favorite things-July

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Summer is coming to a close… and our bucket list is nearly complete. Change is in the air, and the scent of new pencils and crayons will soon replace the aroma of coconut scented sunblock and fresh watermelon slices.

Soon the shelves will be lined with large bags of Halloween candy and rows of bright costumes, beckoning for little children to try on. And, I will get back into my Fall studies, complete with my own new supplies and my favorite pens.  Until then, I have the recent photos from July and the peak of Summertime bliss. Enjoy, folks!


2013-07-17 20.43.50There was pizza, ( and lots of it) at Boardwalk Pizza

untitled (43 of 51)There were moments of catching some rays…

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…and lots of parrot hugs

2013-07-16 16.15.16We did some fishing with these little guys… I couldn’t help but release several of them …

2013-07-17 08.57.38I ate a giant cinnamon bun. And life was good…

2013-07-17 08.57.28And, we found the “unofficial” best slice of Key Lime Pie in the Keys.

2013-07-17 13.56.52I almost got a great photo of dolphins…

2013-07-17 09.22.19And found a bird that was in need of a dryer.

2013-07-16 16.16.57And, I got to see my kid catch herself a snapper. *(we let him go, too)

I hope each and everyone is having a blessed end of summer… I personally am looking forward to the pumpkins and apples being in season….mmmmm!

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summer bucket list epic fail

You know my big summer bucket list? You know, the one I made that had all the fun adventures me n my kid wanted to do? Well, my planning just ran into a few epic fails. Okay, maybe epic is a strong word, but hey, it got your attention, right?

Recent epic fails on the #summerbucketlist

Event #12:

This past school year, my daughter had a school trip to Ci Ci’s pizza, and wanted me to go there with her. (I think I had gone to one 20 years ago…) Since the price was right, we went. So did four bus loads of sweaty summer camp kids. We walked in to a small room packed with assorted kids in color coordinated shirts, smelling like oregano and a mixture of sweaty socks and cheese. Ewww.

Amazingly, there was one empty table.

So… we sat down and attempted to get our share of the kill  pizza.

What is it about kids without supervision and unlimited pizza that turns them into raging hyenas?  My daughter and I felt like little vultures, watching as crowds of kids piled 5, 6, 7 EIGHT slices on their plates. We watched, waited, and hoped that a camp counselor would approach one of them to remind them that it’s a BUFFET, and you can GO BACK for more.

Instead, we watched as each kid took away half a pizza each until the only pie left was a spinach and artichoke.

That’s when my inner mama bear came out.

I went up to the most managerial looking employee and stated me concern for the lack of proper food for my young. But, I was nice and they brought out a special pizza for us to chose from before the hyenas. ( My germaphobic self is cheering at this point)

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So, we ate our pizza and made it though the pack to even score second plates.

So, why is this event falling into epic fail status? Because, when we left so did the camps. So, mental note to myself: DON”T GO WHEN THEY FIRST OPEN.

More epic fails:

By the time my daughter wakes up and has breakfast, half the morning has gone by and it’s too Africa hot to do anything but swim or stay inside. All those outdoor plans on the list? Untouched.

By the time we get out of the house to go to a destination it’s either: lunch time or naptime. She’s perfectly content everyday to play at home with her toys and play with her bird, draw and swim at the neighbors pool.I offer movies, the zoo, the museum… you name it. Then she tells me she doesn’t like the crowds. My kid inherited my husbands dislike of crowds. Great. Back to the bucketlist.

So… now it’s “uncrowded event” planning, like visiting off season touristy spots, pet shops, nature centers, and flea markets. We also managed to make cookies and bring it to a fire station, which was a feat because each time we went there they were out on a call… it got to the point that my husband suggested we call 911 and say we had a fire so that we could deliver the cookies.

2013-07-09 13.38.00We didn’t end up calling…we finally found them at the station during a break and they gave us a personal tour. It was awesome…( I got to see the kitchen) And they were having massive steaks for supper later that night.

There was even a female firefighter on duty, so guess what my daughter wants to be now? Just like her.

That’s my girl 🙂


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as summer goes on

Despite the somber occasion that began this week, we are moving ahead in our summertime existence. We had a wonderful weekend prior to Monday, and we are all anticipating the addition of a new family member later this summer or fall. No, not a baby (never say never) at least not a baby human… but another baby parrot. I’m sure there’s an egg out there somewhere with our name on it.

Some visual highlights from last week, there was some treasure hunting- we scored some “new” ponies that all have their hair! Her current pony supply was handed down from big sis, who had given them all Mohawks when her biological mother decided she wanted a Mohawk. It’s nice to have a collection that’s not as mutilated, lol.

I scored myself some new heels for church. ‘Cause I’m short and I can’t see if someone taller than 5’ stands in front of me. Oh yes, and a bamboo steamer… I’ve been wanting one of those for years, nice to find one for under $3. We laid everything out to snap a pic, then the ponies and shoes got doused with Lysol and the steamer was washed, (although it appeared brand new)

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I made some tasty vittles recently:

To celebrate Father’s Day, my husband surprised me on Saturday by saving up his lawn mowing money (true story) and taking us all out to eat. He even surprised me with a fruity flowery drink that my daughter insisted on photographing.

2013-06-15 19.34.58Cheers to that. (I’m pretty sure that the grandpa in the background wanted a sip)

2013-06-15 12.30.50The neighborhood kids had a lemonade stand, and the little girl was in love with the spout. She press it, then say “Ticky?” (aka sticky in toddler talk) And, the lemonade was soooo good, I gotta get the “secret” recipe. 😉

2013-06-14 12.10.01We had a picnic at the pool, and ate the best c antelope ever. I’m pretty sure it was grown by angels.

2013-06-16 15.06.01And, finally on Fathers Day we went to the beach after church. My stepdaughter had been with her grandmother out of town for the past week, awaiting the birth of her biological mothers second child. So, that’s why it’s been just the three of us. In case you were wondering, someone always seems to be looking for what’s missing, you know. 😉

For instance; what’s missing in the picture above?

An umbrella. NEVER go to the beach in 94 heat without one. (The red thing is a chair)

Friendly service announcement from yours truly.

Today we’re (hopefully) going on a bike adventure, although my daughter just informed me that we need to go look at baby birds. hmmmm.

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explanations to kids

I woke up this morning and found our Conure dead. Yesterday evening, I could tell she was not herself, and decided that I’d call the vet in the morning if she wasn’t any better. She wasn’t better this morning.

So, now I’m sitting here, waiting on the sun to rise for a proper burial, and dreading telling my daughter the news. I know she’s going to take it rough. She took the death or a poisoned rat in the back yard rough. She took the death of our dog last summer even rougher. So… now we have a day that has begun with darkness in both senses of the word.

It’s so hard to comfort the subject of death.

Weather it’s a 10¢ feeder goldfish or a purebred dog… explaining how something can be here one day, and gone the next is so hard to convey into words to a kid.

I can only hope that we find a rainbow in today, and count or blessings, and be glad in the years we had with her, and just try not to let the sadness marinate into our life.

I’m not sure how many tears and emotional breakdowns this day will hold. I’m not sure how I’m going to manage to clean and remove her large cage that was a fixture in our living room. I’m not sure which is going to be worst: and empty cage or a empty spot there. I’m also not too sure about the silence of the squawking that I had grown so accustomed to.

Everyday holds it’s uncertainties. I don’t like today’s.

I’m not even sure weather to publish this post, or even how to end it. I certainly don’t want to bum any of y’all out.

I guess the only closing words I may have would be how God gives and takes away, everything is His to begin with; even our children. We are his “babysitters” here on earth. Our job is to take care of what He gives us; and we are to do our best. Don’t neglect. Don’t be “too busy”. Take the time to play and love– both people and pets. Because every living thing is a blessing, and every living thing matters.

Today I’m going to take a little more time to play with my kid and dogs and other critters I’ve been blessed with.

I’m going to cherish today despite of it’s darkness.


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old fashioned summer days

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Most of you know I love making “Summer Bucket Lists” actually, I love making any sort of list…I’m a list maker. Out of all my lists, the “Summer Bucket” is by far my favorite. It’s basically a list of all the fun stuff that there finally is time to do, and things we want to do before summer ends. The  list also helps us figure out what to do with all the free time we have. As a bonus this year, it has also helped my kid to keep her room clean. She knows that we don’t leave unless the house is tidy so she makes sure that her room isn’t the “guilty room” to make us miss an outing. ( Yeah, I’m kind of morbid in the sense that if something happens to me while I’m out, I don’t want anyone to come home to dirty dishes or stuff lying around.)

Of course, this is just the first week of summer… let’s see how long her clean room will last. I’m sure a week from now I will be saying the opposite.

Last summer, our bucket list was interrupted by midday swimming lessens, (a necessary inconvenience) but this year… it’s a blank canvas.

Recently, we were able to do some of the stuff I did as a kid in the summer:

untitled (48 of 48)For instance, the ice cream man came. (I’m not too sure why my kid is preparing for a karate move in this picture, either….)

I live in a neighborhood where they seldom come… but, maybe since he made a few dollars on our street he’ll add us to the route. A few years ago, we used to have a “produce man” come every Friday afternoon- he’d come with assorted vegetables, and fruits and sometimes meat, fish and eggs. I’m not too sure what happened to him, he just stopped coming one week.

There were also puddles to play in- summer storms leading to big refreshing pools in the driveways along the street

untitled (69 of 73)And, summertime means that yes… we can go to the playground today:

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But, I have to say my favorite summertime thing to do is the beach…

untitled (1 of 5)Because even I never seem to have time for the beach, unless it’s summer.

I hope all of y’all are having an awesome summer.

Today, my kid suggested something not on our list. When I asked what we should do she said: “Let’s preach all day!”

I said: “Okay, do you want to read your devotionals and stuff?”

She said: “No Mommy, let’s go to Target and tell people about God and Jesus”

Note: I’m not sure where she is getting her evangelistic ways. We are not “that” door-to-door family. We drink beer and play frisbee in the front yard. We go to church and bring our friends, but not strangers from Target.  But, then she tells me:

“Mommy it’s what Jesus said to do.”

I know she’s right. There are lost people, they don’t need religion or church they just need hope. And, He’s not about religion, He’s about hope.

I’m not too sure how to respond, so I say, “Okay, well… are you going to do the talking, or are you going to get shy on me?”

She said she’ll probably get shy and I’ll have to talk. Hmmm. I decided that yes, we will go to target (I need some things anyway) and yes, I will talk to someone IF someone is “placed” for me to talk to. But, I have to also say… we didn’t have this on our bucket list.



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Summer Bucket List

I love Summertime. No waking up to make lunches, and rushing out the door to drop kids off at two different schools, and no sitting in lines in my non air conditioned car for hours in the afternoon. No arguments over homework, no worries about accidents on the playground at school, and no random amounts of money due for assorted field trips and fundraisers.

Summertime usually means our family unit is reduced by one,  since this year my step-daughter will be with her mom for the first half of summer, so she can be there for the birth of her new brother, (who could pop out any moment) and then she’ll take her usual trip to Virginia for the remainder of the summer with her Grandmother.


Summertime is when the seas are calmer here and my hubby will surprise us with an afternoon fishing trip. It’s when I’ll fillet fresh tuna in my front yard, and have a sushi snack with my daughter.

2012-07-27 12.11.23 Summer is homemade ice cream at noon on a Wednesday…

untitled (1 of 20)Summertime means camp outs and my “once a year” hot dog* that I will eat.  And,I justify most of the calories will get burned of by the summertime heat…right?

*Note: Last year I had two, due to a Chicago trip 😉


camp weekend

 Last year, I had attempted to document the summer days as they passed, and I have a stack of photographs to prove it. So, my daughter and I are taking the stack and making our first scrapbook together. Ah-ha! Summer project #1 underway. Making a scrapbook with a 5 year old should be interesting.. I’m going to guess there will be glitter and stickers everywhere.

This year, I’m going  to document our days via Instagram, and a post here every few days. Because Summertime means not many adult conversations. I’m going to need an outlet. 🙂



Now, if you need some ideas for summertime, here’s my unofficial list (so far)

  • Free movies at the local theater
  • breakfast picnics at the local parks
  • homemade Popsicles, ice cream, and waffle cones
  • the beach
  • the boat
  • the pool
  • local water playgrounds
  • the fishing pier
  • the zoo
  • the science museum
  • take a trip to the Keys
  • backyard camping
  • re-arrange rooms
  • lots of BBQs
  • the spiderweb game- using painters tape to make a web and have kids throw items at it
  • water pinata- make a pinata out of water balloons
  • homemade gummy bears
  • homemade cinnamon buns like IKEA
  • a road trip to nowhere
  • a train trip to Tallahassee to see my family
  • the dog park
  • flea markets and garage sales
  • mini golf
  • bowling
  • make homemade pickles
  • make rock candy


Of course, some I won’t do, or I will run out of time to do…. but that’s my start for when I wake up next Monday morning thinking… what shall we do today?
Now: what’s on YOUR list?

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almost beekeeping

Last week, a swarm of bees showed up in my backyard. My husband frantically said,  ” Get the kids and dogs in! ” Then, we watched from the screen porch as the swarm began to settle 12 feet up in a tree in our yard. After 24 hours, I began to grow concerned with their presence and my mind began playing scenes from grade B 1970’s horror movies. So, I started calling people. I was surprised to find a lot of people wanting to do the job for free, I left messages and sent emails and finally, got a hold of a man named Jim.

When I asked Jim if he’d be willing to remove them, he said:

“Sure I can, but why don’t you just keep ’em?”

I explained I had kids and dogs… he said that was fine.

He went on to tell me all I need to do is spend about $200 dollars on equipment, and I’d have myself 40 pounds of free honey every year. He didn’t sell the equipment, but he said it would be easy to find.

Forty pounds of free honey intrigues me briefly, so I said, “Well, I’ll have to talk to my husband first.” (That’s my favorite line to use to end any conversation, by the way. 😉  )

Then, Jim stated; “Well, you better decide quick. Sounds like them bees are just a restin’ there. They probably be gone soon.”

And, just like that, they were.

I never even got to talk to my husband.

Maybe next time.

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treasures in daily life

This poor little blog. It’s always getting overshadowed by it’s other half (you know the one with the recipes?) But. Not. Anymore.

Because I have life going on, and some of y’all don’t always need a recipe in your face.

Sometimes, you might just want a peek into someone else’s world. Maybe to see that you don’t need a dishwasher… or that fancy perfectly decorated and organized home… sometimes it’s nice to see life just how it happens. Because there are treasures in everyday life.

That’s real life.

So, we got a puppy. Or… a puppy got us.

I think it’s the latter. But… there was also an Easter egg hunt this week… my daughter wouldn’t let me take her picture, so I had the kid with the basket head.


I snuck outside the doors before the crowd of preschooler were let loose to hunt. I knew she’d be distracted and not have time to get her basket on. (heh, heh, heh….)





Total score.


So, this puppy found us… I wrote about it here

I need to get some pictures of my stepdaughter with the pup, but unfortunately… the puppy’s “homecoming” kept her interest for only a half hour. Preteens. Go figure.

My youngest daughter, however… has not let up.



Which, I’m fine with because it gives me some cool photo ops. I have all these old 1940s pictures of my mom when she was little with her fox terrier, it’s kind of neat to get these pictures today. I’m thinking of making some sort of display, with the old an the new. Yep, I’ll add that to the “list”. My ever grwoing list of crafts and ideas for when I have a “free day”. Then, when ever I get a “free day” I end up organizing the junk drawer. Ugh- my priorities get so screwed up sometimes.

Today I’m attempting to make some royal icing decorations for our Easter cake.

Bunnies and carrots and stuff… you know.



But, even if I never get to my list… I’m content that I was able to capture these moments……


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What’s in the fridge

My fridge was a craaaaazy mess recently.

Yeah, that bag there? See it? It’s full of strawberries. We picked them in baskets, but once purchased they got dumped into a plastic bag.

There’s quite the mixture of  health food and junk food, too.

I spy some brown rice & yogurt alongside some Yoo-Hoo…

hmmm, there’s some cherry tomatoes tossed on top of some sort of leftover casserole. I’m sure you get those in your fridge, too. Once they are covered with foil; they become mysteries. I wish “they” could make clear foil.  I know there’s plastic wrap & press n’ seal. But… some things just can’t do what foil does.

Flax oil. Gotta get those good fats, ya know.

Okay, I see a HUGE food no-no… looks like a can-o-something that was left in its can.

I wonder who did that?

I also see some pasta sauce I best use ASAP. And some items I need to toss ASAP.

This is my fridge post holiday.

It will look MUCH better pre-holiday.

😉 Whenever that is.

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