Making an exit {Listography 2011}.

Each Wednesday, Emily, @ Notorious MLE, Danielle, @ Elleinad Spir, and myself are working our way through the lists of Listography 2011.

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{Prepare yourselves for the shortest lists EVER... Of which I'm not extremely proud of.   But after 2 days of packing mayhem & an afternoon of driving- my mind is sort of numb at this point in the game.  Numb in a sleepy-eyed, anticipatory, cheery, "are we there yet?" sort of  way.}

LIST #30.
List some things you want for your home and kitchen.

Ever since I saw this post, (love their Ikea finds, gift tips, simple ideas, fresh perspectives), I've been wanting to buy these "faux Belgian linen" kitchen towels ($3.49/4?? i like it a lot)...
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...and these, ever since seeing them here... and then on many blog posts thereafter (I did order the bottle opener though!).
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Beyond our kitchen- there's more... a new rug being at the top of the list.  But for now- these 2 will do.

You?  What are you pining for?  Share with a link or a comment below!


Now, here is where I'd typically make my exit.  But in an effort to unplug entirely for the next week & a 1/2, while we're away... I thought I'd cheat and provide you with next week's list too.  Don't worry.  It's short (& painless).

List your biggest moments in pain.

Having my braces tightened
Post wisdom teeth extraction infection
Throat infection
The morning after the first day of boot camp

And... we're off to our home-away-from-home!!  

Thank you for all of your well wishes & send-offs.  You make the thought of coming home [to reality] a little more appetizing :).


We've all heard that saying... If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all!  That's kinda where I'm at.  

In a couple of days, we're off to Sonoma, for a week & a half of camping.

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I'm hoping to find these *happy campers* there (possibly on a vineyard somewhere??). 


I know she's in there somewhere. 

So is he.

{rosy cheeks and all}
And I'm also hoping for lots of 'breathing time.'
...and cuddle time too.  
Sleeping under the stars always seems to do the trick.

[fyi- i'm not in the habit of sporting flag stickers across my chest.  it was 100% post manufactured (for obvious reasons)]

Preen, primp, & prettify.

Definition of DRESS UP 
  1. to make more attractive, glamorous, or fancy
  2. to attire in best or formal clothes
  3. to present in the most attractive or impressive light

... As I mentioned, "dressing up" was simply not happening- by any of the above definitions.  And as I also mentioned- I literally needed to make a commitment to put a little effort forth each day- for 7 days to be exact- in order to get back to dressing up, in the true sense of the word.  A few asked to see the final results, which- if you couldn't already tell- is not entirely within my comfort zone.  But, thanks to filtered, poor lighting, partial face (or lack thereof) phone shots, and not having to pose, I'm slightly comforted.
But first, a few [necessary] disclaimers...
  1. I don't own a full length mirror- hence the partial shots.
  2. ...which is why I didn't include accessories/shoes in the descriptions.
  3. Nothing earth shattering in these get-ups (which was the best part of this whole deal... Very little thought or effort- as you can see- went into the outfits & the pictures.  If this weren't the case, I most likely would have given up after day 1, or not 'signed-up' altogether.)
  4. My "hair commitments" were not quite as successful as the dressing up ones.  I did try on a couple of days, but- a lack of skill = extra time (more extra time than the "simple" styles should take!).  Clearly, this one's going to take a little more practice and effort.   
Okay, enough rambling.
{Thank you Michelle for getting me out of my rut &- in such a simple way- making a BIG difference in each day.}
{lunch w/ rebecca:  old navy top, gap belt, target maxi}

{weekend errands:  Hawaiian dress}

{wedding:  Madewell dress, forever 21 belt}

{Disneyland hotel (off to the pool!):  target top, gap shorts}

{Disneyland (w/ my mom!):  c&c tank, j crew cropped pants}

{movie night w/ sil & nephews:  pretty mommy top, victoria's secret cami, francesca's belt, gap cords}

 {tea w/ kids & book club dinner:  yesstyle top, francesca's cami (& necklace!), gifted pants... & a little cutie in the background}

And now- off to get dressed for a day of CLEANING... YAY!! (not so much, but YAY for FRIDAY!!)

Disney dollars (Listography 2011}.

{Each Wednesday, Danielle, @ Elleinad Spir, Emily, @ Notorious MLE, and myself are working our way through the lists of Listography 2011.}

If you're looking for "some ideas for trimming back your budget" [which happens to be this week's Listography topic]- DO NOT go anywhere near Disneyland Park.

And definitely, do not stay overnight in the Disneyland Hotel... or any of the hotels in the resort for that matter- even if they claim them to be- and even if they are in fact the the ticket to the "ultimate Disney experience".

And when you're exhausted from going to bed at 3am (or 4- but who's counting after 3?) the night before, and leaving your house in a total disaster state- since you're only going to be gone for one night, and you finally get there, and slip into your bikini, and realize that you've been so busy having "summer FUN" that you've somehow forgotten to workout for the past month, and your eating habits haven't exactly entailed summer's "light & fresh" fare (well at least not the "light" part of the equation)... and your kids are flying down the water-slides-- you really needn't order any cocktailsEven if you're surrounded by women with dark skin, long legs, & huge boobs.  And you're sitting right behind one of them- that you swear is one of the 'OC Houswives.' ...especially when those pretty cocktails come off of a menu with NO prices listed.

And seriously- room service??  A budget deal-breaker!  Who would be foolish enough to $8.99 on a slice of chocolate cake??  Not to mention the $7.99 slice of apple pie a la mode.  Or the [bottle of] prosecco.  Or the tip... or delivery fee.  If you're on a budget, Just Say NO to room service.  A no-brainer.

And last, but definitely NOT least, do not invest in annual passes- even if it costs 80-freakin-dollars per person to get into the park- and the cost of the cheapest passes pretty much covers 2 visits... and even if your son is admiringly obsessed with Disney trivia, and hidden Micky's, and checking off every single attraction/ride/feature/store on the premises... and even if your daughter is adorably smitten from the point of entry to exit, prancing around all proud as she leads us with her treasured map- saying things like "This is magical!" and "I can't stop smiling!"  And even if they offer the best damn corn dogs you ever did have. (right Stephanie??)
...or you could realize you only live once and throw caution to the wind (and live off of Top Ramen and quesadillas for the next year).

 And how do {or don't} you trim back your budget??  Link up @ Emily's, or share in the comments :).

Summer styling.

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Well, we're about a month in, and I'm here to report confess--  I've taken the term "summer laziness" a bit too far.

Although I've gloated about "losing the frump" & gaining a new cut... a new color, I've sadly fallen into the throw-your-hair-up-into-a-ponytail-&-wear-the-closest-thing-to-a-pair-of-pajamas-that-aren't-actually-"pajamas"-routine.  If I have actual plans, I put a little (or a lot) more effort forth.  But if a trip to the library, Starbucks, & the grocery store are the primary activities of the day, then my appearance takes a deep dive into the pool of BLAH.  So, on Friday afternoon, when I read Michelle's post {Let's Get Dressed}- in which she "propose[d] a little days of 'getting dressed' real clothes, real shoes, a dab of makeup, maybe even a pedicure"- I was beyond ready to commit.

I used to ramble on about S.M.A.R.T. (specific... measurable... attainable... realistic... time-sensitive) goals in my meetings.  Well, Michelle's goal is in fact smart, and it may seem silly to some, but it was just what I needed to get my act together when it comes to 'getting dressed' (for proof, click here!).  

Now my hair is another story altogether.  I've sported the ponytail do for, oh-- pretty much everyday of summer thus far.  For one thing- it's hot.  And of course there's the time-factor.  But really, when it comes right down to it- I'm lacking in the 'hair-do skills' department.
This week, I'm committed to learning and trying out a few new styles.  There's a billion tutorials floating around the web, but for now, I'm starting with simple, fool-proof, summer do's- that are in fact, doable.

Like the ones below...
{and I realize that the last one is actually a ponytail, but it's a little fancier, right?}
Images via here & here
 Images via here & here
We're off to the "Happiest Place on Earth" (aka- Disneyland) for the next couple of days!  A perfect occasion to get dressed & do my hair.  

My {hair-stylist} mom will sure be proud.

Seasonal treasures.

1)  A great deal on new outdoor furniture from Target... a gazebo, seating, & long-awaited string lights (had trouble finding exact items online... we purchased them in-store)!  {Since a new patio cover is not in our budget, this is a perfect solution.}

2)  Our new favorite BBQ sauce (don't have a picture, so I'm including one from yesterday- Anise & her cutie-pie kids, sprinklers, & a new slip n' slide :)).  {We've tried many homemade sauce recipes, and have been searching for just the right one... This is it (*note:  we used Sriracha, but not as much as the recipe calls for).}

3)  The best popsicle post ever (thanks Stephanie)!  {Here are the girls enjoying the peaches & cream variety, while we enjoyed the watermelon ones.}

4)  Looking forward to a "mojito" tonight...

5)  Strangely excited about this floor steamer- just ordered last night, thanks to Sarah.  {With  kids, & dog, a husband in & out all day- clean floors have been a challenge to say the least.  Hoping this 'magical mop' will solve my dilemma.}

6)  Letters from Jacob.  {He's coming home tomorrow!!}.
7.)  A [moist] dry rub.  {served apple-wood smoked ribs with the above sauce & this rub for Hailey's party. HEAVEN)

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8.)  Slow-cooker pulled-pork w/ buttermilk coleslaw.  {served this last month for the book-club gals... a perfect way to barbecue without actually using the grill!}

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9.)  Another perfect-for-summer slow-cooked meal- pork & beans stew. {less time in the kitchen = more time to play... win/win}

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10.)  Special sauce {found @ Dinner: A Love Story, & brought this to a 4th of July party, and it was a great accompaniment, but ours looked a bit less "pretty" & much more orangey than theirs & BA's... need to work on that (so it could look "special" as opposed to just tasting special)}
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Eat like a man {Listography 2011}.

Each Wednesday, Emily, @ Notorious MLE, Danielle, @ Elleinad Spir, and myself are working our way through the lists of Listography 2011.
Image scanned from The Sopranos Family Cookbook

Have you heard of Esquire's blog, Eat Like a Man?  Well, when it comes to this week's Listography topic- List your favorite foods & things to find at a BBQ- this term immediately came to mind.  Although I love a good macaroni salad- & I it's a rare day when I turn my back on a margarita- the MEAT takes full precedence here.  If I walk into a backyard party & see any of the above items on the grill (preferably all, because how can one really be expected to choose between a hot dog & a hamburger??)- then I'm one happy gal.  A gal who's clearly not thinking about her girlish figure. 

So there you have it.  Protein.  Lots of it.

You?  Let us know what area you'd be hovering over- in the comments, or @ Danielle's place if you've got a BBQ-related post to share.

On the road again.

... Well not really the "road," but the internet highway- guest posting for Jora, while she's on the road, for real.

Visit me here (click below)!

(p.s.  Hope you enjoyed your weekend!  Jacob's away at camp this week, so it's just Hailey and I- recovering from a very full birthday/holiday weekend, and gearing up to paint the town red this week, or maybe pink.)

My little firecracker.

Tomorrow, she’s turning 8. 

Perfectly fitting that she was born in the midst of sunshine & sparklers… of independence & high spirits… of block parties & parades.

 Self-determined.  Persistent.  Warm-hearted.  Open-hearted.  Happy.  Colorful.  Full of life.

...Looking forward to a weekend of your favorites- manicures, mac & cheese, popsicles, & parties.
{Tape & tag graphics, courtesy of Ana}               
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