3/29/19

Happy Birthday to Me

[I started writing this on my birthday, March 27th, but I'm just now getting around to hitting publish.]

Today, I am 36 years young!

I'm making myself a flourless chocolate cake (it was too die for, btw), and I told my husband that the only thing I want for my birthday is a gift card to the Aveda salon where I get my haircut. He delivered.

I am living my best life, and I am being totally serious. I love spending my days taking care of my family and home. I adore my smart, funny, oh so sweet and ridiculously good looking husband. I do not take my health for granted.

Every Tuesday when I get my Walmart pickup order and fill my car up with gas, I think, "Wow, I have a good life!"

I have all that I need and most of what I want. Not that everything is perfect, far from it. But the good far outweighs the bad.

My theme lately, a phrase that keeps going through my mind is "edit, edit, edit."

Keep the main thing the main thing. "Throw off everything that hinders."

What's most worthy of my time?

God's word/church
people/ family/ relationships
the work I'm called to do/ home

Put the phone down!

I'm thankful. Happy birthday to me!



 P.S. dress - Walmart

1/15/19

#zerofoodwaste Cinnamon Toast

One of my favorite things to make with the ends of the bread is cinnamon toast as an after school snack. I literally used to throw every end piece of bread to our dogs. 

Now we go through way too much bread to justify not doing something with the ends.

So it's cinnamon toast or oven baked French toast.


Not wasting food is a discipline and a learned skill that I have not always been good at. It takes organization, practice, and a willingness to eat leftovers and food that you may not be totally in the mood to eat.


Debtkickinmom has a great meal planning video about not wasting food! I highly recommend it if your are legitimately interested in reducing your food waste and saving money.


Having a regular shopping day helps me avoid waste. Instead of going to the grocery store on a whim when we run out of food, I have a set day that I evaluate the food we have and make a plan. The regular grocery day also helps me learn how much food we go through in a week. I learn our rhythms and routines which is especially helpful when buying produce or any food that spoils quickly.

2 gallons of milk
3 loaves of bread
a bag of apples
1 head of lettuce
8 bananas
3 avocados
1 jar peanut butter
18 eggs

I know these things because I've been keeping track. It makes it shopping easy and I don't over buy.


Of course we all have to throw food out occasionally. We don't have to get it perfect. But it's worth thinking about. 

Thoughts?

.....

an old post on this topic

1/11/19

Winter Faves

We are having some lovely winter weather over here, sunny but cold (my absolute favorite). As I type, I'm sitting by a fire in my slippers in a mostly quiet house smack dab between coffee and cocktail hour. I thought it was a fine time to share some of our best wintry things.

1. Primary puffer coats

The kids got these for Christmas. These coats are so fun! They come in bold colors and are light yet warm. I sized up so they hopefully can wear them next year, too.



2. Budget Bytes chicken and wild rice soup with mushrooms added. This soup is for your body and your soul. My whole family raved about it and I was shocked. I knew at least 1.5 children would hate it. But to my surprise it was a win all around.


3. A good book

Becoming Mrs. Lewis by Patti Callahan




This book is about the relationship between Joy Davidman and C.S. Lewis.  Their love story is truly remarkable, and I think this book really does it justice.

4. Relaxing TV

Jerry Seinfields's Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee. Stephen and I started watching this for the second time through, and it is straight up therapy for us. If feels good to laugh our cares away after the kids are tucked in bed.


 
5. Revlon Super Lustrous Pearl lipstick in the color red lacquer. This time of year all the color is lost from my face. This orangey-red brightens it up and is a nice contrast to winter colors. It's the perfect bright, but not too bright.



I'm cautious with my recommendations. I like them to be vetted, tried and true things I've used,  bought, watched, read, eaten, tried, or worn.
 ......

What about you? What's your favorite wintry thing this year?

Favorite winter things post 2016

1/4/19

It's a New Year!

Happy New Year!

I hope your Christmas was merry and you are rolling into 2019 with a smile. Our Christmas was in the good-to-great, full of it's usual tensions but in the end the kids were happy. Adults, too.




Truthfully, I grow weary of the holiday and crave normal life by the time December 25th gets here. A friend of mine confessed that she too loves the mundane. "I shine in the boring," she says. Yes, I feel the same!

January, I'm your girl. I'm thrilled to get back to regular meals, cleaning routines, and exercise regimens. There are only so many cinnamon rolls you can enjoy in this life.

This time of year is always fun to look behind and look ahead with some reflection. What worked in 2018? What would I like to work on in 2019?

Let's start with what worked -

1. Theme days + weekly routine

meal plan Monday
to-do Tuesday
catch all Wednesday
busy Thursday
play/relax Friday
prep for rest Saturday
rest Sunday

I have never felt so regularly on top of things as an adult since giving each day of the week a theme!
Especially To-do Tuesday when I handle all administrative duties that I normally put off as long as I can.

2. Running

When my 4th grader signed up for the school's cross country team in September, I took up running to help him train. Much to my surprised I loved it! I found it to be so therapeutic and a great way to just run it out - the stress, the carbs, the general irritations that come with parenting and family life. I try to go 3-4 times a week for a couple of miles at a time. It's the best! I don't dread it at all. In fact, I crave it.

My husband started running, too. We even ran on a vacation. Who are we?!

3. Marco Polo

Marco Polo is a video app that lets you leave video messages for friends. Two of my best collage friends and I got on it this summer and we have messaged each other nearly every day since. It has been the most soul satisfying thing to connect with these dear friends. We talk about literally everything...marriage, parenting, style, parenting style, and our cats! We all have fabulous cats.
 
4. Quitting wine

I'm not saying I will never drink another glass of wine (I love wine), but for the most part I quit wine. Since I was 12 years old I have had on and off migraines. They are hereditary. My grandmother and 2 of my aunts have had a similar life long struggle. I have pin pointed that red wine is a big trigger. So I quit drinking wine and the headaches are GONE. It's funny - I've switched to liquor, enjoying a gin and soda or a bourbon on the rocks. Never felt better. Cheers!

5. Minimalism

I have long been a fan of a good declutter. I read Marie Kondo in 2014. But I would have never claimed minimalism as part of my identity until this year.

In 2018 I was ruthless about not only getting rid of unnecessary things but also about not acquiring new things. I did a 5 month "fast" from buying clothes for myself and I essentially quit shopping except consumable goods or to replace worn out items. I'm looking at you, new sheets. I worked hard on re-wiring my brain and habits. (This deserves its own post.)

With Christmas just behind us, I'm compelled to share that because I was so restrained about not buying things this year, all the Christmas gifts were much more cherished and enjoyed - both the gifts we gave among our immediate family and the ones gifted from extended family as well. Also, we have 2 winter birthdays and instead of being grossed out by more gifts, there is actually room for these new things.

I want to manage my stuff, not have my stuff manage me! This was a breakthrough year for that.

Looking ahead. I don't have a New Year's resolution, but I chose a word for the year.

SLEEP

My whole life I have struggled to be a good sleeper, even in infancy and babyhood. So this year I want to focus on sleep. Everything about life is easier and better when we have rested well. I'm not quite sure if I will master the art of good sleep this year, but by golly I'm going to try! Tips?

What about YOU? What were your successes in 2018? Your ambitions for 2019?

Thanks for hanging around this little ol' site! Love and Happy New Year to each of you!

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