Thursday, April 30, 2009

Sincerely 'Fro Me To You: Hawaiian Flavored

It's time for me to dig in our box of photos again and this week I came up with a few.

Several years ago, for My Man and my 10th anniversary we went to Hawaii. This was a first for both of us.

We had "won" a time share vacation at an auction 2 years before and when we called to see if it had expired, we were told we could vacation at over XXXX places. One of those places happened to be.........Hawaii.

So we scrapped together airfare and a "fun" budget, called my wonderful MIL and went in July ~ two months before our actual anniversary. My MIL is a teacher and has summers off. It's impossible for her to come for more than 1 or 2 nights during the school year, so we have started celebrating EVERY anniversary early. (I actually LOVE it 'cause we still go to dinner on our actual anniversary, prompting TWO celebrations).

It was beautiful and the weather was perfect.

Our relationship? Not so much.

Looking back, I can't believe I spent a week in this paradise with such discontent in my heart for the love of my life.Combine this negative attitude with my ability to be self conscious anywhere and it leads us to this next photo.

More back story: We have a kinda-sorta annual (meaning it happens as often as it happens) Tacky Party. It's a great time and had gotten a bit out of control the year before with some of the guests skinny dippin'.

We saw this sign and immediately shared a giggle. I suggested we take this picture and use it for our next invites. My Man took it a step further and wanted to take his shirt off, roll his shorts up a bit and squat behind the sign, pretending to be NUDE.

Enter my immature insecurities wherein I tell him that there are too many people around, please don't. Maybe I didn't say it quite that nicely. Remember we were fighting.

We have settled all that we were arguing about at that time at the cost of one potentially GREAT vacation.

That's why this picture would make it to the scrapbook, but not without giving me papercuts every time I handled it.

Looking back, I wish I could have embraced the silliness and judgement be damned.

It's something I continue to work on and hope it bypasses my children completely.

I'm sure there are even funnier "Fro's to point and laugh at. Go visit The Glamorous Life Association and get your laugh in.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

WFMW: Making the Most of YOUR Library

If you know me for more than 5 minutes you know how much I LOVE the library.

It's a big deal in our house to have your own library card. On your fifth birthday we go to the library, sign your full name that we've been practicing for this moment, and then go out for ice cream to celebrate.

But for the past few years, we barely go to peruse the shelves.

We no longer have to.

We utilize their website. You can sign in to your account with your card number and password. Then you can request books, renew books, check due dates, and search for availability.

When I'm on the library website I also have 2-3 other windows open. One is for either barnes and noble or amazon with book suggestions. I may also have goggled books for teen boys or if my kids have a specific interest I'll search for books relating to that. We have found so many great books this way.

The other window we have open is We check for new releases every week and request to be put on the waiting list at the library for all the new movies we are interested in. This has been a huge money saver as we aren't attending movies or paying for rentals.

All of this is done from the comfort of our home.

And when we do it this way, the book or video is held behind the circulation desk. Our library does engage in a inter library loan system in which if our library doesn't have a particular title available, you are able to request from another library and they will send it to your library. But even if your book is on the shelf at your library, once you request it on line, they pull it and hold it. Then when I go in to the library, I just pull out our cards and hand them to the librarian and she hands me back a stack of books and videos.

I also get emails letting me know when a title I've requested and been waiting for is available for pick up.

We are at the library several times a week now.

We keep a library bag by the front door for all of us to put in books and videos that are ready to be returned.

Sometimes we will still take a Saturday to slowly meander the shelves of the library.

And bunnyboo and I go to Mother Goose storytime on occasion, as well as the yearly play put on for preschoolers. Puppet shows, movie nights, and craft days are also fun times.

We've patronized the library book sale and found some great deals as well.

Our library also has many clubs; book clubs as well as other interests like chess clubs, genealogy, etc. etc. They also have little or no cost classes such as sign language, computer, etc.

Making the most of my library works for me. Have you made the most of YOUR library?

Head over to We are THAT family to see what works for others.

Monday, April 27, 2009

SPT: gifting a total stranger

It's Tuesday and time for a SPT challenge. Lelly assigns a theme each Tuesday and challenges you to interpret it through a self portrait. We all know Mama hates to have her picture taken, however I am SLOWLY working on this.

Here's what Lelly said for the month of April:
"wouldn't it be great if we spent this month giving gifts!and before you lovingly remind me of the economic recession, let me add that no money is to be spent on these gifts! let's focus on the gift of service, the gift of a smile, the gift of a repurposed or gently used item, the gift of a kind word. you know, those gifts that would be hard to wrap in a box with a pretty bow.
for tuesday, april 7: gift a family member
for tuesday, april 14: gift a friend
for tuesday, april 21: gift a neighbor, teacher, co-worker
for tuesday, april 28: gift a total stranger
i have a feeling that by the end of this month, the person who will have received the greatest gift is...YOU! "

This may have been the hardest challenge yet. You see, I've never met a total stranger. Seriously, after two minutes I'm your best friend.

But there is something I started doing back in college after hearing about the RAK (random acts of kindness) wave.

Here in Florida there are tolls for so many of our roads.

This is a old DOT photo of a toll road out to one of our local beaches. Don'cha love it?

In college I started paying my toll AND the toll for the car behind me. The feeling was great!

However, nowadays we have Sun Pass's that deduct tolls from our checking account. I have gotten into the time saving habit of using the SunPass only lane (which you only need to slow down for, not completely stop). There is no way to deduct more from this transaction.

But next time?

I have this. When I'm heading out to the beach (or any toll road) I can get in the "slow" lane and use my sun pass for my car, and these quarters for the car behind me.

And I get to tell the toll collector to have a BLESSED Day. (another lesson in college: toll collectors had the highest suicide rate among professions ~ however this was only like 15+ years ago so it may not be accurate any longer).

Wanna see how others gifted a total stranger? Head over to Amuse-Bouche.

Using the instructions that came with my camera

I am not good about using my camera. I'm also horrible about taking pictures of my kids. I'm sure I've mentioned this. When I've read posts from other bloggers saying you don't HAVE to take a photography class, just pull out your manual and learn your camera, I thought it was a good idea. I finally just did it on Saturday. I need way more details to really know anything and so I have to dig out the "Big daddy manual" but I didn't let that stop me this Saturday.

Here are a few shots that are straight out of the camera.

Because really, if I hadn't taken the time to learn how to use my camera..........did you REALLY think I'd learned photoshop yet?

Here was my previous profile picture. There s something so sweet to me about baby feetWhich is funny, since I hate ugly adult feet.

I love this picture I took of Bunnyboo's 2 year old feet. And so it's my new profile pic.

Right as I went to take the first shot a bug flew into Bunnyboo's eye. Good times.

You can see here she is so fair any little mark shows up. Poor baby.

This is the kid's favorite shot. Um,'s cuuutee and all, but.....

I love this one.

This one is for my mom. See the curls? Look closer.
And when it's wet it touches the middle of her back.

This is My Man's favorite shot. Here Bunnyboo is doing her "silly face".

I need to get the other kids out for a session.
But I'm not sure the tutu will look as good on the others.

Which one of these pictures would you recommend framing?
ETA: I removed this picture of boo bear and bunny boo together because boo bear was shirtless and a very good friend reminded me that there are all kinds of crazies who may use this photo for evil. Better safe than sorry.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Sunday Linky Love:

My man and I saw this Friday night and I'm still singing seductively.

I just discovered the share button in my google reader. But I've always loved how Like Merchant Ships has a link post, so I thought I'd do it too. Imitation is the highest form of flattery you know.

Here are a few of the items I've starred in my google reader this week:
~Creative House numbers tutorial: @ Blue Castle
~ I love quizzes like this: @ The Shabby Nest
~ I want to shop at this market: @ Notes from a Cottage Industry
~ May Day Baskets: @ Skip to My Lou
~ Adorable Give Away: @ Little Birdie Secrets
~ Fleur Cart: @ Joys of Home
~List Making at a whole new level: @ Everyday Celebrating
~ My number 1 basket: @ Joys of Home
~ Inspiration for the next baby shower I throw: @ Imperfect: The Pleated Poppy
~I'm sure I can find something to add: @ Oh Crap. My Parents Joined Facebook

Enjoy..........and remember, When You're Good to Mama, Mama's Good to YOU!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Saturday Yumminess: Ensalda 1905

Ensalada 1905 (picture from The Columbia webstie)
This may be my favorite salad of all time.
It's a toss up.
Get it?
Oh I kill myself.

Anyway, it's served at The Columbia Restaraunt and when a friend of mine said she had the recipe I just had to have it! They have a recipe book for sale on their website that is now on my wishlist for Mother's Day. Everything I've ever eaten there has been fantastic. Or drank. They have a white sangria that is to die for.

Ensalada 1905

Head iceberg lettuce
2 tomatoes [cut in eighths]
4 stalks celery
1 c. swiss [cut in julienne strips]
1 c. ham [cut in julienne strips]
1/2 c. green Spanish olives
4 tsp. grated Romano cheese

Toss all ingredients together EXCEPT Romano cheese.


1/4 c. white wine vinegar
8 cloves garlic [minced]
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 c. olive oil
S&P to taste
2 tsp. oregano
4 tsp. lemon juice

Mix garlic, oregano, and Worcestershire sauce with whisk. Add oil beating to form an emulsion. Add remaining ingredients. Toss with salad and cheese.

I could eat a big ole bowl of this and a loaf of bread for DAYS on end.
Do you have any recipes from local establishments that you were stoked to get ahold of?
Don't be greedy ~ Share!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Doing Something to the Dining Room

The Shabby Nest is hosting a Frugal Decorating Tip party. I love nothing more than a good party, so I'm soooo there. Go and see how others are decorating the frugal way. It'll put more projects on your weekend list than you can imagine!

The only problem is the admission is a post with my own tip. Hmmm. The only way I know how to decorate is Frugal. However, I have not used my camera much to take pictures. Bad Mama.

I do have a few pics that I'll share and pinky swear to get better about using the camera ~ fair enough?

Tip #1: If you find a yard sale table that has a classic shape but the top is marred beyond the repair time you want to put into it..........cover it with fabric.
Leftover fabric and my handy dandy staple gun transformed this table in less than five minutes. I love that it adds another layer of texture to the dining room.

Tip #2: If you still have MORE left over fabric and no art..........get cheap art canvases from Walmart.
The same leftover fabric and staple gun were used here; along with appliqueing letters. Applique first, then staple. Original, cheap and fast that's how we do it in Bahama Shores.
What have you done lately???

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Sincerely 'Fro Me To You: Trailer Trash Kids

Jumpin' back on the bandwagon of Sincerely 'From Me To You and I find out there is a new driver. Buckle's sure to be a wild ride!

Today I bring you the younger, more critical ~ some may say condescending ~version of the Mama.

I've told you my love for my Mother In Law. And really, I have nothing to really, legitimately complain about. But you know I'm gonna anyway.

She is VERY passive. You know the kind: if you looked martyr up in the dictionary, you'd find the picture I posted in my first Fro post.

She doesn't assert her opinion. Will hardly give a decisive answer when asked.

Would NEVAH presume to tell us how to raise our family, even though she did an outstanding job with her boys and has taught elementary school for over 40 years.

I tried to emulate this attitude when she was kind enough to watch the kids for us when we went out of town.
Really, stop laughing.
After I gave her whatever details she wanted about kids schedules, likes and dislikes etc. etc. I tried to keep my mouth shut.

But inside I seethed.

You see, she loves to take pictures with her non digital camera. She is even more snap happy when I'm not around. I guess I take some of the fun out of it :)

She puts all the picture doubles in those little $1 plastic brag books for my kids to have. They love them. Me? Not so much.

You see it seems my mother in law doesn't really sweat the small stuff.

Like getting dressed. Or cleaning their faces.

Here's a picture of my two oldest when My Man and I were out of town.

When I saw this picture almost a decade ago, I was mortified.

My children look like Trailer Trash Kids.
(what we call dirty know, with 7/11 dirty feet, babies dressed just in a diaper, breakfast, lunch and dinner still on their faces, mamas cussing about beating their children, daddies burpin while rubbing their beer bellies; need I go on?)

I saw this as a reflection of my parenting skills and morals.

But, now?

Here's a picture *I* took while camping.

Would you looky there: Babyboo is all trashy AND suckin on a pacifier. (my other three babies only used paci's in the crib until they were 1)

Yup, I've run over that condescending self with a 4 wheel drive and am so much more content.

I can actually look at these pictures and see the love instead of critiquing each person.
Ahhh, wisdom ~ the ONLY benefit to being this damn old!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

WFMW: Line Dry

Today is Earth Day so I thought I'd share the way I've been "doing my part".
Last summer I bought a clothesline and a bag of clothespins from the dollar store. I hung the line in between a tree and our fence near the gate on the side of our house. Initially, I just wanted a place to hang our wet towels and bathing suits from the daily pool usage.

I then moved on to hanging our sheets to dry. I love the smell of air dried sheets.

I slowly began to add clothes to the line.

It was summer and in Florida that means evening downpours - every evening. So you have to be disciplined about getting the clothes off the line.

Then I broke my foot and this all came to a screeching halt.

In November, once I'd been cast less long enough, I began to want to hang my clothes out again. I did a little research and found a great tip:

~ Each night check the website for chance of rain for the next three days.~

This allows you to plan how many loads of laundry you need to do. If tomorrow's forecast is clear but the next has a chance of rain you may choose to double up the first day.

Sounds simplistic, but it never occurred to me. duh!

I've since added a second clothesline just under the first but tucked behind the next post and I have enough room to dry 2 full loads.

During the winter months when the humidity is low here in Florida, but the temperature is milder and the sun is not as bright or long..........I put a load of laundry in the washer before I go to bed. The next morning I am able to hang the laundry out as soon as possible.

I feel very Mother Naturist while taking the time everyday to hang the laundry out and that's what working for me.

To see what works for others visit We Are THAT Family.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Run over to The Shabby Nest

The Shabby Nest is hosting a giveaway to honor her 200th post.

Look at these adorable pillows you can choose from:

She also has a wonderful ETSY shop if someone else is the lucky winner.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Happy Birthday to My Man

Today is My Man's 44th birthday!

He's not one for celebrating himself much, but did request banana chocolate chip bread for breakfast.

Banana chocolate chip bread

1/2 cup butter

1 cup sugar

1 cup mashed bananas

2 eggs, beaten

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp. soda

1/2 tsp. salt

3/4 cup chocolate chips

Cream butter until softened. Add sugar, creaming well. Add bananas and eggs, mixing well. Sift flour, soda and salt together; stir into creamed mixture. Fold in chips. Pour into greased loaf pan and bake 1 hour in a 350 degree oven.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Sad Life Lesson Learned Today

My heart is breaking for Chickie Poo.

We learned Monday that one of her classmates, on the afternoon of Easter, had chased a ball into the street and been hit by a SUV. The child broke both arms and legs and was not going to able to return to school to finish the year. Chickie Poo felt sad for him and was making cards and such to send to the hospital.

Me? I laid awake until after 3 that morning re-enacting the accident. I saw myself as the driver, since I drive a SUV. I saw Boo Bear as the child hit, as he plays ball CONSTANTLY and thinks he is invincible. I had other worries going on, but this was one of the major ones.

I recommitted to driving more carefully. I emphasized the importance of letting the ball go, looking both ways and overall safety with my older kids.

We discussed how lucky he was to survive with broken bones but still alive.

My phone rang an hour ago with Chickie Poo crying uncontrollably on the other end.

The school just announced this child had passed away.

I pray for his mother and family. I pray for mine as well.

Today is to the day when my child will forever be changed. She now is acutely aware that bad things CAN happen to another child; someone she knows.

I'd give anything for her to have never learned this lesson.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Hoppy Easter!

Here's a quick post to wish you and yours a Happy Easter:

Ignore my unironed tablecloth and focus on the flower arrangement Chickiepoo and I did yesterday.

We are having Easter Lunch and then leftovers for dinner as Chickiepoo and I are going to see Legally Blonde at the theatre.

Here's what I have planned:

Easter Dinner Menu

Homemade Honey Baked Ham

Ensalada 1905

Hawaiian Sweet Rolls
Mac & Cheese

Gigi’s Potato Casserole

Asparagus with Parmesan Crust

Whiskey-Glazed Carrots

Coconut Cake

Banana Pudding

Hope the Bunny was good to you :)