Thursday, February 28, 2013

Father Daughter Dance 2013

This past weekend Lo had her annual Father Daughter Dance for Girl Scouts. Honestly I think the hubs was even more excited than Lo! This year's theme was Masquerade and they were encouraged to wear masks. They went out to dinner before the dance. Lo picked Mexican (of course) and then they headed to the dance. They had a red carpet for the dads and daughters to walk down, a photo booth complete with fun props like hats, sunglasses and masks and this year they had a magician perform. Lo LOVED the magician. When she got home she recreated the entire show for me. Clearly it was her favorite part of the dance.
This is Lo's new photo pose
Love the little Photo Bomber

Noa was EXTREMELY excited to have some Noa-Mommy time while Lo and Daddy were out at their event. We had a movie night. She picked Tangled. She always wants to watch it and Logan always vetoes it. She also picked pancakes and bacon (yum) for dinner. We had a super fun night. We put our jammies on, watched our movie on the pull-out couch and had ice cream sundaes BEFORE our dinner. Then we snuggled in my bed and red books together. 
We all agreed, BEST NIGHT EVER!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

T-shirt Quick Fix

It never fails. I fall in love with a shirt and then it gets a hole in it! I love the look and feel of the thin cotton shirts, but it's only a matter of time before they look like this:
I got this little cutie (second hand) not too long ago. To my dismay there was a fairly good sized hole on the lower back. Too big to go unnoticed. Definitely unwearable!
I was so sad!

Then I had an idea! I could just cover it! I cut a heart out of another thin cotton shirt that was beyond repair and covered the hole with it. Then I took some embroidery thread and stitched around the heart. 
Now I have a cute little one-of-a-kind top that only took me 5 minutes to fix! YAY!

Monday, February 25, 2013

The Long Run Diaries - Week 10

Any runner will tell you that you have good runs and bad runs and distance isn't always the factor. Some days 3 miles can seem like 30 and somedays, like yesterday for me, 17 can feel (sorta) like 7!

Week 10
17.19 miles
10:36 pace

Yesterday's run was amazing! Not only because it's the furtherest I've ever ran, but because it was the furthest I've ever ran and I felt great afterwards! I felt strong, even sprinted at the end, and honestly felt like I could run 20. Seriously, it was a great motivator for the things to come. Again, I felt "I can do this!" and let's be honest, I need all the positive reinforcement I can get. The full race is going to add another 2 hours to that 3 and that my friends is A LOT of running!

Traci and I ran on the Monon Trail and her friend Christy, who is also running the marathon, joined us. It's so nice to have other people join us. It gives us new stories to hear and another person talking so we get to take a break every once in awhile. Our plan was to walk every 4 miles, eat a little and drink some water. It worked out great. Often we were surprised that it was time for a break. Another great thing about the Monon is that it's mostly flat. It's nice to have a flat long run. 

Again, I worked hard on my nutrition this week, making sure the meals I ate on Friday were full of protein and fuel and the Saturday meals were light so that they didn't sit heavy in my belly. I also drank lots of water on Saturday which I definitely think helped. I didn't need as much water on our run. During the run I ate 3 Honey Stinger Waffles (YUM!) and made sure to take my Hammer's Electrolytes. Having my inhaler with me also helped. I've have a few cold weather runs where I forgot it making for an unpleasant run! We were blessed with a wind-free morning which also makes for more pleasantness! All in all a good run and I even stayed pretty perky for most of the day and was also headache-free. The hubby said he's noticed that my "crash" seems to be happening later and later. It was around dinner time when the exhaustion hit and I was in bed by 8:30, but at least I didn't fall asleep at the dinner table!

This week the mid-week mileage AND the long run mileage increases-OY VEY! Hopefully the runner's high I got from yesterday's run will stay with me all week!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Fix It Friday

This is the view from my front door this morning. Snow cones fell from the sky all night long. That's right, that's not snow, it's a sheet of ice and it covers all the sidewalks and roads here in Indy. Icy roads= 2 hour school delay which was well received around here. It's so nice to sleep in every once in a while and have a nice relaxing morning. Everyone is in such a good mood when we don't have to rush for the bus!
This is the view of my crafty desk. Somewhere under that mess is a sewing machine and serger. The "stuff" on top is months and months of things needing fixing. It's full of things that need to be sewn or hot-glued. It's where the girls put everything they want mended, even the hubby has a pair of pants on there. The truth is that most of it has been there for a VERY LONG TIME. 
Last week Lo's most favorite stuffed dog needed her tail fixed. I told her to put it on the crafty desk and she burst into tears. "It'll NEVER get fixed if I put it there!!!" and she was totally right. Broken crafty things go there to never return. Until today. Today I am tackling the desk. If you need me today I'll be sewing on buttons, performing minor surgery on various stuffed animals and gluing broken doll furniture and hair bows. 

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Dressin' Up The Dresser

Not too long ago my friend Kristen sent me this picture and asked if I'd be interested in refurbishing it for her. It's been in her family for a long time and they wanted to put it in the nursery for the baby they are expecting in April. I was up for the challenge!
It kinda reminded me of the World's Ugliest Dresser that I updated for Lo's room awhile back, but instead of poop-brown paint it was covered in stickers. NoJo sat and watched me take off all the stickers, which was not an easy task. Her response was, "Now I know why you tell me no stickers on the furniture!" A little Goo-be-Gone and a coat of Zinsser and she was ready for her new coat of paint.

The dresser itself was pretty beat up, there were lots of dings and dents and the edges were pretty uneven. All that made me so excited. I knew it was going to look totally amazing once it was all finished. We went with a dark blue the matched a table in the room. The color is Prussian Cadet by Valspar. I made my own chalk paint (for directions you can go {HERE}) so I used a flat finish. I think the chalk paint is the best for distressing and wearing down the edges. I gave it two coats of paint and once it was dry and cured (The waiting is the hardest part!), I got down to the real fun, the distressing. I used a fine grit sanding block to give it the aged look. All the dings and dents worked to my favor and gave the dresser lots of character. Once the dresser was "aged" to my liking I used my dark Mylands Wax to give it even more dimension and an extra layer of distressing. Once I had everything how I wanted it, I gave the whole dresser two coats of Minwax WATER BASED Polycrylic in Satin finish. I know in the past I've sealed my pieces with Annie Sloan Wax (which I still LOVE), but I wanted the dresser to be able to be wiped down and survive any type of beating it may take. I really like the Minwax. I used it on Lo's desk & Noa's desk and it's been great. I can just wipe off all the crayon, marker and glue without having to worry about taking off all the wax too. It goes on super easy, dries quickly and is virtually odorless. It comes in a few different finishes, but I like the satin because it's not super shiny.

I was beyond excited with the results! She's so purdy!!!
Kristen found these adorable drawer pulls on-line. They are so cute and go perfectly with the surf themed nursery. 

It was so much fun and I've definitely been re-infected by the Refurbishing Bug! I've been walking around the house choosing my next victim! 

Wednesday, February 20, 2013


Yesterday I woke up to find this love note on my bathroom mirror....
Sometimes when the hubby has to leave super early for work he leaves me little messages. So thoughtful and always makes me smile.

Later in the day I noticed this addition to my love note...
Isn't 7 too young to think your parents are weird and embarrassing? 

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Swinging Into Spring

Don't get me wrong, I love winter! I love snow, scarves, warm boots, snuggling under blankets and drinking hot coco with the girls, but every once in awhile I need a break! Yesterday was our (much needed) break! We were lucky to have a warm (and windy) day AND it just happened to be President's Day so both girls were home from school to enjoy it. Logan and Noa spend most of the afternoon playing outside. They drew chalk murals, shot their arrows and just ran around being as loud as they wanted. We were all in heaven! We also made a trip to the park and GG enjoyed his first time swinging on the swing. He loved it, although he wasn't sure what to think about the wind blowing his hair. We're back to cold and windy weather today, but the joy of yesterday will stay with us for awhile.

Monday, February 18, 2013

The Long Run Diaries-Week 9

Week 9! WHOO HOO I've reached the halfway point!

Week 9
13.02 miles
10:31 Pace

This week was another taper-ish week. The midweek runs were the same, but the long run was "only" 13. It was another fr-fr-freeeeezing day, but luckily it wasn't too windy so it wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it would be. When you see that it's 10 degrees outside it kinda makes you want to stay in your warm cozy bed! Both Traci and I had a great run and I had no issues with migraines, soreness or extreme exhaustion. Yay for me!

This week the miles increase AGAIN and we're up to 8 on our midweek run and Sunday brings us to 17! The furthest I have ever run in my life is 15 so it's going to be both a mental and physical challenge!

As a treat to myself for all my hard work I bought myself 2 new running shells. When I thought about how long I've had mine (ahem...over 10 years!) I thought I deserved a new one! I had been eyeing this polka dot Saucony jacket all winter! When I popped into the running store last week I was beyond excited to see it on the clearance rack!!! I practically wore it out of the store I was so excited!
It's so bright and cheerful (and NEW) that you can't help but pick up your step a little bit when wearing it, and with the mileage creeping up there, I'm going to need a little pick-me-up!

Have a fab-u-lous Monday and seriously, thank you all so much for the encouragement! You rock!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Remembering To Say "Thank You"

It seems as we become more and more dependent on computers, smart phones, and i-whatevers, the written word becomes less and less. I'm just as guilty as the next, but one area I do not think technology has a place, is in the thank you note. Personally, I think if someone takes the time to do something nice for you, you have the time to write them a handwritten note letting them know how much you appreciate it. When the girls were younger we allowed their thank yous to be in the form of a picture, and as they got older we gradually increased the amount of actual words. First we started with a simple "thank you" and now that they can write, full thank you notes with actual sentences are required. They still like to include pictures too which is always a nice touch.

For the past two years Lo has been a Daisy Girl Scout and when anyone thinks of Girl Scouts their mind instantly goes to cookies!!! She's been a great little seller and even though she had LOTS and LOTS of customers, she was still responsible for thanking everyone. Last year we went with a simple "thank you" photo showing her with all her cookies and her incentive she earned for selling over a certain amount. She attached this picture to each cookie bundle for each of her customers. They were a huge hit!
This year she was another great little sales girl and again had LOTS of customers to thank. We decided that since she is in 1st grade now she needed to write a proper thank you note. This is what she designed (sorry for the awful picture...the real file was to large to post)
It was super easy to make and only cost us about $0.09 each! First she wrote her note and drew her picture. Then I traced her letter with a Sharpie so that it was easier to read. I scanned the whole note and saved it as a JPEG file. Once it was all saved I just had to download it to our local Meijer Photo store and it was ready in less than an hour! 

I love her pictures, the hedgehog especially, and how she spelled Trefoils-so cute!

What kind of creative ways do you have your kids express their thanks? Shout 'em out! We can never have too much gratitude!!!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

LoLa's Secret Secondaries: Mixing the Rainbow

One of the perks of being in first grade at Lo's school is that you can join one of the many clubs. Lo eagerly joined Science Club at the beginning of the school year and for the past 5 months has been working hard on her science fair project. It's been a LONG process for the whole family and last night it was finally time for the big event.

Lo had wanted to do her project on something art related. She had a lot of fun at one of Noa's school events mixing different colors of water and was hoping to incorporate something similar into her project. The experiment she decided on was to see if you got the same colors when you mixed the primary colors of light in paint, watercolors and light.

The final presentation was pretty involved for a 1st grader. First, EVERYTHING had to be typed. While the hubby and I wanted her to do most of the project on her own, we agreed that making her type everything would just take way too long so we helped her with that part. In addition to her tri-fold poster board she needed a typed report, an abstract and part of the judging included an oral presentation. She worked VERY hard and the hubby and I are so proud of her.
Woo hoo! Participation ribbon!!!
Before the science fair started the participants met with the judges and explained their project and answered any questions they had. This was the part that made Lo the most nervous. She practiced all week and by the end she could do the whole presentation without looking at her board. The best part was that SHE was so proud of herself.

After the judging everyone got to walk around and look at all the other projects. There were so many amazing projects and I learned a lot. All the kids worked so hard and they were all so eager to share their learning. Logan went around with her notepad and pen and took notes on all the projects she liked.
After the science fair they had had an awards ceremony. In addition to 1st, 2nd, 3rd and Honorable Mention they had other categories for each grade too. They gave out awards for Best Title, Math, Chemistry and Most Creative.

We are SO PROUD to announce that Lo won not one, but two awards!!! First she was given the Most Creative award (You know this crafty mama was beaming when they called her name for that one!). She was beyond excited. She had a huge ear-to-ear grin when she went up to accept her certificate!
She also was given the Honorable Mention Award. That means if any of the top 1st grade winners cannot attend the county science fair she will get to attend and present her project. Again, nothing but HUGE smiles from her.
She just kept saying, "I can't believe I did it! I did it Mommy!"

There's nothing better than your child feeling so good about their accomplishments.
To celebrate a job well done we all went out for Mexican food, Lo's most favorite.
....and all night, the smiles just kept on coming!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The Bank Of Murray

A few weeks ago I came across {THIS} blog post from Ducks In A Row about allowance. Instantly I knew it was an allowance system that could work for us. You may remember our "stick system" that we started with Logan awhile back. Initially it worked really well. Lo was motivated and regularly earned her sticks. Once the novelty wore off we were back to crazy mornings full of crying and crankiness. Since she rarely got her chores done she stopped earning money and once she stopped earning money she stopped caring. Clearly it wasn't working.

The new system is NOT about earning money, it's about managing your money. Nowadays it's hard to teach kids about money management because they rarely see it. So many of us use our debit cards to pay for things that kids can't grasp the value or even the concept of money. I feel like the hubby and I do a pretty good job talking to the girls about money and how, as a family, we have "needs" and "wants" and we have to make choices about how and what we spend our money on. I also want the girls to learn through their own experiences with having their own money. 

The biggest change from our "old" system is that the money is not earned. Each girl will still have chores they need to do, but both the hubby and I agree that those jobs come with being part of the family and the kids shouldn't be paid to keep their rooms clean, empty trashes or just help us around the house. Also, as Ducks In A Row pointed out, it's hard for kids to learn to save money when they are not earning it consistently. With the new system the girls will know how much they will earn each month and can calculate how long it will take them to save for a particular item that they want.

Each girl has their own "bank"
Each "bank" has a zippered pencil case to hold their money and their money register. Each girl gets $1 for each year. Lo gets $7 and Noa gets $5. We decided that the girls will put 10% of their allowance in savings, 10% in a joint "giving jar" and the remaining money will be theirs to spend. They also need to keep track of their money, writing down how much they put in their "bank" and how much they withdraw. If they want to buy anything they need to use their own money. It can be used for toys, candy, book orders at school or other "extras" that they may want. If they don't have enough money they cannot buy it. When they have saved enough for  a decent donation the girls will decide together who they would like it to go to. 
Both girls had money in their Bitty Jars so that became their balance. As you can see, Noa is our saver. Any money she gets she just puts away. Nana and Poppa sent the girls money for Valentine's Day and Noa was so excited to enter it into her bank! 
I'm hopeful that this a system that will not only work for us, but be something that we're good about keeping up. I like that it's simple and easy for the girls to follow. Not only are they learning about money management, but it helps with writing, spelling and math too. 
What kind of money management/teaching techniques do you use with your family? Shout 'em out, we're always in search of fresh ideas to keep us motivated!

Happy Wednesday!