Monday, February 28, 2011

"Adventure is out there!"

I have always been a little on the reserved side when it came to being adventurous, though I have always been pretty good at hiding it. I mean, come on, if there was a cute boy involved and he wanted to do something that required me to be an adrenaline junkie like him....I would buck up and somehow find the courage to continue. Want some examples? Good, I thought you'd never ask :)
  1. I had a huge crush on a boy in high school who loved to wake-board. Like REALLY wake-board...jumps, flips, you name it. So what did I do? I learned how to wake-board. Did I do flips? Heck no. Did I do jumps? Maybe teeny tiny 2 inches off the water jumps. But did I extend myself enough to at least look cool? Heck yes I did.
  2. I had a lot of friends who liked to rock climb. Did I like to rock climb? No, it scared the crap out of me....but did I go along and pretend I was having an awesome time? You better believe it.
  3. On my awesome honeymoon, my hubby (who loves all this adventure stuff and has many many tales to tell himself) really wanted to go snorkeling. I've been snorkeling before, but just right off the beach in really shallow water, so I was game. When the time came to go, we hopped in a boat, yes a boat.....and motored out to the freakin' middle of the ocean (seriously, I could not even see the island that we were staying on) and the driver of the boat said "jump in" in his heavy Spanish accent. I was SO scared!!!! But everyone else was doing it and hubbyman was really stoked about this (and who was I to disappoint him on our honeymoon?) so....I jumped in. Yes it was incredibly scary (barracudas swimming around us anyone?) but to this day, I'm glad I did it.
Something I will never ever do.....I don't care, I'm not doing it.
So, why do I speak of such things? Well, I was reading a tid-bit in a magazine (yes! a magazine! can you believe it!) about faking it if you're not adventurous and I thought "yes, this was written for me." This is what was wrote (by a man who does a comedy-travel tv show who just happens to be a bit scared of some of the adventurous feats he is supposed to perform....on television)
  1. Do the stunt with an even bigger coward than you (I never thought of this!)
  2. Avoid caffeine
  3. Express your panic to others
  4. Hug people (and by that he means women he says hahahaha) often
  5. Have a celebration waiting for you (good one!)
  6. Remember how good it will all sound at your funeral (hilarious!)
I thought it was good and hilarious, so I had to share.

Thanks SO MUCH for reading. I love your comments!!!
Have a great Monday!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Silly Saturday: The silly sayings of a little man named Elliot

While deep cleaning my kitchen, I was listening to my 2 sons make a complete mess of the living room and of course, listening to the random silly things Elliot my 2.5 year old says to his little brother Caleb, who is 10 months. This is what I overheard:

"Caleb, no! That's MY firetruck!"
(Caleb: calm and quiet, allows Elliot to rip the firetruck out of his hands)
"Caleb, you can't play with that, it will make your bottom hurt."

Yup, that's them, in all their silly glory. You know what else I heard Elliot say the other day?
"With my mind. On my money. And my money. On my Cabies."
(We call Caleb "Cabies" on occasion...)

If you want to see some really silly sayings from a little girl named Ruby and a silly boy named Kiefer, who just happen to be my niece and nephew, you should check out my sister's blog (which she never updates and hasn't updated for awhile....*cough cough* *hint hint*)

Have a great weekend!

Friday, February 25, 2011

One Super Awesome Thing

Fact: I am a mother of boys.
Fact: There aren't a ton of blogs out there with crafty ideas targeted towards boys.
Fact: But THIS awesome blog dedicates a month to "Celebrate the Boy" every year and I LOVE IT LOVE IT LOVE IT!

I have been ooh-ing and aah-ing over a lot of their projects the last few days and I really wanted to share this one, mainly because I want to make sure I can find it again when I get around to doing it!

It's making an adult size sweater into a child size sweater, and it's ah-mazing!

Seriously, I'm going to do this.
It's going to be one super awesome thing for sure!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Project Home Sweet Home=Inspiring

So.......Normally Thursday is the day of the week I vow to not spend any money, but today I totally broke that vow. We are due for a big storm this weekend (and in central California, a "big storm" really means we may get an inch or two of snow and everyone will freak out and no one will drive anywhere and some store won't open and some people will lose their power) so I went to the store to buy a couple of things "just in case."

So, I'm switching it up a little bit. I read this quote this morning:
What do we live for, if it is not to make life less difficult for each other?"            - George Eliot
 I really loved that. Really really.

Then I remembered a story I read in a magazine last month about 2 women: Ricki Syufy and Paula Beritzhoff, who founded Project Home Sweet Home in 2006. Project Home Sweet Home is a nonprofit that provides formerly homeless families with basic furniture, including beds, kitchen tables, chairs and lamps. They find the families through referrals from local agencies. Why did they do this?
Ricki Syufy & Paula Beritzhoff
"We wanted to do this for the kids because if your home is comfortable, there's a greater chance you'll have more confidence to succeed in school and beyond"

Two days a week, these mothers (with 5 boys between them) visit the homes of the families they will be helping to find out what they are most in need of and then they do the deliveries themselves, with help from their sons (when they're not in school of course).They say that it is "so fulfilling because {they} know {they} are making a difference."

How awesome is that?

When I read this story, I thought, "I want to do this too!!!"

What a blessing it would be all around to donate and move furniture for needy families. Having a home that is comfortable and furnished can make such a huge difference, and I know from experience!

I hope we can all find some way to make life less difficult for others, since after all, what is the purpose of life if we spend it selfishly?

Thanks for reading!!
(read the article here)

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Tasty Tuesday

I'm a big fan of Tasty Kitchen and get the majority, if not ALL, of my recipes for the week there. I am not the most amazing cook in the world, I don't make stuff up or get too creative or anything like that, so I love that there is a blog dedicated to people who do and who like to share what they've done....and then I replicate it in my very own kitchen to the delight of my always-hungry-husband.

A couple days ago I made this recipe called Lasagna Skillet. Let it be know, I do not like lasagna....but, it looked a lot less like lasagna and a lot more like a pasta dish (which I'm always a sucker for) so I made it. And it was a huge success! I loved it.

It made a TON, which is super great because then I have leftovers, which is always a wonderfully fantastic thing when it comes to lunches for the always-hungry-husband (plus, he always get's comments from his co-workers about how good his leftovers look and smell and how his wife takes such good care of him...oh yeah!)

So, even if you don't like lasagna, or if you really like pasta, I'd definitely give this a try. In fact, I think I'll have some for lunch right now!

Thanks for reading!
Please feel free to let me know if you have any websites you love for recipes, I always love and appreciate your comments!!!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Monday's Mission: Possible

So I've  been checking in with this totally awesome site: Have you been using it all along and just didn't tell me? (Yes, older and wiser sister of mine, I know YOU have!)

A few things I absolutely love about FLYlady:
  1. the FLY in FLYlady stands for "Finally Love Yourself"- love that.
  2. A no-nonsense approach to getting your house AND your life in order.
  3. Baby steps! Need I say more? (if you're answer is "yes! say more!" then you really need to check out her website)
  4. A quote from the FLYlady herself: "My prayer is that...each of us finds happiness and pride in ourselves and our accomplishments. That we raise our children to be good, productive, and happy people. And that we light up a room with our smile."
Pretty great right?! I subscribed to her daily digest email (there is SO MUCH information to wrap my brain around at first!) and today I have learned about 7 FLYlady blessings and 7 minute Saturday Rescue. 

I love home organization and I love learning things and I love doing anything that will better the lives of my, I love FLYlady!!!

You should really check it out, if you haven't already (sometimes I'm WAY behind on this kind of stuff and the last one to know....) Alright, off to declutter Zone #4: The Master Bedroom, wish me luck!

Thanks for reading!!!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Imagination Movers!

I don't often write about personal things/our daily lives, but I'm stepping out of that mold today to tell you about the great time we had yesterday. I'm just going to put this in a list, because it's a pretty long boring paragraph if I write it out
  1. Yesterday we went to see the Imagination Movers and it was so incredibly awesome.
  2. I am almost positive me and hubbyman enjoyed the show more than the boys, but they enjoyed it too- no meltdowns where we had to leave the theatre, which is a huge success for a 2.5 year old and a 9 month old! 
  3. As we were driving the hour home with a car full of snoring boys, we couldn't stop talking about what a great experience it was and how actually meeting Rich, Scott, Smitty and Dave was so wonderfully memorable.  
  4. Those guys are so gracious and funny and kind, it blew us away how sincerely they were thanking us for bringing our children to their show. 
  5. "No Movers, THANK YOU for entertaining our children in such a fun wholesome way!" 
  6. Though I didn't get many pictures of my own, we did pose for a picture afterward when we met them (once again, they are INCREDIBLY cool). 
  7. I was a little worried I wouldn't like the way the picture turned out (you know how it is: "my hips look huge," "I have a double chin," "look how shiny my face is," "oh gosh, why did I smile like that".....and on and on and on) but surprisingly, I'm ok with it. Yes, it's not the most flattering picture of me, but it's terrific anyway (and that's a darn healthy way of looking at it.)
  8. The t-shirts were a hit and even the Movers made comments about how cool they were. I felt very proud :)
  9. It was such a great first concert experience for our boys and I am so glad we did it.
  10. The first thing Elliot (my 2.5 year old) said when he woke up this morning: "I went to see Movers yesterday!" 
  11. Which gives me complete and utter satisfaction as a parent that I have succeeded in bringing joy to my child's life.

Here's our picture!!!!

Alright, I need to go take a dog bone away from my 9 month old now. Thanks for reading!

Friday, February 18, 2011


My dearest, closest, best friend is pregnant with her first baby, and I am so excited! What is it about sharing the adventures of mommyhood that is so wonderful? Why is it that talking about being pregnant and all the hormones/cravings/crazy dreams/ridiculous arguments that just makes me so happy?

I think I know what it is, I think it's because when I talk about all of these wonderful things, it reminds me of how blessed I am and how blessed my dearest, closest best friend is soon to be.

With that being said, I wanted to share some mom quotes, among other things:

You don't really understand human nature unless you know why a child on a merry-go-round will wave at his parents every time around - and why his parents will always wave back.  -William D. Tammelus
The moment a child is born, the mother is also born. She never existed before. The woman existed, but the mother, never. A mother is something absolutely new. - Rajneesh
 Raising a kid is part joy and part guerrilla warfare. -Ed Asner
 And some Mommy facts: (courtesy of Nanny Deprived)

* 25 is the average age of new moms, in 1971 the average age was 21
* 4.3 babies are born every second! (I know that number is the product of a math equation, but it's still extremely weird to not see a whole number....)
* 2 is the average number of children woman have today, unless you live in Utah or Alaska where it's 3
* Only about 10% of women have 4 or more children today, in 1976 36% of women had more than 4 children.
* August is the most popular birth month, and Tuesday is the most popular day
* The odds of having twins? 1 in 32.
* A baby has 7,300 diapers changed by his 2nd birthday (whew, I thought I changed a lot of diapers!)
* A preschooler requires mom's attention once every 4 minutes, or 210 times a day. (I can attest to the truthfulness of this fact....)
* And lastly, 105 boys are born for every 100 girls (yeah for boys!!!)

I feel extremely blessed to be a mom. Yes, I've give up such things as a full night's sleep and going to the bathroom alone but man oh man, what I've received in return has been amazing. And to my dearest, closest, best friend: I am over-the-moon for you and your new adventure. I love you.

A beautiful video by the LDS church about motherhood


Thursday, February 17, 2011

Thrifty Thursday: t-shirt time!

(did anyone else read the title of this post and think about Pauly D. from "Jersey Shore?" No? Just me? Okay........)

Today is one of my favorite kinds of days: overcast skies, wind blowing the falling raindrops on my windows, a yummy crock-pot full of fixins' for potato soup (with bacon!!), and a whole lot of energy to get stuff accomplished...which in turn gives me that wonderful accomplished feeling :)

So, this weekend the boys and I ("boys" includes hubbyman) will be going to see The Imagination Movers, and we are SO STOKED! My 2 year old loves the Movers so much and my 9 month old loves everything his big brother does, so it should be a blast! I wanted to make the day a bit more special and memorable, so I decided to make Imagination Mover t-shirts for the boys to wear, and they turned out so awesome!

A blue t-shirt (I couldn't find any plain blue t-shirts, so I got some that had a small design on  front and turned them inside out, clever, I know), some felt, puff paint and iron-on adhesive and this is what we ended up with (please forgive the not-so-great pictures):
Super cool right!!!!

The littlest man got one too, but that picture really didn't turn out so you don't get to see it.

So, that's what we've done so far today. Next up? Cleaning out the closet in the boys' room....which I've decided is really satisfying and un-satisfying all at the same time. Why? Because it feels so goods to declutter and organize but when I'm done the door gets closed and no  one sees my hard work...UNLESS I show everyone who comes over my closets, hmmm.....maybe I'll start doing that!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

my least favorite chore...

Washing the dishes and emptying the least favorite things to do (just ask my husband, whom I wrangle in to doing the dishes any chance I get!). My reasons for disliking this chore so much:
  1. I feel like I am wasting water
  2. I always get the front of my shirt wet
  3. I don't like touching soggy food, so gross.
  4. Why the heck do I own a dishwasher if I am pre-washing everything anyway? (I am well aware of the "no-need-to-pre-wash theory...I just can't seem to get the hubs on board with that one)
So, I looked into some things about dish-washing in hopes I would learn something that would help me "enjoy" (if that's really the right word for it) this dreaded chore even just a little...and guess what!? I wanted to share what I found!!!
  • Don't procrastinate. The longer those grimy dishes sit in your sink, the better chance you have of getting sick . Insider tip: The substance that attracts the most bugs? Dried-on milk.
  • Add bleach. If you're washing in soapy water and rinsing in clear water, add a couple of drops of bleach to the clear water. Rinsing in bleach water kills 100 times more bacteria than rinsing in just plain water.
  • Pay extra attention to metal pans & silverware. These are the surfaces bacteria like the most, especially those hard to clean forks. So spend some extra time cleaning in this area.
  • Water temperature. The way you wash your dishes is more important than the temperature of the water, so if you want to wash with cooler water (save some money in the water  heater department!) then go for it, just make sure you're thorough with the cleaning.
So none of those things really help me "enjoy" the task more, but they sure do give me a bigger sense of urgency (bleh).
I guess it's time I get to those dishes.....

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

"No" is a complete sentence

While reading an article today titled, "Becoming the Person You Were Meant to Be: Where to Start" by Anne Lamott, one single sentence yelled at me from the ink of the pages:

You can say no, no is a complete sentence.

Wow right? Wow.

I know that I struggle with this. I have always been a "yes" person...and it hasn't always been in my best interest. I'm pretty sure you can understand, at least I hope you do. I always want to help, I always want to be perfect, I always want to please....but it's completely and totally okay to say "no" sometimes. This is something I am learning. I found this other article (surprise!) titled, "The Power of Saying No," that had some handy advice I wanted to share:
  1. When someone makes a request, it is OKAY to ask for time to think it over (sounds simple right?!)
  2. Remember that "no" is an honorable response. (You mean I don't have to give 5 reasons why I'm saying "no" because I feel guilty?!)
  3. If "no" is your response (and it is perfectly okay if it is) then start your sentence with the word. It is easier to keep the commitment to say "no" when it is the first word out of your mouth.
All simple things you and I can think over in our daily lives when a situation that deserves a "yes" or "no" answer is presented to us right?

So here's my challenge: I challenge you to say "no" to at least 1 thing a week.....and in my case, I'm going to leave my 2 year old out of this (because he hears "no" in many forms throughout the day as it is) so feel free to make an exception as well.

And when you do say "no," make sure you take notice and give yourself some credit for saying such an important two letter word.

Monday, February 14, 2011

It's a holiday, so.....

these are the only words I'm gonna write (so I can spend more time making Valentine's & date plans for tonight!)

"Love is something eternal; the aspect may change, but not the essence."
Vincent VanGogh

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Work and Personal Responsiblity

I teach in Relief Society at Church (I'm LDS) the 2nd Sunday of every month. This month the lesson I am teaching is on Work and Personal Responsibility. I know when I am doing research for my lessons, it always helps to read how someone else interpreted the material so I thought I would share my lessons every month. (keep in mind, this is more of an outline....)
"Work is always a spiritual necessity even if, for some, work is not an economic necessity"- Neal A. Maxwell.

Work is an eternal principle. What does that mean? It means work is something we carry with us forever, eternally, which means it is really important! We are actually commanded to work.
“Work brings happiness, self-esteem, and prosperity. It is the means of all accomplishment; it is the opposite of idleness. We are commanded to work. Attempts to obtain our temporal, social, emotional, or spiritual well-being by means of a dole violate the divine mandate that we should work for what we receive. Work should be the ruling principle in the lives of our Church membership.” -Spencer W. Kimball
But what if we aren't physically capable of working? Good news! "Work" doesn't just mean physical labor, work is anything that we do mentally, spiritually or physically. In the Gospel Principle Manual (lesson 27) it says "there is no real division between spiritual, mental and physical work."
“As with any other commandment, there is joy in its keeping. To work—honestly and productively—brings contentment and a sense of self-worth. Having done all we can to be self-reliant, to provide for our own needs and those of our family, we can turn to the Lord in confidence to ask for what we might yet lack.” –Bishop H. David Burton

Family Responsibility:  
Parents should work together to provide for the physical, spiritual, and emotional well-being of their family. Creating a home where principles of the gospel are taught daily and where love and order abound is as important as providing the basic necessities of food and clothing.  What can we do as mothers, sisters, daughters and wives to teach work and personal responsibility in our homes? It is also our job to show the enjoyment that comes from working....

Enjoying our work:
There is a story by Kathleen Lubeck in the 1980 Ensign that I found inspiring. You can really tell this woman enjoys her work! She starts off by explaining she is single with no children and works in kind of like an advertisement setting with a whole bunch of men around her most of the time. This is a snippet from her story:
Part of my work entails writing, and one of the joys it brings is cool, fresh paper, smooth and clean, no bent edges. I like to touch it, smell it even. I like it in pastels, in pure whites, in boudoir blue; I like it onion-skin thin, solidly heavy, textured or slick. I like it in reams or in tiny slivers of small intent. I like to see it waiting to be written on. But most of all I like the feeding that happens when I touch a fountain pen to the paper, and watch the thin stream of black ink weaving across it. Creation! Thoughts sliding across a page, somehow becoming tangible even though they can be physically touched no other way. It’s a minor miracle bestowed upon mankind, and I can participate, and hope to all my life, married or single, half-dead or alive, when I’m 96 and raising plants.
(can you tell this woman enjoys her work?! How great would it be if we could all describe our work with this much joy!)
 She continues on:
What more can I say? Honest work is soul satisfying. I thirst to meet the creative challenges of my work now, just as I anticipate that same drive to meet the creative challenges of my own home and family, when my life plays into that stage. I find the most important challenge is to keep growing and learning and progressing, vision fixed to the example of the Savior in all that I do. To settle for anything less would be sleeping on the job.
I love how she describes work as a creative challenge. I think if we all looked at our work, whether it be selling something or changing diapers, as a creative challenge we would all find more joy in the work we're doing. 

God condemns idleness:

The Lord is not pleased with those who are lazy or idle. In Doctrine & Covenants 75:29 He said, “The idler shall not have place in the church, except he repent and mend his ways” 
When I read this I thought: well what about “me” time? What about relaxing time?  But then I realized, what I’m asking for isn’t idleness, what I’m asking for is “leisure” time...
“Leisure is not idleness. The Lord condemns idleness. He said, ‘Thou shalt not idle away thy time, neither shalt thou bury thy talent’ (D&C 60:13). Idleness in any form produces boredom, conflict, and unhappiness. It creates a vacancy of worth, a seedbed for mischief and evil. It is the enemy of progress and salvation” J. Richard Clarke
Reading that quote took me to another quote by President Brigham Young:
 “Recreation and diversion are as necessary to our well-being as the more serious pursuits of life. There is not a man in the world but what, if kept at any one branch of business or study, will become like a machine. Our pursuits should be so diversified as to develop every trait of character and diversity of talent”

Now that we can see the difference between idleness (bad) and leisure time (good!) how do we keep from being idle? Why is it important to keep a balance in life between work, recreation/leisure, and rest? What can we do to keep this balance and to teach our children?

The blessings of work:
“Men are, that they might have joy” (2 Nephi 2:25). Work is a key to full joy in the plan of God. If we are righteous, we will return to live with our Heavenly Father, and we will have work to do. As we become like Him, our work will become like His work. His work is “to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man” (Moses 1:39). 
“Work builds and refines character, creates beauty, and is the instrument of our service to one another and to God.” D. Todd Christofferson 
What are some blessings that come from honest work?

When it comes right down to it, God seems to change us from the inside out. He asks us to do things that are hard for us, then as we struggle with these tasks, He gives us greater insight and strength so that we are capable of meeting the goal.  Work is a perfect example of this. The harder the work is, the stronger we get. God is helping mold us to be more like him and we get these blessings through the change that comes to us as we follow His principles. (found this on The Exponent website)

Saturday, February 12, 2011

The weekend of love....yourself

It's early on a Saturday morning. If I had it my way, I'd still be sleeping, but being a mother of little ones....I don't have it it my way :)

This morning I've been thinking a lot about food, and not so much how great and yummy it is, but how much I eat and what I'm putting in my mouth and how it sustains my body (or how it doesn't). Did you know in 2010 adults drank an average of 53 gallons of soda and ate 24 pounds of ice cream, 23 pounds of pizza, and 29 pounds of french fries???? That's a whole heck of a lot of junk (and I know I definitely contributed to that statistic!)

I read this super amazing book awhile back that taught me so much about myself and how I see food and use food and how important I really am, regardless of food. I would definitely recommend it to everyone. There's so many great quotes in it that I have written down at one point or another, but this is one of my favorites:

"We crash around in our bodies, let them lift us, hold our children for us, walk for us, without ever taking time to actually live in them" (or love them).

So, in honor of Valentine's day, I am going to love myself enough to start paying attention to what is going in my mouth and how I am using that to sustain my body. Join me?

Have a great weekend everyone! I'm teaching at Church tomorrow and will be posting my lesson at some point during the day.

Remember, it's Valentine's weekend, Love yourself!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Thrifty Thursday: Haircuts!

Today is Thursday. Today is the day that I am home with my two beautiful sons all day, with nothing scheduled outside the house and no money being spent. So today, in-between the frequent trips outside to make a huge mess of the backyard and the intermittent dance parties inside, my 2.5 year old decided it was time for a haircut.

Yes, he loves to get his haircut. He has been asking me about it for weeks now. I know, he's awesome.

So, tonight, after dinner and a bath, I cut off his cute little blonde curls (don't worry, they grow back!). I also took a good chunk out of my knuckle during one of the many "ok buddy, hold still please" (I said he liked getting his hair cut, not that he's necessarily good at sitting still the whole time...)

Now before you get too impressed with the fact that I cut my own children's hair (and the hubby's too) let it be known I am a licensed cosmetologist. I went to a Paul Mitchell School and later taught at a Paul Mitchell school, but now that I've got these cute little ones running around, I try to find other ways to bring in money instead of cutting hair all day....

Ok, that's how I saved some money today, on this Thrifty Thursday. Tomorrow is Friday, and we've got big plans, so forgive me if I am unaccounted for....but you can rest easy knowing I'll be thinking about blogging :)

Oh, and I'd like to leave you with a completely random fact: The word "lethologica" describes the state of not being able to remember the word you want.

This happens to me every day. I doubt I'll be able to remember the word "lethologica"

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

With my mind on my money and my money on my mind

"After a visit to the beach, it is hard to believe that we live in a material world." -Pam Shaw

Such a profound quote.

Money is on my mind today, in a big way. I am in charge of the finances in the family and normally I do a superb job (if I may say so myself), but today, I definitely did not do a superb job and I have been beating myself up over it left and right.

Then, I found this quote (remember, I like quotes...) by Clifford Odets: "Life shouldn't be printed on dollar bills."

That quote just seemed to lift a weight off of my shoulders. If I could just step back and breathe, I would remember that life isn't about the numbers in my bank's really not.

That being said, I wanted to find some things to share in the money department, possibly some things that could help me (and you) live a less stressing life when it comes to balancing the checkbook.
  • Carry less cash. At one point I definitely remember hearing somewhere that carrying cash was the way to go over using your debit/credit card. But I've run into a problem with carrying cash, I see it as "fun" money, as having some extra cash. In order to fix this dilemma, I've decided to only carry enough cash for what I need. No extra dollars to tempt me into buying something (*cough* a really good cookie) that I don't need.
  • Stop saving my information with online vendors. This was my way of "saving time" when it came to ordering online, but then I found it a whole lot easier to click the "buy now" button since it was so simple, I noticed things adding up that I didn't REALLY need. Clicking that button ("one-click ordering" anyone?) kind of eliminated the feeling of spending, therefore, I spent more. So from now on, I will always say "no" when I am asked if I would like to "save my information for a quicker check-out next visit."
  • I will stop clipping coupons I don't need. Yes, clipping coupons is a great way to save money, if it's on things that are already on my list to buy.....but so many times I find myself clipping a coupon for some makeup or hair dye or junk food or....the list is endless. Coupons are great, when you clip the ones you need. It's time to skip the one's that look enticing but aren't necessities.
  • Did you know, an average family of 4 spends $4,000 on take-out every year?! Holy cow that's a lot of money! I'm glad we're not an "average" family!! Planning ahead is one thing that has definitely saved me money. I go to the grocery store (Winco! Hooray!) 2x a month and have my entire list in hand and my calculator in the other (and sometimes a few coupons) and I've definitely noticed my grocery bill has decreased. Eating out is now considered a serious treat in our family, which isn't such a bad way to be. 
This has been therapeutic for me, thanks for letting me download :)

One last quote:
"Empty pockets never held anyone back. Only empty heads and empty hearts can do that." Norman Vincent Peale

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Goodness Gracious, people are inspiring!

Though I already have my Valentine's present {a homemade one of course!} for my handsome hub, the blogs I follow are full to the brim of extremely cute ideas, so I wanted to share some of them on this "things I've found" Tuesday.

French Knots has this really cute idea...I love it. She also has a tutorial for handmade heart-shaped bean bags, yes!!!!

Traci at Beneath My Heart has introduced me to Lisa Leonard Designs and I don't think I'll ever be the same (this is Lisa's website if you just have to order....or want to give the man that subtle hint where he can find something for you.....)
(title of this necklace: "Rain or Shine so glad you're mine")

Over at The Fickle Pickle she has a GREAT idea for a framed Valentine for teachers. I think it would work wonderful for grandparents, children, husbands....really anyone!

I'm a HORRIBLE seamstress (I seem to always screw up the machine so it yells at me) but, I want to be better and I want to make this skirt I found on one of my favorite blogs, Homemade by Jill

So those are just a sampling of the great things I found this morning while sitting in a dark living room, listening to the snores of the 9 month old, the 2.5 year old and the 27 year old.

Coincidence? I think not :)

Monday, February 7, 2011

Monday Musings

Today, my thoughts are lingering on cleaning....why? Because it's the 2nd week of February, the sun is shining, not a cloud in sight, it's 68 degrees and my windows are open.

Did you know that in a survey of 1,000 husbands, 9 out of 10 agree that when they share household chores equally with their wives, they get along better?!?! Sounds like my hubby is holding out on me! (Just kidding hubby, you're a great helper!)

That's right ladies, doing all the chores yourself and grumbling about it later isn't doing anyone any good! (Oh wait? I'm I the only one who does that?)

Some facts about cleaning I found interesting:
  • Women spend 17 hours a week cleaning, down from 26 hours 30 years ago
  • Men have more than doubled their duty, from 6 to 13 hours
  • BUT having a husband creates an extra 7 hours of work each week for women!
  • (I find that last one incredibly hilarious......though also incredibly true.)
Some incredibly amazing tips I found about cleaning:
  • Hairspray works wonders on countertops, walls and wallpaper. Lightly spray, let sit a few, then wipe off. Isn't that super!
  • Drop some ice cubes and a cup of vinegar in your garbage disposal and run for a minute or so. The ice cleans the blades and the vinegar kills germs. Great!
  • You can use lemonade mix to clean your dishwasher! Just put it in where your detergent normally goes and give it a run. The citric acid in the lemonade will clean the jets, the racks and the interior walls. Awesome!
  • Does your vacuum have a bag? Put a few drops of lemon juice in the bag before vacuuming and the fresh smell will spread throughout your house. So cool!
  • Rubbing wax paper on your countertops and appliances after you are through cleaning will give them a nice shine AND repels dust. Sweet!
  • Have a musty smell in a cupboard? Maybe a piece of furniture? Fill a plastic container with white vinegar and put a lid on the top with holes poked in it. It will absorb odors overnight. Fantastic!
I hope some of these things will be of use to you, I know I'm definitely going to use them!
Happy Cleaning!!

    Saturday, February 5, 2011

    Balance or Responsibilities or Realism

    You know, I think I put a lot of pressure on myself to be perfect. I mean, I'm responsible for a whole heck of a lot! I have these 2 little boys relying on me to teach them so they can grow up to be honorable men, that's a big responsibility! Not only do I have that responsibility, but I am also responsible for making our house not just a house-but a wonderful, comfortable, happy, {clean}, lovely, orderly home. Yet another big responsibility! Add in the responsibilities to teach piano lessons to a group of {great} kids and drama to a bunch of {troubled} teenagers......oh and don't forget teaching a lesson at church once a month to a bunch of {special} women who I worry all know more than  me....and before you know it, I start to make myself feel kind of inadequate as a woman/wife/mother/sister/daughter/friend.

     All of these responsibilities {which I have chosen with open arms by the way} can really be overwhelming at times, and that is where the special word BALANCE comes in.

    Do you ever walk into someone's house and it is ALWAYS clean? No dust, no toys on the floor, no 2 day old veggie something-or-other crusted to the top of the dinner table where the toddler sits, fresh flowers{sigh}, super cool decor.... How does this make you feel? I'll tell you how it makes me feel: like I'm not doing something right. Shouldn't I be able to have a perfect house too? Well, here is where my A-HA! moment {special thanks to Oprah for that one} comes in: comparing  myself to others is not any way to live.

    To further illustrate my point, a few quotes {because I LOVE quotes}

    So my point? Balancing my responsibilities and looking at my life realistically is really the only way to go. I read this post over at the Mean Mommy Academy blog earlier today and thought, "man, this is so awesome!" {hence this post}

    • My house may not be clean 100% of the time, but my kids will always be happy and entertained.
    • My weight might not be budging much on the scale at this very second {yes, I am that concerned about it I say *second*} but I'm active and energetic
    • My cooking skills may not be that of a professional chef, but they're a whole  heck of a lot better than they used to be
    • My kids may still sleep in my bed occasionally....but I love the bond we share and know in a few years it will be tough to get a kiss from them in public
    And I could go on and on.....and on.....and on......

    But guess what?!

    It's ok!!!  

    That's right, I said it. It's ok not to be like those women in the 2-page spreads of Better Homes & Gardens that you know were staged just to take the photo. It's ok to not be as skinny as all those "Hollywood moms" who probably hate having to diet all the time because we all look at them and think, "gosh, she looks great for having a kid last week!" It's totally ok.

    So keep on keepin' on, and remember: