked them fast because the kids were hungry and wanted their food NOW. There wasn't always that good family quality time at the table. Well this past year I've decided to change that and to make our meals more enjoyable and family time. During the school/soccer/homework year is to hard to change. My idea now is to start making it happen now while we are home and have no plans and no time to go by. I have to admit having the kids in the kitchen bother's me and I tell them to go play and let me get dinner done, fast. So it's not just their faults they can't cook yet, turn on the oven, read a recipe and where things are. I am going to step back though this summer and let these curious and smart and wanna-be cooks into MY kitchen and teach them some basics and go from there. I want this to be a happy adventure and maybe by the end of the summer grocery shopping and menu planning won't be such a dreaded chore for me.
I've changed my eating habits drastically over the last year and hope my kids will start eating healthier and learning how to take care of their bodies and health now while they are young and it's easier unlike me who waited till I was 40. My other plan is to keep them around the dinner table longer and sharing stories and laughter and questions whatever it takes to make these meals last longer and to appreciate them more. Some days my kids inhale their dinners and leave me sitting there within 10mts of sitting down. I have some plans on this and will post them later when I try them on the kids. So wish me luck in this new kitchen adventure and please share some of what your kitchen story is in the comments, it would make me happy to read them. If you have any ideas or tips for me too please share those as well. Thanks Deborah for sharing this on your blog and inspiring me to look harder at what I want for my family and our kitchen. You can read Deborah's blog at
I'm going to try and have a new post every day this week, wanting to do more writing and story's. Also gearing up for Ali Edward's Week in the Life which is less then a month away and I'm so excited to join in again this year. Thanks for all those that stayed with me and read this,hope you enjoyed it and the pictures that follow it.
This photo is from today and means so much to me. It's a first step into getting this son of mine to try and eat better and to love food. He is my snacker and not much into meals. I haven't bought pop-tarts for 2 weeks now and he's getting cranky about it but I'm staying strong. Here is being my junior chef tonight and making corn dog muffins. This boy wants corn dogs everyday but I'm determined to wean him from them so we found this recipe and I let him cook it all. Well, they were good and he loved them and was so happy and proud. Hope to have more meals like this one. GO SAM!!
This is where it can start for us this summer, the kids helping in my husband's garden. This is his joy and passion. He can sit for hours just staring at the beauty growing around him. We planted new things this year and I'm excited to try them and hope the kids will be too.
This is the knife set that my parents had when they got married. I told my mom that's one of her things I'd want when she passes. Bless her heart she repainted it to match my kitchen and gave it to me just a few days later and said to start enjoying it now instead of when she's not here. Thanks mom, makes me that much more happier when I pass it everyday.
Here are some of the ingredients that I used to make my favorite Rachael Ray bbq meatloaf muffins and her smashed potatoes. That girl can cook and I love her and hope to cook like her one day and to meet her. I am happy when cooking foods like this for me.
This is the chili my sweet hubby made us this weekend. Sorry the photo isn't the mouth watering kind in magazines and blogs, was very busy after we ate. My husband does most of the cooking on weekends and never complains if there isn't dinner for him, he will gladly eat a PB&J. Thanks sweetie.We are looking forward to just cooking for us two one day, lol

Friday, June 24, 2011

Happiness is....

seeing Summer draw/sketch/art almost daily now
seeing Renee give a stuff bear she caught at VBS to a little kid instead of keeping it
seeing the girls being good leaders at VBS
seeing the girls sing at VBS but really love seeing Sam sing and the joy it brings him there
seeing Sam catch two of my amazing hits at baseball, he caught them mid air then fell down
seeing the kids reading constantly for summer reading program
seeing the new teal/purple bands on Renee's braces, so cute still
seeing the kids swimming in our still COLD pool
seeing the new CARS 2 this weekend, can't wait love love this show
seeing my hubby outside mowing and working in garden with his gorgeous summer tan
seeing a book at the library that I saw in Miami and wanted, I can't put it down
seeing some stunning sunsets and clouds in the sky this week
seeing the kids enjoy the first bonfire/smores of the summer
seeing all kinds of inspirational blogs this week
seeing my little cousins and loving them

I love writing these posts and remembering to look for the little things to be happy about. Now with the kids home every day there is some not so happy moments going on too, so this post is a reminder to look for these little moments in life and capture them. Let's hope it's a good day in our house and the kids will be nice to each other.
So what's making you happy today? Share in the comments if you'd like. Happy weekend.

Thursday, June 23, 2011


I recently got my hair colored and love it. It's much lighter in color,weight and more of a summery feel to it. The plan was just to get a few gold/blond highlights for the summer. Well my sister came over the day before my appt. and she just got her hair done and put three colors in hers and looked really cool and pretty. So I decided to add another color to mine too just for fun. When I went to the salon my idea was to stick with the gold blond and add carmel to it instead of putting in a darker color. Well my stylist colored all my hair not just a few highlights but all over. She also styled it nice and flat and smooth. I couldn't believe the change when I looked in the mirror, instant happy and smiling for me. The kids loved it and couldn't believe the change as did my hubby. Below in the pictures is a day before my appt. to the after photos. I did the best I could on these self-portraits on my hair, hope you can see the new colors. I love love how smooth she can get my hair, I try but it never comes out as good. Too bad she can't come and do my hair everyday,lol.. Now my girls want their hair highlighted too, might just let them before going back to school. Thanks for stopping by and for your comments. Next up is a post on my new clothes I wore in Miami and around the house. Working on a happy list again too.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Project Life June 12-18 Miami time

I can't believe June is passing by so quickly. I really wanted summer to last longer this time after our long cold winter. This weeks pages are mostly about my trip to Miami to see my oldest graduate from college. I wanted to use all my photos and did pretty well with the extra PP included. That's what this album is about, it can be filled with extras or just your daily photos. It doesn't show but I'm including a 81/2x11 PP to hold my ticket stubs and our bowling score sheet they printed off for us, love that these will be included too. Did you see Becky Higgins blog yesterday, she's getting ready to announce the design of the 2012 PL kit. This is like Christmas to me, seriously there is nothing I'd rather get then a PL under the tree or any time of the year. I can't imagine not doing this album every year, so Becky please please be in this for the loooong haul.
Hope everyone enjoyed their father's day and enjoying summer if that's the season your at. We are doing lots of swimming and lounging and just started vacation bible school for the week, the girls love it. We are still adjusting to being home together ALL DAY and learning that I'm only one person and can't do and please all 3 of them at one time. The post after this really shows better pictures of my trip if you'd like to see them. Thanks for stopping by.
This is left side and shows what happened before my trip. I cut off the top of this one too, I took pictures with my album standing up this time, obviously it wasn't a good idea.
This is the front side of my baseball PP, ooops just realized the top half is cut off, will repost it later. The bottom row is some souviners from the trip. The left side is the back of a 3 photo PP that holds more favorites to remember.
The back side of my baseball PP, I wanted to remember seeing all these sights, places from my trip this time. These all mean something to me and so happy they fit in here.
The right side, includes bigger journal card to tell about my trip and some of my favorite pictures from Miami.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Miami pictures part one

I've decided to show my photos of Miami into different parts. The main reason being it's easier to post and for you to read and not get overwhelmed. The second reason being I did things a little different on this trip and want to explain my thoughts along the way. When heading there I decided to live more in the moment when possible and not overdue the photos, only 149 for those 3 days. That's pretty good for me, it could have easily been 300 if I carried the camera more. I'm only sorry not to have gotten more photos of her in the cap/gown and in her dress for that night. This was a busy packed trip so not a lot of extras but it was perfect. The weather was very HOT HOT!! So for this first part of the trip I'm showing you mostly my daughter and us hanging out with her and my son-in-law and his family.
Thanks for stopping by and hope you enjoy the pictures. I will post more every couple days and might try to work in my PL photos too, but they will pretty much be what you see here.

Kristin was so happy to have us here. I missed seeing this smile of hers. Can't help but be happy and smile back. I'm thankful to be here for her big moment in life. How did it go by so fast?
Here is a lovely picture of my mom. I got a few of these while in Miami.
My daughter is already tall but she bought these shoes to wear at graduation tomorrow. This photo was my moms idea, NOT MINE. I feel so short next to Kristin in HEELS. She did look good though.
These are my in-laws. So lucky to know them and they love my daughter too.
Here is my in-laws and friends making us dinner our first night there. Love these people.
Miami at night, having drinks after dinner at in-laws. This is our fave spot to relax
We had breakfast before the graduation. She opened up our gifts at this time. So exciting.
Kristin found this kitty outside her apt. about 2 months ago. Her name is Hollywood and she's a sweetie. Kristin spoils her I'm sure.
It's almost time, we got ok seats. The hotel here was gorgeous and huge.
Happy Graduation sweetie, you did awesome. Now on to the next adventure, more school to learn about ultrasound technician. So 2 more years in Miami, we will miss her but happy for her.

After the graduation we went to the Cheesecake Factory for dinner. This is the dress my mom bought her to wear under her gown, it was gorgeous on her and so colorful just like she is.

Friday, June 17, 2011

I'm back from Miami

I'm back from seeing this beautiful girl of mine graduate from college, aaahhhh how did this happen so fast. In a blink of an eye she has grown up so smart, independent, responsible, caring, sweet, hard-working and goal planner. We are so proud of her and can't wait for the next chapter of her life to start. Thank you sweetie for all you do and for a fun time Miami. I miss you already.

I have lots to share but mom duty and babysitting duty comes first today so hoping over the weekend to post some pictures and stories. I did not take enough photos and wish to go back and do it again. Happy Friday everyone.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Random Pictures from the week

I won't have my PL ready this week, have been busy with the kids home and getting ready to leave town for this week. My oldest is graduating from college and I will be there to celebrate this day with her. So excited and proud of this girl, she has worked hard and both in school and in her life. She is the best and I love her bunches. Can't wait to see her smile and hug her. So here's a some pictures from the past week showing you what we've been up too. Hope everyone is enjoying their June so far. We've had some hot days and days with hail and storms. We just got our pool up and will be swimming soon even though it's barely sunny and only about 70 that won't stop the kids though. Have a great week everyone, thanks for stopping by and for your comments.