Today is a day for transparency.
It is one of those days that so many things come to head, so many things go wrong, everything breaks, every bill is due, and everyone elses life is going SPLENDIDLY. (or so it always seems. ya know, that grass is greener thing?)
So the only thing I could muster today is honesty. So, I’m interviewing myself. I hope all it doesnt bore any of you to tears, hearing about me and my life, what makes me tick, what I love and dont love.
I love being at home…I am a homebody. I love to have nothing better to do than clean and organize and decorate, then sit back and simply stare at it all. One of my favorite things growing up around the holidays was the night we picked up and decorated our christmas tree. At the end of the night when all the lights in the house were up, and the christmas tree was adorned with all our old and sentimental ornaments, I’d watch one or both of my parents just sit in the rocking chair with a cup of egg nog and stare at the tree. Stare at the beautiful twinkling lights. I started to do the same thing. For years now that I have my own tree, I either forget to do this at the end of the night, or I get caught up in making it SO pretty that at 2am its too late to sit and relax without passing out sitting up. But I love this. This takes me to loving lights. I love them. All kinds. Outdoor lights, lights with fire, indoor lamps and decorative lights, anything that gives off some mood. I love mood.
I really do love to get up early. Well, let me re-phrase; I love the way I feel when I’m up early in the morning. (I wish my body and my mind would simply cooperate..). The feeling that nothing is awry, everything is right in the world because there is fresh air outside…the wind that blows today is different than yesterdays. The sun is up and so are my spirits. I always get so much done, as opposed to starting my workday around noon when I dont get up early. (no, this does not mean I sleep till noon peeps, hello..I have 2 kids under 2! it simply means that by the time I do everything for everyone else, the workday finally starts at noon)
I love “window shopping”. Of course I’d love to buy as well, but I think I’ve “not had money” long enough in my life to where I actually enjoy just shopping without buying now. Cityplace is 5 minutes from our house, and I love to go and browse Anthro, Barnes and Nobles, Restoration Hardware, and Pottery Barn. Just walk slow, browse, ooo and ahh, look, love, and then leave. This is probably why I do not like salespeople. I know you peeps have a job you’ve gotta do, but I hate being hassled to buy things. (this should go down in the dislike section, but oh well)
I love switching my channel over to HD Theater when “sunrise earth” or any of those other fabulous nature shows are on. Like anyone else, its a huge dream of mine to travel. Not when I retire, but now. Every year, take a month and go somewhere awesome. I’d really love to take summers off, when we are at a point financially when we can do that, i’ll be the happiest woman in the world. I love how I small I feel just seeing the Sequoia National Forest on the television…I cant imagine seeing it in person.
I get so much energy from night drives. I love to take a drive at dusk. Whether its on A1A or just 2 minutes to Target, I love to get out and drive at night…favorite time being when the sun has just set and its a bit cooler out. I think when I was younger night was joyful to me. It meant going out, having fun, no worries, workday done…and now night times means workday just beginning, cleaning house, cleaning the kitchen, picking up after a toddler, taking care of a newborn…so if I get to take a bit of a “away time” drive, I feel much better about myself.
I got no love for:
People whose grass really IS greener. How many times growing up did you hear, “lifes not fair” in response to your “but mom, its just not fair”. well, it really isnt. Its just not fair how A-Rod can throw a ball around and make 80 million dollars, while I work my tail off to provide for my family and just barely SHMEAR by on a daily basis. Dont get me started on sports players. We’ll be here all night.
And thats as far as I get with the no love section…basically, I dont feel like giving my no love section the time of day.
Its another lonely night here at the hood house, with ben headed out to the raceway to take pics and the kiddos hopefully going to bed early and not being nightmares. Maybe that movie and wine will happen actually. Or maybe I’ll fore-go everything I know to be right and normal and I’ll work all night. Convince me otherwise ladies!
I’ve mentioned on here before how much I love checking in on the ladies over at The Creative Mama for all things, well… mommy and creative. They continually bring something to the table that is fresh, and helpful, and beautiful to boot.
This morning as I fumbled around in bed for my phone, I saw the latest tweet and headed over to TCM blog to find an amazing woman being featured; Emily Lex of Jones Design Company.
Emily is a lover of all things creative, design, paper, home, and most importantly she loves Jesus and is a great mama to her kiddos and wife to her hubby.
The post on TCM has a few before and after room designs that she had done. They were stunning. But what drew me to click on her site was the sentence that read, “I also really love her post about time management.”
Dunzo. I was at her website within mere seconds.
I am a sucker for 1) all things self help and 2) a fellow mommy who blogs about her life struggle with the dreaded term, ‘time management’.
What I read, I wasnt prepared for. I was expecting a checklist of sorts, “do this, get rid of this, organize your entire life and then you can start this checklist, get a nanny and a housecleaner”, etc. What I actually came across were 9 totally do-able, totally down to earth, totally normal and ATTAINABLE goals to keep in mind when trying to manage your time.
Please,before going any further, read her post about time management and then come back to me.
There. Feel better dont you? a little more “as it turns out, im not as crazy and manic as i thought” huh?
1. some things can wait.
2. do little things as you go.
4. stay focused when it matters most
5. delegate and ask for help (and then accept it)
6. create a schedule
7. limit tv watching and internet searching
8. let go of guilt
9. grab hold of the really valuable moments.
the two things that hit me most? First, creating a schedule and sticking to it. Obviously I’m bad at this. And honestly, its really difficult when you’re children are young like mine are. Nothing is ever planned, there’s no schedule that they adhere to day in and day out. Its also difficult when you work from home, and when you’re currently living paycheck to paycheck i.e. needing to work your tail off whenever you have a spare moment.
Hopefully Ben will find a job. Hopefully I’ll learn to have a schedule around my kids non-schedule. Hopefully we’ll get out of debt and wont have to ship out everything we get in so I dont have to work all the time. But if none of that happens how we need it to happen, I’ll refer to #5 and #8 and it’ll all be ok.
The second thing, is how she referred to the story of Mary and Martha in the Bible when she was talking about taking a hold of the real moments. All of my life I’ve been afraid of missing out. Convinced I’ve been getting the shaft. Tortured by the guilt of trying to do it all and it never being enough. Wrestled with working my life away whilst the world happens around me. I know someone like this, exactly like this, and I pray for her…constantly. That God would release her from her chains that she’s wrapped around herself, that she would know real love and real peace and real rest and that Jesus would literally just give her some breaks now and again. That he’d bless her despite how much she worries He wont.
And I’m her. I am that very girl that I pray for. I am Martha.
2011 is looming and all I can think about is the many things that need to change around here. How I need to change. This new year I hope to actually be disciplined enough to keep any goals, let alone resolutions.
Emily, thanks for being normal.
And to close, the most amazing thing about this post on Time Management from Emily, is that she gives you two free downloadable pdf’s at the bottom of the page; how to balance work and children, and how to delegate.
And, the “I can not do it all” jpegs? Also available for download, so you can print them. I just placed an order with my print company for a million 5×7’s of these to put in strategic areas around my home. And one big one to go in my office. Obviously.
Emily and her husband also do a workshop called Be Inspired, all about starting and maintaining a successful small business. If any of you ladies are interested, definitely check on info for that here. I believe registration for the current one is closed, maybe you could contact her for info on the next one!
I hope her post inspired you ladies, I truly feel like it has changed my life. Or it will change it…very, very soon.
when there is a website like hgtv.com out there, how is anyone…anywhere…EVER…supposed to get anything done? I could browse the site for hours and hours on end…
Today I want to share some pictures of some easier-than-you-think DIY christmas decorations and neato ideas that wont break your bank account and dont look like your grandmas craft attic either.
First, some gift ideas!
This is one of my faves. This is something I love to do, but I’ve usually done it with an old box. I’d like to try this with an tin cup or jar id otherwise throw away. Take magazine clippings, old cd cover jackets, scraps from posters, notes, anything to bring together a cohesive but eclectic look.
I love this idea! take a ball from a pool table and make it into a wine stopper! someone, anyone, get me one of these~!
Now for some easy and cheap decorating ideas!
This ones so simple, cranberries or what have you, with a matching candle in a bamboo or wood bowl? We all have this stuff lying around, or most of it!
Ok this one I fibbed a bit about…its not easy…and it might take some $$…but I really want to make it a project of mine for this coming year in preparation for NEXT Christmas. Its a super creative way for kiddos to countdown to Christmas. Read what the girl who shared it said, “Each envelope has a ‘coupon’ inside that is redeemable for something special (i.e., a family game night, a cup of hot chocolate, a piece of Christmas candy, Mom reading a book, etc.),” she says. It’s not only a fun family activity, but a creative piece of holiday decor, too.
SO EASY and super cute. I have tons of cookie cutters and im looking at some christmas ribbon on my table currently not being used. String em up!
Incredibly simple and very classy I think. Throw some epson salt into some mason jars as faux winter snow, or whatever jars you have, and pop a votive down in there. Done. Beautiful.
This is something that as I get a bit older and have more friends with kids and families, I’ll want to do. As it is right now we dont get a ton of Christmas cards in the mail (people, I’d love one from you to see who all my followers are! email me and I’ll get you my address!), but as the years go on and I DO get a ton in the mail, I think you’ve got to have a creative way to display them and this hits the nail right on the head. Plus its easy and cheap! Take thick ribbon, nail it in a overlapped star pattern, use some painted clothespins for hanging, VOILA!
This ones super cute. Right now, (dont laugh), my tree skirt is black..yea..super festive..and it is made up of my old moby wrap from when josiah was a baby, and a scrap piece of black fabric. I mean SCRAP…This girl took a cute apron and wrapped it around her tree! I’m gonna score a huge christmas apron and do this same thing.
Hows about an easy centerpiece idea that is wintery and beautiful? Yep, love this. Throw some branches in a tall vase and before you can say “holler if you hate crafting”, youve got a gorg christmas centerpiece.
Well ladies, one of lifes little pleasures TRULY IS HGTV.COM. So go browse and find some homemade handmade goodness that suits your style. Happy Thursday!
so its no secret i love sugar.
i could have cinnamon toast crunch for breakfast, a fruit salad for lunch, and cake for dinner. literally, this is my world and im a prisoner in it. i love me some sweets!
cakes, pies, brownies, cookies, doughnuts, candy, fruits, sugar of all kinds….
over thanksgiving we always head up to tennessee to spend the holiday with bens family. the women cook for hours and hours day of, but we have to split our time between two sides of the family and eat two thanksgiving dinners, so its hard for me to contribute to the cooking sometimes. this year, i was determined to make a contribution. something in me is screaming to be cooking and cleaning and home all the time…what the deuce…
am i becoming suzie homeaker? did i just make my husband leave for 4 hours and deep clean my house like i was gonna host the president for dinner tonight? YES. do i sometimes cook dinner for my family “just because”, and secretly desire to roll around on the floor all day with my kiddos? (that nice vacuumed, swept and mopped floor?) YES.
so anyways, my suzie homeaker desires kicked in and made me a bit sad i wasnt having a thanksgiving at my own house and being dubbed “hostess with the mostess”…so i thought, meh, why not make a baller cheesecake to throw in the thanksgiving food mix…its not really thanksgiving food, but hey maybe somebody will eat it and i wont be too embarrassed now that i have something to bring to the table.
enter real simple magazine, november. (the recap going up THIS FRIDAY ladies so stay tuned for full details…). gingersnap cherry cheesecake recipe? yes please. minus the cherries plus some strawberries. yes please.
check out the recipe here ladies, and ive copied and pasted it below. for the crust half and halfed gingersnap cookies with gingerbread graham crackers (makes a nicer consistency in the crust). and i also bought fresh strawberries, chopped them up and added a bit of sugar to them before i let them chill in the fridge for a while.
the result? i happened to find the last piece buried in the fridge the day after thanksgiving. it was devoured people, literally devoured. certain family members had multiple pieces. said it was the best cheesecake theyd ever had. better than their mommas…and their mommas mommas…
make it. eat it. love it. its a great holiday staple peeps! bens family has already made me promise to make it and bring it every year now!
p.s. i felt very good about this cheesecake because it was the first one that id ever made, and it didnt split down the middle or break or cook funny…it was delicious and beautiful, so ben made sure to take a pic of me with the very first yummy piece. enjoy!
- Heat oven to 350° F. In a medium bowl, combine the ground gingersnaps and butter. Using a straight-sided dry measuring cup, press the mixture into the bottom and 2 inches up the side of a 9-inch springform pan.
- Using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and 1 cup of the sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Beat in ½ cup of the sour cream and 1 teaspoon of the vanilla.
- Pour the mixture into the crust and bake until just set, 40 to 45 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the remaining 1 ½ cups of sour cream, ¼ cup of sugar, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla. Spread over the hot cheesecake and bake until set, 3 to 5 minutes more. Let cool in the pan, then refrigerate for at least 4 hours. Run a knife around the edge of the cheesecake before unmolding.
- Spread the preserves over the cheesecake before serving.
I’m finally taking steps to get that black bookcase into tip-top organized and decorated shape. My recent fascination is colored glass. I love yellow, blue, green, teal, and purples. The only ones ive been able to find thus far are green in color. I picked these up today from goodwill for under $5! I’m also going to add in some white to this shelf, because it is black and needs a bit of brightening up. I found a cute book-end today that I need to paint, so you’ll see that one later.
(p.s. i love bookends! please, if anyone finds a good cheap and cute bookend or knows a good resource to find them, let me know or snag it for me! I seriously have such a hard time finding them..)
I did a bit of browsing and here are some images of some colored glass that im diggin’:
And I stumbled across this article on how to make your OWN aqua blue glass jars with glass paint! who even knew glass paint existed, i didnt. I’m so stoked to try this! You can get a can of this paint from cheap joes art stuff for under $5. Omgoodness this is going to change my life! Stay tuned.
ahhhhhh this is truly my favorite time of the year.
my two favorite holidays…thanksgiving, and christmas.
for thanksgiving every year, ben and I take the roadtrip up to Jasper, TN (right outside of Chattanooga) and visit all of bens family. the time is pretty much consumed by hikes, bonfires, lots of cooking, lots of cutting down trees, tractor rides, 4 wheeler adventures, caves and bluehole trips, more cooking, tons of eating and eating some more, maybe a shopping trip, sleeping in, card games, and manheim steamroller gets busted out for early christmas listening.
christmas is spent with my family in deland. truly my favorite memories in life are christmas with my family. 6 siblings, now spouses and grandkids running around everywhere, and my parents holding down the fort…its the best time. The Carpenters, Bing Crosby, The Chipmunks and The Beach Boys all serenade us with christmas tunes, we make bon bons and spend a day putting together a christmas eve buffet, the younger ones open a present on xmas eve, we stuff stockings and make killer apple cider, read the christmas story in the bible on christmas morning, eat apple and rasberry turnovers with orange juice, open presents, then spend the rest of the day going thru lots of stocking candy, putting things together, listening to music, taking naps, and cooking christmas dinner. My dad usually writes us all a special letter that makes us cry, and its truly a day that I look forward to every year. Things have changed since we’ve become older, and all of us brothers and sisters arent all together on the big day anymore but we atleast get to see eachother and enjoy one another.
As i’m a parent now, youd think I have all this together, right? all the traditions I want josiah and darby to have…the moments I want to create and spend with my honey, but every year I struggle and I feel I fall so short of truly making these holidays memorable for my little family.
Plus, somehow every christmas, we tend to be going through some insane financial crisis…figures:)
So this year i’m really really trying to make it count. I busted out the bins today and plan to start decorating the house. Pandora christmas station and the Christmas Music station on the TV have been playing all day. I’ve already bought lots of cans of pumpkin and some gingerbread mixes, and am putting together an adult christmas party. I feel good about all of this, but also a little sad…dont you wish that you could just let your parents do Christmas for you for the rest of your life? But we grow up. We become adults and have our own families. I’m so thankful for the traditions and memories I have from growing up…so thankful for mom and dad instilling in me the importance of family time around the holidays…I have great examples set before me to make the holidays with my OWN family something super special.
What are some of your christmas traditions? comment…i love hearing what other families do for such a special time of the year.