September 12, 2014

Random Friday Thoughts

by Shelly

Whew! So Ellie started school the second week of August and it’s been freaking, stinkin’, crazy ever since. This weekend…THANK GOD…we have not a thing going on. I see beach time in my future.

So today, I ran across an interesting article a friend posted on Facebook, titled “Why It Doesn’t Matter How You Feel About Your Friends” by . Highly recommend reading it.  I’ve struggled throughout my life with friendships for some reason.  I’m very outgoing most of the time, but once I’m home I tend to withdraw and become all introverted. Since I also work from home and spend a lot of time in front of a computer, this introverted-ness can become an issue maintaining friendships.  Recently I’ve started to recognize this issue within myself and am now looking to make some changes.

Last weekend, I walked 38.3 miles in the Avon Breast Cancer Walk in Santa Barbara. I was part of a team of eleven girls which mainly consisted of members of my workout group Happy Hour Fit Club and we raised close to $25,000 for the charity.  It was one of the coolest, most rewarding experiences I’ve ever been through. The thing about the walk is that if you’re pretty fit you can do it. The part that’s hard (at least it was for me) is the monotony of walking so far…for sooo long! However, with all the hours we spent walking, it gave everyone in our group plenty of time to talk and get to know one another better. Saturday evening after we walked 26.2 miles, we congregated in one of our hotel rooms for pizza, cocktails, and card games. It was during that evening that I realized how important friendships really are in my life, especially female ones.  My husband and I spend a lot of time together and we really are best friends. But this has been to the detriment of my friendships with other people.

So after reading the article today, I really have a change of heart going on. I need to reach out more. Have people over for dinner more often. Meet up with a friend for a walk or coffee. Granted it’s not easy scheduling things with kids activities, work, and whatnot. But there are many days where there are blank spots…time that I could be seeing a friend or chatting on the phone. It’s been one year since I started working out with HHFC  and I will say that I have been blessed to meet some incredible women who have now become friends. So cultivating these friendships have become a priority for me.

Go read the article and tell me what you think. Do you struggle with friendships too?

Sidenote…I don’t usually get very personal on the blog. But I guess I felt the need to share today. Ok and now for some fun pics of our Avon Walk weekend!

{our team! 6am the first day.}

{the trail of walkers coming up the hill}

{couldn’t beat the views along the way}

The second day we were scheduled to walk 13.1 miles. Poor Mindy (seen to the right in the pic) got the WORST blisters on Day 1 so she and another gal from our group sat out the second day. At mile 10 Sunday, Mindy and Corrie surprised our group! They showed up with a tray of champage, fresh fruit and snacks. Such awesome girls! That champagne tasted like pure heaven too. It was HOT!

{so sweet}

We were all SOOO excited to be crossing the finish line that last day. We were sore in weird places, some of us had feet full of blisters, and we were all getting scorched in the hot sun. Two of the girls were uber-excited to be finishing, so they crossed over the finish line doing a wheel barrow. Hilarious!

Wishing you all a great weekend and hey…reach out to a friend!  Have some people over for appetizers and drinks in the backyard. Go hang out at the beach with some other families and spend time together. Something.

Friends are after all, are a blessing.

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I am without a doubt a summer girl, but the humidity and heat in late August tends to make me long for cooler weather. Our mail has been jammed packed lately with fall magazines and catalogs and I am DYING to update my wardrobe with a few essentials. Here are the looks that I’ve been coveting lately…

 


Do you see a theme here? Preppy, tomboy, nerdy, classic. Yeah that’s going to be my look this fall/winter fo sho!  So here are some picks to get the look if you so desire.

Nars Lipstick-Shanghai Express

Glasses

Clutch

Watch

Lace Skirt

New Balance Sneakers

Shoemint Slipons

Quilted Vest

NOW COME ON COOLER TEMPS!

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It seems that Ellie is invited to a never-ending amount of birthday parties these days.  We typically only have her attend the parties of the friends she is closest with however. It just makes things easiest on us…. and keeps gift costs down!  This past year I’ve really tried to come up with some unique gifts for her to give her friends. I mean, I KNOW they all want the latest Barbie or newest Lego set.  But from what I’ve witnessed at birthday parties, there is no shortage of toys that a kid will get!  So recently when Ellie received an invitation to attend the birthday party of one of her BFFs, I came up with a fun semi-educational gift that will keep the girls active and practicing their spelling skills all through summer. We put together a fun pen pal kit!

Here’s what we put in the kit:

1. A nice wide lined pad of paper and white envelopes

Both girls are entering second grade, so spacing and letter sizing are still things they need to practice on.

2. Pack of colorful pens for writing and drawing

3. Washi tape

…for decorating the letters

4. Stickers

More decorating stuff!

5. Stamps

…of course

6. Lifesaver Gummies

A girl needs a yummy treat to snack on

7. Blank plastic box

To hold all her letter writing supplies or to hold her pen pal letters.

We also printed out a letter to send to her pal, explaining what the kit was for…

It was kind of fun putting it together and Ellie was so excited about having a pen pal for the summer.

Hope I gave you a fun idea to use the next time you have to get a gift for a child’s birthday!

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July 26, 2014

Easy Cake Topper DIY

by Shelly

We have never been real big on the “have a big birthday party every year” thing, for our kiddo.  Both my husband and I never had large shindigs for every birthday when we were growing up.  And we both feel it’s a bit excessive when it comes to our child as well. Instead, we like to do a larger party maybe every five years or so and then smaller things on the other years. Last year we did a small breakfast party with Ellie’s closest friends here at our home. It was super easy, Ellie had a great time and the whole thing was wrapped up by 11am.

The last few months Ellie has been none stop talking about surprise parties and how much she likes them.  Not that she’s EVER been to one or had one mind you!  I kept telling her that we weren’t having a large party for her this year, but that we’d do something special and that I had something planned.  Which was a total lie because in actuality we were dealing with my husbands’ car breaking down and finding a new car to buy. Total car drama!  So literally a week before her birthday I emailed a bunch of people and asked if they could join us at our fav Mexican restaurant for dinner and cake. Since Ellie’s birthday just happens to also be my birthday I tried to make it both kid and adult friendly.  And luckily most of my close friends have kiddos who also happen to be close friends with Ellie. Win win!

So I got the biggest ice cream cake I could buy, hit the dollar store for lots of balloons and got to the restaurant early, so that we call could surprise Ellie when she walked in with her dad. Ellie was totally surprised and it was a fun early dinner with all the people we love!

{the new SEVEN year old!}

{the birthday girls}

Now on to the easiest cake topper EVER!  I knew I wanted to get an ice cream cake for the party since we both LOVE ice cream and it just seemed appropriate for a week of 4th of July birthday party. But let’s face it, Baskin Robbins isn’t the best at the actual decorating of the cake. At. All. So I had them leave the cake pretty plain…just white frosting, blue detailing and some pastel confetti candy accent.  But then I made my own glitter cake topper and it turned out so cute!

Take wood baking or cake pop skewers 

 And some glitter chipboard letters

And hot glue letters to the tips of the skewers! You could write out any message you want.

Fast. Cute. Easy.

The sparkler candles that I bought for TWELVE FREAKING DOLLARS however…total dud! They last all of about 2 seconds and you can’t really light more than one at a time. Don’t bother if you ever see them and think HOW CUTE! Waste of money!

HAPPY WEEKEND FRIENDS!

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July 25, 2014

Recap: Summer Begins

by Shelly

It has been a crazy few months to say the least!  I figured the best way to catch you all up on what’s been going on is to share my iPhone photos with you.  The beginning of June the hubby and I did our second triathlon together in Huntington Beach.  This one was a different challenge for me since the swim was in the ocean, the bike ride was on a PUBLIC path (very challenging!) and the run was on the sand.  I was NOT prepared for the ocean swim at all!  I had rented a tri wetsuit to wear and thought it would be no big deal since I surf and am very confident in the ocean. WHELP, the wetsuit made the swim so much harder for me and I had no idea that I would freak out putting my head in the ocean! I couldn’t do it! So I swam the whole way without really sticking my head in the water and consequently ended up pulling a neck muscle and was out of commission for about three weeks after that. Lesson learned. Train in the ocean stupid! But hey, I looked pretty strong right before the race huh?!

{fresh faced before the race}

Ellie finished first grade the end of June and we had a great last day with a big party on the beach with other families from her school. It’s been a tradition that a few families started a couple years ago, but this was our first year going. What a fun afternoon! We couldn’t stay for the bonfire and bbq however, because we were leaving bright and early the next day to go camping in Sequoia National Forest.

{ellie with her awesome teacher!}

{end of the year beach party. someone said the count was 70 kids!}

We decided to go back to Sequoia to camp like we did last June. This time we were able to secure a spot higher up the mountain. And our camping spot was AMAZING to say the least! We were right next to a small river/stream which was great to play in during the day to cool off and boy did it sounds nice at night. The other cool thing was the amount of wildlife we got to see. A young stag came right into our camp the first day!  And we got to spy on a momma bear with her two cubs playing by the water. It was such a cool experience for us city folk!

{part of the view from our campsite}

As soon as we got home from our camping trip, Ellie started a fun beach camp that is put on by her swim team.  She is such a little fish just like her mom and dad, so to say she had fun is an understatement. Her cuteness the first day of camp kills me. I know, I’m biased…but seriously..the hat is just adorable on her!

Well that gives you a little snippet of the first part of our summer. Come back tomorrow (YES on a Saturday!) and I’ll be sharing the most easy DIY cake topper ever! Happy Friday friends!

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