Thursday, June 30, 2011

I'm Finally Done Pimpin' My Pantry!!!

I finished pimping out my pantry today!  It was just a mess in there and I was so inspired by this pantry re-do, that I decided to do my own!
My pantry is a pretty good size, but it is the only closet in the downstairs of my house, so I really wanted to make it more functional.  Not only does it hold all of my dry and can foods, it also holds my washer and dryer.
The first thing I did was take EVERYTHING out of it and painted it "Summer Blue"
The next thing I did was stain and lacquer new wood shelves and then I hung all of the new organizers that I bought from Ikea with my trusty drill: 2 towel organizers, 1 row of hooks, 1 spice rack, 1 organizer with 4 cups that hook onto it, 2 under shelf organizers and 1 wraps organizers. 

There are laundry supplies and dryer sheets in the hanging cups and aprons and kitchen towels on the towel holder!
 Next, I put everything back in organized bins, plastic containers and the hanging shelves.  

There is also a Target organizer (that I already had) with 4 cubbies to store paper towels, chips and sports drinks.  Beside that, I hung all of our lunchboxes on the hooks in the very back of the pantry.
Last, I put a lazy susan on top of the dryer to store the laundry detergents on!  Viola!  What do you think?

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Pimpin' out the Pantry

My first project of the summer was to organize my pantry.  It is the only closet in the entire downstairs of my house, so I wanted to try to make it so that I can cram even more crap in there a more functional space!  I was so eager to get started that I took absolutely no "before pictures", and just started throwing everything from the pantry into a box and all over my kitchen counters.  I then Googled, measured, and carefully created a list of the organizational items I would need to purchase.  I decided to try to brave Ikea just one more time (the last time I walked in there my mind went blank, I was overwhelmed by the size and amount of stuff in the place, and I took a lindenberry drink and hightailed it out of there!)  

Well, when I got to Ikea yesterday, I realized I had left my list at home and was shocked to find that Smaland would only watch my kid for 45 minutes.  45 minutes!!!  

So, I dragged my poor friend through the store at a break-neck pace and stuffed our bags full of everything organizational I could find.  We had only gotten through about half of the store when I had to run back to the Smaland to beg for more time.  They gave me another half hour.  Have you seen this store???  It practically took me a half hour just to get back to where I left off!  

So, I figured out where we left off and continued running through the store grabbing stuff left and right, and next thing I know, the Smaland buzzer goes off.  Surely this must be a mistake, I thought, I have 16 and a half more minutes left- so I ignore the buzzer.  A few more minutes go by and they PAGE me over the LOUDSPEAKER!  Well, I started to panic a little as I run back through the maze to see what the deal is, and when I got back to Smaland, my daughter told me that she had them call me because she was bored and needed some meatballs to eat!  Yeah, me too kid, me too!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Fish Murderess

My fish are all staring at me as I sit here on the couch- they are all looking at me accusingly with their little fishy eyes.  

And every time I get up, they all swim and hide as fast as they can.  You see, they know that I murdered one of their fishy friends.  I didn't mean to, honestly.  I take good care of them.  I was cleaning the tank and one of the coral pieces shifted.  I didn't pay attention to it.  The next day the fish were acting kind of weird- giving me the "hey lady look" and everything.  All of a sudden I noticed one of the fish swimming  to nowhere under one of the coral pieces.  I quickly reached in and lifted it up, and he swam away, but it was too late- he was pretty flat in the middle.  

Then he disappeared for a day, and I started to think that maybe he plumped up again and was doing fine.  But the fish all kept giving me the "hey lady look" so I did what anyone would do- made my kid scoop out the dead fish with the net.  Yup, I made my kid do the dirty work- I am so not making mom of the year this year! 

Saturday, June 25, 2011

6 word Saturday

Started summer off with a bang!
Havasu Falls, Arizona

SOOCS- Hiker

This is my first straight out of the camera post.  The rules are:

I took this picture with my Olympus shockproof/waterproof camera- love it!
  • Post a picture (that you took) Straight Out Of the Camera…. no editing. If you’d like to post an edit after your SOOC shot, that’s fine too.
  • Please grab the SOOC Button and display it in your post or on your blog. (Located on the right sidebar)
  • Become a follower that way you can keep up to date on future posts, although this isn’t required to participate.
  • The linky will be open all weekend so you can link up and blog hop on Saturday or Sunday.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Hiking With Kids

I had such a good time on our vacation hiking with my daughter that I am ready to do it again!

Here are a few tips to make hiking with kids easier:
1)  Bring a Camelback or other type of backpack that holds water in it for you and your child.  Then, use a carabiner to hook a smaller water or energy drink to your child's belt or backpack.  
2)  Fix a small, light backpack for your child to carry.  Include a flash light and special snacks just for them such as apples, peanut butter and dried fruit. 
3)  Spray bottles!  Fill spray bottles with water for your child to spray themselves (or others!) when it gets hot.
4)  Take lots of breaks!
5)  Let them choose a special hat to wear.
6)  These bandanas were awesome!  You soak them in water and they stay cool!
7)  Get them special hiking shoes and socks and be sure they wear them ahead of time to break them in.
8)  Give your child a disposable camera, or even their own camera to take their own pictures with.  The Bean is an awesome camera for kids!
9) Laminate a trail map and let your child mark the route you are traveling with a dry erase marker. 
Have Fun!!!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Hiking, hiking, hiking!

 On our vacation out west, we went on a fantastic hike.  We hiked down the Supai trail and into the Havasupai Village which is an Indian village down the side of a mountain near the Grand Canyon.  According to the Havasu website, the village, also known as Supai, has been home to the Havasupai Indians for many centuries. As time evolved the village has grown with many homes sprouting and taking root in areas where there used to be only farmlands. The village boasts a small cafĂ©, lodge, post office, school, church, clinic, police station, and a general store. 
It was an 8 mile hike down a mountain and along a dry river bed to get to the village.  My daughter did so well hiking, never whined at all, and we went with 9 other friends and family members.  We did not start out until about 9:30, definitely not recommended in summer, and arrived in the village at 4:30.  When we finally got near the village, we were so hot and miserable, but we could hear water rushing by and we all ran and jumped in an ice cold river!  That definitely helped us to hike the last mile to the lodge where we were staying!  We ate in the cafe and then hit the sack.  
The next morning we hiked about 4 more miles (round trip) to Navaho Falls, Havasu Falls and Mooney Falls.  You can swim in the waterfalls and it was absolutely beautiful and the water was so refreshing on such a hot afternoon!  Their campground is beautiful too, right beside the river, however I was so thankful for the air conditioning and bed at the lodge!
The next day we were leaving, and we did not want to make the same mistake hiking out in the heat of the day, so we left at 3:00 in the morning.  It was still dark and was beautiful hiking through the canyons at night with the full moon hanging over the cliffs.  It only took us 5 hours going out and I was so glad that I did it!  I think that my dad would be so proud of me, it was his final wishes for my family to go there because he was so impressed with the beauty there.  We definitely were too!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

A Ghost Town

One thing we wanted to see on our trip out west was a ghost town! 

A ghost town is defined as "an abandoned town or city. A town often becomes a ghost town because the economic activity that supported it has failed, or due to natural or human-caused disasters such as floods, government actions, uncontrolled lawlessness, or war. The term is sometimes used to refer to cities, towns, and neighborhoods which are still populated, but significantly less so than in years past", according to wikipedia.  

On our way from Nevada to Arizona, we saw that there was a ghost town called Oatman that was sort of along the route we had planned to take.  Oatman used to be a mining town and now has less than 100 people who live there- oh and MULES!

They have a small main street with a saloon, general store, a few souvenir shops a place to dress in wild west clothes and take your picture and a place to purchase mule food.  The road to get to Oatman was so long, twisty and windy that my brother, the driver, was forbidden even one drink from the saloon! So, we went in the gift shops to purchase the required souvenir t-shirts and then bought mule food.  The food was little squares of hay, and as soon as the mules saw us buy the food, they chased my daughter through the gift shops and all the way out of the town trying to get the hay from her.  Basically, it was worth the drive just to watch her run from the mules!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The trip of a lifetime!

If you were wondering where I have been, I have been away on vacation for a week.  I had the trip of a lifetime!  There are a few funny things that I noticed about going on vacation while I was away, though.  

1)  Approximately half of my vacation time is usually spent digging around in my suitcase for things that I just put in there! 
2)  The more people you go with, the more ruckus you have trying to get somewhere.  Sometimes it is like trying to herd cats to organize everyone.
3)  I never pack enough and I always forget at least one thing.
4)  It always feels like I am gone twice as long as I was.
5)  You need a vacation to recover from your vacation.  I don't know how people can go back to work the very next morning after returning from a vacation- I am usually exhausted!
6)  My neighborhood and house always look different when I come home- either smaller or bigger!

Monday, June 13, 2011

The Art of Packing

Packing is a mystery to me!
I think that there are two kinds of people in the world; those who can pack, and those who cannot.
I wish I could be one of those people who can either just throw everything in a suitcase and go, OR  one of those people who are able to have everything neatly arranged in the suitcase with nothing missing, but sadly, I am neither.
When I am packing, the first thing I do is to start putting things into the suitcase.  Then, I usually realize that about half of the things I want to take with me are in the dirty clothes baskets and have to stop and wash clothes (surf internet, facebook, etc...) dry the clothes (check twitter, blog, etc...) and then finally fold the clothes (take nap, read book).  I then pick up where I left off, throwing outfits into the suitcase.  Next I look at the mountain of clothes and decide that I could never get the mountain of clothes in there to zip shut.  So, next I purge.  I go through and take about half of it back out again.   
 When I finally think I have it all together and we get where I am going I always realize two things: 1) I have forgotten something important- like a phone or camera charger or underwear (maybe aliens came and took it back out of the suitcase while I was "doing laundry".  2) I only need to reach inside to take one thing out and the suitcase becomes a giant mess again.  What happened to my neatly folded clothes?!  It's a mystery!
This solves the mystery of why my luggage is always so heavy!!!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Ow, My Eye!

Today I realized that I really need to get that dang eye surgery.  You know, the surgery where they fix it so that you don't need to wear glasses or contacts.  The thought hit me after I nearly blinded myself this morning.  
Which brings me to my first reason I need that surgery:
If I had it, I would actually be able to read the label on the top of a container of what looks like an innocent bottle of saline, (but soooo isn't), that says, "Do NOT put directly into your eye!" 

Reason two would be that I would not need saline solution or any other kind of solution ever again.  (Especially the kind that totally burns when you put it in your eye BECAUSE YOU AREN'T SUPPOSED TO!)

Reason 3:  My legs would look good!  What does this have to do with my eyes, you ask?  Well, you can't wear glasses in the shower and I don't really like to wear my contacts in there either, so really, it is all a big guessing game as to where the hair that needs to be shaved really is located on my legs.  One half of them are prickly and the other half are smooth as a baby's bottom!

Reason 4:  I would be able to see the clock from my bed and would not actually have to get up and get two inches from it to see if I can sleep a few extra minutes.

Reason 5:  No more man-repelling glasses! 

What do you think?  Would you get surgery on your eyes?

Friday, June 10, 2011

Summer is HERE!!!!!!!

I made it through yet another school year!  Can I get a woo hoo!?!?  Anyone planning anything fun for the summer?  We are going on our big Grand Canyon hike in just 4 days and I am so excited!  Here are some songs to get you ready for summer vacation!  Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Tomatillos and Yummy Soup Recipe

I saw this recipe (click the colored words for link) in Cooking Light Magazine and thought to myself, "I don't know what a tomatillo is, but dang that looks good!"
 I was talking to my mom on the phone as I was dicing up the tomatillos and telling her about the soup I was going to make and she said, "that sounds gross and I bet your little miss picky won't eat that.  I don't think any kid would eat it".  I said "well, I am going to give her cereal for dinner and if it turns out gross, I guess that is what I will eat too". 

You see, sometimes you just have to try something new.  I tend to cook the same 5 meals over and over again, so I am always looking for an interesting new dish to change things up.  My great Aunt Mary used to say, "there is always the garbage can!"  So I like to keep that as my cooking mantra too- well, that and "there is always cereal!"

This is how I made my version of the soup:
I took 3 small tomatillos chopped + 1 and 1/2 avocados + 1/4 large container of College Inn coconut curry chicken broth and put it in my cup for my immersion blender.  (EVERYONE needs one of these!)
Then I poured it in a saucepan set on low heat, added another 1/4 container of coconut broth, 1/2 container of crab claw meat and poured in 1/3 container of heavy cream (I know it defeats the purpose of "Cooking Light", but I didn't have buttermilk!)  I sprinkled it with Old Bay seasoning to taste. 

Guess what?!  It was delicious!  And miss picky even had a spoon of it!  (Then had a bowl of cereal!)

Monday, June 6, 2011

Mystery Monday- Ow, my memory

 Welcome to Mystery Monday!
This week I am exploring the mysteries of my memory.
Like, why do I only remember the negative things that people say, and the nice things are forgotten so quickly?  It should totally be the other way around.  

Or whenever I do something stupid, I just can't seem to stop thinking about it, but when I do something completely awesome or cool, I forget about it after about 2 days! 
Why is it that when I run upstairs to get something, by the time I get to the top step, I have forgotten what I went up there for (I could run up and down the stairs all day!)
 And EVERY time I go shopping, no matter how well I am prepared, as soon as I get home I realize that I forgot one thing that I kinda needed!  (I would not make a good extreme couponer because most of the time it is my coupons that I forget!)

What is a mystery to you today?  Link up and share!  The only rule is that you must be a follower to link! 

Saturday, June 4, 2011

6 word Saturday

My life in 6 words:
Summer Vacation!
Ready to have fun!
Can you describe your life in 6 words???

Dance, Dance, Dance

Do you remember your 8th grade dance?
When I was in junior high we had dances, but never a big 8th grade dance.  I used to have so much fun dancing to songs like this:

These days a lot of middle schools go all out for their 8th grade dances.  One school did an "ICE" theme:

My school always goes all out with their designs too.  Last night they had a giant "Broadway" sign, with a red carpet for the kids to walk in on.  

The kids looked beautiful- not exactly dressed for prom, but dressed in the prettiest party dresses and suits!  One thing they had that was a great idea was a "shoe check".  The girls were all able to check their shoes when they walked in so that they could DANCE!  They had free snacks and punch for them and a photo booth for them to take pictures in.

I took my daughter with me to chaperone and she thought it was great!  She can't wait to be in middle school (a few years to go yet, kiddo!)  I was proud of the kids that they kept it classy, there wasn't really any grinding (dirty dancing) - just a lot of kids dancing and having fun.  Remember the train?  Kids still do that!  
And everyone did the "Casper Slide", "Cupid Shuffle" and of course, the "Dougie"!  Thank goodness I had watched this video and could join in!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

say no to pinchy clothes

I am tired of having pinchy, tight clothes! 

I decided if I have to go up a size to be comfortable then SO BE IT.  I am so tired of giving myself such a hard time about my body.  For goodness sakes, a 12 is not fat, it is average.  I am good and strong (and hope that I am strong enough to make it through this hike this summer!) 

Today, I was talking about clothes with some other moms, and we were talking about how we have a love/hate relationship with Target's clothes.  We LOVE their kids clothes!  We love how they have all these cute mix and match bottoms and tops all laid out on a table for 3.99-5.99!  BUT... we CAN'T STAND their adult clothes.  The sizing and fit is so weird, like it isn't made for real people.  I don't think I could even cram myself into their size 18!  They should just make those cute mix and match clothes for adults too!

When I went shopping for my comfortable non-pinchy clothes, I didn't find any cute mix and match clothes, but I did find these really comfortable shorts at JCPenney: 

I also found these really soft t-shirts at Old Navy:

I think I am going to live in these capris from JCPenney:

And finally, I found these cozy Nick and Nora pajamas from Target:
(See, I am not a total Target hater!)
What clothes are you going to live in this summer?

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