Friends Had It Right . . .

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Oooh, my.

You know how you watch a TV show and laugh at how accurately they describe situations in life?

Well, up until now, I never really had that moment with Friends.

I mean, I like it, but a lot of it hasn’t held up too well over the years (like Ross and Rachel’s relationship . . .)

BUT. There is one thing that has been popping into my mind the past few weeks, as The Fellow and I have been interacting with Little Bit, that has me chuckling.

In one episode, Ross is trying to make his daughter, Emma, laugh and finds himself singing “Baby Got Back.” Rachel is, of course, horrified that he sings this to their child, but hey – it works!

Image result for friends baby got back meme

Well, somehow The Fellow and I have found ourselves singing, “Hello, I Love You” to Little Bit. She cracks the biggest smile and giggles!

Not the worst song ever, but definitely has some creep factor to it. Actually, a lot of 60s/70s songs are just creepy if you stop and listen to the lyrics, but that’s a post for a different day.

Anyone else besides Ross and me wind up singing weird songs to your kids? Tell me about it!

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Book Review: Kami Kangaroo Has Too Much Stuff

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My mother is OBSESSED with the statistics about children’s literacy and how reading to your child impacts their overall learning/skill set development.

Considering how much she read to me and how big a part of my life books were as a child, I’m not surprised.

We’re already reading to Little Bit, and family story time is one of my favorite parts of the day! We read to Little Bit, and then if we have enough time we switch to mama and papa’s book. Right now we’re reading The Lord of the Rings: Two Towers.

So be prepared for a few book reviews as we go forward and we find new stories that we love.

Over Christmas, we got the chance to read Kami Kangaroo Has Too Much Stuff.

It’s a sweet story that accurately describes exactly what happened when I tried to clean my room as a child . . . and sometimes now. You try to get things tidied up, but then there are distractions, and before you know it . . . hours have passed.

The illustrations are beautiful, and the message behind the book is something that is relatable to both kids and their parents. I love that it gives parents a fun way to address a common problem and handles the concept so gently.

Cover Image

If you’re looking for a book series with a life lesson in it, you should absolutely check out Kami Kangaroo!

Happy Valentines Day!

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Happy Valentine’s Day!

Valentine’s Day is one of those holidays that can be so stressful for people. You either love it or hate it. It’s wonderful or terrible.

I’ve had my share of ups and downs with this one for sure. For real though, some of my favorite V-Days have been spent downing a pizza and snuggling at the house wearing sweat pants.

No matter if you’re a mushy, gooey Valentine’s Day type or a sit back and watch a horror film type, I hope that today you know that you are loved.

You are a wonderfully unique human. You bring something to the world that no one else can offer, and I hope that you appreciate that about yourself!

So if I’m the 100th person to say this today or the first, you’re amazing and deserving of love. In fact, won’t you –

two white rose flowers in vase

New Hobby!

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For my birthday last year, The Fellow gave me a metal casting kit that I’ve had my eye on.

I haven’t gotten a chance to play around with it much. We’ve only really done one project – a necklace for my mother for Christmas which was a catastrophe.

Working with metal though has been something I’ve been interested in for a few years now, but haven’t done much with it outside of some research. The original goal was to be able to cast my own SCA accessories (Viking brooches, belt ends, jewelry, etc.), but now I think that I’ll probably be doing a ton of other things as well!

I’ve started carving some models to cast, things like basic necklaces and tokens. Once I get a few carved, I’ll do a batch bake of the clay models, and we can start testing them out to see how they cast!

There is something magical about seeing something as hard as a metal slowly liquify and roll around the crucible, and then seeing the finished project come out of the mold. I can’t wait to make all of the things! (Now to get over my fear of using a blowtorch.)

I’ll keep you posted with updates on how it goes!

Photo Albums

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Does anyone out there still make old-school scrapbooks?

When I was a kid, I remember my mother sitting at the table in the dining room with a huuuge Sterilite box of various scrapbook pages and stickers and boxes of photos.

I tried to do a few scrapbooks myself when I was younger, but they were so time-consuming, expensive, and never looked that great.

With cell phones being so prevalent, I don’t usually even print individual pictures. I ordered our engagement photos online in a printed photo book. I even hired a VA to edit/assemble our wedding photo book for printing.

But with Little Bit’s arrival, I’ve become picture OBSESSED. I didn’t want to risk something happening to my phone and erasing all of the cuteness that has been her first few months.

So, now I’ve got envelopes of pictures that I haven’t had time to get into an album (It’s like the 90s all over again!), but I did plaster the entire wall above my desk with pictures of her . . . (I know, I’m obsessed.)

How do you handle photo storage? Are you a sim card/USB backup, cloud storage, or old-school type? Let me know!

Morning Meditations

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It’s been interesting getting used to being at home all the time. I’m working with a few clients and enjoying all of the baby snuggles, but with Little Bit’s late bedtime (No matter what we try, I’m up until 11 or 12 with her.), I’ve been having the worst time trying to get out of bed early enough to get things done before she gets up.

One thing that I’ve started doing though is taking a few moments each morning for some quiet reflection.

I start the coffee, then sit down and light a candle at my desk (having a candle lit has become one of my favorite things), read a short devotional, and write in my gratitude journal.

It’s nice to take just a moment to focus on being grateful and present before I jump into the craziness of the day.

What are your morning routines? What can’t you skip or everything seems off for the rest of the day?

Vision Board

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We’re nearing the end of January and that means heading full-on into achieving goals for 2020.

At the end of last year, I was challenged to create a vision board. If you’ve never done a vision board, here’s what they are:

A dream board or vision board is a collage of images, pictures, and affirmations of one’s dreams and desires, designed to serve as a source of inspiration and motivation and to use the law of attraction to attain goals.

I now have mine hanging above my desk to remind me of what I’m working for.

My board has some inspirational quotes to help guide me:

“Breathe.”
“The first step in crafting the life you want is to get rid of everything you don’t.”
“Discover Excellence”
“Happy Place”
“Value yourself. Be confident.”

In addition to these quotes, I included some imagery: a woman working at her computer desk (I can already tick that one off the list!) a cup of tea, a forest retreat, a mom playing in the living room with her family, and a woman relaxing reading a book.

I like having all of these things right above my head while I work, so I can do a quick check-in and keep those goals in front of mind.

Do you make a vision board? What types of things do you put on yours?

What I’m Listening to Wednesday: Meatloaf

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If there is one thing I know for certain, it’s that I have questionable taste in movies and music.

I’ve mentioned this before here, but I LOVE Meatloaf.

Now that I’m home, I’ve been listening to more music and fewer podcasts (I need to get back into those!), and some days I just want to listen to some old favorites, which for me . . . is Meatloaf.

This song, in particular, gets a bad rap. It’s been made fun of in commercials, graphs, and memes, but I love it! All 8 minutes and bizarre monsters on a motorcycle of it!

You’ve Guessed it! It’s –

I Would Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That)

Image result for meatloaf do for love
Image result for meatloaf do for love

So, without any further ado:

And I would do anything for love
I’d run right into hell and back
I would do anything for love
I’d never lie to you and that’s a fact
But I’ll never forget the way you feel right now
Oh no, no way
And I would do anything for love
Oh, I would do anything for love
I would do anything for love, but I won’t do that
No, I won’t do that

Some days it don’t come easy
Some days it don’t come hard
Some days it don’t come at all, And these are the days that never end
Some nights you’re breathing fire
Some nights you’re carved in ice
Some nights you’re like nothing I’ve ever seen before or will again

Maybe I’m crazy, but it’s crazy and it’s true
I know you can save me, No one else can save me now but you As long as the planets are turning
As long as the stars are burning
As long as dreams are coming true
You’d better believe it, that I would do Anything for love
Oh, I would do anything for love
Oh, I would do anything for love, but I won’t do that
No, I won’t do that I would do anything for love
Anything you’ve been dreaming of, But I just won’t do that
Some days I pray for silence
Some days I pray for soul
Some days I just pray to the god of sex, Drums and rock ‘n’ roll Maybe I’m lonely, that’s all I’m qualified to be
That’s just one and only, the one and only Promise I can keep

As long as the wheels are turning
As long as the fires are burning
As long as your prayers are coming true
You’d better believe it, that I would do Anything for love
And you know it’s true and that’s a fact
I would do anything for love, and there’ll never be no turning back
But I’ll never do it better than I do it with you, So long, so long
I would do anything for love
Oh, I would do anything for love
I would do anything for love, but I won’t do that
No, no, no, I won’t do that Will you raise me up? Will you help me down?
Will you get me right out of this godforsaken town?
Will you make it all a little less cold? I can do that
I can do that Will you cater to every fantasy I got?
Will you hose me down with holy water, if I get too hot?
Will you take me places I’ve never known?I can do that
Oh no, I can do that I know the territory, I’ve been around
It’ll all turn to dust and we’ll all fall down
Sooner or later you’ll be screwing around I won’t do that
No, I won’t do that Anything for love
But I won’t do that

The Apple House: Linden, Virginia

On the way back from the cabin, some of our friends said that they were going to The Apple House in Linden, VA, and we decided to tag along.

The Apple House is a “vintage eatery and country store known for its BBQ and cider donuts and serves American fare all day.”

And that really sums it up nice and neatly.

What it doesn’t do justice to is the food. It is PHENOMENAL, and those doughnuts are. to. die. for.

Seriously.

I don’t know when doughnuts became one of my favorite things, but let me tell you, good doughnuts are amazing. And The Apple House makes some pretty spectacular ones.

The Apple House is along the road just across from the Warren County sign. This means it gets a lot of travelers and bikers that stop in. It’s often booked from what we’ve been told, and there was a steady stream of customers while we were there.

You enter through the store and place your order at the register. Once you pay and are seated, someone brings your food out to you. The service is pretty quick which was great for us because Little Bit was getting fussy. (She really hates car rides.)

The Fellow got The Bully Burger – 1/2 pound Angus burger with Cheddar cheese, candied jalapenos, bacon, lettuce, tomato, and mayo. Even though I’m not a jalapeno gal, I tried a bite, and let me tell you, those candied jalapenos were almost enough to convert me!

I decided to go with the Redskins Rocking Rooster which is grilled chicken breast with bacon, lettuce, tomato, mayo, and Slap Ya Mama on a bun. I love a good chicken sandwich, and let me tell you, I was not disappointed.

I wish that I had taken pictures of the food and store while we were there, but we were trying to juggle our meals and Little Bit, so I didn’t get to snap any. They have a cute outdoor seating area, as well with some photo props, and in the summer they serve ice cream.

Places like The Apple House are what make road trips and vacations all the better. You should absolutely put it on your “To Try” list!

First Family Vaca

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If you’re a long-time reader, you may remember that last year we rented a cabin in Luray, Virginia, to ring in the New Year.

This year we did the same thing, just a week or so into January. Last year it was just us and two friends. This year there were around nine of us spread out over three cabins!

It was a great, long weekend. We spent some time relaxing with friends on the porch (because it was WAY too warm for January), played board games, and chilled in the hot tub in the evenings. I even got to re-read a favorite, old book!

The cabin is a nice choice for us because we get to unplug and relax. With no cell phone service or Internet, there is nothing from the outside world pulling our attention away.

The cabin that we booked this year had the hot tub right on the porch, that way once Little Bit went down for the night, we could relax just a few feet away using our video baby monitor to check on her. Ah, the best of both worlds!

Having Little Bit with us was actually less of a challenge than I had anticipated. The hardest thing was that I packed warm clothes for her. We anticipated it being cold, but it was balmy, and the gas fireplace had issues regulating the temperature down as low as we needed it. We wound up having to run both the fireplace AND the A.C. to get it to a comfortable temperature.

We like a January vacation because it breaks up the cold, winter weather (when we have cold, winter weather) and gives us a nice rest after the holidays to just relax before getting back into the swing of things. It also gives us something to enjoy while we wait for summer vacations.

Does anyone else take a winter vaca? Tell me why and your favorite place to go to get away in the comments below.