How many balloons fit in a Kia?

The suspense must be killing you. I know conclusively that more than 50 balloons fit into a Kia Rio.

Releasing balloons from the Kia

But let’s back up a second. At the beginning of October I came home to this in my driveway:

Look what I came home to!!! My #Kia for the week.

Oliver called it the “zoom-zoom car” – I parked my Alice in Wondervan and got right in that red bullet and took her out. A 6 speed manual transmission, a place to plug in my phone and listen to my own music and an interactive navigation system made the Kia that much more fun. We gave it our “O” face.

We collectively give the #kia the "O" face.

I didn’t have a trip planned so I came up with a few other ideas to have fun with the car for a week.

Gonna have fun with this #kia. Let the fun begin!

I took ideas from our Summer Jar and picked out the ones I thought we could cross off or take inspiration from while having a blast with the Kia, too.

I decided to see how many balloons fit in the Kia and rounded up my volunteers to help make this happen. I needed balloons, helium, coffee, the perfect spot and my amazing friend, Laura, to pull this off. Not unlike “how many bubblegum balls are in this jar” estimation game from childhood. Only better. And bigger. And less sticky.

Kia jump!

(Thanks to Laura Vaughn for this gem of a photo!)

We fueled up on coffee, discussed our plan and went on with the day. After buying a tank of helium (which only had enough helium for 50 balloons) we went on a little ride to find the perfect spot and it just so happens that the dream house is on that ride. So we stopped to say hi. The Kia was very polite. She’s a lady like that.

Oh hai!! The #kia visits the dream house.

We ended up finding a clearing near a field with the fall colors in the back ground and it was a gorgeous day. We parked the Kia near a tree and started filling up our balloons. Oliver kept them captive in the car as we filled, tied and tossed the balloons his way.

Releasing balloons from the Kia

Releasing balloons from the Kia

Releasing balloons from the Kia

Releasing balloons from the Kia

Releasing balloons from the Kia

When we bought the helium we knew we probably weren’t going to be able to literally FILL the Kia with balloons since the tank only had enough juice for 50 balloons, so we know that more than 50 fit inside the car. Either way, it filled up nicely with the 50 we did have (and a few escapees) …

Releasing balloons from the Kia

And then!!! Oliver stayed in the car with all the balloons and on cue he opened the doors and we all watched as they floated away.

Releasing balloons from the Kia

Releasing balloons from the Kia

Releasing balloons from the Kia

Releasing balloons from the Kia

Releasing balloons from the Kia

And it was magic.

Epic #kia afternoon. Artprize this.

Having a different car for a week was fun, I mean honestly. Who doesn’t love having new experiences? But what was even better about it was that having this nifty little car around gave us an excuse to do something. If going somewhere was our something, we could do it. If staging the car in a game of hide and seek in the middle of dirt roads was our something, we could do it. Just so happens that happy balloons on a blue-sky day was our something … and we did it.

I’m not a car person. Mileage doesn’t matter to me. It needs to get there. How it rides, what it feels like on the inside – what it looks like on the outside … I just don’t care. Cars are a tool in my life, not an accessory. So I can’t sell you this car, I think you understand. But I can sell you the idea that no matter what you’re driving or how you’re getting there … you’re going somewhere.

And how lovely it was to get there with a Kia for a week. Where balloons were the magic of our fall days, where we could jam out to our favorite songs with the windows down and pretend that this magic little car we were borrowing was really the magic carpet ride of our fantasies and childhood day dreams.

And it was fabulous.

You should totally try it.

I was given this Kia Rio for a week to try out, Thanks Kia! The gas was complimentary but the memories were a bonus. And I’m opinionated all by myself. You can see my full disclosure here.

On getting older

So skin care is actually a big deal, they weren’t lying.

Damn it.

I recently bought an ebook from Crunchy Betty about natural ways to clean oily skin, or acne prone skin … and although I experienced a slight hiatuses from the stupid stuff (Pregnancy hormones! Amazing!) my skin generally likes to argue with me. And it almost always wins.

Ughhhhhhh! Fine! [stomps feet angrily and marches in opposite direction]

So I need to stay on top of this. And probably buy night creams and wash my face before bed and use make up remover. I GET IT.

Only, and sadly, I do not get it. But the ebook helped, as I’m sure scouring her website for recipes and tips would also help – but I’m a fan of the conscise collection of everything-I-need-to-know, here-you-go. (Also I’m a big believer in supporting other bloggers.)

I have a routine, if we can consider a routine something I’m trying lately and count as productive if I remember 3 out of the seven days in a week to actually do it.

Tonight I added DIY Biore Strips to the routine and it works, really well. But she is lying when she says it won’t hurt when you take it off. I applied to my entire face (probably mistake #1) and waited the 10 minutes. But I would be lying if I said I didn’t yell MOTHERFUCKER through out the removal process. Quickly followed by the oooooooh! when I saw all the little creatures coming off my face.

I start with a cleanser/make up removal that is water, Baking Soda and natural unprocessed honey. Followed by a pH balancer of apple cider vinegar and water. Then the Biore strips, if needed. I finish with a honey wash. Simply honey.

I often start my day with a honey wash, too.

What do you guys do? Are there really miracle creams out there? What works and what doesn’t? Let’s discuss.

There’s a twilight zone


I’m sitting in this porch this morning, amid laundry and legos and one very (half dressed) happy guy.


Welcome! There’s charm all around this house – french doors with beautiful windows, wood work and hardware.


Yes that is High School Musical 2 on the TV. We like to keep our theatrics PG and Disney in this house.

So, there’s a yard here. Like a real fenced-in yard. With actual grass. Our last place had a “yard” that was the parking lot for all the cars of the tenants. (No grass.)

a yard!

When it’s not raining or the weather outside doesn’t feel like a steam room (humidity much?) we’ve been enjoying this:

Summer 101

Although I don’t have a full garden this year I do have some hardy herbs that stayed alive through the last 12 months. Mint!

mint! portable gardening
mint! portable gardening

But the real charm of this place? The stuff that was left behind. Seriously. I think I could make a living out of finding the purpose in the forgotten.

First, there’s an entire room of storage with shelves. Like a canning persons dream, if I were a canning person. For now I’m just going to basque in the delight of a room with NO REAL PURPOSE that I can put stuff in.


but then there’s this:

utility shop ... also, inspirationutility shop ... also, inspiration

The Workshop? But I see a kitchen island refab and those makeshift shelves on the side?

utility shop ... also, inspiration

Have you not seen Pinterest and it’s glory? THE IDEAS!

I might be asking permission to use a few of these things from the landlords. But as renters in a home and learning how to be a permanent fixture in a temporary situation: I finally have ideas on how to make someone else’s house our home.

Cue: Collective twilight zone hazy lighting yet mental clarity.

It’s about time.

Planning: Debt Free

We’re back with some more money talk. Let’s be debt free, friends!

I talk quite a bit about how unorganized I am. How I struggle with the piles of paper and staying on top of menu planning and list making. It’s not a strong point of mine. It’s a weakness I’m very aware of.

Menu Planning

But I also know and understand the power of planning. Having a small note pad with me at all times to keep on task, remember important information or to tell me what’s next … it’s like a brain.

I’m also a very visual person. Reading patterns is for the birds in my opinion. Sticking to a recipe is like following all the rules. I prefer to pretend there are areas in my life where rules just need not apply.

Thinking on paper - Quilt for Jessica

However … money is one of those things I’ve learned over and over and over and over and over and OVER again that not planning it will always result in losing it.


There’s not a family friendly leash to put on your money to make it stay where you want it. There’s a budget and that is what works.

It’s a good thing I married someone who knows how to handle details.

Aaron working on his presentation

Only – the details of our household? Are left to me. (He pops in for a hello every once in a while and more often lately after starting the FPU class)

So, for the tips:

Obviously here – let’s get on a budget shall we?

It’s not set in stone and both parties involved (if there is more than one party TO involve) should have a say. The best thing about a budget is that you’re in charge. You get to change it if needed. You get to say where extra’s go, where less than extra needs to come from. You’re on top of it.

It takes a couple months to really figure it out and make sure that you’re allotting enough money in your needed categories. We’re learning that we just need to add a little more into our food budget. I’m actually embarrassed about that because I want so badly to be able to live on less where food comes into play – but trying to wear a size 3 shoe on a size 8 foot is just painful. So this month, we’re adjusting and we’ll see how we come out on the other side.

Slow and steady wins the race.

Patience? Who me? Just because you don’t have hundreds of dollars to set aside each month for saving doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be saving SOMETHING. $10 a month grows slowly … but all of a sudden you look and there’s $2,000 there that wasn’t before. It’s powerful.

Maybe I’m just in the the middle of learning this lesson and it’s just starting to take hold … but there’s something to be said about the way my grandparents lived. Literally picking up pennies from the sidewalk to take into the bank to pay down their mortgage. That’s powerful.

Every penny, literally, counts.


Cure what ails you.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I’m not a shopper. I love to bargain hunt and I’m a deal finder – yes. That’s a hobby. But shopping for clothes? Shoes? Not interested.

That didn’t happen over night and I wasn’t always like this – but here’s how it happened for me. When I was 18 I had a breast reduction, before that clothes weren’t appealing to me. They didn’t fit my body well, my body didn’t fit me well – so I stayed away. After the reduction? All of a sudden I could buy tshirts in the junior section of the stores and I was ALIVE! I owned cute underclothing for the first time in my entire life. No more “minimizers”. I was working full time so I could afford to buy myself clothes when I wanted – but back then?

I was making small amounts of money and then very large amounts of money – it wasn’t consistent. I was on a budget at 16 and I really liked the percentage break down. I saved 30% of everything I brought in. I didn’t touch it. The rest? I gathered and divided so I could pay for gas, car insurance and my phone and tithe. Then there were left overs. I could spend that if I wanted but it was really hard to part with it because I knew how hard I worked to get it.

So I didn’t buy too often. The feet and shoes? I have freakishly small feet and it’s just not fun to shop for shoes. They rarely fit my foot. So I don’t even look.

From there it just turned into the way I lived. Now I have kids to shop for and it’s so much easier to buy them an outfit than spend money on myself. I rarely have child free shopping experiences so I just don’t have time to fit items on and preview a look or style.

I think this is hard for a lot of women – the shopping. After I became a stay-at-home mom I had a REALLY hard time not spending money every single day. I lived at Target for a few months. I had a very good baby who slept wonderfully and I was bored out of my mind. So I shopped. Alot.

We froze my debit card in a block of ice in the freezer. True Story.

You just have to do what’s right for you in this situation and you need to be honest about it with an accountable party.

That’s what I’m thinking about today. Next up? How to hunt for bargains, how to score great deals.