Five on Friday: You Scream, I Scream, We All Scream…

For Ice Cream!  We’ve been under a heat advisory all week and so ice cream has been on our menu and a choice for snacks a lot this week.  It’s not a bad benefit of the excessive heat, a true excuse to eat ice cream every single day!

I’m once again joining in with Amy from Love Made My Home and her Five on Friday except in true rebel fashion, I’m finishing my post on Saturday morning.  It’s just what happens when you have to play tug of war with the computer on these excessively hot days.

Here are five times and kinds of ice cream we ate this week…

ONE:

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I really only buy one brand of ice cream.  I’m an ice cream snob I suppose although not so much of one that if I’m at your house and you offer me ice cream, I’ll refuse if it isn’t my brand.  I just won’t buy another brand.  Even though I bought this flavor (or these 3 flavors?) to give us some variety, can you guess the least favorite in this house?

 

Apparently, strawberry ice cream is not a favorite around here.

Apparently, strawberry ice cream is not a favorite around here.

TWO:

Tuesday, we went to the local pool for a bit in the afternoon.  It was a bit disappointing for J since the water slides were down for maintenance.  On our way home, I decided we’d try out the new snow-cone place that has a drive-thru!

 

This is what you get when you ask the tween to take a photo of his snow cone, accidental selfie with the car interior!

This is what you get when you ask the tween to take a photo of his snow cone, accidental selfie with the car interior!

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Gumball from the bottom of my snow cone!

The surprise gumball at the bottom of our snow cones really saved the day!  The snow cones although a bit pricey were also pretty tasty!  The boys both picked blue raspberry for their snow cones while I went with my new favorite flavor for everything, mango.

THREE:

Awhile back at the store, I had found myself unable to say no to this impulse purchase:

Sometimes, I really miss the 80s!

Sometimes, I really miss the 80s!

These used to be one of my favorite frozen treats back in the 1980s.  At some point, they basically disappeared from the store shelves.  Nostalgia took over when I saw this kit and I had been waiting for the perfect time to share this love with my kids.

We made the chocolate ones on Wednesday.  Turns out they aren’t as good as the ones in my memories.  Neither of my boys were big fans.  I had always favored the vanilla ones so I didn’t care much for them either.  Perhaps sometime we’ll give the vanilla ones a try.

FOUR:

Thursday,  I insisted my boys leave the house once again and go with me to go get frozen yogurt.  It really wasn’t a huge argument although they were a bit annoyed when I insisted on taking a picture of our treats before we left (I’m going to use that as my excuse for this being a less than stellar photo…I’m using the heat as my excuse on the rest of them!).

Frozen yogurt!

Frozen yogurt!

J was a bit upset that they weren’t offering his favorite flavor of cake batter and almost didn’t get any at all.  I’m not going to say he takes after me in his ideas that if he can’t have exactly what he wants, he’s willing to do without but his initial resolve did seem a little too familiar.

G was happy though because his favorite is peanut butter and that was there.  J ended up with cookies and cream which did not measure up to what he wanted although he ate it all.  I went with a cherry flavor which was okay but I’d have preferred cake batter as well.  It’s been my favorite flavor for a long time.  I’ll have to just make us some homemade cake batter ice cream next time.

FIVE:

While none of us are huge fans of strawberry ice cream, ice cream with fresh strawberries and whipped cream proved to be a hit for dessert on Friday night!

Vanilla ice cream, fresh strawberries, and whipped cream

Vanilla ice cream, fresh strawberries, and whipped cream

We also may or may not have enjoyed Bomb Pops, what I think of as the quintessential summer treat, many times during the course of the summer heat this past week included.  I also now think of them as incredibly hard to photograph as well.  I may or may not have pondered this while enjoying one.

What’s your favorite frozen treat for summer?

I should probably really end my post by confessing the truth (no, we really did eat that much ice cream this week!) that our family is typically a lot more salty than sweet.  I was just telling my boys on Monday that someone needs to come up with a potato chip store and offer different flavors of single serving of potato chips.  We’d be in there almost every day as long as we could afford it!

 

 

Tiny Tip on A Thursday: The Best Time to Visit the Pool

This is another one of those tiny bits of wisdom I wish I could take the credit for simply knowing.  However, it’s a tip a friend gave me long ago when my boys were quite young.   tinytip

It actually may not work for you right now if your children are younger and set in a very rigorous napping schedule.  However, file this one in the back of your mind for your upcoming days with older children.  The ones who you will eventually sleep in during the summer mornings into the early summer afternoons.

We haven’t been to the pool as much as I would like this summer since our favorite local neighborhood one shut down operations.  It’s left us with the local public “water park” pool as our closest option.

While we have lots of options, I do much better if we go to the place closest to home as do my boys.  We tend to be very spur of the moment on our pool trips and the other options don’t really lend themselves well to that luxury.  The local pool has a couple of water slides plus a lazy river so while we miss our plain rectangle of a pool, it’s not a complete bummer to visit there.

However, hot + summer mostly equals CROWDED.  We don’t like crowds.  And we especially don’t like crowds at the pool.  The pool opens at 11:00a.m.  We have never been there that early (well, maybe one time when J went to a friend’s birthday party).

The best pool time is to arrive at about 2:30-3:00p.m and stay until 5:30-6:00p.m.

The people who have been there since it opened are leaving and going home to put younger kids down for afternoon naps and get dinner started.  It clears out rather quickly.

Sometimes, when we first arrive, lawn chairs are hard to find but we usually always find a couple (not like we sit and lounge in them anyway.  For us, they are simply stuff holders.) of chairs in the middle area.  However, usually soon after we are there, the chairs start to empty as the crowd packs up to go home.

I think the most peaceful pool time is from 4:00p.m. until a little after 5:00p.m.  I’ve noticed it is a bit of a transition time.  After 5:00p.m., the new wave of pool goers begin to arrive.  We usually leave between 5:30 and 6:00p.m.

Dinner does sometimes get shuffled around (read turn into ordering pizza) on pool days but when the weather is as hot as we’ve had this week, I’m not cooking that much anyway.

Bonus tip;  If it is super hot, leave your sandals or flip-flops on while walking between areas, that concrete burns!

What is your favorite time to visit a pool?

Happy Homemaker Monday and Meal Plan

I worked a full-time schedule at preschool last week covering for another teacher’s vacation.  I love being there but I also miss being here and working on my blog.  Still haven’t quite figured out how to manage both things at the same time.

I work again this morning but I don’t have to go in until 9:15 as opposed to last week’s 7:45a.m. start each day.  Then, I am (whispering this very softly) free for the week so far.

I think I have just enough time this morning to write this post and then, hopefully, come visit and catch up with some of you later tonight and tomorrow.

On to the Happy Homemaker Monday post…thanks to Sandra from Diary of A Stay at Home Mom for the Happy Homemaker Monday post link up and Laura from I’m An Organizing Junkie for the Menu Plan Monday post link up (I really need to get over there and find some fresh dinner ideas for us!).

The Weather This Week

HOT! HOT! HOT! We’re under a heat advisory today starting, I think, at 1p.m. until 7p.m. and the temperature is just supposed to go up all week..99, 100!  Heat indexes in the triple digits.  The rain we were supposed to maybe get last night apparently went north of us.  Good thing I watered the garden.

On My Reading Pile

Since I’m a week behind, and worked last week, not much.  I did read the rest of the books in The Giver quartet two weeks ago.  I really wasn’t a huge fan of The Giver and hadn’t bothered looking for the rest of the books until I watched the movie on Netflix.  I thought the rest of the books were much better and more interesting than the first one.  I think The Messenger was my favorite.

For this week, I’ll tackle my Gretchen Rubin book plus the Chuck Grossart e-book I downloaded called The Phoenix Descent.  His book The Gemini Effect had been one of my Amazon Prime free Kindle books one month and I really enjoyed it so when this new book (to me) came up as a suggestion, I went ahead and bought it.

On My TV

I’ve been watching the series, Limitless on Netflix.  I had watched a few episodes on regular TV and then, lost interest but found it got better once I had no time to watch it.  I do like when Netflix adds series like this so I can play catch up and see shows I may have missed.

Menu Plan

Bookmenuplan

With the weather, our meals are not going to be anything too exotic or hard or that needs to spend much time in an oven.

MONDAY:  Kielbasa sausage and potatoes (hot dogs for the boys), salad

TUESDAY: chicken legs in the crock pot, cucumber slices, rice?  (I have Bunco!)

WEDNESDAY: Pancakes and bacon or maybe French Toast

THURSDAY:  Spaghetti and salad (I am going out with friends)

FRIDAY:  OUT!

To-Do List

I am so far behind I don’t even know where to begin with things….most important five are…

  1. Pay Bills!
  2. Go to Grocery Store!
  3. Go to Sam’s Club and make sure we are stocked on water (G has band camp next week plus my husband is doing some outside work this week)
  4. Make the boys leave the house and do something fun.  Yes, forcing my kids to have fun is actually an item on this week’s to-do list.
  5. Double check dates for back to school enrollment and make sure I have the right paperwork

Creating

Nothing.  I’ve decided to put the Room A Week Re-Do Challenge on hold until school starts so we can cram as much fun into the end of our summer as possible.  (School starts super early for us, August 11th!)

Looking Around the House

It doesn’t look awful but I am planning to spend some time cleaning it this week.  We’re also dealing with a bit of a fruit fly invasion (one “joy” of summer I could do without) and I’m hoping to see less of the little things now that I’ve put two fruit fly traps into action.

From the Camera

On Friday night, J went with us to the marina at a local lake where you can feed the fish.  G was staying the night with a friend.  J wasn’t enthused at first but he had fun once we were there.

The Carp!

The Carp!

Sunset at the lake

Sunset at the lake

 

I was taken with these little birds...

I was taken with these little birds…

***

So hopefully, we’ll have a not so busy but very hot week around here.  What’s on the agenda for your upcoming week?

 

Five on Friday: Random Things From This Week

Why are the shorter weeks always the ones that feel the longest?  I only worked one day the entire week and here I sit on Friday feeling as if I had worked a full schedule.

I have enjoyed joining in for the Five on Friday hosted by Amy over at Love Made My Home so much the past couple of weeks that I decided to do it again this week.  Here are my random five for this week.

ONE:

We celebrated the Fourth of July on Monday (Please ignore the July 5th time stamp on the photos.  I couldn’t resist a photo of the American flag hanging attached to the tree.

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I also couldn’t resist a really good deal on this 800 shot Saturn missile when we were fireworks shopping.  It was a splurge but well worth it as I’ve always wanted to get one of these.  Fourth of July is my favorite holidays and while I don’t really set the fireworks off myself anymore, I do enjoy buying them.

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I also enjoy watching them especially the larger ones.  I think though they are very hard to capture without an advanced camera and advanced skill.  Neither of which I possess.  I tried various settings to get good photos before getting admonished by my husband to put the camera away and just watch the fireworks.  I did sneak this final photo though…

DSCN6559 TWO:

Long lost photos.  Earlier this week J took an older digital camera out of G’s room (with permission) and discovered it simply needed to be charged.  Somehow, he found the charger to it in the desk back here and charged it.  It works fine.  Today, I had him pull the SD card so we could see the photos from it on a slightly larger screen.

Most were blurry photos of random items shot by G at age 10 but I did smile at the first ones of the our Colorado Springs vacation back in 2010.

I remember we loved the Garden of the Gods so much we visited twice during our stay.  It was a wonderful place to take in scenery, explore, and best of all it was free!

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Garden of the Gods, Colorado Springs, CO

I think he took these photos on our last day and I do like this second out the window one as we were most likely leaving for home.  I can recall saying I’d love to live there until my husband reminded me, oh yeah, they do winter bigger and colder in that state.

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Somewhere in Colorado Springs, Colorado

THREE:

The new dishwasher came today and my husband is installing it right now!  I’m very excited to no longer wash dishes by hand each night.  It was getting a bit tedious.

We did make it through our dishwasher free period without buying paper plates.  No comment on whether we ate out a bit more…

I grew up without a dishwasher and we didn’t have one when we were first married.  However, they are certainly a handy device in a family of four!

There is something soothing about a sink full of dish soap suds

There is something soothing about a sink full of dish soap suds

A rather expensive drying rack

A rather expensive drying rack

The beautiful new dishwasher

The beautiful new dishwasher

FOUR:

Attempting to learn how to take better photos.  I use a very basic camera when I’m not using my phone camera.  I only just recently discovered it had “scene settings” which I now try to use instead of “auto.”  Blogging has made me want to be better at taking photos.

While browsing Pinterest one night, I stumbled across this Free 7 Day Beginners Boot Camp Photography E-mail course from Live Snap Love.  I’m on day 2 and have already learned so much!

I was inspired to take this photo of this rose bloom from above after reading the first lesson:

I didn't think our rose bush would ever bloom but was surprised by this today

I didn’t think our rose-bush would ever bloom but was surprised by this today

FIVE:

Bird watching and a missed photo opportunity.

J and I were out in the backyard this morning (perhaps early afternoon?) when all the smaller song birds in the front yard started squealing and squawking.  I worried for a moment that perhaps our cat had helped herself to a “chicken dinner” but then I glanced up and spotted it.

A large Cooper’s Hawk was sitting in a high branch (I could see it over the roof) of the maple in the front yard.  It’s quite common to see them sitting along the highways around here but not so much in a tree in your front yard.

I happened to have the camera in my hand but had yet to set it up and was trying to show J where it was in the tree when it took flight.  We watched it fly up the road and possibly to a neighbor’s tree but lost sight.

I was disappointed to not get a photo but still excited to have seen such a cool bird right in our front yard!  My disappointment was soothed a little when I was able to catch this photo of a black and white nut hatch in another tree later in the afternoon.

 

My Black and White Nuthatch high in the tree

My Black and White Nut hatch high in the tree

Those are my five for this short week that felt long.  It even looks like I just may manage to link my post up on a proper Friday as well.  Am I the only one who has thought it felt like a Saturday all day?

 

Bedroom Re-Do: The Beginning

I decided to start in our bedroom with my room a week re-do challenge because it was really feeling chaotic in here.  It still does a bit although I can see some little pockets of calm.

Since it was a shorter week, I am following the steps I outlined in the first post but in a rather random order and combining steps a bit.

I made a list of things that were bothering me the most in the room:

  1. There is no real separate “office space.” I have never liked having the computer desk area in this room but we simply do not have room for this desk elsewhere in the house and it is too important to me to switch out for something else.
    Sadly, this is what my computer desk looked like a day after I had cleaned it.

    Sadly, this is what my computer desk looked like a day after I had cleaned it.

    Here is the view we get of the computer desk “office area” from our bed:

    This is really not a relaxing thing to see in a bedroom

    This is really not a relaxing thing to see in a bedroom

  2. My side of the bedroom had once again spiraled out of control and into chaos:Did I mention in my last post I had really let things slide?  Looking at this also reminded me of how I was in need of a place to put my preschool books (I had started organizing them with the magazine holders but had too many and not all of them fit right because of varying book sizes).   I also thought I wanted book ends for the dresser or eventually built-in bookcases…

    Yikes!

    Yikes!

  3. The unfinished walls in our bedroom which have been waiting for sheet-rock much too long were really bothering me as well.

Then, I spent some time cleaning and sorting.  I cleared off the entire top of the dresser (I did the laundry as well).

There is definitely something calming about clear, empty spaces

There is definitely something calming about clear, empty spaces

I decided as much as I like my books around me, I don’t want all of them in my bedroom.  I need calm in here.

The style I decided on for our bedroom that I think we both could actually like is a combination of romantic and beach house.

Don’t you hate looking at things on Pinterest and then, wanting all the things done and done now?  Of course, it doesn’t work that way because of time and budget constraints.

My ideas for a few quick fixes for this room were to mostly ignore my desk area for now.  I want to rearrange things a bit and hang a curtain to separate things. However, I will need husband help for those two things and neither of us was having a week where discussing moving furniture around would have ended happily.

After I cleaned my side of the bed, I decided on an idea to either cover the walls with sheets or “wallpaper” the walls using gift wrap.   I love the bed canopy made from sheets in this pin which also covers part of the wall.

I brought out a white sheet and debated for a while but ultimately decided for the wall above my dresser, “wallpaper” wrapping paper would be a better fit (and easier to install on our unfinished walls).

After a quick search of the basement revealed nothing suitable, I made a run to The Dollar Tree.  I found some wedding paper I thought might bring a bit of a romantic vibe to the room:

I wouldn't want a whole room of this but thought it would be nice for one wall

I wouldn’t want a whole room of this but thought it would be nice for one wall

I planned to attach it using double-sided tape, my husband said that would be okay and not likely to hurt anything.  I did the bottom of half of my wall just to see how it would look:

New wallcovering

New wall covering in progress

I did the bottom half of the wall after agreeing to wait and let my husband do the top half (something about “Please, don’t hurt yourself and if you can just wait until the weekend, I’ll do it for you…) this weekend.

I’m hoping to have a bit more finished looking bedroom by the end of the weekend and “after” pictures to show sometime next week.

Do you have any remodel in progress rooms in your house?  How do you cope?

 

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