Thursday, November 1, 2012

Defending Autumn

I was telling my husband tonight all about my feelings regarding fall while eating pumpkin pancakes at our local Ihop.  It was a lengthy conversation, one I will spare you, but it all came down to this: People say all the time we don't get "fall" in Florida. We don't get the leaves changing color (ok, some do...but mostly not until winter). We don't get the crisp, chilly air (it gets cooler at night, but it's still warm during the day). **Edited to add since writing this post: It dipped into the 50's and 60's during the day here in Orlando this past week. It was nice.**  We don't get the "fall smell". Those in northern states know what I'm talking about, right?

Here's the thing folks. They are wrong. We DO get fall. Seasons are not marked solely by weather. When you think of fall..what do you think of? Sure, crisp air, dead leaves and "that" smell comes to mind. But, really, for me it's about pumpkins and apples. Hayrides and corn mazes. It's buying all the pumpkin flavored items I can get my hands on. It's about fun crafts and Halloween. Apple cider and caramel apples. Candy corn and Thanksgiving. Scary movies and campfires. You can get these things ANYWHERE. Anywhere, folks. It might be 80 degrees in the shade here in Central Florida, but all those things I mentioned? They are here.

So, you can tell me all day long that your fall is better than my fall, because it's in Michigan or Pennsylvania or New York. I get it. I was born and raised in northeast Pennsylvania.  You know what though? My fall? The fall in my own home. In my town. In Florida. It's pretty awesome, too. While you are creating your fall wherever you are, I am creating mine. My kids will look back and remember fall being about pumpkin patches, trick or treating and cooler weather. Just like yours. Sure, it will be greener and warmer than some but it's all my kids have known.  Inside our home, the seasons change because we make it happen for our children. My husband and I step it up a notch in the holiday and special occasions department for our kids because we want to create wonderful memories for them. We can't give them cold, crisp air or crunchy, dead leaves, but we can give them memories that will conjure up "fall" for them years down the road. They will know what fall is all about..because it's not about weather. Oh no. It's about family, traditions and love. Oh, and pumpkins, too.

"The story my kids will tell someday depends on me. I am writing their book, and I want their childhood chapters full of traditions and stories and memories of the comforts of home."--Kelle Hampton.

And don't even get me started about Christmas!

Sunday, May 27, 2012


Everyone knows I love lists. Like, I'm borderline obsessive. Need a packing list? A to-do list? A what are we going to do this summer list? I'm your girl. Love 'em. Earlier this week, Kelle Hampton wrote a blog post about her mini bucket list. (Y'all know I'm also obsessed with Kelle too, right? Not in a creeper sort of way, more like if I could have tea with anyone in the world right would totally be her). Anyway, she created a mini bucket list of things she wanted to do for the week. Nothing extraordinary or extravagant. Just simple, fun things to accomplish within seven days. I love the concept, and I'm going to try and keep it up this summer. I mean, lists about fun things to do during the week? Heck yeah, I'm in!

Now, not everything on my list is going to be "fun." Fun is all relative. It might also be things I just need to accomplish and if I know it's on my list, it's more than likely to get done. Nothing too important or urgent...and I'm also not holding myself to anything. If nothing gets done on that list, oh well. I tried.

So, with all that being said...let's see if I can keep it up on my blog too. :)

1.Paint my toenails a fun summer color
2.Try out a fishtail braid
3.Finally paint the frames for my living room
4.Wear a skirt or dress
5.Go on a picnic
6.Clean out my clothes closet
7.Read more, play on Internet less
8.Bake cookies
9.Do at least 3 crafts with the kids
10.Finish our family summer bucket list

And I'll leave you with a picture from our camping adventure last week. Just 'cause. Have a happy week!!!!

Thursday, April 5, 2012


I never make time to write on here. I really should. I love to write. I love to take pictures. I love to chronicle my family's life. So why am I not doing it???

Friday, January 6, 2012

A List

I have a very long list of books I'd like to read this year. I'm sure a few will pop up here and there, especially after perusing the clearance books at Books A Million or finding a treasure at a yard sale or library. But, this is my list. I intend on reading at least one fiction and one nonfiction book a month.


1.The Help- Stockett
2.Time of My Life-Scotch (finished Jan 2012)
3.The Hunger Games-Collins (finished Feb 2012)
4.Every Last One-Quindlen
5.The Elegance of the Hedgehog-Barbery
6.Girl In Translation-Kwok
7.One Day-Nicholls
8. Little Bee-Cleave
9.This Is Where I Leave You-Tropper
10.A Tree Grows In Brooklyn-Smith
11.House Rules-Picoult
12.Miss Peregine's Home For Pecular Children-Riggs
13.Island of Lost Girls-McMahon
14.Then Came You-Weiner
**I also read Catching Fire and Mockingjay in Feb 2012

I'm assuming if I love The Hunger Games, I will more than likely read the other two books in the series. Yes, it's a Young Adult series, but it appeals to me for some reason. I am also aware that I do not have any classical literature on my list. I have a large library of classical literature in my home that I read and reread..I want to start reading more contemporary works of fiction that I've been wanting to get to for years.In 2011, I read quite a few contemporary novels, and I enjoyed it more than I thought I would.  Also, Alex has taken an interest in Harry Potter, so I might read it along with him. We shall see.


1.If You Have To Cry, Go Outside-Kelly Cutrone  (Check, finished 1/6/12)
2.Is Everybody Hanging Out Without Me-Mindy Kaling  (Check, finished 1/3/12)
3.Bossypants-Tina Fey
4.Hungry-Crystal Renn (finished Feb 2012)
5.The Rhythm of Family-Amanda Soule (finished Feb 2012)
6.Happy Accidents-Jane Lynch
7.Bloom-Kelle Hampton
8.Hurry Down Sunshine-Greenberg
9.A Stolen Life-Jaycee Dugard
10.A Piece of Cake-Cupcake Brown
11.A Southerly Course-Poose
12.Style-Lauren Conrad

Yes, I wrote Lauren Conrad. What??? ;)

I usually end up reading way more nonfiction books than fiction, so I'm sure my list will grow a lot throughout the year. Every month I'd like to write a post about what I read that month and what I thought about that particular piece of writing.

Tell me, what are YOU reading this year?


Happy New Year! I didn't blog much in 2011, and now I'm kinda regretting it. It's such an easy way to keep a record of our family's life. I really need to step it up in 2012.

I've decided to write a list of goals and intentions for 2012. Not resolutions really, because I feel like goals and intentions come with ways to achieve them.

1. Cook more, eat out less. In 2011, we did pretty well at not eating out often. But I know we can do better! Using various cookbooks and Pinterest, I hope to make a lot of new meals for the family. We got a awesome new ice cream maker for Christmas so I hope to use that often as well since my boys are all ice cream addicts. I also want to try and make more visually creative meals/snacks for the kids (using a blog I love). Also, if I grow some of my own veggies again this year, I'd like to learn how to can..which will also save us some money or at the very least, be a fun activity.

2.Organize the house. We plan on moving in 2013, so I want to start purging and organizing. Sell our van that sits in the garage, use Craigslist and yard sales to sell larger items, donate anything we don't need/use, and properly "box up" items we aren't currently using (like baby clothes, etc).

3.Read more. I was an English literature major in college. I have a passion for reading. It's in my blood. Being a mother and wife has often made reading a little more difficult. Well, finding the time to do so has become more difficult, anyway. I find that if I carve out time for reading, I do it more often. So....shutting off the computer and TV late at night to read makes it possible. I would like to read at least one fiction and one nonfiction book per month. I'll do another blog post on what I would like to read this year.

4.Exercise five times a week. It doesn't have to be grand and complicated. Even if it's Just Dance for the Wii or walking around the neighborhood, I want to get in at least 30 minutes per day. If I get the kids involved it will be a little easier to achieve and they will get more exercise as well.

5.Learn to knit, crochet and sew for reals. I can do basics. I want to learn how to make more than a basic scarf or sew 2 pieces of fabric together to make a pillow. I can achieve this by reading my guidebook for knitting/crochet, use YouTube and websites to get more detail and check out books at the library.

6.Improve my photography skills. I may not have the courage to start a business, but I want to get better at photographing the people and things I love. I need to practice, practice, and practice some more. I also would like to be in more of the photos we take. My kids aren't going to care what I looked like 40 years from now...they will only care that I am in the picture.
And lastly
7. Spend 60 minutes a day doing whatever it is the kids want to do. No distractions, no cell phones, no computer,etc. Just completely in the moment for 60 minutes. I find between homeschooling, cleaning, cooking, errands, etc I am often distracted when the kids want me to do something fun with them. The day gets away from me and then it's bedtime for the kiddos. They deserve some special time with me every single day. I owe them that much.

Monday, August 22, 2011

In The Meantime.....

We are slowly ticking off our summer checklist one by one...hopefully to have most of it completed by the end of summer. Since we home school year round, our "summer" is really just the hottest months of the year...not when we are on leave from school. Honestly, summer is my least favorite time of year. It's so stinkin hot here in Central Florida. It rains almost every single afternoon as well. Everything is crowded because EVERYONE seems to be on summer break. But this time of year (end of August and all of September), while everyone else is heading back to the scheduled life, the kids and I get to enjoy some much needed down time at the parks, playgrounds and museums. So, we have a lot of fun things coming up that I will be sharing with you all! For now, though, let's look at some more of our summer fun that has happened these last few hot and sticky months!

We hung out at Sea World.

Had some fun at Busch Gardens.

Went tubing at Kelly Park (a freshwater, cold spring).

Like I said, it's been a fantastic summer so far!!!! Hoping to pack a whole lot more in this September!

Ho Ho Ho!!!

Every year we say we are going to have a big Christmas In July party and every year we forget. Not this year!!!!! Ok, it wasn't "big" and it wasn't exactly on the 25th...but it was still fun!

With Christmas music playing in the background, the lights twinkling on the small tree and turkey roasting in the oven, the boys awakened to the return of our beloved elf, Jingles! Jingles came from the North Pole for a little vacation in the sunshine state before the mad rush of toy making for the holidays. He came bearing gifts, as well!

I don't have any pictures of our turkey feast (turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, gravy, mac and cheese, corn, and Christmas cupcakes for dessert), I do have a pic of our appetizers!

After watching a few holiday movies, we moved our CIJ fun to Disney's Winter Summerland Miniature Golf! The boys played 18 holes of Christmas golf while I snapped a few pics and laughed along with them.

We got home much too late for the littlest one to decorate cookies or play a Grinch board game, so we saved that for the following day.

And we ended our festivities by decorating cookies with lots of icing and sprinkles!