Sunday, September 23, 2012

Your Golden Ticket Blog: Easy Canvas Prints Review and Giveaway (Ends 10/1)...

Please check out this blog and the giveaway! I was honored to take photos of these gorgeous people and was so excited to see the images come to life on canvas! Read on for Samantha's review!

Your Golden Ticket Blog: Easy Canvas Prints Review and Giveaway (Ends 10/1)...: Photo Canvas I love to document every second of our life with photos and video.  It drives my husband batty, but I insist that we ...

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Apple Picking 2012

I grabbed one of my best pals and neighbor, Wendi and her 3 precious kids, my lifelong bestie, Sophie and her Thomas and we make the annual trek here...

I love this place for so many reasons.

1. My children have the organic opportunity to see food grow and harvest it. They understand that produce doesn't just appear on supermarket shelves. It is planted, grown, harvested, transported and sold.

2. Walking into the orchard is like leaving Las Vegas and just BREATHING. The air is fresh and crisp and the endless green is calms the mind. You can just be.

3. The crops! Eggplant, zucchini, Roma tomatoes, arugula, sweet potatoes, crisp apples, cucumbers...I could all of those, everyday!

4. The signature apple cider. I always buy a bunch of bottles. This visit they had pear cider too! I'm about to go grab a bottle now! mmmmm. Here is a blurb from their webite: "Almost minutes after our apples are pressed and the cider is bottled, they are sent to our on-site freezer to protect the freshness and extend the shelf life because we don’t use any preservatives.  This is why when you come to the Orchard to buy cider it is often still frozen.  Once the cider thaws, it remains good up to two weeks in the refrigerator."

5. Coming home and watching my family enjoy the "fruits" of their labors.

My "Super Princess" - her self-appointed nickname

A boy and his admirer

The whole crew minus Kaylee

Maddie and Logan against the grain

She poses of her own volition, I swear.

Yes, we got some of these cukes!

Add caption

Loved her reaction to all the baby apples

Scrutinizing the goods

Just love this pic of them

I like this version too.

I just like her curls and her perfect lips

My little star

I like her moment of solitude here.

Bein' brave
We had a great haul and the kids had a blast. MeThinks we shall do this again.

Friday, September 21, 2012

It's Good to be Behind...

Since I've been so busy living life, the blog has fallen by the wayside. 
But that's a GOOD thing!

Here is a taste of what's happened.

This girl started PRE-SCHOOL!
Maddie is LOVING Miss Terri (who wouldn't?). I swear, without Miss Terri, my kids would never want to leave my side. Her sweet demeanor taught my girls that teachers won't eat them.

This girl started FIRST GRADE!

Hannah is so comfortable with Mrs. Mata and I'm grateful to volunteer a few times per month and get to know Hannah's awesome classmates!

Mommy gotsta brag real quick: First graders are required to know and spell 300 sight words over the school year. Hannah already knew them so Mrs. Mata sent home a list of 300 MORE words for her to learn. She already knew those too! We are loving her LOVE of reading. She makes it look easy. Instead of pushing her harder and asking for more challenges, I'm going to relish in the fact that she is right on task and enjoying school. WOO HOO!

We spent the summer in Grandma and Grandpa's pool (seriously, I don't think we ever got out). Since school started, we've been playing with our best friends, going to local festivals and fairs and just enjoying life. 

Hannah is back in acting class with Mr. Tomasello and her first group performance of the session will be on October 20th. Can't wait!

Phil has an amazing new job and he is happier than I've ever seen him, which makes me happy all the time too. 

This week we are busy planning a Lalaloopsy birthday party for Miss Maddie who is turning 4 next week! She is beyond excited and I'm thrilled for her! Right now, my little buddy and I are off to the library for Rhythm and Movement class!

Stay tuned for Lalaloopsy Madness and more Hoffman adventures coming soon!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Kindergarten Graduation 2012

Hannah and SOME of her best friends
When did this happen? I remember holding her as a baby, willing her to stay small and in my arms forever. She didn't listen.

Hannah had her Kindergarten graduation ceremony (a week early, due to scheduling). She still has 4 days of school left but I am still in shock that she is old enough to be finishing her first real year of school.

When Hannah started school, I had no idea that I would end up making so many LOVELY friends along with her. I've bonded with some adorable mommy friends and I could not survive without them anymore! We have a network for carpooling, watching kids and constant play dates that keep my girls happy and busy.

True Story: The graduation ceremony consisted of the kindergarten class putting on a play, "The Wide Mouth Frog" and Hannah narrated it BEAUTIFULLY! I can brag on my blog that she reads beyond a 3rd grade level and I've never had to stress about sight words, reading, etc...that girl can outread her own mommy! In fact, she does. She reads chapter books like they are going out of style. I hope she never stops!!!

So back to the story...Maddie was quite perturbed that she was not "in the play" so she ran up on stage and crashed it before I could stop her. She was up on stage dancing along with the kiddos. It was actually quite hilarious as I grabbed her pretty quickly and ALL the kids and moms know who she is (gee, I wonder why). She has been trying to crash kindergarten all year. She really does try to sneak in EVERY day.

Anyhow, back to my darling Hannah. She is a blessing to me in so many ways! She has wisdom beyond her years and sometimes it's frustrating to me when she questions every single thing about the world, but I stop myself and appreciate that she is a powerhouse in that little mind and she is absorbing everything we teach/tell her. She is a sensitive soul and while easily hurt, she is also extraordinarily friendly and giving and loving to her friends and her "baby" sister.

She is so excited for 1st grade and I'm trying to prepare for more homework, longer days without her (boo) and even more friends and adventures to come!

But first I think we'll take the summer off!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Throne Away

I came across this most awesome chair during a recent thrifting excursion. I could not believe that someone would let this fabulous chair go, so I decided I'd make it over for my girls. After wrestling the sucker into my car and a quick trip to Lowes, the Throne project was underway!


Here is the original chair

Back view of the original chair

I started off by giving it a good cleaning. I used a little Lysol and bucket of water to clean off any dirt and dust.

My little bucket that could.

Next, I used a 3M sandblaster (#60) to remove as much of the original paint as possible.  I used the #60 which was the coarsest sander that I could find.

After sanding it down, I used a Kilz oil-based spray primer and let it dry for an hour.

I let my kids pick out the color. I decided to use spray rather than hand paint in order to save time.

Primer and Paint

The mama hard at work

In between coats of pink, I let each coat dry for an hour and then used the #220 SandBlaster to buff between coats. I LOVE this tack cloth too - it's perfect for wiping away imperfections.

Tack Cloth and Scuff Sander

I finally got it painted and voila!

Pink dust everywhere

And now my princesses finally have a throne to call their own!

Here are the costs.
The chair was $15 from Savers.
Paint, primer and tack cloth were $15.85 from Lowes.
I owned the sandblasters and the pillow!

Saturday, May 5, 2012


Waiting patiently to see her FAVORITE story!

When we learned that the Fern Adair Conservatory of the Arts was putting on the play, MULAN, we knew that SOMEONE would be bursting with excitement!

Hannah will enroll at the conservatory in a year or so, but while we wait, it was fun to watch how talented these kids are! Both of my girls were enthralled and they loved knowing all the words to all of the songs! It was really well done.

Hannah brought her Mulan doll to the play with her and when the cast members caught sight of it, they grabbed the girls for a photo op. SO sweet!

Miss Sass and Miss Sass JR posing with the cast

Before the show started, I grabbed a couple shots of my girls in their seats. I love that they love the performing arts as much as their mommy!

Hannah and Mulan are geared up for the performance

Using mom's phone as pre-show entertainment
My sweet girls waiting to go in to the theatre

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Mommy's Little Helper

Maddie helped mommy get ready for her big sister's 6th (!!!) birthday party! More pics on the party to follow...we are 2 hours out as I type this.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Goodbye is the hardest word...

Maddie watches wistfully as Hannah heads off to school with our lovely neighbors/carpool buddies!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Bippitty Boppitty Boo!

The Las Vegas Shakespeare Company put on an enchanting performance of the Rogers and Hammerstein version of Cinderella! There was NO way we'd miss this performance. My little actors were dressed and ready hours before the show. We had a blast!

Next up is the Fern Adair Acting School presentation of Disney's Mulan on May 5! We've got our tickets and we're ready.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Hansel and MY Gretel

Hannah has been studying acting this year and her class, Introduction to Broadway, performed Hansel and Gretel. Hannah played the role of Gretel and she recited her lines beautifully! (Biased? Me? What? NO WAY! OK, maybe. Yeah, I am). Give it up for a talented group of 5 year olds!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Spring Photo Shoot for Hannah


My big girl is almost 6 (what???) and today her school did class photos. She let me take her outside and snap a few shots before she left for class.

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