Month: January 2015

Aw shucks—Liebster Award! Happy camper here!

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LIEBSTER AWARD

Holy macaroni boys and girls!  I am humbled and so very honored to accept the Liebster Award from the most fabulous Chanelle Hayley!!!  I so enjoy reading her blog and am sure you will too.  So pop over and check out her very posh space!  Sending out a big THANK YOU again to Ms. Chanelle for the fab nomination!  I also highly encourage you to check out my nominees as well.  By doing so, you and I are supporting new, emerging and re-emerging bloggers in this amazing blogosphere.  Reading, liking, commenting and if you delight…following…are many of the ways that we can contribute to this wonderful community.  So give ‘em a go!  🙂

Award Rules:

  1. Link the person you were nominated by.
  2. Answer the questions from the blogger that nominated you.
  3. Nominate 11 other bloggers with less than 200 followers.
  4. Create 11 questions for your nominees to answer.
  5. Notify nominees social media/blogs.

My Answers to Chanelle’s Questions

1. What was the last book you read?

There’s More To Life Than This – Theresa Caputo

2. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you choose and why?

I have only ever lived in The Pacific Northwest of the United States and LOVE it here….so perhaps my answer would be different if I had lived elsewhere at points in my life to compare….but honestly I have no plans to move as my family and I very much love living here.  The lush beauty that is abundant for outdoor activities and the scenic views so breathtaking…it is an amazing place to call home.  I also love that we have all four seasons of weather here.  Spring rain, sun and blooming flowers and trees.   Summer hot and vibrant with crisp clean air.  Fall with its cool, but comfortable temps and gorgeous colors.  Winter typically mild with a dash of a snow day for fun here and there!  In every direction it is only a few hours to get to the mountains, the beach, the desert and valleys…yet large metropolitan areas are always close by.

3. Favorite item of clothing?

Camis.  I love to layer.

4. What motivates you? (Blogging, daily life etc.)

To get the most from this life that I have been blessed with.  Making the most of each day that I wake up and my feet hit the floor.  Growing as a person from each lesson that comes my way whether it is pleasant or not.  My children are a huge motivator to be a strong and positive force in their lives.  Striving constantly to prepare them for their next stages of their lives.  They are my JOY.

5. A fact about your personality?

I have a pretty great sense of humor.  I mean, I am so funny that you won’t forget to laugh…ever.  It’s okay to admit it.  I mean I can be your favorite funny person….if you’re gonna twist my arm.

6. Your idea of a perfect date?

Any 1-on-1 time with my hub.  Seriously, it could be anything from grabbing a bite at Subway and getting groceries to Ziplining in the forest.  That’s how we roll. 🙂

7. What did your last text message say?

I know lol

8. Three of your holy grail beauty products?

  • No. 7 Protect & Perfect Foundation
  • Mary Kay Ultimate Mascara
  • BioSilk Silk Therapy for my hair

9. What nail color are you wearing right now?

I don’t recall the name as it was just a color I picked at the nail salon.  It is a light frosty pink shellac polish.

10. Do you have a favorite smell?

Waffle cones…especially at Disneyland on Main Street.

11. Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?

I am terrible at these predictions as it always ends up different than what I think it will be.  I know for sure I will be enjoying life as it comes and hopefully writing a very successful blog at Cuppa Sunshine & Sugar.

My 11 Nominees and Questions for them

(No pressure to accept)

Cariad Carys

A Pirate Returns Home

stressedmomblessedmom

Wee Little Z’s

Mom. Wife. My Life.

learningtolivewithibs

All My Ish

thoughtsandthings1

Home of The Heaton’s

The Pink Impact

Learn To Love Food

  1. What is your favorite thing about blogging?
  2. What is something you have learned so far from blogging that you could pass on as a tip to new bloggers?
  3. What is one of the most awesome things we should know about you?
  4. Favorite season of the year?
  5. Favorite color?
  6. One of your pet peeves? (ridiculous or not)
  7. Favorite candy?
  8. Place you would like to travel to most if I handed you a ticket today?
  9. Favorite number?
  10. Morning person or Night Owl?
  11. What is your favorite post that you have written to date and why? (Please include link so we can read it)

As always thanks for ready friends! 🙂 ~Lisa

Weekly Whims: 5 Types of Friends Everyone Should Have

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It’s true that as I get older I find that I am more selective it the friendships that I choose.  I say choose, because when I was younger…particularly in high school and well into my 20’s…I found myself accepting friends because they were people that were friends with my peers and not because the friendship chemistry was necessarily there between us…at least not to a point that it was always authentic and meaningful.  I was hurt by many of these “friendships”.  As maturity sets in and we see that we always had a choice…making those choices feels liberating!  I believe that friends come and go in life.  Some stay for a lifetime while others have their “season” if you will.  I think all have equal importance in the journey of my life and in theirs.  The friendships that are not lifelong are still there for a reason whether it be for a lesson or support as needed by one or the other at that time.  The lifelong friendships….well those are the family members that we get to choose!  Woo hoo!  I am so very blessed to have some amazing friendships in my life and I am grateful for those that have had their season as well.  I wanted to share the below article that I very much identified with and thought it would be valued by my readers here.

Side Note: #4 below -To my direct friends: I’m up for anything….except spa day in the buff…just sayin’! Hahaha!

Final thought: To have a good friend, you have to be a good friend.  I strive to be the friend described below and hope that others will consider what kind of friend they are.  Enjoy the read!  🙂

~Lisa

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The 5 Types Of Friends Everyone Should Have

Source: Shelley Emling, Senior Editor, HuffPost 50

It was like one of those “meet-cute” scenes in a Hollywood movie, minus the romance. I met Susan, an author, through a mutual friend a few months ago. She was from Dallas. I was from Dallas. She’d lost her mother. I’d lost my mother. She’d written books. I’d written books. A few coffees led to dinner with our husbands and the friendship chemistry was apparent. If I’d have met her in my 20s, we might have been godmothers of each other’s children. But now that we’re older, the friendship thing doesn’t work quite as well as it used to. Kids, jobs and, well, just life get in the way of forging a real connection. Yes, we’ve gotten together, but not nearly as often as I would have liked.

And that’s just how it goes as you grow older. The urgency you felt in your 20s, when every overture from a new beau required a 30-minute analysis with a friend over the phone, is gone. Or there’s just not time for it. Perhaps it’s that people simply grow more discerning as time becomes more scarce. Spending hours in a bar drinking margaritas with an egomaniac — or with someone who can’t let go of something I may have done wrong five years ago? Who has the time?

Thanks to Facebook, the idea of “de-friending” someone is not a foreign one. With a few simple clicks, you can wipe someone from your “friends” list and never again be faced with a seemingly endless stream of birthday party photos from someone you’re no longer close to. But in the real world it’s a lot harder to “de-friend” someone — but it can be even more important to do so.

It’s an interesting process, reaching such a level of self-awareness that you finally realize which friendships deserve tending — and which are a drag, wearing you down. As someone who considers her friendships as life-sustaining as water, it’s been difficult to take a hard look at the relationships I’ve cultivated through the decades and realize, with a heavy heart, that they’re not all going to last.

Precious time must be spent taking stock of the like-minded people in your life. Just because I attended elementary school with someone, do I really need to keep reaching out to them? As I juggle work with kids, the answer often is “no” if we no longer have anything in common. So what kinds of friends do I want to hang onto? After giving it some thought, I came up with the following list. Have your own ideas about friendship in midlife? Let us know in comments.

5 Types Of Friends Worth Keeping Forever

1) Friends who make the effort.
I have one friend who — although she is swamped with career and childcare duties — never fails to reach out via text, email or phone every few days, no matter what else is going on. Even if it’s simply something succinct — like “just wanted to touch base and say hi” — I truly appreciate these signals that I’m being thought about and that our friendship is important to her. I also appreciate my friends who are forgiving. I’m not saying that someone should forgive an offense quickly — or superficially. It takes time to forgive. But if too much time is taken, bad feelings fester, and the friendship may never get back on track. No one is perfect and a true friend will understand that.

2) Friends who are genuinely happy for me when something good happens.
I’m fortunate enough to have at least a few friends who are sincerely and openly happy for me when something nice occurs. (You’re probably wondering… shouldn’t every kind of friend be happy for others? You’d think so, but that’s not always the case.) Friends who are genuinely happy exhibit not a smidgeon of jealously, but seem truly thrilled about the sale of my book — and the various accomplishments of my three children. They watch and revel in my glory — without any inkling of bitterness — and I do the same for them. (After all, friendship is a two-way street.)

3) Friends who are upbeat.
You know the opposite of this type. They are those folks who ruminate over every little problem in their life again and again — and yet never make one move to change their situation. They are Debbie Downers. And they bring me down. Misery loves company and downbeat friends generally are more interested in your bad news than your good news. People who are positive and motivated and optimistic and who lift up those around them are worth hanging on to. I have one friend who never fails to compliment me on something — even if it’s just “wow, are you parting your hair on a different side? Nice!” — when she sees me.

4) Friends who are up for anything.
Earlier this month, I went with five girlfriends to a Korean spa in New Jersey called King Spa. The facility is like a mall, with three floors composed of all types of hot and cold spas. The night before our “spa day,” we checked the website and realized we’d be naked — and so would everyone else. But rather than cop out, we decided to go for it. And it was one of the best times I’ve ever had. There is something completely liberating about sitting with friends, chatting about our lives, while totally naked. Talk about shedding one’s inhibitions! I left there loving the fact that my friends were willing to try something completely outside their comfort zone.

5) Friends who are authentic.
This is the steadfast friend who is anything but pretentious — the one who’s not afraid to see you without makeup or after she’s been crying or when her house is a mess. She’s not averse to showing you her true self — or seeing yours. She’s “real” and honest and will tell you the truth when asked her opinion. When your behavior is questionable, there is a fine line between expressing concern and expressing judgement. A true friend will tell you the truth — and will let you know they’ll always be on your side no matter what decision you make even if, in their opinion, it’s the wrong one.

 

Sunday Scoops: DIY Sensory Table

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WHAT YOU NEED:

  • 2 Heavy Duty Utility Shelves (Can sub with milk crates or small tables)
  • 2 Shallow Storage Bins (with snap-on lids if planning to cover when not in use)
  • Toys, cups, utensils
  • Buckets to hold toys, cups etc.

HOW TO DO IT:

  • Align the shelves side-by-side paralleled.
  • Place shallow storage bins on top of shelves.
  • Fill bins with wet or dry option you have chosen.
  • Add toys, cups, utensils to bins and have extras placed in buckets underneath shelves for easy access.

Here for my son’s first birthday party I used 6 boxes of Toasted Oh’s from Trader Joe’s and filled the storage bins with the oh’s, toys, cups and kid safe utensils.  He munched on a  few too because he loves Oh’s and these tables were “Oh Heaven” for a babe!  There are endless possibilities of what you can fill them with.  I am probably going to do spaghetti noodles one of these days…cooked and cooled first of course.  This slimy option will be a hit I am sure.  If you use good sturdy bins with snap on lids…it is easy to clean up and cover to keep contents clean and critters out for the next day of play.  Have fun!

~Lisa

P.S. Here is a quick shot of the shelves I use. 🙂

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Weekly Whims: Miss the days of drinking from the water hose? Me too.

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Remember the days before scheduled play dates, iPods, cell phones, hand sanitizer and bottled water?  Oh how I miss those days.  Not just for myself, but for my little ones.  I tell them all the time….”Ya know…when I was a kid…..” and I get “the look” in return.  However, the more often that I introduce them to an “old school” activity or way of doing things, it is almost always more fun and captures their attention and interest.  I find myself reflecting more and more on what it was like back then compared to how it is now for kids.  I know times change, but this highly electronic era that has come to be for our children has changed the realm of “childhood” so much.  Not all bad, just different.  I guess I am just striving to see more grass stains in the laundry!  That will  be a sure sign that I am bringing a little richness to their lives by putting things away, unplugging and having them romp about and get dirty…and of course not having a worry in the world about it.  Here are a few of my favorite memories accompanied by my own personal childhood photos!

(1) Drinking from a sprinkler (or often a water hose).  (2) A birthday gift of a “stonewashed” purse…not an iPod touch.  (3) Getting dirty and cleaning my hands off by wiping them on my pants rather than hand sanitizer.  (4) Fun outdoor activities…especially when my mom added bubbles to the wading pool!  Good times!

Here are a few family photos of my kiddos enjoying some of my favorite childhood experiences as well.  Sledding, snowmen, snow angels, eating and feeling sand for the first time, running in the surf, and blowing “wishies”…

 

What do you remember from your childhood that you think of fondly?  Are there any that you have brought to your little ones childhood experiences?  Please share.  🙂

Sunday Scoops: DIY Headband Holder

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I was desperate to find a way to organize my daughters heap of headbands, large clips and bows.  I made this easy peezy lemon squeezy holder in about 15 minutes!

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • Empty oatmeal container
  • Double-sided tape
  • Hot glue gun + glue stick
  • Scissors
  • A piece of fabric that will cover the entire container.  You can use scrapbook paper, but I chose fabric since I knew it would last longer and if the container was ever used in the bathroom the paper would probably rumple with condensation.

HOW TO DO IT:

  • Remove lid from oatmeal container and set aside.
  • Add a strip of double sided tape around the very top outer edge of container.
  • Add another strip of tape in one line vertically from top to bottom of the container.
  • Attach edge of fabric to this vertical strip.  Apply a second strip of tape in the same place on top of the fabric so that you may stick the end of fabric in the same place after wrapped all the way around.
  • Rotate container keeping fabric taught and as you go adhere the top edge of the fabric to the strip of tape that you put around the top outer edge in step 2.
  • Once you have made it back around to the original seam, you may attach the end of the fabric to vertical tape.  For a clean crisp look at seam…my fabric went a bit too far past seam, so I trimmed it allowing about a 1/2″ past tape line.  This allowed me to fold the edge under to have a clean look when taping at the final seam.  **Optional: You can use a cool iron gently on the seam to flatten it more if you want or need to.

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  • You will likely have some excess fabric at the bottom which is what you want.  Trim as needed leaving about a 1″ to wrap under bottom.
  • Wrap bottom edge of fabric under container and adhere fabric to the bottom of the container with the hot glue gun. You will need to overlap the fabric a bit underneath due to the shape to keep fabric taught.

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  • Put the lid on!  Now you may store whatever your heart desires inside of the container and headbands on the outside.  🙂

 

**You could forego the tape and glue gun if you want to use mod-podge adhesive but will need to allow drying time for that option.  With tape and glue in the above sample that I made…no dry time and ready to use!

~Lisa