Saturday, July 30, 2011

Sunday Citar: Summer Afternoon

Summer afternoon - summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language. ~Henry James

This might just be the best summer I have ever had. I made a promise to myself to enjoy every bit of sunshine this year. Every moment of extra daylight. Every minute of Annika's last summer before she starts kindergarten... and we have succeeded thus far.

Between ocean days, hiking in Acadia, swimming in the lakes, playdates in the park... we have been outside every day of this beautiful summer. Our healthy eating plans have suffered, our house is in a shambles, yardwork has barely been touched... but it is all worth it.

Please go see Tabitha for more Sunday Citar.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Tattoo Envy on Pinterest

So... I am loving Pinterest. It is a great site for me to get some great visions for our bathroom redo and Ariana's new bedroom.

My favorite board so far is my tattoo envy board. Seeing all of those wonderful tattoos together has really inspired me to get a new tattoo designed.

Are you on Pinterest? Let me know so that I can steal your ideas... er... follow you...

Monday, July 25, 2011

Mommy and Me Monday: With a Little Help From The Pros Part II

I love this photo of me and the two little ones: Acadia and Annika. It reflects that craziness and love that is our family... if you'll notice, Acadia's legs are covered in a gray mud. She fell in an ocean-shore quick sand of sorts smack-dab in the middle of our photo shoot. Which then covered her (and myself) in a thick, gray mud. But we rolled with the punches and Annika tried to help pick the mud off.

Visit Krystyn at Really, Are You Serious? for more great Mommy and Me photos.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Sunday Citar: Moments of the Present

A daughter is the happy memories of the past, the joyful moments of the present, and the hope and promise of the future. ~Author Unknown

My baby baby will be 3 in a few, short days. My last baby. I watch her mature with anticipation and sadness. We are making leaps and bounds towards her being a big girl... she is at the end of diapers at bedtime; slowly moving towards spending nap time and bedtime in a big girl bed; dressing herself and putting on her own shoes with a fierce independence.

I know I have so very much to look forward to... but I wish I could pause these cuddly, snuggly, cute baby bum-pinching moments for a tiny bit longer.

Go visit Tabitha for more Sunday Citar.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Successful Road Trip Tips for a Family: Part 1

As I mentioned, I am doing this little how-to series to help parents navigate a successful road trip. First up would be keeping the kids entertained during those hours of driving. For us, this includes two integral parts: snacks and activities. That's basically it. After that, you need to cross your fingers and pray for no major mood swings or bouts of irritable bowel syndrome.

Let's explore activities:
My mainstay for kids activities on the go is a bag like this: This bag fits conveniently on the floor below Acadia's seat and can carry many different distractions for the kids. Typically I pack plain paper, coloring books, a set of new crayons for each girl (Yes, we have 8 billion crayons, but a new set seems to appease them that much more and it is worth the $3 investment!), and whatever other activities suit that particular trip. I will usually print a bunch of free printables from the internet. Minivan Mom offers a great selection, everything from Car Bingo to Travel Scavenger Hunts.

I also enjoy the Melissa and Doug travel games, like travel memory: For around $10, you get a great game that will not lose pieces and includes 14 different boards.

Another recent discovery is a sort of travel I Spy: You can make your own version of these bags, but for $8 from a fellow Etsy shop, it is totally worth getting each kid one. My girls are very competitive, so it works out well. I just use the little card provided to call out an object for them to find, and it keeps them amused for an extended time.

Along with the coloring pages, printables and crayons, I strongly suggest a lap desk for each child. It makes artwork easier and neater. Mine look like this: and it has lasted about 8 years through 3 kids. It is a godsend to keep paper and books in their lap. It is quite small and fits right in the aforementioned travel totebag.

Along with that tote bag, I also like a back of the seat organizer like this: It keeps things like sippy's and other small items close at hand. (Just don't forget a sippy in there when the trip is complete... EWWWW!)

Next in the series: snack for the trip.

Road Trip, 3 Kids, 2 Parents... Easy AND Fun????

In light of a broken oven, dryer and washing machine, we decided to take a budget vacation this year. Which actually suits us just fine. Hubby and I both love the outdoors, hiking, swimming... everything that is free and cheap on a vacation.

Out vacation was 9 days, approximately 600 miles driven, camping in a tent, swimming in 55 degree ocean water, exploring Maine's rocky shore, eating food cooked on a campfire, going to zoo's and amusement parks, stopping by various beaches... and sooo much more.

I bet you are wondering, "Really, fun with 3 kids on a 9 day road trip?" But it worked. It really did. All it took was a bit of planning and sometimes some deep breathing on the adults' part.

So, I am going to dedicate a few posts on how to have a successful road trip with 3 kids where you all come back alive with sanity intact. No, really, it IS possible... barely.

First up, tomorrow... how to pack for a successful trip in the car (and we don't even own a minivan!) wherein your children stay quasi-amused and refrain from beating the snot out of eachother.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Mommy and Me Monday: With a Little Help From The Pros

{thank you, rachel halsey photography}

I can not stop staring at this photo. It is a simply amazing capture of a moment with me and my 2 older daughters. They have picked up my love of hula hooping and all I keep imagining is them sitting with their own children, looking fondly, recounting how they used to like to hula hoop with Grandma...

What? Is that weird? I imagine what my grandkids will think when they look at my photos?

Again, I can not beg you enough to get your photos done by a professional... now... while you can play like this and save these memories with your babies so that they can share them with the next generation... and the next.

Look at the memory I (and my babies) get to look back on... giggle at... embrace for so many years to come... and if that is not enough... I also have this... {thank you, rachel halsey photography}

Can you get enough of those eyes????

Thank you, Krystyn, for encouraging me to keep up my Mommy and Me photos! Visit her for more adorable inspiration.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Summer Links

...and while I am on vacation, please enjoy some of my favorite summer links...

Great homemade popsicle ideas.

Great summer eats.

And more summer eats.

A hidden gem.

Lunch Fairy Land:
great idea to liven up your summer lunch doldrums.

Yes, it IS possible to still eat healthy while traveling with my family this week.

I am still on vacation... hope you are enjoying your summer so far!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Summer reruns...

I am on vacation... HOPEFULLY enjoying some sun, sand, friends, family and very unhealthy food! So you are stuck here with my old summer reruns... (i.e. regurgitated posts.)

Check out Tougas Farm in Massachusetts... my girls loved it and we got some of the sweetest strawberries ever!

My favorite salad to use my 8 pounds of fresh picked strawberries.

Ten sustainable, environmentally friendly products... some even produced in New England.

Did you ever wonder if it was worth your time and effort to keep up that veggie garden?

With a graphic design background, I am a font snob, and surely nobody will find this hilarious but me.

See this adorable bird feeder? Can I tell you that when I saw that exact tea cup at Goodwill, I knew it was fate and that I was meant to make it for my garden. (Photos when I complete it).

Oh, and don't forget to vote for MY COOKIES!!! (1 vote per day!)

Monday, July 4, 2011

Hot Fun in the Summertime

"Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass on a summer day listening to the murmur of water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is hardly a waste of time." ~John Lubbock

This is our summer so far... and we have yet to be disappointed. We are soaking up every ray, relishing every drop of water... and wiggling our toes in every blade of grass we come across... as it should be.