10 Things (Around the Web) on Tuesday: 5

Another lovely edition of some of my favorite things from around the web!

  1. Although Fran made me a lovely grab button, I couldn’t figure out how to make a text box that would work on wordpress… until another person asked about it on The Better Blogger Network, which led me to this link, where I finally figured it out! YAY!
  2. I had some credits on Fab.com, so I bought both the world and USA scratch maps, so I can scratch off the (very) few places I’ve been and hopefully it will keep me wanting to travel!
  3. Jamie and Janae of the Letter 4 are at it again! Their new store, BOD (Blood Orange Productions) has some wicked cute paper goods in stock, and they also do awesome custom stuff.
  4. Thanks to Dana at Wonder Forest, I might have to make some DIY lipgloss this weekend!
  5. Megan, of Meggie’s Love, The Hollenback Bus, and Traveling Triplets has announced a new business, feral watches! I’m so excited… I know I’m going to want to get one or two!
  6. I actually started using the Out of Milk app I downloaded forever ago on my phone today.. and it’s turning out to be super useful so far!
  7. I’ll do a June Birchbox post soon.. but I didn’t end up getting these supah fancy bandaids in mine, and now I really want them!
  8. Aunie makes me want to have a bearded dragon as a pet.
  9. I really want to make these granola bites from Decor and The Dog… and hopefully spend less money at the grocery store if I’m not always buying granola bars!
  10. This pretty pen DIY is such an easy DIY and I really want to do it!



Australia – May 24th and 25th

Note: This is part of a month long series about Sydney, Australia!

Thursday I had my first headache and Michelle ended up not feeling well either so we went shopping and ate at the food court and stayed near the hotel. Nobody was super hungry that night so we ended up eating at McDonalds again. We also did some relaxing in the hotel hot tub and pool and I ended up doing some souvenir shopping.

Friday again was a little bit more shopping. We went to Kikki K, which is a stationary and home supply store, where Nicole (our cashier) was amazing. Michelle mentioned looking to start her own business and Nicole took interest and was suggesting different things Michelle might like. Kikki might tie as one of my new favorite stores with Typo.

We went to the Karlangu Aboriginal Art Centre, again, near our hotel, and purchased a few pieces of artwork to hang up and frame at home. We attempted to hot tub but it ended up being a “cold tub” because it was broken, so it was freezing cold.

Circular Quay, lit up for Vivid Sydney.

We went out to check out Vivid Sydney since it started that night, and check out all the lights, which were amazing.

Chandelier light near the bridge.

Lights on the Opera House.

This one is called “Pack Intelligence”, and the “dogs” turn their heads to look in your direction!

We saw a cool street performer, and since it was the first night of Vivid, they had a special Rocks Market where we were able to get some yummy food from vendors. My salmon and couscous was so good! It was so great!

I need to get a couple dozen pallets, because I want to make one of these in my backyard! This one is called “The Pallet of Urban Green”.


Best of British – Great Big Blog Swap!

As part of Helen’s Great Big Blog Swap, I am over here at Vanisha’s blog talking about A Perfect Day In… Maine, as part of an ongoing series! And without further ado, here is Jess of Just Jesss talking about Best of British!


Britain has been getting a little bit patriotic lately, what with the Queen celebrating 60 years on the throne during her Diamond Jubilee, not to mention hosting this year’s Olympic Games in London!

There are plenty of other amazing things about Britain though; our fashion, heritage, music, and cuisine, to name just a few!

One of Britain’s most iconic high street stores is TopShop, offering the latest in fashion as well as a much-loved line of make-up. The clothing ranges from the weird to the wonderful and back again, you’ll never fail to find something interesting in TopShop. Meanwhile, the make-up range is great value and comes in cute, instantly recognisable packaging.







Growing up in the English countryside has given me a love of the Lake District, a popular tourist destination and one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen. Home to the highest mountain in England, Cumbria has breathtaking scenery and a wealth of heritage, from Beatrix Potter to Kendal Mint Cake.

Musically we’ve had plenty to contribute over the years, from The Beatles back in the 60s, right up to One Direction who are currently proving a hit on the other side of the Atlantic! My favourite British music includes McFly, The Blackout, Imelda May, and Enter Shikari.

Some of our most popular foods include the traditional fish and chips wrapped in newspaper, and the classic Victoria Sponge Cake.

What’s your favourite thing about Britain? I’d love to answer any of your questions so please feel free to pop on over to my blog!!

Jess at Just Jesss xo


I hope you guys enjoyed this lovely post by Jess! And if anyone ever wants to swap blogs for a post or two, just leave a comment or email me!


Mid-Month Goal Check In

I promised a mid-month goal check in, and here it is!

  • Blog 25 times in June. {11 posted, 4 scheduled, and 2 drafted, which is awesome! Means I only have to come up with 8 other posts, and finish the ones I’ve started. Feeling great about this!}
  • Read 3 Books. {I’ve made absolutely no headway on this goal.}
  • Plan an epic party or two. {Nope, not this either.}
  • Do dinner/lunch/coffee with friends at least once a week. {Yes! Totally done well with this! I’ve been very busy!}
  • Complete at least two of the DIY/Craft projects on my to-make list. {Haven’t done this either.}
  • Organize my room and desk space so I can better utilize it! {Got started on this right after I decided to make it one of my monthly goals! Organized my scrapbooking stuff and moved some of my junk to our laundry/storage room.}

Clearly, when I win some, I win… and when I lose some, I definitely lose! Now that my older kids I work with in the afternoon are out of school for the summer, I’m actually getting more hours than I did during the school year, and so my time to work on my to-do list is getting smaller!


From Blog Life to Real Life PARTTTTAY!

Jessica and Brittany are hosting this cool linky party that I got excited about.. so here it is!

Lovely Little Things
1. Do you have any real life blog friends?
I know both Eileen and Melinda in real life. Eileen and I are BFF’s from middle school, and Melinda and I attended college together. 🙂

Eileen and I in Florida a couple years ago!

So, I’m pretty sure when this picture was taken that Melinda had just cut my hair… or was about to, hence why I’m in a bathing suit.

2. Which blogger are you just dying to meet?
3. Which blogger’s closet do you want to raid?
4. You are stuck on an island. Which blogger would you want with you to help you survive?
I feel like this is the toughest question! I guess Lindsay since she’d be able to make sustainable things, and the Letter 4 sisters because they’d also be able to be very resourceful… plus, they’d be fun!
5. The first blogger you remember “meeting” and connecting with ?
I’ve really connected to Jas and Kirsten through different package swaps. I really enjoyed meeting them both. I’ve also enjoyed getting to know Sarah, and I hope that the next time I go up to visit my old college & friends that I we can do coffee or something. And Caitlin. And now I’m getting to know Geena, my lovely letter pal!
6. Any blogger that you admire and look up to?
7. Who is the craziest/funniest blogger?
I think Katie & Jeremy and Sherry & Jon are hilarious!!
8. There’s a reality television show for bloggers, who would you want to be casted with you?
I think that Nichelle would make it tons of fun. So would Jenna!
9. Some bloggers have really cool jobs, anybody you’d like to swap careers with?
This is a tough question! I guess my new pen-pal Geena, she works at a museum, which seems like it’s pretty cool!
10. Favorite blog design?
Maybe it’s just that I really love cats but I love the design of Brandilyn’s blog. April’s blog is nice too.


Australia – May 23rd

Note: Another post in my month long series about my recent vacation to Australia.

On Wednesday we took a tour of the Opera House, which is an incredibly fascinating building. It took about 15 years and a modern day $1.5 billion. They’ve recently done some renovations to the building, and they actually contracted the original architect to do the renovations. Although the interior design was the responsibility of three Sydney architects, since the original architect was let go in the middle of the project.

Sydney Opera House!

We ate at the Opera House Café which is located right outside and is part of the Opera House. The views of the bridge are awesome, and the French Onion Soup was amazing.

Tree Swinger?

We walked through the Royal Botanical Gardens to Mrs. Macquarie’s Chair, to take some family(ish) pictures.

View from the Royal Botanical Gardens.

We cut through on our way back to the hotel, which took no time at all! We ate at a small Italian restaurant located right next to the hotel for dinner, which was complete with a little old guy playing piano.


10 Things (Around the Web) on Tuesday: 4

  1. I loved this post the other day by Heather of JustLove.ly things on Summer Days.
  2. I loved this acai recipie from The Traveling Triplets. I had an acai smoothie in Australia and I’ve learned that I’ve been pronouncing it wrong. It’s pronounced “ah-sigh-ee”.
  3. I love this DIY necklace from Maria from Little Tree Vintage.
  4. I wish I had thought of this idea. Using a QR code, you can have your contact info nice and handy on your pets tag in case they get lost!
  5. Dana wrote another great post about facebook, and how to get all of the posts from your favorite pages to show up in your news feed!
  6. I have no mirror in my room, so I totally want to go get a cheap one and do something fun like this to it!
  7. I’ve updated my Goodreads profile with some new To-Reads. Now my list is over 200… and I don’t think I’ll even be making a dent in it anytime soon.
  8. I’m really excited about these limited edition LLBean Totes made from the rain delay tarps at Fenway. Hopefully by the time you read this I will have ordered one! 🙂
  9. I’ve been hearing about Styled by Tori Spelling quite a bit lately… I definitely can’t wait to go see what all the fuss is all about.
  10. Go read one of Amy’s most recent blog posts, and let’s see what we can do about keeping Evy’s Tree around a little longer!


Australia – May 21st and 22nd

Monday, while my dad went to work, the girls slept in. Then we went shopping! We found some pricey stores and some decently priced ones. I found my first bag of popcorn that I had seen in days, so I bought it. We found a food court to eat lunch at that had quite a bit of variety. We went to an Opal Museum that was not too far from our hotel, where I learned that 95% of the world’s Opals are mined in Australia. Again, we had a hard time finding good food that everyone liked (sense a pattern here?) so we ended up at the McDonalds around the corner from our hotel. Although I have not been to a US McDonalds in years, the quality in Australia is much better, and although it was not the best dinner we had there, it was enough to sustain life for the night.

The people of Sydney are wonderful, and everyone is so nice. They are so kind, and they practically speedwalk, so I get along with them well. There seems to be quite the diverse group of people, and compared to other cities I’ve been in and the size, I haven’t seen a huge homeless population in Sydney.

We’ve been laughing so hard that we’ve been crying, about things like cheeseless cheeseburgers. We hit a few bumps in the road around topics like dinner, but we put those behind us.

On Tuesday we again, slept in a little bit, and dad went to work. We decided to go to the beach! On our way to the ferries to head to the beach, I stopped at a little store that was going out of business where I got a Bondi Beach hoodie (pronounced Bond-EYE) is the more well-known beach, but we ended up going to Manly, after some advice. Manly is gorgeous, and somewhat magical.

Waves at Manly Beach.

Since it’s winter, the water is a bit cold, but we laid on our towels and had a wonderful time. Manly makes me feel like I never want to leave.

A dedication to the Manly World Surfing Reserve. I should really live somewhere where I can surf.

We had some lovely lunches in Manly and then headed back to Sydney by ferry. On the ferry back we met a family that was geocaching. I introduced my mom and sister to the concept, which they thought was pretty cool. I realized it was a pretty cool way to learn about a new area that you’ve never been before.

Sunset picture from the ferry!

That night when dad got home from work we went and ate dinner at the Opera House. They have kitchens underneath the Opera House that serve a variety of different foods, and everyone was happy with our choices.  They were starting to get ready for Vivid Sydney, and the colors on the Customs House (a building near our hotel) were awesome. I learned that Australian lemonade is like a Sprite/lemon-lime soda, and not like American lemonade.


Coffee Date & Week in Instagrams

Note: My life is now completely back to normal after my lovely vacation. I have a to-do list with a million things on it and no time to do them, clean laundry to put away in my room, and have had lots of baby drool on my shirts this week. Oh, and I am no longer completely jet-lagged. 🙂 I hope you’ve enjoyed my Australia posts so far, and there are many more this month for you to enjoy!

If we were sitting down for coffee, I’d probably talk your ear off.. (which isn’t unusual).

I’d tell you that I was so excited to go back to work and see my kiddos. I’d also tell you that I wasn’t feeling well earlier in the week, and I was seriously hoping it was just jetlag and that I’d be over it in a few days, which turned out to be the case.

I’d tell you that between a full moon this week and 1 last day of school next week, I had some pretty crazy hyper school aged kids. Why they have to go back just Monday (and some only have a half a day) is just silly.  I’d also tell you that thanks to the end of the school year, I now have more hours than I have had in the past. Which leaves me with even less time to do the other things on my list.

I’d say that when I got home the other day to see my first letter from Geena, I was so excited! I’m super jealous that she has a typewriter and that she used it on my letter. I can’t wait to get to know her more! I’m thankful for Megan & Joelle for putting this together!

I’d tell you that I planned a pretty busy day for today (Saturday). I woke up early to go yardsailing with my friend Mike’s Aunt Liz, who I met through his wedding. I went back home, where I met up with my dad to go to the farmers market. After that, I left for a lunch date with my Aunt Julie, and then stopped by to visit my grandparents. After that, I went to Starbucks to have an actual coffee date with my friend Ruth.

It was lovely. Now I’m home, blogging, updating my planner, and about to watch the Belmont Stakes, though I’m bummed that I’ll Have Another was scratched from the race and that there will not be a triple crown winner.

I’d tell you that while at my grandparents house, I got to meet their new doggie for the first time! My grand-parents have never had pets before and more pictures and the story of my new friend Amos should have their own post, but here’s a little collage I put together on my phone!

I’d tell you that I’m looking forward to a fun, long, busy week.


How was your week? What are you up to for this upcoming week?

Linking up with Rags to Stitches (Coffee Date) and Life Rearranged (Insta-Friday) so go check them out!


Australia – May 20th

Note: This is the second in a month long series of posts about Sydney, where I was just on vacation with my family. Please bear with me as there are many pictures of koalas!

Sunday we got up early and had a nice walk over to Darling Harbor, where went to Wildlife Sydney to eat breakfast with the koalas!

Cheesing for the camera. Excited about our koala encounter!

We also got to pet them and have our pictures taken with them. My dad joked in an email to some co-workers that for the money he paid for all of us to go to this breakfast that he should be able to claim one as a dependent on next year’s tax return.

Those koalas really like to sleep!

But this gal decided to perk up for a bit!

Although it was a bit of a splurge, it was worth it as you got the koala encounter, breakfast, an entry ticket to the park and a printed picture of you with a koala.

Family photo, with a sleeping koala of course.


This Emu decided to cheese for the camera too.

It was such a blast! We continued to walk around Darling Harbor, where we found Sydney’s Hard Rock Café (which is a must for our family when we travel). We also found a nice mall. I found a store called Typo, which is one of my new favorite stores, and a store called Valley Girl, where I bought an awesome jacket. Michelle got a new suitcase to replace her broken one. The box ripped while we were carrying it back to the hotel, which was annoying, but hilarious at the same time! Dad got his weekly train pass that he needed for work, and I found Frankie Magazine, which I had heard about before going on this trip and wanted to check out!

We did some relaxing in the hotel pool and spent our second night attempting to find good food, and eventually landed on the hotel restaurant, which has a Sunday steak special. The hotel had the most AMAZING garlic bread that made my mouth water