Friday, July 3, 2015

June Gratitude In Numbers

Today I'm linking up with my blogging buddy Deena at Shoes To Shiraz to share June in numbers.  I decided to combine it with my monthly gratitude post, so here is what I'm grateful for this month, in numbers...

--8 wonderful women.  I got to spend lots of time in June with these amazing, smart, beautiful ladies.  I love my sister, cousins, and new friends - and I'm so grateful to have them in my life.

--1 successful oral surgery.  Everything went well (thank you Dr. Hong), and I'm one step closer to getting my disastrous teeth straightened out.  Fingers crossed, I'll be able to start my Invisalign treatment next month.

--3 posters, 6 hot dogs, and 1 great father.  We spent father's day watching movies, hitting up the Farmer's Market, and enjoying dinner prepared by the boys.  Which consisted of grilled hot dogs, baked beans and coleslaw.  I had some movie posters framed and hung in our tv room as G's gift.  So grateful for this fantastic husband and father.

--11 days and counting of hot weather.  I'm pretty sure I'm the only one in Seattle who's enjoying our 85+ degree days. But I love getting up in the morning to sit on my deck, and not be cold.  I like walking outside at any time of the day, in tank tops and flip flops, and not feeling cold.  I clearly was supposed to live in this kind of climate.

--78 classmates who attended our 30th high school reunion.  It was great to catch up with so many people from the class of 1985.  G didn't want to go, but once we arrived, he was "friendliest", just like the old days at Mariner High.

This is his excited face - goofy guy.
I hope you find what you're grateful for this month.  Have a wonderful, safe weekend!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Decorating For The Fourth Of July

I love to decorate for the 4th of July.  In fact, my decorations make me so happy, I usually leave them up until the end of August.  There's something so summery about red, white and blue!

A good reminder, don't you think?

Patriotic tic tac toe.  My boys loved this when they were younger.

I looked everywhere for a festive banner for my mantel, and finally decided to make one myself.  

I hope everyone has a safe, fun, happy 4th of July.  We'll be staying home, making sure our house doesn't burn down.  Last year I wrote about the fireworks war zone that my town becomes on the holiday.  We've had unusually hot, dry weather for the last few weeks, so my husband will be ready with the hose!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Summer Style Week 3

Happy Canada Day to all my Canadian friends!  

I can't believe it's already week three of the Summer Style Challenge, and today I'm linking up with the fashionistas to share what we wore this week.

Before we get to the clothes, congratulations to Ashley Bree Perez, the winner of our $200 Gap Brands gift card giveaway!  Thank you so much to everyone who entered.

A few random thoughts:

-It has been HOT in Seattle.  Upper 80's, low 90's for days on end, which I don't recall happening in June before, ever.  I haven't worn a sweatshirt or sweater in weeks - which is also unprecedented.  Last year I couldn't even do the Summer Challenge, because it was too cold to wear shorts.  I do not know what's going on with this weather, but I like it!

-After two years of looking, I finally found a pair of white eyelet shorts.  I am ridiculously happy about these shorts.

-I really like my asymmetrical coral skirt, but after looking at the picture, I'm not thrilled with how I styled it.  Suggestions for next time?

-I'm pretty sure I've mentioned before, but it's been a while. The site is affiliated with Nordstrom Rack, and they often have really great deals.  I recently got these Cole Haan sandals, regularly $70, for $16.99.

-One last enabler alert for your Wednesday.  Old Navy is having a great sale online right now, with free shipping if you spend $25 or more.  It's a great time to stock up on summer essentials.

Be sure to check out the other ladies to see what they're up to this week, and link up with us below! 

Shoes to Shiraz | R Squared | Two Teens and Their Mama 

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Tech Tools For Teen Drivers

One of the scariest things about parenting teenagers is letting them drive off on their own after they get their license.  My boys have been driving for several years, but I still worry every time they leave the house.

My anxiety gets worse in the summer.  Last year I wrote about the 100 days between Memorial Day and Labor Day which are the deadliest for teen drivers, with the biggest problem being inattention due to texting or other passengers in the car.

Luckily, there have been recent improvements with monitoring technology for teen drivers, which can offer some peace of mind.

Data supports the premise that teens who know they're being monitored by their parents drive safer and take fewer risks, resulting in fewer accidents.

In-car GPS devices have come a long way.  Parents can check on location, speed, acceleration and more.  They can be alerted if the device is unplugged, and request a "driving report card" for their teen.  The best news:  many insurance companies now provide these devices free for one year, or offer premium discounts with their use.

All wireless carriers offer apps that block texting and driving, and others that allow parents to set speed limits and safe driving areas, sending alerts if teens travel outside the boundaries.

At this point I'll probably skip these tech tools, since my boys have proven over the past few years that they can handle the responsibilities that come with having a driver's license. However, they did sign a parent-teen driving contract, and to this day it's still in effect.  Go to for a sample agreement.

It will always be scary when your teen driver hits the road, but these tools can help take a little of the anxiety away.  Now if they could just come up with something to monitor the ups and downs of teenage emotions...

Monday, June 29, 2015

Monday Motivation XIII

Summer is here....and I'm reminding myself to slow down and enjoy the moments that will become memories.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Six Summer Books & A Tote To Carry Them

Happy first Friday of summer!  The Style Me Bloggers are back today with a perfect topic for just such an occasion - our summer reading lists.

A day at the beach with a new book is my idea of heaven, and I ordered these six lovelies so I'll be ready when I head to vacation next month.  Which can't come soon enough, let me tell you.

The Husband's Secret.  I've only recently discovered Liane Moriarty, and I don't know where she's been all my life.  I just finished What Alice Forgot, and it was so, so good.  Her page turning books are the right mix of witty humor and intrigue.

The Martian.  I actually ordered this for my husband, but I'll probably steal it from him first. I'm not usually a big fan of sci-fi, but the premise of an astronaut stranded on Mars is intriguing.  Plus the movie is coming out in the fall starring Matt Damon, so I need to brush up on my space lingo.

The Rumor.  This was recommended by my cousin, who was shocked that I had never read an Elin Hilderbrand book.  She described it as "the perfect beach read about rich people behaving badly".  What else could you want?

I Regret Nothing.  I've been waiting impatiently for this to be released.  I love every single thing Jen Lancaster writes, especially her "memoirs".  I have to be careful where I read her books, because I spend the whole time laughing out loud and annoying those around me.

A Fine Romance.  Candice Bergen is one of my favorite actresses and Murphy Brown is in my top five fave shows of all time.  It's probably a little dated, but it was so well written and smart and you should watch it on Netflix.  (Okay, so I just went to see if it's even on Netflix, and they only have Season One.  What the what?)  Anyway.  This is Bergen's second autobiography, written thirty years later, and I know it's going to be so interesting.

The Dream Lover.  Elizabeth Berg is another author that has been recently recommended to me.  I can't wait to read this historical novel set in nineteenth century Paris.

And since we are the Style Me Bloggers, I must mention that Nordstrom's summer clearance sale is in full swing.  This cute canvas tote would be perfect to carry all those books to the beach, and it's on sale for only $12.00.

Be sure to visit my stylish friends to find out what they're reading this summer, and link up your picks below.  I'm always looking for new ideas!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Love And Hate

I was tagged by the lovely Deena to share ten things I love and ten things I hate.  Normally I would obsess over these lists to come up with just the right balance to express myself.  But I had to attend a really boring meeting Thursday night, so instead of paying attention, I spent my time writing down the first 20 things that came to mind.

Without further ado, ten things I love:

Basketball.  It's my very favorite sport, and I could shoot hoops for hours.  I couldn't get either one of my boys to play, which causes me great sorrow.

Sleeping with the windows open in the summer.  The fresh air, a slight breeze, and birds chirping in the morning.  Lovely.

Girls weekends.  I love the three men in my life more than anything, but sometimes it's so nice to get away and not have to worry about who needs to eat, where their underwear is, or if they're grumpy tired.

Yes, there are a few guys in this photo.  But they don't belong to me, so whoo-hoo!

Doing laundry.  There's something so satisfying about putting away fresh, clean laundry.  I even like folding other people's laundry.  I know, it's weird.

Walking.  Ideally, I would love to live someplace where I didn't have to own a car.  I do my best thinking when I'm walking.

Road trips.  Which is kind of contradictory to my prior love.  I guess I'd still need my car so I could drive somewhere fun to walk around.  I love to explore new places.

Sitting outside on my deck with a book and a Diet Coke.  This is something I need to do more often.  And no Kindle for me - I love the smell of a new book and the satisfaction of turning the pages.

Kind people.  We need more of them in the world.

Saturday morning.  There's so much promise for the weekend ahead.  Plus, I usually get to sleep in and wake up to one of my husband's delicious breakfasts.

My planner.  Or as I like to refer to it, my brain.  It's pretty and I love to write in it. Everything is in there, and if I ever lose it, I'm pretty sure I won't be able to function.

And the things I hate:

Trying on clothes.  I love to BUY clothes, it's the getting undressed and trying them on that annoys me.  I'm constantly returning things because they don't fit.

Missing things.  I'm stealing this one from Deena, because it describes me perfectly.  I wear myself out sometimes because I don't want to say no to anything.

Yardwork.  WHY do we keep buying houses with huge yards and tons of maintenance?  It does look pretty when it's done though.

Going to the dentist.  I would rather give birth to twenty babies than get dental work done. Unfortunately, there are many trips in my near future.  Sigh.

Dishonesty.  The few times my boys have been in big trouble, it's because they lied to me about something.  That makes me way more mad than whatever it is they did in the first place.  Just be honest about it.

Cooking.  If I ever win the lottery, the first thing I'm doing is hiring a chef.  The whole getting-everything-ready-at-the-same-time thing eludes me.  Thank goodness my husband is such a good cook, or our children would have grown up on pasta and grilled cheese.

Anything spa related.  I'm the only woman I know who doesn't like massages, pedicures or facials.  I hope we can still be friends!

Being cold.  There are two months a year when I'm not constantly freezing. July and August. At the same time, my Norwegian heritage husband is miserable from the heat. Because I love him so much, I finally broke down and let him get an AC unit for our bedroom.  I've already unpacked my flannel pj's.

Taking care of my hair.  It takes so much time to maintain long, color treated hair.  Oh yes, it will be short again someday.  I'm also hopeless with pony tails, braids and buns.  The second thing I'm getting when I win the lottery is a stylist who does my hair every day.

Mean people.  I don't understand them and I definitely don't want to be around them.  Ever.

Thanks Deena, that was fun!  I tag the following people - can't wait to see what you love and hate.

Susan at the most -- of every moment
Rena at The Diary Of An Alzheimer's Caregiver
Jill at Doused In Pink
Suzanne at Suzanne Carillo
Leanne at Cresting The Hill
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