Friday, July 29, 2011

Photo Friday

So, for those of you that look forward to my Friday Photo posts when I do them, I am hoping to get back into the tips or sharing of some great photo places around the web on a more regular basis again.

Little Man is working on photos he has been taking this summer, I will share them come fall. I want to keep them under wraps right now as he is planning on entering them in a contest. I love his eye and take on photos. Sometimes I sit back and think, I wouldn't photograph it quite that way. But, then I look and see what he has seen and captured and I go WOW, that is cool.

Those of you that are following along, who has used my tips? How have the pictures turned out? What questions do you have so far? I have an assignment for you. Have fun with it!

Assignment: Go into your garage (yes, I said the garage) and place your little ones just inside with them facing out toward the outside. You will stand on the outside and capture them. In there, the light is constant and gives you a large window of light to work with. It's indirect light and with that you can achieve some pretty cool results. You could also use your front porch if your garage sounds too weird. :) This is a softer light and you will see can create some beautiful results.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Summer Craft Idea for Little girls and toddlers

Flower ideas for the Little girls and Toddlers:
1. Tissue Paper Flowers link
2. Flowers made with paper, glue, green Popsicle sticks and pom poms
3. Flower stickers to cover a notepad
4. Lolly Pop flowers- Dum Dum pops with flower shapes to put on them. Link
5. Flower pen Craft Link
6. CD Flower Craft Link
7. Candy Plant Link
8. Candy Kiss Link

Of course with all of these flower things, you need some bees right? How about a bee snack?

Honey Milk Balls
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup powdered milk
3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
Mixing bowl
Mixing spoon
What you do:
Mix honey, peanut butter, powdered milk, and graham cracker crumbs in mixing bowl. Form mixture into 2-inch diameter balls. Chill if desired and then eat.


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Camp Day- Your Very Own

So, HT because you asked for more, everyone gets more.
Planning your Own Camp Day Checklist:
1. Find help. You'll need someone to run or introduce the stations.
2. Pick a theme.
3. Keep things simple. It doesn't have to be complex to be fun!
4. Create a schedule. (Day(s), times, timeline for the day(s), location, stations)
5. Set limits/rules.
6. Schedule down time (this helps everyone)
7. Schedule people based on their talents and what they like best.
8. Have a set list of supplies and everyone brings what they can or have someone purchase them and divide the cost.
9. Set things up ahead of time and try everything before you have an audience.
10. Have fun! Remember why you are doing this--memories and kids! That's all that matters.

That's the short and simple way to start your own camp.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Training in Darkness....

OK, so last week I had gotten even more emails asking that I post on a more regular basis about my training. I'll keep them short and sweet and hopefully, you all will find it entertaining.

One of the evenings last week I had to train at night, as I was unable to be up at my normal early morning hour to train (had little sleep the night before) and there was a conflict anyway. So, the plan was after football camp was over I would head out. It would be dark, but I would train anyway. We decided to go for ice cream after football that night. It was a steamy day here and still steamy at 9PM so, ice cream sounded good. Who am I kidding, ice cream always sounds good to me in the summer. (Soft serve Vanilla that is.)

Here are my lessons from that night of training:

1. Ice cream before training, might not be the best idea. It didn't feel like it was settling all that well on my stomach that evening. But, I moved past that and didn't get sick so it was OK.
2. Late at night is not as comforting as early in the AM. At least in the AM it gets lighter outside, at night it just gets darker. I don't mind if I have someone coming along with me but, alone it can be a bit scary. (Yes, I know that makes me sound like a big baby.)
3. Bunnies and Cats are not as cute in the dark when you can't tell what kind of animal they are. Plus, I think I am more afraid of them at that hour than they are of me.
4. I was on the sidewalk, yet some cars were still slowing down when going past me. Really people? Nothing to see... Keep moving on please.
5. Bonus part, my butt shaking was only visible under the street lights and then only for a bit. I felt good about sparing the neighbors eyes from that sight.
6. I wore the safety reflective strips on my arms. I knew it was dorky, but it was safer. The bonus, those things at night can make you look really tan. :) Not that anyone except cats and bunnies are around to see it.
7. You tend to move faster when sweat is pouring off you in hot humid weather. Of course, I think this could be triggered by knowing that when you are done a cool house, shower and bed are waiting for you! That helped me.
8. Ice cream that doesn't sit well just might give you a boost of energy. (OK, so just looking for an excuse to enjoy that ice cream a bit more. I still plan to stay away from it before another training session. I'll go back to my banana and Peanut butter--my body likes that.)
9. Sidewalks try to trip you in the dark. The good news is nobody can really see that trip and you don't look like a fool except to the cats and bunnies.
10. Apparently, I need to go to a place that is hot, humid, holds the marathon in the dark, surrounded by unknown critters and serves ice cream. Because I broke my goal pace that evening. Since my marathon is in November and it could be snowing, I guess that is not on my side. Bummer!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Money Saving Monday--Save Money by having a plan and eating fresh

I've said it before, but buying only what you need at the grocery store can save you money.
Here is a form to help with your menu plans and that shopping list. Enjoy! and dinner plan

Next eating what's fresh and in season helps. Need to know what's in season? Here is a link.
Summer Fruits And Veggies

Want to get a heads up on all seasons? Check this link:

Perhaps, you are willing to do some extra work and freeze those great deals for later in the year when they are not in season. If you are not familiar with how to do this or need a reminder. Here is a link for that How to Freeze Fruits and Veggies

Next week, I was thinking I could post recipes of what to do with some of the in season fruits and veggies. Would that be helpful?

This weeks deals:

Friday, July 22, 2011

Cutting the Clutter

Little by little I want to cut back on what is in our house. Those of you that know me in real life, know I like to be organized. Ok, so I can be a bit obsessive about it.

But, at the same time, I have been looking at our house and the things inside of it and saying, wait let's get things a bit more simpler around here. Do we really need XYZ? Are we using it or is it just sitting there and making me dust it again. (Yes, I am not a dusting fan.) Is it meaningful or I am keeping it because I am just keeping it? I am looking at everything and wondering this. Some things have sentimental value and will be kept, others are just taking up space in my mind.

I find the more I simplify a room the better I like being in it. Clean and free of clutter. Of course, all the reorganization will NOT happen this summer. It will be on a fall to do list. But, I do plan on cleaning out some of the clutter and getting a yard sale together.

I did clean out some clutter this spring, but more has to go. It's a slow letting go of process.

Of course, every season Little Man's closets need a clean out and that will be coming up soon!

I find this in life, too. When you get down to it, sometimes simpler is better. Of course, that is just my humble opinion.

Now here is a man who is living simpler. Just living with what he needs and nothing more.
Tiny House
Anyone else doing this? Ok, not the tiny house, just the simplifying. :) But, if you are doing the tiny house, chime in too. That's cool.

Thursday, July 21, 2011


This woman who is 61 is preparing to swim 103 miles straight! WOW! You have to watch this video. Be prepared to be inspired.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


I noticed since we are eating less and less processed foods and more and more whole foods, I am not couponing as much. Well, for food at least.

I am still couponing for cleaners, shampoo, body wash, toothpaste, etc. But, as far as food coupons--there are not many for produce and meat. So, besides whole grain breads, granola, oatmeal, rice, yogurt and protein bars/powder. We are just not using that much. I am just trying to find the best deals on produce and such and get those while sticking to the budget.

Also, has anyone else noticed the coupons and policies are changing? Don't see as many coupons for under $1 anymore. Instead of .50 off 1 they are doing $1 off 2. Well, with the .50 off 1. I could have used 2 coupons if I got 2 items and then it would have been doubled and been $2 off 2. Sigh....

There are still good deals to be had out there though. Share your deal of the week with us and inspire others with your savings.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Top 10 for the training

OK, so a while back I mentioned training for the marathon. (Power Walk/race walking/crawling by the end not running). Anyway, I asked for people to say heck yeah if they wanted to hear about it. I needed 8 heck yeahs to post about it in a regular form. Well, I had one heck yeah. So, I didn't post about it. Then, I got a few emails and phone calls saying they wanted to hear about this. Talk about mixed messages people. :)
Anyway, I'd love to share the journey with all of you, but I do still need to hear yes from my readers to post about this on a regular basis.
However, for those that emailed and called here is a little bit of how things are going a top 10 so to speak.

1. I hate blisters. But, they don't stop me. Yes, I have good shoes and socks for those of you that are wondering and caring about my poor feet. I did try to get a different pair, but find I always go back to the pair I was fitted with by the shoe lady. She really knew what she was talking about. Those shoes have been kind to me for the most part and I really need to get another pair, I just hate the cost of them.

2. Early mornings are better for me or I guess late at night could work too as I won't be seen by too many then either. (see #3 as to why)

3. Race walking requires a bit of butt shaking. I don't like butt shaking. I tend to only race walk when I don't see people or cars around. Think side streets early in the AM. What does race walking look like? I will post a link at the end for all of you. But, think about when you tell a child not to run and they go into this thing that isn't running or walking. Yep, that's it. If you are a teacher you know what I mean. Ask a child to walk in the hall and they slow down a bit, only to continue lgoing ooking like something is stuck up their butt and moving at a faster pace than walking. Yep, that's race walking. :)

4. For those of you on the side streets that I frequent. Ignore the girl you see shaking her butt. She is really sorry that you have to witness it. Just turn your head and remember she really does know how to jog.

5. Which leads me to a fear that I have while race walking. My fear is the cars passing me might feel bad for me thinking I can't jog correctly. I can hear them now or I do every time a car passes, I keep think they are thinking and/or saying. "Oh look at that poor woman, she can't jog correctly." I can, really I can. I’ve toyed with the idea of getting a shirt that says "yes, I can jog I just choose to race walk."

6. I've decided to train with more hills than will be in the race. This way, when I hit a hill in the race it won't be as bad, right? Just say yes to make me feel better.

7. I told friends my goal was to finish the race. They laughed and asked why my real goal was. I think they know me too well. But, really my goal is to finish. Of course, then there is the reach goal and dream goals that I have set for myself. See, I told you they know me too well.

8. At this point, I am keeping a journal to make a marathon book for myself. A little scrapbook of sorts--this scrapbook will serve one of two purposes. 1) To look back on the marathon and serve as a reminder that I did complete that item on my list. 2) To look back on my first marathon and see how far I came when I am on multiple marathons. Did I really even say that #2 was an option? Must have been an easy day of training today.

9. Approaching storms can make you move faster. Well, at least they make me move faster. At that point, I am so worried about the storm I block out the fact that my butt is shaking for the world to see.

10. I enjoy and it totally makes me laugh when I take little man on his bike out training with me. The first time I did this, I was in for a shock. Have you ever watched the Biggest Loser and seen Jillian yelling to inspire her people to work harder? Well, little man took a note from her book and did his own form of encouraging for me. It was too cute! Not only did he do that but, we were only supposed to go 6 miles that day. He had me do 10 before I knew it. Then, at mile 9.5 he told me he thought I should sprint the rest. Saying very loudly to me…"you want to win this thing don’t you?!" He’s lucky he’s cute that’s all I have to say!

So, I promised a video for race walking. Here is one. I am still working to improve my form.
race walk video (Adding: Don't click thinking you are seeing me here! No way do I want that on video!) Here is another one...Race walking by the pros 
Also, I am gathering up some inspiration quotes for race day. Here is one that I found.
"That's not sweat, it's your fat cells crying" More quotes/inspiration another day.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Money Saving Monday- July 18, 2011

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions. I had some to make about blogging. I decided on Mondays I still want to do Money Saving Mondays. But, that I am going to link you up to the other blogs for your Giant, Weis and store deals. I will highlight some of the good deals every so often, but that since others do this so well, why recreate the work here? Part of my time management. I want the time I take to blog be effective and I want to look at streamlining things.

So, until I get my blog roll going on the side of the blog for you, the links will be in Monday posts. But, I also plan on offering other Money Saving ideas that you can implement or use. Since I won't have to worry about posting all the deals, I can focus on giving you other gold nuggets of information on ways to help you keep a budget, set a budget, tips on finding the deals or even posting some other great online deals or tips. In doing this, I hope to be offering more not less on the money saving Mondays.

So, this week:
Giant Deals are found here
Weis Deals are found here
CVS Deals are found here

I came across this article and wanted to share it with all of you.
 "Why you're overpaying at the dollar store."
If you click on the link, you can read the article. So many times I have head people say they were going to the dollar store for this or that. I do go there for things, but only when I know they are the best price for what I will be getting. There really are things that you can get with coupons and a sale at CVS that would be better than going to the dollar store. It's all about watching your prices. But, more importantly it's about watching your budget.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Young ones, Very Hungry Caterpillar and Party!

Here you have it another party idea. Don't worry more photo stuff coming up!
Ok, so I love this book for little kids.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar
Get yours over at
Here is a cute party planned with this theme. However, if you are like me, you can adapt this to a class party. Ok, I can't anymore as I know for certain Little Man's class will not think this is cool. But, preschool and K. You are so good to go on this one!

I can see you reading the book, making some Tshirts with the caterpillar on them (my friend K knows just how to do that) and then having some very nice caterpillar treats!

To view all the treats and such check this out:
Hostess blog and The Very Hungry Caterpillar Birthday Party

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Planning an outdoor BBQ and TIPS on saving...

Brought to you by: Hostess with the Mostess Blog

It's summer and Outdoor BBQ's are on everyones minds.
Here is a super cute idea for you!
Check out all the details here!

Also, check out this video on saving money. You can find it all here!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Song and my brief take on summer so far..

that I love...
My Savior, My God

Hope your summer is proving to be delightful! :) I can't believe that we are fully into July now and summer is slipping away too fast. Honestly, I wonder where it has gone. I LOVE having Little Man home and we've had such a great amount of family time. It's been great. I have a feeling though that the rest of the summer is going to slip by just as fast. YIKES!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


My main question that I would ask you is:
Do you think we are choosing excellence for our children when it comes to schooling here in the US?
My answer: Simply put, No.
This is a touchy subject for me. Meaning be ready for me to share my opinions and speak in truth when talking about it. But, I only speak the truth because I love my child and well, if you know me you know I just love kids in general.

That said, I am glad that others are speaking up and out when it comes to education in this country. Because you know what? Our kids deserve better! I want to see focused, commited, serious leaders. I want teachers, adminstrators, and all leaders of this country to strive to make education in the US full of excellence not mediocrity! Let me say this loud and clear "good enough" is NOT "good enough" when you are dealing with kids! Instead we need to be choosing excellence for all children.

So,what can you do as a parent to make sure this happens? It starts by being well informed. This means being in touch with what is happening in your state and school district. It means taking the time to be involved. You'd be amazed at the pieces of the puzzle that you can put together by going to those public meetings. Then, provide feedback (positive, as well as opportunities for growth) to your state and district. Most of all, don't be afraid to speak out. I think we are all a little afraid, until one day it will hit you real hard that...This is the future of your child and our country at stake.

Now, I think I better stop before you really get an earful!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Money Saving Monday July 11th

Whole Boneless and Skinless Chicken Breasts $1.49lb
80% Lean Ground Beef $2.29lb
Blueberries $1.49 pint
Cherries $1.99 lb
Plums $1.88lb
Nectarines $1.88lb
Mangos .98 each
Baby carrots $.98 (not organic)
Ground Turkey Breast $1.89lb for value pack
Boneless Sirloin Steaks $4.69lb
Yoplait Yogurt 10/ $5
16.9 oz. Honest Tea .89

For More deals click here
25% off
Use $0.75/1 Yoplait Frozen Smoothie, exp. 7/30/11 (SS 06/05/11)
Use $0.50/1 Luigi's Real Italian Ice Product printable
or use $1/1 Luigi's Real Italian Ice Product, exp. 8/27/11 (RP 06/26/11 R)
or use $0.50/1 Luigi's Real Italian Ice Product, exp. 8/27/11 (RP 06/26/11)
$1.50 after coupon
25% off
Use $0.50/1 Whole Fruit Sorbet Product, exp. 8/27/11 (RP 06/26/11)
Giant Deals: For More Deals check here
Buy 5 Kaski Products and Get $5 oyno
Happy Shopping! :)

Friday, July 8, 2011

Summer Nights and photos...

I LOVE summer nights for photos. Why? The light is so pretty, so magical. Get that hour before sunset and get your camera out and go capture your kids.
Of course, if you have a blanket, a bowl, a field and a newborn. You can have this...

If you have a little one you can have this...

But, remember they don't always have to look at you!

Now, go and have fun! :)

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Family Message Center Craft

Well, the Crafting chicks have a cute Family Message Center craft that begs to be shared!
You will find it over here!
Ok, so it was posted back in April, but something this cute needs to be shared again!
Plus, it would be a great craft to do with your kids or perhaps a teenager would like to make one of these on their own! Head on over and check out how she created this and get your own take on one today!
Photo from the Craftin Chicks!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

One of my Favorite Songs...

I am not good with titles and artists, but I can tell you the lyrics. :) However, I know this title and artists name. It's Blessings by Laura Story
Link it up here
Just wanted to share a favorite of mine. What are some of your favorites?

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Inspire Me- I was touched...

I was touched by a comment that was left a while ago. The person was saying that I somehow inspired them in this blog land. I was honored. I was also taken back. Me, inspirational? I sometimes wonder why people keep coming back to read my blog. Let alone the fact that someone thought I was inspirational!

They pointed out my Faith. And since I try to live my life in a way that others will see my beliefs and know what I stand for, I was honored that in some way that has come though on this blog too.

But, I fall short at times. As hard as I try, I will never have the perfect words or thoughts all the time. But, I am blessed because I serve a God that knows that and loves me anyway!
Broken and Beautiful

Monday, July 4, 2011

Money Saving Monday

will be back next week at the regular time. Until then, check with For the Mommas  or Money Saving Mom for your best bet on sale prices.
Happy 4th of July everyone!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Birthday Idea from Oh Happy Day!

There is this amazing birthday idea over at oh happy day that makes me just well, happy! I am tucking this away to use for Little Man. He's a senstive, sweet kind of kid that would just LOVE this. Visit the site for the tutorial on how to do this. While you are there, check around this AMAZING site. I hit another goldmine when I found this site! PURE AWESOME!!!
Photo From Oh Happy Day!