What I’m excited about right now


Alison at Get Your Pretty On is doing a summer wardrobe challenge. You get a summer shopping list, 3 weeks of daily outfit ideas, and a Facebook group to share photos and encourage others.  Summers here in Phoenix are Loooong–like 6 months long (although our April and May were surprisingly mild this year)–so I get bored of my clothes super fast. Therefore, I’m excited to sign up and get the shopping list and outfit ideas.  I’m hoping the shopping list aligns with things I own and things I’ve wanted to acquire anyway (like a maxi skirt or dress) and that it will work for our triple digit heat. I’m not sure I’ll post outfits here (embarrassing) but who knows! Anyway, I’m excited to get some wardrobe help for the long hot season ahead!

If this sounds like fun for you, it costs $20. You have to sign up by June 5th and the shopping list comes out June 6th (can’t wait!), then outfit emails start June 15th.  Details are over here.  If I sound like an advertisement, I can assure you I’m not getting paid. 😉 Alison doesn’t know I exist, this is just something I stumbled on and got excited about–and wanted to share!

Sound fun or think I’m crazy? Let me know in the comments!


We Watch Movies

We watch a lot of movies around here. Lately, in addition to watching movies with the kids on weekends, we have been watching between dinner and bedtime on weeknights.  It’s not a great practice–I find it frustrating to watch movies in 15 minute increments, but whatever. It’s the end of the school year, we need a little joy to push through, right?

Also, after the kids are in bed, Walter and I spend about 45 minutes most nights watching tv. I love it when we watch a whole tv series (we most recently watched Breaking Bad), but when we are between series, we watch movies.  I suppose it would be great if we took the time after the kids went to bed to get all sorts of stuff done, but we are exhausted.  And this way, it’s like every night is date night!

Here’s what we’ve been watching lately….

Family Films

The Princess Bride


One of our all-time faves, I love that our kids are old enough that we could introduce them to this classic film.  They loved it, and watching it with them made it extra fun for Walter and me.

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe


We weren’t sure if it would scare the kids, but they had no problem. They both liked it and we will have to rent the two sequels.



This isn’t a great piece of art, it’s cliche and derivative, but it’s fun nevertheless and not scary–the kids enjoyed the adventure.

Rio 2


Today we went to the movie theater and saw Rio 2. The kids loved it! Walter and I thought it wasn’t as good as the original. I thought it had too many bad guys (the white bird, the red birds, and the loggers), among other issues. And it just wasn’t much fun.

Date Movies



This wasn’t what I was expecting. Paul Rudd and Tina Fey, I was expecting something super funny similar to This is 40.* There were moments that I laughed till I cried, but overall it was more serious than I expected. That said, I really liked it. And Lily Tomlin–what a fun surprise.

Blue Jasmine


I did not want to see this. I believe Woody Allen is a pedophile and we shouldn’t support his films. But Walter wanted to see Cate Blanchett’s Oscar-winning performance.  I thought the movie was just okay.  But Blanchett’s performance–goodness gracious, it was a masterpiece! She nailed it, nailed it!



This was another of Walter’s suggestions, because he’d heard about it on NPR and he wanted to see Bruce Dern. Dern and the rest of the cast did a great job, but it was boring.  This one I can wholeheartedly tell you to skip. Two thumbs down.

What movies have you seen lately?

*If you are between 35 and 45 and haven’t seen This is 40 yet, it is a must-see. Hilarious and spot-on!

Adventures of Allergy Mom: Grocery Shopping Edition

Leo has Eosinophilic Esophagitis which, long story short, means when he eats certain foods, his white blood cells attack the food and his esophagus causing inflammation and bleeding. Therefore he avoids the following foods: wheat, corn, peaches, pineapple, and peanuts.  When I do something heroic in catering to his needs, I will call it Adventures of Allergy Mom. 😉

Monday mornings, I plan my meals for the week, make my grocery list and head to Walmart. I hate Walmart’s business practices but I still shop there because their prices are the lowest and with the cost of allergen-free products so insanely high, I have to save on our regular food. So I planned my meals this morning (though I only came up with three, with thursday and friday up in the air) and headed to Walmart for the bulk of our food items.

After I went home and unloaded the cold stuff, I headed to Sprouts in need of Leo’s wheat-free, c0rn-free tortillas, bread and spaghetti.  I got the tortillas and spaghetti (even found some WF/CF gnocchi!), but they were out of his bread.

Then I went across the street to Target because they have shredded cheddar that doesn’t contain corn starch (thank you, Market Pantry for using potato starch instead).

And then because I still needed Leo’s bread, I continued on to Safeway to cross that off my list.

It’s normal for me to visit these 4 stores over the course of the week (and sometimes others too–Albertsons carries our safe lasagna noodles, the Sprouts in Scottsdale has the safe flour blend I like), it just was a perfect storm that made me visit them all today. Oy!

And that is how Allergy Mom puts food on the table.

Currently (May 2014)

I’m linking up with Anne of In Residence.

cooking: Tonight I will be making gluten free sloppy joe pockets.  Everyone loves this recipe, though it takes a long time to prepare.

reading: I am currently between books. I just finished Practical Magic.

wearing: I love my new sandals from Lands’ End. They cost more than I usually like to spend but I waited till I had a coupon code for 30% off. Winning!

loving: This song, I Choose You by Sara Bareilles

anticipating: The end of the school year! I can’t wait to stop packing lunches and getting up at 6am!!!

Check out what others are currently doing and loving, over here.

What are you doing and loving these days? Please share in the comments!


Four Thumbs Up–Gravity

4 thumbs 2

Heehee, I created this little graphic (first time using PicMonkey, very cool) for when I want to recommend something.


image from imdb.com

Four thumbs up for the movie Gravity. (Although the thumbs in the graphic belong to my kids, Walter and I are the ones recommending this movie.)  We found it very engaging and unlike anything we’ve seen before.  Sure, it’s in the genre of “Now what do we do?” films, but floating in space was a new problem to solve.  It was short at barely an hour and a half (which was a good call) and Sandra Bullock did a great job, as usual. (Disclaimer: I’m a big SB fan. If you dislike her, you may want to skip the movie because she is in every frame.)  Really well done, beautiful to watch, amazing effects, engaging story.  Check it out!

If you’ve seen it, tell me in the comments what you thought of it!

Menu Plan April 28-May 2

I’ve joked that because we eat so many things from scratch (due to cooking without wheat and corn) that we are practically Paleo. (I don’t actually know all the tenets of Paleo dining, just that they don’t like processed foods.) So I thought I’d link up my meal plan in Musing of a Housewife‘s new Real Food Recipe Round Up, co-hosted by Sassy Moms in the City.

I only plan meals for Monday through Friday. I know I should plan ahead for weekends (because I don’t, we are left scrambling at the last minute) but coming up with 5 meals nearly kills me, so that’s where I stop. This Friday, Leo has a concert at 6:30 pm so I didn’t even plan a meal for that night. We will probably have a big snack around 5:00 and eat again after the concert? Who knows!


meatloaf, mashed potatoes, and gravy


I will throw chicken, veggies, and some sort of wheat-free, corn-free Asian/teriyaki-type sauce in the crockpot and serve with rice


lasagna (I buy Tinkyada GF lasagna noodles at Albertson’s)


shredded beef burritos

I’m linking up at Sassy Moms in the City


I have toyed with the idea of starting a blog before and it hasn’t taken off, but spurred by a conversation with a friend about healthy hobbies, I thought I’d give it a go. I am an avid blog reader, so I think this will be lots of fun! I don’t plan to write anything too embarrassing, so my friends and family can read along. But I’ll stay anonymous so I can have the whole blogosphere visit. I’ll use our first names and not publish photos of our faces. 😉

If you are visiting for the first time, Hello and Welcome! I’m Shannon and I’m a Stay At Home Mom. I have been married to Walter for 15 years. We have two kids: Leo is almost nine (gasp!) and Tess is five-and-a-half. 

Special thanks to my dear friend, Karen, for starting me thinking about hobbies, for encouraging me in this idea, and for helping me choose the name of this blog. You rock!

{Hitting publish. Wish me luck!}