Friday, August 30, 2013

Friday Find: Kid's Bathroom Ideas

I left you last time with the sneak peak of what has been consuming our time the last two days.  Well, I'm happy to report that we are done tiling and grouting.  Unfortunately, the really "fun stuff" is yet to come.  You know, putting baseboards back up, painting the walls, changing out the exhaust fan, lights, faucets....

Martha Stewart suggested sewing a loop of ribbon to a towel to help kids hang them up.  This could be a great idea for the long wall in our bathroom?!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Sneak Peak: Tile Job

I promised a sneak peak of what has been keeping us so busy the last two days (while my mom is hanging out with the kiddos! You are the best, Gigi!)

Running a half marathon today (to train for the full marathon in October!):

Power tools & a way to stay "hydrated":

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Crock Pot Cooking on Vacation

When we're on vacation, one of the biggest aspects for us is finding great local places to eat.  However, when you add two kids to the mix, sometimes a simple dinner out can be exhausting.  Getting everyone back to the hotel room at a reasonable time, showered, dressed, then just sitting through the average wait time to get into a restaurant as well as just waiting to get food to get to the table.

Our solution isn't the most popular with many families that are on vacation (because, hello!?  Don't I cook enough at home?)

Well, when we were packing for our vacation, we tossed our trusty crock pot in the car.  Back when we were just a family of three, we spent nearly 6 months together in a hotel room in Oklahoma (Air Force training) so we got pretty creative with a crock pot!

Our favorite crock pot meal that is super easy for a hotel is our "Chipotle Chicken Meal":

Another family favorite that we ate on another night of our vacation is our Easiest Ever Beef Sandwiches.  We ate this all too easy meal after dragging ourselves back to the hotel after 8 hours in the great outdoors visiting Cumberland Island.  It was so nice to come "home" to a hot and ready meal instead of having to drag everyone back out to look for food.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Amelia & Cumberland Island Vacation

I mentioned last week how we had just gotten home from a family vacation .  Well, let me explain how we ended up on Amelia Island, first...

We had been planning a vacation with our very good friends for a while.  Since he is also in the Air Force, it was kind of a long shot to get all of our schedules to line up.  Well, it looked like everything was a go! So we were going to all meet in Charleston at his parent's home.  Shortly before the trip, they found out they would be going to England (thanks, Air Force!) So, Bryan and I scrambled to come up with an alternate vacation plan for just the four of us.  In order to save money, I was looking at any military base on the East coast that we could stay.  I found one called King's Bay which is a Naval Submarine Base.  I knew nothing of the area or what was around it but I knew a beach was close and that was really all we needed.  Then, I found a Hampton Inn for $5 more a night which would provide a free hot breakfast.  To us, the logical choice was to "jump ship" with the Naval Base and go to a Hampton.

The day after I booked our hotel room, I decided to see if there was any good food or things to do near the hotel besides the beach (our biggest selling point)!  That's when I realized we were going to an Island!  hah, really?!  And it's called Amelia Island?  Well, that's a cute name!  AND Southern Living Magazine rated it as The Best Small-Town Getaway!?!

Well, after visiting, we can truly agree that it was a perfect place to vacation.

It is very rich in history... It is claimed that 8 flags have flown over Amelia Island: French, Spanish, British, Patriot, Green Cross, Mexican, Confederate, and United States.  A must-see park is Fort Clinch State Park.  No battles were ever fought here, but it was occupied by soldiers during the Spanish-American War as well as the Civil War.  It was a very entertaining piece of history to visit.  The architecture and masonry alone was well worth the visit!

Fort Clinch

Friday, August 23, 2013

Chocolate S'more Fondue for Two

My husband and I had our fourth wedding anniversary yesterday.  Most of it was spent catching up on laundry from vacation, putting away stuff and trying to get our lives re-organzized and back on schedule.  Especially with the two little ones and their sleeping!

But, when everyone was finally in bed, we were able to sneak downstairs, make some chocolate s'more fondue and share a bottle of Valley Vineyards Champagne while watching Couples Retreat.  It gave us a few good laughs which, after driving 14 hours the day before, we needed something where we didn't have to think.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

My [Sandy] Little Secret

What a whirl-wind! Somewhere around 1,800 driving miles round-trip, we are finally home!  Did I mention we had two gremlins in the back seat along for the ride?

So where'd we go?  We went on an amazing post-deployment vacation!  We met up with some of our dearest friends at their beautiful home in North Carolina then continued our vacation with them in  Charleston, South Carolina where we were just a very short drive from the Isle of Palms.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

So Simple Bathtub Table

I've been wanting a "bathtub table" for so long now. (What are those things called?!) Anyway, I finally just decided to build one.

I was able to do this project for about 12 bucks. Yes!! Those are my favorite kinds of projects! 

Friday, August 16, 2013

Simple Way to Support Our Troops [with Coffee]

I was trying to come up with something interesting for today's "Friday Find" so I casually asked my husband what I should write about (not expecting much of an answer).  He immediately came up with the idea to talk a little bit about Green Beans Coffee and how it is an easy and inexpensive way to support our troops.

When our troops deploy, they are many times experiencing uncomfortable living conditions, they are working odd hours, and of course, there is usually some aspect of danger involved with their jobs.  Somethings as simple as a cup of coffee can really change their perspective on the day.

So let me tell you a little bit about how Green Beans Coffee works.  You have two different options:

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Summertime Homemade Popsicles

Over this past weekend, we all went blackberry picking at this great local places that offers them as high as you can mound them in your quart container as well as all you can eat.  We certainly walked away with our money's worth!

Since we have blackberries galore, now, I needed to come up with a way to use a few immediately. I decided to make popsicles.  This is not much of a recipe.  More like, mash some blackberries... Add a couple table spoons of sugar... Freeze.  That's my kind of cooking!!

I filled up a 1 quart pot with blackberries and heated them on low-med while I mashed them up.  Then I added just enough sugar to make them nice and sweet.  I poured the content into a measuring cup with a spout to make pouring it into the tiny popsicle mold less messy.  (The liquid amount of berries turned out to be just around 2 cups).  

Freeze, and you get a delicious, quick, and healthy treat.

Do you have anywhere near you where you like to pick fresh fruit?  What are your favorite things to do with blackberries?  We have all of ours frozen on trays until further notice!


Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Car Maintenance Board

Bryan, my husband, has been wanting one of these ever since he saw one very similar to this one in my dad's garage. Of course since I've been busy trying to beautify and organize his garage, his car maintenance board had to be the same!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Monday, August 12, 2013

Tree Stump Tic-Tac-Toe

If you can remember back to this post where we built the swing set and club house, you'll remember that we left a big tree stump coming up through the center of the fort floor.

Friday, August 9, 2013

MANaging a Home as a WoMAN

I've had this post idea for a while but didn't (and still don't) know how to go about writing it.  Obviously, this is a very personal subject and everybody's ideas will vary from one another.

With that said, here are some of the thoughts I have on how to MANage a home as a woMAN.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Balloon Countdown [For Kids]

Update: I'll be taking Wednesday off to spend some time with my family but will return with two more deployment posts the following days.  Stay tuned!

I have some amazing news to share!  Our balloon countdown that we've been working on for the last 41 days is finally complete!  What were we counting down?  Well, my darling husband has been away flying his airplane in far off lands.  

Monday, August 5, 2013

Shark Week is Here! [Ideas]

I'm going to be honest, here... Until I met my husband, I'm not sure if I knew that there was an entire week dedicated to sharks.  I also never would have imagined it was an eagerly anticipated week out of the summer (better than family vacation).  Well, this will be our 7th year of watching shark week together.  That's a big deal, right?  What's the traditional "shark week anniversary" gift?  .....It's probably shark teeth.

If you're reading this and you don't have any idea what I'm talking about, you need to check out Discovery Channel this week.  I'd highly recommend setting up your DVR right now while you're thinking about it.  You can find the 2013 show line-up here.  Be sure to check out the link because my all time favorite shark week commercial is at the top of the page.  Once you watch the video, Snuffy will make a lot more sense to you!

So, in honor of shark week, I have dug up some of my all time favorite shark related crafts, food, and even an adult beverage game!

Friday, August 2, 2013

Friday Find: I'm Dreaming of a White...

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I'm Dreaming of a White KITCHEN! I really hope you didn't think I was going to say Christmas! (Although, I hope it'll be snowing on Christmas... I'm just not done with having a summer, yet!)  These kitchens look so open, bright, and beautiful.  I know for sure the top two pictures had old or dark cabinets.  They are such amazing transformations.  Be sure to check both of those out!  The bottom two are simply gorgeous.  I wasn't able to find before pictures, so I'm assuming those lucky kitchens were just born with amazing, good looks!  (So jealous!)

Thursday, August 1, 2013

A Spotless Shower

We have a tile and glass surround shower that we custom built.  The greatest challenge is keeping the tile, grout, and glass clean.  The upkeep is very minimal as long as you take the 2 minutes after every shower to squeegee the glass. (You can find the squeegee we have, here.)  I never thought I'd want a shower that I couldn't just walk out of and continue my day, but this hasn't really put a damper on my day.  Maybe it's because our shower is so beautiful now? :)

Well, my other weapon of choice to keep this place spick and span is to keep a dishwashing wand in there filled with the only approved cleaning solution that our glass company endorses.