Owens Beach

Yesterday we had a school outing with our other virtual and home school friends for an End of Year gathering at Owens Beach in Pt. Defiance. I forgot how beautiful it is and thought I would share a few pictures. There was a book exchange, journals handed out, lots of analysis of seaweed, sand castle building, exploring, looking for a giant sea star, climbing, running and lots and lots of joy! It was a great way to start the summer…. I keep hearing Dr. Seuss in the back of my head saying “Oh the places you’ll go…” I’m hoping this summer will be filled with new parks and lots of exploration.

Hope your summer gets off to a good start as well. Enjoy the learning journey!

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ibotta App

Well this is interesting…. Normally I don’t do these types of apps because I find they are too much extra work for little reward. However, weekend before last another super saver Mom was telling me about a new app called ibotta.

Today during grocery shopping I put it through the paces I bought a movie, drink items, food items, etc… In the app you choose the offers to take advantage of, most even offer more than just one offer. For example I bought a movie, the coupon was for $5.00 – watched a 30 second video, took a quick one click poll and a post on Facebook. Total time less than 2 minutes to complete the offer. After verifying that the Proof of Purchase matched the offer (which you can do through the app), I scanned the receipt and sent in the request. Funds are deposited in a PayPal account.

So easy! What’s even better is you can use coupons on your purchase and it won’t change your ibotta offer. Double the savings.

I thought it was too good to be true, truth is it’s easy as they say!

Earn $10 cash just for trying the free Ibotta app. It’s simple: Ibotta pays you cash for buying your favorite products in over 40 stores. Users have already earned over $1 million. Sign up here! http://ibotta.com/r/BnJEPw


Monday Listicle on a Typical Tuesday

You all know me right? Perpetually late, always apologizing for a packed schedule! So this week is more of the same. The closer the summer gets the more I have to find time to do all my favorite things….one of those is Monday Listicles! Stasha over at The good life…. has a great tradition, I’m just a little late!

So now that apologies are out-of-the-way, this weeks list is 10 beauty products you could not live without. You may laugh, but I always say some of these I would take to a deserted island over food and water! ūüôā


10.Aussie 3 Minute Miracle Deep Conditioner…. my hair is so thick, every other conditioner I’ve tried weighs it down. This stuff is amazing. Plus, in the end you rinse with cold water which is a bonus for not only your hair but your skin as well!


9.Hope in a Jar SPF 25…amazing lotion, not oily, never fails and it keeps me from getting burned!


8. Water….lots of water everyday… I’ve learned the hard way this is the only thing that keeps my skin clear and me feeling well. I’m still a tea and caffeine junkie, but the water is my other choice and it offsets all that. ūüôā


7. I would never, and oh yes I do mean n.e.v.e.r. leave home without my Burt’s Bees. I have regular and tinted, all kinds of flavors and choices and I’m telling you hands down this is the best lip balm ever. I do not wear makeup, other than 4 things (eyeliner, mascara, powder and Burt’s Bee’s). Once you try this you’ll throw your chap stick, lip stick, lip tint or lip gloss out the car window! Even the hubs swears by it…. who thought a dude would like a beauty product?!


6.Avon Glimmersticks… in all kinds of different colors, this is the only one that doesn’t irritate my contacts….good stuff!


5. Mary Kay Spot Acne Solution….enough said!


4. Proactive Cleansing Bar….great for summer skin stress!


3/2. Lots of outdoor time and exercise….. we are an outdoor type of family, we are happiest with our bare feet in the grass or running around at a beach somewhere.

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1. Meditation/Yoga….without it I’d have more gray hair than I already do and since I don’t color my hair, well that would be another to add to the list. I’ve learned over the last couple months that peace of mind through meditation brings space into your life and joy, which allows you to be beautiful inside and let your light shine out. And yoga is a process, I’m such a novice, but it brings me great peace and energy, which is such a wonderful thing (even if I have no clue what I’m doing!).

What are your favorite beauty things?


IPad Giveaway from DenSchool


‚ÄúYou have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go…‚ÄĚ
‚Äē Dr. Seuss, Oh, the Places You’ll Go!

….and you could learn anywhere with a

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Summer Classes Start June 17th – (Early Bird Discount!)

This summer DenSchool will be offering self-paced, teacher supported classes. Some of the classes are Accounting, Algebra, Art, Beginner Guitar, Social Studies, English, Science, Journalism, World History….the list goes on and on. Remember these are not just for High School learners. Normally these classes are $59.00, but if you order by June 10th the cost is only $29.00; that’s more than a 50% savings!¬† These classes offer flexibility; with a 9 week format and learners are free to complete the class at their own pace taking more or less time. They have a 100% satisfaction guarantee on all the courses.


Creative Learning in a Pinch (CLIP)

CLIP classes are free and there are some fun ones to choose from….Remember National Doughnut Day on June 7th? Oh boy we did in this house!¬† While we enjoyed the doughnuts, it would have been more fun to have a lesson. From Summer Solstice to 4th of July there are lots to choose from.



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Note: This is a sponsored post by DenSchool. Please see a full disclosure on giveaways.



The Blue Mouse Movies




My parents have been heading over to¬† The Blue Mouse Theater for as long as I can remember. It’s a cute little neighborhood theater in the Proctor District of Tacoma. They just recently underwent a major fundraising and transformation effort to stay open in the digital age.

They always do the Rocky Horror Picture Show every Saturday night!¬† I have been wanting to go for a while, as I’ve never seen it – so it’s on my bucket list for this summer.

This week they are showing a great movie called “The Croods”. My daughter went to go see this and said it was fantastic! It is in 3D, but she said it didn’t bother her in fact it made it more fun!

View Trailer

Monday Movie Madness is fun Рall seats are $3.00.  Be sure to check out their Facebook feed for updates on movie times.

It’s a great way to see big title movies before they leave the big screen, without the big screen price!

DIY Science Fun

I was reading a recent Blog post about doing a science experiments. We did a couple of these and we thought we would add in our own notes, just in case someone was struggling a bit.

First one was called DIY Tornado In a Jar. It was a lot of fun to create, but there was a bit of a hurdle: you must use a taller jar, like a spaghetti jar – you can not use an oblong jar, such as a glass Nutella jar. The shorter the jar the more difficult it is to get it to make the actual tornado. ūüôāIMG_4592

Second one was called floating egg. My kids thought I was crazy when I told them you could make an egg float, but sure enough it can! Make sure to mix the water to¬† IMG_4401¬†¬† IMG_4399 IMG_4400 the exact measurements otherwise it won’t work. The kids would have done this one over and over if they had a choice!

Last one for these weeks was making a potato clock. The kit can be purchased here, or at World Market. Here’s the ubber super cool (according to the twins) thing about THIS experiment: it doesn’t work on humans, but it does work in tomatoes, lemons, apples, potatoes… the list is endless. We kept the clock going for several days. Until……..air started to ripen the apples, then all you had to do was insert the nickel and copper probes into an unopened part of the vegetable or fruit, and it starts all over again.IMG_4301

Next up for us is making clean water and seeing which liquids seeds grow best in. These should be fun!


Enjoy the summer!

Hemlock Grove

All 13 episodes were released on April 19, 2013; it was developed by Brian McGreevy¬†and Lee Shipman and¬†executive produced by Eli Roth (Cabin Fever, Hostel – (which totally freaked me out), Hostel II, Endangered Species….). The series is based on the book Hemlock Grove (March 2012) which was written by McGreevy. The show takes place in Pennsylvania, in a town which appears at times like small town America, at others like corporate America….

The cast was an interesting mix of crazy. Some of them I could take or leave, like the sheriff played by Aaron Douglas – it wasn’t the actor – it was the way the¬†role was written and left¬†unfinished. However, the remaining cast was pretty well placed.¬† Famke¬†Janssen played Olivia Godfrey (crreeeepppyy), Bill Skarsgard¬†as Roman Godfrey, Landon Liboiron¬†as Peter Rumancek, Penelope Mitchel as Letha¬†Godfrey, Kandyse¬†McClue¬†as Dr. Clementine Chasseur and Lilli Taylor as ¬†Lynda Rumancek. The actors all played their roles – some seemed a bit stiff more than others (may have been the way they were directed or it may have been nerves.)

The following paragraphs contain some – NOT ALL – spoilers. If you are not interested in reading them, please skip to the bottom of this post.


I liked the tone of this series – meaning it was shot more like a foreign film than an American series. It took awhile for the world to open up, but for a first series there was a decent amount of backstory, family angst, violence, suspense, drinking, smoking, drugs and sex – and it was well done, not tacky. It was interesting to watch Peter (vargulf¬†or werewolf – and a 1/2 breed gypsy)¬†predict things he thought would happen (or that he thought Roman was involved in making happen) – for instance his love and relationship with Letha. I was sad to see her die – as I saw her as a dominating female role in a follow-up series. However, we are talking about the supernatural so whose to say they can’t write her back in at a later date. I’m curious to see what they will do with the baby seeing as how there was no resolution in that regard.

I loved Olivia’s character – commanding, cool, swanky; yet so classic and elegant. She really was the ultimate of control and discretion. It took me forever to figure out what she was – I kept crossing off creatures on my supernatural list – I discovered it later in the episodes than I had thought. So that is to the writer’s credit. Although you never saw her actually violent, the way the scenes were filmed left it to an understanding that she was a virile beast – not to be screwed with. The way the backstory for her was implemented could have been done in a smoother way and would have added to the undercurrent of confusion Roman was faced with, until he understood his true nature. Interesting that it was thrown in at the last-minute and really seemed like an afterthought by the writers.

My favorite character was by far a toss-up between Clementine and Roman because they were both in such personal struggle and I kept wanting to say – “the answer is RIGHT there in front of you”.¬†Roman’s struggle to understand he’s an upir¬†(vampire) really was almost like a coming of age. He made some friends along the way – so he was showing his humanity.¬†Although in Clementine’s case the writer’s tipped their had with Olivia’s “little mouse” comment at the Godfrey Steel Mill. It will be interesting to see how the relationship between the Doctor, Roman and Papus¬†will play out. I was left thinking the Papus isn’t who you are led to believe he is (maybe he’s a Baphomet?). The reference he made to Dante was interesting….

The only part which made me truly sad was the loss of Shelly. She was such a great character and a strong moral figure for Roman… …I’m hoping they haven’t written her off all together. If Roman goes off the deep end – Shelly would be the only person to bring him back. It was touching to see Roman’s protection over Shelly and his “love” for his sister.

I will not even discuss the white-haired chick – that was just out of left field and confusing – I’ll leave that one for you to figure out.

The only other thing I will say is I really like the mythical/historical references (i.e. upir, vargulf, magic, gypsy, etc..) however it’s a bit hard to follow the history with a Upir¬†being from Russian history and the Godfrey family seeming to be Romanian – how did that happen? So, if I follow Olivia (Romanian) mated with a gypsy and that’s why she hates them? But wait,¬†Roman’s father is plain¬†American so the Upir¬†gene comes from Olivia?¬†Also, if Peter is a 1/2 breed (according to him 1/2 Romanian gypsy and 1/2 Italian) where did the Were blood come from? Does Peter have a Were/Italian Dad lingering around somewhere because obviously his Mom is gypsy. It’s just a little confusing to follow – and could lead to viewer frustration down the road if they are trying to fill in back story to bring the viewer to present day. Maybe they can clean it up a little – or at the very least they will have to be careful in future writing to not confuse the cultural/mythical/historical reference – otherwise the series will just be a conundrum wrapped in a riddle of idiocy. When writing series like these, the devil (no pun intended) is in the detail. The detail is what makes the viewer say – “oh yeah! now I get it” later down the viewing road.

***Spoiler End***

The show was a bit dreamlike at times, and is not for the wam-bam viewer. This is a thinking persons series, you really have to take the time to pay attention to the details to get the conclusion. The writers may have wanted to do a bit more research on Roman and Slavic Vampire folklore, as there will be some critics in the choices of words and last names they used..

Overall I enjoyed the series, it was a bit scattered at times jumping from plot line to plot line – but that could be because it’s a new series. I’m sure we all remember when the original Twilight movie came out – who would have thought years later they would have gotten better each time and become major contributors to cult culture. I’d be shocked if this series didn’t get picked up by cable. Although Bill Skarsgard¬†would have a little competition on his hands with HBO, since his brother Alexander plays Eric Northman, a pretty serious Vampire Sheriff on True Blood.¬† The two series are so vastly different a viewer could not compare the two. Bill must have gotten¬†some tips from his Dad (Stellan¬†Skarsgard) and his brother because he defiantly had the empathy/creepy/detached at a¬†moments notice vibe going on. Something his Dad and his brother are pretty good at.

Good luck to Hemlock Grove, and I’m hoping to see another season soon. Maybe they can tie up the loose ends of the characters left hanging out there….the question is though, what will Roman do now that he’s “all grown up”? And will his humanity hold – or is it all out game on?

Summer fun!

I’m all about sharing BLOG love and ideas, and I couldn’t pass these two ladies up. As I started writing a “to do” list for this summer of fun activities I’d like to share with the kids I ran across this post: Summer Lovin Bucket List for the Pacific NW!¬† Oh the places we will go…. some of them I forgot about, some of them we’ve done….and some I’ve had on a wish list for a while. Hopefully we can cross off a few more, and add a few of our own (like Olympic Game Farm Park in Sequim, Wa.)

As I was reading that post, I came across making Glow in the Dark Bubbles! Our twins will be all over this one, as they love to play at night. We might even do the glow sticks in the pool this year, so they can swim well into the night.

We’ve been doing a lot of work in our yard so we can spend the summer having fun and not laboring in the hot weather. our strawberry plants have finally flowered – and boy are there a ton! Yesterday the Hubs spent sometime securing a fence so the birds and the rabbits don’t chomp them down before we get a chance to. This is one of the kids favorites so it will be great for them to hop out and grab a chemical free snack. In the meantime, we’ve had a few bbqs with friends and family the last couple of weekends and have noticed the mosquitos have gotten bad. So, in an attempt to try to keep a bug free back yard…. I’m thinking of trying this homemade mosquito trap…hope it works!¬†We’re trying to attract humming birds, butterflies, lady bugs and pollinating bees; as well as¬†keep out wasps, yellow jackets and mosquitos…. the battle of the bugs! ūüôā Should be interesting….

Enjoy the day! Namaste.

Checking In

Wow what an amazing month this has been! I didn’t even realize I hadn’t written in a while. We have met at TON of new people and are so excited about all the amazing friendships we’ve made. I can not wait to share some of the amazing blogs we’ve read over the last couple of weeks. The stories are so inspirational, the recipes look amazing and the crafts are inspiring.

We participated in an amazing P.E.¬†program through Washington Virtual Academy (WAVA)¬†in partnership with Pacific Lutheran University. The program involved student teachers and a visiting professor to PLU/WAVA High School teacher running a 5 week physical education program, twice a week for about an hour and a half each time. The girls learned a bunch of new ways to work out, they loved their student teachers and made some really great new friends. In the end they got the cutest rewards for all their hard work and “sweat”.¬†Hopefully the program will continue and allow the kids to progress through, as they get older, through various stages of new lessons. What a great program!

I got to participate in my first blog hop.¬†That was a fun way to meet new people, and Katherine from Katherines Corner was so patient¬†with me while I got the ins and outs of html code. I just recently started learning, in very limited fashion, how to write and manipulate some of my own html code. Which has opened up a world of doors as far as adding things to Word Press. However, it also at times has added to frustration when I can’t get a code to work, or try to add something and it shows up – but the code shows up to. This blog has been a true learning experience and continual work in process for me. Hopefully I can resolve my most current issue which is, how to add a Instagram¬†widget – so confusing….an yet so challenging. (hopefully¬†there aren’t a bunch of computer engineers sitting around laughing at me right now – ūüôā )

I have been exercising quite a bit in the last couple of years and recently made the goal to start running again. My overall goal is to walk the Golden Gate Bridge on my 40th, but for a closer goal I had hoped to run a 5k in February 2014. Well, that plan has been botched as recently the pain in my knee got pretty intense. After trying about every home remedy I could think of, I gave up and went in for XRays. Apparently I have osteoarthritis and bone spurs in both my knees. (well that would explain the shooting pain – thinking of bone spurs in painful period!). My doctor said it comes from too much sports when I was younger, along with the impact of current exercise, and not enough concentration on building the muscles in the leg to support the impact to the joint. Interesting….so old age is starting to kick my butt. Not for long – I have a 6 week treatment plan which includes some anti-inflammatory meds, yoga, low impact exercise, as well as starting to work on building leg muscles. So, lesson learned – proper strength training is important. In the meantime, I’m also headed to see a physical therapist whom I hope can help me become stronger overall so I don’t have to keep having an argument with my knee every time I want to walk a couple of miles in the sun.

In the meantime as well we have been working on doing a little more revamping to our diet plan at home. I use diet in the sense of food consumption – not being on a diet. The way a person eats is a lifestyle choice, and while ours is a constant evolution – I’ve recently been motivated by not only LaLa’s desire to be a vegetarian, but by my own desire to cut out the crap food (what little was left). I’ve had a lot of fun trying new recipes and chatting with people about food and meal choices. One of our friends Dottie shared this amazing recipe which we tried the other day¬† – and LOVE IT! We used vegan chocolate chips instead of blueberries (because we’re about blueberry out with smoothies) and it was SO enjoyable! Jump over to her blog and check out the recipes!¬†Thanks Ms. Dottie!!

Almond Pancake Recipe
5 T. Almond Meal (I buy Trader Joe’s) 2 t. Flax meal (I buy Big bag at Costco)
1 T. Sour Cream …
3 T. Water
1 egg
1/4 t. vanilla
1/4 t. baking powder
Mix all together and cook like regular pancakes. I add blueberries to the mix. this recipe is 1-2 servings. Robby eats the entire batch 4 pancakes

Well, off to the races! Another day of school and finishing up a sewing project tomorrow…pictures to come. Enjoy the day!