Monday, October 1, 2012

31 Day Challenge - Day 1 "Evening Rituals"

Day #1 - Evening Rituals...

It doesn't happen EVERY night, but I'm a happy camper when it does: A glass of milk and some quiet time with my Kindle.  I was able to do it the last two nights and it was so relaxing... makes for a great morning the next day, too!
Photo: No Flash + Amaro Filter

Friday, September 28, 2012

I've missed blogging! I've had some difficulties getting my medications straight for the last two months or so and it's made me absolutely miserable.  Miserable + Trouble Sleeping = The desire to blog, but not the ability to do so.  It looks like the train is finally getting back onto the track, though and I'm very happy to be here.

In an effort to be a more effective and more consistent blogger, I've decided to do a "31 Days Event."  What is that, you ask? A 31 Days Event is one in which a blogger hosts one challenge on her blog for each of the 31 days in a month.

I've chosen to participate in A Bowl Full of Lemons' 31 Days of Instagram.  I'm excited to try using some filters that I often bypass, and interested to see what kind of challenges she'll throw at us!

Come back each day in October to check out my Instagram posts!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Very Pinteresting - Week 1

Do you have a Pinterest account? Are you addicted like my friends and me? I have a definite affinity for Pinterest and the fact that there's an iPhone app for it, makes it just a little easier for me to continue that addiction.

Starting today and continuing each Saturday, I'll be highlighting my favorite pins from the last week.  Take a look at mine, swap, share, and post your own! Let's take a gander...


DisneyBound puts together the cutest outfits and I absolutely adore this one inspired by Cinderella Castle. 
[All outfits can be found at:]


I love this cute turkey day shirt but sadly, the original pin doesn't work.  It looks like I'm on my own to figure out how to make it! 


I love Anne of Green Gables and I love this quotation.


I have those friends.  It's okay if you're jealous. 
[Find it at:]

What did you find Pinteresting this week??

Sunday, August 5, 2012

The Marble System: Part 1

Cate’s a pretty good kid. She doesn’t get into a ton of trouble, follows directions moderately well, and is mostly happy.  That being said, she’s four.  (Rather, she’s FOUR AND A HALF as she would tell you.)  Whether you’re kid is good or not, there’s something to be said for being four (and a half);  that something is the fact that there will be days when you wish there was a military boarding school suitable for your preschooler.  No kid is perfect (no matter how much you think yours is), nor is any kid 100% bad (also no matter how much you think yours is!).  Kids are a nice blend of good and not so good.  Another way I like to think of it is there is good and there is ‘still learning.’ 

It’s because of those ‘still learning’ times (aka the days I wish I was on a month-long vacation  in Tahiti.  ALONE.), that the Hubs and I started using The Marble System.  We’re having wild success using this variation with Cate and many people have seen that it’s successful (largely through my Facebook pictures) and asked me about how it works.  If you’re one of those people, then this one’s for you: a (few) blog post(s) dedicated entirely to The Marble System (TMS).

For today, let's take a look at supplies.  That will give you a chance to get them all together so you can get started! 

You will need:

*Two (2) Clear Jars          Purpose: Hold the marbles 
We used Starbucks Refrigerated Frappucino Bottles.  Why? They’re pretty and I had them to repurpose.  (Side note: We actually started with 2 different jars that were ugly and didn’t match.  I think one was from spaghetti sauce.  Why am I telling you this? Because you can start with what you HAVE and then work your way to something “pretty.” There’s no reason you can’t start this right now.

*Marbles                             Purpose: Keeping track of behavior
You could use other small objects that you have many of but don’t need to use.  I suggest something small and uniform, but also attractive to your child.   We looked at a number of options, but chose marbles because we have a mix of marble colors and Cate LOVES getting to pick out pretty ones for the good jar and ugly ones for the bad jar. 

*An Iron Will                      Purpose: Making it actually work
Here’s where the rubber meets the road: Are you willing to actually do what it takes to make TMS work? If you’re only going to do it halfway, only give marbles (good OR bad) every once in a while,  make them simply a punishment, or not follow through and give rewards (it’s a rewards-based system), then it’s not going to work.  Know that before you start it.  

Today's Challenge:  Gather your supplies!  

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Do You Like FREE?

I don't know how you feel about it, but I LOVE free!

Remember when I told you about the Cruise Chics Retreat in this post? I'll bet you got excited, then thought, 'I can't spend money like that on myself AND not take my family'  Well, guess what? Now you can!

I've been given the opportunity to offer my readers two HUGE perks when you register for The Cruise Chics Women's Retreat by August 15, 2012:

1. The chance to win your cruise at 1/2 price.  How can you NOT go on a 5 night blessed Christian women's cruise for only $289???  Your chances of winning are looking good and $289 for any cruise is an amazing deal, but even more amazing for this one.

2. EVERYONE who registers for the cruise with the code below by 8/15 will receive FREE pre-paid gratuities!! That saves you a lot of money!

Follow this link to the Cruise Chics website for more information.  You can register here.  When registering, write code SV13 on your registration form to receive your prepaid gratuities FREE and be entered to win your cruise at 1/2 off!  This can be you in April!

*Check back tomorrow for a special guest post by Michelle, THE Cruise Chic, herself!*

Monday, July 30, 2012

I'm feeling very Olympic today!
(name that movie)

Every time I watch the Olympics I hear that in my head. I LOVE the Olympics, especially the Summer Olympics.  Tonight we're watching Men's Gymnastics (Oy! Don't get me started!) and Men's & Women's Swimming. As I posted on Facebook earlier: I freakin' LOVE Olympic swimming!  This year it's even more fun because Cate spent the entire summer swimming in classes at the YMCA and she loves watching it, too.  It's beautiful to watch this celebration of the world's best athletes, as viewed through the eyes of a child.  Simply amazing.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Cruise Chics!

Have you heard about the Cruise Chics? They run an annual Christian women's retreat on... get this... A CRUISE SHIP!! Okay, maybe you're not as shocked as I thought you would be by that last statement because you already knew I was writing about a group called Cruise Chics, but still... A CRUISE SHIP!!

I first learned about the Cruise Chics Retreat when my friend Denise won one of their cruises last year from our local Christian radio station, 104.7 The Fish.  I was intrigued when she told me about it and even more so when she returned from what she deemed "an AWESOME Christian women's retreat."  I love cruising, I love retreats, and above all, I love Christ ~ why wouldn't this be the perfect trip for me?

This year's Cruise Chics Retreat will be sailing on Royal Caribbean's Enchantment of the Seas ship from April 25-29, 2013.  Hmm... it's after our Spring Break, it's a Thursday-Monday, which means care for the Monkey would be easy to secure, and it's going to the Bahamas... I really can't think of a good reason NOT to go!  Well, there is that whole, "it costs money" thing, but what's money?  No, really, it does matter, but here's the cool thing - they offer a monthly payment option! If you're not great about budgeting, the monthly payment option is great for helping you budget enough money to go, while at the same time securing your spot.

I'm so excited to be considering the Cruise Chics Retreat this year.  It's an opportunity to spend five days with my sisters in Christ: enjoying our time together, empowering each other, and worshiping the Lord.  Now... who do I take with me?!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

UBP: Wordless Wednesday

I ADORE this picture of Nicki.  
This picture from Girls Weekend says to me:
Happiness... Fun... 
{and most importantly}
Take Me As I Am.
Yes, this photo is perfect for a 
Wordless Wednesday.
It says everything I need to say 
about my "besties" 
without saying a word.  

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

A whole new me: Part 2

Have you been sitting on the edge of your seat since my last post?  Are you just dying to know what I'm going to do?  If your answer is yes, Woohoo!  If your answer is anything less than yes, just smile and nod so I feel better.

Growing up, my mom had a small set of meals that she cooked for dinner and they all pretty much fit into the same box (that's not to say that they were all made out of a box...).  There really wasn't a lot to learn but I can cook a piece of chicken and I make a pretty mean meatloaf.  Sadly, other than that, I don't know how to make very many other meals.  It's become quite a joke amongst my friends that I don't cook and even if I do make something, it's not something you actually want to eat.  Over five years ago, I married a foodie who LOVES to cook.  That was GREAT when we were young and the only two people in our house, because I got home from work much later than he did, so he made all of our meals.  Fast forward to now and as the primary breadwinner in our bigger family, he works very long hours and is often home very late.  Those are the "out loud" facts, but don't forget the one we're all thinking and not saying - in traditional family roles, cooking dinner falls to me as a stay at home mom anyway.  On my self-scoring SAHM report card, I failed cooking badly.  That hurt.  And it was a wake-up call.

So, I did what any good SAHM would do: I grabbed a glass of wine and my laptop and I set to work.  My goal was to meal plan, hoping that would help me get on track to making good meals for the family, but I realized that I needed something more concrete than just a meal plan.  Since I don't really know how to cook, I needed something/someone I could count on to get some solid cooking skills under my belt, er, frilly apron.  

You may know her as The Pioneer Woman.  

If you haven't heard of the Pioneer Woman, you need to take a minute (or a few hours) to go check out her website.  Prepare to feel like a complete failure in every piece of your life.  Then prepare to want to hate her.  And finally, come to terms with the fact that she's such a cool chick you really wish she lived down the street from you so you could be BFFs ... even though you'd feel like a crappy wife/mother/cook/photographer/cattle herder whenever you hang out.  (But you know it'd still be totally worth it!)

Ree is a pretty popular in my neck of the woods.  We all drool over her accomplishments and her recipes, some friends make a few of them, use her photography tips, and two friends even stood in a very, very long line to meet Ree during her book tour.  After a few years of doing my own drooling, I'm jumping into the deep end of the pool with both feet, so to speak.

I'm going to learn how to cook, Pioneer Woman style.  Whew.  If you think that's not a big deal, I'd just like to redirect you back to paragraph 2: I don't cook.

Wanna come along?  I can't promise it'll taste good, but there will be plenty of chances to laugh at me and a few pictures along the way... pictures make everything better.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

A Whole New Me: Part 1

Okay, it's been so long since I last posted that the web address for the blog didn't even come up in my address bar when I started typing.  When I tried to sign in, the working address (that's what I'm calling the thing that happens after you hit "enter" and everything in the address bar gets all crazy until you actually end up on the page for which you're looking) actually had the words 'passive' and 'blogger' right next to each other.  Seriously, it could have just said 'searching for never post anything so we have to dig into the depths of the Internets (yes, Internets) to find your crappy'  But, I guess it wouldn't have been passive-aggressive if it did that.  Moving on...

I've commented to friends lately that I miss blogging but I find that I'm not putting the time into my schedule to actually do it.  I think I've figured out why.  I don't really have any direction with this blog ~ it's my 'fun blog,' not my family blog (don't take that the wrong way - I don't make the time to write/update that one, either!), so I never really wanted to make it specific to anything.  I wanted to be able to write whatever my mind was thinking about that day.  It turns out that either 1) I don't think very much, or 2) I just don't take time to write what I think.

Those two points said, I'm asking you to stick with me for a few more days as I develop the rest of this story for you.  Wait - what?  Here's the deal.  One of my awesome sisters-in-law is (among other things) an English teacher and a kick-ass blogger.  She updates her family blog regularly (read: usually daily), has a regular post that she links up to What I Wore Wednesday on her second blog, and is also doing Project365 again this year.   She posts a photo each day of the year to remember her day and since she's already completed it once, she is photographing things that make her 'happy' this year.  (I've tried Project365 four different years and I've never made it all the way to the end.)   ANYWAY... she's doing a neat post series about her journey to health and fitness right now and I decided that she had a great idea - so I stole it!  Nope, I'm not going to write about fitness.  All of that was a very long way of telling you just how awesome I think Emily is (and how very, very different we are!! HA!) and that this post is only PART 1 in my journey to a new place in my life.

Come back tomorrow for Part 2!