Tied Ribbon

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Fourth of July Decor

I was being my normal self this week and waited until the last minute to take pictures of my Fourth of July decor,  so of course the storms rolled in and kept things nice and overcast.  Which helps keeps the temperature under triple digits, but it doesn't help take indoor photos.  
Lesson learned....but nonetheless, here are a few shots of the patriotic decor I put up this year!

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Take A Trip: Woods Canyon Lake, AZ

A few weeks ago, we headed North to cooler weather and greener scenery.  We stayed in Forest Lakes and took a trip to Woods Canyon Lake.  There's quite a few other lakes/streams to stop on the way with plenty of campsites to stay at.
The drive up was beautiful to slowly watch the cactus disappear and the trees take over. It was about a 2 hour drive up from Gilbert, located between Payson & Heber.

There's plenty of opportunity for fishing and hiking around.  We tried our hand at catching crawdads at the edge of the lake we took a little walk to from where we parked.  
It wasn't too hot or hard for our 4 year old to walk on his own.

One of my other favorite parts was the vista points they had on the way into the lakes & campsites from the highway. There's a reason they have these view points, SO gorgeous.  It was a bright clear day and you can see the green trees for miles! It was so nice to get into the woods for a few days.  I love the air up there and the cooler nights, it was a great chance to make family memories!

Monday, June 13, 2016

Getting Real: Parenting a Child with a Speech Delay

After a roller-coaster week of Summer Kindergarten Transition, I decided to finally write down some thoughts I've been having all school year long. I'm adding this to my series of "getting real".
Clayton will be 5 in July & we've know for almost 2 years that he's been speech delayed.  He was tested through the state and started in pre-school and let me tell you- we were blessed with an amazing team from his teacher, his aides, and his therapists.  He came so far from being in pre-school with specialists around him. But there's still room for improvement...and that's where the frustration and disheartenment creeps in.  Let me preface this by saying, Clayton is the sweetest most loving boy I've ever known, and I'm not saying that just because I'm his Mom!  He will compliment you, thank you, call or sir or ma'am and hug you goodbye all meeting you for the first time.  He makes me so extremely happy every single day.  
Having a child who is delayed, in whatever area it may be, can pull at your motherly emotions whenever you you think about where they should be.  After Clayton was first analyzed/observed, I remember crying feeling like I had failed as a mother.  Here was the only job I had to do, and I hadn't even done it correctly and needed other's help.  Lots of help.  Help with things I don't know how to do.  And honestly, the feelings have never really disappeared. They're just now accompanied by hope, motivation and pride.  
Does it sound like a roller coaster? Probably because it is.  Sometimes it's a daily one, other times I can stay at a the high point for days or weeks. One of the things that most often makes my heart ache is hearing other kids Clayton's age having conversations with their parents or trying to have conversations with him. Because they're normal conversations, and complete sentences versus Clayton needing prompting to "fill in" words between his main idea words.
But you know what?  He is so happy.  He is full of life and energy.  He is social and active and has no physical limitations.  Sometimes things beyond our capabilities happen with no fault of our own.  Clayton loves with a fierceness, and I instilled that in him.  I have helped him develop so many other incredible qualities.  So for now, I try to focus on those high points of this roller coaster.  Because, "this too shall pass".  There IS so much constant improvement and development that I need to remind myself that many others aren't doing.  
And so to you mothers, who maybe feel like you didn't or aren't doing it right...you are because you are loving them with a strong, fierce love that is irreplaceable.  You may shed some tears after you put them to bed, or sneak a piece of chocolate to help get you through your day, and that's okay.  Without the lows, we wouldn't appreciate the highs.  And boy, are there so many amazing high points!!  They will never stop needing you, and being there for them is the greatest challenge we may ever be blessed with.

image sources: one // two // three

Friday, June 10, 2016

4th of July Watercolor Printables

WARNING: This post may cause you to break out singing GOD BLESS AMERICA! in Whitney Houston style.  (Just me? ....okay)
Deck those halls in the name of independence! I love decorating for this holiday. I love this holiday.  I just love America! My parents (especially my dad) instilled in us at a very young age the respect of country and the important of patriotism and love for democracy.  Not a day goes by that I'm not grateful for the freedom I am blessed with in this amazing country and those who work so diligently and selflessly to protect it. 

 So let's decorate immedietely, to give the US of A it's proper celebration time!  Get started with these fun and bright and patriotic printables!
 Download all the printables HERE

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Apple Cider Vinegar Drink

I mentioned on twitter the other day that I finally found a way to drink the almighty apple cider vinegar...without dying.  If you've ever tried it, you know that is no easy task.  Years ago I started trying to take a shot of it in the mornings, right as it was on the cusp of exploding into this "miracle liquid" many praise today.  I stood in my kitchen maybe on third day, tried to shoot it down my throat without tasting it and I inhaled and exhaled all the same time and it went down the wrong tube!  Now, we've all had this happen with water...can you imagine how it felt with VINEGAR?!  I actually thought, "This is it, this is how I die."  I could not breathe or catch my breath and I had a raspy voice the rest of the day.  
I tell you this tale as a precautionary tale....DO NOT take shots of straight ACV, you MUST dilute it!
Now that I've scared you sufficiently, let's stay with what type of ACV you should use.  Although it's easy to just buy the cheap store brand version, if you're going through the effort of drinking vinegar, at least make it worth it and grab the BRAGG's Organic kind.  Give it a shake before use.
To make your ACV drink:
1 Tablespoon Pure Maple Syrup
1 Tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar
1/4 Cup Pure Apple Cider
3/4 Cup Water
 Mix all ingredients well & if you're feeling crazy, sprinkle a tiny amount of cinnamon. 
Don't try to guzzle it all, I like to take 1 or 2 big gulps at a time to keep it from burning too much.
I love to drink this first thing in the morning.  You can look up all the amazing benefits, but for me personally, it helps with skin, metabolism, and stomach health.  I've tried a few different ways to drink ACV, and this is by far the most enjoyable yet still efficient way to get it in your system.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

End of the Year Orange Treats

When I saw Eighteen25's "orange you glad it's summer" pun, I couldn't get it out of my head and knew I had to create my own version for some fun end-of-the-year treats.  Last year's treats were equally simple, but still delicious.  
 This time around, I took orange slices and dipped some in melted chocolate and sprinkled with just that tiniest amount of sea salt.  They taste JUST like those chocolate oranges you get around Christmastime.  Addicting as well.  I spray painted the tops green to mimic the orange on the tag stick on a simple tag to tie in the pun and boom!  Little effort, and big impact. 
Be sure you don't forget those bus drivers & aides, they deserve to be rewarding for dealing with your children all year, too!

Thursday, May 19, 2016

The Garlands of Summer

In case you ever wondered what Summer would look like in garland form...this is it.  Watermelons, pineapples and rainbow bunting- that's what summer dreams are made of. 
Make 'em, stack 'em and enjoy your summer goodness.
The watermelons are made from 2 different sized circles, cut in half with seeds drawn right on.
The pineapples are cut using shape printed off from google and sized down to wallet-size.

The only thing that's missing is the smell of a bonfire at the beach....