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My Boys-terous Summer

Written by
Jun 30, 2011 | Everything Else |

A Boys-terous Crew

I had such great intentions of being a great blog host while my sister was on her three-week hiatus, but have fallen far short of my expectations.  This must be what happens when the right brain is left to handle things!

It’s funny how summer comes along and you think of all the things you’re going to accomplish with all your extra time, but there’s something about the lack of routine that makes productivity elusive.  Laundry keeps piling up, the dishes overflow the sink, I’ve got piles of schoolwork from the previous year to sort through, and we still have winter jackets hanging on our coat racks (I’m thinking I’ll just leave them there till the cold weather returns, now). We’re constantly on the run from soccer camps to swimming pools to play dates and vacation bible schools; add to that a very busy season of oilcloth beach bag orders, and the days fly by!




Written by
Jun 24, 2011 | Free-for-all Friday |

So my first Master’s class is officially over and I really think I did okay.  I had a rough start, but after a few weeks, I got into the groove and actually got ahead of my work.  The most challenging part was working on 3 different web projects while spending 15-20 hours on my course work and being a full time mom.  But my husband is a teacher and he was home full time at the beginning of June which helped tremendously.  My next class starts the first week of July – yippee!

So with that in mind, I’m taking a 3 week vacation.  We are going to the family cabin in the mountains and we’re excited to get away from our very busy lives.  That means that I won’t be posting for a few weeks.  I need a break from everything.  I think that’s what I’ve learned the most about in the last few months – when to say “no” and take a break.  The world won’t end if I take a break – a very humbling thought in deed.

So I hope you all enjoy your Fourth of July holiday and I’ll see you here soon.



Written by
Jun 21, 2011 | Saving Money, Tip Tuesday | Tags: ,

When we returned to the states, I wanted a good budgeting software without the hefty price and that’s when I stumbled on Mint.com.  Not only is it good, it’s free!  Intuit purchased it at some point so there’s also a good name behind it.  It’s easy to use, keeps us on budget, sends us alerts when we’re spending too much and downloads all of our account information into one place.  Best of all, it’s on the internet so I can access it from anywhere.  There’s also an Android and iPhone app.

So if you’re looking for a great way to manage your money, check out mint.com and see what you think.


Summer Vacation

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Jun 20, 2011 | Everything Else | Tags:

Tubing in North Carolina

We didn't hear banjo music, but had fun anyway!

Mine and Laura's husbands mining for precious gems with the kids

I just returned from a family vacation to Virginia, where we visited family and spent a couple days in Washington D.C.  Along the way, we stopped to see Laura and her family and we stayed with a couple of my husband’s sisters.  It was a treat to have free places to stay while we had the privilege of spending some time at the beach in Virginia and touring D.C.  It was an exhausting road trip to take with five boys, but well worth it!

Post-vacation reentry always makes you wonder if vacation is worthwhile, but I’m convincing myself that it is.  I returned to lots of Etsy orders, mounds of laundry, and baseball tournaments; as well, several us came home under-the-weather from our weary travels, but we’ll get back on our feet again soon!

Be sure to click on this post to see all the pictures I posted of our travels!


DIY Message Center

I used plexiglass for the writing surface

I used scrapbooking supplies to embellish

Magnetic clips hold the center together

For a while, I looked for a message center that had all the things I wanted.  I had my eye on a Pottery Barn one, but found it WAY too expensive for my budget.  We had a piece of plexiglass sitting around and I thought, hmmm, that would make a nice message center.  So I assembled my supplies and got to work. (more…)


Salsa Garden Progress

Our tomato plants are growing up, so I staked and caged a bunch of them this week.  I can already taste the fresh homemade salsa in my mouth!


Toddler Lessons: It’s the process

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Jun 13, 2011 | Mommy Monday | Tags: ,

My daughter loves her shape sorter.  It was a gift on her first Christmas from her grandmother and she is really good at it now.  She still asks for help occasionally, but I think it’s more that she wants us to know that she still does need us every once in a while 🙂



Organizing a Desk Area

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Jun 10, 2011 | Free-for-all Friday, Organization | Tags: ,

Hanging shelf holds my backup drives

Milk crates hold important files and coupon inserts

Fabric bins hold various items I don't need in my desk

Despite being an organization freak, my desk always looked more “tangled” than “tidy”.  I really wish I had a before photo to share with you because I’m sure some of you can’t believe it.  For the most part, my desk was very “tangled” because I lacked a good organizational system for my desk.  Just having a few drawers wasn’t enough for me.  So piles of coupon inserts, magazines and bills would sit on my desk.  I’d find a bill a few days before it was due by the grace of God.  Not a good system.  So I decided to change that. (more…)


Fireworks Shirts

Here is a fun, manageable t-shirt project.  It’s sort of a Monet-like twist on fireworks, but I think the spirit of it came through pretty well.  You can find the tutorial for this project here.


Coconut Milk

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Jun 7, 2011 | Food, Tip Tuesday | Tags: ,

I’ve always loved coconut.  My husband, not so much.  A few years ago, I decided to see what would happen if I used coconut milk in Blueberry muffins instead of milk and let me tell you, yumminess happened.  My husband even agreed.  From that point on, if a recipe called for milk and I wanted to make it extra special, I used coconut milk.  Go ahead, try it. (more…)

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