A Sparkling 4th of July

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Let Freedom Ring type

Wowzers…This year we celebrated the 4th of July week with a BANG! I think my little family is still recovering from all the excitement at the rodeo, parades and BBQ’s!  We kicked off our fun-filled 4th of July week with a visit to the St. Paul Rodeo, an all-American classic tradition for my family. We have had the same box seats at St. Paul Rodeo, since before I was walking. This year was the 79th Annual Rodeo and my little guy’s third visit to this rodeo. He slept through his first show at 1.5 months old, loved the HUGE firework show as one-year old and this year was fascinated with the COWS and cowboys. In fact, during the steer wrestling…Cason informed me “Oh-no Mama, the guy fell down onto the cow…uh-oh!” Too cute…he had all of us cracking up with his sheer exhilaration for the show. But I have never seen my little cowboy sit so still as he did for the fireworks frenzy at the end of the night. He was shouting out the colors of each firework as it boomed in the sky. Priceless!
St. Paul rodeo

A new adventure for our little family this year included being spectators at the local parades. WE HIT UP TWO OF THEM! The first one was a test drive for Cason…the kiddie parade. It’s a short and sweet parade, with lots of candy. We met up with his best buddies and cousins for a nice night out, where all we saw was Stars, Stripes and Smiles.

parade horse

kiddie parade

{Red, White and True Blue Friends}

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{All Star Cousins}

all star cousins

The next parade was the large 4th of July parade…oh my word, I didn’t even know this town had that many people. Every street was packed with parade goers. We saw some amazing floats and lots of people we knew from the neighborhood…even our animal/cattle vet had a float.

{All Decked Out in Red, White and Blue}

parade

{First Fireworks~ Sparklers}

Fourth of July 2014 Sparklers

BTW, has anybody noticed that the sparklers out now are nowhere near as big and sparkly as they were when we were  kiddos! Cason loved the sparklers…we ended up going through the entire box of sparklers and all the other fireworks the hubby and kiddo picked out from the firework stand.  I am not sure who was into them more…Cason the two-year old or the hubby, the thirty something year old. Especially when the kiddo was tired and  passing out in my lap and the hubby wanted to keep going. LOL

It never fails in the valley, 4th of July week means HAY SEASON for everyone. Therefore, the farms and farmers that grow their own hay are on tractors all day, trying to finish and get out of the fields before the BBQ’s.  We put up around 50+ acres in grass/clover hay for our cattle. The way the schedule fell, we ended up having our Independence Day BBQ on the 5th of July.  We don’t even require showers or cleaning up…just travel on over after you step off the tractor and enjoy some tri-tip, corn on the cob and a cold one…plus more fireworks.

{Three Cheers for the Red, White and Blue Decor}

back patio

The Hubby and I DIY’ed this farmhouse patio table for less than $100.00. I absolutely love it and we seemed to be using this outdoor table more this summer than our indoor farmhouse table. I will post all the information on the stain color and tutorial soon.

back patio 1

USA Bar

back patio 2

decor

I hope everyone’s Independence Day was a blast!

“You have to love a nation that celebrates its independence every July 4, not with a parade of guns, tanks, and soldiers who file by the White House in a show of strength and muscle, but with family picnics where kids throw Frisbees, the potato salad gets iffy, and the flies die from happiness. You may think you have overeaten, but it is patriotism.” ~Erma Bombeck

Beach or Bust

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Beach Trio

For my birthday weekend…the sweet hubby planned a beach trip for our little family.  We live less than 2 hours from the beach…but never seem to make the trek and have a some down time in the sand. This trip was a “Beach or Bust” trip…it was going to happen, rain or shine. I stocked up on the cutest beach supplies at one of my fav stores, Target… they have everything! beach supplies

A must at the beach…is a fresh crab cocktail from the Newport Ports.  While enjoying your cocktail you can visit with the Sea Lions. My little guy was fascinated with these sea creatures…we sat and watched these big guys bark back and forth at each other, for over an hour.

port of newport

sea lion double

Cason asked if he could go pet one and take it home to play with his doggies…simply request? Come on Dada let load up a Sea Lion for the back yard.

sea lion 1

The ports actually have a piece of the dock that traveled across the ocean for miles and landed on the Oregon Coast, after the Japan Tsunami, incredible piece of history to see and touch.

dock

We stayed at our favorite spot in Lincoln City, Oregon…Surftides. This place is perfect for family fun trip…they have ocean view rooms with balcony’s, easy beach access and fire pits in the courtyard.

First Stop ~ The Beach

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double beach 2014

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The weather wasn’t as warm as we hoped, therefore no cute flamingo swim trunks, but we had a grand ol’ time playing chase in the sand, making sand castle and burying our feet.

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Cason Name

 

mama double

After playing on the beach for hours we were started to turn into popsicles and needed to warm up… so we headed back up to the hotel’s courtyard around the fire pits for “happy hour” and made S’mores with the little guy. He was a little more interested in just eating the S’more ingredients, before we toasted them.

smores

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The hotel room was decorated in a rustic beachy chic way… I just fell in LOVE with this light. Maybe a DIY project in the future…Beach Trip May 2014 142

Another Birthday down in the books…Nothing beats a little family trip and sand in your toes.

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Birthday Wish

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Cason 1

My little TWO YEAR OLD (wow that is a hard one to type, he is growing up way to fast) has a mad passion for PLANES right now. We live in the flight plan of all the major airlines, who land at PDX, also we are surrounded by private smaller airports, therefore everyday we have plane after plane flying directly over our ranch. The kiddo lets us know when they are flying over, even on cloudy days. HE HAS EXCELLENT PLANE RADAR…he can hear them before he spots them in the sky.

My Father and Uncle own a small plane and are both certified pilots (for more info see my Sky High post). Cason knows that his Grandpa or otherwise known as “Gee” (Cason started calling him “G” but now it is “Gee” and has stuck…”Granny and Gee” has a nice ring to it) has a plane and scrolls through “Gee’s” IPhone to see pictures of his plane. For months he has been begging to see the plane, therefore for his birthday wish we made a special trip to the aviation airport just for him to see and sit in the plane.  My only intentions were for him to sit in the plane and look at all the controls, watch a few planes take off and land.  I mean we were not going to up in the air, this kiddo is super scared of the car wash…he wouldn’t want to fly in a small plane.

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But he saw the planes taking off and said he wanted to fly in the sky… so we loaded up in the plane and were ready for takeoff, headphones and all! (Sorry about the close up, some fuzzy pic’s…we were sitting so close it was hard for me to zoom in and out, in focus…plus I am not camera savvy)!

Cason 2

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These are noise canceling headphones and voice activated for everyone to hear/communicate to each other in the plane, you can also hear the tower and other pilots. They were a 2 year olds favorite new toy…he loved talking into them and hearing everyone respond back to his little sweet “hi…hi…hi”.

We flew low and it was a nice day, so you could see everything below…why not fly over the ranch and do a little fly by to the Dada.

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…all the little black dots are the COWS

farm

This special little guy’s birthday wish came true and he was on “cloud 9″ for the rest of the evening, which was followed up by a birthday dinner (next to the water, his 2nd request) and then a chocolate sundae!

Cason Flight 086

Sneak Peek: Cason Turns Two Photo Shoot was a huge success. Can’t wait to share all the perfect pics.  BTW the theme to his Birthday Bash is “Vintage Airplane”!

cason 2 double

Birthday Boy

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One trio

Birthday Countdown has begun for a soon to be TWO year old. I can’t believe my baby boy is going to be TWO in TWO days…it is so crazy how time flies. We have had to reschedule “Cason’s Turning Two” photo shoot a few times for weather and the “black eye accident”…or I should say swollen Black and Blue face that has now turned a nice shade of murky green. The poor kiddo took a big spill and landed FACE FIRST onto his picnic table bench. He thinks he looks pretty tough, but this Mama postpone the pic shoot until we are a little more healed up. Our favorite family photographer, Audrey, shot the most perfect one year old photos last year. She has put on her patience hat and agreed to capture some photos of the “Tasmanian Two Year Old”, who refuses to stay in one spot for more that a second. I can’t wait for the photos…on the FLY, literally!

Last year’s ONE year old theme was {Little Red Wagons}

wagon trio

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Duo

After the 2 Year Old photo shoot, party planning for Cason’s Turning Two bash will be in full swing.  Cason is super excited for this year’s theme. He is obsessed with them and has even helped pick out all the fun goodies for the swag bags.

{Coming Soon} on the the Blog will be the party photos from the LITTLE RED WAGON SHINDIG, including all the decor and, of course, desserts.

Wish us luck on the Turning Two Photo Shoot ~Lindsey

Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

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Mother’s Day is this Sunday and nothing touches a Mama’s heart more than a personal handmade gift from the littles in their life. My little man and I made this craft for his Nana as a birthday present to capture the highlights of being a ONE YEAR OLD.

DIY Photo Decoupage Flower Pot- Dress up your Terra Cotta flower pot with memorable photos.

This little craft project can be done in an hour or less (without drying time) and my little one was very helpful when it came to planting the flower.

{Supplies}

  • Terra Cotta Pot
  • 15-20 Pictures (2 x 3 or smaller)
  • Scissors
  • Mod Podge
  • Small Paint Brush
  • Ribbon
  • Favorite Flower

Start with printing out 15-20 of your favorite photos, I had a smaller pot so I wanted to cram as many photos as possible on the pot, therefore, all my photos were cropped and 2 x 3 or smaller. I was going for a more timeless look and made all the photos black and white. I have all my photos saved on my computer in folders, by the year… I pulled up “Cason Turns One” folder and rummaged thru for all my fav photos.

Super Easy Steps:

1. Cut out all your photos (or wrapping/scrap paper, old book pages, postcards, napkins ect..).

2. Use your paint brush and Mod Podge to cover as much of the photo in order to adhere it to the pot.

3. Continue covering your pot with photos until you LOVE IT, we overlapped many of the photos.

4. Once you love it and covered the entire surface, paint a thick coat of Mod Podge over all of your photos and seal all the edges (Do not PANIC, this will look like you are destroying the photos with the really thick WHITE glue…it will dry clear and your photos will be perfect.)

5. Let it dry for 15-20 minutes…then apply another coat of Mod Podge. Repeat this step, if necessary.

6. Once your flower pot is dry, you can add the finishing touches. We added some burlap ribbon or you can use paint ( next time I want to try Chalkboard paint and then write a sweet message in Chalk).

7. LAST STEP: Plant a pretty flower or herb in your pot. Cason, my little guy, picked out this beautiful Lavender plant for his Nana. Add some Spanish Moss and a name card. Voila!

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flower pot 1

Of Course, Mama’s like a little something fun to go with their beautiful handmade goodies, such as a Starbucks Gift Card or a bottle of their favorite Yellow Label Champs, Veuve-Clicquot.

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Happy Mother’s Day to all the wonderful mamas… We do have a hard and challenging job, but the most rewarding in the world!

Spring Fever {part two}

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farmhouse shabby spring table

For a little “Spring Spirit” around the house… I decided to spruce up our farmhouse table with a few spring accents.  Since I was feelin’ a little crafty, I created a SUPER DUPER easy reindeer moss letter with the following supplies from Craft Warehouse:
• Monogram 10 inch Letter {“R” for our last name}
• 1 Package of Preserved Reindeer Moss {this comes in several different colors}
• 3-5 glue sticks w/ glue gun

spring table scape moss letter

spring table scape 1

I cut these pussy willow branches from the tree in my yard, but I wanted to give them a little more pizazz and add some eggs~ dictionary Mod Podge eggs. I followed a tutorial from Dear Lillie {BTW love this blog site, she is incredible and inspiring}.

Supplies:
• Brush
• Bowl
• Water
• Mod Podge
• Plastic Easter Eggs
• Book Pages or Newspaper
• Jute Twine {these plastic eggs already had 2 holes on the top of the egg to string the twine through to hang}

spring table scape mod podge egg

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spring table scape 2

spring table scape bunny

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The Moss Letter and Mod Podge Eggs are very simple to create and super cute craft projects to conquer, when you only have an hour to spare.

Spring Fever {part one}

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So OFFICIALLY the first day of Spring was MARCH 20th… unfortunately, in Oregon it still looked a little like Winter around here. But now that April is in full swing and the sun is out and about throughout the day, we have come down with Spring Fever. WE WANT MORE SUN, LONGER DAYS, FLOWERS BLOOMIN’ and FRESH CUT GRASS.

My 23 month old munchkin is all about helping me with craft projects….WAIT, did I just type 23… 23months! Holy moly where has the time gone…my baby is almost TWO. Tear, tear and few more million tears. {For the record, he thinks he is already TWO and tells EVERYONE he is TWO}.

Now back to the super fun and easy craft project, Wheatgrass! Wheatgrass starts growing in 3-5 days, so for those little kiddos who have no patience and short attention spans {like my so called 2 year old} this is great project for them to show their excitement and have results before they are burnt out and moved on to something else.

 

4 Easy Steps:

1. Choose a Décor Container- I have a mad passion for the white hobnail milk glass look and have a collection of tumblers.

2. Fill your container with potting soil to 1-2 inch from the top

3. Sprinkle a layer of Wheatgrass seed- I picked up a 20 oz container of Wheatgrass seed from my local craft store, Craft Warehouse.

4. Cover with soil and keep moist- if you would like thicker grass, repeat steps 3 & 4.

wheatgrass

And who doesn’t want to tackle some morning planting in their pajamas.

wheatgrass 1

A week later… TA DA! Now everyone who stops to visit must check out Cason’s Kitty Grass.

Savvy Ranch Living Tip: Check out the dollar bin at your local Target store, EVERY VISIT.  You can score some fab craft items for dollars.  I found these metal caged jar lids for $1.00 each… they fit perfectly on the top of a Mason jar.

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…works perfectly for your weaker stemmed Daffodils.

Dollar bin

Spring Fever {part two}…stay tuned.  ~ Lindsey