Saturday, June 26, 2010

Days of Play--Swimming

What is it with kids and water? 

You put a kid within a billion bilometers of water and he's gonna get wet.  

If you can't beat 'em you might as well join 'em.

Today, get into your swimsuit (YIKES), fill up the kiddie pool, and go for a dip with your kids.



Sure you can take them to a big pool and let them swim alone to their hearts' content but what they'd really love is YOUR time.  
                                                                   YOUR attention. 

They'll love seeing you squeeze your legs into the pool.
They'll love squirting you with a water toy.
They'll love watching you oooo! and eeeeek! over the cold water.
They'll love watching you run around like a crazy woman trying to find a towel and a warm place to sit.

They won't notice your cellulite, baby belly, arm flap jabbies, bathing suit butt, desperate need for a Brazilian bathing suit imperfections.

They will notice you noticing them.  And it will make a difference!


Friday, June 25, 2010

Date Night In--Ice Cream Sculptures (YUM and WOW!)

WARNING 
The date you are about to read is cold, messy, daring, and sexy.  If you aren't game for cold or messy, check out some older date night in ideas here.  If you aren't game for daring and sexy, re-think it--your husband will love it!


What you'll need:

  • A half-gallon of ice cream (get a kind that is in a block not a tub).
  • A tarp or plastic paint cover
  • table and chairs (card table or plastic tables are great because you can hose them down)
  • tools like butter knives, spoons, scoops, etc.
  • Food coloring if you are feeling VERY adventurous.
  • Mood lighting (either a dimmer, a lamp with a scarf draped over the shade, some candles ... you won't want any harsh shadows for this date!).
  • Some time alone.
  • A robe
  • A dash of gumption (well, in my case a cup of gumption--you might just need a dash).
What to do:

  1. Carve out some alone time.  Want to know why?  Read here.
  2. Find a private place in your home and lay down a tarp, plastic paint cover, etc.
  3. Set up a table and chairs OVER the tarp.
  4. Get into the robe.  And that's it.
  5. Invite your darling hubs into the secluded date spot and lock the doors.
  6. Explain to him that you want to see his artistic side.
  7. Hand him the block of ice cream and tools and explain that he is going to sculpt something--YOU.
  8. Disrobe and get into a comfy position (luckily the ice cream means he'll have to sculpt quickly so you won't have to be naked long hold your position for too long).
  9. Reverse roles if desired and see who can make the best sculpture.
  10. Eat what's left of the ice cream (as needed).


The "IT" List

The weekend is finally upon us! Take some time to check out this amazing inspiration from around the web this week!

theitlist
  • style your life whips up a fabulous ensemble in grey and white... I just love the fresh and modern feel of this outfit!
  • the pretty bee makes over her family room... she shows before and after shots (gotta love a "before and after!") that includes this sunny vignette.
  • where is the me in mommy? reminds us of five simple things to add to our to-do list that is sure to brighten our day... my fave: more time for reading to our kids!
  • do. think. wear. see. love. dream. takes on a safari wardrobe challenge and totally knocks it out of the ballpark, or more aptly the wildlife reserve.
  • a spot of whimsy reorganizes her bookshelves... and rainbow-itizes them! (much more pretty than alphabetizing them)
  • karina, ink reopens her shop and has a pretty awesome freebie for bloggers - you won't want to miss this!
  • one hundred inspirations gets us this french-chic Leighton Meester look for less than $100 (well actually, less than $82 to be exact!!)
  • good life for less takes us south of the border for some fun wardrobe inspiration that just screams summer!
  • sweetie pie pumpkin noodle is coveting sand & sea... um, yes me too! Especially this blinged out swimsuit!
  • merci blah blah gets disco fabulous and I couldn't love this belt/necklace combo more! Can you say "whoooo, whooo"?
Interested in finding out how you can be featured on the "it" list? Email goodlifeforless @ gmail.com!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Things I love--Kick A$$ Workout Music

I'm kind of a music snob.  I'll never have Beiber Fever.  I've never heard a Jonas Brother song.  Lady Gaga... who?

Don't get me wrong, I love bands that have music labels just not "those" type of bands.

I really love Everything Absent or Distorted, Neutral Milk Hotel, Broken Social Scene, Guided by Voices, and the "The" bands (The Hives, The Kooks, The Whigs ...).

Sadly my husband is a sucker for Katy Perry and Miley Cyrus.  I love him anyway.

Where was I going with this?

Oh ya, workout jams.

My favorite time to listen to music is when I'm working out.  But I'm funny about my workout music.  It has to pretty heavy sounding but mostly punk and must have fun, singable lyrics (because if you ever saw me work out you'd think I was a one-woman band putting in the performance of a lifetime).

Last week I made a new workout playlist.  The songs have been around a while but the list is new to me.  

My new workout playlist includes:

Dirty Little Secret--All-American Rejects
Teenagers--My Chemical Romance
Girlfriend--Avril Lavigne (judge me all you want for that one)
Gives you Hell--All-American Rejects
Mess of Me--Switchfoot
Beat It--Fall Out Boy (sorry, I'm really NOT a MJ fan)
Fire it Up--Thousand Foot Krutch
Geeks Get the Girls--American Hi-Fi
Thanks for the Memories--Fall Out Boy
Famous Last Words--My Chemical Romance
The Fight Song--Sanctus Real
Supermassive Black Hole--Muse
Flavor of the Week--American HiFi
Hate to Say I Told You So--The Hives
Are You Gonna Be My Girl--JET
Mother Mary--Foxboro Hottubs
Uprising--Muse
Smells Like Teen Spirit--Nirvana
Fight For Your Right To Party--Beastie Boys
Ice Ice Baby--Vanilla Ice (loud and proud, baby!)


Did I miss a rockin' fun song that's on your workout list?  Am I missing a must-have song?  Do share! (But please DON'T let it be anything from Journey.  Not that I don't love them, I just can run to them!)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

What I Think About--Giving Away Half of My Money

Did you hear that Bill Gates and Warren Buffet have joined together and are asking American billionaires to donate half of their wealth (that's 50%) to charity?

At first glance I thought, "good.  They should.  They can afford it!"

Then I remembered this little book, The Hole in Our Gospel, that I read over Christmas break (it was a gift--this is not a sponsored blog).  Boy did that book rock my world!

Consider this.

I bought this dress at a garage sale for $2. (What a steal!  I know!).
Here's the catch.

My dress = what 40% of the world's people make in one day.
You read that correctly.  2.6 billion people make less than $2 a day.

Here's a photo of one half of one of my pantries (yes, it always looks like this).


And the reality?  
1 in 7 people worldwide--that's 854 million--do not have enough food to sustain them.
25,000 people die of hunger and hunger related causes a day--that's 9 million people a year.

When I'm thirsty, I have access to clean water.  Like most Americans, I use 80-100 gallons of water a day.

Meanwhile, 1.1 billion people have no access to adequate water.  Five million die every year because of water-related illnesses.

Finally, in 1998, Americans spent:
  • $8 billion on cosmetics
  • $17 billion on pet food
  • $400 billion on narcotics

In comparison, what would it take to offer basic social necessities to all global citizens?
  • $6 billion to offer everyone a basic education
  • $9 billion to provide clean water and basic sanitation
  • $13 billion to offer basic health care and nutrition to all

What I think is Bill Gates and Warren Buffet are to be commended for doing their part to offer all people a chance for a better future.

What I REALLY think is we--you and me--can do better than this.


Do we have to give away half of our income to make a difference?  No!
Do we have to start somewhere? Yes.


How?
  • Take food to a local food bank
  • Clean out our closet and donate unwanted clothing
  • Adopt a child for $30 bucks a month
Your thoughts?  Your simple ideas on how we can give?

Monday, June 21, 2010

Your Words

Not an overwhelming response last week but I'll give it one more shot.

If you were going to get a tattoo (or another tattoo), what would you get, where would you put it, and why?


Need some inspiration?  Feast your eyes on this.  Maybe not ...







One Style Two Ways

For the life of me I can't understand why Maxi Dresses are so popular.  They are cute and all but they seem so impractical.  Maybe it's just that I'm not a dress girl.  I don't know (if it helps I did find a Maxi Dress at a garage sale this weekend so I'll wear it and see if it makes me less critical ... no promises...).

Anyhow, if you are a dress girl, you should know that you can style Maxi Dresses up or down.  Wedges, a bold necklace, and a killer bag will have you ready for a night on the town.  A sheer summer scarf, boho bag, and strappy sandals will keep the look pulled together but casual.

Happy dress wearing (if you insist)!

Uptown Girl


Downtown Charlie Brown

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Father's Day Special


Happy Father's Day!

Top 10 Reasons Why Matt Really is the 
World's Best Dad

10.
He doesn't buckle under pressure (and has anyone ever looked so handsome in a surgical mask?  

9.
He loves babywearing as much as I do (though he prefers his Kelty to my homemade wraps).

8.
Know how much I hate being "just" a mom?  Matt hates being "just" a dad.  I love that he pursues his passions. By the way, he'll be riding 100 miles in six days!


7.
Be it with me or the kids, he's not afraid to get his geek on.


6.
He respects his elders (and he calls my dog "MR. Finnigan.")

5.
 
Whether it's climbing the Tetons or tackling sick-kid vomit, he's up for the challenge!


4.
He's not afraid to let our daughter dress him.


3.
He makes a mean snow fort.


2.
Actually, he makes a good blanket fort, too! (FYI--he's not so good with the camera.  Exhibit #1--my derrière being front and center in this photo).

1.
He's great at taking charge of the kids and giving me a weekend with the girls (good thing too--I was starting to look like a deer caught in the headlights.  Oh well, at least Kim and Nichole look like babes).

And to my father and father-in-love--Happy Father's Day!
My Father--"Big Papa"


My father-in-love "Little Papa"

What's Cooking 6/21-6/28

Last week I was passionately in love with my grill.

This week it's veggies!  Our Community Support Ag (CSA) started this week and I'm so thrilled I could almost compose a verse or two about it.

Spinach, cilantro, and kale--oh my!

Almost.

Monday--Grilled Garlic-Parmesan chicken with cilantro pesto couscous and a salad
Tuesday--Lime-Chili rubbed steak with cilantro rice
Wednesday--Spinach Pesto over penne with salad
Thursday--Asian flared crunchy salad
Friday--red spinach lasagna with salad and crusty bread
Saturday--Spicy taco salad
Sunday--rice, beans, and greens wraps with pico de gallo



Frontier Kitchen's photo of cilantro-pesto couscous