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!


dark days

some days it's really easy to sit here and say "yeah i'm totally cool with biggs" and continue on my day/life like i totally mean it. other days my brain is telling me something completely different. along with my heart. those days suck ass. no other way to really say it. sorry. those days punch you in the gut and take super small pieces away from you.

i'm not talking about depression. i'm not talking about a serious disease or something like that. today i'm going to open up about something only a few of you may know about me. it's not even really that serious....just something i really don't like talking about to many cause it hurts and it comes off complainy and whiny and i'm not cool with that.

i really want another baby and my hubby doesn't. i know that i will never have another child unless there's some freak accident with my birth control which i know won't ever happen because it's really not that hard to remember to take a simple little pill every night. so yeah there it is.

to you it may not seem like a big deal. "oh you already have a beautiful happy" or i get those other lovely comments "'re still both really young, you totally have time left." umm.....she's already 10. time has passed. in 8 extremely short years, she's legally an adult. ADULT. then there will be college. then grad school (maybe) then she'll meet some guy (or girl who knows?) and they'll want to start a life together. then the life may bring me grandkids........

i didn't have a "normal" pregnancy. A was born 6wks early via c-section. i never got as far as Braxton Hicks, or having my water break, or anything "normal" women experience. didn't even have a baby shower or time to really mentally was "'re going to be a mom today by 4pm" and out walks the doc and in walks the nurse to prep for surgery. after 2wks in NICU we brought home our little 3lb110z preemie. at 20 years old i dealt with all of this. i had hopes of having another child. but those hopes never happened.

i can talk big game about being "ok" with everything. that i'm totally happy with only having one child who is so completely awesome, and i am totally happy with one child who is so completely awesome. but i would have loved to have had a sibling for her. one that's not walking on 4 legs, completely hairy and answers to the name "Max". but there are days when seeing women pregnant that it kills me. that i just want to cry because i'm so completely jealous and envious. days when seeing friends pregnant make me feel that same way, even tho i'm so completely happy and excited for them! and even knowing that their kids will bring such happiness not only to them, but to me as well, because i can help out and snuggle them anytime i want......but it still hurts.

i know that when A is out of the house it will be just weird. so quiet and empty. and hubby and i have grand plans of travels, but doesn't everyone? no more waking in the middle of the night. no more dirty stinky diapers. no more worries about playdates, which preschool is the best, which teacher is the right one, silly school age drama.......none of that. it'll be different worries.

did i do the best that i could for A while she was little? did we spend enough time together? did we teach her how to be a good adult? did we show her how a happy marriage works so she knows how hard it is to work at it? these will be my worries when she's grown. but not now.

 now there are others that come and go. there will always be those. along with an empty feeling some days. 

so yeah.....i can talk big game about being "ok" and "everything's fine".......but some's not. and that's ok. i know these feelings and am working on them. i'm so thankful for what i do have in my life. i love my lil family so amazingly much. even my extremely fuzzy lil boy, Max.

Monday, March 12, 2012

random monday

random things i've been up too:

took kiddo to see The Lorax last week. animation was great, wasn't expecting all the songs tho. it was still good tho.

i've been pinning like crazy on Pinterest. but it's been paying off cause i've made some yummy food. i'll post pics and links to the recipes soon.

i've checked out some books from the library on mean girl behavior.'s started. my little girl is dealing with mean girls in FOURTH GRADE!!!!! so not happy about that. but these books have been helpful and a good resource.

Little Girls Can Be Mean: Four...

The Curse of the Good Girl: Ra...

i want my hour back.

so last night plain sleepless for me. i think i may have hour. i didn't have any tea/coffee/caffeine too late in the day, i wasn't stressed, nothing buggin me....i have no clue why i couldn't just sleep.

it turned into just thoughts after thoughts...."i haven't blogging in awhile...i should think of something to write" ( and i swear i wrote like 3 blogs in my mind last night) then it went to memories of when kiddo was little and we use to make up "baby stories" for her at random. then i went on "writing" one of those in my head in hope to print it out and send it to my friend whose always wanted to illustrate one of those stories.

then the random itchies know the kind. you're just laying there all comfy when all of a sudden your left calf itches....then you upper right arm...then the left side of your head.....then your back......then back to the right's horrible.

then you get all settled again and it's quiet.....except hubby was snoring. yup...sorry love but you were. then it's gentle moving and nudging to "wake" him up to stop snoring. yeah....didn't happen. snore.....snore.......snore.......sigh.

then it's trying different sleeping positions: back, right side, left side, tummy, back to trying curled up on the right side again. then...just as i got somewhat comfy....i had to use the bathroom. sigh.

then it's walking in the dark with no glasses. now mind you, i'm like not completely blind, but sheesh! it's a strong prescription. so everything is fuzzy and dark and even tho i know my way around my own home at night, i still look out for things. ::pause to give quick back story::: i have an older sister.....she and i would ALWAYS try to scare the poo out of each other growing up. sometimes i'd win, sometimes she'd win. but mostly it was her "torturing" me. there was one time where i was waiting for her to come in and say good night (she's 11 1/2yrs older and was always my "babysitter" when our parents were out). now my bed room door opened to a long hallway where the top of the stairs came out too....she snuck up the stairs quiet as a mouse and as i'm watching the stairs for her anxiously, cause even tho i called for her like 5 times....she didn't answer. i was like 7 maybe so i was mildly as i'm looking down the hall....slooowwwlllly just her heads appears from the top of the stairs!!!! i totally SCREAMED!!!! so.....yeah...i'm just a tad jumpy at night. (thanks's totally all your fault) so back to the main point of i'm walking to the bathroom in the dark i look down our hallway to make sure everything is ok....when all of a sudden all the scary movie/tv show creepiness come rushing into my head and i mildly freakout. i KNOW there's nothing in the house to get me....i KNOW!!!! BUT.....there's a very miniscule chance that there could be. so......yeah. that happened. i rush back to bed trying not to just jump over hubby to my side cause i wouldn't want to disturb his peaceful peaceful slumber. sigh.

back to trying to get comfy again. but all the time making sure that no body part is hanging off the bed. cause there's STILL THAT CHANCE OF SOMETHING BEING UNDER THE BED!!!! don't laugh.

just as i was entering a dream of talking to hubby about not being able to sleep the dark is broken by the bathroom light. it's time for him to get up and get ready for work. and my own alarm will be going off in 40mins.

i'm so screwed for energy today.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

hello!? anyone there?!

oh my goodness.....these past few weeks have been crazy!! first the kiddo was down with a cold, then hubby got it, then this cold took it's vengeance out on me! i was down for a good week!! they were good only after about 2-3 days max. and now i feel like it's coming back on! on monday i was able to attend a field trip with my kiddo and although it was a great fun day, it was super windy and freezing!!! we were close to the ocean, so we got more wind and it was just bitterly cold and over cast the whole day. we learned that back home it poured and even hailed! so glad that didn't happen on the field trip tho. but now with that cold weather, my nose is back to running, i'm coughing again and just feeling like poo. hopefully it won't fester like that last cold did.

during the past few weeks i've been on a little YA kick in my reading. i've recently read the following books and i do recommend each one! all were very well written and entertaining.

Spirit Bound (Vampire Academy, #5)
Spirit Bound (Vampire Academy, #5) by Richelle Mead

Beauty: A Retelling of Beauty & the Beast
Beauty: A Retelling of Beauty & the Beast by Robin McKinley

Sunshine by Robin McKinley

Graceling (The Seven Kingdoms, #1)
Graceling (The Seven Kingdoms, #1) by Kristin Cashore

Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side (Jessica, #1)
Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side (Jessica, #1) by Beth Fantaskey

these next two books i devoured!!! on the kindle editions were $2.99 and $3.99 and i'm so thankful i could just buy the second one immediately because the first one was so great! i didn't have to wait on a library list or search for it somewhere locally or even wait for it to be sent from online.

Inescapable (The Premonition #1)
Inescapable (The Premonition #1) by Amy A. Bartol

Intuition (The Premonition #2)
Intuition (The Premonition #2) by Amy A. Bartol*

what i love about YA books are how easy they are to read and most of the times you don't need to deal with too much complexity. emotions are high and at times anxisty but still pretty simple. and when they're well written YA books, it makes it even better. but at times the main characters, even tho they are 16-17, they deal with very adult issues.

i'm still pushing through The Games of Thrones, hubby is pushing me to read it faster so he can read it on his ride on the train to work. and i'm really trying....really. it's great! the characters are developing and i'm loving learning about them and looking forward to where they will be going. it's much book!! but i'm getting there. according to my goodreads challenge list, i'm 4 books behind schedule on making my goal this year. looks like i need to get reading again!

in other news.....i've joined my local YMCA. i've started a kick boxing class and tried one other one. so far so good. tho yesterday i think i over did it, so i'm taking today off. i'm looking forward to being able to work my way up to taking other classes.

well, i hope to be back to blogging again! i've missed sharing bits of life with people!


Wednesday, February 8, 2012

germ warfare

monday started off normal then went kinda crazy. my normal routine of dropping the kiddo off at school then working with my reading intervention kids (i work with them for a 1/2hr mon-thurs to get their reading fluency up to grade level) but not this monday. the computer servers were down and by the time they would actually be up and running and we'd have internet access again, we'd be out of time to be productive, so off to shop for some much needed groceries. finally got home and was STARVING!!! how is it that even when you spend copious amounts of money to buy food to fill your pantry and fridge....THERE'S STILL NOTHING TO EAT!?!?!? ugh!! just as i was settling down to watch a quick episode of season 2 phone buzzes at me..."dentist appt at 11am" off to the shower i dash to get ready and jet over to the dentist. finally home again and completely exhausted. i failed to mention earlier that i had basically no sleep the night before, just couldn't sleep. then comes time to pick kiddo up from school, homework starts along with a much sniffly and runny nose. uh oh. then a cough slips in here or there.....more sniffles.

tuesday morning she comes and snuggles into my hubby's spot he just left to go get ready for work, and she's burning up. no school for her. she's in zombie mode. really pale, nosing running off her face, can't eat cause the thought of food makes her tummy upset but still really staving, throat hurting, head hurting.....ok gotta make a doc appt. there's strep going around so we tested her and thankfully it came back negative. just rest, fluids, and more rest. so off to be a zombie even more the rest of the day. watched tv snuggled on the couch, coaxed her into drinking some honey laden tea, heated up some chicken broth, and downed some ice pops. not too shabby of a day really if only the sickies were taken away.

i kept her home again today to get some more rest. the fever hasn't come back and her throat is feeling much better already. her appetite has come back which is good. we had a great friend drop off her homework/classwork from school yesterday so she's been working on that and playing and just taking it easy. she's one of the lucky kids who rarely if ever get sick. even as a baby, she hardly ever got sick. we saw the doc about twice a year...once for a yearly check up/shots and once for a mild/kinda bad cold. i'm so so so so thankful she's not prone to sickness. we do our best as parents to ensure she's eating the right foods to stay healthy. i know we slip sometimes here and there, but for the most part, dinners are 90% of the time cooked at home from close to scratch and i like to keep a decent amount of fruits and veggies in the house. yes some junk slips in, i'm in no ways perfect, but i kinda limit how much of it she can eat.

so that's where i've been the past few days. trying to get my kiddo back to 100% and working on things around the house. hope all has been well with you!


Thursday, February 2, 2012

Buffalo Chicken Wraps

there is a restaurant that we go to when we go visit friends that live about 35mins away from us. it's really yummy and my fav dish is their spicy chicken wrap with sweet potato fries. so yum. but...since it's 35mins away, it's not something you can just have on a whim especially when your hubby doesn't get home till 7:45pm every night. so...i decided to start making my own! and now....since these wraps are just can make your own too!

you are going to need the following: chicken breasts (i use the extra trimmed thin ones), your fav buffalo sauce, blue cheese dressing, celery, lettuce (i usually use a salad mix with a mix of different lettuce), tortillas, and sweet potato fries

either the day before or a few hours before, marinate your chicken in the wing sauce/hot sauce. this batch marinated for about 3hrs.

when you're ready to cook, start your sweet potato fries first. i cook mine longer then suggested because i like mine crispy. cook the chicken then dice and put in a container to cool down. i usually put a little more sauce in to coat all the chicken a bit more. you can use this the same night, or let it soak in all the yummy sauce goodness in over night and it will be even BETTER!!

slice your celery into thin strips.......and i usually cut more to munch on later :)

then you're ready to assemble: lay your tortilla flat, spoon a decent amount of blue cheese dressing on first. then layer with your lettuce, a few slices of celery, then your chicken. if you really love wing sauce/hot sauce, then pour some more on! go nuts! then fold your sides and cut on a diagonal for a pretty presentation.

serve with the fries and enjoy!!! as another yummy treat, drizzle honey and sprinkle cinnamon on top of your fries. so delish and yummy.

if you cook and eat in the same night, your leftovers (if there are any) will be even more amazing the next day. hope you enjoy and if you make these, let me know how they turned out!


Monday, January 30, 2012

wait....Janurary is over!?!? when did that happen!?!?

i can not believe that on Wednesday it'll be February already!!!!! Where did January go!?!?! kiddo went back to school on the 3rd, hubby went back to work full time on the 9th and then there was silence. i know here we had few days off of school and it was tons of fun having long weekends. it's still a bit weird being "alone" again for most of the day. max is here with me of course, but he's mostly sleeping. January had a few birthdays and yesterday a very dear friend of mine welcomed their second daughter to their family! so so very happy for them!

i've added two more books towards my reading goal and i'm so happy i'm finally getting into The Game of Thrones book. i've had the series sitting around for quite some time and just kept putting it off, but not any more! tho i may take a break from it since i just requested a few books from the library, but they appear to be easy quick reads.

February will be quick i know! it always is, even with an extra day. my hubby and i will be celebrating our 10yr anniversary in March! i am so excited about this! we've been tossing around the idea of having a party to celebrate this, so i'm pretty sure all the planning for that even will have to take place in Feb. in April, our daughter will be 10!!! another event i'm crazy excited about! so March will most likely be about planning for that celebration! i have no clue what kind of look i want for our anniversary party and when talking to my kiddo yesterday, i now know what colors she wants around the house for her party, so that will help me come up with an over all look. now if i only had about an extra room for all the girls she wants to invite, i'd be less nervous!

i remember my parents throwing me a surprise party for my 10th birthday. it was fun and there were a lot of girls there. some i'm surprised that showed up, but happy nontheless. any special birthday memories you have from growing up? any thing from those parties that really stand out? please share! i'd love more ideas!


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

insta.gram goodness

snuggled on the couch with my love and a warm puppy in my lap= a very happy moment

one of our many halloween decorations last year, the lights flickered creating a "flame" effect ;)

a very happy sleepy puppy, max

a "why are you taking my picture AGAIN, momma?" puppy

one of the kiddo's Monster High dolls with a scarf made by me

i can be found on intsa.gram under the name "randomvisions"


empty space....

this lovely piece is pretty new to our home. we've been looking for a nice way to store our many games and also my collection of cookbooks, which are in the cabinet with the solid door. now that the holidays are over....i'm left with empty space again on top. no clue what to put here. we don't have many "display" pieces so i'm pretty stumped on this one. i need to get some more recent photos of the kiddo printed out and framed so that's one idea, but i'd like something a bit.....more.

we do a weekly trip to our local antique stores, where this piece actually came from one such trip. we LOVE LOVE LOVE our local shops. like, they know us by name now and will usually keep an eye out for something we may be interested in....that's how much we love going.

any thoughts? any ideas? suggestions?! please!?!?!?


feelin like a zombie

i am going to be completely honest right now and say honestly that the past 2 days....i've been a horrible wife. tho i actually did cook monday night, tuesday was leftovers (which was perfect due to short timing due to hubby having to teach class last night) but other then that.....pfffft. nothing. some dishes did get done and some laundry. orange juice request was filled and also picked up more vitamins for my kiddo. dinner tonight? eh...i've got hours yet to plan and cook. it'll get done.

the reason for my wonderful headaches. one started monday, continued into yesterday...and sloooooowly trailing off today. yes i've been to the doctor. yes i've tried stuff. but thanks to the lovely estrogen hormone, i get some pretty wicked headaches. can't say i love 'em. they're pretty much a pain in the....well head actually. i can function pretty normal when i have too. kid does get picked up from school, has a pretty healthful lunch to eat, and has clean clothes. am i the most talkative, playful, cheerful mom during this? nope. but i'm there. do i hate that i'm not the most talkative, playful and cheerful mom? yup. hate with a passion. but i know only a few days out of the month i get to be a zombie.


Monday, January 23, 2012

Family Night Out

weekends in our home are pretty special. my hubby is gone for 12hrs a day and only really has about an hour with our daughter before bed during the week. so on the weekends, we try to make the most of it. ours was a 3-day weekend this past weekend. it stared off with going into his work for lunch and to check out what new movie he's been working on, followed by a night out with another family. saturday, they had a dad/daughter day watching movies while i was out with some girlfriends having lunch and seeing a movie of our our. sunday, she and i had some time to chill and watch a movie while hubby was teaching. then that night we went out to dinner just the 3 of us. it was a lot of fun just relaxing and having time together. little things like this can really make a difference. it's not about doing huge things to make up for time spent away, it's the quiet moments doing simple things that really matter to us in our family.

while at dinner i saw another random family that kinda irritated me and made me sad. there was mom and dad (around mid 40s?) boy 1 was about 10-11?, girl was about 12-14? boy about 15-17? and grandma. the family is seated and given menus. mom and daughter go use the restroom. oldest son looks at menu then proceeds to take out his smartphone, attach his white headphones to his ears and ignores the family. daughter comes back.....proceeds to do the same as her older brother. dad....he's sitting there on his smartphone doing who knows what. youngest son....HE's on HIS smartphone/device. mom finally comes back from the restroom.....SHE gets on HER smartphone!!! poor grandma is just sitting there. i could see them right in front of me, i quietly point this out to my husband. he kinda chuckles and reminds me of a PSA commercial we just saw last night while catching up on some Hulu. according to this PSA, the average child averages about 9hrs of media a day. from computer use, cell phone, tv, video's just crazy! here was a family that could have totally fit into that research group.

it really irritated me because as a parent, i expect my child to intact with us as a member of our family. the ONLY time she is allowed to bring her itouch with her to dinner or such is when we know she's going to be the only child within a group of adults and even then that's greatly limited. she's almost 10 and interacts with adults extremely well for a child her age. jokes with our friends and will start/engage in conversations with them as well. and here was a whole family just completely ignoring each other, more interested in what's going on around them then what's with who's right in front of them. then poor grandma. i hope she didn't invite them all out just to be ignored half the night. if my daughter sat there like that, her privilege of having such a device would be taken away.

it made me sad because THIS has become socially acceptable. to sit with your family or even in a group of friends and to be constantly "connected" to everything else then enjoying who is sitting RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU!!! too many people are just so "trained" now to constantly pick up their phone the second something happens on it. i know there are times i'm completely guilty of it. and let me tell you, hubby and daughter both point it out to me and "yell" at me for it. but when you're out with your family, especially older family members who may not be around forever, you spend time with them. you're supposed to enjoy each other......or why go out at all? i remember that going out to dinner was something special. you cleaned up a bit and it was something to look forward to. something where you were expected to act a certain way and to use your manners and to engage with who you were with. now it seems it's more common to see children connected to their smart devices/video game players while the adults are staring off into space or the tv that's bound to be somewhere to catch the game they're missing.

i know i'm trying my best to show our daughter how a loving family works and how to interact not only with adults, but with people in general. time spent with family is special. i really hope when she grows up she'll have good memories of all the silly things we do together, remember laughing and playing games, time spent snuggling watching a movie or reading a book together. maybe we're old fashioned this way, but i'd rather be then disconnected with people right in front of me.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Braided Bead Bracelet

i have a few new internet loves.....i should really say obsessions. one of them is now if you've never been on this site...WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR!!! GO!!! GO NOW!!!...ok wait!! maybe after reading this post you can go ;) whilst "stumbling" the other day i was directed to this site Honestly WTF. they have a great selection of tutorials and i came across a great tutorial on making a braided bead bracelet. if you follow to their site, you too can make one!

i am pretty impatient so i headed out to my local craft store thinking all the waxed linen cord would be there and everything else.....well.....sadly no. it wasn't. but what i did get worked. tho i'm kinda wishing i had the waxed linen cord, the beads would have gone on much easier.

the picture on the side is the materials i used. it's a hemp beading twine that's 9.1mm, 6/0 glass beads, and a 12mm two hole button. i had to keep re-twisting the ends of the twine to get the beads on, but over all they went on fairly well. once you get a few beads on you can really start to see the pattern and pulling it tight as you go helps. i'm sure with the waxed cord it's WAY easier but like i said i'm pretty impatient and didn't feel like driving all over town or waiting for internets ordering. here is a picture of mine finished.

it feels really super soft on my wrist and really light weight. will i be making more of these? possibly. the only draw back for me is that after awhile of pinching the tiny beads, my fingers and hands cramp up. i bought some other color beads as well, so i'd love to see how those turn out. a good friend of mine came over today and she made one using purple hemp cord and clear beads and it turned out so pretty as well! the beads she used were a bit bigger and the cord also a bit thicker. it created a whole different look.

if you get a chance to make one, please let me know and send me some pictures!


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

i downloaded this book on my brand new kindle this holiday season, and let me tell you.....i'm SO SO happy i did. this book is AMAZING!!! from their description is as follows:

The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des RĂªves, and it is only open at night.

But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway—a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love—a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands.

True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus per­formers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead.

this book is just amazing with getting your imagination going. at times you really feel as if you are walking around the circus, complete with the smells of popcorn and caramel apples. the sights Ms. Morgenstern describe make you WANT to be there, to explore every tent over and over again. the creativeness of the tents Celia and Marco create are things of dreams. the costumes and everyday clothing the characters wear are simply beautiful!! it's fashion porn for the imagination! but then again i'm a sucker for clothing from those time periods. if you like stories with magic, star crossed lovers, intrigue, and amazing imagination....then please pick up this book.

on preparing to do this entry i came across Ms. Morgenstern's blog and also an interview with her with some little tidbits. Summit Entertainment has apparently bought the rights and will be making a movie about this book. no word on a release date as of yet, but keep in mind these things do take time. i really, REALLY hope they do the story and imagery justice. i am really disappointed when a book you love and know becomes something unrecognizable when made into film. i can see people lining up to see this film in an all black, white, or grey outfit with a crimson scarf, or shawl, or rose upon them. :) i know i will be.

if you happen to read this book, please let me know your thoughts!


Monday, January 16, 2012

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

i have been wanting to read this book for a VERY long clue what took me so long to read it, but finally i did. my daughter and i took a quick trip to the library the other day to pick up another book i had requested and while looking for a book for her, i saw this and grabbed it. a description from is:

It takes a graveyard to raise a child.

Nobody Owens, known as Bod, is a normal boy. He would be completely normal if he didn't live in a graveyard, being raised by ghosts, with a guardian who belongs to neither the world of the living nor the dead. There are adventures in the graveyard for a boy—an ancient Indigo Man, a gateway to the abandoned city of ghouls, the strange and terrible Sleer. But if Bod leaves the graveyard, he will be in danger from the man Jack—who has already killed Bod's family.

it's a rather unusual way for a child to be raised, but being amongst the deceased from various decades did have an advantage for Bod. he had many people to watch out for him and to guide him as he grew. he had many different teachers, he learned about how life really was during different time periods. later as Bod grows up he is allowed to attend school with the living. it's there he learns the being among the living has some advantages and disadvantages. being among the living makes him noticeable and hard to hide from the man Jack who hasn't stopped looking for him.

this book was really good. there are illustrations throughout the book that help support the story as well as support your imagination. Neil Gaiman is a wonderful storyteller for both the young as old. i'm really glad i was finally able to read such a great book. there are also many, and i do mean many, discussion boards regarding this book all over the internet. there were some insights that i didn't even realize till i read others opinions and thoughts. if you get a chance, please read this book and other by Neil'll not be disappointed.


Friday, January 13, 2012

amazing dancing books!

i came across this very awesome video on Facebook from my local library page. the couple who created the video did an amazing job! the time to do all this must have been crazy!

if i'm ever lucky enough to have my own bookshop i can totally imagine my books doing this after hours! enjoy!


Buffalo Chicken "meat"ball Subs

one day while hubby and i were shopping at the grocery store we came across pre-made Buffalo Chicken "meat"balls.....bought them....tried can do better. and we did. here's our recipe for:

Buffalo Chicken "meat"ball Hoagies/Subs

please note: nothing was properly measured out, it was "add some of this..some of that" and it turned out so delish!

in a mixing bowl mix 1lb of ground chicken, two eggs, breadcrumbs, sliced green onions, blue cheese crumbles and your fav wing sauce (we used Frank's) to taste. if you like your wings spicy then pour it on! just remember to increase the breadcrumbs so the mix isn't too "wet". roll into decent size meatballs and bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 mins or until baked through.

they will come out smelling so yummy and looking like this!

then take your hoagie/sub rolls and spread on some blue cheese dressing, lettuce (we had a salad mix on hand with different kinds of lettuce. you can use just plain ol'iceberg or romaine lettuce) then place your "meat"balls, add some more wing sauce, some more blue cheese if you'd like and enjoy!

these have SUCH a great taste!!!! for our daughter we made some "meat"balls without a ton of sauce to make them mild for her. they were even BETTER the next day!!! we had some blue cheese crumbles left over, so when we made up some for lunch, we melted the blue cheese over while the "meat" balls were heating up...OH.MY.YUM!!!! we served coleslaw as a side. Enjoy!!!


Thursday, January 12, 2012

2012 goals

with the new year now 12 days old i've been thinking of some goals i'd like to see accomplished this year. i'm not one to make resolutions because if i'm being honest with myself and just stresses me out because i know that i'll fail at keeping up with them. so here's what i'd like to do this year:

-read 100 books
-complete 10 creative projects this year
-sew a quilt
-learn 10 new recipes
-learn a new craft skill
-read 10 biographies
-work on getting healthier
-organize my craft supplies
-find a way to make money doing something i love
-take more pictures
-work out everyday

sounds pretty basic and easy so we'll start with this. i'll most likely add more to this list. what plans/goals do you have planned for 2012?


this is an idea i've been playing around with in my head for some months now. i've done some blogging in the past, but everything was just random, hence the name "Randomess". nothing felt quite right and collected. so this is where this one comes in.

on this site you will see some things i've been creating. nothing new and exciting but just things i've made. also book reviews. some daily ramblings and also i'll share some of our crazy yummy recipes my hubby and i have come up with! i hope you enjoy and stick around!