Family Time

Artillery Shot 1 | Fireworks
I love Independence Day. I have fond memories of playing with fireworks with my cousins and the neighborhood kids when we were little. There was a little park in Long Beach, where we went to every year, it sat on a cliff above the beach off Pacific Coast Highway. Our family and friends would gather together and make a day of it. We would head out to the park in the afternoon to try to snag a great spot to hang out until the firework show started. Fun memories!

Sparkler
I remember loving the sparklers with the paper handles that were shaped like a gun. I don’t remember the last time I saw one of those! I used to be so excited and couldn’t wait until it got dark so we could play with all the fun fireworks and watch the beautiful shows. These days, I can barely keep my eyes open. Nine o’clock starts ticking closer and my internal clock tells me it’s bedtime and wonders why I’m still up.

Monks playing with a sparkler.
Dana and Squish
Little solo cup to protect little hands.
Both the kiddos hated the noise of the firecrackers. I did too, too loud and too close. The noise of the artillery shells didn’t bother me quite as much. To this day, sparklers still remain my favorite.

Sparkle | Summer | Independence Day
Thanks so much for stopping by.
-XOXO Lysa

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Crowe’s Nest Farm

Last weekend I asked Monk what she wanted to do for Mother’s Day. Her options were go explore a cavern, hang out at a farm, or go on a glass-bottom boat ride. She picked hanging out at a farm so, we decided to go and check out Crowe’s Nest Farm in Manor (pronounced May-ner).

Crowe's Nest Farm-Red Barn

Horned Owls
Piggy
They had a bunch of animals and lots and lots of different gardens to explore.

Fairy Tea Time
Charlotte's Web
We all had a great time. We called and made reservations for the 11 o’clock tour. We spent a few hours exploring the farm and were the last ones to leave that day. The weather was perfect. Usually by May the temperature is in the high 90’s, so far it’s been a really mild spring. I hope the weather sticks around for a while longer.

For more information:  Crowe’s Nest Farm

Thanks so much for visiting my little blog.
-XOXO Lysa

Egg Hunt and Family Time

We’re not religious people. Religious holidays, for us is a time to celebrate each other and enjoy and appreciate one another. The four of us headed over to Dana’s parents to spend some time with them and enjoy a yummy dinner together. We picked up a small bag of candy to fill a handful of eggs that I kept from previous Easter Egg Hunts. Monkey loves the egg hunts. She looks forward to it every year. This is the first year Squish got to enjoy hunting eggs, since last year he was much too little. Along with the filled eggs we also picked up a few boxes of confetti eggs. Confetti eggs are real eggshells that have been dyed and filled with paper confetti. They were a big hit with the kiddos.

Monkey & Squish | Confetti Egg
Monkey & Squish | Confetti Egg
Monkey & Squish | Egg Hunt
Great food and quality family time. I couldn’t ask for more.
Monk got to eat a bunch of candy, which is a rare treat for her. We usually keep the house stocked with organic lollipops but only on rare occasions do we pick up candy for the kids.

Monkey & Squish | Lily
Monkey & Squish | Accessorize | Pearls, Chalcedony, and Quartz
I hope everyone enjoyed a fabulous day with the ones you love.
Thanks so much for stopping by.
-XOXO Lysa

I Am (Uplifting Them) Project.

I Am (Uplifting Them) is a project aimed to flood the internet with uplifting of children rather than shaming.

Dr. Seuss Quote

I am saddened by the amount of kid-shaming photos and stories I see all over the internet. My proposal is that we flood the world wide web with kid-positivity and uplifting stories and photos. So, grab a kid (preferably your own; if not get permission) and ask them to finish the sentence, ‘I am…’ Write down what they say (I guarantee it’ll be positive) snap a picture of them holding it and post it everywhere! Post them here as well and let’s see how many uplifting, positive things we can learn about our children!

I found out about this project while browsing my Reader late last night.
I read about it on A Magical Childhood.
What an awesome idea and of course I couldn’t wait until the kids wake up so we could participate.
This morning I asked Monk to look at the photos with me on the I Am. Facebook page so she could get a better understanding.

I Am (Uplifting Them) | "I love my family and everyone except the bad guys"
I asked Baelynne (Monkey-age 4) what would be on her sign if she was to have one and her response was:
“I love my family and everyone except the bad guys!”
For Myles (Squish-age 1) I wrote I am curious!

I Am (Uplifting Them) | I am curious!
I Am (Uplifting Them) | Monkey & Squish
So grab a kid (or two) and show the world how awesome they are!
Connect with I Am (Uplifting Them) Facebook | Twitter

Thanks so much for stopping by!
-XOXO Lysa

“Snow” Day in Central Texas

Yaaaaaaaaaayyyyyy!
We finally got some snow, well icy snow. It’s not the nice flaky stuff you find up north. It started snowing last night and we did go out there for a few minutes but it was just too cold. By the time we got outside again mid-morning everything was iced over, but we enjoyed playing in it nonetheless. There wasn’t much snow on the ground. We managed to scrounge up some that accumulated on the chairs outside to make this little miniature icy snow man.

Miniature Icy Snow Man
Here’s what I wore today to frolic around outside.
I layered my floral dress with a striped sweater, tights and a denim jacket and of course my Hunter Boots. My jacket + tights are from Target. I picked up my dress (She’s Cool) and sweater (Abercrombie & Fitch) from ThredUp. If you’re unfamiliar with the site, it’s an online consignment store. I’ve ordered from them about four times and have been very happy with all my purchases. They sell pre-owned, new and used clothes for women, juniors and children. I LOVE thrift shopping and ThredUp has an amazing selection.  If you purchase using this link you will receive $10 towards your first purchase.

Striped Sweater | Floral Dress | Polka Dot Denim Jacket | Navy Tights | Brick Red Hunter Boots | Winter Fashion
Baelynne (Monkey) and I jumping in the snow.

Winter Fashion | Jumping in the snow.
Dana tossing Myles (Squish) in the air.

Myles (Squish) & Daddy
Our little family had a great time and hopefully we’ll have a few more snow days before spring arrives.
I hope you are staying warm and cozy during this crazy weather.
Thanks for stopping by.
-XOXO Lysa

Music for the Soul

In one weeks time, the family and I will be standing in the Stubb’s Amphitheatre listening to our favorite band.
Michael Franti & Spearhead is coming to town!!!!!!
We have been looking forward to this for MONTHS!!!!
We got to see them a few years ago when they were touring for The Sound of Sunshine.
Michael Franti & Spearhead | Sound of Sunshine Tour | Stubb's Austin, TXIt was such an AAAHHHMAAAAZING show.
Michael Franti & Spearhead | Sound of Sunshine Tour Stubb's | Austin, TX | Michael Franti & Spearhead Concert | Sound of Sunshine Tour
We took Monk with us thinking that she would enjoy the experience. She was only 1 year + 1 month at the time. We took photos and have talked about it from time to time. She is soo uber excited. At one point during the concert the band calls the kiddos up on to the stage so they can all dance and rock out together. Monk is really looking forward to that part. She says she will be going up onstage so she can give Michael Franti a hi-five.
Michael Franti | Sound of Sunshine Tour | Stubb's Austin, TXFamily friendly concert & beautiful music from an amazing band.
It’s going to be soooo much FUN!

Thanks for stopping by!
-XOXO Lysa

Happy Birthday To My Littlest Love

Driving the twenty minutes home from the fair seemed to take forever. As the contractions came on stronger and stronger I just knew that tonight was the night. When we got home, Monk was hungry from her big day so I made her a quick sandwich and then I laid down on the couch to try to relax. After Monk finished eating she laid down next to me on the floor cushions and fell asleep immediately. It’s been a long exhausting day for both of us, but I knew my night was just starting.

At around 10:00pm I knew it was time to call our midwife. I didn’t want to wait any longer and end up waking her in the middle of the night. Our birth plan was to have another water birth at the birth center, just like how we had Monk. As each contraction got more and more intense, Dana would rub the small of my back to help ease the pain. At one point the pain was getting so bad I had to walk to the bedroom so as not to wake Monk up, who was blissfully sleeping next to me.

Dana was busy packing up the car, putting in the baby car seat and loading up our bags. I knew he was doing this as fast as he could but there were moments when I cursed him in my head for leaving me on my own, even if it was just for a few minutes. The pain was so intense that any thoughts of leaving the house just flew out the window. All I could concentrate on was how painful the contractions were. At one point I decided to get up and get into our bath tub hoping that the warm water would help ease some of the pain.

As soon as I get into the bath tub another wave of contractions hit me. I didn’t even get a chance to turn the water on. I tell Dana, the baby is coming! He looks down and sure enough he sees the baby’s head. A few pushes later, Dana was proudly holding on to our baby boy. We didn’t know the gender of our baby during our pregnancy. We had one ultrasound early on to determine our due date and that was it. So the fact that he was a boy was a complete surprise.

09-01-12 Baby Myles

We called our midwife about two minutes after Dana caught the baby. Jennifer was at our home within 10 minutes. We didn’t plan for a home birth because I felt that our home was just going to be too small to have so many people around. It ended up being such an amazing experience.

After I got cleaned up, we all made our way to the bedroom. Jennifer let us relax for a bit, letting me nurse and giving us some time to bond with the baby. A few hours later Jennifer left after making sure both the baby and I were doing great. We woke Monk up to meet her new Baby Brother.
09-05-12 Bae & Myles

It was the third day after his birth was when we finally settled on a name.
Myles Christopher B.
The perfect addition to our little family.
09-04-12 My Loves
Happy birthday little man. We all love you so very much.
Thank you for all the love, joy and giggles you have brought into our lives.

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Thanks so much for stopping by.
-XOXO Lysa

Central Texas State Fair

It’s that time of year again.
The Central Texas State Fair has returned to the Bell County Expo! Center.
I’m ready to go feed some animals at the petting zoo, go on a few rides and make some fun memories.2011This photo was taken back in 2011. This was the first year we went to the State Fair. Monk was two at the time and unfortunately for her, she was too short to ride most of the rides.296315_2296990059755_1171252_nWe ended up going on the Ferris Wheel a few times.

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We fed the animals at the petting zoo area and Monk also got to ride a pony on our way out. We all had a great time.563063_4310459915243_1927368076_nThis photo was taken last year, 2012.
Monk was three and tall enough to ride pretty much all the rides. I was pregnant with Myles so I couldn’t go on any of the rides except for the Ferris Wheel, so Monk and Dana went on all the rides that she wanted to go on over and over again.394305_4310423114323_1554886452_n
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564214_4310424394355_608775309_nLast year at the petting zoo there was a kangaroo! Monk was really thrilled that she got a chance to hand feed a kangaroo.
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As the sun was setting we made our way out of the fair grounds.
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We all had an amazing time.
As we were walking back to the car to head home, I started having contractions.
We welcomed Baby Myles to the world about six hours after this photo was taken.
As I look back, I hope Monk had an amazing last day of being an only child.

We’re headed to the fair later today.
I’m looking forward to making new memories, taking some photos and just enjoying some family time.

For more information: Central Texas State Fair

Thanks for stopping by.
-XOXO Lysa

Happy Birthday to My Little Love

My dearest Baelynne aka Monk(ey).
You have brought so much joy, love and laughter into our lives.

Little MonkYou are full of giggles and hugs.
Playground
Always ready to jump, dance or play at a moments notice.
Farm
You are the sweetest child I have ever known.
Pirate Bae
I love my morning hugs and kisses.
I love our conversations about what we dreamt of the night before.
I love how you pick out 20 stories for bedtime.
And after we’ve read them all you still ask for one more.
I love the way you hold my hand each night as you fall asleep.
You are amazing just the way you are.
Happy Birthday to you my little Love.
I love you more than words can say.

-XOXO Mommy

My Dream Home

Daily Prompt: Dream Home
You win a contest to build your dream home. Draft the plans.

dream_beach_home_by_oldcow-d562l6iMy dream home would be a beautiful cozy beach cottage near the ocean. It doesn’t have to be on the beach, just near enough so that if we wanted to go and spend a day at the beach we wouldn’t have to spend our whole day driving there and back. Growing up in Long Beach, California, and spending an additional 10 years in San Jose, California, I was always a short drive away from the ocean. Living in Central Texas for the last six years has made me miss the ocean even more than usual.101328972_jpg_rendition_largestMy beach cottage would be filled with tons of fun beachy colors like turquoise and seafoam green.seafoamgreenbathroom2_thumb[1]

lfg-beach-house
Lots of inviting spaces that beckons you to sit and relax. Enjoy some quiet time reading a book or nice conversations over a hot cup of coffee.tumblr_lyf7uz90id1qkgl21o1_1280There would be enough space outside for the kids to run around.Outdoors-Kids-1

tumblr_lpn96k1cGh1qza0fjo1_500Room for a small organic vegetable garden.food_science_organic3
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Rain barrels would help harvest rain water for basic water usage such as gardening, laundry, showers, etc…
casa-torcida-solar-panels-for-independenc-energy-17
Solar panels would also find a place on our small piece of paradise.

Until that day comes, I’m happy living in my vintage 1960’s trailer with my happy little family. Our home is filled with love and lots of beautiful memories and really that is all that matters. It’s not a perfect home but it’s our home, we own it fully. We don’t have credit card bills, mortgage bills or car payments, which keeps stress to a minimum. We try to live within our means and when we can, we splurge on going out to eat or take a day trip. I’m the happiest I have ever been, I have my best friend, and our two children and really that’s all I need.

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Thanks for visiting my little blog. -XOXO Lysa

Wordless Wednesday

Squish gnawing

Munchkin swimming

Thanks for stopping by.
-XOXO Lysa

Three Simple Rules

Three Simple Rulesheyfrancis.tumblr.com

I don’t really know which direction I want to take MonkeyAndSquish, my etsy shop. Right now I’m working on streamlining it and making it more cohesive. I’m phasing out my pallet signs and art and focusing on just my jewelry. I’m still in the mint & coral phase, so a lot of the things I have been making are in that color scheme. I will be working towards exclusively working with sterling silver. Some things I’ve been working on:

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Mint & Coral Statement Necklace

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Aqua Chalcedony White Macramé Bracelet

I’ve also been making some macramé bracelets. I’ve been testing out various closures for the macramé bracelets and am still unsatisfied with the end result so they will not be listed in the shop just yet.

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Aqua Chalcedony Coral Macramé Bracelet paired with Mint & Coral Simplicity Bracelet

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Coral Braided Bracelet with Chalcedony Connectors

The problem with making jewelry in the style that I love is that I just want to keep every piece! I am absolutely in love with the colors of the oval chalcedony. That sea-foam green color makes me think of tropical waters and reminds me of how much I miss the beach.

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Sterling Silver-filled Wire Letters

I had some left over wire so I decided to play around with it.

Dana and I

A photo of Dana and I, taken a few years ago. (October 2011)

I’m 30 years old and I still have no clue what I want to be when I “grow up.” All I know is that I’m blessed to have the most wonderful, supportive boyfriend anyone could ever ask for, and our two wonderful kids light up my life each and every day. Can you believe Dana has put up with my crap for the last seven years?!?! Good thing he loves me! Our baby girl will be four in a little over a month and our little baby boy will be a year old in a little over two months! Where has the time gone?

My little Squish & Monkey

My little Squish & Monkey

I may not know which direction MonkeyAndSquish is taking me, but I know that I am enjoying the journey. Thanks for stopping by my little blog.
XOXO Lysa

Happy Tuesday

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These two photos sum up how my day went.
Happy Tuesday!

Thanks for stopping by.

30 Day Challenge-Favorite Photos

Yesterday we wrapped up the 30 Day “Photog Wanna Be” Challenge. Not only did I enjoy doing the challenge, it also helped me get into the habit of blogging everyday. I also took photos of things that I never would have thought to take a picture of, like the beautiful fossilized sea urchin! I need to find another challenge to do. I did a “Daily Prompt” the other day, but it’s not the same.

Be sure to stop by Two Everyday Divas and Flower Faerie Lives Life. They are wonderful ladies and I’m sure would appreciate some love.

Here are my favorite photos from the challenge. Click any of the photos below to view the slide show.

Thanks for stopping by.

Day 30-Self Portrait

Today is Day 30 and the final day of the 30 Day “Photog Wanna Be” Challenge.

Challenge for today is “Self-Portrait.”

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I took the kids outside to play in the sandbox and couldn’t resist getting them in the photos. I hate photos of myself, especially if it’s just me in it.

It’s been such a fun month! Thank you Jen & Chrissy for hosting such a fun challenge, and also to Flower Fairy for joining us. I loved getting to know you ladies through all your photos this past month. I’m sad that it is over. It’s been a blast!

Tomorrow, I will share with you my favorite photos.

 Visit Two Everyday Divas and Flower Faerie Lives Life to see their takes on “Self-Portrait.”

Thanks for visiting.