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Thursday, March 26, 2015

Walt Disney World with Friends

Believe me when I tell you that this was the best vacation that I have had in nine years.  It wasn't one thing, as these things usually aren't... it was the combination of it all.  We had good friends to share the experience with, I didn't have a child in diapers or one that required naps, and we were in Disney World.

I grew up in FL.  I've been Disney a bazillion times.  But this time I saw it with new eyes: going with children is a completely different experience.  We took Tate to EuroDisney when he was almost 4.  He liked it, but didn't love it, and it was fun but not the amazing-attention-to-every-detail experience that we had at Disney World.

The customer service, as soon as your feet touch Disney soil, is amazing.  They really do treat you like a Disney Princess! In fact, one of the cast members even called me "Princess"!  (This goes a long way for a 41 year old mom who is feeling less than perfect these days.)  The food was amazing, the weather was beyond, and while we were on the go for the 4 short days we were there, we returned feeling rejuvenated and pampered.

And now for the photos:

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Exciting Announcement!

For those of you who know me well, or talk to me often, this isn't a big announcement.  In fact, you have known about it for a long, long time since it something I talk about A LOT.  (Thank you for all of your patient ears!!!)

In the Fall 2015, I will be opening up CRAFT HAVEN WORKSHOPS in the Lansing, MI area.  This will be a cozy, yet elegant space that will be the host of many creative and crafty workshops.  

The story about making this dream come true involves many people along the way, but the most influence and credit comes from my dear friend, Kate Smith who owns the Makery in Bath, UK.  Check her out if you live in the UK, and check out her books and website, even if you don't!  She has been a mentor to me along the way, as well as Elizabeth Duvivier, creator of Squam, who gave me a much needed nudge when fear and doubt were creeping in.  In fact, lots of wonderful folks along the way have inspired me, even without them knowing:)  I am grateful.  

My business plan is done, accounts are opened.  The calendars and classes have been planned for ages.  (They will follow a seasonal theme, as I really love how Michigan really flows with the seasons.)  My logo designer is hired.  (She's also amazing and check her out at  My realtor is looking for space, though I have a place in mind if it is still available by late summer.  (I'm giving in to fate on this one, folks!)  And lastly, my Soleil will be starting school, which allows me the time and energy to give all of my future clients the love and attention they will need.  These things take a lot of time and planning, and I am enjoying the journey.

I'm excited, and a little scared... but in that good way, like when you jump off of a cliff into a gorgeous lake on a hot summer day!  

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Project Life Swap & Healthy Cookies

Do any of you do the new style of scrapbooking with the Project Life System?  Basically, it simplifies the whole process by having you slide in your photos, and uses these remade journaling cards that you can write on and embellish.  I love them.  I love them for using in my new planner as little list makers, and for also using as quick notes to someone.  

This one is a different brand than Project Life, but I have more cards than I need.  I get sick of the same designs, and they give you 3 or 4 of each!  
Does anyone else have this problem?  If so, I'd LOVE TO DO A SWAP WITH YOU!!   I have been looking online, because I can't be the only one who has thought of this.  If you know of an online swap, please send me a link:)
And as I mentioned a few posts ago, I am eating a little more healthy.  And I found this recipe, which I am SURE you have seen if you are on pinterest at all... The call it "Healthy Cookies, only 3 ingredients!"    We made them.  They SUCK.  OMG, they are so gross, and the kids and I were laughing at how gross they were, until Tate had the idea to leave a note for Paul, who eats everything.
It is basically ripe bananas, oats, and dried fruit.  Do you know what they taste like?  Bananas, oats, and dried fruit but drier.   A bit like mud.  I like healthy food usually, but your eyes say cookie, and your mouth is like "What in the hell is this?"

On a yummier note, FROZEN PINEAPPLE+COCONUT MILK+HONEY+OJ=deliciousness.
Add maraschino cherries, and a little cherry juice and it is downright Spring Break Yummy.
(Paul added Rum to his.)

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Kawaii Obsessed

I was on pinterest for a very long time on Saturday Night.  This led me down the internet rabbit hole that led me to all things Kawaii.  What is that, you ask?  The term "Kawaii" means "Cute", and it is a style of things from Japan.

from Wiki:  Kawaii (かわいい?[kaw͍aiꜜi], "lovable", "cute", or "adorable"[1]) is the quality of cuteness in the context of Japanese culture.[2][3][4] It has become a prominent aspect of Japanese popular cultureentertainmentclothingfoodtoyspersonal appearancebehavior, and mannerisms

Hello Kitty is included in this genre of things (stationary, little charms, little stuffed toys, etc).  I could describe it, but I will just show you photos...

It all started with a stationary kit that I saw, that someone had put together.  (Yes, I did order it on Amazon, as it was only about $4!)  In her kit, she had these amazing stickers that I haven't seen anywhere else.  There were also unique sticky notes, and pens... all pink and cute.  This led to discovering that there is also a whole movement dedicated to pimping out your FILOFAX and PLANNER.

Check out this blogger: Lucy in Wonderland

Also, check out  She's amazing.

I love to organize things.  I love cute things.  I watched hours of people revealing these artistic and well organized binders of happiness.  I haven't been using a paper planner in awhile, due to my iPhone, but it isn't as good.  Most people would agree--I am much more apt to accomplish my to-do list if I have written it out with fun markers, stickers, and tabs!

I had a planner from Russel and Hazel, so Sunday was dedicated to making it cute.  It is just the beginning, but here it is.   If you have any favorite stationary links, please feel free and add in the comments section.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The cold weather has made me Squishy.

When it is cold, it is no surprise that I want warm, yummy food.  But when it is really cold, I want warm yummy HEAVY food.  It has been freezing.  This does not take away from my enjoyment of winter, but I do not like when I carry extra poundage.  I don't, however, diet.  It is evil.  I do, however, change what I eat and increase my movement when things are feeling heavy.  I think all this planning ahead with the meals helps, too!  I eat better, as does the familia, and we spend less time going out to eat.

Here are some things that I have been enjoying when I need to eat leaner...
Only 108 calories, but so filling.
This idea is from my friend, Bella.  Roast a veggie in the morning for the week.  You can use it with any dish to build up quantity of food with lower calorie content.  You can use zucchini, beets, any squash, cauliflower, even potatoes.
butternut squash+olive oil+onion+brownsugar+s&p.
I have finally figured out how to love Crock Pot Chicken.  I used chicken breasts, Bone on, skin on.  I crocked with onion, spices, broth, and msg free bouillon.  CROCK FOR ONLY 6 hrs on low.  It saves it from turning out all dry tasting.  It was perfectly cooked.  (In the past, I always let it go all day...and it has that dry grainy texture.) I shredded it, removing all the bones and skin, and then spooned in some of the broth to keep it moist.

You can use this in a chicken pie, in a brown rice bowl, with pasta, in a tortilla....whatever.  This is good protein that tastes good, and was minimal effort.

150 calorie snack.  You won't be hungry afterwards.
Here are some other ideas, but unfortunately I do not have photos!  Sometimes, I am just trying to fit in the eating before the next request for a story, playdough, or painting with Ms. S.

  • Imitation Crab 1/2C+ Salsa 1/4C+ 1/2 Avocado+Green onion+Lettuce
  • Imitation Crab+Yogurt Dressing+Cucumber+Lettuce+Green onion
  • Butternut Squash+Chicken Sausage+Brown Rice+Spinach
  • Brown Rice+White Beans+Garlic+Carrot+Spinach
  • Ground Turkey Spaghetti Sauce+White Beans+Roasted Veggies
  • Butternut Squash Soup+Ham Chunks+Avocado Chunks
  • Refried Pinto Beans+Tortilla+Taco Sauce (only 300 calories, and easy to freeze)
  • Egg+Low Fat English Muffin+Ham Slice+Dijon Mustard (also easy to freeze)
  • Blueberries 1/2C+ Oatmeal 1/2C+1 TBS pecans+cinnamon

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Spring Fashion 2015

I was sitting in the car wash waiting room, and saw the Spring InStyle from across the room.  I was so excited!! I can't wait to be inspired to dress for a new season.  I took a few photos of things I saw, and it got me mentally planning my wardrobe for the warmer months.  (Plus, with the SURPRISE visit to FL in a month or so, I get to try a few things out early.) 
Love these braids for sweaty days!

Flower Belt?  Yes, Please.  
One of my March Outfits.  I'm sooo excited!
And this one... I was cracking up laughing.  ARE YOU KIDDING ME?  How do you change position?  What happens to those flowers when you walk?  If you are interested, they have it in both long and short lengths.  Bahahahahahahaha!
Also inspired by the fashion, Miss S decided to put together this get-up one morning... 
And lastly, I was inspired to go through all of her clothes and organize them for now, as well as for the spring.  We have a HUGE pile for the consignment store!  Now.... if I could only be as inspired to tackle my own closet.  

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Where have I been? Winter 2015

I have been thinking of blog posts while in the shower, in line in the grocery store, and during my daily chores.  Yet, for some reason, I haven't been able to post any yet this month.  What is wrong?  I love blogs!  I love other people's blogs!! I am silently sad when a favorite blog of mine hasn't posted!!  (Damn Facebook!)

We've been snuggled in, nursing colds, and TCB (Taking Care of Business, as my husband says), and my poor blog has been neglected.

It is easier to catch up on photos, rather than words...

Homemade (non-ugly) Pillow Case
My Puppy
Getting back to the gym
Crafting makes a HUGE mess.

New 'do

Prep for my Candle Making Party

Special Little Collection

Another Collection
Planning a Trip to...Guess Where?  Shhhh...It's a Secret!