Monday, July 14, 2014

Hands down the best nail polish dryer

Sun, heat, pool water, and painting is not the recipe for good looking fingernails. The short story is that the weekend was hard on my nails which led me to think back to the last time they were looking their best. 

Unfortunately, I don't have another trip to the spa lined up anytime soon but I remembered that this awesome product can be bought and make your home nail session a little more like the real deal.

This is CND's SolarSpeed Spray which is a nutrient and polish dryer spray. My sister and I loved the almond scent and the way it made our skin feel. It was so good that we snuck sprays on our feet while waiting for our Mom and Aunt's manicures to end. Believe me, you'd do it too. 

*CND does not know who I am - I'm just sharing awesome products!

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Fancy Tea Party Hosting 101

I've been planning a tea party for Vaughn in my head for years now. Our little white table, outside under the trees, glass domes covering treats, vintage chandelier hanging above, no pesky bugs, and the perfect day, warm and sunny but not too hot. You know, no big deal.

An opportunity finally presented itself in the form of two of Vaughn's buddies were moving away, and this seemed like the perfect way to send these sweet little sisters off. The end result was a bit different than what I had pictured in my head but it turned out just as great. I looked to Vaughn for the majority of the decisions and she had many tips for what fancy tea parties must have, which lucky for you, I'll share her wisdom.

"A fancy tea party must have name cards" 
(I wrote the girls names on pieces of paper and glued them to larger pink pieces of paper. Tip: calligraphy can be "faked" by making the down stroke thicker than the others.)

"A fancy tea party must have cucumber sandwiches"
(Use cookie cutters for this. Spread a little cream cheese or Boursin cheese onto the bread and slap a cucumber in between. It's unanimous, PB&J's are just as glamorous too.)

"A fancy tea party must have a tablecloth"
(Or at least a runner. Ours is actually wrapping paper found in the sale basket at a craft store which was perfect because we tossed it in the recycling bin when finished.)

"A fancy tea party must have cute napkins and flowers"
(Luck played a big part here as I had already had these little vintage lunch napkins from my mother-in-law. As for the flowers, Vaughn picked them out at Trader Joe's, aka the cheapest place to get fresh flowers.)

"A fancy tea party must have tea or pretend tea if you don't like real tea"
(Our "tea" was Trader Joe's sparkling pink lemonade.)

"A fancy tea party must have treats"
(Again, Trader Joe's is perfect for this as they have a big selection of little cookies and treats that won't break the bank. We picked meringues, lemon wafer cookies, and Speculoos cookies, which if you haven't tried you should because they're the best.)

We also made little fruit kabobs. (Using a big brother to help taste test is optional.)

"A fancy tea party must have fancy hats"
(Or in our case, fancy sun visors. Before sitting down for tea the little ladies decorated the visors with glitter flower stickers and I hot glued feathers where they wanted them.)

I really wanted to drag the table outside but it was just too hot. We went with the next best thing, which was moving the table from the carpeted office down the hall onto hardwood floors because with each life a little tea must fall. 

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Take off my left shoe? My foot!

I cannot believe that professionals are writing stories with tips and products are being made to help people remember that they have a child in the back seat of the car. If you cannot remember on your own that your child is in the car than you should not be driving at all.  

Take your left shoe off and put it in the backseat so that when you reach your destination you remember to get it (and your child) from the back. Seriously? If people cannot remember to take their kids out of the back seat, will they remember to take a shoe off before hopping in the front seat? Put your purse back there? Duct tape a rubber band that leads from the inside front door to the inside of the back door? I'm sure someone is even working on an App. You know people would never forget their phone in a hot car!

The stories about infants and pets left in hot cars are absolutely heartbreaking and I know that accidents do happen but I believe it is time for people to check their priorities. 

Monday, July 07, 2014

Back from the Beach

Vaughnie and Clyde at it again.

If you go to the beach with boys who wear swimsuits with pockets that means you'll have sand forever in your luggage and seashells in your washing machine.  

We are back from vacation and I'll post about it when I am done shaking sand out of everything and by that I mean I'll really be finishing my hippie meditation book that's due back at the library tomorrow. Yes, I still use the library and no, I can't renew it because it's on hold which means someone is waiting on me. 

I'll leave you with this gem of a picture. Vaughn chose to wear a sweater amidst the summer heat because of the no-see-ums that were out in full force. (She attracts anything that bites which swells to a giant welt and ends up in a scab because of the itching. Can you be allergic to mosquito's and such?) She always chooses to wear cardigans that way - with the first button buttoned - and ends up looking like a cross between an old lady and a 50's poodle skirt girl. I'll also tell you that Vance chose to wear that same shirt again later on with a pair of neon green shorts and socks and he looked like a giant highlighter. I love how ridiculous they are. 

Friday, June 27, 2014

Make Returns Easier with this Tip

Time for another common sense tip! This dawned on me one day 
when I was getting a return ready to send back. I was tired of peeling the original shipping labels off, piece by piece, and then it occurred to me...just turn it inside out, silly!

After turning the bag inside out, seal it with packing tape and adhere the label on it just like always. Your fingernails and patience will thank you!

Question of the day: What's the last thing you returned? Mine was a swimsuit for Vaughn that didn't fit. Your turn!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

The Past 3 Weeks

Yesterday I brought my laptop outside so that I could stream music to the wireless speakers for the listening enjoyment of Vaughn and her friend. One hasn't lived until you have used sidewalk chalk to make magical dance floors while listening to the Disney channel on Pandora. My point? That was the first time I've used my computer in awhile. 

It has been crazy here lately. Up early, busy throughout the day, and then crawling into bed past our usual bedtimes. Here's a bit of what our summer has been like so far.

The deer keep eating our birdseed. It's a battle.

 Baseball with awesome sunsets.

Baseball in the rain.

Baseball in the heat which calls for braids so that hair gets out of your face.

Third baseball camp in three weeks. This week featured two Cardinal players. 

Lacrosse camp at night.

 The kids planned a night of activities. Vaughn made this "Party Centrel" sign. Cutest thing ever. 

More sunsets.

Last but not least, donuts. (or doughnuts?) This was the first time that we've ever taken the kids to get them. 

It's been a great summer so far. Hope yours is going well too!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Grill This: My Favorite Bean Burger

Let's talk beans. And rice. 
(Which always reminds me of "Frank and Beans! Frank and Beans!" from There's Something About Mary.) Ahem, let's turn this back into a mature, adult conversation.

It's grilling season here and I am always looking for an alternative for myself when the rest of my family wants burgers. I usually go the grilled portabello mushroom route but it's nice to have options.  

I picked up a package of Hilary's black rice burgers on a whim and honestly did not have high hopes for them. I mean, look at that picture on the package. Even when cooked they're not pretty. 

But lo and behold these are so good! Seriously, they're awesome! Sometimes bean burgers have a weird taste but not these. A mixture of quinoa and brown rice bind everything together and they hold together perfectly on the grill. 

Throw a few slices of avocado on top and your set! 

Anyone else have any meat free favorites for the grill?
Have a great weekend and a Happy Father's Day to all those Daddy's out there! 

*NOT a paid advertisement. Just sharing awesome stuff with you*