Stocking The Pantry

The day I’ve been dreading for almost five months is almost here: the day my maternity leave ends. I start back at work in the beginning of May, and besides the overwhelming mommy-sadness I feel, I’m getting nervous about juggling a full-time (and demanding) job and two small children. It wasn’t easy with just J – so I’m sure it’s only going to get harder with another.

Therefore, I’m doing everything that I can now to make my life easier later. First thing on the list: stocking up the pantry and freezer! I am so bad (so very, very bad) at turning to take-out when times get stressful. This is bad for our health as well as our bank account, so I’m getting ahead of the game by stocking up on pantry and freezer essentials.

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Oh, hello!

Well…it’s been exactly 10 months since I last posted on here. I’m sad and disappointed with myself that I let such a long time go by, so readers (if there are any of you still out there), here’s a quick catch-up of the last 10 months:

  1. About a week after I posted my last entry, we found out we were adding another baby to our family! Our second son (L) was born the Saturday after Thanksgiving. L is healthy and a welcome addition to our clan. J loves being a big brother…most of the time. ūüôā
  2. J has been delighting us left and right during his second year. I always heard how jam-packed a baby’s first year is with milestones, but WOW – the second year doesn’t disappoint either. Walking, running, talking, dancing, problem-solving, singing…every day is so fun! Of course, it’s far from sunshine and rainbows all the time (hellloooooo, temper tantrums!), but just watching him grow and learn has brought so much joy and wonder to our lives. J turns two this month.
  3. My handsome firefighter husband started a part-time job on top of his full-time gig, which has made scheduling sort of crazy around here, but he loves it…and I love that he is so happy with his chosen line of work. Speaking of work, this fall I was promoted. Along with a fancy new title came a fancy new office. I tell ya, a door is a GAME CHANGER for long conference calls. Speaker phone has become by best friend.
  4. I signed up for my first 5K since having L. Actually, it’s my first race in over a year, so it’s going to be slow going. A friend of mine from high school signed up with me, which gives me motivation to get out there and train!

That’s just a small sampling of what happened since I last posted. Of course, there are tons of other newsworthy events that occurred (My sister had twin boys! My best friend got married!), but this would be a very loooong post if I went into all that. So for now, I’ll just say this: I’m so happy to be back.¬†Writing for this blog has been so fun for me, but also therapeutic. By nature, I’m very number-driven and task-oriented, however, I do have a creative side that doesn’t get to shine very often. So, since I’m on maternity leave for at least two more months, I thought this would be the perfect time to get my creative mojo on. This is a work in progress, but I’m thinking of setting weekly goals that will challenge me in various ways:

  1. My culinary side – Raise your hand if you have about 2 million recipes saved on Pinterest that you haven’t tried. Both of my hands are up, which is shame because I have pinned some delicious looking recipes. Therefore, every week, I want to put my Pinterest boards (here and here) to work and try a new recipe. Up this week – a Mississippi Roast. (Am I the only one who has to sing that little song in order to spell Mississippi? Every.time.)mississippi-roast-tablefortwoblog-3Source
  2. My craft / DIY side – My mother and sister amaze me at how crafty they are. I wish I possessed the creativity gene they share, and I’m in a constant state of awe¬†at their ability to sit down to work on a project instead of, say, starting another¬†Netflix marathon (which is especially impressive now I’ve told them about¬†Making a Murderer. Guys, seriously – YOU HAVE TO WATCH IT). My home is devoid of so many DIY wonders, and it makes me sad. So again – my Pinterest board is finally going to get some love and attention. This week I plan on attempting a wreath. I haven’t decided if it will be Valentine’s Day wreath or a spring one…but either way, I’ll be sure to post pictures, no matter how awful¬†it turns out. I’m also including organizational projects in this category, since they are technically DIY. And a lot of times just as pretty as craft projects.
  3. My literary side – I just love reading so much. That’s really all I have to say about that. My goal on Goodreads is to read 36 books this year. I’m on my sixth book,¬†A God in Ruins. It’s the sequel to¬†Life After Life (which I loved). I figure if I get a good start on my goal while on maternity leave, I can reach 36 by the end of 2016. Any good recommendations?

Thanks for sticking with me…if anyone did. And if my audience has dwindled to zero, that’s ok. I started this blog four years ago (!!!) for fun, and that hasn’t changed. Here’s to a productive and creative 2016!

Love,

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{Love the Home You Have} Book Launch

Hello, friends! Today I want to share with you the launch of a new book by one of my favorite bloggers (Melissa from The Inspired Room) titled Love the Home You Have:

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If you own or rent a house (or actually, any kind of dwelling) and you’ve never visited The Inspired Room blog, you must check it out¬†immediately! Melissa is such an inspiration, and every post motivates me to make my house better. Her ideas are fresh, ¬†modern and, most importantly, realistic.

I don’t know about you, but Pinterest has all but ruined my house for me. No matter how excited I am about a new piece of furniture or using throw pillows in a (genius!) new spot, one foray on Pinterest makes me gag at the sight of everything in my house. Ha, ok, that’s a little dramatic, but the Pin-timidation is real. This is a frustrating and exhausting cycle, and, as I’m sure my husband would agree, it needs to stop. I’m super pumped to read Melissa’s book because it’s high time that I love the home I¬†have, not some unattainable Pinterest-worthy home. Besides, with our little toddler-nado on the move, things are never going to be “perfect” anyway. Well, maybe when he moves out and goes to college. But that is never happening because he’s always going to stay home with me¬†foreverandeverandever! Right?!

Aaaaaanyway, to celebrate the launch of her new book, Melissa is hosting a 31 day Love Your Home Challenge. Thirty-three other bloggers – and many readers! – will be joining in as well.

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The book has all the daily challenges Melissa suggests, but ANY project that makes you feel great about your home will work for the challenge.

I can’t wait to read this book (my copy is in the mail!) and share my thoughts with you all. I’ll definitely be taking notes for spring and summer projects around our home. Let the home inspiration begin!

Love,

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Clutter Challenge – FINAL POST!

We made it through the month of May – which means the clutter-busting challenge is over. I know I’m tired of writing about my de-cluttering, so I’m SURE you guys are tired of reading about it.

Therefore, my final post will just be a quick run down of the progress I made. I don’t mean to pat myself on the back, but I am THRILLED with how much stuff I we got rid of. That “we” is very important, as my husband played an instrumental role in this challenge. He completely cleaned out his closet and de-cluttered our kitchen to the point that it looks like it’s in a model home. I get the best feeling every time I walk in there. In addition, he did a major overhaul on our garage. I love ya, babe, you little de-clutter bug, you. ; )

In addition to what I’ve posted about so far and listed above, we also worked on the following:

– organizing out our bathroom toiletries. How many bottles of lotion, tubes of toothpaste and containers of body wash does it take to make bathroom cabinets totally cluttered? Turns out, not many. Getting all of this into order has had a calming effect on my morning routine.

– tossing my old CD’s. I had a lot of CDs from¬†way back. I mean Sound Garden and Shania Twain way back. Not only will I never listen to these again, but most of them were pretty scratched up and probably wouldn’t even work anyway. This was a perfect example of things I was holding onto for purely sentimental reasons. And they had to go.

– turning my desk into a work-friendly environment. I did this to both my home and office desks. The biggest issues: piles and piles of paper. I took the time to go through everything and create a filing system for everything I wanted to keep. Everything else was either shredded or recycled. I also tossed pens that didn’t work, notes I had written to myself that were no longer relevant and many other little odds and ends that were creating a cluttered, chaotic environment. I’m much more productive now that I have room to work – it’s great!

This was a great challenge. Now that it’s over, there is good news and bad news. The bad news is the de-cluttering isn’t over quite yet for us. But the good news is, you no longer have to read my posts about it. : ) Thanks for sticking with me, readers. It was a fun ride!

Clutter Challenge – Day 18

Day 18 was spent cleaning out my “intimates” drawer.

If you know me well at all, you know that this topic makes me very uncomfortable. To me, saying p-a-n-t-i-e-s is like saying a cuss word. I don’t like talking about “intimates”- let alone showing pictures of mine – so I’m going to skip the posting any pictures of what I got rid of.

(Isn’t that sort of creepy anyway? Does anyone really feel all warm and fuzzy about posting pictures of their underwear online? I would think not…)

Anywho РI do feel ok about discussing the swimsuits I cleared out of my drawer. While these were in good shape, they are from years ago, and I just have too many now.

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After I was done clearing everything out, I used these neat little “drawer dividers” to keep everything in its place.

I.am.in.love.

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These things are amazing little miracle workers. My drawer looked very much like the “before” picture above. But after installing these, it’s neat and organized. Ryan has his doubts on how long that will last – but it’s been over 10 days and it still looks perfect. Take that, Ryan. : )

Clutter Challenge – Day 17

Today’s post is about my de-cluttering on May 17. That day marked Gunner’s five month birthday, so I treated the dogs with a trip to doggie day care. It was actually more of a treat for me, since they have had a CRAZY amount of energy lately. I guess warm weather puts us all in a good mood, dogs included.

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Happy 5 months, Gunny Rabbit!

We take the dogs to daycare at a wonderful place in Medina called the Wag On Inn. I’m not kidding when I say that the dogs love it there more than they love being at home. The current owner, Jessica, has made some great changes since taking over a year ago. Most of them were for the betterment of the dogs (of course), but one is for the well-being of her human customers: the addition of a Kuerig in the lobby.

A variety of tea K-cups have accumulated in our house over time, and while I really, really, REALLY wish I was a tea-drinker, I’m just not. And unfortunately, my husband isn’t either. ¬†I hated to see these yummy drinks go to waste, so I asked Jessica if she would want them. Luckily, she did.

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Win-win situation! I cleaned out our K-cup bin, and Jessica got some great new flavors for her tea-drinking customers. Cheers to that!