Thursday, June 30, 2011

popcorn at the fountain

One thing this family loves is popcorn.  The sound of the kernels hitting the pan always brings excitement from the kiddos.  "Popcorn!"  The magic that results as the heat warms the pan brings an aroma that fills the house.  Love it!

Eating popcorn
he really was happy despite the look on his face :)

Popcorn @ the fountain

The kids and I went for a little popcorn treat outside the house yesterday.  Our local Popcorn Papa has more flavors than you can count.  You can sample any flavor you want.  We sampled a few and then decided on our flavors, cheese (for the kids) and sun dried tomato (for me).

Pose @ the fountain

Fountain shoot

Then we headed to one of our favorite spots, the fountain!  I love sitting by the fountain listening to the sounds of the water.  If not for the heat, we could have sat for hours.  Instead 40 minutes was about all we could handle otherwise the passersby would have seen 3 people splashing around that water!

When I want to travel lighter I love using the Instagram app (user name jenprice) on my iPhone!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

this boy of mine

He's really growing up.  He's definitely gaining in height over his short mama.  I see him growing in independence with each passing day.  It's a bittersweet thing, you know.

his smile

Every once in a while he reminds me that he's halfway to 18, which means he's halfway to moving out.  The first time he said it, I said, "Why are you saying that?  Do you want to move out?"  Then comes that smile that gets me every time.  He only says it to get a rise out of me, and it works. 

silly smile

When he says a joke that he thinks is funny, he crinkles his nose and lets out a giggle that is contagious.  I love it.  As we have our almost daily battles as he stretches his wings and tests out the waters of independence, I am so very thankful for that smile, that giggle, that brings us together again in the moments of tension and reminds me just how much I love this boy of mine.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

the collaboration of art

eg painting

Monday, June 27, 2011

getting wet at hawaiian falls

Last week we went to Hawaiian Falls.  It was work and all you know.  Receiving complimentary tickets in exchange for my review is hard work.  However, I suffered through it so we could all splash around a little bit. {Smile.}

maui mom's craft time

We went on a Tuesday which was just perfect, because it wasn't too busy, and we got to experience the Maui Mom's Club!  It's a weekly Tuesday event where they have free crafts for the kids to enjoy.  Miss Emma G and her friends enjoyed painting their little snakes!

in the lazy river

down the blue slide

Several of our friends came out and enjoyed the day with us which made it even more fun...I mean I was actually working really, really hard.  I had to test out the lounge chairs, the lazy river, the wave pool, and a slide, so that I could write my very honest review.


My only complaint was that I literally got stuck about halfway down the Pineapple Express which caused laughter eruptions.  Such eruptions interfere with a girl's work.  With that distraction aside, I tried desperately to focus on shooting friends going down the half pipe and the girls under the pink mushroom so that I would have photos for my review.

coming off the pineapple express

Yes, it was a lot of fun hard work, but somebody's got to do it.  You can read my honest review, the fruits of my hard work over at Today's Mama.

Saturday, June 25, 2011


It's hot outside!

This past week I've read lots of blogs boasting in the excitement of the first day of summer.  I've had to chuckle to myself as I've thought, "Haven't we already been in summer for like a month now?"  That's when I've had to remember that not everyone has endured 100+ days like we have here in Texas.  This was the Father's Day reading in our van after it had cooled down 1 degree!

Friday, June 24, 2011


I saw this silhouette idea while I was researching for my Today's Mama Father's Day crafting roundup post.  I knew I wanted to include it in our gifts of {love}, but I also knew I wanted to adapt it just a little bit.  I already had all the supplies to put it on canvas, so that's just what we did.

jman side profile

eg side profile

I had the kids paint a background on an 8X10 canvas.  Then I took a picture of their side profile.  That was enough for one day.  Day two involved me putting a white sheet of paper over my computer screen and lightly tracing each kid's profile.  I suggested they make a collage of the things that describe them.  Joshua loved the idea.  Emma G opted to draw herself instead.  Don't you just love the braid hanging down?

eg silhouette

jman silhouette

After gluing their profile on, I covered the whole thing in Mod Podge to seal it.  I absolutely love how these turned out!  They truly were a gift of love that the kids proudly gave their daddy on Father's Day!

Linking up with the lovely Jennifer@Studio JRU for Sneak Peak Friday.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

fix it, make it, grow it, bake it by billee sharp


As I've gone further down the road to healthy, homemade living, the next step for me was making my own cleaning supplies.  That's why I was so happy to receive Fix It, Make It, Grow It, Bake It by Billee Sharp to review.  Although, this book is about so much more than cleaning supply recipes.  It's "the DIY guide to the good life" with info on essential oil remedies, kitchen cures, crafting project how-to's, composting tips, jam recipes, and much more.  This is an essential, practical resource to have in your home.  I love it because it eliminates me doing a Google search to find something.  It's all in this one book.

This book arrived on my doorstep in such a timely fashion.  My house was in dire need of a good cleaning.  I've never done a photo shoot of myself cleaning my bathroom, but when homemade cleaning supplies create that much shine, it must be documented.

reflection in faucet

After all was said and done, I was so happy that I was washing my hands only because I had just cleaned the bathroom and not because I was trying to wash off all the questionable chemicals that are usually used to clean a bathroom.  I asked the author, Billee Sharp, permission to share her General-Purpose Surface Eco-Cleaner with you, and she granted it!

General-Purpose Surface Eco-Cleaner

This can be used on all surfaces in the kitchen, bathroom, and beyond.

1 teaspoon liquid Castile soap 
1 teaspoon borax or baking soda
3 drops essential oil or a squeeze of fresh lemon juice
1 quart warm water

Mix ingredients, pour into a spray bottle, and shake well.  Add 1 cup of vinegar if there is a lot of grease to deal with, and remember to use warm water.

eg mopping

I used this cleaner lots and it worked great.  I love that I can use supplies I usually have around my home to mix up chemical free, eco friendly cleaners.  Seriously friends, this is the kind of book that will become worn after years and years of use and the one that your children will want because mom always referenced it!

Special thanks to Brenda Knight from Viva Editions for providing me with this free copy to review.  All opinions are my own.

viva editions on the web
viva editions on twitter
viva editions on facebook
buy fix it, make it, grow it, bake it on amazon

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

an afternoon at the theater

Saturday the kids and I had a fun little date at the Dallas Children's Theater.  I love outings like this because I love exposing my kids to different creative avenues.  We've been to the museum and other creative ventures but never to a children's theater.  We all loved it!  It was just the right length to keep my kid's attention.

with author steven kellogg

We saw The Pied Piper's Magic and even met the author/illustrator and snapped a photo with him.  I knew nothing about the story and was pleasantly surprised with the theme of love that was interwoven throughout.  It's a beautiful way to teach kids how loving someone can truly transform even the grumpiest of people.

signing playbook

I wasn't able to take photos during the performance, but after the production we enjoyed meeting the cast and Miss Emma got signatures on her playbook.  The cutest was seeing a little girl not much older than her signing her book.  She did such a great job in the production!

with the grand duke
with the grand duke

We received complimentary tickets to the show for my review on Today's Mama.  See it here!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

blogging perspective

Weaved into this post are some photos I took from a recent family photo shoot on a farm.  Just as plants take their time to produce, they remind me to stop in the busyness of life and let go when I need to in order to enjoy the present.

okra bloom

The past couple of weeks have been a whirlwind of activity for us.  We enjoyed 5 days in San Antonio, we had a great night at Great Wolf Lodge, and we thoroughly enjoyed time with family who we hadn't seen in a year and a half.  It's been a good busy.  In the midst of that busyness, I've had to let some things fall by the wayside for a bit.  I got caught up with laundry yesterday, I'm finally cleaning my house tomorrow (it really needs it!), I did proper grocery shopping yesterday for the first time since school let out (we were running out of cereal for, and I'm trying to get back on track with blogging.

tomato plant

The busyness of life always helps to put things in perspective for me.  It forces me to let go when I need to.  It helps me let go of expectations I put on myself.  Honestly, that's hard for me.  I like to think I can do it all.  However, when it comes at the expense of relationships and those I love, I know it's that time to let go.  Life is about so much more than whether or not I write a blog post everyday.  As a very driven person, it's a perspective I have to constantly remind myself of.


You've probably heard me say it before, but I absolutely love blogging.  It's such a fun, creative outlet for me.  I truly want to keep it that way.  I post daily because it's fun and I want to, not because I feel this pressure to perform.  As summer goes on, you might or might not see a repeat of a little inconsistency.  I do have a feeling you'll be seeing a lot of photos from our summer adventures.  Here's to a great summer!

Monday, June 20, 2011

a {love} filled dad's day

We had a {love}ly Father's Day.  Saturday the kids and I were out.  We stopped at the mall to exchange something and tried to find the perfect Father's Day gift for our wonderful husband/dad.  Nothing seemed to be the right purchase.  It was the mouth of a six year old who had the wisdom of the day.  "Why don't we just give him gifts of {love}?" 

Yummy yogurt @YumiliciousNews on #fathersday. Dads get a free yogurt!

It's so easy to get caught up in the buying of something just because.  It's more fun to think of the creative ways to say, "I {love} you."  Luckily, Jeremy was out on Saturday for all of our {love} preparations.  If he was here, he would have heard giggles, squeals of excitement, and Joshua saying, "Redo!" in response to the video we made just for dad.

Yes we had a day filled with what he {love}s.  Jeremy, we {love} you so much and are so incredibly happy that you are our husband/dad!  You're the best!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

chocolate cake

chocolate cake

For our little girl tea party the other day, Miss Emma G insisted that we make chocolate cake.  I let go of my idea of what I wanted to make, and we had a very fun mother/daughter moment making chocolate cake!  I wish I would have made the cake a couple of days before because it got so moist after sitting for a while with cream cheese frosting on top!  Yum!

Friday, June 17, 2011

it's friday

We've had a whirlwind of a week!  Our sweet nieces (and their left yesterday.  We are all sad, tired (but a good kind), and looking forward to the weekend.  Happy Friday to all of you and I look forward to coming back on Monday (I do have a recipe to share on Sunday) refreshed and my head cleared of this fog!

fun with her reflection
isn't she sweet?

Thursday, June 16, 2011

geography lesson :: south africa

on the water capetown, south africa

I really love talking about S. Africa.  That's why I'm so happy to be guest posting today over at Mama Smiles today.  I would love for you to check out my S. Africa geography lesson and say hi to the lovely MaryAnne while you're there! 

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

more vacay pics

To make our fun time in San Antonio linger just a little longer, I'm doing one more post on vacation pictures! 


silly a with glasses

z & j at mi tierra

This includes a conglomeration of random restaurant pictures to entertain the kids while waiting for food or the bill, checking out the market, riverboat tour fun, and the "let's try to take a pic with all the grandkids and the grandparents." 

at the market in sa

on the riverboat

gparents & gkids

Making family memories are what it's all about, right?  I think 12 people crossing cross walks together with 4 of those in strollers is the image that will reign as my San Antonio 2011 memory!

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