November 12, 2018

52 Uncommon Dates: A Couple's Adventure Guide for Praying, Playing, and Staying Together by [Southern, Randy]

Before we got married, my husband and I would plan dates but have themes set in order to keep it interesting fun for planning. This book fits right into our lives and our style of dating. Since having kids, we don't have the time to actually go out on dates 52 times a year, but find some of these date options helpful and fun. We could see doing at least 12 of them (once a month). The book was informative, fun, light-hearted, and inspiring.


January 09, 2017

Five Love Languages of Children

Who knew there was an actual love language? When I think of how I let my kids know I love them, I think of the words I say or the hugs I give.  Some kids, however, do not thrive just on hugs and words.  Gary D. Chapman analyzes the way kids receive love in his book, "The Five Love Languages of Children." Published by Moody Publishing, Gary Chapman has a collection of books that explain the different love languages pertaining to children, teenagers and in marriage.  

Much like the first book, "The Five Love Languages", Gary D. Chapman reviews the five ways
 children receive love. They explain how to identify your child's primary love language and
 provides countless examples of how to speak using this love language based on different ages.
 Having children in range of 0-17, I found this so interesting. There was also guidance in how to 
differently discipline children based on their love language.

Broken into five types, children fall into: Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Physical Touch, 
Quality Time, and Gifts. 

I immediately realized I wasn't meeting my sons' different love languages, as I always
 assumed words of affirmation worked on all three of them. I realize it's more than just 
telling them they are doing a great job, or I am proud of them. In addition to these kind 
words, a small gesture like a hand on the back, or holding hands while watching TV seem
 to put my youngest at ease. Whereas my eldest son thrives with acts of service, and my middle 
with time spent.  He loves to help and assist, and as long as I let him or give
 him tasks, he realizes how much I appreciate him and care.

I absolutely love this series, and would recommend any parent to read this book.

Please let me know if you have read his other books, and what you thought! 


August 09, 2016

Raise your Glass!

Baby leggings!


October 23, 2014

Gift for My Husband

Many days go by, and I don't think about my husband.  That sounds harsh, but I feel that life is so crazy and we are so busy, that by the time I get home from work, I have just enough energy to plop on the couch and pass out.  

I miss our dates. I miss doing stuff with just him.  For his birthday, I decided to make something that we could enjoy together.  We often like to eat out - but seem to pick the same 5 places (all of which we love!), but there are so many interesting places we mean to try and forget about!

(Drum roll please!) I made him a Food Passport :)
I cut white paper in fourths, and then stapled them together like a book. I didn't count the pages, so basically I shoved as many pages I could without having the staples bust. On my lunch breaks, I drew many many lines on each page - so each page would house two restaurants. 

After asking everyone under the sun to list their favorite restaurants, and then looking up menus online - I compiled a lengthy list of 100-plus places to dine.  Some focus on a specific cuisine, others I picked because of its location or beautiful views.

Just like a passport, we stamp each restaurant square after visiting, leaving comments on our experience.


You have a baby!

So much has happened in the past year, and I can document it with only a one photo.  
Emmett Joseph arrived on April 26th at 11:16PM.  
And I thank my lucky stars every day.   


September 24, 2013

Fruits in the form of tea

Some people obsess over fashion. Others like their coffees or shoes. Some people are hooked on crack (okay - those are two polar examples). But me? I love me some tea.  I like hoarding collecting tea so much, that I moved around my cookbooks on the shelf to accommodate my tea containers.  I think what I like so much about them is that there are SO many types, and there are fancy smancy containers.  There are even restaurants dedicated to their cause! There was even a party in the 1700s. I'm sure it was great!

For my birthday, I received an awesome mix of iced teas.  In this gift box, there were 6 types of teas in containers, and a pound of rock sugar.

Berry Mint Cassis and Rasberry Riot Lemon Mate

Pineapple Kona and Wild Orange Blossom 

Not Pictured: Blueberry Bliss and Watermelon Mint Chiller

This rock sugar will last a REALLY long time since I am not trying to use sugar all that much.  

This was after making Blueberry Bliss, as the tea started to settle.  How cool to watch the water change! It was delightfully delicious!  We didn't add additional sugar, but if you wanted it sweeter - you can add the rock sugar when the water's warm.  

*My only concern about the Teavanna teas is the amount of sugar, hidden in the teas.  I have a serious addiction (I kid....only sorta).  Anyone know of the best COMPLETELY sugar free tea? 


September 02, 2013

Road Trip to VA

We just got back from our road trip to Williamsburg, Virginia. On our way down, my IPhone was an intricate part of our ride down. After NINE long hours of sitting in the car, I wanted to kiss my phone for provided entertainment in many ways.
Let's look at the check list:

Waze App: This not only provided our route, but also alerted us when there was traffic, accidents, and road blocks.  The whole app runs off of client participation, so the more you post, the more points you get.  It's updated each time a person posts about the map, and it will reroute you once it recognizes too much traffic. 

Over: LOVE this app! Not only can you take pictures with it, but you can change the picture through this program and write captions on the photo. I spent hours captioning all our family photos on the way home.  For a limited time, you can download free in-house purchases that change the font and add clever phrases.

Untapped: This is the most under-rated app around.  Sometimes it freezes, but with the different and unique beers I drank throughout the week, it was great to log what I had.  Oftentimes, I have something and forget what if I enjoyed it or not, so with this app, I can write down my thoughts! I can even take pictures, make comments, and write down the location of the brew.  So fun!

Gas Buddy: Oh gas buddy. I am old enough to know say I remember when gas was only 80 cents when I first got my license. Now? It's 3.59 on a good day.  Gas Buddy helps me find a deal nearby.

Road Trippers: Though we didn't use this app on our way to Virginia, it was fun to see what crazy sites were on the way to our final destination. This is hands down one of my favorite apps because I can create any list and tailor the destinations.  If we are only driving up the Northeast coast, then I can create a route that hits the places on the way.  So fun! It gives you a little history and links you to any websites or articles about the places.  

Field Trip: This app alerts you of any locations worthy of a field trip - museums, historical sites, battle sites (right up our alley in Wlliamsburg!) You can customize your route based on "thumbs up" or "thumbs down." There's also an option to read the description aloud like as if you were on a guided tour!

All these apps are available for the Iphone, not so sure about other devices.  Thanks Apple for making our journey chalk-full of info! 

August 25, 2013

Drinks on me!

I'm a little behind in posting about our mail, and when I put it like that, it doesn't sound very fun at all.    BeSpoke Post caters to men, (but I say pshh), and allows the subscriber to pick from 2-3 types of themes each month.  They select one hip box, and at the end of the month,it is mailed to your doorstep.  I kinda fell in love with this after seeing some of the previous boxes.

This box, Slate, I sadly missed. But it came with a giant piece of slate to use as a cutting board, a knife, and some mustards and dips.  
Roast pretty much had Mr's name written all over it.  I knew I had to order this box for us (him, I meant him.)

Last month's shipment was entitled "Agave." Inspired by a classic drink, this box contains everything from the glasses, ice cube tray, lemon squeezer, and shaker. 

I'm not much of a mixed drinker, but I couldn't help but fall in love with the ice ball molds.  They are like mini baseball ice cubes.  And for someone who LOVES ice in drinks, I snatched these up and stuck them immediately in the freezer.  

After taking a peek at the merch, I love the embossed glasses the best.  Don Julio, premium tequila, put their logo on the bottom, but I think it adds something to it. 

Also included in this set: Juicer, Boston shaker, julep strainer, and a jigger. Jigga what? I think that's all a true gentleman needs - oh yeah, that and some actual liquor.  I guess shipping liquor through the mail would cost more than $45 of awesome. But regardless, we are loving our box! Till next month! 


August 19, 2013

Let's Take a Stroll

 On July 10, 2009 I married my best friend. On our first anniversary, we went to Maine (beautiful!), but I don't honestly remember if we did anything at all 2nd and 3rd year.  This year, we rang in our day of wedded bliss under the bright lights of New York City. Our first night we went to see Annie on Broadway (absolutely loved it!) The song "Maybe" has been stuck in my head ever since :)

 The next day, after eating at the SaraBeth's by Central Park, and indulging in the best eggs benedict. we navigated the curvy paths of Central Park. We had no set plan, but decided we would go wherever the roads took us. Half way through the day both of our cell phones died, which was kind of nice because it was just us.   Anything we wanted to do, we had to search :)  It was an adventure. And I love adventures!

We stumbled upon tables for chess and checkers, and after declaring myself Queen of Checkers, Mr. and I played about 6 games to test my title.  Needless to say, I still have my invisible crown :)

  As we walked through the beautiful paths of Central Park, we stopped at a vendor table - Michelle Han.  Her hand cut stamps and prints were simple and fantastic. We found a pretty sweet Christmas gift for my brother-in-law, and then decided to get something to mark our trip.  The one we picked was the 8x10 adventure print.

As we drove home, Mr. and I debated on what it was she made a stamp of - a cliff or ship? I think it's interesting that we both immediately saw a completely different image.  I saw this and thought "A boat! An Adventure across the seas! Love it!" Mr. saw it and thought, "A Cliff. " Please note the lack of exclamation marks because something has to be REALLY sock-knocking to have him be super pumped. He is pretty mellow, which balances out my excitement for everything. I still say it's the tip of a ship, with a rock on it (okay - when I saw that out loud, it doesn't make sense - but does life?).

What a wonderful day with a wonderful guy!


August 18, 2013

Stand up and grill

There's something thrilling when the cardboard box arrives on our doorstep, and even if I know what it's it- I still feel a bit of a rush as I peel back the lid.  This month we received a fantastic box from BeSpokePost  which advertises as a box of awesome, and awesome it is!
After getting my own box of fun last month, I thought it was time that Mister got something!

Last month's box marketed Himalayan Salt plate - and really, what is more awesome!? This block of salt goes on the grill, or open gas oven (which we don't have).  You can cook fish, steak, veggies, chicken - pretty much anything! The salt naturally seasons the item, making it super tasty. 

In addition to the salt block, the package also came with two rubs/seasonings and a spatula. The price of the box per month is $45.00.  After looking up the prices of the items, the box was clearly worth it!

Cant't wait to make more, as right now it's just a thing of beauty.  Salt blocks are ideal not only for cooking food, but also for serving.  Raw fish, like sushi, picks up the saltiness of the block.  Put the block in the fridge for about two hours, and arrange tomatoes and cheese, or watermelon, mint and feta.  If you let it sit for 20 minutes or so, the salt will totally pop!

After some searching, I found Salt Block Cooking by Mark Bitterman.  The recipes in here looking A-mazing!  My favorite is the apple onion tart with blue cheese.  

I can't wait to get cooking on this!