Monday, June 29, 2009

Lots of Jars...


I love this look!

Simple, elegant, glowing...

appearing as if it was effortless and just thrown together with jars from around the house...


I would *love* to host a backyard party with my girlfriends and have this be the table that we gather around.

So pretty!






inspiration courtesy of ApartmentTherapy.com

Just Around The Corner...


The 4th of July will be here before we know it!

Here are some fun ideas to make your celebration beautiful!

..........


Star Lanterns


Use a star stencil and colored vellum to make red and blue stars. Glue them to white paper bags. For beautiful (and safe) illumination, use a small tap light instead of a candle.


..........


Star Spangled Pinwheels


These patriotic pinwheels are easy to make and fun to see spinning in the breeze on the Fourth of July. All you need are a few basic materials.


Click
here for the How-To


..........


Lawn Stars


This Fourth of July, let a few lawn stars brighten up your celebration. They're ideal alongside a walkway or next to your picnic table.


Click here for the How-To



..........


Pinwheel Entrance


Add some patriotism to your porch by putting red, white, and blue pinwheels into rustic buckets and watering cans filled with sand.



..........


Red, White and Blue Parfaits


For a sweet treat that doesn't pack on the calories, try this pretty parfait. Layer blueberries, low-fat vanilla yogurt, and strawberries in a tall glass and serve cold. For an alternative to vanilla yogurt, try strawberry or raspberry.


Click
here for the recipe


..........


This last idea is my favorite!
I would love to do this for any evening occasion in an outdoor setting!


Light Up The Night


Secret Night Lights


Click here for the How-To



..........


Only 5 days to go...

We're already hearing fireworks at night!

Do you have big plans for your 4th of July celebration?

Traditions that carry on year after year?

If so, I would love to hear about them!







inspiration photos and How-To courtesy of Sunset.com and BHG.com

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Beachcombing...


The past week in the Puget Sound has shown us some super low tides at our local beaches!

On Wednesday night my best friend let me know that we really needed to be sure to take the kids and check it out because of the opportunity to see some really cool things that we normally don't get to see -
because the tide never goes out this far.

So on Thursday afternoon we took the kids to our closest beach, just a few minutes from home, and checked it out.

WOW!
Will and I have grown up here and neither one of us have ever seen Dash Point Beach look like it did on Thursday!

The tide went out to

-3.92 feet

It was definitely impressive!



One of my favorite things to do is go beachcombing for seashells. And we lucked out on Thursday! We found lots of them!

Granted, they were covered in sand, seaweed, and who knows what else - but we brought them home with the hopes that they would clean up nicely!



I put them all in a large bowl and covered them completely with hot, soapy water and let them sit for a few hours. But, the soapy water didn't do much to get rid of the leftover beach...




So I looked online and several sites said that it was as easy as soaking them in

equal parts water and bleach.





I tried it, and sure enough, all of the dark brown and black stains started coming off!




I rinsed them with water and soaked them a second time in the bleach and water mixture and,

Viola!


I think they look great!

The shells were in the solution no more than a couple of hours and we can't believe how pretty they turned out!



So if your beachcombing leaves you with shells that are a little on the dingy side, try what I did!

It works!


Friday, June 26, 2009

We Can't Wait To Go Back...And A Surprise Ending For Me!


Our celebratory trip to the Ocean was a huge success!

We had a fantastic time and Will was thrilled with how we spent his
birthday and Father's Day!



The forecast called for rain, rain, rain...

but, much to our surprise, the weather was gorgeous!


You may recall our original plan of heading out to Kalaloch to camp on the beach?

We were all set to go and my parents had agreed to watch Ellison for us (since she's not exactly the best little tent camper yet), but Will decided that since the trip was to celebrate Father's Day that he wanted all of his little one's with him.

How sweet!

So we had to modify our plans to make it easier on all of us!

We found a great hotel on the beach at Ocean Shores that had an indoor swimming pool, miniature golf in the courtyard and that served a continental breakfast! And we got it for a great price too!

Perfect!

We loaded up and headed out!

Like I said, the weather was gorgeous! So the first thing we did was head out and play in the sand and the waves!
Great fun!

All of that digging and splashing helped us work up an appetite, so we drove around town and found a cute, little place to have an early dinner...

Daddy and Ellison


William and Daddy



Owen, concentrating on finding all of the hidden letters on his coloring placemat



Ellison, coloring in Daddy's traced hand...thank goodness for crayons at restaurants!



William, very happy with his fries and hot dog



Ellison, posing for the "action shot" of her eating her dinner!



And Owen, with his huge bowl of spaghetti and meatballs!



The kids noticed this store front right away and couldn't wait to walk through the shark's mouth!




After dinner we went for a drive on the beach...beautiful and so peaceful. Just what we needed!








The next day, after a good night's sleep and breakfast at the hotel, we headed out to the beach!

And it was COLD!

We were only out for about 30 minutes, but we snuck in some kite flying and sand castle building...







The kids and I were frozen, so we went back to the hotel, played some miniature golf, relaxed in the hotel room for a bit and got packed up.

We also changed into more appropriate clothing (ie: pants and coats instead of shorts and t-shirts) and went back for some more beach time...

We visited the horses...






...and did some exploring...


The boys played catch...



...and Owen discovered that if you throw crackers for the seagulls, they will come!






The boys had great fun with this!




Although it was windy (that IS to be expected on the coast) we had a blast!

We can't wait to go back!






We decided that we would take a more scenic route home. Maybe find some spots on the beach that we would have all to ourselves. Again, it was beautiful! Sunny and gorgeous!



And then...


Before I even realized it...


we passed a sign on the road that said


"Welcome to Seabrook"


What?

We're at Seabrook?


A group of our friends stayed at Seabrook last year. We were invited, so I had spent some time looking online, checking out the Cottage Rentals, and getting a feel for what Seabrook was all about. Unfortunately, we weren't able to go, but our friends had a great time and great things to say about it!

So, of course, we had to stop and see it for ourselves...

(and by "we", I mean ME! The family really had no choice in the matter!)








I think that this may be the happiest place on earth!

At least, for a girl like me, anyway!




Could it be any cuter?

I think not!

It is absolutely darling and even better than the pictures and descriptions that you find online!

Adorable!



Want to know what Ellison thought of it?

See the mop of blonde hair?


She pulled William's pillow over her face to catch a bit of shut eye!

Falling asleep at the hotel was a bit rough on her and she was a tired little girl the next day!


We made our way to the playground at Seabrook and the boys were begging us to play!

We figured it couldn't hurt (just for a few minutes anyway) and it was a good idea to let them stretch their legs before the 2 and 1/2 hour drive home!





On our way out, I noticed this super cute two-person chair! I love the little table in between!

This one is sunk into the ground, so it is not movable, but modifying the design a bit would make it the perfect chair for relaxing with your loved one at the end of the day, out on the lawn or on the deck, watching the sunset...


Looks like another project just got added onto the long list I keep for my carpenter!

Oh, don't feel bad for him! He loves a good project!


I had to say "goodbye" to Seabrook, but I will find a way to get back and stay there one of these days! It's calling my name!

I just wish my husband could hear it!



As always, it was good to be back home!

But we will definitely go back to Ocean Shores!

Hopefully, sooner than later!