Friday, August 30, 2013

Making Memories...The Ecotarium

We had a wonderful day trip to the Ecotarium with our good friends.  It is a bit of a drive to get there but so worth the time.  The kids had so much fun and in 4 hours we only got to explore half of the complex.  The highlights were the train ride, the cool sound exhibit outside, the Wind Tunnel of the Mount Washington Exhibit, the Alice and Wonderland exhibit and the see through floor that looks down two stories.

Here are some photos from our day!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Kombucha, Yes Please!!!

Have you jumped on the Kombucha bandwagon yet??  I was hesitant to do it for about 2 scared me!  Then I bought a $4 bottle at our local health food store and was hooked.  At $4 a bottle I couldn't justify my addiction so I finally bought a scoby (the bacteria culture, looks like a jelly disc) from Cultures of Health and I am now making it at home.

It took Scott awhile to jump on the wagon with me but now he can't get enough!  It costs very little when you brew it at home and it really isn't that complicated.  Once a week you have to spend 15 minutes (if that) to bottle your week old kombucha and brew a new batch but that is it!  It is filled with loads of pro-biotics and is so good for you.  There was an article going around awhile back that kombucha contains flouride and so it isn't all that great for you.  But after more research I found that if you steep the tea minimally, use organic tea and water without flouride...the flouride content should be minimal.

So if you are intrigued by the science experiment brewing in my family room (I know my bookclub was), check out this video to learn more.  And come join me on this tasty, fizzy, healthy will be glad you did!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Making Memories....

In the beginning of summer I was blessed with a girls getaway with my dear friend Rose.  She has a beautiful cabin up in the mountains of NH and it was such a treat to spend time with her.  Her cabin is so lovely and quiet :)  It was so nice to have two days to relax and unwind.  We hiked to a beautiful waterfall, checked out the local farmers market and shops, sipped wine on the porch while the rain fell, chatted for hours and visited the former spot of the Old Man of the Mountain.  It was such a nice weekend and I am so grateful to her for inviting me to getaway with her.  Here are some more pictures of our weekend.
The old site of the Old Man of the Mountain
One of the turnbuckles that use to hold him up there
Rose checking out the site
My cozy bed!!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Making My Own Sunscreen

This winter I got it in my head that a fun summer project would be to make our own sunscreen.  The sunscreen we use is pretty pricey so this seemed like a fun and cost effective project. I ordered the materials from Made-On in the winter and also bought Made-On's copy of My Buttered Life Summer Edition which contained the recipe.  And there everything sat, waiting for the summer to start.

Well the summer started with a bang and "Make Sunscreen" continued to appear on my to-do list week after week and was never crossed off.  Lil'C kept asking, "We make sunscreen today Mama?"  And time after time the answer would be "Not Today".  Finally before we left for Maine we were running low on our sunscreen and I decided I had waited long enough.  Lil'C and I got out the ingredients, the recipe and went to work.  It ended up being really easy and we had a lot of fun mixing everything together.
So how does it work??  It works great, probably like an SPF 30.  It is a bit thick so it does take some time to rub it all in but once you do you can't see it.  It is also not waterproof, so it is important to reapply (but you should reapply regular sunscreen after the water too).  I love that I know what every single ingredient is and that it is cheaper than our California Baby sunscreen.  Definitely something that I will continue to make in the future.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Making Memories

A fun day was had by the kids at the local water park.  I had bought a living social deal during the winter and had to use it by September 1st.  My sister and I had tried to go multiple times but due to one thing or another (usually weather) it didn't happen.  We finally got to go and the kids had a really great time.  It is a small park and only had two working slides.  The lines were insane for those slides with numerous camp groups and with teens vying for the other activities, it was hard for our kids to find a space to be.  Despite all of this, they enjoyed the day and my sister and I agreed that next time we are hitting up one of the bigger parks.  In the meantime we will go to the local splash pad which is FREE!

Here are some more photos :)

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Time to Shout it From the Roof Tops......

Well folks it is time to finally announce it to the world....we are homeschooling Z next year!!!!!!!  I am not sure why I have not talked about this fact over here on this blog before now but I felt it was time for everyone in our lives to know of our decision.  This decision did not come easy, it was a two year process that involved a lot of research, reading, discussion and soul searching.  But in March once we made the decision, we felt so good about it!

Z is soooooo excited to homeschool.  I actually don't think we will call it homeschool because I have a feeling that we will not be home very much at all :)  Between Nature Class, Space Class, Soccer, Tennis lessons, Field Trips and other fun learning experiences, we will not be home much.  We plan to make a "Map of the Year" just like I use to do when I taught school and like Martin and Sylvia do in Sparkle Stories.  This "Map of the Year" will map out all of the learning that all 4 of us in the family want to do this year and I am so excite for this exercise.  Z has already told me he wants to study Geography and Dinosaurs and is interested in more lego design.  The possibilities are endless with the learning this year and I am so excited to start this new journey.
To answer that question that I have already faced many times and will face over and over in the coming years,"Why?"  Well the answer is that the public school at this time is not the right fit for our son or our family.  It does not mean that he will be home forever, we'd like to take it year by year and plan for him to attend public high school.  We do want to travel and explore all of the great learning opportunities in our own back yard (Boston is only 35 minutes away) and this lifestyle will allow all that.  The other question that I know you are asking, "How will he be socialized?"  Don't you worry about this!  With all of the classes, playdates and interactions this boy is going to have with other children, there is no need to worry about his "socialization".  In fact he is a bit of an introvert and so I am going to have to make sure he has that precious time to be on his own.

So that is our story, I hope that you will support us on our journey.  Lil'C will be starting her first year of Montessori but will be joining us here and there for learning time. I look forward to sharing with you how it is going in the coming months!!  We are sooooooo excited!!!!!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Happy Birthday Scott!!!

Happy Birthday Honey!  You have finally caught up with me, it only took you 22 days. Now we are both 36 and moving down that road to 40 together. We better get moving on finishing up our 40 things before we turn 40 list!  We love you and hope you enjoy that surf board.

And Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad!!  We love you very much.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

A New Tradition is Born!

Last week my best friend and I finally got together to celebrate our summer birthdays.  We decided awhile back to not get each other gifts anymore and have met up for breakfast in past years.  This year she emailed me about this special "Mimosa Pedicure" at the local spa and so we signed right up.

It was 90 minutes of Heaven!  Sitting there in the massage chair, having my feet pampered, sipping mimosas while catching up on our lives was just what I needed.  The perfect dose of girl time and relaxation.  I loved the bright pink....super summery and fun.  We both decided that this needs to be a yearly birthday tradition!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Lego Land!

The kids and I took our first road trip on Sunday and it was so much fun!  We drove to Auntie Amber and Uncle Andy's house on Sunday and the kids didn't mind the 4 hours in the car (much).  We spent the evening on the CT shore eating pizza, playing on the playgrounds, checking out the sunset on the beach and going for ice cream.  It was so nice to spend time with Auntie Amber and Uncle Andy and we had a great time.

Monday morning we woke up and went to LEGO land Discovery Center in NY!!!  The kids were sooooo excited and LEGO land lived up to their expectations.  It was super fun and we all enjoyed the laser ride, the NY City skyline made of LEGOs, the race track and the 4D much fun!! Lil'C also loved the karoke at the Friends LEGO space (she loved the microphone) and Z loved the play space with slides and tunnels.  It was a great morning.
For lunch we went to the biggest Stew Leonards in NY.  The kids loved seeing the animals and the yummy lunch (not so healthy) they ate.  It was a super fun mini-vacation and we had the best time.  Thanks Auntie Amber and Uncle Andy for a great time!!!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

A Step Back in Time

Last night I was able to step back into a simpler time, a time before I was a wife and a mother, the time when I was a teacher.  We had a reunion of my former students, their families and staff and it such an incredible night.  I got very emotional as some of these grown up people approached me with giant smiles and hugs.  These faces that I haven't see in a few years who are now either in college, heading off to college soon or in High School.  Seeing the families and fellow teachers that I loved so much was such a special treat for me.  The school I worked at has such a special place in my heart and the turnout for last nights reunion shows just how great it was.

Folks are thinking about doing a reunion like this once a year and I hope that they do.  Last night was great to have my own kids there so they could meet everyone but it was very difficult to socialize with others because my attention was divided.  Z and Lil'C had their good buddies to play with which was great but Lil'C fell and banged herself up early in the night which meant a lot of tears and time trying to settle her.

Over all it was a magical night and I am so blessed to have had those amazing four years of my life to look back on and revisit.  It was so nice to see how well my former students have turned out and how beautiful they all are.  I went to bed last night with a big smile on my face and so much love in my heart.  It was so nice to step back in time for an evening.