Thursday, August 27, 2015

Annapolis (3 weeks ago)!

I told you I'd share pictures from our little Saturday trip to Annapolis three weeks ago, and here they are!  But, first, a quick synopsis of the day.

I think it was only on Friday that we decided to visit Annapolis the next day.  We hadn't been since we went to the football game last November, and I was itching to go.  The weather was going to be gorgeous, we had no other plans, so why not?!  Friday evening Chet and I attended a work social (his work, not mine...because I socialize with the three little people I work with all day long), and one of his co-workers (and fellow Academy grad) mentioned that Saturday was also Fan Fest at the football stadium.  It started at 10 a.m. (perfect timing!), and sounded like fun, so our first stop was the stadium.

It cost $5 to park in the stadium parking lot, but besides that, everything was FREE!

There were wide open, Astroturf spaces for the kids to run:

Plenty of food for hungry little boys to eat:

Plastic footballs (the squishy kind) for little boys to throw (free blue and gold pompons for the girls not pictured):

Face painting:

Face paining lady: "What would you like to be?"
Lorelei: "I want to be a cat." (Of course she does.)

Face painting lady: "What do you want to be?"
Sydney: "I don't know."

I didn't get any pictures of the moon bounces or the DJ (playing GOOD music), but trust me when I say it was a super fun event.  We left around 11:30 (the event only lasted until 12 p.m. anyway) for the Academy for lunch.

(Oh, there was also a chance while at the stadium to to get a t-shirt autographed by all of the Navy football players, but I think we have a few years before we need to do that.  Plus, the line was really long, and we avoid long lines in general if we can.)

Next stop, Dahlgren Hall for a quick lunch at Drydock Restaurant.  I couldn't help but get all nostalgic while ordering a Muelheissen sandwich from the impatient ladies behind the deli counter.  The kids happily played in what used to be the indoor ice rink for Navy's hockey team after we ate.

Can't miss getting a picture with Bill the Goat:

Then we headed over to the Visitors' Center to shop (the mid store is usually closed on Saturdays).

Everyone got a little cranky at this point, because it was nap time:

So we loaded Ford and Lorelei into the double stroller (sorry, Syd), and walked into Downtown Annapolis.  Ford fell asleep right away.  Lorelei decided to stay awake (she was holding out for ice cream).  So we had ice cream.  While we were parked outside the ice cream shop, we heard a loud bang (it sounded like a gun shot).  We didn't know what it was, until a lady sitting near us pointed at our stroller tire, which had popped.  Ford didn't even flinch.  So the Downtown Annapolis portion of our day was cut short, which is probably best, because it was getting warm, everyone was still cranky (even/especially after ice cream), and it was super crowded downtown, making it hard to navigate with the stroller.  So we headed home.  But it was a great day.

Oh, and here's one of our Visitors' Center purchases.  I'm a sucker for a Navy cheerleader outfit (click here and here for proof):

We're headed back to Annapolis Labor Day weekend to celebrate Chet's 10-year reunion!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Chapped lips sink ships...

...actually, loose lips sink ships, but I'm sure chapped lips didn't help matters.

What on earth am I even talking about?

For Mary Kay Monday this week (I know, I know, today is Tuesday), I'm introducing you to a little set that I loved called Satin Lips.

It's a 2-piece set (as you can see in the picture), comprised of a lip mask (step 1) and lip balm (step 2).    (You don't have to use the two products together; they can be used, and are also sold, separately if you so desire.)  I actually have two lip balms (step 2); I keep one in the top drawer of my nightstand and one in my purse.

The lip mask (step 1) is something I found myself not using very often (even though I love it).  It's not that using the lip mask is complicated; you simply use your finger to apply the mask to your lips, wait a couple of minutes, then rinse it off.  So I have no idea why I wasn't using it regularly, I'm just sharing reality with you.  But THEN...I figured out a trick (actually, I overheard someone at my weekly Mary Kay meeting share this tip): keep/use the lip mask in the shower!  Now I use it all the time, and my lips are thanking me.  Why is this such a game-changing tip?  I don't know.  Maybe because I'm an American, and having to wait two minutes between applying the lip mask and washing it off felt too time consuming.  But in the shower...more likely than not you'll shower for at least two minutes, so apply the lip mask at the beginning and wash it off at the end.  Also, since you're already drenched from head to toe, washing off the lip mask is much less daunting than when you're standing at the sink.  We Americans are nothing if not high maintenance.

Anyway, if your life is anything like mine, your lips are unsurprisingly chapped in the winter, and surprisingly chapped in the summer.  So through Sunday (8/30) you can purchase the Satin Lips set for 20% off (or the lip mask or balm for 20% off if you only want one)!

Satin Lips Set: $14.40 (regularly $18)
Satin Lips Mask (step 1): $8 (regularly $10)
Satin Lips Balm (step 2): $8 (regularly $10)

Send me a text or e-mail (, comment on this blog, or place an order directly on my site (!  (The 20% discount will not be visible on the site, but worry not!  If you register as a customer on my website, I personally calculate your total and determine your total, even if you enter credit card information.)  ***IMPORTANT: Please do not check out as a GUEST on my website if you want the discount!  If you check out as a guest, you will only receive the usual 5% discount that I offer, not the 20% discount, because I don't have any control over guest checkout orders.***

Cheers to Tuesday, and to having satin lips!

Friday, August 21, 2015

Because I know you've been wondering...

...what we ended up eating for dinner last night.

But first, a long, rambling story.

I was able to go to the store with Lorelei and Ford after dropping Sydney off at K Prep Thursday morning.  We went to Trader Joe's, because I hadn't been there in a while, I was curious about their prices on certain items, and it was threatening rain (you park in a covered garage at our TJ's).  Our Trader Joe's is pretty small (I guess they all are?), and the cheese aisle especially stresses me out because it always seems the most crowded and it's not an easy feat fitting two buggies in the aisle at once, especially when your buggy has children swinging from it/trying to leap out of it.

Anyway, our Trader Joe's trip was made even more adventurous when the fire alarm went off and we had to evacuate the store (I will confess that no one, me included, felt any sense of urgency to exit the store when the alarm sounded; we all just stood around for a couple of minutes, certain there was no danger...not smart).  I felt less guilty about my lack of urgency when the fire truck rolled up 15 minutes later and two firemen sauntered (literally sauntered) out of the truck and into the building to investigate.  (It turns out that the fire alarm goes off on this particular city block at least twice a month.  It seems someone should investigate the reason.  In my humble opinion.)

Anyway, the coast was cleared, and we went back into the store to finish our shopping.

I bought the ingredients for the slow cooker chicken teriyaki.  It only needs four hours in the slow cooker, so I started the crockpot right before I picked up Sydney from K Prep and it was ready by 5 p.m.

I had some jasmine rice on hand (raise your hand if you love jasmine rice as much as I do), but I was lacking a vegetable for the kids.  I did some quick Pinterest-ing, and whipped up this veggie dip to go with a (raw) sliced up tomato and zucchini.  

Here are the dinner verdicts:

She cleaned her plate, as she usually does, because she is a rule follower by nature.  She liked, but didn't love, the chicken.  She loved the jasmine rice.  She always loves tomatoes.  She loved the zucchini and dip.

She's our most picky eater, although she'll eat more strange foods, like pickles, black olives, and plain Greek yogurt by the vat (Chet and I love plain Green yogurt as a substitute for sour cream, but simply cannot enjoy it as yogurt).  She did not care for the chicken, "WUVED" (loved) the jasmine rice, didn't care for the tomatoes, and tolerated the zucchini and dip.

Ford (Bubby)
He had a snack not too long before dinner, so I didn't expect him to eat much.  He ate all of the chicken I gave him, threw his rice on the floor, and ate all all of the veggie dip, with as many zucchini slices as it took to consume said dip.  I was surprised.  That just goes to show that you have to give kids the chance to try foods you don't think they'll like it, because they may love it you (or decide they like it after not liking it the first 20 times.)  Then they'll throw you for a loop and refuse to eat something they've always loved/every kid loves, like chicken nuggets.

Eats anything.

The girls were acting a little wild at dinner, so they couldn't have any dessert (except for fruit).  We bought apples at Trader Joe's, which they requested for "dessert."  Since Lorelei had almost no protein at dinner, I did "ants on a log," but with the apple instead of celery.  (You know what "ants on a log" are, right?  Usually celery spread with peanut butter, and raisins on top.)

All in all, dinner was a success.  And it isn't always, so I'm glad when it is.

Here are a few unrelated pictures:

The girls at the bus stop Monday morning, when we though Syd was going to be able to ride the bus:

She makes me so nervous when she climbs this at the park:

Lorelei asked (about the people playing basketball in the background), "Are they having a baseball party?"  Apparently we're doing nothing to teach our kids about sports:

Bubby makes a cute Plebe.  One of my friends who saw this picture said this would make a great Halloween costume.  DONE:

Happy Friday!  Have a great weekend!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Some Random Recipes for Your Thursday

I feel like everything I write about these days is random, so here's some more randomness for you on a random Thursday!

But first, Syd declared earlier this week that my "cooking implement" drawer needed to be organized (it did). So she did it:
Her rate is $150/hour; comment on this blog if you'd like to hire her. She currently has a 3-month waiting list.

I came across this cooking website recently when I was searching for easy dutch oven recipes.  I bought the ingredients for the Quinoa Enchilada Casserole, and it turned out GREAT.  It looked exactly like the picture when it came out of the oven, and we all loved it.  (It tasted great leftover too.)  We'll be having that again for dinner.

I also tried the Baked Parmesan Zucchini.  They turned out alright, but I probably won't make them again (I can't put my finger on why we didn't love them).  I have two zucchini left, and plan to use them for Zucchini Parmesan Crisps as soon as I buy some Panko.  I'll let you know how they turn out!

I tried this dish for breakfast this morning.  It was good-ish.  I think it could haven been better had I actually followed the directions.  I cooked the quinoa last night and stored it in the fridge (quinoa is good for 6-7 days in the refrigerator), but didn't want to use the exact measurements listed in the recipe to make the entire batch all at once, because I knew it wouldn't all get eaten today.  So I just put some quinoa in my bowl, drizzled on a little honey, splashed in some milk, and added Craisins and frozen blackberries on top (a weird combination, now that I've finished eating it).  (I skipped the brown sugar altogether because I was too lazy to get the stool so that I could reach the shelf where the brown sugar resides).  I think the dish would have been delicious had I NOT skipped the brown sugar and been a little more precise with measurements.

I'm trying the slow cooker spaghetti sauce and slow cooker chicken teriyaki next.

All that being said, I have no idea what we're having for dinner tonight.  What are YOU having?!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

A Weekend Recap and the Rest of the Texas Pictures

Before I forget: Yes, Sydney is starting Kindergarten this year.  In fact, this week she is at "K Prep," which means she goes to school every morning from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m., and is being observed and evaluated to make sure that she is paired with the teacher best for her.  (I think that's a politically correct way of actually meaning, "To make sure any kids who cause a ruckus when together are separated into different classes.")

It's also to help the kids get familiar with the Kindergarten section of the school and the cafeteria, so that they're not so shell shocked come the first day of school.  But, as I've mentioned before, Sydney is on the extreme end of the spectrum opposite of clinging to my leg in fear.  In her entire life she has never not happily walked into a brand new situation full of people she's never laid eyes on, ready to experience whatever is waiting for her.  I know, I'm lucky.  But I already know Lorelei is not like that, so I don't feel too guilty about having such luck.

Here are the girls standing in front of the school (great capture of the school building, right?) the Friday before K Prep (so, last Friday).  My friend had set up a tour with the Principal and asked if we wanted to join them, so we did.  Lorelei especially loved it, and is having to wrestle with feeling left out of Sydney's new experience.  I think she'll get over it once preschool starts up again (because I can't contain myself, I'm going to share with you, once again, how late school starts this year: preschool starts two days later than public school, on SEPTEMBER 10TH.  WE MIGHT AS WELL WAIT TO START SCHOOL UNTIL AFTER CHRISTMAS.).  (Not really though, I'll take September 10th over January 2016, even though the time between will be a mere blink of an eye.)
Sydney's darling dress is courtesy of her cousin Hailey (hand-me-down -- woo hoo!); Lorelei's dress is LulaRoe
Moving on.

I'll give you a quick synopsis of our weekend (I still owe you pictures from Annapolis the weekend before!), and then share the rest of the Texas pictures with you.  Saturday morning/early afternoon turned into an unplanned organizing/purging/car waxing (Chet, not me) session.  I feel like I can't even tell you exactly all that got organized/purged, because it was such a frenzy, but it was good.  I can tell you that we whipped the girls' room into shape though.  I feel like it had gotten out of hand, in that the play mess they made each day was too hard to clean up (I know, it sounds like I'm enabling them).  But really, we were storing way too many toys in their room, so they weren't really even sure what to play with.  When they did play with it, there were too many baskets and bins with certain toys going into certain places, that Sydney and I were the only ones who really knew where everything went (God forbid Chet and Lorelei be left in charge of clean up!).  So we greatly reduced the toys actually kept in their room (the rest went to the basement, which I will rotate back to their room periodically), and also came up with a storage solution for all of their little "things."  I can't stand "things," but once you have older-ish kids, you can't always control the "things" that make it into the house, and you certainly can't control which "things" they'll latch onto and freak out if it ever goes "missing" (read: trash).  So I emptied two identical under-the-bed storage containers (extra long containers, the biggest we had), and we separated Lorelei's "things" into one and Sydney's "things" into the other.  Now the room clean-up rule is very simple: if you don't know where something goes, it goes in your bin.  It's worked out great so far, and I think part of the reason is because the bins are clear, and because they are shallow, so there's only room for a single layer.  Does that make sense?

After all of the organizing and such, I ran quickly to the grocery store before it was time to take the kids to church for monthly babysitting.  Chet and I went out to eat, and it was lovely (the loveliest part is always that there are no interruptions).

Sunday morning we went to 11 a.m. church, then drove straight to my friend Cheryl's house for a Mary Kay BBQ.  She lives quite far west of us, so the kids napped on the way there, and had fun playing in Cheryl's children's playroom.  Some of our really good friends from the Academy/Chet's ship/Jacksonville also live in that area, and we coincidentally got a dinner invitation from them for that same evening.  We happily let them feed us too, and our kids love playing with their kids, so it was a full, fun Sunday.

Texas picture time!

If this doesn't look like typical outdoor summertime lunchtime fare, then I can't help you:

(I took Bubby to the doctor for his 18-month check up last week, and the doctor asked, "How much longer are we going to keep the pacificer?"  My response: "His sister was three when we made her give it up, so I think we have a while."  Once you have three kids, doctors and their opinions on certain matters become irrelevant to you.)

The girls excitedly greeting Papa John, who came into town for a day visit (I just realized I have no pictures of Papa John; I snapped pictures of he and the kids using his phone):

Uncle Grant visited too!

Bubby was too busy checking e-mail to pay attention to the television:

Chet/Daddy finally arrived!

Uncle Grant and Bubby fist bumping:

I started the possibly terrible tradition of celebrating half birthdays this past April (Lorelei's 3.5 birthday), so we celebrated Syd's half birthday while in Texas:

Her I-feel-sick-post-cupcake face:

Group shots:

For the record, this did not happen on the first plane ride when Bubby was sitting with me...I suppose Chet is a more comfortable "bed" than I am:

Happy Wednesday, everyone!