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no "prickly little whispers" for me...

Friday, February 27

i stumbled across this the other day and totally LOVE it...

A girlfriend once told me, “Look at everything in your closet. If it's not an OH HECK YEAH, then it's an OH HECK NO, Sister!” I like to live my life like that. Life is short. Too short for surrounding yourself with so-so stuff that gets under your skin with a prickly little whisper, “Why did I settle for that thing?” Yep, you deserve to surround yourself with things that Go with colors that make you happy. Go with style you can call your own. Go boldly in your quest to live your dreams AND be brave enough to tell people right up front who you are. source

i that "prickly little whisper" go celebrate "you"'s to a "bold" and "brave" day for all of us!

what the "flip"????

so i'm researching purchasing the flip and i come across the option to design your own face...WHAT?! and so i upload an image i created using hof3 and BAM....the options are endless!! it's amazing fun....go check it out!! seriously.

here's some additional info straight from the site:

Flip Mino Camcorder with Personalized Design - Available only at Check out this unique Flip Mino design. The Flip Mino camcorder combines remarkable video quality in a pocket-sized package. Now personalizable - create yours


Thursday, February 26

looking for something nutricious AND tasty for the kids - try these. not difficult to make at all...

i've made them twice now and they are certainly a "hit". it feels so satisfying to be able to make healthly meals for your family and have them actually "LOVE" the results. try'em. you'll love'em! (side note - i'm not a big fan of mustard but j and ema seem to really like the homemade honey-mustard sauce...i don't love it at all - it's very strong/spicy - but they gobble it up). here's the full recipe:


my version..."in the "HOUSE"...of Three

Wednesday, February 25

so here's MY rendition of the freebies from house of three. changed up the colors, added some edging from the digital warehouse at Hof3 plus my own text...and voila! now...i'm working on the background - i can't get it to post quite right. i need to go back & read over the instructions again...but here's what it's supposed to look like:
must tell you i've been having so much fun playing around with all of the cool design elements. i learn something new every time i "practice". this is such my passion!!
i was able to eat a little bit of "real" dinner lastnight - instead of gingerale and saltine crackers for the past 2 days. still not quite right. thinking i might have had bad food from chili's on saturday night? that's my guess anyway.
gotta get going...gotta finish up one of the secret projects i mentioned - it's GOT to be done today. can't wait to share it! have a wonderful wednesday!!

freebie in the "House"... of Three

Tuesday, February 24 friend heidi has started on another adventure with rhonna farrer and janet hopkins - they call themselves "House of 3" - i'm sure you've noticed the blinkie i've had on my site. it's been so fun to watch heidi over the years do what she absolutely is passionate about. anyway - if you haven't gone over to check out the site, you should. and this freebie was just posted on rhonna's site...if you blog you won't want to miss it. if you scrapbook - whether it be hybrid or digital - they've got lots of fun things to choose from! take a look @ the snapshots from rhonna's blog , heidi's & janet's too. see how they've incorporated the freebie into their own sites & made it their own. click here for the free goods (and by the way...i'm playing w/the download right now)!

down for the count?? not so much...

i've been out of sorts for the past day & 1/2...stomach flu of some sort!? feeling somewhat better today and i'm determined to get you caught up on the events from the weekend!

first things first - clara participated in solo/ensemble for band over the weekend. yes, my little girl is a "band geek". she's such a beautiful one too! i couldn't be more proud of her. this is her 2nd year playing the french horn and she was also asked to play the melaphone this year. she plays in concert band as well as jazz band. anyway, thursday of this past week, she competed with jazz band and as a team, they won all "superiors" - which is the highest achievement possible. (and they were the only middle school to do that!) To top it off, she then performed a duet and then a solo performance for a band competition the following evening - again, earning "superiors" in both! she's so musically's a picture j took w/his cell phone during her duet friday p.m. we then went out to olive garden afterwards to celebrate - ella was not too happy the entire time - doesn't make for an enjoyable dinner.
secondly - the girls decided, (all on their own), to start a garden. they spent just about the entire weekend tilling and preparing the area. they worked soooo hard. i wish i could've been out there with them but it's too difficult with the baby. they even got help from the neighbor kids: casey, logan and gaylon. i'll have to load pictures later - the camera battery is dead.

in the midst of all of this, uncle mike cooley stopped by. actually, he came by in the a.m. to help j with some schenck displays - i had to take his picture w/ella and show him some love on the blog...he's been such a wonderful uncle to ella...spoiling her with outfits, a swing, a bouncy seat and a whole host a baby "beanies". he ended up treating us all to dinner @ chili's saturday evening. we love ya mike!! you're awesome! thank you! (again, ella not too keen on eating out).
besides all of that, i've been working on a couple of "secret projects"...once i'm back to 100%, i'll fill you in... right now, i've got to shoot an email to curtis & valerie to let them know i can't do lunch with them today - don't think my stomach is quite ready for me to be up & running around just yet - i'm sorry guys - we'll reschedule...i promise!

i'm soooo doing this...

Friday, February 20

...and you should too! these are photos taken by tara whitney and arranged in her home. this is sooo inspiring! she's awesome and is so talented! i'm so gonna do this with my own photos!!

she's 3 months old...already?

i promised a "bullet list" of milestones/baby achievements from our super star...miss ella scarlet. she turned 3 months old on valentine's day...
  • rolling over from stomach to back since 6 weeks old. (what!!??)

  • blowing raspberries - sometimes so much so she's got a bubble beard & moustache

  • she's talking outloud now and occassionally scares herself with how loud she squeals

  • she's happiest in the a.m. - smiling from ear to ear and just ready to face the day

  • naps about 20 minutes at a time. sleeps maybe...a total of 2 hours during the day?? huh?

  • in lieu of the naps, she goes to bed around 9:30p.m. and awakes between 7:30-8a.m. (what?!)

  • pulls blanket near her face to cover eyes when trying to fall asleep

  • absolutely LOVES her baths..which we take full advantage of for necessary distractions.

  • loves when we sing to her - i believe she's definitely partial to music (yes!)

  • sits quietly through her first baby einstein video and cries on cue when it's over

  • she's teeny tiny still - probably up to 12 pounds now

  • everyone stops us to comment on how beautiful, cute or petite she is. (i've even been asked if she's a real baby or a doll)??? hello??

  • she's got looooongggg eyelashes...

  • still not certain on eyecolor - perhaps a "hazel"??

and so here's the little munchkin...another one from her 3 month photoshoot the other day...

and how about one more....

have a fabulous friday everyone!

weekend recap

Tuesday, February 17

Friday night, Ema had a "daddy/daughter" night with her dad and although I'm still working on the pictures because the lighting was horrible, here's at least one just to show how much she's growing up. (she'll be 10 in March).

Anyway, she enjoyed a fabulous Italian dinner with her dad in Mt. Dora @ Cafe Atture and then they walked over to a little ice cream shop for some dessert. Em was decked out in some jeans with fashionable sandals, an ivory long sleeve shirt with a brown polka dot tank over the top - along with a diva-style ivory cardigan-type sweater,(compliments of Grandma K), since it was a bit chilly. We flat ironed her hair, put in hot curlers, (which obviously didn't hold too well) and then I added a bit of whimsy with a rhinestone hairclip. She looked beautiful and felt incredibly overdressed....Em is not a "girly girl" by any stretch of the imagination. She had a wonderful time with her dad, whom she adores with all of her heart & soul. love her!!

Saturday, Valentine's Day, was rather uneventful. I wouldn't say meeting with our accountant to get our taxes ready for filing was the least bit romantic. J, Ella and I stopped @ Mimi's cafe on the way home for an early 5p.m. dinner with the rest of the early birds. We also made a spontaneous stop off at Crane's Roost to walk 2 laps around the lake w/J's friend Matt. Couldn't wait to get home and fall asleep.

The weekend was quite ordinary but productive with grocery shopping and a stop at Babies R Us for wipes and diapers. Yippy! Here's to a terrific Tuesday!

busy, beautiful day ahead...

Friday, February 13

I have 45 min. to get ready for the day before Ella wakes up for another feeding. I've got some errands to run and I've got to be up at Ema's school @ 2p.m. and then Clara's school @ 3:15p.m. A beautiful busy day ahead.

Got my hair done last always takes a couple of days for me to "relax" into it. I always go in wanting something different and then come out with the exact same thing. There was an older woman stylist in there last p.m. - thin, ripped jeans, cool shirt, blonde short-stacked bob with a flash of pink in the front for some was waaayyy cute. I couldn't do it - I thought about it - for about 3 seconds...okay, maybe 5. Even Robie, my stylist of the last 15 years raised his eyebrows at me with concern...

Anyway - some quick photos of Ella from this a.m. (played around with ps a little bit). I'll do an update of milestones in the next day or so - bullet format. For now I'll just tell you she's starting to suck her bottom lip...hence the drool in some of the pics. Enjoy - have a FANTASTIC Friday!

i'm officially out....

Thursday, February 12

out of vegenaise...dang it! this stuff is sooo delicious. if you've never tried it you should. it's awesome! even j likes it. (there are other versions of vegenaise out there that are down right don't be fooled). THIS is the yummiest. i was surprised it's not mentioned in the "eat clean" book...listen to these ingredients:

grapeseed oil, filtered water, brown rice syrup, apple cider vinegar, soy protein, sea salt, mustard flour and lemon juice concentrate. (hey! there's nothing in there you can't pronounce...awesome!) unfortunately, it's rather expensive, so that's why i'm so sad it's gone.
so there you go...a quick peek into my little world of simple things i love. to clean the kitchen before my mom comes over to watch the baby while i go and get my hair cut! yea!! (i'm patting myself on the back today because i've been able to get a couple of things done. like preparing dinner so that my mom & jay don't have to worry about it since i won't be home until 7-ish. all they have to do is throw the brown rice pasta in boiling water to cook and serve themselves up a delicious helping of "eat clean" spaghetti sauce along with a serving of a colorful spinach salad - delish. don't worry...i took care of ella too. i was up @ 4a.m. to pump so she won't be without dinner @ 5p.m. either....hoping 3 bottles will suffice??) happy thursday to all!

just not in my dna

Wednesday, February 11

why is it that everything seems to be hectic and crazy in my life.? is it really that i'm all that unorganized.? i feel like i try to plan and schedule things appropriately. is it that i'm not prioritizing? there are some people out there - we all know who they are - that seem to plan their know, with goals of accomplishing things. and you know what? they get it all done...every single bit of it and then squeeze in something unexpected just because. & then there is me...i'm on the opposite end of the spectrum. i make lists. in fact, i've been told i LOVE to make lists. lists are important. they are reminders to me of what needs to be done - because obviously i need to be reminded. i think it's because i am so much like my daughter ema...i am easily distracted. distracted by the things in life that are REALLY important. you know...making someone's favorite cookies @ the last minute because i suddenly felt the urge to brighten their day. or sitting down and doing something creative instead of vacuuming because you know what...vacuuming will always need to be done. (along with laundry, dishes, chores, etc.). don't get me wrong. i believe an organized home leads to a much more happy family, etc. i just don't think it's in my dna to sacrifice creativity for sensibility. yes, that's an admission perhaps? hopefully not one i'll regret - it's who i am. plain & simple. (well maybe not REALLY plain & simple, perhaps more like creative &'s who i am. and as in life, i cannot control everything. i am better off accepting who i am and embracing it. i need to stop swimming against the current - in all phases of my life. i will only tire myself out and miss all the beautiful things floating by. so all of you out there who may feel "less than" or "guilty" for what you consider to be a character flaw of some know what? it's who you are. it's who i am. it's who we are. it's us. period. now go out there and do the backstroke. (or doggy paddle or maybe just float for a bit)?? *big wink and a smile*

to love deeply

clara found this quote last p.m. & decided to give each of us a copy - i added my touch to it and voila...i'm sharing it with you...have a "lovely" day. (you know i'm going to play out this whole "valentine's/love" theme until the end of just go along with me).

busy, fcat, something new & exciting...

Tuesday, February 10

let's talk "busy" first...

it's been a lot of hustle & bustle around here...let's see, where should i start? how about from saturday. (keep in mind everything is all about "perfect timing" when you are nursing a baby...i know some of you out there know exactly what i'm talking about).
saturday i took clara and ema & ella, (along with 3 friends), to see the movie "hotel for dogs". the kids loved it. i summed saturday up pretty quickly but i must tell you i left the house at 10:15a.m. and did not return home until 7p.m. (it was an all-day affair: taking em to swim, picking friends up, stopping by the house, getting lunch, the movie, stuck in traffic for 40 min. due to an accident with 6 kids in the car and 1 of them being a hungry baby, meeting parents for p/u, sitting in the 7-11 parking lot w/ 5 kids to do a power feed with the baby before the next drop off. etc....pure craziness but so worth it to make things happen for your kids.)

sunday was breakfast with deb and wayne and a small photoshoot with them and the baby. i'm still going through some of the pics but here are a few...

monday, all-day running, health food store, publix, seminole towne mall and back to publix. left the house @ 10:20a.m. and did not return until 3:45pm. i will not go into details because it would bore you and frankly it's embarrassing. (side note...ella, unexpectedly, was requiring more frequent feedings - not a good mix when you are on a mission). big smile. anyway, so i got home, fixed cranberry chicken, mashed potatoes, & green beans for j's mom and dad. ** i must add that ema and her friend daniel helped snap the beans so all i had to do was clean and steam them...yummy. again, i was pushed for time because ella would need to be fed @ 5pm and dinner had to be in the oven by 5pm. potatoes had to be peeled and cooked and ready for mashing following the's all about timing. i seriously don't think anyone gets it unless you are a mom with multiple children and have attempted nursing. sometimes it works like magic and other times it's nothing but chaos.

we finished the evening with family night - discussing our RAK's we are going to do for one another this week - incorporating the hearts i made on friday. for refreshments we had some sliced strawberries with a small bit of whipped cream and then i baked some molasses crinkles (one of our family favorites...thanks to grandma ambs)...@ the request of j's mom. they are flying back home to illinois today so it was nice to have dinner with them on their last night.

and now for fcat...

tuesday - this morning my girls are enduring the "fcat writes" portion of the state assessment testing...along with all other florida students. they are encouraged to eat a good breakfast the morning of and of course get a good night's sleep the night prior. so...this morning i prepared pancakes and bacon. (i would've done eggs but i was out and therefore couldn't use an egg in the pancakes and therefore the combination of me using white wheat instead of regular flour and no egg...well, let's just say it didn't go over too well with the kids). clara didn't even eat the bacon?? what's up with that? but anyway, i had to laugh because my friend heidi posted about pancakes and the griddle she just recently got. i have the same exact one! (although, unlike heidi, i don't have to have a huge transformer to plug mine into - but that also means i'm not living in japan either...craziness). i saw the cuisinart griddle on an infomercial and requested it for my birthday...and BAM! my mom & rick surprised me with it. so here's the wholesome, eggless pancakes from fcat breakfast today:

and then finally...."something new & exciting:

my aunt cindy has helped to inspire me to take things to the "next level" with my health. since having the baby i've been ready to get back to a regular exercise routine and get rid of these excess pounds/inches once and for all. she's a certified personal trainer and has graciously agreed to put me on an exercise regimen, albeit through emails since she lives in utah and i'm all the way here in florida. she recommended this book and i wanted to share it with you. for those of you who know me, over the years i've really tried to cook and eat healthy with my family. i'm not saying i'm an expert and that i've been hardcore committed either. (hence, the occassional bouts with chocolate and consuming large amounts of peanut butter in one sitting here and there. hey...the chocolate thing can get out of control but over the last couple of years my focus has been on "dark chocolate"...which has some health benefits. but i will say that i'm a huge fan of millet bread, almond butter, xylitol, vegenaise (with grapeseed oil), flavored stevia & van's wheat-free waffles. i've even acquired a taste for pure maple syrup...something i didn't use to enjoy. i'm super excited about this book because it incorporates a lot of things i've learned over the years...introduces me to some new things and puts them all together - if that makes sense? the book has beautiful photography in's easy to follow and i got the newest version that focuses on families/kids too. i recommend getting the original one first because it outlines a 2 week eating plan to get you started on eating clean. so i spent a part of my day picking up items i need to incorporate in my eating protein, ground flaxseed, bee pollen, steel cut oats, agave nectar & some puffed millet.

j is skeptical because of the grocery budget...but i asked for 2 weeks to prove my commitment level and show results. besides, the book suggests "eating clean" is actually less-expensive. so here's the bkfst i had this a.m....steel cut oats with 1/2 cup of assorted berries. (i added a little agave nectar and i should've had some egg whites scrambled in addition to this...but i'm out of eggs...remember)?

pretty tasty...the texture was nice. i enjoyed it much more than just regular old-fashioned oats. cindy says steel cut oats are more concentrated. but anyway...enough rambling for today. i wanted to get you caught up on things. em and i are still consistenly doing the fitness routine cindy has outlined for us. i'll keep you posted.

here's to a healthy, happy, less busy and equally exciting tuesday!!

i'm in love...

Friday, February 6

i'm in love with these...yes...this is how i spent most of my day...creating these fabulous little hearts for each member of our family - except for ella. (these actually have a purpose and she's too little to participate yet - i should go ahead and make her one anyway...i'm all out of time today though).

anyway - i made these for our upcoming family night. we will be spending next week doing little acts of service for one another and we are to leave our little heart behind so the person knows who did the kind deed. i was going to make it more of an anonymous thing, however, i want to emphasize being "appreciative" as each of us finds a heart left behind by someone who did something nice for us, we have to find the person and return their heart...along with a " heartfelt thank you". pretty cute, heh? enjoy!!

beautiful surprise

Wednesday, February 4 i'm having a pretty average day yesterday. you know the kind...wake up, jump roping and situps with ema, getting kids off to school, feeding the baby, the heart project, feeding the baby, the art project, feeding the baby, a little bit of eating sprinkled in between, feeding the baby, a couple of phone calls, feeding the baby and then BAM!!! the door bell rings. the ups man has just delivered a very unexpected package from - the packaging alone was inspiring...greens and browns and attention to detail throughout.

i open them up to reveal a beautiful bouquet of gerbera daisies in my favorite from my in-laws!. a short lovely note attached reading, " dear jason and jessica...hope these flowers brighten your day. we look forward to seeing you soon." ("soon" defined as flying in yesterday evening for a one week stay here in florida). how sweet. how inspiring because of course, i had to get my camera out and take some pics of them. what an unexpected beautiful surprise. i love packages. i love flowers. (thanks wayne and deb...) enjoy!!

collecting stardust (after)

Tuesday, February 3

okay - so here's the after version of the drawing i started a few days ago. it feels "rusty" to me. i feel like i haven't been able to "create" in forever. now i'm ironing out the kinks from being stagnant...oh's satisfying to get something done...

paperclay (after)

so here's the follow-up project for the paperclay i posted a few days ago. we sat down as a family last night and discussed "one-word" descriptions/definitions of love. we each had to come up with atleast 3. then everyone got a wad of the paperclay & we all had to make 3 hearts each. we let them dry overnite & today i painted, glittered & ribboned the hearts j & i made. (yes..j even took part in getting creative with the clay. of course his competitiveness kicked in...the next thing i knew he was adding texture/design to his - which i was rather impressed with..) i was so enjoying getting out the paints this a.m. - i was so tempted to finish the girls' but i knew they would've been upset w/me. we will be hanging them on an iron tree i have - voila...a sentimental part of our valentine's holiday...something we can use every year too! when the girls have finished theirs, i'll be sure to post pics. i think they're oh so cute and were a simple, fun thing to make.
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