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June 2012

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Instagram Sundays #11

June 30, 2012

I love to share photos and I love Instagram. I was one happy little blogger when Instagram became available on Android devices. I jumped, no leaped, on that particular social media bandwagon and have developed a new love affair/addiction with it. Because of this love affair I have decided to start my very own Sunday link up aptly called… Instagram Sundays!!!

I would love it if you would join me and share the treasures you captured with Instagram( or your camera phone if you don’t use Instagram) during the past week. I see a lot of fantastic, cute, funny and happy moments every day.

Share just one or many of your Instagrams and add a small description.

Just paste the badge into your post or sidebar!

My Instagram user name is of course, bocafrau!!! 🙂

I look forward to seeing your Instagrams on the big screen!!!

 

This week I didn’t take as many pictures with Instagram as I usually do. Still took plenty but it usually is much harder to pick which to use for my post on Sunday.

I also didn’t include the pitiful one of my Middle daughter who was utterly devastated by the loss of the semi-final game for the German team. I shared that one in my Friday post!

The weekend so far started off great. On Friday, I had the chance for some girl time. I was invited to lunch and a movie. Lunch was delicious (my first time at PF Chang’s ) and the movie was full of eye candy for women. “Magic Mike” indeed was magical!!! 🙂 You have to see it to believe it, is all I can say.

Today, my new toy arrived and I spent some time learning the ins and outs of it. I will share pictures soon. It’s a laptop dock for my Android phone. It basically takes the phone and turns it into a laptop/tablet. No more wifi only tablet for me… now I can travel in style!!! 😉

Okay, here are my Instagrams of the week:

My basil plant. I grew it from seeds. Not too bad for someone who doesn’t have a green thumb at all. I will be making some Veal Milano during the week!

Wednesday night we had dinner with grandma and saw this rainbow on the way home. Beautiful. I never get tired of seeing a rainbow.

It’s hard to see in this picture but that itty bitty white speck in the sky is the moon and it looked pretty cool next to the palm tree.

After camp one day this past week the kids all sat together being crafty with beads. It was such a pleasure to see them together and listen to their conversations while I was cooking dinner. Moments like this don’t happen too often anymore as the two big ones are getting older and doing their own thing.

Who wants to cook in this heat? Not me, and apparently neither does our in-house chef! So this is what we had instead. One of my “famous” cheese/Italian salami and cracker platters. Loved by all…

Of course, its never too hot too bake… especially, if there are Ghiradelli chocolate chips involved. These chocolate chip muffins were gone as fast as I made them. 🙂

Last night, the boy wanted breakfast for dinner… so I finally went out and got us a waffle iron. Because, what’s a proper breakfast without some yummy, home-made waffles?

I think, we may do this a lot more frequently now!!!

Can you see that? That’s a toad, one of the many that are out and about all over the neighborhood at night. Let me just say they are not one of my favorite critters. I have on numerous occasions almost stepped on the small ones… Let’s just say, I scared myself with my screams. They give me the heebie-jeebies.

The birds, on the other hand, I enjoy a lot. There are so many different kinds and just the other day I saw a beautiful, red cardinal but didn’t have my phone or camera with me.

And this is what Little One and I did this afternoon to cool off after running errands.  Heaven…

Now it’s your turn! What were you up to this past week?

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Blog

A loss, good food and some fill ins

June 28, 2012

A sad day for me today… Germany lost to Italy in the semi-finals of the Euro Cup 2012.

A good team, beat by a better one… I can’t deny that Italy played the better game today. It seemed to me that after the great showing of the German team the past few games, they just fell apart.

After the game, there was much sadness in the house. Here is Middle, utterly devasted that Germany lost. Especially, since she dressed for the occasion in her team jersey.

Now, there will be quiet again for two years (I go a little crazy during these tournaments!) until we start rooting for our teams (USA/Germany) during the next World Cup. Which will be held in Brazil in 2014!

To cheer us up after the sad ending of the game, hubby took us out for a nice sushi dinner… we had live scallop again and enjoyed it just as much as we did the first time last week.

Little One surprised us all by ordering a yakitori skewer of alligator which happens to be very good. She ate the whole thing!!!

Now I’m looking forward to a fun day spent with some lovely ladies… lunch and then some man eye candy at the movies. We’ll be checking out “Magic Mike”, don’t think the plot will be very important!!! 😉 I’ll let you know…

Oh, and before I forget… hubby ordered me a new toy. A laptop dock for my Android phone. It’s the coolest thing… I’ll share pictures as soon as I get it. So excited.

Geez, listen to me, getting excited and drooling over a piece of technology. What has the world come too? A few years ago, I could have cared less. Now all these new, shiny toys and apps make me go gaga!!!

He sure scored major points today! See, it’s the unexpected gifts that are the best!!!

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So now, time for some fill in fun with Hilary of Feeling Beachie. She hosts the Follow Friday Four Fill in Fun hop where she gives us four statements with blanks to fill in on our own blogs. If you have any statements for her, please e-mail her and if she uses them you’ll be made co-host!!!

Here are this weeks statements:

1.       ____makes me laugh

2.       Sometimes____makes me sad

3.       My ___ looks ___ after ___

4.       When I hear ___ I ___

My answers:

1. My boy makes me laugh. Lately, he’s been able to make me laugh so much. I think, he’s taking after his father in that department!

2. Sometimes watching soccer makes me sad. As it did today. Not a good game… 🙁

3. My cat looks out the window after all the little lizards that cling to the screen and tease her!

4. When I hear my children’s laughter I feel good about myself and the world. It works wonders!!!

 

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend. I’ll see you on Sunday with all my favorite Instagrams of the week!!! I’d love it if you shared yours and linked up with me.

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Blog

A positive attitude

June 26, 2012

 

I’ve said it before and I’m sure I’ll say it many more times to come…

I like to have a positive outlook on life and always try to make the best of every situation.

This quote is just so true. And so, well, positive.

I love that last line… a spark that creates extraordinary results.

If all of us just look at life with a bit more positivity, I wonder how many more extraordinary things will happen!!!

So for today, be positive, smile and create a spark!!! 🙂

Blog

A special man

June 25, 2012

It’s Monday… afternoon. And I feel like the day is just passing me by. So much to do, so little time.

But I really want to take some time and join Stasha for her Monday Listicles.

This week Kim of The G is Silent chose the topic. She wants us to write a list about a special man in our life.

The main man in my life is my hubby! The boy doesn’t quite count as a man just yet. 🙂

Here are 10 reasons/memories/things that make him special to me.

1. The biggest one of all would probably be the fact that he stepped up to the plate when I became pregnant with our son only 3 months after meeting him. He could have easily walked away but chose to stay and become a dad and family man. And here we are 12 years down the road…

2. He is such a wonderful father and his kids, especially the girls adore him. I’ve said this before but they are daddy’s girls. I love it when one of them runs up to him, jumps into his arms, gives him a monkey hug and tells him: “I love you daddy. You are the best.” Just because.

3. I love when he comes home after work with a bouquet of flowers or most recently, German pickles, just because he wants to see me smile. No reason, no occasion… just because.

4. This one is not necessarily a happy memory but a tender one. Middle had eye surgery when she was three. Due to unforeseen circumstances I had to leave the hospital while she was in surgery. He stayed, and was there when they wheeled her out. When I walked in, there he was, in the hospital bed with her in his arms, soothing her and holding her. It was a sight I will never forget and still brings tears to my eyes.

5. On a lighter note, last summer one of my besties came to visit and we met up with German friends of ours that were here on vacation. One day, we decided that us girls would go shopping because the guys really didn’t want to. So, hubby stayed home and entertained a virtual stranger all day so we girls could go shopping in peace. They had a blast, even with the language barrier, and once we got home we all got to enjoy hubby’s barbeque skills!!!

6. He has a soft heart when it comes to animals. A few years ago, I found this tiny kitten in the backyard… around 4 weeks old. I brought her home but kept her outside on the back deck. The next day, I put up fliers, and was going to take her to the humane society, since we had 3 dogs and really didn’t need another mouth to feed. He had run out to the grocery store for something… and came home with a collar, dishes and cat food instead. He named the kitten Finnegan and she has him wrapped around her little paws!

7. I love that he plays guitar, electric and acoustic. It’s like I have my own rock star in the house… there’s always music around.  He also dabbles in bass, drums and knows a tune or two on the trumpet. The kids have inherited his love for music and want to play their own instruments. Not sure how I feel about having a drum set in the house, though!

8. He’s my own personal tech guru. I never have to worry about my laptop, backups or hosting issues. He handles it all for me… and I know, that’s a biggie, especially for a blogger! When I told him I wanted to buy a premium theme and start running on the Genesis framework, he quietly did a back up of my blog and told me to have at it. Not one minute of worry for me. I had enough on my mind switching themes!!! 🙂

9. He is also super understanding and supportive of my blogging endeavors and puts up with me sitting in front of my laptop until midnight, trying to catch up on my blog reading, commenting and writing. You all know how time consuming it can get, right?

10. He’s a pretty amazing cook and does a lot of the cooking. I think, most weeks he probably cooks more than I do. He enjoys it and we (mostly) love what he whips up. I don’t even mind the clean up after… usually. (He does have a tendency for using every pot, bowl and spoon in the kitchen!) 🙂

Yes, I love my husband, even if we don’t always see eye to eye… it’s marriage, it does take some work and compromise. But in the end the love that we make is equal to the love we take!!!!

 

 

Blog

Instagram Sundays #10

June 23, 2012

I love to share photos and I love Instagram. I was one happy little blogger when Instagram became available on Android devices. I jumped, no leaped, on that particular social media bandwagon and have developed a new love affair/addiction with it. Because of this love affair I have decided to start my very own Sunday link up aptly called… Instagram Sundays!!!

I would love it if you would join me and share the treasures you captured with Instagram during the past week. I see a lot of fantastic, cute, funny and happy moments every day.

Share just one or many of your Instagrams and add a small description.

Just paste the badge into your post or sidebar and maybe follow me… quick and simple.

My Instagram user name is of course, bocafrau!!! 🙂

I look forward to seeing your Instagrams on the big screen!!!

This week I made a nice collage again and numbered my Instagrams. Following the collage will be the a small description of each shot. 🙂

1) Sisterly love. Enjoying the fruits of their labor. They decorated cupcakes for Middle’s birthday and were happy with their results.

2) My campers. Ready for their first day of camp… that was almost two weeks ago.

3) Girl time. Heading to lunch with great-grandma… just us girls. It was fun.

4) Three years old and she tells me when I do something wrong trying to set up one of her games. 🙂

5) Another awesome sunset. Love, love, love that view.

6) Middle, ecstatic after watching the German national team win the last group game in the Euro Cup 2012.

7) Me, supporting Team Germany for the first quarter-finals match against Greece. They won 4:2. On to the semi-finals now. Let the nail biting begin.

8) Date night. Hubby and I on out way to dinner. We had live, raw scallop. It was so good we had to get a second order. The waitress told us they still wiggle and move when they slice them!

9) Little One taking a break at a fountain in the mall. We were pooped. Middle daughter dragged us all over the place… birthday shopping is exhausting. I looked around me and saw the future… her and her friends turning into mall rats!!! 🙂

Now it’s your turn…

bocafrau



Blog

Follow Friday Four Fill in Fun #68

June 21, 2012

Friday again. Where did the week go?

The two older kids had a great week at camp… 4 field trips. They got to see Madagascar 3 on Monday, spent time at the beach on Tuesday, roller skating at Kabooms on Wednesday and today a trip to Lion Country Safari. They are exhausted. Tomorrow is a regular camp day. They’ll need the break. 🙂 Middle is looking forward to next week. They’ll get to go ice skating and that’s one of her favorite things to do.

As for me, I had a nice week. Tuesday, I got to spent time with the lovely Nicole from By Word Of Mouth Musings and a friend of hers. We had a great time sitting and chatting. Little One enjoyed spending time with Nicole’s daughter and had a blast on the playground. It’s so nice that I got to meet another blogger locally. I love to pick her brain.

I’ve been thinking about the idea of inviting you my fellow bloggers for guest posts here once or twice a month. I’m still trying to figure out the how’s and what’s and so on. Let me know if you have any ideas, anything you’d like to share. I would really appreciate your input. Thanks! 🙂

Anyways, time now to join Hilary of Feeling Beachie fame for her Friday hop. Each week she posts four statements with blanks for us to fill in on our own blogs. If you have some statements for her, she’d love it if you could send them to feelingbeachieatgmaildotcom. If she uses your statements you’ll be made co-host!

Here are this week’s statements:

1.       I love a ___

2.       If I could ____ anywhere I would ____

3.       When I grow up, I want to ________

4.       the best _________________ I ever ____________________

My answers:

1. I love a nice, hot cup of Rooibus tea with honey at the end of the day.

2. If I could travel anywhere, I would go either to Ireland or the Pacific Northwest. 

3. When I grow up, I want to be a fashion designer. ( This answer courtesy of Middle. )

4. The best smiles I ever got were from my children.

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Blog

I'm Baking… Thursdays {Chocolate Chip Muffins}

June 20, 2012

Two weeks ago, I was going to share this delicious muffin recipe but was side-tracked by the Queen’s jubilee and trying my hand at making scones. So I shared that recipe instead.

Today, I’m back on track and am here to share one of my boy’s favorites. Anything is good as long as it has chocolate in it. If that chocolate consists of semi-sweet Ghiradelli chocolate chips even better.

This is a quick and easy chocolate chip muffin receipe and serves 12.

Ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup white sugar

3 tablespoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup milk

1/3 cup vegetable oil

1 egg

3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips ( I used Ghiradelli.)

3 tablespoons white sugar

2 tablespoons brown sugar

Directions:

1. Heat oven to 400° F. Grease bottoms only of 12 muffin cups or line them with baking cups. ( I lined them with baking cups.)

2. In a medium bowl, combine flour, 1/2 cup sugar, baking powder, chocolate chips, and salt. Mix well. In a small bowl, combine milk, oil and egg, blend well. Add dry ingredients all at once; stir just until dry ingredients are moistened. Batter will be lumpy.

3. Fill cups 2/3 full. Sprinkle tops of muffins with a combination of the 3 tablespoons sugar and 2 tablespoons brown sugar.

4. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool before removing from pan. Enjoy. ( We love it when they are still slightly warm and the chocolate chips are melty and gooey inside.)

I think, I may just surprise the boy and bake him up another batch. I just bought a new bag of those yummy chocolate chips after all!!! 🙂

*Note: Recipe courtesy of allrecipes.com.

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Blog

All Good Things

June 18, 2012

 

I love this proverb and it’s really something I try to strive for.

I try to see the positive in all things and people. ( Some would say that’s naive.)

I believe in the benefit of the doubt, in the glass half full and things happening for a reason.

I definitely believe we should love more and not hate. What’s the point in it? Hate is exhausting.

I’d much rather give and receive love.

And I believe a smile can cure many ills.

So, smile… 🙂