Mid-week catch up and Sawgrass Lake

October 23, 2013 at 5:34 pm

Monday we walked to school, but I didn’t take a photo. It looked like this:

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Later I went back to school to volunteer. Here’s my OOTVD (outfit of the volunteering day):

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At school I cut paper…

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put together homework packages…

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and hung out with Mack while he had lunch.

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I can’t remember what else happened on Monday, but the next pictures I have are from Monday night when we watched The Walking Dead and I made a cocktail.

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That is the dregs of a NorCal margarita: tequila, club soda, lime. It’s really good, low carb, and I think it’s my new favorite drink.

I took these photos some time on Monday because Chewie looked so sweet in his spot of sunshine.

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On Tuesday I drove Mack to school because we were going on a fieldtrip that started early in the day. OOTFD (outfit of the fieldtrip day):

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I love this top from Gwynnie Bee. It’s these same flowers that grow in our neighbor’s backyard and spill over into ours…like these that I took photos of at Sunken Gardens on Sunday:

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The top is totally sheer, so it was the perfect thing to wear on a fieldtrip to a county park and environmental center on a 90 degree day with 90% humidity. Fall had not arrived here yet as of yesterday.

On the school bus:

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At Sawgrass Lake County Park:

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I have been to many (many, many) fieldtrips to this park, as well as many playdates there when the boys were little, but it is a gem.

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The kids first had to take a pre-test…

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then they learned about all of the data we were going to be collecting that day. The kids had to break up into teams to test the nearby canal’s pH, turbidity, and oxygen levels, as well as air temperature and a couple of other things I’m sure I’m forgetting.

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They also had to record observations found in the environment and use fields guides to identify plants and animals that they saw.

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I got teamed up with Mack and his friend to test the canal water’s pH with a testing pen.

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The kids really got into the data collection. They were loving it.

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After the data was all collected, recorded, and discussed we went on a short hike around the park.

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Our teacher/guide for the day was fabulous. Here she has the kids demonstrating weathering, erosion, and deposition.

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Some of our observations…

My Fascinating Life Caroline Calcote-35This is a juvenile alligator. You can tell that he/she is still a baby because they lose those yellow stripes between 2-3 years old.

My Fascinating Life Caroline Calcote-41American Beauty berries.

My Fascinating Life Caroline Calcote-43Apple snail shell. These are invasive to Florida and get their name because they are the size of an apple, or fist-sized. This one was empty, but these huge things are everywhere out there. People use them in aquariums so that’s how they ended up in our local waterways.

My Fascinating Life Caroline Calcote-40Fieldtrip shoes. The kids love them, so don’t judge.

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Our teacher/guide asked the kids how many stripes they thought are on the back of a six-lined racer, a type of lizard. It was disheartening to hear many of them yell out, “Three!” Luckily, most of them answered, “What do you think a rat snake eats?” correctly. Maybe there is hope for the future.

Once we got back into the classroom the kids took a “post” test (and improved their scores tremendously, as our guide gave them all of the answers throughout the day) and got to check out all of the animals and other interesting things on display.

Grady the rabbit roams freely in and out of the classroom. They just leave all the doors open, even the ones leading to the outdoors. He’s obviously pretty happy there.

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Mack got to hold a snake.

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I learned that the term “aquatard” is not an insensitive name for me during the first leg of a triathlon. It’s actually part of the water cycle in Florida.

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The fieldtrip was great, but it was also LONG. It took up the entire school day.

Last night my friend Amy invited me to come hang out with her out at the beach. We were going to get drinks and watch the sunset but then it was raining. So instead we went to a place in Treasure Island called Middle Grounds Grill for dinner. I didn’t photograph my food, but the seasonal salad and New York strip steak with veggies were excellent. I would definitely recommend this place!

I did photograph my drink. I was going to order a NorCal margarita, but then I saw this on the menu which was just sort of a fancier version of that.

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We both got one without the agave nectar, and it was delicious. I definitely want to recreate this drink on my own some time. Thanks for the invitation Amy!

Luckily last night’s rain brought a cold front, and it was so nice out this morning on our walk to school. It was still shorts and tank top weather for me, but the humidity had noticeably dropped and I didn’t break a sweat. This is Mack chastising Chewie for filling FOUR poop bags on our walk:

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He missed his evening walk last night because of the rain and he pretty much refuses to poop in our yard unless it’s a dire emergency. He is spoiled by his morning and evening walks.

Today I stayed home all morning doing laundry and catching up on some things. The afternoon has been the usual run-around of picking up boys at various places and taking them to other various places. Time to go make dinner.

Cya.

Sorting out my clothes

October 18, 2013 at 8:00 pm

Last night the boys had their usual Thursday night Tour de Pizza for dinner, so I just threw something together for myself.

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That’s spiralized zucchini noodles (zoodles) sautéed with some onion in Garlic Gold oil. I tossed on some grilled Trader Joe’s Italian chicken sausage and half of an avocado and drizzled it with a little bit of Awesome Sauce (from Melissa Joulwan’s Well Fed 2) that I had left over from the other day. Random, but did the job.

Last night while Chad was at pool league I watched the season finale of Project Runway. Anybody else watch it? I liked this season. I was happy with the winner.

This morning Chewie and I walked Mack to school.

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My breakfast after I got home:

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That’s homemade sausage, kale, and sweet potato hash brown cakes with homemade ketchup (recipe from Well Fed 2). For the sweet potato cakes I just grate some sweet potato (about 3/4 cup) and chop some onion (about 1/2 a cup chopped). Then I mix that with one egg and enough coconut flour to thicken it until it will hold a wet patty shape, probably about 2 teaspoons. You have to be careful with coconut flour. It is super dry and absorbs tons of moisture quickly. Add a little bit at a time. Salt/pepper to taste. Then I just make them into patties and fry in coconut oil. They were so good with that ketchup.

After breakfast I did some laundry and then decided to finally tackle my disorganized bedroom and chaotic clothes. I still had lots of clothes in boxes and bags that were never unpacked after we moved. With the season threatening to actually change, I was feeling the need to know where my clothes are.

Here’s what our master bedroom looked like before we moved in:

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This is the wall where the headboard of our bed is now:

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Same wall from another angle:

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The wall where our long dresser is now:

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The wall with the closets:

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The bedroom has two closets. The closet on the right has two sliding doors…one is hiding behind the door to the hall in this photo:

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Through the open door above you can also see a closet out in the hallway. Chad uses the hallway closet for his work clothes. The closet with the sliding doors in the bedroom has winter coats in half of it and Chad also uses the other half. I have the closet with the single door.

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It looks small, but is actually pretty deep so it’s technically a walk-in and it is bigger than the other closet. It extends a couple of feet on either side of the door. It’s also fully cedar-lined.

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Even the ceiling is cedar.

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This is an older house (built in 1948), so it does not have huge, modern closets. But I actually really like my closet.

So here’s what the bedroom looks like now:

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I am not crazy about the yellow walls in here and they are very scuffed up, so maybe one day we will paint them. Probably not. Our king size platform bed weighs about ten thousand pounds. We do have proper bedding, but never use it. I think I’m actually going to put it in the guest room. I just don’t really care that much about the aesthetics in the bedroom and we never make our bed, but I do want it to be organized so I can find all my stuff! I do want it to look better than it does right now, for sure.

This corner is the worst…it’s been my dumping ground for a while now.

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If we don’t paint the bedroom, I definitely want to paint my little vanity. Yellow on yellow just isn’t cutting it. I got that vanity at the first Brocante Vintage Market.

I need to hang the mirror (from a local antique/junk shop) and all the other art. I guess I do care about the aesthetics in here to some extent. Just not the bedding. Our two quilt thing works well for us. We can NOT share a blanket.
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And here’s my closet today:

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It is packed and things were just crammed in here during the move.

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I put a row of hooks on the wall above the door to hang purses. It was hard to get these photos.

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I started by unpacking all the boxes and bags that were still full of clothes and sorting them out on the bed.

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These are all race shirts…and I found even more later on:

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I’m saving them to have a quilt made some day. I need to go through them and pick out my favorites and get rid of a bunch.

I have way too many sweaters for a girl that lives in Florida.

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I hope I get to wear a couple of of them this year.

I got all of my clothes unpacked and sorted out today, but the bedroom still isn’t really organized. I didn’t get to the dresser. I finally had to stop so that I could eat a quick lunch before going to pick up Mack at school.

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That is a lettuce and spinach salad with leftover TJ’s Italian chicken sausage, cucumber, and homemade ranch dressing.

After I picked up Mack we went by the post office to send some things to my nephew Cody (baby Halloween books that we had in our stash of H’ween stuff) then we ran by Rollin’ Oats so that I could get some things for dinner.

After we picked up Cal from school I took the boys to Menchie’s for a froyo snack.

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When we got home I worked in the bedroom a little more then made dinner for the boys.

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I got two slices of turkey meatloaf for them at Rollin’ Oats. I served it with some of my homemade ketchup (recipe from Well Fed 2). I did not feel like cooking tonight. I cooked so much this week in all my Well Fed 2 excitement! The turkey meatloaf had bread crumbs in the ingredient list, so I couldn’t eat it, but I did buy a blackened chicken breast for myself at Rollin’ Oats (no forbidden ingredients in the blackening seasoning…I checked). But I had a huge breakfast and a really late lunch, so I’m not even hungry. I may just skip dinner or have a snack later and eat the chicken breast tomorrow.

We have some fun plans for the weekend.

Cya.