Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Date night - Carbon Leaf

I had a super awesome, great date night last week and it was planned just hours before!  The band Carbon Leaf was playing at the casino and had free entry.  Last time they toured, I went with a friend but she wasn't available this time.  She's a teacher and had conferences, plus my husband was scheduled to work late anyway so no sitter.  I figured I'd just miss this one.

The day of the concert arrived and as luck would have it, it was raining so my husband's training flight was canceled!!!  I thought how wonderful it'd be to go with him.  I remembered that a friend had recently posted on Facebook that her daughter wanted to babysit to make Christmas money.  I figured it wouldn't hurt to ask even if it was so last minute... and sure enough she was available!!!  Jay was pretty happy {and surprised} when I texted him the news!

The concert didn't start til 8pm so we were able to tuck our kids in before leaving!  And off we went!

We last saw Carbon Leaf in 2002 when they opened for Great Big Sea at Toad's Place in New Haven.

The Wolf Den at Mohegan Sun wasn't too crowded and we got a decent seat.  The band was awesome and we really enjoyed the show!

Afterwards Jay wanted a pizza so we went to Pepe's {which is at the casino} to get one to go.  He's being silly here...

While waiting for that to cook, we went upstairs to the new Carlos' Bakery!  I got some treats for the kids {and us}.

 Me with the Cake Boss!  haha!

We returned to get our pizza and since we had to pass the concert area on the way out, I asked Jay if we could stop to see if the band's meet and greet line was shorter.  There was one person waiting!  Yippee!

I got my CD signed.

I chit chatted with the band.

Here is the lead singer...

We talked a bit and then he asked me if "the guy over there holding the camera" wanted to take our picture.  LOL!  Jay was so sweet taking pics for me!


I really love Carbon Leaf.  {They did the music for the Curious George 2 movie!}  They are an indie rock band with an irish pub flavor.  {Click here for more on their website.}
I always listen to their Echo Echo album when I go on road trips.  Here is my favorite song, "The Boxer"!

We haven't gone out late at night like this is a reeeeeeally long time and I missed the night life with my man!  Last time we went out after the kids' bedtime we were both exhausted and it wasn't fun.  Now that the kids are older, we can do fun things like this again and actually enjoy it!

I am so grateful to have this guy in my life.  It's been 19 years that we've been together and I still love dating him.

Now go check out Carbon Leaf's website!!

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Sunday, November 1, 2015

The new Keurig, I get it now!

Oooooo now I get it!  I know how the new Keurig is different from the old one!  I googled it and put the question on Facebook but no one gave me a straight answer.  It all seemed elusive so I have the deets for ya from my own personal experience...

It’s extra fancy and reads the label kind of like a CD.  The k-cups will only work in the machine if it has the Keurig logo AND the border ring around the edge.  See how the old k-cup is all one color?  Ya, it won't work in the new machines.  

And if you try to trick the machine, oh no no no, it is SMART!

I called the number on the screen and got the whole low down.  They stopped manufacturing the "old" k-cups in Spring of 2014 but they are still floating around.  So check the expiry date on the box.  Also, the newer {meaning made after April or May 2014 to present} boxes all have a blurb that they are for use in all Keurig k-cup machines.

They were nice enough to send me a coupon for a free box to replace the one I had.  So if you are considering a Keurig and were confused like me because of this mysterious change... voila... you are up to date.  It's not as scary as I thought!

{And in other news... they finally released the new reusable filter!  Yay!}

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Thursday, October 29, 2015

LuLaRoe clothes

Have you ever heard of LuLaRoe clothing?  It’s a really neat home-based business that reminds me of Thirty-One bags but with clothes!  They have just a few different styles of shirts, skirts and dresses, plus leggings that come in various prints that are always changing!  {Check out their line here.}

My friend added me to her sister’s private Facebook group where she posts the shipments she receives.  You don't place orders; you buy from the stock she has.  It’s exciting because when she gets a box, she has no idea what she’ll get.  It's a surprise for all of us and we go crazy over the patterns!  Here is the link to her “online closet” if you’d like to join!

I like the clothes because they are so amazingly soft!  I am a cotton girl and have trouble with certain textures and fabrics so these are really good for sensory sensitive folk like me.  {Some styles come in kids sizes too!}

Here I am wearing some fun leggings {under a skirt I bought elsewhere}:

They seriously are butter soft and oh so comfortable!  They aren't suffocating like some leggings.  And they don't pull your leg hair if you go a couple days without shaving!  LOL!  Keeping it real!

I only own one shirt and one pair of leggings but I tried a bunch of things on at my friend’s house and have a wish list!   They do in home parties too!  The clothes are modest, which is great because I don't like my clothes clinging to me and I don't want to worry about exposing myself when I bend down to help my children.  When I wear my shirt, I can lean over without worrying who’ll see down through to my belly button.  #smallchestproblems haha!  And the length and give is very flattering for jiggly bellies.  te he  Maybe I can give away my longer maternity shirts now?  {My youngest is 5!}
This style is called the "Randy".
Today I wore my funky leggings as I bummed around the house.  When my husband came home he wasn’t sure what to think.  He said I looked like I was going to meet up with Major Bedhead and hang out on a couch. {Big Comfy Couch TV show reference}… I laughed so hard!  What a goof!  I definitely need to think through my pattern choices!  I don’t know if it looks funky or geeky on me.  Oh well, I think it’s fun and my husband did say he preferred this over my sweat pants uniform.  *wink*  So win win so far!  Comfy and husband approves!

Tricia also has a Facebook page you can “like” where she shares lots of styling ideas!  She knows how to pair stuff together!

Anywho, I’m not getting any compensation for posting this but if you do swing by and buy something be sure to let Tricia know I referred you!  I've been meaning to write about this for some time and noticed that more people are hearing about it so wanted to get the word out!

Happy shopping and drooling!!
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Thursday, October 22, 2015

Organizing school papers

I have three kids in two different schools and that means a lot of information coming my way!  I decided to put all important papers in one binder with tabs so info is easy to find when I need it.

The school year calendar is what I chose for my cover in the front of the binder.  I refer to this a lot because it has half days and holidays on it.... very helpful!

On the inside cover, I wrote down the boys' specials.  I reference this a lot so I can send them to school with the right footwear for P.E., appropriate clothes for art and to bring their books on library day.

I have different tabs for each child's class and the school, plus meetings notes from the PTO, superintendent meetings and my volunteer stuff.  It's nice to have one place to store all this information.

Our schools have a lot of activities going on like field trips, fundraisers, family fun events and conferences so I put all those flyers on my Thirty-One organizer.  They are organized by date so the upcoming event is on the top.  Just an easy way to glance and see what's coming up.

As for all those worksheets and crafts... I put them in a magazine folder as they come in and when it's full, I will go through and save my favorites and recycle the rest.  I haven't sorted them yet this year so it holds at least two months worth of work.  I personally like this method because I don't have to make a decision when papers come home.  I tend to save more when I have to make a decision right away.  When I have a stack, it's so much easier to just keep a sampling.  I did this back when my daughter was in public school before and it works well for me!

If anyone else has ideas on how to organize school paperwork, please share below!  My ideas may not work for everyone and I love hearing what people do with all the papers!!

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Monday, October 12, 2015

Gypsy in a new town

I’ve lived in my current house for 6 years!  I haven’t lived anywhere that long ever before!  In fact, I counted {thanks to INS who needed all my prior addresses in a 10 year span before I moved to the USA} and I moved 27 times in my 38 years of life!  Crazy or what?!  No wonder my Mom called me a gypsy for so long! 

In the past couple years, I started to feel a stronger desire to really plug into my current town and community.  Then I had a major epiphany this summer… my husband and I may have grown up in Canada and have no deep connection to this area, but this our kids’ hometown!  They are going to have all the nostalgia and memories just like we have towards our city back "home".  This is where they are living their childhood!  Man, that hit me hard and made me want to tap into where we are living all the more.

My kids learned about our town’s history last spring for a homeschool project which really opened our eyes to the things around us.  We finally know the history behind this fountain we drive by regularly:

donated to the town by a woman in memory of her father and brother
It made us appreciate this old milling community and how the various sections of our town were split up.  They love the old library even more too!  I started being more intentional about attending events in our area, shopping here, and eating at local restaurants.  This draw to plug in contributed to {although was not the leading reason} to send our kids to public school after homeschooling for three years.  {Click here to read about that.}

I’ve been getting involved at my kids’ schools and really enjoy meeting new people.  I’ve attended a couple PTO meetings, a community/school partnership meeting and the superintendent opens his office for a meeting every month.  I'm volunteering in a classroom regularly, already chaperoned a field trip, and chaperoning a school dance this week!  I love hearing what’s going on behind the scenes and helping when I can.  I feel part of something in a way I hadn't before and it's really nice.

What's going on in your neck of the woods?  Are you a proud town resident of your town?  Or are you not from around there and feel disconnected?  How could you plug in more?  

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Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Making My Home a Haven

One of my favorite bloggers is Courtney over at Women Living Well {home of the Good Morning Girls bible study I do}.  She does a Fall Challenge every year where she walks us through steps we can take to make our home a haven.  I think it's so important for me this year because my kids are in public school, my husband works and I want to be sure we all reunite at the end of the day in a home that is welcoming and warm.

So this week's challenge is this:
Buy a candle.  Light it daily.  Say a prayer for peace for your home each time you see it.

That's easy to do!

Now for the more challenging part... putting it into practice!
Here is what I actually plan to work on to promote more peace and patience in my home:

With my husband
I will hold my tongue and not criticize him.  I will listen to his stories and ideas without rolling my eyes and be more encouraging.

With my children
I will correct my kids without screaming at them.  I will help them work out their conflicts in a more loving way, you know, without screaming "GET ALONG!". {See a pattern?}  I will stop giving my children ultimatums when asked to do something.  "Clean your room or you aren't getting any dessert."  or "Do your homework now or you won't get to watch TV."  Anyone else guilty of that?  Why can't I just ask my kids to do something and leave it at that?

With my house
What feels better?  Walking into a messy or clean room?  I plan to keep my house tidy so when my family comes home, it's welcoming.  I also like having my home in order so when last minute company comes over, I'm ready and not rushed.

I already lit my candle and it smells good in here!

I really like having this challenge at this point in my life because I really love being a homemaker and it's nice to have a focus as life gets busy.  If you join us for this series, please let me know!

Please check out Courtney's blog for more information!!

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Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Public School update. Month #1

My kids have been at public school for a month now and I thought I'd share how we are making out so far!

The transition from homeschool to public school has gone much better than I had ever hoped!
  • All kids are doing amazingly well and grades are awesome! No one is behind in anything!
  • No complaints getting up in the morning, although it's getting harder with the chilly mornings we've been having! {5:45am is V's & my wake up time - eek!}
  • V is learning to play flute!
  • L has turned a corner and LOVES chapter books! He devoured a Magic Tree House book tonight and read the whole.thing. Unreal!
  • C is proud of his ever growing ability to spell words. He read his first book to me this week using his sight words!
  • Homework isn't as bad as I thought!
  • The schools are amazing with parent communication and my concerns and questions have been addressed promptly.
  • This month I have attended 2 open houses, 2 PTO meetings, 1 superintendent meeting, 1 School Family Community Partnership meeting and love getting plugged in and meeting everyone! I submitted my volunteer paperwork and had fingerprints done and am officially able to get in the classrooms! I start on Monday!
  • All three kids have grown in confidence!!!
  • The kids are making new friends and I love hearing about them! {The good and bad - ha!}
  • The schools have lots going on so our calendar is filling with lots of fun things to do!
Although I have been busy, I love the change to what I am doing from the stress of lesson planning and being responsible for their education. I enjoy helping them with homework and it's been manageable. In fact, the kids are told to take responsibility for it all so I'm not ever worried about it!  

So in all, it's been a super fabulous change for us! We'll see how long the enthusiasm lasts especially as time change "fall back" happens soon {Nov.1 - yuck!}. I'll keep you posted! Happy Autumn!!!

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