Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Valentine's Day . . . with a side of extra

One of my goals in life is to have my children grow up and realize their mom was a freak . . . about holidays. I just love decorating the house with little touches of the season. I think it makes it feel more cozy and inviting.
How about this for a warm welcome when you come into my house? Probably should have turned the lamp on for added effect but let's face it, I'm not a home blogger or a photographer.
Can I just tell you that finding Valentine's decorations is not that easy. I was on a mission to find cute stuff and went to all the typical haunts but was underwhelmed. I do love a banner for the mantle these days since I don't have much room for tchotchkes.
My favorite place to add things is on the shelves in the family room . . . so many little spots to fill with cute stuff.
And the other side . . . would you just look at my sweet Abby in that picture . . . I miss her so.
And a few more random things . . . I can't put candy in this candy dish because Zeus would get a belly ache from eating it all.
I got this little vase at the Dollar Store . . . what a score (said no one ever except me)!
But the piece de resistance to my Valentine's Day decor is this adorable pillow. I mean I just thought it was the cutest with the conversation hearts. But wait . . . when I went to take the tags off it, I realized I had missed something amazing!
Shut up! The other side lights up. Can you even stand it? I mean that is just the tackiest most fabulous thing ever. EVER. 
Here's the candy corner that has been on my counter for a few weeks . . . and I'm proud to say I've only had one peppermint patty the entire time. I'm trying to cook healthy and buy organic, but kids love a treat. My kids have left most of it alone except for a nibble here and there. My hope is that they don't become indulgent adults because they were denied yummy things when they were growing up . . . so far, so good.
And speaking of indulging kids, Zeus and I made an early morning Chick-Fil-A run before the kids got up to surprise them with 30 count nugget trays. The boys tackled one before school and Amanda wants to take hers to share with friends at school . . . I thought that was sweet. In fact, she's the one that told me about the heart shaped nugget trays. Pretty genius of CFA if you ask me.
So there you have it . . . I wish you all the hearts and flowers and warm and fuzzies today . . . hug someone you love.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Who is this fancy little lady? And other weekend topics . . .

Well she's my sweet little girl . . . how is it even possible that my BABY is wearing makeup and heels?
For all you mamas of young ones out there, take heed . . . you're going to long for the days when they were little and always underfoot. Now really all I see is the back of her cute little head as she's off to hang out with her friends. Kind of like this . . . 
So Friday was the Snow Ball for the middle school. Usually they call it the Winter Ball, but with a Stranger Things theme, Snow Ball it was. And no, I didn't get it either until I asked the kids.
Amanda and I had fun getting a manicure and pedicure on Thursday . . . the ladies at the salon are just so sweet to her. And she loves to wear her brother's high school cross country sweatshirt . . . kinda cracks me up.
On Friday, I picked her up early from school so she could come home and get her makeup done before heading to her hair appointment. She went to see my friend Renee who has done my hair for like 15 years . . . I love her long time. And wow, Renee did an amazing job. Amanda has a LOT of hair. 
She keep trying to feel her curls, and we kept telling her to stop touching them or they would fall out sooner. Guess you had to be there, but it was pretty funny. And a couple more pictures because can you really ever have too many of your kids? Nah.
I also have to give all the praise hands for Amanda's group of middle school friends. So far, and knock on wood, they are so fun and supportive and just love each others company. 
There's a group of five that call themselves the "Gringos" and they love to be together. Would you just look at them? I adore each and every one of them . . . they are just the sweetest and most amazing group of girls. And most of the time they crack me up.
There are definitely some other fabulous girls that they spend time with . . . aren't they just so pretty all fancy for the dance?

I feel super blessed that I got to be the mom to drive them to the dance and pick them up. It's fun to be a "fly in the driver's seat" and listen to them tell their stories. And it's also fun to be nosey and sneak into the dance to see the decorations, food options and all the kids dressed in their finery.

The Gringos love them a late night Target run . . . which is made even better in fancy clothes. They thought they were pretty hysterical . . . or maybe that was me. This was right before a $51 Taco Bell run for them and my boys. Eye roll.
Not only do these cute little ladies love Target, they are super basic and think Starbucks is like the mother land. We try to get their once a week before school because it's super cool to walk into homeroom with a Starbucks cup. Obviously.
In other weekend news, we celebrated my Kyle turning 15 recently. He's such an easy going kid . . . sometime too easy going. Sure, I'll force a smile for you mom. I'm thrilled on the inside. Promise.
Since he didn't ask for anything for his birthday, I had to get creative. "Alexa, can you set 42 alarms to wake Kyle up for school?" Perhaps a self-serving gift . . . sorry, not sorry.
Of course he got the chance to blow out some candles . . . and hear us slay the birthday song! Since we had Steak & Shake for dinner (his choice), no one ate any cake.  Good thing I got a small one.
On Sunday, my Cadette Girl Scouts took a field trip to the local Merle Norman store. Y'all, the owner and the sweet lady who helped me set up the meeting were amazing. Like just over the top fabulous with the girls. 
They talked about skin care, let the girls do their makeup, gave them tips and tricks for applying make up, had cookies and bottled water for them and sent them away with the cutest makeup bag filled with goodies.
They took almost two hours to work with the girls and not a single girl seemed to get bored. I remember my mother taking me for a make over and color consult to a Merle Norman when I was about their age so it was a very nostalgic experience. 
Finally on Sunday night, we did a semi-fancy Valentine's dinner . . . of breakfast foods. Life gets so busy during the week that I thought it would be easier and more relaxed to have our little celebration on Sunday evening. Geez, that picture is terrible, but it's the only one I have.

Well, there you have it . . . another weekend in the books. One more week before Winter Break . . . we are on the countdown!

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

What's Up Wednesday?

I'm trying something new for 2018 . . . a once a month What's Up Wednesday link-up with Mel, Shay and Sheaffer. It's the little things in life that are sweet to go back and remember so I thought this would be fun!

Anyone else slightly thrilled and also freaked out about the fact that today is the last day of January? My flu days this month dragged on, but now it seems like time is traveling at lightning speed.

Here's what we are covering today . . . 

What we're eating this week . . .
Well, I'm still going strong with the 21 Day Sugar Detox so I am making main entrees that every one can eat, and then adding sides for the family and some others for myself. Shockingly no one else in my house has the same love of beets and Brussel sprouts! They are weird. Winky face.

And my sweet friend Natalia showed me how to make her delicious ground turkey and green salsa this week. No sugar, super healthy and most of all . . . so good! And based on my fabulous food pictures, I'm thinking food blogger is my next big thing. #not


What I'm reminiscing about . . .

As a mom of two high schoolers and a middle schooler, I'm always thinking about the days when my kids were little. The days before cell phones, X-boxes, major homework, social events without me, etc. I'm still adjusting to my oldest driving my middle son to high school every day. Every morning I stand at the door and wave goodbye to them . . . most days they don't even see me. But I'll be there when they do glance my way.

What I'm loving . . .
Right now life seems to revolve around what I can eat so I'm thankful for my Butcherbox monthly grass-fed meat subscription, and my Primal Palate organic spices that I treated myself to this month. Both help take the guesswork out of what I'm eating so that's a bonus!

What we've been up to . . .
Lacrosse, lacrosse and more lacrosse! Both my boys are playing for the high school team. Kyle has been playing for awhile, but this is Ryan's first time. I am so proud of that kid for trying something new as a sophomore. School ends at 3:30 p.m., and they don't get home until around 6:30 every day. The first practice was in the rain, and the coach still had them stay the normal time. #hardcore

My friend Michelle and I volunteered to be the concession moms for the season so I'm kind of excited about that. I'm sure that excitement will fade as the season goes on, but for now it seems like a good thing! Ha!

What I'm dreading . . .
Eagle Scout paperwork . . . my Kyle has completed his Eagle Scout project, and all that remains is the final paperwork. He, and his fellow friends and scouts, built a fenced and gated garden at the middle school. It was a fabulous project . . . we are so proud of him. Now he has to finish the paperwork, and I get to be the "mom"ager on the task. Boo.

What I'm working on . . .
Well, something for work actually . . . online QuickBooks training. My company generously paid for me to take the Mastering Quickbooks Levels 1 & 2 self-paced training courses, and I'm hot and heavy into getting that done. I had to set a testing date to light the fire under me so on Monday, February 26, I'll head to a testing center for my exam. It's been a LONG time since I've had to study and honestly, I'm not hating it. See GIF above . . . LOL!

What I'm excited about . . .
Y'all, I'm headed straight to full blown hippie status soon. Tonight I'm going to a "Lunar Eclipse Drum Journey Meditation!" Yes, you read that right! 

I have been doing lots of research on a variety of healthy topics and nearly 'everyone' says that while diet and exercise are super important, so is managing your stress and a sense of community. I have amazing friendships so I think community is covered, but I definitely need some Namaste in my life . . . more often than not, I need to chill the 'eff out. 

What I'm watching/reading . . .
I thought it might be fun to do a whole post on what I'm watching, reading, listening to (see below) so I'll just give a quick answer here. I just binged watched Parenthood on Netflix. I was an accident. I was so bored when I had the flu that I started it. It was so amazing that I watched it in all my spare minutes and even got the rest of the family into it. I was equally sad and grateful when I was done . . . I needed my life back.

What I'm listening to . . .
Hello my name is Amy, and I'm addicted to podcasts. Like there is not enough time in my life to listen to them all. My friend Amy (I should tally how many 'Amys' are in my life . . . it's a lot) turned me onto these, and I can't stop, won't stop.  

Might I recommend Ear Hustle? It's a podcast from and about inmates at San Quentin prison. Give it a listen . . . it is fabulous.

What I'm wearing . . .
Way more yoga pants than I should . . . but I do walk Zeus every day . . . plus they are so comfy. And since it's been so darn cold, I wear a sweatshirt most days plus my coat . . . this one from Old Navy is my favorite right now! 

What I'm doing this weekend . . .
Lemme check my calendar. Amanda is going to be a Camp Assistant at Girl Scout camp this summer so she has overnight training Friday evening through Saturday afternoon! And then on Sunday, the Super Bowl. Getzy is a Patriots fan so yeah, he's ready for Sunday.

What I'm looking forward to next month . . .
Winter Break from school!! My kids get a week off in February. We are all happy to not set alarms, and I'm happy not to make lunches for everyone. 

What else is new . . .
Geez, I think I've covered it all for now.

Bonus question this month: What's your favorite soup recipe . . .

Tortellini Soup (so delicious)

1 lb. Ground Italian Sausage
1 c. chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
5 c. beef broth
¾-1 c. red wine
1 ½ c. water
1-2 cans petite diced tomatoes
1 c. thinly sliced carrots
½ t. basil
½ t. oregano
1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
1 ½ c. sliced zucchini
1 medium green pepper, chopped
1 pkg. frozen cheese tortellini
3 T. chopped parsley
Grated Parmesan cheese

In a large pot, brown sausage and drain, reserving a small amount of grease.  Saute the onion and garlic in the grease.  Add the broth, wine, water, tomatoes, carrots, basil, oregano, tomato sauce, and sausage.  Bring to a boil and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes.  Add green pepper and zucchini and simmer for another 10 minutes.  Add tortellini and simmer for another 10-20 minutes, or until tortellini are done.  Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese before serving.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Why is it so hard . . .

To keep up with this blog? I mean seriously. I think the problem is more when I get out of doing it, it's hard to know what to say to get started again. 
Should I do a big summary of life lately, which is overwhelming and stops me in my tracks, or do I just do a weekend recap and pretend I haven't been gone for a few months?  Mom, what should I do?!?  

Let's just go with a quick weekend recap . . . which would technically start last Tuesday night when school was cancelled for snow on Wednesday . . . and continued through Friday. 
So in summary, my kids had school exactly one day last week due to the MLK holiday. In the end that was a good thing because my Ryan had a fever Friday night through Monday, but it was gone Tuesday . . . thus school. When you're in high school with an AP class, you don't want to miss.

Tuesday night was super lit . . . and I'm pretty sure as a mom I'm not supposed to even say that . . . but, it totally was. I braved the impending snow storm for this . . .
The overwhelming response from everyone has been, "Who is Milky Chance?" Well have a listen . . . they rock.
It was my first time at the Buckhead Theater, and I give it two thumbs up! The boys opted for a spot on the rail which was genius really . . . we had such good views. 
The boys sang and danced and generally had a blast. I was the creeper mom standing behind them keeping an eye on things. I know my place . . . I didn't try to high five and chat it up with them or dance it out.

We made it h0me safe and sound which was a huge blessing because we were snowed in for the next two days due to ice and Georgia hills.  Well the kids and I were trapped . . . Getzy rolled out bright and early Wednesday morning in the Jeep and used 4-wheel drive the whole way to work. He's crazy.

We hung out with friends, the kids had birthday parties and I spent a lot of time with this guy . . . who is technically not allowed on the couch. But with a blanket and when it's cold, it's totally okay, right?!? Right.
I know, I know . . . he is too big for the couch . . . but would you just look at him? So handsome and sits so properly.  

I don't typically watch movies in my free time, but I'm obsessed with all things British royalty. I thoroughly enjoyed this from Redbox this weekend.
And I suppose the mostly newsworthy event of the weekend was starting my 21 day sugar detox on Sunday. 
It's kind of like a kicked up Whole 30, which I've completed twice. I feel like I'm addicted to sugar so this seemed like a good challenge to tame the sugar beast. I tend to do better with strict rules . . . we shall see.
I even went to a book signing with my friend Natalia to meet the author. Diane was lovely. It was the first time I've ever been to a book signing . . . I thought it was a neat experience. 

And I seriously look like a giant here . . . I guess I do have several inches on my tiny Colombia friend and Diane was sitting down. But damn, pictures are sometimes harsh realities.  

Well that wasn't so hard. I absolutely love to go back and read old posts so when you see me, tell me to get on my blog writing! I hope you had a fabulous weekend too . . .