It has been awhile since my last post. I took some time off to adjust as a Working(outside the home) Mom. My job at Martin Coe Construction is part-time and very flexible~which I love. I also love the fact, that I assist our female clients in selecting items for their homes, which includes two of my favorite things~ shopping and lunches!
Last week while with a client, she mentioned she wanted a custom tie holder installed in the bedroom closet for the hubby. When my boss explained it would take up too much room and suggested she purchase something from Bed, Bath & Beyond a lightbulb went off in my head. I had read something, somewhere recently on a direct sales company that offered organizational tools. How great would it be if I were able to offer Mrs. C my services as an organizer for her new home and the supplies to help get the job done.
That night, I searched online and was disappointed that I could not find anything on this organizing business. I remembered the article in Women’s Day Magazine and that it mentioned the company was one of the best new direct sales businesses to pursue. A few days later, I was perusing the Facebook page for iheart organizing and there it was~Clever Containers. Jen must have mentioned it in one of her posts because a follower was gushing about Clever Containers and all their great supplies! I quickly learned more about the company~there were just over 500 consultants, it was fairly new and that organizing was a multi-billion dollar a year business! The timing could not be better. I am very excited to once again add something I am passionate about to my life and share it with others! And that my friend, is pretty clever, don’t you think?
Over the holidays, I love to create gifts from my kitchen. But, with just having gone back to work part-time, it had to not only be unique but quick and simple, too. I stumbled upon a few recipes for infused alcohols and after researching them, took on the challenge. With those and a few tips from my friend Kate Dunbar(seen here), I decided on infusing vodka with two of my favorite flavors~ lemon and lavender.
my favorite vodka
fresh lavender from my garden
Pour the vodka and sliced lemons in the mason jars and let it sit sealed in a cool, dry space for 3 days. On the third day, introduce the lavender sprigs for ten minutes only! Then find a pretty bottle..
I found this great vintage-looking bottle at Pier One and topped with a gift tag. I had hoped to get more creative with my gift tags, as I did last Christmas like these but ran out of time.
I know Christmas has come and gone but with Valentine’s Day right around the corner~maybe your squeeze will <3 a little lemon~infused vodka!
I found this look on Pinterest, and I thought I just might be able to pull it off. I would need to keep the colored denim soft and top billowy. No bright red jeans with a rocker T ala Hot Topic.
The mint hue shown here whispers cool. The mildly, blush top is the perfect complement to this look~ with it’s angelic sleeves and the neutral, solid heels pull it all together seamlessly.
So,as I shop today I will feel a bit like a rebel. With each trip to the dressing room twisting and turning in and out of jeans in different colors~ I will be breaking “the rules”. But don’t worry, I promise not to pair my new hue of denim with a black, leather jacket and biker boots. Hopefully, that will make Stacy happy.
What do you think? Do you ever break the “fashion rules”?
With the holiday season in full-swing, my mind has been racing with little things we can do as a family to bless others. We intend on feeding the homeless on Thanksgiving morning and purchasing a few gifts for those in need at our local elementary school. But, when I came across this picture on Pinterest~I thought what a great way to make this all a bit more personal. In the next week, the kids and I will assemble six Blessing Bags~one each. We will include the following:
travel-size toothbrush and paste
holiday card with a positive message personalized by each one of us
All six bags will be kept in our car. It will be our personal choice, who receives the bag. My holiday wish is for this tradition to continue monthly, all year-round.
Last week, I was reintroduced to an old friend. I hadn’t run in nearly 6 months. And with the hustle and bustle of Fall, I had no immediate plans to revisit my running routine. Running was something I had always done solo. Away from the kids; just me and my thoughts. It was an escape of sorts. That is until Hanah asked me to join her. My 17 yr old daughter is a Senior this year. And any time she chooses to spend with me- I am there. I will even be joining her on a field trip next week. A far cry from our first trip to the Pumpkin Patch when she was 5. We will be attending UCSB for a team building ropes course~ complete with zip lining and wall climbing.
Running with Hanah is therapy. We run after the sun sets, so we can enjoy the coolness of the evening and Halloween Lights. We talk about the day’s events, we laugh when we have to dodge the same pick up truck’s huge, trailer hitch, and squeal when we hear a critter in the bushes. She’s faster than me(when did that happen?) and I find myself struggling to keep up. Last night, as we were finishing, the sprinklers came on at a nearby house, we ran in unison through them almost as if it were a synchronized dance.
I am thankful she has chosen me to spend this time with her. Next October – she will be away at college. It’s our last Fall together as mother and little girl. But, I find solace in that, even though Hanah runs a few steps ahead of me now~she will always stop and wait for her mommy.
The first week in October is off to a great start. A rain storm made a brief appearance and brought a quick drop in temperatures here in California. It was fun to pull out my out my favorite wool socks and boots(if even for a day). With a beach wedding this afternoon though, I was happy the storm left just as quickly as it arrived.
Tomorrow is the Avocado Festival in Carpenteria where my friend, Ali will be debuting her Sweet Avocado Pies and then on Sunday, we are gathering with our new neighbors for a community BBQ(thank God it’s the Cowboys’ bye week).
Enjoy the weekend my friends!
*photo from pinterest
As I drove my children to school today, I couldn’t help but be reminded of my precious cargo. With the wet weather and usual idiots driving as if we are contenders for the Indy 500, I thought~ My life is in this car people!!!
I dropped H and J off at their school and with that, my step daughter jumped from the back to the front seat. I enjoy this time of day with her. This is our time. I let her control the radio station. She likes Coffee House on XM. The gentle acoustic music makes a nice background for our chats. Today, we talked high school, college and careers. C wants to attend Foothill(if they have a water polo team) then off to college in Hawaii. She wants to become a hairdresser or a police woman. I told her she could do both. She asked what I wanted to be when I was little. A quick smile appeared on my mouth(maybe a bit Chesire cat-like), as I thought back to the 11-year-old me~ a writer and ballerina, I answered. As we went on discussing jobs, C was surprised to learn, I was a fitness trainer for a few years. I heard excitement in her voice as she asked me questions about it. I think she was actually impressed - which again made me smile. I pulled up to school and as she and her little brother exited the shelter of my warm car and ran out into the wet world, I thought to myself how lucky I am to watch this inquisitive girl grow. She has an actual interest in me as a person. Something I think biological children may take for granted. I watched, as she grabbed Roman’s hand and they headed towards the adventures that await them. And then I smiled, one more time and thanked her silently for starting off an otherwise dreary morning with a few rays of her personal sunshine.
the candle holder broke on this so I covered it in fall foliage
With moving, back to school and
two three birthday parties(including my surprise party) marking the month of September, October arrived in the blink of a witch’s eye. I know I am not alone in proclaiming my love for this time of year. We pulled out the decorations Friday night and just about finished up when Sunday morning football greeted us.
Here are a few of my favorite, current decorations. Traditionally, we add a new piece or so to our collection each year and I’ve decided to go bird hunting this time around. I’m looking for black, sparkly, ravens(think Edgar Allan Poe meets Martha Stewart).
fall bouquet from the hubby
love how this candle holder from a year ago is aging
this year's collection at Cost Plus is inspired by vintage halloween postcards
I’m a sucker for cheese~sliced, cubed, in pasta, on sandwiches-you name it, I’ll take it. So come Meatless Mondays, it’s guaranteed we will have cheese with something. I try to incorporate ingredients to make my cheese-filled dish as healthy as possible. So, in my grilled cheese, I use a squash puree in some form(frozen, jarred). Oh, and don’t forget the tomato soup!
12 slices of a whole grain bread
2 cups shredded cheese(your choice~mix it up half cheddar, half pepper jack)
1 jar of baby food puree squash
1 tablespoon of butter/spread
dash of salt/pepper
olive oil for pan
Heat olive oil in pan on medium. Meanwhile, mix cheese, puree, butter, salt and pepper in bowl. Spread mixture on bread and place in pan. Cook about 4 mins per side. Serve with tomato soup and a salad to make a meal.
**Makes 6 sandwiches