Tag Archives: summer


Hi friends!

Again, so sorry I haven’t checked in for much of this week. Just taking care of business, I guess…sometimes the days can become monotonous, but then again the routine and structure is what I feel works best.

Always trying to find the {perfect} balance between homework, play dates, activities, chores, down time, etc.

Last night I went and signed up both kiddos for AYSO. This will be our first year and I am very excited about it. Holden was placed on a wait list because for his age group there aren’t enough coaches. I was a little bummed because he is the one that I most wanted to get signed up! Elliott does dance and has CCD so adding soccer is a little bit of a stretch, but we are more than willing to make it work. I was told that if I volunteered as a coach, Holden would automatically have a place on a team. I sort of laughed because I have not played a game of soccer in my life…maybe in PE back in the day, but soccer was not one of the sports I participated in as a kid. I think it is a fantastic sport and I am so thrilled that both Elliott and Holden are equally excited about it. After Elliott’s evaluation last night, the guy mentioned that all I would have to do to become a coach is read a book or something and become certified and run a 1 hour a week practice, blah, blah, blah. I was thinking my services would be more along the line of hair bow making or fancy post-game snack assembling, but I drove off with a little voice in the telling me, “Maybe you SHOULD be a coach”.

Am I crazy?

I will keep it on the back burner, but in the meantime I will pray that a more qualified soul will come forth and volunteer to coach another BU6 team.


Speaking of cartwheels, this week has also be sprinkled with a little bit of summer agenda drawing up ~ scheduling weekly camps for Holden and coordinating gymnastic day camps for Elliott. For me, I try to have them be at an activity AT THE SAME TIME so that I can maintain my summer sanity and have a little alone time. Sometimes I feel guilty about this, but then I overhear a mama {raising her voice} at her kids in Target and I realize that {I am not the only one}…always a welcome feeling when it comes to parenting.

I also completed our 2012 Summer To-Do List that I will be sharing here real soon. We have done this the past two years and have really enjoyed it. You can read about that here and here.


Anywhoo….just cartwheeling through our weeks making sure we don’t forget anything! Somedays I feel like there is so much to remember and I worry that something will slip by…anyone else feel like that?

This weekend I look forward to a 3-generation pedicure, a formal Mother’s Day tea that Jay so sweetly arranged and taking a wee break to sit back and enjoy the beauty of motherhood.

What about you? What are you up to?



I’ve been aware of cake balls/cake pops for awhile now. My friend, Alisah, in Texas told me about cake balls a couple years ago…I had to literally talk myself out of making them. I would say I did pretty well…

However, making cake pops {just cake balls on a stick} was on our Summer 2011 To-do List and so that is what we did over the weekend!

I had my first cake pop a couple months ago and was underwhelmed. The inside was WAY to gooey for how I imagined cake pops to be. I wanted to make sure and strike the perfect balance between cake and frosting without them being too gooey or, for that matter, too dry and crumbly. I’d seen several recipes, but Wendy’s tutorial was the best! Humor is a must when you’re making these things….

I decided to make Lemon Lime Cake Pops

{the perfect combination of sweet & tart!}

I started with this:

{just prepare and bake cake as directed on box. the only changes I made were adding the zest of one lime to the mix and using the juice of one lime as part of the water measurement. I baked in a 9X13 pan, let cool and then crumbled into a large bowl}

Then I added some of this:

{Duncan Hines has a lemon frosting but I thought that may be a little too much so I decided on classic white. I also added a little more fresh lime zest to the crumbled up cake before mixing in the frosting. I used about 3/4 of container [this was the smaller size, NOT the taller one]. Just stir with a spoon and the mixture will come together and you will see that it becomes “rollable”}

Stick it into the fridge for about 30 minutes before rolling into balls.

I used this to help with the sizing:

{Once I scooped out the cake mixture and dropped it on some parchment paper, I hand rolled into smooth balls and placed them back onto the parchment paper and back into the fridge for about 30 more minutes while I got the coating ready}

Take a bag of these:

{You have to be REALLY careful when heating these in the micro…I screwed up the first bag! 30 seconds on half power, stir, 15 seconds on 50% power, stir, and repeat in 15 second [50% power] intervals until smooth. Dip your lollipop stick into just a bit of white chocolate and insert into cake ball. The chocolate acts as a glue. You now have a naked cake pop! Once you have all the sticks inserted, use a spoon to coat the pops with the chocolate. This is the time consuming part. For some reason these Hershey chips were not as runny as I would have liked them to be…I thought I was going to be able to dip the pops into the chocolate and get a nice smooth coating…not so, but still didn’t look too bad. Next time I’ll use Wilton candy melts…I think they melt down a little smoother. Place your newly dressed pops onto parchment paper and douse with sanding sugar, jimmies, or sprinkles. You’re done!}

There was one point in this process when I swore I would never make these again, but once I popped one in my mouth, that all changed. I will definitely be passing plates of these out whenever I do make them because they are way too dangerous to have in the house.

Looking forward to creating different combinations for Halloween, Fall, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Easter, etc.

How about a spice cake mix, cream cheese frosting and butterscotch chip coating? Wonder if those would melt down nicely.

Or chocolate cake mix, chocolate frosting and Reese’s peanut butter chips?

Strawberry cake, cream cheese frosting and white chocolate coating for a girly baby shower or Valentine’s Day?

Cake batter cake pops with yellow cake, rainbow sprinkles mixed in with the frosting then coated in yellow candy melts and showered with more rainbow sprinkles?

The cake pop possibilities are endless…….

Happy Tuesday!

Linking up over at Lady Behind The Curtain

Linking up a day early over at Sugar and Dots.


The developer of Valencia, Newhall Land, has deemed it {Awesometown}. I think it’s pretty catchy marketing.

“Just another day in…AWESOMETOWN”!

Love it.

Anywhoo, I wanted to share 10 things that made my/our weekend awesome…

1. I found these Miss Trish flops for $6.24 at Target:

Love the pineapple bling…I may have a girl crush on Trish Carroll ~ hoping she teams up with Target again next summer! Here is a fun article featuring the woman behind the fabulous bejeweled sandals.

2. Watched 127 Hours.

{having your arm trapped under an 800 pound boulder for over 5 days would NOT be awesome, however. w-o-w!}

3. Visited The Getty Villa in Malibu

It’s amazing to me that both The Getty Center and The Getty Villa are FREE to the public {nominal parking fees apply}. It’s difficult to get the full effect of these two places when bringing the kids but we still love to go and stroll around the gardens and pack a picnic. The Getty Villa had crafts which the kids loved…I even made a cithara:

You can see the Pacific Ocean through the Roman-inspired gardens…

{on elliott ~ my vintage baby dress and miss trish sandals from target}

4. Lunch at Duke’s in Malibu

5. This for dinner Saturday night

6. Finally got my sander

{look out old furniture!}

7. Made cake pops

{post coming soon!}

8. Had this for dinner Sunday

{grilled pork tenderloin ~ marinate in 4 tablespoons soy sauce, 2 teaspoons vegetable oil, 3 teaspoons grated fresh ginger, 1 teaspoon minced garlic, 4 tablespoons pineapple juice and 1 teaspoon rice vinegar for at least 30 minutes, turning over halfway. baste with marinade while grilling. [from sprouts farmer’s market free mag]}

9. Did Day 6 of Jillian

{but don’t tell her about the cake pops!}

10. Had some rain

{a nice surprise in the middle of summer!}

That was our weekend in and around Awesometown.

How was yours?

Check This

I thought it’d be fun to write out our summer list, display it and check off as we go. I figured if it were at eye level in a major traffic area, we’d be reminded of all the fun things we have planned for the upcoming hot months and be more likely to check them off quicker.

I just used the 8X10 frame from Elliott’s party that I hot glued mini rosettes onto and some Crayola Window Markers…


We did {pancakes & pajamas} today, but by ourselves….can’t cross that one off just yet.

Better get busy!


Dance is wrapping up for summer, too, and I wanted to make a little {thank you} goody for Elliott’s dance teacher.

Check this out…

{loving this simple gift idea!}

1. Recycled TJ’s root beer carrier

2. Plain brown mailing paper {99¢ store}

3. Ribbon roll {Target dollar section}

4. Crinkle Shred {Target ~ $1.99…only used a tiny bit}

5. Seattle’s Best Coffee Iced Mocha {On sale for $1.25 at Pavillions, but I had a free coupon}

6. Six aqua straws {from our personal stash} tied with twine

7. Coconut M&Ms {49¢}

8. Chewy Tropical Lemonheads mini-packs {99¢ store}

{back….not as cute as the front!}

9. Martinelli’s Sparkling Watermelon Lemonade {79¢ at the 99¢ store?!?}

10. Watermelon note cards {Target dollar section}

11. Fun summer nail polish {Dollar Tree}

12. Pink Lemonade Lip Smacker {99¢ store}

I already had a little watermelon gift card and some leftover clothespins. I just cut a strip of the brown paper and glued it around the caddy. Then, on the front, covered the edges with a little ribbon and more Elmer’s!

Super simple.

I think it turned out pretty cute for under 10 bucks…plus I now have the supplies to make many more of these cuties.

Yay…it’s Friday!

Snail’s Pace

Cue Alice Cooper…

School’s out for the summer, folks.

Holden had his last day of {instruction} yesterday and sang sweetly in the end-of-the-year performance last night.

Just like that.

His first year of preschool is over.


We went from this:

To this:

All that in 10 months which translates to about 5 weeks these days. A good way to judge the passing of time when you have kids is by the school year and let me tell you, the school years go by WAY TOO FLIPPIN’ fast.

It’s Summer! Weren’t we just picking apples, carving pumpkins, stuffing stockings and frolicking in the snow?

I do LOVE me some October 1st through December 25th more than anything, but this is ridiculous. I may adore the last quarter of the year, but I cherish the days of my {little} ones even more.

They must slow down.

Here’s to a S-L-O-W, relaxing, snail’s pace of a summer.

Down By The Sea

Almost a year ago I wrote this post and mentioned how I missed out on some Miss Trish of Capri flops at Target.


I set out on an early morning Target run for a couple 6-year old boy birthday gifts, odds and ends for end-of-the-year teacher gifts and whatever else {jumped} into my cart….do you have that problem, too?

I turned the corner into the shoe department when, what to my wondering eyes should appear, but a clearance rack holding Miss Trish’s flops, oh dear!

Not gonna get away from this mama again……

{I loooooooooovvvvvve the metallic pair with the fish! Actually love is an understatement….I [may] have picked up an teeeny tiny pair for a special little girl that will be celebrating a birthday real soon, too}

In order to soften the blow that the turquoise beauties don’t come in my size, I treated myself to this gorgeous coral statement ring…

…and these gold seashell danglies…

{both 75% off…yup!}

I also picked up a spf rash guard for Holden for under 5 bucks.

I would say that we have a good start on our summer wardrobe and our trip to Myrtle Beach!

Love me some {orange sticker} Target finds.

Happy Friday!

Summer To-Do List ~ 2011

Memorial Day is a couple weeks away and that only means one thing…Summer is just around the corner.

Only 3 weeks left of school ~ yikes!

Last summer I drew up a little to-do list and we had fun completing the {tasks} and crossing them off.

Here is what I came up with for the warm, summer months this year…

1. Maiden voyage to the aquatic center

2. Game night with friends/neighbors {Taboo, Catch Phrase, Scattergories}

3. Family game nights {Candyland, Go Fish, dominoes}

4. Informal block party

5. BBQ at the pool

6. Evening bike ride to Rite-Aid for ice cream {chocolate malted crunch for me, please!}


7. Homemade lemonade w/ choice of add-in {strawberries, cherries or raspberries}


8. Rent “Soul Surfer”

9. Do a 5K by the beach

10. Friends over for pancakes in our pajamas

11. Make cake pops


12. Getty Villa


13. Order pizza delivery at the pool for dinner

14. Visit local animal shelter

15. Go to a baseball game {this one was left over from last summer}

Along with a trip to the Carolinas and summer camps, this list is pretty lofty, but we’re going to do our best to fit these little bits of fun into our June, July & August!

What are you going to be checking off your list this summer?


Dust & Mosquito Bites

Yup…we’ve been to the mountains!

Flip Flop Follies National Park Edition coming up…

Have flip flops, will travel!


As always on the way up, we stop in Bako @ Sonic for a quick lunch and my all-time fave…

{Don’t bother me, I’m enjoying my Blended Root Beer Float!}

Note to self: Don’t bother me, I’m covering my grays!


We made it to “Camp Duke” just in time for Happy Hour on the deck.

Followed by good ol’ Camp Duke fare….Grilled Chicken, corn and salad:

S’mores for dessert!


Good morning, Wawona!

Grilled veggie frittata:

Our annual stagecoach ride with Beryl:

Hiking to the swimming hole:



It was a treat to witness two of the four baby bluejays leaving the nest!

Mama bird was squawking up a storm ~ I’m sure she was half yelling at us to get away from her babies and half scolding them for leaving the nest!

Sweet baby bluejay.

We cordoned off the deck so the pooches wouldn’t “harm” the baby bird!

This is the third little sweetheart that didn’t get the courage to leave the nest just yet. There is one more sibling in the nest behind him/her:

These were the most spoiled babies! They have grown up on peanuts, almonds and bread crusts thus far. The kids had fun putting the food out for Mama bird to swoop down and grab. She would go up in the trees above the deck, get the peanuts out of the shell and then fly off to feed her brood.

So fun to watch.

{She’ll eat your peanuts all day long, but DON’T get too close to her babies!}

We also caught the rear of a deer at the neighbor’s house:

The kiddos thought this was the bee’s knees.

We saw squirrels that tried to eat our lunch leftovers at the swimming hole!

Grunc saw a 10-point (5 “points” on each side) buck while walking home from the barn dance.


Nature is so busy with all our little animal friends.


Next on the agenda, tri-tip dinner, more sweet corn, fresh green beans and salad:

More s’mores for dessert with the sweet neighbors, The Lowry’s!


The next morning we took a short hike to some local waterfalls.

Holdy and I were on the “leisurely hike” plan!

He walked the whole way, though ~ bless his heart.


Later that evening we went to our usual Summer BBQ at the gorgeous Wawona Hotel.

Holden demonstrates how to eat watermelon on a stick:

Elliott LOVES her some ribs:

Miss Elliott was also the most loved by the ‘squitos this year, unfortunately.

They LOVED her forehead!

Poor sweetie…

A true mountain girl!

After the BBQ, we always go listen to live piano music in the parlor of the hotel and sip:

…THEN, we go down to the barn dance and do a little do si do!

…and sit outside by the campfire:

Nothin’ like sittin’ in front of the horse stables at a campfire in your flip flops!


I LOVE that we can kick up some dirt in the mountains, frolic in the sand & surf, enjoy the art at The Getty or spend an afternoon in bustling LA or Hollywood.

But we also love quiet time at home.

So great to live in Southern California and have all this at our fingertips.

After a few days away from real life, I am reminded of our family’s mission statement:

Strive for SIMPLICITY.

SEEK beauty in “the everyday”.

SAVOR these special moments.

Thank you, Unc for {again} being the host with the most with all the delicious, healthy Camp Duke fare and providing your tour guide services and cozy cabin.

Thank you, Gramma, for getting us there and back by filling up the car along the way and filling us with snacks, meals and Starbucks while on the road.

Dust and mosquito bites aside, it was another wonderful trip to Wawona!

Our Summer is now complete.