20 Year Trip {Limerick}

For our 20th Anniversary, my Hubs and I took an adventurous trip to Ireland and London. My last post went over our time in Dublin. The second leg of our Ireland journey took us to Limerick. We took a scenic train ride to the quaint city and thoroughly enjoyed the gentle two-hour trek. 

Limerick, Ireland
Gorgeous Spring floral baskets hung over the bridges along the waterways. 

Gorgeous Spring floral baskets hung over the bridges along the waterways. 

Limerick was a beautiful city; by walking alone, we saw a medieval castle, the Shannon river, a museum and shops galore. 

King John's Castle & my Honey.

King John's Castle & my Honey.

Limerick, Ireland
Limerick, Ireland

We saw this king sculpture and couldn't help but think of Mr. Burger King. Peace not war is written on the bottom, but no name given of who this is modeled after.....hmmm. 

The food was pretty fabulous. We found the Locke Bar and ate a couple of meals there. My favorite: the leek + mushroom pie with a flakey crust, slaw and chips. So YUM!

Limerick, Ireland

The Strand Hotel is where we slept. The restaurant in the hotel served a delightful pot of tea + scones with jam and clotted cream. The. Best. Ever!

Limerick, Ireland

Traveling in a country that spoke English was a life-saver. We were able to chat with locals, read signs, order off menus without translations and take transport with ease. Yes, a lovely trip, indeed. 

20 Year Trip {Dublin}

After 20 years of marriage, my Man took me on a journey across the open seas to Ireland and London. It was breathtaking, majestic and memorable. The best part: being alone with my Sweet Hubs for ten days straight-- exploring, laughing, eating, walking and enjoying new and beautiful landscapes. Our first stop: Dublin. 

On our flight to Dublin!

On our flight to Dublin!

Our hotel in Dublin. There was a wonderful restaurant inside too. 

Our hotel in Dublin. There was a wonderful restaurant inside too. 

We landed in Dublin on my Hubs birthday, so we made sure to find a tasty lemon bar to celebrate in our hotel room. 

I loved the color and design of this pub. 

I loved the color and design of this pub. 

ireland- trinity.jpg

We looked around Trinity College; specifically the Book of Kells at the Old Library, which also houses an amazing book collection with busts of famous artists, philosophers and authors. 

The Little Dublin Museum had a U2 exhibit!! My favorite band growing up-- well, now too. 

The Little Dublin Museum had a U2 exhibit!! My favorite band growing up-- well, now too. 

ireland- cake.jpg

And the food// such a feast for the eyes and stomach. We enjoyed local favorites, and indulged in more desserts than usual. But on vacation, the calories count differently, right?!?!

Probably the BEST burger ever:: the Dubliner at BoBo Burger. 

Probably the BEST burger ever:: the Dubliner at BoBo Burger. 

Every day we were on a train, subway, bus or plane; we saw more of the country that way and loved the freedom of taking our time to explore the sights that interested us most. 

Next stop: Limerick. 


Happy Birthday, Mom!

My mom is special. She raised two girls alone, in a new country, with no language or family, but plenty of humor, joy and determination. She is definitely a hero of mine and I am blessed to call her MOM. Today is her birthday and I am in another country with my husband enjoying our 20th anniversary on a spectacular journey. Because of my absence, I had to plan way in advance for her gift. She was often around during my big Granny Stripe Afghan months and admired it, so I decided to make her a smaller, lap-size granny afghan. 

Lap-sized granny-stripe afghan. SugarBeans.org

Our family tradition is to place birthday gifts on the kitchen table on the morning of the Lovie's special day. This afghan will be on the table along with a crochet hook case she requested.

Crochet hook case. SugarBeans.org
Crochet hook cases. SugarBeans.org

In our absence, my daughter will have a quiet lunch with mom, and all of my Teens will smother her with love and tons of coffee to set her up for her special day. 

Granny stripe lap-sized afghan. SugarBeans.org

I love giving handmade! Happy Birthday Mama; can't wait to hug you soon. 

What are some of your favorite handmade items to give as gifts??


Spring Break Treats {Adventure Jars}

Today my Teens will wake up and open another Spring Break Treat// Adventure Jars. I filled repurposed jars with some goodies, added a colorful {spray-painted} lid with a specially chosen animal atop. 

So, here's the things about Teens:: they still LOVE little gifts + adventures. I know, we think they will outgrow some of their playfulness, but it's good news for us moms, because we get more time to wrap up some fun in a jar.

The bear, moose + elephant are favorites of my Teens.

The bear, moose + elephant are favorites of my Teens.

Each jar contains some small special momentos, 2 wood colored pencils, a balloon with a rubber handle to pounce {many a battles will be had with those babies:}, some trivia cards + a prize for the trivia game winner.

Spring Break Treats in a Jar. SugarBeans.org

Again, this treat was not costly, but it will fill some moments with levity and silly fun. Mission accomplished if my Teens find a few moments of amusement + pleasure with one another.

Happy Spring Break, Dearies!

Spring Break Treats {Books for Teens}

In preparing for our Anniversary trip, I wanted to leave some small bits of anticipation for the Teens. So, every two days I marked small tokens of love to be opened; some encourage group participation, while others foster time alone// something for each of my divergently different Teens. 

I went to Goodwill and found some $.69 treasures. 

Spring Break treats// Books. SugarBeans.org

We are a reading family. I knew that with the time off from school, most would want to read a book that's not required reading for a syllabus. I wrapped the books up in the comics {more reading} + vintage fabric or yarn. 

Spring Break books for teens. SugarBeans.org

I stamped the kids names on popsicle sticks with washi tape and included a See's Candy sucker; because See's candy makes reading a novel that much sweeter!

spring break books4.jpg

For a few dollars, I was able to encourage hours of reading + quiet time for my Teens. Some of these books are anticipated reads, so I'm pretty confident they will be finished in a hurry. Hopefully, they will share their reads with the siblings for double the reading pleasure. 


Spring Break Treats {Teen Game}

Later this week, my Hubs and I are taking a journey to celebrate 20 years of bliss and blunders. We love one another deeply and realize with five teens, waiting for a time to be alone is not a good plan. Since we will be gone a few days, and it is the Teens Spring Break, I planned some biddle to be opened in our absence for fun and connection with one another. The first gift:

10 days in Europe game. SugarBeans.org

We are a game family. As I began to research for some games appropriate for teens, this game {& 10 Days in Africa} continued to appear. It looks SO fun! As we travel places in Europe, our Teens can simulate it with this game. Ha!

Gifts for teens over Spring Break. SugarBeans.org

I wrapped the game up, added a note with a date to be opened and set it aside for our first evening away. 

And with that Mensa sticker, I'm sure my teens will be smarter after playing a few rounds {wink}.

And with that Mensa sticker, I'm sure my teens will be smarter after playing a few rounds {wink}.

My teens will be surrounded by family and friends during our absence; hopefully this game will add to some fun memories. {I can't wait to return & play a few rounds with them myself:}!!

What are some fun things you do to prepare your children for your absence??


Spreading some Sunshine {Lots O Yellow}

Spreading some Sunshine {Lots O Yellow}

This winter has been a long and cold one. Now that we are in the middle of March, I am just ready for some hot, bright sunshine; aren't you?!? I know it's not uncommon for some to feel low + blue when the weather stays gloomy for silly periods of time, so, I made some packs of sunshine to share with friends that God placed on my heart. 

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DIY Kindle Case Cover {Tutorial}

DIY Kindle Case Cover {Tutorial}

After much thought and price checking, I bought a Kindle for an upcoming trip. I read daily, and it's one of my favorite past-times, so this was a treat on many levels. Once I ripped open the packaging, I began to make a plan for a case, knowing scratches could be in my future. I took the Kindle's measurements, added 1 1/4 inches for seams and began to cut a beloved vintage pillowcase. 

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Vintage Fabric Wrapped Goodwill Find {$2}

Vintage Fabric Wrapped Goodwill Find {$2}

There are moments in my week, as I am shuttling my Teens to piano, church or a friend's home that we happen to enter a 2 mile radius of a Goodwill store. Upon these occurrences, I will pop into the thrifty shop in search of nothing-in-particular {or new pants for my growing boys}! Last week I spied a bare wooden house structure for $2 // it needed some TLC. 

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Spicing it up and saving some $$

Spicing it up and saving some $$

Last week, as I was making a salad dressing for dinner, I realized we had run out of poppy seeds; total bummer because they make the sauce. So, I asked my Darling Hubs to pick some up while he was out and on his way home. He willingly obliged because he's sweet like that. But when I saw how much $$ he paid for those black seeds, I felt sick. Just ridiculously priced. I then remembered the World Market had plastic packs of various spices and planned a trip to stock up. 

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Winter Project DONE {Granny Stripe Afghan}

Winter Project DONE {Granny Stripe Afghan}

I have completed a few fun and colorful crochet projects this winter// hearts + pomscrochet hook casesiPhone casescozy cowls, & a cotton Ripple blanket. The project that has been on my lap all winter, keeping me warm and urging me on to completion, is finally DONE!. Yippee!! This is a Granny Ripple that I modeled after Attics 24's granny pattern.  

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