A Visit to the Beach

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The summer has been great for us and it was a beautiful day for a visit with friends at the beach. It’s always nice to get the kids together. Our daughter enjoyed being doted on by our friends’ daughter and my son was excited to be with friends his age. I, of course, was super happy to be able to talk with other adult moms. We sometimes forget how important it is to nurture friendships at our adult ages too.

My goal is to start planning ahead for activities during Fall and Winter before our beautiful summer goes away. Nurturing friendships old and new. What are some of your favorite activities?

Here’s my daughter enjoying the wonderful breeze, ocean and sand.

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Hillside Collage of Roses

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Here are a few photos from our recent trip to the International Rose Garden in Portland, Oregon. The roses were spectacular!!! Even our little one enjoyed taking the time to smell a few roses here and there7-2-2017 Rose Garden Artsy IMG_5932

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Visit to Bloedel Reserve

A lovely quiet spot on Bainbridge Island, WA that we have come to love is the Bloedel Reserve. It is a serene and tranquil property that is perfect for a stress-relieving stroll, a place to gather your thoughts or time and place to simply admire nature’s beauty.

Our two year old loves trekking along with us on the trails. At yesterday’s visit we were blessed to see ducks in the pond, geese on the lawn, a deer and her doe in the forest and a little squirrel scurrying across one of the trails. Our daughter enjoys the beautiful flowers and never fails to try and skirt away to the water’s edge. So we always have to keep her close. I just hope she never tires of being around nature’s wonders.

Visit Bloedel Reserve. http://bloedelreserve.org/

Flowers and Strawberries Kind of Party

No matter how hard I try to plan and prepare for a party earlier in the year, I still manage to wait till the last minute to complete a project for a party. The problem for me is that there are way too many great party ideas on Pinterest. Ending up with just a few ideas for a party never seems to happen.

I often tend to overthink things and go overboard but I just love decorating for parties. One of my biggest flaws is that I get so into decorating that I often forget the time. Therefore, I’m always running late. Then I forget to take pictures of the decorations before the party begins.

Here are just a few pictures of our daughter’s birthday party from a few months ago. The paper flowers for the backdrop were so fun to make. I watched many Youtube.com videos and saved so many pins on Pinterest on how to make them. Be prepared to have lots of hot glue sticks on hand if you plan to make the flowers.

The party theme was Flowers and Strawberries. The cake table backdrop turned out a lot shorter than I wanted it to be but it went over fairly well. We used our room divider to display it. The material I used was thin, cotton broadcloth from Joann Fabric. It was on sale for $1.99 a yard and I only used about 2 yards.

The strawberry eggs were filled with candy for a garden hunt for the little ones. I found the idea via Pinterest which lead me to the following link. There are so many cute strawberry party ideas. http://siayla.blogspot.ca/2013/10/aaylas-strawberry-shortcake-birthday.html

We absolutely love having pictures taken of the guests at our parties. We created a photo booth with a pink floral background that I purchased from Amazon.com and completed the booth with handmade berry signs and cute but cheesy photo props. We were so happy to get some great shots of the party guests for our daughter’s memory books.

Here is the Youtube.com video from http://ashandcrafts.com/ that I used for one of the flowers on my daughter’s birthday party backdrop.

 

Here’s the link to the instructions to the Dahlia flowers on the backdrop.

https://houseofcoleman.wordpress.com/2013/04/04/welcoming-spring-with-a-dahlia-tutorial/

Can’t wait to plan my daughter’s next birthday. Pinterest… here I come!

 

 

 

Hello Again

It has almost been a year since I last posted on my blog. Our Artsy Fartsy Family had a truly busy year. I had my tonsils removed in October of last year and since then it has been crazy ride filled with holidays, birthdays, high school and middle school band events, and a high school graduation.

Along with the Fall season and holidays, I was hit hard with SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). I was raised in Hawaii and having lived in the NW for almost 20 years you’d think I would have adjusted by now. Apparently living in the NW was hard on others we know this past year. Normal daily life was much more difficult than it should have been and for myself, a lot of it was due to feeling fatigue.

Looking back now, much of it could have been avoided had I prepared myself with exercise, Vitamin D, play dates for my little one, date nights for myself and my husband, coffee dates for myself and friends, and lots of activities. My goal this Fall and Winter is to be prepared to fend off and deal with SAD. Do you have issues with SAD? If so, what are things you do to fend off SAD?

 

 

Fun Baby Picture

Couldn’t help but capture and share this fun picture of our daughter. Quite Artsy “Fartsy.

Weekly Photo Challenge:Fun!

Who Farted marked

Spontaneous Park Visit

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Since our youngest son doesn’t have a phone of his own yet, I downloaded the Pokemon Go app for him last week. He asked if we could go walking yesterday evening so that he could play it. I am all for him wanting to get out of the house and away from the TV and computer. This also gave me an opportunity to take some pictures of the thriving community garden at our local park.

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Even though the park is really close by, I have to admit that I am out of shape so I still drove to the park. When we arrived there was some event going on and we ended up parking on the road. I have to admit, when we pulled up, I thought that the crowd was all there for the Pokemon Go craze. I was wrong. We took a tour of the community garden and then the park just cleared out. Except for a few people out for their evening walk, the park was basically empty. It was dusk (about 8:45 pm). Bedtime for most children. For me, it was the perfect time for some picture taking.

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It was a wonderful spontaneous park visit. My son was happy he was able to pick up some balls from the Poke stop (so it’s called) and I was happy I got to practice taking pictures with my camera.

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Do you have any community gardens where you live? Are you or your children into the Pokemon Go craze?

Rummage Sale Gardening Bargains

Saturday was a day of treasure hunting and gardening. Our high school marching band, flag team and drill team members held a rummage sale to raise money for an upcoming trip and I was able to find some really great pieces for my gardening.

We purchased two beautiful planters for $10 each, some cute mini ceramic shoes (for succulent terrariums) for a $1 each, a teapot and ceramic mouse with flower (for my mini garden), another planter for my new indoor spider plant, a lavender and a succulent plant. What wonderful things you can find at rummage sales!

Here are our creations from yesterday after our trip to the greenhouse. We had lots of fun creating these. The first two pictures are of the succulent terrariums we created using the ceramic shoes. The last two pictures are of the container gardens we created using the planters.

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The following container gardens that we created were inspired by an article from southernliving.com.

http://www.southernliving.com/home-garden/gardens/creative-container-gardens

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We first filled the bottom of the pots with pebbles and then filled it with the plants and Miracle-Grow Moisture Control Potting Mix. I’m hoping these plants will survive till Fall. I did ask an employee at the greenhouse about the spider plant and fern that we purchased for the pots. She mentioned that I should bring them in when it gets cold. I will do my best to not to let them die before bringing them in. Wish me luck!

 

 

Stop to Smell the Flowers

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“Some think love can be measured by the amount of butterflies in their tummy. Others think love can be measured in bunches of flowers, or by using the words ‘for ever.’ But love can only truly be measured by actions. It can be a small thing, such as peeling an orange for a person you love because you know they don’t like doing it.”
~Marian Keyes

Doing little things for each other can make a huge difference in the world we live in today. There is much chaos, so much more distractions and pressures around us that sometimes we all just need to bring ourselves back down to earth and show a little kindness in our daily lives.

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“You’re only here for a short visit. Don’t hurry, don’t worry. And be sure to smell the flowers along the way.”
~Walter Hagen

I’m often guilty of not taking the time to “smell the flowers.” My biggest fault is taking on so much more than I can handle. I’ve always had a hard time saying no when help is needed. I still do but I’m getting a little better about knowing what my limits are. This will give me much time to focus on those who are really important to me.

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Yesterday we happily took the time to run to the Brothers Greenhouses in Port Orchard again to see their cute little Hobbit House and beautiful flowers and plants. These pictures of the flowers were taken from their greenhouses. I was able to stop and “smell the flowers”.

Note: While we were at the Brothers Greenhouses we ran into some family friends that stopped in to check it out after seeing my blog. I’m very happy to see that I was able to positively share a spot. Thank you for reading!

 

 

 

How to Feed a Family of 6 Without the Restaurant

Having a toddler has made it much more difficult to enjoy eating out as a family. We still go out to eat occasionally with our children but we have been trying to limit ourselves. One of my favorite places to eat at is a local Hawaiian restaurant called Aloha Kitchen in Silverdale, Washington. I often crave eating food from back home and Aloha Kitchen provides some of the best known dishes of Hawaii.

Their Kalua Pork and Cabbage plate (complete with rice and macaroni salad) is my favorite. I’ve made Kalua Pork several times in our oven but it is very time consuming and can be a greasy mess.

A few months ago, we ordered trays of food from their restaurant for our daughters 1st birthday. Our friends and family loved it. This is where I came up with a money saving idea. It will also help save our sanity.

I ordered their largest Kalua Pork and Cabbage party tray for our dinner on Wednesday. It is listed as having 18-25 servings but the tray serves so much more.  After eating dinner, were able to package the rest into eight portions that will serve 5-7. We froze the packages and containers for future dinners. The cost was $125 for the large tray. Therefore, each (5-7 servings) portion cost about $14.

Those who feed their family on $3-$5 per meal may think me crazy but this is a dish I crave for often but I really dislike cooking. The $14 for a dinner to feed our family of 6 is a huge savings compare to what it would cost to take our family out to a restaurant to eat. It would normally cost our family $60-$70 to eat at Aloha Kitchen.

We now have 8 more meals in our freezer. We will just need to cook up some rice and throw some veggies in a pot on the stove. This works great for those last minute meals and it sure beats eating at a fast food restaurant.

We will occasionally eat at Aloha Kitchen without children every once in a while to continue supporting their business. We also love purchasing their gift certificates to give away as gifts to friends and family.

Do you have a favorite dish that a restaurant near you could cook up a huge batch for you to freeze into portions?