Archive for March 2011

The Second Shower.

March 29, 2011
Baby shower that is. I only helped with this one.... I did some decor projects and helped throw it along with some other VERY talented women.

Tee Shirts for the Family

Dot garlands for the tables

Diaper Cakes and Vases for the Tables

Beer Chugging from a Baby Bottle

Candy Bar Diaper Game


The Party Planners!!

Mommy and Daddy -To - Be
Little Colin will be here before we all know it!

A Year Ago Tonight

March 27, 2011
I remember many things about the night of our wedding. Dancing under the stars, watching fireworks with my new husband, beautiful toasts by family and friends, and so much more.

That night the sky was completely clear. The moon was waxing gibbous, just before full. Saturn and Mars were visible. The Southern Cross was rising above the horizon.

How do I know? Because the amazing artists over at Indigo Night consulted the star maps for me. Then they made us this gorgeous (and accurate!) piece of art showing exactly how the sky looked from Islamorada that night. I gave them the date and the place and they did everything else! Every star is in it's precise location. It's our 1st anniversary gift (paper!) to ourselves. Thanks to them I don't ever have to forget the gorgeous sky the night I married my best friend.

We're still deciding where to display it, but I can't wait to show a picture of it once it's hanging in our house!

Looking forward to eating some year old cake tonight

Once Upon a Time in Africa

March 25, 2011
I visited an elephant orphanage in Nairobi, Kenya. They operate a rescue and release program for orphaned elephants out of the near by safari parks. Elephants can be orphaned for a number of reasons, from poaching to drought to abandonment. It was an amazing place, and apparently I"m not the only one who thinks so! Warner Brothers has made a documentary featuring the orphanage and it comes out April 8th! You can bet I will be the first one in line.

Some pictures from my trip in 2006 -

To find out more about the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust and how you can help orphaned elephants visit Sheldrick Wildlife Trust. You can support an orphan through their site, which I am very seriously considering doing.

My very favorite Dessert

March 24, 2011
(in case you didn't know)

Here is what you will need to make a little piece of heaven
* Strawberries (the more the better)
*Sugar (1 cup for each carton of strawberries)
*Cool Whip (or whipped cream)
*Pound Cake (or angel food cake, bisquick biscuits)

Step 1: Juice the Strawberries
Wash your strawberries (really good, they are the dirtiest fruit!), cut off their tops and then chop them into quarters.

Pour sugar (about 1 cup for each carton) over the strawberries and then mix it together. Put the whole bowl in the fridge and let it sit for an hour or two.

two more cartons just waiting to be made!
When you take it out it should be nice and juicy like this :

Step 2: Layer your ingredients
Place a slice of cake in a bowl. I prefer pound cake, but baked bisquick bisquits are good too. If neither are available, angel food cake will do. Pour some strawberries and juice over the pound cake. Top with Cool Whip. Whipped cream is an acceptable substitute, but I prefer cool whip.

Step 3: Repeat
 Another layer of pound cake, strawberries, cool whip

Step 4: Devour
It's heaven I tell you. The best part.... Dan isn't a "strawberry person" as he puts it. So I get it all to myself!!!

First Quarter Update

March 23, 2011
We're approaching the end of March, so it's time for.....

An Update on Goals

First Quarter: Jan, Feb, Mar

Does that sound professional or what? Reminds me of the meetings our church used to have :)

Here's what we've accomplished -

Getting Organized:
Jan - Organized the shoes
Feb - Organized the cookbooks
Mar - Organized the dogs

Second Quarter Goal: The Garage!!! This project is going to take us awhile, and we are waiting for a good sale on garage shelving.

Getting Out of Debt:
No new purchases on credit cards - I cheated a little. I put our anniversary cruise on a card, but I then paid it off using some of our tax return. We also paid off two other cards!! We have a few more to go but it is definitely a good step in the right direction.

Use the Debt Snowball to pay off as much as we can each month - definitely working and we are seeing bigger results now that we have paid off two cards and can put that money towards other debt.

Limit Grocery Spending by menu planning and couponing - I haven't been so good with the coupons (Hopefully I can do better and stock up over the summer when I have more time) but I've been diligently menu planning and have been able to keep our grocery budget around $50 - $60  each week. A definite improvement from $75-$80.

Limit frivolous spending - We saw one movie first quarter "Tangled" and rented two "Waiting for Superman" and "Despicable Me" so I'd say we did pretty good there. Otherwise, we watched movies on HBO and used free time to catch up on DVR'd tv shows. We've been trying to limit eating out  but we've had birthdays and anniversaries and what not. After our anniversary dinner I plan on cutting this out more. I also find I need to work a lot harder on not spending little amounts of money here and there. It may not be big amounts but it adds up fast!

I think we've made good progress and I'm excited to move even closer to being debt-free and organized next quarter! I'm sure April, May and June will be good months for us :)

Swimming with Dolphins - A first!

March 21, 2011
Ever since I was a little girl I have loved the little mermaid. I wanted to be her so bad. I would pretend to be her in our pool and sing her songs in the mirror. I even got my parents in on the gig. My mom painted and decorated my whole room Little Mermaid and my dad would sing to me (complete with French accent) "Les Poissons"

This past week, thanks to my parent's amazing anniversary gift, I got to live my dreams in Cozumel!!!

We arrived at Chankanaab National park and let me tell you that place is beautiful! It has an enclosed area for the dolphins, a lagoon for kayaking and snorkeling, a beach, a pool, and a gorgeous beach. Plus mayan ruins!! What more could you ask for in once place? We did our dolphin swim first so as soon as we got there we were handed life jackets and we made our way down the dock towards the deepest section.

the dolphin enclave

We got our first glimpse of the dolphins while our trainer told us a little more about them. Their names were Shottie and Martie! Can you tell I was excited to get down in the water??
a little overexcited!

When we first got in the animals swam by us and we got to touch them and see how soft they are! Their skin seriously feels like velvet....

Then we got to two very cool tricks with the dolphins. First the dolphins pushed my feet with their noses, kind of like water skiing.

Then, they pulled us by their fins. Both tricks were very cool and the dolphins were so fun. They must be one of the happiest animals. So willing to please and to do tricks and play. They kind of reminded me of dogs. Water dogs.

Then it was time to pose for some pictures with Shottie and Martie

At the very end we got some free time to swim around with the dolphins, and I definitely felt like Ariel! Before we left we also got to interact with a manatee family, but we were out of pictures by then. They felt so different from the dolphins! Their skin was much rougher. I made a comment that they felt like an elephant and the guy told me they are part of the elephant family. Then he showed us their flippers, which have toenails on them just like elephants! It was very cool. We spent the rest of our day at Chankanaab lounging on the beach and relaxing....

Right before we left, we took in the Sea Lion show.... they are funny animals!!!

And then.... it was time to go back to the ship and get ready for dinner!

It was an amazing day! I apologize for the crappy pictures of the dolphin swim, but it was either pay $22 for a point and shoot waterproof camera, or pay $25 a picture for the professional ones they took. I don't think I will ever forget this day :D