Friday, March 27, 2015

Sharing Some Gratitude Part Ten

March has flown by and it's time for another look at what I'm grateful for this month.

--I'm grateful that my mom came to visit.  I love this lady so much, and I really wish she would move back home.  When she's here we have such a great time, but for now I'll just have to make do with quarterly visits.

I promise - we were stopped at a loooong stoplight when I took this!

--I'm grateful that this guy turned twenty.  This is a hard one to be grateful for because I really hate the fact that he's growing up so fast.  But he has turned into such a wonderful young man.  Last weekend we took him to Vancouver BC to see a concert for his birthday.  Fun!  I'm not the mom to two teens anymore, which makes the name of this blog somewhat irrelevant.  Not sure what to do about that!

--I'm grateful that my new crown is in and my taxes are done.  Enough said about that.

--I'm grateful that spring is here.  Although our winter was pretty mild and sunny (we didn't see a single snowflake), it was so wonderful to open the windows today and let the fresh air inside.  Everything is in bloom, and hopefully we'll get lots of fruit from our pear apple tree this year.

--I'm grateful to be reading books again.  Which sounds ridiculous, because I love to read. But in the last year I've spent all of my free time reading blogs, commenting on blogs, and working on my blog.  I realized this month how much I miss reading a BOOK.  So I'm trying to work at least thirty minutes of book reading into each day, and I'll be starting with these three lovelies.  

I hope you find what you are grateful for this month!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Hippity Hoppity, Easter's On It's Way

Easter is ten days away.  What!?!

I love everything that Easter represents, but I must admit that I have very few decorations to commemorate this season.  I picked up this little bunny at Pier One a few weeks ago.

Here's his big brother.

This sign came from Wal-Mart.  I was surprised to find some really cute decorations there this year.

And my very favorite, the Lenox Easter Tree.

One of the things I really miss as the boys have gotten older is coloring Easter eggs.  As I've read through blogs the last few weeks, I have seen many different egg coloring techniques.  I really like these marbled eggs from The Practical Mom.  So pretty and simple to make.

I probably wouldn't have been able to get my boys on board with making these though. When they were little, their main objective was to see how many different colors they could dip the egg into, hoping to end up with the ugliest egg of all.  As they got a little older they were more interested in making pretty colors, but patience was definitely an issue. 

Come back on Saturday when I'll share a recipe for the most delicious Mexican Egg Casserole - an Easter brunch tradition at our house!

Linking up with Katherine's Corner

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

It's Tulip Time

  Nope - you're not missing anything.  Earth Day isn't until April 22nd.  But it is tulip time!  Because of our mild winter, the tulips are blooming, several weeks ahead of schedule.  Since I'm busy hanging out with my mom during the last few days of her visit, I thought I'd re-run this post from last spring.  


Let's talk about tulips on this beautiful Earth Day.  They are one of my favorite flowers, and I am lucky enough to live only 30 miles from the Skagit Valley and the annual Tulip Festival. 

The Skagit Valley is the largest grower of tulips in the United States, and during the spring festival over 1/2 a million people visit to ooh and ahh over the 700 acres of colorful blooms. You have to be quick though - as soon as the festival is over, they top the blooms and all of those vibrant fields go back to green.

For many years we have joined the other 500,000 people, and let me tell you, it's crowded. This is a small valley with two lane farm roads.  The traffic jams can be horrific. It's not uncommon to have people stop in the middle of the road to hop out and take a quick picture. If you visit the festival, you have to pack your patience.  Ah, but the tulips!

C and T with my Grandpa in 2002

If you would like to grow these beautiful flowers in your own yard, now is the time to order them. The Washington Bulb Co. has a wonderful on line catalog, and they will ship the bulbs direct to you in the fall when it's time to plant.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Happy Spring!

The rain may have returned to Seattle, but the flowers are growing, the frogs are singing (so loudly they keep me awake at night), and spring is in the air. Yesterday T told me that he has senioritis - and he's only a junior.  I'm pretty sure it's just spring fever, and I've go it too!

It's time to break out some new spring fashion and try a pretty nail color.  My favorite this month is "Madison Ave-Hue" by Essie.  It's the perfect pink shade for spring.

And I can't keep this new hand soap from Bath and Body Works to myself.   Every time I use Honolulu Sun I feel like I'm sitting on a tropical beach with a Mai Tai in hand.  It smells amazing.

If the weather cooperates I'll be heading outside to do a little yard work this weekend.  On my way to get the mail yesterday I noticed these flowers poking through - and the weeds next to them.  Time for some gardening.

Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

Friday, March 20, 2015

Do's And Dont's - Spring Trends

Happy Spring!

What a fitting day for our Style Me Bloggers link up, since we're talking about spring do's and dont's.  But before I get to my picks for spring fashion, I'd like to announce:  MY SHOPPING BAN IS OVER.  I can't take it anymore.  The colors are so fresh, the clothes are too pretty, and I really need some new spring style in my life.  I made it almost four months, which is a record for me, so I'm calling it good.

Here are the top five spring trends that I hope to add to my wardrobe:
  • Yellow.  One of my favorite colors.  How can you not feel spring-y and happy wearing yellow?  I'd really like to find a yellow coat, but a dress would be fun too.
  • Shirtdress.  While I like this denim one, I'm searching for something in poplin. It would be really cute with a belt and white converse.
  • Lace.  I love the feminine look of lace, and a white lace shirt paired with boyfriend jeans and flats is a great balance of tough and girly.
  • Gingham.  I like the bigger gingham print in this outfit.  And how pretty would it be with a yellow jacket?  The bag is lovely too.

  • Slip on sneakers.  So comfortable and they would look great with any of my other picks.  Plus, there are so many choices for spring!  I'd also love to find a pair of wedge sandals, but with a lower heel.  Not easy.

I was having so much fun deciding what to look for on my shopping spree that I almost forgot about the dont's.  But here's my position on that:

There aren't any dont's.  

I believe that fashion is a personal thing.  It's an expression of who you are, and you should wear what makes you feel happy and beautiful.  No matter what anyone else says or thinks.

The lovely Suzanne Carillo recently wrote a great post about this very subject called Can You Wear Cute Dresses Over 40?  Anyone who has ever questioned themself while getting dressed in the morning should read it.  Heck, even if you're the most self confident person in the world, you should check it out.  It's that good.

Having said that, there are a few spring trends that I personally won't be wearing.  Black mesh, overalls, and most anything 70's inspired (no patchwork or culottes for me).  But if that's your thing, then go for it, and know that you'll look beautiful doing it.

Be sure to check out the other Style Me Bloggers, and link up with us below!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

The Family Dinner Project

When I was growing up, my family ate dinner together almost every night.   Mom was a pretty basic cook, but every once in a while my dad would whip up something special.  No matter what was on the menu, it was always served with salad, bread and butter.

I've tried to continue the dinner tradition with my boys.  Once they got into sports and other activities it became hard to get everyone to the table at the same time, but we're usually successful at least three times a week. And on weekends we have friends and family over for big meals a few times a month.

Sadly, sitting down for a meal with your kids has become an activity of generations past.  It can be hard with both parents working and kids busy with evening commitments. 

The Family Dinner is trying to change that trend.  According to their website:

"Over the past 15 years, research has shown what parents have known for a long time:  sharing a fun family meal is good for the spirit, brain and health of all family members.  Recent studies link regular family meals with the kinds of behaviors that parents want for their children: higher grade point averages, resilience and self-esteem.  Additionally, family meals are linked to lower rates of substance abuse, teen pregnancy, eating disorders and depression.  We also believe in the power of family dinners to nourish ethical thinking."

The Family Dinner site is filled with tons of resources, including recipes, tips for making time to get everyone together, and ways to involve your kids in preparing meals.  

But my favorite part is the Conversation Starters. There are hundreds of suggestions for family dinner discussions, broken down by themes and also age groups.  I love this, because it's sometimes hard to start a meaningful conversation with your kids, especially tweens and teens.  And it defeats the purpose of the family dinner if everyone is watching tv or looking at their phones and not talking to each other.

Having dinner together five nights a week would be ideal, but that's not realistic for many families.  Parents should remember that less is okay, and it doesn't always have to be dinner either.  Lunch and breakfast counts as long as everyone is sitting down and engaging with each other.

Sharing family meals with my boys has been one of my favorite parts of parenting.  I really hope the pendulum shifts and we start seeing a return to this important tradition.

I may not be the best cook, but my husband has taught the boys well, and I plan to be eating at their houses for years to come!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Spring Trench Coat

Spring arrives on Friday, but it will be several more months before our temperatures warm up.  Until then, I'll still be wearing layers.

Colorful trench coats are popular this year, and while mine is a little short to be a classic trench, I love the melon shade and the single breasted style.

As far as I'm concerned, the brighter the better for spring.  And a hood would be very helpful.

Via Nordstrom

In other news, I recently bought this leather bracelet from Keep Collective as a very early birthday present to myself, and I wanted to share it because I love it SO much.  It reverses to brown, and the "keys" can be changed around.  Super comfortable and fun.

Be sure to come back on Friday when the Style Me Bloggers will be linking up our do's and don't for this year's spring trends.  Should be a fun one!

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