Wednesday, July 20, 2011


These Cookie Monster Cupcakes have been all over blog land. They are so cute and look so easy to do, and who wouldn't want some cookie on their cupcake? Pictured above is my lame attempt. I decided to give these a try for my daughter's 2 year old birthday. It was very last minute so they were far from perfect but they were fun. My big mistake with these was not putting the "pupils" of the eyes more cross-eyed, and not having big enough candy for the white part of the eye, small detail but a very important one. They were really yummy though.

Anyway, I saw this picture above and burst out laughing! So funny! This is what this blog is all about, us mom's being able to laugh at ourselves in the midst of all the chaos of raising a family.

Well done!!

Monday, July 18, 2011


Now that I have three school-aged children, I've forgotten how crazy a house full of kids can be. Wow! We have been keeping very busy working on our Summer Bucket List. We also found out that we are going on a vacation this summer afterall, yay!! We are going "home" to California for a couple of weeks. I'm slightly terrified about taking my four kids but mostly, the two year old on a five hour flight but excited to see my family (and my favorite beaches). We are going to play tourist during this trip too, maybe even LEGO LAND!

Enough of that, I wanted to share with you our 30 Days of Drawing. I came across these cute blank books in the clearance section of Michaels and had to get them. There is something about lots of white paper that just makes me happy. The idea of Thirty Days of Drawing was on our Summer Bucket List but I hadn't come up with the actual drawing "assignments" yet. But last week, finally, I got to work and here it is.

I had planned on just handing my kids their new books, gluing the list of 30 drawing ideas inside and set them loose, but my second oldest thought it would be more fun if we all sat together and sketched, and she was right! It was fun, and it was nice to relax and chat together while our creative juices poured out onto our papers. We will go outside and lay on blankets for some of the days.

Oh, and I also got some great books on drawing from the library, to inspire my little artists if needed.

Feel free to use our 30 Days of Drawing for your own family and don't forget to include yourself. I realized that my kids were really looking forward to me joining them (even though I hadn't planned on it initially.)

So, any ideas on how to entertain a willful toddler on a five hour airplane flight?

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

How to Avoid "POOL HAIR" or, How to Keep Your Hair From Turning Green

I have a daughter with very long, very blonde hair. This same girl is also a year-round swimmer, so keeping her hair blonde and not green takes some effort.

Thankfully there are just a few simple things to know to keep your swimmer hair healthy.

Blonde hair is the most susceptible to turning green, because blonde hair is the most porous, but even dark hair can become brittle and damaged from chlorine. So what does one do?

The first thing to do is realize that your hair is like a sponge. If you go into the water dry, your hair is going to soak up all that chlorinated water. But, also like a sponge, if you wet it first with non-pool water, it will be too full of water to soak up any pool water. So, rule number one is:

Wet your hair before going into the pool.

If you can take a quick shower and wet all of your hair first that is great. A swim cap does NOT keep the chlorine out. My kids are always running into practice on the brink of being late, so I keep a spray bottle in our car, that I have filled with water, lemon juice, Moroccan Oil, and conditioner. Some of these things float to the top, so I have to shake it before using, but it works GREAT! Even just using a spray bottle with regular water would be a HUGE help in lessening chlorine damage.

Use a de-chlorinating shampoo.

There are many brands that make a shampoo which specializes in removing the chlorine. My favorite is MALIBU 2000. You can only buy this at salons or on the internet (I buy mine at Amazon) and it's pricey but it works VERY well. It is also concentrated, so a little goes a long way. I stick a pin in the top to create a hole which causes the shampoo to come out a little slower, this way I can keep my kids from using too much. Malibu makes another swim shampoo, called Malibu C, but it is not half as good as the 2000. You may see the Malibu C at swim shops, or sporting goods stores but not the 2000 because only Hair Salons are allowed to sell it.

Well, I hope this helps! Have fun in the pool, green free!


Sunday, July 10, 2011

Father's Day in Review

Happy Father's Day! Oh, wait it's July sorry, wow this summer is moving fast, right?! Just wanted to document our Father's Day, if for no other reason, a frame of reference for me for next year. My husband and our older two children volunteered at a Triathlon that our swim team is involved with, the proceeds going toward skin cancer research. They had a fun morning together and when they came home the real pampering started. My husband's weakness is soda. He has sworn off soda except for a few special occasions and the kids wanted to spoil him with it for Father's Day. They spent their own money and bought him the fancy stuff. We found these fun printables at THE IDEA DOOR for dressing up the soda bottles. I loved these and think maybe I will expand on this idea for next year.

My kids also made him this card, using paint sample cards from Home Depot. My husband liked this card a lot which is unusual, he doesn't usually care about cards. I liked this idea because all I had to do was hand each child a paint sample card and they could decide what they wanted to write or draw on it, and all I had to do was loop them together, add some photos, and all done!

One of my daughter's also made him some "coupons" stored in an Altoids box (so they're waterproof?) which he also enjoyed. My son had made some coupons in his Kindergarten class which I managed to remember existed and find (rare "yay me" moment).

He also got some "stuff" like new shorts, sunglasses and tools, not to mention a yummy lunch and dinner! Saw a really cool photo idea I want to try for next year, but since my husband occasionally reads this blog, I have to keep it under wraps. Sorry.

Monday, July 4, 2011


I saw this over at 320 Sycamore today and had to share it. Happy Independence Day to my fellow Americans! In Zumba this morning we cooled down to Beyonce's version of "Proud To Be an Amercan" and I was surprised by my emotional response. It was nice to be reminded that I do in fact love this land. Yes, God Bless the USA!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Writing with SPARKLERS

My husband is busy making deviled eggs, because what is the Fourth without deviled eggs, I ask you? I have seen some very cute/fun recipes for Independence Day, all from the blogs over to the right on my blog roll, definitely worth a look. I don't have any recipes of my own to add but I DID see a cute idea about writing messages with sparklers. If you'd like to try it, check out the tutorial, from photographer Nicole Hill at A LITTLE SASSY right here. Nicole uses a tripod but if you don't have one of those, I'm sure resting your camera on a table would work too.

I guess I must add that sparklers are VERY hot and can be dangerous for young children, so please use caution!

Spell out "USA" or maybe "NOEL" and use it for a Christmas card.

IMPORTANT NOTE: for my DSLR camera, a Nikon D80, I couldn't get the settings exactly as Nicole Hill suggested but setting the dial to auto, an ISO of 200, and disabling the flash worked the best. It took about 5 rounds of sparklers but we finally got an entire USA, and the kids had a great time trying it out. Good luck! The subjects are not in focus
(I should have used manual focus and focused directly on the subjects) and the sparklers aren't as nice and fat as her photo, but it worked okay. I bet using 3 sparklers each would have made them fluffier.
Whatever you decide, have fun and HAPPY FOURTH!