My Renovation Blog

Monday, May 11, 2015


I haven't done this in forever, but I'm slightly obsessed with a few items lately and thought I'd share.  As usual, it's almost all Trader Joes!

(1) Broccoli Slaw Kale Salad from Trader Joes- oh my gosh- best.salad.ever.  It is NOT the lowest calorie because of the [absolutely delicious] dressing, but it's still healthy and my absolute favorite salad right now!

(2) Marcona almonds with rosemary from Trader Joes.  These are expensive ($6.99 for that tiny bag!), but so good.  They have these at Whole Foods and other stores, but I rarely go to WF so I was excited to see them at TJs.

(3) Iberico cheese from Trader Joes.  I've never even bought it, but they were sampling it, and I loved it!  So did the kids.  I will definitely buy this the next time we have friends over.

(4) Caprese salad from Costco.  This comes in a pack of two, and I really love it.  Mostly because of the dressing- it's just a balsamic vinaigrette, but it taste like they used balsamic glaze- yummy!

(5) This.  We were at a friend's house, and she grilled baguette pieces with olive oil and garlic on them.  Then she had a spread of ricotta, lemon pepper, salt and basil.  Then a bowl of heirloom tomatoes with olive oil.  I could NOT get enough.  I have a hard time eating breakfast so I thought this might incentivize me to eat it- it's not much different from cottage cheese with tomatoes, right?  My version is not as tasty because I use gluten free bread toasted with a bit of olive oil and garlic instead of delicious french bread, but it's still pretty yummy.  I've been eating it every morning! [I get TJs whole milk ricotta and TJs little heirloom tomatoes].

(6) This Bootcamp Calorie Burn workout video.  I really love it!  It's a good workout, but it's only 32 minutes so you can do it real quick in the morning.  I like the guy that teaches it too.  I'm not a huge fan of videos so it's great when I find one I like!

Oh Everett

This kid.  It's still crazy to me everyday that your kids, raised exactly the same, can have such opposite personalities!  He still hates soccer (well, he loves soccer and is really good at it- he hates his soccer CLASS), but Julie somehow managed to get a super cute photo of him and Sydney...

He just started swimming lessons with Coach Mike, a former Olympic swimmer.  It's an intensive 9 day class that guarantees the child will learn how to swim.  But of course, Everett hates it.  I'm debating uploading the video, but it's pretty hilarious.  Everett is SCREAMING the entire time, and the coach just ignores him and makes him swim to the side or whatever.  The coach claims that within 2 or 3 classes (he's only had 1 so far), he will be fine, but I'm fairly convinced that Everett will be his first child EVER to be unbreakable.  If it works, he'll be able to swim before his 5 year old sister because we couldn't get them in the same class so Ella's class doesn't start for two weeks.

And finally, Everett is becoming a total sassy pants!  We aren't used to this because although I know this is rare, Ella does not have the sassy bone.  She is just not sassy.  Never has been.  She is literally the only 5 year old girl I know that isn't sassy, but it's just not her personality.  Everett has never been very sassy either.  Difficult, yes.  Sassy, no.  That is changing my friends!  The other day, Gary says, "Everett, you need to stop."  Everett responds, "No, YOU need to stop."  I kind of think it's funny.  Gary, not so much! 

I've said it before, and I'll say it again, that kid is lucky he's so darn cute! ;)

Friday, May 8, 2015

Happy Mother's Day to Me!

The kids couldn't wait to give me their Mother's Day presents so I got them on

Ella made me a flower and vase...

And gave me the best book...
My mom's favorite food is chocolate [haha!] but she doesn't like coffee [true- I only drink tea!].
The thing my mom likes to do for fun is shopping [this girl knows me!].
When my mom daydreams she thinks about playing with me.

She spends most of her time playing with me outside.
If mom could have one wish come true, she would wish for getting a new car [sure, why not?].

Mom helps our family by cleaning our house [you got that right sister!].

Everett made me this adorable picture of his hand prints!

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Orange Rug?

I've purchased many rugs online.  Tons.  And they are often slightly different color than the photo- I understand computer monitors distort color.  I just ordered this rug for Everett's new big boy room...aren't the colors vibrant and pretty??

But what I got was this:
Um, does that look anything like the website picture??  Where is the orange and bright navy??  I'm so sad because I was so excited about that rug!  I think my days of buying rugs online are numbered.

But, it was probably meant to be because the southwestern pattern was pushing it for a nautical room.  I think I'll stick with my old favorite and get a sisal or jute rug. :)

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Chicken update

One of the hens (either buffy or buttercup) became broody lately, which means she was sitting on the eggs trying to hatch them.  Which is fine if you have fertilized eggs and need a broody hen, but is very bad if you don't because the hen won't leave the coop until the eggs hatch (and they will never hatch because they are not fertilized) and can stop eating/drinking, get mites, they don't lay eggs, etc.  So you have to break her by doing things like putting ice packs in the nesting boxes, physically removing her and locking her out of the nesting boxes.  She was determined!  I would lock her out of the coop/run, and she would just circle it over and over and over trying to get back in the nesting boxes.  Any time I left it open, she would go back and lay on the eggs.  But we got lucky because it only took about a day to break her for good!  I was worried at first because apparently, you can't break some hens, and you have to give them away to someone that needs a broody hen.

The hens have become so domesticated that they now will sit by the French doors and peck on the glass to be let inside!  Any time we leave the doors open they run inside.  It's pretty funny.

And they got a new sign for their coop/run! :)

Friday, April 24, 2015

Community Helpers Play

Ella's TK class did a "Community Helpers" play, and it was so cute!!

Monday, April 13, 2015

Ice Cream!

I know we're behind the times, but we took the kids to Farrell's for the first time last night- they loved it!  Duh, who wouldn't love getting a big ice cream "clown" sundae on a random Sunday night?!  It was our special 'last night of spring break' treat since unlike most of their friends, they didn't get to go on a fun vacation for spring break.  Ella has already declared that she wants to go back for her birthday dinner. :)

The kids DID keep us laughing all week- I really need to start writing all this stuff down because Everett in particular is so hysterical.  I think we may have a class clown on our hands.  The kids were being rowdy in my bedroom so I said, "who is going to be the first one in time out?", and Everett goes, "BYE!" but instead of leaving the room like a normal person, he MOONWALKS while doing that big truck reverse sound...beep, beep, beep, beep, beep.  Here is playing for the crowd at a birthday party. ;)

Sunday, April 12, 2015

The Spring Haps

Not much going on lately...bbqs, birthdays and soccer mostly...

Everett started a soccer class with Sydney...
As you can see, Everett wasn't loving it the first time, but he did much better the second class!  I'm glad we are doing this before AYSO because I didn't realize how shy he gets in a new environment, so it will be good practice.

We had the twins' (our neighbors) first birthday party!

One of the best things about having a birthday party at your neighbors' house (you know, aside from being able to walk home after drinking of course!)?  Being able to sit on your couch and watch one kid in the bounce house at the party while the other kid naps!

This is Ella when I tell her something surprising apparently?

My beautiful baby boy...look at those lashes (and blue frosting)!

You know those rare moments when the kids are not fighting over a toy or who gets the bigger piece of cake?  I actually caught a few on camera!  These two were being so sweet this morning...heaven...

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Easter 2015

We tried to put together a neighborhood block party/hunt, but Easter came so early this year that we couldn't coordinate it.  So the kids were super excited when one of our neighbors put together a last minute hunt for her grandkids and all the kids on the street...

This is how Everett arrived at the hunt...

First time Everett dyed Easter Eggs...

On Easter Sunday, we kept it low key with church, lunch at grandma and grandpa's house and another hunt of course!

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Annual Easter Egg Hunt!

We had our annual Easter Egg Hunt this weekend- always a super fun time!

Lord help us with these two!

A little night swim...

On a side note, when did my baby girl turn into a big girl???!!!