Posts tagged ‘friends’

May 9, 2012

2 + 3 = Piece of cake. 5 + 6 = Mass exodus & chaos

A few days after Max and Ruby joined our little family, we added 3 Ameraucanas.  These chickens are also sometimes called “Easter Eggers” because they lay blue, green and sometimes pinkish eggs.  I was excited to get these super-cool egg layers, but after how the first chickens went, I was SO nervous to introduce these chicks to the other two!  Pounding heart, sweating…the works.  I let the first of the three newbies out.  She took a step out…another step…and another step.  And nothing!  So I tried the other two.  Same thing!  Seriously?!  They made the adjustment perfectly – never an attempt at escape at all.  Francis, Blue and Gloria quickly became our favorites 🙂  Watching “Chicken TV”, as I call sitting in a lawn chair outside the pen, immediately took the place of watching actual TV.  It was amazing to see their personalities or temperaments come out and to see first hand that “pecking order” is a real phenomenon.  Max definitely wanted the three new chickens to know the she was here first. And Ruby is Max’s little sidekick.  Even though Max and Ruby are smaller than the Ameraucanas, they’re scrappy!
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Meet Francis – she’s a light orangy brown with white accents.  She is our most social hen.  I was trying to take pictures of each of the hens and each time, she’d pop into the shot!  She’s plump, friendly and lays a pale peach colored egg.

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This is Blue {I’m pretty sure M named her with another Nick Jr. cartoon in mind}.  She’s brown and has some really cool yellow and black tipped feathers around her neck.  She’s mild all the way around.  Not social, but not shy.  She doesn’t peck on anyone and doesn’t do much of anything that would elicit pecking from Max or Ruby.  She lays a mint green egg.

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This photo of Gloria doesn’t show how glorious she looks.  She’s mostly grey and greyish brown with some yellow and black feathers around her neck.  I think she’s so pretty!  She lays a pretty blue egg.

For a week we totally enjoyed spending time watching, caring for, hanging out with and giving personalized attention to our small flock of 5.  They all looked different and were very easy to tell apart.  Our chicken livin’ was just so sweet.  And then we added 6 more birds to the flock.  Yep–welcome to the crazy coop.  I immediately lost track of who was who and the new 6 chicks immediately started trying to escape.  At least the Hubs was home when all this was going on.  An extra long roll of bird netting and a hundred zip-ties later, our yard was covered and the girls were trapped {bwa-ha-ha!}.

I’m happy to report that all the girls have settled in nicely now and I’ve even learned to tell all 11 apart!  {Max, Ruby, Francis, Blue, Gloria, Daisy, Penny, Larae, Chloe, Thelma, and Lizzie} Here they are chatting around the water cooler.

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CY told me that Amish women get together to catch up on the latest gossip and that these sessions are called “Gluckins”.  I love that!

Monkey M is absolutely IN LOVE with our hens.  He has surprised me with how he has zero fear or reservations about anything as far as they’re concerned.  He loves catching them by the tail to pick them up and snuggle with them.  His faves are Francis and Daisy, but it’s his goal to snuggle each and every one of them.  He subscribes to the thought that the more he picks them up, the more they’ll get used to him.  Seems to be working!

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May 29, 2011

A lip smackin’ good time

I found a few recipes online recently for tinted lip balm/gloss.  My absolute “must have” makeup item would have to be, hands down, lip gloss/lipstick.  I’ve already mastered {ha!} chapstick, so tinted lip gloss sounded like a perfect next project!  I tried the gloss recipe first and the results were just right for this blog: {un}perfect.  Since I have a ton of empty chapstick tubes, I poured the gloss into the tubes.  While it holds up decently, as soon as the gloss hits a pair of lips, it melts into super gloss.  A little too much gloss, if you ask me.  So, I tried a tinted lip balm recipe today.  This recipe fared much better, but this time not quite enough gloss for my liking.  Maybe later I’ll try for a happy medium.  Once I get the {in my opinion} perfect recipe, I’ll post.  In the meantime, my friends’ lips will be getting all kinds of glossy, balmy spoiling going on 🙂

February 15, 2011

Love is in the air!

The Hubs is one of those who thinks Valentine’s Day is a lame Hallmark holiday, but he “celebrates” it to appease me {what a guy}.  This year {in the spirit of lowering my expectations}, I decided to try a few things with the kids to make it a day of celebrating love in a FUN way!  I think we all had a good time, it was special, and it didn’t cost much at all.

Miss A and I started our celebration a little early on Sunday afternoon with custom heart-felt manicures.  A wanted red, pink AND fuchsia {why not?}, so we alternated the colors, then topped them off with hearts drawn on with a nail art pen.  I painted my nails fuchsia and did 1 heart on my thumb 🙂

{I ❤ this manicure}

 Monday morning I had a special breakfast for the kids: Jell-O jigglers! {I know, I don’t usually share the kids’ names, but I wanted to show the Jell-O 🙂 }

Of course, in my true {un}perfect impulsive way, I decided to make the jigglers the night before and had to use what I had on hand.  Jigglers take 4 boxes.  I had 2 Grape, 1 sugar-free Strawberry and 1 sugar-free Raspberry.  Made for an interesting flavor…

{darn his long name and our little plates!}

{He said, "Yum! I wuv Jeww-O! Hey, how did the Jeww-O know my name??"}

I love making treat bags for the kids’ holiday parties–this one was no exception.  And because my kids LOVE them, I slaved and included some pretty cute cake pops.

{another pic because they're just so cute!}

{my little heart breaker}

{A's teacher painted hearts on the kids' faces--so cute!}

Regrettably, I didn’t get a pic with The Hubs, but honestly, neither of us was looking too hot that morning.  He did, however give me a nice card and a certificate for a mani/pedi/massage.  Ahhh…can’t wait!    I, being equally sweet, gave him this:

{card by upupcreative.com}

That evening I spent a romantic evening with some of my girls, watching the Bachelor.  I made these bad boys especially for them! 

{chocolate cake pops made with chocolate frosting and chocolate candy coating--for my chocolate loving Valentines!}

{C.Y., J.J., K.N.}

February 10, 2011

Fabric flower headbands

Here are the fabric flower items I mentioned here the other day.  You know, the ones I couldn’t post yet because they were en route to a reader as a surprise 🙂  They have made it safe and sound, so now I can share them with you!

{cute little headbands for two cute little girls}

{this purplish blue and brown one is for a sweet little redhead}

{and this black and pink one is for a brunette cutie}

Happy Valentine’s Day, K & M!

February 9, 2011

Oh happy day!

Today was my birthday and it was such a fun one!  In the past I’ve had super high expectations for this once-a-year celebration.  You know what happens when you have really high expectations?  They almost never get met, then you’re left with disappointment.  Not fun.  This year I collaborated a bunch with God to lower my expectations and truly appreciate every little thing that came my way.  And you know what?  It was an incredible birthday!  Seriously, the best.  I started out last night enjoying some trash TV {The Bachelor} with my girlfriends.  We had wine, fun and a lot of laughs.  I even got an early gift of…comfort food!  My girl C.Y. brought me a box of Wheat Thins {HA!} and another fave–a Starbucks gift card.  Yum.  I just love Monday nights with the girls.  We “partied” until it was officially my birthday, then we went home to crash.

{with my friend/neighbor J.J.--showing off my rosette necklace}

This morning I got to sleep in a bit, then went downstairs to gifts from my fam.  Monkey A was more than happy to give me her sweet card {one that plays a song…which will inevitably become HER card to listen to over and over} that included a gift card to one of my favorite cheap/trendy stores: Charlotte Russe 🙂  The Hubs had made me a card with a poem he had written about our last year {love his poems!} and another CR gift card.  Yes!  A informed me {stage whisper} that M’s card contained a 3rd CR gift card.  WOOHOO!  However, M was insistent that I not open his card until I was eating birthday cake.  That’s what you’re supposed to do; that’s what he did.  🙂 

After breakfast we got in the car and headed west a bit {but not before using part of my Starbucks card, of course} to join my mom, my friend A.M. and her kids for our “usual”.  Our “usual” is most parents’ nightmare.  But we love it: Chuck E. Cheese’s!  Honestly, where else can you go and, for under $25, enjoy lunch and 3-4 hours of adult conversation while your kids run around FULLY entertained?  Ok, maybe there are a few other places, but we seriously love our regular CEC “dates”.  We have found that Tuesday mornings are usually pretty dead around there.  And we’ve been there so many times over the last 2 years that the manages know us by name.  They now help us find the best coupon codes, sneak our kids extra tokens and tickets {M calls one manager “Sneaky Tony”}, bring special treats for them…it’s our own personal kid-friendly Cheers!  And ok, I have to admit that A.M. and I have a favorite game we like to play as well 😉  No cake was consumed {I’m trying to actually complement my working out by sort of watching what I eat}, but M agreed to let me open my card {another musical one, of course} over my birthday pizza {I said “sort of” watching what I eat…}, especially since I was opening my gifts from A.M. 🙂

{A.W. and A.M. at C.E.C.}

After a fun and full day at CEC, the kids and I headed back home just in time to pick up the house a bit before the babysitters came over.  Warning: you’re about to be totally jealous.  Our two neighbor girls {ages 12 and 14}, who our kids adore, babysit FOR POINTS!  Yep, for about half the year they don’t accept money for babysitting.  Their church has a point program where the kids earn points by doing things like shoveling {yes, we’ve been on the receiving end of that one too!}, babysitting, and other forms of helping.  If the kids earn a certain number of points, the church will pay their way to summer camp in full.  It’s awesome!  So…after our super-sitters arrived, another friend dropped over to bring me yet another of my comfort food staples: Diet Dr. Pepper!  Not only that, but a new tube of lip gloss.  I’m a little more than slightly obsessed with lip gloss and I LOVE trying new stuff.  Perfect little birthday surprises!  The Hubs and I headed to the mall to do a little bit of shopping before our dinner reservation.  Once at the restaurant, we ran into not one, not two but THREE sets of friends!  Two sets were celebrating birthdays today as well.  The Hubs and I enjoyed a delicious dinner, I had some incredible wine and a cute little complimentary dessert.  And even better–we used our GROUPON {if you haven’t checked it out yet, you need to!  Click here}, so it was half price!  Oh, how I love saving money 🙂

{The Hubs and me}

{random run-in with J.S. and K.S.}

{fun birthday treat}

{isn't it cute??}

Now here I sit, so grateful, a heart full of love and toasty warm in my University of Michigan Snuggie… Amazing how when we lower our expectations, they’re almost always exceeded!  As my mom says, We need to raise our expectations of God and lower our expectations of people. People will let you down, but God never will.  Right on, Mama; right on…

February 3, 2011

Making the best of the white stuff

School was cancelled yesterday {bummer!} due to the Big Blizzard of 2011…or something.  Yeah, there was a lot of snow, but it didn’t seem like a real true blizzard.  But maybe that’s because most of it happened during the night and I didn’t leave the house so I didn’t experience the roads.  Who knows?  Anyway, the roads must’ve been good enough for a Trail Blazer to get through because one of A’s friend’s dad drove over to pick A and her friend/neighbor E.N. up for a playdate.  {YESSS!}  Thanks J.I. for that 🙂  While A was gone, M and I headed outside to take advantage of the big piles of snow.  E.N. and her dad had dug a tunnel while shoveling the snow this morning and M was having a great time crawling through it {thanks K.N. for snapping this pic}!

{crawling through the neighbors' tunnel}

 After a while M decided he wanted to dig one of our own, so back across the street we trudged.  It was tricky finding a drift tall enough, but we did it.  Apparently my tunnel-digging skills don’t quite match up to B. N.’s, but I got the job done. 

{woohoo we made it through! Yes, the tunnel opening did get a bit bigger than this...}

M had fun crawling through and I even made it through a few times.  I had to wriggle through on my stomach and my claustrophobic tendencies kicked in giving me visions of being trapped underneath the collapsed tunnel, but other than that it was great 😉  And, despite the great amounts of snow and low temps, this mama managed to stay quite warm with all that digging! 

{TA-DA!}

January 31, 2011

The Latest Models: By Request

Last week a friend requested some of these zippy little headbands to send in a V-Day care package to her cute little nieces.  I hope they like them!

{one little, two little, three little flowers}

{aren't they sweet??}

{this single flower has a secret}

{can you guess what it is?}

{it moonlights as a clip!}

January 16, 2011

Party on Party People!

As promised, here are some of the fabulous photos taken by friend and professional photographer, Emily Rae.  Love them!

{my rockin' 4-yr-old M}

{the studio group pics}

{recording in action}

The boys had an absolute blast!  I don’t know how I’ll be able to top this party… I give up now!

January 15, 2011

Rock on! ZZZzzz…

Remember last week when I mentioned stupid late bedtimes and the havoc it wreaks on my body?  Yeah, I did it again last night.  In preparation for Monkey M’s “Rockin’ Birthday Party” {more on that later, I promise}, The Hubs and I stayed up until stupid:00am {aka 4:00am}.  That, folks, is procrastination at its finest.  I absolutely love planning and carrying out a themed party.  It can get detailed and very expensive very quickly.  But it is OH-SO-FUN for me!! 

M’s 4th birthday party this year involved The Hubs writing a song and then having M and 6 of his friends/cousins go to a studio {Sound Street Studios} to play and record it.  M was on the drum kit, of course {my very unbiased opinion is that M will one day end up a famous drummer!}, while his buddies {and some others, including his friends’ dads, The Hubs, my dad “Papa”, the “videographer” for “behind the scenes” footage, and the photographer, Emily} played other various instruments.  It was the most fun, adorable, chaotic, awesome party for a bunch of young boys!  I mean, there are ALL kinds of princess parties out there for girls, why not more Rock Star parties for boys {and girls, too, of course}??  We’ll even get a mixed-down version of the song on CD!  The afternoon came to a close with lunch, presents and cake pops at Pizza Hut.  I suppose I could’ve hosted a very rock star themed lunch, but quite frankly I didn’t want to clean the house!  {My poor husband did NOT marry a good house keeper!} 

In any case…a lot of the details were planned well in advance of the party, but almost nothing {on my part, anyway…The Hubs was checking things off his list left and right} had been carried out.  The cake pops were not made, the VIP passes were not done, the treat bags were not filled, the party clothes had not been washed/dried, etc., etc.  You get the picture.  So, finally, at 4am, The Hubs {who was fantastic enough to help me finish my list of things until the wee hours} and I turned off our lights with alarms set for a mere 4 hours later. 

Suffice it to say, we’re exhausted today.  My “perfect” party-planning-photo-taking mom self would love to post some of the photos I took today, but doggone it, I’M TIRED!  Sooo…I took a melatonin and I’m well on my way to La-La Land.  I’m not going to stress about not having the photos edited today, but I will be back soon with a full account of the ROCK STAR party!

I’ll leave you with this shot of M dodging the paparazzi with a very clever sunglasses disguise…

{Who IS that?! Must be someone famous...}

January 4, 2011

I wish I was more embarrassed…

…but I’m just not.  Yes, tonight I spent 2 hours of my life with my girlfriends watching The Bachelor.   Most of our time was spent being face-buryingly embarrassed for the silly girls on the show, but I love my Monday nights with my girlfriends watching silly, silly shows like The Bachelor and talking about how we’d kill our daughters if they ever acted like that in public!

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