A Year in Pics: Day 17

I love coming home to delivered packages!  After hearing rave reviews on coconut oil from a comment on my blog, I decided to get it a try.  I chose to order from Tropical Traditions.  Two thumbs up already for super speedy shipping!!

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So I have my coconut oil…now what?  I belong to a Facebook group that focuses on attachment parenting in natural and organic based homes.  So of course, I turned to these lovely ladies for ideas on how to fully utilize the coconut oil in addition to the ideas from the comment on my blog.  There are SO many uses for coconut oil….lip balm, hair conditioner, body moisturizer, eye makeup remover, etc.  I would love to experiment with making my own soap with it. 

So tonight at bath time, I used the oil as conditioner for my daughter’s hair.  After bath, combing her hair was effortless.  Definitely easier than normal.  I also used it similar to how you would baby oil on her body.  She was thrilled with how silky she felt.  After her bath, she kept making everyone feel her skin and she was very excited.  So of course, I took a shower and used it as well for moisturizer.  No need for lotion at all.  I think I am in love. 

Well except for when I also used it as eye makeup remover.  Very effective by the way at removing mascara, not very effective when the user gets a glob in her eye.  Temporarily blinded by coconut oil due to user thoughtlessness. 

Despite the blindness…VERY IMPRESSED!  I can not wait to utilize it for cooking this weekend.  I definitely have hippie visions in my head of making my own lip balm and body scrubs and deodorant.  Who would be interested if I did a coconut oil giveaway?

A Year in Pics: Day 16

Ah social media.  So many reasons to love you.  So many reasons to hate you.  People do not know how to debate these days.  I love a good debate, but hate when people resort to insults and name calling.  That is not a debate.  A debate is supporting your opinion with detailed information and refuting your opponent’s point of view with logical reason. 

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I am sure YouTube had a record high day today with the recent notoriety of the rumor that Sandy Hook was a hoax.  I did watch it, it did have several troubling points that were not refuted on Snopes.com.  However, I have a hard time fully committing to the idea that the government would be able to actually be able to pull off a hoax this size.  That is a lot of people involved and people are not always reliable.  You can’t tell me in a town that size, every single person would agree to go along with the story.  That no one would leak that it was all staged.  Is the video suggesting that the government killed those 26 people or are they suggesting that they somehow convinced  26 people, 20 of them young children to go into hiding. 

December 14th I wouldn’t even turn the TV on.  I ignored any news websites.  After work, which the office had a heavy silence in the air as we tried to process the news, I bundled the kids up in their pajamas and we drove over an hour to a train station and rode the Polar Express.  We laughed and had fun together as a family.  I appreciated every single moment of that trip.  Even more so than I normally would. 

Hoax or not, the story of Sandy Hook should just remind us all to cherish each moment of our life, to treat each second like it may be the last.  That is a truth that can not be debated.

A Year in Pics: Day 15

For homework, my youngest brings home these little books with three very short stories in them.  We read them, with her reading as many of the words as possible and then complete activities related to the stories. 

We recently read a story about baking a cake and one of the activities was to bake a cake.  We didn’t have any frosting in the house, but we did have brownies!  Brownies, cake, same thing right?? 

Not only did we not have frosting, but I am out of olive oil!  So instead of olive oil we used applesauce!  I was really proud of my baby, cracking the eggs and placing them in the mixing bowl without even a bit of shell falling in the bowl!  Betty Crocker, move on over! 

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I had some marshmallows hanging out, wasn’t sure what to do with them.  So I popped them in the microwave for 45 seconds and then poured the softened marshmallow into the brownie mix, swirling it with a butter knife!  Soooo good!  Yummy!  Most delicious homework ever!!

A Year In Pics: Day 14

Wow.  Two weeks into 2013.  Time really does fly!  I am loving 2013 so far!  It’s been a fabulous year already! 

Sometimes I get so busy I forget to take time out for me.  This is my idea of me time:

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This is the dashboard of my treadmill.  I managed to squeeze two miles in tonight.  I burned 224 calories and it took me 24 min 46 seconds.  I was really excited about this because that is 12 min 23 seconds per mile.  After the holidays (aka my super lazy on running season) I was pulling about a 14 minute mile.  I like to be 11-12 minutes per mile.  So I am getting there!!  Yay! 

By the way, the picture is dark except for the glow of the numbers as I have to run in the dark.  If I run on the treadmill with any lights or lamps on, I get migraines.  Flashing or moving lights are one of my triggers.  Do you have migraines?  What are your triggers?

A Year in Pics: Day 13

I must have missed the memo that Sunday’s are for relaxing.  I got up early to go get groceries.  Came home, my husband unloaded and put away the groceries as I jumped in the shower.  As soon as I was out of the shower I was getting myself and my youngest ready to head to a bridal show with my Mom and sister in Syracuse.  Bridal show in Syracuse = cake samples, free chocolates = hyper child. 

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Notice bags under my eyes.  Notice energy radiating off child. 

After we went to the show and went to lunch, my sister took us to the site of the wedding.  A rose garden in a park.  It’s going to be gorgeous. 

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Of course, in the midst of winter the roses are in hibernation.  But imagine this in full bloom, the trellises covered in soft, fragrant roses.  Romance is in the air! 

P.S….check out the green, green grass in mid January in Central New York!  It was GORGEOUS today! 

A Year in Pics: Day 12

Trying to clean your house with bored kids around is like playing chicken with a full speed locomotive.  You can stand your ground all you want, but they will just blow right over you and leave you in the dust.  So I gave up after the kitchen and bathroom and decided to get them out of the house.  Great decision as it turned out to be such a wonderful day!

My Family Fun Event this week was Ice Skating at the Watertown Fairgrounds Arena.  I still can’t get over just how cheap it is to go skate.  $4.00 includes skate rental.  The kids burn off energy, get physical activity and it doesn’t break the bank!  Truly a wonderful event here in Northern New York! 

My little one is a speed demon on the ice.  Fearless.  After ice skating, I told her she did a great job and asked her if she was aware they offered ice skating lessons.  She said, “Yeah, but I don’t need them.  I am already a champ.”  Hahahaha! 

My oldest one is more hesitant, less confident on the ice.  Has no problem stunting in cheerleading but is afraid of falling on her butt on the ice.  She went a few laps hanging on to the runner to “assist her sister”.  What I saw was her younger sister yelling for her big sister to let go as she was slowing her down. 

When the little one finally decided she was finished, she came off the ice with the hair under her hat damp with sweat.  Take that cabin fever. 

We then headed to Yo Johnny’s to tap into our creative side and make our own frozen yogurt masterpieces.  Prepare for mouth watering.  YUM!  Once again, a visit that left us all smiling.  For my first review click here.  I did try the Bursting Boba Beads this time, in Strawberry.  Um, yes please!  They will be a FOR SURE each visit.  Like Madi said, it’s like a strawberry explosion in your mouth.  Amazing. 

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So $ 8 for the two girls to skate and $15 at Yo Johnny’s…$23.00 and a blast…I’d say that is an amazing deal! 

As a lifetime long Northern New Yorker, I have heard many non-lifers say there isn’t anything to do this time of year around here.  I so have to disagree.  I think we have an abundance of activities both indoors and outdoors in Jefferson and surrounding counties.  Ice skating, tubing, skiing, snowboarding, snowmobiling, snowmobile drag races, sledding down snow covered hills, ice fishing are just some of the many bonuses this cold, snowy season brings us.  And if you prefer to stay indoors there is arcades, indoor soccer, gymnastics, art classes, movie theater, indoor glow in the dark golfing, bowling, music classes and open swim to name a few possibilities.  Stay tuned for each week when I give you ideas of things to do without breaking the bank!!

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A Year in Pics: Day 11

Nothing sounded better to me then a Friday night, lounging around, an easy dinner, some free HBO, fire burning.  It’s been a long week.  I admit figuring out how to write a bunch of blogs and then schedule them for time releases throughout the day has made my life SO much easier!  I am trying to find balance, as all us Moms and Dads do between work, family and my own interests.  It is incredibly important to have down time.  Time where you ignore the laundry that needs to be put away.  Time where you just relax and do nothing. 

So here is a picture of my Nothing Friday Night.

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Laptop.  Kindle Fire.  TV Remote.  Even though I can be connected to the outside world through any of the above pictured items, something about just being home for the night with no plans makes me feel secluded from the world and I like that feeling. 

A Year in Pics: Day 10

There are not enough hours in the day for everything, everyone I want to be.  There is so much in life that brings me joy, so much that I want to cram in 24 hours.  Miles to be ran, books to be read, projects to be started, to be finished, adventures to take, blogs to write, life to live!  One day I will write a book, travel to experience more of the world, do great things.  Just because I can! 

I love creating.  Starting with raw materials, whether it be words or wood and paint or fabric and just putting it together until I am holding the masterpiece in my hands that I created in my head. 

Enter sewing machine. 

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Oh, creative juices set on fire.  The material you see is becoming curtains for my cupboards.  Yes, for cupboards, not windows.  I have been repainting my cupboards but now that it is winter, I won’t be able to finish up the doors until spring when it warms up.  So curtains for cupboards it is…pictures to follow upon completion.  And if I have enough material left over, perhaps valances for my kitchen windows. 

Yes, I got a HOT deal on the fabric.  It was 30% off, plus I had a 25% off coupon and finally I picked up the spool of fabric that was close to the end so if you buy all the fabric on the spool instead of leaving a small amount that is hard for them to sell they give you an additional percentage off.  In other words, I scored big time on the fabric!

I plan on making clothes for the girls for this summer.  Maybe taking a lesson on sewing to further expand my abilities.  I would love to learn how to quilt.  How to knit.  Did I mention I love to learn and expand my horizons?  I have received certifications in tax preparation, bartending, coaching cheerleading and am a Notary Public for the State of New York.  Someday I want to become a Literacy Volunteer to help teach those who struggle to read.  

No, there is not enough time in a day, in a lifetime.  On the upside, I am never ever bored. 

A year in Pics: Day 9

I have a hat obsession.  Not for me but for my youngest daughter.  My oldest daughter has deemed any cold weather gear as “uncool”.  It might mess up her hair, ya know?  However my youngest daughter still prefers to be warm over perfectly groomed.  So I get to feed my winter hat obsession with her.  We have a Thirty-One large utility tote just overflowing with hats and mittens for her.  They make the cutest hats and there is always scorching hot sales on them at end of season.  Beginning of season a hat will sell for $15.00.  I buy it at end of season for $3.00 a size too big to tuck away for next year.  It’s just how I roll.  So today’s picture is my baby wearing one of my favorite hats that she owns. 

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That is her fake just-please-hurry-up-and-take-the-picture face.  My friends Erin & Jessica are super talented with crocheting and knitting and make these ADORABLE Hello Kitty hats.  I have had strangers stop me and ask where I got the hat from.  Which of course just feeds my addiction.  If you are interested in a Hello Kitty hat, message me and I will get you connected with these talented sisters! 

A Year in Pics: Day 8

I keep a running list of improvements I want to make around our house.  We live in an old farmhouse from the 1800’s.  Until this past summer I had been seriously considering buying a new home and turning our home into a rental.  And then I found Pinterest.  Helllo lover!  I have made MAJOR changes in our home for minor costs!  The clearance paint rack and I are on first name basis.  Amazing how many people have colors mixed up and then decide they don’t like it!  I was getting gallons of paint for $5.00.  I am quite happy with the changes and have decided that until my student loans are paid off, we are staying in our old farmhouse. 

One big issue I had was our habit of coming in and taking off our coats and hanging them on the kitchen chairs.  I wanted hooks to hang our coats on by the door.  We have a mudroom but it is unheated and who wants to slip on a freezing cold jacket before they step outside into a NNY frigid winter? 

Enter 25% off entire purchase coupon for JoAnn Fabrics.  With a bridal shower approaching, my Mom and I of course were both going to take advantage of that coupon…we are frugal and creative!  While browsing the clearance aisle, I noticed their wall hooks were 50% off.  Originally $5.99, the 50% off took them down to right around $3.00 each.  I then used my 25% off coupon on top of the sale price to end up paying $2.25 per hook.  Score! 

Here is the end result (there are four hooks, my jacket covers the bottom one on left) which I am thrilled with!  (I also did the “faux” finish paint job on the walls this summer). 

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Isn’t it so funny how the smallest additions to your home can make you so happy?!