Friday, January 31, 2014

My Little Fashion Designer

Some of my most popular posts on Instagram are of #whatlaineywore.

It all started here.  I snapped this photo of her after church one morning and people loved it.  Our little 6 year old has a keen eye for fashion and puts together some CUTE outfits.  

She's very much into design and all girly things.

She watches YouTube videos on how to apply makeup and what to wear to look your best.  I make special efforts to indulge this interest of hers, though trivial to is VERY important to her.  

Who knows?  Maybe we have a budding fashion designer on our hands.

Caroline texted us a swim suit last night asking what Lainey thought of it.  Wanted her advice before purchasing.  Lainey approved and chose the color, too.  :)

Off to make sure she's not applying make up before school!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

DLR Prep School

Good morning!

I've been totally consumed with all things Disney lately.  My site is up and running and it's a ton of fun!

The basic Disneyland planning 6 step process is in place:

And now I'm posting about once a week.  Here are a few posts:

I'm totally enjoying meeting new people and learning more about the parks.  You think you know a lot.....until you have to teach people a lot.  Then, you learn even more!

I'm on Pinterest HERE.

I'm on Facebook HERE.

And, Instagram HERE.

Come follow me and see what Disneyland is all about!

(Would love to know your secrets, too, with planning and what you think I might have missed in mine.)

Friday, January 24, 2014


Hello, friends!

My latest Dwellable article was published.  This one is about Estes Park.

Check that out HERE.

(If you like what you read, I would love it if you would click the 'like' button on any of these the top for Facebook - it doesn't repost......retweet it.....or click the google button.....they all help!)

I LOVE Estes Park.

Makes me want to go back!

I've been spending a lot of time at our church lately.  In addition to teaching CCD, I'm also preparing for my own Confirmation in April.  As a long time Catholic, I'm lacking an important sacrament and I'm finally making that happen.  My sponsor and I meet once a week for studies and then I meet with the Bishop in a few weeks and lots more follows.  

Here's a couple of pictures from my CCD class:

We have our own makeshift alter and bring the bible up, just as our priest does, each Sunday prior to class.  Kids always love being chosen to carry it.

We're preparing for Caroline visiting for Spring Break well as some other fun events happening this Spring.  

Finally, Carter played his first middle school basketball game last night.  He's awesome....scored 7 points.....they won!

Have a great weekend, peeps!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Mountain High Ski Trip

We're back from skiing.  

Loved every minute of it!

The drive in in beautiful.  Even though our area of California is really hilly, the mountains are just so pretty to drive through.  Makes me miss Colorado.

We skied Mountain High this year after 3 years in Big Bear. It's fun!

Put the Wee Ski on Lainey for the last need.  She's awesome.

One of Jack's biggest concerns is the snacks.

Jack skied this year after snowboarding last year.

Lainey learned snowboarding this year.

Carter skied again after 8 years of snowboarding.

In summary, all three can do both now!

Carter taught both littles how to ride.  So cute to watch.

Brother high five after an awesome run!

Skiing in long sleeve t-shirts.  Have to love it.

Sweet Laine helped Jackie take up his gear.

The fam!

I love skiing as a family and hope to do it for the rest of our lives.  We started 8 years ago when we moved to Colorado and haven't stopped since.  Such a fun way to spend time together.

Now to plan Spring Break with Caroline!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

I'm a Paid Writer - Words I've Always Wanted to Use

Feeling a lot like Bob from the movie, "What About Bob."

"I write!  I'm a writer!"

While I've been writing for fun on ye old blog for over 7 years, and doing small projects here and there, I've just recently ventured into the paid-to-write category.  No more trading reviews for a weekend at the Great Wolf Lodge or other perks of blogland......(although I'm not closing the door to that option).

I'm now a writer for Mod and Dwellable and DLR Prep School (up soon!).

Dwellable published my first post HERE.

Couldn't be happier.

Now, back to ski trip do you pack for 75 degree skiing?!

Only in Southern California!

Monday, January 13, 2014

On My Table

I'm feeling outrageously domestic after cooking a whole chicken in the crock pot, shredding it for a family meal and then many salads.....and finally making 9 cups of homemade chicken stock with the juices.

Used this tutorial, below, and I'm hooked.

There's nothing glamorous about it.....but for $6.50, I accomplished what many would pay $20+ for.  That, for me, makes sense of it. And, I'm home....I have time.....will do it again!

We're all about easy meals right now and eating healthy.  Carter is playing basketball, arrives home 3 days a week from a 2 hour practice FAMISHED, so I'm constantly finding ways to keep him happy.  Some recent go-to solutions:

honey and peanut butter sandwiches
kiwis (cut in quarters and eaten by hand, rather than peeling and slicing)
hard-boiled eggs

Other ideas?  I'd love some suggestions.

We're skiing for this holiday 4 day weekend ahead and I'll be packing lots of food to keep costs down.  I've learned, from past ski trips, that putting a ton of effort into gourmet sandwiches and the like doesn't always translate with this family. They love my cooking, but there is something about warm food on the mountain that I cannot compete with.  So, instead of making meals, I'm making lots of snacks.....we'll eat breakfast at the hotel.....snack on what I bring......and then buy lunch each day.  

Thinking about making Pioneer Woman's Best Chocolate Sheet Cake Ever into cupcakes.  Recipe HERE.

Anyone ever try it?  Not sure how the recipe will transfer.

Let me know if you have other recipes to share!

Sunday, January 05, 2014


We're loving 2014!

Life lately:

Shortly after my awesome Christmas present beach artwork, Blake created this for Lainey.

I want it for the living room now!

We recently got new chairs and we're ready to deep clean and store this piece.

Lainey committed to a 2 day vigil and refused to leave it.

"It was in this family before me!!!!!!!!!  How dare you!!!!!!"

(She has attachment issues.)

We celebrated Blake's 39th!

With the chocolate cake I create for each birthday and sometimes, like a few nights ago, at 8pm for no reason at all.

We put the chair on the patio.  

Next move, to the garage.


New Year's Eve brought out a lot of recipes.  This new one HERE is divine.

Ham....cheese....on King's Hawaiian rolls......covered with a Dijon/butter/Worcestershire/dried onion....and left to marinate.

Then, cook for 15 minutes at 350.


We paused for a moment on NYE to think back 15 years:

On the Eve of the Millennium, I drove my Corolla from Baton Rouge to Austin packed with most of what I owned, except for furniture. From that night on, Blake has been a permanent place in my life and in my heart. From those first few months where we could not breathe without each other....lunches on my breaks at Pier 1 because 8 hours seemed too long to be apart.....kid-free life on 6th getting married in San Carter....building our first home in Keller, Jack....Colorado....Lainey....KC....San Diego and more. 

We watched LSU beat Iowa!

And, visited the San Diego Zoo for Jingle Bells.

I feel so grateful to have passes.  (Thanks, Uncle Chris!)

Look at one day admission:

I feel the same as Lainey on the Skyfari.

The goons were out to play.

The lights are beautiful and the weather is chilly.  

Always a fun night each year.


These three are really good friends.  I love it. They play together (basketball, Wii, Playstation, XBox, rainbow loom, tag, hide-n-seek, Littlest Pet Shop, MineCraft, and more).  They fight.  They argue.  And, they work together to overthrow the reigning government in our house and I love that.

They won't win, but I love that they try.

And, finally......Lainey is dreaming of the runway each and every day.

This girl loves fashion.

More news possibly coming.......I'm doing a trial run with another freelance writing assignment.....which could turn into something awesome.  I'll share when I can.