Browsing Category

Blog

Blog

How is it February already?

February 13, 2018

Wow. How in the world is it February already? I meant to write a nice 2017 wrap up post and a nice welcome to the New Year post highlighting some of the things I’ve worked on over my Christmas break. As you can see, neither happened.

I did get a few blog related things accomplished, for one, I merged my old blog BocaFrau with this one, so all posts are in one place and if you try to access bocafrau.com it redirects you here. (Thanks, hubby!) I didn’t change too many things on the blog itself since I’m still pretty happy with the template etc. I just streamlined a few things for myself, in hopes of posting more regularly. You see how that’s going, right? I mean, this post has been sitting in my draft folder since December. Ooopsies. I also updated my about me page, as I usually do at the beginning of each year. Other than that I just changed the look a bit and updated the top menu.

I created a portfolio site with Adobe Portfolio  (not an advertisement) since it’s included with my Creative Cloud subscription. I wasn’t sure at first, if I wanted to set up another website but I’m happy that I did. I like the different layout options and it’s ease of use. You’ll find it if you click on the Photography link in the top menu. I’d love it if you could pop on over and let me know what you think.

One of the reasons this post/blog has been sitting neglected for so long is that hubby and the kids all battled the flu in January.  I was the only one spared and only had a very minor cold for a couple of days. The road to recovery took a while but now everyone seems to be back to (mostly) normal and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that no one will relapse and we all stay well. A tall order with all the germs flying around at work and school! If you or your family have been affected by the flu this year, I just want to say I’m sorry that you have to deal with it and I wish everyone a speedy recovery!

I did manage to read two amazing books over break. Fourty Autumns by Nina Willner is a book about a family and their lives in Germany during the Cold War. It highlights the story of the author’s family, her mother’s life in the West and the rest of the family in the East and what they endured being separated for 40 years. The book really resonated with me, as I grew up in East Germany. I only lived under communist rule for 10 years before the fall of the Berlin Wall and can only look back at that time through the eyes of a child. But there are parallels, my grandma’s sister lived in West-Germany and we were only able to communicate with her and her children, my mother’s cousins, through letters. I still remember the first time we went to visit them and how amazed I was by everything!

The second book I read is a much more somber one, When Breath becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi. This book is a memoir about how the author, a neurosurgeon, is trying to come to terms with his mortality after he was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. This book was on my radar for a while and after reading a post on Cup of Jo, who I’ve been following a while, I decided now is as good a time as any. I never realized the connection there and thought it was interesting how Joanna is Lucy’s twin sister and Lucy is Paul’s widow.  I didn’t regret reading the book and it certainly is a story that will stay with me.

I just started reading Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance and so far so good. I will let you know what I think once I’ve finished it. I need to do some research as I remember an article saying this wasn’t really a memoir or something along those lines. Does anyone know what I’m talking about? If you do, leave me a comment, please.

Other than that, things are moving right along, we are all busy with school and work and trying to eat and be healthier. I started walking more regularly and have also been dipping my toes into yoga. Thanks to Heather at heyyyheather.com I finally found a yogie on YouTube who I feel is easy to follow for a beginner, and who doesn’t make it feel intimidating. I enjoy my 30 minutes a few times a week and cannot wait to hop on the mat. If you feel like checking it out here’s the link to Yoga with Adriene on YouTube.

We are also planning a super-duper amazing trip and I can’t wait to share more about that. It’ll be a post for another day though. 🙂

What’s new in your world? Let me know by leaving a comment below!

I hope you enjoy the random photos that have nothing to do with this post. I took them when the girls and I went to visit my mom on the west coast. I wanted to go to the beach and see a sunset. The sunset was rather lackluster bit we still had a nice time.

xoxo, Susi

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blog

An Evening Stroll {Wakodahatchee Wetlands, Dec. 2, 2017}

December 3, 2017

Now that the weather is a lot cooler and much less humid, it’s fun to explore the wetlands again and see what’s going on. I was surprised by how many birds are already there again, building nests and making noise. I’d been itching to get out and have some fun with my camera for a little photo therapy, as I like to call it.

Blog

A Magic(al) Hat

November 20, 2017

Ally is in third grade now. No more dressing up in costumes for her on Halloween (at school), instead, the kids have to design a hat that matches their word. They get to pick the word in advance with the teacher’s approval and then have to decorate their hat. The hats get worn for the Halloween parade and depending on what it is, the kids are also allowed to dress for their word. The other students/classmates have to guess the word that the hat depicts.

The kids actually have a lot of fun with it and this year I saw a lot of cool hats.

Ally’s word was magic, of course. 🙂 Nothing else would do for my little Harry Potter fanatic.

We decided to keep it simple and bought a plain black witches hat, some puffy gold paint and foam board stickers to cut out and decorate. Ally came up with the design and I helped her implement it a little. She’s very independent and likes to do everything herself. She used yellow foam board to make “scrolls” and wrote some spells on those. The brown foam board was made into a wand. She used the puffy paint to add some stars to the hat. It’s hard to tell in the pictures but the paint ended up drying a nice sparkly gold and stood out in a 3D effect.

She was so proud of her handy work. The kids ended up guessing anything in relation to Harry Potter, because they all know her obsession with the books and movies, but few came up with magic.

The cutest little wizard I did ever see!

Xoxo, Susi

Blog

Grandfather Mountain and the Mile High Swinging Bridge – A Photo Gallery

November 7, 2017

All images taken with my Nikon D3200 and Tamron 18-200mm lens on a gorgeous summer day in the High Country of North Carolina.

 

Blog Wordless Wednesday

Baby Chicks

November 3, 2017

Yesterday, I got a call at work from the lower school science lab teacher to let me know that a few baby chicks had hatched.

I’ve seen it a few times now, but it’s still as fascinating as the first time for me. And these chicks are so adorable. Their little chirps make my heart happy.

Aren’t they just the cutest?

*I’m going to try to post everyday in November since it’s #nablopomo (National Blog Post Month) where bloggers from all over post content every day in November. There is an off-shoot of this for photos. I have to look up the hashtag for it.

Have a great day everyone!

xoxo, Susi

Blog Travel

The Blowing Rock, North Carolina

September 29, 2017

This past summer we went on vacation in North Carolina for a week. We stayed in a cozy cabin nestled in the woods near the charming town of Blowing Rock. The town is named after one of North Carolina’s oldest tourist attractions – the Blowing Rock.

The girls and I spend a little time there, taking in the spectacular views and posing on the rock.

A lovely place to visit. I’d like to go back in the fall to see the views when the leaves change. I think it would be stunning.

xoxo, Susi

Blog Wordless Wednesday

A hurrication in pictures {Wordless Wednesday}

September 27, 2017

Pit stop in Savannah, GA on the way to our destination – it took us 10 hours when it is normally a 6 hour drive.

Raleigh/Durham for a few days. And a special tour of UNC Chapel Hill – what a beautiful campus.

After a few days, hotel living with a family of five and a pooch, gets to be just slightly tiresome. So a few days in the mountains were in order… kitchen, washer/dryer and some room to spread out.

We got incredibly lucky and had an unexpected “vacation” to boot. Things are getting back to normal around here and we are keeping our fingers crossed that the rest of hurricane season will be quiet.

xoxo, Susi

Blog

Ally’s 9th Birthday – Harry Potter Style

September 26, 2017

This past Saturday we celebrated Ally’s 9th Birthday.

I threw the party together at the last minute, mostly because of Hurricane Irma, partially because I didn’t have a class list and also wasn’t sure what to do. I wanted to keep it small and simple since we had a big surprise planned for her on her actual birthday.

Ally luckily didn’t want a big to do and decided she only wanted a few friends to come over and “hang” out. She also really, really wanted a Harry Potter themed party.

Do you realize, that as popular as Harry Potter is, no one carried any themed party decorations, not Party City, not Michaels and not Walmart? Luckily, Amazon came through in a pinch and I was able to order some decorations and party supplies at the last minute.

I set up a “PhotoBooth” wall with Harry Potter themed props, set the table with the tableware I found on Amazon and put up some banners and balloons to make it look festive.

We had discussed doing a small craft but my slime master ultimately decided she really wanted to make slime with her friends. So instead of figuring out what kind of craft to do, we only had to get together supplies for slime. That’s easy enough to do these days since anywhere you turn there are “slime” sections set up in stores. They even sell slime kits these days…

I set the “slime factory” up outside and gave each guest their own set-up (as we like to say in the science lab). The girls had so much fun with it and even big sister joined in the fun. No one can resist slime, except maybe us moms.

After slime making, the girls changed and jumped in the pool for a bit and then in was time for presents and decorating their own cupcakes, another fun activity. I put frosting in single portions in small bags, tied them and cut a hole in the bottom and set out assorted sprinkles and candies for them to use. I don’t have a good close-up shot of the trays I prepared with the frosting bags and sprinkles. Ooops.

Here is the birthday girl with her creation!

And big sister sneaking candy before the guests arrive.

Judging by the big smile on her face, I’d say the party was a big success.

And just in case you are wondering what the big surprise is…

Ally is jumping for joy because she will finally get to experience the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Orlando!!! (The boomerang isn’t working on here for some reason but let’s just say she is thrilled!!!)

Birthdays are fun and I like to put together a simple party like this.

xoxo, Susi

Blog

A hairy situation

August 17, 2017

Two days ago, hubby and I went out to dinner by ourselves. The kids didn’t feel like going and we were right across the street. No worries, right?

Well, not so much. About halfway through dinner I get a message from Ally on Google Hangouts.

 

“Mom.”

“Mommy. ”

“Mommmmmmmyyyyyyyyyy. ”

 

You get the idea. My first thought was she was mad at her brother for something.

I sent back hello and asked what was going on?

 

The three little dots just kept blinking away and I waited. Finally, another message popped up.

 

“I’m sorrrrrryyyyyyy but I got slime stuck in my hair and cut it out. ”

 

I didn’t know if I should laugh or cry. She seemed upset though. I told her it’s no big deal and we’d see her when we got home.

 

Once we got home, we surveyed the “damage”. I guess it could have been a lot worse. She basically just gave herself some uneven bangs.

This pic was taken after she cried hysterically for about 2 minutes. I think, she thought we’d be upset with her.

She went from no bangs to uneven bangs.

And after she calmed down for a bit she even joked about it. When I took the pictures she made me promise not to share but gave me the ok today, after daddy shared some pics on Facebook.

I offered to fix it for her but daddy’s idea of a father-daughter lunch and a visit to the hair salon sounded much better to her.

I can’t say that I blame her.

When I came home from work this afternoon, I finally got to see her…

I think, I may have yelped. She looks so cute and so happy!

Daddy even took her for her new glasses which we just found she needs from now on.

Look at that? I’d say this cutie pie is ready to take 3rd grade by storm!

Love her.

xoxo, Susi

P.S. Do you have any hair raising stories to tell? Leave me a comment!