Sunday, July 31, 2011

Resolution Recap: July

It is time to take a look back at the past month and see how I am doing with my resolutions! I am definitely doing better with some of these and lacking with others. Let's go ahead and see how I did! And sorry - don't have any pictures for this one!
1) Read 14 books: Making progress for sure! I can't remember how many I have finished so far, but I am working on one and considering starting a second easy one. I keep finding more books I want to read - that probably warrants its own post!
2) Learn to sew: Making progress! I went to a Sewing 101 class at JoAnn's and loved it! It was just basic stitches and getting to know your way around the sewing machine. I plan to do a class in a couple weeks on how to make those pillowcase dresses - should be fun! I also want to get my own sewing machine. I think I'd definitely feel more comfortable once I can play with it and just learn through trial and error.
3) Cook more frequently: Doing better! Since my neighbors and ourselves are doing Dinner Club (or Meal Sharing or whatever you prefer), it makes me cook a good, coordinated meal at least once a week. And since they do it for us also, that means we get TWO good, coordinated meals each week! I am going to begin a series based on that called Foodie Fridays, so check back each Friday for that (and maybe even link up, if I decide to do so)!
4) Read the Bible everyday and read it the whole way through: Not doing so hot. I've really got to do better about that. I really enjoyed when I was reading each day's assignments and I guess I just got too behind so now it is overwhelming. The sooner I start back at it, the sooner I will catch up!
5) Use treadmill/work out 4 times each week: Doing much better! I've been getting up before I get Katie up and using the treadmill to walk/run. I've also walked to the pool for Katie's swim lessons and then walked home. A walk in our neighborhood is some definite cardio - we have humongous hills! Plus, throw in the fact it is 95+ degrees and I definitely sweat!
6) Use coupons when I shop: We have been getting $5 off a $30 purchase at Publix since a new Whole Foods opened near us, so those are the main coupons I've been using. Since I have wanted to cook certain things, it has made it a little more difficult to use coupons. When there are items on my list, I do check a coupon database and make sure I use any that exist!
7) De-clutter & simplify: I haven't done a whole lot in this department. In fact, with consignment sales starting back up, we have more stuff around here. With our custom cubbies in the laundry room, I hope to be able to organize things in there a little better. And don't worry, pictures of that to come in a different post!
8) Find a Sunday school class at church: Nothing. We have GOT to do this!!!
9) Buy fresh flowers once/month: I can't believe I didn't do that this month! I did think about getting a fresh bunch at the Farmer's Market but just didn't. I guess that just means we have to get flowers TWICE next month! :) I'll be sure and tell that to Brad as a subtle way of suggesting he get some for me.
10) Have a date night with Brad at least once/month: Success! Brad and I went to see Horrible Bosses and ate a quick bite last Sunday. The movie was hilarious!
11) Send 2 hand-written cards/month: I don't think I did this month. I will definitely make up for it this month though!
12) Have another baby: Negative.
13) Use more eco-friendly cleaners: Yes!
14) Have structured learning time each day: We are doing lots of fun things this summer! And Katie is out of mother's day out the whole month of August, so we will have some extra time for some more activities - and possibly even potty training. Any/all advice is welcome on that topic!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Foodie Friday

Since my neighbor and I are doing a meal share/dinner share/co-op thingy (what should it be called??), I have decided to feature a meal we shared during the week! Now, I know it is helpful to have great go-to recipes, so that is likely what I'll focus on, but let's face it...not every meal is a keeper! So there will definitely be some duds in the mix! But this week, on the first Foodie Friday, I wanted to highlight the meal I made on Wednesday. And let me start by saying this - OHHH-EMMM-GEEEEE....this was delicious!

I made Slow Cooker Chicken Stroganoff (over egg noodles) with grilled zucchini and squash (that had been marinated for about 30 minutes in some Dale's), and some diced tomatoes, cucumbers, and onions with some lemon juice, olive oil, and salt on them. Ah-mazing. The chicken stroganoff had to be stirred about every hour, and every time I opened it to stir, I wanted to dive in and eat every single bite.

Here is a picture of Brad's plate of food....I was so excited about eating that I didn't stop to take a picture!

For dessert, we had chocolate chip bundt cake that Jill (my neighbor) had made. It was delicious and sounds pretty easy - I will have to get the actual recipe from her to post, but it involves a box of yellow cake mix, a thing of french vanilla pudding, sour creme, and chocolate chips. YUM! She left it at our house that night and I could not step away from it yesterday!

Check back every Friday for this fun new series! And I might even add a link-up option...what do you think?? Cheers!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Backyard Fun

We try to play outside after dinner unless it is raining or just ridiculously hot! Every once in a while I will take my camera out there with me - I love catching Katie in the midst of playtime! Here are a few shots from backyard fun before bath time the other night...

{SUCH the diva, don't you think??}
{she is slightly obsessed with sunglasses - she knows exactly where she wants them, too - on her eyes or hair, just like momma}

{maybe she'll be a soccer player like me!}

{she loves standing on the mulch and holding onto the trees. she has also been known to literally hug and kiss the tree.}

{Sadie made the cut! isn't she just so cute??}

{my fave. love this girl. and i'm fairly certain this picture sums her up...always ready to have fun!}

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

What I'm Loving Wednesday!!

Good morning, guys and gals! Hope everybody is having a great week and staying cool! I can't believe this is the last week in July! I love taking a break out of our busy days and remembering the little things that I'm loving - if you want to link up, jump over {here}! Also, in case you don't make it to the end of this post, please click over on the "Join this site" and become a follower - I have been working on an awesome giveaway once I hit 50 followers! You will be SO glad to joined, I promise!

I'm loving taking pictures of flowers - I am not sure what it is about flowers, but I just love it. And I feel somewhat creative and nature-y when I do! :)
I'm loving these two folks, as always! Also, I'm loving this Elmo laptop I got Katie at a consignment sale last week - the best $5 I've spent! She was sitting next to Brad and they were both on their laptops. Hilarious.

I'm loving consignment sales! It is definitely that time of the year - shopping for fall and winter! I've gone to two so far and plan to go to at least 2 or 3 more. I just love it. I love finding cute outfits for next to nothing. I also love finding pre-loved toys that are in great shape to save to give Katie for Christmas!

I'm loving these strips I put on Katie's little table! She loves doing the alphabet. And she recognizes all the colors (and shapes)! I can't believe how quickly she picks things up!

I'm loving these hand towels!! I bought the blank white ones and gave them to a friend to monogram/applique! I had bought a couple of bags of scrap fabric and pulled some fabrics from there. And I LOVE how they turned out!

This one is hanging in our half bath downstairs:

And I think this one is my favorite!!...

I'm loving this sock puppet that Katie made at the Christmas in July event! She did have some help, but it turned out so cute!

I'm loving this Viva Beads keychain! It is perfect to slip on my wrist when I am getting Katie in and out of the car - and to help me find my keys in my purse!

I'm loving the keyrack that Brad put up by the door to the garage! We are going to put a fun frame with a chalkboard in it next to here - can't wait to do that little project!

I'm loving that I am slowly but surely getting close to 50 followers! I have been working on a giveaway to do when I reach that milestone, and I PROMISE you will love it! So, be sure to click on the button on the right hand side that says "Join this site" - you'll be so glad you did!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Sensory Bin With Rice

A month or two ago, I bought a little storage bin at Target in hopes to make a sensory bin with it! I threw a big bag of rice in there and saved an old Crystal Light container, and done! I know it would have been better to have other containers/toys of different sizes (toy cars to drive in it, a little bowl to pour into, etc), but I first wanted to make sure that Katie enjoyed it! Man oh man, did she! She had a BLAST scooping and pouring out! And for a girl that doesn't like to get her hands dirty, she loved scooping her hands in and getting handfuls and letting them go. We had to put the sensory bin up when she kept throwing handfuls of it onto our deck (plus it was super hot!). But she did a great job with it! I have a couple bags of beans to try in there next. Enjoy the pics!

What else can you recommend to put in the sensory bin? Sand? Shaving cream?

Monday, July 25, 2011

Fun At The Farm!

I just have to preface this post by saying how much fun this farm visit was! I am SO glad I stumbled across the Facebook post about the tour - this farm is LITERALLY less than 5 minutes from my house! (If you are local, let me know and I'll tell you the name of the farm so you can follow them and learn about neat events) They also host monthly rodeos for the kids (one example of an event is kiddos chase a calf around and try to get a ribbon off its tail), a summer camp (can't wait for Katie to get old enough for that one), birthday parties, and other private events! The folks that live there and work there are so nice. I really didn't want to leave, but I thought it might be kinda weird to stay :) I do have to drop off my check since I didn't bring my checkbook with me - maybe they will invite us to stay a while! A girl can hope, right? Anyways, I asked Katie what her favorite part of the farm visit was and her reply was the truck. Oh dear. Oh, and the little ruff ruff and big ruff ruff (they had a Great Dane)! I loved seeing the baby cows - they are ADORABLE. Actually, we had to stop the tour for a minute because they had seen a calf standing up and then they couldn't see it. So the leader went to find it, and the Great Dane (Queenie) though it was time to play. The momma cow heard the calf's cry and hightailed it out there - which was exactly what they were going for. That momma needed to steer her baby to the shade! So cool. Here are some pics of the experience (and please excuse the quality of some of them - they were with my phone)...

{the road leading up to the farm}
{a view of the farm from the house}

{Katie and I rode in the back with the other kids and dogs}

{one of the horses we saw - Katie loved seeing them but did NOT want to touch them! they also offer horseback riding at the farm! where do I sign up??}

{Katie playing with another of the dogs that lives on the farm}

{we brought a picnic lunch with us and sat under a big tree in the shade}

{Katie posing with the big tree we sat under}

{goofy gal. and of course she was chowing down on some goldfish.}

{the garden on the farm. i missed that part of the tour because of Katie's swim lessons - pretty neat though! and Katie got to shuck some corn - that's definitely a first!}

{all of these veggies for $25!!! this is 2 peppers, 4 eggplants, 14 small onions, 6 cucumbers, 14 ears of corn, and 10 tomatoes...and full of homegrown deliciousness!}

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Farmer's Market Fun

I love this time of year for many reasons. One of them is the fact that fresh fruit and veggies are in season! And only live about 10 minutes from a really good farmer's market - love it. Yesterday, we got up and ventured out there - it was packed! Thank goodness there was a little breeze...otherwise it would have been WAY too hot! We did our normal "lap" by all of the vendors and got some good buys! I definitely learned my lesson, too. I had been wanting a Nutella crepe (a definite treat...and it totally negated having run/walked on the treadmill earlier that morning) - and I learned that one should eat food before buying produce and milk! It tasted good, but I had to eat it in about 3 bites because we didn't want the milk to get too warm :)

While I scarfed down my crepe, Katie enjoyed listening to the live music!
A man and his dog with all of our goodies - heading back to the car.

All of our yummies! There is a vendor there with the prettiest fresh flowers - I wish we had stopped by there and gotten some, but I guess that will have to wait until the next time we go!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Christmas In July

There is a really cool place here that is unique, boutique type stores and restaurants. And they are hosting a Christmas in July celebration today and tomorrow! The cutesy kids clothes shop had all their summer stuff half off. I got Katie a couple dresses for next summer! And they had face painting (we didn't do that!), a train area with toy trains, a craft (Katie made a sock puppet!), firefighters were giving away cute little fireman hats and crayons and coloring books, and they had Christmas movies playing for the kids! My mom met us there for lunch and we had a great time (minus a large-scale meltdown by Miss Priss)! Oh! And the jolly man! Of course Santa was there...all decked out in his summer gear! Katie screamed anytime he came close :) Probably didn't help that it was close to naptime! But Santa was giving the kiddie a Hawaiian lei...Katie did enjoy that part! And the funny thing was that there was a family eating there with a HUGE dog (English Mastiff - like ENORMOUS), and Katie went right up to it and wanted to pet it and play with it. She will do that, but a Santa sighting is traumatic! And I sure wish I had remembered my camera...oops! This phone pic of Santa will have to do. I sure hope they continue doing this every year - it was so fun!!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Wednesdays with Friends

One of my best friends is a teacher and has a son that's about a month older than Katie. During the school year, things are hectic and we rarely get to see eachother. This summer we have made up for it! We have gotten together almost every Wednesday and done something fun - I love it! And Katie has really gotten to know Amy and her little guy Owen. In fact, Katie says Amy's name more like "ah-mee" and she can pretty easily say Owen's name. We have done lots of fun things, eaten lunch together, and even had a trip to Target :) I know she has to start reporting back to school in a couple weeks, so I am hoping we can get at least one or two more Wednesdays of fun in before that happens! Here are some pictures of some of our fun!

{we've gone swimming!}
{being sweet and playing next to eachother}

{Katie was ready for the zoo! that was obviously another thing we did with them.}

{we let them ride in our wagon - it worked out perfectly!}

{momma and her girl.} {Amy & Owen looking at one of the animals!} {Owen & Katie looking at the goats that were resting in the petting zoo} {it started getting pretty hot, so they were thirsty!}

{looking at spiders and snakes and fish and turtles inside}

{after looking at all of the animals, we headed to the playground}

{Owen loved swinging!}

{when they were running around the big castle looking thing, Owen followed Katie around like a little puppy dog}

{Amy & Owen playing the chimes}

{look at those rosy cheeks! definitely time to head home}

{yesterday we went to an indoor play space nearby! i love those places because there are lots of neat toy stations - and I don't have to clean it up!}

{they both enjoyed the train table a lot}

{this place has a big boat inside - they liked pretending to steer it}
{Katie loves to get in the ball pit in the "under 2" area - she just sits on the edge of the big kid one! oh, and I love this picture - looks like she's striking a pose}

{pretending to go night-night in the ball pit}

{she loves that place!}

{Amy & me! we met working at a grocery store when we were 16...those were the days. we made amazing memories and have a great friendship as a result! can't wait to get together with them again!}