Sunday, July 31, 2011

Summer Lovin' Photo Contest

Finally I have put together some pictures of Yosemite.  I had so much fun.  I have been going up to Yosemite since before I was born (my poor mother slept in a tent at 8 months pregnant!) and have rarely missed a trip.  This year was truly one of the best times ever.  My boys are at their happiest when outside, and camping=outside all.the.time.  So perfect.

Here is Eli going for a run. So funny, trying to copy Tae.
The river was so full this year.  The rapids were great but it was freezing!!  It felt like the snow had just melted 10 minutes up river.   And in the spirit of relaxing, we decided to jump in and freeze our bootie patooties off. I think the award goes to husband when he was one of the first to jump in all his Bahamian-ness.

Tae's got a little karate chop going on in the first pic

I was shocked at my little man who threw on a life vest and went down by himself!!  He is so brave (sometimes), I love it!  Despite it being freezing, it was still refreshing and we had a wonderful day there.
We actually got to go to Yosemite Valley this trip.  I have been before, but I don't remember when was the last time.  So this was really neat to show Lavar and the kids such a beautiful place.  Even Lavar was impressed, and that takes quite a bit!
Just incredible! You can truly see God's majesty here!
This picture cracks me up.  Eli took some hot chocolate (No, I don't give my kids coffee. You crazy?! They don't need any more energy!) and was walking around the campsite with it.  I, of course, followed him around with a camera and got this shot.

Handsome camper-boy.

We have pictures of me using the same bath when I was a kid.  To say that my dad likes tradition is an understatement.  We also have pictures of Tae in the same bath at that age. 
Tae Yosemite 2008
Eli Yosemite 2011
This next picture makes my heart melt.  And laugh, a little, as Tae is putting his arm around Eli and Eli is pushing Tae.  Oh my boys.  What a beautiful picture though, right?  I mean the trees and river behind them, beautiful sunny day.  This is summer to me. 
And I started thinking, what does summer look like to you?  I would love to know, because every person and family are so different and unique in their own ways, of course summer would look different to different people.  And I don't know about you guys, but I am always looking for new things to do!

So then came my idea!  (with the help of my dad, actually!)  I am going to host a photo contest!  This Friday I am going to host a linky.  I want you all to make sure you come back and link up a post with your favorite summer photo.  What embodies summer for you?  Then I am going to take the top three summer photos and have everyone vote for their favorite!!   The winner will get to host this lovely button on their blog and a month of free advertising from me!  I will also be promoting this on my Facebook and Twitter accounts, so this would mean exposure!

So I hope that you all come back Friday to link up your summer photos.  Just write a post with one picture in the post and tell his what summer means to you.  If you already have a post, you can link that one up too.  Easy peesy!  Feel free to grab the button if you want to participate!

Have a great day! 

Thursday, July 28, 2011

My Marriage Advice

My husband and I are celebrating 4 looong, glorious years of marriage today.  And because 4 years of marriage is more than most Hollywood couples, I feel like I am qualified to give everyone marriage advice.  So here you go.  :)

1.) Wives, learn to cook.  Didn't your momma ever tell you the quickest way to a man's heart is through his stomach??  That's how I bagged my man! (seriously not. Could not cook when we first were married)

2.)  Be easy.  Now I know I am married to an islander, but just relax ladies!  Life will not always perfect and those fairytale-endings you read when you were younger aren't true!  Your prince may have come, but I am guessing he took longer to get here and has a little more junk in the trunk! (not to mention he probably doesn't have a castle!)

3.)  Keep things spicy.  I like to keep it real.  Few ideas for ya: surprise him by wearing his shirt when he comes home from work.  Read my post on how to pick him up from the airport.  Breakfast in bed.  Get a babysitter without telling him and let him come home to you wearing something... nice.  You get the idea.

4.) Just because he is quiet doesn't mean there is something wrong.

5.)  Sometimes it is okay for you to be quiet.  Even if the only person you have talked to all day is a 4-year-old who repeated the same questions 50 times. 

6.)  Be respectful.  Men dig respect.  And I don't mean like bow every time he walks in, but respect his choices in the house. 

7.) LAUGH!  At yourself, at him, at your kids.  Keep things light, it helps keep fights to a minimum.

8.) Most importantly (for me at least) look to yourself first.  It isn't always easy, but before blaming and getting angry at him, try to see what you might have done and try to work on yourself.  After all, you can only control your own actions!

Well, that's all I got.  Maybe in another 4 years I will have 8 more things to tell you!  Love your man, ladies!

Var, I know it isn't always easy, and I might drive you crazy sometimes, but thank you for sticking with it and always trying to be better.  Here's to another 4 looong years.  Love you!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

What I Wore Wednesday

As you might know from Monday's post, we just got back from a super awesome vacation.  I had so much fun and most of all, my boys loved every second of it.  And that makes me happy.  But, between piles of laundry for 4 people, recovering from not the greatest sleep, and playing hard all week, I haven't really had a lot of outfits to take pictures of.  I didn't want to bore you with shorts, t-shirts and bathing suits which is all I wore in Yosemite.  So here is what I got peeps.
This outfit I just threw together because I wanted to wear my red earrings with my hair pulled back like this.  So to wear them, I wanted a black top.  So I threw on some jeans and heals and called it an outfit.  Then I thought red lipstick needed to go with red earrings, so I threw that on too.  But to tone to down to match, I dabbed my lips after applying and added a coral-ish gloss.  And there you have it.  A tiny peek into the mind of a multi-tasker.

So I have been totally into finding new hairstyles.  My main goal is to find hair styles with as little effort as possibly for the biggest gain.  And by gain, I mean the hottest I can possibly look in 5 minutes flat.  Still searching for that one, but hey it is also a fun process.  So have one style pretty much down pat.  Simple beach curls right when you wake up in the morning.  Love it.
With my 'no heat curls' hair
Then I came up with this one.  It is a twist into a bun.  I don't have a tutorial yet because I want to do a video, but stay tuned.  It is easy and fun, perfect effortless 'do. 
I kinda missed the 'perfect light' for these photos, but I thought they still looked pretty cool.  Below is a peek at the hair.  I am loving this, how about a hair series or something??  Thoughts?
Hope you all are out there living life to the fullest and enjoy every last drop of summer! 

Have a great day!

I am linking up to Pleated Poppy, Real Momma Real Style, and No Model Lady.

Monday, July 25, 2011

No Heat Summer Curls

So, I have been trying to find ways to have my hair look cute this summer with as little effort on my part as possible.  It's hot, we're busy, and I don't have a ton of time (let alone do I want to) sit in the bathroom and do my hair.  My summer mantra is "less is more."

So when I found this little gem, I knew I had to perfect it.  And it is one of the best things I have ever learned {hair-wise, of course}.  Here is a view of the final product.
Yes, I did this without a curling iron.  Yes, it is possible!  And yes, it does not take a lot of time!  Busy women and moms everywhere, STOP what you are doing and read this tutorial!  You will definitely thank me later!

Here is how you do it. First of all, you need to start with your hair washed and about 90% dry.  You can add products while it is still damp if you would like, but it isn't necessary.  I just used some mousse and hair silk.

Take a flat, smooth headband and put it around the top of your head, over the hair, like shown below.  Start in the front taking one section of hair.  The bigger the section, the bigger the curls.  Take this section and wrap it around the headband one time, leaving the remaining hanging down with the rest of the hair.  Continue this with that side until you reach the nape of your neck.  Then start the other side and finish with all the hair wrapped around the headband.  This style is perfect for medium length hair.

This is what the finished product should look like:
This was taken in the morning, after I slept on it.

You can probably see now why it works so well.  Sleep on it like this, it won't get too messed up.  It is pretty sturdy.  When you wake up in the morning, take it out of the twist-ies and you have some curls!!
My cell phone mug shot. Keepin' it real here, ladies, first thing in the morning
At this point you can add curls if you want/need too.  Mine comes out pretty decent.  I have had to add a curl or two to the back and sometimes straighten out the front, but really, that's it.  And the best part about this 'do?  It stays ALL DAY!  And the next day!  Really until you wash it.  It did for me at least and my hair isn't the greatest with holding curl.
So there you have it!  Super easy summer hair! 

I don't know about you guys, but I thought this was the best thing since sliced bread.  I mean really, it has cut down my getting ready time by so much and I don't look like I just rolled out of bed.  {And I did just roll out of bed!}  If the curls don't work out for you for some reason, you still have a good base to do a lot of other hair styles.

I would love to hear if you try this one and how it works for you!  I hope you love it as much as I do!  Let me know if you think you would like a video to go with this.  It's pretty simple, but not sure I am the best at explaining things.

Hope you all are having a great Tuesday!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Home Sweet Home...

Aaaaaannnnnnddddd relaxxxx....

We just got home from Yosemite last night and I am glad to be home.  But what a week.  I don't have pictures just yet, but I cannot wait to show you.  We got some good ones.

Some highlights...

We swam in the ice cold water and loved it.  We sat by the fire and ate s'mores.  We got up late and didn't rush. Anywhere.  My son learned to ride his bike!  Then pulled a muscle from falling.  We got dirty and didn't shower.  I know, jealous.  I didn't blog or tweet or facebook all week. 

You will be happy to know that I have showered since being home.  Kids are sleeping and I am catching up on some blogging! 

So guess what!!  This last week I was contacted by House Hunters International to be on their show!!!  Can you believe it?  I was so excited.  It still isn't 100% confirmed, we have to make sure it fits our crazy lifestyle, but I am excited about the prospect.  I LOVE HGTV and it would be so cool to be on a show.  So stay tuned, you might see me on TV! 

In other news, I have some fun stuff coming this week.  Some hair tutorials, my niece's cute party, outfit posts {I hope...}.  So I hope that you stay tuned!!

I hope everyone is having a great Monday!!

Friday, July 22, 2011

A Healthy Challenge!

Hi Beauties! How are you today? I hope you are fabulous. Natalia is so so sweet for having me guest post today and I can't thank her enough. Let me introduce myself: I am Suzzie and this is my sweet husband Zac. Now that you see us, I am sure you know everything.(kidding).

I write a lifestyle and health blog here. I started becoming interested in health because of my husband; he is studying disease prevention and health promotion at school and that means we talk about health all the time. As he talked, I became more and more shocked about what I was learning, like 95% of cancer and heart disease can be prevented through diet and exercise. (Thank you hundreds of thousands of people who have been participating in studies for the last 20+ years so we can know these things!) These are leading killers in our country and they are mainly preventable! what?

Picture Cred: Here

So now I blog about health because how we treat our bodies matters more than I could ever imagine. Being healthy is hard. But guess what, we can do hard things! Today I am hosting a link party all about healthy resolutions- small goals that are the first steps to a healthy lifestyle. I will be posting my resolutions, the things I want to become a natural part of my life within the next 2-3 months. I invite you to do the same. It doesn't matter where you are, if you are young, old, obese, underweight, doing it for yourself or for your family. It is never the wrong time to start making healthy decisions. So please, join me, and Let's Get Healthy!!

And thank you again Natalia for having me! You rock!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Inspiration with Gussy Sews

Today I am linking up (going to try to link up, I'm still in Yosemite!) with Gussy at Gussy Sews for her inspiration workshop.  I have only done a few of her prompts, but they are so fun and honestly, sometimes I need a little prompt!  So today it was what inspires me. 

I started thinking, what does inspire me?  Things like family, friends, my kids, vacations, the weather are all great inspirational things.  But mostly I get a lot of my inspiration on the web.  More specifically, from blogs like you!!  So today I thought I would give a shout out to a few of my favorites.

I ran across a craft room to die for today by Little Miss Momma.  It looks so organized and perfect.  I can only dream of a room like this.  And dream I will...

Here is the direct link for all the pics
Another favorite of mine is Casey from The Wiegands.  I just love the way she writes.  She is always so open and honest and writes what is on her heart.  She always has big beautiful pictures and I love looking even though I have never met her!  My favorite part is that she is personable.  She might have more followers in this little bloggy world, but she still writes back and takes time to mention people.  I like that.
And she has good music playing!
And lastly and most certainly not least, I just LOVE reading A Suitcase and Stilettos.  Megan is awesome.  She has just embarked on such an awesome adventure by moving abroad to live with her boyfriend in Denmark.  I can't wait to hear more about her journey, it's gonna be a fun one!  I am actually going to try to make it up there for a visit!!
A view from her new window. Jealous much? Beautiful!
So thank you all!  I am so glad I joined this crazy little world of blogging and tweeting and facebooking and whatever else I am missing!  I have met so many new cool people that I consider my friends.  Now if I could actually meet you all in real life!  That would be great!

Be inspired, Ladies!!

Gussy Sews Inspiration Workshop!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

From Tracy's Kitchen ~ Zucchini Bread

I have a special treat for you today!  And it really is special.  My friend Tracy over at Tracy Cooks it Right is going to share on of her fabulous recipes today!  And like I have mentioned before, they are goooood.  The best part about them are that they are healthy and yummy!  Usually you think of healthy recipes, specially baked goods, as dry and un-tasty.  But Tracy creates these recipes that are just scrumptious!  You must try them.  So without further ado....

This is only half of the zucchini she gave me.  No doubt about it, zucchini bread was on the menu.  Not just any zucchini bread, though.  I value a healthy lifestyle and eat a lowfat diet.  On Tracy Cooks it Right, I share easy recipes that reflect my lighter daily choices.

I want to help others eat healthier without fear of failure in the kitchen.  Please try this bread even if you do not have an overabundance of zucchini.  And come on over and visit me for more light cooking ideas.  Thank you, Natalia, for sharing your zucchini and for allowing me to be a guest on Ma Nouvelle Mode.

Zucchini Bread

1 3/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/3 cup water
2 tablespoons canola or other light oil
1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
1 1/2 cups grated zucchini (about 2 small)

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Coat a 9x5-inch loaf pan with nonstick spray; set aside.

In medium bowl, whisk together flour, brown sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, and nutmeg.  In separate small bowl, whisk together applesauce, water, oil, and vinegar.  Add liquid to dry ingredients, along with zucchini, and mix until just combined.

Spread batter into prepared pan.  Bake 55 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool 5 minutes in pan, then remove from pan and let cool on wire rack.  Makes 14 slices, 3 points plus and 106 calories each.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Is your life moving too fast?

I don't know about all of you, but sometimes life just moves too fast.  We take vacations but busy ourselves with so many things we need to see and do on vacation that we need to rest when we come back!  America, specially California, specifically Los Angeles, moves at a fast pace.  Everyone always has somewhere to be in a hurry.  And honestly, I need a break.

So every year, once a year, my family heads up to Yosemite National Park.  And guess what we do.  Nothing.  We sit around and drink our coffee in the mornings.  We mosey down to the water for a little dip.  We might take a hike in the afternoon.  We BBQ some dinner and then sit by the fire for some s'mores. 

Doesn't that sound divine?  This is what I am going to be doing the next few days.  And I can't wait.  And although we stay in the campsites, like 'roughing it' kinda camping, I still love it. 
No computers, no cell phones, no traffic, no smog.  Just this beautiful scenery. 
My dad has been doing this camping trip since he was a baby.  That is how much of a family tradition this is.  It is ingrained in who we are as 'Dursos' {my maiden name}.  My husband, not so much.  But he toughs it out for the family.  Thanks, babe!
But our son loves it. He is a camping boy. This kid thrives in the outdoors.  He has gone since he was 3 months old and loves every second of it.
And what I love is that the boys can get as messy as they want, they only wear clothes that can get ruined or already are ruined, and at the end of the day I can just throw them in the river, give a little rinse and scrub, and we are good to go!
Do you have a vacation you do every year that is just a part of who you are?  Tell me about it!  I love to hear other peoples traditions!  And if you have never been to Yosemite National Park and have the opportunity, GO!  You won't regret it!

Have a great week!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Baby Girls' Clothes are so much Cuter!

On Friday, my niece turned one.  One year ago Friday (actually Thursday, it was a long labor!) I was driving down to Fallbrook to meet my precious little niece.  It is weird how even after having my own kids, Emma can hold such a huge piece of my heart.  I guess as parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents, you never know how much love your heart can hold until another little piece of joy enters your life.  And then your heart overflows.

And of course Auntie Talia spoils the heck out of little Mems, as she is affectionately called.  I love it because as much as I love my boys, and I do, they can't wear tutus.  So Emma's birthdays and Christmases and anything else are going to be filled with the frilliest it gets, because being the only girl in a household of boys, I need frills!!

So here is what I made her.  I started with a super cute purple tutu from Costco.  I know, Costco, but they were so cute I got two.  Purple is my favorite color, so it worked!  Then I decided a tutu just wasn't enough, I had to have something to go with it.  A little white shirt with the letter 'E'.  Perfect.
Here is what I used:
- Purple material
- Green lace type material for the 'E'
- White onesie
- Cricut
- Sewing adhesive
- Sewing machine

At first, I tried to cut the material using the CriCut.  Fail.  You can kinda see in the picture that the material is all bunched up and kinda cut.  Bummer.  But I found a way!

I used the CriCut and cut out the letter 'E' using just regular printer paper.  I held the paper down to the material and used a purple sharpie to draw the outline.  Then I cute within the purple lines so the outside had a purple fade on it. 

Then I ironed on the adhesive to the 'E' and then peeled off the paper and ironed the 'E' onto the shirt.  I added the green elastic behind the back of the 'E' for a little more frill and to bring out some more green. 
Now, since I didn't use heavy duty adhesive, I also had to sew it on.  I used a zigzag stitch but for some reason my sewing machine was acting up and it would pause and then go really fast then pause.  But I decided it just added a little vintage feel to the letter.  Right?  You see it, vintage-y...

There you have it!  Pretty simple, right?  I actually did it the morning of the party, so yes, it was very simple.  I love doing little personalized gifts like this, I think it adds so much.  And it lets me get some of my creative juices flowing!!
Isn't this tutu to die for?  It is a good thing I don't have a girl.  We would be broke.  But she would always look cute!  :)

Happy Birthday, baby girl.  Auntie loves you!!


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