Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Another Year, another gingerbread decorating party

This year, gingerbread house baking and assembling was made easier with the help of my friend M and my husband.

We were able to crank out fifteen of the traditional kind for our annual party at my house.  In addition, we made twenty-seven of the Shalet (A-frame) style for S.E.'s class Christmas party.

It was all worth it when S.E.'s class came in from lunch and recess to find gingerbread houses and plates with frosting and candy waiting for them. S.E. was pretty happy to have me there and this made all the work worth it. 

Last year, his first grade teacher didn't want parents participating in class.  So, I did most of my volunteering in Koo's class.

Making up for it this year has been a joy because S.E. is so independent and is one child who could take me or leave me showing up. 




Wednesday, November 14, 2012

What I've been Watching

Folks. It's another edition of What I'm Watching.  TV. So old school right?

Here at the Ramblin' On household we've been watching all the NFL Monday, Thursday, and Sunday.  In addition, any college games which happens to be on Saturday.

But here are shows I am following...

Once Upon A Time
The Mindy Project (check this out...so witty!)
New Girl
Arrow

I'm actually the worse kind of TV viewer. Besides The Biggest Loser, I don't watch shows past the second season because that's when the show runs out of topics and the plot usually nosedives.  The only exception was Seinfeld.  Still can catch it on re-runs sometimes.  Still funny. Regardless of years.

I know there are more important things to talk about (like all the stuff on Pinterest) but since being sick on and off for the last two months-I've been watching more TV than usual. 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

happier subjects: transformation of free baby bag

A friend of mine gave me this bag.  It's from our local hospital.  It's lovely and would make a great swim bag or grocery bag. 

However, it has advertisement on the pocket.  We all get free stuff. We love it at the time but how many of us wished it didn't have advertisement on it?  Solution.

Unravel the stitching.  Iron on a lovely piece of fabric to cover it.  Stitch the top over and sew it back into place along the sides and bottom.  And you get a unique, repurposed bag.

Did you all vote?

I did.

I must not be on the pulse of what the majority wants because everything I voted for...did not swing my way.

First of all, the selection for the President's job.  I have to say we deserve the President we voted for and I just hope President Obama focuses on real issues and do what's truly right and not what's popular to win a popularity contest.  I felt like his whole campaign was based on he being "cooler and more  connected" than Mitt Romney.

However, I want to put it out there that Mitt won me over in the second debate when he put emphasis on parents and parenting being the number one deterrent to the gun control-not more legislation.  I admire a man who speaks what he believes.

Another measure which passed that I am totally pissed off about is the legalization of recreational marijuana.  Here's my beef.  Your main push for it is because it will bring in revenue?!  What about what's right?  The thing about smoking this crap is smoking this crap and those around you having to inhale it.  Secondhand smoke.  How many lungs and brain cells are we risking in the name of revenue?  We are an impressionable society. IF it's legal, we are more apt to try and use it.  I will go on record in saying it will cost us more to treat the residual effects of marijuana users-lung cancer, being unmotivated, and just crime.

I'm sorry to rant about these two issues. I'm just frustrated with raising my kids to be a productive and decent human beings and it's come down to who's popular and how can we make more money.  Sad.

I leave with this..."don't let other people's actions dictate your character.". 

Monday, November 5, 2012

Rachael

Let me introduce you to "Rachael".  She was broken.  She was taken apart.  Her insides were spilled out and it small bags.

I wished I would have taken a before picture.  She was listed under the "free" section of Craigslist.

She was stuck in reverse. That was why the previous owner took her apart.  But she couldn't figure out how to get it unstuck.

I brought her home.  I was sure if lovely hubby and I couldn't fix her, I could use her for a spare parts machine.

When I turned her on, she was very quiet and smooth.  AAAAHHH. If she was working right, she would crank out some cute quilts and be a great beginner machine.

The lovely hubby fixed her.  There was a fault with the reverse spring.  It didn't spring.  Lovely fixed her!!!

We put her back and I got a new friend.  Any guess of what I will be doing tomorrow after my run?  I will be sewing you all.

Oh, and the cherry on top?  I found her manual for FREE on the brother-USA.com website.  High five for me.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Re-upholstered armchair

A friend of mine had a pair of hand-me-down are chairs.  Old. Worn. Cat scratched.  It was fun to re-upholster.

Major fun.
What do you think?

Thursday, October 18, 2012

"It doesn't matter how you fell into a hole, the getting out looks the same." -Dr. Laura.


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Steriods

Five years ago, my skin erupted in rashes and sores.  The first three years, I rotated from three different dermatology specialists and back then the diagnosis was contact dermatitis.  Something I was coming into contact with was causing my skin to flare up.  Figure out what those triggers are, eliminate and I should be good.

In the meantime, as a treatment to calm my skin down, I would receive steroid injections.  Horrible. Love-hate relationship with these shots because they only lasted about three months.  For those three months, my skin would clear up, I lived a semi-normal life of not dodging situations that had made my skin breakout in itchy, scaly, rashes.

But.  My skin NEVER would get worse after three months.  Like more areas of my body would break out.  First it was only on my arms and legs until it covered 90% of my body.

Two and half years ago, I discovered a naturalpath and have not had a steroid shot since.  I'm doing a ton better through nutritional supplements of bacteria, vitamins, and minerals.  In addition, I am getting acupuncture, and most importantly diet control.  Never once was food mentioned at the dermatology offices.

With the exception of a few months out of the year, my skin is doing well.

Why am I bringing all this up?  To express how grateful I feel to have dodged a bullet.  Recently, there's been a rash of fungal meningitis cases popping up due to contaminated steroid injections.  So far, there's been at least 15 deaths as a result.

Had I been on the same path I was on in the beginning.  THIS COULD BE ME.  It could happen to me. The terrible thing about this is one reason steroids work so well is it suppresses your immune system.  Yikes! Kind of need that to work to fight microbial invasions.  So, I am praying for answers to all who have been or have to use steroids   And most importantly, I am grateful.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

What a Dork series...

Do you have stuff happen to you and you just feel well...foolish but in a good way?

I guess because I put myself out there, I more often than not, get into situations where I end up calling myself a big DORK.  Most of these situations could probably be avoided if I would just stay in my space...

You decide.  

For instance...

Yesterday before my doctor's appointment, I passed my bank so being the with-it homemaker I am, I remember having four crumpled checks that needed to be deposit since oh, last month.

I am depositing them and with this new ATM, you can individually slide your check in and they scan it and spit out how much you deposit.  I couldn't get the last one to deposit because it was big and really crumpled because it was the oldest of the checks sitting at the bottom of my tiny purse (yay for no shoulder pain from big purses).

Well.  Just go into the bank girl and deposit your check.  I did.  Doors locked.  It's 9:54am.  Checked the hours of operation on the doors and re-tried to open with more mustard.  Nope. 

Panic sets in because for a short time in my life, I worked at a bank.  Anything unusual or out of the ordinary should be a red flag that the bank may be getting robbed.

I peer through the glass.  Nothing.  No activity inside.  I'm envisioning tellers lying below the counters bleeding and robbers waiting for an opportunity to make a run for it.

Oh no.  I get in my car and of course like many times before, my cell phone is sitting at home on the charger.  I can't call 911.

In my little town, the police station is just a street away.  Do I report it or not? I could just drive right to my 10 o'clock appointment and be this not my problem...

Now remember in the beginning when I told you I will put myself out there?  Of course I whisk over to the police station in a slight panic.

I go up to the counter as a very good-looking, clean-cut gentleman walks in behind me.  As I am reporting what I just happened...this very good-looking, clean-cut gentleman pipes up with..."It's Columbus Day, it's closed". Right!  (Side note:  this very good-looking, clean-cut gentleman knew b/c he was a police officer reporting for work...at the quiet police station in our little Mayberry).

What the bleep, bleep, bleep banks.  Columbus Day?! Who gets this day off anymore?! Not my kids for sure.  No. Where. Else.  I should have known.  The bank didn't post up a sign for giving a reason for being closed.  Don't they know there are SAHMs out there just trying to earn our way up to the status of "noisy, old neighbor"?!  I slink my way right out of there...so embarrassing.

Yes. I was a few minutes late to my doctor's appointment and I still have the old, crumpled check in the bottom of my tiny purse.  The bank gives you 90 days to cash it right?  Thirty more days...

What a bleeping dork I am.  

Monday, October 8, 2012

Florence + the Machine

Really good group.  I didn't get all the hype in the media with Florence's weird fashion.  Most say she is unique and fashionable.

Ick.

If she had a garage sale, it would be a pass on her selection.

But.

Oh my.

Can she sing.  YouTube this group.  Her voice is heavenly.  Somber.  Haunting.  Just what I needed today.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WbN0nX61rIs&feature=related

Being a grown-up is scary

I get it. My mind reflects on being a lot younger and wishing to grow up so I can do something, be involved in something, just be doing anything other than learning and preparing to be a grown-up.

I'm here. Right in the think of grown-ups-ville.  There are highs (hubby, babies, and your mom not on your every move) but the lows seem to have so much more at stake.

For instance, drama with your family takes larger toll on you because you think you have overcome this stage.  Where your kids and their kids are used as pawns in a struggle to establish the blame game.  Stinks. I hate when my kids or worse when their kids are used to get back at me.  

Also, illness, disease, and death is talked about and happens to way more people we know as we are grown-up. We feel helpless. Don't know how to help or stop the disease from stabbing a family. 

I know there are words in the Bible that deals with lifting one up after being sledgehammer to your body and soul but come on...

Truly, being grown-up is not all its cracked up to be. 

I'm not in a place to write of forgiveness or how to wrap my mind around problems surround my life so I hope this post doesn't ruin your day.

Friday, September 28, 2012

It seems like I have been waiting for my boys to go to school full-time for me to have time for myself.

Well, I do have time.  I have been busy sewing, cleaning, exercising, and going to treatment for my skin.

But, I find all day I just think of my boys.  I miss their noise.  I miss their smell.  Then I think of how grateful I am to have had been in their lives from their first moment onto this earth.

Recently, it has come to my attention that there are kids in the boys' classrooms that do not have an secure and solid family/support system to rely on.

I'm trying to find the best way to help them without offending the parents or letting these kids not feel like they are a charity case.

Today, my gratitude is in abundance because I have two, healthy boys who don't know the feeling of not   knowing where they will lay their heads at night, where their parents are, if they will stay warm enough throughout the night or how to suppress their hunger pains.


It just made me smile to go through their baby pics...and fun to see the boys they are becoming but always will be my babies (this is the only place I can say this without them correcting me that they are not babies anymore).

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

I dreamt I was trying on shoes. Lots of shoes. All on sale.  Hence, I didn't want to get up this morning.

Dragged myself out of bed at 7am (normally I'm a 6am kind of gal), pack lunches, served the boys high fiber oatmeal and now drinking my coffee.

I wish my heels would get better soon already so I could walk normal-style.  But in my dreams, my feet felt light as air and every pair of shoes fit. 

Wouldn't that be nice? 

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Since my killer heels (and I do mean killer) especially when I go from sitting position to standing, I've been looking for different ways to get a workout in.

Well, a few ladies have been dropping in to workout with me in my basement.  Booty-camp as my brother-in-law calls it.  I started doing this because I can't go the gym anymore (allergies) and I love working out with others to keep me motivated. 
 
Yesterday, we killed it.  The workout was almost too hard for me. The theme was "the hills are alive with our groans of pain".  The three of us were hurting after 60 minutes.  The most painful was alternating sprints up and down my stairs, mountain climbers, weighted jumping jacks, and kettle bell lunges at the end of our workout.  I know when a workout is kicking *&$ when my friend threatens bodily harm to me. 

Why would I invite my friends over just torture them?  The lovely has been away on a business trip and I was surfing the channels and was mesmerized by ESPN's coverage of the Cross Fit games.  In my opinion, it's not so impressive to see men doing crazy moves but it was coverage of the women's challenge. 

It was no. joke. These ladies were a-maz-ing!!  Crazy moves with a lap around the track in between.  The muscles, the agility, the grit they had to just push through the pain.

I was so inspired to see how gunned out their bodies were and still at the finish line, they were panting and looked in pain (expressions I identified with) but not on their level.  For some reason, I thought if you  had killer muscles, you didn't hurt after a workout anymore. Like when your six packs have mini-six packs you didn't struggle to do pull-ups.  I LOVED every minute of the coverage.

Hence, I wrote up a routine for yesterday aiming to get those SAME expressions on my friends as I saw on TV (I hope they show up next week).

Thanks for sticking with the post even if it's not of a re-purposed / boys update/ recipe. 

Thursday, September 6, 2012

One door closes, a different one opens

If you follow this blog, you know I've got plantar fasciitis and it's been a bugger to heal.  I am mad at myself for ignoring it so long (since at least March) but I was living in denial so I kept running until I couldn't even walk without pain.

I've been off hard-running for almost one month now and as I reflect on why I didn't stop when I knew this was the problem.  I think most runners can identify with this, I was in a groove. My miles were getting longer and I didn't want to stop because once you stop, it's twice as hard (at least) to train to get run.  I mean like two hour runs.

I've been doing my exercises I've learned in physical therapy.  I've not been running.  But I've actually been able to lose 2 lbs.!!!

How?  By cutting back and keeping track of the foods I eat.  And by turning to boot camp (in my home with friends dropping in to do them with me) and by workout DVDs. 

I recommend Bob Harper's kettlebell workout.  It's high intensity but low feet impact. Also, there's a series called "Slim in 6" and it's basically low-impact aerobics and weight training.  Oooh, and my most out-of-the-box workout is biking.  Who knew my hinny would actually get used to sitting on those seats?!  I love it.  I've had my bike for over 20 years and this has been the most miles I've ever put on it.

I have to say, after a month of not running, I'm okay with not running.  I've always said that I would stop running if my knees or legs start to develop problems.  I hope to get back to running at some point in my life, but I'm going to be okay. 

How about you?  What have you had to give up because of time, injury, or &%@# happens?  How did you overcome this?

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Love this phrase

These days, through Pinterest and Facebook, I come across a lot of quotes.

One day as I was listening to talk radio, Dr. Laura said to a caller "don't let others' behaviors dictate your character". I was so struck by this powerful phrase that I quickly jotted it down.

Many times I've drilled this concept home to my kids especially to not blame or follow others when you know better.

However, I feel hypocritical because I've made compromising/unhealthy decisions fueled by others' behaviors. 

It might have been something small like what color I liked, what clothes to wear (even when I knew it looked terrible on me), or when someone takes their bad day out on me-I would try to fix it.

As I'm well into the age of forty, I find I don't run around trying to change other people's behaviors or what they think of me.  I know who I am.  I know my character.  I know I am still learning and evolving as a mom.

Recently, the boys have gone back to school and of course the questions/comments of what am I going to do with my time has come up.  I know folks are curious-envious even.  Old me would down play my importance and reach out to find work to find myself worthy of staying at home for  six hours without my kids.

What my goal is while my children are at school is to get what I need done so when they come home, I am theirs. Undivided attention.  Yesterday, we sprawled out on the couch reading out loud then going for a walk because I discovered a ripe plum tree (all picked by the time we got there). 

I am always re-evaluating my choices but I have come to learn that the best choice for me is the one that allows me to take care of my family and foster relationships. 

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Life's a marathon...NOT a sprint

I was reminded of this phrase by my friend Cee the other day.

We were chatting on the phone and I was reeling from the news that I can't run my marathon in October because of plantar fasciitis.  I have been going to physical therapy for two weeks and I tried to run during this time and I was in a lot of pain.

As someone who likes to have 100% completion on tasks/goals not because I think I'm awesome but I hate to let anyone down.  However, realizing my limitations and doing the best thing for me right now does not make me a failure.

It just means life happens. So I don't run a marathon when I'm forty.  I want to be able to walk without hobbling the other 19 hours of the day so I just am not going to sweat it.

I've been given the go ahead to bike.  I am not a strong biker. I am always afraid I'll crash in front of an intersection with everyone looking on and then getting run over.

Weird huh?

Well, I loaded up my 20 year-old bike in the back of our truck and went to our city's trail and biked for 12 miles.  Peaceful with the exception that I didn't check the air pressure on the tires beforehand so I road it with a flat tire.  Oh well I did it and I'm going to do it today but start from my house.

This is scary for me but I keep thinking of something my sister told me "life happens when you leave your comfort zone".

Monday, August 20, 2012

While driving dad to work this morning, I mentioned to the boys how lonely it will be at lunchtime because both the boys will be at school.

I asked if parents are allowed to come eat lunch with the students.

S.E. pipes up "Yes mom.  But I don't want you to come sit with me. I want to sit with my friends."

Crack.  The sound of my widdle heart breaking.

Koo immediately said he would sit with me.  Thank you Koo.

A few minutes later, S.E. adds..."I love you Mom but I am still going to sit with my friends."

That's okay because for the first six years of their lives, I got to eat lunch with them, be with them to witness their progression from infant to independent, sweet, boys.  I can let them go have lunch by themselves. 

What do they want for lunch for the first day? Fresh spring rolls with peanut sauce.  They will have this in their lunches and as for me, I will cherish every hug, hang on every word, and sniff and love on them from the moment they get off the bus 'til the moment they have to get back on the next day.

But of course I will be dropping in at school to volunteer so I can still see them...

Sunday, August 19, 2012

French Toast Bake

I found a really good recipe for overnight french toast.  I usually am not organized enough at night to prepare anything at night to be cooked the following day, but I love this recipe.

I made this while we were on vacation with the lovely's family because we had two loaves of white bread left by mid-week and I knew we were not going to go through these in three days.

Great way to wow your family on vacay folks. 

Of course I must give credit...http://sheldonrachel.blogspot.com/2009/03/french-toast-bake.html.

But in case you don't want to click on this gal's blog, here's the recipe:

French Toast Bake
1/2 cup melted butter (1 stick)
1 cup brown sugar
1 loaf Texas toast
4 eggs
1 1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
Powdered sugar for sprinkling

Directions
1. Melt butter in microwave & add brown sugar....stir till mixed.
2. Pour butter/sugar mix into bottom of 9 x 13 pan....spread around
3. Beat eggs, milk, & vanilla
4. Lay single layer of Texas Toast in pan
5. Spoon 1/2 of egg mixture on bread layer
6. Add 2nd layer of Texas Toast
7. Spoon on remaining egg mixture
8. Cover & chill in fridge overnight
9. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes (covered for the first 30 minutes)
10. Sprinkle with powdered sugar
11. Serve with warm maple syrup (I don't do the syrup part)

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Have we talked about this before?

There's been a concept that has been on my mind the past few months.  In this day and time, if something isn't going right in your life...or you're just stuck (i.e. weight, keep getting into the same type of weird relationships, or just repeating mishaps)...

It seems there's got to be something behind why we do grow out of the problem even when we've identified and may even come to terms with it. 

For  me, it's my weight.  I am an emotional eater.  It's not hunger.  I'm using this example because it feels like I have spent the majority of this blog killing this subject to death.

Here's the biggie:  regardless of why, what, when I eat...THE RESULT WILL STILL HAVE TO BE THE SAME...portion control and to move my body.

I have been yo-yoing a lot this summer.  I've gained and lost the same four pounds and as I am barely breathing in my size 8's, I am frustrated with thoughts of why I put myself through this cycle over and over. 

Time to just get over myself and just do it. Portion control and exercise.
So simple, yet I stumble time and time again.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Life has been happenin' y'all and I almost forgot I had a little blog. We've had just a busy summer and with taking kids to the pool everyday for swim practice, play dates with buddies to make the summer festive, and all those family vacations.

Let me tell you, growing up our summers were spent in a small, little apartment or later on a very, very small house and watching my sisters and brother.  When I was around twelve, I had to take a bus at 5:30am to work in the strawberry, raspberry, and blueberry fields.  I did this every summer until I turned sixteen and could get a job inside (thank you Lord!).

Now with my children, it's so different with me being home.  I've been able to let them be kids. Just let them play.  Being able to go from a barely able-to swimmer to taking on Lake Chelan with speed and confidence was worth every minute I spent taking them to swim practice. 

Their endurance and confidence has skyrocketed.  I am grateful for the difference in my childhood vs. my children because of my being able to stay home with them and for a terrific hubby who works hard in order to make it possible.

I still can't believe my kids have to go back to school next week.  Not being able to see my kids for six hours straight is stressing me out. 

Sunday, July 29, 2012

S.E. and I went to Seattle for a my cousin's wedding.  This trip was just a mommy and S.E. trip.  We left Koo at home with dad.  S.E. and I chatted for five hours about Koo, Kindle Fire games, friends, and music.

His favorite song at the moment is "Payphone" by Maroon Five (which I have come to like because of him).  We listened to the song at least twenty times.  It reminded me of when I was young and was obsessed with "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" by Cyndi Lauper.  Still do.

It was nice for S.E. to go on a trip without Koo and as my lovely husband says, gives them a chance to miss each other.

S.E. told me he did not miss Koo but when he got home, he ran to meet up with Koo for a BIG hug.  S.E. does not do hugs well. Teared up I tell ya.


Friday, July 27, 2012

Finally...the big reveal...

We got a boat.  A very neglected and dirty boat caused by 20 years of sitting unprotected in a lake in the Pacific Northwest.  You name, it had it: mold, rot, dead bugs, pine needles, and smelly...

We got it cheap. The motor resuscitated by my awesome father who happens to own an outboard motor shop (that's how we got the boat).

The lovely and I worked together for over two months.  He pulled all the old carpeting, primed, and painted the entire inside of the boat making it rust and rot resistant (which a totally appreciate because I do NOT want to sink).  Then he re-carpeted the boat with new carpet (yay!!!).

For my part, I pulled thousands of staples, sewed, restapled all the upholstery.  I even did a bit of applique (Go Cougs!) and what we have now is a great boat for our family to enjoy.








Thursday, July 19, 2012

Susan Elizabeth Phillips!!!

Drove 1 1/2 hours with my gal pal to a book signing of "The Great Escape" by Susan Elizabeth Phillips!!

She's my top 3 most favorite authors.  She rocks the contemporary romance genre.  I got the book on Tuesday and finished last night in anticipation of meeting her.



She is as funny and witty as her books. We got to ask questions, she told us stories of how she came up with some of the characters.  Loved it.  If you're going on vacation and need a good book-grab one by her.  She never disappoints.  Ever.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Facebook and Friends

How do you like Facebook?  I'm kind of on the fence.  I have an account.  For a long time, I did not have one and it kept me from seeing pictures of my extended family and I would be the last to know about anything.

I caved in and have had for a couple of years now.  I feel like a lurker. I enjoy reading about what is going on in my friends' lives.  However, I'm not certain of how interactive I should be. 

What I mean is, how much do you talk about what is written on FB?  Like if someone had surgery or going through a rough spot, I feel awful for them and want to help but sometimes-people just want to vent.  How do you go about coming across caring but not noisy?

I am leaning towards shutting down my account.  Most of my life I've felt like a dork and FB reminds me I am still a dork with words...what to do...?!

Monday, June 18, 2012

sneak peek...

This is what I've been doing with my time...here's a sneak peek because the lovely and I are almost done.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

American Doll clothes

My boys have been invited to a friend's birthday party and the little girl has an American Doll.  I tapped into my inner "if I only had a girl to make this for" mode and whipped out three outfits for her doll as presents.

So much fun.  I found the patterns at Walmart for like $2.  What do you think?  I had so much fun I'm thinking of having a doll clothes-making party with other moms coming over to sew up some outfits for their girls.  I do hope she likes it.



Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Has it really been a month since I've blogged?  Life's been crazy and my computer is on its' last legs.  It doesn't like it when I try to use it. 

Today is my lovely husband's birthday and I just am so thankful to have him in my life and happy to be a part of his life.  He's on a business trip and will be home around dinnertime tonight.

We celebrated a week ago and of course in keeping with tradition, we got him a huge Dairy Queen classic ice cream cake with tons of cherry dip drizzled over the top.

Tonight we will have some when he comes home.  We're easy.  The lovely and I don't get anything for each other.  We just buy something we want and celebrate being alive and healthy.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Lemon Apricot Cake

Don't you love cakes made doctoring cake mixes?  Here's one that I make a few times a year and in fact is in the oven right now.  Why do I have a cake in the oven at 6am besides it being delicious? 

It's for a meeting at our local library for a group of volunteers discussing how to make our library better.  I'm all for a better library although I think our library is pretty great as is.

If you've ever have a hankering for a lemony, moist cake knock yourselves out with this recipe:

1 box yellow cake mix (I prefer Betty Crocker)
1 small box of lemon flavored jello mix (dry)
4 whole eggs
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 tsp lemon extract
3/4 cup apricot nectar juice (you can find in Mexican foods section or in the juice section of your grocery store)
Powdered sugar dusting

Preheat oven to 325F.  Combine all the ingredients above and blend on medium for 2-3 minutes.  Pour into greased bundt pan and bake for 50-55 minutes.  Allow to cool and invert on pan.  Once room temperature, dust with powdered sugar and slice and serve.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Ten days and counting

I have been crabby lately.  I've been doing some changing folks. If you follow my blog, you know I love my coffee. Light and sweet with powdered creamer and two Splendas.

Well, it's been ten days since I've had coffee. I found a tea (oolong) that I love and have substitute it in the morning. It's been really hard but the headaches weren't as bad as I had in the past when I've tried to stop drinking coffee.

Why did I do this?  Well, it's about all the artificial sweeteners I was ingesting.  I had bought a Costco box of Splenda (1500 count) and had used it all in eight months.  Holy crap!!

My daily routine used to be: three cups of coffee (6 Splendas), plain Greek yogurt (2 Splendas), and one Coke Zero (??? Splendas).

Yikes oh yikes.  Here's the thing about tea and me.  I don't like my tea sweet. So I have found a tea I like and put my coffeemaker away.  I don't miss it as much as I thought I would.  I am forty now, I can do anything I set my mind to.

Now, I add a tsp on Agave on my yogurt and I am down to two Coke Zero per week.  It's crazy when you give up sugar and artificial sweeteners how sweeter foods taste when you have it.

Marriage

I listen to Dr. Laura's podcast show when I'm at home during the day while I'm cooking and cleaning.

She keeps me entertained.  She asked a question today that got me thinking:
"Would you rather be right or be the most, cherished wife?"
Definitely I feel very cherished in my relationship with my husband. I don't mind that the toilet seat is left up, I don't care that he leaves his shoes everywhere. I don't care if he never takes out the garbage. I don't like to micromanage him.

What I appreciate about him is he does not micromanage me too.  He doesn't care if the house is clean. He doesn't care if his clothes are wrinkled. He doesn't care if we have ice cream for dinner.

There were callers who compete with their husbands. They don't like to do anything for their husbands because they feel like it is beneath them and if they give him an inch, they'd have to give a mile.  Apalled I am. 

I can honestly say we go about our day trying to make each other's lives better, happier and feel cherished.  I love being my husband's helper. He is my most favorite person in the whole, wide world and I forever grateful to have him in my life.  He works hard for our family and if I can make his life easier in anyway, I do it.

We pull together to raise our two boys and we often look at each other across the bed when the boys pile in and just feel like we are the two luckiest kids to ever.

Here's to cherishing your spouse. 

Thursday, May 10, 2012

I think I'm a twelve...

Do you love "What Makes You Beautiful" by One Direction?  I do too.

How about "Boyfriend" by Justin Beiber?  I do too.

And lately, I've been getting pimples again.  Maybe I'm twelve again. 




Sunday, May 6, 2012

It's no secret I love yard sales.  Yesterday was another crisp, cold and bright day to go look for treasures. 

The lovely and I were talking about getting a small portable grill to take camping-you know for burgers, chicken, and all.  We have a large one at home and wanted one for the travel trailer.  It was a nice to have not have to have.

We looked around and finally decided on getting one of those small one you put on top of a picnic table around $30 dollars.  I really wanted one of those Coleman two-burner grill on a stand but it was $189!! Jimmey Cricket!!

While at our second yard sale, there was a big luggage-looking bag with a pink price tag of $75 for a BBQ grill inside. 

The lovely hubby asked to look inside and look what was inside!!! It was dirty but not caked on.  I just looked like it wasn't cleaned after the last cookout. 

She then told me her bottom price was $50.  Lovely and I took it home and spent 20 minutes cleaning (me) with baking soda, vinegar, and soap while lovely tightened and checked all the fittings.  What do you think?!

I'm so excited because the piece de resistance is he found an adaptor hose to make it hook up to our big tank of propane so we don't have to use the little bottles!!!


What have you found at a yard sale you're still high-fiving yourself for?

Friday, May 4, 2012

We have this pull-up bar attached to our bedroom closet door.  My husband does pull-ups, chin-ups, and whatever on it.

He's had it before me.

I tried it once when we were dating.  Could not budge.  I couldn't even pull it up an inch. Overweight and out-of-shape at 157 lbs. made it impossible.  Oh, 157 lbs isn't so bad?  It is when you're 4'11".

Never tried it again until about three months ago.  I had worked myself up to just dangling my chin above the bar for 25 sec.  I would do this a couple of times/day.

This morning I did my first pull-up (palms facing me of course).  Then I tried it again to make sure it wasn't a fluke.  And I did another one!!! Way to go Idaho!!

One day I'm going to do a crossfit class.  I watch Bob Harper's do crossfit and I want to do this too.

(Sorry if this sounds like I'm bragging...you just have know idea how HUGE this is for me). 

Thursday, May 3, 2012

boys and the man we love

Style.

 Love.
 Pleasure.
 Peace.
As you can see, I've been letting Koo dress as he please.  He is ghetto fab.u.lous. 

S.E. is infinitely curious of how he will change once he turns eight.

The love of my life and the boys taking a break from painting our boat (more on this project later).

How lucky am I? 

Upholstered Cushion

Always trying to challenge myself.  An aquaintance had asked me to make a seat cushion for her lovely bench and some pillows.  I get so inspired by bloggers who repurpose furniture. I want to get better at upholstering. The only way to do it is to keep doing it.  Through painful trial and error...I have made this on Monday (the long bench cushion and four pillows).  What do you think?

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Hello.

I'm back.  It's been busy around  here.  We returned from Disneyland and finally (three weeks later) feel like I've got a handle on my life again.

What's tripped us up at the Ramblin' On household is the lovely traveling for business, Koo's been sick and I've been sick.  In addition, everything is blooming and I've got KILLER allergies kickin' in.

Which is strange because we paid a chunk of money to get tested by an allergist/internist and the results of the prick test showed I WAS NOT ALLERGIC to any plants, trees, bees, grass, etc..etc...etc...

When I went to my homeopath yesterday she tested me for outside allergies and BINGO, I tested positive for pollen and trees.  This really explains why I continued to slide south last year at this time.  In this region, it'll be in the 60's one week and in the 30's the next making the trees/bushes go into crazy mode.  The result has been multiple bloom stop. bloom stop-causing serious allergy attacks.

I've been getting little new bumpies on my skin and I've been itching a lot this past two weeks.  I have even started taking Benadryl (3 times now).  I'm back on my restrictive low yeast, no sugar, no bread diet to kill off a particular yeast Candida which runs rapid in my body when my immune is down. 

I've noticed I've been quite short tempered with the kids too.  I'm working on not yelling at them.  I just get so easily riled up when my skin is flared up that I have little tolerance for their bickering and misbehaving.

Deep breath.  I'm going to take it easy.  Low expectations again.  Lower stress.  How about you?  Dod you have allergy problems when it's spring?

Monday, April 23, 2012

My lovely is gone on another business trip and the boys and I miss him terribly at night.  Often, when he's gone, I will wear one of his T-shirts to bed because it has his essence.

Last night, when the boys hugged me, S.E. told me I smelled like daddy.  Which got me to thinking...

Why not all three of us wear daddy's shirts and then we all can get his essence.  Koo said it's a daddy's shirt party.  They were happy to wear daddy's shirts to bed.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Hello there.  You still click on this site sometimes?  I have really been losing steam on writing.  In fact, I've been losing all motivation to get projects done or if I have, I haven't taken any pictures.

Also, I've been horrible about exercise, diet, and taking care of myself.

Koo has been sick with a cold/cough for almost two weeks and I think I've got a little bit of a bug because I've been getting these pockets of raised bumpies and it's scaring me.  In addition, the trees are starting/are blooming and my allergies have decided to have a hissy fit.

I am trying not to panic.  I took a Benadryl yesterday and was wiped out by it.  How did I manage to take sometimes up to eight/day and still walk around?

I will have to go back to getting acupuncture and laser treatments.  Along with my nutritional supplements...I'm hoping to not full-on break out.

So, I've got to slow down and am trying to.  Here's to your health.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Nice weather makes me think...

1. Garage sale season is almost officially upon us.

2. Has my house been this dusty?

3. Is it warm enough to call my favorite carpet cleaning man so I leave my windows open all day?

4. I can leave my windows open!!

5. Parks, parks, and more parks.

6. Discussion and ulitmately doing nothing about whether to have a garden or not...the boys want strawberries...

7. New crop fruits and veggies are coming!!!

8. And the best, running outside. I love, love running outside. I love the breeze, the smells, and the number of honks I get (oh not because I'm a hottie...I live in a small town where so I see a lot of familar faces driving by).

9. Almost time for school to get out so I can spend all day with my boys!! So excited!!!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

I'm back!!! Spring break is over and we returned from Disneyland with lots of fun memories. I love Disneyland. The boys had so much fun on the rides and loved it.

We saw a ton of Disneyland characters (Mickey, Donald, Pinnochio, Pluto, etc). My favorite ride were Toy Story's Midway Mania and Buzz Lightyear. Oh, and California Screamin'.

Best part was spending time with family. I will try to post pictures when I can find a way to get pics of the IPhone. Okay. So. There. Won't. Be. Pics.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

coffee

Do you have a vice? Mine is coffee. Not fancy flavored coffee with steamed milk (it makes my tummy hurt).

But I like it light and sweet. My perfect cup is regular drip coffee from the Mr. Coffee maker with two packets of Splenda and 2 tsp CoffeeMate creamer...yes the powdered kind. Not classy. Not cool.

This is the way I've been drinking it since college. I've tried to break up with the light and sweet and I am left cranky and turning to diet soda for my fix and it's just not pretty.

The only thing is now that I'm a lady in her 40's...my teeth have been looking hella yellow. I used to do the Crest whitening strips but my teeth have become sensitive.

So, I should quit. But the thought of not having coffee in the morning is not pretty. What to do?

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Annoying Ramblings

Do you roll your eyes when celebrities say that breastfeeding is their secret to getting back their pre-baby weight?

Uuuhhh...I breastfed for 15 months each son and the lowest I saw my weight go was 157 lbs. when Koo was ~6 months and was around 165 lbs. and my feet, knees, and back were hurting so bad I would have to take up to six Advils per day to make it through the day.

I was just visiting a friend who has three beautiful girls from a few months to the oldest a four year-old. She feels embarrassed to not have lost weight or made time to exercise.

Hello!!! I had to give her a reality check that just getting enough sleep and keep your babies safe and loved should top anything else. She is beautiful. She is a nursing mother loving on her kids. She doesn't have to be on tour or be in a bikini for a magazine shoot-take your time and do what you can.

Then I reminded her Koo was three before I even got back volumptuous body if you will to Weight Watchers because I still ate like I was nursing.

We hugged and laughed and I got to hold her delicious baby with the yummiest thighs and cheeks.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Nerf Board!!!



The boys wanted a target board for their Nerf guns. I made this for them out of felt and baised tape. They are loving it.

10K

Yours Truly ran a 10k race yesterday and guess what? While my friend J aka the Hare and I (the Tort) were waiting for the awards to be announced (she was the top 2 women finisher). She's hella fast.

We were just turning to leave and then they called my name. What the hell? I guess I placed 3rd in my age group of 40-49 (there were eight women in this age group). I finished in 1 hr 3 minutes. This was a small race ~500 participants.

Let me be the first to say I have never gotten a ribbon for running other than what they give every participant. I know this was a smaller race but it was not ever on my radar to place anywhere. I was so surprised, I didn't realize what my friends were screaming about. They started laughing so hard at my shock.

It felt pretty nice and while I know this is not likely to happen again...for this to happen just once is pretty neat-o.

Oh and the second best part was when we asked a gal to take a picture of the Hare and I, she told me she tried but couldn't catch me. ME. So bazarro.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

...and this too shall pass

I tear up when I hear these words. It is so comforting because it means hope to me. As we grow older and more aware of our surroundings, it seems like those around you are going through a tough time...

It was my family last year. Last year this time, I found out I'd had mononucleosis for a couple of months and so did my lovely. This alone would be not be difficult but the fact that it manifested through my skin and causing the most painful, itchy, pussy-looking skin for six months was crazy.

And I would chat in my head at times when I thought I couldn't stand it anymore that IT WILL PASS. I didn't believe it last August. It was a very low, low point. In addition to nutritional supplements, I was taking: (2) Allegra, (8) Benadryl tablets, (4) Clorotabs-per DAY. And I was creaming myself up with every anti-itch creme/lotion 24-7.

Today, I wanted to post a message of hope because I don't have any open sores!!! As long as I stay healthy, my body won't go on attack mode and reve up my immune system to fully arm for war and attack my body.

Take the time to take care of your body. I hope whatever you are going through shall pass. Today, I am grateful and I will not be critical of the body God gave me.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Everlasting...basil?!


I went to the big city near our little town about 2 hours away and bought some thai basil from an Asian market. I was planning to make Thai curry and adding some to make the dish complete.
However, I realized only I liked Thai curry and since I can't eat it right now, I was going to waste $1.50 in delicious basil.
I turned to the internet to find out how I can make my basil last until this weekend when I'm making pho-a Vietnamese beef soup dish that is my lovely's favorite meal.
Here's what I did: trim any leaves at the bottom. Clip the end of the stem (1/2 inch). Place in 1/2 inch water in a mason jar. Prick a clean bag with a toothpick (~10-15 holes).
Cover the leaves and place on your counter. Change water daily. I should have taken a before picture of my wilting leaves which have now perked up. Let's hope this will last until the weekend.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Well looky here...


So excited. Look what I found in excellent condition at the Salvation Army?! A Singer Overlock/serger!!!
The best thing, it was $24.50!!! Sergers are very hard to find used. Everyone had a sewing machine but if you had extra money back in the day, you'd pair it up with a serger. A serger makes your fabric not fray. It pretties it up. I have only come across a serger twice (until today) in all my thrifting and it was $245 at a thrift store.
I just have to clean her up, lube her, and get to projects. Gem of a find.

Sight Words



Big brother helping Baby brother with his Kinder sight words. Very patient. Very encouraging. Tears to my eyes.
Sight words are words Kinders should recognize by the end of the school year. Big brother wanted to make sure Baby brother will make it to 1st grade.

Simply Fudgy Brownies


This recipe rocks!!! According to my boys. They loved it. I haven't tried it because 1) I break out if I eat chocolate 2) I gain weight just smelling it...
Now here's why I heart this recipe, it doesn't require 2 sticks of butter. There's a lot of brownie recipes out there but I don't make it much because it takes a ton of butter.
But, it's really easy. So easy, Koo put most of this together (I still do the eggs because I figured most folks don't like shells in their brownies). 'Nough said. Here's the recipe:
Simply Fudgy Brownies (adapted from Cooking Cooking Book 2003...yes, same book I got for $0.50).
1/4 baking cocoa
1/2 cup oil (we used canola)
2 eggs
1 cup sugar (but we used 3/4 cup)
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional)
ground nuts (optional)
or whatever topping you like (we put a little sprinkle of toffee bits in this batch)
In a small bowl: baking cocoa & oil. Mix well.
In a big bowl: whisk eggs. Add sugar, vanilla, flour, salt, and the above cocoa/oil mixture. Mix it all together until fully blended.
Now is the time to fold in your bling. I didn't. Pour into 8" x 8" greased baking pan. (We sprinkle minichips and toffee bits on top).
Bake at 325F for 27-32 minutes depending on if you like it gooey or crunchy. We took it out right at 30 minutes.
On a "keep it up" moment, I woke up so sore and thought about hitting the Advil so I don't look like an even older lady, I almost bailed out on working out.

Bob's Kettlebell workout yesterday followed by a 30 minute hills run outside did me in. I was planning on doing the workout again but I was so sore (as before mentioned) I told myself "just run for 30 minutes" any style. I was thinking if I lived in the Biggest Loser house, would Bob let me off of exercise the next day after his last chance workout? NO. WAY.

I popped onto hulu.com and got my "Bachelor: After the Show" show dish and got my run on for 30 minutes. So proud of myself. It actually made my soreness feel better.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Potato Rolls


What do you do when you have mashed potato leftover and not enough gravy left?

Dig through your recipes and discover you have everything for potato dinner rolls. Wanna make some so you have afterschool treats for your kids? Here's there recipe (adapted from Country Cooking 2003 book I got from a garage sale from $0.50).

7 to 8 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 heaping TBSP instant yeast (SAF brand)
1 tsp salt
1/3 cup shortening or butter
2 cups very hot milk
1/2 cup very hot water
1 cup warmed mashed potatoes
2 eggs

Mix everything together in Kitchen-Aid mixer with hook attachment. Adjust flour or water depending on if the dough looks dry or too wet. Mix for 5 minutes or until dough is smooth and elastic looking.

Remove hook and scrape any dough from sides to form a big dough ball at the bottom. Spray with Pam cooking spray and cover with cloth and leave it alone for 1 hour or double in size. Oh yeah, and don't put somewhere near a draft i.e. open window.

Punch down dough and roll into balls and place in greased baking dish. The size of the rolls depends on how big your balls are. I like mine to fit all nicely in a 15 x 10" pan so I make them big.
Cover and raise for 40-60 minutes. Bake at 375F for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.
Serve these baby up with your favorite jam.

Bob Harper's Kettlebell Workout

I know you are tired of hearing about Bob Harper. I feel slightly like one of the contestants last season "Jennifer" who was obsessed with Bob Harper.

I recently got a 10 lb. kettlebell at Walmart. It's been the BEST single exercise equipment I have ever bought (thanks to a gift card!!).

As I was going through Target yesterday, I stumbled on Bob Harper's Kettlebell workout. It was like peanut butter and jelly. My kettlebell paired with my favorite trainer. And it was on sale for $6.48 (down from $12.99). Even better right? But wait, at check out, it rang up $3.88!!

I just finished the 50 minute workout and it was wonderful. It's hard but very dynamic and it didn't feel like 50 minutes. I highly recommend you getting a kettlebell and coming over and workout with me. I can't wait to do it again tomorrow.

At one point, I kept thinking about the Saturday Night Live skit where Christopher Walkins kept asking for more cowbells in a musical jam session. But I kept saying "more kettlebell...I need more kettlebell". Don't know this skit? Go to You Tube and bust a gut. I would link it here but my arms are tired from swinging kettlebell for 50 minutes.

Get your kettlebell on folks.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

I am sadden by all the folks around our country struggling to make ends meet. I just watched a story on Yahoo! about a family of six struggling to make ends meet after the husband gets laid off.

Piles of bills. Not enough money coming in to pay the bills. Growing up my story is not different from this family. Except we did not have bills.

I've written about growing up poor. Here's the recap: Immigrant parents with little to know grasp of the English language and five little kids about a year apart. We lived in cramped apartments until I was in 7th grade when we moved into a 900-square foot little house (which I still love and have dreams about still living in to this day).

Tiny. Little. Rooms. Here's what my parents did. My mom worked as a seamstress for a mom and pop operation with no health insurance at minimum wage (~$3/hour). My dad worked as an outboard mechanic for $4/hour (he drove an hour each way to get to this job). At nights, my dad would clean two laundramats from 11pm to 1am. Most nights, my older sister and I would rotate going to help my dad depending on our homework load. I would be tired at school the next day.

In addition to all this, my parents cleaned a huge restaurant and bar at 5am on the weekends and take us with them. I remember being really good at vacuuming underneath the booths. Messy and gross under there. In addition, my older sister and I would be watching our younger siblings.

We always had enough to eat. We didn't feel insecure about our place in helping our family. When winter would come, my folks take a few nights out to the month of November to go squid fishing off the pier. We would freeze and eat squid during the winter months. I still can not get excited about squid to this day having to eat so much squid as a child.

But, we all pitched in. We struggled but we had no debt. Where am I going with all this? Back to the story, it just reminded me of how hard my folks worked just for us to survive. They still work as a seamstress and a boat mechanic, but they have saved up. They own their own home- free and clear, drive safe paid-for cars, and they get to travel. I am proud of them.

Monday, March 5, 2012

I have a Mondo Headache. Jaw ache. Check.

Forehead throbbing. Check check.

My eyes hurt because if it. Don't you hate it when a migrane stops your day?

I'm going to take two Advils and crawl on the couch.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Trip Around the World Quilt



I made this yesterday morning. Cut, sewed, and binded in about five hours. Not a difficult quilt. I do not do any fancy quilting. I basically stitch-in-the-ditch around the border. This is for my friend Ro's baby on the way. I'm so excited for her. I still have to get burp cloths, bibs, and pillow done.
Back to the quilt, it's a really easy pattern from the "Quilt in a Day" by Eleanor Burns series. This is my fourth I've ever made so it definitely gets easier. I like square designs. I don't sweat being perfect, in fact I ran out of green fabric so I had to sub in a different green. I'm a huge believer in getting done, not being perfect.
I really hope her baby will enjoy laying on it, drooling on it, or the ultimate, if it becomes his favorite stinky blankies. My boys still drag along their stinkies (why stinky? Because it's a sad day when they actually let you wash it and by then it's been two weeks overdue-eeewwwhh).

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

On a weird and random note, what's up with the Russians and killer workout moves?!!

Russian twists (ouchy on my tummy fat)...

Russian squats...

Did two minutes of each today. Can't hardly breathe or sit. Those Russian trainers are tough.
The sun coming out today is just what I needed. I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed, anxious, and sad. I don't have a definitive reason. I just feel sad. I'm really tired of this weather. Maybe I'll pull out my SAD light again.

I think when I eat well and exercise daily, I feel the best but there's a part of me which feels deprived. It's so immature. But that's what I'm feeling when I'm out eating Chinese with my family and they are eating yummy food while I eat stir-fry celery, bean sprouts, and onion.

As the Fairy Godmother said in Shrek 2, "Somebody get me something fried and smothered in chocolate". There you go. That's where I'm at today.

On a really good note, my boys are healthy and playing well together. They've been taking out their legos again, making Origami structures, and building forts. Koo slept in his last night since this week is no school for him.

I hope you all are doing well considering this weather makes you want to eat a whole sleeve of Oreos or whatever your Kryptonite food is.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

I'm not going to name names. I know writing is super, majorly difficult. But I've been trying to read new authors and I get so annoyed when the details don't match up.

I had to put another book down yesterday because what started out on a Thursday (author making a big deal that a foster child is kept home from school to meet his uncle) to the next day no mention of school, running into visitors and no mention of the heroine's not showing up for work when it was emphatically mentioned the day before. How did we skip Friday and go straight to Saturday?

This was among a couple of more discrepancies, so I had to retire the book. Do you have this problem too? What do you? Do you continue or you give up like me? Oh and if you have some good reads to let me know about-I'd love to check it out.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Indoor Garage Sale

My friend and I traveled to a town 45 minutes from here to attend an indoor garage sale. I found books ($0.25/each), seven yards of assorted fabrics for $1.00/each!!!, and some Pyrex bowls.

Got to talk to really neat vendors about their stuff and get recommendations of books.

There was a lot of booths with new, homemade crafts like hats, aprons, and jams/jellies. Such a great time.

Oh a side note, I didn't itch or break out when walking among the crowd of women with tons of perfume on.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

While out to dinner last night at the boys favorite restaurant called "My Favorite Chinese" (that's what they think the restaurant is called), our favorite waitress asked where my love was and I explained he was on a business trip.

I had ordered an extra plate of the boys' favorite dish so they would have something to eat today. Once I explained I cook lunch and dinner for my family mainly because my love isn't thrilled with leftovers, the waitress being Chinese told me how proud she was of me to still take good care of my husband.

In our culture, we spoil the men is what she said. Others may take offense to this comment but not me. I've grown up seeing my mom, grandmothers, and aunts buzz around their men while they sat and visited. The men worked. They provided security and love. In return, the women took care of children and housework.

Here's the bottom line, I am not in competition with my husband. I am his helper, his friend, his lover, and his cheering squad. If there's something I can do to make my husband's life easier, I do it. I don't think twice about it. I think with the message of Valentine all about the stuff and what-cha-goin'-do-for-me, I think showing you care for the person you promised to God to love and cherish is all-year round. Plus, he gave two of our greatest treasures-our boys.

How do you show your loves you cherish them?

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day

I am dressed and waiting to go to their school for their parties. When I asked Koo if he wanted me to come, his answer was "of course, the kids think you're awesome because you make good food."

Here's what I overheard last night as the boys were catching up on their day...

"Guess what I have to do tomorrow Koo?" -S.E.

"What?" -Koo

"At my class tomorrow, we have to have a tea party and I have to sit next to a girl...(big sigh)...it's going to be the worstest day ever." -S.E.

(little brother always the one-upper and sympathizer)

"Well you know what? In my class we have to have a party. Isn't that bad S.E.?" -Koo

The horrors of school I tell ya.

Good thing the boys and I are going their favorite Chinese for dinner. My love is out of town on business so I will not be cooking or cleaning.

Happy Valentine's day all.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Ready. Set. Watch!! My favorite shows are back!!

Don't remember from previous posts?

Let's see...

SWAMP PEOPLE!!! I don't really like hunting but big gators that can eat my littles is enough to root for these guys.

BILLY THE EXTERMINATOR!!!

TOP SHOT!!!!

Do you watch these shows? I've added these show now since I'm already watching American Pickers and Hoarders. Hoarders really, really scares me. Who needs to see Saw IV or whatever, just watch Hoarders.

Friday, February 10, 2012

P.S. sorry about the sideways shot. My computer is being a dork about rotating.

"I just wanted to make you happy Mom"


Veterans to this unexciting blog may recall S.E. hates wearing jeans. It began last year when all he wore was swishy, sport shorts during the summer. You know the shiny, elastic waist ones that we all love to wear.
Elastic-waisted pants followed and no matter how much belly-aching he got, stubborn S.E. refused to wear jeans.
Until Wednesday. He got dressed for school in these. When asked, he said he wanted to wear them to make me happy. He is so delicious. It hasn't happened again since but I'll take this one to the bank.

www.dailymile.com

I've seen a few of my friends using this site to track their miles and went over to have a gander at it.
I signed up for it because sometimes I forget how miles I ran in a week or I forget to write it on my calendar and then skip a day thinking I ran enough the day before.
What I love about this site is you can route your runs and it gives you an exact mileage you've ran. I love it.
Do you dailymile.com? What do I need to know?

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Half day at school and constant pourdown of rain means I've got to creative to burn off some energy...of the highest order...boys!!

We went swimming. Actually the boys swam, I stood on the sidelines in my suit ready to dive in if the boys need help.

Whew...now we are home and the boys are somewhat calm and I'm going to sit and watch them play.

On a reflections moment, I'm happy to not have my 80's overly permed and ratted bangs in this kind of rain.

Monday, January 30, 2012

an apple a day

An update on my skin. It's looking good. I'm 95% clear and not as itchy or sensitive to chemicals or trigger foods.

I'm not out of the woods but I've been eating an apple a day for one week and I haven't had any flare-ups!!!

What I want to do is eat a whole bowl of apples because this girl loves apples. But, I'm still cautious. I can't go crazy and think I'm cured.

I still get what I call phantom itches. My body gets itchy where there used to be rashes but if I really just sit and concentrate on not itching the area-it feeling goes away.

Whatever the reason, I am so happy to be able to be reunited with apples, I feel like skipping.

Friday, January 27, 2012

I have a problem. It's multiplying. There's no possible way I can use it all. What you ask?

Sewing machines. Old sewing machines. I've got five small ones right now. At one time, it has been as high as twelve. I've been able to refurbish and give them to those interested in sewing.

I love it. I love seeing others enjoy and make stuff with their sewing machines. It's nice to find a home for them but I miss and remember every. single. machine which leaves my care.

From time to time, I look on ebay and craigslist just to look at sewing machines.

This week, I picked up a Necchi and she's beautiful. If I can find my camera I think you'll agree. She was sitting at our thrift store for $20. Hello. She had to come home with me.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Reflections: How embarrassing was that?

I was talking to an old friend the other day and we were talking about how much we've learned being 40 and all. How we wished we could get inside our younger selves and avoid some of the mistakes/mishaps we made.

While on this topic, I started thinking about all the embarrassing things that happened to me or what I did to cause myself much embarrassment or humiliation.

1. Tucking my dress inside my pantyhose (several times) and not realizing it while walking in public places-the worse was walking through a Fred Meyer and couldn't figure out what the breeze behind me was coming from for at least 5 minutes. Seriously, I'm cringing as I write this even now.

2. Asking a very "boy-looking" girl in the locker room what he was doing in the girl's lockerroom. I wished I could go back and apologize. She really looked like a boy with a fantastic mullet and it was 8th grade.

3. Telling my crush since 7th grade how much I liked him the last day of our senior year and he just said "thank you". Saw him at my 20th year reunion. Awkward-he still remembered...

4. And of course, going to an afternoon interview with spinach wedged between my teeth. For the entire interview. I got the job but never mentioned it.

I am pretty sure being older doesn't make you immune to embarrassing moments but at least I can laugh at myself now. I'm made of sterner stuff and am not too big to admit when I'm wrong or turn the situation around.

If you follow this blog you know I've got two boys...I routinely embarrass myself in public trying to keep them in line.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Count my blessings

Keeping a good attitude when I take a nose dive into horrid eating after 2pm today was difficult.

However, I was happy. Happy I am in a warm house.

Happy my little boys are not sick and healthy.

Happy my lovely hubby will be home in a few days .

Happy I got a tempo run in-even though all I wanted to do was sew and read.

Happy to be exactly where I have always wanted to be in my life: sharing my life with the love of my life and have the opportunity to stay home with my boys.

Happy I am here in the mornings to make sure they are properly dressed and fed-along with hugs and kisses. The boys have time every morning to play too. Somedays it's a short Pokemon battle or just slowly waking up with a TV show.

I miss them when by Wednesday, so I often show up to their school frequently just to help or observe them. I like being able to give them a hug or just wait for them to find out I'm there and that smile they give me is priceless. I want to know who they are playing with, where they sit in class (Koo always keeps me aprise of any seat changes and who he sits by).

The best part is when I watch them get off the bus and they come in to a warm, safe home with the smell of food ready for them to just decompress and play. I don't make my boys do any homework (if there is any) the first hour home...I think it's so important for them to play. No standing in line, no sitting and getting assignments done. Just play.

I remember growing up and coming home from school and always having to remember to bring my house key or my siblings and I would sit outside until 5pm when my mom would come home (this is before cell phones y'all). I would remember making sure my sisters and brother had something to eat and start on their homework before my parents came home. I had to help make dinner and clean and help my siblings get ready for school the next day-that means checking/helping them with homework, having clean clothes, and making lunch. After this was done (usually after 8pm) can I start on my homework. I was an A student all through school. I had a lot of responsibilities as a kid and while my boys have chores and are expected to help out-I also want them to be a kid. I'm here. They don't have to worry about being locked out of the house or being scare as it got darker and darker without a parent in the house.

I love them with all my heart. I know I'm not special but my boys make me feel like I'm a great person.

I will forever be grateful for being able to be mom. Count my blessings, I don't take it for granted. Ever.

Monday, January 23, 2012

fittothefinish.com

I love this blog above. This lady was over 300 lbs and lost it 13 years ago and has KEPT IT OFF. She has wonderful insights and is very candid about her experiences.

I was doing really well for two weeks and had lost 2 lbs. But last week with the kids off and me not exercising...I ATE THE HOUSE DOWN. Great, now I have gained back the two I just lost.

Really the kids staying home is not a good excuse. Reading posts helps me reset my mind about where I am going with my weight. Here's three:


1. One reason I am working on my health and weight is: ______
To not be in pain when I do normal activities with my kids and live long enough to play with my grandkids.
2. One thing I’d like to do when I get to the weight I want to be is: ______
Recognize that this is where I am and enjoy the hardwork. Not stress over gaining it all back (is this unrealistic?!).

3. The biggest obstacle that is standing in the way of me reaching my goal is: _____ and I can overcome that obstacle by: _______
Biggest obstacle is my need to comfort myself with food and I can overcome this by turning on to other things like exercise or just stopping when I find myself mindlessly rummaging in my kitchen. In the past, whenever I turn down a temptation food, I have mixed emotions: proud and feel deprived at the same time-proud I resisted but feel like I didn't get to eat the temptation food. I'm embarrassed to even write this down for all to see but it is what it is.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Bogs Part Deux

I gave in a bought a pair of Bogs boots today. The boys and the lovely have been wearing these for years and I didn't think I would want one because between an old pair of snow boots and hiking shoes, I couldn't make the case.

Well. Yesterday I had five boys playing outside for over two hours and when they came in, only my boys' socks were dry. I have routinely asked them if their feet get wet in the boots and they always say no.

Whereas, my boots were horrible and my feet were cold the entire time outside.

So I bought a pair. They were regularly $90 and I got them for $60. My feet won't grow anymore so I could have these for years.

Oh in case I didn't mention before, these boots stay warm and dry up to -30F. They are easy to slip on and my boys wear them all year round. Yupe. Even in the summer.

Only drawback is it's slightly high on the frump factor.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Tribeca!!

Two years ago my beloved AWD minivan kicked the bucket. We went looking for another one. Hello.
Only the Toyota Sienna was available in AWD. But no way was I paying the over $40K price tag. Living in our area where we get snow every winter, my lovely refused to have a car without AWD.

So I ended up buying a 2010 Subaru Outback. Loved it (notice the past tense). I could have driven this car for years and years. Only drawback was no third row seating which has snaff-fooed a few playdates at this house but over all no big deal. My hubby didn't like the color (white) and cloth interior (didn't bother me)...those were his only complaints. It rocked in the snow, rain, and any other crappy weather it encountered.

Then why am I driving a Subaru Tribeca? Third row seating. Grey exterior. Leather interior. Blinged out. Great deal on our trade in and we don't owe much on this new car.

Most of the folks who've seen it in the driveway has asked "didn't you just get a new car earlier?" has me bashful about admitting we got a different car. Now, each of our boys can bring along a friend.

PJ's



I've been making the boys pajama pants as of late because it's getting expensive for the store bought one.
Really, $12 for an outfit just to go to sleep? Enter sale fabrics from Joann's and packages for 3 for $4 T-shirts and some sew-equity and you have PJs for around $5!!!
I appliqued the "K" with scrap fabric so it would match the pants. Very easy. Iron on some interfacing to the back of the fabric, cut out your letter, attach it to the T-shirt, and then zig-zag around the border.
Needless to say, the boys LOVE having PJs with their initials on it. The only problem is when it gets handed down.