Monday, August 20, 2012

Summer's End

Yep, school has started and that's the official end to summer around here.  No more mid morning breakfasts or afternoon naps. It's back to work and 5am wake up times.  Although I am a teacher, I am  assigned to our district curriculum office and it has been at least 5 years since I have not worked through the summer, until this year.  I had the month of July off and it was heaven!

I had forgotten how wonderful extended time away from work is.  With no young children at home the time was all mine to spend anyway I pleased.  I read, cooked, ate, ran spent an obsessive amount of time on Pinterest  (you can follow me HERE) and bought a house! ( I'll be sharing more about the house later) It was an adjustment to have all that time off, but just as I was getting used to it, it was time to return. Isn't that the way things work!?

This was the Back to School photo in our house.  I have been inspired by all the ideas on Pinterest, but my kids are getting to old for these. Where were all these ideas when I needed them?  This will most likely be the last.

We have a new addition to our family --> this frog -  I thought he was just passing through  when I snapped this photo, but he is a permanent border on the porch.  The other day when I came home it was pouring and he was up to his chest in a puddle and as happy as can be.

This is him in all his glory - Check out that hand!  Hard to believe it's the same frog!

I got a bike rack this summer for my car and the box it came in turned into a playground for my cats.  Something about boxes, cats can't resist!

It reminded me of this photo on Pinterest. If you have a cat, you should try it, they must have cat magnets in them.  

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Cool Finds

Here are some of the latest things I've been playing with...

Rubber Stamp Letter M o50 Rubber Stamp Letter M letter E Foam brick letter N letter T s63
Ben Eine letter t Blue foam brick letter h photo.JPG Foam Stamp Letter T
letter M Magnetic letter a letter K e64
Cardboard red letter a
Wooden brick letter L I rubber stamp letter  f e70

1. I found this site where you can spell any word using photos of letters. The possibilities are endless. Try it, its fun!

2. I added a new song to my running playlist, Wild Ones by Flo Rida . I usually listen to books or podcasts, but I like to change it up with music to keep me motivated. I first heard this song on a wild animal segment on the Today show and it stuck in my head.

3. Cate @ Good For You Blog introduced me to the Fooducate Blog. I use the app, but didn't know there was a blog too. The posts are short, but give great info about making healthy choices in the grocery store and it is all designed to help us eat a bit better. The app can be found here and its FREE! You scan an item you want to buy and it tell's you how good for you it is and suggests similar products that may be better for you.
4. Pick Your Plum - Every weekday at 9am Eastern time this site has a deal of the day. They offer a limited quantity at a great price until they sell out. I have my phone set to remind me to check it. Many of the items are craft or baking related but they have quite a variety. I have bought, push up pops, craft twine, cupcake wrappers, washi tape, etc...
5. For any of you that used to use the site Picknik to edit your photos, I have found an even better one and its all free. PicMonkey is so easy to use and you can add text, clip art, make collages and more.
Thanks for stopping by, k34 E Spelling Bricks letter L L Magnetic Letter E Rubber Stamp Letter Y

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Weekend Happenings

My daughter Caroline just returned home after spending a year in Americorps.  She spent the past 12 months working in communities all over the Southwest from Joplin, MO to Yuma, AZ.  She had many great stories to share of her adventures.  She will be with us for the next two years as she attends graduate school.  I am so happy to have her home!

Mini Carrot Cake-Take Two
I made her favorite cake for her.  It is a carrot cake with cookie dough frosting.  Its super sweet so I made half a recipe and baked it in a smaller, deeper cake pan.  I was so proud of my great idea until I went to cut it in half to frost it and found out the center was raw!  I had cooked it a little longer and stuck a toothpick in the center to check for doneness, but the toothpick is about the color of the cake and it doesn't go in very deep.  I couldn't believe it!  How was I going to salvage this?

I decided to cut out the uncooked center section and make a doughnut cake. I frosted it with a cream cheese frosting which we usually do (except Caroline only likes cream cheese on a bagel not as frosting).  Needless to say I had to bake another cake for Caroline.  I did learn from my mistake and cooked it much longer and inserted a knife to test for doneness.  It all turned out okay, but I spent much more time baking that day than I had planned.

At the top of the hill.
Sunday mornings are the best time for long bike rides, because the roads are practically empty.  I had a great 19 mile ride and despite the heat it felt great out there. (maybe because I created my own breeze)

I almost didn't go, but as I laid in bed debating a ride, I made a deal with myself.  If I weighed less than I did last time I didn't have to go, if not I needed to go.  I stepped on the scale to find I weighed exactly the same, but that still meant I should go, so I did.  I needed that push to get going, but it was a perfect ride and I felt great!  (If only my running felt this good) There were many other bikers and runners out too, which is very motivating for me.

On my ride I pass through some neighborhoods and by some cow pastures.  The cows were taking an early morning dip in the lake to cool off.  

We had a visitor on our back porch. This guy was perched on top of the door to the garage.  He was about the size of my hand.  He reminded me of Jaba the Hut from Star Wars. Not sure how he plans to get down - that is a long jump.

I have only one more week until I return to work.  I have a huge list of things I would like to get done before then.  We'll see how that goes...