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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Kelly Cameron Photography

Holy MOLY!  I am so excited, I've lost my socks.  THIS is the promo video my super talented videographer friends, James Burniston & Karey Cannon created for me.  Email them at jamesandkarey@gmail.com to send them feedback and book them for your videography needs.  They are a-m-a-z-i-n-g!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Cheap 'n Easy: Pamper, Shop & Eat Yummy For Less

Lately I haven't had much time for anything but work, but I've been learning to take breaks, have family time and refresh myself in order to prevent burn out.  It's a process, but I am thankful for all the little lessons  and small ways I've found to keep life well-rounded.

For those who also have small budgets and short-but-sweet amounts of time on their hands, here are a few snazzy tips and ideas I've picked up on quick-n-cheap ways to find windows of joy.


Thrift Store Therapy
Once a month (or so) I visit my local, favorite thrift store to treasure hunt.  The Caring Place not only has excellent prices, but also a lovely selection from kids toys, furniture to clothing.  My closet is slowly filling up with vintage gloriousness, as well as my walls.

Walking Historic Neighborhoods
I had the extreme joy of walking Georgetown's historic district with adorable homes and quaint Texas yards while catching up with a dear friend.  We even visited the library, grabbing a refreshing beverage on the way, and stopped on the historic square to browse the Saturday Market.  Cheap, easy, filled with fresh air.

Friar Tuck's Pantry
A spot of tea and a fresh scone with free WiFi AND a kid's play area (though it's better for quieter, well behaved children -which don't live at my house.)  This sweet spot is located in Round Rock's historic area on Main Street/FM 620 and is an absolute gem.  Delicious food (including lunch) and an excellent selection of teas and coffee.  Prices are very reasonable and you'll love the atmosphere.


Iced Green Tea
Put the kettle on, pour boiling water into a pitcher along with 3-4 tea bags, steep and enjoy on ice.  Pop a spring of fresh mint in your glass or a slice of orange for extra fun!

10 Min. Sun Therapy
After a morning of working in my home office, I join the kids in the backyard and soak up some rays during my lunch break.  10 minutes is just enough time before the sweltering Texas sun gets to be too intense.  No matter where you live, a 10 minute break in the great outdoors does wonders to clear your mind and lift your spirits.  Through is a few stretches and, holy moly, you're good as new!

Waverley, my 1 1/2 year old, is bringing me a handful of board books as I write this :)  Spending a few minutes a day reading with the kids helps me connect as well as have enriching time with my Wild Things.  Even though their ages and attention spans are significantly different, it's invaluable time together.

Eating at the Table
Lunch and dinner breaks should be just that.  Breaks.  Sitting down at the kitchen table instead of in front of the computer makes food so much more fulfilling and enjoyable, plus that time to simply think is utterly refreshing.

Clean Feet
Okay, I'm weird.  This I know quite well.  BUT, right before I go to bed (especially if I've spend the day barefoot and wearing sandals) I find a foot bath unspeakably pampering and soothing.  I don't do anything special -just sit on the side of the tub, rinse/soak my feet, wash with some soap and skip into bed.  Foot lotion is also divine and can be applied right before slipping into those crisp, welcoming sheets.  That's it.  I'm going to bed -it all sounds so tempting, even at noon!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Fun in the Sun

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We took a we break and I finally got some captures of my wee ones enjoying the glories of an afternoon in the sun, backyard style.

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Friday, June 10, 2011

Central Texas Family Fun, Unplanned & Cheap

I want to go on vacation.  Financially, we need to have a staycation.
Okay: I want to plan a staycation.  Brian just wants me to finally start taking days off.  You know, like a normal person.  Wednesday evening and Thursday morning/afternoon I finally did and we had so much fun, on the cheap.

Blue Hole park in Georgetown is awesome.  You can jump from limestone cliffs into the deep river water, swim surrounded by beautiful tree coverage while enjoying a gorgeous sunset, or slip down a natural little water slide.  The rocks are rather slippery, so wear swim shoes with traction.  This area is best for capable swimmers.

McDonald's in Taylor, TX Yesterday we drove east on 29 through the countryside, and south on 95 into Taylor where we stopped at McDonald's and the kids had a ball playing with other tykes.  The playscape is outdoors, mainly covered in shade.  Obviously, this is an ideal situation when the weather is cooperative and yesterday it certainly was.

One of the great things about living where we do is being surrounded by farms and ranches.  Though I miss Alaska's grand mountains, after almost four years I still melt at the beauty of the rolling fields.  Plus, one thing Central Texas has that Alaska doesn't: an abundance of wildflowers 8 months out of the year.  I love seeing Spring arrive with the Bluebonnets and Indian Paintbrush, then Summer with the gorgeous sunflowers that take over.  There's always something in bloom.

Ikea in Round Rock, TX  We toured the store, survived a series of tantrums, found several treasures and enjoyed lunch together (especially that scrumptious chocolate-mousse-cake!)  Repeating that trip for my birthday next month.  Once you get used to the size and layout (and endless options) of Ikea, it's really a fun place to visit.  Those Scandinavians are brilliant.

There are so many other fun things I want to do.  The Mayborn Planetarium and Space Theater in Killeen, Inner Space Caverns just down the road in Georgetown, Round Rock Express baseball games, to name a few.
Balancing work and family time when you work from home is always a challenge, but we'll get there.  Or at least closer.  Now, I feel a bit more refreshed, recharged and reconnected.  Thank goodness for smart suggestions (high five, Brian.)

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Mister Sassypants

He's always been a strong-willed child, but, Heavens to Betsy, this is getting ridiculous.
Fact is, our little dude is not the boss and needs to know it -in love, but with greater strength and consistency than we've been dishing out.

No longer, oh tiny tyrant, shall you eat nothing but chips, crackers and cookies.  No longer shall you drink gallons of chocolate milk and nothing else.  We've been winning the tooth-brushing battle lately (hooray for big victories) and now it's time to conquer the food issue.  And the constant "NO!" issue.  And the screaming fits issue.

I read a genius tip in a book my mom gave me on how to brush an obstinate toddler's teeth and it's been working pretty dang well.  The author suggested taking whatever you child is lately obsessed with (for Wilder it's dragons, lions, and Thomas the Tank Engine,) imagining they are in his mouth and telling him you're going to tickle them out.  Instead of Wilder screaming bloody murder, he tells you who's in his mouth and happily opens wide, pointing out where they're at.  This works many nights -not flawlessly, but 1000% better than before.  If you know of a small toothbrush fighter, this trick just might work.

When it comes to food, I'd given up making Wilder anything normal since he won't eat it.  Chicken nuggets, any combination of sandwiches -fo'gedaboudit, as my uncle Vinny would say.  Okay, so I don't have an uncle Vinny.  But I DO have a formerly good eater who now eats worse than a male college student, minus the beer.

My plan of attack is... well, excuse me one minute.  I am currently in a battle over cookies and I need to win.  I'll be experimenting with various veggies he's taken interest in and hopefully will make headway.  Wouldn't it be amazing if he at *gasp* meat?! 
Imagining the possibilities and dreaming big...

Off to tame the cookie monster.


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