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Monthly Archives: July 2012

Camping Adventure

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Last week we went camping up at the William Heise campground by Julian. I love this campground because of the massive oak trees and mountain air. We camped with two other families and had a great time! It completely rocked that our kids are all similar ages and played really well together.

Here are some things we learned from our adventure:

-air mattresses make great make-shift trampolines

-breakfast burritos are an excellent and easy camping dinner

-ziploc bags with water & pennies hung from the canopy actually subside massive fly attacks (got the idea on the always amazing Pinterest)

-sleeping in the same tent as two kids under the age of four is exhausting

-pancakes with chocolate chip cookie crumbles are dangerously addicting

-little boys LOVE dirt (duh)

-you have the ability to jump over cars (just about) when surprised with almost stepping on a snake (Jesse had a minor run-in with a garden snake at dusk one evening)

-s’mores with chocolate chip cookies, dried sweetened coconut and chocolate frosting are life changing

-laying in a portable hammock under a giant leafy tree is heavenly

As exhausting, dirty, crazy, chaotic, loud, irritating, frustrating, and insane as it is camping with young kids, we had a great time and made wonderful memories with our boys that I hope they will remember forever.

Check out my friend Irene’s gorgeous pictures from our trip.

Fashion Friday

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“High Maintenance”

What comes to mind when you hear those two words?

I hate that this term has a different meaning to every person and I wish we could all come to an agreement on the definition.

In my opinion, “high maintenance” refers to a person who is needy in a relationship. They require their significant other to spend a lot of time/money on them and need constant verbal reassurance.

I DO NOT feel like it refers to a person who prefers to look good when they are out in public or enjoys fashion. I hate to hear someone who looks nice or pulled together referred to as “high maintenance” because that COULD imply that it took them a while to get ready and that it would be the end of the world if they didn’t look nice.

Personally, I usually take less than fifteen minutes total to get dressed & do my hair (although my husband is arguing that I take longer). I also go days without showering (true story) and wear my jeans a couple times before washing them. Also, as much as I like labels/designers (mostly for the quality), I will never pass up on free hand-me-downs or previously owned clothing. And, I have left the house without a smidge of makeup on wearing sweats and my world remained in one piece. ;)

I am not hoping to start a heated debate or make anyone angry, but I’m interested in starting a discussion.

What do you think of when you hear the term “high maintenance”?

Happy Friday!

Recent Obsessions

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Here are three things that I can not get enough of lately:

1. Ben & Jerry’s Greek Frozen Yogurt

This frozen yogurt is delicious. I believe there are four flavors (so far I’ve tried three) and my favorite so far is the Banana Peanut Butter. It was totally weird at first, but as soon as I hit the perfectly salty and amazing peanut butter swirls, I was hooked.

2. Drop Dead Diva

I had seen this show keep popping up on my Netflix “Shows You Would Like” list and I finally got around to watching it. I then proceeded to blow through all three and a half seasons in two weeks! It is the perfect blend of cheesy, fun and drama. The story is about a aspiring model who dies and ends up coming back to life in the body of an overweight lawyer. It reminds me a lot of Eli Stone and Legally Blond, so if you’re a fan of either of those, I recommend trying it out.

3. Dried Young Coconut

I am a sucker for anything containing coconut, so as soon as I saw this at Costco, I grabbed it. It is big chunks of coconut meat, so it has a different taste (pretty chewy), but delicious and refreshing. My kids are obsessed. In fact, they were standing a foot away from me while I was taking this picture to grab those pieces on the stool.

Crackcakes

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To say that I’m “addicted” to chocolate chip cookies is an understatement. When it comes to the evil dessert, I have absolutely NO self-control and could eat until I am sick.

This past week, we went camping and I made chocolate chip cookies to use with s’mores instead of graham crackers (I really need to be put in rehab).

With all of the moving around during camping, the cookies got pretty smushed, resulting in lots of delicious cookie crumbles.

So, I got the bright idea to make chocolate chip cookie pancakes, which I am now deeming “Crackcakes”.

I used Krusteaz pancake mix (found at your local grocery store or Costco) and mixed per the instructions.

Quickly after pouring the mix onto the griddle, I added some crumbles to the top and let it cook. Then I flipped the pancakes over and let the chocolate chips get all melty.

The end result is the yummiest, softest “cookie” you’ll every have. Good luck only eating one.

(I ate six. True story.)

Fashion Friday

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This week I have the awesome opportunity to have my beautiful friend, Cheryl as a guest blogger on Fashion Friday. Cheryl has an amazing style and definitely doesn’t mind spending more money on her clothes. I like to live vicariously through her Anthropologie purchases. ;) She has a totally different approach to shopping than me, but her outfits are always adorable.

Don’t forget to leave her some comment love and thank her for sharing her advice.

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Hi. My name is Cheryl and I get to fill in for Rena this week.

In many ways, I am the complete opposite of Rena. Shopping is not my favorite pastime. I do not find extra joy from getting an item at a crazy discount…but I love fashion, and like Rena, it took me a while to develop my own sense of style. I have now embraced my own way of enhancing my wardrobe.

Rena (and several other of our friends) enhance their wardrobe by searching for treasures. They hunt high and low for items that they like and that are inexpensive. Sometimes I forget that this is how they shop and I make the poor decision of joining them on their hunt thinking it will be a fun time.

It is not fun for me.

They spend hours looking through items that range from mediocre to hideous in order to find one or two gems that they can incorporate into their wardrobe. They rejoice in the fact that they have found a couple of things after hours and hours of hunting.

I do not like the search. I don’t want to hunt. I want to walk into a store and be presented with all my options so I can skim over those things that I am not interested in and focus all my time and attention on things that are pretty. I also do not want to wade through mediocrity to find something I like. I want to be surrounded by things that are beautiful and chose those items that are my very favorite.

This is one reason I love Anthropologie. It’s like walking into art, sometimes literally. It’s not a shopping trip, it’s an aesthetic experience. It makes me want to spend all my money. But I can’t spend all kinds of money so I sacrifice quantity for quality. Granted I usually choose things that are on sale, but I certainly do not get the deals that Rena finds.

In order to manage having more a more expensive wardrobe on a non-expensive budget. Here are my tricks…

  1. Spread out shopping trips. If I don’t see it, I don’t know how much I want it.
  2. Choose items that you really love. If its just okay, you probably don’t need to spend $60 on it.
  3. Choose items that you can wear for a long time. The things I spend money on I wear for years and years and I still get compliments on them.
  4. Don’t forget that its okay to buy more expensive items. You just have to buy less of them, especially if you don’t have enough money to buy new things every week.

The Magic Hour

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I love summer nights because there is a “magic hour”  right before the sun goes down where the color in the sky is beautiful and the air is the perfect temperature.

The other night we jumped in the car and drove around with the windows open just to experience the glorious breeze on our faces.

Every time we came to a stop sign, we would let the boys take turns telling us where to go. They LOVED having the control over where we went and it led us on a fun little adventure.

Hope you’re enjoying your summer nights as much as we are!

And Fashion Friday this week made it onto Simple Homemade’s Weekend Links list.

Check it out here.

Voila!

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This week we had Kids Games at our church. I volunteered in the 2 and 3 year old class, so that my boys could participate. We had SO much fun! The only drawback was the shirt we were required to wear everyday.

To jazz it up a bit, I decided to change the shape, cutting off the sleeves and collar to make the neckline a little lower. I just went through my scraps and found colors that complimented the orange shirt. Then I added the lace ribbon as a “collar” and made three fabric yo-yo’s.

Believe me when I say, I am NO seamstress and everything I did was with a needle and thread (no machine involved!), so it possible for anyone to do it. (If you are a visual learner, like myself, click here to watch a video on a Yo-Yo how-to.)

 I am excited about the changes I made and satisfied enough to wear it in public. Now if only I could change the color… ;)

Happy Friday! :)

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