How To Cut A Pineapple

I used to be intimidated by those big, fresh, whole pineapples in the grocery store. I always opted for the store sliced pineapple in the plastic containers. The problem with those? For one, they were always sticky! And even worse, my store never sliced out the core! Fresh pineapple is worth the work, so eventually I threw one into my cart and gave it a try. If you have never cut fresh pineapple, please try it. You won't regret it, I promise! Choosing one is easy...It smells good, is soft but not mushy, and the green will pull out easily. I usually end up with mine on the counter for a day or two before it is ready. And then, I get started!


Choose a pretty pineapple...

Sixteen


Sixteen years. Sixteen years ago today this little guy added a touch of blue to our house full of pink and Tonka trucks into a world filled with Barbies. Rhett blesses us every single day. He is kind and compassionate, happy and funny, and I am honored to be his mother. Sixteen years passed in the blink of an eye. My little bundle of blue is now taller than I am. But if I look closely, I often see a glimpse of that little boy who stole my heart all those years ago.






We celebrated Rhett with family and friends and food and movies and fun...all his favorite things!

Happy Birthday, my one and only son!




Random Photo Friday

Happy Friday, my friends! it was my dogs B day and this is Flynn :) and heres my mommy btw  I did not sleep good last night :( but I got to sleep in  well heres my mommy. That was my little helper! Blogger in Training, right??? She is never far from my side. And that makes my heart happy. Here are some other things that made me happy this past week...

Mother's Day was awesome that was me Flynn again!

A Moment

Every now and then life gives you a moment you know you will never forget. Before I tell you about my recent "goosebump" moment, let me back up a bit. During our recent move, I decided to really simplify my life. I took a good look at things we had and decided that many of them were not necessary for us anymore. One of the items I really purged was vases. We were gifted several beautiful crystal vases when we were married years ago, and have added numerous flower shop ones throughout the years. I kept one. And donated the remainder.

The night before Mother's Day, Steve brought me a beautiful bouquet of fresh flowers. I began searching my brain for the exact location of the one vase I knew I had kept. I checked the cupboards, upstairs and down. No luck. I checked the storage area, the pantry, the closets. No vase. Before I went into complete panic mode, my bestie Marian, who had arrived a bit earlier, appeared with a gift bag for me. She set it in front of me, and with a smile, said, "I think you should open your present now." Of course I told her she didn't have to bring me a gift, but she just smiled and told me to open it. I am sure by now you know what was inside, right?

Yep.
The most beautiful vase I have ever seen.
I will remember that moment forever.
We all will.
Everyone needs a Marian in her life.
I am so very thankful for ours.


Random Photo Friday

Happy Weekend, my friends! Mother's Day Weekend, that is! May is moving right along, isn't it? Here is a quick wrap up of the week that was here in our cozy home...

Flynn and I made Madison's favorite pancakes for her before she left Sunday morning...

Chicken Parmesan...Made By Rhett

One of the things I love about mothering is watching my children grow and learn and master new things. I am a strong advocate for the development of life skills in young people. My son Rhett has recently expressed an interest in cooking. I'm guessing it has something to do with the interest he has in eating. One day last week, he asked if he could make dinner. His choice? Chicken Parmesan. He found the recipe, got the ingredients, and with some help from his sisters, prepared the most delicious meal we have had in a long time.

He paired it with some angel hair pasta and a fresh tossed salad.

I was beyond proud of my son, and was so happy watching all of my children work together in the kitchen. Not to mention the fact that I didn't have to cook dinner. Or clean up!
The recipe can be found here.

Enjoy!

Welcome Home Part Three...And DIY Bedroom Decor

This post is all about our bedroom. And it won't be very long, because I have recently decided to embrace a minimalist approach to decorating and am very happy with it thus far. Something about getting older I think...I just want less "stuff" around me!

Random Photo Friday

Happy weekend and Happy May, my friends. This weekend finds us saying "See you soon!" to our Madison, as she returns to Denmark to finish her Danish language course and pack up her belongings before she and Nicolas return here in late June. To stay for an entire year! With us! YAY! We are so very happy, but at the same time, realize that his family will miss them both terribly. I am so very thankful to them for caring for and loving my girl while she was with them these past two years. We are indeed blessed.

Here is a look at some of the fun we had here this past week...

Saturday was Mass,

It's Ok

For the most part, I like to keep it pretty upbeat around here. I try to focus on the positive and encouraging parts of life. To quote my good friend Alan, "Why not?!" But life isn't always like that, is it?

Welcome Home Part Two

Thank you for all the kind comments regarding the photos I shared of our new house. We have only lived here month, but already feel at home. Today I would like to share the remainder of our main floor, minus our master bedroom, which I didn't photograph because I had washed the bedsheets and they weren't dry yet so the bed wasn't made. Real life here, my friends.

Random Photo Friday

Happy Friday and Happy Weekend, my friends! I hope you enjoy it with those you hold dear. Here is a look at what this past week was all about around here...


Hashtags





#circleoflife #love #birthanddeath #lifegoeson







Welcome Home

 I am excited to share some photos of our cozy, new home with you today. We were so blessed to find this house. An extremely gifted craftsman spent over nineteen months building this house all by himself, with no idea that a family of six would soon fall in love with it and make it their home.

Random Photo Friday

Hello, my friends. And Happy Friday! This week passed quickly in a perfect combination of busy days and cozy days. Here is a bit of what we were up to here in our new home...

Some days were sunny and warm,
which was perfect because we were out and about.

What's Inside My Purse

I switched out my purse yesterday. I took everything out of my blue winter bag, went through all the items, and promptly put (almost) everything right back in my Disney spring and summer bag. Madison suggested I share with you some of the things I keep inside, and because I rely heavily on my firstborn for advice, I am doing just that. I will spare you pictures of the typical purse things...my wallet, my keys, my oversized pack of disinfecting wipes...and focus on the important things: cosmetics!

Random Photo Friday

Friday again! I hope your week was happy and healthy and full of all things cozy. We spent the week cozy inside our home as the snow fell yet again. I know soooo many people are over winter, and I totally understand. I, however, am embracing these last few days of cozy-stay inside-and snuggle-time. I know that spring will come, the grass will grow, the flowers will bloom, and the sun will shine someday soon. Until then, I'll be right here, snuggled under my blanket sipping my coffee.

Hashtags


#coffeedate #twins #myfirstborn #shoppingtoo



Things I'm Loving Now

Well, besides our new home, which I will share with you as soon as we unpack a few more boxes. Here are a few very random things I am currently loving...

~ This White Tea and Sage Foaming Hand Soap from Bath and Body
It smells so good.
So fresh.

So amazing that I keep it in the bathroom and in the kitchen.

Random Photo Friday

Hello, my friends! We are slowly returning to our new normal, and are very happy here in our new home. I hope your week was happy and healthy...we are passing around an annoying cold...but are otherwise doing well. Here is a quick peek at our first week in our new home.

Steve saw this little guy the other morning while we were having our coffee and tea.
And watching Match Game '74.

Happy Easter!




In the meantime, here are three totally random photos from this past week that I am posting because any other photos would include the hot mess that is currently my house, and let's face it...who wants to see that??

Friends, Fun, Food, And Sun

And naps. Lots of naps. We returned from our family time spent together aboard our favorite cruise ship ever, The Carnival Pride, rested and full of memories to last a lifetime. The amazing thing about cruising is that you are all together for an entire week with nothing to do but spend quality together. And of course, make new friends.

Here are way too many photos of the week we spent cruising together...


On our way...

It Seemed Like A Good Idea At The Time

Flashback to late November, and my Madison was returning to Denmark after being home for Thanksgiving. Our firstborn would be spending her first Christmas away from home, and despite our brave faces, she and I were both extremely sad and apprehensive. Enter Steve, the most amazing husband and father, who strives to ensure his family is as happy as is humanly possible. Before Madison and Nicolas left for the airport, Steve surprised us by telling us we were all going on a cruise in March! (FYI...a cruise in March is almost half the price of one in June.) And so, we were happy that even though our Christmas wouldn't be the same, we all had something to look forward to come March.

Great idea, right?

Random Photo Friday

Happy Friday, my friends! And Happy St. Patrick's Day weekend! The past week was a busy one here, and seemed to pass very quickly. Thank you for all the kind words regarding my Madison coming home! She and Nicolas arrived safe and sound, and my house and my heart are full. Well, my house is not all that full. Things are being moved out as we speak! The actual move is set for March 31, so we will celebrate Easter Sunday in our new home.  Here are a few pictures of the past week here in our cozy and chaotic home.

After Mass last week, Flynn lit a candle for a very special friend.

This Makes Me Happy


Any guesses???

Ok. One more...


Yep!
My firstborn is returning home today!!!!
She and Nicolas are coming for a visit!
And my heart is happy. 

What are you happy about today, my friends??





Moms, Go Easy On Yourself

Scrolling through Pinterest one day last week, I asked myself what exactly happened to simplicity. With apologies to all who search Pinterest for the most creative and complex treats for their kids, I am going to go out on a limb and say that enough is enough. Moms...go easy on yourself. Simple is better, Trust me.

As a second grade teacher many years ago, I saw the many snacks and treats my students brought for parties. I saw the elaborate, individually decorated cupcakes adorned with unwrapped candies. I also saw the prepackaged cupcakes in the plastic wrappers. I specifically remember one thing very clearly. The children would look at and pick apart the messy, unwrapped, cupcakes an ambitious mom labored over. Then they would rip open the plastic and eat the store bought treats as fast as they could!

In a world where competition often overshadows common sense, it is easy to feel pressured to spend hours using homemade icing gluing tiny cookies onto a Twinkie. I am here to tell you...you don't have to do that! Buy a box of cupcakes, cookies or fruit cups and call it a day. Spend the time saved playing a game with your children or perhaps taking a walk. After all, who do we moms really need to impress? The other mothers? The teachers? Or our own children, who will remember the time spent laughing with us as we watched a movie together way longer than they will remember those elaborate marshmallow covered sheep cookies?

OK. These just give me the creeps!

This.
Why?

And this.
I feel like they would be stale and sticky.
And I shudder to think of how many times they were touched!

Although this sounds snarky, it comes from the heart.
A simple cupcake and a cup of Kool-aid...
The party treats of the 1970's...
That's what we enjoyed.
Go easy on yourself.
And give simple a try.




Pinterest for the pics. : )