Friday, May 30, 2014

It's Friday. {I'm in Love}

Another little round-up of some Friday goodness for you.  

I honestly thought I'd fore-go this resurrected trend but then I found these yellow Birkenstocks and thought I'd give it a whirl again.  They sat in the box in my closet for about a month while I contemplated and then… I wore them once…..and I knew they were here to stay.  

This L'Oreal liquid eyeliner?  So easy.  I'm going on about three months of loving this stuff--that you can buy at the GROCERY STORE and is so much better than the MAC or Lancome versions.  

These super summery and cute shirts for G (and adults too) from Hello!  The watermelon tanks sold out  from the time I put one in my "shopping cart" to my phone re-directing me to PayPal--in less than two minutes--more are on the way--but I did snag a Popsicle one for now. But I mean--I love these! 

Happy weekending to you!  It's finally so beautiful here in Michigan.  Sun-screen, ice-cream sandwiches, and kiddie pools are on the agenda for the next two days……oh…….and an incredibly long dance recital Saturday night in which Georgia will dance for a total of two minutes.  #worthit 

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Go Ahead & Pin This. {The Magic Ratio}

Yesterday, Georgia told Chris she was going to make him a cake while we were at a greenhouse trying to figure out plants and fountains and rocks and everything else you do at a greenhouse.  It was hot and we were trying to hurry so we just responded with, "uh-huh…sounds good."  When we got home it came up again. "Are you ready for me to make my cake--I want to do it all on my own."

I paused and then said, "Sure. What do you need?"

A Hint of Vanilla.
A Hint of Butter.
1 Egg.
A Hint of Baking Soda.
A Hint of Milk.
Peanut Butter.

A 'hint of' is currently her favorite unit of measurement.

So I piled the ingredients on the counter and gave her a bowl.  She got started mixing up all this deliciousness.  I mean, skittles in a cake?  How can it go wrong?

I can't give you exact measurements for this confection…..other than a 'hint of' everything.  But we did bake it at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes.

That large pale spot in the middle was actually a huge bubble.  Wouldn't deflate even when I poked it with a toothpick.  That's right--go ahead and pin this.  I predict a large following will ensue.

Peanut butter and Nutella frosting.  Hands down the saving grace of this cake.

'A hint of' does not apply to sprinkles.  That's more like a 'heaping handful.'


It was……….amazing.  Amazing how thrilled this made her.  She's still talking about it today.

This whole cake thing reminded me of a training we had at work a few months back.  The trainer started the day by talking about something called 'The Magic Ratio.'  A psychology expert named John Gottman studied 700 married couples in 1992.  Gottman and his researchers video-taped a 15 minute conversation between all 700 couples.  As they watched the recordings they took note of how many positive interactions each couple had during their conversations compared to negative ones.  They were looking for a 5:1 ratio of positive comments, facial expressions, and reactions to those that weren't.  They predicted which couples would be divorced in ten years and which ones wouldn't based on their findings.  In 2002 they revisited these couples and had predicted with 94% accuracy which marriages would last and which ones wouldn't.

I find this statistic fascinating.  We all know that being more positive with those we're married to, work with…..raise, is a good thing, a crucial thing, a necessary thing……but when looked at through this researchers lens we see that it is a life-giving thing--the element that will most likely sustain any kind of relationship.

I've thought about this magic ratio a lot since I heard about it.  Not only in terms of my marriage, my interactions at work and with my friends, but with my daughter.  Not that she can 'divorce' me….but she can feel more connected to me, more secure, more confident, more empowered, wiser, kinder, valued, and the list goes on.  It's not to say that there aren't days, hours, moments, and minutes where things are heated and not the most fun, but it's a more moving way for me to think about the old adage 'choose your battles' or 'say yes as much as possible.' The idea of providing a positive interaction versus a negative one with her 5:1 feels more concrete;  a goal that I want to work towards.  Some days it will be a no-brainer.  But it's those other days…..

When it's so hot, we're trying to get everything we need at a greenhouse quickly, we have our own agendas of what we think needs to happen in the day to deem it a good day, and Georgia……wants to bake a cake.

To bake a cake or not?

I want to choose more cake baking.
Especially if they have Skittles in them.

Monday, May 12, 2014


"Home is the nicest word there is."
Laura Ingalls Wilder

The first question Georgia asks me when I pick up her up from school is, "Do we have to go anywhere?  Or are we going straight home?"

It wouldn't matter if I said, "We're going to make a quick swing through Disney World," she'd be near tears.  The only thing she wants to hear is that we're headed right home and we'll remain there until the end of the day.  

She loves to be home.  More than anywhere else. 

She wants to be in her playroom.  She wants to be rearranging the rocks in her 'treasure garden' in the front flower bed.  She wants to be watering our seedlings in the basement with daddy.  She wants to be making cards at her art table in the kitchen. She wants to be putting on a puppet show behind the orange chair in the front room.  She wants to stand on the window ledge in my closet and put on a show.  

She wants to be home. 

Are there great things that we do and should do outside of the house?  Absolutely--and we do--and we love them.  Do we always get to be home?  Of course not.  And sometimes I wish we could run just one more errand without a barrage of reasons why we should just go home, but mostly…..I'm thrilled that she wants to be home.  I love that for Georgia, home is a refuge, a safe place, somewhere to be creative, relax, be contented, and just be her.  And it's important for me to remind myself of that frequently--when I'm trying to fit in one more thing--for me--that's really not necessary.  

I've found myself thinking about this more and more with summer coming up.  I'll ask Georgia what she wants to do for the next three months.  She'll reply, "run in the sprinkler, get ice-cream from the ice-cream man, play with Fiona, re-decorate my fairy garden, set up the pool everyday, help daddy plant the garden, jump on the trampoline, take a walk to the park, make some more of that jello play-doh, and maybe go to the zoo one time."  


For her, the idea of needing to go somewhere is distant.  The desire to be here is present.  

And I suspect that for many of our kids they might just feel the same way--when given the chance to feel that way.  As an educator I see kids on a daily basis who are run ragged with activities and practices and rehearsals and dinners-out that are "good experiences", "enrichment," "character building," and "social know-how," opportunities.  And wait--yes--some of them are.  There is no argument to that.  But I also know as an educator that I also see kids on a daily basis who lack creativity, initiative to figure out how to do something, the ability to just 'be', contentedness with simplicity, and unstructured play.  

And I don't think that's a product of our academic educational system.  It's a product of parents believing their community rec-leagues and neighbors and athletic programs that kids need to be busy, part of a team, exposed to experiences so they can really figure out what they want to do, and to keep their minds working.  

Do I write this to say that all organized and structured activities for kids over the summer or throughout the school year are a problem?  Nope--we're signed up for a handful too.  I write it to remind myself and everyone else that it's okay to stay home a lot of the time with our kids.  To let them get sticky from popsicles by eleven in the morning, to let them play cooking school (for hours) in the backyard consisting of a kiddie pool, grass clippings, and, weeds, to let them draw with sidewalk chalk on the trampoline, to let them lay around for an hour when it's really hot out and watch a show, to show them how to make a bowling alley in your garage with empty 2-litres, to go on a scavenger hunt for their stuffed animals, and to just be

I think that learning to love being at home is one of the most important steps to raising appropriately contented kids.  Help them embrace it this summer by embracing it yourself.  

Friday, May 2, 2014

It's Friday. {I'm in Love}

Couple things you should know before you head into the weekend about a few things that I love.  And you might come to love them too.

THIS bathing suit from Ann Taylor Loft is amazing.  Like one of the best I've put on in a long, long time.  So comfortable, flattering, simple, and just…… really should at least order it and try it on.  I got mine for 50% off; it seems like Loft runs a 50% off sale once a week or so…..wait a bit and you might score that deal too.  It's only available on-line and I promise once people start catching on it will be gone.  

These shoes for little girls! I posted a picture of them on Facebook last week….and I really mean it. They are $12.  They only go up to a size 11 unfortunately and this is the last summer that Georgia will be able to wear them unless Old Navy has a change of heart.  They are lightweight, easy to take on and off, durable, can be worn in and out of the water and dry fast, don't cause blisters…and are super cute.  They sell out fast every time Old Navy re-stocks them.  Don't wait!

My recent Brickyard Buffalo purchase of this little clutch from the Etsy store ThisLovesThat

And….this Etsy store has more amazing going on than just this selection.  They also have another deal on Brickyard Buffalo today of a clutch that's a bit different than this one--but still pretty fantastic. 

Have a great weekend!  

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