Thursday, March 31, 2011

Washington Rainy Season

Jan 1st - Dec 31st! lol

I saw that on a shirt and it made me laugh! The rain, or rather the grey and gloom, are no laughing matter in our house! :)

I am really having to reach down deep lately, not letting the grey and gloom just consume me... I knew it was going to rain alot but I never expected it to be so dark and grey!!! I've lived in Alaska and it wasn't this dark! lol

We try to make jokes about it... "the weather says it's gonna rain today, tomorrow is scattered showers and the next day it's supposed to rain! ha!" If we didn't laugh, we'd cry! lol So today, on our walk down the road to check the mail (which there was none! boo!) I think it surprised even the girls when I told them to go ahead... just jump!! When nature gives you lemons you make lemonade right? Well, when Washington gives you rain... make mud puddles!

And sometimes.... mamas have to jump in too!

Today I was really trying to see the hidden beauties on a dark and dreary day...and as always, God gave me just what I needed....

Lots of little reminders of the amazing things nature is doing all around us... despite the gloom and rain! We are SOO ready for the sun to return but until then, we are just going to have to keep digging deeper and looking for the little treasures happening in the world around us....

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Old Crow

I'm sure you've heard it said that some friends come into our lives for just a season.. and so on and so on... well living the life of an Air Force brat, I have had lots of friends that only lasted a season or two. Each one has touched my life in one way or another and I am greatful for each and every one of them along the way.

There have also been a very few who have entered into my life and stayed not just one season or even two but have hung in there for the long haul and made it a life long commitment of being my friend...

It was for one of these such friends that I got creative for today.... perhaps she should even be considered my very first friend, since she was also my mom's best friend from childhood and a huge supporter when my mom was expecting me!

Her birthday is coming up and it's a monumental one... the big 5-0!

I am hoping that the sun, moon and stars will align for her to have the best possible day that she can being an "old crow"!! lol  Just for that, I included the sun, the moon and 50 stars around the old crow! :) I'm hoping this will be a welcome additon to her egg collection!

How have you been inspired lately? What crafts have you be working on and what got you started?

Monday, March 28, 2011

Hop on over!

Easter is coming....

This time of year has become particularly special to me... both of my girls were born near Easter. My oldest was born two days before, while my youngest was born two days after! And somehow their birthdays ended up three years and 1 day apart? lol Pretty funny huh?

In addition to birthday planning, spring for me is also about planning Easter traditions. I didn't grow up celebrating Easter so our "traditions" have only been in place for as long as we have had our girls. The first few egg hunts we took our daughter to our church but due to our lifestyle and unavoidable moving, we have had to create traditions that will travel with us. Each year I tend to panic as to what we should do to make it special but for the first time, I'm not really stressing about it. The girls have already been chattering away about how great Easter was and how they want it to be "just like last year!" At first, I must admit, I did feel a bit of panic. It's our first year in a new place so we are hitting a lot of firsts in our new house, and knowing that they liked it so much last year I wasn't sure if we could duplicate it again this year. So I set the girls down and asked for more details as to what exactly they meant by "just like last year"! Gosh do I wish I could think as simple as kids do.... they just wanted to find eggs! lol we go to an egg hunt? Yes, in our own back yard! We get all dressed up for our Easter meal of ham and our favorite orange annis seed bread (that I only make especially for Easter Sunday) and we set up the hunt for the girls...

Now, I know the norm is to buy lots of candy and have baskets of junky toys awaiting them but for us, I look at it as a time to celebrate rebirth and the joys of spring. For months before, I collect little treasures of homemade goodness from swaps (and some made by me too) and let the girls discover their little spring themed goodies.... and a few little sweets mixed in for good measure. This year, I have actually cheated  a bit and actually bought a few store bought goodies to hide in eggs too.... Have you seen the isle of Hop goodies at Walmart? We haven't even seen the movie yet (that comes later this week! woo hoo!) but I couldn't resist!!! They had all sorts of adorable goodies... so when I actually got to run into the store on my own I just had to pick up those cute little erasers!! I just know they won't be used for erasing tho... I can already see them living in the Barbie house and having eggs to live in... lol Ahh... the joys of being a kid! To top it all off, we will hide two very special eggs (as per our tradition)... a gold one and a silver one.... each with clues for finding that something special that doesn't fit in an egg! :)

So, in closing.... I am learning more and more everyday that its not about the big things you do but rather the little things that leave a lasting impression. I only hope this Easter will be as memorable as the last one...although I'm betting a bit wetter and less sunny! Ha!

Can you see the egg in hiding?

 What do you have planned?

About Hop:

Blending state of the art animation with live action, Hop is a comedy about E.B. (voiced by Russell Brand), the teenage son of the Easter Bunny. On the eve of taking over the family business, E.B. leaves for Hollywood in pursuit of his dream of becoming a drummer. Once there, he encounters Fred (James Marsden of the X-Men series, Enchanted), recently fired and determined to pull his life together. Feigning injury, E.B. persuades Fred to take him in, and Fred finds himself living with the world’s worst houseguest. Back on Easter Island, the Easter Bunny’s second in command, an oversized chick named Carlos, seizes E.B.’s disappearance as an opportunity to plot a coup. Ultimately, Fred and E.B. are Easter’s only hope and they find themselves returning to Easter Island, locked in an epic battle to save the beloved holiday. The film is helmed by Tim Hill, director of the blockbuster Alvin and the Chipmunks and produced by Chris Meledandri’s Illumination Entertainment (Despicable Me).

I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Hop blogging program, for a gift card worth $25. For more information on how you can participate, click here

Breakfast bliss~ Nutella review/giveaway!

A few weeks ago, I entered to host a Nutella party via MommyParties. You never know if you're gonna get picked for these kind of things so I was super excited to get the email confirming my party and then I was over the moon when just two days later I had a big box of  goodies delivered to my door!!!

The timing couldn't have been better! Before long, I had a house full of family and friends visiting from all directions! Everyone was so excited to try Nutella. It's funny, we'd all heard of it but never really had it! Boy were we in for a treat! Our box of goodies included coffee mugs, samples, a knife/spreader and recipes!! We tried them all but our favorite was eating it spread on a tortilla and slicing strawberries! Yum!! And if you really want to win Mom of the Year? Spread some Nutella on a slice of whole grain toast and place banana slices on top... definately an award winning breakfast... my kids are still talking about it! lol

Not just going to take my word for it? Let the facts speak for themselves!!

~Nutella does not contain any hydrogenated oil or trans fat.

                                     ~It is low in sodium compared to other popular nut butters.

               ~Contains no artificial colors or preservatives.

                                      ~Does not contain peanuts or peanut ingredients, nor does the product come in contact with peanuts during manufacturing
Can't wait to see if you win? Then start saving your proofs of purchase and get your own Nutella products!

Win it!!
Even with a house full of guests, I ended up having one set of giveaway items left over! SO.... I thought I would offer it up to one of you!! I love to tell people about my favorite things and Nutella is definately one of my new favorite things!! The drawing will remain open for the next week and I'll randomly draw a name and announce it on April 8th!

Mandatory Entry- You must be a public follower (I will check) of this blog and then tell me if you've ever had Nutella and if you have then what's your favorite way of serving it? :) I'd love to try it in a new way!

Extra Entries

1. Go to my other blog Books2BridgeMiles and become a public follower

2. Become a fan of my fan page (for my handmade toys) on Facebook

3. Blog about it and come back and share the link!

disclosure:  I was provided with samples for the purpose of this review.  I did not receive any monetary compensation for this post.  All nutritional information was provided by the sponsors.   All opinions expressed in this post are my own. 

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Monday, March 7, 2011

A new view

In the spirit of the Iditarod and our book selections for the month, we made our nature table, wipe off board and book wall all match!! Check back often to see what we've added!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Tricks of the Trade- Imagination Box Review

As moms, we all have little tricks of the trade so to speak. Some have great ideas for getting their kids to clean up after themselves (Let me know if you have figured that one out! Ü) and then there are the new ideas on how to get them to eat their vegetables! What ever the case my be, us moms have to stick together and share the knowledge that we all had to learn the hard way! :) That's what I love most about blogging. It's not just about keeping a diary, it's about gaining an education from the comforts of our own homes! I have learned so much about Waldorf, homeschooling, crafts and cooking... the list could go on and on....

So today I want to share with you my newest found "trick of the trade"....

A few weeks ago, just when I thought we had made it thru the winter with out having a nasty flu bug make it into our house hold, we all came down with a cold/flu. It came in waves through the house, starting with my youngest first and ending up with me... ugh....

If you are a mom, you know how hard it is being sick with little ones. Just because we are sick does not mean that the world stops and we simply get to rest. While my girls were very good about letting me rest, there is only a certain amount of time that they can stand being cooped up in the house and being quiet while I rested before they started getting restless... in comes my secret weapon....

A while ago, I was in touch with Imagination Box about reviewing one of their eco friendly toys and they were SOO wonderful to work with and let me pick out my favorite one to review! Within just a few days this box was waiting on our porch!! The best part? IT'S MADE IN THE USA!! Woo hoo!!! If you'd been a follower for very long, you know how important that is to me! :)

Easy to Assemble Sturdy and Safe
All Non Toxic
Uses Post Consumer Material
100% Recyclable
Good For Mother Earth
Toy Made in USA

 Remember me talking about my secret weapon? Well, it was the second day of that nasty bug and I was just exhausted. To beat all... it was Valentine's day and all my plans were obviously NOT going to happen! The girls had been just golden but they were still kids and could only take so much quiet time... so I mustered up enough energy to get this tower out of the box and then set them up to work on it in the kitchen. Now, it came with paints, but considering they were going to be kinda  unsupervised doing this (Our kitchen and living room is all one big room but still...) we broke out the markers and away they went! A couple hours of pure bliss, well as much bliss as one really sick mama can get laying on the couch with a box of kleenex and more hot tea that I have ever drank in a short amount of time and two VERY happy kiddos!!! In fact, when I tucked them in bed that night, I apologized for such a crumy Valentines' day and my daughter said "it was the best Valentine's Day ever! But I'm sorry you were sick Mom" That just shows what a big hit this toy was! :)

This toy was awesome!! Not only did my girls absolutely love getting to color it and make it their own, but they have been playing with it for weeks!!! It is definately a good quality toy even tho it's made of cardboard. I just love hearing them play with the Barbies and the stories they come up with of going on vacation to a castle where they find Tangled stuck in her tower! lol Too cute!!

I think that everyone should have one of these in their closet for a rainy day. This is something easy to take on vacation, great for birthday gifts or something to have on hand at Grandma's house for something easy to store and play with! Or, in our case, easy entertainment on a sick day! :)

The ONLY bad thing I could say about this is the box that it comes in has a picture on the outside, so if you're ordering this as a surprise you better beat your kids to the mail! :)

We are SO in love with Imagination Box Co!!

If you'd like to learn more about their specials, sales etc please check them out on Twitter and be sure to "like" them on Facebook too! You won't be sorry you did!!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

My post over on my book blog was featured on the read along today!!! Check back everyday for more ideas!!

Rhythm of the Home Bliss

As I do every morning, I get up at 5:30 with DH to send him into the day with hot coffee and a lunch...and as I contemplate most mornings- I considered crawling right back into bed! lol But then it hit me! Rhythm of the Home's Spring edition was going live today and I just couldn't wait to log on and check it out! It really is pure bliss to sit in the wee hours of the morning with my coffee in hand and read about other moms, doing other crafts and cooking to make their houses and lives feel like home....

These were the first things to catch my eye...

I so see these in my crocheting future! I'll have to see if I can make them a bit smaller for the girls' dolls for "babies" must have Easter dresses too don't you know? ! :)

I am SOO going to be planting Violets this spring!!! Who knew how good they are for you!!

What's your favorite thing in the new edition? Do tell! :)