Thursday, August 30, 2012


Hubby and I were finally able to schedule in a date night!  Yay!
We are typically running the kids from here to there and back again.  Don't get me wrong, I love that too, after all, they will only be kids for such a short time and I want to savor every minute.  But there is just something wonderful about a little one on one time with this guy!

And speaking of the kids, you may have noticed I've been a little MIA lately.  You see Sassy and Action start school next week and Smiley the following week, so we have been trying to spend as much time together before I lose them for 7 hours (Smiley only 2.5 hours 2x a week) each day.  We did have open house last night for Sassy and Action.  We brought in their school supplies, found out who their teachers are and met their new principal and assistant principal.  Let me just say, as much as I am not ready for summer to be over, I am excited about the new school year.  Sassy's teacher seems really great, Action's teacher we've experienced before with Sassy and we adore her and the new leaders of the school.... an absolute breath of fresh air!  This is going to be a good year!  Yes, change is a good thing!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Candles, Cake and Me

Last friday was my 36th birthday.  And to celebrate we invited some friends over to our house for a low key pizza dinner and some beverages.  One of my friends showed up with a yummy dessert (she had found on my Pinterest board ~ you can read my review of it here) She lit that baby up (I think there were only 18 candles on it ~ we didn't want to start a house fire!)  "happy birthday" was sung, I made a wish and blew out all of the candles.  I am so blessed to have such wonderful and thoughtful people in my life!
(Sassy took these pictures and had some funky settings on the camera ~ oops ☺)

I was perusing Pinterest the other day and came across this quote.  It seemed very fitting and I LOVE the sentiment!  I try to not let age bother me.  After all it is just a number!  There were even a few years that I didn't know how old I was.  When I would go to the doctor, I actually had to do the math to figure out my age.  So friends, remember to seize each day ~ you will never get it back!

Carpe Diem!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012


Another week has gone by and I've been able to try a few more pins from my boards.

Here's what I thought about a few of the things I've pinned.


"Sassy Water"
(Original via A Sweet Simple Life)

Take some plain 'ol water, add lemon, cucumber and mint ~ voila a "natural detox"  or so some pinners said.  I don't know about the whole detox effect, but it tasted pretty good (the kids didn't like it at all so more for me ). I do feel like I drank more water when I had this in the fridge.  And really who doesn't need to drink more water?  Sure I'll make this again.


Stir Fry Green Beans with Shrimp and Garlic

This was yummy, easy to make, the ENTIRE family liked it, and YUMMY... oh wait, I already said that....  Anyway, I served it with rice and the only thing I would do different would be to make more!  No really, I doubled the recipe and my family devoured it!  Definitely a re-maker!


Strawberry Shortcake Cheesecake

I'll admit, I didn't actually make this.  You see, last Friday was my birthday and one of my friends surprised me with it when she came over to celebrate.  She was sneaky and checked out my "sweet treats" Pinterest board for ideas and this is what she decided on.  I thought it was good.  She couldn't find the sponge cake that the recipe called for, but used pound cake which was listed as an alternate choice.  And, I'm not sure if she added the strawberry jam, or if it soaked into the cake and she made whip cream instead of purchasing "Cool Whip".  Like I said, it was good and I think everyone else liked it as well.  However, that being said, I think I still prefer my cheesecake and strawberry shortcake separate from each other.  But, I may just have to try it again, just to be sure :)

Well, time for the question of the day..... What have you been pinning?

Friday, August 17, 2012


Hard to believe that today is my birthday ~ yikes!  I am now definitely closer to 40 than I am to 30.  Does this concern me?  Not one bit ~ after all, age is just a number.  Since I'm turning 36 on this fine August day, I thought I would give you 36 fun facts about me:

1. I have 2 sisters and 2 brothers

2.  One of my sisters calls me “Sue” …..huh? And I answer to her!

3.  Coffee… use to hate the stuff, now I love it….black…every morning
4.  I had an adorable perm when I was (glad I could make you laugh today)

5.  I love cheesecake
6.  And strawberry shortcake and pie (ok, pretty much any dessert that contains fruit)
7.  “The Little Mermaid” is my favorite animated Disney movie, maybe it’s because I remember my dad taking me…..

8.  I use to work with kids with autism. Loved that job ~ loved, loved, loved every and any breakthrough ~ big or small.
9.  I get sad when summer comes to an end and my kids head off to school. I savor these lazy, fun, relaxing days of summer ~ even if they do have their fair share of bickering

10.  The first concert I ever went to see with a friend was The Nelson Brothers ~ don’t judge!

11.  On my 13th birthday, my mom bought me a cake that looked like a box of crayons and said “From  
       Crayons to Lipstick”. I wish I had a picture of that to show you. Hmm... Next time I visit them  ;)
12.  I love to read, even when I was younger (10ish and on) I would sneak a flashlight into my  
      bedroom and read. I still do that now, except I don’t have to sneak the light in
13.  When I was younger, I loved reading the Babysitters Club Series
14.  Speaking of the babysitter’s club, a couple of friends and I tried to start up our own club ~ didn’t  
       really take off
15.  I’ve been wearing Invisalign braces since April. My teeth already look straighter. Only 9 more  
      months to go….
16.  My favorite animals at the zoo have to be the chimpanzee’s
17.  I started watching “Days of our Lives” when I was little (probably 8 or so) and I still watch it when 
       I can.
18.  Growing up, I basically lived at the swimming pool when I was little. I would watch "Days of our 
       Lives" with a friend from 12-1. Swim from 1-5, sometimes my parents would come for family  
       swim from 5-6 and then open swim again from 6-8.
19.  For 8 years during highschool and college I developed 1hour photos for a job ~ that could be quite  
20.  My college roommate and I often rented scary movies to freak ourselves out
21.  I’ve never broken a bone
22.  I first saw my husband from across the room at a house party…… love at first sight.

23.  I hate math ~ my husband finds this funny and likes to quiz me along with the kids.
24.  For awhile I wanted to be a Forensic Psychologist……
25.  And a Physical Therapist
26.  I majored in Psychology and have a Biology minor
27.  I have a fear of falling down the stairs
28.  I tear up every time I’m at an event and the Star Spangle Banner is sung

29.  I love the smell of cigars
30.  I weigh myself every single morning…. and write it down…. and then transfer it to an Xcel  
31.  I love music ~ I have eclectic tastes
32.  I would love to go skydiving
33.  I love the color turquoise ~ a little bit blue, a little bit green
34.  Running helps me think. It is my release.
35.  I hate chewing gum ~ it grosses me out
36.  I love pizza and tacos….mmmm….  I think we'll have pizza tonight and I'll celebrate another  
      wonderful year with my favorite people in the whole wide world

So enough about me.... do tell me some fun fact about you, and have a fabulous, fabulous day and weekend!

Thursday, August 16, 2012


These two have quite the bond.  It is cute so see such a great "daddy/daughter" relationship in the works.  He has either coached or helped coach her softball teams for 4 years now.  They challenge each other, they laugh together, they love each other and they respect each other.  It is beautiful to watch.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012


Well another long weekend away ~ camping this time (in a tent) ~ and Wednesday has once again snuck up on me!  Good thing I like to try new recipes on my family quite often (insert evil laugh.....mwahhhhahahaaaaaa).

Here's what I have pinned, tried, and my thoughts on it.

First up we have:

Olive Garden Alfredo Sauce

This was a good sauce.  Thick, creamy, flavorful.  Hubby, Smiley and I all enjoyed it (Sassy was sleeping over at a friends house and Action doesn't seem to like anything these days ~ grrrr.....)  Even though it is from the Olive Garden website, I'm not sure I liked it as well.  But, doesn't everything taste better when someone else makes it? =)
Yes, I will be making this sauce again


Triple Berry Popsicles

These were easy to make and quite tasty.  They have blueberries, strawberries and raspberries in them.  Yummy!  Perfect for these HOT summer days.  My kids thought they tasted like frozen smoothies.  Lets just say they have been devoured and it's time to make another batch!

And last, but absolutely NOT least:

This "Shine" Print
(Via ~ Studio JRU on Artfire, and Jennifer's blog)

I loved this print when I first saw it, thinking it would be perfect for my daughters room.  But besides the colors and the simplicity of it, I love the reason behind it.  The artist Jennifer from Studio JRU wrote: "We would not light a lamp and put it under a basket, we would set it up to give light to everyone. In the same way we are to let our light shine before others. God tells us to let our light shine. Let it shine!!"  Truly this is what I want my daughter to remember.  She is such an amazing girl with   many talents and I want her to share her gifts and with others and be an example of Gods gracious love.  I want her to remember to "Shine" and to look for the glimmers of light in others.  I ordered the print and received it the other day.  It is not yet up in her room, which is still a work in progress, but I can't wait to see it on her walls!

So, what have you been pinning?  Any O{pin}ions to share?  I would love to hear them!  

Thursday, August 9, 2012

The Family part of our Vacation

So last week when we were on vacation, I was the one behind the scenes if you will.  You know the "camera Mom".  The one behind the camera, trying desperately to capture these guys
and their smiles and all of their joy, the relaxation, the action, and the non action.  Just trying to capture our family so we can remember years from now the fun we had together.  However, as I look back through the pictures that were taken, I am hardly in them.  But here are a couple I am in (and they are so flattering!), so my kids know, I was there and we had fun together.
We have so much fun escaping the "real world" every year and I am already looking forward to next year (but please, next year take your time.... don't come too fast!)

Get out from behind the camera and get into the picture ~ embrace that camera!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012


Sheesh, I don't know about you, but this last week just flew by!  Seems like I was just writing up my last O{pin}ions yesterday.  Anyway, I have a couple of reviews for you, lets start with a couple of books that I had pinned and have since finished.

Before I go to Sleep by S.J. Watson

The description on Goodreads is this:
"As I sleep, my mind will erase everything I did today. I will wake up tomorrow as I did this morning. Thinking I'm still a child. Thinking I have a whole lifetime of choice ahead of me ...' Memories define us. So what if you lost yours every time you went to sleep? Your name, your identity, your past, even the people you love - all forgotten overnight. And the one person you trust may only be telling you half the story. Welcome to Christine's life."

My thoughts:
I thought this was a good book ~ I rated it 3/5 stars.  The storyline felt a bit repetitive at times, which I understand given the story line. It is about a woman who was in some sort of accident and since can only remember things from the day she is living. Once she goes to sleep all memories are gone and she wakes in the morning not knowing how old she is, where she is, or anyone in her life. However she is working with a new doctor, with a new treatment to hopefully help her regain some memories. There are twists and turns. This book will keep you guessing at the outcome. Can anyone be trusted? And I will admit, when I read the last chapter, I didn't want it to be over. I wanted it to keep going!

Sing you Home by Jodi Picoult

"Every life has a soundtrack. All you have to do is listen.
Music has set the tone for most of Zoe Baxter’s life. There’s the melody that reminds her of the summer she spent rubbing baby oil on her stomach in pursuit of the perfect tan. A dance beat that makes her think of using a fake ID to slip into a nightclub. A dirge that marked the years she spent trying to get pregnant.
For better or for worse, music is the language of memory. It is also the language of love.
In the aftermath of a series of personal tragedies, Zoe throws herself into her career as a music therapist. When an unexpected friendship slowly blossoms into love, she makes plans for a new life, but to her shock and inevitable rage, some people—even those she loves and trusts most—don’t want that to happen.
Sing You Home is about identity, love, marriage, and parenthood. It’s about people wanting to do the right thing for the greater good, even as they work to fulfill their own personal desires and dreams. And it’s about what happens when the outside world brutally calls into question the very thing closest to our hearts: family."

My Thoughts:
Warning, my review may be a bit of a spoiler
I gave this book 4/5 stars. Honestly, I really didn't know what this book was about when my Mother-in-Law loaned it to me with a warning, "This book is a little different." And it is different. It is about views and perspectives you may not think about. I know I didn't. This book is about a man and a woman who are married and after 9 years of marriage, IVF, many miscarriages and a stillbirth the husband asks for a divorce. What happens to them as their marriage ends isn't what I expected, but what I could see coming based on the writer's storyline. The woman falls in love with another woman, the husband "finds Jesus" and moves in with his brother and his wife. Even though their divorce is final, there is "property" that has been forgotten, the 3 frozen embryos. Now, does the wife, whose new "lifestyle" her ex husband doesn't approve of get them, or do they go to the ex husband who plans on giving them to his brother and sister in law as they are unable to have children. This book is about religion, homosexuality, family and the law. The author does a good job assessing many different perspectives. I think this is a good book, one that will perhaps open your eyes to a new view, or at least give you something to think about.

Ok, enough about books, lets get on with some food!
or how about a beverage?

Perfect Sweet Tea

I saw this on Pinterest and thought it looked easy and refreshing.  It was easy and it is refreshing.  However, it is a little too sweet for me.  I will definitely make it again, but will use less sugar than is called for.  If you like sweet tea, I say give it a whirl!

Last, but not least:

Broccoli, Grape and Pasta Salad

Pasta, grapes, onion, broccoli, pecans and bacon.... yes, please!  This was pretty easy to make (I hate cooking bacon which is why I say "pretty easy") and tasted yum-mmy!  Actually I made it yesterday and took it to our annual neighborhood "National Night Out" party.  It was a hit!  I will definitely be making this again.  

So, what have you been pinning and trying lately?
Does your neighborhood participate in National Night Out?

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Lakeside Vacation 2012

Every year we try to escape for a week (2009, man the kids were little, 2010, 2011).  Escape to a cabin on the lake.  Away from the hectic everyday life.  Time to relax and spend time together without interruption.  And this year's vacation was all of that.  No internet, limited cell phone use, one television channel, it was wonderful!

~ Here's a small glimpse of our week ~

the kids jumped right into vacation mode :)

we boated and swam every day
sandcastles were built and birds were chased
there was skiing and tubing..... lots of tubing

it was very relaxing

And now to get back into the swing of things......