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I love to laugh and love with my family, read, exercise, cook and sew, all the while giving thanks to God for his immeasureable love and faithfulness to me.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Santa Rosa Beach--Part II

We recently got back from our vacay to Santa Rosa Beach, FL.  Home of sugar sand white beaches, turquoise water, salty breezes and all kinds of re-lax-ation!  I wrote about part I here.
While we were there, J celebrated his birthday.  Before we left (like literally, right before we walked out the door) he opened up his presents.
On his actual birthday, I still wanted it to feel special so I made up some birthday bunting and hung up in the condo.
We ended up going out to eat at one of our favorite restaurants down there, Stinky's.  The wait there is cra-zy long, so we made sure we got there at the geriatric hour and by 5:35 we were sitting down at our table.
Do you think J like his choice?!
Afterwards we went and took some pics on the beach because hello?!  the beach in the evening? Beautiful!!
These weren't the "Christmas card" pics (insert trio of groans from the peanut gallery, hahaha!) but at least 3/4 of us were coordinated.
We had done those earlier in the week.  As with all families, the amount of cajoling, bargaining and threatening that goes on to get one decent picture is insane!
The rest of the trip was spent doing pretty much the same thing.  Playing in the sand, swimming/riding waves, reading, laughing and most importantly, cherishing the time we had together as a family.
Santa Rosa Beach, you can bet we'll be back next year!!  Thanks for a lovely vacation!

Easy Back-2-School bunting

While I always think of September as the "going back to school" month, the reality is, in fact, August is when it happens.
So, how about an easy school-themed DIY?  No sense wracking your brain when I bet most of the supplies you'll have on hand ;)

What you'll need:
--Something to hang your bunting on (i.e. twine, ribbon, yarn, extra fabric...anything goes--I used twine)
--scrappy fabric (any colors work, I went with primary colors)
--fabric scissors
--free printable vintage flash cards found here

Go ahead and string up your twine/ribbon/yarn.
I keep some small Command hooks up on the mantle to make it easy to interchange bunting and garland as an FYI.
After you've downloaded and cut out your flashcards, hang them up using the clothespins.
Next cut strips of scrappy fabric.  I just eyeballed it.  Different lengths.  My red was a bit too short so I just tied to scraps together to make 1 longer one.  Easy-peasy lemon squeezy.
Tie your scraps directly onto the twine.
Lastly, shop your house to find some school related goodies.
Stand back and admire the fact that you switched out your mantle in about 45 minutes from beginning to end, without spending a cent!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

What's Up Wednesday?

I'm linking up to share what's up this Wednesday!

First up, What we're eating this week:
Asian slaw with peanut-ginger dressing.  When it is hot out, this is an easy, cool dinner to make.  Just make ahead and add some crunchy french bread--the recipe does seem to make a lot of the dressing so you might want to adjust accordingly.  Colorful and tasty--yum!  Also frequently found in the rotation is 20-minute lemon pesto penne.  Dinner prep in 20 minutes?  Yes please!
What I'm reminiscing about:
We just got back from vacay in the Panhandle of Florida, so I'm longingly reminiscing about those lovely sugar sand beaches and all the family time!
What I'm reading:
Since we were on vacation, I was able to do a lot of reading!  Just what I love :)  Between walks on the beach, riding the waves and chatting with J and the girls, it was a pretty safe bet that I had my nose in a book.
First up, Songs of Willow Frost by Jamie Ford.  The book is told through the voices of the two main characters--a mother and her son.  It talks about the choices we make for love.  Not gonna lie, it was kinda a depressing book but it was so well written and Jamie Ford is a wonderful storyteller.  I read Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, also by him, so if you liked that, I'd definitely say give this one a go.
After a heavy one, I was ready for some light, frothy fun.  This one was perfect for that!  All about an author who falls in love with a Frenchman and moves to France.  Bonus?  Recipes at the end of each chapter to try.
This book was one that J had actually picked up to read but I had seen other's talking about it, so once he was finished, I snagged it.  Laugh-out-loud funny.  Seriously!
 Earlier in the summer I had read the book One--Impossible Starts Here and blogged about it here.  Love Does reminds me somewhat of that--not being afraid to embrace the wonderful things that God has planned for your life by just saying "yes" and by letting our love be an action rather than just something that we talk about doing.  After I was through with it, J picked it up and read it.
So I haven't completely finished this book yet, but so far it is very good.  Obviously I'm interested in China because of the girls, but this would be one that anyone could pick up and enjoy.  How does a Chinese-American woman navigate Beijing where the only Mandarin she speaks is "kitchen chinese" or the Chinese she heard her mother speak in the kitchen?  You'll have to read it to find out.
What I'm dreading:
So dreading is probably a pretty strong word, but I'm not looking forward to this one being in afternoon preschool because frequently this is what happens--
it gets reeeeallly quiet upstairs and I find her curled up on her bed, the hardwood floor or even on the stairs!?
And can we just take a moment and look to see how many bows/accessories she puts into her hair in the name of fashion?  When she got up, I counted 7 plus 2 long beaded necklaces that she rigged through the clips.  Oh sweet Mei Mei!
What else is going on:
We're just trying to soak up the last few weeks of summer before the back-to-school madness begins. I'm not going to lie--the start of the new school year is always pretty stressful for me until we get into our new routine, but while we still have a little free time, we're making the most of it!
What will I miss most about summer:
All the snuggles on the couch with these 3 and having slow, leisurely mornings!!