Friday, November 8, 2013

Spice Cabinet Makeover

Maybe I am have been spending a few too many late nights on Pinterest. Or maybe the truth is I am a little OCD and like things organized and to look nice. In any case, its probably a little combination of the both.

Its been  getting colder, Its been raining, and the days inside are becoming more the norm then being outside. So, it was the perfect time for me to tackle this project.

I searched for hours and hours online for the perfect spice jar. I thought I had found it at Crate & Barrel and I eagerly awaited my shipment. Once I ripped open that box, I quickly realized that the 4 ounce spice jars I ordered were not really the 4 ounces I had pictured. They were too small. So the search continued, and I just couldn't find the perfect jar.

It wasn't until a trip to California a few months back, that I gently dragged my husband into a Cost Plus World Market. It had been years since I had been in there and it was like heaven. I may or may not have spent two hours in there. As we browsed the aisles and the cart was getting fuller by the minute, there they were ...  The perfect 6 ounce Round Spice Jars.

I grabbed all they had. I was even happier when I saw the price, not even $1  a jar. It couldn't of been more perfect. I brought them home, and sent them for a little whirl through the dishwasher.

Next, I had to tackle the labeling. As I searched, I found that the self adhesive vinyl was the best option for me. You can make these labels yourself on a Cricut or I have seen them for purchase online.  And turquoise was the perfect color, for no better reason other then it looked pretty and made the lettering stand out.

Putting these on were a little tricky, and patient I am not. Some could of been a little straighter or a little better centered, but I'm not OCD enough to pull out the ruler while I was doing these. I think all in all, they came out pretty nice. And the handful that look a little crooked, got nudged to the back of the cabinet.


Lastly, I just had to fill them up. And I will kindly suggest to use a funnel of some sort because if you try to just shake those old spice jars into these ones, they may slightly spill all over your floor. Not that I would know, I'm just saying.

My Mom asked if I then put them away in alphabetical order. She's a little funny. I didn't quite go that far, but they are in rows of color. If I need parsley, I know to look for the green row.

I know cooking is a little more enjoyable when I open that spice cabinet and see all the pretty jars. It was nice to take the time to do a little something that will bring me a smile or two when I'm slaving over the hot stove!

Happy Friday.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Seasons & a lil' Football

Life is full of seasons, and I am not just talking Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter. Life brings us through our own seasons. We have seasons of life that we love, seasons of life that we barely trudge through, and seasons that fall somewhere in the middle. I'm trying to paint my perfect season for this season.

This is what I know, life is crazy busy and its easy to just let things go. I am guilty. If your anything like me, then your days start with the annoying alarm clock, and it begins by rushing to get ready for your day at the office, then in those last couple hours of each day you gotta find the time for the meals, laundry, bills, shopping, etc .. You get the drift. Where does life come in? I'm trying to get a better balance on all that this season. When I perfect it, I'll let you know.

In the meantime, I'm taking time tonight to come over to my very own place out on the world wide web. Its time to dust this place off, and make it all homey again. Its true I love taking the time to play with my camera and capture the little things, and share my stories through writing. Its certainly not perfect, but I love it. Really, that's all that matters. If you happened to find yourself back here, then welcome back.


Casey. His little heart is full of nothing but baseball.
He knows his way around that diamond better then the best of them.
He's a go getter. He's one of those, live-life-to the fullest kinda kids.
Not to mention, his smile will totally melt your heart.
He wanted to give football a shot this year.

He's one who wants to take life by the horns and get out there and give it his all.
That's exactly what he did.

Being one of the smallest kids on the team, didn't stop him one bit. 
No matter the size of the fight, he went and fought for what he wanted.
Welcome to life Mr. Happiness, its a life lesson, some of us may never learn.
Although Football didn't win his heart over, he showed up and delivered.
What's better, is he went after what he thought he wanted.
He would of never known, if he didn't try.
Another life lesson Casey.

You've got my attention Casey. I couldn't be prouder. xx

Happy Friday.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Just Beachy

Good Ole' Naples, Florida. It has won over my heart, not once, not twice but perhaps forever. It all started a couple of years ago, and we were blessed to go back again this year. .

There is something about the Ocean. Its calming, Its healing, Its just beautiful. There will never be enough words to fully describe all that it is. We arrived with no agenda, only a rental car reservation and a beach house ready to be occupied. We went day by day, only making plans as each day made its arrival. The only thing we knew, is we wanted to reunite with the sea.

And we did. Reunited we were. Some mornings we nestled into a spot for two on a public beach, and other days we drove and found hidden beaches tucked back into neighborhoods.

Naples is known as a retirement community, so it has a  calming and relaxing feel with a whopping 266 days of bright sunshine a year, and that will always sound better to me then the 196 days of sunshine here in Oregon. Like on this day, you can show up to a public beach and there will be no one in sight.

For me, there is just nothing better then sitting and watching the waves come and go. Its  healing in a sense. I believe the tides reflect our lives, bringing in the new and taking out the old.

These perfectly white colored birds would just prance along the water line, following the rush of the waves, and I would watch them for hours. What a life. Sign me up. I'm sold.

Each night we visited Barefoot Beach, for sunset and this sign got my attention each and every time. The sea turtles are abundant. I looked eagerly each time, not only under our car but I was the crazy one looking under everyone elses too. I was determined to find me a turtle, and I finally did ..

Isn't he cute?

The sunsets never disappoint. Each night, it told a different story. One night it would have a little attitude, or another it would want to sit in solitude and show its simple beauty. It would tell us goodnight, each and every night,  in a closing statement kinda way. Telling us to put that day to rest and start again fresh the next.

Attitude or Simple beauty, take your pick. I'll take any of them and be perfectly content.

A couple of days we did get a little adventurous. My husband, my sweet husband decided he wanted to do a Jet Pack adventure on the water. My husband is the adventurous one, and never seems to amaze me with what he wants to do next. I was not so much up for the challenge, however he had a blast!

Another day, we signed up for the Dolphin Explorer boat trip. This truly was one of the highlights of this trip. A must do for anyone, and I will be going again when I go back to Naples. A few hours on a boat with a handful of people, just watching the dolphins swim and play. We saw 17 dolphins that trip along with the most gorgeous birds.

The crew were so knowledgeable and it was just a wonderful trip. I would of paid 4x the price for this trip, it was just that wonderful. The boat left out of Marco Island, and they showed us around some of the mangrove islands.
We stopped at one of these remote barrier islands, and the Captain instructed us to walk across it. He let us know it is only 8 miles long, and a short walk across it. I am not really into walking through the wilderness or perhaps this remote barrier island with mangrove trees doubling my height,  so I was already a little leery, then the Captain continues to say once they saw a panther on this island, but the panther didn't really bother anyone. My husband and I kinda looked at each other, and we were not sure what to do. We stayed back on the boat, as the other passengers walked off and starting walking on this dirt path, and we followed. We certainly were not going to be the first ones, but we followed along. I was looking up above me, along each side of me, walking very close to my husband, and this quick walk lead to me to the most beautiful thing I have ever seen in my life.
The path ..
This is Keewaydin Island. This picture does not do it justice at all. The clearest, warmest beach with the whitest sand. The perfect mix of blue and green in color. Its a remote island so you can only get there by boat. For once, I'm glad I was a follower. I took a leap of faith, and all that followed was beauty. So from now on, when I'm asked where my favorite place is, it is this, Keewaydin Island.
This trip was everything I needed. The clarity, the beauty, the therapy. From the Red Robin, to searching for Sea Turtles, to watching the waves push out the old and bring the new, to the quiet beaches, to just being and living. The little things work for me, sun and water,and one day I will call this place home, but until then it will be my  home away from home.
A few more pictures ..

The best beach house rentals in southwest Florida. They even come with your own private pool.

Hope Summer is treating you all well -
xxx Shauna

Saturday, May 25, 2013

That Red Bird

I am not the naturey type. I'm not that into animals, ask anyone I know and they will tell you the same thing. I pretend to ask interested when people tell me about their love for their animals, because that's just the nice thing to do.  However to me they are noisy, licky, and basically just another thing that needs to be fed each day. My parenting days are over, and I'm perfectly content just making sure my husband and I have food to eat.

OK, well let me back up a minute. I love a cute squirrel running up a tree, and I do love me a pretty German Shepard, and well lady bugs are cute too.

I recently went on vacation to Florida, (more on that later) and well the animals are abundant there.  I was lucky to not have a run in with an alligator, and glad to know that the signs posted for Panther crossings are just there to make you wonder, and nope, didn't see any snakes either.

But what I did see was pretty cool. Maybe it was just cause I had the time to sit for hours at a time to just look, or maybe they just caught my attention this time. We stayed at the beach house, well its not really ours, but I like to pretend it is. We just rent it when we go there. At this beach house, they have this really great screened in pool. So perfect for me, no bugs or animals can get in. Someone was pretty smart when they thought that up.

I would lay in the pool every afternoon while the husband preferred to take a nap. I would watch the squirrels run across the telephone wire like it was no feat at all. That's pretty amazing in itself if you really stop to think about it.  How can they do they do that with their two feet and bushy tail? They would run across that thing and run up a palm tree to their favorite branch or maybe its called a big leaf, I don't know - well anyway they would sit there endlessly and just nibble without a  worry in the world.  Another day, I came across a bunny in the yard. So cute and friendly too, I would talk to it, and it would look at me and their little ears would perk up. Don't judge me, If you were alone in a pool, wouldn't you try to talk to a lonely bunny too?  The birds were endless, constantly singing to  me.  I also saw a flying duck, is that normal? My husband doesn't seem to think so. But we saw that thing fly up to a tree and then I guess gallop or fly to higher branches. And I say gallop cause it sure didn't look like flying to me, because it is really loud and not graceful when it would  fly. In any case, that was a first for me.  The geckos. There are millions and they are everywhere. They make me a bit jumpy at first cause well in Oregon we don't have constant little lizards running around us, but they grow on ya. They are cute, and nice, and stay out of your way. I kinda miss them. And well then there was that red bird ..

Have you ever seen a red bird? I racked whatever sort of things  I have filed away in my brain, and I couldn't think of a single time I have seen a red bird. I've seen pictures of say a cardinal, and of those cute colorful birds that talk but have never seen one. It was the cutest thing I ever did see. It wasn't a real red, but more like a tropical red with a yellow beak. I did look again real hard to make sure I wasn't seeing things. It zipped by, and then stayed a few minutes on a nearby bush, and flew around like I wasn't sure to miss it, and then it was gone. It was our last day when the said bird showed up. It really touched me, I don't know why. Remember I am not the naturey type, why did I care about this bird so much? I took it as a sign of something.

Within hours of coming home, I started Googling a red bird. And well a Red Robin came up. Honestly, I didn't know that existed other then the great burger place you go to. And well yes, it matched the pictures. But of course the one I saw, was much cuter then any photos I could find. I then started to find out what sort of meaning there is when a Red Robin just shows up... and what I found was beautiful. It means all of these things and more: Joy, Hope, Clarity, Renewal, Pleasure, Simplicity, Happiness, Satisfaction, Rejuvenation, Contentment, Bright future and New beginnings. All of these exactly mirroring exactly what this vacation was to me. A clear sign from this little birdie that all things are good.

I am not really that type of person that is reading into signs, and what this or that means, but this time I did. This just brought instant gratification that what I was feeling and thinking was all good and right on point.   I think in this little life we gotta pull from the small things, and for me it was the little bird. Life is hard enough as it is, and I am going to start pulling from the easy things, the small things. Life might just be a little less harder. Just maybe.

And sorry,  I didn't get any pictures of any of these lovely animals, or the special conversations with the bunny, because I just wasn't brave enough to take my camera with me on that pool raft. But according to a Google Image, this is what a Red Robin looks like, but just remember my Red Robin was way cuter.

Happy Weekend -
Look for the good, the easy, the small things.

Monday, April 15, 2013

ADVOCARE 24 Day Challenge - UPDATE

If you haven't read the first post, you can catch up here.

I'm on day 9 of 24 on the ADVOCARE 24 Day Challenge and I am already down a little over 10 pounds. I am shocked! My husband has lost 13 pounds. I'm not even at the half way point in the challenge, so I'm super excited to see how I finish.

I'm not going crazy at all, I'm just eating healthy and exercising an hour a day. And honestly all my cravings are gone. I have never followed a simpler program. And best of all,  I feel GREAT!

Its laid out pretty simple for you, tells you what to eat and when. And there is even food suggestions, so it takes out all the guess work.

An example of my day is:

  • Breakfast: Meal Replacement Shake blended with frozen berries in the Magic Bullet. This is packed with so much protein and is so filling, I don't even think about food for hours after drinking this.
  • Morning Snack: 2 Rice Cakes with Cream Cheese and No Sugar Added Del Monte Peaches.
  • Lunch: Wheat Pasta with a little Olive Oil and I usually add some tomatoes, green onions and a little Parmesan.
  • Afternoon Snack: Raw Almonds.
  • Dinner: Usually a salad and I mix it up between just a veggie salad or make it like a taco salad and add some beans in there and salsa.  Or sometimes I will bake a potato and add salsa to that.
My husbands typical day:
  • Breakfast: Meal Replacement Shake blended with a banana in the Magic Bullet.
  • Morning Snack: 3 Hard Boiled Eggs & Raw Almonds.
  • Lunch: Either Grilled Chicken, BBQ'd Salmon or Turkey Breast along with a veggie and either pasta, rice or potatoes.
  • Afternoon Snack: Low Fat Yogurt & Rice Cakes with cream cheese.
  • Dinner: Usually the same as lunch or sometimes I make him a Veggie Omelet with Turkey Sausage.

So as you can see, we are eating and we are eating good. And it's great we don't have to cut out pasta, rice, potatoes, cheese, etc ... Along with this we are drinking lots of water, and we have 2 Sparks a day. And seriously, if you have never tried Spark, you must! It will be your new best friend, I promise you.

I will check back in soon, but wanted to get a update out here.
Don't forget about the Giveaway I have going on for Spark - go enter here!

If you have any questions on Advocare or this challenge, please email me!

Happy Monday!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Advocare 24 Day Challenge & Giveaway!!

I totally jumped on the bandwagon. The Advocare bandwagon that is. I've been reading nothing but great things about Advocare for a while now. And honestly I'm sick and tired of feeling sick and tired. So why not? It's not the cheapest way to jump start a new way of life, but then again, how could you put a price on that? And there are ways to save some money with these great products.

 I was listening to people's reaction to Spark and how it was giving mental focus and a little jump in energy without the crash. After quitting soda over a year ago, I was still lacking that boost of energy that the soda would give me, and the ice tea wasn't cutting it for me. (I've never been a coffee drinker) and so I started with Spark a little over a month ago. And seriously, the Spark has been a life changer for me! AdvoCare Spark Energy Drink mix is a unique multi-nutrient system that's designed to provide nutritionally advanced, long-lasting energy and enhanced mental focus. Its 21 vitamins, minerals and nutrients work synergistically to give you healthy, balanced energy without making you jittery like other caffeinated beverages. After I bought my first box, I quickly ordered more and was scared it wouldn't arrive in time before I ran out of the first box, because it was that good! I was using it around 1 or 2, once that afternoon slump came out to play, and that little drink helped me over that slump and made me last right until bed time without the effects of other energy drinks. (Kinda funny side note: My Mom who is opposed to any type of energy drink, was being a total naysayer, and then she showed the Spark to her oncologist, and he gave the total OK to this!)  

 Since the Spark had me at hello, Next on my list was to start the Advocare 24 Day Challenge.  My husband and I started that today. The first ten days are about cleansing your body of toxins and preparing for optimal nutrient absorption, and you may enjoy weight loss as well! Days 11-24 Max Phase give your body the best tools you need to achieve your next weight management goal during days 11-24! All with normal healthy foods too. It is the normal routine of adding in more vegetables, cutting out the fried foods and cut out or minimize the dairy and wheat products, etc. Its not hard or confusing. Its just nice to have a clear, simple to follow program with taking out the guess work. So far today, no complaints. I did however spend a few hours last night cutting and washing a weeks worth of veggies.
  And with being a vegetarian, I was a little concerned about getting in my protein, but I solved that by getting some of Advocares Meal Replacement Shakes, with a high dose of protein. I am also going to forgo the OmegaPlex portion and go with some flax seed oil. My husband will do it the "normal" way. I am excited to see what this does for us. We took measurements, photos, etc .. so stay tuned in 24 days for the results.  
 And because I am so excited about the Spark, I want to give some away for you to try! Ask anyone around me, they are probably sick and tired of me sharing my excitement about it. My husband who is a total coffee drinker, where his one pot of strong coffee a day would equal  a normal persons 3 or 4 pots of regular coffee, has not had the urge for his coffee today after having 2 glasses of Spark according to the 24 Day Challenge. That says alot!

 I'm so excited just about what the Spark has done for me, I decided to become an advisor. So if you are interested in any of these products or have any questions, please email me or leave me a comment. If I don't know the answer, I will find one for you. So without further adieu, please enter the contest to win my favorite flavor of Spark. One lucky entry will get a box of 14 pouches of Fruit Punch Spark. A retail value of $22.95.

 There are up to 5 different entries you can get - Leave a comment for each thing you do.

 1) Be a follower via GFC of this blog.

2) Follow on Pinterest

3) Follow on Twitter

4) Follow on Instagram.

5) Tweet, Pin or Blog about the giveaway, or do all 3!

Winner will be selected via and annouced Monday, April 22,2013.

 And I will be posting updates via Twitter, Instagram and this Blog throughout the 24 days.

So check back.

Join Me in Getting Sparked!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013


The days of  finding a bright lonely peep on top of my glass coffee table is over for another year. You know the one, usually with its head bitten off. And usually that little half eaten peep is accompanied by those magic little finger prints you can only see when the sun reflection hits at the most perfect angle. That's how you know a little has been at my house. There are no rules here, rules are for the parents, not for me. So it's only fitting when they come over, they are full of smiles and have a good time.

The rain showers didn't hold us back -
We made the most of it mostly indoors, but was sure happy that the rain stopped,
just when the Easter Bunny made his stop in my neighborhood.

And this says it all - this is why we do it.

It's nearly impossible to get all six of them looking in the right direction at the same time, and might I add with smiles painted on. This one won, 5 out of the 6 with smiles. That's a victory in my book.

Left to Right:
Bryan, Jake, Casey (swear he smiles), Alyssa, Katie and Gage.
This one is getting quite the little personality, and she loves the attention she gets with her little one eye opened grin.

Seriously, I do not even know how this happened. The oldest of them is off to high school in a few months. All grown up and turning into his own self.

And because I didn't think of getting any pictures, I will just tell you, we had a big yummy lunch. Consisted of  Chili Rellenos, Spanish rice, a Nacho Bar for the Little's and a little homemade salsa. No one left with an empty tummy. You can never go wrong with a little Mexican food.

After a little lunch and egg hunting, we all nestled indoors, with only good quality time to be had.
There was also a game of Simon says, a Football game in the backyard and toys all over the house.

And of course there was popcorn. We wouldn't have it any other way.

And its when it's all over, and I collapse on my sofa at the end of the night - after everyone has left, and the kitchen is finally cleaned,  that I crawl onto the sofa and just sit. Its then and only then, when the magical ray of sunshine hits, and those fingerprints appear, that my heart smiles, and I know it was all worth it. xx

And a flashback to a bit ago when a special little Diva turned 8!
Happy Birthday Katie!

And we only celebrate in Gangsta Style -

Have a Happy Week -

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