family

Photography Study: Antique Gas & Steam Engine Museum

Posted by on May 30, 2012 | 10 comments

I think I’m starting a new series!  I am so in love with photography it’s not even funny.  After attending my photography class a few weeks ago I am taking so many more photos, and even loving my mistakes, because now I understand what I’m doing wrong.  So every once in a while I’m just going to post photos I’ve taken.  Sometimes, like today, they’ll be grouped and themed, while others will just be a photo dump, of sorts.  This series is going to be for personal reasons just as much as a blogging thing.  I want to keep track of my progress, and this will be an easy, visual way for me to see how, when and where I improve.  Huzzah!

These photos were all taken in the same place.  I went up with my family to check out the Antique Gas & Steam Engine Museum as a potential location for a festival in the early fall.  I had never even heard of this place, but I was instantly happy that I brought my camera because it was rich with fun things to take pictures of, and it was a beautiful day.

This place is unlike any other place I’ve been in San Diego.  It’s not really even in San Diego- it’s in Vista, which is way north county.  It felt very rural when we got there, and it was a bit like stepping back in time.  We even spoke to a man who worked there who was literally bleeding from an engine repair injury while he spoke to us.   No big thing- just bleeding.

I was also disappointed- my grandpa was a steam engine connoisseur and would have loved this place.  He visited me several times before he left us in 2004, and I wish I had known about this lovely, quirky place to bring him.

I also learned a valuable lesson:  check your settings!  I forgot that the evening before I had been at Le Diner à San Diego, and my friend, Brent, had used my camera for a few shots.  When I started taking photos at the museum I was wondering why they didn’t look the way I thought they would.  Then I realized that Brent had put my lens in manual focus, and I also hadn’t adjusted my ISO for daylight. Whoops!  Once I did that, I was off and running.  Lesson learned!

Check me out- I’m doin’ good, right?  :-)

 

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DIY Chalkboards {Summertime Fun!}

Posted by on May 9, 2012 | 5 comments

…..

I want this summer of 2012 to be one my kids remember.  I want it to be fun.  I also want to be able to say to them, “Go Play Outside!” as often as possible.  I have lots of memories of being sent outside to play when I was growing up.  There’s just nothing like summer when you’re a kid.

For a long time this area of our house has been off limits.  It was full of mud, gopher holes, and sharp, dangerous tools.  This fall we’ll have been here three years.  And thankfully, this is the first summer where I think we really NEED this space for our family, and it’s ready!  I’ll be showing you more later, but for now, we’ll stick to these home-made chalkboards I made for the kids.  They’ve been a big hit, and were very straightforward to make.  I saw this idea on several blogs a few years ago, and of course now I can’t remember any of them.  I knew I could buy a chalkboard somewhere, but I wanted them to be small so the kids or I could move them easily, and I didn’t want to feel bad if they get banged up, as I’m sure they will.

I went to Home Depot one day to get something completely unrelated and came home with all the fixings to make these.  I grabbed three square pieces of wood (I could wander in the lumber part of Home Depot all day just to smell the wood).  I believe they are 2 ft. x 2 ft. I also grabbed 2 cans of this primer by Rustoleum:

And 2 cans of this Chalk Board Paint, also by Rustoleum.

Making these was very simple, but a bit time-consuming in order to let the primer and paint dry.  I just followed the directions on the can.  I’d throw on my painting clothes in the morning and slap a coat on.  Then in the afternoon I’d do another.

I did three coats of primer and three coats of chalkboard paint.  I think it took 3-4 days to complete.

The thing that was most helpful was using extra pavers to elevate the boards.  See this picture below?  This is how I started; do not start this way.  Find something thick and even that you don’t care about and stick it under the boards so you can’t see it.  Then you can paint the entire surface of the board AND the edges, and it is easy peasy.

We already had quite a collection of sidewalk chalk.  I was thinking about buying regular chalk until I saw how much sidewalk chalk we have.  We can wait.

I bought this handy carrying case at Target.  The bottom compartment still needs something- haven’t decided what we’ll put in there.

We use some planters I got in the dangerous dollar section at Target to hold water for dunking our chalk.  It makes the colors so vibrant.

The day we started using these, Anna was in heaven.  I drew a picture on the middle board to show her how to do the water, and she was ready to go.  This little girl is a creative type, just like her mommy. :)

Jack just has fun making a mess and asking me to draw things for him.  Helicopters are the most popular.

What fun things do your kids like to do outside?

And by the way- do my pictures not look SO much better?!  Hooray for new cameras!

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{My} Top 10 Reasons for Changing

Posted by on May 3, 2012 | 5 comments

 

…..

I need to record exactly why I’m doing this so that when it gets…

  • tough
  • challenging
  • annoying
  • and all of the above

I can refer to a list to remind myself why the heck I’m working so hard.  So here goes nothin’:

 

My Top 10 Reasons for Changing My Eating Habits &

Getting in {KickAss} Shape

 

10:  So I won’t dread getting on the scale at the doctor anymore (or look away)

This started when I was pregnant with my first.  When the scale crossed 200 I thought, “Holy Jesus, save me!”  As someone who had floated through life easily weighing 120-140, crossing the 200 mark was a harsh wake up.  Yes, I was carrying life, but still.  Ever since then I’ve been in denial about my weight, for whatever reason.  It’s time to just make that number behave!

9:  So I can be proud of myself for doing something challenging

I am really good at getting a project started.  I would receive an A+ for stocking my crafting supplies.  But how many of my projects have I completed?  It takes me forever.  I want to finish this.  Even though I know it will never really be finished, because as we get older we have to work harder- I want to achieve my goal, and then sustain it. Boo yah.

8:  So I can like myself in photos

There’s nothing worse than seeing yourself from any angle that isn’t totally complimentary.  I want to rock full-length photo shots and maybe even do a boudoir photo shoot- THAT would be awesome.

7:  So I can wear some pretty awesome clothes that don’t quite fit right now

I have a small collection of clothes that I LOVE.  Hopefully they will still be relatively in style when they fit again.  I did get rid of a lot of clothes that were too small and out of style, but this little collection- I miss it.  Cute skirts, fun tops- I shall see them again.

6:  So I can look at myself passing in any mirror and say, ‘Check THAT shit out” instead of averting my eyes

I don’t want to walk past a mirror and not love what I see.  We all deserve that.

5:  So I can be confident both inside and out

My confidence has taken a beating in the last year.  “Did I make the right choice- leaving teaching and trying this new adventure?”  “Can I be successful at something besides what I’ve done for the last 12 years?”  It’s easy to lose confidence.  I think knowing I look totally rad would be a nice boost.

4:  So I can shop and not be limited by what looks good on my body type

I hate looking at awesome clothes and thinking, “Nope.  Wouldn’t look good on these hips.”  Or, “Me?  In that?  Nah.”

3:  So I can wear slinky PJs and feel good about it

My husband has been subjected to some pretty heinous sweat pants.  He deserves to see me in something pretty.

2:  For me

I deserve to be healthy, happy, and to live a life that is free of guilt for simple choices like eating and physical fitness.  I deserve health.  We all do.  But we have to maintain it for ourselves- no one else can.  That’s a big lesson I’m learning right now- I am the one in charge of my current condition.  Nobody else.  So if I’m mad, I have to be mad at me.  Nobody else.

1:  For my kids

This is sort of a no-brainer, but really…  I want to be a cool, fun, energetic mother.  I want to play with them, chase them, toss them in the air and tickle them, and keep up with them without killing myself.  I want them to remember me as an active part of their childhood, not just watching from the sidelines.

I want them to be active, too. If I’m sedentary I’m setting the wrong example.

I knew I made the right choice when Anna came out the other day as I was doing a workout video.  As I was attempting some crunches she came in the room.

“What are you doing, Mommy?”

“I’m exercising, Sweet Pea.”

“Why?”

Ah, yes.  Why.

“To be a healthy mommy.”

“Oh.  That’s good!”

Done.

 

What are your reasons for living a healthy life?  Give me even more motivation!

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Our CSA {Love}

Posted by on May 1, 2012 | 2 comments

 

We joined a CSA!  A friend of mine was posting about a local company that will deliver fresh fruits & veggies right to your door.  When I read that I thought to myself, “Well, no more excuses.”  I knew that if we joined a CSA but I had to go pick up the box, I would miss a week here or there.  But if they’ll bring it to me?  Love.  And now that I’m doing a weight-loss challenge (today is Day #1!) it will help a lot that I have fresh stuff to eat.

Now, every Wednesday is Squeeze Play Day.  Sometime in the morning they bring a box of fresh veggies & fruit to our door.  I’m never quite sure what they’ll bring, but it’s always beautiful, plentiful and organic.  How awesome is that?

If you are in California and interested in finding a CSA in your area, you should check out Abundant Harvest Organics.  They have a ton of locations where you can sign up for the same kind of thing, though I’m sure it varies area to area. One thing I love about our particular CSA is that they charge us weekly, which is nice for our budget.  We don’t have to pay for an entire season all at once.

Here are some photos of things we’ve received in our first few boxes.  They make for fun photography practice, too.

 

Time to open the box!

Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful!

And these peas; Oh, my they were so tasty! We cooked them with our butternut squash ravioli and it was heavenly- didn’t even need sauce.  Just a bit of olive oil & salt, good to go.  YUM.

We love you, Squeeze Play!  Thanks for making it possible for us to get good, organic produce!

Note:  I was not compensated for this post.  I am totally writing about it because I love Squeeze Play and think they are all rad.  No freebies here- just the real deal, folks.

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Mother’s Day Project & San Diego MNO!

Posted by on Apr 24, 2012 | 15 comments

Are you ready to clean up your Pinterest Boards?  Thursday is Clean Up Your Pinterest Boards Day!  Join us and make sure your pins are legit!  Can’t wait!

Are you ready for Mother’s Day?  I am!  I love having a day to celebrate the fact that I’m a MOM!  I can’t believe I’m 36 and have three beautiful kids.  Before I get into the details of my post, I want to share an event I’ll be attending and am SO EXCITED about!    I’m also on the committee promoting it because I am so thrilled that this group exists for the sole purpose of giving MOMS a NIGHT OFF!  Woot!

If you are a San Diego mom, you should come to San Diego Mom’s Night Out Mother’s Day Event!  Don’t worry, it’s not on the “real” Mother’s Day- it’s Thursday, May 10th.   National Mom’s Nite Out is the first nationally organized celebration of motherhood intended to bring together today’s moms, physically and virtually.  National Mom’s Nite Out unites hundreds of social media groups, companies, local playgroups, mommy bloggers and mother social networks in giving moms a well deserved night off. National Mom’s Night Out consists of local events held across the country including ours!

San Diego Mom’s Night Out Mother’s Day Event is going to be at Bliss 101 in Encinitas.  I live in El Cajon, and let me tell you- the drive will be worth it!  Just a few of the fun things planned: wine, food, skinny shots, massages, and swag bags!  Need I say more?  Go get your ticket, gals!   For reals- it’s going to be so nice!

Now, onto my tutorial- I am so pleased with how these turned out!

First things first:  CREDIT.  I first saw this project on Pinterest, which sent me to Mandy Douglass’ blog, It Will Change Your Life. At the bottom of this post I saw the cutest thing I’ve ever seen for Mother’s Day, and thought to myself, “I HAVE to make this!”  I emailed Mandy, and she so graciously agreed to let me post this tutorial.  Thank you, Mandy!

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Printable: House Cleaning

Posted by on Apr 23, 2012 | 3 comments

Before I get into this here printable, don’t forget:  Clean Up Your Pinterest Boards Day is THIS THURSDAY!  Yahoo!  I can feel the organization and inspiration coming back to me now….

I hate cleaning.  You can’t make me like it.  I know I’m not alone in this.  My friend Ashley at It’s Fitting just posted about her cleaning woes at The Trend Tribe last week.

However, I have recently come up with a system that works for me.  It’s more of a maintenance thing.  I still have to do a deep cleaning every once in a while, but sticking to this keeps things presentable and manageable.  And…. If I keep up with it then I don’t have to do much on the weekends, which is so nice!

Each day I have one task, Monday through Friday.  If I get that one thing done, I’m golden.  This does not include laundry- I do laundry when it has to be done, and no sooner.  The kids have to be on their last set of PJs before I will toss in a load.  It also doesn’t include things like dishes.  Dishes are never ending around here.

I respond very well to checklists.  So for this printable, I gave myself space to check off each day’s task so I can at least have one satisfying “Check!” during the week.  I also like that the frame blocks all the crap behind it.  Doesn’t it look so neat and tidy on this shelf?

As you can see below, I did okay this past week.  Vacuuming is so hard around here because all three of my kids- ALL THREE- are TERRIFIED of the vacuum.  It’s ridiculous.  And sad.  It makes me sad to make them cry just because we need clean carpet.

Below is the printable.  I hope you can use it!

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