Link Love – Week 9

Link Love - Week 9

Colorblocked Scratching Post DIY. For all the cat lovers out there.

Homeschooling Advice from Homeschool Graduates. I hope I’m as smart as these kids when I grow up :)

27 Underrated Things about Being in your 30s. They had me at number one.

6 Reasons You Blog Needs a Newsletter. I am convinced!

Baked Chicken and Avocado Burritos with Creamy Roasted Poblano Sauce. Holy shirt!

10 Obvious Truths about Educating Kids that Keep Getting Ignored. Amen to number 3!

19 Perfect gifts for people who love to swear. In case any of you want to send me a birthday gift in a couple of months.

Love these illustrations!!

Choosing Love as a Mom. Beautiful

Light(er) Steak au Poivre with Brandy Sauce. Meat good. Brandy gooooood!!

Taking Care of Me Monday – Life Lately

Life Lately - Pictures and Memories

I have been transferring and editing photos ever since I got our new MacBook. (Best purchase ever btw) FYI, don’t wait 9 years in-between computers. File transfer can be a bitch. Well, only if you are technologically challenged like myself. After much googling, reformatting, transferring, file sharing, and Aperture YouTube videos, I finally have a chuck of old photos on my new computer to organize. Believe it or not, organizing photos is totally Taking Care of Me. I haven’t done any scrapbooks for my girls, terrible I know, but at least I know the photos are there waiting for me when I am ready to get creative, organized by year and month

Fofo and the Bear

This was just yesterday right? It seems like it. But yet it doesn’t. I see other moms or bloggers juggling a toddler and a newborn and wonder, “How on earth did I ever do that?!?!” The current batch of photos I am going through is Bear’s first 6 months. That time really is a blur. Between breastfeeding, trying to entertain a toddler, adjusting to housewife life from working mom, and squeezing in a nap whenever possible, I’m not sure how I survived. But I did!!

Fofo and the Bear

FYI They haven’t sat this close to watch tv together since this photo was taken.

It brings back such a flood of memories as I go through all these photos. You forgot your head strong 6-year-old, used to be the littlest big sister ever. You forgot your ditzy 4-year-old, used to make the most funny faces as a baby. Once kids are out the baby and toddler phase, it’s easy to forget they are still little kids. We think because they can tell us what they want and do so many things independently but yet still need help with simple tasks and reasoning.

Fofo and the Bear

Each stage of parenthood presents us with different challenges. I know that first year with a baby and a toddler was tough, but I am having a hard time remembering specific hard times. I remember the sleepless nights and a baby screaming while I was trying to put Fofo to bed. But mostly I remember the good times. Fofo’s sweet little voice. Our trip to the zoo when she wanted to chase the peacock. The 80 degree October day at the pumpkin patch. Trick-or-treating. Visits to friends when Fofo got to ride a horse for the first time. Lilly’s first time meeting our friends’ children L and G. The way Fofo used to run.

At times it is hard to get through the day with kids. Other times its hard to get through the hour. Some days it is really, REALLY, hard to stay positive. But we only have this one day with our kids at this age. They grow a little each day and before you know it, a whole year has gone by and you are celebrating another birthday. Remember to make each trip around the sun a memorable one. Remember the good memories and learn from the hard times. Focus more on what you did, rather than what you didn’t. Remember to laugh or cry or scream on those hard days, but remember the end of the day always comes. And with it, a glass of wine :)

Link Love – Week 8

Link Love - Week 8

Another batch of links for you to enjoy! Let me know which ones you are digging :)

Organize your bathroom vanity like a pro! A great helpful step-by-step process.

Insert Purse Organizer. Game Changer.

Creamy Eggs and Kale Breakfast. Glorious.

“Stay weird, stay different.” Weirdoism forever!

5 Ways to Make your Blogging Life Easier. I am all about this.

Graphic of all the dresses worn by Best Actress winners. I don’t care for the Oscars much (but yet I still watch) and this is an awesome piece of artwork.

Letting go of screen time shame. This is spot on.

How epic would the zombie slaying duo of Jillian Michaels and Michonne be?!

When worksheets don’t work. The beauty of homeschooling is tailoring learning to the needs of our students.

Apple peanut butter delights. Fofo has been begging for me to make these!

Thanks for stopping by!!

Weekly Wrap-up – Homeschool Bowling

Homeschool Bowling

Happy Friday everyone! We had a good week around here :) The past couple of weeks were a little rough so it was nice to have a relatively easy week.

After the craziness last week, my husband took the girls out on Saturday to run errands with him. They stopped for a Starbucks treat on the way home. Papa’s little valentines :) Don’t worry, it’s hot chocolate. Although Papa did make them try his flat white. Shockingly, they didn’t care for it.

Mofo at Starbucks

The major excitement of our week was homeschool bowling. A local homeschool mom set up a time for our homeschool group to bowl. They had a session last fall, but we didn’t participate thinking the girls would be too little. My friend Amy did participate and said it was a great time. I figured I would give it a chance during the spring session.

Nothing is as cute as a little 4 and 6-year-old in bowling shoes. Adorable! They had shoes that fit, but the bowling balls were a different story. They were a tad big for the girls. But that didn’t stop Fofo!!

Fofo the bowler

She is a natural. She got three spares! She has a bit of Lebowski in her you could say.

Lebowski

She did this after every ball. Hysterical.

The Pose

Lilly was a little more aloof about bowling. Well, she is pretty aloof about everything.

Lilly bowling

She did have a lot of fun though! She used more of a throw-the-ball-down-the-lane approach.

Lilly Bowling

All four-year olds bowl in a tutu right?!

Lilly bowling

The girls were partners this week, but will change it up next week with some of the other younger kids aka bumper bowlers.

We had storytime on Wednesday which is awesome, because the girls don’t let me come in. It was a chance for me to start a new book!!

Five

And we FINALLY finished the letter Z. We are DONE with our letter of the week unit and will move on word family units. Well, that’s the plan now. It may change ;)

Letter Z

Linking up with Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers for the Weekly Wrap-up!

Weekly Wrap-Up

Link Love – Week 7

Link Love - Week 7

Here is your link love for this week!! Let me know which link is your fave!

3 Key Concepts to Teach Medical Preparedness in a Child. Could your child help you in an emergency?

Guy Trolling his local bookstore. I can’t pick a favorite.

The perfect relationship. Couldn’t have said it better myself.

Historical quotes to encourage homeschool families. Mark Twain’s is one of my favorite quotes ever :)

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Oat Squares. That.Glaze.

28 Ways to Fix Stuff your Kids Ruined All the things!

Homeschool: It’s the Goodest (And Other Things Homeschool Parents Shouldn’t Say). We must always know the correct form of their and your.

Neil deGrasse Tyson FTW!!!

These Baby Blooming Onions. Amazingness.

Jimmy Kimmel Proves Regular People Are Way Kinkier Than ‘Fifty Shades Of Grey.’ I have said this for years!!

40 Books by 40 – The Burn Palace by Stephen Dobyns

40Books

I have become a lazy reader in recent years. In order to get back into a reading routine and make myself more accountable, I challenged myself to read 40 books by the time I am 40. I am, ahem, 33 years old which only means about 5 books a year so it will probably be more, but 40 by 40 has a nice ring to it so I’m leaving it :)

It’s time for book number 17: “The Burn Palace” by Stephen Dobyns. I heard about this book from an Oprah Book Club email. Oprah started the whole book club movement years ago on her talk show. Or at least that is my earliest memory of book clubs ;) I signed up for the book club when reading “East of Eden” over 10 years go. Even though she no longer has her talk show she does have Book Club 2.0 through her website, and I still get emails with book recommendations. “The Burn Palace” was listed as a “crazily compelling page-turner.” And that it is!!

The Burn Palace

“The Burn Palace” focuses on the sleepy little seaside town of Brewster, Rhode Island. Late one evening, a baby is stolen from the nursery of the local hospital. To make matters worse, the baby is replaced with a corn snake. Who in the small town could do something like this? State Trooper Detectives, including Woody Potter, are brought in to help solve the case. But what they find gets continually stranger as the thriller, with a hint of supernatural, plays out over the next 9 days.

I have come to the realization that I need to take notes as I read. Yes, I’m that person. Not only to keep track of characters but for memory retention. “The Burn Palace” has a fair share of characters and the point of view jumps around quite a bit. Due to the jumping around of people, places, and plot lines, I had quite a few notes and post-its marked in the book. It didn’t influence my feelings on the book at all. I really enjoyed this book. The characters were well written. The plot was fast paced and took many unexpected turns. I recommended this book to a fellow homeschool mom and got a few recommendations from her!

What have you been reading lately? What is your favorite book you were unable to put down?

Book Total
Book 1 – Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn
Book 2 – Blindsighted by Karin Slaughter
Book 3 – God, If You’re Up There, I’m F*cked by Darrell Hammond
Book 4 – Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
Book 5 – Life After Death By Damian Echols
Book 6 – Catering to Nobody by Diane Mott Davidson
Book 7 – Game of Thrones (A Song of Fire and Ice Book 1) by George R. R. Martin
Book 8 – Burglars Can’t be Choosers
Book 9 – The Last Jew of Treblenka by Chil Rajchman
Book 10 – Theodore Boone: The Abduction by John Grisham
Book 11- Kisscut by Karin Slaughter
Book 12 – A Clash of Kings (A Song of Fire and Ice Book 2) by George R.R. Martin
Book 13 – A Storm of Swords (A Song of Fire and Ice Book 3) by George R.R. Martin
Book 14 – Seven Wonders by Ben Mezrich
Book 15 – Bonk by Mary Roach
Book 16 – Half Broke Horses by Jeannette Walls.

Weekly Wrap-Up – Valentine’s Day

Weekly Wrap-up - Valentine's Day

This week has been a bit of a blur due to a whole bunch of outings, a Valentine’s Party, and my new computer!! I will confess my new MacBook has been the highlight of my week. Our previous computer was around 9 years old and not able to keep up with all of my work. It’s been so nice to work on computer that works!! And, she’s so pretty!!

MacBook

I had a few hours to myself on Saturday so I did what any homeschool mom would do, lesson plans!! My kids love to do worksheets, so I decided to go and buy some at the store rather than go through all the time and energy to print them out. It went much quicker tearing out units of worksheets than printing them out. We have letter Z to complete for our letter of the week units, and then I will move on to the worksheets. I have said to Fofo numerous times, “I homeschool so you don’t HAVE to do worksheets!” but she enjoys doing them so I will not fight her on that. She is developing writing skills, and both girls are anxious to play after a short time doing sit down work.

Workbooks

Thursday was our Valentine’s Party with some fellow homeschoolers. We were able to see some of our old friends, and we made some new ones as well. Fofo came up with the simple design for her valentines at a valentine exchange during our weekly open gym. She traced out all the hearts, wrote her name out, added some stickers, and we attached suckers. I would have let her cut out the paper also, but we were short on red and pink paper so I did help with that part.

Fofo's Valentine

Making the valentines took no time at all. They stuffed them in their Frozen purses for their Valentine’s box. They didn’t want to part with any of their paper bag puppets. Even if they were to receive valentines! It was a fun and simple get together. The kid exchanged valentines, noshed on some sweets, some of the kids worked on a craft, and of course ran around and played!

Bear's Valentine

Linking up with Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers for the Weekly Wrap-up!

Weekly Wrap-Up

Link Love – Week 6

Link Love - Week 6

My teaching degree doesn’t help me to homeschool. Preach!

Ooey-gooey popcorn. Incredibly addictive.

Why I enrolled in algebra. Love learning alongside my kids!

Why it’s important for parents to bitch about their kids. A-freaking-men!!

Ranking of every Disney princess dress ever. I research the important things people.

Different homeschooling methods explained. A homeschool mom’s homework.

Roasted red pepper ravioli. Gah!

Give mothers real choice about work vs. staying home. Thought provoking.

Free cleaning chart printable for kids. Simple, yet effective.

Peanut Butter Cheesecake with Marshmallow Frosting and Bananas A decadent treat!

I hope you found something you enjoy. Thanks for stopping by!!

20 Shows to Binge Watch on Netflix

20 Shows to Binge Watch on Netflix

I don’t know about you, but winter = binge watching time. It’s cold, it’s dark outside, and it’s a perfect time to snuggle under a warm blanket and watch some awesome tv with a cocktail or a glass of wine. I am self-admitted tv addict so I am gonna share with you 20 of my favorite shows you can binge watch on Netflix right now! Just a little forewarning, I love dark dramas and raunchy comedy. And all series descriptions are courtesy of Imdb. No sense in trying to reinvent the wheel.

Complete Seasons

Check out these shows to see a series from beginning to end.

1. Breaking Bad – “A chemistry teacher diagnosed with a terminal lung cancer, teams up with his former student, Jesse Pinkman, to cook and sell crystal meth.”
2. Weeds – “When a suburban mother turns to dealing marijuana in order to maintain her privileged lifestyle after her husband dies, she finds out just how addicted her entire neighborhood already is.”
3. Dexter – “A Miami police forensics expert moonlights as a serial killer of criminals whom he believes have escaped justice.”
4. The Killing – “A police investigation, the saga of a grieving family, and a Seattle mayoral campaign all interlock after the body of 17-year-old Rosie Larsen is found in the trunk of a submerged car.”
5. Rescue Me – “A dramedy that centers on the inner workings of 62 Truck, a New York City firehouse, and the personal and emotional battles of its members in a post-9/11 world.”

BBC

Picks from across the pond.

6. Luther – “A crime drama series starring Idris Elba as a near-genius murder detective whose brilliant mind can’t always save him from the dangerous violence of his passions.”
7. Sherlock – “A modern update finds the famous sleuth and his doctor partner solving crime in 21st century London.”
8. The Fall – “A psychological thriller that examines the lives of two hunters. One is a serial killer who stalks his victims in and around Belfast and the other is a talented Detective Superintendent from the MET who is brought in to catch him.”
9. Hinterland – “A noir crime drama set in Aberystwyth, Wales, where the knackered and troubled but intense DCI Tom Mathias in search for redemption, while solving hate crimes.”
10. The Office - “The story of an office that faces closure when the company decides to downsize its branches. A documentary film crew follow staff and the manager Brent as they continue their daily lives.”

Comedies

Shows that are short, sweet, and will make you laugh.

11. The League – “A group of friends are in a fantasy football league. They battle between life and the computer.”
12. Maron – “Marc Maron has been a comedian for 25 years. He’s had his problems. He was an angry, drunk, self involved, twice divorced compulsive mess for most of his adult life, but with the popularity of a podcast he does in his garage and a life of sobriety, his life and career are turning around.”
13. Bob’s Burgers – The lives and times of the Belcher family, who own a burger restaurant in a seaside town.
14. Archer – “At ISIS, an international spy agency, global crises are merely opportunities for its highly trained employees to confuse, undermine, betray and royally screw each other.”
15. It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia - “Four young friends with big egos and slightly arrogant attitudes are the proprietors of an Irish bar in Philadelphia.”

Tried and True

You have probably heard of these shows. WATCH.THEM.

16. The Walking Dead – Zombie apocalypse. ‘Nuff said. And I am telling you to save yourself the time and buy season 5 NOW!!! Do not wait.
17. House of Cards (Netflix version) – “A Congressman works with his equally conniving wife to exact revenge on the people who betrayed him.”
18. Louie – “The life of Louis CK, a divorced comedian with two kids living in New York.”
19. Mad Men – “A drama about one of New York’s most prestigious ad agencies at the beginning of the 1960s, focusing on one of the firm’s most mysterious but extremely talented ad executives, Donald Draper.”
20. Arrested Development – “Level-headed son Michael Bluth takes over family affairs after his father is imprisoned. But the rest of his spoiled, dysfunctional family are making his job unbearable.”

What is your favorite binge watching show? Did I forget any?

Weekly Wrap-Up – Real Socialization

Real Socialization

We have been taking a break from “school work” for last couple of weeks. My oldest was having trouble sleeping, which means we weren’t sleeping. She was saying she was sick, but she didn’t seem to be sick. It was an ordeal, let me tell you. The bright spot in our week was our weekly open gym time.

One of the things I love about it the most is the kids of all ages playing together. 13 year olds to 3 year olds all having a good time and bonding together as homeschoolers. It was utterly adorable watching the older girls teach Bear how to walk on stilts.

The Bear on Stilts

These older girls have such patience with the younger kids. They include them in their activities and don’t mind being interrupted. And of course Fofo couldn’t stand to be left out so she needed a turn too.

Fofo on Stilts

We have a new family joining us at gym time. You wouldn’t know it, but they all seem like old friends.

Bear at gym

And who doesn’t love a teenager playing catch with a four-year old!!

Bear playing catch

It may be unique to our situation, but I have found homeschooled kids to be more open to playing with younger kids. At least my kids anyway. If we are ever at the park and some regular school kids happen to be there, they stick together and ignore the little ones. One girl told Fofo to stop and get away from her. Not that Fo wasn’t being annoying, but I was still taken aback. She has acted that way around homeschooled kids, and they never act that way. They don’t always engage her, if she is being a little strange, but they are a little more sensitive and tactful about it. Homeschooled kids, at least in our situation, are used to playing and interacting with kids of all ages. Every one is included. The older kids lead games or let the little ones if they want. Their isn’t a seperation by the year you were born and geography. They are playing with a variety of kids. Some kids they see every week. Some kids once a month. But no matter what, they are always welcomed and respected. The real meaning of socialization.

Linking up with Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers for the Weekly Wrap-up!

Weekly Wrap-Up