Friday, September 14, 2018

Saturday Snapshot - September 15

To participate in Saturday Snapshot: post a photo that you (or a friend or family member) have taken then leave a direct link to your post in the Mister Linky below. Photos can be old or new, and be of any subject as long as they are clean and appropriate for all eyes to see. How much detail you give in the caption is entirely up to you. Please don’t post random photos that you find online.

I've been sharing a lot of "family fun" picture from this summer, but here is something different.  Every once in a while, I get to go out without the kids and be a kid myself.  Two of my closest friends and I share two (well, many...but we'll say two) interests: tea and Harry Potter.  So, when our new favorite tea house announced that they were having a Harry Potter tea, we knew we had to attend.

It was definitely worth the months wait!  The food was delicious and very, well, Harry Potter-y.  If they have this again, we will be sure to attend...again.





This was in one of the bathrooms...

And this was in the other...

Friday, September 7, 2018

Saturday Snapshot - September 8

To participate in Saturday Snapshot: post a photo that you (or a friend or family member) have taken then leave a direct link to your post in the Mister Linky below. Photos can be old or new, and be of any subject as long as they are clean and appropriate for all eyes to see. How much detail you give in the caption is entirely up to you. Please don’t post random photos that you find online.

If you have been following my blog for a while, you know that my daughter and I are very busy with her Girl Scout troop.  As the girls have gotten older, we've been trying to do more outdoor activities.  Our goal is to do one outdoor activity a month, something that we started in July.  That first outing was, well, not quite what we expected...only because we only had 2 girls.  Of course, we still had fun...I dragged my son along (he had some energy he needed to burn off) and we went for a hike in Cooper Mountain Nature Park.  It's near our house, but we had never visited it.  

It was an amazing short (but not exactly easy) hike.  The views were amazing and, as it is the sort of place that changes with the seasons, I think we'll be visiting it several times a year.


This is a device to hear wildlife in the woods.  It also can make you look like you are an old man!

View shot!

It was a HOT day for our hike, but the kids were troopers!

Another view shot!


Friday, August 31, 2018

Saturday Snapshot - September 1

To participate in Saturday Snapshot: post a photo that you (or a friend or family member) have taken then leave a direct link to your post in the Mister Linky below. Photos can be old or new, and be of any subject as long as they are clean and appropriate for all eyes to see. How much detail you give in the caption is entirely up to you. Please don’t post random photos that you find online.

I'm interrupting my posts of summer fun (no worries, summer pics will go well into fall) to share the big news from this week...MY KIDS ARE BACK IN SCHOOL!  My daughter started 4th grade and my son is in 2nd and they were almost as excited as I was for all this!

Yes, they coordinated their outfits and, yes, those are their houses (according to the Sorting Hat at Pottermore!)




Friday, August 24, 2018

Saturday Snapshot - August 25

To participate in Saturday Snapshot: post a photo that you (or a friend or family member) have taken then leave a direct link to your post in the Mister Linky below. Photos can be old or new, and be of any subject as long as they are clean and appropriate for all eyes to see. How much detail you give in the caption is entirely up to you. Please don’t post random photos that you find online.

One of our family traditions is to go to the Salem Art Fair in July.  We don't go every year, but I try to make it most years.  I think that I'm really the only one who enjoys it, but the rest of the family is usually a good sport about it.

I believe that I posted last year about our visit, but now you get this year's pictures!  As usual, I don't have too many pictures.  Because so many of the artists at the festival don't want their works photographed, I don't take pictures inside the festival--but I do take a few on the edges.


One thing I always have to do is get a Chi-Yo, or Vietnamese Spring Roll, that the church I attended growing up, sells.  They are delicious!

Salem is famous for its attack owl, Owl Capone.  This sign was actually designed by the graphics department at MSNBC as a joke, but the city adopted it and you can buy your own sign as a fundraiser.

One end of the park has this amazing playground.  It is actually more amazing than when I was a child--they updated it a few years ago.  My kids absolutely love it!



Friday, August 17, 2018

Saturday Snapshot - August 18

To participate in Saturday Snapshot: post a photo that you (or a friend or family member) have taken then leave a direct link to your post in the Mister Linky below. Photos can be old or new, and be of any subject as long as they are clean and appropriate for all eyes to see. How much detail you give in the caption is entirely up to you. Please don’t post random photos that you find online.

Okay, this is my last post for July 7th!  As you can tell, it was quite a day!

After we had explored what we could of the Devil's Punchbowl, we headed north to the beach my parents would take me to when I was a child.

Fogarty Creek is a nice--and usually quiet--little beach north of Depoe Bay.  There are two interesting things about this beach: one is the large rock there.  Large rocks like this are not uncommon on the Oregon Coast, but there aren't many in this part of the state.  The other is that the sand is...different.  Most of the beaches on the north and central coast have soft, fine sand.  Fogarty Creek has grittier, more pebble-like sand.  This poses a problem is sand castles are your thing, but luckily my kids are far more interested in getting wet!


Here you can see the large rock...older kids love to climb it!

My husband found a shark tooth!

As you can tell, my daughter likes to get WET!


Friday, August 10, 2018

Saturday Snapshot - August 11

To participate in Saturday Snapshot: post a photo that you (or a friend or family member) have taken then leave a direct link to your post in the Mister Linky below. Photos can be old or new, and be of any subject as long as they are clean and appropriate for all eyes to see. How much detail you give in the caption is entirely up to you. Please don’t post random photos that you find online.

Well, folks...we're still on July 7th!  I told you it would take a while to get through just that day!

After we visited Whispering Winds, we decided to cut across to the Newport on the Oregon Coast.  We actually didn't stop in Newport, but headed a but north to the Devil's Punchbowl.  If you ever come to the Oregon Coast, this is a must see.  It's a large cauldron-like formation and, at high tide, the water swirls around inside like a cauldron.  Next to it, however, are probably the best tide pools on the Oregon Coast.

Unfortunately, we arrived at the wrong time to get to most of the pools, but the kids still had a great time seeing what they could.
Heading out to the pools

See the sea lions in the background?

Finding a sea star.  These used to be far more plentiful on the Oregon Coast.



Friday, August 3, 2018

Saturday Snapshot - August 4

To participate in Saturday Snapshot: post a photo that you (or a friend or family member) have taken then leave a direct link to your post in the Mister Linky below. Photos can be old or new, and be of any subject as long as they are clean and appropriate for all eyes to see. How much detail you give in the caption is entirely up to you. Please don’t post random photos that you find online.

Back to our adventures on July 7!  As I said, the main goal of the day was to take my daughter to visit where she will be camping (she leaves this week for 4 nights).  Here are a few pictures of the camp.


A map of the camp

Some of the girls will be sleeping in covered wagons.  We don't yet know if my daughter will be lucky enough to do so.

The pond where the girls can go kayaking

Sunday, July 29, 2018

A Window Into My Week - July 29, 2018

I feel like I should start this post out with a big apology because this past week was a big fat NOTHING.  As I said last week, our heat pump (which serves as our air conditioner) broke down.  Also, we are having a heat wave, so score one for bad timing!  The good news is that it is fixed and life is better.  But the truth is that I do not do well in heat at all, so this will probably be the least impressive update ever.  I  mean, the short story is I spent the week picking up my daughter and whining about the heat.


What I've Been Blogging...
Other than my Saturday Snapshot post (which was actually written before this week), a big fat nothing.  It was too hot to blog.  Plus, I was so crabby that no one would have wanted to read what I would have written.

What I've Been Reading...
I'm still working on both Amy Mason Doan's The Summer List and Beck Dorey-Stein's From the Corner of the Oval.  I just can't concentrate on what I'm reading when I'm so uncomfortable, so most of my reading has been limited to when I'm somewhere else.  My son has an Occupational Therapy appointment once a week, which gives me about an hour to read.  Then, it was so hot one day, that I took him to the library so I could sit in the air conditioning and read while he played in the children's section.  I'm so close to being done with both of these and I'm hoping to have new books to tell you about next week.

What I've Been Watching...
Remember last week when I said that I was going to turn off my computer at 8pm?  Many of you commented on my wise decision to give up screen time.  Sadly, I'm not wise.  I didn't give up screen time--just computer time.  Instead, I spent the time sitting in my reading nook with a fan pointed at me while I spent some quality time with my friends, Netflix and Hulu.

I caught up with Harlots If you do not watch this show, I'm telling you to start.  It is fantastic.  It's fascinating and empowering and it does not pull its punches.  It's also entertaining as all get out and has some fantastic performances.  The second season is currently coming out (on Wednesdays) on Hulu and the entire first season is already available.

I also powered through the 4th season of The Girlfriend's Guide to Divorce.  If you aren't familiar with this show, think of it as either Sex and the City and/or Girls, but with middle-aged women and set in LA.  Don't get me wrong, the characters make some horrifically bad decisions, but I still find it far more relatable than the NYC based shows I mentioned.

I finally started Queer Eye.  I enjoyed the first series when it was on about 10 years ago, but I just hadn't gotten a chance to watch this one.  Well, last night I made the leap and I love it!  It is just the positive, heart-warming show this world needs right now.

What I've Been Listening To...
I gave up on my re-read of Eleanor and Park.  The problem was that I couldn't listen to it with earbuds (because bad things happen if I don't keep an ear on the kids) and I couldn't listen to it with a speaker, but I didn't really want my kids listening in on it.  It wasn't a huge deal--I'm well acquainted with the story and was able to discuss it without the "reread."

Other than that, I'm working through my podcast backlog.  I also found a playlist online called "Ultimate Happy," which I recreated for myself.  I added a few more songs that make me happy and am going through the rest of the songs to make sure they hit the right note with me.  Once I feel it is just what I want, I'll share it!

What I've Been Eating...
Whatever doesn't involve cooking.  I brought in some pre-cooked foods, had my husband grill a bit, and put the Instant Pot to use but this week was not the most inspired food week.  I am going to try to get a meal plan for this coming week up for Monday.

What I've Been Doing...
This week has been about trying to survive the heat.  As mentioned above, my daughter had her second week of Day Camp this week.  My friend (whose daughter is my daughter's best friend) would take them in the morning and then I'd pick them up in the afternoon.  I won't lie--the air-conditioned car made it all worth it.

This next week will be a low one for us.  Other than a few appointments, we don't have anything on the schedule.  I see many mornings at the pool for us!  Plus, things are finally going to cool down at the end of the week, which will be so wonderful!

I'm off now to something that promises to be very fun!  But you'll have to wait until next week to hear about it!

I'm linking up with It's Monday...What Are You Reading?, hosted by Kathryn at Book Date.

Amazon Purchase Links:

Friday, July 27, 2018

Saturday Snapshot - July 28

To participate in Saturday Snapshot: post a photo that you (or a friend or family member) have taken then leave a direct link to your post in the Mister Linky below. Photos can be old or new, and be of any subject as long as they are clean and appropriate for all eyes to see. How much detail you give in the caption is entirely up to you. Please don’t post random photos that you find online.

For the next couple of weeks, I'll be sharing pictures I took on our day trip on July 7.  It ended up being a rather eclectic day with lots of photo ops, so I decided to spread it out over a few weeks of Saturday Snapshots.

The initial purpose of the day was to go to the open house for the camp my daughter will be attending in August.  This will be her first sleepaway camp, so we wanted to give her a chance to check the place out first.  

The camp is about 2 hours away from us and we decided to take a more scenic route, which led us through some gorgeous countryside of the mid-Willamette Valley.  While on this little jaunt, we happened across a covered bridge!  There are a few of these in Oregon, but most are tucked out of the way (as this one was) and, in all my years here, I've never actually seen one...until now!


If you can read it, here is the history of the bridge

Photo op with the fam

A better view, taken from slightly below the bridge


Sunday, July 22, 2018

A Window into My Week - July 22, 2018

People, it is HOT here...and our heat pump went out yesterday.  So, forgive me if this post is a bit more on the brief side, but I wanted to get it done before I ran out to get some food that was prepared elsewhere for dinner...


What I've been blogging...
Again, not much.  I keep thinking I'll get something more than my update posts up (at least Saturday Snapshot and Menu Plan Monday happened), but then it doesn't happen.  I am, however, hoping to get the chance to put up a giveaway this week.  I had a giveaway a while ago and the winner never claimed their book, so I'm doing it again.  Stay tuned!

What I've been reading...
I'm still reading From the Corner of the Oval by Beck Dorey-Stein, which I'm enjoying.  I've also seen her on the news lately--apparently, she quit her stenographer job after a taste of Trump (I mean, can you blame her?)

I also am getting back into The Summer List by Amy Mason Doan.  I am enjoying it, but I had to take a break because my severe dry eye issue was acting up again.  When that happens, reading print gives me a headache very quickly (I do much better if I read on Kindle for some reason.  I actually fare the best reading on my Kindle Fire, but it's heavier and I keep forgetting to charge it!).  I had planned to have a review up for it by now, but now I'm aiming for sometime next week.

What I've been watching...
When I get a chance to watch something, it has been either Harlots or Anne with an EHarlots is an incredibly underrated show and I highly recommend it--although it is definitely NOT something you want to be watching with the kids underfoot!  Since Hulu drops its episodes weekly, I'm caught up and just waiting for a new one to arrive on Wednesday (if you haven't seen it, the entire first season is available on Hulu).

I could watch Anne with an E with the kids around, but I'm saving it for my evening viewing.  But then I only get a few nights when I can wrangle the remote from my husband (who is currently obsessed with watching the Mission Impossible movies on an endless loop), so I'm still only a couple of episode in.

What I've been listening to...
I've been trying to catch up on podcasts, and I really need to spend some quality time with Eleanor and Park...my book club is this Thursday!  If I don't finish it, it will be okay--I've already read AND listened to it, but it is nice to have the refresher.

What I've been eating...
Nothing too exciting, although I did get a number of cookbooks from the library and am trying to incorporate some new recipes (no hits yet!).

Also, I'm not doing a Menu Plan Monday this week, only because the air conditioning situation is forcing me to sort of play things by ear.  With any luck, we'll get it fixed quickly but, until then, I'm going to try to stick with meals that either don't need to be cooked, are cooked by someone else, or are cooked in a way that it doesn't heat up my kitchen any more than it already is.

What I've been doing...
Mostly carting my daughter back and forth for Day Camp.  She has another week of it, although I'll only be doing pick up for that one (and she has an overnight!  She is incredibly excited for it!)

I did escape my non-air conditioned house today by going hiking in 90+ degree weather!  Crazy, I know--but it was a trip that was planned with my daughter's Girl Scout troop (although only 2 girls ended up going) long before we knew the weather forecast.  It was a lovely, but beastly hot, hike.  I'll have pictures in the future for Saturday Snapshot and we'll be going back to that trail again with my husband when it is cooler.

I am trying something new this week, inspired by an especially good sermon at church today (our minister always has great sermons, but this one hit home).  She spoke about spiritual rest and how we need it and are not getting it and what we should do to make it a priority.  She challenged us to give up 1 thing for a week and start 1 rest-promoting thing.  I am going to be turning my computer off at 8pm each night--well, it will be a little later tonight, only because I want to link up with Kathryn first--as my "give up" item.  I'm still trying to think about what I'm going to start.

I only mention this because I won't be able to check out some of your blogs until tomorrow (or later in the week).  But it is my priority to touch base with you all--I missed it last week, but I should have more time this week to follow up.  I really enjoy seeing what everyone is reading and doing, but I also need to get some perspective on things. So, if I don't respond to you until Friday or so, please don't take it personally!  I'm just "resting"!

And now, my friends, I'm off in search of a rotisserie chicken.  And possibly some ice cream.

I'm linking up with It's Monday...What Are You Reading? hosted by Kathryn at Book Date.

Amazon Purchase Links: