Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Star (DIY)

  One of the bloggers I follow had my attention with a project that was posted the other day.  I was so inspired that I convinced myself that I could do it.  First trip was to the local hardware store!

I looked over several racks of wood and even went to another store to look as well.  I guess I hadn't quite committed yet if I didn't make an initial purchase at the first store.

I did buy the wood though and took it home even though they do cut wood there!

It was measured. 

It was cut.

I did neither!  I would have cut it though.  Was even planning on sawing it the old fashion way if need be.  

I sprayed this one silver but have plans to paint another one gold and stain another one.  I will make a different wood choice as well.

I had to line up the pattern that I wanted.  I think this was the hardest part.

Then I nailed the boards together.  There was some shifting of the wood and I nailed in other areas then the obvious points.

I'm still happy with the end result though.  I used indoor spray paint that said to let it dry for 15 minutes so that's 30 minutes total but the rest of the project went by fairly quickly.

So what do you think?  Do you think you'll be making one for yourself or an in-law?

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Pictures Speak (Botanical Gardens)


  We are members of the local botanical gardens.  I enjoy this membership as its one place that is always changing.  It changes with the season as well as the holiday.  You may even get an exhibit passing through that stops there for a period of time.  Over all however you get to experience the freedom to roam, see what's growing at the present time and stop to smell the Roses!

I love a good tree.  They all have their own personality.  With or without leaves the gardens have an abundance of trees just like flowers.

Beautiful historic bridges that also make a great photographic backdrop.

Caterpillars are in abundance in the summer time.  I even got too see some I have never seen before.

If you keep your eyes open  you will see more then just caterpillars and butterflies.

A squirrel in the tree in such a odd way had us talking about camouflage.

Our Rose gardens bloom twice a year! Lol, I said our like I had a part in this.

A wildflower field is another great photographic backdrop as well as see the variety of flowers in a wild and carefree area.

It's not all about the flowers and trees.  Random berries or seeds decorate the trees making them unique.

Lastly, there is always time to stop and smell the Rose's!

Now that the holiday season is here we will go back to take a ride through the gardens at night with the holiday lights.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Moana (movie review)


What is the number one kids movie out right now?  Moana in case you haven't heard!  The new Disney Princess movie came out last month just before Thanksgiving.

  Moana was the first time I enjoyed myself so much at a Disney Princess movie!  We went last week after the rush, in the early evening on a matinee all day rate.  You can't get better then that when you are looking at being comfortable with less of a crowd.  There was probably 20 people if that in the entire theater.

 Before I discuss the movie or my opinion let me just start with the color, animation and music all flowed.  I loved scenes in the movie specifically because of the picture.  It was so clear but animated but real.

  Moana is a princess on an island in Hawaii.  She loses someone dear to her whom also encourages her to save the island and her people.  She takes a journey  past the forbidden reefs but don't dear she is not alone.  She is backed up by nature on her quest to save nature.  She faces various threats but still stays focused on completing the overall objective.  Watch the movie all the way through as there is a point to the journey.

  I loved this movie.  I would see this movie again.  I would buy this movie.  There that's my opinion!   I go back to the color and animation of this film it's amazing.

Will you child like it? Yes!  There are a couple not so good kind of creepy parts.  I agreed with my 5 yo on one and the other she wasn't phased by.  Otherwise we talked about how cute Moana was, how beautiful the land was and how brave she is.  There is a guy sidekick Maui with Moana.  He brings humor and entertainment to the movie so it's not all about the princess so boys should like this movie too!

The crowds should have died down now.  Run out and see it!  You will not be disappointed.  Oddly enough the music and songs sprinkled throughout the movie were just as pleasant and enjoyable as well.

Friday, December 2, 2016

24 Days of Elf Ideas

Elf!  We have an elf and his name is nothing fancy.  He's got the bare basic name of Elf.  Why make it difficult?  Why make it hard to remember?  We have enough to worry about in the world so lets just keep it simple.

  Elf made his first appearance last year with us.  He is not your traditional Elf on the Shelf.  He is an elf in the appearance part but that's about it.  He is slightly taller and little wider and definitely not very posable.

  Thats all ok though because we work with what we got.  Last year he kept us entertained and I did pretty good with making him do something else daily.  There are no rules about not touching him in fact my daughter will pose him to do something else later in the day for my amusement.

Here are some ideas we may be using this year or have done previously.

Day 1: Spilt flour on the flour and wrote he was back. (we ate pancakes)

Day 2: Elf was placed on the tree with a string of lights to encourage decorating the tree.

Day 3: Sliding down the stairs
Day 4: book tree
Day 5: Crafting with the elf
Day 6: Cocoa Night!
Day 7: Cereal stringing  (for birds)
Day 8: Family game night (elfs choice)
Day 9: Make Holiday cards
Day 10:  Library trip for Christmas books
Day 11: Snowball fighting
Day 12:Christmas Movie Night w/ Charlie Brown
Day 13: Shopping for siblings
Day 14: All wrapped up (to wrap presents)
Day 15: Bake cookies
Day 16: RAK
Day 17: Tp the bathroom
Day 18: Snow bath
Day 19: Helping with chores
Day 20: Elf cruises to see the lights (my favorite last year)
Day 21: Riding dinosaurs
Day 22: snowfloor
Day 23: playing games with his friends
Day 24: Elf will write a note for the kids and say goodbye and leave a picture of him and each of them. Maybe a photo book of his fun would be nice, I'll have to think about that.

Ok so there's my list.  I may or may not change dates or even activities but atleast I have a plan.  Now to at least just stick with it.  How hard is it to move a toy around daily?

Follow our antics! As always if you have an elf I would love to hear what they are up to.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Welcome December and Goals

  At last we have made it to the last month of the year.  This is the month that people scramble, people organize or people take advantage of.

  Scramble because they want to lose weight before the end of the year.  Organize because next year I'm going to do xyz.  Take advantage of because I can eat everything I want because the diet starts next month.

  This month we will be busy with Elf antics.
The Elf made his day 1 appearance today.  Our elf unlike the traditional elf does not create havoc all the time.  He would have made a better entrance had kids went to bed sooner and I was more prepared.

    The Elf spilled some flour but we managed to still have enough to make some pancakes this am!

  31 days of fitness is also my goal.  The fitness will be made up of outside fitness (biking, jogging), gym time or workouts at home.  The only stipulation is it needs to be at least 30 minutes.  I should challenge myself with water consumption too because I'm horrible at this.

We will hopefully squeeze a couple more books.  I'm struggling to finish 3 I have on hand.

   I will teach at least a few more alphabet lessons before the holidays.  I will also post some fun Q and A session!

Feel free to share your elf stories and if your inspired or motivated to move a little more daily I would love to hear about that too!

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Lessons Learned on the 30 Day Challenge (Blogging)

  The 30 day blogging challenge is over.  Did you know I was participating?  Well I was and now am celebrating on this final day with the 30th post on the 30th day of November.

  It was harder then you think.  I don't always know what I'm going to write.  It's not always planned. Hmm, I'm not one to plan ahead.  Sometimes I was good others not so much but, I have learned alot from this journey.

What I learned from 30 days of blogging:

1. If you plan ahead things are easier.
2.  If your determined you will get the job done even if it's past your bedtime.
3. I am confident now how to not stress about what to post.
4.  I gained more exposure and interaction with daily posts.
5.  Posting variety gets people's attention!
6. This was special me time that I made happen.
7. I can learn from others along the way when I do engage.
8. You have to focus and have patience to finish something you started.  If it was important enough to start it's important enough to finish.
9. Speak from the heart or experience because people like real and deserve real.
10.  There's always something to post!

Each day there was a prompt to help you with ideas if you needed it.  Todays prompt was if a chose a word for the year and what it was.  I will finish this 30th post on this 4th day of November with my answer.

  At the beginning of 2016 I did choose several words.


  I can sit back and reflect on how I used all these words for myself making myself a better person and pursuing the current situation.  I can also smile as I have shared all of these in one way or the other with friends and acquaintances.  If I can why not you. I post a cannoli one day and I'm at the gym working out.  The struggle is real and I keep it real.

Thank you for keeping me company on this journey.

Have you ever completed a 30 day challenge on anything?
What did you learn from it?
Would you do it again?


Tuesday, November 29, 2016

A Day Out On the Bike

  A couple weeks ago it was supposed to hit 70°.  Prior to that a week or two before that was warm as well.   I thought that that was probably the last good day before the winter made its mark and decided to stay so it was time to take full advantage of it.

  I loaded up my bike to hit the VirginiaCapitalTrail.  This trail has been a focus for several months.  It's a nice solid even trail over 50 miles long.  This trail runs from Jamestown Settlement to downtown Richmond.

  I am an amateur cyclist.  I have ridden topping off at only 12 miles.  Mostly off road and strictly on a mountain bike.  A mountain bike weighs more, requires more effort to pedal and doesn't reach the speed of a road bike at least with any real ease.  Maybe these are all excuses but they are tidbits I have heard, and again I'm an amateur.

I started at mile marker 0. No pressure!  I can do this.  I am so excited.  I have my water bladder for hydration, my phone is locked onto the bike (extra battery packed too), helmet, sunglasses, cycling gloves, fruit and a protein bar!  I think I'm as prepared as I could be! 

Along the way each mile excited me more as I passed it and got closer to the end.  The trail was such a great surface.

I picked the perfect time of year and day.  The temperature was just right.  It wasn't too hot or cold.  I did run into some strong wind at the end but in the beginning I was completely comfortable.  Our fall comes later so I was able to catch the colors on this mid November ride.

The trail took me over bridges big and small.

The water views were the rewards.

I am not sure at what point of me taking pictures did I realize that it was taking time away from me finishing.  This was never a race.  It was my first time.  I had nothing to compare it to so there was no record to break.  

There was so much history to see on this stretch.  Plantations, the home of a past president and other history markers declaring momentous acts!

So many signs so little time to read.  I started the trail at 10:45 am.  I was planning to make it a 4 hour trip.  I exceeded it by an hour.  I stopped at two main trailheads to stretch and go to the bathroom.

It was always so reassuring to see how close I was getting.  The signs were in addition to the mile markers.  I never really felt alone and isolated either. There was always someone coming from the other direction, passing me or cars on the nearby road.  

I'm almost there.  When you have ridden 40 miles and you see that you are here.  It's truly amazing, such an accomplishment, such a feat!  

I will not lie and say I was not in pain.  The week working up to this day.  I had rode he 12 miles and another day 4 miles, I had ran a couple random days as well.  That was the extent of my training.  I do know that I have the endurance.  So not completing the trail wasn't an option.  My legs hurt particularly my thighs and around my knees.  My butt had been lost some where around mile 20 something.  It was so numb and I couldn't use one leg long enough to give either a rest or my butt.  

I pedaled on.  I hit a strong wind after that last trailhead and already exhausted that I couldn't even motivate myself anymore.  I had did multiple stretches at that stop but nothing was enough.   I had 12 miles left I had to keep going; there was no way I wasn't going to finish! 

I knew there were supposed to be more hills on this end so I was slightly prepared.  I laughed hysterically at them when they popped up.  I still pedaled on.
Then on one hill I saw the city.   The sun was starting to set.  It was so pretty and what a relief.  I had made it.  I was done. I had did it!  

My husband was parked shortly after marker number 50 so I didn't hit 52.1 which is the whole trail but that's ok.  Hek, had i known he was right there I would have snapped a picture of me and 50 but oh well I guess that will have to be next time!

What did I learn from this trip?  That I was as prepared as I was going to be.  That I could do it.  That alone time is nice.  That being alone is not scary.  That I am independent and can do things bigger then me.  That even when told I maybe shouldn't try it that I can try it and see what happens.  This was probably my biggest and definitely last accomplishment for he year but I'm so happy with it that that's fine by me.  

Next time of course I will beat my record because of the sheer fact I don't need  to take so many pictures.  

I also must add.  Although I was sore that night.  The next morning I was completely fine.  I woke up and waited for alarms to go off in my body and nothing did. I sat up and moved and all was actually just the way it was before!

I have already looked to see where else I can ride and I saw a 100 mile race.  I am not sure I'm ready for that just yet but I would like to continue riding my mountain bike and get a road bike and have the ability to ride either.

Have you completed a final item for the 2016?  Do you have a big goal for next year?