Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Summer Bucket List 2014

Time for the annual Summer Bucket List. Publishing our family summer plans has become an annual post on the blog. It was one of the first things I posted and first posts I repeated. I've never been real great at completing the summer bucket list. Our Summer Bucket List 2012 was pretty ambitious and we didn't complete most of it. Our Summer Bucket List 2013 was scaled back and we still failed. I've decided Summer Bucket List 2014 will be minimal and we will complete it!

If you want to learn more about Summer Bucket Lists or get some great ideas for your own. Check out The Happy Family Movement Summer Bucket List Challenge. It's a fabulous place to start gathering ideas for your very own list! Pinterest is always an amazing resource too. But when is Pinterest not fabulous?  

Summer Bucket List 2014

* Horseback Riding * Photo A Day #semperfifamsummerbreak2014 * Become a Foster Pet Family * Movie Marathon * HikeGo to The Grove L.A. * Beach Day * Back To School Shopping * Lake Skinner Splash Pad * Fishing

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Tuesday, June 10, 2014

A New Pet.

I feel like there is so much to share. My blog has all but been neglected for the past 6 months. It isn't the most horrible thing I could do but I know my family and friends like their family updates.

So this guy has been our latest addition. It's been a few weeks since we brought him home. A total impromptu decision but we knew we had to have him. 
We went to the flea market to buy a lime tree. We came home with a pet tortoise. 
I still don't know how this happened. Although, he is the cutest little thing.
We love to sit out in the yard and watch him manuever through the grass and dirt. 

Charlie is not a fan. He is the most jealous pup. I guess our little Instagram star, pupstigram123, doesn't like to share the spotlight. Such a diva!

Anyways, I thought it was worth an update since you will be seeing more of {him} in pictures.


Monday, June 9, 2014

35 Acts of Kindness Birthday Project

I knew 35 was going to be a milestone birthday for me. I'm half way through my thirties. Time I'm not getting back. This birthday maybe catch my breath a little bit. I've been pretty good with the whole aging thing. Sure I still forget how old I actually am. Long gone are the days of ID checks and "You don't look that old!" flattery! Apparently, I'm middle age according to some insensitive government agency. An agency who didn't even get the privilege of registering in my head with a name. So there…government with your…judgement. I'm just going to keep on keeping on.

I gave this birthday a lot of thought. Typically I love to celebrate birthdays. I give myself permission to extend my celebrations as long as I want. Usually a birthday weekend will suffice. This year was different. I wasn't really feeling a birthday celebration…sightseeing, dinner out, presents. This year I wanted to do something on my bucket list. For a long time I've wanted to do Random Acts of Kindness for my birthday. I'm sure you've seen the certain number of acts of kindness to correlate with your age. It's something that appeals to me and my giving side. With a little nudging of my good friend, I decided to make 35 the year for the project. It was the most rewarding birthday celebration ever. Exactly what I want my future birthdays to be about. It's so highly addicting!

It took a little time and some help of a few wonderful friends. But over the course of 4 hours we were able to bring some cheer to many unsuspecting people in our community.

Here is the list of the 35 Acts of Kindness for 35 years of life:

#1- #3 Gifts for friends. I wanted to thank my friends who gave up their Saturday to help me carry out this crazy adventure.

#4 Make the kids' beds

#5 Sidewalk chalk message for the neighbor.

#6 Post new pictures on Facebook of the kids.

#7 Baby gift for the neighbor's friend.

#8 Send a letter in the mail.

#9 Send expired coupons overseas to a military base.

#10 Bring donuts to the military family on the corner. Don't judge but I had yet to introduce myself. 11 months in the house…there is no excuse. So I got a little nerve and walked up to the front step. Stumbled through a silly apology slash introduction. She was so surprised. Hugged me. Told me their story. Husband on the opposite coast at school. Three kids to raise alone. Future in limbo after his training. Typical military family stuff. But donuts on a Saturday morning was a welcomed surprise. And I met my neighbor. Win win.

#11 Bagels and coffee for the firefighters. This was my friend, Rachel's act of kindness. We were pretty excited to be thanking some cute firefighters. But wouldn't you know they weren't at the station. So we left the goods, a note, and continued on with our day.

#12 Gift card for a Toys R Us shopper. Heart wrenching! A mom with five foster children under five. Two of which were just accepted the previous night from their homeless drug addicted parents. The sweetest little baby and his toddler sister. The foster parent just happened to stop and offer to take our pic. The last thing I would think to do with a basket full of toddlers. But clearly this person was much bigger than I. After learning her story, my friend Cynthia decided she would gift them the Toys R Us gift card. Of course, there were tears and hugs and pictures. And the rest of the tasks may have well been forgotten. My heart still warms at the thought of that woman and those babies.

#13 Organize shelves of toys.

#14 Candy bars for the store cashiers

#15 Coins in the vending machines

#16 Return carts to the store.

#17 Dry erase messages on the mirrors. I felt like a rebellious teen vandalizing the dressing rooms. But it washes off easily and hopefully made a few people smile along the way. 

We were very sneaky by bringing in some clothes to try on. Too bad that neon leopard print strapless didn't work for ya Cynthia!

#18 Leave coins heads up in the parking lot.

#19 Diaper/wipes in the changing stations. Note said "You are blessed."

#20 Give flowers at the hospital. We dropped them off in the ER. I'm not sure who needed them more... a patient or the staff there. Bless their hearts on that busy Saturday.

#21 Leave an encouraging note on a car in the hospital parking lot.

#22 Left magazines in the waiting room.

#23 Taped dollar bills to the vending machines

#24 Collect coins for Rancho Damacitas aka Pan Handle. This was a very uncomfortable act. We had a lot of avoiders, staring, and even a shout out from a homeless guy. "Hey, I'm homeless too!" Nice. However, there were supporters too. We had many empty their coin purses into our coffee can. Good news, in 35 minutes we collected $20.14. 

#25 Water for the sign spinners.

#26-28 Giveaway Bubble Baskets to families at the park.

#29 Contribute to Help Whip Cancer Fundraiser

#30 Donate money to Rancho Damacitas, a group children's home in town.

#31 Take down garage sale signs in my community

#32 Pick Up Trash at the local park

To be honest, I still have a few left to be completed:

#33 Donate books to the library

#34 Collect shoes for local marching band fundraiser

#35 Donate items to Salvation Army

Best Birthday Ever!


Monday, June 2, 2014

StitchFix June 2014

Oh Stitchfix, how I love thee! You have eliminated my woahs of dressing room frustration and my matchy-matchy wardrobe from tried and true mall stores. Truth be told, I have all but stopped the mall store shopping. Ann Taylor Loft should be so jealous. All for the love of a personal stylist scouring the racks for five perfect items to be delivered to my doorstep whenever I decide. I feel so fancy!

Let me tell you ladies, this month Stitchfix hit it out of the ball park. I have been won me over with how great this personal stylist service really is! My first two fixes didn't live up to my expectations. But, I didn't want to give up. And perhaps, my last StitchFix post was more of a vent about such feelings. You can imagine my surprise when I received a personal email from someone in the online marketing department addressing some of the complaints or sarcastic remarks in my post. This person was very encouraging and helpful by providing tips on how to create a better Fix. 

Here are the two tips which contributed to my improved Stitchfix experience:

#1 Be honest. Don't sugar coat what you don't like. Be very straight forward about what you want or don't want. After receiving the email, I went into my style profile to make changes. I left a note for any future stylist regarding trends, styles, and colors I am currently loving.

#2 Link a specific Pinterest board for Stitchfix. Previously, I had linked my Style board. My style board is massive. I have pinned a wide array of styles, colors, and patterns found on the internet. I'm pretty sure it would overwhelm the most talented stylist. I decided to create a Stitchfix board. The board is specifically pins from Stitchfix reviews and others' Stitchfix Pinterest boards. I sprinkled in some non-Stitchfix fashion pins to stay true to my personal style. Having variety also gives my Stitchfix stylist the chance to do her job by using her fashion expertise to find pieces just for me.

My June 2014 StitchFix experience was refreshing and proved how ideal this service is for me! Now for the best part... the clothes!

I was so happy to see my stylist, Jennifer, had sent the UnderSkies Jasmine Pleat Detail Floral blouse. Yes, it was pinned to my StitchFix board. However, it also was a work appropriate top and great for our hot desert climate. Both requests I had made in my style profile. Bonus: It fit perfectly! I've already worn it more times than I'm proud to say. The Pink Martini Joshua colored ankle jeans were the perfect color. Cobalt blue was a color I had shared I loved. Jennifer is amazing. Obviously, she is detail oriented and puts a lot of thought into her work. Ok... I really just want to give her a big hug! Sadly, the pants did not fit. They were cut really low on me, like barely covered my bottom low. I tried to justify keeping them by vowing to wear the pants only when I would be standing and not sitting. Which is like never. I knew my only choice was to send them back. But aren't they pretty? The Baggu canvas bag was a keeper as well. Between my teenage daughter and I, the bag will be used 24/7. I have a feeling I will never see it again after taking this picture. Teen daughters are a sneaky bunch!

This gem is also a keeper. Another pin from the Pinterest board but I had no idea how amazing the 41Hawthorn Colorblock A-Line ponte dress would be. It is so flattering--the cut, the colors, the material. Plus, it's red, white, and blue. What Marine wife could send back such a patriotic dress? Not this girl! 

Baggu Melanie Canvas Bag.

My fifth piece was this Papermoon Remmie Multi-Color Chevron Print Maxi Skirt. It was a great fit. However, I chose to send it back. I prefer brighter colors. My choice was only a matter of personal preference because this really was a great skirt. Jennifer still rocks the StitchFix!

If you are considering StitchFix, here is a referral code to get you started:

If you have tried StitchFix and haven't had the best experiences, I would encourage you to try again. Maybe consider the tips I've shared. It made a world of difference for me! 

And if you love StitchFix as much as this girl, leave me a link to check out your latest finds! I love to share the Stitchfix love!
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