Wednesday, November 30, 2011

wiww:the frugal fashionista--anniversary edition

Kevin and I spent our 12 year wedding anniversary in San Juan Capistrano.

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The kids were with the grandparents, the skies were grey and the rain intermittently showered us throughout the day.

It was my kind of day.

We strolled down the 1st street created in SJC. The houses have been preserved and transformed into cafes, a tea house, and boutiques.

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After our walk, we went to a dine-in movie theatre.

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We ordered our drinks and meals and enjoyed watching J. Edgar Hoover in plush leather theatre seats.

I love date days.

I love when Kevin notices my new outfit and appreciates it.

I love my hubby who has been by my side for 17 years.

Much love,
Katie

pleated poppy

Saturday, November 26, 2011

diy christmas card chalkboards

I was inspired by my previous chalkboard project, to make small individual chalkboards for this year's Christmas photo.

I purchased the frames at the Dollar Tree. Yay!

I had the spray paint and chalk board paint on hand. Double Yay!

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I simply removed the cardboard backing and spray painted the frames turquoise, granny smith apple green, and silver.

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I dressed the kids, got my oldest to the barber, and jammed to the preserve.

The sun was already setting, the boys were accidentally erasing their words on their boards, and I may have issued a few threats to my oldest son who thinks it is embarressing to smile in photos.

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I went home and realized that not one of the 200 plus pics turned out how I envisioned. There was not one with all 3 of them in it that would work for a card on Heather's site for raising adoption funds for a sweet family waiting to bring their child home. Boo.

But that's life so I rolled with it.

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The card will have a combo of these pics:

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It isn't perfect, but either are we, so all is good.

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Much love,
Katie

Linking up with April at Gingerbread.

waxed leaves

Ever since I saw my friend, Greta, post her version of waxed leaves, I knew I had to give it a try. It just took me 2 years to finally do it. It seemed like it may be too messy for my taste, but it turned out to be easy and relatively mess free.

All you need is wax, which you purchase in the baking aisle of your grocery store (near canning supplies), an old pot or disposable cooking pan, wax paper, and leaves.

My kids had more fun collecting leaves than dipping them. They were searching for the biggest and most colorful leaves possible.

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We melted the wax in the oven at 300 degrees. Keep your oven on and continue to rewarm wax every few minutes.

You have to do a quick swoosh...a little "one, two" and lift it up, let the wax drip, and place on your wax paper to dry.

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If you leave it in the wax more than 1-2 seconds, a thick waxy coat builds up on the leaf=no bueno.

There are a ton of options for decorating with the leaves.

We took the easy way out and decorated the Thanksgiving table, including the kid table. Did you have kid table this year?

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However, you can create a mobile, a banner, wrap twine around the staircase railing and clip the leaves with clothes pins (what I originally had planned), etc. The options for creativity are endless.

I hope you each had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Much love,
Katie

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

wiww-frugal fashionista

The Frugal Fashionista--Sea World Edition

*Being a mama on a budget, all my outfits featured are budget conscious.

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Happy Wednesday, sweet friends.

Much love,
Katie

Momma Go Round

pleated poppy

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

truth

I find my mama heart often burdened.

I fear I am not doing enough.

Enough to impact their spirituality, their education, the shaping of who they are to become.

I feel like time is moving quicker than ever and like I'm cramming all I want them to learn as if it is midnight before a college final.

These fears can be overwhelming for me.

But then there is a stillness in my heart where I hear the truth speaking.

They already are who they were made to be. My job is not to create them, but to shape and mold what has already been created.

I hear the truth reassuring me that it won't be the nagging to throw socks in the hamper or scolding for arguments over legos.

Their memories are sponges that soak in the joy...

The playtime...

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The time to create...

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And the time to share and be together.

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Much love,
Katie

Linking up with Jami.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

sea world Christmas season

I have said it before, but we are spoiled with theme parks in So. Ca.

We are fortunate to have passes to Legoland and Sea World and we use them often. I still get the same feeling I did as I kid when I first spot the Sea World tower from the freeway. I know we are close and the fun is about to begin.

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Kevin took an early day off on Friday so we could enjoy the Holiday Season Celebration.

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(fuzzy pic taken by stranger...you take what you can get, right?)

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I have to admit that the lines were too long and we became the parents saying, "Okay Boys, take a look at the reindeer. We'll see Santa another time."

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However, we played hard, ate dinner over roaring rapids, and cruised above the bay on the sky ride.

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There was no complaing about not playing in the snow or seeing Santa.

Instead we huddled together and wrapped up the night with "Twas The Night Before Christmas" with Symore and Clyde.

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As hard headed as I am about reserving Christmas for December, I am glad I broke my rules and went with it. Sometimes the rules just have to be broken.

I hope you each have a beautiful Thanksgiving. Let us all count our abundant blessings.

Much love,
Katie

end of a season

When I signed up my three year old, Jack, up for soccer, I didn't realize he'd be on a team with 5 year olds.

Although the rules of the game were often over his head, he did his best to keep up with the older kids.

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It may have to do with the fact that Jack is big kid. Bigger than many 5 year olds, much to the dismay of our 5 year old Charlie.

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The kid has a lot of spunk. Sometimes the kid has a little too much spunk if you know what I mean.

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It was good for him to have to learn teamwork and how to have fun while playing with peers.

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It didn't matter if he often ran the wrong way or stood in an empty part of the field to practice his karate moves.

Because he had fun.

And he got a medal.

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After all, that was all he wanted since the start of the season.

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Did you notice his stance? The kid has some serious attitude. He's hard core.

Or maybe he was just a tired 3 year old who needed his afternoon nap.

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Even kids with a lot of spunk get tuckered out.

Much love,
Katie

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

one of a kind

When Luke was 3 1/2 his preschool had a Mother's Day Event. There were art centers, play centers, and a moment when all the children sat on playground in a huge huddle to sing songs for their moms.

All the mother's grouped together, armed with their cameras, and embraced the sweetness.

Except for me.

I sat in anxiousness.

As many of you know, he has Asperger's Syndrome, but it was not diagnosed. I just knew that in social situations he didn't know what to do with himself and I feared what he may do when a large group of moms were all eyes on him.

And as the the other children sang their hearts out, Luke scooted himself to the outer edge of the children and picked up tiny pebbles and threw them.

The entire time, he threw pebbles.

Thankfully he threw them away from the group, but as I sat there crawling out of my own skin and wishing for the kids to finish singing the dang songs, my heart broke.

I just wished for him to be like the other kids.


Six months later, Luke was diagnosed with Asperger's.

As we sat and prepared for his Christmas pageant, I felt the same sense of anxiousness.

The little 4 year olds walked single file down the aisle and my heart pumped quickly.

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They uniformly lined up in their places on the stairs of the chapel at school. My parents and I sat and waved.

Immediately he stated bouncing up down and mouthed, "I have to go to the bathroom."

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I rushed up stage and removed him before the performance started. When we arrived at the bathrooms, he said, "I don't have to go to the bathroom. I just don't want to sing."

So I brought him back to our seats and later cried to my mom, "I'll never get to see him perform like all the other kids." I cursed his diagnosis.

But, I was wrong.

Every year since kindergarten, he had performed just like all the other kids.

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This year, he proved me more wrong than ever as he walked up to the microphone during his class musical.

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Let me tell you. He doesn't have to be just like all the other kids because he is more than that. He is Luke--one of a kind.

And I would not want him any other way.

Much love,
Katie

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Mojo Chicken Noodle Soup

Last week I shared that I had lost my mama mojo.

Well, it is back, BABY.

And I think it has everything to do with making my Dad's chicken noodle soup.

I super love my dad and I LOVE his homemade soup.

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I think it also didn't hurt that I started my day out with time by myself after I dropped the kids off at school instead of rushing to the gym and grocery store.

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There is something very odd about a silent house. I'm never sure if I love it or not. However, after last week, I welcomed the silent house like a long lost friend...."Hello Silence. I've missed you. Come in and stay awhile. PLEASE."

As I simmered the veggies...

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And cooked and shredded the chicken

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I was feeling my mojo kicking in.

It doesn't take much.

It doesn't hurt when I am wearing real clothes; especially a sweater that I got a killer deal on.

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That's right, the mojo was in full-force.

To celebrate the return of the mama mojo, I'm sharing Papa Jim's Chicken Noodle Soup Recipe. I want to share the mojo, you know? It's a good thing we're tight.


Papa Jim's Chicken Noodle Soup

2 quarts chicken broth (8 cups)
1 quart (4 cups) water
2-4 celery stalks
small bag baby carrots
1 onion
1/4 to bag pasta of choice (I prefer penne)
1-2 bay leaves
whole chicken (either cook or buy store bought pre-cooked)
Lowerys Salt

Cook whole chicken at 350 degrees for 1.5 hours (purchase a pre-cooked chicken at store to save time).
While chicken is cooking, wash and cut celery into small pieces.
Dice one onion.
Pour broth and water into large pot.
Add 1-2 bay leaves
Sprinkle in Lowerys to taste.
Add carrots, onion, and celery.
Cook at a mild boil until the chicken is ready.
About 20 minutes before cook pasta in separate pot. Strain and add to large pot.
Cut chicken pieces and add.
Add pasta.
Come to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Simmer for an hour or so to meld the flavor.
Stir occasionally.
Serve once celery and carrots are soft.

*For day 2, add a can of diced tomatoes and some spinach for a whole new take on the traditional recipe.

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Enjoy!

Feel the mojo, friends. Hugs!

Much love,
Katie

Linking up: What I love Wednesday