Monday, April 27, 2015

Priorities

April vacation is now upon us! It's crazy to think we're already at the end of April, what a winter it's been! A lot of area schools have decided to trade in some of their vacation days in favor of getting out for summer vacation a little earlier. I guess I'm happy to report that our kids go until June 19th. . We worried our last day might be pushed into the 20s but luckily we escaped more snowdays. That is unless we have a freak storm in May. After this past winter, I think anything is possible!
We are excited to have some time with the family, these are the days I've learned to cherish most since we typically are so busy during the school year. Blogging will be a little light this week although I'll still be checking in from time to time.  I'm just eager to make the most of it, like I talked about last week…time moves so fast, sometimes you really need to make yourself and your family a priority!

Enjoy your day!

Friday, April 24, 2015

One Good Egg!

If you're like most families, you're always looking to save a little time. I find this is true for me especially in the kitchen. I try to make a few main dishes for the week on Sundays, and do a couple of "from scratch snacks" for the week all at once. I find this is a much easier way to deal with having healthy, convenient food for the week. My staples include things like soups, casseroles, crock-pot meals and as the warmer weather comes, pasta salads, tabouli salad and garden fresh entrees. Who couldn't use a little extra time?  I find that when the girls come home from activities they are famished and it helps to have something right away.  Always looking for shortcuts, I recently discovered that my girls love hard-boiled eggs. I've never been a fan although we do eat a lot of eggs in our home. Lately, they've made for a good grab and go snack. Packed with protein, they are healthy and full of nutrients.

One thing I've started to do lately, is to boil 4-6 eggs at once and put them back into the egg carton after marking the exterior shell. This means, they are easier grab and go snacks for the kids. They also make for a fun post April fools joke!
Read more about the benefits of this healthy snack here.

Do you have any easy time saving techniques you'd like to share? I would love to hear how you continue to make life easier in your kitchen!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Living YOUR dream

Time...

I remember being a kid and thinking time was passing so slowly. In my memories, my Summers were long and lazy...days of relaxation and play, giggles and friends. As I've gotten older, it seems like time is passing quicker than ever before. Each year goes by in a blink of an eye
I remember the older woman who looked at me when I was pregnant and told me how quickly it would go.  Another woman who looked at my newborn and told me to cherish every second. 
At the time, I simply smiled and nodded not fully able to comprehend what they were getting at. But now I do, oh how I do! 
I realize that my firstborn is going to turn 11 years old in a matter of weeks, a month later my youngest will turn seven. 
Some days are long, some days I feel like I'm at my wits end when people aren't listening or the girls are fighting. 

Most of the time however, time is going by so quickly. Days feel like hours, months feel like days… 
All the while I just want time to slow down. Am I alone in this? Am I the biggest sap on the planet? I often feel like I'm full of emotion, full of memories and the desire to keep my kids young.  I can honestly tell you I never looked past when my children would be 10 and 6, I never looked towards what I would do after I was a mother because being a mother has always been my dream.  Of course, I'll always be a "mother" but what I mean is I never really thought about what I would do once my kids didn't "need" me as much as they did as children or as they became more independent. 
One piece of advice I'd give to any young mother would be to keep dreaming and looking towards what makes you YOU. Don't loose yourself.  Then again, I've come to realize, that my children have led me to be who I've become.  I'm less selfless, more understanding and perhaps more patient.  I realize more and more how lucky I am to be their mother.  My dreams have been fulfilled and I continue to realize that as they grow, learn and accomplish their dreams and fulfill their goals.  I've realized that I still have dreams coming true - ones that are valid and about me, my family and my children. 
Despite the hardships, the frustrations...this is one lucky life.  I guess I really am living the dream.  

Monday, April 20, 2015

CanvasPop Review and Giveaway!

*Please note, I received a canvas to facilitate this review, all opinions are my own*

How do you capture live special moments?

We have lived in our home for eight years now, in fact we just celebrated our eight year anniversary here on April 15! I'm a girl who has serious commitment issues when it comes to decorating. I always want to have beautiful walls, adorned with pictures of my children, family and closest friends. I do however, struggle with the exact look I would like. I love gallery walls but sometimes I've seen them look cluttered or messy, neither of which I want. Recently, I was contacted by CanvasPop to see if I'd be interested in checking out their products. If you haven't heard of them, I would highly recommend them. They made it so simple! I simply uploaded the picture I wanted and they took care of the rest!  Within two weeks I had the most beautiful canvas to adorn my wall with! High-quality, wonderful service and I felt like I was working one-on-one with a custom frame shop!

I received my canvas yesterday, it was carefully packaged and several layers of bubble wrap, and heavy duty cardboard. I loved that the hanging piece on the back was strong, durable and reinforced wire.  They even included picture hangers!!!

I can't tell you how thrilled I was with the quality of this product, I'm excited to get it and our wall! We captured a special, chilly early Winter day with my girls, and now I can gaze at their little faces on my wall forever. Now that's a commitment I'm ready to embrace!

See the CanvasPop process here!  

I'm excited to tell you that canvas pop is offering up one of their high quality canvases to one lucky reader!  One winner will receive the picture of their choice stretched on a 16x20 frame, an $80 value!  The coupon code for this also includes the cost of shipping to the lucky winner! To enter, simply fill out the Rafflecopter form below for your chance!  For those who can't wait, CanvasPop is also offering Barefoot by the Sea readers 35% off your next order! Simple use coupon code BBTS35. It's good from now until 5/15/15.  I promise you, they are beautiful and make the perfect gift! I'm thinking Mothers Day is right around the corner my friends!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Follow CanvasPop on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and YouTube to be "in the know" and hear about special promotions and deals.  Thanks to CanvasPop for the opportunity! 


 
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