photo (112)

HJ has been waiting patiently for school to begin.  Last week, his 2 teachers came to visit us at home, and since then, he has been SO EXCITED.

School will be a bit different this year.  Last year, he went two days a week, for about three hours.  And, the preschool was in a separate building from the main school.  This year, it is 5 days a week for 5 hours.  It is also in a large elementary school, so he gets to walk from daycare with the big kids (he thinks it is awesome).

After his first day, he told me it was awesome.  He said he liked playing with all of his new friends, but doesn’t remember any names.  He disliked that at recess, he had to play in the “little kids park”.  He prefers playing in the big kid park (he also thinks he is 8).

HJ also told me it is cool to carry your backpack over one shoulder.  Carrying it on both shoulders is lame. He also set this trend for the other kids at daycare.

This far, he even likes hot lunch, but next week there is something called “peaches in strawberry gel”, so he might change his mind.

PicMonkey Collage

*Congrats to Jenny for winning the Veggietales DVD, an email is coming your way!*

When I was young, I loved reading The Boxcar Children Series.  I had them lined up along my headboard (which was a bookshelf), and loved how Gertrude Chandler Warner made me want to find my very own boxcar to live in.

When I was asked to review the new Boxcar Children DVD, I was excited to introduce HJ to the 4 siblings I fell in love with as a child.

photo (109)

After watching the film, HJ and I decided we would start reading the series together.  We have only located book #22 at my parents, but are still hunting (that means there are at least 21 more to find…I never skipped a book).

The film is about four orphaned and homeless siblings who come upon an abandoned boxcar, which, with a little creativity and hard work, they gradually furnish with all the comforts of home. Fearful that they will be sent to live with the reputedly cruel grandfather they have never met, the children keep their new home a secret-until a serious illness forces them to reveal themselves in order to save young Violet.

HJ and I loved having a movie night, cuddled up on the couch and watching The Boxcar Children.  I would love for one of you to win this DVD for your household.  Just leave me a comment letting me know what your favorite series was growing up, or what your kid’s favorite series is!  I will pick a winner next Sunday.

Cheer up buttercup love quotes quote pain feelings believe teenager inspiration be happy teen cheer up buttercup

It has been one of those weeks.  One where I am feeling overwhelmed, and ready to burst into tears at the next possible turn.

Monday is when it started.  I had to go to court for a child support hearing.  I know I have stayed silent the last few months on everything that was going on, but there really hasn’t been anything new.  Over a year ago is when the child support adjustment came out, and this week is when it was finally settled.  It took 16 months.  Gotta love the legal system.  And, if I were to guess, I still won’t get paid child support but I now have a pretty hefty lawyer bill.

I went for a run Monday night.  I hadn’t run since the previous Wednesday.  My leg had been bothering me and I thought it would be good to take a few days off. (This story seems slightly irrelevant right now, but it comes in play again a few days later)

Tuesday was a slightly hectic day at work, I had a lot to do.  I have felt slightly overwhelmed at all of my tasks lately due to us being short-staffed and still not feeling totally comfortable in the role.

That night, HJ and I were at a neighbor’s house.  One of the boys and HJ were playing with a hose.  HJ was running away from him, facing backwards.  He started getting too close to the window well and the other mom and I were yelling at him to stop.  But he was laughing and shouting.  And he fell.  Backwards, down the window well of an egress window.

My heart was beating out my chest.  It took me all of 2 seconds to get to that window, but it felt like an eternity.  I was so scared I would see him laying there injured.  Luckily, he was standing up screaming and trying to get out.  I picked him up and we made him show us he could move everything.  He was completely fine.  Not even a scrape…just dirty.

When I ran into action, I jumped so fast, my shoes flew off.

That night, I went to bed.  I kept waking up thinking my foot was hurting.  When I finally got up for the day, I could hardly walk on it.  It was painful.  I didn’t notice it looking different until I tried putting on shoes.  I could squeeze a few pairs on, my foot was too swollen.

The nurse at work looked at it and gave me some ice.  Thought the day it became more swollen and painful.  I figured I would give it another day to see if it got better.

Nope.

Today, I went to the doctor.  She gave me some exercises to do, she thinks I injured my calf somehow and it has spread down to my foot.

No running for at least 2 weeks.  That is when I have a follow-up to see if I need physical therapy.

Which means, no August 5K.

And struggling to keep my weight off.

Also, today I opened my salad and fruit for lunch only to discover mold had grown on the fruit overnight (I always pack a few salads at once to save time…never had this problem).  This caused me to spend money at the vending machine to get unhealthy food for lunch (damn you budget and healthy eating goal!).

Thank goodness for Friday.

I have shared numerous times about how I lack a green thumb.  Last summer, I was mildly impressed with my gardening skills.  Basically, lettuce and tomatoes survived.  But, I figured that was pretty good considering most plants die within 2 weeks in my house.

Due to my “issues” keeping plants alive, I have stayed away from investing too much in my yard.  I didn’t want to spend money on it, just to discover I killed it.  Or a bunny dug it up and took it away like my blueberry bush.

Last summer, my dad helped me put rocks and a few bushes in the front yard.  I have found it difficult to make the front yard look like it has landscaping, because my house is a duplex.  That means I can control what my side of the yard looks like, but it would be nice to keep things somewhat uniform.  Due to this, we just stuck to doing a small portion.  We didn’t line it with a pretty edging, I was going to wait on that.

I waited until this past weekend.  My neighbor had extra stone left over from her landscaping project.  I used this to re-edge my front yard, and make it look a little better.  The hardest part of this was coming across spiders.  I loathe spiders.

photo (106)

Luckily, it was all dug up from last year, so I just had to push the small rocks around until the big ones fit.

About this same time, a friend of a friend was getting rid of some hostas and lilies they had dug up.  I jumped at the chance to take them, and decided to plant them around the back deck.  I had to dig the backyard to clear a space for them, and it was definitely harder than I had pictured.  I still have bruises on my legs from pushing on the shovel and learned my yard is quite rocky.  I wanted to completely dig out a line the length of the deck and then a few feet wide.  Eventually, I would like to fill this in with rocks and a stone edge, but I also wanted to take advantage of free plants!

photo (107)

I thought you also might like to see how our garden has grown.

photo (108)

(HJ is in the back picking peas, you can sort-of see him)

We have had about 5 cucumbers so far (I didn’t even know we had planted these, HJ brought home some plants from school!), sugar snap peas (these never made it inside), lots and lots of kale, a little bit of spinach, bowls of cherry tomatoes and a few green peppers…oh, and 3 teeny tiny strawberries.  Much better than last year!

How do people learn to landscape?  I feel totally lost.  My poor yard doesn’t even have a tree.

 

photo (105)

Every night, while HJ enjoys his bedtime snack, I let him pick out a movie to watch.  I narrow down his selection so it won’t be a movie that gets him all wired up (I’m looking at you Space Jam).  I love letting him watch movies that are a good length (not too long before bedtime) and also help teach valuable lessons.

HJ loved watching VeggieTales at daycare, and would tell me about “that funny cucumber”.  When I was given the opportunity to check out that funny cucumber for myself, I jumped at the chance.  HJ and I sat down with his peanut butter toast and yogurt, and started watching VeggieTales: Celery Night Fever.

In Celery Night Fever, leisure suits and disco balls take center stage, along with a message of friendship and forgiveness.  Terry Crews provides the voice of Bruce Onion, who wants to turn Celery Park into a parking lot.  This spurs Laura Carrot and Junior Asparagus to reenact the long-lost 70′s band, The Groovy Brothers, to play at a fundraising event.  In this movie, it’s not just Celery Park in jeopardy- if best friends can’t learn to forgive each other, they might all lose their beloved park.  This film debuts on August 5th.

The DVD also includes bonus features, like Perfect Puppy Singalong (HJ found this song hilarious).  Would you like your own copy of VeggieTales: Celery Night Fever?  Leave a comment letting me know who you would share this DVD with to enter to win.  The winner will be picked next Sunday, August 17th!

 

 

Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”

HJ is currently watching a movie before bed.  It is the Nutcracker (yes, the Christmas movie).  And holy cow, this is disturbing.  For one, why did the little girl’s parents pick such an old godfather?  Second off, I think he might be a pedophile.  Also, the “mice” they see, lead me to believe they are on drugs.

On that note (Nutcracker, not drugs), when I was in 3rd grade, I was in the Nutcracker ballet.  I was a mouse.  A cute, dancing mouse.  Did you all know I was a dancer?  I took ballet from first grade through 8th grade and then moved onto the high school dance team.  I loved it.  I loved dancing so much I learned the entire opening dance on Blossom.  Oh, it drove my sister nuts.

My sister and I are 5 years apart.  With me being the younger one, it’s safe to say I drove her nuts on a daily basis.  I use to get her in a lot of trouble, but she was just horrible at being sneaky.

I on the other hand, was quite sneaky.  On top of being sneaky, I was a story-teller.  My parents had a hard time figuring out if I was lying or not.  My saving grace is I was always on time for curfew, my sister was always pushing it.

Last weekend, I attended the Irish Fest in town.  Have you guys heard of Gaelic Storm?  They are amazing.  And I love their accents.  Somehow, I need to pick up an Irish accent.  You know what else I love?  Bloody Mary bars.  There was a fabulous one there.  It had bacon.  My drink had bacon in it.

This week has been slightly chilly, so I am hoping it warms up for the weekend!  The pool closes in 2 weeks, so we need to spend as much time there as we can!

Happy Friday!

July: Get a Budget

June: Stay Unplugged

May: Run a 5K

April: Beautiful Nails

March: Get Organized

February: Picture Projects

January: Get Healthy

400_F_13754753_jdHaRHzTH5Vj29sNox691QDwJiRE56nf

I have absolutely no idea how July went by so quickly.  I feel like the 4th of July was last week, instead of a month ago.

I am learning that summer is hard for my habits.  I eat ice cream, skip the gym, lounge outside and spend money.  Basically, all of my goals have seemingly gone to hell in a hand basket.  Which leads me to this month’s goal…

August: Get back on track

Remember how my friend Courtney and I were doing so awesome with our weight loss and healthy eating?  We talked this past weekend and realized we have both been failing miserably.  I had lost 20 frikken pounds.  Now, it’s 16.  I want to get back on track with my eating habits.  I give myself an inch and I take a foot…topped with chocolate.  Starting today, I am going to use fitness pal again.

Courtney and I are trying to come up with a contest of sorts, but are struggling to find something simple and effective.  Any advice is welcome!

Then July.  Get a budget.  I have been motivated with this one, I just feel that it is going to take longer than a month.  I am hoping that by following the suggestions I received, I am able to have and stick to a budget.

I think trying to refocus in both of these areas will be a challenge this month, but hopefully manageable.

School is just around the corner. Hard to believe! With that in mind, I was thrilled with Chiquita offered to send some great snack ideas my way. And not just any snacks, healthy snacks.

applecol
At school this year, I will need to pack a morning snack for HJ. He will eat hot lunch most days (unless it is something he despises…like eggs), and then we will be in charge of a snack once a week for after-school care. For those keeping track (like me), that is 5 snacks a week, 1 group snack and a possible lunch. I think the best way to keep me sane this year is to keep it simple.

Chiquita has cute snack packs that I can easily throw in a bag for school, and know he is eating something healthy and nutritious during the day. HJ loved the apple slices and grape mix, while I preferred the apple with caramel dip (YUM!).

HJ and I also were given a cute guide with recipes to follow.  We made these cute apple slice cars, which are the perfect way to encourage picky eaters to eat their fruit!

apple4

For the days where I need to pack a group snack, I love that you can grab the large pre-sliced bags.  This will make it simple for the sitter, no prep and little to clean up!

To help get your family ready for school, Chiquita wants to send one of you a Thirty-One Thermal Tote!  The winner will be picked next Sunday, so be sure to enter before then.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

I received this product for free from the manufacturer. I agreed to use this product and post my opinion on my blog. My opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the manufacturer of the product.

Thanks to Mrs. Band for sponsoring today’s post.


photo (99)

I know I have written about this before, but it is something I need to continually work on.  Realizing, I am enough.  I have realized that lately, I am my own worst enemy.  I come across an old picture and think how much prettier I use to be.  I look in the mirror and see someone looking back who has a splotchy complexion, a few lines, frizzy hair and the list goes on and on.  I always thought that as I got older I would become more confident in myself, but instead the opposite has happened.

Not only do I not like the reflection in the mirror, I don’t like other parts of my life.

I feel like I should be farther along in my career.  I am still making the same amount I was right out of college.

I feel like I am a failure at relationships.

Basically, I feel slightly overwhelmed.  I don’t feel good enough.

*Side note: I had to laugh at this.  While trying to take my selfie, here was my reality…

photo (100)

That is why when I heard about this project, I knew I had to be a part of it.

And here’s the thing, I am enough.  Life can get a bit hectic with work, kids, life…but you know what?  I am doing a good job.  We are doing a good job.  Sometimes, taking a deep breath, looking in the mirror and saying, “I am enough” can be just what one needs.

The Mrs. debut single, “Enough” was written to help women see themselves in a less critical eye.  I truly believe I am more judgmental of myself than anyone else.  I have had “enough” of hearing that negative voice in my head and “enough” of thinking I am not good enough.

The Mrs. will be releasing their debut EP this fall. Although the music may sound like what’s being played on pop radio right now, the lyrics tell a different story. As women in their late thirties/early forties, songs about teenage heartbreak and wild nights clubbing weren’t things they could relate to. They decided to write about their own lives – like the challenge of juggling a career, marriage, motherhood and friendships, while still trying to maintain their own identity. They set out to foster a connection through their music with other women at the same place in their lives. The Mrs. is comprised of drummer Andra Liemandt, lead vocalists/guitarists Mandy Prater and Jennifer Zavaleta, vocalist/keyboardist Larissa Ness, and bassist Jenny Mason.

To help celebrate being enough, take your own #imENOUGH selfie and post to social media.  Show the world you are enough.  Watch the inspiring video, and realize you are enough.

 

photo (99)

Today’s post is not quite ready.  That leads to you getting ramblings today instead of Friday…let’s begin.

I have officially harvested 2 cucumbers from my garden.  Interestingly enough, I didn’t even know we were growing cucumbers.  HJ brought home a few random plants from school that we threw in the garden, so I am assuming that is where it came from!

Last night, HJ saw a tiny dog walking down the street.  He looks at me and says, “That dog is darn cute!”.  Which is way cuter than him singing this.

We have school registration this week.  I don’t feel like summer should be coming to a close, but school starts in a few short weeks!

Speaking of school, Groopdealz has some awesome Back to School items right now, you should check it out!  Like these cute pencil bags for only $5…

I have made some really good meals lately, but forget to take pictures, which leads to no recipe posts.  Clearly, I will never be a food blogger.

This past weekend, I went to a party.  An all day party.  I don’t drink often, but apparently that day I figured “what the hell”.  And it was.  The end.

Due to a string of picture texts I sent my friend (while at the party), I have been contemplating snapchat.  Ugh.  Can’t believe I admitted that.  But, I just might…because the picture texts made me giggle.

I also learned that my water proof phone case is in fact water proof.  Lake Ponderosa: 0 Life Proof Case: 1.

And in case my weekend wasn’t busy enough, I ran my 3rd 5k.  WOOHOO.  I do think this was the easiest one yet.  And on that note, I also set a PR!  31 minutes 41 seconds.  If anyone in the Cedar Valley knows of a good 5K in August, pass it on!