Monday, April 24, 2017

Deep Thoughts: Preparing to Launch, Part 2

I recently attended a meeting at my daughter's high school preparing us for her senior year and what to expect. Once piece of information that they shared were a few skills that students, and frankly anyone getting ready to fly the nest might need. One of the items on the list was using a laundromat. Which happened to come up when our oldest borrowed our sleeping bags for a camping trip and needed schooled in what to do! Time to take care of an  item on the list! 

Looking back I think the first time I used a pay machine to do laundry was when I lived in the dorm my first year at Western. My first time visiting a laundromat was probably after getting married. And let's just say Kate was uncertain about the whole process. So we were glad to run her through it. 

I'm not sure what your kids are like, but ours are pretty reasonable people. They are smart, funny and can talk to people. But this type of thing can really throw them. So going thru this exercise with her felt more like a fun field trip than anything. And giving them ways to feel empowered when they are on their own makes both Steve and I pretty happy.

Once we ran thru all the things to do (and all the quarters!) this became more of a photo shoot than anything. Kate of course was looking camera ready and there is just something about the laundromat that we just love as a backdrop. 

Other items on the list to teach your kids that are getting ready for adulthood? Calling an Uber or Lyft. Making an appointment which would include having the names and numbers of their Doctor and Dentist. Knowing basic first aid. What to do in an emergency (you 911 not Mum & Dad!). Basic personal safety and the like. 

Are there any skills you wish you would have been taught before you moved out? Or any skills I should add to my list? Curious what we should add! 

Monday, April 17, 2017

Make It: Acai Fruit Bowls

Like some of you we are just coming off our Spring Break which we spent in San Diego. While we were there we found a place called Nektar Juice Bar that served amazing juices, smoothies and Acai bowls. I think we had an Acai bowl three days in a row! 

So upon returning home we decided to try our hand at them ourselves. Though we don't have the amazing produce that California is already enjoying, we will be soon enough from our public markets. And I figure the more practice we get the better! 

We have found acai berry to be easy to find frozen in packets from Sambazon. We have found it locally at Fred Meyer, The Co-Op and Whole Foods.  You can buy it sweetened or unsweetened (we go for unsweetened). This is your base and then the rest can really be based on your taste. 

We were trying to make ours taste as close to the ones we had in California so we made them as follows:

2 Sambazon acai berry packets, unsweetened
2 frozen bananas
4-6 strawberries (approx)
1/4-1/2 cup of almond milk
1 tablespoon of almond butter 

Then you just give it a big blend and pour it in a bowl. Then you are welcome to top it as you wish. Everyone in our family did things a bit differently. We all topped off with bananas and strawberries, but some of us added blueberries while others added agave syrup for sweetness. I think we all added shredded coconut. 

And the thing I was really trying to copy was the type of granola used...we found Natures Path Hemp Plus Granola to be the perfect sort of granola. Not too sweet and heavy, but more of a light and crispy addition. 

We found the frozen packets this weekend at Costco as well so we loaded up in the hopes of starting many weekend days with an Acai Bowl. And I just looked up our local favorite juice bar Electric Beet Juice and found they will make any smoothie into a bowl if you need another option.  Let me know if you try making one! 

Monday, April 10, 2017

Get Thrifty: Five Thrifting Tips

I like to talk about clothes and fashion, do you? I find my usual answer when I am asked where I got something to often be "thrifting." This leads to discussions about how to be successful finding things. I've come up with some tips to start! 

1. Be Open Minded: And by this I mean about your stores. We have a few standards (Value Village being one of them) but we are always open to the little, funky non-profit stores (The Assistance League of Bellingham is a favorite of the smaller stores in town). When I say be open minded don't disregard cleanliness or things of that sort. I am thinking more of what you may find that would work for you. The smaller stores tend to have smaller prices, and an interesting mix of stock. 

2. Be Flexible: I'm not talking like a gymnast. Be flexible as to go into the store with an idea of what you are looking for (palazzo pants, light coat, ect.) but then be open to what you find and where your wanderings take you. We have found staples such as t-shirts and jeans, but more often than not, it's the surprise finds that have been the best additions to our closets. 

3. Go often: We tend to hit the thrift stores on Fridays which is just our way of relaxing and starting off the weekend. But we go as much as we can as stock turns over a lot and you never know what you will find. 

4. Take photos: Sometimes (often) I need to see myself in an item to see how it looks on me objectively. It sometimes help to remove yourself a bit to make a final call on a piece of clothing. (this coat by the way was a big YES before I even took the photo!) 

5. Have fun!: This is our number one rule for thrifting. Somehow it's turned into an outing that the whole family enjoys. We are either laughing over sayings over t-shirts, trying on ridiculous shoes, or squealing over an amazing find! (the above is Sam trying on a beekeepers jacket! We almost couldn't stop laughing!)  A general rule I have about my attire is that it should include an element of fun. A talking point makes your clothing a point of connection. And shouldn't our clothing make us happy? 

Do you thrift? Do you have any tips for me? Or any questions? It's a favorite topic, so I would love to talk more about it! (ps. When this post goes up we should be returning from San Diego...hopefully there are some thrift finds in our baggage!) 


Monday, April 3, 2017

Make it: Fuzzy Slides

My daughter Samantha likes trendy, fun pieces for her wardrobe. It's fun to see what she finds to inspire her wardrobe choices, on instagram, thru friends or on tumbler. Her latest find was fuzzy slides. Rhianna and Gucci kicked off the trend of furry shoes and we thought we might try our hand at some! 

Gathering supplies 

We were inspired to try our hand at at making these slides when we each found a pair of plain ones while thrift shopping. Once we had those, the rest was easy. Samantha went with a furry, bright material. I decided to use a strip of boa material. Both were easy to find at craft/sewing stores in the area and cost less than $4 (coupons were easy to find and helped). 

Prepping the materials

The lengths of boa have pieces of string on both ends that I cut off before starting to apply to the shoe. We used a glue gun to apply both our materials. 

Sam gluing her fabric down

We worked slowly on the glueing down. Sam worked from one side to the other, while I started with a strip on the top and worked toward the toe. 

Gluing in process

Though the slides I have had holes the glue didn't make too much of a mess. It was just a matter of letting one strip dry before starting on the next. 

One shoe finished 
Once both of our shoes were done it was just a matter of trimming them up, and a massive clean up! Especially the fluff let from my boa! 

The finished fun!
Voila! The finished slides! We are headed to San Diego for spring break this week and are both thinking it's the perfect time to bring these out and sport them! Steve's 90 year old Mom wears slides so we are thinking maybe we'll bring our extra materials and see if she wants a pair! Would you wear a pair of these wild shoes?