Friday, May 30, 2014

Love and Light and What I Know For Sure

The sun sets on my kids' graffiti artwork like it's shining a spotlight on it.  Reminding me of their message---Love is Life.  
No filter, no editing...

I know for sure that I am grateful for love and light, and my kids.

Here's what else I know for sure this week:

  • JT is adorable, I just know that.  He's frustrating and loses homework and is so ready for summer, but my god is he adorable.

  • Grandparents give some of the greatest advice.  I feel so lucky to live near Tim's parents.  They show up to as many of their grandkids' games and events as they can.  And they don't just show up, they come to cheer and watch and relate and play and give advice and comfort.

  • It's almost Father's Day and I have a great gift idea.  I write a lot about moms, but I something I wrote is in the new Dadalode, yup from the people at Mamalode.  It is a print magazine on sale here.  It would make the perfect gift for dads.  Click here to learn more and order your copy.

  • This movie can't be bad and I can't wait to see it.  The cast! Check it out.

  • Investing in expensive Disney costumes really isn't such a bad idea.  My sister-in-law/friend bought this Buzz Lightyear costume for my oldest son over a decade ago.  Every child of mine has worn this costume on Halloween and just around the house, or town.  

  • I am became obsessed with J.Lo's "I Luh Ya Papi" song/video/dance.  I mean practice the moves in the kitchen obsessed.  I love it so much, I mean I luh it so much.  Here's her performance on American Idol.  

What do YOU know for sure this week, right now?  C'mon, tell me what you know.  Leave a comment here or over on my Facebook page.

Follow me on Instagram and Twitter.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Summer Soundtrack- A Music Review

When I was little, weekends were all about music--my parents' music.  They were music lovers.  Whatever record they were really into at the time was the soundtrack of our weekends, our lives.  Lionel Richie's Easy Like Sunday Morning was big.  My dad went through a huge Willie Nelson phase and Blue Eyes Cryin in the Rain still brings tears to my eyes and all kinds of emotion to my heart.  My mother loved Kenny Rogers.  They both were into SuperTramp, big time.  Remember Take The Long Way Home?

I loved looking through their record collection, lip syncing and putting on shows with my brother and sister to our favorite songs, long family meals filled with stories and laughter and their music, our music.

Music is still a huge part of my life and my children's lives.   I wonder if they will remember the songs I love, and if they will look back fondly on our weekend soundtracks.

Now that it's almost summer, our weekends are full of long breakfasts on the front porch, baseball games, nature hikes, playgrounds and swimming pools.  It's my favorite time of year.  It's all active and sunkissed, happy and exhausted, big puffy clouds, adventure and running and what's next and I get to stay up late and vacation, road trips and I hope it never ends. 

Wade has one speed in the summer--fast. 
Nature hikes = grand adventures and discoveries.
And most importantly make believe.

JT conquering the mountain (er, hill).

Some of the music I am loving right now is the newest from David Gray called Mutineers

To be completely honest, I had never heard of him until I got a chance to write this review of his latest album.  I downloaded the music and it instantly became my summer kick-off soundtrack.
Looking for treasures under the rocks.
JT has fallen in love with fishing.

The music is intelligent and beautiful.  Most of the songs are haunting in the most happy of haunting ways.  The first track, Back In The World, is one I have on repeat.  "Everyday when I open my eyes it feels like a Saturday" is how it starts, which is exactly how I feel about summertime.  

The song is joyful and light and hopeful.  It is the perfect song to have playing when I watch my kids play in the backyard or when I sit on my front porch and reflect on how grateful I am for so much goodness in my life.
Our front porch, the center of our world in the summertime.

Another favorite song of mine from the album is Last Summer, which has a beautiful blend of David Gray's voice and an orchestra.  It's daydreaming music.  It's storytelling music.  It's sort of magic.

The whole album is like this.  It's the kind of music I hope my kids remember as our music.
This sort of looks like it could be an old school album cover.

The album is available for pre-order on iTunes and Amazon.

You have a chance to win a David Gray, Mutineers CD (ARV: $14.99)!  Leave a comment below about your favorite music or what you love best about summertime and you could win.   The giveaway ends on June 8 and is open to people in US and Canada.  

***** For this review, I received a free download of the album to review from One2One Network. All opinions in this review are mine.****

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

The Making of An Omelette, A Pinterest Poser Challenge

For this week's Pinterest Poser Challenge,* I'm giving details on how to make an omelette.  This is something I've never done before and happens to be on that completely insane Before I'm 40 Bucket List I made

Seriously, what was I thinking when I made that list? lol. Well, I can now check off #8 because I did it--I made an incredibly, okay a sort-of fancy omelette.  (It's one of the only things I can check off and I'm two weeks away from 40 waaaa.) 

*In an attempt at not being a Pinterest Poser,** every week I attempt and detail a new Pinterest challenge (a recipe, a craft, etc.).
**My definition of Pinterest Poser is someone who is all pins and no substance.

My Essential Omelette Ingredients:
4 Eggs
2 Mushrooms
Fresh Spinach
Mozzarella Cheese
Ground Flaxseed

  • I chopped up the mushroom and spinach and set them aside.
  • I whisked the eggs in a bowl.
  • I dashed the salt and pepper. Put approximately 1/3 cup of Mozz cheese in and added a Tablespoon of  ground flaxseed (because I've heard that's really healthy and good for you, so I put it in almost everything I eat now, but I'm not a doctor so don't trust me).

  • I used a pancake griddle to make my omelette.
  • I planned on taking pictures, but I wasn't a graceful omelette maker and I made this on my weekend I spent alone and had none of my children around to take a picture.  It was a drippy, disaster mess.  I used two spatulas to stop the egg mixture from running off the side of the griddle.  
  • Once I contained the dripage, I sprinkled in the spinach and the mushrooms.
  • Somehow, I managed to flip over one side of the eggs to "fold" the omelette.  
  • I cooked for a few minutes and flipped it and cooked for a couple minutes longer.
  • Then I ate it and it was fabulous!!!
Here's my big takeaway, Don't be afraid of the omelette process, the drippy egg mess or the flipping.  Go for it.  And enjoy.

Have you made anything inspired by or worthy of Pinterest lately? Share it here in the comments or over on my Facebook page.

Outdoor Lights Inspired by the show Parenthood- click here
Herb Garden with Chalboard Pots- click here
Backyard Graffiti Art with kids- click here
Happiness Notecards- click here
Gluten Free Rainbow Cake- click here
Fruit Roll-Up Fortune Cookies- click here
Make Your Own Magnets- click here
DIY Painted Clay Necklace- click here
Dixie Cup Lights- click here
DIY Ornaments-click here
Gluten Free Clay- click here
Make Your Own Stamps- click here
Birthday Shirt- click here

Gluten Free Pop Tarts- click here
Front Porch Kid Art Display- click here
Door turned into Table- click here
Summer Wish List Chalkboard-click here
Peanut Butter Nutella Cookie Sandwiches-click here
Painted Mason Jar Vases-click here
Cinco de Mayo Paper Flowers- click here
Earth Day Cupcakes- Click here
Nail Art-click here
Homemade Photo Booth Fun- click here
Fake Bangs- click here
DIY Subway Art- click here
Furniture Painting and Bench/Chest Makeover- click here
Thanksgiving-y Project/Gratitude/Holiday Countdown- click here
The Smoothie-click here
The Free Printable Turned Artwork in a Boring Hallway- click here
The chalk board-click here
Seven Layer Dip in Individual Cups (my favorite so far!)-click here
The pumpkin address-click here
The Kitchen Dancing Sign--click here

  Head on over and follow my Pinterest boards-click here!

Oh yeah, and come follow me on Twitter @AngelaYBlood and subscribe to my YouTube channel here.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Alone Time

I spent the weekend alone. Totally alone, well except for my dog, Cosi.

There's this scene in the movie The Diving Secrets of The Ya-Ya Sisterhood where Ashely Judd's character loses it and leaves her family to go to a hotel. Once she's there she sleeps and sleeps and smokes and drinks and watches the ocean. She's in a fog, a daze. There's a scene where she is standing in front of a mirror staring at her reflection as if she doesn't recognize the person she sees in the mirror. I think about that scene sometimes.

I was always an alone kind of person. In college I had my own dorm room freshman year. After college, I happily lived in a tiny apartment alone. I used to travel alone. I appreciated the value of alone.

Source: Preach Oprah!

Now, I am never alone. Ever.  And that's mostly wonderful.  I love having a big family.  I love when we are all together.  But sometimes, I forget who I am.  And a lot of times, I'm exhausted.

This past weekend, Tim took the kids up to his parents' cottage so I could have some alone time, some "me time."  It felt beyond good.  I embraced the quiet and the freedom to do whatever I wanted.  

I read two chapters of a book.  I did not post once to Facebook.  I painted my toenails.  I went for a run.  I stopped at a garage sale.  I biked everywhere and didn't get in my car once.  I watched Erin Brockovich and had a completely new appreciation for the whole damn story, and Julia Roberts.  I drank wine at 2 in the afternoon because I could.  I watched a Tori and Dean marathon on Lifetime and yeah, I cried for them once (so sad).  I sat outside and looked at the sky.  I took the dog for a nature hike. I ate outside. I made a craft.  I only did one load of laundry.  I slept for 11 hours on Saturday night.  Eleven hours straight through!  I woke up on Sunday feeling amazing...well-rested possibly for the first time in 12 years.

I documented my weekend on Instagram.
I didn't get out of bed until 9:30 & now I'm eating the first omelet I've ever made outside in the sunshine. Alone. Tim took the kids to my in-laws' cottage for the weekend. Two days by myself--a belated Mother's Day gift.

So, now I'm drinking wine, looking through old magazines before I recycle them & listening to the Moth Story Hour. Alone. Ahhhhh! This is so awesome. #metime
I'm not totally alone this wknd. Cosi is here. After 24 hrs, just my dog & me, I have to apologize. I'm sorry for making fun of people who talk about their dogs like they are friends or for dressing their dogs up.  I'm really digging my dog and I am this close to making a Pinterest-inspired headband for her.  Also, I slept for 11 hours last night, what?!?! #metime
So grateful to live close enough to the store that I can walk or bike there.  Wonder if I can bike home w/a hanging plant? #metime #kidfreeweekend
On my way home from the store, I stopped at my neighbor's garage sale and bought this amazing bright orange suitcase for a dollar. I LOVE it. #metime #kidfreeweekend
Enjoying my last dinner for one (and a Corona). Just got the call, Tim is coming home tonight instead of tomorrow morning. It's been real. I recommend a little solitude to all you busy moms (and dads). My mind feels clear and my hear feels grateful. #metime #kidfreeweekend

This weekend was about being quiet, catching my breath, taking care of myself, remembering who I am and how much I love my crazy,loud family.

They're baaaaack. And it makes me pretty darn happy.  #frontporchchronicles #ilovemyfamily
Follow me on Instagram here- @jumpingwithmyfingerscrossed

Friday, May 23, 2014

I'll Show Him & What I Know For Sure

"Well, what do you think you need?," he asked me.  "What do you think is holding you back from attaining your health goals?"

"Well, I drink too much, I'm hormonally imbalanced and I'm broke," I replied laughing.

He didn't laugh.  He looked uncomfortable.  He shifted his weight.  He looked like he didn't know what to do or say next.  

This guy wasn't my doctor or even my therapist. This guy was a 20-something personal trainer giving me a free session.  I've been going to the same gym (that I LOVE) for almost 10 years and avoided the personal trainers' sales pitch the whole time.  But lately I've been in a place of yes, a place of I'm open to trying anything and not turning down anyone.  So, when the personal trainer was giving out free sessions to help people attain their fitness goals, I said yes.  I also said "look buddy, I don't want to waste your time, I have zero money for any kind of personal training."  He said "no big deal, this is just to help you and enhance your membership experience and give you tools to help you attain your health goals."

I pictured sitting down with him and taking fitness tests like the Presidential Fitness Test we were given in elementary school a million years ago.  But no, he just wanted to talk.  He must have thought I was lying about being broke, because he tried to sell me everything--protein powders, vitamins, work out sessions, visits with the nutritionist, metabolic tests, step counters and more.  

When I told him I had no money, he said I wasn't prioritizing my health.

When I told him I know a lot about nutrition, he suggested my reliance on Dr. Oz was comical.

When I told him that I didn't get nine hours of sleep a night, he questioned whether I took my health seriously.

He shook his head sadly when I told him my husband didn't work out.  "So he doesn't really support you," he said.  

What the fuck, dude?!  That's what I wanted to say, but I didn't.  I smiled and said "mmm, okay, well, thank you, see you later."   That was after an hour of his naive, arrogant 20-something attitude.  That was after I bought a stupid nutrition book that I don't need and honestly didn't have the money for even though it was only $10.  And then I cried and questioned myself as a mother, a wife, a human.  Do I have a death wish because I eat a little processed food?  Am I a bad mother because I don't eat enough fiber?  Am I an idiot because I hate the word legume?

After our meeting I felt all kinds of things.  I did the whole I hate myself, crying thing.  Then I got mad.  I hated 20-something guy.    This guy had no idea.  He's a 20-something with no children.  Who the hell was he to shame me?  Then I felt a little compassion.  It's his job to eat and talk about legumes.  He's probably just starting out, he'll get better hopefully, at listening to people and respecting people.  Then hopefully he'll become a better, more considerate salesperson.  Or maybe he won't.  Maybe he'll switch careers.  Maybe he'll end up with a lot of kids and a lot of debt but he'll love his life and work hard to keep it.  Even though that means drinking a little too much sometimes and getting stressed and not getting nine hours of sleep at night.  Maybe then he'll remember and feel bad about making me feel like shit.  And maybe not.

After the whirlwind of emotions, I realized he did kind of give me what I needed....a good hard look at myself.  I may not be the healthiest person, but I am not the unhealthiest person either.  He's right, I do need to try to get more sleep.  I also need someone to be mad at, someone who I can use as a chip on my shoulder.  Someone I can say, well, well, I'll show you to.  Annnnd 20-something guy fits the bill.  I'll show him who is going to lose a few pounds and run races and be happier and live longer. Yeah, I'll show him, I know that for sure right now.  I also know that I'm taking a break from the saying yes to everything way of life (just for a little while, saying no will feel good) and that I will NEVER say legume without laughing (I'm sorry, I just can't, it's a dumb word).

Here's what else I know for sure this week:

  • Putting the easel in our kitchen was one of my better ideas.  The kids paint anytime they get the urge to be artistic and I love that.
Here's Lucy doing a little painting before waffles the other morning.

  • Celebrities reading mean tweets on Jimmy Kimmel doesn't get old.  Here's the newest version and I lol'd a few times.

  • I'm getting back in the vlogging game. I'm tackling hot topics like the whole "you shouldn't wash your jeans" conversation happening.  Yeah, I'm tackling some really tough topics.  Ha.  Check out it out in case you missed it.  And click here to subscribe to my YouTube channel.

  • Wade's love of baseball is big.  Everyday he is ready to play.
I told him to get dressed and this is what he put on--ready to play.

This was a rainy day and he was playing make-believe (Harry Potter) in the basement.  When he heard that the rain had stopped and the brothers were playing baseball he grabbed any shoes he could find and raced out to join them---ready to play.

  • I love the Blank on Blank videos from PBS Digital Studios.  I've shared a few others here.  I seriously love them all.  They are so interesting.  The latest with David Bowie is good.  I love what he has to say about the importance of not worrying about having an audience.  Check out their YouTube channel and enjoy getting lost in the videos.

  • It's finally front porch weather again and it makes me happy.  So, sorry, but that means endless pictures of my front porch until next Christmas.

What do you know for sure this week, right now?  Come on share what you know.  Share below in the comments or over on my Facebook page.  

Come play with me on Instagram, @jumpingwithmyfingerscrossed.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Surviving May & Washing My Jeans

Life has been busy hectic nuts crazy lately.  May is the new December, haven't you heard?  Concerts, ballgames, parties, birthdays, end-of-the-year everything--holy shit, it's a lot.  But no worries, I had time to do a couple vlogs.  And to make it more fun, Wade joined me.

Here's my May Day:

I'm linking up with Mama Kat's Vlogging Prompts to talk about hot topics.  Here's where I weigh in on the whole washing jeans discussion and why I just refuse to not wash.

Subscribe to my YouTube channel- click here.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Pinterest Poser Challenge Is Back- Lights, Spray Paint and Action

It's been a while, but it's back in a big way.  It's Pinterest Poser Challenge* time!  Woot. Woot.
I've missed crafting and painting so much.  So this weekend, when we had a little time, I told Tim that I needed to "paint something, anything!" 

*In an attempt at not being a Pinterest Poser,** every week I attempt and detail a new Pinterest challenge (a recipe, craft, etc).  
**My definition of Pinterest Poser is someone who is all pins and no substance.

Here are a few projects that I attempted this past weekend:

Herb Garden
I saw this project on Pinterest and thought that maybe I could do it.  I wish I were a gardener, I have a whole Pinterest board dedicated to it.  Alas, I am not a gardener.  But this year thanks to the Poser Challenge, I hope to add a few more herbs to my meals this summer.  This project was super easy and cheap.  Check it.
  • I bought very cheap pots at Home Depot for $1.98 each.  I also purchased a few of my favorite herbs, also for a couple dollars each.
  • I painted the body of the pots with old chalkboard paint that I already had.
  • I planted the herbs into the pots after the paint had dried.
  • Then I labeled each pot.
I'm a huge basil fan and I really don't think there is a better smell.  Tomato, Mozzarella, Basil salad here I come.

Outdoor Lights Inspired by the show Parenthood
I love the show Parenthood.  The dialogue, the realness, the writing, the acting and the set....all amazing.  Since I started watching the show, I've been obsessed with the the outdoor dinner parties they have with all the outdoor lights.  
Family dinner scene from the show. So awesome.

So, this past weekend Tim and I attempted to totally copy Parenthood's lights.

It is part of what I like to call "Our Tacky Deck Makeover."  Phase one included flowers and Parenthood lights.

While we were at Home Depot getting herbs, we also got flowers, one very long 1 x 4 and lots of string lights.

Once we got home, we put everyone to work--planting and cutting and stringing.

I was the visionary and Tim was the project manager.
He helped JT cut the 1 x 4 with the scary saw.

He drilled the wood into our existing deck fence/lattice thing-y.

He then hung the lights.  He attached the lights to the 1 x 4 posts he nailed into the fence by looping the string around a screw.  He bought clamps that stuck right to the gutter to hold the other side of the lights.

I love the way it turned out.  I also love that this little part of the makeover was so cheap.  The 1 x 4 cost $7, the screws and clips cost $4 and the lights were $10.  Total cost $21.

It's my new favorite spot to hang out in and drink wine.  

Graffiti Art for Kids
We also bought a couple pieces of plywood at Home Depot.  I like to have plywood around at all times in case someone wants to build something or paint something or make a sign.  So we paid $8 for a small piece of thin plywood for whatever/anything/a sign or something.

While we were busy with the porch makeover, the kids found a couple cans of spray paint in the garage.  They asked if they could spray paint something and I suggested they make a graffiti sign for the backyard.  I told them they could do whatever they wanted.

This is possibly my favorite piece of art or craft they have ever done.  They worked together and had fun and I think it looks so cool.  We hung it on the side of our garage that faces our backyard.  Doesn't it look rad?

Have you made anything that was Pinterest-inspired or -worthy?  Share it in the comments below or over on my Facebook page.

Check out other stuff I've attempted for the Pinterest Poser Challenge:

Happiness Notecards- click here
Gluten Free Rainbow Cake- click here
Fruit Roll-Up Fortune Cookies- click here
Make Your Own Magnets- click here
DIY Painted Clay Necklace- click here
Dixie Cup Lights- click here
DIY Ornaments-click here
Gluten Free Clay- click here
Make Your Own Stamps- click here
Birthday Shirt- click here

Gluten Free Pop Tarts- click here
Front Porch Kid Art Display- click here
Door turned into Table- click here
Summer Wish List Chalkboard-click here
Peanut Butter Nutella Cookie Sandwiches-click here
Painted Mason Jar Vases-click here
Cinco de Mayo Paper Flowers- click here
Earth Day Cupcakes- Click here
Nail Art-click here
Homemade Photo Booth Fun- click here
Fake Bangs- click here
DIY Subway Art- click here
Furniture Painting and Bench/Chest Makeover- click here
Thanksgiving-y Project/Gratitude/Holiday Countdown- click here
The Smoothie-click here
The Free Printable Turned Artwork in a Boring Hallway- click here
The chalk board-click here
Seven Layer Dip in Individual Cups (my favorite so far!)-click here
The pumpkin address-click here
The Kitchen Dancing Sign--click here

  Head on over and follow my Pinterest boards- click here!
Oh yeah, and come follow me on Twitter @AngelaYBlood and subscribe to my YouTube channel here.