Friday, November 6, 2015

~Top 10 things to do in Fall~

The air is crisp and so are the apples! It's Autumn and the leaves are falling all around us! We are stomping through the leaves on the streets and piling them up in our yards! My favorite time of year is here! My daughter's middle name is Autumn...I think that alone explains how much I adore this season. It is the most pleasant time of year for me. With wonderfully mild weather and so many exciting activities how could I be glum? Here is my list of great Fall fun activities for the family. I hope you are able to try out a few before winter blows in!

Top 10 things to do in Fall:

1) Visiting a Corn Maze






























                                                                               




Monday, October 26, 2015

A Lesson in Social Sensitiviity

Hello My name is Jacqueline. I'm just an average mom and military wife. I enjoy reading and being creative. But you wouldn't know any of that unless I told you right? What have I not mentioned....hmmm oh yeah there is something about me that is pretty obvious I guess right? Its what you think when you first see me. Its the trait that stands out so much that its impossible to hide or not notice? What I am talking about is...my beautiful blonde hair! Oh wait that's not it....what is it again...I hardly notice it myself. Ok you tell me....what is it?


Yes, I am very tall. I also have pretty large feet and hands. But these are not things that I choose to talk about usually because I have no need to. You see them right away. I can't hide them. I can't do anything about how I look. No one can. So a bit of social sensitivity needs to take place. You need to respect the differences, as well as, the similarities.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Goodwill Haul

The other day we stepped into Goodwill to browse around while waiting for Serenity's dance class to finish. We walked out with arms full and smiling faces because we found a bunch of awesome stuff. We got a unique drink dispenser, an old board game, kids books, a Littlest Pet Shop Play set, and a couple of books for myself. Best of all we got all of these things for about 12 bucks! Here's a few pics of our haul. What have you gotten lately?


Monday, October 19, 2015

Exploring Virginia: Saluda and Urbanna...

Last Exploration: New Kent

A little while back we decided to drive out to two little towns in Virginia called Saluda and Urbanna. They were quiet and beautiful little cities.We didn't get to do very much but we got to spend time together and explore which is the most important thing to us. Being able to explore your home state is one of the greatest things you can do. When you know your state, the people in it, and the different amenities it has to offer, then you can enjoy it to the fullest!



First things first we had to go by the LOVE sign and get a few pictures!

Sunday, October 4, 2015

~Fantastic Pho~

I was late to the game when it came to Pho. I tried it for the fist time last year and in that moment I was hooked. Most people become infatuated once they try it because it is so DAMN good! Its very healthy, well flavored, and a wonderful texture. When you mix the rice noodles with bean sprouts you get one of heck of a bite! It's so tasty...that I crave it now.

Recently we checked out a new place for Pho and I was super excited! The reviews were very good and I have yet to be disappointed with any place that we have tried. The service was awesome with us being led to a table immediately and our orders being brought to us quickly and steaming. That smell is amazing...when we first walked in I was hit with it and salivating all over the place! We don't wait for it to cool off and immediately burn our mouths in our passion to shovel it in! We don't care because we have just entered a trance...a Pho trance... You won't know this feeling until you try it. Here are some pictures to get you in a Vietnamese mood...


Thursday, September 24, 2015

Exploring Virginia: New Kent

Last Exploration: Cape Charles

Recently we have been taking little trips around Virginia. Our hope is to explore our state and learn more about the different cities that embody it. There is something unique and beautiful about each new town we venture to. This time we went to New Kent, Va. New Kent is a small town with wineries, historical remnants, and lots of open space. We really enjoyed visiting the old buildings and taking in the peaceful atmosphere that this town had to offer.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Loot Crate for August: More Villains!

I'm VERY behind on posting this! Its almost time for September's Loot Crate and here I am posting Augusts. Oh well! Last month's was all about giving us more Villains gear! There were less items than the norm but the items in the box were worth more this time around. Loot Crate is a box subscription supplying nerds, fans, and gamers. Its 19.99/month and comes packed full of awesome items. My hubby was very excited to get his box and loved every item in it!

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

An Introspective Moment

There are moments in the day when your mind wanders. Moments where you are not in constant motion and busy with any given task. During these moments people tend to look inward. In that split second your worries and insecurities come to the forefront and you analyze them. This is when we get the "Did I do that right?", "Do they hate me?", "Why do I think this way?", thoughts. I bring this up because I am a parent of an only child and the new school year has begun. I find myself with more quiet moments than I can fill and too much internal reflection. What am I reflecting on today the most you might ask. Today I am reflecting on friendships.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Doctor Who and 32!

My hubby's birthdays are always difficult to celebrate because he is not into "birthdays". It drives me nuts because I am very into them! I love celebrating in general but when its time to celebrate a birthday I get even more excited. I want to show that person how glad I am that they were born...so obviously he makes me so frustrated every August 23rd.This year I let him plan a spontaneous trip to the Eastern Shore of Virginia, specifically Cape Charles. I posted a blog post about it that you can check out HERE. I also wanted to throw a small party for just him, Seri, and I. I wanted to make it Doctor Who themed and give us a chance to share with Seri one of the things he is really into. So here's what we did...






For decorating we went with a blue and white theme to represent the Tardis. Not a Dr. Who fan? Then scroll down and you will see the Blue and white Police box...that is the Tardis. I also found some round hanging decorations and decided to use those for the "round things" that are always on the walls of the Tardis interior.





Thursday, August 27, 2015

~*~Street Art & Diner Food ~*~

Recently we took a trip into Norfolk and I finally got to do what I have been wanting to for a very very long time! We took a stroll in the street art part of town. I have always wanted a closer look and a chance to take a few photos of these quirky and cool pieces. Now that I have I can not wait to share them!




Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Exploring Virginia: A Cape Charles Expedition~~~

For my husband's 32nd birthday I went along with him on a spontaneous car trip...in the past this would have been impossible. I like to plan and chart a course. In the past I would be anxious and tense but now I feel more at ease. I enjoyed the suddenness and unexpectedness of the trip, and that really surprised me. Time goes by and as a person you change. As you experience new things you yearn to do so again and again.All three of us started off on this short vacay eager to have an adventure and we sure did!


Friday, August 21, 2015

Summer Slow Down

When summer first begins I am always excited to have my little girl around. I start planning what we should do and love spending so much time with her day to day. By the end of the summer my patience has dwindled down to its lowest and my energy has run out. I know that most parents think the same. We all have a limit.

I have finally become that stereotypical parent that jumps for joy at the mention of school starting! Not because I hate or can't stand my kid, I feel nothing but overwhelming love for her. Its because I need a break. I need to have moments of silence in a house that is usually filled to the brim with questions, chatter, and yelling. For an only child Serenity makes up for the lack of other kids. Yes, her name is Serenity yet she has very few serene moments! She is energetic, smart, and, wants me to participate in all she does. This makes for a full day and me being worn out.

It is now only 18 days until school starts. I have to muster the strength to finish strong and give her a great ending to this summer, but all I really want to do is drink tea and nap. I know my time will come! As my past blogging schedule shows, we have been doing so much that I was posting things everyday. I can't keep that up! It must slow down as it should...everything gets harder the longer you do it. Unless you take a minute to recover. I need a summer recovery period...

I will push through my fatigue and continue this summer with good memories and happy moments...then rejoice with the school bus's arrival! Then of course after the first week I will be in tears because I miss my lovey so very much!

For all you creative and exhausted moms out there...school is almost upon...not long now we can do it!

Monday, August 17, 2015

Summer Crafts: S is for Serenity!

Last time: Tie Dye Shirts

Serenity is slowly decorating her room with what she deems suitable. As she gets older I know that things she treasured in the past might not be necessary for her when she is older. So I wanted to come up with a craft that she could do that would give her some creative freedom and help her explore her personality. I bought a large wooden S to stand for Serenity and I let her paint and design it according to who she thought she was. "What describes you Seri," I asked her. This S should let others know who you are. Blue and pink paint and a gazillion hearts, sparkles, and stars later we have a finished product!! It will be placed in her room and she can display it with pride.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Summer Crafts: Tie Dye Shirts!

Next: S for Serenity!

Summer is drawing to a close soon and some parts of the country are already going back to school! We luckily have until September! With all this vacation time left I have to push myself to find new ways to engage and entertain this hyperactive little seven year old. One day as I was browsing through the store I saw a tie die shirt kit on sale. I knew that this was a perfect project for Seri. Serenity loves being creative, artistic, and most of all.....messy! She went nuts with the paint and created a very unique design! She also made a shirt for one of her best buddies, Tristen! Its easy to find kits and the one we recommend is the Tulip brand! The shirts turn out very colorful and the kits are very easy to use! Here is a look at the process and result!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

~Mexico Week~ Day 5: Demographics, National Symbols, and Weather

Last post: Customs and Holidays

We have been very preoccupied the last few days so this post is a bit late...sorry!!!! Been dealing with some stuff and got behind a tad but here is the last post for Mexican Week!

Mexico is almost three times the size of Texas coming in at around 758,449 square miles. The population is around 120,286,655. The most populated city in Mexico is its capital Mexico City...no surprise there, right?The main language spoken in Mexico is Spanish but they also have some areas of this country where native tongues, for certain regions, are used. The Mexican Peso is this countries currency and 1 peso equals about $0.61 cents in US dollars.The Mexican government has an executive, legislative, and judicial branch this makes their federal government very similar to America. They even have a President acting as head of state.

As with quite a lot of countries, Mexico values the eagle as a strong symbol. Its coat of arms features a golden eagle a top a prickly cactus while devouring a snake. This can be seen in many different lights. It can be seen as a fight between good and evil, something of religious connotations for the local people, or even a battle to balance while conflict occurs. Whatever the ideology behind the making of this symbol it is used as the coat of arms for the Mexican government, it has been placed upon the flag, and has even been used on currency.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Science with Serenity: Geology...Crystal Mining

Serenity was dead set on getting this crystal mining kit from Amazon. Little did I know that this kit would be so INCREDIBLY MESSY! Its okay...she had fun...she was happy and occupied for over 20 mins straight...and she got some pretty crystals out of it. Look away now clean freaks and anyone suffering from OCD. This is gonna cause you hives....you have been warned!

Now to give my blog over to Seri....

Saturday, August 8, 2015

~Mexico Week~ Day 4: Customs and Holidays

Yesterday: Food and Fashion

Today we are learning about Mexican customs, traditions, and holidays. Mexico has a rich cultural heritage with many unique traditions and holidays. The Mexican people are very diverse having multiple cultures coming together and interacting in their society. Some of the most known customs and traditions for this society relate to the Mexican people's devotion to family and religion.

Hosting get togethers for family and extended friends is a big part of Mexican culture, as well as, making sure everyone feels welcome and comfortable. The needs of the family always come first over the individuals wants in Mexican family units and there is usually a lot of family to accommodate. No matter the burden or difficulty, Mexican families stick together and do everything for one another. It is a very beautiful thing, in my opinion. Here in America we sometimes have this dynamic but sometimes families are fractured and distant with one another. It is interesting to me how different cultures can truly be yet also similar in many ways.


Thursday, August 6, 2015

~Mexico Week~ Day 3: Food and Fashion

Yesterday: Entertainment and Sports

Today we watched a few videos showcasing Mexican food and fashion. We also made some fresh salsa! When we think of Mexican fashion here in the states we think of sombreros, bold colors, and shawls! I wanted to show Serenity what true Mexican fashion looked like and I feel that the videos I have found can do that! Most countries share a similar plain clothes style of jeans, T-shirts, and light weight materials but each country also has its cultural clothing and traditional fashion. Mexico has a unique style fit for hot temperatures and festive activities. Here's a look at what we went over.

Traditional Mexican Cuisine


What we included in our salsa recipe:
  • Tomatoes (diced)
  • Garlic (minced
  • Onion 
  • Cilantro (minced)
  • Lime Juice
  • Pinch of Cumin
  • Pinch of Salt


Yummy! Can't wait to dig in!


Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Random Culinary Venture #1 Korean Ginseng Chicken Soup

Today I attempted to make Samgyetang, a traditional Korean ginseng chicken soup. I love Korean food and have grown more and more interested in Korean culture over the years. This recipe is one that I have been wanting to try for quite some time, but the main element is a whole chicken...which I have never tried cooking before. Suffice it to say I have been quite hesitant. So today I took up the challenge! I acquired the ingredients, prepped them, dealt with the chicken, and stuffed that sucker! Before I go more into the cooking process let me give you a bit of Samgyetang back story!

Samgyetang is a chicken soup usually prepared and eaten during very hot months. This I have been told, by my Korean guru Maangchi, is because the Korean people believe that you should "fight fire with fire". Afterwards you can use watermelon to quickly give yourself a cool down. It was on Maanchi's blog that I found the recipe for today's venture. If you would like to give it a try yourself HERE is the link.

The basic ingredient list for a single serving or small family serving is:

  • 1 Cornish hen 
  • 8 cloves of garlic
  • 1 ginseng root
  • 1 jujube
  • 1/2 cup of sticky rice
  • green onion

...and that's it. You add water and boil for about 70 minutes, 40 on medium high and 30 on medium heat.

This has been one of the healthiest meals I have ever made. My hubby wasn't so keen on it and Seri was more interested in the dipping sauce than the soup. Might have to save this meal for times when my husband is deployed because I doubt he would be happy to try it again haha. I felt a big pick me up when I was done eating. I struggle with not feeling energetic and I don't use caffeine either so this meal would be awesome to help me battle that. Ginseng is said to increase energy, lower stress and cholesterol, as well as, promote relaxation. I have quite a bit left over from cooking and I think I will try to include it in our meals when ever I can. I recommend this meal 100% but that's just my opinion!


Tuesday, August 4, 2015

~Mexico Week~ Day 2: Entertainment and Sports

Yesterday: Language and Landmarks

Today is such a fun day! Watching television shows and listening to songs is always a good time no matter the language! We are also taking a look at Mexico's favorite sports. When I think of learning Spanish, as an American mom, I can't help but think of Dora. When Dora came along kids were given a chance to learn Spanish in an exciting and fun interactive way. For Serenity it has helped a lot! She knows a lot of the words we are studying this week due to her Dora love. When I think of Mexican singers I think of Selena. When I was younger Jennifer Lopez portrayed her in a movie and I loved the music I heard then and now. I'm curious about Serenity's opinion since the song I chose from her is a tad bit older.

First thing I showed her was a video from a Dora the Explorer game that describes numbers and gives a Chichen Itza-like back ground. She was a tad bored but played along any way.

Monday, August 3, 2015

~Mexico Week~ Day 1: Language and Landmarks

Last week: Poland

This week we are going to focus on learning more about our Mexican neighbors to the South! We will be practicing Spanish words and taking a look at popular Mexican landmarks. I must say that Dora plays a large part in Serenity's interest in the Spanish language and I hope this week's lessons will help her continue in her study of the language.

Tinker Crate: Trebuchet

Tinker crate is a STEM DIY craft box subscription. It supplies your child with a hands on experience of creating their very own experiments. The booklet gives step by step directions and even has fun activities to try with your items. I love the inclusion of historical fun facts also! In this box we got the supplies to build a trebuchet. A trebuchet is a type of catapult that was used in the Middle Ages. It was later replaced by the cannon. It was incredibly easy to assemble. My only issue with this box was that they forgot one piece, a single strand of rope. We had to use some string from our craft supplies to replace it but it ended up being fine. Even with that mistake I am still very happy with this box. It is perfect for our little girl who has such a curiosity and interest in science and in how things work. Tinker Crate is $19.95/a month with free shipping. If you are interested in signing up you can do so HERE.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Science with Serenity: Rocket Launcher

Serenity was given 20 dollars to spend on Amazon and she chose to buy two science related kits. One dealt with kitchen ingredients and the other dealt with mining crystals from rocks.

Currently $10.71 on Amazon.

Currently $7.99 on Amazon.

Today we decided to do the rocket launcher project. Serenity wants to chronicle each experiment she does so I will give my blog over to her once again so she can share her experiences.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

~Poland Week~ Day 5: Demographics, National Symbols, Weather, and Fashion

Yesterday: Food

It has been quite a week and I am behind on updating and have to shove a lot of information into this day! summer time activities can make it tough to focus on our learning schedule! We are going to go over demographics, national symbols, weather, and fashion today.

Poland is a fairly small country and has a small population because of this. Compared to the huge amount of people in our last country of study China this country is far from comparing! The population of Poland is about 38,383,809. The size is 120,728 square miles this makes it a bit smaller than New Mexico. The capital is Warsaw and the currency is called Zloty. In currency exchanges 1 zloty equals 27 cents in U.S. dollars.

The national symbols for this country are its white and red flag and its coat of arms. The coat of arms is on a red background with a white eagle with golden beak topped with a crown.This is said to originate from Poland's founder Lech seeing a white eagle's nest.

Friday, July 31, 2015

~Poland Week~ Day 4: Food (Picture Overload!)

Yesterday: Customs and Holidays

For our Food day we went to our friend's house. She is originally from Poland and her mother, who is from there, is visiting. They both taught the kids about a few Polish recipes and she also sat them down to talk about the Polish alphabet and show them a few videos. We went over a lot of Polish words and they were so patient with us as we were learning! We had such a good time and took a TON of pictures!


Wednesday, July 29, 2015

~Poland Week~ Day 3: Customs and Holidays

Yesterday: Entertainment and Sports

Poland has about a 90% population of Catholics among its citizens.This has, without a doubt, affected customs and traditions among the people of the country. Religion plays an important role and is embedded in Polish culture. Family bonds also play a huge role in this society. The individual's obligations and priorities are first to family. Polish families also develop an inner circle of close friends. This inner circle will extend favors to one another and be a reliable support to the family. The use of first names is also limited to those within your inner circle. When first meeting it is customary to only use titles and last names to refer to one another. Among the characteristics that are valued in Poland honesty is at the top of the list. They tend to speak their minds frankly and encourage the same in others. The closer they are to someone the more honest and direct they will be.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

~Poland Week~ Day 2: Entertainment and Sports

Yesterday: Language and Landmarks

Today we will be learning about Polish entertainment and sports. I haven't heard much about it before so I really had to do some digging to find examples to show Serenity. Compared to some of the other countries we have been learning about Poland is a bit smaller and tends to import entertainment in from other places. They do have a few home-grown shows and musicians though. I found a few family friendly ones to share with Seri from YouTube. Poland is part of Europe and I have noticed a trend among European countries when it comes to sports. They tend to have similar sports interests. I will try to talk about some of the few that I have not mentioned previously.


This is a Polish cartoon made back in 1967 and they kept being made until 1988. The main character is a cute little dog named Reksio.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Influenster Sunshine Vox Box

Influenster is a website that occasionally sends our free boxes of sample products for review purposes. The most recent one being this Sunshine Vox Box. If you want to sign up for an account just click HERE

Target Beauty Box: Head of the Class

Every so often Target releases a Beauty Box full of great products at a ridiculously low price! For only $5.00 you get 6-7 beauty items. I have never been disappointed and you get to see what is in the box before you buy! This last time they had two options, I went for the "Head of the Class" choice. These boxes tend to sell out fast so be sure to keep an eye out and don't hesitate!


Target keeps it classy with a simple black box with the Target logo. Inside you will find a list of all the items.

~Poland Week~ Day 1: Language and Landmarks

This week we are going to learn a bit about Poland. A close friend of ours is from there and Seri decided she would like to know more about her country. Today we will focus on language and important cultural land marks. For a bit of fun I found the head, shoulders, knees, and toes song in Polish to watch with Serenity! Lets kick things off with that!


Sunday, July 26, 2015

~China Week~ Day 5: Demographics, National Symbols, and Weather

Yesterday: Customs and Fashion

For the final day of China week we talked about basic demographics, population and statistics. We also drew the flag and discussed national symbols. We focused in on two major weather events and watched videos about them.


Saturday, July 25, 2015

"Active" Expectations

I have been told a time or two that I seem like a very active mom. I brush off the compliment pretty quickly because I don't FEEL like one. Yes I do things with Serenity quite often. I plan events and host things for our friends and us but when everyone is gone and its just my little one and me...I like to just relax. Her energy is as draining as a vampire at times...like the water quickly circling and disappearing down the sink..I feel myself tiring out even just listening to this child chatter.

I love her dearly and have encouraged communication early on...now I wish I could teach her restraint! She is a bright ball of excitement most of the time and calm is not her forte! When we are at home and the television is off..I try to engage her in coloring, reading, or a craft....then I can see a different side. She will stay quiet for 10-20 minutes...come find me....get occupied again...come to me....then once boredom hits my peace ends again.

Friday, July 24, 2015

~China Week~ Day 4: Customs and Fashion

Yesterday: Sports, Landmarks, Holidays

Every country has its own set of customs. They each have there own traditions and ways of interacting with one another. We have different ways of greeting, eating, and parenting. We also have our own superstitions and ceremonies. I took a bit of time today to share some of China's customs with Serenity. Here are a few of the ones we talked about.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

~China Week~ Day 3: Sports, Landmarks, and Holidays

Yesterday: Entertainment and Food

Today we took a look at Sports in China. The sport that comes to mind when I think of China is gymnastics. I remember watching the Olympics when I was young and seeing China win gold medal after gold medal for their skill in gymnastics. I later learned that ping pong is one of the sports they are most known for. In recent years basketball has pushed past both of those to become the nations number one sport. I had no idea how popular it was there! I found a few clips of each to show to Seri. The gymnastics really impressed her! I was in awe watching some of the routines!

Gymnastics

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

~China Week~ Day 2: Entertainment and Food

Yesterday: Day 1: Language

Today we delve into China's entertainment and food. China has a massive population with that come many forms of entertainment and creative expression. I will try to teach Seri about their music, television, books, and movies.Most Americans have experienced Chinese food at some point in their lives. OUR Chinese food is Americanized. With flavors and sauces being changed to suit our pallets. Traditional Chinese food is actually quite different. I will try to show this to Seri through videos and recipes.

Here are the music videos we listened to today:


Serenity loved the fashion and scenery. Immediately asking for a gown of her own.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

~China Week~ Day 1: Language


This week we are back to our culture studies. We will be focusing on China and delving into different aspects of its culture. The focus of today's studies is the language and writing. Serenity already knows a few words and loves the culture so hopefully this won't be a struggle for her. The Chinese actually have two main dialects Mandarin and Cantonese. We will be learning about Mandarin right now.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Murder Mystery Girl's Night!

I have never taken part in a murder mystery before. There is a place in town that does them but I have never been able to make the tripto actually do it. When I was browsing through Amazon items one day, as we all do naturally, I saw a kit for sale. It was Murder Mystery Party - A Taste for Wine and Murder. As soon as I saw it I knew it would make a great girl's night! So I bought it, scheduled the day, and once the event filled up, I assigned characters.

Friday, July 17, 2015

A Mother's Letter to her Only Child

My darling Serenity Autumn,

There are many things I want to say to you. Many things I want to share. From the moment our eyes met, I was a new person. My world of depression and angst could no longer be the world I inhabited. I couldn't bring you into a world like that. My past, though it clawed at my mind from time to time, could not effect your future. This I told myself the moment my arms cradled your tiny body.

Monday, July 13, 2015

A Case of the Mondays...

Today feeeels like a Monday. It is a dragging day that no one really likes. I tried to fill it up with a bit of fun for Seri and I but it just isn't the same as a Friday! Mondays are slow and enthusiasm is low. I was thinking of starting a new culture today but its pretty clear that Serenity needs a break this week. Doing two cultures back to back and then a week of summer camp has taken its toll and she is not as eager as she was three weeks ago. So this week we shall play it by ear and enjoy a few lazy days. Next week we shall start learning again. Poland is a country she is currently interested in. We have a friend of the family who is from there and has offered to help us out with a few lessons. As Seri would say, "Stay tuned for that."

Today we woke late, drove over to the park to visit with a friend, drove to the library for a craft and Egypt lesson with another friend, got a slurpee, and now we are grilling out some burgers and watching "Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return." Seri got some photos and we had a nice calm day together. We don't get those very often.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Seri @ Summer Camp Day 5 2015 ~Final Day~

Written By: Serenity

~Day 5~

Today was the last day of summer camp. I am sad. I do not like the last day. It was fun and I wish it wasn't the last day. We went tree climbing and I went all the way to the top almost! I also went on the rock climbing wall. I didn't get too high because I am scared of heights. I hope one day I get to the top. Lastly we did the flying squirrel. The flying squirrel is when you go up on a rope in a harness while others pull you into the air. When you are in the air you spin around in circles. I loved the flying squirrel and I went super duper fast!

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Seri @ Summer Camp Day 4 2015

Written By: Serenity

~Day 4~

Today I was outside A LOT! I went on a challenge course with my new friends. The challenge course had a walking plank and a swinging rope. We had to reach the rope somehow to swing across. I also got another chance to do archery. I was able to get in the white on the target, it is hard to aim. After lunch we went into nature and tried to fish in the lake with a net. We looked for animals like frogs, tadpoles, fish, and water bugs to put into a tank. At the end of the day we went into the pool. I was very hot so it was a good thing we went to the pool.

(Taken by Camp Staff)

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Seri @ Summer Camp Day 3 2015

Written By: Serenity

~Day 3~

Today was a horseback riding day. I love horses. We rode horses from breakfast to lunch. Then we played with piglets and ponies. There was also a donkey. There was a turkey that you could pet but I didn't because he might nibble me. Then we went to eat lunch. After lunch I went to the pool. At the pool I took a swimming test. I did not pass because the lifeguard thought that I was drowning but really I was pushing my hair out of my face. Tomorrow I am going to try again. I love the water slide at the pool because it lets me slide slow and steady but I wish I could go a little bit faster.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Seri @ Summer Camp Day 2 2015

Written By: Serenity

~Day 2~

Today we went canoeing! It was good and bad. My new friend kept complaining about the way I was rowing. But I forgave her and we made up. It was a little hard to canoe. I like it even though it is hard. After that we went swimming in the pool! It was very very very fun! I went down a big water slide and splashed into the shallow water. I'm not a very good swimmer yet, but I am learning.

(Taken by Camp Staff)

Monday, July 6, 2015

Seri @ Summer Camp Day 1 2015

Written By: Serenity

~Day 1~

Today I made new friends. They are very nice. I made my new friends at my summer camp. My summer camp is very exciting and there is a lot to explore. Let me tell you what we did.

Today's activities were:

  • Games on scooters
  • Archery
  • Airsoft shooting
  • Tag
  • Twister

Saturday, July 4, 2015

~France Week~ Day 5: Demographics, National Symbols, and Weather

Yesterday: France: Holidays, Customs, and Fashion

France is one of the biggest countries in Europe and has a large population as well! Tourists from all over the world flock there every year to embrace and enjoy its culture. With amazing landmarks, delicious food, and an air of romance whats not to love? France is one of the oldest nations in the world and also one of the most ethnically diverse. It's a country of artists and lovers creating beautiful things every day. Hopefully we get to visit one day!

Serenity drew a picture of the French Flag and we talked about a few of the symbols that represent this country. For instance the Fleur de lis (flower, lily) which is associated with French monarchy and heritage. The French National motto is: Libert√©, Egalit√©, Fraternit√© which stands for Liberty, Equality, Fraternity. A beautiful motto to have! Lastly we discussed the national anthem: "La Marseillaise."

Friday, July 3, 2015

~France Week~ Day 4: Holidays, Customs, and Fashion

Yesterday: France: Sports and Crafting


Today we enjoyed fashion shows, kissing cheeks, and learning about Bastille day. We focused in on holidays, customs, and fashion from France.

France actually has a lot of the same holidays as the United States does. We both celebrate New years, Easter, and Christmas but France also celebrates Bastille day and WW2 Victory day. Bastille day is a national holiday celebrating French culture. They dance, eat, and pretty much just party it up. They are supposed to be holding a Bastille day locally in my city. I will have to try and take Seri to it and if I do I will make sure to write about it. WW2 Victory day is pretty straight forward. They celebrate the ending of World War 2 and Germany's defeat.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

~France Week~ Day 3: Sports and Crafting

Yesterday: France: Entertainment and Food

Today we talked about cycling and rugby which are popular sports in France. In the U.S. cycling isn't as big of a deal as it is in Europe. In Europe cycling is a beloved sport, they even have the Tour de France which is a huge cycling competition that takes place yearly. Rugby is a sport that many European countries participate in. Imagine football but with out the pads and a lot of diving into the goal area. Its a tough sport and Serenity found it extremely entertaining surprisingly!


Wednesday, July 1, 2015

~France Week~ Day 2: Entertainment and Food

Yesterday: France Week: Language and Landmarks

Today we dove into French entertainment and food! We looked over songs, t.v. shows, traditional foods, and street foods. We also tried making crepes! We found a new singer we absolutely adore and a new food that we think is super tasty!

First up we have two well known French singers Zaz and Indila!





Tuesday, June 30, 2015

~France Week~ Day 1: Language and Land Marks

Last Week: Japan Week Day 1

Today we begin our five day culture lesson on France. The first two topics are language and landmarks. Last week I regretted not being able to go over landmarks as much with Serenity, so I thought I would make sure to cover it from now on. There is so much to learn in so little time and I don't want her to get bored or frustrated. I try to organize fun things in between the factual information in order to keep her attentive.

Some of the most known and popular land marks in France are the Eiffel Tower , the Arc De Triomphe, Notre-Dame, and The Louvre. I found a few videos and pictures to share with her so she could get a good feeling about why these places are so beloved.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

~Japan Week~ Day 5: Demographics, National Symbols, and Weather. Let's Review!

Yesterday: Holidays, Customs, and Fashion

Today we went through some of the more mundane facts about Japan. We talked about population, regional statistics, and currency. We also discussed the crazy weather that Japan deals with. On top of crazy weather the country also under went massive amounts of radiation exposure. Once through atomic bombs being dropped and yet again more recently with a nuclear reactor explosion. We discussed and looked at videos of these events.

Seri drew the Japanese Flag:

Friday, June 26, 2015

~Japan Week~ Day 4: Holidays, Customs, and Fashion

Yesterday: Sports and Crafts

Today we have learned about different Japanese holidays like New Year's, Valentine's Day, White Day, and Obon. Valentine's Day in Japan is different from what we know here in the states. In Japan Girls give boys chocolate on Valentine's Day. Then on White Day boys give girls chocolate in return. Japan is very much a reciprocating society. Obon is originally a Buddhist holiday where they believe that our deceased ancestors come back to visit family members. On this day, those that choose to, set up shrines and pray for their dearly departed family and friends, hoping that their thoughts and words of love have been heard.

We also learned the proper bowing and sitting positions. Seri will show it here:

Thursday, June 25, 2015

~Japan Week~ Day 3: Sports and Crafts

Yesterday: Entertainment and Food

Today's focus, for our week long culture learning of Japan, was on sports and traditional crafts. We watched videos that showed sumo wrestling, karate, kendo, and judo. We also learned that baseball and soccer are popular past times as well.During the time that kids are in high school they usually are required to sign up for at least one extracurricular club. The amount of diversity is endless. Archery, dance, and many other sport clubs are available. Physical wellness is highly promoted!

Here are a few of the videos we looked at:
Sumo

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

~Japan Week~ Day 2: Entertainment and Food

Yesterday: Language and Calligraphy

Today we learned about Japanese food and different forms of Japanese entertainment. We watched a Miyazaki film called "My Neighbor Totoro" and watched YouTube videos of different bands and shows. We looked through pictures of Japanese foods and learned their names and made PB&J sushi for lunch along with some miso soup. After lunch we used Japanese candy kits to enjoy a tasty treat!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

~Japan Week~ Day 1: Language and Calligraphy

Today is the first day of our culture week summer plan! This week we will be learning about Japan...or Nippon! We have begun our study with language. That way she can practice it all week. I will share a few of the phrases and greetings we are going to focus on further on below. We also practiced a bit of calligraphy which she found really fun! More on that below as well. Today also seemed like good day to embrace Japanese culture in her outfit, so she eagerly pulled on a Hello Kitty dress, fixed up her hair in pig tails and took out her parasol. Throughout the day I asked her how to say certain things in Japanese and she did pretty well for a 7 year old!


Friday, June 19, 2015

Disney, D.C., and Marvel Blind Bags and Boxes Un-Boxed!!

We bought some more blind boxes to open up on our YouTube channel the other day! We ended up with some figures we like and a few...we...just...don't....but we still had fun with the mystery of it all! Take a peek and let us know what you think! :)


Wednesday, June 17, 2015

A few annoyances of the last week.....

Most days I try to put on a happy face. I try to wear a smile and think happy thoughts just as Peter Pan taught me as a child. This is not always possible...for anyone. I don't care who you are, everyone has days where you want to run your mouth like a sailor who's been drinking...everyone has days where you want to let that little devil on your shoulder take over and tell the angel to shut the hell up.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Keeping Busy and Getting Some Culture This Summer

Summer time is here and I have started planning what to do to occupy my energetic little girl. She is not the kind of kid that just goes out to play. She has to explore, learn, and use up energy or else she gets grumpy and hyper. She has been labeled as Gifted and with that comes a large understanding of big concepts and an openness to learning new things. This summer I thought it would be a fun and a time-filling activity to explore new cultures.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Crazy~ Quirky~ Toy~ Reviews

Serenity wants to start reviewing toys on our YouTube so I figured why not. ;) She so difficult to direct though...always has an opinion and never wants to memorize anything haha! So her reviews will be purely her....her ideas and her descriptions. Lets see how that goes. :)

Her first review is of a Disney's Sofia the First Play Set. Enjoy!



Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Crazy Quirky Cupcake Challenge 2015!

For the love of cupcakes what have we gotten ourselves into?! Lately Seri has been obsessed with Cupcake Wars and cooking competition shows. She was so enthusiastic about them that without thinking... I mentioned that maybe we could have a family competition. She was over the moon and on my case every second until I made it happen.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Dealing with Depression and Anxiety as a Parent..

Lately I feel like the worst wife and mother in the world. I am moody, tired, and completely unmotivated. I cry randomly, snap at my husband and daughter, and I isolate myself. I feel lonely when I am not alone and I feel overwhelmed when I am around others. Then bring on the guilt party. This kind of circumstance does not occur frequently. This week I am grieving for my Mother. The anniversary of her death is on this coming Monday and even though I have tried to stay calm and in control...I am neither.

Blind Bag Grab Bag YouTube Videos

I'm excited to share that we have started a new series of videos on our YouTube channel.It is called Blind Bag Grab Bag and is a series of videos of us opening up Blind bags. If you haven't heard of them before a blind bags/mystery bags/mystery boxes/blind boxes are secret bags/boxes that have a themed toy inside. There are Marvel, D.C., Frozen, and Hello Kitty bags.Pretty much you name it and there might be a blind bag for it. We have gathered a huge collection of them and each video is different.

 In the first video here we each "grabbed" two from our box full of bags and opened them up to show you what we got! Its a fun series that I hope you will enjoy and share. :)

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Family Love Part 1:Jenn

I used to feel like I had a very small family. My mom and dad only had three kids and we were not extremely close to our extended family. We lived quite far from everyone so we had few chances to bond.
In this series of posts I want to talk a bit about my small knit family, as well as, my in laws. After marrying my hubby I gained more than just him. He came with 10 other siblings and his mother and father. As time goes by and those siblings grow up, get married, and have kids, my family grows ever larger.

Family Love Part 1: My eldest sister, Jenn.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

~ 10 Lovely Things ~


  1. Waking up with energy and a positive feeling first thing in the morning.
  2. Seeing my daughter happy and smiley all day long.

Monday, June 1, 2015

9 Years of Ups, Downs, and Serenity



I first met my husband after moving to Oklahoma in 2005. I had just graduated from high school and was unsure of which direction I would take. I had no plans for college, I didn't even know what I needed to do to get started. I left all of my friends behind and was living in an entirely new environment. It pushed me into a deep depression. I stayed at home every day and slept. My sister wanted to help me, one night she brought me along to meet some of her coworkers and friends. I was hesitant to go at first but figured what the hell... I knew I needed to get out of the house and into the world. As I walked into the party I met eyes with a tall blue-eyed young man lounging against the wall next to the entrance. There was a moment between us that quickly passed as my sister whispered to me who he was...her crush from work...

Friday, May 29, 2015

~~~Bring on the Beach ~~~


We finally got to head out to the beach over the holiday weekend! Unfortunately for us it was super breezy and cold! :/ The wind was so chilly that we had a hard time at first. Luckily for us by 1pm it had warmed up a bit and we could enjoy ourselves more comfortably without the shelter of every single towel covering our bodies!. We brought a lunch and settled down on the sand. As soon as we were set up my wild child was stripping off her dress and crashing over the sand dunes towards the waves!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Ipsy Glam Bag Review May 2015

Time for another Ipsy review! This time I got all new things that I have never received before which is always exciting! I love the design and theme for the month of "Jetsetter." Once again Ipsy is a $10 monthly beauty subscription that gives about 5-6 little items and a small cosmetic bag. This month is a cute bag and wonderful items, lets take a peek!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Disclaimer: This is me being real...being pissed...and being honest

For those easily offended this post may not be for you. For those who hate to read blogs chalk full of b*tching and ranting then this post is not for you. All other readers lets get down to the nitty gritty here.


Hubby Vlogs #2

I wrote a post recently about us going out to Serenity's summer camp for an open house. We had a ton of fun and saw and did a lot there! We figured a VLOG was very much needed! Serenity goes to summer camp after the fourth of July weekend and we got her a little go pro-esque camera to take along. I will start a series of posts for her around that time to document her photos and experiences :) So stay tuned for that!

With out further ado here's the second Hubby VLOG:











Modern Dad Pages

Friday, May 22, 2015

Hubby Blind Bag Vid

I have been a little obsessed with blind bags as of late...so we have a ton of videos coming out soon of openings. This one is of the Hubby. He had two Marvel blinds, a mine craft mini, and a Doctor Who figure to open up! I also put some sweet geeky gifts as well. Hope you enjoy and Subscribe! :)



Share your Blind Blag love at #BlindBagMadness!!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Ramen!!!! (^_^) Yum Yum Yum

A new ramen shop opened up!! I have been stalking their face book page anxiously waiting for the post to say "We are open!' This week they finally did! We made sure to get there a little early to beat the crowd and indulged in the best ramen I have ever had...so so happyyyyyy! Here's some food porn for your eyeballs!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Special Blind Bag For a Special Girl

Today we got amazing news! Serenity was accepted into a Gifted school that is really tough to get into here in town. I had to fill out an application and list in detail different qualities that she has that makes her special. The process made me feel like I had to "sell" my kid to them. That is never a good feeling. It felt like she was trying to get into a college. I tried to do my best to be honest and straight forward...also mentioning "Hey she is 7 after all...she hasn't saved the world...just give her some time ;) " The truth is that Serenity understands big concepts and is very good in math but she is still a kid and should be treated as such. Kids like toys...and surprises!! I made this special blind bag for her to get whether she got in or didn't. Either to congratulate or console her. She is a wonderful child and her smile melts my heart! When I can give her that smile its the best feeling in the world!  Here is what she got:

Monday, May 18, 2015

~~Celebration of Life GiveAway~~


Lana J Kemp 04/02/63 - 06/08/14

It is time for a giveaway to turn a negative into a positive. On June 8th of 2014 my mom passed away and it has been a miserable and heart wrenching year since then. I know that June 8th 2015 will be extremely difficult for me. I know that I might have to wallow in my grief and let myself mourn on this day. I know it might be unavoidable but if there is even a small chance of making any of it more positive I want to try!

 How awful would my mother feel to see me this way? So I have decided to donate to an animal sanctuary and to hold a giveaway in her name. What better way to celebrate her life rather than her death than to put some positivity out into the world! I encourage any and all to do the same! (^_^) This giveaway will run from May 18th - June 8th and I will announce the winner on the 9th! Thanks for your participation and please share and pass this around!

*Must be able to give me a valid email address if selected in order to be sent the $25 Amazon e-giftcard.

A winner has been Randomly generated. The winner is Wouter de Bever

Thank you to all participants!