laundry room. before and after.

I spend more time in the laundry room than I care to admit. It is right off the garage and therefore a room I must see daily. Not just for laundry this room. It used to also house the dog's food so you can imagine as to the shape of the walls..... yikes. We had some extra paint left over from the family room and so....


Breathe a deep sigh of happy relief. Because it is organized and pretty and clean and yes. A much happier place to be.

For more room tours click HERE.


the parade and the bbq

Just like last year we took the kids to the Manheim Parade. It may not be much but it's something and the kids really enjoy it. David greatly enjoys yelling  "fruck" at every single passing vehicle. Letty greatly enjoys the candy. And I myself get a little emotional seeing the elderly vets walking down the streets to a bit of applause. I really am sentimental underneath it all.

After the parade we had the traditional BBQ at my parent's house. The pictures are lacking in any area except the one that counts. The food. David developed a bit of a fever on Sunday and so he was sort of prickly and therefore just put a big old damper on any photo taking opportunities.

And so ends another MDW. It's officially summer now. So we best start enjoying it before we are busting out the mums and pumpkins. Time moves all too fast as we all know. Oh and that dessert above there? Beth made it. There is almond extract in the icing. Maybe if enough people demand it I can even get her to guest post on here with that lil gem of a recipe. It's good.


water parks and a bbq

This weekend marked the official opening of Dutch Wonderland's water park. Read: Matt's favorite thing about DW. I know it may seem like madness to attempt such a thing on a holiday weekend when it involves heading directly into the tourist trap that is Route 30. Capital R. But no one ever called us sane. Or smart. We made sure to be there well before opening. We made sure to head straight to Duke's Lagoon. And we enjoyed it mostly to ourselves. The amateurs don't know how to work the system to beat the crowds I'll tell you.

David went on any and every water slide he could handle. Letty went on the one slightly larger water slide but none of the others. And that one water slide she went on countless times. So. It only takes three summers and countless hours of cajoling and you too could have success.

After we hit Duke's Lagoon and quit it we headed on over to my brother-in-law and sister-in-law's annual MDW BBQ. Where we ate too much food and I got schooled on the rules of ladder golf. Really. I had no idea. Oh and she has lilacs. Lots of lilacs.


wine plus ice cream equals happy

If you happened to frequent this blog last year around this time you know I go a bit nuts for Memorial Day Weekend. I get all kinds of crazy plans and ideas in my head and I just fill it up to the brim as much as my little family shall allow. Memorial Day Weekend of 2014 did not disappoint.

Due to the harsh winter we had the number one tradition of strawberry picking was not to be had. Not in this state or the bordering ones. I was forced to look elsewhere for entertainment. I had heard about Flavor Fest for a few years running and decided that this would be the year we tried it. So we loaded up the van and brought the kids to an event deemed family friendly but really was just a giant event to taste wine. Matt and his inner pirate greatly enjoyed the atmosphere, but none of us enjoyed the crowds. At least we gave it a go yes? Oh I should mention that it is free. You just need $3 to pay for the little tasting glass that if you are savvy enough you have on some kind of holder around your neck. Next year. Next year.

Memorial Day Weekend holds all kinds of openings for the season. One of which is the Jigger Shop. Lest an hour of my day go unplanned I dragged everyone who was willing up to Mount Gretna for this opening. With the power of positive thinking there was zero line which in and of itself is a sign from God. The milkshake was good. The kids enjoyed. It was a wrap. 


why I love my minivan (and why non-moms should too)

We are the new owners of a minivan! Yes yes we are very excited.

The day Matt brought home our new minivan I was afternooning with a friend from high school and her new(ish) baby. When I told her of our recent acquisition she laughed and said "weren't you always the one saying you would NEVER own a minivan?" Well my dear red-headed friend I suppose I am eating my teenager words aren't I? Also: never say never. 

Here's the thing. I love my minivan. And not a single reason pertains to my children. I shall elaborate. 

1: Doors that open and shut with the push of a button. How inconvenient a door handle is amiright? Simply push a button on my key fob and open sesame. Even the trunk. Hands free living at it's finest. Or laziness. Take your pick. 

2. Cup holders beyond cup holders. I could have no less than SIX fountain sodas at my disposal! Six! Right by my driver's seat. Think of all the wonders I could hold up there to quench various thirsts. 

3. Space! Storage! There is storage IN THE FLOOR! My mind reels with all the things I could put in there. CDs. A kite. Dead bodies. Hell even one of these because let's face it I'll need it after all those aforementioned beverages. 

4. At night it becomes a space ship. I'm talking an awesome shade of aqua fiber optic lighting down the center ceiling panel. Star commander. Permission to come aboard. 

5. I can fit six of my favorite people in the vehicle besides myself. Imagine the possibilities for those fun road trips. 

6. Enormous windows. I can see all. I have zero blind spots. And. They. Roll. Down. 

7. Air conditioning. This may not seem like a reason to purchase a minivan but in our case it was a definite deciding factor, as our Jeep was lacking in the climate control department. For four summers. A fifth summer I was going to make it not. 

And there you have it. Why every last one of you should own a minivan. The fact that I have children matters not. 


family room. before and after.



We had a ton of fun painting in there. It made such a difference with the tile I think. Our big grown up furniture that took up all of our space in our old house fits so perfectly here. And I finally was able to hang that mirror above my mantle like I intended when I purchased it five or six years ago. The gallery wall is a constant work in progress. I had no plan and didn't even lay it out (sorry I probably should have but the thought scared me a bit). I just started and worked my way out and it looks like that is just what I did. But I like it. Also missing from these pictures are the four framed Italian prints I got from a calendar I purchased in Rome. They are hung above the TV. See what happens when I plan ahead? Things get missed. Tisk tisk.

For more room tours click HERE.