Gift Basket Idea

My niece on the left is getting married next weekend! She’s the first of my nieces and nephews to do so.

Last weekend was her bridal shower.

bridal shower

My girls and I decided to throw a little love in our gift. Have you ever tried Aveda Comforting Tea? Aveda salons always offer you a cup when you go in for a service. It’s the absolute best tea! It can be served hot or cold and never needs a sweetener added. I found this recipe for it online and decided it would be the base for a gift. We were able to find three of the four ingredients in the health market of my local grocery store. For the last ingredient, we had to go to an actual health food grocery store.

aveda tea

I first bought an awesome glass bottle that I thought would be nice for her to use for cold water in the refrigerate after the loose leaf tea was gone. Then I decided I should do a little research about the best way to store tea. I was wrong. Clear glass not a good choice. Glad I looked! We then headed to World Market to browse their large tea/kitchen section. We bought a tea tin similar to this these.

tea tin


We also picked up the cutest tea infuser while we were there!

It’s a house! Get it? Because they are moving into their own house together!

Next up were the mugs. I really wanted to do mugs with their initials, but after shopping a few stores, I just couldn’t find what I wanted. I finally found a set of “Mr. Right” and “Mrs. Always Right” mugs like these! (FYI – the mugs got a huge laugh at the shower!)

tea tin, tea basket, gift basket

The final item we needed was a basket. Homegoods to the rescue! That store has everything I need. I picked out this cute basket because it has a handle on each end and a chalkboard on the front. We wrote my niece’s new last name on the front, wrapped it all up, and we were good to go.

gift basket

OMG Becky wrote the tea instructions on a decorative notecard we tucked inside the basket. We renamed the tea Happy Marriage Tea for a bit of whimsy.

What is your favorite tea flavor?

Hot tea or cold tea? Depends on the temperature outside for me.

She’s a Senior!

As I mentioned in my last post, my oldest child is a senior this year. I’m having a hard time wrapping my brain around that one. When I look at her, I still see this version.

first day of school, preschool, prek

My little girl going off to her first day of school ever with her little pink, Disney Princess backpack. PreK. Such a big deal.

So to switch from that to having her senior pictures taken last weekend. It’s a bit much.

senior pictures

OMG Becky picked a awesome, historic building downtown to have her session.

senior pic3

Outfit changes in the public bathroom!

senior pictures

And trains! We found trains to play on, too.

senior pictures

I can’t wait to share the finished professional photos with you! They are gorgeous! Now it’s just a matter of narrowing our final choices down. It’s hard to pick!

So for now, I am trying to focus on the fun, exciting parts of her senior year.


Like her need for dessert after her photography session. All the sugar!

And like college campus tours. We are going on our first one in a couple of weeks! And I’m trying not to think about the fact that these colleges are so far away. I can’t. That just makes my heart hurt. It doesn’t do much for my weepy eyes either.

Any parent of a senior past or present have any words of advice for me?

What were your senior pictures like? Two words. Big hair.

End of Summer Outings

Summer! How dare you leave me? Have I told you summer is my absolute FAVORITE season? It is. I could live somewhere that is hot and sunny all the time. I should look into that…

School here started in the middle of August for my girls. Ridiculous. It seems like they start earlier every year. I honestly wish they would just switch to a year-round school schedule. Makes so much more sense!

Mandatory first day of school pics!

Sassy is a freshman in high school this year. High.School. My baby is in HIGH SCHOOL. This may have been hard for me.

first day of school, high school freshman

OMG Becky is a high school senior. Her last mandatory year of school. When did this happen?!

first day of school, high school senior

Can you tell it was a rough morning for me?

So let’s talk about something more fun. Like roller coasters! Man, I love a good roller coaster.


We recently enjoyed a day of perfect weather at the amusement park. Lines were short, temps were warm, breeze was slight, and the sun was shining. Good fun!

We also had a weekend trip to Omaha.

Omaha, Henry Doorly Zoo

We hadn’t been to Omaha in a few years. It was fun exploring the downtown Old Market area and the Henry Doorly Zoo. We did the whole pet a stingray exhibit. Sassy even fed one. Though she wasn’t too excited about holding a dead fish inbetween her fingers. I don’t blame her. That’s just gross!

Have your kids started school yet?

Do kids attend year-round in your district?

Roller coaster or water slide? Roller coaster!

Largest Shell in the Country

Independence Day snuck up on me this year. I was prepping for a large regional work meeting to happen the Tuesday after the holiday. Before I knew it, it was the Friday/day before the actual holiday and I was nowhere near ready. I ended up working Friday instead of having the day off.

When Saturday the Fourth arrived, I really had no idea what we were going to do to celebrate. OMG Becky ended up deserting Sassy and I to hang out at the lake, boating all day. I left our plans up to Sassy. She made some interesting choices. First up was a trip to Bass Pro Shop. I hadn’t been there in years!

bass pro shops

bass pro shops

I found a SUP board that I really wanted, but Sassy wouldn’t buy it for me. (Have I mentioned how much I want one of these boards?! I do! We live just blocks from two lakes. I want to train Stella the Boxer to ride with me. I think it would be a lot of fun for both of us!)

We hit a few more stores before heading to a festival at another lake in the area. We were hoping to get there in time to see the skydivers. Sassy had been excited when she heard there was skydiving until she realized she would not be the one skydiving. She is such an adrenaline junkie!

skydiverWe got there just in time to see four skydivers jump and parachute down with smoke trails behind them. It was a pretty neat sight!

We then got in the world’s longest line for a funnel cake. I kid you not, we were in line for almost 1.5 hours. This annual festival draws a crowd of 20,000 people, but only offered four food trucks. Four. Ri.dic.u.lous.

Luckily, the live music on the stage was loud so we got to enjoy a bit of entertainment. We also enjoyed watching the boats coming in. The lake gets pretty busy as the boaters all come over to this area to watch the fireworks.

lake festival

After getting our funnel cake, we walked over to the next cove to find a place in the grass to sit and wait for the show in the sky.

funnel cake

It was a sad funnel cake.  Not really worth the wait.  =(

About 20 minutes after we sat down, the fireworks started! It was only about 15 minutes of fun, but the best was saved for last. The reason we came to this particular fireworks show? They were going to shoot off the largest firework shell in the country! The largest. And here it is for your viewing pleasure!

Largest shell in America

Again, Sassy was disappointed. For some reason, she thought the fireworks were going to last over an hour. Not sure where she got that idea! She also thought the large shell would be more grand. I myself thought it was pretty cool!

Sunday we spent the afternoon at my parents’ swimming.

swimming, cousins

Great weekend!

Have you tried SUP boarding yet? Should I get one?

Soaking Summer

We finally enjoyed a rain-free weekend over the holiday. It has rained here every weekend since March.





But let’s back up. In between rain showers, we have been fitting in a bit of fun. The Saturday before last my mom took OMG Becky and two of my nieces for a girls night out including shopping and dinner.


It’s been way too long since these three hung out! All three girls work two jobs each while attending school full-time. They are busy! So glad they could make this night happen.

Of course, Sassy decided we needed a night out, too. So out we went! My dad wanted in on our adventures. What was so exciting, you wonder?

jason's deli, ice cream cone

Dinner and ice cream! I’m pretty sure Sassy picked Jason’s Deli just for the free ice cream!

We then headed to Trader Joe’s to check out all the goodies. I was too busy browsing to get any pictures there. We bought many of our usual favorites and a few new-to-us treats. Dark Chocolate Speculoos Cookie Batter Cups. Enough said.

After that, these two decided it was too early to go home, so we did a bit of shopping. New sandals for Sassy and a new hat for my dad!

aviator hat

Just kidding. He didn’t buy it, but I’m pretty sure it’s on his wish list.

Next up was ice cream round 2!

froyo with grandpa

Actually it was froyo. I couldn’t believe these two wanted more to eat, but since I had skipped the ice cream earlier (because duh, vanilla. Just no.), I was down for dessert round 2. You know mine included 4-5 flavors of froyo with chocolate candy toppings. Yum!

The next day after a morning rain shower, the skies cleared and we thought a day at the zoo was in order. I think the rain earlier kept most people away. It also seemed to keep a lot of the animals out of sight. Boo. Either way, we still had a lot of fun.

sky ride, chair lift

Notice Sassy’s brand new sandals held tightly on her lap! Smart girl.

How is your weather this summer? Besides the rain, over the last week we have spent 4.5 hours in our basement waiting out tornado sirens on two separate occasions. We had one drop down from the clouds but not touch the ground less than 1.5 miles from here.

Favorite froyo flavor? Cereal Magic. It takes just like the milk left in the bowl after Fruity Pebbles cereal!

Prom, Track, & Needles

Spring, glorious Spring! Oh how I adore you! We are trying to enjoy every bit of it.

Last weekend was Junior Prom for OMG Becky.

prom, junior prom, prom dress

Love this dress! It had a modest slit (just above the knee) and an open back (not low, just open.) Gorgeous!

Sassy had a big weekend, too.


After three years of studying every Wednesday night, she was confirmed last Sunday! So proud of her!

We are also enjoying her very busy track season. Track is a new sport to us. Up until this year, I had never even been to a track meet!

track, middle school track, run

Her usual events include hurdles, high jump, 1600 meter run, and 1600 meter relay. I am in awe of her high jump skills! And she is getting so speedy! Her placement ribbons are stacking up. I’m really going to miss these meets when the season ends.

A not so good thing happening around here. I hurt my right ankle. No idea how. It’s been giving me problems the last two weeks. It doesn’t hurt much to walk. And I can run on it. It hurts more in the side to side movements. I’ve been icing and elevating it often. Then swelling started on Thursday. Ugh.

On Friday at work, I had ASTYM performed on it and then kinesio tape applied for support. It felt great the rest of the day. Yesterday was another story. It was the worst it had been and hurt with every motion. I spent most of the day avoiding any movement of it.

Today, I got the privilege of being a “patient” for a residency lab on dry needling. They evaluated me, put me through exercises, stretched me, and then the needling began.

(Cotchett M, Landorf K, Munteanu S, Raspovic A)

They needled my lower back, right glut, right calf, and right ankle. And it wasn’t so bad! Half of the needles I didn’t ever feel. The other half were just a slight prick. Others would get into the muscle belly and start twitching &/or pulsating. It was such a weird sensation! A few would then hurt and cause me to curse a bit. I was there for a good two hours. They told me I would be fatigued for a couple of days. I can deal with that. The best part? My ankle feels so much better right now! I hope it lasts! They think I either have a muscle strain or a stress fracture. I will have a couple more treatments this week, perform daily exercises on my own, and then we’ll see how it is doing. If not better, off to the ortho doc I go. Boo.

I will leave you with this life hack today. I have finally figured out how to properly reheat leftover onion rings so they remain crunchy!

onion rings, reheat onion rings

Reheat in an oven at 450 degrees for 7 minutes. Perfection!

Did you run track in school?

What’s your favorite track event to participate in or watch?

We Are the Champions!

Yesterday was a fun day for us!

It didn’t start off on the best foot. I had to take OMG Becky to work because her car was in the shop very early. (Did I tell you she had bought her first car? She did and she loves it! So proud of her hard work!)  After dropping her off, I had a an hour to stop for coffee before heading to the part of my morning I was actually looking forward to.

massage, massage room, spa

A massage! Oh so heavenly! I have discovered since I was in the wreck a few years ago, a massage every month really keeps my back and neck pain at bay most of the time. And it’s awesome for my legs and hips when I’m really hitting the trails. I don’t look at it as a luxury, though it is fantastic. For me it’s more about preventative maintenance. Now if I could just get my insurance to pay for it!

After that I worked a couple of hours for my parents, then Sassy called and was ready to come home. She had spent the night with family at the lake.

lake house, lake

Such a gorgeous day! Spring is here, I can feel it.

After picking up OMG Becky and taking her to get her car, (No big repair, thankfully, just a vacuum hose that needed to be replaced!) we had a road trip to get on. We were headed to the middle of the state for her high school boys basketball championship game!

university, basketball court

I think most of our city was there! We played a city from the other side of the state, but the game was right in the middle of the two. I kind of felt bad for the other team and the lack of their fan support. Our fans made up 4/5 of the arena crowd. Yes, I counted! More like a visual guesstimation by colors worn and sections filled, but I’m sure my guess is pretty accurate.

fans, basketball arena

And my goodness, our fans were loud! We sat next to the student section. It was across from the parent section. These two sections chanted and cheered back and forth the entire game. So much energy!


Sassy and her friend were on the other side of the student section. She had come down with her friend’s family earlier in the day. They got there early enough to have lunch downtown and drive around the university campus awhile.

The game was an exciting one! We put the first points on the board and the other team, try as they might, just couldn’t ever catch us.

state champions, basketball, boys high school

State Champions! It has a nice ring to it!

What was the best part of your weekend?