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Friday, June 29, 2012

Five Things That Make Me Happy Friday...

What's the Word June
Today's word is: ( flounder )

Five things that are making me happy today:

  1. Mice running around my house in mouse balls.
  2. Homemade Vegan Mexican food. (mmmm)
  3. Me accomplishing a hella lot of stuff today and not stressing out about it.
  4. Kids in goggles.
via Pinterest

5. Disney Movie inspired art. I am loving this cute print of Ariel and Flounder

What is making you happy today?

<3, Tabi :D

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Thursday Confession...

What's the Word June
Today's word is: ( stubble )

Do you ever lean in to give your man a smooch only to get stabbed in the lips?

It's not an everyday occurrence (the stabbing, not the smooching), so when it happens, it full on surprises me! For all of you that may have your thoughts in the gutter right now, I'm talking about that stray 'stache hair that is poking out at just the right angle to stab an unsuspecting lip.

This is my man and his beard. The beard that is the longest it's ever been. I've always been against him growing his facial hair out so freakishly long, but it's a refreshing thing to switch up your look every now and then and in this moment, I'm digging the beard.  This is my Thursday Confession this week. 

I was wrong. (<-- there it is, in digital word format) I knew I would hate a beard, I knew it would make him look Amish/Man on the Mountain/Terrorist/Harley Davidson Biker Gang-ish. Yup, I was wrong, he doesn't look like any of those things. He looks like my Christopher with a beard. 

Some things I've learned about the beard:
  • It needs a professional trim every now and then.
  • It also needs to be shampooed like regular hair (I don't know why this surprised me, it makes sense, I just never thought about shampooing anything on a human except head hair.)
  • Some days it is unruly. There are good beard days and there are bad beard days.
  • It is less unruly if he puts a little leave in conditioner in there after showering.
  • I like to grab it, give it a little tug as I demand my kisses sometimes.
  • In his beard, there is every shade of natural hair color I've ever seen. Seriously, it's like a hair rainbow on his face.
  • It's a conversation starter! For real, I've witnessed this multiple times. Weird, right? Men striking up conversations about facial hair. 
  • The beard has made facial stubble pretty much extinct, which is another posi point to the beard. Stubble works on some men, but in my opinion, it's just scratchy. Even worse than the 'stache lip stab.

If I've inspired you to make a confession today, please feel free to fess up in my comments below.

<3, Tabi :D

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

On Hobbies and Film Cameras

What's the Word June
Today's word is: ( fisheye )

A hobby is a regular activity or interest that is undertaken for pleasure,
typically done during one's leisure time.

(from Wikipedia)

Blogging is my newest hobby, but I have some old hobbies that I do dabble in from time to time. One of those is: photography. I will not, by any means, call myself a photographer nor even an amateur photographer. I just like to take pictures. Back in the day, it meant I was the one snapping away at my friends while we hung out whether they liked it or not. These days, it's my kids who get to be at the other end of the lens. They don't mind, in fact I'm sure they love it.

I got to thinking about my old hobby of photography while reading so many blog posts lately about toy cameras and the different effects you get out of them. I'm no stranger to this phenomenon. I have way too many prints that I've held on to and I went about digging through one of my photo bins today to take a look at some of the different effects I used to get out of the different cameras I used to play with.

Little known fact about me: I used to work at Ritz Camera and it's actually where I met my husband.

While working at said camera store, I played with many many different types of cameras: 35 mm, Polaroid, APS film (geez, just typing that makes me feel old and silly) and digital. I got to develop and print other people's film and memories (and way more fun: my own film). I also had the honor of playing around with lots of different types of lenses. The most fun (by far) lens I got to experiment with is the fisheye lens. Here are some examples of those pictures. I'll have to do some more digging because I know I have so many more, but the kids wanted to go swimming, so I had to cut my trip down memory lane short.

See how fun?!?!

Sadly, these days the only camera that gets any play in my life is my iPhone. While the iPhone and various apps can do amazing things, I'm now yearning for something more. And I'm a little sad I don't have my Polaroid iZone anymore... instant stickers!! Does anyone else remember this awesome camera?
Also, WOW! cameras have totally evolved in the past 15 years!!

<3, Tabi :D

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Dreaming of a Getaway

What's the Word June
Today's word is: ( key lime pie )

 Strangely, I cannot find any photos from this trip. 21,000 photos on my hard drive dating back to 2004
and not one from my Key West trip... any ideas, Christopher?

Five and a half years ago, my husband and I took our first and only trip down to Key West. This trip was special in so many ways: our good friends Kevin and Lori were getting married, it was our first trip together as a married couple without children tagging along (we didn't even have a honeymoon), and (sadly) it was also the last time to date that we've taken a trip together as a married couple without children.

I love my children... but I also need to reconnect with my husband sometimes, too.
( And honey, dinner and bowling once a year is great, but just not enough. )

Key West is something else. We indulged in some great food. We relaxed and had a few drinks at a couple of laid back bars. We rented a scooter and toured the island (obviously not in that order). We took our pictures at the southernmost point of the US. We saw our good friends get married in a picturesque ceremony next to a lighthouse. We stayed in the smallest, cutest most quaint hotel room on Duval Street. But the one thing I remember most vividly about Key West (I mean, besides the gorgeous wedding, Lori) is this: Frozen Key Lime Pie Dipped in Chocolate On A Stick. Never since that weekend have I eaten such a memorable dessert. I've never seen them sold anywhere else. You can order them here, but I just can't justify purchasing a dozen bars for $114.95 even if it does taste like heaven on a stick.

I'm rambling...

And I guess I don't have a point to this, either. I'm just dreaming of a getaway. Just me and my Man, my daydreams took me back to our Key West trip and those yummy Frozen Key Lime Pies Dipped in Chocolate on a Stick.

<3, Tabi :D

Monday, June 25, 2012

Parent Tip #111


I really am the worst morning person ever. And on mornings when we need to get out of the house to be somewhere at a certain time, chaos ensues at the Deneweth House. 

I feel much like a drill sergeant barking orders to do the same things they do every single morning to get ready. If I don't keep on top of these kids, it seems they complete one task, then retire to read a book, play with legos or whatever else catches their attention at the moment.

Today marks the second day, I've tried this hack out and I am happy to report that it totally works!! While I finish up my breakfast, I make a little list of the things they need to complete while I clean up the kitchen, get myself ready and get the 1 year old dressed and ready. Roxy is a new reader and she loves this!! I go over the list with Riley, who is not quite a reader yet and he understands what needs to be done and Roxy is happy to help him if he needs the next task read again to him. 

They get their tasks done and I get ready faster because I don't have to worry about staying on top of what the other two are doing at the other end of the house!

You will note that there is one task with a star next to it. They know this is what they get when everything else is done. If they complete everything on time, then they get a reward.

I'm thinking of making up a list and laminating it, since most morning tasks are the same. And I'm excited to perfect this morning routine before school starts again. It would be oh, so much less stressful if we didn't have battles every school morning.

Do you think this little trick would work for you? Do you have any tips you'd like to share?

<3, Tabi :D

These Past Few Days...

What's the Word June
Today's word is: ( uvula

  • I'm not sure if you know this or not, but we've been under the influence of a mega angry Tropical Storm named Debby. For us, it means winds, lots and lots of rain and bored kids that want to go swimming.
  • I have been trying to get rid of this stupid sickness my husband gave me. At one point, my uvula was so enlarged, it was touching the back of my tongue! If I still had tonsils, I'm sure it would have been much worse. At this stage of the sickness, I'm left with a lingering cough, a slight sore throat (probably from coughing) and a little fever from time to time. And it's freakin' annoying me. The impatient part of me wants to get back to my usual exercise and active routine, but I know my body needs whatever rest I can fit in.
  • All the rain has brought out the CUTEST curls in Zoie Boie's hair. I am loving it!
  • We went to the movies yesterday with some friends of ours and saw Brave. My kids were so excited to see it, and if you ask them now, they will tell you they liked the movie. But if you ask them if they want to see it again, their answer... NOO!!!! This movie scared the bejeezus out of them. Which is a hard thing to do with my kids. They've seen every age appropriate Tim Burton film and have never gotten scared. In fact, they adore Tim Burton films. I suppose this was a different type of scary, in Tim Burton's films the fear isn't as intense because it's mostly mythical. Brave had a very scary Bear scene and it terrified them! Bears are very real and very not mythical.
  • Today, we ventured out and made it to the post office, the library, the grocery store and back all before it started to rain again. We are AWESOME!
  • At the library, there were millions of teeny frogs hopping all around. They were so cute.
<3, Tabi :D

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Yellow Shroomie and Star Wars Style

What's the Word June
Today's word is: ( dodgeball

It's been a rainy, soggy weekend but that doesn't mean we're going to let a little rain dampen our moods (pun intended). Here are a few snaps from our weekend so far.

On our back porch, we have a cute little potted Desert Rose sitting atop our cute little patio set. On Friday it sprouted a bright yellow squishy penis shaped thing. Saturday morning, it grew and Saturday night it full on bloomed into the prettiest brightest yellowest mushroom I have ever seen. A little google research and I find out it's called a Spirit Umbrella Mushroom. I also found this cute time lapse video of it's whole life cycle, you should check it out. Nature is pretty amazing.

We went to a family birthday party yesterday and had lots of chips, crackers, fruit, pizza and ice cream cake. YUM! On the way there, Zoie decided to be a supermodel and got her Duck Face picture taken. Duck faces are kind of cute on 1 year olds.

Being a Star Wars fan is tough on little girls. The Star Wars t-shirts at Target are aplenty for anyone except baby girls and little girls. So when I saw this super easy tutorial to transform a tee into a tank, I scooped up two t-shirts out of the boys' department and made both of these super cute summery dresses for my girlies in 30 minutes total. Now they can display their love for Star Wars proudly, be cool and stylish! (Notice Zoie's fashion model pose, Roxy is teaching her good!)

Today we are going to be brave and head out into the rainy day to see Brave. :)

<3, Tabi :D

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Relativity According to Mommy

What's the Word June
Today's word is: ( relativity )

I found this image here.
With the explanation... "Swiss designer Marcus Kraft contributed a triptych which was an attempt to translate Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity into a piece of concept art: Sometimes, one second can change your whole life. On the other hand, a whole year can feel very boring, unimportant and dull. What if one year is as long as one day or even one second? — Maybe there’s no difference at all."
I love physics. Not so much when I was actually in school when teachers wanted to teach it to me properly, but now. Now it is one of the most intriguing subjects I can think of. I love the LHC, Einstein's theories, black holes, other dimensions, the notion that time doesn't exist and the excitement of discovering new things all the time. This stuff blows my mind and things that blow my mind are my favorite things.

The theory of relativity plays a huge part in modern physics, but it doesn't all have to be about neutron stars, gravitational waves and black holes. We can apply it to our every days lives. Here is a short list of how I have interpreted the Theory of Relativity since becoming a Mom.
  • Before having children, poop was the grossest thing. I don't know about you, but I couldn't fathom touching my own poop. Now, after 3 kids, I have been known to say, "It's only poop.", and other people's poop gets cleaned up around here daily, by me with no second thoughts about it.
  • Compare the value of being able to take a shower pre-kids vs post kids. HUGE difference, right?
  • When you lose your kid in Target for 45 seconds (only to find them giggling inside a clothing rack) and it feels like an eternity.
  • Luxury was: a pedicure, back massage, lounging in the sand until someone woke you up. Luxury now is: going to the bathroom without someone yelling at you, knocking on the door or barging in.
  • You put your 4 year old in time out for 4 minutes. To him, it feels like FOREVER, to you it's enough time to switch the laundry and run back before the timer goes off (because leaving him in there longer than the allotted time would be cruel and unusual punishment).
  • The perfect Friday night then? A crazy night at the club, getting kicked out and reaching home safely to have another drink and pass out with your best friends. The perfect Friday night now? A PG rated movie on the couch with popcorn, kids in bed by 8 and a quiet house to catch up on your favorite blogs/tv shows.
  • Your baby is heading into FIRST GRADE! Wasn't she born like last week... how did this happen??
That is relativity, according to me. 
 Did I miss anything? Let me know.
<3, Tabi :D

Friday, June 22, 2012

Five Things That Make Me Happy Friday...

What's the Word June
Today's word is: ( zoology )

I have been pretty darn happy these first two weeks into our summer, even though I am currently battling toxic mucous making its way into my lungs (thanks to my husband who shares everything with me).  Even so, I still have so many things in my life that put a smile on my face. Here are five of those things:
  1. The Mermaid that takes her daily swim in our pool. Isn't she beautiful? With the mermaid, the frogs and occasional snake in our pool, it's like a lesson in zoology.
  2. Eating breakfast with my whole family in the morning. To me, there is something more sacred about eating breakfast with the ones you love in pajamas. Getting dressed first makes it less intimate, jammies are much more cozy. :)
  3. I'm featured over at A Happy Heart blog today. eep! I've never been featured on another blog before. It's so exciting!! 
  4. My yummy vegan pizza. I made one last night using The Sexy Vegan's Nott-zarella Sauce recipe. I use Publix Pizza Dough from the bakery, my homemade sauce, the Nottzarella sauce and then I load it up with garlic and olive oil marinated broccoli and sweet peppers. I swear it's better than real cheese pizzas (and waaayyy better than Daiya cheese pizza). Mmmmmm.
  5. My handsome husband. I'm not saying that he's not handsome all the time, but he's growing his hair out and I'm not sure if it's just something new that's exciting about it or that he just looks more handsome with longer hair. He is also growing out his beard... this was not my idea (in fact, I had serious doubts about it), but I have to admit that I am loving the longer beard right now, too. He got his hair and the beard a good trim up yesterday and I am all of a sudden feeling very territorial over him. Like, if I see another chick even giving him a glance... she'd better watch out (I kid... sort of).
What is making you happy today?

<3, Tabi :D

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Thursday Confessions.

What's the Word June
Today's word is: (octopus)

My weekly confessions:
  • I have a zit. (grumble grumble)
  • I know I've used this guy before, but I am in love with this sweet little octopus. And it seemed like a fitting graphic for today.
  • I had a morning quickie the other day for the first time since we had kids... it was awesome.
  • Chris' work hours have changed and I've been taking advantage of his late work start a little. He's been making my coffee in the mornings and we are staying up later (I'm a night owl at heart).
  • I went swimming with the kids the other day and I skipped sunblock. (GASP!! In my defense, it was 4:00 pm and cloudy?)
  • Sometimes, if she sleeps through lunchtime, when Zoie wakes up hungry I just give her a smoothie and Pirate's Booty instead of a proper lunch. If the other kids aren't eating at the same time, it's pretty impossible to make her sit at the table.
  • I am over those 'your e cards' I keep seeing all over Facebook and Pinterest. They were funny at first, but I need more original graphics. I guess I'm not a meme person, I still don't get it.
  • I don't want to go to the dentist today.

Do you have anything to confess today?

<3, Tabi :D

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Have you ever made a Shutterfly Photo Book?

If your answer is no, (1) you are missing out on a great thing, and (2) You are in luck!!

I don't know if you get these emails too,
but I sure feel like it's a waste to let a free photo book go unfilled. 

If you have never ordered* a photo book from Shutterfly before,
I will hook you up with a code for a FREE 8x8 photo book.
*the code won't work if you are already a Shutterfly Photo Book customer

I just need your email address. You can leave it in my comments below or if you don't feel comfortable doing so, (and I totally understand), send me an email here

The free photo book codes will go to my first five responses. :)

<3, Tabi :D

POST EDIT: I've got my 5 emails and the codes have been sent out. Thank you to everyone who participated. I hope you enjoy and treasure your Photobooks as much as I do. xo

Veggie Humor

What's the Word June
Today's word is: (asparagus)

(<-- Awsomely Fabulous asparagus Image found here)

One day two asparagus stalks, who were best friends, were walking together down the street. They stepped off the curb and a speeding car came around the corner and ran one of them over. The uninjured asparagus stalk called 911 and helped his injured friend as best he was able. The injured asparagus stalk was taken to emergency at the hospital and rushed into surgery. After a long and agonizing wait, the doctor finally appeared. He told the uninjured asparagus stalk, "I have good news, and I have bad news. The good news is that your friend is going to pull through." "The bad news is that he's going to be a vegetable for the rest of his life".
(source: )

<3, Tabi :D

p.s. Is it just me, or is anyone else experiencing Summer Solstice brain fog?? Or maybe it's this dumb stuffy nose my sweet husband shared with me...

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

A Yummy Summer Treat

What's the Word June
Today's word is: (sensitive)

Here at the Deneweth house, during the warm months, we make smoothies pretty much every single day. The kids love them (Zoie even asks for them by name), they are icy goodness perfect for cooling off after playing and getting dehydrated. I feel good making smoothies for them because it's a guaranteed serving of fresh fruit and some added calcium from the soy milk I add in.

If you feel like you'd like to get into making your own smoothies (and I totally recommend it), I've put together some pointers for you.

  • I usually buy bags of frozen fruit for our smoothies, but sometimes I use fresh fruit (frozen is cheaper and just as good). Some of the fruits we use on a regular basis are: bananas, strawberries, raspberries, mango, peaches, pineapple, blueberries*, and raspberries.

    *I only use blueberries because my son is a serious blueberry head. Blueberries in smoothies work much better if you can find a blueberry juice. When whizzing up a fresh or frozen blueberry, you always get the millions of chunks of blueberry skin... blech! I have strained the juice before to get the chunks out, but it is a pain in the rumpus.
  • I've personally found that it's almost impossible to make a bad smoothie as long as you add a banana. Bananas are essential to a good smoothie.  Fresh or frozen, it doesn't matter. I generally buy lots of bananas, because they go fast around here. If I do happen to buy a bunch that gets brown particularly fast, you can save those suckers by peeling them, putting them into a freezer safe ziplock and popping them into your freezer. 
  • Some juices I generally use for our smoothies are: apple juice, orange juice, strawberry kiwi V8 splash. And I've lately been experimenting with some of the other healthy juice mixtures they have out there. V8 makes a mango peach juice that makes a bangin' smoothie. I always try to stay away from the juices containing High Fructose Corn Syrup, though. We are anti HFCS in this house (for the exception of Oreos).
  • And don't forget the splash of soy milk! I used to use plain lowfat yogurt until we found out about the Bear's milk allergy, but soy, almond, vanilla soy, etc, works just as well. 
So go ahead and whip one up! Here's How: In your blender, start with your banana, add your mixture of the fruits that sound yummy to you today, you can add in a spoonful or two of sugar to your taste, pour in the juice until it fills the blender almost to the top of your fruit, then add in a healthy splash of your milk (you can leave the milk out, but we find it makes the smoothies creamier and less acidic), then fill the blender to the top with ice. 
If you happen to be sensitive to acidic fruits, a good option for you is: bananas, peaches, watered down apple juice and a splash of vanilla soy. It's creamy, yummy and non acidic.
Whiz up your concoction until you don't hear the ice breaking up anymore. We use a Ninja Blender (which is the BEST blender I've ever owned), and it doesn't take very long, but with our old blender, the whizzing could take up to 5 minutes (good riddance old blender).

Pour the smoothies into cups (we always use cups with lids for the kiddies), add a straw and enjoy. Straws are another necessity to a good smoothie. 

BONUS: if you happen to have any leftovers, you can either pour it in a cup and freeze for tomorrow (put it in the fridge to thaw in the morning and it should be perfect by lunchtime), or pour it into a popsicle mold and have healthy popsicles. <-- My kids LOVE smoothie popsicles. :)

Enjoy! And please feel free to leave me any questions you may have in the comments.

<3, Tabi :D

Monday, June 18, 2012

World's Best Poppy

What's the Word June
Today's word is: (toenail)

Yesterday, while Daddy was at work, the kids and I kept ourselves busy working on a little present for my Dad (whom the kids call Poppy). Here's what we came up with and I think it came out super rad.

The kids had a blast posing in letter form! I came up with the idea, but cringed at the thought of actually taking the photos. Usually photo shoots featuring these 3 aren't so easy, but I was pleasantly surprised how cooperative they were. And I'm happy to report no one ended up with a toenail in their nose (or mouth).
After posing and picture taking, their job was done and I rewarded them with a swim in the pool. After bedtime,  I did a little editing and printed the image out on iron on printer paper and made a T-Shirt for Poppy. 

<-- See? (I promise the actual t-shirt doesn't look so pink and purpley... stupid lighting.)

What kind of creativity did you guys get into for Father's Day?

<3, Tabi :D

Sunday, June 17, 2012

To the Dads

What's the Word June
Today's word is: (Mars)

My sweet hubby has to work today, so we moved Father's Day up a day and celebrated yesterday. 
I always get so worried about these days, I want them to be absolutely perfect, so I procrastinate until the very last moment and then don't make solid plans to do anything at all (Mom FAIL). So I decided to let him decide, on his day, what he wanted to do and so we did exactly what he wanted to do.

Our day went like this:
I made him coffee in bed as the kids showered him with their homemade cards and coupon book.

Then I cooked up some waffles and hash browns and we had a leisurely breakfast.

After breakfast, he wanted to go for a swim in our backyard pool. The kids loved that idea (in fact, they were jumping up and down with excitement at the mention of it), so they went ahead and got suited and lotioned up and jumped in the pool, while I cleaned up the enormous mess I had made in the kitchen. After the kitchen was clean, I joined them.

We swam for a good while. It was sunny and warm and the rains from the past two days made the pool the perfect temperature. We all practiced flips and handstands, walked around like spacemen on  Mars and Zoie got brave again and jumped right in without her floatie (of course, we are good parents and were right there to catch her).

When everyone started to whine of hunger and thirst, I gathered the kids to come inside, dry off and get dressed. As we were doing this, Christopher decided it was a great time to take the hose and give our screened in porch a nice cleaning (did you hear that? on his day, he wanted to do some porch cleaning!).

Sadly, our fridge was pitifully bare, so we piled in the van for some chips, smoothies and grocery shopping. Grocery shopping is something no one around here likes to do, so I let Daddy and the kids enjoy their smoothies in the van with the A/C on and How to Train Your Dragon playing.

Home to unpack groceries, Daddy's in the garage doing car stuff and modifying the kids' bikes. He had an idea to take their pedals and training wheels off to teach them how to balance properly. After the modifications were made, they tried the bikes out while I took Zoie off for a wagon ride around the neighborhood.

When I got back from the wagon ride, they were wrapping up the bike practice and Chris was making some last minute adjustments to his car. I asked what was next and he said he wanted some Mellow Mushroom pizza. (I sure did get away easy with not cooking on his Father's Day!!) So, we packed the kids up once again and had a lovely and super yummy pizza dinner at Mellow Mushroom. 

Home again, I bathed the children and Daddy helped lay them down to bed, I cracked open a beer for Christopher while I enjoyed a cold glass of Chardonnay and we stayed up till midnight watching two episodes of True Blood.

It was a nice, peaceful day. I'm reflecting on it today and thinking that his day is not much different than any other typical day at the Deneweth House. Except for maybe the dinner out, we don't do dinners out often at all. Christopher is such a homebody, and it makes me happy to realize that what we do on typical days is what Daddy loves to do most of all. Sure, he got pampered a little more (no dish duty on his day), but I'm so lucky to have a man that is the father of my children that enjoys more than anything to spend a quiet, non-eventful day at home with his family.

Also, a Happy Father's Day to my awesome Dad. I get so sad on days like this when I am so many many miles away from my family. He really is an awesome Dad. xo

<3, Tabi :D

Saturday, June 16, 2012

This is not the post you are looking for.

What's the Word June
Today's word is: (droid)

From Etsy

Today we are celebrating Father's Day since Daddy will be working on actual Father's Day.  :(

So, I leave you with a cutie patootie baby picture of my favorite droid, R2D2
(or as Roxy used to call him "RD2D2").
<3, Tabi :D

Friday, June 15, 2012

Five Things That Make Me Happy Friday...

What's the Word June
Today's word is: (bingo)

  1. Bathing suits that match on siblings. I won't be able to pull this off much longer, so I'm taking full advantage while I can.
  2. Interesting new (to me) shows to watch after the kiddies go to bed. We just started watching True Blood from the beginning and we are 4 shows in and hooked. I have to admit that I have been avoiding it because I assumed it would be Twilight-ish. I don't know how many times I have to re-learn the whole 'You shouldn't assume' lesson...
  3. NO SCHOOL!!!!!!!!! Have I mentioned how happy I am that school is out for the summer?
  4. Great afternoon imagination adventures. On the afternoons that I've been doing chores around the house, my kiddies have been keeping themselves busy with dress up, lightsaber fights and epic battles involving rad moves (some involving cartwheels and headstands).
  5. Our backyard pool. It is such a blessing to have our own private pool in the backyard. This is the first house I've ever lived in with it's own pool, and at times, I do have negative thoughts about it. Having a pool is hard work (we don't use a service, we are self maintainers), but it is definitely worth every second of the hard work we put into it. We have two little fishies and a mermaid. Riley is getting better and better at swimming every day and Zoie is getting to be one brave little chicken. She can swim around in her floaties with the big kids and even is attempting 'jumping in' on her own (under close supervision, of course). And Roxy has never been happier, her mermaid swimming skills amaze me (she has her own mermaid tail and fin). The true Aquarius she is, she's always the last one I have to drag out of the pool every time.
And B-I-N-G-O !!! There you have it. I'm so clever. :)
What is making you happy today?

<3, Tabi :D

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Thursday Confessions.

What's the Word June
Today's word is: (cumulonimbus

We are now 4 days into Summer vacation and I am loving this freedom!! We aren't tied down to school/dance schedules. We don't need to pay much attention to bedtimes. We don't have to rush around the house yelling like drill sergeants in the morning to get a certain girl to school on time. In fact, besides our own whims, the only thing that dictates what our days' plans will consist of are those sneaky cumulonimbus clouds that always seem to appear right after everyone has a fresh layer of sunscreen on.

... and now for some Thursday Confessions.
  1. I painted my little Bear's nails blue at his request. But I'm too chicken to take a photo for posterity.
  2. I don't like talking on the phone. If an issue can be taken care of via text or email, I am MUCH more comfortable. This is odd since I recall spending at least 3 hours a day on the phone as a teenager.
  3. Ugh. The biggest thing weighing on my mind right now: I have done NOTHING to prepare for Father's Day!!! It even comes one day early for us here, since Christopher has to work on Sunday. I'd better get on that, huh?
  4. I'm contemplating a trip to the homeland (Maryland), but am scared because of our veganish eating ways. "What will we eat" is more scary to me than driving 16 hours in a minivan by myself with 3 kids.
  5. AAACCKKK!!! Father's Day!!! 
I invite you to leave your own confessions in my comments.
It will make you feel better to get it off your chest.
And no, I'm not a cop. ;)
<3, Tabi :D

p.s. I just added a new widget!! Join my site with Google Friend Connect and you can read my blog in your Google Reader! Rad. :)

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Veganish Hash Brown Casserole

What's the Word June
Today's word is: (rudimentary

Picture and Original Recipe found here.
I had a craving for a rudimentary hash brown casserole last night... I found a recipe online, switched it up and actually created a banging dinner last night! I want to make sure I remember what I did, so I will post the recipe here, but silly me... I forgot to take a picture of my yummy invention. dun. dun. dun. (The picture you see up there is from here.)

If you're wondering why I called this recipe "Veganish Hash Brown Casserole", it's because I used the yummy stuff pictured above (which strangely is not on their website, wha??): Quorn Meatless & Soy Free Tenders. This is the best fake chicken stuff I've found. It's vegetarian and dairy free so it totally works for us, but it does contain eggs. You could, of course use your own vegan chicken substitute or even some diced up seitan to make a true Vegan meal. Without further ado, the recipe:

(Serves about 6)
  • 1 lb. hash browns (I used Simply Potatoes Shredded Hash Browns)
  • 1 package Quorn meatless & soy free tenders
  • 5 Tbs margarine, divided (I use Earth Balance)
  • A handful of diced up onions
  • 4 Tbs flour 
  • 3/4 cup vegetable broth 
  • 3 Tbsp. nutritional yeast 
  • 1 Tbs oregano (This was good, but I think next time, I'll try Parsley or maybe even Rosemary)
  • 3/4 cup soy milk 
  • A few shakes of Bacos (optional)
  • A bag of Steam in Bag Broccoli Florets
  • 1/2 - 1 tsp salt (to taste)
  • Black pepper, to taste 
  • 1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs (or more to your liking)

  • Generously spray a 9 × 13" casserole dish or similar with cooking spray. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  • Microwave the Quorn tenders on a microwave safe plate for about 2 minutes. Gently toss the hash browns and Quorn tenders together and place in the casserole dish.
  • Shake your Bacos on top of the hash brown/Quorn tenders mixture if you are a Bacos loving person (like me).
  • Pop your Broccoli Florets in the microwave according to bag instructions.
  • In a saucepan over medium-low heat, melt 4 Tbsp. of the margarine and sauté the onions for 1 minute. Whisk in the flour, creating a roux, and cook for 1 minute, or until browned. Gradually whisk in the broth, nutritional yeast, oregano, and soy milk. Cook, stirring constantly, until thickened (the sauce shouldn’t be so thick that it sits on top of the casserole instead of steeping through).
  • When the broccoli is done, spread evenly on top of the hash brown/Quorn tender mixture.
  • Now, the sauce should be about ready... season it with the salt and pepper. Pour the sauce over the casserole.
  • In your scraped out saucepan (the one you used for making the sauce), melt the remaining 1 Tbsp. margarine and toss with the Panko bread crumbs. Sprinkle over the casserole and bake for 45 to 55 minutes, or until the top is browned.
  • Let cool for 5 minutes and then enjoy!

We paired this meal with some Pillsbury Original Crescent rolls (which are vegan)!

The kids were happy, Mommy was happy (because this is an easy one) and it came out yummy! I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

<3, Tabi :D

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Our summer is off to a great start!

What's the Word June
Today's word is: (abracadabra)

I am so in love with my family.

Some photos from my weekend.

1. I asked for it, and abracadabra it appears. My new patio set. :)
2. We had a busted screen door, so I called in the hottie repairman.
3. My fam cheering on our friend Kevin at his hockey game.
4. Zoie Boie jumping in the pool after a tough day of errands. 

<3, Tabi :D

Monday, June 11, 2012

One Lovely Surprise

What's the Word June
Today's word is: (belly button)  
My dear cat person friend Sarah over at MEOW hear this! nominated ME for a One Lovely Blog Award. This award (my first ever blog award), coming from Sarah, means a lot to me. (THANK YOU!!) Sarah and I are kind of opposite in ways: she's a cat person, I'm a human child person, she's a reader (and proofreader), I don't read at all (except blogs, of course). But we are alike in ways that both of us are awesome. :)

The rules to the ONE LOVELY BLOG AWARD are:
•    Thank the person who nominated you and link back to them in your post (check!)
•    Share 7 things about yourself
•    Nominate 15 or so bloggers you admire (I will follow Sarah's lead on this and shorten my list to 7 as well)
•    Leave a comment on each of the blogs letting them know they’ve been nominated. 

Seven things you may (or may not know) about me (I recently did 20 facts about me, so I'll try to stay original here):
  1. I'm not a morning person.
  2. I got my belly button pierced when I was 17. The jewelry has been long gone, but I can still put earrings through the hole. Amazing since it was pierced over 10 years ago.
  3. I have zero nose hairs. 
  4. If I was an actress on TV, my TV husband would be John Corbett.
  5. My birth name is Tabitha. But I've been called Tabi my entire life. Tabitha is reserved for official things, like my drivers' license, etc... or when I'm in trouble. My Mom taught me to spell my name: Tabby. But I changed the spelling to Tabi in middle school because it made more sense to me, you just chop off the 'tha and you have Tabi (see?). Also, I despise when I tell people my name, and they say, "Oh! Like the cat!" I'm not a cat person. They are cute enough, but I am very allergic to the point that my lungs start to seize up and if I don't have an inhaler close by, I'm sure I'd pass out due to lack of oxygen to the brain.
  6. I don't believe in coincidences. I do believe everything happens for a reason.
  7. I love being a Floridian, but I miss my friends and family back home in Maryland A LOT.

And now for the nominations:
  1. The Vagabond Studio
  2. Caked Vintage
  3. Kizzie Cat
  4. My Name is Sage
  5. Outmumbered
  6. A Happy Heart
  7. And my sister... Just a girl... and the 3 boys she lives with.
Phew! That was fun.

<3, Tabi :D

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Problems in our Kingdom

What's the Word June
Today's word is: (frog prince
Image from Pinterest
I have one child who is telling white lies lately. Little teeny lies that are told in order to avoid getting in trouble. She gets caught all the time in these lies (she's a horrible liar, like her Momma) and we've made it very clear that she is getting in trouble for the lie and not the action she is trying to hide, we don't seem to be getting through very well thus far.

We have another child that, no matter what, believes that nothing is ever his fault. Everything negative around him is caused by someone else... He honestly believes this and that is a problem. If one can't admit ones faults, one will always feel like a victim. This, obviously, is not good. We explain that everyone makes mistakes, that's how you learn. This child is getting to the age where grown ups are kind of dumb, so it's tough getting through to him, too.

And, yet another child that refuses to sleep in her own bed all night. This is mostly my fault. I enjoy co-sleeping, it's easier and I feel safer, I know she feels safer too. But lately, it seems, she is coming to our bed earlier than usual and disrupting Mommy/Daddy time. I need my cuddles, too.

The final problem child insists on watching the TV upside down. With his head on the couch where his butt should be. I let this slide most of the time until his wiggly legs start accidentally kicking his sisters in the head. I love the little quirks about this guy and secretly want him to stay my little weirdo forever. This one is my frog prince. I know one day, he will meet his princess, she will kiss him and he will immediately crack out of his shell and blossom into the handsome fella that is his destiny.


These are the child rearing issues I'm dealing with currently. And I feel lucky, SO lucky that these are my biggest problems. I am confident we will get through these phases. And I refuse to sweat the small stuff (this is most definitely small stuff). I also refuse to ignore the small stuff, because that's how small stuff turns into big problems.


Unrelated, but I must share: I almost melted in the toy store today. Zoie grabbed a little dolly off the shelf and said, "Beebee! Peeas. Peas. Peas, Mommy." Its the first time she's ever said please and I could tell that she wanted that baby at that moment so bad. She was too cute and I could not stand it. I was a puddle in the middle of Toys R Us. Clean up on aisle 7.

Luckily for our wallet, she found a $3 bubble gun and momentarily forgot about that baby. We've already got a large toy chest full of beebees. Phew! This girl loves 4 things I know of so far: 1. Babies 2. Goggies (doggies) 3. Booty (Pirate's Booty) and 4. BUBBLES!!!

<3, Tabi :D

Saturday, June 9, 2012


What's the Word June
Today's word is: (lightsaber)

Lightsabers are definitely the weapon of choice around here.

If lightsabers make your heart beat faster too... some cool stuff here.
Also, this EPIC battle.

<3, Tabi :D

p.s. If any of you are Instagram geeks like me, I just found Instagram Filters as Photoshop Actions that I am way more excited about than I should be. :) It's easy peasy, just download and install and your ready to go!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Five Things That Make Me Happy Friday...

What's the Word June!!
Today's word is: (intermittent)

Picture: unrelated.
I thought it was funny how she was continuing to slurp her cereal up and the 'shark' was lurking in the background. :)
  1. SUMMER BEGINS TODAY!!! Last day of school, and it's an early pick up. We made it!!! Only 16 more years to go?
  2. This was pretty funny.
  3. Last night, while watching "The Choice" I suddenly realized that I have matured. It wasn't so much the boys (boys I wouldn't give a second glance to if I saw on the street) that were the 'choices', or even the girls (the way they acted... I'm trying to be nice here and can't find the perfect word, so we'll leave it at that). But I only recognized 2 out of the 4 boys and I only knew them from Dancing with the Stars and Kelly Live!, which I'm pretty sure, are shows for the more mature group. At first, I was angry. But I have now accepted it and am now embracing it. I am wiser now and happy with the person I've become. 
  4. This tweet. I am, in fact, coming to this realization. Reading affirmations that my thoughts are shared by others and are known to some as truths make me happy in my intermittent spiritual quests. Reading this last night gave me a happy feeling of peace.
    "If you come to that realization that you are nothing but a tool*, you have become a realized soul. You don’t have to worry about anything."
    (Not a tool tool, but you know, a tool.)
  5. I also kind of realized last night while flipping through the 'Geek' section on Pinterest that I am a geek. I love Star Wars, the Powerpuff Girls (they were in the Geek section of Pinterest), I love to read about the LHC, I think Clark Kent is one handsome dude, I love my Apple technology and the X Files. I am happy to report that I am a proud geek. (I've typed geek so much, it's starting to sound really funny in my head.) 
 Have a happy Friday and Welcome to Summer!!

<3, Tabi :D

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Thursday Confessions.

What's the Word June?
Today's word is: (polka dots)

Welcome to this week's Thursday Confessions. It always makes me feel so much better to confess the things that weigh on my mind. The releasing of the guilt is freeing. Please feel free to share your confessions in my comments below if you wish.

  1. I confess I've been a little bit blog obsessed lately. With trying to perfect mine, with finding new ones to enjoy... I think maybe it's time to back off and find some real world inspiration.
  2. I watch The X Files because I have a crush on David Duchovny. He's dreamy...
  3. When Christopher is snoring in bed and it wakes me up, I pinch his nose until he wakes up and stops.
  4. As hard as I try to have conviction, there is always a hint of self doubt in my decisions.
  5. I am usually the last person in my house out of bed. (Don't judge me.)
  6. I wish I could paint my ceiling in rainbow colored polka dots.

Happy Thursday! 

<3, Tabi :D

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

A Little Greedy and Impatient

What's the Word June?
Today's word is: (miss piggy)

On Sunday we went to Target for a few necessities. Christopher spotted this cute little patio set on sale for $99 and mentioned it to me later. I was so focused on my list, I didn't even see it!

But now I am in love.

Isn't it the cutest little patio set you ever did see? I want to eat my breakfast on it. :)

Of course, we don't have a patio set budgeted this month, so now I'm racking my brain trying to figure out how to make a quick $100 (before it goes back up to $125). And I'm feeling a bit like miss piggy. In the almost 7 years we've lived in this house, we've never had a proper patio set even though we do have a pool and a screened in porch. Nor curtains, but that's another story. We do have our necessities and usually I'm really happy with what we do have, but every now and then, I get a strong itch for more... the miss piggy feeling.

I know there are tons of ways to make money in this world, even for stay at home Moms. I've seen other Moms selling bags, makeup, kitchen goodies and whatever else is the latest new Avon of the day. While there are, undoubtedly some great products out there, I feel like being a dealer for these things is just not for me, my heart would not be in it and something in my head keeps telling me to have a little patience and the right opportunity will come to me. All I have to do is have patience and faith. These are two things I've been working on building up for about 4 years now, I don't know if these are skills I'll simply master one day, or if it will be a never ending quest (I'm thinking the latter).

In the meantime, if anyone needs a logo or some graphics done, hit me up!! I am a trained graphic designer and my heart is always in design. And I'll probably be looking for a garage sale to crash this weekend (I don't have enough stuff to host my own).

<3, Tabi :D

Tuesday, June 5, 2012


What's the Word June?
Today's word is: (fusion)

Today, I was inspired (again) by Sometimes Sweet to do a Currently post.

Currently, I'm...

... In a picture funk. And it's driving me bananas. I don't know why I'm feeling so uninspired to take pictures lately. My best picture for this post is a picture I took trying to decide if I love or hate the new color I painted my toes. I always paint my toes and never my fingernails because painting my fingernails is a total waste of time, it starts chipping away minutes after drying (NOT exaggerating).

... listening to my Lily Allen channel on Pandora. I have been digging chick music for a little while now, which is different for me. And I love me some Brits. I'm also anxiously awaiting No Doubt's new album due to arrive September 25th. 

.... pondering a summer makeover for my hair. Maybe some highlights? Maybe back to blonde? Right now I'm a red head (Feria Ruby Fusion) and still loving it, but itching for a little change. I definitely need a little trim up at least.

... feeling like things are screeching to a S-L-O-W crawl. With school being almost over, dance over, Riley's school is over. Nothing to do but normal chores and, oh yea: whatever we want!

... trying to solve a mystery. My poor little Zoie woke up this morning with legs full of bug bites. :( We didn't play outside much yesterday and I inspected her bedroom (we've had ant problems in the past) with no luck. I've got to find the source, her little itchy legs made her so flippy floppy last night, no one slept well.

... still reeling over the Game of Thrones finale. Wow! Those dragons are going to take over the world. That's my prediction. And zombie monsters (what the...). When does the next season start?? Also, we laughed our butts off at the latest Girls episode last night. I used to think Adam was the creepiest weirdo ever, but I might be warming up to him. Since all my network shows have ended already, I've been watching The X Files on Netflix. It's feeding the believer in me and creeping me out at the same time. Christopher says he doesn't remember them being so dorky, but I don't think they are dorky.  (I <3 Mulder 4-ever.) 

... procrastinating making a dentist appointment. I knocked a crown loose flossing on Friday and need to get it fixed. But it doesn't wiggle unless I chew gum (it came completely out on Sunday, but I snapped it back in). So, I will not chew gum (on that side) until it drives me crazy, then I will make the appointment. That's my plan.

What are you currently up to?

<3, Tabi :D

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