Monday, February 25, 2013

SMP 2.25.13

SMP = Seven minute post

We had a blizzard here yesterday. A full-fledged, snow-blew-sideways-all-day-long blizzard. I'm not sure how much snow we actually ended up with because the wind rearranged most of it, but John shoveled the driveway and estimated between 8-12 inches. We were privy to a small miracle last night when our district called a closure for today. The miracle is that they called it the night before. I believe that has happened only once or twice in the almost ten years we've lived here. It's nice to see your weekend stretch into three days...or five if you're my youngest child who hasn't been to school since last Wednesday because of snow/electrical problems at school since. And this is already a short week since the kids are out of school Friday. I am digging the short school weeks we've been having.

We're celebrating our snow day by meeting some friends at a local sledding hill. I'm also getting my hair cut and highlighted. No blizzard aftermath can keep me away from the salon. My gray population is quite healthy at the moment. And totally hogging the spotlight. 

The blizzard was probably the highlight of my weekend. Other weekend events included a very girly sleepover with three giggly ten-year-olds and hosting some friends for dinner on Saturday night.

My favorite quote of the weekend was overheard during breakfast on Saturday which included stacks and stacks of pancakes, fruit from a jar--probably with added sugar, chocolate chips and a can of whipped cream...because clearly I was going for cool mom points over nutrition:
"I want to be a whipped cream artist when I grow up!"

I found this photo (and several more like) it on my phone after breakfast. I'll have you know they used the entire can of whipped cream. And don't you love the nostrils. Happy Monday, y'all!
Disclaimer: this turned into a seven + seven minute post! 

Saturday, February 23, 2013

When 10-year-olds text

This was a text conversation between Abbey and one of her friends.

It totally and completely cracks me up every. single. time. I. read. it.

Ahhhhh, ten year old girls. I love their active imaginations and creativity and humor and their naivete.

Abbey has a texting app on her iPod but for some reason this particular friend only texts her on my phone. I'm okay with that because otherwise I'd miss this kind of funny stuff. Grin.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Ho Hum...and some of my recent Pinterest wins!

We had an unexpected day off from school yesterday because of a mini-snow-storm that blew through Colorado on Wednesday. A snow day should make me deliriously happy, right? Turns out yesterday was just a hard day. I worked myself into a really bad mood over some really stupid stuff and couldn't manage to ever snap out of it. A snowy walk helped a little. So did a few episodes of Mad Men and an early bedtime. I think I'm going to make it though because it is finally FRIDAY!

I definitely wasn't expecting an elementary school closure again this morning, but I started getting calls and texts and emails while getting Abbey ready for school and it seems a heating issue at her school necessitated its closure today. That means I get an unexpected day at home with my littlest girlie (and work)(and cleaning) but you know what? I could really get used to two-day school weeks.

Moving on to some of my recent Pinterest "wins". Have y'all seen some of the Pinterest "fails" out there? If not, google "pinterest fails" for a laugh. My neighborhood friends have taken to texting their wins and fails of late and believe me, it's not hard for the desired results to go awry and it can get pretty hilarious. But a win is a win is a win and I have some new recipes to my repertoire that are just too great not to share!

Here are my links. And my commentary. Because obviously, I like to talk. And I really like to talk about food.

Cauliflower pizza crust. This was very, very good. Especially, if say, you decide to maybe take grains out of your diet for two weeks and you've never met a carb you didn't love. It was also pretty simple to make. I topped mine with sauteed tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and dried basil (was out of fresh--boo!) It made a medium-sized pizza which I didn't have to share with anyone and I got two meals out of it! *Please read my comments on my pin to see my modifications.*

Avocado dressing. I am not a fan of bottled salad dressing. And during my food fast I was only eating whole foods. Translation: I ate a lot of salad. I bought avocados at Costco and needed to use them up before they went bad so this recipe was not only delicious, but a great find. I just realized I don't have this pinned and I didn't take a picture either. My modifications: I cut the recipe in half and used a bit less water and more olive oil to get the right consistency.

Baked spaghetti squash and cheese. OH. MY. GOSH. This was so delicious. It's actually a "light" recipe but I don't eat low-fat dairy so I did what Paula Deen would do and fattened it up with cream instead of skim milk, and full-fat cheddar instead of low-fat cheese. Which is probably why it was amazing. But YOU could totally go with the low-fat version. It was another great no-grain option that didn't leave me feeling deprived (I made mine with cornstarch so it would be gluten-free). I will definitely be making this again. I'm not a food blogger and I'm nowhere close to being a food photographer, but I did take a picture for y'all after I pulled it out of the oven.

Raw Cookie Dough Bites: This may be my favorite new recipe EVER. It was the first thing I made after my two weeks of no sugar ended! They're gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, and good for you. And super yummy to have on hand when you have a sugar craving. Not to mention that they taste EXACTLY like cookie dough. I added walnuts and unsweetened coconut to the last batch I made--but you chocolate lovers could just stick with the chocolate chips. *Please read the comments on my pin to see my other modifications and some info on other ingredients*. 

Happy Friday, y'all!!!!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Throwback Thursday: One Product I Don't Want to Live Without

This post was originially published in January 2011. UPDATED info at the bottom of the post!

Back before Christmas I wrote a post (in my head) that I titled: Four Things That Will Change Your Life. They changed my life so surely they'll change yours, right?

I decided that claim was a bit dramatic (and the post never moved from my head to my computer) so I moved on. BUT, the truth is that I really have stumbled upon some things that aren't necessarily life-changing but they're too good not to share. So, I'm introducing "Tell About It Tuesday". And I can only guarantee you 3-4 Tuesdays worth of posts. 

Today's topic: Dry Shampoo

I remember a friend mentioning this to me several years ago and while I found the idea intriguing, I couldn't find the product. Last summer, Leslie mentioned dry shampoo in a blog post and reminded me that I wanted to try it! I finally got around to it a mere six months later...

Here is the product that she steered me to buy--Batiste Dry Shampoo

Y'all...this stuff is AMAZING.

I typically wash my hair every day. Not because I want to, but because my scalp is oily. Not only do I wash my hair every day, but I blow dry and straighten it too. You can imagine how dry my ends are in the land of no humidity. I really have tried to go a day between washings because I know it's best for my hair, and I can totally pull it off, but by the end of the second day of unwashed hair, it starts to get gross--oily and *ahem* stinky.

Enter Batiste Dry Shampoo. I spray it on my hair (it turns my hair whitish-gray), wait a few minutes, massage it into my scalp, then brush it completely out. My "shampooed" hair is shiny, smells good, and has amazing body with NO residue from the shampoo. It actually looks better on the days I use the dry stuff than it does on the days I go through my whole wash/dry/straighten routine.

I've been using this stuff for about a month and WOW. It really has changed my life morning routine. Now I live for days that I can get ready in fifteen minutes or less! MUST try this product!!!

Here's what you need to know.
I found it at Sally Beauty Supply, but it's also available at Ulta (I get coupons from there all the time!) or from Amazon.

I like the blush scent the best. The original scent is okay, but it's a little funky. I tried that scent first and was glad I also had the blush scent to try. I haven't tried the tropical. *See update at the bottom of this post.

It retails for about $7.50-$8.00 for a 5.5oz can.
I actually bought two smaller (1.5oz) cans instead because they were on clearance and I wanted to try the smaller size before I was "fully" invested. I'll be buying the big one from now on.

I also picked up a can of this at Walmart last week to compare. It's Salon Grafix Dry Shampoo and it's slightly cheaper (around $5 for a can).  I used it over the weekend and didn't love it. It left my hair feeling slightly sticky and like it had (even) more product in it. I think the Batiste shampoo makes it feel cleaner. I will say that the Salon Grafix shampoo smells really good though. I hate to waste things so I'll finish the can and then buy more Batiste!
So, there you have it! Let me know if you've used dry shampoo and if you have another one that you love! I've heard Bumble and Bumble is good (but pricey) and I've heard the one by Tigi is good too. Tigi's is called Dirty SecretI love how they name their products. I think I like the price tag on the Batiste dry shampoo best though! Let me know if you try it!!!

UPDATE: It's been two years since I posted this and I STILL use and love this product. Batiste has even more scents to choose from; my personal favorite is "Cool & Crisp Fresh". I see this product on sale at Ulta fairly often. I bought some a couple of week ago that was buy one, get one free PLUS I used a coupon so I got two full-sized cans for around $2 each. Can't beat that!
Batiste Dry Shampoo Fresh 150ML

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

SMP: 2.20.13

SMP = Seven Minute Post

Weeks that start on Tuesday are HARD for me. I feel perpetually "off". The only redeeming thing about weeks like this is that Friday arrives much more quickly!

Abbey's appointment with the allergist confirmed that she IS allergic to pistachios. Along with two other tree nuts--pecans and hazelnuts, with hazelnuts winning the "most allergic nut" for her. So, the EpiPen stays because tree nut allergies tend to fall into the life-threatening category. I'm honestly just glad to know conclusively. And true to form, Abbey was very brave during the testing. Not sure I completely understand what the girl who endured her dental fillings without being numbed up was afraid of! 

Today is bible study day and the end of my 7 food fast. Of COURSE we're all going to lunch afterwards. OF COURSE. I modified my fast a bit since I originally wrote about it. Initially I was only going to eat 7 foods but after I got to bible study last time I decided to cut out seven things. I cut out all caffeine, soda, sugar, grains, ALL processed food, beef (I adore beef), and for the life of me I can never remember the last one. I have it written down somewhere...I'll find it later. It's been hard but very very good (feels like I talk about this all the time) and for this next two week period we'll be looking at clothes and their excess our lives. I get to wear the same seven pieces of clothing for two weeks. I'm still choosing what those pieces will be but I'm sure you'll hear about it so stay tuned.

My seven minutes are up. Hilarious to me that I started these seven minute posts before I knew the significance 7 would have in my life!

Peace out, peeps, and HAPPY hump day!

Monday, February 18, 2013


I need to backtrack a bit and mention that Will turned sixteen a week ago. SIXTEEN. I'm still not sure how that can be possible.

We celebrated his birthday by taking him to dinner at Chipotle (his choice)(which, thankfully kinda fit into my 7 fast) and then taking him to pick out his birthday gift from us before hitting up the mall so he could spend some birthday money. We did all of this on his birthday eve because he spent a huge chunk of his actual birthday down at the Young Life office doing a training for a summer work crew job. Will is a great kid and we are super proud of him. He's becoming quite a young man and growing up way too quickly. John and I commented later that night that our lives changed completely and for the better on that February day sixteen years ago...
Prior to the birthday celebrating, John and I attended a mini-marriage conference. It was a smallish affair led by some friends of ours and the setting was a beautiful home in downtown Colorado Springs (locals: it was in one of those big, gorgeous homes on Cascade). I will admit that I was a bit smug going into it. We've been married almost twenty-three years. What don't we know? 
It turned out to be a wonderful day that inspired me and challenged my thinking on some things and left me feeling extraordinarily grateful for my marriage. The friends who led it are working on a book and John is their editor so perhaps I can share more as that progresses.

Other random thoughts...

We missed Ash Wednesday last week because we were in the mountains. I was sad about that. I love Lent. I love that our 7 study is overlapping with this season and God is definitely using it to re-shape some big things in my heart and mind. I tried to download our pastor's podcast from Ash Wednesday but I don't find the podcast thing on iTunes to be very intuitive. Instead of one singular podcast, I ended up downloading 213. None of which are the Ash Wednesday one. I need to sit down when I have some extra time to figure that out and undo the mess I created.

Abbey's appointment with the allergist is today. She's not excited at all that I'm making her go on her "day off". She's also nervous! Her friend came over yesterday and her dad was telling us that she had some allergy testing done last year. Totally freaked Abbey out. I'm not entirely sure what to expect so I'm praying she will be brave and that it will be fairly quick and pain free.

I fell asleep during the season finale of Downton Abbey last night. I woke up when it was over and evidently I missed a LOT. I'm good for nothing after about 9:30pm (and often am in bed much earlier than that) so hopefully I can catch the episode later today. John told me a little of what happened but I need to see it with my own eyes!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Much needed break

I can't tell you how much I love long weekends! The kids had a four-day weekend for President's Day but John and I decided to tack a couple of extra days onto their long weekend and pulled them out of school for a family ski trip to the mountains. School and work and the busyness of life caught up with us and we all needed some rest and relaxation! Here's some pics (and random commentary) from our getaway to Winter Park last week. 

Our kids did GREAT on the slopes and John and I enjoyed skiing as a family. We both love to ski and commented about how cool it was to see our kids loving it too. We stayed together most of the time on the green trails, but Will and I tackled some blues together after lunch before re-joining John and the girls. The BEST thing about going in the middle of the week was that there were no lines and the slopes weren't crowded. It was perfect!
 It was c-c-c-old and snowy both days we were there. I think I like skiing when it's cold but sunny!
 Lunch! We found a yummy pizza place in the village! I'm still on my 7 food fast (more about that in another post) so I had chicken wings.

All these lunch photos are compliments of Sarah. She told me in this one that she made SURE to get my basket of chicken bones. Of course she did. They were tasty!

We ended up being in Winter Park for Valentines Day so we had a special family breakfast that morning! We decided not to ski a second day but to just knock around a bit in the ski village and then go tubing.
Winter Park has THREE tubing hills. The newest one opened on Christmas day and since it's the only one we haven't been to (and because it was connected to our hotel!) we decided to give it a go. SO MUCH FUN! We pretty much had the tubing hill to ourself that day which made for lots and lots and lots of runs. I'd day we definitely got our money's worth out of that hour!

(It's the Coca-Cola tubing hill, hence all the logos.)

 If it looks cold, let me assure you it WAS! But it's also so much stinkin' fun that you forget how cold you really are!
Eventually we headed down the mountain and headed for home! Happy, but tired. In hindsight it wasn't really a restful trip but it was some wonderful and much needed time together. I love Colorado.

Saturday, February 09, 2013

SMP 2.9.13

SMP = Seven Minute Post

Last night was the first Friday night in AGES (or at least in five weeks) that I had nowhere to be. Being home on a Friday night makes me deliriously happy. So does going to be before 9pm. I think I crashed around 8:45pm. Blissful, I tell ya.

I am thankful it's the weekend. We have a few big things going on but I'm hoping to squeeze some rest and relaxation in between. If the forecast holds true we might get some snow. We REALLY need it. We had several inches of snow one day this week and I think I could actually hear the ground sighing in relief and begging for more. I'm not the only person around these parts wishing for a big ole blizzard like the one hitting the northeastern United States right now. We need and want some snow!

Is anyone else sooooooooooooooo sad that football is officially over until next fall? I'm not sure I will know what to do with my Sunday afternoons now. Maybe napping will make a comeback! Sounds like a good plan.

Evidently I don't have as much to say as I thought I did this morning because my seven minutes are up and I must get off of my computer and get this day rolling. Happy Saturday, folks!

Thursday, February 07, 2013

SMP 2.6.13

SMP = Seven Minute Post

I was pretty stubborn about jumping on the Pinterest bandwagon for a long time. I caved and finally joined last spring and have become quite taken with Pinterest and all her lovely ideas as of late. I've pinned and made three recipes this week. All were wins so I thought I'd share them with YOU!

Cheesy taco soup
Cowboy casserole (I had my doubts about this but John really liked it.)
Quinoa bites (I've made these twice in the last week. My kids aren't big fans but John and I like them and it's another tasty way to prepare quinoa.)

So do y'all know about Houzz? I was talking to a friend yesterday about a small home renovation project we're contemplating and she suggested I browse Houzz for ideas. It's like Pinterest but it's all home ideas. VERY cool.

It's Thursday and I am so looking forward to the weekend! This girl is in need of some down-time since last weekend was anything but restful! Y'all have a great day.

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

February Currents

Current Books: Success! I've read three books this month. One was Friendkeeping by Julie Klam. It was a book club selection and I did not care for it at all. That was pretty much the general consensus of my book club so if you're contemplating reading it let me steer you far, far away. The other book I read was Wheat Belly, which I blogged about here. And the last book I read was 7 by Jen Hatmaker. I've mentioned it a ton on this blog already but it is fantastic!

Current Playlist: Beyonce and Destiny's Child. Just kidding. 

Current Color: Orange. Brown. Black. Gray. Those are my favorite go-tos.

Current Drink: Herbal tea--mostly peach or cranberry. However, I met a friend for coffee last week and opted for tea instead. I had a white, Madagascar vanilla and coconut tea. Oh my gosh, it was amazing. I've been craving it ever since. 

Current Food: Food is about to get interesting for me. I'm going to be eating only 7 foods for 7 days as part of the food chapter in my 7 bible study. I think I've narrowed my seven foods down to include: chicken, almonds, brown rice, blueberries, avocados, spinach, and sweet potatoes. I start tomorrow and I'm already realizing that it's going to be a huge challenge, especially with a couple of lunch meetings and a birthday dinner factored into my week. Oy!

Current Favorite Favorite: This scarf hanger from The Container Store. It's only $5.99 and it holds 28 scarves. I love it, but I especially like it hangs flat and takes up very little closet space! I've always loved The Container Store, but here's a reason to love it even more if you live close--order online and schedule your in-store pickup. They'll even bring your order TO THE CURB! That's service.

Current Wish List: My friend and I were joking about needing a homework-free school. Would that be too much to ask? 

Current Needs: A power cord to my computer. I'm not sure how mine got so mangled, but John and I noticed some exposed wires on it last week. Not good. I plugged it in yesterday morning and it sparked and popped and officially went kaput. I need to find time to run by the Apple store soon because my battery no longer stays charged all day I can't be without a computer! I managed to get by with my phone yesterday until John got home with his power cord but it's hard to do any actual work on my phone!
Current Triumph: Legal hiking! The Incline was festive on Friday to celebrate it's legal status.

Current Annoyance: Jack-the-beagle/scavenger. Argh! I made some yummy treats for us to eat while watching the Super Bowl on Sunday including these jalapeno poppers--my very favorite. I pulled a couple out to eat yesterday and somehow Jack managed to knock the container off the counter when I was in the other room and eat some. I'm not sure how many he actually ate, but since he had his face in the container I threw the rest out. I was NOT happy about it either. I was really looking forward to enjoying those for a few more days. Thank goodness for no jalapeno side effects for him, though I might not have minded him learning his lesson the hard way. 

Current Indulgence: Sleeping in! It's rare when it happens but I'm trying to get better at it. Of course it means that I have to miss my morning walk in order to sleep, but I'm okay with that a few times a week.

Current Mood: Content.

Current Blessing: Two days in a row at home this week!  

Current Outfit: Work-out clothes because I'm meeting two friends to hike this morning. (Yay!) Later, I'll probably put on jeans and a sweater just like I do every single day. I'm so inspired by people who can put together cute outfits, and there are so many bloggers who have blogs devoted entirely to this. I think I'm just boring.

Current Excitement: Hiking with friends today and again later in the week! Celebrating Will's birthday this weekend! And a ski trip next week!

Current Project: I'm still trying to pull my bedroom re-do together. John and I found some bedding that we both liked that was on sale. When I went back to purchase it, it was 50% off the sale price. I love those unexpected blessings! I still need to find a bedskirt that I like, paint, and figure out some kind of window treatment. It's a work in progress. 

Current Link: Since I'm going to be eating a lot of sweet potatoes for the next week, I think I'm going to try this method of baking them in the crockpot. Genius! Thank you, Pinterest. 

Friday, February 01, 2013

SMP 2.1.13

It's February! I've said this so many times before but I LOVE flipping my calendar page over to a brand new month. I cheated and flipped mine yesterday so I could ride that euphoric wave a little bit longer! That's how I roll.

I bought a Groupon back in the fall for three-hour guided snowshoe hike. It sounds awesome...and it WILL be if we'd only get some serious snow. We are way behind on snowfall totals again this year.  I mentioned the snow day we had this week but it was a bit of a joke. The roads were fine by mid-morning so the girls and I went to Target.

Speaking of Target, it's not nearly as much fun to go there when you're reading 7 and feeling conviction left and right about the excess in your life.

I found out earlier this week that my favorite hike gains legal status today. Until now it's been considered trespassing to hike the Manitou Incline. Not that that stops anyone; there are dozens and dozens of folks ascending and descending the Incline every single day of the year. I find it fortuitous that I'd already planned to hike the incline today with a friend. Hooray--I'm a law abiding citizen again.

We have a busy weekend on tap. Not my favorite kind of weekend, but it's all good and necessary stuff...with a bit of extraordinary mixed in.

Happy Weekend Everyone!!!