Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Montgomery Bell State Park

We have spent so much of our summer working on the house, so last weekend we decided to take a little day trip to a nearby state park.

We canoed around the lake.  Harper got her first chance to help with the paddling.  She was so excited. 

The kids and Mitch were able to do a little fishing.
Then we went swimming in the designated swimming area.  It was the perfect way to spend the day.

This dragonfly was hanging out on the car antenna as we were getting ready to leave. I couldn't resist snapping a bunch of photos.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Blast From The Past- Coffee Cozies


I made some coffee cozies.  Woohoo!!!  I am surprised I remembered how to make them.  I received a request from a coffee shop to make some coffee cozies.  I haven't been taking orders in quite awhile, but the owner of this coffee shop has always been so nice.  She never has a deadline and she always says "just do your thing", which I appreciate.  I decided it was also a good opportunity to use up some of my leftover wool.


I definitely do not have much left now.

It only took me 2 months to finish these.  Yikes. 

If you are new to the blog, you can find how I felt wool sweaters here.  My coffee cozy tutorial is here.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Medicine Mama's Sweet Bee Magic

I am really picky about what I put on my skin.  So when I was sent some samples of Medicine Mama's products to try for myself,  I was so excited.  It is really hard to find a moisturizer made from all natural ingredients that moisturizers without feeling too greasy.   All Medicine Mama’s  products are certified organic and are 100% pure and natural. They are free of all parabens, chemicals, preservatives, dyes, and fragrances. I especially love that I recognize and can pronounce all the ingredients used to make their products.


Sweet Bee Magic consists of a blend of six Organic and Natural ingredients:
purifying propolis
healing, antimicrobial honey
nourishing royal jelly
revitalizing bee pollen
moisturizing extra virgin olive oil
protective beeswax
Promoting radiant, supple skin
Providing overnight skin nutrition
Treating rashes, burns and scars
Protecting cuts, scrapes and bites from infection
Soothing dry or irritated skin
Relieving sunburns
Guarding against sport-related chafing
Keeping skin & healthy
The All in One Healing Cream was my favorite out of the products I tried.  A little goes a long way so eventhough the container seems small it will last for awhile.  I used it as a moisturizer so I can not attest to its healing properties, but it left my skin feeling so hydrated and smooth. 


The Bee Magic Wand consists of a blend of Organic and Natural ingredients:
purifying propolis & honey blend
protective beeswax
nourishing extra virgin avocado oil
moisturizing extra virgin olive oil
The Bee Magic Wand is perfect for:
Chapped Lip Remedy
Shaving Burn Care
Daily Moisturizer
Overnight Skin Nutrition
Cold Sore Relief
Cut Scrape & Bite Relief
After-sun Support
Rash, Burn & Scar Repair
I love the size of the Magic Wand.  It is compact enough to carry with you, but large enough to use on your face without a problem.  I keep it beside my bed to use before I go to sleep each night.  It keeps my lips moisturized until morning. 

Baby & Mama Magic consists of a blend of six Organic and Natural ingredients:
purifying propolis
healing, antimicrobial honey
nourishing royal jelly
revitalizing bee pollen
moisturizing extra virgin olive oil
protective beeswax
Baby & Mama Magic can be used by baby and mama just as the name implies:
For Baby:
Protects skin from irritating rashes caused by bacteria
Heals & Nourishes chafed skin and sensitive rashes
After-bath skin care for deep and lasting moisture
For Mama:
Protects against & reduces signs of stretch marks
Helps maintain skin’s elasticity during pregnancy, birth & postpartum.
Soothes sensitive skin from nursing.

Since my children are older and I am not pregnant, I was not able to try the lotion out for its intended purposes.  But I can tell you it is a great moisturizer.  I love the smell and feel of the lotion. 

If you would like to purchase any of these products, you can order them hereHere is a list of retailers.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

A Change of Plans

Well, we are not completely finished with the room that adjoins the kitchen, but we are very, very close.  So I thought I would go ahead and show you how we have decided to use the room.  We were originally going to make it a dining room with a sitting area by the fireplace.  The more time we spent in our new kitchen the more we realized that we wanted to live in this space.  So we decided to make it our living  room.


This is how we have the room set up right now.  It is subject to change though.  We would like to eventually get a larger couch or a small sectional to fit this area, but right now it's not in the budget.

We have a eating nook in the corner. We are using our existing table and chairs for now.  It is not the most ideal set up, but it is working for now. You can also see in this photo that we decided to use the same paint color from the kitchen on the fireplace wall.  I think it helps tie everything together.

Obviously my dog Bailey likes to follow me around.  She is not camera shy.

Here's the view from the pass through in the kitchen.  You can see my husband received a very nice birthday gift  (TV) last week.  We don't watch a ton of TV, but it is nice to be able to see the TV if I am in the kitchen cooking.

We may have gone a little crazy with the track lighting, but it really makes it nice to be able to point light in all the places that we need it. 

Here's the view from the doorway between the kitchen and living room.

Here's our fireplace and mantel.

We still need to install the crown molding and put some artwork on the walls.  After doing some major cleaning out and organizing, we will conquer are old living room.  We are going to turn it into a study/playroom for the kids. 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Distressed Mantel

We are getting closer to having our family room completed.  I will show more photos tomorrow.  Today I wanted to show you what we did for our mantel.  We used this tutorial as inspiration.
We started with a blank slate.

While Mitch worked on framing out the fireplace surround....

the children had fun distressing the pieces for the mantel.

They beat it with hammers, nails and pretty much anything they could get their hands on.  They were very excited to be part of the process.  We originally wanted to use old barn wood, but it just didn't work out.
I did not take photos of the whole process, but here is what it looked like before he did all the finishing work.
He built the mantel, stained, and sealed it.  He also trimmed out the rest of the surround.  Then we painted the surround and trim (and walls).  Then he installed the mantel.
We obviously still need to put up crown molding.  There will be more on that tomorrow.

We have gotten tons of compliments on the mantel.  It seems to be what people notice when they walk into the room.

We are really happy with how it turned out.  The kids are also very proud they were able to contribute, which is very sweet.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012


Well, apparently blogging isn't at the top of my priority list right now, so I thought I would do a post with some of the things that seem to be taking priority.

body revolution
I decided about 2 months ago that I needed to really get in shape.  I had fallen out of a good routine and I needed structure.  I had some good success with the 30 Day Shed, so I decided to splurge on Body Revolution.  You work out 6 days a week for 90 days.  Every 2 weeks you get new workouts, so there is tons of variety. You alternate between front of the body, back of the body, and cardio workouts.  I haven't really lost much weight, but I can definitely tell that I am much more toned.  I think I am the strongest I have ever been.  I am a little more than half way through the program, but I think I will continue to do the workouts even after my 90 days is over.
After completing my first month of Body Revolution and not losing any weight, I knew I needed to start tracking my calories.  This app is so easy to use.  It is definitely the best one I have ever used.


I also purchased a Fit Bit to help me keep track of how active I am and the calories I am burning.  It's like a super duper pedometer. I am obsessed with this little guy.  I think it has definitely made me more aware of how much I don't move around during the day (especially at work).  I find myself parking further away or walking around just to get in more steps.  It even has a feature to help you track your sleep. 


There are so many easy, healthy recipes in this book.  I haven't tried a recipe yet that hasn't been a hit.

I am all about getting dinner on the table in 30 minutes, so this cookbook has been perfect lately.  I find myself using this all the time.  The banana bread recipe is so good. 
So there you have it.  That's what I have been up to lately. 

Monday, July 2, 2012

5 Minute Fried Rice

I have been all about quick, low calorie, healthy meals lately.  I have made this meal for myself several times now and it always hits the spot.  I am obsessed with the frozen brown rice from Whole Foods.  I know rice is easy to make, but when you want dinner on the table in 15 minutes you can't beat it.

You could easily double this recipe to make more servings.  This recipe makes 2 servings.   

2 cups cooked brown rice
1/4 cup cooked edamame
2 eggs (I decided after I took this photo to make 2 servings so I would have leftovers for lunch the next day)
1 tablespoon soy sauce
siracha sauce (optional)
sweet chili sauce (optional)
sesame oil (optional)

Crack the eggs in a preheated pan on medium heat. I did spray the pan with a little bit of olive oil, but you could use sesame oil instead.
Scramble up the eggs.
Once the eggs are almost finished cooking add the rice, edamame, and soy sauce.  I microwaved my frozen brown rice and edamame for a few minutes and then dumped them into the pan. 
Add any additional toppings and serve.  I added a little siracha sauce, sweet chili sauce, and a drizzling of sesame oil.  Viola.  Dinner in 5 minutes.


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