Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Latest Pinterest Finds

Oh this Pinterest thing is so addicting. I've managed to hook some more friends on it too. Haha! I love though that we all have this fun addiction and I really do enjoy seeing what other people pin, because it gives me lots of good ideas! Here are some of the latest things I've been pinning.

Mmmm, brownie pops! Don't they look delicious? I've seen many cake pops and marshmallow pops, but this is the first I've seen of brownie pops!
This is pinned on my "dream home" board. I would love someday to have a house with ceiling beams. That's a long way down the road though so for now I'll just keep dreaming... unless I quickly win the lotto!
I thought this was a clever way to organize ribbon.
I really like this candle display with the candy corns for fall. I'm going to do this!
I've been wanting to paint the basement for a long time... like three years! I've wanted to paint it green too, and I really like this shade. I think it would be fun for the basement! This was from one of the HGTV's dream home.
All photos are courtesy of Pinterest. Once again thanks Ann for getting me started on my addiction! Haha! Speaking of Ann, I'd like to wish her a very happy birthday! Hope you had a great day. Welcome to the 36 club!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Hot Hot Hot!!!

Wow, what a week it's been with this heat! The air conditioning has been running 24/7 and it doesn't look like it's going off anytime soon. I hate to see my electric bill! Although I'm not complaining about the heat. I'd much rather have this than it be cold and shoveling snow. The summer is going by far too quickly and before we know it winter will be upon us. Ugh! I actually didn't think it was all that bad a couple days. Only one day was pretty miserable, Thursday I think it was or maybe Wednesday. Anyhow, the only downfall with it this hot is that we've pretty much been staying inside to keep cool. Too hot to go to the park or play outside. We've taken a few walks, late late into the evening, but even those have been cut short. Like I said though, I'll take the heat over the cold any day!

On Wednesday at Em's ballet class, we found out she's got the class all to herself. Kate told us the other girl isn't going to come so if we wanted to stop the class she'd give us a credit for the fall. Emme likes it though and gets excited to go, and I don't really think she cares that she's the only one. So we're just going to finish the last three classes out. It's kind of nice for Emme to have the one on one time with Miss Kate.

We had a pretty low key week and weekend. Friday night we found out Evan's friend Ethan was having a birthday party on Saturday. His dad, Nick had text me Friday night and asked if we could come. Due to some problems with his ex-wife, it was a last minute thing. We didn't have much going on Saturday so we were able to go. The party was at Chuckee Cheese, which if any of you know me, I absolutely hate that place. I've only been to one other birthday party there which was a chaotic mess. Nick's been through the ringer with his ex-wife, she will hardly let Nick see the kids. I don't know why exes and the courts have to be like that when kids are involved. Nick is a great dad, and he deserves to see his kids more and I feel bad for Ethan and Aivree going through all this. I knew Ethan really wanted Evan to be there, and it would mean a lot to Nick if we came. It had been awhile since we had seen them too so I figured we'd go for a little while. It turned out that it wasn't that busy for the first hour and a half we were there so it wasn't that bad. I just made sure the kids washed there hands over and over after touching all the games. It was nice to catch up with Nick a little and the kids had fun with Ethan and Aivree. They're planning to come to Emme's party too so that will be nice.

Sunday we ran some errands here and there. We finally made it to the East Lansing Farmer's Market. It opened two weeks ago when I had my girls shopping day so I couldn't go. Then last weekend we totally forgot about it. We got a few things- green beans, zucchini, and squash. I was a little disappointed that we couldn't get any hot peppers. The guy we usually get them from said he got a late start planting them this year due to the weather so he was hoping to have some by next weekend. So hopefully we'll remember to go next weekend and he has some. We love to make tacos with the hot peppers! That's about it from around here. Nothing big and exciting going on. I've been pinning more lately so I'll share some of my finds soon!

Monday, July 18, 2011

The Week In Review

Gosh, another week has gone by since I blogged. Where the heck did last week go? I don't even know if I can remember, but I'll try to give you the run down. Monday and Tuesday we went to look at a couple preschools for Emmaline. I know we're so far behind on this. We need to get making a decision. For some reason it seems harder this time around. I think it's because Evan's teacher from the MSU CDL preschool isn't teaching anymore which we're really bummed about. Hopefully we can make a decision this week. Tuesday and Wednesday I worked out in the garage setting up for garage sale number two. I had a lot of it set up on tables already from the last time, but it was all pushed to one side. Some of the clothes I had put back in tubs, so I had to set those back out on the tables. I also had a couple bags of new stuff to put out and price that I had bagged up when I cleaned the kids closets a couple weeks ago. I had pretty much everything set up and ready to go by Wednesday night for the sale on Friday.

Thursday we went to my friend Marie's for the afternoon and went swimming. It was a nice hot day so the pool was perfect. Her kids and mine got to play and we got to catch up a little. After we left Marie's the kids and I headed to Kalamazoo. Marie lives in Bellevue which is between here and Kalamazoo. Since we were only about a half hour from Kalamazoo, we met my sister in Kzoo and picked up Kaite to come back with us. My sister and Kaite were planning to come up for the weekend, and my sister was going to help with the garage sale on Saturday. She had some things she wanted to put in my sale. So I thought if she wanted to meet us on Thursday I could get her things, and then Kaite could come and spend an extra day with us. She could watch the kids on Friday while I was doing my sale and I could try to sell some of my sisters stuff on Friday instead of waiting until Saturday (Fridays are always better around here for garage sales). Plus the kids liked having Kaite here for an extra day!

Friday I had my garage sale pretty much all day. It wasn't as busy as the Friday in May when I did it, but I still did pretty good. I got rid of my jogging stroller which was a big item that I was hoping not to have to store again. Plus it was worth getting my sisters stuff because I sold two of her end tables and a coffee table, as well as some other things. I got rid of lots more kids clothes which was nice too. The day went in spurts, there was never really a steady pace. My friend Brenda stopped by and sat with me for a little bit which was nice to have some company. She even brought me some brown butter chocolate chip & bacon cookies. I wasn't sure about the bacon and chocolate chips, but they were pretty good. Thanks Brenda for the treat and for sitting and chatting with me. My sister got here Friday evening and we met up with Brenda and Keyera at Lou Ha's for taco bar. It was a cheap dinner and the beer was just what I needed after sitting out in the heat all day!

Saturday we had the garage sale for just part of the day. I didn't want to waste the whole day with the sale and Saturdays are usually slow anyway. It's a good thing we didn't plan to do it all day because it was SLOW! We ended up closing up a little bit early. My sister and Kaite had eye appointments at Jessica's eye place so we did that in the afternoon. Thanks Jess and Steve for coming in on a Saturday for them. If anyone needs eye exams, glasses, or contacts go to Thompson Eyecare, they'll take good care of you. They've got a referral program now so if I refer 6 people I get a free pair of glasses. Who needs an eye exam and wants to help me out. I only need three more referrals!!!

Saturday evening we just chilled pretty much until Jess and Brenda came over. The two of them were volunteering at the Common Ground Festival and had planned to come over for some adult beverages after. Well they ended up not coming until 11:30pm so we got a late start. We had drinks on the deck and lots and lots of laughs! Good times for sure! I even had my first chocolate martini. I'm not sure why I've never had one of these before, but I've been missing out! Oh yummy deliciousness! Brenda cut out on us about 1:30am because it was way past her bedtime. It was past mine too, but the chocolate martini was tasting too good. Then Jess wanted "late night munchies." This is often brought up when she's over having drinks on the deck. Yes, she's talking about Taco Bell and really wanted to go for some "late night munchies." Kaite offered to drive us so I figured this time I wouldn't bail on Jess and we headed to Taco Bell since I had a driver. Jess says it was just what she needed because Sunday morning she didn't have a hangover. You know what? Neither did I, go figure.

After being up so late on Saturday, we all slept in on Sunday. I didn't get up until almost 10am! We lounged around and then my sister and Kaite headed home after lunch. Sunday was really really hot and I wanted to get the garage sale stuff cleaned up. I worked out in the garage a little at a time, coming in for long periods of time to cool off. Then I ended up taking a nap and Greg and the kids went with his mom to see Winnie The Pooh. Later Sunday night I worked out in the garage a little more. My friend Angie came down and bought a bunch more of Em's stuff. She pretty much wiped me out and I've only got one tub of Em's clothes left! Yay!

Today it was hot hot hot again so we all just stayed inside! Looks like the rest of the week is going to be just as hot if not hotter so we probably will be staying cool in the air conditioning! And two weeks from today is my little girls birthday! She's already getting excited! :)

Monday, July 11, 2011

Girls Day Shopping

Yesterday, it was a fun-filled day of girls shopping. My friend Brenda and her daughter Keyera, and I shopped til we dropped! I've been wanting to make and IKEA and Trader Joe's run for sometime now. Last week Brenda was telling me she wanted to go to IKEA to get some furniture, so I told her we needed to have a girls shopping day. I've been putting it off, and I figured if we didn't make plans I wasn't going to make it there anytime soon. We left just before 10am and got to IKEA around 11am. We were probably at IKEA for a little under two hours. When we left, the entire back end of my car was full. We did good making everything fit. Most of it was Brenda's furniture. She came home with a new chair and ottoman, some tables, a tv stand, a floor lamp, and some other odds and ends. I needed some votive holders and small vases for my UL shows, and then I also got myself a new vase and I found some flower pots for the deck. I've been looking and looking and haven't found anything I really liked that wasn't extremely expensive. When I saw these they were perfect! When I got home I was looking at IKEA online and found some different sizes I already want to go back for. Not sure how I missed them when we were there. Here's a picture of the new flower pot, I got two of them.

After IKEA, we headed towards Trader Joe's. We stopped for lunch by TJ's before we stocked up. We figured it probably wasn't a good idea to go into TJ's on an empty stomach. We ended up eating at On The Border. I love that place and never knew there was one by TJ's until the last time I had made a TJ's run. I managed to stock up on some items at TJ's and had a packed cooler on the way home. (I always take a cooler and ice packs when I head there so I can get cold items and get them home safely.) I ended up with four bottles of two buck chuck. If you don't know about it you're missing out. It's nicknamed "two buck chuck" because out in California this particular wine is $2. It's the Charles Shaw wine, and here it's $2.99 a bottle. Due to some Michigan law it can't be sold for $2. Still you can't go wrong with $3 for a bottle of wine that tastes good. I like the Pinot Grigio, but there's a variety of whites and reds that are available. This is the wine.

I also got some Mahi Mahi, Salmon, red licorice bites (love the TJ's licorice), some chicken tamales, spinach artichoke dip, and a few other things. I could stock up nonetheless. Brenda also got a few things. Then we headed for home, but not without making a stop at the Coach outlet. A girl's gotta look right? I found a couple things on clearance that I liked, but didn't get anything. We got back in town about 5pm so we had made a full day of it shopping. It was a fun day though and I'm so glad we went.

While we were gone, the kids and Greg, and Greg's mom had gone to Binder Park Zoo in Battle Creek. It was a hot day for the zoo, but they had fun. The kids had spent the night at Ya Ya's Saturday night and Sunday morning decided to go to the zoo. Greg was going to change his oil and go for a bike ride, but he ended up going with them. This was Evan's second time at that zoo. I had taken him when he was really little. This was Em's first time at Binder Park Zoo. Both kids fed the giraffes for the first time. Emmaline couldn't stop talking about it when she got home. She thought that was so cool. Evan also fed the goats, but Em wouldn't. They made a day of it as well, and got home just after I did. Here's a few pictures of their afternoon. Ready for the zoo!

Evan on the carousel!We found "Africa!"
Emmaline checking out the giraffe with daddy before she feeds it.Evan had fun feeding the goats!

And today is 7-11 which means the store 7 Eleven is giving out free small Slurpees. Evan didn't forget so we made a stop, and here are the kids with their Slurpees!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

1st Summer Visit To The Aquatic Center

It turned out to be a pretty jam packed weekend around the Shearwater Nest. It started Friday night when I went to a PartyLite candle party that my friend Jessica was hostessing. She was actually co-hosting I had only been to a PartyLite candle party one other time. My friend Brenda and her daughther Keyera came along too. It was a nice girl's evening of socializing, food and drinks, and candles! Brenda won the big door prize, a glass hurricane candle holder, and I won a smaller door prize a votive candle holder.

Saturday it was going to be hot hot hot so we decided to finally visit the East Lansing Aquatic Center. The kids have been asking for awhile now if we could go. We just haven't had the chance to go as a family, and the idea of me just taking the kids seemed a little overwhelming. The Aquatic Center opens at 11am, and I figured if we were going we better get there right away. The chairs get taken up quickly and we always like to get a spot under one of the umbrellas so we have shade it we want. Jess and her kids also went so we met them there. There was a little bit of a line, but we got in and got some chairs under one of the umbrellas. The kids were anxious to get in the pool and after they got their sunscreen on they took off into the pool. While I was hurrying to get our chairs set up and our towels laid out, the kids took off so fast that I was running into the pool after them. I apparently got distracted trying to look after them that I forgot to stop and put on sunscreen. Not a good thing after four hours in the pool. Ugh! I got so sunburned Greg told me I was more red than the lobster he ate last week in Maine. So a much needed trip to Meijer last night was in order to get some Aloe Gel.

We had a great time at the Aquatic Center though. We all were in the pool for hours, and Jess left for a little bit to run home and make us hot dogs for lunch. She brought hot dogs and chips back and we ate outside of the A.C. at the picnic tables. Thanks Jess for doing that for all of us. It worked out perfectly. The kids had a blast swimming, and somehow Evan passed for 48" tall (which means he didn't get the "kiddie wristband"), as did Jess' daughter Grace. Finally during our last hour there, Evan got brave enough to try the water slide. He would only go if Greg and Grace went. So they all got their tubes and headed up the stairs to the slide. I was pretty certain Evan would be coming back down the stairs when it was his turn, but he didn't. My little guy toughened up and went down the slide for the first time all by himself. He did so awesome, and I was so proud of him. He came down backwards from spinning around along the way, but glided into the pool nicely. Here's a picture of Evan's first time down the slide.

He got out and told me how fun it was, he was going again. This time no daddy though. Off they went, he and Grace up to the slide. This time when he came down he did a huge flip into the pool. Here he is flipping off the tube.

Of course as a mother, my heart is racing because Evan had never done this before, nor had I seem him go under the water like that. He did great though and pushed himself back up out of the water very quickly. A sigh of relief came across me, but it really made me think we need to quit putting off the swimming lessons and get both kids enrolled if Evan's going to keep doing the water slide. I thought Evan would for sure be done with the slide after the flip, but he went again. So proud of my little guy for the awesome job he did. My little Emme did awesome as well on the froggy slide. She loved that slide and was up and down it several times! Here she is coming down!

Here's a few more pics from our afternoon at the water park! The kids had a blast at the splash pad.
Emmaline catching some rays in the pool!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Pictures From 4th of July Weekend

Here's the photos from our 4th of July weekend that I promised. Enjoy!

The new $5 sprinkler I found at Target!
The kids loved it!
Evan being silly in the sprinkler!
I pulled out some pool toys and they had fun filling them with water!
Sneaky brother!
Emmaline soaking up the sun! She laid down and did this all by herself. Silly goose!
My two little firecrackers loving the Pop-Its!
Emmaline doing a sparkler at the fireworks out in Okemos!
Evan & Matthew doing sparklers!

Monday, July 4, 2011

4th of July

Happy 4th of July everyone! Hopefully you had a great extended weekend. I'll get to ours in a minute, but first about my last week as a single parent. It was a long week going at it alone while Greg was in Maine for work. You didn't hear from me for pretty much two reasons. One being, I was a single parent with two kids needing a lot of attention. A little more so than usual since Greg was gone and they were really missing him. Two being, I had to keep busy to help the days go by faster so the weekend would arrive sooner than later and Greg would be home. I did this by pretty much tearing this place apart and cleaning, cleaning, and more cleaning! Yep, that's right I pretty much cleaned everyday! It was much needed, not only the normal vacuuming and dusting, but time for the good cleaning again. The kids even helped me quite a bit. We cleaned out closets, drawers, toy baskets, and moved furniture to clean out the dust bunnies. I quickly accumulated more bags of stuff for my next garage sale. It really is a never ending process of getting rid of stuff.

I cleaned the whole upstairs and the main level. All the bedrooms, the loft, the kitchen, the living room, and all the bathrooms got a good cleaning. I even scrubbed bathroom floors really good. Ugh getting hairspray off the floor is not a fun time. It felt really good to get things done and have a nice clean house. I didn't get to the basement, but the kids did get the toys in the family room down there picked up. My goal was to have it all done by the time Greg got home so he could come home to a nice clean house. Seeing how I got two out of the three floors cleaned I think I did pretty good. You know how one project leads to another so some parts took me longer than others. I'm pretty pleased though with what I got done. I had to sacrifice a lot of Pinterest, Facebook, and blogging time to get it all accomplished. Sometimes you just have to make yourself do it though, and put other things aside.

In between all the cleaning Evan had his last two t-ball games last week. I was a little sad to see them end. He had such a great time with t-ball and it was a fun way to spend a couple evenings a week. Emmaline also had her second dance class. She's so adorable doing her little ballet moves with Miss Kate! While I love my kids dearly, by the end of the week of just me and them I was ready for some adult time. A big thanks to Greg's mom for taking the kids Friday afternoon and letting them spend the night so I could have a girl's night out. It was just the right "medicine" I needed to recoup from the long week! I decided awhile back that it would be fun to do a bloody mary tasting of East Lansing. I love me a good bloody mary, as do some of my friends. So Friday night we started our Bloody Mary Bonanza Tasting Tour. Throughout the rest of the summer we will be visiting local places and rating their bloody mary. Then at the end of the summer I will be blogging about our tour and post the ratings. We hit two places on Friday night, Reno's East and Lou Ha's (it was Friday night, we had to hit the free taco bar). My friends Brenda and Jess went with me. You'll have to stay tuned to hear about the bloody mary's at a later date! Afterwards we came back to the house and made some martinis and sat out on the deck and enjoyed the beautiful evening.

Saturday I ended up having most of the day to myself. The kids wanted to stay at YaYa's until dinner time. So I was able to do a little more cleaning and run some errands. It is so much easier to run errands alone than hauling two kids that's for sure. Saturday was also the day that Greg was finally starting his travels home from Maine. He left Maine about 9:30am and had planned to drive most of the day until he got tired. He figured somewhere around Pennsylvania or Cleveland he'd stop for the night. We things didn't go quite as planned. He couldn't find a hotel room for anything between Erie, PA and just past Cleveland, OH. Yes, it was the holiday weekend, but who would have thought that every single hotel would be booked in Ohio! Really do that many people go to Ohio for the 4th of July holiday? Apparently, or there was something else going on because there wasn't a room to be found. He ended up stopping at the toll road service station and took a half hour power nap in the car (which I totally didn't like, but really there was no choice), before he continued driving. It was already 1:15am and he had decided he was only about three hours from home so he would just drive the rest of the way. Of course the worry wart that I am, couldn't sleep that night with him on the road alone in the middle of the night. Finally about 5am he rolled in the driveway safe and sound. I was SOOOOOO happy to have him home.

The kids were super surprised to see daddy in bed when they woke up Sunday morning since originally Greg wouldn't have been home until Sunday afternoon. We were all a little messed up on our sleep since Greg had a long day on the road and I couldn't get any good sleep until he got home. So it was a lazy morning around here on Sunday. I seriously did not get in the shower until about noon! Sometimes though you need those kind of mornings, right Ann? We had a pretty leisurely day all around which was nice. I had bought the kids a new sprinkler, some bubble wands, and Pop-Its which they had fun doing all afternoon and evening. The sprinkler was a huge hit! It was $5 well spent! Do you remember Pop-Its from when you were a kid? I figured I'd let the kids try them for our 4th of July weekend and boy did they love them. They had so much fun! I'll post some pics of our 4th of July weekend fun soon. We ended the day with a late night pizza dinner on the deck followed by the kids first time doing sparklers. Great day with the family back together.

Today for the 4th of July we didn't have any big plans. The kids played in the sprinkler again, we grilled burgers, the kids did more Pop-Its, and then we went out to Okemos with Jess and her family and Brenda and her daughter to watch fireworks. The kids did some sparklers while waiting for the fireworks to start. The adults chatted and we did some sparklers too. It was a great evening and the firework show was spectacular! We went out there a couple years ago to watch fireworks, and this years seemed to be a lot better. I did miss being at the lake this year for firework, as did the kids. However, it just didn't work out with Greg coming back from Maine in the middle of the long weekend. Now it's back to somewhat of a normal routine around here with Greg back to work and all of us under one roof again. I definitely know that I don't like the single parent thing, and I really appreciate the family that we have! And a little bonus with finishing this blog... I'm finally caught up on my blogging! Yay me!