Jun 15, 2017

Ladies Who Link-Summertime!

Linking up with these ladies for their monthly link up!!



Today we're talking about all things summer!  As much as I love summers, sometimes with the girls' schedules it gets to be even more crazy than the school year, if that's possible.  I always try to have some sort of a "schedule" for the girls and this year I am making even more of an effort to keep them occupied.

First up I wanted to show you this awesome seasonal surprise box I had ordered from Erin Condrin.  If you know me at all, you know my love affair with her planners.  I am on my 3rd year of getting one for Christmas, and I honestly don't know how people survive without one!

I had ordered this box back in May and totally forgot about it until it showed up in the mail, what a treat!
It was filled with different things like notepads, colored pencils, a bunch of accessories and my favorite was a new cover for my planner!



The box was only $35, and I plan on getting each one offered!



So this notepad was included, and I love, love, love this!  I write out Alayna's schedule for the week and have her check off things when she's done.  So far this working awesome, she's been very motivated to get her work done!


I put all of her summer fun things in this basket so she has it all together.  We get her the Summer Bridge workbook every year and I also included a fun You Can Draw book, BrainQuest cards and some math flash cards.  


Everyday except Fridays she has to do one page in her workbook, and IXL math online session and twice a week I have a craft for her to make.  Yesterday it was popsicle stick flags for Flag Day and today it's making a bubble snake.

Emma spends most of her time practicing calligraphy.  This kid has some crazy talent for writing!  She just bought an actual calligraphy pen and is having a blast with it.  Love seeing her creativity!


Rachel is going back for her 3rd interview today at a local sports shop, so we're hoping that they offer her a job.  It's very bittersweet for me, as I feel like once she gets a job she'll never be home...however I can't wait for her to have her own spending money!!

And of course most of their days are spent in the pool.  This was the BEST investment!  



Happy summer!!

Jun 13, 2017

Show and Tell Tuesday

I know you're all thinking it's Friday right now since I'm posting on a Tuesday, sorry to burst your bubble peeps, we've got a few days until Friday...

This months Show and Tell topic is "The Struggle is Real"



This topic actually makes me giggle, because it should have my name right in the title, HA!  I feel like I struggle with so many things, so here's my list....

1.  Being good enough.  Man, this ones tough, as a woman, I feel that most of us probably struggle in this department and I'm always working on it.  Am I a good enough wife?  Mom?  Daughter? Friend?  Co worker?  One of my goals this year is to be more encouraging to others.  On days when I feel beat down, I make a point to compliment, or send an encouraging text to someone to brighten their day, definitely helps me feel better!

2.  I struggle with working full time.  All you mamas who have always worked outside the home, you have allllllll my respect!  I did daycare for 11 years, so even though I worked, I was home.  I feel like I am pulled in 47 different directions everyday.  And "me" time??  HAHAHAHAHHA!!  I love my job, and I have realized that working full time makes me appreciate the little things in life.  Like sitting here in the early morning hours drinking coffee in peace.  :)

3.  Being a good enough Christian.  My faith is VERY important to me.  Growing up my parents were missionaries for several years, so my brother and I grew up in the church.  I still do my daily devotionals, but we are not a church-every-Sunday kind of family and I feel guilty about that.  When we don't go to church, we always do a family devotion and/or the rosary.

So there's my top 3 struggles, haha!  If I had to list them all, we'd be here until next week.

Thanks for stopping by!

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Jun 8, 2017

Friday Favorites-Graduation Addition!

Happy Friday everyone!  Hope you all had and amazing week, linking up again with these ladies...

Last weekend was another crazy busy weekend.  We had stuff to finish up in the basement to get ready for carpeting that came on Monday.  Brad and the girls went to watch our nephew play in a baseball playoff game while I cleaned out the garage.  Once they got home we managed to make it to a graduation party.  We came home and had Brad's sister and her family came over for a fire.  I took not a single pic!

Sunday I was spent.  Holy cow.  Cleaning that garage did me in.  I think I made no less than 40 trips up to the attic.  We also got the pool up and filled, should be ready to start swimming in tomorrow, yay!  Brad also took mousey swimming, they caught 16 crappies, she was so excited!!


Sunday afternoon was Emma's coffee date with me.  Since she is graduating from 8th grade, we went and got pedicures at our local nail salon.


We also stopped at Starbucks for some yummy coffees.  Love having these one on one times with my girls.  Time is flying WAY too fast.


Tuesday brought Alayna's first softball game of the summer.  Her team played awesome despite losing by a few runs.  Alayna had a great game, got a hit and a good play in the outfield.


This was before the game, haha!!


I left the game a little early to finish up some errands as Wednesday was the last day of school and graduation for Emma.
Emma made this mug for their bus driver Chad.   He's been their driver for 8 years and the girls absolutely love him!  They also made him cookies.


Their last picture with Chad.


Our school always does such a wonderful job with the graduation ceremony.  I can't believe my sweet Emma is now a Freshman!!


These pics are some of my favorites because it shows how crazy these kids are when we try to get a nice family picture!!

Sweet sisters (I'm surprised they aren't pinching each other).


This is what happens when we try to get a nice picture.


And the progression of a family picture, haha!!






After school there was a party at a local park for all the 8th graders, they had a DJ, food, games and a photo booth.  After the party  Emma had 4 of her girlfriends come overnight.

We did some simple decorations and Emma made a graduation sign.  Thankfully the basement was DONE!!  The girls hung out down there and it worked out so nicely!


I ordered 2 dozen sugar cookies from a local woman, they turned out amazing!!!


This has really been a hard week for me.  I feel like our lives have been non stop on the go busy and I'm wearing down.  I just want time to slow down.  I feel like everyday a month goes by, how in the world do I have a junior, freshman and a 6th grader???  I love these years, the girls are so fun to watch grow up, but I'm also so sad thinking that in just a few short years Rachel will be moving on to her new chapter in life.  Can't they just live with us forever???!!!

This weekend we have 3 graduation parties, but now much else going on, can't wait!!

Jun 1, 2017

Friday Favorites

Thank goodness this week is over.  Even though it was only a 4 day week, I still feel like everyday draaaaaaaaaagged on.  This is going to be a hot mess of a Friday Favorites, haha!

Linking up with these ladies as always...Andrea, Narci and Erika

I'm so glad school is almost over.  The tests these kids are having this week have been crazy!!

Today was Rachel's last day, they only had a half day.  Her and her girlfriends got all dressed up and went out for lunch.  how gorgeous are these girls??


This week I shared our What's Up Wednesday post and a yummy one pot recipe:


With the other two being done with school next week, I'm on the hunt for some neat teacher gifts.  I found this one on Instagram (I seriously LOVE this woman, she is so crafty and talented), I think it would be an awesome thank you gift.



Which makes me reminisce about the neat things we used to make when I was home...

 


Now that my craft room is almost set up, I plan on doing more crafting with the girls, can't wait!

This weekend we are hopefully setting up the pool.  The weather has changed and now it's not going to be so rainy, yay!  We do have a grad party Saturday, but that's all.  Excited for another weekend to get stuff done.  Monday we get carpeting in the 4th level, and then all that's left is for Brad to do the shower.  We won't talk about last weekend and how the toilet/sink install went...:(  Some things are better left unsaid.

Happy Friday!!






May 31, 2017

Cheesy Sausage and Pasta

Today I am sharing a new to us recipe.  I know shocker.  A recipe.  Back in the day most of my posts were about food, and I loved doing those kind of posts.  I also had a lot more time to post recipes and our everyday life.
Now I only have time to post what we're up to, haha!!

Anyhoo, I found this recipe from Yellow Bliss Road.  Her recipes are really easy to make and very kid friendly.  As with all recipes, you can use whatever ingredients you're family will love and omit others.  I'm not a fan of cream soups, so I always make my own whenever a recipe calls for a can.  I very rarely follow a recipe as written, that's whats so fun about cooking!

We are lucky to always have rings of venison and goose sausage in our freezer.  We make and smoke it ourselves and it's SO good!  The best part of this is that it's a one pot meal.


  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lb any kind of sausage, sliced
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic (about two fresh cloves)
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 (10 oz) can diced tomatoes (I used fire roasted ones)
  • 1/2 cup milk or heavy cream
  • 8 oz dry pasta (I used gluten free penne noodles)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper, each
  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar-Jack cheese (I used half cheddar half fresh parm cheeses)
  • 1/3 cup chopped scallions, for garnish
Heat 1 Tbl of oil in pan, saute sausage and onions together until onions are soft, add garlic; cook for about 30 seconds, until fragrant.  Add chicken broth, cheese, milk, pasta and salt and pepper, bring to a boil, cover then simmer for about 15 minutes or until pasta is done to your liking.  Garnish with green onions and more shredded cheese!!

Linking up with Allie!

What's Up Wednesday

Time for another installment of What's Up Wednesday with Shay, Sheaffer and Mel!






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WHAT WE'RE EATING THIS WEEK:

Monday: Julia Childs Creamy Chicken and Mushrooms- If you've never tried it, you have to, so so yummy!

Tuesday: One Pot Cheesy Sausage and Pasta- This was a get-it-on-the-table-quick kind of meal, we loved it!

Wednesday:  Pigs in a Blanket-  Just good ole fashioned hotdogs wrapped in crescent rolls with cheese stuffed in.  Oldy but a goody!

Thursday-  Leftovers!!

Friday-  Our good friends that bought a local bar last year are having their one year anniversary so we'll eat there and enjoy some cocktails!

WHAT I'M REMINISCING ABOUT:

With summer upon us, I am really working at getting a "schedule" set up for the girls to keep them busy.  I bought each one a planner and I plan on writing in it every night with fun things they can do the next day.  It reminds me of the old days when I was home fulltime doing daycare.  I really do miss planning the preschool curriculum and crafts...

WHAT I'M LOVING:

ALL the RED WHITE and BLUE!!!!  I have always been a fan of the Americana decor, our first house was decorated like this and I kept most of that decor and pull it out for Memorial weekend and keep it out all summer.  I still have 2 bins of stuff to put out, ha!



WHAT WE'VE BEEN UP TO:

Besides finishing up some things in the basement, we were able to enjoy an amazing Friday night with a bonfire!  Brad and I enjoyed the fire and the girls decided to hang out in the hot tub.  Absolutely perfect night!


One of our favorite things about Memorial weekend is that the cows come out to pasture next to our land.  It's like a stampede when Brad's brothers lets them out!!


WHAT I'M DREADING:

Not a thing!

WHAT I'M WORKING ON:

Getting the girls' summer schedules figured out.  We cut back on summer camps this year, the girls weren't overly interested in doing much which is fine by me.

I've decided that every Sunday I will take one of the girls out for a coffee date.  It's hard to get one on one time with them and I feel this is a great way to get that in.  Alayna and I had our date on Monday.  We went to Barnes and Noble to get her summer activity book and I let her pick out 3 new books.  It was such a nice time with her!


WHAT I'M EXCITED ABOUT:

Getting this damn basement finished!  Ugh, it's been one thing after the next.  We just want one thing to work out, lol.
Besides that, SUMMER!!  We hope to get the pool up this weekend, weather cooperating.  The girls and I ran to Target last week and I stocked up on pool accessories...goggles, pool toys and floaties.  I think we're set!


WHAT I'M WATCHING/READING:

I'm watching nothing now that Survivor is over.  I really want to get into a Netflix series, but honestly can't figure out where to fit that in, lol.

I'm currently reading this.  I am really enjoying it so far!

Moment Maker: You Can Live Your Life or It Will Live You by [Zondervan]

I am really trying to get caught up on all these books I have half done!

WHAT I'M LISTENING TO:

I am a lover of ALL types of music.  Except super heavy metal and nasty rap (I do, however LOVE me some Notorious BIG and Snoop Dog!!)

Monday when I was cooking the creamy chicken and mushroom dish, I had on the French Cooking Channel on Pandora and my family thought I was nuts.  I love that station!  Emma said it felt like we were in a fancy restaurant.  Last night I had on the Big Band station while we ate.  Tonight it will probably be Bluegrass!!  I just love music...

WHAT I'M WEARING:

Umm clothes.  I am SO not a fashionista.  I really want to be, but have no desire.  I keep telling Andrea she needs to style my closet!!

WHAT I'M DOING THIS WEEKEND:

We do have a couple grad parties, but our main goal is to get the pool up.  and I'm still organizing the new spaces, so I'll keep chugging away at that.  


WHAT I'M LOOKING FORWARD TO NEXT MONTH:

Having the pool up and running and having all our spaces finished!!  I need my husbands stress level to diminish, lol!!

BONUS QUESTION: FAVORITE VACATION:

We've traveled quite a bit with the girls, and some on our own.  My all time fave spot will always be Duluth!  We vacationed there when I was a kid and I just think it's a magical place.  You can see my recaps here, here, here, and here.  Two Harbors (about 20 min north of Duluth) is where we honeymooned and spent our 10th anniversary.  Lots of special memories there!

However, I think my favorite vacation was when we went to the Black Hills a few years ago.  You can read those recaps here, here, here, here, here.

Hope ya'll have a great week!!

May 25, 2017

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday peeps!!!  I am SO happy it's Friday, AND a holiday weekend!  I need 3 days off!

It's been so freaking crazy around here....we're in the final stages (finally) of the basement finishing.

We had friends over last Friday and enjoyed a couple cocktails at the bar since our granite top got installed that day.


We are in LOVE with the bar!  It turned out so well, now we're just waiting for the carpet to go in. It was supposed to go in today, but the salesman ordered the wrong trim.  Insert eye roll.  I could go on and on and on about all the things that have gone wrong during this process, but I'll spare you those details.  We're just so happy to almost be done!!


This is Rachel's room, FINISHED!!!!!  We will move her in this weekend, and then Alayna into Rachel's old room.  My craft room is a hot mess right now, so I will try and post pics next week.


The carpet downstairs will go in in a week and a half.  Can't.wait.

Saturday we went over to my sister in laws to get pics with my niece who had prom.  Isn't she absolutely stunning??!!


This week has been the last of orchestra concerts.  Alayna's was on Tuesday, here she is with her cousin Will.  These two are TROUBLE!!


Emma's concert was tonight.  Very bittersweet, this is her last concert ever in orchestra.  The school she will attend next year does not have orchestra, which makes me so sad.  She loves playing violin, and is so good at it.


Our weekend will be busy.  We hope to get the pool up, flowers planted and kids moved.  I'm not promising anything, I also want this weekend to be a little relaxing.  Brad has been traveling a lot and we haven't had a lot of time to just chill with him working on basement stuff.

We plan on smoking some ribs on Saturday and making some yummy sides like cheesy potatoes and BLT Pasta Salad.  Cheesy potatoes we make on special occasions and the BLT Pasta Salad I made on Mother Day and it was a huge hit!  Emma has breakfasts all planned out, so I think we're all set for food!

I always put a few decor items out for Memorial Day, like this picture of my Grandpa Arlo.  He was in the Navy, and I absolutely love this picture of him.  He was an an amazing grandpa and I miss him dearly!  Emma also made me a Memorial Day sign.


My last thing for Friday Favorites is this little gem.  It's an under the desk bike.  My co worker bought this and an elliptical to use at her desk, but the bike didn't work so well for her.  I tried it and loved it and bought it from her.  People, this thing is LIFE changing for me!!  I sit at my desk and peddle away.  Today I biked for a total of 3 hours which translates into almost 9 miles of biking!!!!  Now, I am not peddling so hard that I'm breaking a sweat, but for me who struggles with sitting all day, it makes my day so much better!  I'm anxious to see if it will tone up my legs.  I am definitely noticing that I am hungry more often haha!


So there's a little bit of what we've been up to this week.  I hope you all have an amazing Memorial Weekend and are able to remember all of your loved ones and all of those who have bravely fought for our freedom....

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Linking up with Erika,  Andrea and Narci