• happy list

    Happy List: #82 What I Learned from Hackers

    I learned something very important about myself this week. We have been dealing with a series of escalating website issues for quite awhile now and it all came to a head earlier this week. The website was having memory issues, which we originally attributed to sharing our server with the kids’ Minecraft server. That didn’t help the problem, but it wasn’t the root of the problem. The root of the problem was that we were under a systematic DDoS (distributed denial of service) attack by a hacker(s). It’s a malicious attempt to overwhelm your server to either slow your website down so much that it might as well be offline…

  • Food

    Would I Make It Again: Balsamic Glaze VS. Regular Balsamic Vinegar

    A new friend who has been absolutely so kind in welcoming us to the neighborhood  texted on a Saturday morning to see if we could come over for an impromptu BBQ that night. My thoughts, all in the course of about 3.2 seconds, were as follows. Uhhh, I was planning on curling up in my bed with a book tonight. We have friends! Woohoo! And they invited us to dinner! That’s so nice! But my bed… The kids would have a lot of fun swimming with her kids! But my bed… Handy Husband would have a lot of fun hanging out with the neighbors! But my bed… I wouldn’t have…

  • education,  gift and learning

    Not Your Usual Teacher Gift Ideas

    My feelings on school starting ping back and forth at least 400 times an hour. Summer is the best. Why does it have to end? HOW long until summer ends? Lazy summer days are amazing. Crud. It’s only 8:07 A.M.! 11 hours and 53 minutes until bedtime.  I’m soaking up every moment with my babies. You JUST had a snack! And so on and so forth. The one feeling that remains constant is my profound appreciation for the teachers and support staff who teach, nurture, protect and inspire my children. At some point in the year, I know I will be giving a teacher gift or participating in a classroom gift…

  • happy list

    Happy List: #81

    Hey, hey! Funny how we all keep showing up back here. I know it’s a bright spot in my day! I hope it is in yours too. On Monday I shared pictures of our backyard and the $16 bright orange accessory that’s rocking my summer! Who knew I would love the color orange so much? Then (imagine me throwing confetti here) on Wednesday I told you how I finally completed a project! I managed to not lose two tiny keys during an international move and I found a place to hang them. One project down. 5 million more to go. Totally doable. Totally. Also, big thanks to Handy Husband for…

  • decorating

    Update: Vintage Key Project

    Over a year ago I shared the vintage keys from our house in Ireland. Yes, the doors of our Irish home actually opened with vintage-looking keys. It was super cool and also a wee bit tricky to get in the house. Details, details. The reason I have those vintage keys now is not that I kept a set when we moved back to the United States. I can’t speak for Handy Husband though. It’s that the doors to the home were replaced while we lived there and those keys no longer worked. I thought they would be the neatest memento of our time living in Ireland. While taking a therapeutic…

  • Family,  gardening and landscape

    The Best $16 I’ve Ever Spent

    I should have called this post “welcome to our backyard,” but I went the sensational route. That sometimes happens when I write late it was actually 9 p.m. at night. The home we rented for our arrival back in the U.S. has a cute cabin-y exterior. This is from the day we moved in… Fun, right? But my first impression was OH. NO. WAY. Truly. What the pictures don’t tell you is that the location of this home has some drawbacks due to its close proximity to a busy road and some commercial development. However, the backyard almost makes me forget all of those things and I can see why the owners…

  • happy list

    Happy List: #80

    I’m baaack at it! Did you miss me last week while I was bumming around? Now is the appropriate time to nod encouragingly. Yes, just like that. I missed hanging out here too! I hope you liked my trip report of Great Falls and the Paterson Museum. How about my new dining table? Anyone else have a project that just doesn’t go according to plan? If you want to see an outtake (or is blooper a better word?) from the dining table photoshoot, head on over to my Facebook page. I think the photo demonstrates just how glamorous my life really is. The Happy List is where I toss all…

  • decorating,  DIY,  Paint

    The $9.60 Table That Almost Broke Me

    To clarify, I did not break a table. A table almost broke me. Emotionally speaking, of course. Our current house (I need a name for it because I’ve had a lot of ‘current’ houses) has a good-sized kitchen with a bump-out for a dining table. That bump-out is directly next to what I’m assuming was intended to be a proper dining room. Since our family functions best with an open concept floor plan, I’m making the ‘dining room’ into a living room. However, my table that I love (not as much as my children, but close) is the wrong shape for the dining area IN the kitchen. It’s rectangular and…

  • travel

    Travel: Paterson Great Falls National Historic Park

    I love travel. I love exploring. I love finding FREE things to do while out and about on our adventures. Oh, yes I do! If you are on the East Coast and want to see the birthplace of the American Industrial Revolution, then I recommend a stop in an unlikely spot – Paterson, New Jersey. Paterson is considered America’s first planned industrial city and the idea for it came from Alexander Hamilton. Yes, THE Alexander Hamilton. Paterson has a pretty important feature for an industrial city – particularly one back in the 1800s – water. The Passaic River runs through Paterson and the energy from the 77-foot high Great Falls…

  • Uncategorized

    Out Exploring This Week

    This week I will be out and about exploring. Handy Husband is taking some time off work, so I am too! I’m not sure what we are going to do yet. I’m currently baking bread and listening to a thunderstorm, but if the weather cooperates I might do more of this… Or maybe we’ll hit up a museum or a hiking trail. I’ve got a big playground, figuratively-speaking, to explore! On a housekeeping note, did you know I have a shop page where I keep a round-up of favorite items I’ve either mentioned on the blog, am currently loving/using, and/or will be mentioning on the blog. These shop pages are…