Tag Archives: to-do

2012 Summer To-Do List

For the past two summers we have drafted up a to-do list to keep us busy during the short 8 weeks off before school starts again. It’s a treat to have new things to look forward to and check them off as we experience them.

Here is a peek at the 2010 list and the 2011 list.

This summer we plan to…

1. Visit the Skirball Center

{Noah’s Ark Exhibit}

2. Order pizza delivery for dinner at the pool

{this one is rolling over from last year’s list}

3. Coconut Pancakes in pajamas with friends

4. Dive-in Movie at the Aquatics Center

5. Art/craft project once-a-week

6. OC Beach Day

7. Ventura County Fair

8. Cherry Picking in the Leona Valley

9. Summer Blessing Bags

10. Random Acts of Kindness at 7-11

{treating a few unsuspecting customers to some Slurpees}

11. Minor League Baseball Game

12. 1st Annual {Back To School Eve} Family Dinner

{as inspired by Erin over at Bringing Up Burns}


We look forward to squeezing all these activities in along with our usual summer favorites ~ concerts in the park, lazy pool days, homemade ice cream, early morning park visits and trips to Golden Spoon. This year is bittersweet as Holden will be starting his elementary career as a big kindergartner. No more casual weekday play dates and lounging in pajamas on non-school days!

With that said, we will enjoy every last minute with these littles before the homework, spelling tests and sight words resume.

What are YOUR plans for Summer 2012?


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!

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?