Friday, June 29, 2012

Pinterest- an addiction and an encouragement

Pinterest Logo


   Most of you I am sure have heard of Pinterest.  Well, it is something I discovered just about 9 months ago (in October of last year).  I have a love hate relationship with Pinterest.  There are amazing ideas for crafts and parenting, things to do with the kids and things to do for my home, bible verses, funny quotes, workout ideas, and recipes.  It is smorgasbord of information and ideas.

   But then there is the me that can't have that perfect house, perfect rock hard abs, perfect garden, and still have time to cook a perfect dinner and craft amazing things. There is a sense of inadequacy while on Pinterest. But I still go on there - almost daily- and pin the things I love.  I have a gazillion pins and several boards.  If you want to follow me it's -

   But I am determined to make time to do some of these pins- I have been pinning them for so long, and now and done very few.  So from now on my goal is to do 1 craft a week that I have set aside on Pinterest in my boards and take a picture and talk about my process with you on Fridays! Some times it may be very little projects - we still have a few vacations set up for this summer.  But some times they may be very big- like refinishing my table or reupholstering my foot stool....we will have to see!!!!!

   This will be fun and I can't wait to challenge myself and stop feeling like I can't do any of these projects ever.  If you want to join me, you can comment and tell me what you did and how it went.  Or feel free to comment about mine.  Happy pinning!

Thursday, June 28, 2012


I have been married 5 and 1/2 years.  Sometimes it was an absolute joy, others, not so much.  I always heard that marriage takes work.  It does.  Marriage is definitely not for sissies!! But more than work- it takes determination.  

I see so many people divorcing here or there.  Sometimes it is for an honestly good reason.  But often times it is not.  It is simple irritation that builds or not doing things the same way.  Well here is a tip- no two people do everything the same way.  There are times that I get frustrated because my husband is different; he has different priorities,different hobbies, different style, different budgeting habits.  But the best part of marriage is that his different soon becomes part of me.

When we got married we were soooo different-  I was the free spirit-type, more liberal in my politics, very very organic and green, etc.  He was the exact opposite.  Very black and white thinker, very conservative, didn't care about the planet, etc.  We have met in the middle over the last 5 and 1/2 years. There were always ties that bound us together- similarities, but the differences would irritated each of us sometimes.  If I had just decided to quit, I could have.  But we have worked through very difficult situations together- ones that a lot of people would have left each other over.  But we worked it out.  

God said that the two will become one flesh- Genesis 2:24.  But that doesn't jet mean sexually.  It means that eventually you will become one.  Eventually you each move a little more like the other, eventually you each share more similarities than differences.  It takes time.  But it happens.  Think about the older couples that are out walking together and seem so much alike.  It didn't just happen that way, they didn't find someone just like themselves.  It happens over time.

If you are married- stick it out.  Be patient.  Be determined.  Pray daily for your spouse.  Take the "D" word completely out of your vocabulary.  

If you are single- prayerfully seek out your spouse. Don't jump into marriage, it is a serious commitment.  This is the person you will raise your children with.  But go into it knowing that it is until "DEATH" do you part.  

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

What I Wore Wednesday- wrapping up vacay

So since we were on vacation last week, ok, more since we are recovering from vacation this week!! I am putting a few in here that didn't make it in previous What I Wore Wednesdays.  These were from our vacation- but the wonky wifi didn't allow them to upload for some reason, soooooo I will call today wrapping up vacay.

I decided this pose was fitting for the day- we had just arrived at Jellystone Park.
Shorts- Old Navy
  Tank- Target
Scarf-   London street vender.
Shoes Payless

 So here I was at Sutter Home- it was a free wine tasting...that's what I'm talking about!!!!
Hat- H&M
Shirt- Good will
Sweater- Old Navy
Jeans (they are capris but the fence covers that part) Sam's Club- but they are Nine and Co and awesome!!

This is on the Fisherman's Wharf pier
There is that Old Navy sweater again!!
Blouse- Target
Jeans- Marshall's

linking up with the Pleated Poppy

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

New series- Why Vegan

Over the next few weeks on Tuesdays I am going to have a series on here about why I choose to eat vegan.  I will talk about all the benefits, the struggles that I have had switching to a vegan diet, the research that I have read, etc.

 I am so excited about this new set of posts.  This is going to help you to see the benefits and helpfulness of a vegan diet.  It will also allow you to know how to transition if that is something that you would like to do.

I hope that this encourages you to start considering a vegan diet.  Just to flirt with or even, perhaps, take it all the way.

If you have any questions you would like to address or you are concerned about please leave a comment and I would be happy to answer them.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Back in the swing of things

We are back from vacation.  Now we are playing catch-up with life!!

We went to the Harkins Summer Movie Fun today.  And we are unloading the car (why is the least fun part of vacation the unpacking??) and doing laundry- oh, the laundry!!!!

We were almost completely out of groceries- which called for a serious Farmer's Market trip!!!!

The last couple days we were by the ocean and the weather was beautiful- but now we are back in Northern Arizona and it is HOT!!!! So we are back to the real world again.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Mercies Disguised

The entire reason we went to North California was originally to go to the Redwood National Park.  I had visited when I was a small child and loved it, so I wanted to take the kids to see them for themselves.  However, I didn’t want to camp in the national park with kids- I made that mistake  before.  The kids were restricted and we didn’t have that much fun.  That was when I looked up the Jellystone Park that would be in the area. I originally thought it was only 2 hours from the national park.  We would be able to do both.  
However, when we got here we found that it was more like 4-5 hours away.  And we had planned out the gas for the trip for it to be 2 hours away.  We tried and tried to make it work.  It just was not going to be possible.  I was so incredibly bummed.   After a night sleep I was renewed, still  a little sad, but ready to see what God had planned.  Later that evening when I was driving in my car a song came on the radio- what if my greatest disappointments are your mercies in disguise.  That was exactly what this had been.  It had been such a blessing to spend the day not rushing here and there but just relaxing with the kids, swimming in the pool, walking down by the river, and just being together.   


I was so saddened to not get to the Redwoods.  I really wanted to go.  But they will be there.  We can go another time.  We made it to Yosemite and are heading to San Fransisco.  It was soooo worth it to enjoy the day with my kids.  To relax with my husband and not be stressed from rushing and rushing here and there.  Sometimes things don’t go as planned but God’s plan is always what we need!!!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

What I Wore Wednesday- Camping Edition

We have been on vacation- camping in California and my outfits reflected that this week!!                 

                                       T-shirt and Shorts from Target
                                       Shoes Tevas - bought on vacation in Estes Park years ago
                                       Hat- H&M
                                      Shirt Charlotte Russe- 12 years ago
                                       Jeans Miss Me
                                       Shoes target 10 years ago
                                       Tank- Tie Dyed from Casa Davis- we did them as a family
                                        Shorts Old Navy
                                        Bandana Headband- Walmart
                                           Tank Top- American Eagle
                                            Jeans- Miss Me
                                            Headband a small local boutique

Linking up with pleated poppy!!!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

A Lovely Drive Through Wine Country

We are staying in Jellystone Park today.  We arrived here yesterday evening and it was a long day.  The 5 hour drive turned out to be more like 7- kids and dogs, I tell ya'.  But we got to drive through Napa yesterday and it was amazing.  You have to drive slow- the speed limit was only 35 driving through.  It was a blessing for the slow speed since we were forced to view the gorgeous hillside vineyards and adorable shops along the way.  Torture, Man!!!

We got to Jellystone at 6 pm and set up camp by 7.  By then it was far too late to cook- we were starving.  We went into Kelseyville, CA - this area is a small town, so finding a place with gluten free vegan food  was a challenge.  We stopped at a small sports grill and I ended up with a baked potato with onions and mushrooms and peppers on top and a side salad.  I also munched on a peach for dessert.  It was the best peach EVER!!!!

This morning we were about to make coffee and realized we forgot the matches and so we went into Cobb, CA and found an adorable Mountain Coffee shop- I will have a pic for that one up tomorrow!!!  But the coffee was fantastic- and CHEAP!!!! $1.50 for a small organic coffee.  I put in some soy milk and honey and YUMMMMMMM.
We even found an amazing roadside farmer's market- ok there were like a hundred!!!!!!  But we found a great one and bought 1 pound of peaches, 4 ears of corn, a basket of squash (which is like 3 zucchini and 2 crooked neck), 2 tomatoes, home made corn nuts, 3 honey sticks, and some salt water taffy for Bryce all for $10!!!  It was such a fabulous find.

If you have never visited Northern California- I strongly suggest doing so.  It is completely different than Southern California and the views are amazing.  Today we plan on seeing Yogi and exploring the campground.  We may even have a hayride and a late night movie!!!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Celebrating Father's Day Right

So yesterday was Father's Day.  Most people have a bbq, give their dad's cards, buy DQ ice cream cakes (that's what the commercials say, right?) We did a lot of that- no dq ice cream cakes, but lots of other stuff!

We went to Yosemite National Park.  We hiked in an open meadow and down to the Lower Yosemite Falls.  We had Dole fruit pops in the car on the way back- they were just what we needed to cool us down after a hike in 97 degree temps! (and a bit healthier than dq ice cream cakes...we will stick to that story) We saw 5 different species of birds (we counted since there was a contest!), we went swimming back at the campground and had a ton of fun- despite all the kids cannon balling us and flipping into the 5' deep pool- I pulled out the inner Mom/teacher and warned them they could be paralyzed- Bella was a wee bit embarrassed but the last thing I wanted to see on our vacay was a kid floating in the pool face down and paralyzed.

We came back to the campsite and roasted "tofu pups" and rolled them up like pigs in a blanket!! (ok so the gluten eaters did, I unfortunately couldn't get the gluten free bread to bend so I winged it old school).  Then we had some amazing gluten-free/ vegan s'mores. I used Kinnikinnick graham crackers, endangered species dark chocolate, and Sweet and Sara vegan marshmallows.  Which by the picture you can tell were a BIG hit, they were amazing!!!! All in all it was a good day.  I think Daddy was pretty happy with his day! He even got a Napoleon Dynamite Father's Day card, cause he's got skills!!


Friday, June 15, 2012

Packing - on the road again!!!!

I missed a post yesterday.  I apologize.  I have been so busy getting ready to go on our family trip.  I have grocery shopped, changed the oil on the car, got the car topper, took the dogs in for their vaccine updates, and  packed, packed, packed!!!!  Our car is packed to the brim.  There is barely room for a tiny   thimble.

I will be posting along the trip so you can live vicariously through our family adventure.  We are going to Yosemite, Cobb CA (staying at Jellystone Park with Yogi bear!), visiting the Redwoods, and Manresa State Beach outside San Fransisco.  I am so excited to take the kids there.  We have been planning and saving for the trip for months and it has finally come.  I was up in the  are over 20 years ago and so I am so happy to have the chance to take my kids here and let them experience this for themselves.  Bella is amazed that there are trees big enough to fit a car through.  But I will post pics of the trip and it will be a unique What I Wore Wednesday this week as it will be all grubby and camping clothes!!

We did have a chance to release our butterflies! They are all grown up.  The kids had so much fun letting them go, this will definitely be a repeat.  I see us ordering more caterpillars soon.  I really hope that none of the butterflies laid any eggs- we will be gone and I would hate any to not have any food.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

What I Wore Wednesday

I don't have many this week.  I was sick so most days I stayed in bed.  On the day I looked the best, I left the house before anyone else was awake- did I mention I need a full length mirror??

 Please ignore the background.  We were on our way out the door and Bryce was not thrilled about stopping to take pictures- much less look for the best location.  He is so sweet though he did it in two different places! The necklace was from Walmart a million years ago and cost $5. The shirt is from Old Navy Clearance- $6.  Shorts were from Old Navy last year.  And the shoes- that is the best part.  They were from a small shop in our hotel in Vegas and cost $10.  They were falling apart since the pleather stretched but I cut the sides off and added stick on velcro and they are perfect now!

This is what my sweet girl wore for her last day of school! She is amazing, this kid.   The writing is what her friends at school wrote on her shirt- cute, huh!

Next week I will definitely have more looks.  I am linking up with the Pleated Poppy.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Being a Mom

    I have had this going around in my head for a bit and really feel the need to share.  I know that being a mom is the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. Being a mom is challenging and stressful.  I did a post before about how there is so much pressure from society about being  "Mom Enough".  I just know how easy it is to fall into that game.  
    As moms we judge each other- we do, I do, everyone does it without thinking.  We put each other in this group vs that group, us vs. them, etc.  We put so much pressure on each other to be perfect.  But aside from how much we judge each other, how much pressure we put on each other, we judge and pressure ourselves.  There is so much pressure for us to do everything perfect.
    It happens so much especially when children are really young.  I remember when my children were still practically babies.  I did everything I could to be “the best” mom.  It was so important to do things right that I was constantly stressed out about it and was unable to enjoy my children to their fullest.  It was exhausting trying to be perfect.  This is especially true if you are a stay at home mom or a single mom.  If your life is centered around being “the best” mom, it puts so much pressure on you, ok, let me rephrase that- I put so much pressure on me.  
   We are supposed to be excellent in all things.  That is true! Everything we do should be given our best, but your best doesn’t mean you have to be perfect.  We will make mistakes as parents.  Expect that it will happen.  So those days when you are sick/tired/stressed out/ whatever and you don’t want to get off the couch, cut yourself some slack.  If you are at the end of your rope and say something you regret, apologize- but it will be ok.  Don’t beat yourself up over it, try and do better tomorrow. 

    If your child goes through a phase where all he/she eats is peanut butter sandwiches and potato chips- give them other stuff.  If they won’t eat it- it’s ok!!! They won’t starve themselves.  We have “eating times” in our home- but that doesn’t work for everyone.  Be careful not to give in to their eating whims so that they don’t become the 12 year old at the sleepover who demands a different breakfast from everyone else (for the record, I was that kid and am still embarrassed that I made the friend’s mom make a completely different breakfast for me!).  
   And let your kids be kids.  They will work things out, figure life out, and make general life observations on their own and you don’t have to follow them everywhere.  After 2-2 1/2 back off a little and let them be.  It is ok to have a grown up conversation without worrying every second if they are ok.  Even at the park.  My general rule is at a park, keep them in your sight, but at home or a friends home, keep an eye on the exits/ danger zones (kitchen, bathroom, etc).  However, if following your child around doesn’t stress you out and you enjoy it without needing the adult interaction (this may be more true for working parents than stay at home moms), by all means, enjoy following your children around!

 So my point is, don't worry about being perfect.  You are not.  You will never be.  But if your drive for perfection is going to put a wedge in between you and your husband and ruin your marriage, it is not worth it.  I see over and over new and young moms that are so stressed out from being  a mom, that they are at odds with their husbands.  Your first job is to be a great wife- second a great mom.  

     The most important thing to remember is that your children are gifts. They are blessings and rewards  the bible says.  That is all that matters.  If you enjoy your children, love them in your own special way and they will know that.  There will be a time where they will hold your faults against you (it’s called a teenager), but it is short lived and the rest of the time they will just want to know you.  The most important thing is to remember that they are small adults.  You are training them to be an adult, so work on making them the kind of person you would want as a friend when they are grown.  One day the time for parenting small children will end and you will have to parent adults.  Remember that and prepare for that day now.  Children will not all of a sudden “get it” so guide them lovingly in the right direction.  You will be so rewarded!!

Monday, June 11, 2012

A good weekend for a crock pot recipe

So I was late getting a post out today- summer, so busy!! We had a busy weekend.  We went to a play downtown in the square about the "Three Little Pigs" and "Josephina Javelina" and I got the blessing to go to Mesa and listen to David Arthur- Kay Arthur's son from Precept Ministries- talk about bible studies.  After that I was able to have a fabulous lunch with some other plant based ladies, including a great friend I hadn't seen in ages.  

Then I have been feeling a bit run down, but trying to hang in there!   So, I thought I would give a recipe for Monday.  My whole family loved this.  I hope you will too.

Crock pot Green chili
cooked shredded chicken or shredded jackfruit (for jackfruit (found in asian stores) rinse two cans of young jackfruit very very well shredding under the water)
1/4 cup corn
1/2 cup tomatillo salsa
1/2 cup green chilies- for milder flavor take seeds and veins out
1 large can of tomatoes
2 cups vegetable broth 
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander seed
1/2 tsp salt

Grind cumin and coriander, place all ingredients into a crock pot and cook on low for 4 hours or high for 2 hours. Serve with a corn tortilla.

Friday, June 8, 2012

American Girl Style

So my daughters have these dolls- one of them is an American Girl Doll, the other, not so much.  She is a cheap imitation.  And  I would love to go on about cheap imitations I will save that for another post.  I am using this post to talk about hair.  Detangling doll hair.

The American Girl Doll was easier to detangle (and now I understand why we spent a bazillion dollars more for her than the imitation)- there was a better quality to the hair  among other things.

I googled detangling doll hair and found this.  The lady who runs the site had some ideas.  So first I took the doll who was worse- can you guess which one that was???  And got a cup of hot water and a brush.  She recommends a wig brush but seeing as how I started this before reading and didn't have one of those, I washed a regular hair brush.   I brushed through the tangles as best as I could.

Then I noticed it was still frizzy and looked through the site (which by the way has amazing tips on doing doll hair and even how to re-wig it).  I saw that she recommended a "downy dip" well I didn't have downy liquid fabric softener.  I had dryer sheets!!  (darn I forgot to take a pic of this step) I put the sheets in bowls of water and let the dolls hair soak all day.  I set the dolls in the window when I was done and it worked pretty well.  When their hair was dry I brushed through.

They are not perfect, but better than before and am seriously considering re-wigging the imitation doll because of the quality.  But I will probably just bite the bullet and buy an American Girl Doll for my younger daughter.


Thursday, June 7, 2012


Walk in obedience to all that the LORD your God has commanded you, so that you may live and prosper and prolong your days in the land that you will possess. Dueteronomy 5:33

That includes our children. We are supposed to teach our children to obey us so that when the time comes and they have to obey God.  We are the authority that they must get used to listening to.  If our children do not choose obedience with us, if they are rebellious and hard hearted when they are young- what makes us think that they will be different as an adult.

So many people assume that children's hearts will all of a sudden change one day when they are grown and they will stop the disgraceful behavior.  They won't.  Short of a Godly intervention.  God can intervene in some people and change their hearts, but not everyone.  That child who is bullying someone on the playground? Will most likely bully their family and co-workers when they are grown.  The child who is rebellious and disobedient to their parents? They are going to rebel against rules and disobey God as an adult. The child with an attitude problem when they are young- it will spill into their adulthood.  It is our responsibility as the parents to cultivate in our children a heart of obedience and respect.  Teaching them to honor us so when they are able they won't struggle to honor God.

We started noticing that our youngest was having a hard time following directions.  His heart was always soft, but he had a hard time with self control and didn't listen to adults.  This was getting worse and I could see it leading to a hardening of his heart as he grew.  We had  tried doing just about everything we could think of for "punishments" but they weren't working with him.  That didn't let us off the hook.  God would still hold us accountable for his direction in life.  We decided to do something that we have never done in our home before - the ol' sticker chart!  Yesterday was our first day and I already noticed a change in him.  He is so excited to be able to put a sticker on his chart.  I even noticed more self control in the stores we had to go in yesterday with amazing things for a small boy- a police equipment store...hello!

We will see how this works, but my hope is that the positive reinforcement will give him a positive association with obeying.  If he accomplishes all 8 stickers for the day, right now, he gets a piece of candy.  Soon it will be a few days he has to do it and more stickers each day.  Then one a week, then he will  be expected to obey everyday.  If he is disobedient he still has consequences.  But there is a reward for obeying also.  Please pray this works in his little heart.