Tuesday, July 29, 2014

a little Etsy love

Most of you know that my husband has his own Etsy shop named Brand New To Me. He is always trolling the internet to find new ideas and inspiration and regularly raids a family member's old barn for wood. It gives him a chance to escape the house and be creative, plus he has a built-in excuse to wander around Menard's for a "deal" or two.

So with little to no shame I am going to showcase a couple of his new creations.

rustic pallet and barn wood shelf


wooden serving tray


shabby chic beach crate shelves


He is mid-project on creating at least one or two other new items. After months of pretty slow business, July proved to be busy with many custom orders and more currently in the works. Soon he will start building up a supply of Christmas items, because if this holiday season is anything like last year, he will need a surplus of stocking holders. (He literally took our own personal one of the wall and sold it to someone else while he made another because he was taken by surprise with how many sold.)

And as always his shop button is on the right-hand side of my page. 
And any local Iowa peeps can hit him up for a deal; without Etsy's cut and shipping costs, he has a little more wiggle room in the price. 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Wait... I want July back!

Summer is going by way too fast. And I know it can't be just me looking at the calendar and the approaching month of August and wanting to press pause on the life DVR button. 

We spent all last week at the lake cabin like we do every year.
This year the weather left a little to be desired. I know that typically adults (yep, not including myself in the adult category right now) like it cooler out, but come on, it's a week at the lake! I wanted some swimming and boating and tiny shovels in the sand along the water. I was hoping for the desire to escape the heat by hopping into the lake at midnight after a few drinks with the cousins.
It was in the 60s some days. There were times when we needed sweatshirts and pants on to sit outside in the shade in the afternoon! 
Redic. 

And because of that I have very few pictures. We did a lot of eating - no surprise there - and we took quite a few bike rides. The weather was phenomenal for that. We did some boating but I never felt the urge to even put on a swimsuit. It was never hot enough. 

We did however play some badminton - us adult kids are all slowly improving - and the little kids enjoyed the nearby playground as often as possible. 

We had our annual cousins' night too which coincided with Justy's birthday. Some beer darts and other games were played and copious amounts of cheese balls and chicken strips were consumed, but since no one went down a Christian Bible Camp water slide at 1 AM, I think we classed it up a bit this year.


Back at home we have been taking it easy. This past week the kids slept in more than they ever have before in their lives and I was right there with them.

There isn't too much on the agenda for the rest of the week. 
But we do have sweet corn. And to my kids it is like the Holy Grail of food.

Graham had his first ever taste of corn on the cob tonight.
Hey, it's an Iowa rite of passage.


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

White Trash Golfing & Mud Volleyball 2014

In our family we do this weird thing we call White Trash golfing. It evolved three years ago when my sisters and cousin had nothing to do on a Saturday morning. Someone suggested golf, but everybody looked borderline trashy - cutoff t-shirts, old shoes, hair all a mess. It was suggested they should go anyway and just embrace the white trashy-ness. So they did. 
And White Trash Golfing was born. 

And then there is this couple - newcomers to the event. 
But from the looks of them you would never know.
They just do White Trash so right!
I can only hope they look just as ravishing at their upcoming wedding here in a few months. 

The next day was mud volleyball.
If you recall our team last year was the Bumpin' Amish.

This year we went as team Nerds 'N' Nets.
And I think we were just as stylish as that sounds.
Are you seeing my sexy husband?? Back off ladies, that geek is all mine!

I like big books and I cannot lie.

Talk nerdy to me.

Another engaged couple. 
With a picture this perfect, I really hope it makes the wedding slide show!

Nerd Love.

Truth be told, we aren't the best at mud volleyball. We won our first game and lost the two after that.
But we don't take it too seriously - it's all for the fun of playing. (And maybe the drinking?)
However, we did win for Best Team Uniform, so those trips to Goodwill really paid off.

The After look:


It was a fun time and worth the ten million mosquito bites and the 20 minute shower afterward. 

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Independence Day 2014

My family has never done anything special on the 4th, and I am not exaggerating. Sure, we sometimes got together in the evenings with our two cousins and launched some fireworks, but nothing overly exciting. Unless you consider all those near-misses with battle tank rockets exciting.

Jared on the other hand grew up always having a fun 4th of July. As a kid in Colorado his mom had their friends and family over in the backyard every year for food, homemade hand-churned ice cream, and plentiful games. So to him the 4th of July was always a favorite holiday. 
Not so much for me. 
So this year we decided to make it a fun holiday by hosting a party in our own backyard.

We invited family, spruced up the backyard (did I mention how tired I am of constantly pulling weeds this summer?), brainstormed menu items, and prepared to cross some items off our summer bucket list
We love to have people over, so we were excited to host a party. 



No get-together in this family is complete without lots of food. 
And I don't know why, but color-themed food just seems like a prerequisite for a 4th of July party. And while there are no pictures of it, my husband makes absolutely amazing homemade ice cream: vanilla, double chocolate, and strawberry. It was a straight-up stampede into the kitchen to get a bowl.



The kids had fun splashing in the kiddie pool we set up and throwing some water balloons.


The adults also had their share of fun. I had picked up a $20 badminton/volleyball set from Target and we logged a few hours of competition. 
Clearly we take our badminton seriously. 

And of course the 4th of July isn't complete without fireworks, although we stuck with the sparklers and snakes.

We finished off the night at my parents' camper watching the fireworks show at Twin Lakes. Avery and Graham didn't make it past 8:30, but Bailey made it until 10 o'clock in order to see the show.

It was definitely the most fun 4th of July we have had in a long time. And if just for the ice cream alone, it will probably be an annual event.