Monday, June 25, 2012

Ethan’s birthday!

Ethan turned 5!! Can’t believe it! We had a nice little cupcake party with our family on his birthday. Chocolate cookie dough cupcakes, so fun. Got him some nerf guns that provided some good entertainment. Love Ethan dearly, and he’s getting so big.

Lately, Kevin never wears a shirt. It’s hot, and he’s being a boy. That’s what I tell myself:)


Swimming lessons! Third year for Ethan with Miss Sandy, and he’s taking off. At 5 years old, he focuses better and is really becoming the swimmer.

100_1152Ethan swimming with his board, face down in the water, which is key for mastering swimming. If you can get them to get their face down, the rest of the body comes up, and swimming starts happening, yea!




Brooke  being adorable, at 8 months:)


Kevin and his friend having fun while Ethan swims.


Our little party for Ethan. We tend to keep it small and simple. Grateful for our friends. We loaded up a cooler with otterpops and capri suns, along with the cupcakes. That’s all kids need, and they were quite content to play in the water and gorge on the otter pops. Love it. Love my cute banner I got off Etsy.


Daddy attacking with water, ahh! It’s always so fun to be one of the few parents that gets wet with the kids. Other grown ups watched us as Shaun and I got super wet. It’s great.


That’s our little party. We’re simple folk. All you need is good food:) Gotta go conquer this week. More swimming lessons, and hopefully a ton of rock removal from our backyard, sweetness.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Instagram fun

Happy summer! More like, ‘holy hotness, Batman!’ Triple digits are here to stay until September, oh boy. Lots of time at swimming lessons for Ethan, and church pool parties each week. It’s heaven to be in the nice, cool water.

After seeing my friend’s lovely instagram creations, I decided to check it out. Oh my word, how fun!! I love the cute, simple editing of them. To me, all the pics look like they were taken in the 1980s. Vintage fun. Didn’t know Instagram is also another little social place to see your friend’s pics, too. More time balancing between Pinterest and Food Gawker, oh boy:)



Ever since I quit using sulfate shampoo and starting the Curly girl method, my latest passion is browsing healthy products for my hair and body. Whole Foods is heaven.


There’s an awesome lady at church who taught a class on interior design. I always want to decorate my home amazingly, but lack the ideas or means of keeping it in once place, (little kids:) Here’s a little spot that is lasting, so far. I love it. My aunt’s lovely art work of my old doggies, that neat Jesus board handout from church, a great dresser from craigslist, pitcher from DI, and neat flowers from Michaels.


Shaun grills such great food! Bacon wrapped smoked turkey burgers below, so good!


Ethan was helping me grate cheese for our dinner. It was rough work, and he had to take breaks:)


I’ve been using this book to make some food for Brooke.

I made a recipe that used a simple cheese sauce mixed into her veggies. She went nuts, and went through 3 bowls worth. Yes, cheese is a wonderful thing to discover!


Life just seems busier in the summer. Trying to stay cool, getting out to the pool and park, trying to help the boys stop the constant sibling fighting that I’ve heard is normal for boy brothers. I wish it could stop, but I just keep trying to have stuff for them to do. We miss riding our bikes, but that will come in the fall.

Next, I need to blog Ethan’s birthday pics. Hopefully, I’ll get to blog sooner, but it sure is busy around here! Hope everyone is having a great summer!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

The hair story

Ha! What a silly post this is, yet it’s been a very educational week. Just wanted to share what I’ve learned, and here we go:

Last weekend, I stumbled onto a pin on Pinterest about washing your hair without shampoo. I was intrigued, and read more. I read and read and read. I read about not washing your hair with shampoos that contain Sodium Laurel Sulfate, and silicones. I learned that the sulfate is a harsh detergent, same thing used in dishwasher soap, and it strips your hair of its natural oils, thus making your hair super dry  and sometimes frizzy. I checked my bottles of Pantene and sure enough, there was the Sulfate in the ingredients. The results of all these people I read about not using shampoo was this; their hair was much softer, healthier, and their curls were more springy and beautiful.

I read this link, and this link.

I wondered, ‘How awesome that their hair seems to be in a much better stage, but how do they keep their hair clean?’ Many answers and a bit overwhelming. A good scalp massage is what helps in cleaning your hair. Friction and agitation lifts the oils and dirt, like what a washing machine does. Some washed their hair with a baking soda mixture of 1 tablespoon of soda to a cup of water, and replaced the conditioner with an apple cider vinegar rinse. The baking soda removes build up, and the ACV rinse makes your hair super soft. The cider smell is gone from your hair once you rinse it out, so no worries on that one. Some do wash their hair with a sulfate/silicone free healthy shampoo about 1 or 2 a week, and use a conditioner every day. They also used a leave in conditioner afterwards.

I continued on my hair education quest, and discovered Lorraine Massey, the founder of the Curly Girl method. You can get her book from the library, and it’s a good read. She is a curly/wavy hair advocate, and has great tips on taking better care of your hair. She also advises to not wash your hair with the sulfate crap, and to use different shampoos and conditioners. I watched a ton of youtube videos on her.

So, last Sunday night I showered and just used conditioner. Here’s what I’ve learned since then:

  • The next morning, my hair was softer, and began to do some neat spiral curls. I stared in the mirror, holding the curls and going, ‘wow!’. I felt silly, but was so excited to see my hair do things I haven’t seen it do since I was a teenager.
  • I tried the baking soda and ACV rinse. That was interesting. Different. I did a good scalp massage with it, and noticed that my hair was really soft, and didn’t smell like vinegar.
  • I went to Smiths, got some good sulfate/silicone free conditioner from the health food section. Natures Gate. Nice stuff.
  • I now dry my hair gently with a cotton T shirt, one that Shaun kindly donated. It’s more gentle than a terry cloth towel on your hair.
  • I’ve been having more and more good, no, great hair days!
  • I get super excited to shower and take better care of my hair. I really am a dork.

Saturday, I went to get my hair cut by a fabulous hair stylist recommended to me. In 10 minutes, she quickly styled and snipped away at my hair, and put it in a fabulous cut with more bounce and better layers. Love it!

We talked and talked about the ‘no shampoo’ method. She gave me the other side of the story, which I’m thankful to hear. I always like to hear the whole story, and make a logical decision. This is what I learned from her:

  • From not shampooing my hair since last Sunday, I had major buildup on my hair. She took some strands, pushed down a bunch with some scissors, and showed me this white, greasy buildup that came off my hair. Definitely yucky, yes. You don’t want that kind of buildup. Perhaps I did not do enough baking soda or scalp massage, or whatever! I’m still such a newbie in this topic, and have much to learn.
  • Washing your hair every day with Pantene is not good at all, what I’ve been doing. Store brands like Pantene and Herbal essences are not great, as they are 80% water, and the Salon brands are about 10% water.
  • Using the right product is key for your hair.
  • Using a clarifying shampoo once a week will help remove the buildup. Using the right conditioner for your hair will bring back the moisture.

So, I’m going to try using Paul Mitchell’s tea tree shampoo once a week for the buildup removal. I’m skeptical, as I don’t want to lose the great softness I’ve been experiencing, since it’s a sulfate shampoo.  As with a science experiment, you have to try numerous tests. After trying the salon shampoo, I may try the Nature’s Gate Tea Tree shampoo. The thing I’m realizing is for my thick hair, I don’t need to shampoo it every day. I need the moisture big time in order to have the great curls come back, but definitely don’t want buildup. So, maybe just wash it once a week, and condition every day. I’m sure I will learn more good things by next week, and get a better handle on this.

It all comes down to this; I want to take better care of my hair. I want healthier hair. I’ve been on mommy survival mode for a long time, and my hair has been on the back burner for a bit. Since this last week, it has felt so good to treat my hair better. So good. Just the simple changes of using a cotton tshirt, and scrunching it in the shower to improve the curls have been worth it.

If anyone has done this type of hair method, do tell me what you’ve learned:)

Thank you for taking the time to read a silly yet informative post all about hair. Goodness! I will write more posts with better substance soon, ha ha!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Summer is here

Today, it was 106 degrees. First day of June. On the calendar, it says the ‘first day of summer’ is somewhere in the middle of June. Clearly, the calendar does not know desert weather. We live off watermelon, water and gatorade. We cannot live without playing in water. I’m so glad Mom taught me how to swim so early and put me in lessons. I love pools, waterparks, anything water and I think I passed that love onto my boys.

Last Monday, it was the first Memorial’s day that Shaun was off work in a long time. We got excited to grill. Steak and a fabulous honey lime chicken recipe. We invited good friends over, and the kids were the sole entertainment. Us parents sat outside in our camp chairs and just enjoyed watching the kids go nuts in the pool. I laughed, looked at us ‘grownups’ in our chairs, thinking ‘who needs TV when you have kids like this’.

My theory with these pools is this: You have to get the one with the built in slide, period. It’s not nearly as fun without the slide. That’s all:)


My two darlings. Brooke is still such an adorable little girl baby. I love it when she pulls on my hair, and smiles at me. Love, love, love it.


We let Ethan get his kicks on the pots. Boys being boys. Did our best to plug our ears and be good parents. Probably shouldn’t of given him plastic spoons, as they broke soon, but oh well.


I heard of the idea to make your home a safe and loving place, a getaway from the busy, crazy world. Here is a little ‘safe place’ I made for the boys in the home. Just a little cave, and they love it.

Anyone else noticing how tall Ethan is getting? Dang!


Went to a friend’s house, got inspired, and found this awesome wooden kitchen with loads of wooden food on craigslist. I considered it summer cabin fever survival gear. I love getting on the ground and playing with the boys doing food, cooking, and picnics. It is so cool, and so much better than the piece of crap plastic one we got awhile back. I love craigslist. Seriously get everything off there.


That’s what we’ve been up to, surviving the heat. Dear UT and CA friends, enjoy some cool summer weather for me:)