Monday, July 23, 2012

Socks for Smiles

i have a friend whom i've known since high school. she and her husband adopted a very awesome, very sweet girl a few years ago. this little girl has just THRIVED living with her forever family and has just become a very amazing young lady. but to get to where she is now, she had to go through so much that a young child should never go through. this family has its good days and of course bad days. but their bad days can be very different from others "normal bad days" and their good days can be just as different as well. but they work everything out as a family and take one moment at a time.

her daughter has started, on her own, a very special program. one that i feel can be something anyone can contribute to very simply and see such a great positive change with something so simple: socks.

before she met her forever family, she lived in foster care for years. during that time she was given basic white socks and underpants. while yes they were helpful and needed, seeing all the other girls with their fun funky socks, it pointed out to her another way to felt different. having socks with designs and cartoon characters was a way for her to fit in. now....she wears nothing but loud, colorful, bright, cheerful, happy socks. and i think it's awesome!

she has started Socks for Smiles, a way to collect all kinds of fun, funky, colorful socks to help children still in foster care, not feel so different. it is still very much in its early stages, but i can see this becoming a very awesome thing! just as grown up women feel good with a certain lipstick, matching bra/panty set, shoes, hair style.....these kids can feel just a bit extra special when they look down at their brightly colored feet. please stop by, "like" the page on Facebook and see what you can do to help out a child. I know Target sells great fun socks for about $1.50, Dollar Tree, 99cent store, and Walmart all do as well.

also if you're thinking about adoption or have adopted, please swing by her mom's blog Last Mom. her mom is a great writer and she gives you a great insight into their daily lives and shares her adoption journey.


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Amanda's Sweet Tea

in my house growing up tea was a major drink. hot. cold. anyway you could get it. blackberry, mint, apple cinnamon, plain, a combo of flavors....any would hit the spot and could make any day better. come summer time my parents both would make pitcher after pitcher after pitcher of sweet iced tea. the sweeter the better. now living in SoCal finding sweet tea is like finding a unicorn. people would look at us funny whenever hubby or i ordered it. even in BBQ places!!!! GASP!!! NO SWEET TEA!?!?!? WTH!?!?! so....i had to make my own. now when we have friends over or go to friends bbq's my tea is always asked for. so with the temps in the grossness and just plain yuck i wanted to share my extremely simple "who knew!?!" sweet tea. super crazy, no brainer easy .

4 tea bags ( i generally use Lipton, but will mix it up with 2 Liption, 2 Earl Grey)
water (i use about almost a full gallon depending on your pitcher size)
2 cup measuring cup
sugar to taste
a pitcher

fill up your 2 cup measuring cup with water and add 4 tea bags (5 if you like your tea stronger) and stick all the in the microwave for 4mins. while that's brewing dump the sugar in your pitcher. i used about what looks like 3/4? of a cup. when i mix flavors of tea i back off the sugar and let the flavors take over.

ding! microwave is done! it'll be hot (duh lol) so be careful. pour the hot tea OVER the sugar in the waiting pitcher. the hotness will melt the sugar and let it all blend together better then pouring the sugar straight in after the tea is already mixed with the water. give it quick little swirl around with a spoon then pour the rest of the water into the tea/sugar mix.

TADA!!!! awesomely yummy, refreshing sweet tea! stick the pitcher in the fridge to chill for awhile but before you do, grab your fav glass, fill it with ice and pour that yummy sweetness over it and go find a shady spot and go chill yourself!


what are some of your favorite summer time drinks?


Wednesday, June 27, 2012

something sorta crafty

in our home we have a special treat that we like to get occasionally when we hit up our fav place to get sandwiches. it's a chocolate drink called Yoohoo. if you've never had should. they're awesome. goes great with a roast beef/turkey/american cheese/mayo/lettuce/tomato sub. just sayin.

so i had some bottles sitting around waiting to be recycled. and the more i looked at them the more i thought....hmmm.....these would make pretty, simple vases. so that's what i did with them. soaked off the labels, washed the goo off, and rinsed them out. picked up pretty carnations up at the grocery store and taaaaadaaa!!!! easy peasy simple pretty vases. and i recycled! bonus!

then later i remembered i had a book i hadn't read yet just sitting around waiting for me to remember....shocking i know!!! i can not believe that i forgot a book!!! shame on me. so i mixed up a quick iced coffee in one of my new fav cups (it's actually A's cup...shhhh) and started to read. not too shabby for an end to the day.

what have you been reading? anything interesting? funny? romantic? sad?.....i'll read them all!


Monday, June 25, 2012

Hotel Doggieville

we recently watched our friends dog while they flew over to the east coast to visit family. they have a beagle named AJ. my friend's nephew had the honor of naming her and AJ stands for "Apple Juice" isn't that cute!!! miss AJ is our dog Max's bestest friend. they LOOOOOVE each other!!! they will sleep next to each other.....well......that is when AJ will share a spot on the couch....tho most times we find her like this:

they love to play together. chase games, tug-o-war games, sneak up on each other's the funniest watching them. and they're both so ok with being around kids that they pretty much let A do what ever to either of them....things like this....

maaaarvulous ms. aj

and mr. max feeling most faaaaboulous today.

these dogs are awesome.


Monday, June 11, 2012

Summer Break

on wednesday june 13th at 12pm it will officially be SUMMER VACATION!!!!!!!!!!

so excited for not having to wake up to an alarm clock!!!

but summer break always comes with mixed emotions. every other summer A and i get to travel back to FL usually for a good two week visit with family and friends. this is an off summer so to me it brings a bit of sadness. as much of a pain it is to travel, i do love going "home" and seeing everyone. it's only the 3 of us out here in CA and it can get lonely at times. there's no family to just pop over and visit or they visit us. no big family sunday dinners or holiday dinners. but during our time out here we've created a bit of a "misfit family" of others whose family is also on another coast.

so with no traveling this summer, we've signed A up for a few day camps that should keep her from being too bored and from her and i "killing" each other ;)

the last two weeks of june, A will be joining a few of her friends in a band "camp" (no jokes...they're 10). she'll be learning to play the alto sax and she's pretty excited about it. dad plays the tenor sax so this will give them something even more to bond over. i can't wait to get pictures of them together! it's going to be so cute!!

she's also take a LEGO animation camp where, in a small group, they will be creating the sets, scripts, directing,....everything and making a stop motion movie. she's grown up watching her dad animate on the computer so she's developed a love of animation. this will give her a chance at doing something like dad. they'll be receiving a DVD copy of the movie they make at the end of the week. i can't wait to see what her creative mind comes up with!!

her last camp of the summer is a marine biology camp. all of these camps are put on by our local parks and rec and are really awesome. at this one she'll get to touch a shark's egg, see different smaller sea creatures and learn more about our oceans. all of this will take place in a building here in town, not at an aquarium or the beach, but it should be really interesting for the kids.

as for me and my plans between carting her around......i plan on going to the gym daily, working on some craft projects i've got planned and pinned on Pinterest, working towards my Goodreads book goal and relaxing.

what plans do you have for the summer? any trips? projects? please share! i'd love to hear about them!


me at the gym?!? heck yeah!!!

i officially joined my local YMCA back in march and have been going pretty consistently since then. especially on tuesdays and thursdays. those are kick boxing days. those are days that i've grown to L.O.V.E.

WHO KNEW!!??! i freaking LOVE this class. it KILLED me in the beginning when i first started going, but now i can last through a whole hour of class without stopping a ton of times. i take water breaks and moments to regain my balance, but other then that.....that whole hour is an hour of constant movement and therapy! it's fun punching and kicking my stresses away! i haven't seen many physical changes yet, tho i am down a pants size and don't have to suck in my tummy when i'm pms-ing, but i know that all my extra fluff didn't come on in a day and it's not going to go away in a day. man i wish it would tho.....but.....sigh. it's not.

on june 1st i signed up for another program that's offered through the Y that sets you up with a routine through the weight machines. with the end of school activities, i haven't been as faithful as i could have been, but this summer will make up for that.

i just bought new workout shoes today and man....are do they feel amazing! they cost me my spleen and a kidney, but i know it'll help eliminate potential issues. i'll let you know how they work after a week.

i'm slowly working up to running. and i will admit here.....anywhere really....I LOATH RUNNING!!! with a passionate fury do i hate running. BUT. i'm going to work up to it. maybe even grow to have a mild distaste for it. who knows? i've come this far in liking the gym and working out that anything is possible.

any advice? tips? routines that have worked for you?


Thursday, May 31, 2012

where i've been.......

alright....sheesh. haven't been on here since MARCH!!! good grief! so here's a quick re-cap

march: hubby and i did end up going away for our 10yr anniversary. we took a weekend trip up to Santa Barbara and stayed an a great b&b and we also took a great wine tasting tour of the Santa Ynez Valley. if you ever get the chance to stay and take the tour, it's very very well worth it!

april: CRAZY MONTH!!!! the 2nd our baby girl hit the big double digits. we had some of her friends over as well as some of ours to celebrate. the kids slept over and were up half the night. hubby's mom also came out from NY to celebrate the weekend with us and that was fun. on the 28th, i turned 31 and we celebrated that with friends, good food and plenty of laughs.

may: so far it's been quiet....just random things winding down the school year and starting to plan summer activities. over the past Memorial weekend our little town hosts a Cajun Festival. our family looks forward to it every year and can't wait to go!! there's such great food, vendors, amazing music and it's such a great time. we get to get a small taste of food from "home". Southern Sweet tea, bbq pork ribs, gator tail, sweet potato pie.....oh man.......just so so so good.

june starts tomorrow. A will be done being a 4th grader on the 13th. i am still not ready mentally for her to be a 5th grader. but i've got time for that. we've got a few end of the year things to help out with at school then it'll be a few summer camps over the next couple of weeks and i'm sure endless days with friends and sleepovers.

june will also bring something pretty big in our family. our very first NEPHEW!!!! my hubby's brother and wife are expecting their first baby and he will be joining us sometime this month! we're all crazy excited but the distance is killing us! they're in FL, while we're all the way over in CA. But we'll be seeing them this December and will be there to celebrate his very first Christmas!!!!

with this arrival you'll finally see me being crafty again! i've been in such a horrible creative funk!!! i've even considered re-naming the blog because of it! but i'll be busy with some projects that i'll be sharing soon over the summer break.

hope all is well with everyone! i've added an email contact to this site if anyone has any suggestions, questions, thoughts, links to share....anything!