Thursday, August 31, 2017

What's Cooking

So...ya' I'm gonna share THE best salad you have ever had.  It is AmAzinG!  Oh. My. Word!

I have Kary to thank for this addiction.  Kary is my beloved hair dresser!

She not only takes care of all our hair and....and eyebrows...and color....she also recommends great salads.  She told me I HAD to try the Arugula Salad from Radius Pizza in I tried it....YUMMY!  However, I'm sorry to say it is also $15 a pop if you add I decided I would have to make it at home.  I've eaten like 4 times this week.  I am totally addicted.

Feta Cheese
Dried Cranberries
Walnuts (Radius uses peanuts....but the peanuts tasted a little weird to me)
Diced Roasted Sweet potatoes....YES!

Pan seared salmon....not included on salad, but Kary recommended adding it.
Vinaigrette Dressing

You are welcome.  I know I'm your new best friend.

And if you want your kids to think you are awesome....
Make these cookies

1 box cake mix (I used strawberry)
1 regular sized tub Cool Whip (I used reduced fat)
1 egg

Roll into balls and coat in Powdered Sugar
Bake at 350 for 10 minutes....

So quick I made them before school!
Unfortunately, I didn't take pictures of the finished product....
They were cute.
I didn't eat one but my kids LOVED them.

Happy Thursday!

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Exploring Home

I've lived in Durham basically my whole entire life.  I say basically, because I did leave for college, but made a quick return home.....So I kinda thought I knew my town and the surrounding areas.  I'm realizing this last week, however, there is really so much I don't know about my hometown.  I think my new hobby is going to be uncovering Durm.  Take for instance Duke Gardens, I definitely knew it was there and had visited it many times.  Nonetheless, I did not know that it was so quiet during the weekday mornings.  A perfect spot for a walk, or quiet time, or writing.  I will definitely be incorporating this treasure into my life.

These weekday adventures are giving me lots of ideas for family adventures.

One of my favorite discoveries this week was King's Red and White.  Thank you Julia Curl!  Seriously, how can I have lived in Durham my whole life and been so unaware!  It is the cutest, quaintest grocery you can even imagine.  Mapleview Farms butter (and ice cream), homemade jam, 9th street bakery bread, local produce, a real butcher in back, hand drawn signs in the window.  Oh. my. word.   My new favorite!

Rubbing shoulders with strangers.  Strangers becoming acquaintances......maybe even new friends.  New friendships bring even more discoveries.  Randy found a new favorite drink from one of Lydia's new friends.  Mixing things up a bit, eyes open wide....

Slowing down.  Paying attention.  Breathing deep.  Discovering hidden treasures along the way.

Absorbing life.

Pouring out from His abundance.....Ahhhh

Friday, August 11, 2017

I Survived Summer and Starting School!

Mama's, summer is no joke!  It's fast, it's fun, it's full and at our house it's over.  It went out with a bang!  I spent several days at my parents beach house and let each of my kids bring a friend.  It was really fun.....

Lots of laughs

Lots of memories

Lots of food

Lots of sunshine

After our friends left we headed into a weeklong family vacation, that was exactly what the doctor ordered!

We came home, unpacked, and hit the ground running because 5 short days after vacation ended school began!

So on Thursday, I sent my four kiddos back to school.  The big one heads back in a couple weeks!

Sophia was headed to the brand new high school!  It's so pretty!!!!

She is absolutely in LOVE with high school.  She came home beaming.

Jackson and Lydia both started middle school.  That is crazy!  Lydia came home bubbling over with excitement about school and talking about all the friends she made.  Jackson made lots of friends and came home with a new nickname, "Jay"! There is another Jackson in his Jay it is!  They were a little bummed when they realized that they were twinning on the first day of was accidental!

As I was talking to Jackson before bed last night, I asked him who the prettiest girl in his class was.  He rolled his eyes and reluctantly admitted, "Lydia".  So sweet!

Audrey is in the fifth grade, and she is crazy about her teachers and already making friends.  Sophia asked her if she had done any of her voices at school yet.  She hasn't.....yet.  They have no idea.....I'm sure she will come out of her shell in a few days :)

I did tear up a little on Thursday as I dropped off the last kiddo.  Just for a bit though.  This is a new chapter for me.  I've homeschooled most of my adult life....and the one year they did go to school before I taught school.  So I'm home alone....and it is weird....and I must admit....a bit wonderful!

I've been stopping at the Riverwalk on my way home from school and walking and listening to music and I love it!  It is quiet and beautiful.

I am hopeful that this will become a habit.

I've also enjoyed unrushed Quiet Times with Peach Tea and uninterrupted Phone Calls with sweet friends.

So far it has been a lot of the same....Laundry, Dishes, Cooking, Cleaning, Planning, Organizing.

It is easier and quieter.

Except not the paperwork.....there is a lot of paperwork!

It's also a little different.....Packing Lunches, Morning Rush, Afternoon Carlines.....

And different because my breakfast game has been on point....(I'll try to remember to blog when I throw Pop tarts at them too!)

But it's also different because life feels a bit more restful....a lot less I can breathe a little.

(a little inspiration found on my morning walk)

I love my crew and am so excited to see them each afternoon and hear their stories and about their days but the break has been nice....very, very nice.  Except when Mindy tears up the trash and I'm the only one to clean it!  Just keeping it real......