First Day of Summer Break

Today marks the first official day of summer break for us! It’s Monday and we didn’t have to be out the door early (Praise Jesus!)…although my kids didn’t get the memo and still woke with the sun! (Lord, turn my water to coffee) But I was allowed a lazy morning in my bathrobe.

About mid-morning I was struck with the sudden panic of what I was going to do with these 3 crazy lovable kids, and the Pinterest pressure kicked in.

What secretly nutritional snack was I going to spend 3 hours making? (which we all know, they’ll somehow spy the smallest piece of minced carrot and to the floor it will go) What educationally enriching project would we create? I need to make sure they read 3 books a day, while I make themed meals around each one!  Oh, and dang, I still haven’t made that “If You’re Bored” idea jar.

Then I remembered something: It’s summer BREAK! That means it’s a reprieve for me to.  Our summer is jam packed with activities and trips outside the home that I think we will welcome any “boring” moments.

My kids are currently lounging on the couch, half naked, eating fishy crackers (probably will throw in an applesauce and call it lunch) and playing video games…for the past 1.5 hours and they are happy, laughing and enjoying time together!


Are all those Pinterest-y activities bad? Of course not! I will most likely do some this summer, but what I will do more of is telling my kids to go play! Go use your imagination! Stop relying on Mom to entertain you! I’ve told my boys many times that I’m pretty sure I see their brain melting out their ears from non-imaginative use.

So, fellow Mommy’s on the cusp of summer break….relax, enjoy yourself, pour another cup coffee (or mimosa) and JUST BE with your kids without the pressure of creating and planning and breaking the bank (and your back) over the idea of the “perfect” summer.  It will still be memorable and magical!
IMG_7388This picture is from our day trip to Pinecrest Lake yesterday. We brought a couple buckets and shovels and enjoyed being together in a beautiful place.


Making Lemonade

The boys have recently enjoyed watching a LeapFrog episode that teaches counting numbers and math as the characters make lemonade for their lemonade stand.
So naturally when the boys saw Nana’s tree full of beautiful bright yellow Meyer lemons, lemonade had to be made.
I decided to let them control the whole “experiment,” though I did cut the lemons.  They told me they needed water, lemon juice and sugar, though they didn’t know how much of each yet…hello, secret math lesson!


After using all their muscles to squeeze the lemon juice, they wanted to give it a try.  By all means, have it gents!  Their facial expressions were priceless!


I wish I had thought to video tape that moment, but the pictures of their faces are perfect.  They quickly decided that their lemonade needed A LOT of sugar, and Liam even suggested and tried dumping in the whole box. I quickly jumped in and suggested some water and then they scooped spoonfuls of sugar into the pitcher.


It took a couple of taste tests and of course more sugar, but they finally decided they had perfected their lemonade concoction.  And I’m not just saying this as a proud Mama, but it was really good!


Who doesn’t love a refreshing glass of homemade lemonade!

*I apologize for the horribly taken iphone photos. Especially as a photographers wife, I’m slightly embarrassed of them. But really, my life is busy with my kiddos and quickly capturing these precious moments are important, but not as important as enjoying the moment with them.

Memory Making Messes

Usually my life as a mother consists of containing the mess.  Cleaning the mess. Wondering where in the world that mess came from and generally just embracing the mess.

Then there comes the days where I take part in making the messes.  Yes, it’s usually few and far in between, but when those days come, it’s always memorable.

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This past week the hubs had to be out of town for work and I jumped right into my single parent mode with plans and trips and schedules to help us survive the week.  Then two days in, Emmy decided to welcome in, only slightly, her one year molars.  Sleepless hell broke loose and all my carefully thought of plans went right out with the trash…along with multiple bags of this weeks fast food, cause who really cooks when the husband is away?

But instead of embracing the mess and trying to control the mess, because my house was a TOTAL MESS, I helped make more…and it was wonderful!
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I put my cleaning blinders on and busted out the Playdough. The paints.  The big box of Legos.  We ate our McNuggets on the carpet and even went to the store just to purchase extra big things of Vinegar and Baking soda because some serious Volcanos were about to go down.  (The grocery clerk looked at me as if I had an extra limb when I told him what we were doing, and yes, it was just for fun.)
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Yes I’m tired.  Yes my house is mess.  But there will always be laundry and dishes and a bazillion things on my ToDo list.  This week was all about loving on my poor baby girl and making memorable messes with my kids.
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We have the most fun when I don’t think about what the clean up will entail.  When I embraced the collection of sprinkles, paint, playdough and baking soda that was all over my kitchen table, we had a pretty awesome time.
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I need to have more of these days.  Yes, the clean up at the end day was a little more involved, but I just poured myself a little extra bit of wine and enjoyed the peaceful scrubbing, remembering all the good times we had making these messes.

My kids won’t want to play with me forever, so I am embracing it now.

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My No-Guilt-Pretend-I’m-Sleeping moment of the day

My No-Guilt-Pretend-I’m-Sleeping moment of the day. It’s magical. It’s wonderful. It’s a mommy reboot.
I’ve always loved that my kids are the kind of kids you could toss into their beds from the doorway (totally kidding…kinda) and they’d put themselves to sleep. Then a couple months ago Nap time became this huge battle with the boys… And they both still need a hour nap or they become these deranged lil zombies who I can only throw Gold Fish crackers at and pray for bedtime.
So nap time sleep would come only if I pretended to nap on the floor in between their beds. Then the moment their little eyes closed, I would sneak out of their rooms like a ninja and go about my day.
Sure, I could have charged on yelling my battle call determined to win back nap time, but I’ve grown accustomed to this wonderful little moment of rest, even if it is on the floor….motherhood has shown me any place can be a comfortable place if you only just believe.
Sometimes while pretending to rest, I actually fall asleep, only to wake up later with the kids….God knew I needed sleep right?
Other times I simply scroll Pinterest or blogs, enjoying my “time alone” on the floor of my boys room. Though there have been those deer in the headlight moments when a supposedly sleeping boy sticks their fuzzy head over the side of the bed and catches me “playing” on my phone as they call it.
Do I feel guilty about this seemingly wasted time of my day? Nope. Not anymore! It’s me time. That precious 15-45minutes where I simply rest. Sure there are still days when I sneak out to be productive and there are days they don’t even nap, but how nice those napping days are.
*totally wrote this during that moment today while listening to my little loves snoring like bears!


DIY Large Paper Rosettes

I’ve had quite a few friends ask how I make the paper rosettes that I’ve been making for my banners and cards, so I thought this would a great DIY Tutorial project…plus any chance to be crafty is a great one!


Here is what I used today to make these:

*You can do this with just glue, paper and scoring board, but I made this particular rosette a little more fancy since they will be for my baby girl’s 1st birthday!

(how did that even happen!? didn’t we just bring her home from the hospital?!) 


  1. Some fabulous scrapbooking paper
  2. Hot glue gun & glue
  3. Edging Paper punch
  4. Circle Paper punch
  5. Scotch Advance Tape Glider
  6. Martha Stewart Scoring Board

I wanted to make this rosette on the larger side, so I cut the scrapbook paper into 3 pieces that were 5.5 x 12 inches.  This would make my rosette about 11 wide.

After cutting my paper, I took my edge punch and punched all along ONE LONG side of the paper.  This will give the rosette a nice snowflake edging all around.  *you can also skip this step if you want a simpler look…or less work 😉


Next, I laid my freshly punched paper onto my Martha Stewart Scoring Board length wise with the scalloped edging on the bottom.  Then using my scoring tool, I made a crease every inch on the board. Make sure not to press to hard or you will end up with holes in your rosette.  Depending on how “bunched” you want your rosette will depend on how close you make your creases.
*Oh, and the score board…AMAZING! I never knew I needed one of these magical tools until my husband surprised me with one for Christmas a couple years ago.  #TotalGameChanger

I then took the 3 scored pieces of paper and folded them Fan style.  After folding the paper, I used my Scotch Advanced Tape Glider to add a piece of sticky tape along the first and last folds of each piece so that I could add them all together to make one long fan strip. After adding one more strip of tape, I brought the front and back together to make it a circle.

*Oh, and the Tape Glider….yet another #TotalgameChanger that I can’t live without and gift from my wonderful husband! Who’s the real crafter in this family…..

Then push the center together as you flatten the edges…Confused? Me to.  This part has brought me to cursing now and again, as the paper fights you like an angry toddler with no nap.  But once you show it you mean business and get that center down, it’s all fun and craftiness again!
Next, use the circle punch to punch out a circle to help hold the rosette flat.  I’m very generous with my hot glue as I would like my rosettes to withstand a small hurricane.
After my large rosette is done, I set it aside and start making a smaller one to layer on top.  *again this is just what I did to make this one fancy! :) I made my 3 strips of paper 3.5 x 12 inches this time and repeated the above steps.
Once you have both your rosettes completed, simply glue them together at the center circle! I’ve added small paper doilies to some of my rosettes to add a little more well, fanciness!
To make super cute small rosettes like below, I simply used 1 strip of paper that was 1 x 12 inches and glued the ends together!

Happy Crafting!  

Miracle Diaper Rash Recipe

I knew having a girl would bring a lot of motherhood firsts my way, but I didn’t expect the WORST DIAPER RASH I HAVE EVER SEEN!!! Did she sit naked in a boiling fountain of LAVA?! Neither one of my boys ever had bad cases of diaper rash, just a little redness here and there that Desitin always took care of pretty quickly.

And then came Emerson and her lava parts. Poor baby girl couldn’t sit down, screamed when I changed her, and to my horror, the Desitin seemed to be making NO DIFFERENCE.

I jumped online (on Pinterest of course) and started reading what other moms did for stubborn horrible lava butt diaper rashes, when I stumbled across this little gem from Heather at Cookie Mondays!   (Thank you Heather for sharing!!)

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1 cup distilled water
2 teaspoons distilled white vinegar
1/8 teaspoon tea tree oil (a natural antibacterial)

Lucky for me, we had tons of Tea Tree oil since we also used it on Liam when he had MRSA….I’m definitely starting to love oils more and more.

I cut up an old soft burp clothe to use as wipes and at every diaper change, I simply used the medicine dropper to squirt the mixture over Emerson’s rash.

*Word of warning: the tea tree oil and vinegar did sting a little bit the first couple times, but a whole lot less than using regular wipes and Desitin!

After only 3 doses, her lava butt rash looked amazingly better! (I cannot stress how bad the rash was…we are talking blister status!)  The redness had gone down and she was even able to sit up, poor girl. (It has now been 2 days since using the mixture and her rash is almost completely gone!) This will forever be my go to rash medicine now!
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On a completely unrelated note, I finally found a tea pot! I know, I know…call the press. But seriously, it’s a big deal! I’ve been looking for like ever and had yet to find one that wasn’t big money or fit my taste. Then I stumbled across this treasure of a pot at Marshall’s for $9.00!! Yes, only $9! Winner winner chicken dinner!
Now, who wants to come over for some tea?!
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