The Busy Giffs: June 2020

June 19, 2020

40 in 4 - Thanks Corona

I know my 40 in 4 won't end completely successfully, especially since coronavirus has shut down so much of what I wanted to do (goodbye most travel and group activities) but I realized I did TWO things that I wanted to do but hadn't written down so how fun to add those!

41. I shot a rifle! Shooting a gun has always been one of those things I needed to do "just once". I was lucky enough to be invited to a shooting range and was taught how to shoot. It was so enjoyable and while I still don't need to own my own, it was fun to be able to say I've done it.

42. I rode on a motorcycle! Ever since I was little and my "uncle" brought his down to our house, I've thought about getting on one but never really had anyone I trusted enough to take me out. That changed and I got to take a ride on a bike through town! I learned I like speeds but hate turns so...

And that leads us to here. A few more months to go!

1. Run a 5k
2. Have my palm read.
3. Weekend in the Vineyard with my family.
4. Buy a bicycle.
5. Wear a bikini to the beach, no cover up.
6. Put my toes into the Pacific Ocean.
7. Go back to Disney
8. Go to Universal Studio
9. Get a job in Higher Ed
10. See another Broadway play
11. Fit into a size 8.
12. Travel to Europe, ideally London or Rome.
13. Get another tattoo (or two).
14. Be debt free, minus student loans and mortgage.
15. Put away a 4 month emergency amount.

16. Begin working on an administrator's license or a PhD.
17. Take a photography class.
17. a. Got a nose piercing! I've been talking about it for years and finally did it as a gift to myself for my 33rd birthday!
18. Travel somewhere tropical.
19. Go camping.
20. * Get professional head shots for the blog.
20a. Get family photos done with the kids.
21. * Sew Emma a matching dress for her and her dolls
21. b. Buy a NEW new car! I've never owned a brand new vehicle but after having so many issues with our last car, we decided the extra money on a brand new car (under warranty) was smarter than any other option. 
22. * Consider selling the custom shirts I've been making for the kids...
23. Take a cooking or baking class.
24. Take a cake decorating class.
25. Go to Ireland.
26. Find a local church to belong to/Baptize Tyler.
27. Get out of the minivan.
28. Take a calligraphy class.

29. Participate in Restaurant Week in Boston or Providence.
30. Go to Disney Land.
31. Work on our kitchen: backsplash, new desk, new table...
32. Buy a jacuzzi and redo the back deck.
33. Fence in our yard.
34. Landscape.

33-34a. clean up the back yard of our new place.
35. Finish the basement.
36. Attending the NYC Thanksgiving Day Parade
37. Create a real vegetable garden for an entire season/year.

38. Spend the day at the spa, getting pampered.

38. Take a day after the quarantine and do my hair, brows, nails, and get a tan!
39. Splurge on our 10 year anniversary.
39a. Take the kids on a great vacation.
40. Save $10 for each accomplished task and spend it on something extravagant.

41. Shoot a rifle
42. Ride a motorcycle


June 10, 2020

It has been so difficult during this coronavirus quarantine. I'm not complaining because I know it's needed and important but I'm going to say it: I miss doing stuff. I think we all do.  The nice thing has been that without all the distractions of going places, I've been able to spend so much more time reading books and taking walks.

With the libraries being closed, I find myself buying books for the first time in years.  Add in that I can read a 300-400 page book in a day and it's safe to say I need a lot of books to get me through. While we're lucky to have a bunch of the Little Free Libraries near by (free books that I can sanitize!), those books are luck of the draw and there's no rhyme or reason to how they get left behind.  I've been lucky and found great books, but there have also been days and cabinets that have absolutely nothing I want.

I came across one afternoon while looking for a particular book. Emmalee found a great series called Ada Lace in one of the Little Free Libraries and she wanted more. was one of only 6 websites that had the books and they were 75% less than the other sites.  They offered free shipping at $35 so I decided to see what else they offered.  I was overwhelmed by the amount of books available for UNDER $2 a piece!

I ended up placing a very large order of books-- 17 total for Emmalee and I but only spent $44 shipped!! Given the low prices I expected well worn books and was completely surprised when I opened up our order to all brand new books!

Even though libraries are going to be opening soon for curbside, I am so excited to have this pile to go through and am excited to use to get more books for super cheap!


June 5, 2020

Easy Summer Sipping with Rosé Water

Disclaimer: I recieved samples to help faciliatate this review, however all thoughts and opinions are my own.

One of the more enjoyable aspects of this quarantine is all the "free time" I've had to read new books.  With the libraries closed I've been visiting lots of Free Little Libraries all around town, grabbing new books and leaving some I've already read behind.

The most perfect days lately have been starting the day early with the kids' online learning, having lunch, and then heading outside for the afternoon.  We're either riding bicycles or playing basketball or hiking through our woods, but the most relaxing way for me is spending the time on the hammock reading a book. With the kids going to their dad's, it's given me a lot more free time and I am finding myself relaxing in the hammock with a book a lot when they are gone.

I was recently sent some Rosé Water to sample and oh man, it brought day time drinking and relaxing to a whole new level. Made of just two ingredients: rosé and sparkling water. It is literally the perfect summer sipper.

At 4.9% alcohol and only 69 calories, it's the perfect 'day drink'. Add in that there is 0 sugar, it's gluten free, vegan, and non-GMO, and delicious... and it's perfect.

You can find Rosé Water at over 700 retailers. Grab some and let me know your thoughts!


June Books

  28. You Betrayed Me, Lisa Jackson 29. The Turnout, Megan Abbott 30. The Last Thing He Told Me, Laura Dave 31. The Long Weekend, Gilly Macm...