I was here. Then I was there. Then I was here (again). Now I’m there.

I can’t quit you, blogging.  I keep trying ;) but I can’t.  But life is changing (I’m old!), the kids are changing (they’re old!), and I am being drawn to retire this space for the moment and start a new chapter over here: www.thepapercafe.wordpress.com

Same song and dance – talking about food, fun stuff I like, what we’re up to, etc – but just something a little refreshed.

Um, I’ve seen this before.

Typical weekending…

Pants was helping our neighbor build a cool little freestanding backyard deck, so this little dude decided to ‘help’ by playing in their hammock all day.  (Which of course led to him buying his OWN hammock off Amazon, that he now proudly hangs in his room ;)  

So my boys LOVE dogs.  Any chance to feed or take care of the neighbors’ dog when they are away, they’re on it!

And a lotta building who-knows-what going on in and around the garage…

And a couple more random pics to round us out…

Neighbors as friends.

I kind of went on a cupcake-making binge one time when some neighbors came over for ‘dessert night’.

I always *try* to make yummy stuff for Pants as well (see the plate below with GF/DF/SF protein balls and strawberry ‘cupcakes’), but it’s just not the same…

And this is how the kiddos worked off the sugar:

Usually on our neighbor Saturday firepit nights, we just do regular munchies, though.  I also like to make a fun sugar-free iced tea from scratch, I think this one was strawberry-pomegranate:

What would we do without all our weird man-made landmarks.

random happenings…
Um…did you know you can iron your shirt pockets with your hair straightener?  #genius #lazy

Someone get this kid a pet, stat…He’s been looking up dog shelters in the area online, all this kid wants is animals to snuggle.  #waitingforpantstoagree

This is an old pic/caption of Pants from a couple months ago that I put on Insta, but it’s fitting because apparently I’m a big copycat and I just got one of MY teeth pulled yesterday! (It had been a major issue for a long time.)  Unlike Pants though, I was put under for the whole thing…I’m no martyr…

So Pants had a root canal done six years ago, and instead of it fixing the prob, he actually developed a hidden infection/abscess underneath the tooth they worked on, which has been growing there the last six years. 😳 (This is actually kind of common, unfortunately.) It always was sort of bothering him, and now we can see it’s been part of his health issues as a whole. Last month he went to a great holistic dentist and got the whole tooth removed, and he feels AMAZING now, Lol. Be careful with your teeth, guys! Even root canals can be risky! Yikes!

So now I’m recouping and gonna keep on taking my combo of beef liver supplements (these are AMAZING for health!) and fermented cod liver/butter oil and tooth powder to help my teeth/overall health in general.

Our house elves are currently on strike.

So…I kind of got a v-e-r-y part-time job. It totally came out of the blue, and I’m not sure if I’ll keep doing it after the busy season is over, but we’ll see.  Spoiler alert: it involves home staging. (Ok, it IS home staging, Lol.)  But more on that later!

I wish MY house looked staged all the time.  Normally our house is pretty clean-ish (I can’t really function in a messy space), and I’m kind of a minimalist anyway, but now since it’s summer and we’re out having fun, plus the kids are home more, there’s just stuff/dishes/legos/etc everywhere.

I watch a few cleaning/homemaking channels on YouTube like She’s In Her Apron or The Daily Connoisseur or Planner Perfect or sometimes How Jen Does It, which are pretty motivating, so I am starting to get a summertime system figured out.

I steal a lot of ideas from the  Flylady cleaning system.  By the way, the FlyLady website is SO confusing, BUT…They have an awesome app!  It’s called FlyLadyPlus and it’s VERY streamlined.  You can just check off the boxes as you go – if you like a super simplified checklist-type system (broken into morning, afternoon, and evening routines) + how to easily clean specific zones in your house, I recommend the app. It’s a great place to start if you are feeling really behind on house stuff!

Or…you can do what I also do sometimes:  write out your routines in a notebook, close the notebook and…never look at it again ;) Good intentions, right?

But I’m trying!



Don’t chase the quaffle if you see the snitch.

Guys!!  Have you tried this stuff?!  I eat it on sprouted toast with butter and it TOTALLY tastes like an everything bagel, Lol!  I love it.

So my baby (ok, he’s 15) is going to camp next week…in another state!  And they stay on HOUSEBOATS.  I don’t know if I’m jealous or terrified.  Pants took the boys paddle boarding last week, and Sky really liked it, so I think he’s gonna have a blast at camp with his buddies doing all the water stuff.

Just a few token pics of Shark at the beach with his buddy, since summer is definitely in full swing around here!  Full disclosure:  Sky was there too, but after a little while he went and sat in the car with his phone, Lol.  Lesson learned:  No friends or activity other than playing with younger kids in the sand?  Teens will say ‘No thanks’.  These 11 year olds sure had fun though!

My only predictability is my unpredictability.

So in April I cut my hair.  It was getting long (for me), buuuut…Even though it was pretty, it was kind of weighing me down, and I needed a little fresh start (I had a rough Jan-March).  Here I was, pre-cut, rocking my longer hair:

See how severe it made me look if I wore it really straight (which I do a lot) though?


BUT…I feel like having hair a little shorter/with more movement suits me better for now, maybe brightens me up (and makes me look younger, Lol):

I’m still gonna let it grow out over the summer again, but maybe do something a little different so it doesn’t seem quite as harsh?  Who knows.  I kind of like mixing it up sometimes!

Happier than a seagull with a French fry.

Yea, we can talk about planners!  Pants took the boys out paddleboarding this morning, so I can finally sneak on the computer while they’re out.

Guys, I looove paper planners.  Which my boys think is so weird, Lol.  I’ve tried/bought almost every type of planner over the years, and even though I LOVE the look of spiral or bound planners, I always tend to come back to a ring-bound planner because you can take the pages out.  You can also easily add notes pages for things like goals and lists, instead of just actual planning pages.  I use a mix of pre-printed pages and my own handwritten ones:

But lately I’ve been gravitating more toward the discbound system.  It’s similar to a ring-bound where you can take the pages in and out super easily, and I have a couple different ones.  This white leather Tul notebook from Office Depot is really nice (and has pockets!), but some other brands are: Arc, Martha Stewart, Levenger, and The Happy Planner.  I even got the Levenger punch off Amazon for it:

I use Indesign to make my own pages, so I can make all sorts of different types, like project pages or health trackers or whatever.  For actual planning, I usually just use daily pages instead of weekly (because I write A LOT), but this was a set of weekly (week on four pages) I was trying out:

But I’m still torn!  Because I also REALLY love just writing things down in a regular notebook, kind of like a bullet journal type of planner:

Then I can use like, a day per page:

So I haven’t really found my ideal system yet.  I do keep a master calendar and list on my phone, but I really like writing out my plans for the day on actual paper and being able to look back on them.  I am hoping by the end of summer I figure out my perfect planner situation, Lol – if that even exists!  I’ll keep you posted!

I come from a long line of hot lunch.

What’s happening around here…

When you totally nerd out over finding the PERFECT chocolate chip cookie recipe…
What?  You don’t bake 5 batches of different doughs all at once and then lay them out on labeled foil to compare?  Whatevs…

Sometimes I babysit the neighbor kids, but they seem to prefer hanging with Shark and Pants…hmm…

We are enjoying the summertime around here.  In June, our little Shark graduated fifth grade!  Here he is with his teacher and a few pals:

And got to go to his FAVORITE place – Wild Waves water/roller coaster park, since he was a crossing guard all year.  This kid LOVES roller coasters, he was beyond excited talking about ‘The Ring of Fire’ for days, Lol.

I’m glad at least one of my personalities likes cleaning the house.

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Hey, I got a new comforter!  Wait, is that what they’re even called anymore?  I guess it’s technically a duvet.  Whatever, it’s totally fun and bright and boho and we love it.  I was gonna get a more subdued ‘sophisticated’ one, but then… I would die of boredom ;)  So I went for something more ‘me’.

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A close up of our bedside tables (made by Pants last year):

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FullSizeRender (1)Except sometimes mine looks more like this:

(Everyone keeps apple cider vinegar and duct tape on their bedside table, right?) I’ll have to do a separate post on these and some other cool things Pants has made more recently (like the boys’ new desks!)…he is REALLY glad to be able to get back into woodworking again.

Our house layout is sooo weird* and there’s lots of wood trim everywhere, but we’re surrounded by trees, and it feels like falltime all year round, so I love it.  This is our living room where we basically just hold LOTR marathons all the time:.

I do like our kitchen, too, although a gas stovetop on the island?  INCREDIBLY messy.

I’d show you the den, but our neighbor just gave the kids MORE legos (!) so we are in the middle of sorting (me) and building (the boys) like crazy right now:

Here is only ONE part of our Lego storage, yikes:

*We have like, 5 hallways and four flights of stairs…but there’s only two stories?  I don’t get it either.