Friday, August 31, 2012

Kendra's Candy Themed 2nd Birthday Party

Well, I am a little bit late in doing so, but I thought I would share with you some highlights of little miss' birthday party. I have to say I am quite pleased with how it all came together. I had a few mishaps with some of the decor and a last minute trip to the party store, but all in all I would call it a success.

This girl sure knows how to accessorize. :)

Originally when planning her party I wanted to do a Rapunzel theme because Kendra's favorite movie is Tangled. However, when I came across some fun decorations and pins on Pinterest I quickly changed my mind. This was just an easier theme. :)

These large suckers are the things that gave me more trouble than anything! The pink lanterns in the tree were leftover from the wedding the evening before and we were able to take some home and use them.

The white bouquet was mine from the wedding and the pink were leftover from centerpieces.
What's a girl to do? So many choices

Blowing out her candles. :)

Sadly, she was much more interested in playing than opening her presents. :)

We are so blessed to be surrounded with so much family and so many friends who are all so generous. We couldn't have asked for better company or better weather! Jaxson has already started his birthday planning......for April. :)

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

A Big Adjustment

I know I should be posting all my fun pics from my vacation, the wedding and miss Kendra's party but I don't have the energy right now. Quite honestly, I just want to let some of my feelings out right now...... I want just a few minutes and paragraphs to wallow in my self pity. ;)

Okay, I want to keep it real on here. If you knew me in "real life" than you would know that going back to work, even just part time, has been a much bigger adjustment for me than I had anticipated and for very different reasons than I expected.

Working with large groups of people brings all kinds of personalities into the mix. I know myself and that I have issues with self confidence. I just want to do a good job and come home to my family. All sorts of new feelings of inadequacy have resurfaced going back to work and it is hard to keep these feelings at bay. No one has made me feel this way, persay, but it can be hard not too.

I am also working a lot more hours than I originally intended to and I am hoping to get this cleared up soon.  Between Brandon's and I's schedule we only seem to just cross paths. :( I know it is only temporary and that there are a lot of people out of work. I am grateful but just trying to be real. It has been a lot harder than I anticipated. It has made me realize that I did, in fact, take for granted all the time I had with my babies. I know they miss me and are having  a hard time understanding and that is what makes this the most difficult. Excuse me for being such a downer. :(

Monday, August 27, 2012

What A Whilrwind!

Well, it's been awhile! The longest little break I have taken since starting my blog. I have hardly had a spare minute lately to catch my breath, let alone get on blogger. I have missed reading all of your posts and commenting. I am anxious to get caught up, but it may take me awhile. I am still dealing with the aftermath of starting a new job, four days in Vegas, the wedding, and Kendra's 2nd birthday party yesterday! All of these things were such wonderful events and so much fun! I can't wait to catch you up on all of these, but for now here are some pictures of our recent happenings!

The beautiful bride is in the middle. :)
Spent some time in Vegas with two my favorite girls!
This girl turned 2!

So honored to be a part of this girl's day! 

What have you all been up to?!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

This post of funny things she said is brought to you by Kendra!

Now that Kendra is talking non stop (really) I thought I would give you some tidbits of the funny things she says. This girl cracks me up and blows me away with her vocabulary for an almost 2 year old!

I can't wait to look back at these posts some day with her and just have a good laugh. :)

Tonight she farted while I was changing her diaper and she said "ooh, that's a good one!" Umm...what? I cracked up, but seriously where has she heard this?!

Also, tonight while we were in the car she was simultaneously singing twinkle, twinkle, ABC's, Old Mcdonald and Rumor Has it, by Adele. It went a little something like this "Up above the world so high...Rumor has it, Rumor has it, Old McDonald had a cow...moo moo here and moo moo there. ABCD and on and on and on. Ha!

She had her hands in Kona's water bowl for the fifth time when I caught her again and she looked at me and said, "momma, don't touch it, that's naughty. Only I can" Really, Kendra?

She pretends anything and everything is coffee (wonder where she got that from?) and must start her day out with it!

Upon waking up the other morning she requested all three of her purses, a bracelet, necklace and shoes. Talk about all girl!

She climbed into the water table and said was just sitting there. I asked what she was doing and she said "relaxing in my hot tub".  :)

Just for good measure I will tell you what Jaxson told me last night. While we were laying on the couch (this is our nightly routine) he wanted me to put my legs out straight so he could lay his head on my lap. I complied. He laid there for a bit and then proceeded to tell me that I needed to change my shorts and wear long pants because my legs were too scratchy for him to be comfy. I drew the line there and told him to deal with it. :) I mean, I shaved my legs a few days bad could they really be?!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Slacking and a request for prayers

I can't believe it has been a whole week since my last post! Seriously, guys, time is flying around here! I am trying to adjust to my new job and I have to admit it hasn't been easy.

Now, that's not to say that I don't like it, because I really do but there is so much to learn and I haven't worked in over four years. Needless to say, my body and mind are having to adjust. My house cleaning has certainly taken a back seat. It has never been this messy!! However, I am doing a good job of being more present and in the moment with my kids while I am at home. So, housework can wait, as far as I am concerned. :) I only work part time, so I don't know how you moms do it that work full time outside of the home as well. I give you props!

Added on to all the day to day stresses is the fact that I am leaving for Vegas in less than a week...get home late Thursday night have wedding stuff to do Friday and then the actual wedding Saturday and Kendra's party on Sunday. Phew.... I am tired already. On a good note, we decided to do a sweets shop theme for Kendra's party and I found some really great stuff today at the dollar store! Can not wait!

On a more somber note..... more prayers and/or positive thoughts are needed for my friend I spoke of in my last post. Things have taken a turn for the worse; her health is failing rapidly and her cancer is spreading.  The doctors believe that recovery is not an option at this point. :(  I am still holding out hope for a miracle but the outlook does not look good. I just ask that you keep them in your thoughts.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

A tall, iced, double, soy, coconut mocha please?

I have seen a lot of virtual coffee dates around blogland the past six months or so and wanted to invite you to my "house" for coffee today!

Okay, so, no, you really aren't at my house, but if you were you would be greeted by my over eager dog Kona! He would most likely jump into your arms (all 80 pounds of him!) and then bring you something, anything, really. He feels he needs to always greet company bearing gifts. In the past these gifts have included the remote, a dirty diaper, my ringing cell phone, Jaxson's shoes and numerous kids toys and stuffed animals. Once you get past the gatekeeper you will be greeted by my chattering children and the sound of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse on the t.v. Jaxson would likely pull you into his room and show off all of his toys and books.

Once they settled down a bit then I would offer you some coffee or green tea. My espresso machine is still out of commission so it would be the good ole french press, which now seems to be my preferred method of brewing at home. I like a splash of coconut milk or vanilla almond milk and a bit of chocolate. :)

Between playing referee and breaking up my kids fights here and there, we would (hopefully) get a chance to talk and catch up. I would tell you that my first day of work went great and I met a lot of very genuine, nice and friendly people. This definitely seems like the type of atmosphere I want to work in. I would also tell you though, that I struggle with change. Although I know that the change that will come of this will be's still change, and I am going to need time to adjust and cope with that.  I have had four years nearly of being home and now it's just different knowing that my time isn't all "my own" anymore and that I am accountable to someone else.

I would tell you that the next three weeks are going to be a bit crazy around these parts. I am trying to adjust to the new job and schedule and getting ready to take off for Vegas for a few days and then when I get back I am in a friend's wedding and then the very next day is Kendra's birthday party. I have barely just begun to plan for it! No invites have been sent out and probably won't. Just be word of mouth and text messages! Agh! I would tell you that I feel a bit guilty that I had so much time to put into Jaxson's party and now I am afraid Kendra's won't measure up. I know she isn't going to know the difference, but I will. Que the mommy guilt. I can tell you that you may not see or hear from me much the next few weeks because of all the festivities, but hope to be back more consistently come September.

Last , but certainly not least, I would ask that you pray or think positive thoughts for someone I know who is battling a rare form of late stage four cancer. She has a brand new baby at home and a lot of life ahead of her. I just ask that you keep her close in your thoughts.

I would ask you what's new in your life and apologize for chattering on so much!!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Our Weekend via Instagram

We had our hottest weekend of the year yet! I am so thankful that the (maybe) last weekend I have off for quite a long time was a fun filled, warm one!

Kendra says, " I swimmin I swimmin!"

Sneaking off to the creek

Picnic time
Chicken pad Saturday night dinner!

How did I not know that the chocolate factory has chocolate dipped cheesecake on a stick?!
Playing with the wooden boats at the Arts Festival

Making a spin art frisbee

The finished product;  pink of course!
my pouting fireman

giant sandbox

Saturday we spent the day at The Anacortes Arts Festival and the park. Brandon and I had a shopping/dinner date that night and we rounded off Sunday with a picnic at a local park near a shaded creek. It was our first visit there with the kids and it was the perfect day. The temps reached right around 90 and the water was cool and crisp and the park shaded. After the kids were thoroughly exhausted we headed home for a quick nap and snack and we were off again. We have family in town from out of state so we had a BBQ and spent some more time swimming in my Grandmas in-ground pool.  It was such a full and busy day but, oh so perfect! Especially since I start my new job this week and I don't know how many free Sundays I will be having the rest of the summer.

How was your weekend?

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Tips and Tricks How I Save Money

Being a stay at home mom and living off of one income definitely requires some sacrifices and creativity when it comes to saving money. Even though I am heading back to work part time soon, I still plan on saving wherever I can. The money I will be making will strictly be going toward paying off some debts and getting our savings built up.

I thought I would share with you some tips on how I save money.


Kids seem to go through clothes so quickly at young ages and hardly have time to stain them. I know when my kids were babies we still had clothes with tags on them and they had already outgrown them.

What I like to do is consign my children's clothes as they grow out of them and then use the credit for items that they do need. We have some great local children's consignment stores and they are a wonderful resource for finding good quality clothing that is sometimes even brand new.

Also, participating in mom swaps is a great way to trade friends for items you both need. Obviously Craig's list and thrift stores can be great resources too.

I also like to stock up a few times a year at local department stores when they have deep discounts on out of season clothes. I simply buy bigger sizes and set aside for next year. Children's Place was having a clearance sale and I was able to pick up $3.99 bathing suits for both kids, sunglasses for .99 and shoes for $1.99. T-shirts were $2.00 and so were some of the jammies. I just loves sales like these!


If you haven't already joined daily deal sites such as Groupon and LivingSocial you definitely should. While we don't have a lot of local deals I have scored discounted zoo and aquarium tickets for up to 75% off the normal price. Occasionally movie tickets pop up and I try to stock up on those and save for date nights.

There are so many free and nearly free fun things to do with your families. Granted, I don't live in a big city so we are a bit limited but, there is enough to keep us busy.

We are part of a local mom's playgroup and we meet once a week. The children have a great time playing and the moms get an hour of adult interaction. Win win! Our children's museum also offers a free community day once a month and we always try to take advantage of that too.

I love the summer months because there always seems to be a bit more going on and lots of outdoor activities. A lot of cities offer free music in the parks as well as movies.

Libraries are great too for music and/or story times and often there are movies and games to check out with your library card, as well. Our local library has big discovery kits that hold books, puzzles, games and all sorts of fun, educational items grouped by theme. Best thing is that a library card is free!

Something I have also heard of but never tried is geocacheing. Has anyone tried this? How does it work?

By doing a little research and planning there are lots of things to keep you busy, but not put a huge dent in your pocket.


This is a big one. I have two hungry toddlers and I can't even imagine what it is going to be like when they are teenagers.

One of the things that I do that seems to have the most significant impact on my grocery budget is actually sitting down and planning my meals. I try to be diligent about planning every two weeks and when I do it's great...when I don't, well, not so great.

I try to plan my menu around what is on sale that week at the stores and what I have on hand. I know this sounds simple, but it makes a big difference. Additionally I try to use coupons as often as I can. No, I don't get all crazy about it, but I generally can save $10-20 dollars a week with coupons. Every little bit helps. Signing up for store loyalty cards always garners extra savings and checking their websites for e-coupons and mobile coupons is a plus.

I also try to double as many recipes as I can and freeze them, as space allows. Doubling a recipe isn't that much more expensive or time consuming and it definitely saves you time later on. I also like to cook up a bunch of mini muffins and fritattas and keep those on hand throughout the week for quick breakfasts.

Once a week, we have a leftover night. We just started doing this recently because I was disgusted how much food we were actually wasting and in turn wasting money.

We also have a garden, I know not everyone has space for a garden, but if you do, it is such a great way to save a significant amount on fresh produce. Besides, it is fun to see the result of your work and be able to have fresh food at anytime. We currently are growing onions, two kinds of potatoes, cucumbers, sugar snap peas, green beans, carrots, raspberries, cucumbers, brussel sprouts, blueberries and we had strawberries.  I am anxious to start up an herb garden, as well. Does anyone have any tips?

Additionally, we purchased a quarter of a cow this year (I cringe at how that sounds) and that made a big impact, as well. Initially, it is a bit spendy up front, but if you use ground beef a lot and have the freezer space it is worth it. Plus, you know where your meat is coming from.

I try to stock up on staples when they are on sale and freeze or store whatever I can. I don't buy it by the hundreds but I will pick up 5 or 6 extra cans of soup or what not if they are a great price. Sometimes buying things in bulk can be a great money saver too.

Obviously, making meals at home and not going out is most cost effective, but it's also not as fun. When we go out we generally check to see if there are any good deals and our local ValPak always has great coupons for local places, as well.  I know some restaurants have nights where kids eat free or for reduced rates.

So, what do you do to save money?!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Random happenings and ten things about me.......

I feel like such a bad blogger, lately. I promise to be present more but it's going to be kind of hard. The last time we "talked" I told you about my conflicted emotions of getting a job.

Well, I got the job!! I was and am still so excited about it. That right there tells me I am ready for this. It's only going to be part time and they are willing to work with me on my schedule. :) Such a blessing and much needed for all of us. :) However, I am definitely going to have less free time and the time that I do will be (mostly) devoted to my family. I am still of course planning on blogging because I love it and I love you guys. I guess I will just be a little (more) inconsistent.

With that being said let's move right along! The lovely Kerry over at It's The Little Things.... tagged me!

I am supposed to share with you ten things about me that you don't already know. This might be kind of if I repeat myself with something you already know, just pretend I didn't. ;)

1.) I went to school to be a nail technician. I loved doing nails, but what I didn't love was the cost of schooling, the lack of teaching and the lack of support from the school itself. I quit halfway through the program because I felt my money wasn't being well spent.

2.) I had two pet rats when I was a child; baby and Sunny.

3.) I love couponing and rarely shop without them!

4.) I had a reoccuring dream all through childhood about fleeing from cops up a mountain on a donkey with my Dad. I fell off the donkey and was drug behind. Weird, I know!

5.) I have a mild purse obsession. I say mild, but my husband would tell you something different. ;)

6.) I don't know how to french braid and it frustrates the crap out of me!

7.) I have a scar on the side of my face near my left eye where I fell on a propane tank when I tripped over a trailer hitch. I was playing tag and didn't watch where I was going.

8.) I struggle with unexplained vertigo. It comes and goes and sometimes lasts for days at a time. Usually only affects me when laying down or leaning down and turning my head from side to side. Not fun. Makes me totally nauseous too. :(

9.) I didn't like popcorn or almonds until this year.

10.) I love seafood.....crab, lobster, clams, oysters, you name it. Unfortunately, it doesn't love me anymore. About 8 years ago I developed an allergy. :( Now, I can't eat it at all. Worst part is that I know what I am missing out on.

What are some things that I don't know about you?!