I have been waiting for this day since August 1, 2014...the last day of the school year for me! Tomorrow begins one glorious month off. I feel like they should give me some sort of "I survived my first year of middle school" shirt or medal or something.

Here's to a fun month with my family! Time to get cracking on that Bucket List!

P.S. Note to self, take the 5:00am alarm off of the Fitbit for Monday...


Tipsy Tuesday (#317)

Record breaking temperatures in NC last week and this week and the air conditioner is working overtime.

Tip #317

You can't control the heat outside, but you can minimize indoor heat. 

Run the dryer and dishwasher at night on hot days and let your dishes air dry. Avoid heat-generating incandescent lighting and use a microwave, toaster oven or outdoor grill instead of the oven. It's best to avoid the use of major appliances between 2 and 8 p.m.

It is supposed to be up to 97 today, what is the weather like in your area?


21 Day Fix: Round 4 Done!

This past Monday, I finished my fourth round of 21 Day Fix and I thought that I would give you a little update on my progress.

Weight Lost: This round: 7lbs. Total: 22lbs.

Inches Lost: I still need to take some measurements, but my pants fit differently for sure and I had to go down 2 sizes in panties (was that too much information?).

Exercise: Still doing my DVD's 5 days out of 7, taking BodyPump when I can and walking for 45 minutes to an hour each morning before work. My blisters have blisters, but I'm going to keep on!

Food: I am still tracking calories (1,380 per day) using My Fitness Pal and trying not to let all of these summer get-togethers and special occasions trip me up.

Water: Drinking just over a gallon a day!

On to Round 5!


Tipsy Tuesday (#316)

We are quite a ways off from needing this info at our house, but with kids out of school many of you might benefit from a list of guidelines for kids who stay home alone.

Tip #316

Home alone? Mique at Thirty Handmade Days has a great list to help you gauge if your child might be capable of being left alone. She also covers a list of things that it will be important for your child to know if you make the decision to let them stay home alone.

This decision will vary with every child, every parent, and every state's guideline, but having the right information at hand to make an informed decision for your family is a great way to start.

What are your thoughts on leaving children at home alone?



Listening...to "Fat Bottom Girls" over and over in my head...I think someone at the gym has a twisted sense of humor.

Eating...an apple and oatmeal.

Drinking...water....lots and lots of water...


Wearing...jeans, a brown T-shirt, flip flops, and a turquoise necklace. (I love casual dress after all of the students have left for the school year!)

Feeling...so tired, only 1 night of VBS in the books and I am already exhausted.

Needing...to get a ton done in my last 15 days at work before I get my month long break!

Wanting...a new bathing suit...but not wanting to have to shop and try them on.

Thinking...that if you could get super skinny by smelling imaginary smoke - the way models do by chain smoking - I would be set.

Enjoying...Elise running around in her new "sparkly" sandals!


Elise's Summer Bucket List - 2015

 Learn to play a board game / Outdoor Tea Party / Potty Train / Colors & Shapes Sidewalk Chalk Game / Take a boat ride / Marble Painting / Make freezer jam / Vacation Bible School / Paintbag Writing / Make a bracelet with Mommy / Visit grandparents / Make Watermelon Pie / Miniature Golf / Pool Noodle Pom Pom Shooter / Go to a concert / Make homemade ice cream / Tie dye a shirt / Visit Gatlinburg, TN / Summer Reading Program at the library / Water park / Tiny Bubbles prints / Playdates with friends / Make homemade sidewalk chalk / Pool Noodle Marble Run / Make a movie necklace and see an outdoor movie / Camp out / Elsa's Frozen Hands / Make Gummy Bear popsicles / Make homemade pizza / Catch fireflies / Make Strawberry Shortcake Kabobs / Swim Lessons / Learn to spell "Elise"


Tipsy Tuesday (#315)

Because who doesn't want to raise a happy, successful, cooperative child and discipline their child less...

Tip #315

We have a typical 2 year old and she is beginning to test the boundaries, so when I saw this chart from Carol Tuttle, author of The Child Whisperer, I thought why not give these techniques a shot.

It looks like we have a Sensitive Child on our hands, which is not very surprising since her Mama is the same way. It's helpful to try to step back and really think about how she is feeling and then tackle the challenging behavior in the way that makes her feel most secure.

This parenting gig is no joke!


Tipsy Tuesday (#314)

I have a confession and I hope we can still be friends...I have not washed the windows in our house once in the 8 years that we have lived there. Sure, I have washed the few that don't have blinds on them and the storm doors regularly, but all of the others are in sad shape.

Tip #314

According to Chaotically Creative, this squeegee method makes window cleaning a breeze.

I have everything that I need and I'm going to give it a try tonight. And once I get my inside windows clean, I'm going to make the Rev use this method to clean the outside windows. Fun for one and all!

How often do you clean your windows?


21 Day Fix: Round 3 Done!

This past Monday, I finished my third round of 21 Day Fix and I thought that I would give you a little update on my progress.

Weight Lost: This round: 3lbs. Total: 15lbs. Not thrilled with that number, but my eating wasn't what it needs to be this round.

Inches Lost: I still need to take some measurements, but my pants fit differently for sure.

Exercise: I'm walking for 45 minutes before work everyday in addition to my nightly 21 Day Fix DVD's and a weekend BodyPump class. My Fitbit is my new favorite and great at keeping me motivated. Yes, I was doing laps on the driveway at 10:30 last night because I was 1/4 mile short of my daily mileage goal...

Food: I am still tracking calories (1,420 per day) using My Fitness Pal, but it is time to go clean and use the 21 Day Fix containers...wish me luck!

Water: I'm up to my goal of 135oz. of water a day!

On to Round 4!


Tipsy Tuesday (#313)

Because I love a good dollar store deal and Elise loves trying fun, new things...

Tip #313

Buzzfeed has an awesome list of summer fun to be had with dollar store finds. 

I see a pool noodle obstacle course in our summer plans, for sure!


Strawberry Mousse Cake

Are you sitting down? We had a chocolate option this month with the Cake Slice Bakers and I didn't choose that recipe. I was tempted but in the end I decided that the Strawberry Mousse Cake would be perfect for our church barbecue yesterday. I halved the recipe since it makes a 4 layer cake! The super sweet frosting is nicely complemented by the sight tartness of the mousse. This would be a perfect cake for summer picnics or baby/wedding showers. A few steps, but nothing complicated! Another winner from The Southern Cake Book!


Elise: Two & A Half

Dear Elise,

While we were off on our Spring Break trip, you celebrated your half birthday! You are 2 1/2 years old now. Here is what you are up to:

•Eating: Snacks! You are a grazer and prefer to eat little nibbles all day rather than eating big meals. You are big on "smoovies" right now, but no "babanas," please...

•Sleeping: You are a good sleeper, but you like routine at sleep time - a couple books, a drink of water, fuzzy socks, and then covers. And of course, you want to be surrounded by your stuffed friends.

•Wearing: You weigh about 27lbs. and wear mostly 2T clothing, with a few 3T shirts mixed in (you are TALL!). Most days you want to wear silly socks and even though they rarely match your outfits, we have just given up that battle and let you.

•Talking: Non-stop, 24/7...sometimes even in your sleep!

•What You Love: Music and dancing, Piper - she is your best friend, Frozen, Beauty and the Beast, preschool and Ms. Sallie and Ms. Sherry, Taco Tuesday, your baby (and you won't name her, one is baby, the other is girl...), trips to the park, helping in the kitchen, coloring, using your Doc McStuffins kit to give us checkups, watching videos and looking at pictures of yourself, bossing the dog around, ice cream, your friends at church, blowing bubbles, telling us secrets, singing songs and giving piano concerts (we get a daily dose of the Doxology or "Praise God" as you call it), painting your fingernails and toenails, lipgloss (I let you have a little of mine and a little hairspray on Sundays for church and you think you are big stuff), surprises, and "twootsies" (Tootsie rolls).


•What We Love: ALL OF YOU! You have become so animated and are a joy to be around (even if there is a little drama and 2 year old whining in there!).

You are our most favorite girl!

Mommy (and Daddy!)


Tipsy Tuesday (#312)

I'm pretty tech savvy and thought that I was a Google pro...

Tip #312

but there were several of these tips for searching on Google from The Meta Picture that I did not know.

This information is going to make me way more accurate at diagnosing medical conditions and looking up song lyrics that I cannot remember but must know before I am able to move on to the next thing...

What do you Google?


21 Day Fix: Round 2 Done!

Last Monday, I finished my second round of 21 Day Fix and I thought that I would give you a little update on my progress.

Weight Lost: This round: 4lbs. Total: 12lbs. (Though if I go by the scales at the Dr. office instead of the ones at the Y, it is actually 22lbs. lost - not sure how they can be so different, so I'm sticking with the Y since that is where I weigh most often.)

Inches Lost: I still need to take some measurements, but my pants fit differently for sure.

Exercise: I exercised almost every day of the round. I still really enjoy the DVD's, though if I live to be 100, I doubt that I will ever be flexible enough for Pilates or Yoga! I'm trying to walk at least 2 miles 2 mornings of the week before work and the Rev is turning me into a Body Pump junkie at the Y. I enjoy taking that with him on Saturday mornings. I am getting a FitBit for my birthday (it's today!), so I will be kicking the walking and working out into overdrive, since I will be able to set goals and track them - ya'll know if I put it on a list, it has to get checked off!

Food: I am still tracking calories (1,500 per day) using My Fitness Pal, but it is time to go clean and use the 21 Day Fix containers...wish me luck!

Water: I'm up to 5 water bottles (15 - 8oz servings) a day!

On to Round 3!


Mother's Day Journal 2015

Last year, the Rev and Elise started my Mother's Day journal, an alternative to cards, which I don't like to save or waste money on. Elise can draw in it for me and the Rev includes a few pics from the year. I love having it to look through and look forward to filling it up as the years go. Elise painted me a little pot and made a framed picture and painting that are all decorating my office. The Rev rounded it out with a beautiful vase of forced tulips. 

Add in dinner and free Sweet Frog with the amazing little girl who made me a Mama and it was a great Mother's Day weekend.

But my absolute favorite part of the weekend? This conversation that I documented in my journal. 

I sure do love these 2!