Instax Mini 8 HOT Summer Giveaway Winner!!

Boy did I let time get away from me! Yikes! I hope you can all forgive me! Summer get’s busy, as you know. My lousy excuse….I guess I got a little excited for our family trip the Northeast {which we just returned home from} and forgot to announce the Fujifilm Instax Mini 8 Camera Giveaway winner before I left!  I, however, did not forget to announce the winner on Instagram as it turned out to be one of my followers there.

Congratulations to commenter #14, Lisa Goddard!  Your gift is in the mail, lucky lady!


If you know me, you know I love giving gifts and doing giveaways. There will be many more here!  Giving gifts to others makes me happy. I don’t know if that’s a good thing–or a bad thing. But it brings me unmeasurable joy knowing I can brighten someone’s day and put a smile on their face by spreading a little cheer here! I hope you capture lots of smiles with your new camera, Lisa!

May you all have a spectacular summer doing the things you love with the people you cherish! And all the while, capturing those precious moments together. Fall will be here before we know it!! I love fall! But I’m not ready for summer to be over, so we won’t think about that right now.

Have a happy day! And stay cool!



Summer FUN! {and a HOT Giveaway}

Living life to the fullest means having as much fun as possible. Well, at least in my book that’s what it means. We are a week into summer and we have done nothing, really.  I’m feeling a bit antsy.  Like I should be packing up the kids every day and taking them on some FUN adventure.   However, fun in their book after a full school year is simply being at home. Enjoying past times they set aside in order to get their studying done.  I don’t blame them. I really enjoy being home too. In fact, some of my fondest childhood memories are those lazy days of summer in my parent’s master bedroom huddled around the TV with neighborhood friends.  It was the only room in the house with air conditioning.  When we weren’t in there watching Twilight Zone, Gilligan’s Island, Little House on the Prairie and Flipper Marathons, we were outside in our bathing suits running through our neighbor’s Mr. Clown water fountain — with his yellow-spotted party hat spouting high into the air.  We splashed and dashed in that fun fountain for hours at a time! However, as soon as we heard the ice cream truck’s canned music off in the distance,  we’d hunt it down and chase after it, barely able to keep our flip flops on. I always bought Nerds and Big Sticks. I was 9 years old when Nerds made their debut.


I can remember thinking how cool the packaging was–sliding one side open at a time or mixing the flavors together. Totally rad, I tell ya.

I think as a parent I put too much emphasis on going places during summer to make memories.  Clearly some of my favorite childhood moments of the 70′s and 80′s were made right at home.  Doing simple things. There were no elaborate craft days. Or days designated for particular activities. I often see on Pinterest and in Social Media ultra organized “fun” moms who have each day of the week set aside for different summer activities. I admire that. I really do. Many times I wish I had that same level of creativity and energy. Yet, for me, I think I’m learning to find a great deal of happiness in the simplicity and spontaneity of summer. I love the excitement that comes with waking up and saying, “what shall we do today?” Then doing it–even if it’s late at night! I look forward to the 10 PM trips to the ice cream store with my three as much as our big family summer trips to new places.

Several years ago I started a tradition {accidentally} where one summer it’s a nature-filled, countryside family vacation and the next summer it’s a big city extravaganza. Last summer we went to British Columbia and stayed in the gorgeous mountain town of Whistler.



What a breathtaking place to unwind.



We had the time of our lives!  I think I can safely say my kids would be more than happy to return there summer after summer! And believe me, I would if I could. But I want my children to see the beauty of the world.




So unfortunately, we aren’t going to be doing that. Instead, this summer we are city bound. Experiencing some of our country’s biggest, most loved metropolis’s. It’s going to be GREAT!

I won’t lie. I feel like a child on Christmas Eve and am beyond excited for our trip to Boston and New York City in two weeks. I can’t wait to show my girls where they were born. Where it all started for them. To be tourists in the cities we called home for a time. It’s amazing to think we moved to Southern California almost 10 years ago from Boston. I have dreamt of taking our family on this trip for quite awhile. I’ve waited patiently for the summer I thought my children would be the perfect age for a vacation like this. And that’s now.  Now they are finally at an age where they can take it all in. Enjoy the sights, the sounds of the city and forever remember our adventures there as a family. I treasure our family vacations where our focus is solely on one another and nothing else.

Ultimately, summer is really about not having a care in the world. It’s lounging in your pjs all day, sleeping in late, going to bed late, watching movies, sleeping under the stars, running through the sprinklers, playing outside well after dark, eating hot dogs and s’mores, buying ice cream off the ice cream truck and having a lemonade stand. All of which can be done right at home. Summer trips are super fun and exciting to share with loved ones. Making memories is my one of my favorite jobs as a mom. But I’m convinced magnificent summer moments created right at home are equally memorable, fabulous and just as special.

You know what else is FUN? Having a summer GIVEAWAY!! One that will capture the FUN memories you’re making with your family over summer vacation. It’s a Fuji Film Instax mini 8.  I know you are all wishing for one.  Here’s your chance!


Please share what’s on your SUMMER BUCKET LIST and you’ll be entered to win.  It’s that easy! You have until Monday June 23rd to enter. Winner will be announced on Tuesday June 24th. Here.

Happy Summer Everyone!

What are you waiting for? What’s on your summer bucket list? Please share!

{Please note….I do moderate my comments to avoid spam on this blog. If your comment isn’t showing up right away, that is why. I will approve them. Please don’t worry. One entry per person. Thank you!}


The Opposite of Not Writing


I haven’t blogged in almost a year!! In fact, I almost let my yearly WordPress dues lapse a couple months ago. 24 hours before this blog, Differently the Same would’ve been deleted, I paid my bill. After all, I didn’t want to lose anything. Over the past eleven months, I have sat down to write on several […]

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S’mores = Summer


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Find and Make Time for It!


I have been itching to write. Not sure why. I don’t have anything of great importance to share with the world. Nor do I have anything I feel the need to pontificate on. I really don’t think I’m the “pontificating” kind, anyway. In my WordPress drafts folder there are currently 42 blog posts I have […]

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The Perfect Special Needs Toy!


As a mother of a child with special needs, I’m always on the lookout for toys that will help my daughter.  This past Christmas as I was pushing my cart full of gifts through Toys ‘R Us, I stumbled upon one of the best toys for fine motor and cognitive development.  It’s called the Super […]

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A Marriage Made in Heaven ~ Taco Tuesday


Me + Mexican food = a marriage made in heaven. To Die for Chicken Enchiladas from La Luna Restaurant No joke. I could seriously eat Mexican food every day, all day and never tire of it. After a good workout at the gym, one of my favorite, go-to breakfasts is a scrambled egg burrito. Lunch […]

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And the Winner Is…..


This GIVEAWAY was so fun!  It’s clear many of you are motivated to get more organized.  This past weekend, I managed to finally tackle our pantry. It’s an item that’s been on my TO DO LIST for way too long.  And now that it’s finally done, it feels way good.  So good, I am extremely […]

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Happy 2013 & a BIG New Years Giveaway!!


Happy New Year! I hope that 2013 has been good to each of you so far!  I love this time of year because everyone is so committed to self improvement.  There seems to be a whole lot of introspection going on.  People pondering how and what they need to do to make this their best […]

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