A sea of blue amidst the hills in Texas

Springtime in Texas is so pretty.

Fortunate for us, we home school, so taking time to actually stop and smell the flowers, is part of our science lesson plans. Our primary focus this year is to learn about the state we live in, visit places along our journey, and add some science and agriculture information!

One of my favorite things this time of the year, are the blue bonnets.

photo by josh: Texas boot

Scattered all along the road side, across the towns, and among the hills are the prettiest little blue flowers. These lupines are not just spotted here in Texas, but can be seen in many parts of the world. I just love that Texas has made sure to encourage the densely seeded landscape that blankets the hills so close to Austin.

Makes driving so much more pleasant. You almost don’t mind all the traffic.

josh took this one: that’s me, taking a picture…

I really don’t remember seeing this many wild flowers back home in Florida. And wildflowers are really important to our ecosystem. They’re not just there to look pretty. They help the bee population, which are useful for pollination of other plants, and to make honey.

photo by LP – honey bee at work

Of course we don’t just have bluebonnets dotting the roadside. So many pretty wild flowers blossom and bloom during springtime. There are fields with white poppies, red Indian paintbrush, wine-cups, pink primrose, yellow star, lantana and thistle. (just to name a few)

Since we’re trying to get outdoors a bit more, and enjoy this beautiful weather, we decided to take a little family road trip to visit some of the pretty bluebonnet fields. It was a great time, just chatting in the car and visiting a few small towns along the way.

Texas is so big and vast, there’s so much to see and experience. Definitely can’t see it all in a day! LOL

Along the way we spotted cattle, steer, longhorn and even spotted Bison grazing in a field next to a road stop. Of course we tracked a path to take a snap. Texas has so much farm and ranching land. I like to see the livestock out roaming. along the way we also got to see cattle roaming freely in the fields speckled with white and blue.

We each took many photos of different areas. Spent the majority of our time in an area called the Willow City Loop – Texas Hill Country Trail. It was a near perfect day. The weather was so nice, and we disconnected from our phones (except to navigate and snap pics), and experienced a lot of fresh air.

I’m hoping we can plan a few more days like this, now that the weather is starting to warm up a bit and the flowers are popping up.

Homeschool SPRING BREAK 2019

Spring Break is something ALL kids are excited about. Yes, even homeschool kids.

Many people think that homeschooling is just sitting around in your PJ’s all day playing video games with your on line friends.

Sure, for some homeschooling families, that’s life… but not us.

We’re pretty much focused on doing lesson plans, there’s 170 of them. Similar to a traditional school system. Our focus is on Reading, Writing, Math, Language Arts, and Spelling. History and science is usually covered in our reading plans. We’re also learning about our state, again, part of our reading lessons- and part of our “outings and field-trips”.

There’s a misconception that homeschoolers are “always on vacation” and that they don’t have to do any real work. Sure I’m not big on diagraming sentences, because that’s just ludicrous… I mean when are you going to be sitting around with friends, or at a job, and NEED to diagram a sentence? That’s just silliness; but the kiddo knows all the parts of a speech and can label the hell out of a sentence!

Do we have spring break? Well, sometimes yes, and other years no. It really all depends on what we have going on at the time. That’s part of the beauty of homeschooling, having the freedom to school when you want to, and to take time off when you need to.

This year, Spring Break 2019, the kiddo has been learning about the land and animals. She’s been spending time in the great outdoors, at a friend’s farm, helping out. So even though she’s getting “time off from schoolwork” she’s still working and having fun, it’s still a learning experience.

BONUS= fresh air and animals!

So, what do you do during spring break to keep busy, have fun and always be learning?

MEATLESS for Lent

Those who know me, are aware that I like to eat. I love a good medium rare steak. Josh makes delicious marsala chicken. Oh sushi, how I’ll miss you. I can sear scallops that would make chef Gordon Ramsey a very proud man. And then there’s BACON, Oh bacon how I adore your salty yumminess.

We’re not overly religious, however we ARE always up for a mini challenge. SO… the family is going meatless for Lent.

  • What about our anniversary dinner? NOPE!
  • What about corned beef for St Patty’s day? NOPE, NOPE.
  • And pizza night, no pepperoni pizza on Friday? NOPE. NOPE. NOPE…


I know, what are we thinking? No meat for 40 days and 40 nights?


We’ve decided to take on a challenge of going meatless, and since Lent is right around the corner, we figured it would be a good time to coordinate.


We’re not taking this challenge on for financial or medical reasons, however I know that once we start doing some more traveling in the upcoming years, there will be meatless times. This will be a good test for us to see if we can do it.


It’s going to be an interesting challenge. Over the next couple of nights, I’ll be using up most of the meat in the freezer- while planning out the next 40 nights of our torture  meal plans. LOL 😉

This means: no secret burgers, secret sushi, or secret BBQ of any kind. Did I mention we live in TEXAS? Once Lent has passed, we’re smoking a big brisket!

If you have an amazing meatless main course, please share in the comments below. I’m looking for some good recipes for the next 40 days and 40 nights! <3

**EDIT-  on 3/12 I just learned that the Lent season
is actually 46 days! Oh no!! However, every Sunday
is considered a "feast day." This means we can have
meat on Sunday if we choose, which will definitely
make it a little easier to be "mostly meatless"
But now this has me thinking back to when I was a
kid and gave up sweets for Lent.
Had I done the math, I would have seen an error
in the numbers!! :p

Outlook Good! #manifest

Month #2 is nearing an end. Goodbye February, you’ve been grand.

WOW 2019, so many new doors and opportunities, combined with a new goals and projects, have graciously presented themselves to me over the past two months.

Whether one or 2 or three, or even NONE of these gifts ever come to fruition- it’s nice to have a reminder that it’s more than OK to dream.

So where to begin?

This year I’ve been taking an abundance mentality, and looking to view things in a positive light. I’m manifesting what I want. Asking the universe to give it to me. Sure… I’m still waiting for those winning lottery, powerball and mega millions numbers to land in my hand, but until then, I’m winning at the game of life.

It sounds like crazy talk, right?

It’s not, I’m definitely not certifiable, and no drugs or daily meds! I’m just honestly envisioning how I want my life to go, and opening myself up to all the possibilities that are offered along the way. Which is sometimes… eye opening.

Manifesting!

Earlier in mid January, I came across 2 articles/blog posts – that gave me a brilliant idea.

APPLY! (so I did)

So what on earth have I applied to?

One application is for a summer sabbatical in Grottole Italy. OMGosh, I have visions of me as an Italian version of Belle in Beauty and the Beast… singing in a quaint village. There’s hills, red wine, olive groves, bees and sunflower fields, some guy named Andrea that is hosting this thing, oh and nonna Rosa- who will teach me how to make pasta athentico! It would be an entire summer drenched in the Italian sun. Wishful thinking, but dreams can come true. Only 4 people out of like 30K applicants will be selected.

Have I mentioned any where that 4 is my lucky number?

Grottole, Italy

Around the same time, I read about a TAP (Travel Access Project) Gap Year grant. This is a $3K grant to be given to 10 selected applicants. This project is open to anyone regardless of age or student status… so why the heck not! The money can be used towards a travel project of my choice. Of course if all the stars are aligned and I were to be selected for BOTH– well then that would be like winning the lottery for sure. If Grottole isn’t meant to be, then I’d use the TAP for a family trip to DC in the fall.

Even my abundance and manifesting mentality is shared by Josh. He’s sent in his Ycomb application, and this time he’s doing it solo! I was so surprised, proud and amazed with his application video. This time, it just feels right. (Third time’s a charm.) My fingers, toes and eyes are crossed that he will be selected for the interview and be offered funding this session. Of course it would mean he would be in California for the summer, working on his platform, business and product… but how amazing would THAT be? Josh would finally be building his company!!! (p.s. I KINDA miss palm trees and the salty sea air.) #S2019

Yesterday, a possible PT job opportunity was offered. Pay is more than minimum wage, and I’d be working around 15- 18 hours a week. This position would be 2 or 3 days a week, from 2:30-8:30pm. I’d be missing dinner time and stuff, and I would have to tighten up my availability and schedule for EVERYTHING else in life. That extra money would mean paying off the SUV even sooner. I’m definitely considering it. But if it doesn’t work out with scheduling, it’s not a big deal.

I wasn’t looking for a job, but maybe the universe is trying to tell me something? SO I’m remaining open to all options and possibilities. I have a few new projects that I have begun and right now I’m considering everything. Wondering how I can best manage my time to do everything.

Grottole and TAP and Ycomb – should they ALL happen – would be great gifts from the universe. Wouldn’t that be FABULOUS? It would a “pazzo serendipitous trifecta!”

What a life changing summer it could be for us all.

Until then, I have 4 months of staying focused on life, budget, goals and yes, dreams. <3

These are a few of my favorite things!

I thought for this week’s post I’d make a little list of the things I love. Definitely in the spirit of St. Valentine’s Day.

With that, Happy V’day. I love that you’re reading this!

So in absolutely no particular order, here are some THINGS that I love:

  • the way the air smells, just before it rains
  • the sound of the kiddo laughing or singing
  • snapdragons, the flowers… I like making them talk
  • the Starry Night by VanGogh
  • dark chocolate, that’s right I like my chocolate bittersweet
  • things that smell like lavender, vanilla or coconut
  • mac and cheese
  • car rides with LP, and our little talks
  • nice pajamas or loungewear
  • when josh makes dinner, especially his marsala chicken or general chicken
  • the sound of the beach- waves and seagulls
  • when Thumper, my pug, puts his nose on the back of my leg
  • a bottle of decent red wine
  • singing in the shower
  • makeup
  • candles candles candles
  • WDW
  • sunsets or pretty cotton candy colored skies
  • mint tea
  • watching the clouds in the air
  • sofa cuddles with Sebastian, my other pug
  • the shapes of trees
  • being on a ship or boat
  • grilled cheese sandwiches
  • late night chats about life and goals with the boy
  • the sound of snoring pugs
  • LP’s hand massage, makes me sleepy
  • medium rare steak, because I’m trying to be healthier but would rather it rare
  • thunderstorms
  • angel hair pasta
  • singing in the car with LP
  • tacos aren’t just for tuesday’s
  • fluffy socks
  • lucky brand blue jeans
  • wind chimes
  • watching the kiddo dance in the house
  • cheese, i like cheese
  • makeup paletts
  • fresh cut grass on a summer day
  • the thought of traveling the world once day with my family
  • quiet moments at night
  • making lists, with different colored pens and sticky notes
  • antiques, I like furniture, old style wood furniture
  • painting
  • laughing fits with the family
  • good Bourbon -like Jefferson’s Reserve Pritchard Hill Cabernet Cask Finished Bourbon
  • Christmas lights, and trees any time of the year lit with white lights
  • Classical music, I just love flutes and violins
  • family DANCE PARTY – LOL


SO yeah, just a list of some of the things that when I encounter or experience them, they make me smile.

Of course there’s more, but I thing my list represents a piece of what I find to be special.

Homeschooling a Pre-teen

horseback riding and caring for animals

We’ve been home schooling since the kiddo was three. She’s never attended a traditional education environment, and hasn’t stepped a toe into a public school . We’ve always used our world around us as a constant stream of things to learn.

When the kiddo was younger, it seemed easier to find playdates, and have exciting activities during the day.

These pre-teen and teenage years are different. There’s time on the i-Pad, sourcing information, research and gaming on the computer and reading on the kindle. Kids are so much more tech savvy these days. And with that, they seem more immersed in the digital aspect of interacting and not the face-to-face.


We’re at a bit of a crossroads, where the kiddo wants more interaction, with other like minded kids, but this pre-teen age – most of here peers aren’t as socially prepared. It’s tough.

and yes, sometimes we manage to meet up at a park, and just be kids!

But we’re managing. We’ve found a good group of homeschool kids and are getting together bi-weekly to work on parent led projects.

At home we still focus on the important things. There’s Math and Language Arts, and Creative Writing, in our reading lessons we incorporate History and a bit of Science.

What’s been good about letting my pre-teen manage her learning style is allowing her to explore career ideas, and making good decisions on how to achieve them. We focus on the WHY it’s important to create better study habits, and WHY it’s important to learn certain lessons.

Presenting the WHY, has alleviated some of the less cooperative times when homeschooling “feels like work”. It’s all a bunch of building blocks, that are creating her foundation for the years to come.


If you have a teen or pre-teen homeschooler, what sort of activities do you do to balance your days between books and activities?

When did I become a middle-aged woman?

Over the years, I’ve settled into this “middle-aged” life and have become less personally driven. I’ve never liked the word settle, yet I do feel… unsettled. Now I’m in the process of figuring out the WHY.

Recently, I took some time between my jencation winter 2018 and the new year, and decided to get back to basics.

I’ve begun to read a great Danish book called the Little Book of Hygge, which has spring-boarded a renewed interest in myself and my surroundings.

I used to make more plans, have personal goals, and was creative. What I’ve been lacking was personal structure.

I realize that over the years I put that off, and focused on family, the kiddo, our pugs – I became what was holding myself back. Not wanting to fail, but that set me up for not doing what I want or love. I needed to finally realize that it wasn’t about the fear, and more about the actual execution. The doing.

Now I need to reacquaint myself with more of the things I love and make time to do them. Find new interests and rekindle old lost hobbies. I’m fortunate, the boy and kiddo are beyond supportive. Kinda like the overly enthusiastic mom that tells her kid they can do anything they set their mind to. (I’m that kind of mom.) But it’s weird having that sort of support being directed at myself.

Josh would rather me do something, anything and everything… because he truly believes I can. Whenever I show him something I’ve created or learned how to make, he’s genuinely excited. I’ve decided to accept that train of thought. Adopt it as my own.

I’ve started using a new day planner, as a way to make sure that I remind myself to be more creative. One of the things I’ve set as a “to-do” is to blog once a week. I’ve been guest posting once a month on his blog for the past 4 months, and it’s been refreshing to come up with a topic to add different content for his readers. Now it’s time to take my creative writing skills, and apply it to my personal blog.

PS – I’m glad if you’re here, reading my blog!

I don’t really have readers, or the same viewership he does, but I’m just starting out. As the boy says, “Take action, and begin today.” Speaking of taking action… if you know me, I’m KINDA the girl who sings the praises of having a budget and love sharing some of my insight. This has recently brought me a few friends that are looking for the same kind of freedom and guidance. So I’ve created some personalized spreadsheets for them and have become their accountability partner for their budget. Sure there are days when they probably don’t like me, and maybe even all me all sorts of bad names… but I’m excited to see them grow and learn about their financial situations, and hope my help with put them on a more sound path with their money. Wanna learn more, read my post: The B word

I think between moving and my tinnitus, I’ve felt more out of sorts. A good friend suggested a while back that I paint my view of tinnitus. That might be a good place to begin with being more creative artistically.

I’m hoping that creating and doing, and helping others, will improve my general well being. I’m actually quite happy and content, but now I want more; I want to be over the moon.

Speaking of moon, did you see the Blood Wolf Moon this past Sunday/Monday? It was so pretty.

I’m also getting back to reading more. in 2017 I set a reading goal of 20 books and read 24! Last year, 2018 I set the goal to 25, and only made it to 15! I was just lazy, and unfocused and there are too many great shows between Netflix and Hulu.

I’ve sought out some fun travel shows on Netflix to help broaden my horizons and get educated and prepared for our world schooling eduventure. Our plan is to hopefully be heading off in about 3 years.

Hello 2019

I’ve been doing some guest posting on the boy’s website, and this year 2019, I’ve decided that I should get back to my own blog.

We ported everything over to this lovely WORDPRESS site, and eventually I’ll give my blog a bit of sprucing up and some TLC. #dontgochasingwaterfalls

OK, so what’s been going on?

Just a short and sweet catch up:

Kiddo isn’t dancing, has taken up drums, and still homeschooling.

Pugs- the boys are getting older but are still alive and kicking.

the boy- new job and focusing more on his own projects. seems much happier now!

ME- fighting laziness and attempting to be more creative. Personally – I think I need to paint more. LP- need to keep her interested in homeschooling. the boy- needs more QT with me.

I’ll just say that we’re moving forward on this journey of life.

I’m focusing more on manifesting and keeping an abundance mentality, although I’d like the abundance in my thighs to diminish. LOL

More to come as I will make more of an effort to write. 🙂


It’s half past 2018

I haven’t felt much like writing (read that as lazy and unfocused). But I guess it’s about that time to catch things up a bit and touch base. Get pen to paper so to speak, and let the words flow. 

This summer I turned… 46. That’s more than half way to 90! I decided to grow my hair out again, and am returning to my natural color. That’s right. I’m swearing off bleaching with the 40 vol peroxide, having the gorgeous purple colored dyes, and getting back “to my roots” as they say. Oh and I have BANGS! LaPetite also took off about 15 inches of hair and is sporting a cooler layered look. 

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This summer marks some major changes in our lives. 

LP is no longer dancing, and has turned her focus to music. More specifically- playing the drums. She also has been in the kitchen a lot more after taking a cooking camp. I tend to micromanage, so I’m allowing here to just have fun and be creative, and am letting her do more on her own.

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We’ve had both of my parents visit this summer (separately of course) and a belated birthday surprise houseguest (my sister KT) so this really has been an eventful summer in many ways. These might not be the glamorous of shots, but I’m not usually one to have my camera out snapping pictures at every corner. I take mental photographs. 

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Lets see, what else… I’ve gotten back to painting. It’s been good to be creative. 

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Oh and my boys are still alive and kicking! 

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So that is about it for now.