Thursday, January 31, 2013

Valentine Vignette

This how my shelves look for Valentine's Day. The "Be Mine Valentine" was a freebie printable from Nest of Posies  . The bottom print says, "Write it on my Heart that Every Day is the Best Day of the Year, and is a copy of a Valentine I made in Photoshop. I found little hearts to hang on my jewelry tree and made a heart garland out of construction paper. Here is 2012'sValentine Vignette. Check out some other ideas for Valentine Mantels and Vignettes over at Serenity Now.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Some people can't resist a CHALLENGE

This past weekend we ate a restaurant in Lakewood, WA.  They offered a 2 lb hamburger called the Hummer 2, H2, and if you eat it and the accompanying fries in 30 minutes or less you get a t-shirt.  This was the irresistible siren call for the Giant Man Child.  In 17 minutes, he finished the giant 2 lb. H2 hamburger, incredible.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Project Life - Week 4

I am linking up with Project Life Tuesday.  Check out all the wonderful Project Life Posts. This is my first time linking up.

Oh, week 4 brought lots of geocaching.  The first page I did was our Geocaching Day on MLK day. We ventured up to Canada to do some geocaching.  We did two earthcaches and 2 regular caches. Two of the cards are from Project Life Cobalt Edition and the "One For The Record" I made in Photoshop Elements.

My other page included the more cards from the Cobalt Edition. It mainly featured our weekend. My hubby took Hummer 2, h2, challenge at a local restaurant that had him eating a 2 lb. hamburger in 17 minutes with the fries as well. IT makes my stomach ache just thinking about it.

My favorite picture is the "How to Look for A Geocache".  Somehow, my hubby doesn't appreciate it.
I always can't believe how fast these Project Life Layouts are to put together.  Yes, I could do more complicated layouts but this style really suits me.

Here are my previous week links
week 1
week 2 and 3

Photo Flashback

#1 Son and Giant Man Child (2008)
Here is a photo from January 29, 2008. It is hard to believe that #1 Son is now in High School and as tall as me. In the background, you can see the construction of Cascadia Elementary. 

Monday, January 28, 2013

Send Some Love - Valentine Remailing

I really love Valentine's Day.  I grew up in the Sweetheart City of Loveland, CO.  My parents were married on Valentine's Day in Loveland.  This year is their 43 year anniversary. It is part of my DNA to be fond of Valentine's Day. If  you want to do something really special for your Valentine, have your Valentine re-mailed from the Sweetheart City.  It will get the VIP treatment of a special cache and special postmark.  (Maybe I should be their marketing director.) Yes, it takes a little pre-planning but it shows you really love your Valentine.

Here are the details:
Pre Address and Pre Stamp all Valentine's
Enclose them in a larger 1st Class Envelope and Address them as follows:

Postmaster -Attention Valentine
446 E 29th St
Loveland, CO 80538-9998

The Valentine's need to be received NO LATER THAN February 8th if their destination is somewhere in the US. More details can be found at the Loveland Chamber of Commerce.

I usually send out twice as many Valentine's as Christmas Cards.  They are usually homemade but not always.  This year I am going the route of semi- homemade.  Is that custom?  Anyways, send some love this year.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Project Life Week 2 & 3

Here is a continuation of  Project Life.  I love how easy these scrapbooks are to put together.  Week 2 brought the appliance dilemmas.  The "What" speech bubble card is from the Project Life : Cobalt Edition. It has a quote from Charlie, " Tigger's fur is black like coal because he is naughty".  I also included my blog entry about Me and MacGyver.

Week 3 was a lot of single parenting and door breaching.  It also detailed my husband's travel plans.
I really loved what Tracy Larsen had to say about Project Life  in her blog entry, " What Matters". Need to see more examples of Project Life head over to Becky Higgins blog, founder of Project Life, and see her post

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Experimental Cooking - Chocolate Banana Bread with Crystallized Ginger

Chocolate Banana Bread with Crystallized Ginger
I am a banana bread snob.  There is a tried and true recipe I have been using pretty much my entire adult married life.  It actually came from an Albertson Ad - recipe here. However I am reading the book, A Homemade Life by Molly Wizenberg and her wonderful book includes a recipe for Chocolate Banana Bread with Crystallized Ginger.  I decided to give it my best shot.

Molly also blogs at Orangette. I love all the stories in her book that go with the recipes.  I don't know about you but I didn't have the crystallized ginger on hand.  Inspired in part by The Coupon Project, I bought some from the bulk bin.  I needed a 1/3 of cup.  It was A LOT cheaper to get it from the bulk bin.  Check out her post on the bulk bin shopping. Long story short, the bread turned out beautifully. My kids and my Hubby really enjoyed it.  It was delicious. I don't think I will be ditching my tried and true recipe but adding this one to the mix. This bread definitely kicked it up a notch.  I loved that the ginger wasn't over powering.

A Homemade Life was a book on my Book it List.  For more information on my Booking It for 2013 click here.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013


View along the Sea to Ski Highway
Yesterday, we headed up to Canada to do both some geocaching and earth caching.  An earthcache doesn't have a physical cache rather the developer wanted to bring you to a unique geoscience location.  Usually it has the cacher answering some questions about the location.  Both Earthcaches we found yesterday were along the Sea to Ski Highway in British Columbia, Canada.

Alex Fraser Bridge in the fog
It was incredibly foggy all day during our Canadian Adventure.  Our First earthcache was called Flutes and was a glacial flute which is a land form created by the dragging of a boulder at the base of a glacier and polishing the bedrock.
The second earthcache was called Stawamus Chief or referred to just as "The Chief". The Chief is a enormous granite wall. It is the second largest granite monolith in the world.
Stawamus Chief
Boys in front of the Chief
Of course NO TRIP TO CANADA would be complete without a trip to Tim Horton's for Tim Bits.

I just had to take a picture of this store across from Tim Horton's.  It is funny.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Photo from the Past

Chuckles - January 20, 2003
I decided to continue to post a photo from the same date from the past as a regular series. The above photo is of Chuckles January 20, 2003. This was taken in our old house in Chula Vista, CA.  Chuckles was exactly 8 months old.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Breaching a Door

door jam broken
I have always wanted to breach a door. That is police talk for pushing in a door.  I am sure that breaching a door was on my life list.  LOL   It is right up there with going to Biker Church, seriously I want to go once.  Anyhow, my son's door knob fell off and he closed the door.  There was no way in.  The handle had fallen off on the outside of the door. Of course, my hubby was gone on a business trip.  So I thought breaking down the door seemed like a good idea.  Yes, I did try several other things. But the door had a little give so I just gave it a strong shove and OOPS.  Oops as in the door gave and the door frame split.  Hey we got in. 

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Booking It January 2013/Book Plans

This group of books will make you get your Kleenex, seriously. These are the books I finished reading in December.

Hinterland by Caroline Brothers is a story about 2 young boys and their adventures in trying to immigrate to the United Kingdom. This would be a good adult companion book to Shadow by Micheal Morpurgo a young adult fiction book about 2 Afghanistan's who seek asylum in England. I was reading "Shadow" aloud to Chuckles while reading Hinterland.  I think it added to my overall understanding. As Americans, I don't think we fully understand that other countries have immigration problems and I for one didn't think of the logistics that it takes to immigrate to the UK.

The Sweetness of Forgetting by Kristin Harmel is a story about a bakery owner and her adventures in finding out the truth about her heritage through her grandmother.  There is a mystery she solves. In a way this book reminds me of the book Sarah's Key as part of the book discusses and explores the round-up of Jews in Paris during WWII. Bring your Kleenex.  This is a two hanky read.

Lastly, I read Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar by Cheryl Strayed.  Cheryl Strayed is also the author of Wild.  I was just so-so on Wild.  There are better books on the Pacific Crest Trail. . However, I really enjoyed the advice she gave as Sugar.  I will say this is adult advice as some the advice requested was clearly for your not typical adult situations. I think most of us NEED a Dear Sugar in our lives.  Someone who give it to us straight up and not sugar coated.

Life as Mom has a great list of books that several other bloggers and her are going to tackle in the new year as part of her Booking it Series. It is a very interesting and diverse. I picked some off that list to add to my own. Check out my list below:

My List
Turn Right at Machu Picchu: Rediscovering the Lost City One Step at a Time by Mark Adams

Dug Down Deep  by Joshua Harris

Cleaning House: A Mom's Twelve Month Experiment to Rid Her Home of Youth Entitlement by Kay Wills Wyma

The Disappearing Spoon by Sam Kean

The Feast Nearby by Robin Mather

The Kitchen Counter Cooking School by Kathleen Flinn

French Kids Eat Everything by Karen Le Billon

A Homemade Life by Molly Wizenberg

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Me and MacGyver

I think my appliances hate me.  Maybe hate is too strong of a word.  This past couple weeks have been of appliance failure.  My washer decided to flood the laundry room a couple times.  I guess it was wishful thinking that it was only a one time thing.  The refrigerator kept freezing EVERYTHING. 

Thankfully I have a MacGyver. You know MacGyver from the TV series  who can fix anything with some string and gum. Mrs. Respiratory Therapist introduced us to googling appliance repairs.  So we googled our appliance problems.  MacGyver took apart our washer and determined the motor was about the go .  We decided that we should probably go ahead and purchase a new machine- uggh.  That was the easy part.  Our laundry room is extremely small and not much space to work in.  Getting the machine out was like a massive game of Tetris. We had to disassemble shelving and gather some minions to help us get our dryer unstacked from our washer. We did get it accomplished with brute strength not mine, thank goodness. So I am now the proud owner of a new washing machine

Secondly, the refrigerator had some kind of flap that was broken off. It was causing cold air to constantly blow in the refrigerator. It was freezing everything. MacGyver took it apart. So upon removing the plastic casing in the back of the refrigerator you discover Styrofoam held together by what looks like masking tape.  I can't make this stuff up.  I kept finding myself holding my breath as he kept taking apart things. It just was more and more Styrofoam surrounding this fan and flap. He finds the flap and indeed it is broken.  Decides to super glue doesn't work and ends of using some kind of quick grip.  YES, it is fixed and put back together.

On top of that, he put together this 3D apple puzzle.  Technically I started it  The two pieces I put together took me about 15 minutes.  The whole apple took him about 20 minutes.  I am so thankful we have MacGyver.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Monday Funnies

Me and Russell Wilson (QB Seahawks)
The picture above is the closest THAT I WILL EVER get to Russell Wilson quarter back for the Seattle Seahawks.  It is tragic that they lost yesterday. None of my guys would pose with Russell.  Where is there Seahawk pride?

You will never go through a drive thru ever again without thinking about the invisible guy.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Project Life Update

I stuck with Project Life through October with my budget version. My budget version used baseball card protectors and 8x10 album.  It worked OK.  Most of the work was resizing the photos to fit the baseball sleeves. It ended up being a hassle though I made it all the way October.  I thought this year I would go with 12 x12 album and the actual project life photo sleeves.  The whole idea behind this album is to make this a painless process.  A week layout once you have the photos shouldn't take over a hour to complete.  The above page took about 20 minutes max once I had the photos in hand. I also splurged and got the Project Life : Cobalt Edition that contains all the little cards.

Journaling on small card

New Year - we took the 1st day of the year easy. Heather made Ham and Cheese Pretzel bites. They made such an impression on Charlie he wrote best dinner of the year on his school lunch menu. (a copy of part of lunch menu is in the slot next to the journaling)

Journaling on large card

In pursuit of the NUMBERS!
We spent the 1st part of the week trying to end our geocaching year on our 600th find. We visited Big Rock Park in Bellingham to find some more caches. Big Rock Park has some awesome sculptures. It was our 1st visit.  The last cache of the year we found was called Birchwood Wetlands. Heather and Kevin found it early on December 31st before Kevin went to work.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Photo from the Past

Chuckles - 1/10/11
I thought I would go through the photo archives which there are many and post a picture from same date in the past. In this case, it is 1/10/11. I am assuming that we were working on our Valentine pictures. That is why Chuckles is holding a cardboard heart he painted himself.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Experimental Cooking

Source: via Heather on Pinterest

Last week I did some experimental cooking.  I made a vinegar cake.  I got the recipe from the Relish magazine that comes in the paper. Vinegar cake just sounds not good but oh, so good! It was incredibly moist and not overly chocolately. I thought it was easy to make.

Secondly, I made Bacon Ranch Chicken Pasta from Baking with Blondie.  It was great and even my picky no pasta eater ate it.  It was a little more involved for a week night meal than I like.  IT would of been easier if the chicken had been cooked. I did use bacon bits over frying the bacon.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Welcome to 2013

What a week!  Welcome to 2013! I've had a tough time getting back into the blogging this week.  Thought I would share some pics of the last week.

We ended the year with one last find to end in finding a total 600 lifetime geocache finds . We are all about the numbers.
We had a few days at the beginning of the week with great sun and stunning snow covered Mt Baker views.  It was great break from the rain.
The first day back to school had a beautiful sunrise.  Quite frankly, the picture doesn't do it justice.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

More about 1 little word

All endeavor calls for the ability to tramp the last mile, shape the last plan, endure the last hours toil. The fight to the finish spirit is the one... characteristic we must posses if we are to face the future as finishers. -  Henry David Thoreau

Trying to get back into the groove of normal. I wrote about my 1 little word here -Endeavor.  Ali Edwards put up a post with a list of all the words - there are lots. Money Saving Mom also had a post up with her words.  Still haven't come up with any New Year's Resolutions, you might try 1 little word.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

End of the Year WRAP UP -2012

4th July - photo by Kevin
It is hard to believe that 2012 is over. I always like to give you the stats for the year for the past year so here it goes. I am a geek like that.

#1 Son Arizona
Booking It Stats -Booking Wrap Up Post(click here)
# of books read - 51

Geocaching Stats
# of geocaches found this year- 437
#of total geocaches found to date - 600
# of personally owned trackables - 5
If our travel bug race was still going Chuckles would still be in the lead with 3008 miles
travel racer that traveled the farthest this year - FLAG- 5227 miles/current location-Switzerland
****More information about geocaching visit

Top 5 Posts of All Time
(according to BLOGGER)
1.Skateboard Swing
2. 50 Sucks Bouquet
3. Ruler Wreath
4.Christmas Tour 2010
5.Summer List *** the only post from 2012 to break into the top 5

# of posts for 2012- 213

One Little Word for Last Year - Maverick
One Little Word for 2013- Endeavor

# of Home Goals Met - 1
Love Wall

Chuckles being silly