Friday, August 31, 2012

Figure Friendly Friday #2- 20 minute HIIT workout

Todays Figure Friendly Friday idea is a quick but super effective workout.
I discovered it last summer when I did this "Game On Diet" with my mom and some of her friends. 

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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Clothespin Photo display

I'm a huge fan of displaying photos around the house. I always have been. (In my room as a teen, I had one whole wall plastered with them. Back then they were just stuck up by scotch tape. I like to think I have a little more visually pleasing approach these days.) As the babies came I enjoyed more than ever having cute pics of our little fam around. I just like to look at them and thought they were pretty. But then I read this blog post by
Kristen Duke Photography last year, and it changed my perspective a little bit. She talks about how important it is for a child's self-esteem to have pictures of them around the house. It shows that they are valued and loved. It's also important to have pictures of parents lovin' on their babies. Capturing and displaying those actions that speak louder than words. 
So with a new purpose, I set out to find new ways to display pics of our family. 
Here is one idea I came up with.

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Friday, August 24, 2012

Figure Friendly Friday #1- Sneaky Spinach Smoothie

On my quest to Bring Sexy Back,
I want to start something that I'm calling
"Figure Friendly Fridays"
Each Friday I'll be posting about something that will hopefully be able to help those of you who are interested, (and me!) get more fit and healthy. It might be a workout, or a recipe, or maybe just a tip or two that I've found helpful. I'm excited about it, and I hope you are too. If you have any ideas or suggestions that you'd like to share, please let me know!

So, lets get on to Figure Friendly idea #1- Sneaky Spinach Smoothie.

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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Check your Pockets (laundry room sign)

I'm in the process of jazzing up my laundry room. Its so blah and boring. And with 4 kids around, and now that my husband and I BOTH workout regularly again (it had been only him as I recovered from the c-section), I am spending a lot of time in that tiny little room. So, I wanted to make it a fun, happy place, as much as it possibly could be.
I love the blog Young House Love. (I know, who doesn't?) A few months ago, they posted this picture taken in a house that was in the Richmond Parade of Homes.

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Sunday, August 19, 2012

proud mom moments- (and a gorgeous chair)

You know those moments, when your kid does/says something, and you realize, "He IS listening to what I say!"? We had one such moment the other today. Let me fill you in-
I had all of my kids with me out shopping at World Market. I LOVE with all my heart, what they have in that store. Such unique stuff for the entire house. So for about the 5th time, I stopped to admire/drool over this chair.
(can be found here)

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Friday, August 17, 2012

Candy Crayons?

While going through all my school supplies and taking inventory, setting up Our School Room, I noticed that our crayons were in pretty sad condition. My kids are constantly coloring! We go through crayons like CRAZY! In the past I've always just thrown them away once they got down to the "nubbins". But this time, I remembered an activity I did at my friends house when I was a youngster. Her mom did it a little differently, but here's how I put some crayon nubbins to good use.

What you need:
-old, busted crayons
-mini cupcake tin
-mini cupcake liners

First take the wrappers off. (Oops, forgot to take a pic. But you know what "naked" crayons look like right?)
Then line your cupcake tins with the wrappers. I used normal paper liners. I was worried that the papers might stick too much to the crayons, but they really weren't a problem. A few of them did tear when I peeled the wrapper off- I found This Blog who used foil wrappers. Those might work a little better, but the paper ones still worked totally fine.

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Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Curtains- Get Creative!

We have lived in our house for just about a year now. And not that long ago, I finally hung curtains in the front room. Ridiculous I know!
I must have brought home a dozen different ones, but my husband and I couldn't agree on any of them.  He didn't really know what he would like, just something that in his words, "looks good and not like a Grandma's house." (Apparently, a lot of patterns that I like, are grandma-ish.)
We finally agreed that we would both like some big fat striped curtains.
About dang time!
But what color?
Do we want something bold, or more neutral?
We have a lot of color in the house already, lets go neutral.
OK. How about gray?
We both liked that.
Awesome, now we're getting somewhere.
The rest should be easy right? We decided what style we wanted, now we just have to buy some. There must be thousands of horizontal gray striped curtains right?
I kept searching and searching and the only thing that I found was this from West Elm-

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Monday, August 13, 2012

I'm bringing sexy back!

Or at least I'm gonna start trying to!
Baby #4 is now 1 month old. (Boy, time flies when you're having fun!)
 Since the birth, I have been enjoying recovering and doing a lot of relaxing. 
But the day of reckoning is here. I'm sick of feeling so squishy. Its time to whip my behind into shape! Quite literally. 
(BTW, I got the green light from my doc already.
 I had my postpartum appt. at 4 weeks, not 6 like I'm used to. Strange!)
So now it's time to get to work. This time around, I have a different approach to getting "back in shape". In the past, when I said, "I wanna get back in shape", what I really meant was "I wanna be skinny".  But this time, I'm trying to get strong. 

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Saturday, August 11, 2012

Our School Room

Its school time! 
My oldest is going to start Kindergarten and we've decided to homeschool. It may or may not be permanent, we'll see how things go. If any of you reading have any tips for homeschooling Kindergarteners, please let me know!
We haven't officially started yet, but I am finally finished with the room and am so excited!
Because this is his first year in "every day" school, and to make sure that he understands that even though we are at home, it is indeed real school, I've been working hard to put together a nice schoolroom. I wanted it to be neat and organized, functional, fun- and I wanted it to look good! Here's what's going on in the room-
As you walk through the door and turn right, this is what you see. 

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Wednesday, August 8, 2012

DIY gift idea

Whether I'm the host, or just dropping the kids off and seeing for a minute the excitement, it's always so much fun!
And it's even more fun when you get the kids involved.
So when my kids have a party to go to, I try and get them involved in creating something homemade. This is what we came up with as the gift for the latest one.

The party was a Space party and my son really likes to give gifts that go with the theme. (a man after my own heart!) I like going with the theme too, it ensures you are getting the recipient something they are interested in.
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Monday, August 6, 2012

Spread some love with homemade butter!

The kids and I were having a little discussion about what it would have been like to live in the 1800's. No cars or airplanes, no warm showers, no dishwashers (the horror!), and no pre-made butter! I remembered as a kid we made some butter at a church activity and I thought it was the coolest thing ever. So I did a quick search on Pinterest and found this tutorial from 2 Little Hooligans. She gives great easy to follow instructions. We altered things just slightly.

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Saturday, August 4, 2012

The Power of Paint part 2- captains bed

Heres just another quick example of what a difference a little paint can make. 

Before we moved, I bought this captains bed from a neighbor. Here is a picture she sent me.

Heres after I got my hands on it-

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Thursday, August 2, 2012

The plan is working!

This is how I found be big kids last night when I went to check on them.

Light on, both on the same bed, with a big pile of their little sisters (clean) diapers at the head of the bed.
 Aren't they cute? I couldn't help but chuckle when I walked in.
I love seeing them get along so well! It was on purpose that all our kids are less than 2 years apart. A lot of people think we are nuts, but both my husband and I grew up with siblings close, and loved it. (most of the time. ha!) Especially because we are a military family, and move somewhat frequently, we really wanted each of our kids to always have someone to keep him or her company, and to grow up being friends who they enjoy being around.
So when I see them playing happily like this, (or evidence that they were playing happily) I always think, "The plan is working!"
We certainly have moments that resemble this- (if you replace the smiles with tears)

but most of the time they are the best of friends. And for that I am so grateful!!!!

ps- when the kids woke up the next morning, and came down they said, "MOM!!! why'd you move all the squirrels acorns?" Apparently they were the squirrels, and the diapers were the acorns that they were  hiding from the blue-jays.  Funny kids!

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