Thursday, June 30, 2011

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

the shop is open!

I got my purses photographed and listed today, so go check the shop and buy something :) As long as the sun is still shining I will photograph the camera straps and list them tomorrow! I'll let you know once they are in the shop.

in the kitchen

I couldn't resist posting this picture. Regan and I just finished up math in the dinning room and I walked into the kitchen to find this.I told you her favorite spot is atop any table :)

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

at the zoo

Our annual pass for the zoo expires this week, so we met up with some friends this morning to see the new Tiger exhibit that opened in the spring. It was H.O.T. I mean, sweat running down your back hot, yuck! These guys had the right idea.

The kids enjoyed seeing the new animals...

but their favorite part was this :)

My Otter children

After the Zoo we headed to the park for a picnic lunch. Addie loved this slide.

This picture was taken right before I had to climb the tree to get Regan down.

See, there I am, "rescuing" my daughter :)

Our friends passed on some Duplo Legos that they were done with and the kids have been playing with them since we got home.
I am going to start posting my purses and camera straps to the shop as soon as I get pictures taken. I will let you know once I open the shop!

Monday, June 27, 2011

i really want to eat these

Our babysitters birthday was today, and she graciously gave us 3 hours of her afternoon so that I could go out, so naturally, I had to make her cupcakes :)

I used Amy Karol's recipe from her cheat sheet and judging by the response from the kids (even my non-cake eater ate two) I think they were good... Addie definitely liked them :)
It is taking everything in me right now not to go help myself to one (or two, or more). Hopefully they will last through the night and our bible study peeps will eat them tomorrow night. Wish me luck!

Friday, June 24, 2011

whole30 update

I went shopping today. I just barely got all the produce in the fridge. I like buying so many fresh fruits and veggies.
So, week two is coming to a close. My weight loss has plateaued. I am still at about 5-6 pounds (same as last week), but I am finding I don't need/want to eat as much food, so I think I will start to lose again, hopefully. I still am really not missing the sugar or even craving the carbs (except when I am baking bread for the kids (: that is torture). I do miss butter, though.

As far as continuing for the rest of the 30 days we have made a few small changes, hoping they will ease the grocery bill a bit. We will remain sugar, dairy and grain free with two addendum's- I have added beans and corn back into our menu and I also bought a bag of (gasp!) white potatoes! We are both feeling good and hoping that this small change will allow us to continue for the next two weeks. I don't have plans to continue eating "paleo" past the 30 days, but this has definitely changed the way we look at food and I hope will have lasting effects on the way we eat.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

sewing... but not what I should be sewing

I finally got around to sewing those projects I had been planning to do earlier this week and thought I would share them with you.

Regan is leaving for camp in just over a week. Last year she ended up coming home without a few of her clothing items and I owe it to the fact that they all had the same trash bag laundry sacks, so something could easily get thrown in the wrong bag. To be sure that it won't happen again, I threw together this laundry sack this morning while the kids were at VBS.
It is just a simple rectangular bag, about 25h x 19w, with a drawstring opening. I used my bias tape maker to make the drawstring and put a button hole in the bag before I sewed the casing closed.
I also attached a strap to the back so that it can be hung on the end of the bunk beds and even included snaps on one end, just in case there is not a post to hang it over and it needs to be strapped around something.

I also whipped up these shorts for Micah. I made my own pattern using Dana's pant pattern and the pj pant pattern from Weekend Sewing as my reference points. They were super easy to make. Next time I am going to try adding pockets, as soon as I get some more boy fabric- seems like my cabinet is full of flowers and girly stuff.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

thank you!

Thanks for all your encouragement yesterday! I got a good nights sleep last night and I am feeling much better today and am trying my hardest to manipulate my grocery budget to keep us going another 2 weeks :)

In other news, I know I said I would be opening my shop last week, but I still have not received my labels yet, which is okay, because my sewing is taking me longer than I anticipated... I find that to be true of most things these days, I can never accomplish all that I think I can in one 24 hour period.

I was hoping to have some pictures of some projects I have been working on, or as it turns out just thinking I would be working on, but my day was swallowed up today by a trip to the Y, Math and menu planning. Maybe tomorrow :)

Happy Hump Day!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


Today... I'm tired, The plateau in my weight loss has reversed and I gained a pound, the thought of eating another egg nauseates me, and to top it all off, I really don't think that we are going to be able to afford to continue eating this way. It turns out it is quite costly to keep enough fresh produce in the house to feed 7 people, especially when it is one of the main sources of sustenance for the two biggest consumers. So now I am trying to figure out how I might modify our plans, so as not to totally give up, but just to make this little adventure more affordable. I've got til Friday to figure it out, as that is shopping day.

Got to go stop the baby from destroying the whole house while I type... we have reached that stage where if she is awake, she is getting into trouble. Her favorite spot? On top of any table :)

Saturday, June 18, 2011

beach day

This week there was free admission at all the VA state parks, so today we loaded up and headed to the beach at First Landing State Park for a couple hours. It always surprises my how much stuff one family of 7 needs for just a couple hours at the beach... and we don't even have an umbrella or beach chairs!

Addie was not sure about the water at first...
or the sand, for that matter :)

We dug her a little sand pit and filled it with water and that is when she decided the beach was alright, lots of squealing, laughing and splashing. (I know, there is no water in this picture, it had all drained out and the bucket was in use for a sand castle, but you get the idea.)

This was our first time going to this beach, which is actually on the bay, not the ocean. The smaller waves were really great for the kids (and for my peace of mind). I definitely think we will go back here.
Hope you are having a wonderful weekend too!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Week 1

Well, really today is only day 6, but I figured I would give a Whole30 update anyway. So far, so good. It really has not been as hard as I thought it would be, although, as I was slicing banana bread for the kids this morning I really would have liked to have eaten a piece, and I am thinking that eggs for breakfast e.v.e.r.y. d.a.y. is going to get old really fast.

I am definitely motivated by how easily I am loosing weight, nearly 6 pounds so far. I know, if you read the fine print on the Whole30 page they say not to stand on the scale for the whole month, but loosing the extra pounds I put on before my miscarriage was one of the major motivators for me, so I am standing on the scale, daily.

I am also loving that this is pushing me to try new things that I never would have considered before. I am a pretty boring eater. Sometimes I think I would be happy to eat steak and cheese, fries, pizza and chicken salad from the local farm market (it is sooo yummy) all the time. I am also not good at eating as much fresh fruits and veggies as I should, so this is definitely changing that!

Some of my favorite snacks so far have been plantain chips from Trader Joe's (I am totally kicking myself for not buying more, especially since it is a 50 mile round trip to go back!), dried mango (also from TJ's), almonds, carrots, fudge babies, and fresh fruit.

What I miss the most? Probably the grains, and white potatoes. I think the first thing I will add back in at the end of the Whole30 will be corn, I mean it is corn on the cob season, my favorite way to eat corn.

I think right now the biggest hurtle for us to continue is the cost. It is really expensive to eat this way! I've already spent most of my grocery budget for this pay period and we have eaten through almost all of the produce and more than half of the nuts and snacks in less than one week. I am heading to the store this morning and hoping, between the few $ left in the grocery budget and my garden (that is just starting to produce) we will have enough produce to go with the meat I already have in my deep freeze.

So, anybody inspired enough to join in? Have you ever tired something like this? I'd love to hear about it!

Thursday, June 16, 2011


Need I say more?

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

in the garden

Is is really possible that I will be eating ripe tomatoes from my own garden... in June?!
I'm already dreaming about slicing this baby up in a couple more days. Oh, garden fresh tomatoes, how I love thee!

Monday, June 13, 2011


Trying to keep little fingers away from these yummy, Whole30 approved, snacks.
(I used almonds instead of walnuts and they are super delish... the kids want to make these on a regular basis! Yay for healthy dessert!)

Loving these pictures I found on my camera just now...
Aren't those chubby little fingers the best? (Regan took these photos.)

Still sewing for my shop up date

And watching this great video workshop on photographing your wears for Etsy.

What have you been up to today?

Friday, June 10, 2011

whole 30

While in Maryland my friend Jen told me that Heidi at Mt. Hope Chronicles had been documenting her experience doing Whole 30 as I way to break her addiction to soda and sugar. I posted a few weeks back about how I had given up Coke, but have still really been struggling with major sugar cravings. When I got home I read what Heidi had to say, and the Whole 30, 2001 web page, and although I found it interesting, I knew there was just no way I could pull it off. But I kept thinking about it... I really need to change the way that I eat, but feel overwhelmed at figuring out the how and what of actually doing it. Then, late last night, after thinking and thinking about it, I told Phil I wanted to do it, not sure how he would respond. I was totally surprised when the first question he asked was, "can I still drink coffee?" When I said "yes, it just has to be black." (he does not put sugar in his coffee), he said he was "in"! I never expected to have him join me, so I am thrilled to not go it alone! So, I am headed to the store this morning with a grocery list full of meat and veggies, planning to start on Sunday! I will keep you updated on how it is going :)

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

summer is officially here

It was somewhere around 100 degrees today, so after lunch we decided to hit the pool. Last time we swam Addie was a bit apprehensive of the water and it seemed things were going the same way today, until we found this little fountain in the splash park.
She definitely got over her fears after this and was ready to walk right off the edge into the pool and went down the baby slide many, many times.
*I took these pictures with my Droid, since I did not have my SLR at the pool with us.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

sew happy

I'm working on a big pile of camera straps for the shop. I am waiting on some labels I ordered last week but I hope to open up the shop next week. I will keep you posted. In the mean time, you can find me at my sewing machine :)

Monday, June 6, 2011


The kids and I spent the last 10 days at my parents house in Maryland. While we were there we:

Celebrated my dad's 71st birthday (Happy Birthday Dad!)

Caught up with old friends

Spent a day at the park riding the carousel...

and the train.

Had many meals with family and friends, sleepovers with cousins, shopping, (the kids) learned to play chess, took many trips to the playground...
It was a wonderful end to our spring break. Today we are back to the grind, sort of. I decided to ease back into school and we just did one subject today. Tomorrow we will be into our (new) normal routine; chores, math, reading, writing (hopefully all done before lunch) and free time in the afternoon for trips to the pool, play dates with friends and sewing for me.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

just curious...

What kind of stuff would you like to see more of in this little space? I know it is a hodge podge, and really probably will continue to be as it is an easy way for me to document my life (I'm not so good with scrapbooking), but I would love to hear what you like and don't like, what you'd like to see more of.

I LOVE reading all your comments, so please don't be shy!

Oh, and BTW, I am working on some new stuff for my shop. I just ordered supplies to make more camera straps and I am also a licensed seller of the Buttercup bag now! :) I will let you know when I am ready to open the shop again!

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