02 Jan

Poppin’ Countdown

poppin countdown 1

Zombies, dancing chickens, cookies, howling and more…our New Year’s Eve was poppin’.

In an attempt to make our New Year’s entertaining and full of fun I took to Pinterest. I found lots of cute ideas, put a few of them together to match what we had available in the house and out popped the “Poppin’ Countdown”.

poppin countdown 1

Balloons were hidden all over the house. Starting at 5 p.m. family members ran around the house to find the balloon marked with the appropriate hour and their name (the one pictured is 11 p.m. for our daughter). When everyone had found their balloon they had to report back to the living room.

Next step: pop your balloon and retrieve the piece of paper with instructions. Not allowed to use anything sharp.

After balloon pieces were picked up (cuz the puppy thought his part of the game was to consume all the lil pieces), you had to follow the instructions. Sometimes the whole group had the same instructions, sometimes they were different. More than once people did theirs and other peoples too…just cuz it was fun.

poppin countdown 2

¬†6 p.m. – eat a cookie!! (before dinner was ready…everyone quickly complied with this one)

poppin countdown 3

8 p.m. – dance like chickens

poppin countdown 4

10 p.m. – zombie dance

poppin countdown 5

11 p.m. – sparklers (a New Year’s tradition for us)

poppin countdown 6

Midnight – hunky hubby’s special balloon message — the kids had to go on the deck and sing a crazy New Year’s song LOUD

(he said he didn’t need a balloon to tell him to do that!! Smart man.)

We had a blast. We entertained/annoyed our neighbors a few times — howling on the deck, running laps in the driveway singing “We are the Champions” and more. I think we were just two or three hours in when the requests for doing it again began rolling in.

I have to tell you, I think our kids looked forward to each hour more than they did the ball dropping. Join us next year for Poppin’ Countdown?

01 Aug

What Worked For Me

watermelon sticks

It’s almost an obsession. For books. For vacuums. For recipes. For vitamins. Even for pens.

I read reviews. Blogs. Retail websites. Wherever.

I want to know if what I’m going to invest my time and money in is worth it. I am always curious to know what works for other people, so I thought I’d share a few things that have been working for me lately.


I know I’m not the only mama…woman…eater of yummy goodness…that is looking for an easy, affordable meal that makes the whole family happy. I stumbled across this recipe for One-Pot Chicken Burrito Bowls on Pinterest.

I made it by the recipe the first time (I always do. I try it their way then I add my twist to it). It was great without changing the recipe. This week I made it with my twist, because the garden is overflowing with yummy goodness and life is too short not to eat fresh corn, tomatoes and peppers. Oh, I also squeezed half a fresh lime over the rice while it was frying and threw in cilantro and oregano from the herb garden.

My picture isn’t nearly as pretty as the one on their website, but it was yummy. Try it. Trust me.

burrito bowl


Saw this early in the summer on a life hacks post and it has revolutionized our watermelon eating this summer!

watermelon sticks


Cut your watermelon into “sticks!!!” Slice melon in half, then cut in one inch slices, turn 90 degrees and slice in one inch slices again. Repeat with the other half of the melon. You wind up with sticks that lil fingers can grab the rind and eat without covering themselves in sticky juice. No utensils required either! WARNING: you and children will eat lots more watermelon this way.


I’ve been trying to read more books for me this summer. I read lots of history books, kids’ books, and Bible study books through the year, which are all great books. But, this summer I ¬†have made an effort to grab all kinds of books to expand my horizons and to conquer the blues that have knocked at my door through all our ups and downs. In that quest, I stumbled across “The Happiness Project” by Gretchen Rubin. It is Gretchen’s year-long journey to greater happiness…as she pushes herself to find what makes her truly happy, changes her habits and comes to terms with who she is deep down. I loved it! Gretchen writes like you are sitting with her as so pours over her resolutions chart. It inspired me to really find what I enjoy and be okay with that. And I’m in the midst of that quest now. (I’ll keep ya posted!) I enjoyed the book so much I’m reading her sequel “Happier at Home” now.


Now it’s your turn!! Tried a new recipe this month? Please share. Are you a life hacker?? Hook a sister up. What’s worked for you?

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