Thursday, July 31, 2014

G+ Growing Circles Hop #29


Time to share your awesome content.
Use our party hashtag and let's mingle!
Starting next week, we'll be sharing a random G+ post from this week's linkup!
Show us what you've got to share.


Co-Host with us.
Send an email to 2justByou(AT)gmail(DOT)com with "G+ Hop Co-Host" in the subject line and include your blog and G+ links for consideration. We'd love to have you!


 

To make the most of this link party, please follow the rules below.
1. You MUST add your hosts and co-hosts to one of your circles before linking up. 
2. Link up your personal Google+ profile, blog or business G+ pages but NOT your blog URL. 
3. Share ONE post ONLY - (new or old) on G+ and use the hashtag #GrowingCirclesHop
4. Connect with others by clicking on your #growingcircleshop hashtag. Engage with at least 2-3 others by a Share, +1 or Comment. 
5. Add new friends to your circles. 
6. Grab a button for your blog, if you'd like. Help us spread the word so we can keep trending on Google Plus each week! (You can edit size to fit your blog in the code).
Mommy Mentionables



Throughout the next 12 hours, check back on G+ and +1 posts with the hashtag #growingcircleshop.

Google+ Tips

The real participation comes with sharing a blog post to G+ using the party's hashtag and engaging with others who are also sharing posts from this party. Interaction and engaging with others on G+ will bring you the most success! You will notice some posts have a very large picture associated with their post and others have a tiny picture. To increase your chances of being shared, post a photo along with your post link and NOT the tiny one that gets posted automatically with the link. The bigger and more clear your photo, the better chance of it being shared because those are the posts that G+ users want to share with their followers.










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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Taking a Break {Words for my Wednesday}

I'm taking just a bit of a blogging break in these last few weeks that my kids have of their summer break. I'll still be posting a couple of times during the week, so no worries there. It's just not as much as usual, and I wanted to be sure that you know I'm not abandoning my blog or my readers. 

I know how much you all like the Words for my Wednesday posts, so here's a quick one for you. Found from my twitter feed via @WomenOfHistory, I really wanted to share the message with you today, because I think it's a great one.



We don't have to be the best, only better than what we were yesterday. Each day is a new day to look forward to making better. Make the present day count.

Happy Wednesday to you all!




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Friday, July 25, 2014

The Farm at the Fair {#CAStateFair}

We had some great fun at the California State Fair on Wells Fargo's Kids Day (Tuesdays kids get free fair admission and all rides are $1), because the kids' Auntie really loves them. She took us all for a day jam-packed full of lots of fun and tons to see. We were there almost the entire day. By the end, we were all really tired, but it was so worth it.

I've been posting on Instagram throughout the past week, so if you follow me there, you might have seen some fun photos of our fair adventures already. The fair is so big that we didn't get to see it all in just one day. We visited some of the indoor shopping, the Sweet exhibit (California's Tasty Journey that shows lots of candy from then & now), went on some carnival rides, and we visited The Farm. We didn't get a chance to see the animals, though, and that's always a favorite, especially when there are newborn piglets and calves to see.



There at The Farm, we saw a great garden full of fruits, vegetables, plants and flowers that are California grown, the "bug building" (aka the Insect Pavilion), and fish. Today I'm sharing photos of The Farm.

If you're anywhere in Northern California this weekend, the State Fair is still open through this Sunday! You can get more info by clicking HERE. I'll be sharing more photos later, but first, I wanted to share our photos of The Farm, because it was a really great place to visit and learn about California agriculture.


Sponsored by SaveMart Supermarket stores, The Farm was full of of awesomeness, and this is the beautiful entrance.



 Some of the pretty flowers.

You know I can't resist a sunflower!


And the roses were gorgeous.

Look at the honey bee! The flower garden was right next to the Insect Pavilion, where there was a big box of honey bees with a tube so that the bees could go to and fro. I had my boys read all about it inside the pavilion. You know, gotta squeeze in the educational material (that's what we moms do, right?).


California Honey Sticks!
One pound of food was donated because we posted this on twitter!
I don't know what happened to my photos of the fruit that we bought from the Farmer's Market right inside the exhibit. Well, FYI, we had watermelon and red grapes.

Cal Expo is Home of the California State Fair.

Grapevines


Pumpkins!

I might have more photos of the farm that I missed for today's post, but there's more to come for our other State Fair adventures, so be on the lookout! This is just the beginning...

Anybody know the name of the flowers in the top photo? 
I'm not good with flower names at all. Those flowers were really pretty, though.

What do you want to see from the State Fair??? 
Visit our facebook fan page and leave us a comment. We'll try to snap a photo for you and we'll share it via social media, and - of course - I'll blog about it too.



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Christmas in July {#shopjustByou SALE}

If you're a facebook fan of Shop justByou, then you might have seen the announcement already. Our Etsy shop is having a last minute Christmas in July SALE!!! 

Save 15% off any order of $5 or more during the last week of July. We are already running fairly low on inventory from our Father's Day orders. So grab what you want while you can! We're making room for the many new additions that we will have to add for the fall season, which is right around the corner.


Visit the shop HERE (or click the image above).
Coupon code expires at 9:00 pm, Pacific Time (midnight, EST) on July 31st. 
Happy shopping!!!




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Thursday, July 24, 2014

G+ Growing Circles Hop #28


Time to share your awesome content.
Use our party hashtag and let's mingle!


Co-Host with us.
Send an email to 2justByou(AT)gmail(DOT)com with "G+ Hop Co-Host" in the subject line and include your blog and G+ links for consideration. We'd love to have you!


 

To make the most of this link party, please follow the rules below.
1. You MUST add your hosts and co-hosts to one of your circles before linking up. 
2. Link up your personal Google+ profile, blog or business G+ pages but NOT your blog URL. 
3. Share ONE post ONLY - (new or old) on G+ and use the hashtag #GrowingCirclesHop
4. Connect with others by clicking on your #growingcircleshop hashtag. Engage with at least 2-3 others by a Share, +1 or Comment. 
5. Add new friends to your circles. 
6. Grab a button for your blog, if you'd like. Help us spread the word so we can keep trending on Google Plus each week! (You can edit size to fit your blog in the code).
Mommy Mentionables



Throughout the next 12 hours, check back on G+ and +1 posts with the hashtag #growingcircleshop.

Google+ Tips

The real participation comes with sharing a blog post to G+ using the party's hashtag and engaging with others who are also sharing posts from this party. Interaction and engaging with others on G+ will bring you the most success! You will notice some posts have a very large picture associated with their post and others have a tiny picture. To increase your chances of being shared, post a photo along with your post link and NOT the tiny one that gets posted automatically with the link. The bigger and more clear your photo, the better chance of it being shared because those are the posts that G+ users want to share with their followers.









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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Natalia's Jewellery Giveaway WINNER

It's that time again. Time to congratulate another winner here at 2justByou Blog! The Natalia's Jewellery Giveaway recently ended, and up for grabs was the beautiful pair of earrings shown below.



The beautiful sterling silver earrings were handcrafted by Natalia as part of her Ocean Life series. 



I'd like to take just a moment and commend Yen on her entries as well. Winners are chosen at random via random.org, but then I go through the entries for verification. Sadly, I had to disqualify the first winner due to a false entry. Yen was then drawn as winner, and while verifying some of her 30+ entries, it was evident that she really wanted to win this pair of earrings! She came back to the blog almost daily to share via tweet and social media. I am so glad that she won, because she definitely earned it!

Please, when you enter a giveaway, make sure that your entries are all verifiable. I don't like to have to disqualify winners. 

HUGE thanks goes to Natalia of Natalia's Jewellery for sponsoring this awesome giveaway. These earrings are gorgeous and made with such love and care. And there are so many excellent pieces of wearable art in her shop; I do hope you visit her Etsy shop often to see what else she adds to it!




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What Sunflowers Do {Words for my Wednesday}

You probably all know by now that sunflowers are one of my favorite flowers of all time. Am I right? 

Well, I found a really cool quote for today's Words for my Wednesday. And I had the perfect backdrop for it, so I'm really excited to share it with you today. We all go through hard times, and it's important to keep your head up.

I hope you have a wonderful Wednesday! Embrace the summer sunshine.



Do you have a favorite quote or saying about summer or sunshine? 
Share your summer quotes with me in a comment below! Maybe I'll even share one or two in a future Words for my Wednesday post. 




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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Strawberry Banana Popsicles {Recipe}

Plenty of times I've surfed Pinterest and found lots of amazing popsicle recipes. Plenty of times I've made some yummy popsicles here at home, but never have I posted about it here on the blog. Then, last week, while visiting Always Wear Your Invisible Crown, I saw Marieken's Strawberry Popsicle post and decided right away that it was time to make some more homemade popsicle goodness here at our house. 


We had organic strawberries and bananas on hand, so Strawberry Banana Popsicles is what we made. We had some popsicle molds from last year that we hadn't tried out yet (a few different molds, actually). We had gotten them on sale at Walmart, I think (but I can't really remember for sure). Lots of times when we make popsicles, we just use the old fashioned ice cube trays, because they're actually a nice size for the kids, and easy to get out of the molds. This time, we wanted to bust out those new molds from last season and see how well they worked. 

You need:
* popsicle molds (or some ice cube trays)
* about 2 cups fresh, cut strawberries
* one sliced large banana
* about 1 1/2 cups greek yogurt
* honey to taste


Directions:
First we washed the strawberries, cut off the tops and sliced them. Then we sliced the bananas.


Put them in the blender and puree. We usually like to leave some big chunks of strawberry, but this time I chose to leave the fruit chunks out, because we also had this as a smoothie too (great when it has a double use!).


Add the yogurt and honey.


Pour into the molds and then put the lids on. Baby Girl was all too excited to put the lids on (because, like I said, we usually just use ice cube molds).



Freeze. We froze overnight, but a few hours should do just fine.

Remove from molds. Enjoy. 




*** To prepare as a smoothie, follow all steps in the directions, but also add some ice. It makes for a great way to cool off on hot summer days!

It's a little tough to take these out of the molds, especially the round molds (the plastic was thin and felt like it was going to break). Some of them didn't even pop out nicely at all (even on the other molds in the last photo), and the sticks came out! I ended up letting those "uh-ohs" thaw out a bit and poured them into a cup to enjoy with a spoon. Popsicles are great, but ice cube trays are easier, in my opinion.

Do you have any suggestions as to how to easily remove the popsicles from molds?
What's your favorite summer popsicle flavor?






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Thursday, July 17, 2014

Inspired by Scholars: An NSHSS Event at UC, San Diego

Back at the end of May, we had the opportunity to attend a special event put on by the National Society of High School Scholars (or NSHSS). This prestigious group of scholars is member-only and founded by Claes Nobel, senior member of the family that established Nobel prizes. 


Background image courtesy NSHSS
You can see my daughter right below the "r" in "our" up there, as all the scholars were asked to stand in recognition excelling in academics. It's always great to get a pat on the back,
or applause from a room full of people. =0)

The NSHSS mission: To recognize academic excellence and inspire youth.

It's hard to believe it's already been seven weeks since this awesome event, but it has. I couldn't put it off any longer, I had to share this with you today. Otherwise, my daughter would tell me that "it's just too late to post, Mom." So here we go...





My daughter was invited to become a member last year in 2013 because of her nomination for participating in and affiliation with National Youth Leadership Forum (NYLF) in Medicine, now a part of what is called Envision: a Leadership, Scholarship & Career resource group for academically excelling students. You can read about her experience with NYLF here.



NSHSS held an event at University of California, San Diego. We went and learned about career opportunities with the CIA (really interesting, btw), heard exceptional speakers (Claes Nobel being one of them), recognized outstanding educators, and saw some inspiring scholars win hard-earned scholarships for their work throughout the year. If you're following me on Instagram, you might have seen some posts (OK, you can look here and here).


Photo Courtesy of NSHSS
Claes Nobel speaking at the event.
Passionate about environmental issues, he greeted the group with the words,
"Good Earth to you," and I will always remember that.

My daughter had the chance to meet Mr. Claes Nobel and snap a photo with him. The whole experience was really eye-opening, because there are so many inspirational people within this group. If you think you can't make a difference in the world at all, you definitely think twice when you see what these kids have done in their communities, and what they continue to do for society as a whole. They fight against bullying. They support cancer research in incredible ways. They work hard in academics and in life, all in hopes that they will go to college and learn even more to better the world even more. There is a thirst for success. A drive to do the unthinkable. Everyone in that room was inspiring. Everyone.


Photo Courtesy NSHSS
I had tried to snap a shot with my camera phone, but I was too slow
(as I am most of the time when it comes to snapping photos).

I'm so glad that we had the chance to attend. Part of the mission of NSHSS is to inspire youth, but the organization really inspires adults too. Our family is so grateful for the opportunity to be a part of something so special.



We were also able to tour the UC San Diego campus. This was really fun! It's a beautiful campus, and it's right next to the ocean. My favorite part of the tour was seeing the Geisel Library. It's just awesome. Here are a few photos for you. And you can always see more by taking the virtual tour here.


This Dr. Suess tribute is just outside the library doors.

You can see this from the library, and it's another big attraction, as far as the campus tour goes. I forget what it's called, but you can actually go inside of it on certain days of the week.
Pretty cool!

The amazing view, just a short walk from the campus.
We ventured here when the day was done, before we headed back to LA.

After the campus tour, my daughter was tired of wearing her business attire (and the heels she wore). We hit up the student store, where she chose this outfit to sport the rest of the day.

As for the rest of our SoCal trip in May, you'll have to wait another day. I didn't have time to find all the photos and get them organized and ready for this post. (There really aren't enough hours in the day sometimes!) So stay tuned, because it's coming soon. 

Have you been inspired by a younger generation? 
Give me the deets! Tell me in a comment below.
We can be inspired by a baby's laugh, a toddler's curiosity, a child's imagination. We can learn from the smallest of things, even a simple phrase: "Good Earth to you." The quote at the top of this page is also quote from Claes Nobel himself, and it rings true. The youth IS our future. 





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