Revved Up for Friday

Happy Friday! It’s the weekend of Bikes, Blues and BBQ in Northwest Arkansas, so the energy (and sound levels) are off the charts around here. Before we head on down to the excitement, I wanted to share a few discoveries of the week. Here’s my Five on Friday Wrap.

Blogged while watching the high school parade march down our street. Happy homecoming, Har-Ber High. Go Wildcats!

{ONE} Birthday Cheers!

My sweet B had a birthday this week. He’s only 6-months younger than I am, but the kids still think it’s funny that I’m the oldest person in the house. Yes, it’s funny – on some days. Other days I get to use it to my advantage. If I’m the oldest, I get to pick [insert movie, song, or dessert choice here]. It’s perfect. On Brandon’s special day, though, the day he turns “my age,” he gets to pick the good stuff – including presents. He’s not big on surprises. He wanted some fancy-pants cocktail glasses like they had in Mad Men, and we found these. Aren’t they handsome? If you have a special fella in your life, this would make a great gift. They’re even Brandon-approved.

{TWO} Another Magical Use for Lavender


I’ve always been a huge fan of lavender. It smells divine and has so many uses. In fact, I just read it can help deter flies. This was a new one to me, so I had to share. If you rub a few drops of lavender oil (with an old rag) around the edges of your doorway, it keeps flies from coming inside. We’ve had countless trips in and out of the house lately trying to potty train Leo the puppy, so we could really use this right now. Shoo, fly.

{THREE} Pupdate

leo morning

Leo is pondering the day ahead – like where he’ll cop-a-squat.

Speaking of lil’ Leo, I haven’t given a pupdate in awhile. He’s up to around 10 pounds now. Such a big boy. We’ve continued with the puppy lessons at PetCo, and he’s now a champ with the “sit”, “down” and “wait” commands. I think “waiting” is the biggest miracle I’ve seen in quite awhile. Our trainer did some kind of voodoo mind trick on Leo. Our little dude was running around the room like a kid on caffeine, which I know is dangerous and is my point exactly. He was out-of-this-world wild with the crazy eyes and everything. Our trainer pulled out his magical treats, paired with his stern, calming voice. Within minutes, he had Leo not only sitting, but also waiting patiently to retrieve his snack. Wow. Just wow. Leo still jumps and nips at times – especially around new friends – but he’s sooo much better now that he knows to “wait”. I still think the command should have been “chill,” which is more accurate.

{FOUR} Hoppy Hour

We can’t forget about Rosie the Rabbit. And if you’re a rabbit owner like me, take note. There’s an actual thing called Hoppy Hour up in Minnesota. I don’t happen to live there, but a friend does. She takes her bun to a weekly gathering where tons of other rabbits and their owners gather for hay and coffee and a general good time. The bunnies bounce around and socialize, which is super important for their health. And owners can brag and/or gab about any issues they need to share. I’m so in love with this idea that I want to start one here. If anyone lives in this area and is interested, let me know! And if you don’t live here (or MN) you should start one in your area, too. Bunnies unite!

{FIVE} Writing Resources

Writing quote

Hey, if you’re like me and you love to write, why not get paid a little extra on the side for writing some great articles, poems or posts? A friend shared this resource with me this week, and I thought it would be worth passing along. Launch that Word program of yours, and see what pays off! If you have other go-to resources, be sure to share them in the comments.

Have a creative weekend, my friends!




Friday Wrap: Football Fun

It’s Fri-yay! College football has officially kicked off.

B and I both graduated from Nebraska, so we’re still not talking about last week’s upset with the last-second Hail Mary pass that BYU pulled off. In fact, we’re calling for a mulligan. Can you do that in football?

This week’s top five is all about organizing tailgate parties – and the exciting fact that each new game starts with a 0-0 tie.

Blogged while listening to “This is How We Do It” by Montell Jordan.

{ONE} Terrific Tables

You can’t have a proper party without a few decorations. I adore this set up by A simple black and white striped table cloth reminds me of a referee jersey. The “Game Day” bunting looks super easy to make (or you could just buy one on Etsy). The chalkboard sign hints at a scoreboard, which would be another interesting use. You could keep track of the score for anyone who’s distracted by the great food – and company! All of this could be translated to a true tailgate by displaying this spread across the bed of a pickup truck. Yee-haw, sister.

{TWO} Delicious Drinks

football drinks

L: Pic via; R: What I found at Hobby Lobby.

Cute cups could double as souvenirs from your special gathering. On the right are mason jars painted to look like footballs. These were at Hobby Lobby (in stores) for $5.99 each. The left side shows a smart idea for any outdoor party. Buy cupcake liners in the colors of your favorite team and use them as drink covers. You could also brew a tasty punch with the same color theme. Go team!

{THREE} Favorite Fiesta Dip

fiesta corn salsa

Recipe here.

It isn’t a football party at the Andersen house without a serving of Fiesta Corn Salsa. YUM-to-the-E! We eat it with tortilla chips or scoop it up with Fritos. Either way, it’s a surefire recipe for happiness – no matter how well your team is playing.

{FOUR} Perfect Pong

Beer pong table

Directions here.

The game of Beer Pong (which could easily be called Juice Pong for the under-21 crowd) is a great way to pass the time either pre-game or at halftime. Now, you could just as well set up a pyramid of red Solo cups on a plain table, but why do that when you can make this adorable mini football field?!

{FIVE} Sign Up Like a Genius

Sign up here.

Sign up here.

I’m sure most of you have thoughtful friends who never want to show up to a party empty handed. If you’re having a fairly good size party, this is a smart way to organize your snacks: have a sign up sheet. That way you don’t end up with a bazillion bags of chips and no dip, and your friends feel happy for helping. There are tons of options, but I prefer SignUpGenius. And they have cute themes like this football number.

That’s a wrap! Have fun cheering for your favorite team this weekend. Tell me what tips and tricks you like to use when setting up a tailgate party.




Fourth Grade Park Perks

Well, Labor Day sure came and went in a flash. I hope you enjoyed the long weekend. We headed up to Kansas City to visit friends, which was a usual blast consisting of late nights and loads of laughter.

As I was catching up on Facebook and Instagram last night it looked like many friends hit the lake, campgrounds and nearby parks. This leads us to today’s post, which is a quick Tuesday tip for everyone with fourth graders in their lives.

Did you know 4th grade students and their families receive free admission to all national parks?

national park pass

It’s true. The program is officially called Every Kid in a Park. The goal of the initiative is to encourage students and their families to “experience the places that are home to our country’s natural treasures, rich history, and vibrant culture FREE OF CHARGE!”

Beginning September 1st, kids have access to a year-long park pass.

The pass is valid for the entire 2015-2016 school year. So you may want to organize a few weekend trips or plan your holiday breaks around some of our country’s best gems while the free pass lasts.

This is big news. I’m sure Leslie Knope from Parks & Rec be like…

Leslie Knope dance

Now if you’re like me, you’re not exactly sure where the closest national parks are located and what they have to offer. I did a little homework for us. Look no further than this complete download resource created by the National Park Foundation.

You can find lists and guides to more than 400 national parks. Among them is a complete Owner’s Guide, that not only shares the best secrets of each destination, but also reminds us that the national parks belong to us.

Another list that’s especially helpful is Places Nobody Knows. Everyone knows about Yosemite, but there are smaller hidden gems that might be closer and easier to access.

If you want a more interactive map of all of the parks, this one lets you search by location, theme, or category, such as “national battlefields.”

It’s an exciting time to be in 4th grade. If you and your kiddos are ready to lace up your boots, here’s the link to get your free pass. If you’re a 4th grade teacher (like my sister and niece), you can get class passes at this link.

Have fun blazing new trails, and here’s hoping you run into Amy Poehler along the way!



Friday Wrap

For anyone who reads The Skimm, which is a fantastic way to catch up on headlines, btw, they always start with, “Skimmed while (insert interesting activity here).” It’s a small, funny detail that I love it. And it inspired me to do the same. So…

Blogged while eating Cheerios with banana slices.

Here are five exciting things that happened this week:

{ONE} Puppy Stuff

Chick-fil-a dog treats

This crunchy biscuit smelled good enough for me to eat! I didn’t, though.

Leo had his first day of puppy school on Tuesday! He was such a good boy and didn’t even throw up in the car on the way to Petco. Yay. We decided to swing through the Chick-fil-a drive thru on the way home, and low and behold they gave us a free dog treat! I had no idea this was a “thing”. Apparently lots of places have dog perks. This has proven, yet again, we have so much to learn about being new puppy parents!

{TWO} Octoberfest in September


Brandon and I have a deep appreciation for Samuel Adam’s Octoberfest. As you can imagine, this special batch of brew is only sold in the fall. It also sells out fairly quickly, so when we see it in stores, we stock up on these bad boys like a couple of doomsday preppers. We spotted the orange and blue labels from across the beer aisle (classy, I know) and we purchased our first bottles of the season. We had a ceremonial clinking of pint glasses and enjoyed a cold one on the back porch while planning our 15th wedding anniversary, which is in November!

{THREE} Portland Planning

willamette valley, or

Willamette Valley, Oregon {via}

As mentioned over beers, B and I are celebrating a milestone anniversary this fall. We decided to plan a trip to Portland. In fact, we booked tickets this week. We’re going to enjoy a bit of time in Willamette Valley partaking in their local pinots. We’ll also head over to the coast and spend time admiring the infamous Haystack Rock.

This breathtaking scenery is in Cannon Beach, Oregon. {via}

This breathtaking scenery is in Cannon Beach, Oregon. {via}

I feel relaxed just looking at all of the pictures. Let the countdown begin. P.S. If anyone has tips on places to eat or things to see, let me know!

{FOUR} Playing House

Can I just say, I have a new favorite show right now that makes me laugh, cry and long for a bestie that’s as honest and certifiably crazy as these two girls are with each other. Have you seen it, yet? Do you feel the same way?! It’s a USA Original, just like my other go-to show, Suits. They’re whipping up some really good content right now. Go USA!

{FIVE} Cultivating Courage

Gettin’ real for a sec…I’ve been in the process of making some fairly important decisions in my life. I don’t know how you feel about change, but it’s hard for me. I’ve been praying to have a heart that’s open and eyes that can clearly see the opportunities in front of me. I feel like that part has been working. I’ve seen an abundance of choices and opportunities. I’m just not sure which one is right or what I’m truly meant to do. It’s like I’m in a stalemate with myself. As I was taking my mind off things over a Pinterest session, I found this inspiring quote about courage – which I need these days. This quote helped nudge me into action. I still don’t know if it’s in the right direction, but it’s better than just standing here. If anyone needs a bit of courage right now, I offer this quote to you. Let’s be brave enough to take chances and live without regret.

Love you all like sisters!




Inspiration from Dr. Wayne Dyer

Dr. Wayne Dyer was an inspirational author with one of the most calm, confident, and uplifting demeanors.

I was actually introduced to his books back when I was in high school. My dad was observant and caring enough to recognize I was searching for meaning, and he provided great books and support. I grew to love and read all of Dr. Dyer’s books over the years. Two of my favorites are Manifest Your Destiny and Wishes Fulfilled.

I still turn to them from time-to-time and am amazed at the coincidence that occurs. No matter what I’m going through, I happen to pick up JUST the right book and turn to JUST the right page for comfort or understanding.

My husband feels the same way (who is also hooked on these books.) We have since given I Am, and  Incredible You! to our kids.

Incredible You I Am

In memory of Dr. Dyer, who passed on to his next adventure on Sunday night, I wanted to share a few of my favorite quotes with you.

I hope at least one of these messages finds a place in your heart.

Have a blessed day, and go do something amazing!