Aug 29, 2014

DIY NECKLACES FOR THE LITTLES FROM THIER SUMMER ADVENTURES + WEEKEND LINKS






Happy Friday!

A great start to the weekend for me! Well sort of.  Dropped little h off to preschool - not a tear… FROM HIM.  Me on the other hand, I still felt on the verge of a good cry inside?!!  Extra hormones?

At any rate, one last birthday gift for the munchkin. These necklaces made from shells and stones we found on our summer adventures.

She insists on wearing them all at once? Never too many accessories I suppose..

To Make
Cut brightly colored cotton cord (available at Craft Stores) about four inches longer than the desired length of your necklace.  Knot the cord ends. Fold it in half and wrap it around the shell or stone, the pull the cord ends through the loop.  Tighten and secure with super glue or hot glue. Let dry!
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Some other fun links to peruse over the Labor Day weekend:

As Vogue put it, The ultimate blonde takes on street style. That's right Barbie has Instagram and her style is SO SERIOUS. Hope Brunette and Chocolate Barbie get some play too..

Speaking of breaking news… I was on the local news again!!! At this rate, I'll be a local celebrity in no time!

This ValMariePaper prayer journal may be just the addition I need to stay purposeful and on track with my prayers for my family, goals, and ambitions.

If you follow Bunnie Hilliard on Instagram you know that munchkin turned 6 - WOOT!! And if you don't (follow) check out what she said was THE BEST DAY OF HER LIFE here.  see #munchkinturns6 on Instagram for the play by play or her special day...

So excited to take the long weekend to read something new and funny. A dear friend left this book for me at pickup from the preschool today. She thought I'd like it - its about a blogger. One last sumer read!

If you get a minute, and are in the mood to see some lovely lady frocks check out my fab mum friends newly updated website - Ladyee Boutique

Speaking of Fashion, stay tuned for a fun collaboration with a boutique I'm so excited to introduce you too.

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Hope you have a great weekend!! Any fun plans?

xxB


Aug 27, 2014

PLAYGROUND POLISHED: 5 MINUTE MANICURE


So I've been doing a much better job these days of giving myself a little mani in lieu of getting an actual manicure at the salon. Not unlike most mamas I'm washing my hands a gazillion times a day, and it just feels like a waste when the polish is looking all chippy after day 2 and who has time to scrounge up nail polish remover and take polish off. Instead, I've found the perfect pale pink shade of polish barely noticeable when it starts to chip leaving me plenty of time to get back around to giving myself a little refresh. So my nails look pretty clean and crisp most of the time (pats self on back).

That was my round about way of saying, Here's my 5 minute manicure routine!!



What You Need:

Nail File
Olive Oil
Base Coat
Perfect light Pink Shade of Polish
Clear Top Coat


What to do:

Step One: File underneath nails with emory board - Makes them rounder and not sharp.

Step Two: Oil the cuticles with a bit of olive oil. I don't do any pushing back, but just rubbing around. I actually just wipe off the excess oil with a baby wipe:-)

Step Three: I've been using Essie's Grow Stronger as a base coat. Just one coat.

Step Four: Apply Color. One swipe down the right, One down the left, then in the middle, and then the tip.  Let dry for a minute, then apply another coat.

Step Five: After two days or so, apply a top coat to keep it fresh for the rest of the week.




Now about those hang nails.. another story for another day…




I'm a big fan of Essie polish. They do a really good job with the range of colors and is pretty affordable. I've tried Madmoiselle, and Ballet Slippers, but  Essie Sugar Daddy is quite the perfect nude shade of pink. Definitely my all time favorite, and looks gorgeous on all skin tones.


What is that on my skirt? who knows after a day of this and this with the littlest.

At any rate, This is super easy to do and I leave the polish on my little kitchen cart so that if I have a spare 5 mins I can give myself a quick mani before heading off to the play ground..

Whats your "go to" nail polish brand/color?

xxB


Aug 25, 2014

EASY WEEKNIGHT MEALS: PAN-SEARED CHICKEN WITH MUSTARD SAUCE.


Hope you had an awesome weekend!! Mine was pretty low key. Play date with little h and his best bud, ballet for munchkin. I played hookie from church and we scooted off to a school picnic

I happened to take a few snaps of this yummy chicken I made for dinner last week and wanted to share. It was super easy. 


INGREDIENTS
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, (6 ounces each)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon dried tarragon

PREPARATION
Sprinkle chicken breasts with salt and pepper. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken; saute until cooked through, 10 to 12 minutes, turning once. Transfer to a plate; keep warm.

Pour broth into hot skillet; cook, stirring, until reduced by half, about 1 minute. Whisk in cream, mustard, and tarragon. Cook, whisking, until thickened, about 2 minutes.

Pour any accumulated chicken juices from plate into sauce. Right before serving, drizzle cream sauce over chicken.


I sliced up the leftovers and threw on top of a salad. Even better. You're welcome.

That's all I've got for today. Putting up the groceries (and the stash from my Target run). And then off to hop in the carpool line to pick up the kiddos.

xxB

Aug 22, 2014

GETTING ORGANIZED FOR BACK TO SCHOOL + LINKS



This morning was the WORST. Still trying to get in the groove of the morning school routine. This is the first time ever that I've had to wake the kids up (for school) as opposed to them being my alarm clock. Everyone was grumpy. Avery pitched the biggest fit when I finally wrestled him (like a screaming greased piglet) into his clothes for the day. I waited until the last few minutes (never again) which put us back another fifteen. And then my normally 25 minute drive turned into an hour and a half of traffic. I contemplated jumping from my slowly moving vehicle more times than I can count - ABANDON SHIP!  Lets suffice to say, I am not cut out for rush hour traffic.  Needless to say we were late to drop off and missed the first Friday Pep Rally/Assembly for my 1st grader. I think I was just as disappointed as she was:-( Then, day two of preschool for little h turned into a real crying at the door break down.. mostly me - not him. I think it was the traffic tradgedy ??

The good news is so far I've been able to refresh a bit. I ran home, put on my sports bra and headed out for a quick run and some "office hours." at the coffee shop. And I think I"m going to be on the news again! A reporter stopped me and asked me a few questions about the sketch of guy that had attacked a woman last week on that same trail:-/ I'M A STAR!

At any rate, I'm hoping next week will be much more organized and stress free. Here are a couple of links to get me (and you) on track:

A better organizer: I've heard a lot about this Whitney English Day Designer. For Living a Well Designed Life… They are BEAUTFUL and I LOVE PRETTY PAPER so I'm very intrigued. Have you used it? It looks amazing.. 

Prepping for School Photos - Digging these looks for the kiddos. Last year the munchkin nailed it. Using these tips to make sure we get a repeat performance.

Head start on Teachers Gifts - Printed this out  to get to know the teachers a bit better and so I can have a leg up on getting them the perfect teachers appreciation/birthday/holiday gifts.

Label Everything - These Tiny Prints labels for her (and these for him) are in my virtual shopping cart.

Their Routine - Keeping the 1st grader on track with this "To Do" list of her own.

My Routine - Making some minor tweaks to this list and doing these: 

7 things every day for myself
   
1. Start my day with prayer and devotional reading. I've been reading a chapter a day using this study bible and this daily devotional. It just feels good to start the day with your mind in a good place.
2. Make my bed.  It's just a better start to the day, and if everything else goes to hell, coming upstairs to a made bed just makes it a good reset.
3. Read to the children.  Its good for them, we get to spend some focused time together, and it just makes me feel like a better parent honestly..
4. Read for enjoyment at the end of my day. I've decided to replace my nightly recap of The Young and the Restless with more purposeful reading.. at least for a little while (don't judge me).
5. Journal my thoughts and goals. Speaking (and writing) good things into existence...
6. Spend some time working and growing in my passions and pursuits.  Nothing like working on your goals and crossing things off your "to do" list to make you feel just a bit more fulfilled.
7. Snuggle with H.  I still like him A LOT.
7b. Exercise a few times a week.  I don't think I can really commit to doing it every day, but at least 3-4 times a week. 

Is there anything you'd add to this list?

xxB

P.S. With all the madness and the current state of affairs, I have decided to take a break from Twitter and Facebook for a bit. I subscribe to several news feeds and its how I get my daily dose of whats going on in the world. I have been mistakenly reading the comments people have been writing on the Ferguson debacle. And with whats happening in Iraq and this Ebola situation and the debacle that was Atlanta Exes.... Depressing. Not putting my head in the sand as much as choosing to shut it off and spend some time focusing on my family, what's good, and getting my wits about myself again...












Aug 20, 2014

MAKE THESE FOR LABOR DAY | DIY RIBBON BROOCHES




ITS DIY WEDNESDAY!! 
I just made that up:-/ 
No but really, I saw these in a magazine., and decided to give it a whirl. something cute to add some flavor for Labor Day. I think they turned out pretty dog gone cute? So much so that  I got a little carried away…




These were super easy to make. Just cut a length of ribbon, make about 5 or six flat knots and then tuck the ends into the last knot on opposite side and secure with glue. Add these little pins on the back with a little hot glue as well. You could also use a safety pin.


What You Need:
Gross Grain Ribbon
Hot Glue Gun
Nickel Pin Backs (available at craft stores)          

              


I think I'm going to make one for all of my guests. Little favors, so that everyone looks festive? Let me know if you want one.. I've got extras:-)

xxB

Aug 18, 2014

SO LONG SUMMER… YOU WERE AWESOME.

Its so funny, we started the summer super excited and Gung Ho, but these last two weeks seemed to drag on FOREVER. All of our pals had already headed back to school and I was SO ready for school to start for us too - it seemed that summer would NEVER END. And now that it has, as I look back at the photos and memories I captured these past two months... seems like it flew by. SO AWESOME.  I miss it already.

I dropped them both off at school today finally. Little h started a half-day preschool (2 day/week). And as much as I couldn't wait to finally have a few hours to myself.. it was surely bitter sweet. The littlest, getting so independent.  When I went back to peep in through the window he was checking out all the "stations" all on his own, not a tear in sight - I think I may have cried even longer than he did (I just needed to release the anxiety I suppose)??!!

And my sweet girl. SO SMART. Sometimes I get in bed with her after she's gone to sleep and just stroke her hair, and pray for her, and smile at what an awesome little lady she's becoming.  I remember looking at her baby chubs and wondering what she'd be like. FIRST GRADE. She got in the car after school and said, "Mommy, IT WAS GREAT." And I could exhale...

Watching (and helping them grow up) so fast is equally exhilarating and terrifying. I often want to pinch myself, it seems so surreal to be a part of it all..

Feeling thankful.

xxB

Aug 15, 2014

FRIDAY CRAFTERNOON | SUPER SIZE IT.


Winding down the dog days of summer over here. Here's a little art project that we've been "perfecting all week."




If you haven't heard I've become a bit of a doodler. So it was super easy and fun for me to sketch this over sized doodle for the kids to get creative with.

I just rolled out a couple of rows of this Ikea MALA paper (roll) and secured it with painters tape. Munchkin said she wanted to play fairies so fairy wings and rainbows, h on his scooter, mushrooms, butterflies and voila less (TV) screen time - WOOT. Perfect for a rainy afternoon (or longer)..

If you aren't an artist like me (heh) you could also have the kids do a drawing with a black marker on 8x10 paper (or use a favorite coloring book page) take to a copy store like Staples or Office Depot and have them enlarge (three by four or so) and print. Even large (black and white) prints only run between $5 and $10. 

What do you think? Any suggestions for a rainy afternoon easy peasy craft?
xxB


p.s. I've been toying with the idea of letting the munchkin wear her hair out of the ponytails/poufs. She's dying to do it. I've been telling her when she gets a bit older… I can't believe how much taller she's gotten even just over the summer.  She's such  big girl already. 1st Grade!!

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