I’m Still Here!

Hey everyone that is following me, I’m still here!  I wanted to let you know that I have self hosted myself so if you want to keep seeing my crazy, sometimes profound life and what I make of it, go to: www.standingonlegos.com and then follow me from there.  Loving technology that it doesn’t transfer you guys over…NOT!

Advertisements

Spring Projects

Is it too early to think about spring projects?!  I know that it’s snowing right now here in the ‘burg but the promise of warmer weather next week and the fact that Easter falls on the first weekend of April this year, I can’t help but start thinking about spring.  I honestly love winter and all that it brings with it, but there is something about walking out in your yard and cutting fresh flowers in bloom that is amazing!

One of my more frustrating thoughts right at the moment is why people can’t sell table runners that are smaller.  (Superficial, yes, but I’ve been looking for 6 months for table runners that don’t run off the ends of our dining room table because we sit on the ends, and to no avail.)  So I have finally found a few ideas on my favorite site for crafts (Pinterest of course) and I’m going to share my projects with you in the near future!!!  I can hint that they involve burlap!!!

But until then, I wanted to share a few cheap and quick crafts with you to get you in the mood for spring as well.

1. Hanging Flower vases by upcycling:

light bulb vases

Yes, you heard me right.  Upcycling is taking something that can’t be recycled like light bulbs and doing something with them.  Now, this has to be done with care because you need to clean the bulb out carefully and then hang them wear kids can’t get to them, but isn’t this idea amazing?!  I love the thought of doing something like this because the light will catch it and be beautiful where ever you hang it.  Here is the link to the creator of this idea: http://seekyt.com/when-you-can-upcycle-why-recycle/

Some other unique vases I couldn’t help but share that I found on Amazon are the Glass Bud Vases (I love the green ones the best!), Fine Bavarian Crystal Glass Vase (Much pricier but I’m in love with it.  I’ve never seen anything like it before.  Definitely worth giving as a special gift.), & Colored Glass Hanging Vases (If you’re like me and don’t use the older fashioned light bulbs for the above craft, this would be the next best thing and super affordable).

2. Tree Stump Vase

tree stump vase

I don’t know about you, but we have ample supply of tree trunks (all sizes) available to us any time.  So what better way then to use those for something other than firewood and make something that is talked about.  All you need to do here is drill a hole in a small tree trunk, place a vase inside it so it’s flush with the trunk and add water and flowers!  This could be a centerpiece anywhere in your house or on your patio for a party or cookout.  I completely love this idea!!!!

3. Stick Vase

stick vase

Here is the link, but the pictures are perfect for walking you through this craft.  And who doesn’t have extra sticks laying around?!  I love this idea because you could get your kiddos help you make these.  http://www.lovethispic.com/image/33205/diy-tree-branches-flower-pot

Go explore, if not in reality in your mind, and think of fun ways to get spring rolling for you.

A Day in Pictures

WARNING!!!  Pictures are not good quality…so don’t judge me.  But, I might add, that I HAD to use them because they were perfect for my mood 🙂

A day in pictures?!  What in the heck does that mean.  It could mean a plethora of things with various moods to go along with it.  This blog could be enlightening today, happy, frolicking, frustrating, mad, overwhelmed…well, you get the picture.  So why title it A Day in Pictures?  The answer is simple: my life embodies these pictures.  If you had to caption these pictures for an album, I feel like it could be the caption of the past few days for me.  So sit back, grab some coffee (or whatever you drink to relax) and be amused with my life…it’s a roller coaster of sorts.

20150301_095158

Ahhhh, the struggles of life.  I feel like I’m pulled in a million directions whether it be washing clothes, picking up toys, cleaning dishes, cleaning the house, running errands, meeting the budget, picking up kids from school or different functions, answering the millions of questions and trying to decipher what one son is asking because the other sons have asked questions simultaneously while I’m in the process of answering one, etc.  I feel like I just want to scream sometimes but the ropes don’t loosen up.  I constantly have something grabbing on to me if not a string of things.  I have demands that have to be met whether I feel up to it or not.  If the dentist accidentally shoves a defective needle in my jaw to numb it only to pull it out and say “Whoops, the needle is bent,” and then has to do it two more times to get Novocaine in me, well life doesn’t slow down for me to recoup… it still goes full steam ahead. (Oh, and this happened today!)

20150301_094824

And you know what?!  Sometimes I try to sneak away in hopes that no one will notice.  Don’t judge me because some people seriously do this, maybe not you, but I know I’m not the only one here.  Whether it be sneaking to the bathroom to pretend I’m peeing, hiding in my closet to breathe, or disappearing on my porch with a glass of wine, I attempt to hide occasionally (There is a light at the end of this journey, right?)

20150221_104432

But to my demise, my life always finds me and grabs hold of me tightly.  If I hide, one of my four kids will find me…just give them a few minutes.  The hubby knows if I disappear to let me be, but the kids don’t compute this memo well.  I NEED a Vacation!!!!

20150301_094423

But, and a big BUT at that, I always come back to how blessed I am and have to take time to smile and make myself realize how amazing I have it.  I’m not saying that is always easy because sometimes I just want to run and not look back (this is me being totally real with you).  However, I have to check myself because I have amazing, beautiful sons that love me and have hearts of gold.  They are loud, rambunctious, selfish, picky at time, and the list goes on and on, but they are beautiful and wonderful, loving and gentle, and the most amazing blessings I could ever have in my life.  I have a marriage that is solid and wonderful.  I’ve married my best friend and each of the 12 1/2 years grows us closer and closer.  It’s not easy being married because we naturally want to be selfish; however, we recognize that tendency and work on it daily.  We know each other and know what our passions are.  We highlight our strengths and don’t emphasize our weaknesses.  We are partners and I thank God daily for that relationship.

20150301_094730

And in the end I choose to be giddy.  My youngest son, Miles, has the biggest smile ever.  I didn’t think anyone could outdo my 5 year old, but Miles does.  It’s this goofy grin that he plasters on his face, and makes me smile every time.  I get so frustrated by this kid because whenever we run errands, he puts the whining and crying into full force and then when we get in the car, he’s fine.  I could scream and pull my hair out!  But his grin is worth a million dollars, and this is how I choose to live my life.

For goodness sakes, I’m tearing up writing this because I’m so incredibly blessed if I CHOOSE to look at my life this way.  I could focus on the negative and drown my sorrows some way, but I CHOOSE to be giddy.  I choose to laugh every day, even if it’s hard.  I choose to be silly with my kids and make up jingles that they are far better at then me (because that is the hubby’s secret gift).  And I choose to ask forgiveness and swallow my pride when I treat my boys in a way that does not show them a loving mom (and that my friends is incredibly hard sometimes).

I want my boys to know what it looks like to admit a wrong for the better of others and not to grow up filled with pride, so I will continue to try to be real with my kids and try not to beat myself up when I screw up, because my job only lasts 18 years and then the impression has been laid.  So what impression are you making?  Hard to think about isn’t it?!

Upgrades and Their Death

Ahhh, the joys of technology!   NOT!!!  I figured that I would switch over to a little more umph (my version of this onomatopoeia) with my blog so I spent all day with my youngest screaming his head off trying to learn jargon.  Not only did I not succeed very much, but I also had three lengthy conversations with the live help chat on with the program’s customer service.

20150301_095305

I felt so frustrated that I ended those lengthy sessions with, “Thank you so much; you’ve been incredibly helpful,” because for the average Joe they probably would have been.  But for me I was as lost as ever.

All of this to say, until I find a dear friend to save me and help me with my site, you may see some crazy transitions that look very bizarre and unappealing.  I’m apologizing on the front end!

20150301_224857

I don’t know if I can stare at a screen much longer.  There are just some things that other people were gifted with like understanding computers and coding…and that wasn’t me.

Spring is Creeping Up

The beauties of spring are so many (besides the allergies that consume our house), but the one thing I begin to get really excited about is gardening season.  I’m not one to prep things indoors because I usually like to plant seeds outside once I’ve gotten my soil just right; however, I feel that in the near future I may turn over a new leaf when it comes to this.

With that said, I love seeing the last big snow of the year and anticipating the weather creeping up above freezing so that preparation can take place for gardening.  Why garden?!  Oh my goodness, there are so many amazing reasons.

20150126_081451

I’m not a person that grew up gardening by no means.  I remember when McDonald’s use to give useful happy meal gifts out, and one summer they gave cucumber seeds to plant.  So I faithfully planted them down by the lake and they thrived!  I was excited for the week they were down there…until my dad was annoyed and mowed them over.  So no, gardening wasn’t something I was brought up on, but as I moved to the Valley it was a hobby that surrounded me everywhere.  Plus the thought of teaching my boys great work ethic, adding it into their learning (when I taught them before entering Kindergarten), and watching them be apart of planning what we were going to grow and just walking outside and eating out of it whenever we wanted to was compelling.

So four years ago, with the help of my amazing neighbor, I began gardening, and each year the garden has gotten bigger and bigger.  So today are some fun treats that I wanted to share with you on how to incorporate gardening with your little ones, no matter the age.  First off, if you’re going to incorporate this into an educationally opportunity then The Cat in the Hat’s Oh Say Can You Seed?: All About Flowering Plants is a great book to initiate the learning.  It’s spot on with engaging little ones into gardening for their first time.

And if you’re going to utilize your helper (and they’re under the age of 10) then they have to have an awesome Melissa & Doug Chameleon Watering Can.  I know there are cute watering buckets out there, but I love that this acts like a hose and is super light to carry.  And gardening at first should always be fun for kids to get into it.  I try to always find a way they can grow things separately so they can watch it closely change over time.  I really love DuneCraft Dome Terrariums Hydro-Dome because it’s a great starter kit for kids to explore with and then they can transfer that into the garden or a large pot.  Either way, they are actively invested in their gardening which lends to them enjoying eating the foods they grow.

For now, my biggest advice is variety.  Have a variety of foods and at the end of each season, let the kiddos decide what they didn’t like too much and what they may like to grow differently the following year.  It really allows them to take ownership and then they can be a part of planning meals during the summer and fall!

rock-garden-markers

On a fun note, if you have any girls close by, Enchanted Fairy Garden Kit is amazing…at least I think I would love to do it!  If you have boys like me, find a bate and tackle shop close by and buy some night crawlers.  Boys love watching worms and playing with them, and worms are amazing for the garden as well as your compost.

Welcome to the ‘Burg…Let’s Eat

If you’re traveling to Harrisonburg, VA for any reason there is one thing the town is not short on, and that is restaurants!  You have a huge diverse selection of restaurants all over the ‘burg from your chains to many local places to hang out.  I know how it is to be new to the area (since we tend to move often) and figure out where we’d like to eat, whether for a date night or with the kiddos, so I wanted to spend today highlighting a few of my favorite restaurants (as well as the locals favorites) that you need to check out at some point.

Now, one important thing to note is that this is a very tiny selection I’m showing you.  There truly are some amazing restaurants that I won’t talk about in much detail but deserve some checkin’ out.  Some of these are: A Bowl of Good, Taste of Thai, Beyond, Dave’s Taverna, & Little Grill.

But for the sake of space and your time, here are some of the favorites for you.

1. Billy Jacks– This is a great local burger joint that also has great beer.  The fries here are amazing and definitely worth it.  There are multiple sliders as options and they offer specials on different nights of the week.  It is a local college hang out so not the greatest place for kids and can get really cramped at night.  Just find a seat when you go in, don’t wait to be seated.  The Pear/blackberry hard cider is amazing!!!

20150225_165841

2. Billy Madison’s– Is a newbie in the area that just opened up.  I am so excited to go here because they have shrimp & grits!  This is a Southern Foods and Whiskey bar.  I haven’t been there yet so don’t know if the atmosphere is good for kids or not but anyone that serves up good shrimp & grits is definitely getting a thumbs up from me!

20150225_154902

3. Clementine’s– AMAZING!!!!!  Totally a great place for a date or girls’ hang out night.  It’s also a great place to take kids during the day.  The restaurant has art work covering their walls and a stage in the back where live music plays certain nights during the week.  There are amazing appetizers there, but don’t get the Cesar salad.  It’s a chunk of lettuce head dressed up.  Besides that, everything else is good, especially their hummus!  Oh, my favorite there is the mint lemonade!!!

Another benefit to Clementine’s is that they have an outside patio seating for seasonal days.  Wonderful to take kiddos during the day; they can be louder and not bother anyone.  Plus you’re surrounded in bamboo and herbs!

20150225_17000320150225_154823

4. AAAhhhh, this doesn’t look like much but this warehouse downtown is the front of an amazing little treasure called Bella Luna!  Amazing Brick oven pizzas with great wine!!!  Kids are good any time there and it’s super healthy.  A little pricey so I’ve only taken the boys on a date with me there, but definitely a place I go with the hubby for date nights.  Their Afton Pizza is devine!!!!

20150223_195212

5. Rounding out number 5 is Union Station– a great local restaurant on the edge of downtown.  This place is loaded with historical memorabilia and photos from the ‘burg in its earliest times.  It’s a great place for kids to go and the kids’ meals are under $6 for a meal and drink.  The meals used to be served in frisbees but not sure if they still do this.  I will say the pasta dishes are super bland there, so a waste of time.  But the sandwiches and bbq platters are amazing!!!  Now if you’re without the kiddos and want to save some $, go to the bar side.  The food is 1/2 the price on that side!!!  Last time I took Noah, my oldest, we sat in an elevator!!!!

20150223_194823

6. Chop House- My favorite place!!!!!  Not for kids unless you’re loaded.  Now that I’ve prefaced that let me explain.  So the Chop House has two sections to the restaurant.  There is the quaint section that is a great date night place but super pricey.  You can choose your own seasonings for your steaks and the food is mouth watering.  The other side of the restaurant is the bar side but super classy.  They also have some live music some times.  The menu is a little bit smaller but the food is just as amazing and their fries are amazing!  They have great beer and wine and just a super classy atmosphere to hang out with friends but with 1/2 the price of the other side.  Their chocolate cheesecake is amazing!!!!

20150223_194607

So there you go, my intro to some of the favorites of Harrisonburg.  I do have to quickly mention A Bowl of Good again because it’s somewhere I take the kids or eat when I need healthy wholesome food.  They grow a lot of their food in their garden during seasonal times and almost everything is from local sources.  It truly is a bowl of something good for your body.  A little more pricier if you have a large family but worth it!  You can also buy their soups to go in large containers!!

Also, a new restaurant about to open a little on the outskirt of downtown is The Golden Pony.  I have heard amazing things about what this restaurant will offer so hoping to check it out before we leave town.

And did anyone ask about ice cream?!  Kline’s, need I say more.

Little Pleasures

There are few little pleasures I let myself indulge in on a regular basis, one because we’re not rolling in money and two because we have four kids and lots of other priorities.  However, I’m a much happier person if I have something warm to sip on when I wake up (preferably before the kids wake up and preferably with caffeine).  And the way I see it is if I’m happier then the mood in the house is a bit calmer (or that is at least from my point of view).

With that said, I had a choice this morning; do I go with coffee or chai?!  Tough choice I know; superficial – no doubt.  But it’s all about my mood when I wake up…I’m a woman for goodness sake and wake up differently each day.  (Maybe I’m the only one here, but it’s truth.)  So I look at my options for a bit, look outside, and wonder, “What will I enjoy the most?!”

20150226_072721

A little filler here, we used to live in a small town called Wise, VA.  If you don’t have family there, then you most likely haven’t heard of it.  It’s a small mountain town that is in the far southwest corner of VA.  While we were there I was introduced to Big Train Spiced Chai at a local coffee shop.  And from there I was hooked.  IT’s amazingly creamy and not milky tasting, which shies me away from trying other chai drinks.  And by far my favorite brand on the market.  I prefer the spiced chai but there are two other flavors as well.

When it comes to coffee, I will drink anything but really prefer a light roast.  When we lived in Missouri we had friends that roasted their own coffee from their house so I was able to taste different types of roasts and realize that commercial beans lose most of their flavoring because they’re over roasted.  My favorite coffee shop in town for brewed coffee is Greenberry’s hands down.  But when I’m getting coffee for the house, I’m very partial to Equal Exchange, Ethiopian coffee.  I usually go to Artisan’s Hope, near my house, and pour and grind the beans there.  This way I’m helping small farmers in other places around the world because the beans are fairly traded, to bring in a respectable profit for these families.  The Ethiopian brew is a medium roasted bean, which I like because you taste the flavoring.  But the brand has several different roasts.  The darker the roast, the stronger tasting the coffee is; I feel that you lose the taste the more you roast the beans, but that’s just my opinion.  So if you’re just now trying out coffee, I’d encourage you to try different roasts to see what your palate prefers.

So back to my hard decision here on a morning like this…

20150226_072750

Ahhhh, Chai it is on this snowy morning.  With a dollop of whip cream of course!  Happy morning to all of you.  Find something that brings a smile to yourself today and control your tongue if it doesn’t benefit others.  The tongue is a powerful weapon and is used to build up or tear down.  It cuts deeper then anything else, so be on guard to protect those around you that you care about.

Yes Body, I Will Feed You

Medicine, oh medicine, do you really work?  Sometimes we have medicine that tends to work for a period of time and then stops.  Then we take other meds that don’t seem to phase anything at all.  I’m not here to knock all medicine.  I have said before and will say again that there is a place for medicine and unfortunately some people desperately need certain meds consistently to function on a daily basis.

My frustration is that not enough doctors and/or friends educate themselves or others about the natural remedies out there that help several ailments.  So I’ve been doing a little research for you all.  Two great references to choose from and have on hand are Rosemary Gladstar’s Medicinal Herbs or Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine.

I promised I would blog from time to time about natural remedies out there that help various ailments, and today is the day.  The first natural remedy for a multiple ailments is ginger!

ginger

Ginger was definitely my best friend when I was pregnant.  Shaving some fresh ginger and steeping it in hot water did the trick each morning.  Also, I have recently found out that chewing on fresh ginger helps with gas almost instantaneously!!!!  So definitely something to keep on hand :).

Grapefruit is an amazing fruit for helping with skin, weight loss, and getting great quantities of vitamin C.  I love grapefruit in the summer with a little sugar sprinkled over it.  It’s a great way to boost metabolism in the morning as well.  However, there are some medicines out there (especially for cancer patients) that become unproductive when adding grapefruit to the diet.  So definitely do your research on grapefruits if you take meds daily.

grapefruit

What is one thing that can be free for you and can help with multiple ailments and struggles?!  Water!!!!

drinking water

Water is so beneficial for us; hence why our bodies are made up of mostly water.  Water increases energy and keeps us hydrated which helps with headaches and feeling satisfied.  Water is essential for flushing out toxins in our body which need to get out because we can hold up to 11 meals in our colon if we’re not regular!  Yeah, I’ve heard it a ton.  “I can’t stand the taste of water!” But all you need to do is add something natural to it.  If you squeeze some fresh lemon in your water you’re increasing your metabolism and boosting your vitamin C.  Or you could drop some fresh fruit in the bottom of your pitcher of water over night to infuse it with natural taste.  One of my favorite ways to jazz up water during the summer is putting a few stems of mint in my water.  If you want to add some detox power to your water, then add some cucumbers to it!  Here is a great Infuser Water Bottle that allows you to add your favorite flavors to your water bottle to motivate you to drink more water.  Plus, once your body starts getting water daily, it will crave it more!  As well as the water bottle, I found a Prodyne Fruit Infusion Flavor Pitcher so that you can infuse larger amounts of water for guests or family.

Why I love my company It Works! is because they value herbs and natural foods that have produce amazing results with your body.  There are multiple products that are natural, don’t contain synthetics that your body can’t break down, and help your body perform the way it was designed to perform.  There are multiple products that my family and I use, and you can go back through the archive and read about some of those, click on my wellness tab and read my story, or go to my website: www.beingthebestyou.net, but I want to share some of my recommendations for ailments matched to my products.

do you have

The above chart isn’t a joke or an exaggeration, it’s truly amazing products that I have that help people close to me regain their life back.  I’ve been amazing to see the different products do so much.  With any product you want to give it at least 30 days of taking it consistently to see results; sometimes you’ll see results faster, but always allow at least a month.  Please let me know if you have any questions at all about any of these products because I would love to help.

Overall, drink water…and tons of it.  Please don’t put the artificial flavorings in it because it’s horrible for your body and causes more harm then good.  And take improving your health one day at a time.  You didn’t get the way you are over night so regaining health may take a bit of time, but it’s so worth it!  Make little changes, adding an herb to your meals or replacing one sugary drink with water.  Taking little steps will add up.

A few amazing herb treats on Amazon were: Garden At Home – Italian Herb Trio

Dressing Trendy

Dressing trendy isn’t exactly a priority in our house.  I promised myself I would never be the mommy that takes her kids to school in her pjs, but I totally do it sometimes.  And the rest of the day I’m lucky if I put deodorant on, not to mention make up or do my hair.  Ahhh the joys of my life.

So if you think I’m leading into a negative blog, ahh you are mistaken!  I wouldn’t change this life for the world.  I may get overwhelmed and frustrated sometimes and wish I could smell better then I do, but it’s my life and I love it.  I have the best husband in the world that loves me dearly and would do anything for me.  I have 4 healthy, wonderful boys that treat me like a queen when they aren’t driving me up the world.

And when I ask Asher to get ready for school, this is what I find…

20150218_101201

But with all of that said, I found some super cute trendy clothes for boys and mommas on Amazon!  Check them out!!
Boy Baby Striped Polo T-shirt Top Bib + Pants Set Overalls;   matimati Baby Bandana Drool Bibs;   Finn + Emma Baby Boy Organic Cotton Footie; Stylish Sweater Outerwear Trendy Dress;  SUNNYCI Women’s Bohemian Sleeveless sundress summer beach maxi dress

How We Do Winter

When the winds are whipping and snow is pelting you in the face, this is how my boys tackle winter head on…with Tonka goggles!  You know sometimes we just have to improvise when the desire to be outside is great and it physically hurts.

20150221_153204

Did I say they wanted to be out there?!  There may have been a little persuasion from me due to being wound up all morning.  Hee!  Hee!   I knew they needed some exercise to release their pent up energy so what better way to truck through snow past their knees?!

IMG_20150221_172958

Let’s play Where’s Noah…he isn’t one of the ones walking up the hill.

20150221_154819

How about let’s have two more of these snows before spring?!  Don’t tell the hubby I said that please.

Staying Sane While Raising 4 Boys & Being a Coach's Wife