Friday, July 22, 2011

Move in Progress....

Recently, I made the decision to move this blog from Blogger to a self-hosted WordPress site.  What in the world does that mean, and why should you care?

Well, really, you don't have to care.  It just means I'm going to be using different software to publish this blog, and my blog URL (that's it's address) is going to change slightly.  It also means that, during the process, things might be a little wonky on BOTH blogs, due to the risks of, well, the risks of me doing my own reprogramming.  Hopefully, most of the bugs will get worked out quickly, but in the meantime, I hope you'll pardon the dust during my remodel!

Why am I making the switch?  Mainly because I've really enjoyed using WordPress publishing tools when I write for sites like The CSI Project and Infarrantly Creative.  I like the way WordPress handles their media uploads, among other things.  Another reason for the switch was for the added customization that I can get when I publish with WordPress.  I would like A Trip to *Holland to showcase the web publishing skills I've developed, so I want my own site to look as sharp as possible.   WordPress simply offers more freedom to do that.

Hopefully, I'll be able to take all of you nice people who follow A Trip to *Holland along with me.  Just in case, here is my new address:

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Fun to Come....

Things are in the works on this ole' blog of mine.  I'm gearing up for a total blog redesign and the move to a self-hosted site.  (In non-geeky language, that means it won't say "blogspot" after atriptoholland when you visit this website.)

Let me tell you what I've learned.  Redesigning a blog and moving it is not easy.  No siree.  It should be handled by professionals.

Do you know how much professionals cost?

No?  I didn't either, until I'd spent two days alternately sweating and crying and learning programming language and telling my children to, "Keep watching movies!  Go ahead, watch as many movies as you want!  Just don't bother mommy while she's trying build a website."  After two days of that, I decided I should find out how much it would cost to hire a professional.

Too much!  Too much for me, that is.  After all, I'm blogging for free, here.  And I'm supposed to be a do-it -herself, thrifty kind of blogger, aren't I?  Hello, I spray painted a lamp!
And that didn't turn out too badly, did it?  So, I took a deep breath, and I've been taking it one day and one code error and one style sheet at a time.  And today I actually think I began to figure out what I'm doing. And instead of sitting at the computer all day, I cleaned house and took my children swimming.  Maybe--just maybe--in a few days or months or years (this is me, remember?) this blog will have a whole new look.  

Any maybe--just maybe--by the time I get to that point, I'll be a professional and someone can hire me to redesign their website.  Because, from what I can tell, that job pays pretty well.

Wish me luck!

Monday, July 18, 2011

I Wasn't Born in the Jungle

This is one of my two big brothers, Bill.
Bill was seven years old when I displaced him as the youngest member of our family.  Despite our age difference, and the fact that he teased me mercilessly, I loved spending time with Bill.  Still do.

Some of my earliest memories of my brother Bill took place on a family vacation, when I was just a little squirt of 2 or 3 years.  My grandparents were celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary, and took all their posterity on a cross-country road trip.  While I remember very little of any of the sightseeing we did along the way, I do remember sleeping in a pop-up trailer, near my brother, Bill.

This seemingly insignificant detail was made memorable by Bill's whispered revelations of our family's past, before we fell asleep each night in that pop-up trailer.  After all, he told me marvelous bits of family history previously unknown to me.  Until Bill told me all about it, I had no idea that--prior to my birth--our family had lived in the jungle.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Surprise Roadtrip

I've mentioned before that I love to travel with my family.  Roadtrips tend to be our most frequent form of travel.   (You can read about a couple of them here and here.)  Even as newlyweds, the Bionic Man and I used to jump in the car and see how far we could get before it was time to turn around and head back to school.

Since we've had children, the Bionic Man and I don't get into spontaneous roadtrips like we used to.  Generally, we spend months preparing for our roadtrips:  researching routes and destinations, planning stops and activities, putting together detailed itineraries, making reservations.  Often, we depart for vacation with a thick binder that maps out all the details of our trip.

Our 2011 summer trips weren't going to be any different.  We'd been planning a family trip to see our Connecticut friends and East coast sites for weeks.  And Bionic Man had been prepping daily for a special backpacking adventure in Utah's Uintah mountain wilderness.

All that changed when we got the news that Bionic Man's grandmother had passed away.  We made a last-minute decision to change all our vacation plans for the summer.  Within 48 hours we were packed and on the road.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Birthday Breakfast

Today is an important day at our house.  We're celebrating Lily's birthday!  (You can read more about Lily and her birthdays here, here, and here.)  Lily's birthday celebration is traditionally planned by her siblings, Endeaver, Justone, and Superkid.  This year, they wanted to have a special breakfast, and requested a very yummy treat.
I made these chocolate crepes for the first time last week, when we were visiting my sister.  They were such a hit that we all wanted to have them again.  What better day than today? (Recipes are after the pictures, below.)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Sandbox

The final installation of the Bionic Man's work of playscape art was completed earlier this summer.  The long-awaited sandbox is now part of the children's play area.
This is no ordinary sandbox.  For starters, it is part of the Bionic Man's playscape design.  Remember the playscape?

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Lazy Summer?

I'm back!  Back to blogging, that is.  This summer has been full of surprises (mostly good) and opportunities.  I'll have to tell you all about it over the next few days.  Here's a picture preview:
I have a couple of good excuses for neglecting my blog.  First of all, school's out.  That means my kids are home during the day.  Guess what?  I love that.  And I've tried to stay off the computer as much as possible during our few days of summer vacation.

Second excuse?  My writing jobs.  If I'm going to spend time on the computer this summer, I might as well get paid for it.  So, the paid blogging gets priority.  Sorry.  By the way, did I tell you I have a new gig?  This July, I started writing for Infarrantly Creative.  I'm writing the weekly Five Ways column.  (Check out my latest, here.)  I'm still writing for The CSI Project, and my task list has grown there.  Admittedly, free-lance writing was easier and more fun when my children were at school.  Lately, it seems I'm putting in some late nights after they've gone to bed.  Oh well, we only have one Summer of 2011 to enjoy together.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Bragging Rights

Have you heard of the "Own Your Look" Prom Dress Contest sponsored by JoAnn Fabrics?  The 2011 contest was open to teens who made their own formal attire.  Requirements included an original dress design and coordinating accessory created with fabric and products from JoAnn Fabrics.  This contest isn't something to sneeze at: the first place winner receives a $50,000 prize--something any college-bound teen can appreciate.  You can view all the entries into the contest here.

I'm excited to announce that one of my sweet nieces, Rachelle, entered her Senior Prom dress into the competition.  I couldn't be more impressed with the beautiful dress and matching headband that she made.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Girls' Bedroom Switcheroo

Last week, my girls and I worked really hard to get their bedroom cleaned, organized, rearranged, and de-cluttered.  It was a really, really big job.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Something Special Saturday - Garage Sale Edition

The kids and I hosted a garage sale this weekend.  Friday was very slow, but the weather was delightful.  Partly cloudy, not too hot.  Today we've done pretty good business, but it is miserably hot and humid.

We set up our garage sale at the last minute, after we saw the large signs posted at our subdivision entrance announcing a neighborhood yard sale.  Not sure why they don't give us any warning about these things....but it was a good excuse to quickly clear some things out of our house.  

If I'd had a little more notice, I might have been able to use some of the handy tips I found for having really successful garage sales.  Maybe you can use them sometime, instead.

The Yard Sale Queen offers a full page of tips for throwing a great yard sale.  She's got some great ideas for advertising and signs.  

The Nester offers additional tips for both yard sale buyers and sellers over at her Nesting Place.  She recommends a good, cleansing yard sale for ridding the house of unwanted clutter.  

Melissa at 320 Sycamore shares her yard sale wisdom (especially for buyers) in her Yard Sale 101 section.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

First Week of Summer

It's the first week of summer, and Bionic Man has already had to go out of town twice.  That does not bode well, me thinks.

The good news is, over the last three days, the children and I have been extremely productive.  I'm totally taking advantage of their enthusiasm at being home for the summer, and working them like slaves in the salt mines.  It's such a change from school routines that they haven't complained yet.  Obviously, I have no time for blogging this week because I have to capitalize on enthusiasm like that while I can.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Something Special Saturday - 5/28/11


In two more months, I might not say that with quite so much enthusiasm, but it sure is how I feel today!  As much as I appreciate the wonderful opportunities my children enjoy from our excellent local schools, I do a happy little dance at the thought of having them home to stay for a few months.  I love the simpler days of summer and the way it seems to free up our schedule.

That being said....I like to have a little structure to our days.  Flexible structure, but I like having a few ideas of what we're going to do each day.  This year, I have visions of craft projects to go along with the books we'll be reading.  I've been pinning lots of ideas on my Pinterest boards.  I'll be honest, I've selected the crafts before the books.  But hey---I'm an English major.  I'm all about finding layers of meaning in literature, right?  I bet I can find a layer or two in any book that goes along with the following fun art activities.

Painting with wax on rock from 5 Orange Potatoes.

Paint with marbles from The Mother Huddle.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

A Pretty Apron

This week I'm republishing a popular post from last spring in honor of The CSI Project's Refashions {Upcycled Clothing} Challenge.  
Once upon a time, I dropped by Goodwill to check out the glass aisle.  I was in the mood for making more apothecary jars--and possibly some cake stands, too--for my sewing room.  On the way to the glass aisle, I passed the Wall of Dresses.  I rarely ever give the Wall of Dresses anything more than a passing glance.  Usually that passing glance lands upon someone's old bridesmaid dress, and I have a quiet giggle.

This time, however, was different.  My passing glance paused upon these two dresses.
 It was the fabric that did it.  The fabric and that ruffle on the brown one.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Letters of Apology

Here in our little bit of Holland, we have good days, and we have bad days.  We have happy days, and we have sad days.  We have delightful days, and days that are downright trying.  In short, we're just like everyone else.

And, just like everyone else, I think my kids are pretty darn perfect.  Except when they're not.  Believe it or not, there are times when these children of mine get themselves into hot water.
Take the other day.  We were on our way home from church.  I wasn't feeling well.  The Bionic Man was really tired.  The two children in the backseat, on the other hand, were alive and well and telling the world just how good life was with some screechy singing.  Intentionally screechy singing.  The Bionic Man asked them nicely to please stop singing like that, because it was giving him a headache.  The screeching stopped briefly, only to begin again.  I reminded them of their father's request, and of our rule about not making sounds in the car that hurt people's ears.  It wasn't long before the screeching started up again.  The Bionic Man again told the children to tone it down.  And--once again, after a brief respite--we soon heard screeching from the back seat.

Monday, May 16, 2011

True Confessions: My Sewing Room

Remember when I told you I was redoing my sewing room?

{crickets chirping}

Really?  You don't?  That could possibly be because I made that declaration over a year ago.  Oh dear.

I told you all of my good intentions for that room here.  I even provided an oh-so-charming "inspiration board" for the so-called Aqua Poppy Sewing Room.
Then I set about giving the room a complete overhaul.  I mean, really, it needed it.  Remember?  Piles of stuff everywhere?

{more crickets chirping, owl hooting}

Oh, you don't remember that?  Well, let me provide you with a link to my before shots of the sewing room...

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Something Special Saturday - 5/14/11

I can't believe it is already Saturday.

Mind if I start today's version of SSS with a bit o' bragging?  And shameless advertising?

I think I've mentioned that earlier this year, I was hired by The CSI Project to do some of their writing.
The best things about my job?  I get to know who wins the weekly craft competitions before anyone else AND I get to discover all kinds of amazing home decor and craft blogs as I write up the different posts.  How amazing is it that I'm getting paid to look at other people's blogs?!?!?!  (Trust me, Bionic Man is still scratching his head over this turn of events.)

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Mid-May Madness

Hello, Friends!

While I am happy to report that May 2011 is not half so crazy as May 2010, it is holding it's own.  Last year, our elementary school was closed after the last day of school, so we had all kinds of sentimental memorial stuff going on, plus 5th grade graduation and middle school orientation and a long list of assorted other events.  But this year, we do have Endeavor's track meets and a few other upcoming end-of-school activities.  Good times.

Check out Endeavor after her last track meet:

I'm pretty proud of Endeavor.  For the life of me, I cannot remember how we convinced her to run cross-country and track this year.  She wasn't too sure about it, to begin with.  Practices are tough.  But Endeavor stuck with it, and she's seen some major improvement in her running times.  She's also found that she feels less stressed about school on the days that she runs.  I'm just happy she's found something she enjoys doing for exercise that she'll be able to do anywhere, anytime.

And here we have Justone at the district art exhibition.  His art teacher selected some of his work for display.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


I have an anonymous quote on the front of my menu planning binder that reads, "Stressed is dessert spelled backwards.  Coincidence?  I think not!"

I'll give you a moment to ponder that one.

I grew up in a home where some form of dessert was served every night.  Dessert ranged from applesauce sprinkled with crushed graham crackers, to canned fruit in a pretty dish, to delicious made from scratch cakes.  Looking back, I'm impressed that my mom went to such effort.

I don't.  We don't eat dessert every night at our house, but when we do, we definitely enjoy it.  Here was a recent diet-day-off dessert that I invented.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Your Attention, Please

I have an important announcement to make.  {trumpet fanfare}
(That's a vintage microphone.  Nice touch, right?)

Ahem.  As of today, I refuse to believe the claims of {fill in the blank with the name of whichever celebrity gave birth less than eight weeks ago and is currently on the cover of a magazine at the checkout stand}, who credits her amazing post-baby body to breastfeeding.

Unless she provides me with proof that she is able to breastfeed while doing squats, lunges, crunches, hamstring curls, and planks.  If she is able to do a full cardio/strength routine each time she breastfeeds her baby, then yes, I think breastfeeding should get the credit.

That is all.

P.S.  I think there are many wonderful benefits of breastfeeding to both mother and baby.  I just don't think it is fair to make new mothers without personal trainers feel like there is something wrong with them because they look like they just had a baby.  As if they need any more reasons to get teary eyed.  Happy Mothers Day!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Something Special Saturday - 5/7/11

Pretty things I've spotted during the last week.

1.  An absolutely over the top Butterfly Garden 1st birthday party was featured at Birthday Girl.  Ignore the fact that it really is over the top, and enjoy the prettiness.  Can't remember how I stumbled across Birthday Girl's blog, but it is a delightful read when you are party planning.

2.  Speaking of over-the-top parties, after I mentioned how much I liked Pippa's bridesmaid dress, one of my readers sent me a link to a sewing pattern for it.  Thank you thank you thank you!  I will lose 40 pounds and find an occasion to wear it, and then I will make good use of this pattern.

3.  I've been finding a lot of great recipes to pin on my cooking board at Pinterest.  I like the ones with pretty pictures best, can you tell?  This recipe for peach cake makes me want to lick my computer screen.  I could really give my tongue a workout with 50+ recipes for homemade popsicles--in fact, these recipes inspired me to pick up some popsicle molds from the dollar bin.  And, you are going to swoon over the simplicity of raspberries stuffed with white and dark chocolate chips.

Enjoy your weekend!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Girls' Rights

In March, I read a post by one of my favorite bloggers, Sarah from Clover Lane.
It was titled, "What About Our Girls?  Growing Up Too Fast."  It definitely made me think, as Sarah's posts so often do.  First of all, it made me grateful for a tween daughter who isn't attached to a cell phone, doesn't worry about having a boyfriend, and who looks the way I think a twelve year old should.  Second of all, it made me pause to wonder  about how much of what Sarah talked about when discussing the pressures surrounding her eighth grade daughter applied to my own little sixth grader.

It wasn't long before I found out.  One of Endeavor's teachers invited me to help chaperone a sixth grade field trip.  Three teachers and four mothers (including me) took a group of about 100 sixth graders to an outdoor challenge course.  Designed to promote team-building and facilitate communication, the course was led by a group of experienced trainers.  They divided the kids into groups of 10-12, and then put them through a variety of exercises that were more mentally than physically challenging.

Spending time with the sixth graders and observing the groups try to work through the challenges was educational.  Here's some of what I learned:

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Family Favorite Meal

I mentioned a couple of days ago that I'm playing in another round of the Game On Challenge this month.  As part of the challenge, we get to select one day off of the diet.  Sometimes is frightens me how much planning I put into my day off.  I tend to cook like a fiend on that day, because I can take tastes!  For my day off last week, I made one of my family's favorite meals that is decidedly not diet friendly, but it is easy.

We call this pasta dish Hay and Straw.
My friend Nicole introduced our family to Hay and Straw.  She came to take care of my children for a week during one of Lily's long hospitalizations.  My children loved this dish, and begged for it for months afterward.  At the time, it was so unusual for all of them to like any one food at the same time, that I was happy to oblige.  It continues to be a family favorite.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

April Recap

This is by no means an exhaustive recap of the month of April.  Just a look at some of the fun we've had.  And, um, that doesn't mean the things that weren't photographed weren't fun, right?  Right.

My sister came to visit for Easter weekend.  Looking for someplace fun to take her that wasn't too far away, we took a chance and went to an Earth Day festival downtown.  A good time was had by all.  Probably because just about every booth at the festival was handing out freebies.  What's more green then FREE?

Bionic Man and Justone were fascinated by the hybrid vehicles.  Unfortunately, those weren't free.
Face painting, on the other hand, was free.

Monday, May 2, 2011


Hello, Friends!

I have been curiously absent from the blog lately, have you noticed?  My reasons are really not earth shattering, but I do have reasons:

  • I started attending early-morning fitness boot camp.  It starts at 5:15 A.M., M/W/F, and I have to leave my house by 5:05 sharp if I want to arrive early enough to keep from getting singled out by one of the instructors to do push-ups in front of everyone.  I am absolutely not the kind of gal who feels the need to put on make-up or even run a brush through my hair anytime before 8 A.M., especially if I'm going to be sweating.  (There is a lot of sweating going on at boot camp.)  However, I really don't like to sweat when wearing glasses, and my eyes just can't handle waking up and immediately getting contact lenses jabbed into them.  So, my alarm is getting set for 4:35 A.M. three days a week.  It's killing me, I tell you.
  • So, since I'm getting up super early, I'm trying to make a dedicated effort to go to bed as soon as I get my kids in bed.  Some nights that works better than others.  But it's killing my blogging time!  You know that quiet two hours between kids' bedtime and grown up bedtime?  That's perfect for writing. That time is gone to me, now.  With the wind.
  • My sewing machine is giving me palpitations.  Seriously, I have nearly said several naughty words about it in the last week.  My curtain project has been totally derailed.  It caused me to have such a tearful, dramatic outburst on Saturday that my husband was almost moved to hand over the checkbook so I could go get a new machine one.  I was sorely tempted to sob a couple more times to seal the deal, but in the back of my mind I had a sneaking suspicion that PMS might be more to blame than the actual I agreed to call a repair shop, first.  After all, it is a vintage machine, and that's so on trend.  I've never been so on trend before in my life.
  • I've been on two field trips in the last two weeks, track meets began, it's teacher appreciation week, and we had the Pinewood Derby.  Need I say more?
Oh, also....I started another round of the Game On Challenge.  Considering how many push-ups and squats I've been doing for the last few weeks, I should be seeing some serious results, this time around.  Shouldn't I?  If I don't, that vintage sewing machine might get thrown out a second-story window.  I'm just saying.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Dress Envy

MayI just say....did you see this dress?
Um, hands down one of the most beautiful dresses I've seen.  Ever.  Did you see all those buttons?

It's right up there with my all time favorite.  Sigh.

Monday, April 18, 2011

{Almost Easy} Birthday Cake

We celebrated my belated birthday this weekend.  The Bionic Man and our children were off the hook for cake making, because I needed a good excuse to try out a cake recipe I found.  The original recipe and accompanying gorgeous photographs can be found here.  The original recipe, however, seemed a little tricky to me, so I modified it and came up with a somewhat simpler version of my own.
Pretty, hmmm?  And, admittedly, very tasty, too!  This is how I made it:

The cake layers and frosting were made of some basic ingredients
and a very few not-so-basic ingredients.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Spring Decor: Burlap and Birdies Wreath

I made a spring wreath today for my front door.  Want to see?
It was pretty easy, once I worked out a few details.  These were the basic supplies:

1 large styrofoam wreath form
Fabric Quarters

Something Special Saturday - 4/16/11

It's Saturday.  Again.  Seriously, wasn't it just Saturday, like 2 days ago?

There just weren't enough days in my week, this time.  That's the only explanation.  Can I get a refund for that?

Alright, friends, I am going to freely admit that this is kind of a slacker SSS.  I spent the morning writing for The CSI Project, the afternoon trying to be crafty AND supervise bedroom cleaning simultaneously (bad, bad idea), and the evening trying to re-celebrate my birthday (also bad idea: we didn't know it was prom night--all the restaurants were packed).  So, instead of linking you to all the things I had fun seeing this week, I'm going to show you my Pinterest pages, where I keep those fun things.  If you want more, go get a Pinterest account.  (I have a tutorial for you, here.)  Mmmmkay?


Thursday, April 14, 2011

Of Omens and Amens

I woke up bright and early on Tuesday, April 12, 2011, to the beginnings of a glorious day.  The sun was rising in a cloudless sky, the birds were singing, the trees were blooming, and my husband and children were smiling.

It was my birthday, and I had big plans.  I was going to sing, and dance, and make little crafts, spread a little mulch, and bake this beautiful cake.  (I recently discovered the recipe for it, here.)

In short, the day of my--I'm proud to say it--35th birthday was going to be mah-velous, darlings, simply mah-velous!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Something Special Saturday - 4/9/11

I don't know if it is because I just came back from vacation, or what, but I have to confess something.  I've become obsessed with maps.  Specifically, maps used for decoration.

I've been finding super fun ways to decorate with maps, lately, and I'm just about ready to roll up my sleeves and put together a map room.  (We're all about going places, in this family.)  I've never really done anything to decorate our basement rec room, maybe that's because it needs to become the map room.  Check out what I've found, so far:
A Vintage World Canvas 16 x 20
Vintage World Canvas from Etsy shop LilyGene's

Friday, April 8, 2011

Budget Travel: Details on the Trip to Florida, Part 2

Like I said yesterday, if you aren't interested in thrifty vacations, feel free to skip this one!  This is my second post about

A Trip to Holland's Trip to Florida on a Budget

Yesterday, I told you how lots of planning and some creative thinking help us to keep our travel costs down.  Today, I'm going to tell you about how we find ways to save on expenses that occur during the vacation, like travel, activities, and souvenirs.

It's important to consider the daily expense of food when you plan a vacation.  For any trip we take, one of the ways we cut down on food expenses is to bring a lot of food with us.  It is simply less expensive to buy food at the bargain prices you are used to finding at your favorite close-to-home store.  It's also a time-saver to bring things along.  We usually bring a large bin of non-perishable items with us, as well as a cooler of perishable foods.  Even if the hotel room doesn't come equipped with a kitchenette, we find that keeping a cooler of food in our room  filled with ice from the machine down the hall works well.


Thursday, April 7, 2011

Budget Travel: Details on the Trip to Florida, Part 1

So, as you know, we enjoyed a lovely spring break roadtrip to Florida, last week.  It's always hard to rejoin real life after a great vacation, but I'm almost there.  (And no, for anyone who needs an update, I haven't found my wedding/anniversary/this-is-the-ring-that-says-I'm-married band yet.  And, as long as I'm following up on things, Hunter the Dog did see the vet, and he is now recovering nicely.)

Perhaps because it's hard to leave a good vacation behind, I'm reliving it this week on the ole' blog.  Cheap therapy is one of the reasons I blog, remember?  I'll warn you that this is a wordy one, so if you're not interested in the money-saving details of our recent trip, feel free to move on!  Monday you got the vacation recovery post, Wednesday you got the oh-man-that-was-fun post, and today you're getting.....

A Trip to Holland's Trip to Florida on a Budget
First, I have some 'splainin to do.  (Say that like Ricki Ricardo from I Love Lucy.)

The Bionic Man and I really, really like to travel.  We've made it a priority to try to see as many different places as we can, since we've been married.  And, we've made it a priority to take our children along with us to most of those places.  It does cost money to travel.  While we aren't financial brainiacs, we have made travel a priority in our budget.  

How do we do that?

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Cure for the Common Cold

As I mentioned the other day, I discovered the cure for the common cold on a beach in Destin, Florida, last week.  We spent most of our spring break there, and it was sooooo nice to get away from the Midwestern chill for a few days.  

Here are some of the pics from our trip.  I didn't take along my shiny, new camera for this trip, because I was a little nervous about sand and water.  Instead, Bionic Man brought along his trusty (NOT!  SO NOT!) waterproof camera.  You know how I feel about that camera.  I let Bionic Man take most of the pictures, this time, because of my grudge with his camera.  So, enjoy these pics in all of their blue-date-in-the-corner glory.  And remember, Bionic Man mostly takes pictures of feats of engineering and nature, so any humans included are lucky to be there.

Speaking of feats of engineering, our first stop was at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Lost and Found

Lost: simple, thick wedding/anniversary band.  Given to me on our 10th wedding anniversary by the Bionic Man.  It is tungsten, which means it is shiny, almost black, and extremely cool.  Tungsten is the strongest metal known to man, which means it doesn't scratch.  Perfect anniversary gift.  Discovered it was missing at a rest stop in Franklin, Tennessee.  Don't remember taking it off.  (I never take it off!)  I'm distraught.  Praying I will find it in my luggage.

Found:  the sweater I didn't think I had packed.  In the luggage.  There is hope for the ring, isn't there?

Lost:  the horrible chest cold I had when we left on our spring break vacation.  It is almost completely gone, poof!

Found:  the cure for the common cold!  The medicinal properties of lying on a beach have not been sufficiently studied.  I tell you, all it took was a day lying in the warm sun on a Florida beach for me to feel like a new woman.  Stuffy nose and cough, gone.  {snaps fingers}  Like that!  Next time I get sick, I'm ditching the Mucinex and going to the beach, instead.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Sliding Home

I may have mentioned before that Bionic Man is extremely creative.  He comes up with some pretty wild ideas, some of which I won't mention.  (Like how he'd love to install clear tubes along the ceiling and fill them with water and tropical fish.  If only I would let him....)   Most of those wild ideas turn into amazing finished products, once Bionic Man gets to turn his ideas into reality, like our gazebo playscape.

Even before we were married, Bionic Man shared his dream with me of having a slide inside our future home.  We're not talking a Little Tykes mini slide, we're talking a slide.  And you know what?  I kinda dug that idea.  Unfortunately, we just haven't ever lived in a home where a slide was architecturally feasible.  It seemed like something we'd have to design ourselves.

Recently, a friend showed me pictures of a home in Japan, with a slide as the central design feature.  I loved it!

Trust me, you'll want to see the other pictures of this home.  

Those pictures got me wondering about other homes with slides, so I went looking and found these:

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Pinteresting Tutorial

What?  What's that you say?  I misspelled the word interesting?

Au contraire, my friends.  I have discovered the website Pinterest.

Well, to be fair, I didn't exactly discover it.  Kami from No Biggie told her readers about it, here.  I was curious, and went exploring.  What I found is just too fun not to share!
About Pinterest

What it is:  I like to think of it as the virtual equivalent to my habit of ripping pages out of magazines and filing them.  Pinterest is an online tool that lets you store images on your own virtual "bulletin board."  Here's what the folks at Pinterest have to say about it:

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Something Special Saturday - 3/26/11

It's that time again!

This week, the official week of our semi-annual Great Sort (read about it here), I have clothing on my brain.  Specifically, spring/summer dressy outfits for my girls, since I need to get going on some dresses or skirts if I am going to have them ready for Easter.

I've been looking at the Matilda Jane website and thinking about how to replicate this or this dress for Superkid, and this skirt for Endeavor.  Totally doable.  

Have you been to Hawthorne Threads, yet?  I {heart} this site.  To be honest, I've never actually placed an order, but my goodness I have a lot of fun looking and getting inspired.  One of my favorite things about the Hawthorne Threads site is their color grid.  You can click on any color in the grid, and a slew of beautiful fabrics featuring that color will appear on the screen.  Click on any fabric, and there is a group of coordinating fabrics shown below it, as well as similar patterns in alternate colors.  My sister and I had waaaaaay too much fun playing with the color grid last summer, when I visited at her house.

Here's proof that I've been playing with the color grid again while I've been thinking about sewing for my girls.  How do you like these combos?

Enjoy your weekend!