A Little Over A Week

A view from the chaotic studio
Just a little over a week until Mayfest. Its my first art/craft fair and I really have no idea how to prepare. How much do I make? What prices do I set? How am I going to set up the booth? Is it going to rain the whole weekend? These are just a few of the questions running through my mind day in and day out leading up to the festival.
AccuWeather tells me that next weekend will be beautiful. Fingers and toes crossed, it will be.

My Mayfest Stash
I think I have made all that I am going to make. Now I need to just get it all organized, price things, and think through the details of making my booth the best it can be.
If you are in the Lexington area come out and say hi. Mayfest is going to be super fun. Its in Gratz Park downtown and there will be plenty of things happening for kids and adults alike.
So wish me luck as I dive head first into this final week. I think I will give my sewing machine a nice long vacation after this month...

He Models

Ezra is a model. No, he isn't paid nor do we take him to the local talent agency. But nonetheless he models - for us.
Ezra, despite his love of sports, super heroes, and sword fighting, also loves fashion. I started noticing this about four or five months ago when he was insistent about picking out his own clothes. Yes, every child does this, I know. But when Ezra says he is going to get dressed, he comes back down the stairs 10 minutes later in a pair of jeans, a linen button down and a blazer. Then he promptly goes to put on his Converse All Stars. After that he heads to the bathroom to make his hair look good and then comes back to the living room to put a baseball cap on backwards. It's all topped off as he is walking out the door in this aviator sunglasses.
Thankfully I had my camera in my purse and I just had to snap some pictures of this little guy in action in Forever 21 at the mall.

After admiring himself in the mirror and dancing to Lady Gaga in the store (I snapped the pics before he even noticed) he asked me to take some pictures of him in the store window. Mike and Canaan stood to the side completely amused and mall shoppers stopped to watch as he posed for some seriously cool photos...he was unfazed by the onlookers.

So all you Mini Boden agents out there~ here's your next top model. He's ready and waiting!

He Bakes Cakes

Did I ever mention that Canaan bakes really good cakes? A while back Mike picked up this cookbook at the library.

The recipes are simple, straight forward, and so easy that literally a seven year old can make them.
Once a week or so he pulls it out and picks out one to make. I have him read the directions thoroughly a couple of times before diving in head first. The level of confidence he is building in the kitchen is astonishing.

Using these recipes has been the first time that he has taken on a recipe entirely himself. He measures, pours, mixes, sets the timer, and cleans all himself. (I only show up to help to put the pan in and out of the oven.)
This last cake he even had a sous-chef. Mr. Incredible showed up to help cut strawberries for the strawberry cake.

The cake was really, really, really good. It takes like strawberry shortcake in a pan. Yum.

The week has been crazy. Alot going on for both Mike and I professionally and we're trying to keep it all as maintainable as possible so that we can enjoy these amazing boys as much as possible.
Otto is in the 97% for length. Yes, he is one long baby...and oh so sweet and snuggly. I can't get enough of him.

A Trip Back in Time

We took a family roadtrip this weekend to a place called Bardstown. Its just a little over an hour from our home and with a gorgeous 60 degree, sunny day~ a roadtrip was definitely in order.
Horse drawn carriage rides where the horse is literally tied up to a post right on the street!? In Bardstown you'll find it.

Next we headed to the Abbey of Gethsemane, a Trappist Monestary. It was beautiful and serene...maybe a bit too serene for a newborn, 3 year old and 7 year old. They did great though, even through parts of the property that posted signs "no talking beyond this point". THATS a hard one for my little guys.No talking for more than 2 or 3 seconds is an achievement.

(walking up to the church...in silence)

Nonetheless, I think teaching our kids quietness and stillness is important. Often I will just have our house quiet. No music, no TV, no loud play...just silence. Time to read, or think, or just sit in a chair watching the birds outside. A good quality to develop in any of us.

Canaan is at an age to start appreciating going to places like this. He was fascinated that they take time to pray 7 times a day; that they live there year round in relative quietness; and that they wear long robes all day long.
At this particular abbey they make homemade cheeses, bourbon fruitcakes, and fudge that they sell to keep the Abbey running.

Read more about Bardstown and our other adventures here
Additionally, no matter where you live, we would love to hear about your adventures on our new blog. Just click "Share Your Experience" and we'll post your family travel locations on Backseat Traveler.

These Are A Few Of My Favorite (Beauty) Things...

A few days ago I talked a bit about the idea of feeling pretty. Since that post I thought it would be fun to share my favorite beauty products.
(hover over the products to click the link)

1. Boots Expert Sensitive Gentle Cleansing Wash ~ at Target $4.49
Yes, you read that right. $4.49. I have been looking for a good face wash for years. I have finally found it. This stuff is amazing. So simple yet makes my face feel so clean. Love this stuff!

2. Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps Hemp Rose Pure Castile Soap ~ under $6
I love all of Dr. Bronner's products. In the summer I use the peppermint soap but in the winter I love the rose. I want to try eucalyptus next.

3. Fresh Umbrian Clay Absolute Concealer ~ $22 at Sephora.
This stuff is great for under eye circles (I need lots of this with a 2 month old baby!). Its amazing.

4. Bare Escentuals ~ at Sephora
This stuff has been in the marketplace for a while with lots of hoopla. I am a fan. It works for me and has for a couple of years now.

5. Provence Sante Vetyver
I am not really a perfume kinda gal. I like the smell of them on other people (usually) but when I spray myself I just get really sick of the smell after about 10 minutes. I smelled this fragrance at a shop in St.Augustine a few years ago. At the time finances didn't allow for such things like $27 perfume. So I wrote down the name, stuck it in my wallet, and kinda forgot about it.
Last year, while at Whole Foods I saw this fragrance again. I sprayed myself with it just to make sure I still loved it as much as I had remembered...I did. Mike bought it for me and I have been in fragrance heaven ever since. Its woodsy in smell...not fruity at all.

6. Clarisonic~ the mack daddy of all purchases at a whopping $195...yes one hundred and ninety five dollars!
Yes, I spent nearly $200 on a beauty product nearly 6 months ago...and haven't regretted it once since.
I have been given (through genetics) not so nice skin. Its a bit blotchy, some rather large pores, and breakouts from time to time. No fun. During one of my QVC watching afternoons I saw them advertise this. I was immediately drawn in because...well I do love a good infomercial. I started researching these online and the reviews were amazing.
I gave Mike all of the reasons behind my need of this purchase. I told him that really it was only the cost of about 3 facials at a spa! I told him that I would never ask for an expensive beauty product again if he bought me this! And I told him that I would sell above and beyond at the shops to pay for it. Of course he needed none of these reasons because he is a wonderful husband who would have agreed to it from the get-go.
All this to say that I now own a Clarisonic and LOVE IT! L-O-V-E it. My skin looks a billion times better than ever and feels sooo soft and smooth...like I just left a facial.

So there they are...you know all of my beauty secrets now. What are yours? I am still on the lookout for a great face lotion and eye cream. Those pesky crows feet are starting to appear (lack of sleep probably doesn't help) and I want to find a great eye cream. Any suggestions?

Othniel's Quilt

As if she doesn't already have a ton going on. With three small kids of her own and a busy life being an amazing friend, wife, and mom she still found time to bless me this week.

My amazingly talented and close friend, Kristie sent me the most amazing box filled with baby goodies in the mail...all the way from Florida. A softie, an adorable outfit, a wallet for me, and a diaper carrying case. Also there was this quilt for Otto. Oh my goodness...its just absolutely perfect. Perfect colors, fabrics, and design for my little guy.

The Big Announcement

During my pregnancy with Otto, Mike and I talked alot about our future. Future dreams, plans, and ideas. When we married 11 years ago a mentor of ours encouraged us to sit down and write out a family plan. A plan of action for our lives. Things that were not just flimsy dreams but real, true ideas and plans for our lives that were in a way non-negotiable.
The idea of this is that no matter where in life we are, how many years we are married, or the direction life seems to be going, we can always refer back to this family plan and have some sort of reminder of the dreams and hopes we had (have) for our lives together.
This has worked amazingly for us. We have had quite a few twists and turns during our married life but each time we can always come back to what we value as a couple and what matters most.
One of those things we wrote down in our family plan was to always find adventure together. We love to travel (as I have mentioned before) and part of the spark and romance in our marriage has always been to stay out of the rut of everyday life. Yes, Mike still heads off to work each day and we live a fairly typical American life. But we always try to stay out of a rut. We try hard to keep things adventurous, fun, and somewhat unpredictable.
As we started talking through future plans a few months back a re-occurring theme continued to rise to the surface....travel.
After many late night brainstorming sessions we were inspired to do this:

Backseat Traveler is a new blog we are launching this week. Its been and continues to be a work-in-progress but we are excited about it and excited to see what adventures lie ahead.
We have several goals for this blog. Of course we are looking forward to plenty of family fun, chronicling the adventures we go on and sharing those with others. But on a deeper level we are hoping to inspire families to spend weekends together. For dads to put down the golf clubs a couple of Saturdays a month, for moms to forgo the mall and jump in the car with the family to make wonderful memories together.

The site has (and will continue filling out with content) ideas for free trips, cheap trips, and splurges. There is also a link for "share your experience" in which readers can share their own outings and we'll post them to the blog.

So there it is~ our newest family adventure. We're excited to see where these adventures take us!

Please let me know what you think and if you have any thoughts or suggestions. And pass it along to friends and family!
This week is really getting away from me...where is the time going?
Today I finally finished a stash of aprons that have been slowly taking shape for the past 2 weeks. I am getting things ready for Mayfest, a local art/craft fair, that will be happening May 8th and 9th. Not only am I participating this year but Canaan was asked to have a marshmallow booth there. Exciting, yes. But that makes twice the amount of work for this busy household to get it all ready in time.

With spring upon us we also have been spending the majority of our afternoons and evenings in the backyard cleaning out flower beds, watching the hens peck happily for bugs, swinging in the hammock, and just enjoying the gorgeous weather together.

We did go on a great little weekend adventure last weekend too! We ventured up to my old stomping grounds, Columbus Ohio for a little R&R and fun. I'll be blogging a bit more about our hotel stay in the next couple of days (a big announcement along with that too).

We ate some great food and uber-delicious ice cream from a place called Jeni's Spendid Ice Cream. Holy cow that place is amazing. Just take a look at that menu! The line was out the door when we got there but worth every drooling moment.

Along with the incredible ice cream were these divine ice cream sandwiches~ ice cream sandwiched between 2 french macaroons. Umm..hello? That is genius and delicous!

I am now on a mission to make some new and unique flavors of ice cream of our own. We love to make ice cream but in all honesty we have been quite boring about the flavor choices. Vanilla, berry, vanilla, berry... Its time to break out and try some new things this spring. Any ideas??

**and if you are craving Jeni's as much as I do you can order online here

Back From A Weekend Adventure

Just back from a fun weekend adventure. Lots to catch up on today...more about our trip (and the goat cheese and fig ice cream) tomorrow.