Posted in Featured

We have taken Goose to the Phoenix zoo a handful of times. It is honestly not my favorite place. Maybe we went on bad days, but it’s always crowded and hot (duh); which makes all the animals seek shelter away from human viewing. For our summer up here the Portland zoo was tops on our must-do list and I was actually looking forward to going. We asked him a few questions to get him excited:

“what animals are you most excited to see?”(“Fee-Wex”)

“name a white animal you may see today” (“white Wapto”)

“which animal has the looooong neck?” (Brachiosaurus)…….

Nice answers pal, I see disappointment in your near future.

Clearly the kid loves dinosaurs. On the walk to the ticket counter I quickly came up with a few answers should he ask why we weren’t seeing the dinos at the zoo today. And then I saw it: Dinosaurs! At the zoo. No kidding?

[Pure Heaven for Goose]

[Ending the day with a little train ride]


Do I need to say that the day was a success??



July 2011
Posted in Featured

Um, why didn’t anybody warn me of the struggles I would face trying to feed my 3-year old? He was that baby that only wanted peas, green beans, and all things most kids would find yucky. Don’t kids eat everything? I did….still do unfortunately. I must have been one of the few exceptions growing up because I would consume anything put in front of me. I find myself having to play games with him just to get past that first bite, “hurry goose, your goldfish are drowning in your soup!! Hurry and eat it so they don’t drown”. I suck sometimes. If I am not sitting on him to keep him at the table I am chasing him around the house.

My husband and I are big fish eaters and would naturally love for our son to enjoy it too. I refuse to buy anything fried from the frozen isle so this is as close as I will come to fish sticks.

{Make sure the skin is off the salmon, cut into 1″ strips}

{Dip each strip into the flour, egg, and bread crumbs}

{Pan fry on medium heat w/ a bit of olive oil for 4 minutes on each side}

{Inspection time…..}




August 2011

I’ve often talked with my SIL about starting to gather information from her neighborhood elementary school in preparation for her “student’s” formal introduction to our public school system (i.e. head start, pre-kindergarten or kindergarten).  When I see her next, I want to check out her school website and teacher webpages/blogs with her for the purpose of information gathering.  Knowledge is power and so the more we know about the learning communities our child will join the better.  Teacher webpages and blogs provide a window into their world, the world your child will join.  Valuable information is available on those pages.  Here are just a few things we will be looking for: classroom schedule and routine, academic “language” (i.e. learning center, subject areas — math, science, social studies, recess, etc.), names of children’s books used for instruction, and resource links.  We will start there.  Once we have this information my SIL and I will start talking about how we can introduce this information to our “student”.  Taking a proactive approach to learning leads to success!  Next week I will share some of the ideas we talked about.

….By the way, saw school supplies at Target for $1; I also saw school supply lists available at Office Max.  Yes, it’s that time of year!  YEA!




Posted in Featured

Some days I struggle just getting out the door. I lie; most days I struggle getting out the door. I am generally prepared (I typically awake 1-2 hours before the boys get up, workout, shower, breakfast) but something always seems to come up last minute. Of course the first thing to go is my morning beauty routine. Sometimes that means I shower later, skip the make-up, or throw on the last thing I wore from the previous day.  I can’t justify spending too much time getting ready anyway when my alone time (wait, what is that again?) is so limited to begin with. I rely on a few items to help me look put together on the meh days:

  1. Maybelline lip stain
  2. Big sunglasses
  3. Every mom should invest in a good hat!
  4. Dry shampoo
  5. Eye brightener & concealer






July 2011
Posted in Featured

Aside from one-nighters here and there, this was B’s and my first vacation away from our boys. We had to attend a business conference in Chicago, a city neither one of us had been to before, so naturally we wanted to add a few days to explore the city kid-free. The trip had been booked several months in advance and I daydreamed about the dinners we would have, the shopping that we would enjoy, and the sleeping in we would oh-so welcome……but once we were there all I could think about was getting back to Goosie & Blue. Why did I think I needed a vacation so badly? Our last “free” day was spent desperately trying to find an earlier flight back because I felt I couldn’t wait one second longer to return home to them.

The trip, however, was very enjoyable. Humid as hell, but enjoyable. We took an Architecture tour by boat and were amazed at all the beautiful buildings and rich history. We tried to hit every restaurant possible as we got so many great recommendations from the locals.

We were the typical tourists.

[Sunset from Navy Pier]

[Cocktails on the 96th floor]

 [One of the most amazing dining experiences. ZED 451]

[Luckily we had a long walk back after all that food]

 [We had to travel all the way to Chicago to see this classic…for the first time]

[I’m an over-packer]

[Enjoying the educational boat tour]

[Boat ride in the middle of day. I wasn’t lying…it was HUMID]

[A fun little touch in the hotel lobby]

[B on the Ferris Wheel…what a way to see the city!!]



July 2011
Posted in Featured

I love summer time for many obvious reasons: family dinners out on the deck, vacations, beautiful weather; but I really love how this season allows me to feel adventurous with color. I tend to stick with grays, nudes, and an occasional dark magenta during the colder months but have found so many exciting new colors that I find myself painting my nails a new shade at least once a week. Here are a few of my current faves…..






My perfect pink {OPI – Ate Berries in the Canaries}

Fresh green to punch up a simple outfit {Nicole by OPI – One Time Lime}

A sweet nude for date night {Essie – Ballet Slippers}

Foolproof for the beach {OPI – A Good Man-darin is Hard to Find}

Not so boring blue {China Glaze – Turned up Turquoise} This stuff dried instantly!! I was digging in my purse literally 2 minutes after painting!

{OPI – No Room for the Blues, OPI –  Dating a Royal}





















July 2011

The other day when a fellow mom asked me where and when I may send Goose to school, I had a minor anxiety attack. School? Already? HE’S 3!!! I hope I am not the only mom who feels clueless when it comes to early education for my kids. I read to them almost every day, and we do a lot of flashcards and activity books, but beyond that it can be overwhelming for me the details of the creative side of teaching my little ones, and what exactly I am suppose to be preparing them for. I consider myself lucky that I have answers to most of my questions with a phone call away to my sister-in-law, Kendra, who has quite the line-up of accomplishments. She has her M.A.T in Special Education with added Early Childhood and Elementary endorsements and is currently working toward an M.S. in curriculum and instruction with a reading endorsement and administrative license.  She’s a public school educator who is now at home raising her two little ones and using her professional background in education to help guide her. She will be guest blogging often so stay tuned for some some helpful tips!!


Happy Summer!  Although the school year has come to a close, your child’s learning continues!  Remember…You are your student’s greatest teacher and life is the greatest classroom.  Through this blog, I hope to provide you with information and/or resources that will empower you and your child’s learning.  It is never too early to prepare your child for their formal education so I will be paying special attention to kindergarten preparation during my weekly “edublog”, especially as we gear up for September.  The information and/or resources I provide are a manifestation of my own education background and professional teaching experiences, as well as my own personal experiences with my own children.  I have a two year old and a three month old and as I write this I am preparing for their “morning learning routine”.  For example, I write a morning message on our white board as a way to not only introduce them to their day and provide an authentic literacy opportunity but to model a common “morning routine” they will encounter in school.

As a result of my sharing, I hope there is a gain for you, whether that be a newly discovered children’s book, a simple learning activity, or a trigger for your own ideas.  My hope is that you feel empowered as your child’s first teacher and share that empowerment with your child.  In education, there are really very few “new” ideas so my intention as we go along is to give appropriate credit where credit is due.  Happy teaching and learning!






My love affair with chocolate & peanut butter is no secret. Since saying goodbye to the last ounce of baby weight last week, I have found it challenging to stay away from what was once my go-to pregnancy vice: Haagen-Dazs Peanut Butter Chocolate Ice Cream!! The stuff is supermegadelicious and I could eat it all the time. But I can’t, so in search of some semi-healthier options, I found a few to satisfy my PB&C craving if one should arise.

A few other alternatives:

  • Chocolate graham crackers w/ almond butter (I prefer Trader Joe’s)
  • PB granola (I buy Nature’s Path) w/ chocolate soy milk
  • PB cereal dipped in Jello pudding (winner!)

What are some of your favorite combos?



June 2011

Yesterday as I was walking by the mirror while holding my infant son, I snuck in a quick glance and noticed that he and I were the same shade of pale. I did it again; summer started two weeks ago and I am not prepared! Lucky for me I picked up a few self-tanners earlier in the week in search of a new favorite. Since I am a proud product junkie I am continually on the prowl for ones best suited for me and my routine and, since becoming a mom 3 years ago, I look for fast, convenient, and effective beauty essentials that are not only accessible but are priced accurately. After trying 4 different tanners, priced high and low, I liked this one due to the price (around $6), the not-so-terrible smell, and the fact that you can truly achieve several shades depending on how often you apply.

Don’t forget to:

  • Exfoliate beforehand (I prefer cotton washcloths)
  • Use lotion on the dryer areas prior to applying tanner (knees, ankles, hairlines, elbows….)
  • wash hands thoroughly after use (and every 5 minutes while applying)





June 2011
Posted in Featured

We took advantage of Bend’s first warm summer day and rallied up the families for a picnic at the river. We needed to be prepared should we spend most of the day there so we made a “quick” stop at the market to get some essentials: water, sandwiches, bread for the ducks, bubbles. Ohhhhhhhhh but I should know better….. What should have been a quick in-and-out to get a few snacks, turned into an hour long shopping spree that could have fed us for a week. We left the kids outside with grandpa, nap-less, so we were on the clock; and I do not do well under pressure so we just grabbed evvvvvvverything.

 [Running. All day, just running]

Everyone must have had the same idea as us because there was only one picnic table available and it was right by the water. A coveted spot….unless you have toddlers that like the water. We had two there. There was no picnic-ing, just a lot of chasing, running, and yelling. We fed the geese and the ducks for a few minutes, kicked the soccer ball around, (then lost it to the river) and attempted to sneak in a bite here and there, you know, the usual way any mom eats. When Goose and my little niece R finally decided to take a breather after a couple of hours, we spread out the picnic blanket and began to dish up some food for everyone. Then the rain came. And hard! We didn’t see it coming and we were parked a good distance away. In the panic of us trying to cover the babies and round up all of our stuff scattered everywhere we didn’t notice we were all running through a nice trail of goose crap and had to remain out in the rain as we all tried our best to wipe it clean from our shoes and the stroller tires.

In the midst of our panic run to the car I noticed a sign that warned us not to feed any of the ducks & geese as it was illegal. I’ll have to write that one in his baby book….breaking the law at age 3.

We may not have had a successful “picnic”, but I won’t forget this day.

Next time: Get the picnic catered, check the weather, look down when you run.

[Perfect setting for a picnic]

 [stopping for a quick pic in the midst of all the running]

 [Mr. Blue missed the whole thing]


[Look Goose, Geese!]

















[Breaking the law…feeding the geese]








Posted in Featured

As much as I love to call Arizona home, there are few things that actually compare to “home” up in Washington State. Home to me is where I spent the first 18 years of my life and where my parents, family, and many of my friends still reside. What were once meaningless things to me growing up, have now become elements of the Pacific NW I cherish the most. I can’t wait to breathe in the fresh clean air, drive to Portland for some tax free shopping, take in the smell of freshly cut grass, and hop in my mom’s jeep to spend a day at the beach. If I can keep the mosquitos at bay, it just may be a perfect summer.

7 acres of freedom for Goose to run free

Being present for birthdays (we have SO many summer birthdays in the family)


Date nights! We have babysitters now!!!

Grandma's little helper


Weekly bike rides in Sunriver


Exploring all of the bugs...something we don't do often in AZ. (Scorpions.....yuck)


Seeing my dog Kodi, who now lives with my parents

Dressing up for girls night!





Posted in Featured

We have a custom in our family each year that begins once the Arizona temperatures reach the 100’s. We button down the house, overload our small SUV, gather enough distractions for me the boys and say goodbye to the AZ heat. As if driving 1400 miles with two kids is not enough….we bring our 5 dogs.

[Mr. Blue just wants to get there already]

Frequent potty breaks, feedings every other hour, monster meltdowns, and our myriad of mini travelers turn what may otherwise be a peaceful drive into pure chaos. We do it to see family. We do it to escape the heat. And we always promise to never do it again.


[Break #12]

[Goose & Daddy stretching their legs]