My favorite things with Celeste Pavlik!

beach photography by Celeste Pavlik

1. I’m a beach girl.  I love going to the beach, the smell and taste of the saltwater, how windy it always is, sitting back in a chair watching my husband and children play, and me playing with them.  Luckily we live less than a 40 minute drive to several pocket beaches in Galveston, TX and going here is truly one of my favorite ways to spend a late afternoon into early evening with my family.

2.  The Y (ymca) has been my saving grace the past 2 years.  My impression of the Y growing up was so inaccurate to what it actually is today. I feel lucky to have walked in one day to check it out.  We go practically everyday so I can workout in the gym, go to yoga, pilates, body pump, they have tons of classes, and then still have time left over to sit and relax for a bit with a good book, my iPad or some friends.  The boys play in the child watch program for up to 2 hrs (twice a day if I wanted!) and love it.  My boys are also involved in the sports program there (soccer and flag football so far) and enjoy every minute of it!  I really don’t know what I would do without such a family friendly place to go to every day so I can be healthy and get a much needed mental break.

3. I love my iPad mini and I especially love the Zagg keyboard that my husband bought for it.  I know without a doubt I would not use my mini nearly as much without this keyboard.  It’s not much different than typing on a regular size keyboard (keys are just a touch smaller) and it closes up and encases the mini for protection.  The keyboard can be lit up too with the touch of a button.  I use it at the Y, sitting in the kitchen at home, laying in bed, watching tv, yes, it’s by far one of my favorite things I have.

banana bread by Celeste Pavlik

4. Mmmmmm, the smell of banana bread always takes me back to my childhood… sitting in the kitchen watching my Mom making it from scratch and waiting to have a taste of batter from the beaters when she finishes, such a sweet memory.  Banana bread was like a staple in my childhood home and I have loved to recreate that feeling of ‘home’ with my family.  My Mom’s recipe is fabulous and easy and I make it at least 2-3 times a month.  The boys like to help me make it each time which makes me so happy.  I love that I have been able to continue to carry on a tradition from my family.

6. I love coffee but what I love more is Cuban coffee, specifically ‘Cafe con Leche’.  Cafe con leche (or coffee with milk or in my case leche con cafe) was introduced to me many years ago (but I think it actually runs deep in my blood!) and I would have to say as tempting as it’s always been to buy a big fancy espresso maker I love the taste and tradition that comes from this simple process of using a stovetop Italian espresso pot, and that is how I learned to make it.  My favorite way to drink it ‘right now’ is to take a spoonful of Ghiradelli Chocolate Mocha and add that to a bit of piping hot (not boiled) International Delight ‘s Sweet Cream creamer or (just land o’ lakes half and half) and then add that to the coffee.  Yum!  Drinking an espresso always reminds me of good times with my friends back home.

homemade furniture by Celeste Pavlik

6.  My husband has been known to master new hobbies very quickly and woodworking is no exception.  He has quickly fallen in love with woodworking and I reap the rewards of his love for it.  This is my current favorite piece he has made thus far (I think this is piece no.8).  He crafted this gorgeous sideboard from solid Black Walnut.  I love not only how it looks in my foyer but it’s as soft as butta’.  It’s a really neat feeling to be able to look around your home and enjoy pieces that you  know were made with lots of love (blood, sweat and tears too!) and will become heirlooms in our family.

7.  One of my favorite scents of all time is lavender.  It has such a soothing and calming affect over me.  It helps me clear my mind and fall asleep easier and I have used it off and on for years.  I also love to use anything lavender scented for my boys bathtime. Suave makes an inexpensive lavender scented no-tears body/hair wash for kids.  I like to think it calms them a bit too (not much!) but it does calm me! I will often spray a light mist of this lavender oil (mix with water) on our sheets before bed to help slumber come quicker.

underwater photography by Celeste Pavlik

8.  This past summer I fell in love with underwater photography.  I found the underwater housing for the Canon 7D and 5D Mark III to be a bit expensive so I opted to go with a point and shoot camera by Olympus.  It’s the Olympus TG-2 iHS f 2.0 .  It is really a great little camera to have for in and out of the water, but for underwater it’s been great.  What I like most is that I am able to set some of my settings manually (aperture, white balance, etc.).

9.  I had a very dear ClickinMom friend send these to my boys earlier this year.  I had never heard of them before and I really wasn’t expecting the boys to play with ’tiles’ so much.  Boy was I wrong.  Magna Tiles Magnetic Tiles are amazing.  My boys will play with these things literally for a couple hours easily.  They use their hands, their minds, and teamwork to build and create many things with them.  I think these are definitely a must have for any boy that loves to build.

magnatiles by Celeste Pavlik

10.  I adore children’s books and illustrations.  At one time I thought I would grow up and own a children’s boutique or children’s bookstore and sell the most amazing things.  Had I followed that path, there is no doubt I would have included the original watercolor illustrations by Kit Chase of Trafalgar’s Square.  There is something so great about her work.  It’s magical and whimsical.  She created two original pieces for the triplets when they were about 2 years old and they still hang on their wall.  I love looking at them everyday.