Monday, April 21, 2014

Starbucks and Springtime

    Many, many thanks to Modern Mom for the wonderful opportunity sampling Starbuck Spring Blend. Not only is the packaging beautifully Spring like - the coffee inside is absolutely delectable! We have been enjoying it in our reusable kcups with our Keurig. I really like the sweet orange found in the tasting notes of this blend. It's subtle but just a hint.  



How fun and festive is this design??!

    Speaking of orange - I am a sucker for chocolate with orange! Oh and the smell of chocolate! Easter brings about a ton of chocolate - more traditionally in our family solid chocolate crosses from my parents that they pick up from the market.

    Every year my parents come over in the early morning on the Saturday before Palm Sunday. We all load up and head to the Broadway Market. It is more or less a hodge podge of vendors, some year round and some seasonal. 

    And every year its the same thing - the men go stand in line at the meat counter. This is where getting to the market early is important - those lines can get awfully long! Who cannot resist a couple pounds of freshly prepared Polish sausage?! How about some duck blood? Or maybe a buttered lamb? 


          

    While the guys are standing in line, my mum and I take the girls to look for their nesting dolls. Last year the selection was slim pickings but this year the girls had a bunch of dolls to choose from. My little guy picks out a painted egg or two - a crazy feat to conquer in a timely manor when there are dozens of dozens of painted eggs glimmering in the lights. 






    The girls also get to choose an "Easter crown" from the vendors in the back of the market - but Bear doesn't quiet get the wearing part yet. The crown is on for all of six seconds then it's off and into the tote bag. All the kiddos stand patiently with their dollars in their hands and wait for their turn with the clown as he creates balloon animals for them.

    We usually meet up with the guys at about this time and wander around the rest of the market picking up goodies that catch our eye, always getting a jar of prepared horseradish, maybe taste a few wine samples, pick up some bakery treats and check out new trinkets and crafts. About the time we're all just about done is when the market starts to get busy. 

    When that's all done we haul the crew out to brunch - which has also been at the same restaurant for the past few years now. This year the Hubs and my little guy left after the market - they had a project that they had signed up for at Lowes to build. But I can tell you that next year we will definitely be needing a bigger booth! 

    This is one of my favorite times of year and one of my favorite family traditions! Spring time is finally breaking here - which made this year's trip to the market and Easter holiday so much more enjoyable! It's been an awful long Winter. 

     Now that the Spring warmth is sneaking in I have been enjoying my morning cup of Starbucks Spring Blend coffee watching the birds dance around the yard with my younger kiddos. It also goes real well with my french toast with a twist (its just a few dashes of cinnamon but the kiddos gobble it up!)

    What is one of your favorite Spring moment/tradition? Has it been in the family since your childhood or did you start this when you had kids?

    By the way do not pass up the chance to pick up a bag or two of the Starbucks Spring Blend! It really is a great medium blend of coffee with a great lively taste!! The Hubs who usually prefers light blends even enjoyed this one.




** The not so fine print - I was provided with two bags of Starbucks Spring Blend 2014 
as well as a gc towards our awesomely awesome new mugs that 
the kids finally decided on after spending 20 minutes looking around - 

many thanks to Modern Mom and Starbucks **

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Amazing

    What makes a man amazing? And I mean truly amazing. Is it his first steps taken? Is it the journey that his first steps begin? Can it be the people he meets and the memories he gathers along the way? Or is it more of the moments he creates? 

     What about the ones that he loves and the family that grows - and continues to grow and grow? Is it the people in his bloodline? How about all his friends and acquaintances?  All that are near and far, all that are here and there.

      Is he amazing because of his weathered hands from all the years of hard work and labor? Is he amazing because of the hidden stories only he knows of that mischievously twinkle in his eyes? Is he amazing because of how full his heart is?

      Do the growing legends of his years make him amazing? Every single one of the choices he made? The lessons taught from his mistakes? The time he took to teach the knowledge he knew?

     Is it the image of the man standing in all his pride with a stoic stature? Is it his kind and warm heart felt in a hugs embrace? Or a silly little something whispered in your ear that only the two of you share? The twinkle in his eye when he knows he's being a charmer? 

     Is it his legacy that makes him amazing? His children? His grandchildren? His great grandchildren? Or even his great, great grandchildren?

    Today I caught my 22 month old staring out the front window. Just standing there looking out. Her older sister tried to get her to come play and even taunted her with the promise of watching Minnie Mouse but Bear did not budge. I continued to watch her look out. It was peaceful watching her stare. She was still and as far as I tell she did not make a sound. I had a feeling she knew. For a good 7-10 minutes she stayed there peering out. Then simply turned and walked down to her older sister. 

    An amazing man left us today at 104 years of age. I can stand by my claim that he was amazing because he is my husband's great grandfather. I am fortunate to hold memories that I get to cherish. One of my favorites was right after our wedding ceremony and after we walked out of the church into the shower of bird seed. He tugged my hand and held it tight and pulled me into him. He whispered "You are beautiful" in my ear and gave me that charmer eye spark. That is just one of the many memories but easily one of my favorites!

      Recently I watched that movie with Ewan McGregor "Big Fish".   ****Spoiler Alert****  I simply adore the ending of that movie where everyone gathers together to celebrate the life and legend of Ed Bloom and the son starts to realize that his dad was spectacularly amazing - in life and continues to be even in death. I feel like this is how Great Grandpa's remembrance will be. 

    My heart is warmed knowing that Great Grandpa's life will continue to be celebrated even after his passing. I am honored to have known him. I am honored that I got to share moments with him. I am honored that my children share some of his genes. I am honored that my son and youngest daughter share their middle names with him and his wife. I am forever thankful for his journey. I am forever thankful for his choices made that have led in creating my Husband and my family. And most of all - I am forever in debt to this amazing man's first steps taken. 


Monday, April 14, 2014

Break in the weather

    Over the past few days there has been a break in the weather..., it's actually feeling like Spring time! The kids have been able to play outside without being bundled up but they have had to watch where they run around in the yard thanks to the snow and rain mix leaving the yard a bit squishy in spots. 
    It has been wonderful for our health and our spirits! Right now the kiddos and I are outside enjoying the soft breeze and warm temperature. The Tweedles are hanging around in the Hugglepod and Bear is sitting next to me eating some grapes giggling about the birds flying around. 
    Sadly, this will all change come the later evening hours where rain is going to creep in and the temperature is going to drop 4o degrees. I almost wish I drop big glass dome over our house to lock in this outdoor treasure!
    So are you enjoying some awesome weather or are you stuck in the eternal freeze thanks to Elsa? 

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Spring into action

     Just as things in the house were falling into place after the move we were whacked with an eternal freeze (sorry we've watch Frozen one too many times). So we've been locked inside the house all Winter long. We also pulled all the boxes out of storage a while ago and have been feeling cluttered. Our house doesn't look like one of those on an episode of Hoarders BUT it feels cluttered. 

   Now that Spring is creeping into our area a little at a time I've been getting awfully antsy with cleaning house and getting stuff out! The impromptu snow storm last week irked me but the snow is just about melted away now. 

   I was listing some items on a Facebook yard sale page but I wasn't selling as fast as I wanted to, if at all. Some of those people want stuff for free or next to nothing - even if it's brand new! I also tried listing on Craigslist but not a huge fan of that either. 

   I did try a local consignment shop but she wanted 60% and for me to bring stuff already on hangers. If I'm doing most of the work I'd rather have 50% thank you very little. (yeah that extra 10% makes a difference - haha) I even talked my son's school into a consignment sale so our profits could be put towards our tuition but that wasn't as successful as I had wished for. 

   I've seen some places online where you can send them your clothes and get credits but they seem very picky and I don't want to end up sending in a whole slew of stuff for measly credits. 

    The best luck I have had was selling a lot of baby stuff at a yard sale. I made a great profit and moved a lot of items. The only problem with that is waiting for warm weather to have a yard sale which is were we are right now., waiting. 

    So while I wait I'm going to work on organizing other parts of the house and get to some Spring cleaning! 

~ What is your favorite cleaner product? 
~ How do you approach Spring cleaning? 
~ One room at a time or a little by little approach? 
~ Is there a check list you follow along to?

Speaking of cleaning - here are all the treasures left in the washer and dryer after doing T.W's laundry. The joys of being a mum to a boy :)

Monday, March 31, 2014

In threes right?

    As if I couldn't complain any further, now I have a plugged up ear. It's been plugged for about three days and it is driving me insane! I have been trying all suggestions I can find but none have worked so far. It doesn't hurt. There is no pain it's just muffled and plugged which allows all noises to enter in the one good ear. And let me tell you.., three kids generate a TON of noise - almost too much for one little ear to handle. 
   I had a fleeting second on the car ride yesterday while shopping but like I said, it was so fast. I'm trying really hard not to agitate the ear but I'm also trying really hard to get my hearing back. Oh well.., add that on the list of things I am waiting to recover from. 
    Speaking of that, my ribs have been feeling ok. It's my lower back, hips and the top of my ankles that are slowly me down drastically. I have tried awfully hard to avoid pain meds aka ibprof but I have failed in that a few times. 
    Oh and last but not least but I'm sure you know that misery comes in threes so whats the third one?? IT SNOWED and it accumulated. Just as everything had melted away and most of the icky, grey, dirty piles of snow in parking lots and sides of the road have whittled down IT SNOWED!
    That's depressing. Thanks a lot Disney - I am totally convinced that this is extreme marketing for Frozen and Disney now controls the weather., lol. 
    Ok, that is all. I'll keep my pity post short besides the wee folks are starting to creep towards me as I feverishly type to get this post up. 
    Have a great Monday!!

Friday, March 21, 2014

It's breaking - and its time for a change with some Frozen influence

    There's been a break in the weather.., gone are the negative numbers and we've welcomed upwards to 54 degrees!! Finally the ice, cold, soul crushing winter is breaking!! 
    
    Ok - so that might have been a bit overly dramatic but it feels like it has nearly been FOREVER since we had beautiful weather and didn't have to bundle up just to run from the house to the car without catching frost bite! 

    With this break in the weather coming I've been getting excited about upcoming projects. I'm currently working on Lulu's room. She has washed away her hope for a rainbow wall and has actively pushed for ..., wait for it...., Frozen-ish themed room. (Shocking? I know. Who saw that coming?? Btw that was a pure thick layer of sarcasm right there just in case you didn't pick up on it.)

    We are slowly weeding out pieces of mismatched furniture in her room and creating a "Big Girl" room. Keeping her white washed drawer bed is good for now but there is plans to eventually bring back her natural wood crib and convert it to a full sized bed. So for a little bit longer she will have a white bed and a natural wood dresser - but I'll try not to get hung up on that. 

   She's getting rid of the solid wood desk that was a hand me down from me from my mum. She's getting rid of a toy sorter bc it just collect crap and that is something we want to work on getting rid of. For now we'll be keeping the gigantic wooden Lalaloopsy doll house. 


 I told you it was seriously mismatched! 
Wanted to wait until the rooms were figured out before moving forward. 

    Lu has decided that she wants to have a reading nook in her room. (She also has super high hopes that she wins a local coloring contest that the prize is a Kindle Fire - her fingers, toes, everything is crossed for good luck!!) 

    So after brainstorming some ideas we made a trip to Lowes to check out paint samples. She chose a light blue and a light lavender. Just on a whim we crossed over to look at the discount paints and found a gallon of light blue paint very similar to the one she picked out sitting there for only $5! We nabbed that sucker up! (So it's a tiny shade off but we saved $25 right there)
Since the weather is still sucky and we want to paint with the windows opened we are holding off on the lavender paint. 

    While we were there we walked by some carpets and I saw a grey toned one that looked like snowflakes and since the new house had carpets all ripped out (which will later be replaced when our dog passes - its a long story but she's getting old and its just easier this way for now to wait) we brought over all the old area carpets from the old house. The one in Lulu's room could easily need replacing so as much as it was a tough pill to swallow paying what we did for the small amount of carpet (in my opinion) I was balancing the savings from the blue paint towards the carpet - and the Hubs has a Lowes card so we saved a bit there. 



    A couple days later I checked my email and saw the Frozen sale on Zulily.com and got sucked into that one! There it was - the Elsa wall decal! Perfect to surprise Lu with for after we paint her room. The price was the cheapest I have been able to find it but the shipping hurt a bit - shipping always does no matter where you want to order from doesnt it? Well luckily I had a bit of a balance in my PP account so in a round about way I only paid $7 out of pocket for the decal. Not too bad. Now keeping it a secret will be the hardest part. 


    With a can of blue paint and a new carpet already in stock - oh and the secret Elsa decal, Lu and I sat down to talk about seating for her nook. At first she wanted a table and chairs so she could "teach" the younger kids to read. But I explained to her that's what the kid desk in the office is for. I took a big gulp of being discount savvy and went to the Pottery Barn Teen site. She instantly fell in love with a leanback lounger. More surprisingly it was a design that I didn't think she would like but she didn't budge from her initial "OMG I LOVE THAT" freak out. 

    After a talk about taking care of our things so they stay nice and last longer, I told her we had to talk with Daddy about ordering the chair. So we had another discussion about taking care of our things, even more so now that she's moving on to the next phase of possessions. Gone are the simple plastic toys and furniture, here comes the more expensive, nicer and grown up items.

     In light of her recent selfless act of donating her hair to Locks of Love and her agreement to take care of her new room - I ordered her the chair. Luckily I was able to score some savings on that as well so it wasn't such a hard pill to swallow. 
from Pottery Barn Teen website

    This transitional phase is all new to us and I'm just hoping we're going about this the right way and the easiest way. Our first born is growing up and as clique as it sounds she's growing up way too fast! I feel a bit saddened by weeding out her baby/toddler possessions but it's also exciting to see what we create for her childhood. 

    I wish one of those home crasher shows would just show up one day at our house to do complete make overs of the bedrooms. Or at least win a room make over giveaway - lol. Oh and I wish I knew someone, anyone who liked to paint and would do it for free or beers! I hate painting. Bleck! And I wish we had warm weather right now so we could get this painting done so we can move onto the next kid's room!! Poor T.W has one wall done - ONE! 

    We still have a few things to hammer out like window treatments and shelving - oh and storage. What do you think? I'm letting her take most of the lead but helping along the way. Is 6 years too young to start working on a "Big Girl" room? How did you transition from baby to big kid? 





Some not so fine print but just wanted to make note of it - Zulily link above is my referral link - purchases have not been swayed in any form aside from what the "boss" likes