Thursday, June 30, 2011

Scott Avett ~ Untitled Two

Love.

Paseo Arts Festival

Wow, I am really behind on my blogging!  We went to The Paseo Arts Festival a while back.  Paseo is such a cool area.






I'm sure there was a lot of great local art there, but unfortunately it was very hot & muggy that day and there was a lot of whining from our mini-me's.  So we didn't get to leisurely browse through the art like we had hoped.  It's days like this that we think "why didn't we get a sitter?"


We got to hear some cool  music.  I think that was my first time hearing someone play a washboard. 


The architecture in the Paseo area is so unique.  I love driving around, looking at the houses and buildings.











Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Avett Brothers ~ "Laundry Room" at Bonnaroo

I've posted this before, but it's so good I had to post again.  If I had to choose one song to be the last I ever heard, it would be this version of "Laundry Room".  I just never get tired of watching this amazing performance.  And those Avett brothers aren't too hard on the eyes either. ;)

Monday, June 27, 2011

Daydreaming

I have a few big items on my wish list.  Since we are currently trying to be very frugal, these purchases aren't in the cards right now.  So for now, I am daydreaming about...


I drive a 12 year old GMC that we bought used 7 years ago.  It's been a great car until the last year.  And really, it's still not too shabby.  Old cars just need a lot of maintenance.  But I have the new {to me} car bug.  I have thought long and hard and decided I want a black Ford Edge, when the time comes.  I only buy American cars.  This is something that was ingrained in me by my Dad.  And now that I'm older, I can really appreciate where he was coming from.  I've decided on the Ford Edge because I think it's cute, just the right amount of roominess for our family of 4 and it has a high safety and quality rating.  And the big reason is that a used one is affordable.  I would definitely buy used.  New cars are so over priced.  So one day, I hope to be sporting this car. 


I would absolutely love an in-ground pool.  We spend most of our time at home and I'm a firm believer in making your home what you want it to be.  We'll never be the kind of family to take extravagant vacations.  Mainly because it's too much hassle and too much money.  So I think a pool would be fabulous.  We'd save our money and stay home!  And talk about good exercise.  I also like the idea of the kids staying home to hang out when they're teenagers. 


And my last big day dream purchase is a travel trailer to go camping.  When we do take vacations, I'd love for them to be camping trips to different areas of Oklahoma.  Before kids, I was a "rough it" in the woods kind of girl.  But with kids, I would like a little more shelter from the elements.  This would be awesome!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Yogalosophy

I have had a love/hate relationship with exercise for years now.  I know I need to do it for my health and to set a good example for my kids.  I know I'll feel better after the fact.  I know all the common sense facts about the benefits of exercise.  Yet, I've hated everything I've tried.  And the bottom line is, if I don't enjoy something, I'm not going to do it long term. 

I've had elliptical phases.  Running on a machine like a monkey, watching music videos on my phone.  Checking the clock every 30 seconds to see if my time is up yet.  I have tried pretending to enjoy it.  But I hate it. 

I've had walking phases.  I've walked up and down my hilly road over and over.  But having two kids, my only options of doing this are either the crack of dawn before the kids are up and Allen needs to leave for work.  Or at the end of they day.  Well, I'm not a morning person and do not enjoy walking in the dark.  And I have zero energy left at the end of the day so why the heck would I want to leave my family to walk up and down a road.  I've also tried taking the kids along with me.  While this is a fun adventure for the family, it is definitely not a calorie burning workout for this Momma.

I had a Jillian Michaels workout phase.  That girl is crazy.  Enough said.

I've had workout dvd phases.  I like this concept because I can do it any time of day, with or without kids.  But it requires gear.  The dvd I have has me dragging kitchen chairs into the living room, laying on couch cushions in the floor, and using weights.  There's lots of get up, lay down, go faster, repeat.  It's a little annoying after a while. 

But I recently read an article on Yoga and decided to try it.  I decided to go with Mandy Ingber's Yogalosophy.  She's Jennifer Aniston's yoga girl so I figured, if she works for Jennifer, she's gotta work for me.  I liked the idea of Yogalosophy because it combines yoga poses with toning exercises.

Mandy Ingber's Yogalosophy Workout DVD

Let me just tell you how much I LOVE it.  I mean really, I enjoy it!  I've been doing it for a week and I think I'm actually craving it.  Here's why I love it so much:

* It fits into my life.  It's 35 minutes.  That's it.  I don't need gear or much space.  I do it in my bedroom in a small space between the bed and the dresser.  How simple is that?  I can do it any time of day.  I can do it and then go somewhere because I don't get disgustingly sweaty.  I can turn a cartoon on for the kids and run in the bedroom and do my thing before they even realize I was missing.  {They are very clingy these days.  It is very heart warming that they love me so much that they want to be with me every second of the day.  But at the same time, it's getting very challenging to get anything done.}

* It feels good!  I actually enjoy the feeling.  Now there's a first.  The toning exercises are grueling, but as soon as you do one, you switch to a yoga pose, which feels great.  I feel extremely relaxed when my 35 minutes are over.

* I'm a deep thinker and there's a "deepness" to yoga.   The idea of connecting to your inner self and to a higher power.  It's my 35 minutes of the day to connect. 

* I totally get Mandy Ingber's personality.  She's funny and real and not annoying at all. 

* I already feel stronger.  Seriously, after one week I feel stronger.  I love the idea of getting strong just by using your own body.  No weights, no gear, no bs.  Just balancing and holding your body in a certain position.  It's awesome.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

We've Got The Love

I was really moved by a story that was told at church a few weeks ago: {I'm paraphrasing}

A woman heard a knock at the door.  She opened the door to find three men standing there.  She invited them to come in, but they told her she could only invite one into her home.  They told her their names...Love, Wealth and Success.  They told her to discuss it with her husband to decide who to invite in.  She and her husband discussed the matter and, at first, we're very tempted to invite Wealth into their home.  But upon further thought, they decided to invite Love in.  The woman opened the door and asked Love to come in.  He walked into the house and the other two men followed him.  She asked, "why did you all three come in if I could only invite one?" The men then explained to her that if she had invited Wealth or Success, only one could have come in.  But because she invited Love, they all could enter the house.  Because where Love goes, Wealth and Success must follow.

Isn't that a great message?  One thing's for sure, Love is in our home.  Maybe one day, his friends Wealth and Success will follow.  And we can all live happily ever after. :)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Bon Iver ~ "Holocene"

Bon Iver's new self titled album came out today.  Here's one of my favorite songs so far.

The Rolling Stones ~ "Beast of Burden"

An old favorite of mine.

Friday, June 17, 2011

What Can I Have For A Snack?

Lately, I hear this questions about 20 times a day!  Apparently, both kids are going through growth spurts at the same time because their bellies are little bottomless pits these days.  Someone is always asking me for food.  And if one kid asks, the other comes running in to make sure they don't miss out. 

Because of their huge appetites, I've had to expand what I have on hand for them to snack on.  Therefore, I've loosened up a little on what I'm willing to buy to add a little variety in our lives.  I've had to do a lot of digging & reading in the grocery store to find snacks with ingredient lists I approve of.  I try not to buy anything with these ingredients:

* BHT
* MSG
* High Fructose Corn Syrup
* Artificial Dyes

What I have been buying for them:

* Popcorn ~ This is my favorite snack.  It's good for you & the kids love it.  I buy kernels & pop them myself.  Just add a little melted butter & salt & it tastes delicious!

* Kettle chips ~ Everyone in the family loves these and no one can be trusted alone with an open bag.

* Organic apples ~ Sydney absolutely loves apples.  But only if they are peeled, but not cut up.  She's my picky child.

* Organic yogurt ~ Garrett loves yogurt.  Sydney won't even try it.  I wasn't kidding when I said she was picky.

* Organic granola bars ~ The kids like Cascadian Farms chocolate chip & peanut butter.

* Mini bagels ~ These are great!  Sydney loves hers toasted with Nutella on top.  Garrett & I like ours with cream cheese.  They also make great mini sandwiches or pizza bites.  They have become our new staple.  They work great for breakfast, lunch or snack. 

* Fresh bread drizzled with honey ~ The kids love my bread fresh out of the oven.  It's tradition that we all eat a slice drizzled with honey or topped with Nutella right when it comes out of the oven.

* Fruit ~ Garrett loves apples, bananas, blueberries & strawberries.  Sydney will only eat apples.

* Organic crackers ~ I buy Late July brand.  I love mine topped with my new addiction...Laughing Cow spreadable cheese wedges.

* Annie's Cheddar Bunnies ~ The kids like them & Sydney finally quit asking me to buy Cheez-Its...after a year.

* Animal Crackers ~ Not too shabby.

* Cheese roll up ~ Melt cheese in a tortilla and roll it up.  I used to eat these as a kid.

* Coco Roos ~ Here's where I've budged a little.  These are the generic brand coco puffs.  The kids are excited to get some "crap" food.  I had to meet them in the middle a little.  These double as breakfast or snack.

* Jello Pudding Cups ~ Again, not the greatest, but they are a good treat for the kids. 

I also try to make homemade snacks pretty often.  I usually make muffins, breads or cookies. 

Sydney requested popsicles for summer.  I spent 10 minutes in the grocery store looking at every box of popsicles.  Let me tell ya folks, they're packed with all the horrible dyes.  Red # 2, Blue # 2, Yellow #5...you get the idea.  I refuse to buy them.  I bought Blue Bell all natural strawberry fruit bars, but guess who doesn't like them?  Yep, the picky kid who specifically requested popsicles.  So I'm on a mission to find something we both agree on.

Life would be much easier not caring about the ingredients in their food.  But I do care.  So, I spend 10 minutes in the frozen food isle, freezing while carefully inspecting the popsicles.  One day they will thank me.  Right?  Please tell me one day they will thank me! :)

Born Ruffians ~ "Foxes Mate For Life"

I wanted some fun new music for summer & I think I just found it!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Friday, June 10, 2011

Pretty Food {Bow Tie Pasta}


Boil bow tie pasta.  Brown ground beef seasoned with salt, pepper & garlic.  Add jar of Bertoli organic marinara sauce.  Drain pasta when cooked and add to meat sauce.  Sprinkle with paremsean and fresh chopped parsley.  Enjoy!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Well Hello 33!

Today is my 33rd birthday!

I have really grown into my own skin in the last year.  In my 32nd year, I:

* Got back to nature.  I grew up loving the outdoors and kind of forgot that part of me for a while.  I spent the last year digging in the dirt, planting vegetables and flowers, sitting under the trees and taking pictures of the sky.

* Realized I am most at peace when things are calm and simplified.  So I made a lot of changes to simplify my life and slow down a bit.  This included learning to say no to things I do not want to do, letting the house get a little messy, de-cluttering the house and getting rid of things and services we do  not need.

* Re-discovered my religion and truly let God into my life.  I suddenly felt God's presence and no longer felt the need to ask all the "yeah, but..." questions I had been asking for a decade. 

* Finally gave myself permission to stop the crazy cycle of "diets".  I realized God did not put me on this earth to count every calorie, go to weight loss meetings and make myself crazy wanting what I told myself I cannot have.  I was wasting so much energy focusing on these things.  The minute I gave myself permission to eat what I wanted, I learned that I actually wanted the healthier stuff.  And by not putting any rules and restrictions on myself, I have actually slimmed down some.

* Learned a little about raising chickens, how to butcher a chicken, can potatoes, grow lots of vegetables and tried learning to crochet but haven't had much time to practice.

* Realized how much I enjoy writing my thoughts on here for the world to see.  It is oddly therapeutic.  Although, I'm still a little shy about people I know actually reading my blog!  Strange, I know.

* Baked all our bread products.  I did not buy a single loaf of bread, ready made pie or pizza crust, frozen pizza, muffin, etc. for the entire year. 

* Surrounded myself with the music I love every single day.  Saw Band of Horses {twice}, Interpol, Heartless Bastards and Kings of Leon in concert.

I also had my fair share of hardships this year.  I really understand the "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger" saying.

* My car broke down too many times to count.  The "check engine" light has become way too familiar to me. 

* The kids and I got the flu at the same time and it was horrible. 

* Garrett was in the hospital for something that could have gone horribly.  But thankfully, didn't.

* Sydney was in the er for a fall that could have gone horribly.  But thankfully, didn't.

* We wanted to pay off all our debt, but soon realized, it's easier said than done on one self-employed income.

But what I learned from all these hardships is this:

While we had a lot of "close calls", "what ifs" and financial set backs, the important thing to focus on is that we recovered.  Our health recovered.  Our financial situation is recovering and the debt is going down.  My car is a pain in the you know what, but with a lot of tinkering and constant checking, is still getting me where I need to go.  All these hardships brought us all closer together.  Seeing my babies sick made me want to be a better Mother and spend less time doing chores and more time playing.  Going through struggles together made Allen & I closer and our marriage stronger than ever.  Struggling has forced me to trust in God and constantly remind myself to try not to worry.  He will carry the weight for me.  After all, God came to me in my time of need after losing my Dad.  I didn't even know to ask for help, but he knew I needed to be lifted up.  And he came to me, picked me up off the ground and showed me the direction to go.

So my lesson from my 32nd year is this:  Eat, pray, love, be thankful for what is instead of scared for what might have been, listen to the music I love because it makes me feel alive, go on dates, spend time with my girlfriends, try new things, say no, learn new things and get outside!

For my birthday, I'm playing a song from where my love of music began.  As a 15 year old, I fell in love with Led Zeppelin.  "Fool In The Rain" is one of my favorite songs.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The 90's Rocked

I was a teenager in the 90's and loved the music back then.  I thought it would be fun to post some of my favorite music from back in the day.  I remember watching the videos for these songs on MTV...back when they actually played music videos!  Brings back lots of memories.































And, yes I listened to Snoop Dogg too. :)

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Saturday, June 4, 2011