Friday, July 29, 2011

When they say Chunky Bling, they mean CHUNKY!!

I got an email a few weeks ago from a company called Chunky Bling.  They asked me to consider promoting them on my blog.  I looked at it and thought, heck why not.  They looked like they had fun products.  However, I decided that I couldn't promote something I didn't know about, so I ordered me a watch!  The price was really reasonable too!!

It arrived in the mail today.  First impression. Good. Nice packaging!

Please excuse the arm shot.  I am well aware of the old ladyish appearance of the closeup of my wrist!  I am blaming that on having translucent skin and freckles!

Notice how chunky it is.  I didn't really think it would be THAT big!!

I'm not sure that it will be worn that often as I can see myself snagging it on all kinds of stuff.

However, Kylie is IN LOVE!!

And I have to say, it is perfect for the first day of school.  It just looks like an art teacher (or maybe elementary teacher..) doesn't it!

In the end, I really like the product.  I like the fact that I can order a not so bright band to clip onto my watch face.  Did you notice the lobster clasps that attach each section?  I think that is sooo cool.  And then the band itself is stretchy.  And for someone as clasotrophobic as I am, the strecthy part makes this watch very wearable.  Otherwise the bulk would have my wrist in a panic! 

So, if you are looking for some CHUNKY BLING, I'd give them a try. 

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Sometimes you have to play hooky!

I woke up this morning in plenty of time to make it to any service at church that we might want to attend.  But... I really just wanted to go do something with my family. So I googled all of the attractions that we could find within two hours from home. The goal was to find something indoors or that included water, and of course a reasonable price. I looked at a aquariums, museums, water parks, malls, zoos.. you name it. 

It is so difficult to find attractions that are family friendly, reasonably priced and that cater to an almost 2 year old, a six year old and an eleven year old!!  I really wanted to go to a water park a couple of hours away, but as Maddie reminded me, she can't stay outside for long periods of time, so that takes a day at a water park away.  And I don't mind saying that I am WAY too cheap to spend a fortune on tickets to a water-theme park and only stay for 2 hours or so.

We could go to one of the museums, but that is our default, and I don't think my girls would be all that impressed with the "Cubist Experiment" about Picasso and Braque at the Kimbell. 

So we found ourselves in a delemia. I really don't want my girls to think that a family adventure or family fun time revolves around shopping.  The problem is that living in a small town, we find ourselves just going to the "big city" to shop and to do something, and that in turn, becomes our family outing.

After lots of discussion and consideration, we ended up doing what Maddie suggested.  (Yes, we do that often.  Have you met Maddie?)  We loaded up and went to the metropolis of Eastland, Texas.

Eastland is not a booming city (I don't think??). 

We drove in early to get lunch.

We drove through town.  We turned around and went back to the DQ.

So had everyone else.

Apparently it is the only restaurant in town?

An hour later we left the fast food place. UGH!

But, I tell you, it's worth it for Eastland's water park. 

I don't know it's real name.

All I know is that session 1 starts at noon and lasts till 2:45 and that my family swims and plays for $8. Yes, that's $8 total.  

There are lifeguards and slides and we have a blast.

Used to, you could bring your own food and drink. Now they have a concession stand, so no food, but if you have a paper cup with lid, you can bring a drink!  Yes, that's big news for us :)

Here is the family..

Really, coming here is like having an incredible pool with slides and lifeguards for yourself.  There were maybe 30ish people at the park.  The girls just played and played and Doug mastered the slide! 

Then he took Kylie down the slide. She LOVED it.  She is our fearless child anyway, and so she thought it was great.

For those of you who know us and where we live.. well, yes we have a little water park in town as well.  We have a few slides. And yes, it is bigger than Eastland.  However, while it's name is "Splashville" it's real name could be "Ruleville" and as a mom who takes her three kids there often, I love those rules.  But on the weekend when Dad is around, we like to have fun and ride down slides together and horse-around in the water.. all the things that are not allowed at "Ruleville".

So, if you happen to be looking for a fun, family friendly place to go this next weekend.. might I suggest the water park in Eastland.  Nope, they don't know that I heart them :).  Just don't stop at the shell station if you need to go in for anything.  It's like walking into a lit cigarette. YUCK!  I usually stop at the exxon right when you get into town cause the bathrooms are clean, but Kylie was about to fall asleep, so we had to stop RIGHT THEN and we ended up getting second hand smoke.  :(

This wasn't going to be a commercial for anything or anyone.. I was just going to tell you all that we skipped church this morning and it felt good!

That's all.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Create Your Own Path!

Love it.

This picture just totally resonates with me!

I wish I could give credit to the person who owns this, but I got it off a blog and she didn't know who owned it either.... so if you are the creator of this cool picture, I'd like to know your name!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

House Hunters, small town Texas style!

We went looking at houses today.  I was going to post pictures of them with the direct link, but blogger and don't like each other, so instead I'll just show you the pictures.  Too bad!

I don't know that any of the houses are "it", but there are some possibilities.  We had really wanted the next house to be the forever house, but as Doug pointed out,  we are probably putting too much pressure on ourselves and our now looking for a house that fits our family for the next chapter.  Don't really know what that means, but when we see the house we will know.  right? :)

The houses ran the gamut in size and price.  Dream house is 4 bedroom, 3 bathroom, 2 living, 2 eating that fits our price range and is move in ready, or is below our maximum and can be updated BEFORE we move in. None of the houses fit the dream description.  Some were closer than others.

House #1

4 bedroom/2.5 bath/2 car garage.
2860 square feet.

I liked this house.  The location with the driveway on a busy street is not ideal.  Lots and lots of updating would have to happen and the kitchen has a weird angled wall, but overall, I really liked the floor plan of the house.  The backyard currently has no yard.  The fence is tight on to the house, but it looks like the fence could be moved to where the rest of the fence lines are on the block.

House #2
3 bedroom/2.5 bath/2 car garage
2777 square feet.

Just 3 bedrooms, but two nice size living rooms.  Small kitchen, but it opens onto an eating area and den space with a fireplace that could be really nice.  The biggest problem with this house was that the electricity was turned off and it is hard to see inside interior rooms without a light. We would have to remodel and turn the dining room into a bedroom, which would work as there is a half bath across the hall.  Two good size bedrooms upstairs. Great street, and feels nice when you walk up to the door.

House #3

3 bedroom/ 2 bath/ 2 car garage
1545 square feet.

Obviously very small, would only work if you could add a master suite.  The yard is probably big enough, but then you end up with a small backyard.  The location is more than ideal, the reason we looked at a smaller house.  In fact, if anyone out there needs a really nice 3/2, this is a nice house.

 House #4

 4 bedroom/ 2 bath/ 2 car garage
2366 square feet

Move in ready. Top of the price point. Only one living area, but it is a good size.  Small backyard, but beautifully landscaped.  I think this was Doug's favorite as it is in perfect condition.  It's hard though, I really want a house with character and trees wouldn't be bad either.

House #5

4 bedroom/2 bath/2 car garage
2827 square feet
2.07 acres

We almost didn't see this house.  The owner wasn't ready for us, but we were kind enough to stand on the porch and wait for ten minutes.... interesting first impression. The house is huge.  It could really be called a 6 bedroom house.  We would have to do a lot of updating and since the house is at the max for us, we wouldn't have the funds to renovate.

House #6

4 bedroom/ 3 bath/2 car garage
2506 square feet

If we had to make a decision today, we would probably go with this one.  Two bedrooms with a shared bathroom are upstairs, which would be perfect for Maddie and Lexi. The house has one living area, but a nice size office that would function as a living space. The only real downside to this house is that the master bath is small and needs to be updated and the master closet is small.  It's funny, the rest of the bathrooms and closets are good, just not the master.  The kitchen is smallish, but not bad.  The backyard is nice.  Overall, the house has a really nice vibe.

House #7

4 bedroom/3.5 bath/3 car garage
3912 square feet
1 acre

This is a statement house.  It is an estate for a local "celebrity" and I really wanted to see it.  I have to say, this is truly a house you have to see to believe!  It is vintage everything!!  It is not a house we will be purchasing.  I can't imagine how much it would cost to renovate it for a family.  This house really is a 3/2.5 with  a 1 bedroom/1 bath guest/maid quarters accessed through the garage.  

I can so see this house made into a restaurant or taken over by the local arts council for office and gallery space. 

So there you have it. Hope you enjoyed the virtual house hunt!  

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Another Fun and Easy Project for all those Paper Scraps!

What do I do with scrap paper?  Keep it or Toss it?

Yes, it is an age old question.
Well, I guess I am a both. A Keeper and a Tosser. It all depends on the day or the mood :) !!

But, one thing I do find difficult is to what to do with large scraps or whole pages of scrapbook paper that I know that I won't use. I hate storing things for storing sake.

So, below is one of my uses for scraps!

Recycled Paper Bowls. 

Sorry, I took the pictures with my camera phone, so the quality is sad.

This is really just a simple paper mache project.  I used ModPodge about 1/2 strength mixed with water and strips of scrapbook paper torn on all sides and a mixing bowl that I put a plastic bag over.  I ran the paper through the glue and smoothed it onto the bowl.  That's it.

I really like the torn white paper look inside the bowl. Originally I had planned to put another layer of colored paper down after the structure dried, but I think I will keep the bowl as is.  I might varnish it, I might not.

So there you have it, another recycled paper project!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Maddie Makes Her Favorite Casserole for Dinner!

Maddie made her favorite casserole the other night for dinner. She did a great job and and dinner was rather tasty! The recipe follows.  If I already gave it to you.. sorry. 

Maddie's Favorite Recipe
  1. Brown 1 pound ground meat.
  2. Layer a bag of uncooked egg noodles in bottom of a casserole pan.
  3. Spread the cooked and drained meat on top of noodles.
  4. Open up 2 cans of navy beans, 2 cans of black-eyed peas and 2 cans of corn and pour them on the casserole.  DO NOT DRAIN!!
  5. Use about a 1/2 can of water and pour over top of casserole.
  6. Cover with foil, place on a pan to catch any bubbling and cook at 350 degrees for one hour.
  7. Enjoy.  Doug and I use salsa on top!
All my girls eat this better than most any other meal we make!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Sometimes doing your civic duty means being in a parade!

Small Town USA, yep, that's where we live.  Actually, it's Stephenville, Texas.

In our little corner of the world, we have a parade on July 4th!  Given the size of the community, about 15 thousand people, we have a huge parade!  There have to be a few hundred floats (that includes trucks, cars and horses) plus we have thousands of people sit along the main street and watch.

It is a lot of fun.  I have wonderful memories of the parade growing up. I was in it as the Statue of Liberty on year, I twirled batons for a few years and rode for various clubs and organizations. Now we are passing these moments and memories on to our kids.

This year, we were supposed to be at the lake house with my family for the 4th, but given that I serve on the public library advisory board and we were in the parade, we came home early.

We used Doug's big red truck and one of the ladies on the Friend's board made signs.  I had bookmarks made and off we went!
The following pictures were taken by Bill.  A friend of ours who rode in the truck with Doug and Kylie while his wife walked and passed out bookmarks and his daughter waved to the crowd. Thanks Bill! 

Look at that tiny girl on that horse!
Kylie isn't too impressed with the parade!

 We ran out of bookmarks way too fast, but we had a great time.  It was fun to hear the crowds cheer for the public library!

We've decided next year, we will get tons more bookmarks made and recruit more walkers!

See, sometimes doing your civic duty can be fun!

Monday, July 4, 2011

The VBS placemat, napkin, napkin ring and spoon.

Here are the girls finished VBS crafts.
So nice to have this DONE!!

Two hundred kids and their crafts. 
So very glad to have that big CHECK mark next to that to do list!