Thursday, June 28, 2012

[Etsy Love] Stars & Stripes

Hurray for the Red, White & Blue
♫♫♪   doo doo - doot - doot - doo   ♫♫♪

July is almost here!  Here are some of my favorite patriotic finds on Etsy.

washi tape via in the clear

vintage books via jaysworld

burlap banner with denim stars via her beautiful life

wooden forks via the bakers confections

vintage style pillow via designer cushions

click "Read more" for more patriotic Etsy finds

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

[Travel] Portland, Sunriver and Spelunking

Last night we returned from a weeklong vacation in Oregon.  We had a fantastic time visiting friends and enjoyed our stay in Portland and Central Oregon. Our trip to Oregon is becoming an annual event and is something that our family looks forward to. Warning... lots of photos ahead.  I had to power through this post or it would never get done!

Here are some of the trip highlights...

The Portland Children's Museum

 a giant lite brite

great idea to pair translucent lego and magnatiles with a light table.

Date Night in North West Portland

The adults had "date night". Yahoo!  We had dinner at Serrato Restaurant, then headed over to Salt & Straw for some gourmet ice cream.

Apparently, we weren't the only ones with that brilliant idea...
Look at that line!  We were literally standing in the street. Worth the 40 minute wait though.  

Although I tasted the Arbequina Olive Oil flavor (Oprah's favorite), I went with the Almond Brittle with Salted Ganache and The Mister enjoyed his Honey Balsamic Strawberry with Cracked Pepper.  Sounds weird, but it was good!

Central Oregon

We had never been to Central Oregon before and it was a wonderful experience. We drove from Portland through the Cascade Mountains into Central Oregon.  Rain or no, it's a beautiful drive!

We rented a home with two other families at the Sunriver Resort outside of Bend, Oregon.  Interesting fact... 5 of us went to high school together! Aaah... Nothing better than 8 kids and 6 adults in one house.  My kids loved the chaos!

Sunriver is a huge resort community with a ton of family friendly outdoor activities-- biking, swimming, fishing, hiking, rock climbing, sledding... spelunking. 

game room = kid central
This photo doesn't even capture half the room... but you get the idea  :)

Swimming at the SHARQ, the new indoor/outdoor water park

1st annual ping-pong tournament. The professionals amongst us had to hold a baby while playing.  It's only  fair!  ;)

For me, the highlight of our trip within a trip was hiking through Lava River Cave... 

Armed with propane lanterns, we made our descent into the cave...

At the mouth of the cave...
A lot larger than I had imagined.

Slippery, muddy and dark... I guess Tom's aren't really meant for spelunking?? ;)
Next time I'll know better!

Frozen breath

The ceiling of the lava tube. Bats hibernate in this cave during the winter. Neat but... Ew!
Every now and then I'd step in some sludgy stuff and think "bat poop?"

Some areas had really low ceilings... Although the little ones couldn't tell.

We made it to the end!  Only to have to turn around and head back...

Light!  A nice sight after 1.5 hours of cold & dark.
I'm happy to report that Happy Vee made the entire trip (2 miles roundtrip in the pitch dark and 40 degree temp) without being carried.  What a trooper!

And, if you made it to the end of this post, that was our trip!

So right now I'm making my way through a mountain of laundry.  I actually don't mind.  I'm feeling refreshed after our little trip and am hoping I can direct my newly refreshed self into tackling a project or two this week.  We shall see!  Have a nice rest of the week!

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Thursday, June 21, 2012

Cars Land Photos & Happy Summer!

We finally received access to the photos from our visit to Cars Land earlier this month.  We were very lucky to have previewed the newest attractions at Disney's California Adventure on June 3rd.  We weren't able to take our own photos or videos, but there were several professional photographers scattered throughout the park snapping photo ops.  Here's a little peek at our Cars Land experience.

Aw... Stanley!

With Red who kept blowing his siren when we got too close.

 The boys on Route 66 in Radiator Springs.

Cars Land is the boy equivalent of Cinderella's castle-- the kind of stuff that dreams are built on.  Happy Vee was so excited to see life-size versions of Lightning and his buddies rolling around Radiator Springs.  He almost wandered away from us when he saw Lightning passing by... Luckily the Mister caught up with him and was amused to find him having a full blown, albeit one-sided, conversation with the race car.

The highlights for us:

Radiator Springs Racers-- Fast moving and fun, fun, fun! There's a 40-inch height requirement and 3 year old Happy Vee just squeezed in. There are 2 versions of the ride depending on which track you are on.  Both are good and the racing part is a-m-a-z-i-n-g.  Only down side is that although the line moves, it is LONG.  We were there on a non-crowded day and it was an hour wait.  I've heard that on opening day the line was 3-4 hours long (ack!).

The neon signs that turn on at dusk.  The music... the neon... just like the movie.

The cone-themed food and specialty drinks at the Cozy Cone.  We didn't have a chance to check out Flo's V8 Cafe, but I've heard the food is pretty good (for a theme park).

Mater's Junkyard Jamboree - Happy Vee loved this ride and is still talking about it.  Tea cups with a twist.

A wonderful experience and we will be back... maybe in late fall or winter when the crowds lighten up.

So anyhow, back to the present.  I'm going to be on blog-lite this summer.  With the boys out of school and vacation time on the horizon, my goal is to spend as much quality time with my family as I can.  It's hard for me to juggle everything and do it well, so something has to give!  The boys are signed up for some camps though, so I'll be poking around when I have the opportunity.

Have a wonderful summer!

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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Backyard Tales - Part 1

The pool is starting to look like a pool!

It was interesting to watch and very quick.  The gunite (cement) guys started at 7 AM and were done by 1 PM.

More of the process--
tarp to protect the house and hill

spraying the gunite

shaping one of the waterfalls

Apologies to our neighbors for the construction zone.  We're lucky that our immediate neighbors are wonderful because building a pool/backyard is a big, messy, noisy job!  And to think that this is just after 1.5 weeks... it feels like we've been under construction forever!

So that was our Monday.  Oh, and I can't forget this--

what would we do without andy?  :)

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Monday, June 18, 2012

[Oh Martha Monday] Fourth of July

Since July 4th will be upon us in no time, I thought I'd seek out some patriotic inspiration from the folks at Martha Stewart. Of course they did not disappoint!

makes me wish our town had a bike parade!

one of these years we'll have a 4th of july party!

if the fabric stars are too much this tissue fan "fire works" how to seems easier

How can July 4th be just two weeks away?  I've a feeling that this summer is going to fly by!

Have a wonderful week!!

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