Author Archives: Ginny Marie

When Bloggers Meet

This weekend was the biggest blogging conference, BlogHer ’14, in San Jose, California. Unlike last year, I wasn’t able to go. Instead, I was at the southern end of the state meeting a blogger friend for the very first time! Gretchen from Second Blooming and I met in a little coffee shop kitty-corner from the Hollywood Tower. Not only did Gretchen meet me, but she met the rest of my family as well, and she brought Jude with her to meet Lily and Emmy.

Hollywood Tower

101 Coffee Shop

When I saw Gretchen and Jude walk into the coffee shop, it felt like I already knew them. As Ed told me later, “It was like you were two old college friends getting together after not seeing each other for a while.” It completely makes sense; when you read someone’s blog for as many years as Gretchen and I have read each others, you know a lot about them. And let me tell you: Gretchen’s son Jude is just as adorable in real life as he is on Gretchen’s blog! (I probably shouldn’t embarrass him like that, but it’s true!)

Ginny and Gretchen

Jude Lily and Emmy

See what I mean? Adorable!

As you have probably guessed by now, I’m on vacation. Gretchen and I have decided that in honor of our meeting each other for the first time, we are going to put The Spin Cycle on hold for two weeks. Yes, it’s kind of strange that after two bloggers meet we are now putting off blogging. But then, blogging is a strange business. It’s a place where you become friends with someone you’ve never even met. I’m just thrilled that Gretchen and I were able to meet in person.

I’ll still post a blog post here and there if I have wi-fi access or if I’m not too tired from all the hiking Ed is about to make me do. Will we have a relaxing vacation? Time will tell. And Gretchen will be writing about Camp Mama, so be sure to click over and go say hi! The Spin Cycle will resume its regular schedule in a couple of weeks. :)
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Parks and Recreation {Spin Cycle}

We never call a park by its real name. We use the equipment on the playground for identification. For example, we go to the “boat park,” the “flying saucer park,” or the “roller slide park.” The playground down the street from us is “our park” and the playground at the school is “the red park” because all of the monkey bars, slides and swings are the color red.

When I became a stay-at-home mom with Lily, I couldn’t wait to take her to the park. I needed activities to fill my days, besides the normal routines of changing diapers and endless laundry. I started reading to Lily when she was only three months old, and as soon as the weather started to warm up, I took my November baby to the park. I placed Lily into the baby swing and gently pushed her back and forth. Lily would look up at the sky, point, and say “Appy!” which of course meant “airplane.”

Traveling with kids takes on a whole different perspective. We could be at the most interesting tourist spot ever, but if the kids spot a playground, they’re begging us to go play!

playground car

Lily and Ed at a playground in Iowa

playground swing

Emmy on a moose swing in Fairbanks, AK

The weather doesn’t matter at all. We go to our park when it’s hot, when it’s cold, and even when it’s snowy. At the playground, my daughters magically get along.

playground swing

At our park on a mild November day

And so far, it hasn’t mattered how old my daughters are. At the ages of six and nine, they still want to go to the park to play! Now they prefer the monkey bars to the swings, however.

Do you ever visit a park in your neighborhood? Join Gretchen and me for the Spin Cycle this week and link up your Parks and Recreation blog post!


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There’s Banana In My Ear! {A Cautionary Tale}

Sometimes the long days of summer stretch out and are too long. During one of those long summer afternoons, I agreed to let Emmy give me a facial. One of her favorite books is Fancy Nancy: Ooh La La! It’s Beauty Day! In the book, Nancy gives her not-so-fancy mom a spa day for her birthday. Included in the book is a recipe for a banana honey facial.

Fancy Nancy Beauty Day

So we mashed up the banana and mixed in some honey, and Voila! We had a facial! Nancy’s mom reclined on a lounge chair outside, but I chose to lie down on the kitchen floor with a towel under my head. Lily placed two cucumber slices on my eyes, and then the girls gooped the banana mask on my face a little too eagerly. Gobs of banana dripped down my cheeks toward my ears. I was supposed to leave the mask on for ten minutes.

I held out for six loooong minutes.

When I got up, I had banana in my hair and in my ears. Fortunately, I had already planned on taking a shower after my facial. Unfortunately, the shower did not rinse the banana out of my right ear.

Then I did a very bad thing.

I used a Q-tip.

As I was twirling the Q-tip in my ear, I felt the banana go further into my ear. And then, I couldn’t hear very well. My ear was so completely clogged that I was like Ernie when he had a banana in his ear. Unlike Ernie, my clogged ear was driving me completely batty!

I tried putting a little rubbing alcohol in my ear, which helps to get water out after swimming. No luck.

I tried a little hydrogen peroxide, and could hear the fizzing behind the banana for at least half an hour. It did nothing.

I bought an ear syringe to try to wash the banana out. Nope. Wasn’t gonna budge the banana.

The next day, I finally caved in and made an appointment at a Walgreen’s clinic. And when I got there, I told the truth.

My daughters gave me a facial and I think I have some banana in my ear.

Boy, did I feel silly.

The nurse practitioner had the right tool, however, and she pumped and pumped and pumped water into my ear until I felt dizzy. Out fell a blob (which did not look like banana, but I knew it was) and the relief was so immediate I just about cried. The nurse suggested that next time I should put some cotton in my ears.

Ha. There won’t be a next time.

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P.S. Wait! Don’t stop reading yet! I know you’re wondering about how the banana face mask worked. It actually made my skin feel very soft, and I may use it again…without my assistants’ help.

Your Spin Cycle Prompt {week of 7/21}

Last week, we celebrated July as National Picnic Month. This week, let’s talk about July as Parks and Recreation Month! We live right down the street from the park, so we go there all the time! Do you go to a park or playground on a regular basis? What do you like to do for recreation?

Join Gretchen and me for Park and Recreation Month! Write your Spin about any park or playground or a recreational activity you enjoy, and link it up here any day this week! Gretchen and I will be back on Friday with our Spins.


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Picnicking {Spin Cycle}

Our family loves a good picnic; or as Fancy Nancy would put it, we dine al fresco! Every once in while, I’ll call Ed and tell him to meet us at the roller slide park after work. I make pizza pasta salad* and buy Cheetos, and the girls and I arrive early so that they can play on the playground before Ed gets there.

Most of the time, our picnicking happens during a road trip. I pack sandwiches, fruit and veggies so that we can stop at a picnic area to eat lunch instead of eating fast food.

Sometimes, the weather doesn’t cooperate and it’s a bit cooler than we expect. We just bundle up and eat outside anyway.

roadside picnic

Sometimes, we can’t find a picnic table. So we pull over in a turnaround on the side of the highway to Fairbanks, Alaska, and eat in the back of our rental van.

picnic in a van

alaska picnic

Sometimes, we can’t find a picnic table, so we use a rock instead.

Hiking in the Rocky Mountains, CO

Hiking in the Rocky Mountains, CO

Lunch at the Grand Canyon

Lunch at the Grand Canyon

And sometimes, there’s nothing like a hot dog in your own backyard!

hot dog

*I don’t have a recipe; I just make some rotini noodles, throw in some pepperoni, grape tomatoes, mozzarella cheese chunks, onions, green peppers and black olives, and toss it all with a vinaigrette. Voila, pizza pasta salad!


Copy and paste the code in the box to add some Spin Cycle bling to your post! (On some blogs, you will need to delete the quote marks and replace them with regular quote marks.) Then link up your picnic posts here!



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