Summer Time Off

Pyraneese Mountains

My husband and I celebrated 20 years of marriage, last summer.  I think we both always envisioned taking time out of our busy schedules to commemorate that milestone in a big way.  Unfortunately (fortunately?) our daughter got married and we were still pretty much recovering from all the festivities when our anniversary date came around.  Not to mention we would need a little more time to set aside the money to do some serious anniversary reflecting.

I’m not really sure how it all happened so quickly but a trip to Spain came on the horizon.  Without a lot of negotiating, we jumped at the opportunity.  We planned for a few months and before we knew it, July was here and we were on a plane to Spain.  The timing was so we could be in country when my good friends were there.  They are Spanish and we wanted a local’s perspective on touring the country.  The added benefit was being fully immersed in their hospitality and friendship.

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Walking around the streets of Madrid

As much as I would love to go on and on about how fabulous our trip was, I probably better not.  Honestly, I think I would bore myself.  Well, maybe not.  I had such a good time.  Being away with the love of my life is exciting enough on its own but getting to travel, and then to travel to Europe, to a country by which I am so thoroughly captivated was  a total joy.

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Driving to the town of Cuenca, Es

The other aspect of getting to go on this trip at this point in our lives was being able to go without the kids.  We can hardly consider our teenage boys kids any more but I did hesitate to consider going on vacation without them.  They were very eager to be left home, alone.

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Arena in Valencia, Es

Saying they were home alone is a bit of an exaggeration since we have so many friends and family around to look after them.  I was happy for them to have this time to be responsible for themselves, and the dog.  After all, they will be men in very short order.

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Roman ruins in Barcelona, Es

Everything at home went so well.  I really don’t think they noticed we were gone.  Of course we filled the fridge, and freezer, as well as their wallets, before we left.  All three were pretty empty when we returned, of course.  It was nice to know they appreciated all the food since my husband and I went to a lot of trouble to cook some exceptionally delicious meals- shepherd’s pie, mac n cheese, and other teenage boy fav’s.

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Goudy style building in Barcelona, Es

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La Familia Sagrada, Barcelona, Es

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Hello world!

In anticipation of the Apple vs Google/Google vs Apple showdown, I have come to the conclusion I really need to leave my blogger account.  I have been less and less interested in google products for a while as they have become more complicated for me to access.  I made my decision when blogging from my google tablet (Motorola Xoom) with the android app proved complicated and un-fun.  It seems they don’t really support my tablet.

Many of the blogs I visit are on WordPress, so here I am.  So far, I like the layout options and the blogger dashboard.  I really need to do some posting to get a true feel for this domain though.   I also need to have my computer up and running, but that is another problem.  This is why I am looking forward to working with WordPress- to be able to blog on-the-go.

Saturday Home Spa Day

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As I write this, I am marinating in coconut oil.  The house is quiet and I don’t have to go anywhere this morning.  This is the perfect opportunity to spend a little extra TLC on myself.

Coconut oil is great for the hair and scalp.  Among other properties, coconut oil contains lauric acid which is an antimicrobial.  It is an effective moisturizer because of it’s high moisture retention ability, without all the chemicals or carrier products.  It’s just simple.

I mixed up some sugar, coconut oil and lime juice for an all over body scrub.  I got the recipe from Amy at New Nostalgia blog.  She also gives her instructions for a thorough, perfectly smooth shave.

Now to deal with my nail situation…

Just before wedding day, a few of us ladies met for mani-pedis.

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It’s been a few weeks now and I need to get these nails off.  I’ve never had gel nails before.  It was not my intention but I broke several nails so it seemed the best solution.  The manicurist tried to convince me to square the tops but I am rather partial to the rounded look.  I kind of thought they would get brittle and fall off, or something.  Surely I won’t have to go to the salon to have them removed.  I just don’t have the interest in paying the money.

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Now, paying for a pedicure is something I don’t mind.  Beth

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Anti Procrastination Tuesday Wedding Day Arrived

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So glad to be here for Anti-Procrastination Tuesday.  It is a pleasure to read everyone’s posts.

Some of you may already know the reason for my absence has been my daughter’s wedding.  Working full-time and homeschooling while planning and creating for my daughter’s big day meant something had to give.  That was computer/home office time.

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The wedding turned out spectacularly.  I can say that now because I have had a week, no, almost two weeks to sleep it off.

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That’s me, in green dress.  If you read a previous post about these big fluff balls, you know about all the work to make them.  My mom ended up making around 20, and they really turned out fabulous.  We didn’t need to decorate this place too much but a few spots were in order.  These pom lanterns, as I call them, are a nice balance to the beams and empty space.

Since it took us a good six months to prepare for this event, I am going to dissect our accomplishment into several posts.  I hope you will return to read more.  Stay tuned.

I also am in a rush to head out for work this morning…  Beth

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Anti-Procrastination Thank You Post

I am linking today’s post with New Nostalgia for Anti-Procrastination Tuesday.

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I think if I didn’t have this weekly blog party to keep me going, I would give up blogging altogether.  I’m so thankful I haven’t though because I enjoy reading all the great blog posts.  Thank you to all of you that take the time to share a little bit of your day and your world with us.

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My blog today is a big THANK YOU to Sherry at Blessings From Our Nest.  A few weeks ago, she had a blog give-away for her birthday.  She does a lot of sewing and needle crafts.  I am always amazed.  You should visit her blog and see what she has made lately.  Plus, she always has great links to other projects and give aways and such.  It’s a great blog.

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I won.  Thank you so much, Sherry.  I am always so glad to visit your blog.

Beth

Anti-Procrastination Spur of the moment cake pops

I am linking this post to New Nostalgia for
Anti-Procrastination Tuesday

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Easter snuck up on me this year.  Actually, Spring break came around really quickly.  It seems like we were just celebrating the birth of Jesus.  Then we blinked and it is Resurrection Sunday.  Gratefully, we celebrate our risen savior every day but Easter gives us a good reason to eat dinner together.

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These ladies, from left to right are my Aunt Carolyn, my Aunt Michelle, my aunt Sadie, and my mother, Martha.  In case you can’t tell, they are all sisters.  We are very fortunate to have them all with us today.  I wish I had remembered to take a picture of my grandpa, their father, too.  He was at the other end of the table.  We are very fortunate to have still with us as well.

This is the end of dinner.  When dessert time comes, I put all the desserts on the table with a couple pots of coffee, right in front of us.  Easy access.   My aunt Michelle has a tradition of making a wonder coconut cake, with 7-minute frosting.  This year she experimented by making it a jell-o poke cake.  Unfortunately, it started falling apart from it’s own weight.

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I didn’t get a picture of it in its fallen condition but here is the piece I was eating.

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Somehow we came to the conclusion now was a great time to mash the cake into cake pops.  The seven minute frosting was a perfect binder for the cake crumbs because there was a lot of frosting, and because it wasn’t as sweet as a traditional frosting used in cake pops.

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A lady that owns a local cake and candy supply store told me this great trick for keeping the dipping chocolate liquidy by  using an electric skillet.  I don’t own one but thought I would give the rice cooker a try.  It worked beautifully.  I didn’t even have to melt the chocolate in the microwave, which I hate doing because I can taste a difference in the flavor of the chocolate.

I had to scrounge around the house for chocolate since this was an unexpected project.  I used 70% cocoa chocolate.

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We were suppose to save my daughter a slice of the cake.  I hope she will be satisfied with a cake pop.

Daughter Review:  The cake tasted too strawberry/fruity and they were not dense enough.  Overall, she liked them though.  (The fruiti-ness was due to adding jell-o to the cake and yes, the cake ball was not very dense, which does not make a very good cake pop.)

Now to figure out how to display 500 cake pops at the wedding reception.

Anti-Procrastination Tuesday

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I just couldn’t resist adding a quick post to the Tuesday line-up.  I have been missing Anti-Procrastination Tuesday for a few weeks now.  Rest assured it is not because I have been procrastinating… hee, hee!

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On the contrary, we have been quite productive lately.  Really we have to, if we want this wedding to be the wedding we have envisioned.  (My daughter gets married in June.)

I have a list of three tasks I have accomplished over the weekend.

  1. We started wedding day crafts (What do you think about these pom-lanterns?)  Read the previous post to find out about wedding day crafting.
  2. I cleaned out my closet of all unwanted kids clothes and other items.  Whenever the kids have items they don’t want or can’t wear, I have them put them in my closet.  My closet is essentially a room, so it makes sense to put everything there.

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3.  The last thing I accomplished is sorting and organizing my shopping bag stash.  This may look like a lot of reusable bags, but I like to have them on hand so when I have stuff to give away, I have a bag handy.

 

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The three things I will be accomplishing this week are:

  • 1.  Making arrangements for dance lessons, for the wedding reception
  • 2.  Making a hair appointment to talk wedding day hair
  • 3.  Lastly, I have to buy my dress for the wedding
  • … 4.  Oh, I am going to take some time to have coffee with a friend, too.