Friday, August 29, 2014

Back to School: An Epic Tale of Boxes, Bronchitis, Downward Dog and Lockdowns

Today marks the end of the second week of school.  It has been, inarguably, the longest two weeks I've had in recent recollection. Even more so considering how quickly summer vacation flew by.

I wasn't ready for summer to end, but decided to be positive and jumped right out of bed when my alarm went off in the middle of the night bright and early (at 5:30 a.m.) on the first day of school. Other than having to sign approximately 3,236 papers for school and visit Target a whopping 6 times for school supplies, the first few days were pretty great and I was able to get everyone, including myself, in bed by 9 p.m.

First day of school

 Then the weekend arrived.

My mother-in-law sold her house in less than a week on the market, and the time to pack and move had arrived.  Hubby, the kids, and I went over to help.  My job was to go through all of the photos she and her parents had collected over the last 65 years, combine them and store them in plastic tubs.  Actually my job was to pack said photos, but since the majority of them were strewn through dusty, silverfish infested boxes, falling out of photo albums whose sticky pages had long since lost their stickiness, or tucked away in the drug store envelopes they originally came in, I figured this would be a much better option.

Here is one of the old pictures I found at MIL's.
Here are Hubs and I when we were around 19 circa 1995.

Since MIL hasn't found a permanent place, Hubs and I offered to store her furniture and boxes  in our garage, which meant a major, two-day long garage rearrangement.

A good part of my garage was filled by donations for the charity yard sale I will soon be working, so those items had to be hauled to a different storage location. Hubby and I moved things right and left until we finally had the garage looking like I'd wanted it to look since we moved in 15 months ago.  It was a nice 30 seconds until the box truck with MIL's items arrived.  Thankfully, we played a lot of Tetris when we were kids and we able to fit it all in nicely.

The next day, my daughter called me from school complaining of a cough and sore throat. The pediatrician diagnosed her with sinusitis and bronchitis.  Ain't nobody got time for that!  I had to go back and forth to the pharmacy three times until they figured out that the cough medicine wasn't covered by our insurance and the doctor recommended an OTC instead.



Phew...I'm tired just thinking about it...

Last night my buddy Marcy invited me to yoga to try and relieve some of the stress of the last two weeks. This was a great idea since I had been wanting to try yoga for years to relieve my chronic back pain.  It really was a great idea, except that 15 minutes into it I realized this was more Cirque du Soleil in an oven than the chanting, relaxing and stretching I had pictured in my head.  About 40 minutes in I refused to do anymore downward dogs.

OK, I didn't actually refuse. It was more like my brain was spinning in my head, and my ears were ringing, and my boob sweat was rolling up into my eyes, and I didn't know what the heck any of the poses were, and I was getting nauseous from looking around to see if I was doing any of it correctly, and I was pretty sure they would have to call 9-1-1 if bent over again.  Thankfully, the last 10 minutes rocked.


I have not given up on yoga...I just think I will start with the senior citizens class and work my way up to the class set in the Sahara Desert.

So, this morning I woke up, still a little light-headed, but my body felt pretty amazing. Both kids were able to go back to school, and I planned on painting a table my MIL had given me to use in my studio while I listened to my new audiobook.  I ran out of the Annie Sloan Old White Chalk Paint I had been using, and as I went to wash my hands and run to the stockist, the house phone started ringing off the hook.  No one ever calls me on my land line, so when I looked at the caller ID I saw it was my son's high school.

All I remember the recorded message say was "suspicious student", "in custody" "lockdown", "law enforcement", and "safety sweep of the school." I quickly texted my son, got online and saw the newspaper article that stated that my daughter's middle school (right next door from my son's) and a nearby elementary school were also on lockdown due to a student who was wearing a trench coat and claimed to have guns.  I texted my kids, and my son replied that he was in lockdown in his 4th period class but was OK.  My daughter didn't reply right away, but by then the reports stated that her school's lockdown had been lifted and that the students were in no danger.

I decided to drive to my son's school myself, and when I arrived, the street was filled with concerned parents, cars parked on the side of the road and police cars blocking the school's entrance.



My son's principal has a twitter account, and he updated it often. I was able to keep in touch with my son via text while I waited for news.  Three hours after the initial lockdown, after crouching against a wall the entire time, skipping lunch hour, and with only one supervised bathroom break, the lockdown was lifted.  Parents like me flooded the front office to take our tired and hungry kids home. Actually, we went to McDonald's. A situation like this deserves salty fries and a Coke.

Safe and sound.
Later on, we learned that there was no evidence of any weapons at the school, but it has raised a huge concern. How safe are our kids?  How can schools prevent weapons from entering the building?  What if another kid wants this kind of attention? Should the teachers have water and food supplies in their classrooms?

It's all a little much for me to think about this evening.  Tonight I will just think of how thankful I am that my kids are safe and sound.

If you've made it this far, thank you!  My readers always brighten my day!

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Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Summer Fashion As the Season Winds Down

While the warm weather will stick around for a few more months here in the Sunshine State, summer vacation is quickly coming to an end.  It's both a curse and a blessing.  I will miss waking up AFTER the sun has come up, our weekday trips to theme parks and water parks and staying up past midnight without counting the number of hours until the alarm goes off. I dread packing lunches, morning traffic and afternoon pick-up line.

But, I am excited to get back to a routine at home and work. Hubby will appreciate the return of regular visits to the grocery store, as well as not having to dig through the laundry baskets for a pair of matching socks. I will be able to dedicate more time to blogging and you will get to see more of my handmade goodies.

In the meantime, I wanted to share with you some of what I've worn (#wiw) over the last few weeks...


For more #WIW and #OOTD (outfit of the day) check out my insta.  There's a link on the sidebar.

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Thursday, August 7, 2014

What I've Been Working On (#WIBWO) Summer 2014 Edition

Hello!  It's been awhile!  I'm sorry that I haven't update this blog in so long!  I have been having a wonderful summer, and I just haven't made the time to sit behind the computer.

If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you will have seen some of the fun times we've had, as well as what I've been working on.  Today I want to share with my blog readers what's been going on in my studio...

The following post is going to be picture heavy, but I just have so much to share!


I got really busy this summer working on my signature Wet Bags ($14).  I picked up some new fabrics and was so excited to ship these bags to clients near and far!



These Anchor Wet Bags SOLD OUT in just a couple of days!
Fabric Keyrings ($7), one of the first handmade accessories I debuted back in 2011, are popular year-round, but more so during the school year when parents purchase this cute and practical gift for their child's teachers.


During back-to-school time, I feature my Fabric Lanyards ($10).  These are great for teachers, students, and anyone who needs to carry a badge at work.  These are also great to hold your keys!  I wear mine tucked into my top when I go for a walk or jog.



I had a custom request a couple of weeks ago from one of my most dedicated clients for a Grocery Bag Holder ($10). This is new to AquaSeventy6 and I am happy to debut it on today's blog:


Finally, this summer I debuted a Layette Combo. This comes with 2 applique onesies, 2 applique burp cloths and a matching vinyl-lined "Everything Bag" made to order for $40 (15% savings) or upgrade the Everything Bag to a full-sized Wet Bag for just $2 more (that's a 20% savings.) These make unique and thoughtful baby shower gifts!

This is an example of the Little Man combo.


If you want to place an order for anything you see on my blog, email me at aquaseventy6@gmail.com.  Everything is made-to-order and ships first class with tracking. Thanks for reading! xoxo

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Monday, June 2, 2014

100 Happy Days


June is here!  Hoorah!  Summer vacation officially starts in 24 hours!  I. Can't. Wait.



Lots of changes have been happening here in La Maison de AquaSeventy6.  First and foremost, I've been hinting at it for a couple of weeks now, but as of this past Saturday at 4 p.m., I no longer work weekends!!

I took a weekend job 18 months ago while we were just back from VA, still living with relatives, and needed the extra income to get on our feet. "Weekends only" became "weekends plus some weekdays", and soon I was dedicating almost every single day to my "weekend job". Sadly, AquaSeventy6 fell by the wayside.

Thankfully, things have been better financially, and since my work schedule was putting a real strain on my family I began to consider resigning from my "weekend job".  Somehow, by the grace of God, everything lined up recently (and unexpectedly) and I was able to rededicate myself fully to my family and my business.

This all has worked out perfectly with the beginning of summer, and so I decided to use June 1 as the day to begin an ongoing project #100happydays.  Follow me on Instagram and see how I find at least 1 thing that has made me happy each day.  Will you join me?  Just hashtag #100happydays and tag me using @aquaseventy6 so I can see what has makes you happy the next 100 days!

Finally, some of my newest branding items have arrived!  Check them out!

My new business cards!

My new labels!

<3 <3 <3

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Thursday, May 29, 2014

Maybe the Best May

The month of May has gone by in the blink of an eye!  I can't believe there are only 5 more days until summer vacation!  I have had an amazing month!

My family took me to the beach for Mother's Day. I was able to chaperone my daughter's 5th grade dance, her band field trip and her field trip to Busch Gardens. My husband chaperoned my son's 8th grade trip to Universal Studios and we spent the rest of that weekend in Orlando lounging poolside and visiting the Magic Kingdom. This past weekend we went back to the beach for our 16 year wedding anniversary where we swam, avoided stingrays, soaked in the beautiful weather, and even caught a 15-inning Tampa Bay Rays game! (Full disclosure: we left after the 10th inning.)

Here are some pics of our beautiful month so far:


This summer is going to be bitter-sweet for me.  Both of my kids will be entering new schools in the fall.  My son is starting high school and my daughter starts middle school.  I officially no longer have babies. Our schedule next year is going to be insane, with my son's first bell ringing around 7:10 a.m., and my daughter not starting until 8:20--even though the schools are right next door to each other and 8 miles away from my house.  (Seriously, what kind of masochistic school board do we have out here?!)

My goal is to spend as much time with my kids and have as much fun as humanly possible in the 75 measly days we are given between school years.  I will be starting a #100happydays project on instagram that will spill into the beginning of the new school year, highlighting at least one happy moment in each day.  I hope this inspires you to do the same.

I will also have a lot more free time this summer...more on that after this weekend...

Finally, I will be giving myself a pass (or as my friend Autumn calls it, a Summer Card) when my lofty goals do not go as planned.  La Casa de AquaSeventy6 will be a "guilt-free zone" this summer, or as guilt-free as a Catholic Cuban-American mom can be.

I want to be chill, like this guy, the most interesting kangaroo in the world:


How has your May been? What are your big summer plans? Meet any interesting marsupials lately? Tell me in the comments!


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Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Moms just wanna have fun, too

It's been the weirdest week ever, and it's only Wednesday.  For all of the ups there have been an equal number of downs. Just today I was given some news that has taken some time to sink in.  It's both good news and bad, and at the same time it's neither bad nor good.

It's something that I've been wanting to happen, yet unexpectedly, made me a little sad.  I will share this news in the next couple of weeks when everything is said and done.  In the mean time, in case you were wondering, it has nothing to do with pregnancy.  (I'm 38 people...there are cobwebs on these here ovaries!)

I can share that this news will mean bigger and better things for AquaSeventy6, and for that I am STOKED! Stay tuned....

~~~~~
One of my ups this week was my monthly girl's night out. Mention GNO and visions of dance clubs and male reviews, jager shots and streaked mascara come to mind....yeah, none of those.  In our late mid-30s, we try to maintain a level of decorum that won't leave our teenagers horrified or scarred for life when opening their social media accounts.  "Hammered-mom-at-a-bar" is not a good look, ladies--at least not for me...anymore...at this age. ;)

Instead we choose a nice restaurant where we can have a glass of wine (or a Captain and Coke), bitch chat about our hubbies, brag about discuss our kids' recent accomplishments, complain talk about our jobs, but mostly just laugh and have a nice time. (Sans kids, sans hubby.)  Our kind of GNO may not be one for the Richter Scale, but it's much needed and suits us just fine.


At the end of the night, it was so awesome to see my friend Kristy pull out her keys and slip her AquaSeventy6 Key Ring over her wrist.  Love it!

So, how do you unwind with your amigas?  Tell me in the comments!  xoxo


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