5 for Friday

Hi there!  Happy Almost Weekend!  I feel like I’ve been on a permanent vacation.  Schools have been open here only two days in the past two weeks!  While trying to make the best of our snowy/icy days, I’ve resorted to lots of Pinterest-ing, cooking, crafts, and {today’s plan} cleaning.

Yesterday, we woke up to more winter weather about several inches of the snow kind.  The Mr.’s offices were closed, so we got to hang out with him {major fist pump!}.  When Daddy’s home, it means the gas logs on which makes me one happy girl.  🙂

{ONE}

The Mr. built a killer snowman for a workout yesterday.  Holden helped decorate him with some household items including a ‘coon skin hat of the faux little boy variety.  They also went over the neighbor’s hill to sled while I stayed inside and did an at-home mainly cardio workout.

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found via Pinterest from popsugar

Glad I did that workout!  I definitely enjoyed two glasses of Rex Goliath cab sauv wine after dinner last night!

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{TWO}

I also finished this book yesterday.

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A little dated and somewhat centered on homeschool moms/stay-at-home moms, but I really liked it.  She made the effort to put in some applications for today’s {usually} working mom but really drove home the point of how our children need actual “homes” as a haven from their everyday lives.  I also loved how she touched on the importance of creating a home for ourselves.  Very good “big picture” message.

{THREE}

Love these mittens!  I have concluded after this winter blast that neither H nor I have the correct winter gear.  These mittens would be the perfect addition.  Perhaps even wear gloves underneath to layer??

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Photos from Website – See Here

Best of all, Minnesota Mittens provide opportunities for employment of people with disabilities.  Made in America!

{FOUR}

Another Pinterest project…  H and I got supplies at Hobby Lobby, and I taped off his name {twice due to poor quality painter’s tape the first go-round}.  He picked green and blue as his colors.  We painted before breakfast yesterday…take our crafting serious around here!  Then, the Mr. ever so carefully pulled the tape off around lunch time.  The finished work is hanging on his wall.

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{FIVE}

March goals!  I’m trying to be more intentional {is that possible?} with my time and plans.  I’m for sure a planner, but do what you love, right!?!?  I did add read 2 books to this list.

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I have a gift certificate that will mostly cover a massage and a hair cut at my local salon.  Why, oh why do I keep putting it off?  I am so weird!  I also have a nice gift certificate to go clothes shopping from the Mr. that I have yet to use.  Maybe I should have included that as a goal, too?  The Chrysler Museum is a local art museum that is totally free.  I really want to take Holden for maybe just a portion of it.  Recommendations that I’ve found online say to start with the ancient civilizations exhibit and then meander into a kids’ craft area.

In other snow day news, we decided to brave the elements for a ride out yesterday.  We made our way down to the oceanfront, and I took these pictures.

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Somebody couldn’t wait until we got home to get some shut eye!  Top picture is another future hotel site.

We invited our neighbors over last night for BBQ chicken sandwiches, Caesar salad, chips, sweet potato fries, and key lime bars.  Very yummy and so not our usual Thursday night fare!  See BBQ chicken recipe here from Rachel Ray.  Key lime bar recipe was courtesy of Mix and Match Mama.  I don’t typically cook the “full flavor” sugar and butter, but it was a nice treat.  I packed up {most} of the left-over bars and sent them for work treats for the Mr.’s office today.  It was so nice to have time to get together with people we see everyday but are typically “too busy” to talk with.  Love God Greatly is an online women’s Bible study group whose current study focuses on how we {human beings} were made for community and our relationships with each other.  I highly recommend any and all of their Bible studies.  They typically do about an 8 week study with a couple weeks of in between the new and the old.  Check them out!

Happy Weekend!

Natalie

Spring Decor in a Snow Storm

Greetings!  Snowy days really keep me from seizing the day!  H and I stayed in our PJs until about 9.  We hand-delivered a birthday invitation to a neighbor and then set off for two of H’s fave stores, Hobby Lobby & Wal-Mart.  🙂  He was actually pretty chatty and pleasant despite my meanderings around and around Hobby Lobby.  I got some arts and crafts supplies for our impending snow days plus a party supply for his birthday coming up in less than two weeks!  Here are some of the sights at Hobby Lobby…

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Don’t you just love all the motivational signs there?!?!?!  So many good sayings!

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I mean, REALLY?!?!?!  Lots of 4th of July stuff!

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Say “Hobby Lobby!”

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This boy has so much energy!  We’re definitely going to have a late afternoon workout/dance party for him!

After Hobby Lobby, I stocked up on some supplies including party food {buying in advance for H’s two birthday parties, family & friends} and a funny lunch with friends.  I’m hoping this snow doesn’t keep us totally house-bound.  M

My dad stopped by for lunch since he was in the area for a doctor’s appointment.  We don’t like anyone to have to take a day and spend it at the doctor, but we were glad to see him and enjoy a simple lunch together.  We tried Amy’s Organic Cream of Tomato soup for the first time.  I thought it was pretty good!  Here’s my dad having a little “tent time” with H.  He’ll trick you into getting in the tent and then spring about a million books on you.  “Read this one!” he says.

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Despite all the chilly, snowy winter weather, it is spring inside.  I put out our Easter decor {I kind of skip St. Patrick’s Day, not my favorite holiday} and added some fresh flowers from Trader Joe’s for just $3.99.   The crosses are a new addition this year.  I found them on zulily.

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The sweet bowls and mug were the Mr.’s when he was little.  I’m looking forward to using them with Holden this year.

How are you making your days seem “springy?”

If your in my area, do you think this will be the last snowstorm of this winter?

Have a great day!

Natalie

A Little of Life

Hi there!  It is another snowy evening here which has resulted in closed schools for H and I tomorrow.  I mean, I’m all for a snow day/day off, but this is getting to be ridiculous!  I’m so not wanting to be going in the summer or on our scheduled spring break.   Here is a picture or two of our last snow day {last Friday}.  We were at the local “Bounce House,” and the place was just packed with energetic kids and tired mommies who had been trying to keep those kids entertained/busy cooped up inside.

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I was getting a little panicked in the last picture!  Kids were everywhere!  I was in the “adult supervision” bounce house thing.  Yikes!  I had to say, “No, I don’t know where your friend is.” and “You can do it!  Just pull yourself up!  Good job!”  Oh my.  Reminded me of being at school!

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H got a nice haircut on Friday afternoon.  He was looking very handsome and quite modern with his spiky do!

This past weekend, I had a nice girls’ day with a friend who I haven’t been able to get together with in quite some time.  So glad it worked out {finally!}!  We enjoyed pedicures, lunch, and a movie.  I broke down and saw Fifty Shades of Grey and had to give it two thumbs down.  It was really poor acting on Mr. Grey’s part, and I confess the plot line just seemed ick in the light of the movie theater.

On Sunday, I enjoyed a delicious luncheon at church with all sorts of tea sandwiches, salads, and yummy desserts.  Plus, I got to meet a lot of nice women.  It was nice to put a name with a face, but I’m absolutely awful at remembering those names!  Looking forward to getting to know those said women better and becoming more involved there.

All this girl time was made possible by my ever-understanding husband who knew I needed to take in a different setting than these home walls.  After our snow days, H and I needed a different scene and perhaps even a small break from one another.  I confess I missed him bunches especially on Saturday when I was gone most the day.  When I got home from church, I indulged in a book and nap.  All these indulgences were just too much for me.  So…I tortured myself with Jillian Michaels!  That mean, mean lady worked me over in just twenty minutes!  The 30 Day Shred DVD is no joke!

Our work week hasn’t been too bad.  I even managed to drag my slightly sick with a cold self to the gym for a workout today.  I’ve been doing short, HIIT workouts at home.  The 30 minutes on the elliptical felt like eternity this morning.

Here’s a cute picture of H’s tent he got for Valentine’s Day.  You can see the Mr.’s leg sticking out during “tent time.”  H and the Mr. were reading a new whale book.  H is fascinated with sea creatures.  I think his favorite is the “baby Beluga whales.”  Roscoe wanted in, but I guess they voted “no.”

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I hope you are having a good week!  It’s hard to believe it’s hump day tomorrow, and we are off {again!}.

Have a great night!

Natalie

5 for Friday

Can you believe it?!?!?  Another day off from school due to the snow {technically the ice}!  This will be a FULL WEEK off from school for me.  Have you ever noticed that time off comes with lots of thinking time?  When we are so busy rushing from work to home to activities to WHATEVER, we don’t really think.  I can do lots of thinking in most any conditions, but I truly can think hard about bigger stuff when I’m off from work.  This week, I have been thinking hard about life, my family, how I spend my time, my goals {like big LIFE GOALS –  doesn’t that sound official!}, my personal style {this one left me scratching my head 😉 }, and all sorts of “big picture” stuff that normally gets shoved to the side to think about things called dinner and laundry.  Some thinking can be good.  Helps you refocus.  Sometimes, you don’t have a lot to show for your refocusing, but it is all up there…in your noggin’.  Anywho – After that bit of deepness or attempt of, let’s move on to 5 things on my mind this Friday morning.

{ONE}

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Photo Carefully Borrowed from Momfessional

Too funny not to share!  I’m hoping that all these February days don’t mess up our summer vacation/spring break.  I’m a lady with plans!

{TWO}

A yucky sore throat!  I seem to be getting one.  I’m not too sure that I can’t blame it on the Mr.  We were doing a  workout at home last night before dinner {aka hopping around in regular intervals to pop music with our son doing mountain climbers!}, and he accidentally kicked me {not as bad as it sounds!} in the neck/vocal box.  Oops.  I had a cup of red raspberry leaf tea with honey last night that was delicious.  This tea is so good, and I would definitely recommend it.  I buy it at a local health food store in bulk, so it is relatively inexpensive.

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{THREE}

My new dress!  So thrilled about my 7 dollar and change dress from Target’s clearance rack.  Sometimes, I’m overwhelmed by a deal and get clothing that I don’t need that isn’t that cute.  This dress was so not the case!  I’ve been trying to do better with this.  The Mr. confirmed that it was indeed a “cute dress.”  Yay!

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Sorry for the bad picture!  I just now realize that we do not have a floor length mirror…hmm…that would be nice.

{FOUR}

New kitchen island is making itself right at home.  It needs a few buddies like stool A and stool B which I plan on ordering today.  It is from IKEA and a real deal compared to other options I looked at.

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It took some getting used to.  We were very used to LOTS of floor space in our kitchen.  Like dance party space, seriously.  BUT I’m loving it now and can’t wait until the oiling of the butcher block is complete {apparently this seals it?}.  The Mr. is in charge of that process.  I’m just at the ready with a fruit bowl to go in the middle on top.

{FIVE}

Here’s a cute picture of little H.  He’s been driving me kind of crazy this week as he is going through some type of maturing that requires him to yell his opinions nice and loud at his parents.  This doesn’t work too well for him and lands him in time out on the regular, but he has stamina and usually tries again a few hours later.  I’m sure this will serve him well in life if he ever say needs to climb a mountain or lead a protest march.  Kid has strong opinions and doesn’t mind letting you/us know.  I wonder where he gets that from???  🙂  We’ve played with puzzles, shoveled snow, gone sledding, played alphabet games, read all our library books, done errands, watched Curious George and lots of Bible stories, gone for short walks, made a small batch of cookies, vacuumed, and just been lazy.  He is so fun but so busy at this age.  Here he is “painting” with shaving cream in the tub.  The Mr. decided to give him a little personalization with a “H” and a bikini bottom.  Such a cute hinny!

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Our plans for today include getting out of the house, possibly taking in the Bounce House place, and a lunch out together {thank you student parents for Panera and Chik-fil-a gift cards!}.  I’m so excited for our mommy-son lunch date.  Have a happy Friday!

Natalie

Good gracious, it’s cold!

H and I are together again on a week day thanks to the freezing weather we are having here.  We watched some “Jesus DVD” as Holden calls it this morning, enjoyed fruit and yogurt {such a warmer weather breakfast by the way}, and got ready to head out into the cold.  I also got to chat with my sister at leisure which NEVER happens as we are usually checking in and out on a quick basis daily.  Isn’t it amazing how you can talk to some people every day about what I’m not too sure and feel like you could chat with them later on in the day and STILL have plenty to say?  So odd but so true.  We are also in pursuit of an odd beep that has been happening at our house since 8 o’clock-ish last night.  It is happening every fifteen minutes like clockwork, and we are mystified.  We can’t figure it out!  How is this possible?!?!  We don’t even have a lot of electronics, and H doesn’t have many toys like that either.  It continues to beep.  I’ve given up until the Mr. gets home to provide two man {or two people, if you will} reinforcements.

Here’s what I’m really thinking about…

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Courtesy of Instagram

I so want spring to hurry.  I hate being hunkered down inside while the ice slowly melts away only to freeze again when the temps drop to 9!!!! tonight.  While shopping for H’s birthday stuff today, I decided to pick up a bathing suit {totally logical right???} and a cute dress that was in the 75% off section at Target.

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I got the top pictured above.  It has a clasp closure in the back with lots of strings connecting the sides together.  Much cuter in person!  In fact, I’m not sure I would have bought it online.  Link here.  

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Again, worst picture ever!  Link here.  My bathing suit is a hot pink and way cuter than this!  Gosh Target!  Step up your photography game.  I overheard some teenish girls saying “These swimsuits are really good Victoria’s Secret copycats!”  So…there you have it.  Run to your local Target to get some current styles for a better price.  The top was 17.99, and the bottom was 14.99.  Way better than what Victoria’s Secret is charing for something similar.  I’m sure they have to charge more due to way better modeling/photographing.  Just saying.  I’ll take a picture of the dress later.  Very cute with a swingy skirt.  Looks to be very comfy too.  The dress is not available online.

I tackled a lot of birthday to-dos with H by my side {reluctantly}.  He asked in Target, “When are we leaving this store?”  Clearly, I did not shop enough with H as a smaller dude.  Very low in the patience department for ladies shopping time.  He soldiered through a quick clothing stroll followed by a slower party supplies and food items stroll.  By the time we were in cosmetics, case was closed.  He was DONE.  We also stopped in a Dollar Tree for some party supplies.  Love that place!  I got each child a nursery rhyme book that comes with a 20 track CD with kids’ songs.  Perfect!  All for a dollar a piece.  Favors=Done!  I can’t wait to share how it all comes together.  The Mr. says it will be the longest 1.5 hours ever with lots of crazy kids running around!  I think it will go quick.  Yes, I’m weird and made the party an hour and a half.  Let’s be real.  People got other things to do on a Saturday {like laundry, groceries, relax}.  After lunch with the Mr., I put H down for a nap with his cranky ‘tude and enjoyed dessert.  I have been loving this dessert pictured below.  Smear of peanut {or almond} butter, chopped up Hershey’s Special Dark snack size bar, English muffin – toast combination in toaster over for just a minute or so.  Yummy, warm, melty chocolate with PB flavor.  Perfect treat!  I also had a small mug of hot chocolate to cheer me up after some not so fun lunch time news.  Emotional eating…Hello!

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Here we are arriving back home after our adventure out!  The neighborhood roads are still terrible.  School tomorrow???  I don’t see those buses managing the roads, but we’ll see.

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Stay warm!

Natalie

Snow Day No School Day

Happy Hump Day!  I’m happy to be typing in my yoga pants with lovely pigtail braids being my hair style of choice today.  I think I could happily live without all the trappings required for “professional life” as a teacher.  I most assuredly am not cut out for corporate America.   I do always make sure to brush teeth, put on real clothes {although I may change back in to PJs ridiculously early in the day}, and at least “put my hair up.”  Anywho, H and I have been home today for day 2 of snow storm 2015.  The Mr. went off to work today while we snuggled up with breakfast and books.  We relaxed most the day until beginning the thirty minute long process of getting ready to go outside.  We took a walk, slipped and skidded around on the ice, shoveled a bit of snow, and just generally took in the scene.  The Mr. joined us for a leftover lunch of potatoes, carrots, and hot open-faced venison sandwiches made from last night’s roast.  I added some cornstarch to make nice gravy and topped the sandwiches with parmesan cheese.  Not too bad.  I enjoyed mine without bread on a bed of spinach plus some popcorn.  I spared those calories to use them up later in cookies and snow cream leftovers! Ha!

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Please excuse the snot in a couple of these pictures.  It is never-ending, and I blame his father for his constantly drippy nose.  Genetics.

H requested “warm chocolate” when we were outside shoveling snow {aka he was inspecting the yard in pursuit of more icicles}.  It’s your lucky day kid.  Warm chocolate coming right up…followed by 3 big boy jigsaw style puzzles.  So grown up!

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I used Ghirardelli’s Double Chocolate.  I think he liked it.  How about you?

After our lunch and one dessert in the form of snow cream, I decided to bake up some cookies with H.  We had minimal ingredients, so I searched the pantry and came up with cranberries and raisins.  Not much of either.  I combined them and roughly followed this recipe by Chocolate-Covered Katie.  I was skeptical since there wasn’t a lot of oily substance.  Confession:  I used 1 tbsp  butter!  They were delish!  I ate an embarrassing amount AFTER H went down for a nap.  More for me = more I eat.  Whoops!  I figured these will count as my afternoon snack with the addition of some peanut butter.  Of course, peanut butter!  Seriously, how many times a day do you eat this stuff?  I’m not picky…almond butter works too!

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Very moist inside the cookies and definitely sweet enough.  I will definitely do this recipe again with some tweaking of the add-ins.

Here are a few random midweek musings to leave you with today…

a Fit Tuesday {not Fat Tuesday!} workout with a Mardi Gras theme that I did yesterday

an easy to grow houseplant that even I may attempt {successfully?}

cute cookie cutter bird feeders – H would love it!

name soup – scoop the letters in your name – AGAIN, H would love it!

Have a great day!

Natalie

Weekend of Love

Hi friends!  I spent the weekend engaging in all sorts of fun despite the freezing temps.  After being spoiled by students and families at school, we attended a sweet boy’s first birthday, enjoyed an adult dinner out for Valentine’s Day, relaxed with my family by a nice fire, prepared for snow, and played in the snow.  Whew!  This all spans the days Saturday to today, Tuesday.  We {the Mr. and I and H and, of course, Roscoe the dog!} are off today due to the snowy/icy roads.  I’m so thankful to be home as I know that others are out and about in it because they have to be for work.  Bummer for you guys!  Be safe!  We will volunteer to eat snow cream for you!

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Not pictured but delicious was our dinner at The Charlotte Hotel & Restaurant in Onancock, VA.

The Mr. and I so needed a nice, adult dinner.  We forget amidst the parenting, laundry, house maintenance, and extended family visits to really see each other.  I see him all the time.  We are fortunate to be on the same schedule {versus those couples who do shift work at opposing times} or are separated due to job locations or deployments.  However, there are times when we are roommates, sharing obligations like putting on a new roll of toilet paper or starting a load of laundry that will wait until the following weekend to be folded like all good laundry does.  I confess that I missed him, and I missed who I am without all these other, swirling things.  I’m pretty funny and not a bad conversationalist.  He’s a good listener with a pretty good memory of years gone by, AND he’s kind of funny too.  Thank goodness for time together.  The trick is keeping that feeling going through the days.  It’s all easy peasy when you’re eating delicious food, all fancied up in nice clothes, and sipping a nice red wine in a peaceful restaurant.  It is a tad bit harder when a soon-to-be-3-year-old is wailing the blues around dinnertime, AND dinner isn’t quite ready yet.  I know there will be times when dinner, laundry, the dog’s toenails, H’s cries, and my own ungrateful heart win.  BUT…here’s my vow to you darling…I will kiss you goodbye in the morning, kiss you hello in the evening, and cuddle you close at bedtime.  I will always love you.

P.S. He makes a pretty good snow cream too!  Here’s the recipe he followed with some almond extract added in for a little something extra delicious.  See here {yay no egg!}