Saturday, February 16, 2013

Experimenting on my kids O.o

Ok, that sounds worse than it is.

Really I just tried a new kind of smoothie/orange julius and made them drink it! They were less than thrilled by the "green stuff" I put in it but I thought it tasted really good and you couldn't even taste the "green stuff" (kale).

I had to use ice since I my bananas weren't frozen yet ( see my smoothie blog for more info on that here and I think the ice took away some of sweetness of the juice and banana so I added a dash of Splenda that I don't normally add so I am posting the recipe as it should be if I was using a frozen banana and no ice :)

Green-orange banana Julius
1 frozen banana
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup orange juice
3/4 cup kale
1tsp vanilla
Blend until smooth

I also topped it with a maraschino cherry and a little of the syrup just because ;)

Friday, February 15, 2013

The 5 things to do to stay in LOVE from MY perspective

My husband and I are coming up on our 7 year anniversary in a couple months. We are told all the time what a cute couple we are, and how we make people want to vomit we are so sweet! So I thought maybe I could give a little input on why I think we are the way we are.

1. Communicate
I know, it's cliche, but it is also true. We talk. A lot! More, probably, than he would like. I make sure he always knows what's going on with the kids. What my plans are for the day. And most importantly we talk about things when we are upset. Ok, that's not entirely true. He tends to shut down and go into his grumpy bubble while I talk about how I feel. But that brings us to number 2.

2. Don't hold grudges
Yes he pisses me off and I piss him off, but we get over it and move on. He does his grumpy bubble and I talk and talk until my face turns blue and then we kiss and hug and move on with our day. Things aren't always going to be picture perfect. You are going to irritate each other, you live together and see each other every day, things are going to get annoying. But you have to know when to put it aside and move on.

3. Be affectionate
My husband doesn't pride himself on being the touchy-feely lovey-dovey type, especially in public, but he is still affectionate. We hug and kiss through out the day and hold hands when we are out. There is something about maintaining that physical connection that can strengthen the bond of 2 people. Even when I'm mad at him I still make a point to kiss him and we always kiss good-bye and good-night. Those, I feel, are two big things to remember as well.

4. Make time to be a couple
Now, this isn't something we are particularly good at in the traditional aspect of going out on dates. We just don't have the time or the money for that. But we stay up a little later most nights to cuddle on the couch and watch our favorite TV shows and we make snacks for each other and always ask the other if he/she needs something when we get up. I'm not. Saying we never go out, we make it a point to at LEAST go out for our anniversary every year (we have a special tradition of going to the restaurant he proposed to me in every year) and we try to. Go out alone a few other times when we can manage because I do feel that is important too.

5. Stay committed
Not only to each other but to the idea of being in love. Sure, it was easy to fall in love, and maybe easy to fall out of it, but you have to work at staying in love sometimes. You have to make a conscious effort to be there for each other and for your relationship. You have to know that you are both willing to do whatever it takes to make things work.

So there it is. This may not solve all your problems, maybe it won't help at all, but maybe it is worth giving it a try! Also, this is just off the top of my head so I reserve the right to come back and a) edit and b) add more than 5 things :)

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Easy sugar cookies

I wanted to make cookies for Valentine's day today with my boys that they could decorate. Obviously sugar cookies are the go to for that, but I has no desire to deal with the extra work and mess that comes with shapes and frosting! I peeked into my baking cabinet and saw the different sprinkles and decided that would be PERFECT! We could just roll the dough into balls and dip them in the sprinkles and they would be ready to go.

I also added some coconut to the mix of toppings and that ended up being my favorite! YUM!

Saturday, February 9, 2013


Pinterest has inspired me a lot lately. I decided to go all out with Pinspired ideas for Logan's valentines for school this year. He and I sat and flipped through all the ideas I had pinned and he chose his favorites and we set to work. So as an 8 year old boy he of course favored the monster style of valentine boxes. Last year I let him do the whole thing himself and it looked kind of a wreck so I opted to help him a little more this year. He wants to keep it simple though, and in the end it turned out super cute!

We just used construction paper and glue and some letter stickers I had laying around.

For the actual valentines he liked the "you rock valentine!" idea I found on Pinterest from I opted to try and make the cards myself and definitely would have to make them bigger next year... You live and you learn though, right? I picked up some valentines bags at the dollar tree (40 for $1) and the Pop Rocks as well (a pack of 3 for $1). I left a blank space so he could sign his own name and stapled the little cards to the bag. Easy peasy! It probably ended up costing me more than the other pre made valentines but I like that we went the more reasonable and creative route this year.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

A Letter to Yourself

3 years ago I was finishing my bachelors degree and this was an assignment I had to do. It is really powerful to sit back and reflect and write a letter to yourself in the past. When I made the decision to go back to school as a single mother I really had no idea how far I would come or where I would be in 5 and now 8 years later. Every time I read this letter I wrote to myself I get teary-eyed. Partly that may have to do with the fact that I envision the way my mom would have spoken to me in this way. 2005 was such an incredibly trying year for me, having my first child as an unwed mother, living in a state that never felt like home, and discovering my mother was dying all within the first few weeks of the new year. Loosing my mom was the hardest thing I had ever experienced and add to that the horrible emotional state I was as a 19 year old new mother and it's amazing to me, even now, to think that I made it through. 

Although I am sure I huffed and puffed when I was given this assignment, it is something that I think people should just do sometimes. Take the time to really look at yourself. Look to your past and see how far you have come. If you could go back in time and leave a letter for yourself to find and read, would you? What would you say to yourself? Would you even listen to the advice your future self gave you? Should you? Remember that it is your past experiences that make you who you are today. Perhaps you don't need to change anything, just remind yourself that things happen for a reason and the choices you make and those you have made in the past have lead you to who you are now. 

I that think it may be time for me to do this again!

Here is the letter I wrote to myself... We had to read these letters in front of our class and I could barely make it through it with out choking up and there were plenty of wet eyes in the room. I didn't really intend to be so... sentimental?... But it is what it is, and I am who I am.

Dear Self of the Past in 2005,
There will come a time when you will feel at a loss in the world; that you don’t know what step to take to make your future brighter. Times will be tough but you will make the right decision. You will look into the innocent big blue eyes of that gorgeous baby boy that has already brought you so much strength and he will continue to give you the strength to persevere. Getting back into college is the best choice you will make to move forward to become successful for yourself and for your baby. You will continue to develop your skills and become a very mature and educated woman.
From childhood you have wanted to be a teacher, don’t give up on that goal EVER. It may seem impossible at times, but it is achievable. You will come out of your shell and finally feel comfortable in your own skin and with your opinions. Speaking your mind will no longer be a phobia, you will be strong and people will look to you for answers. There may be classes that you take that you think you will never get through or that you thought you would never take, but you will find in the end that they are all worth it. GEN/101 SKILLS FOR LIFELONG LEARNING I will prepare you for the next few years and you will enjoy it, even if you are terrified that first week or two. COMM/110 INTRODUCTION TO ORAL COMMUNICATION will be tough to get through, but in the end it will help you more than any other class to overcome your fears of speaking in public. PSY/430 TEAM DYNAMICS FOR MANAGERS will show you so many dimensions of psychology and into team work you finally start to understand ideas of psychology that never really made sense before, not to mention the professor will make every day interesting. REL/134 WORLD RELIGIOUS TRADITIONS II, I know it sounds crazy you would take this class, but you will find it immensely interesting and give you a new insight into not only your religious beliefs but a new understanding of others.When the day comes that you walk the stage to get your bachelors degree you will proudly accept the honor and realize just how far you have finally come. All the hard work will finally pay off and you will see how valuable your education is to you, even more than you ever thought before. You will look to your husband and your kids (I don’t want to spill the beans too much, but I promise life has some amazing things in store for you in your personal life as well) and you will see how it was so worth it to get back into school in the first place. The future is bright for you now. With a bachelor’s degree in hand and getting registered for your master’s degree in progress you will see that there is nothing that you can’t do!
To you, Julie in 2005, I say… Be strong. Be proud. Never give up and know that you can do it. You are a stronger woman than you ever thought you could be and life, with all its trials and tribulations, will work out for you.
With Love,
Julie of 2010