Thursday, July 24, 2014

Mad for Madras!

It's no secret that I love plaid,
and there are LOTS of adorable summer Madras plaids to be had!
Here are my favorites for this season...

I have had to use extreme restraint to NOT purchase this Madras Tote from my favorite store Talbots.
Even I am beginning to feel like my tote bag collection is getting a little out of control.
It happens to be on SALE right now though....
This LL Bean dress could not be cuter..and the price is right!
I had to add it to my summer dress collection,
and wore it with a navy cardigan over my shoulders on Father's Day.
And here is how I styled my dress!

If you love Madras, then hopefully you know about Just Madras...
they are the makers of this cute cosmetic bag, but they have skirts, dresses, ties, and bags too!

the perfect accessory for the preppy girl!
Loving this Madras Shep shirt from Vineyard Vines!

There you have my current favorites!
Are you mad for Madras?

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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

What I've Been Up To...

Well...I have been on an unplanned blog-cation
due to life just happening.
Here's what I've been up to the last couple of months....

Caroline arrived home from college in mid-May...
She bought her first car with a little help from the 'rents and is stepping farther into the "grown up"
world with a small car payment and a newly rented apartment for the school year.
She is working two jobs this summer and I am so happy to have her home...when she IS home!
She joined the Volvo family....D walked her through the entire process of car buying and applying for a loan,
and she has a new appreciation for the importance of budgeting!

Katherine has been busy with college visits, the SAT, and ACT,
as well as her job, cheering, and her social life.
She made the Varsity Sideline Cheering Squad again,
which will be fun for her in her senior year next year...trying to avoid thinking about that right now!
 Katherine went to the prom this year...
 her date was an adorable young man who is a dear friend of hers...

The's been tough.
They are not in a fun stage....13 years old....need I say more?
We were tied up with travel baseball almost every weekend in May and June for Jack,
and the boys both started swim team the end of May,
with daily practices and meets every Wednesday.

 Pre-game pic....I can't believe I got him to smile.
Thank goodness they have an hour of swimming every day to burn off some energy!
Hanging out with friends at a swim meet...
Here they are waiting for their event with BFF Evan...
I hate it when the twins swim in the same heat because it's hard to cheer for them both
when they are swimming against each other!

We also joined our church!
So happy to be members of the River Road Presbyterian Church Family.
We only had 2/5 of the family present when we joined due to our crazy schedule, 
but we decided if we waited for all ten of us to be present, we would never join.
They triplets will start confirmation in the fall and we are looking forward to getting involved!

Work has been not great...same my job, don't love being a working mom...
D and I have been spending more time apart than together on the weekends due to our schedules...
and there is never enough time in a day.
I went up to Annapolis with D one weekend in late May,
 and we had a fabulous dinner with his cousin and his fiancee.
Many thanks to my Virginia parents who make these much needed weekends away possible!
We have also made two trips to Delaware....
One for D's 30th high school class reunion,
and one to visit his sister and get the cousins together!
At the reunion in Dover, Delaware with one of D's best friends from high school,
 who married one of his best friends from the USNA!
We drove down to Fenwick Island, DE to visit D's mother and spend Father's Day
with D's children after the reunion.
D with his children...Kimo is working in Boston this summer so we missed him!
Back to Fenwick to visit D's mom and his sister and her son in July...
we missed her husband and daughter as they were coming out later in the week.

The cousins putt putt golfing...
Watching the moon rise over the ocean....

And I am currently spending a glorious week visiting my Michigan parents
up in Northern Michigan.
This is one of my favorite places to be on Earth.
This is the back yard of my Michigan parents' home....need I say more?
A week in paradise!

Everyone is just as busy as I am ....we all have crazy schedules and demands on our time.
My life is no more hectic than everyone else's...
Sometimes I still struggle to find the blessings in every day...
but I know they are there.

 I would like to thank my best girlfriends,
Kim, Leslie, Stacy, Shelley, and our new BFF Julie,
who keep me sane and bring me smiles when I am feeling overwhelmed.
Love you girls!

Looking forward to getting back to blogging...
I've missed y'all!
Some of you have kept up with me on Instagram....
click on the button to follow me!

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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Blog Tag

Clearly you can tell I have had a lot going on in my life by my lack of blog posts.
Some of it has been good, some of it not so much....
I am hoping to get back to posting more regularly, as it's something I truly enjoy.

Last month, one of my blog friends, Lauren, tagged me in a game of blog tag.
Lauren has a wonderful blog called Simply LKJ
where she shares her fabulous recipes, decorating projects, and her beautiful family.
Better late than never....I always love learning more about my blog friends!

1. Are you named after someone?
Yes, I am named after my great-great-grandmother, Christine Jensen.
All of my children are also named after members of my family.

2. When was the last time you cried?
Well....I am a "crier" and I shed a few tears quite often...for both happy things and sad things.
The last time I REALLY cried was when I learned that there are some changes in our schedule
that may ultimately result in me seeing D even less than I do.
I miss him desperately during the week, but we make it work,
and our weekends together are wonderful.
I hope that we can work things out so we don't lose any precious time together.

3. Do you have kiddos?
Yes, I do....I have a blended family of eight children!
I have four precious children, Caroline is 20, Katherine is 17, and my twins Teddy & Jack are 13,
and four precious step-children, Kimo who is also 20, Laura who is 15, Grace who is also 13,
and Collin who is 8 years old.
We call Teddy, Jack, and Grace "the triplets"
and are so blessed that they all get along and love to spend time together.
From Left to Right, Caroline, Teddy, Grace, Katherine, Jack, Kimo, Laura, and Collin in front.
This picture was taken at D's retirement from the Navy in is almost impossible to get all eight children together these days!
Katherine, Teddy, Caroline, and Jack at Easter this past year.

4. If you were another person, would you be a friend of yourself?
Well...yes. I think I'm pretty fun and I love to be with friends and family.
My family says I am very funny....I don't see it.
I am, however, fairly critical of myself and I focus on all of the things I wish were different about myself,
so in that case I would probably annoy myself with all of my

5. Do you have a guilty pleasure?
Yes....sadly for my sweet husband, it is handbags!
Make that expensive handbags.
Here is the latest addition to my collection....
A Longchamp bag in Lagoon, which is a mint green color.
I NEEDED this bag because I needed a very lightweight bag...
I had shoulder surgery in 2012 and it was starting to bother me again
because my most of my handbags are too heavy.
D suggested that I could have just taken some of the "junk" out of my current bag to lighten it up...

6. Do you like handwriting?
Yes, I love handwriting and I love to send and receive hand written letters and notes.
Sadly, my own handwriting has become horrible....
my job requires serious amounts of hand written documentation, and I have become very sloppy.

7. What is your favorite cereal?
I would have to say Crispix with fresh strawberries on it!

8. What is the first thing you notice about people?
Eyes...and not the color...the expression in their eyes.
I think you can see happiness, joy, sorrow, stress, fright, and many more emotions
in a person's eyes....kind of like a window into the soul.

9. What is the color of your eyes?
Blue...a greenish, grayish, blue.

10. Scary movies or happy endings?
Definitely happy endings!

11. Favorite television shows?
I love re-runs....when I do have the time to watch TV,
 it's usually at odd times so it's hard for me to follow a series regularly.
 I love NCIS re-runs, Law & Order re-runs, and Dateline re-runs.
See a theme?
I love crime shows!

12. Summer or Winter?
I HATE the winter...everything about it!
I should have snagged this Lilly Pulitzer sweater last winter...
It is exactly how I feel every winter!

13. Hugs or kisses?

14. Do you have a special talent?
If you ask me, I would say no...
if you ask my family, they would being a domestic diva mom.
I will remind them of that when I have ordered take out and none of the laundry is done.

15. Where were you born?
St. Joseph, Michigan (see A on map)
I loved growing up on the shore of Lake Michigan, 
and rode my bike to the beach every day of summer vacation when I was a kid.
My favorite place to be is always anywhere on the water!

16. What are your hobbies? hobbies used to be cooking, gardening, tennis, volunteering, entertaining,
decorating, and (in the last year) blogging.
Since I have been a working mom,
I rarely have time for myself or my hobbies.
I do still try to entertain friends as often as we can, 
and get together with my BFF's for lunch dates.
I know one day I will have lots of time on my hands to pursue the things that I love to do.

17. Do you have any pets?
No...the kids are begging for a dog,
but I KNOW that I will end up being the one responsible for our pet,
and I just can't take on the responsibility of any other living thing right now.
I accidentally killed the family fish last I think NO on pets right now.

18. Favorite Movie?
It's a tie for
Under the Tuscan Sun and Something's Gotta Give.

19. The color of my car?
Navy blue...always.
20. What do you want to be when you grow up?
I am a wife and mother, and that is exactly what I want to be!

I would like to tag anyone who would like to participate!
I love learning more about my readers and my blog friends!

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Wednesday, June 4, 2014

What's For Dinner?

I was channel surfing the other night and caught an episode of
"The Pioneer Woman"
on the food network....I had heard of her but had never seen her show before
and the dish she was cooking caught my attention.
It was part of her "16 Minute Meals" series,
and she was making Beef With Snow Peas.

So in my quest to find yum out FAST dinners for week nights,
I printed the recipe and tried it tonight!
I got a thumbs up from all of the kids and it WAS fast and easy to make!

Here is the recipe:

Beef with Snow Peas
1-1/2 pound Flank Steak, trimmed of fat and sliced very thin against the grain
1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
3 T cooking sherry
2T brown sugar
2T cornstarch
1 T minced fresh ginger
8 oz fresh snow peas, ends trimmed
5 whole scallions, cut into half-inch pieces on the diagonal
salt as needed
3T peanut oil
crushed red pepper

In a bowl, mix together soy sauce, sherry, brown sugar, cornstarch, and ginger. Pour half the liquid over the sliced meat in a bowl and toss with hands. Reserve the other half of the liquid. Set aside.

Heat oil in a heavy skillet (iron is best) or wok over high heat. Add snow peas and stir for 45 seconds. Remove to a separate plate. Set aside.

Allow pan to get very hot again. With tongs, add half the meat mixture, leaving most of the marinade still in the bowl. Add half the scallions. Spread out meat as you add it to pan, but do not stir for a good minute. (You want the meat to get as brown as possible in as short amount a time as possible.) Turn meat to the other side and cook for another 30 seconds. Remove to a clean plate.
Repeat with other half of meat, allowing pan to get very hot again first. After turning it, add the first plateful of meat, the rest of the marinade, and the snow peas. Stir over high heat for 30 seconds, then turn off heat. 
Check seasonings and add salt only if it needs it. Mixture will thicken as it sits.
Serve immediately over rice. Sprinkle crushed red pepper over the top to give it some spice.

Note....I used ground ginger instead of fresh ginger and I forgot to buy the scallions,
but it turned out fabulously and any time ALL the kids like something I fix for dinner,
it is a WIN!

Please visit the The Pioneer Woman's website to see her wonderful post
of this recipe and for many more pictures and how to instructions!

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Thursday, May 29, 2014

One Room Challenge Week Six.....Better Late Than Never

Linking very LATE to Linda's One Room Challenge Linking Party,
which actually ended May 8th, 
but due to circumstances that are not worth mentioning,
I have been MIA on my blog and did not finish our bedroom on time.
Today, my window treatments were installed and I am FINALLY done!

As a reminder, here is what I started out with.....
This picture is with the previous owner's furniture...but it basically looked this horrible with our furniture too.

Here is my mood board....

And here is my finished room....
I love it!!!

I am thrilled with how it turned out!
I still have a few things to do...
such as find a few photos of me and D for the frames on my dresser,
and get the arm chair I scored at a consignment shop recovered.
I also have a few piles of "junk" in our master bathroom that used to clutter the bedroom
that need to be sorted through.
I had hoped to get a pair of matching nightstands that were taller,
but the budget did not permit and I didn't really find anything I loved anyway.
I will be keeping my eye out for a pair of them when I am out consignment shopping!
I also never found a small green and white porcelain lamp for on top of the chest of drawers,
but I shopped my house and moved my gold leaf pineapple lamp to the chest
and I decided I like it there.
As you can see from my photos, 
I lost the ceiling fan
I would have LOVED to put a crystal chandelier in, 
but sweet D would have died of a heat stroke without the fan.

I hope you visited all of the fabulous linking participants
as well as the talented bloggers who were a part of the ORC!

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