Tuesday, January 31, 2017

2017 Goals

Hello again! After a couple years where blogging took a backseat, I'm finally back! I am now a stay-at-home mom with a three and half month old baby boy. Life is so different than when I last posted, but it is wonderful.

We are just a couple hours away from being done with the first month of 2017 already! How does time do that? That time-flying-by thing seems to have sped up ever since I've become a mom, which everyone warns it will. He's growing and changing so fast and I'm taking dozens of pictures and videos and writing down moments and memories as quick as I can.

I'm so excited for the next 11 months of 2017. I'm excited for all the development my little man will go through and all the fun family memories we will create. I always feel like a new year is a blank slate, with so much potential for creativity, serving, relationships, growth, and experiences. During the last couple days of December, I sat down to really think about how I wanted to spend my time this year, what I wanted to work on, to strive for. Here are the goals I came up with for 2017.

Monthly Goals: Here are the things I hope to accomplish each month:
  • memorize a verse/small passage of Scripture
  • read a book
  • go on a baby-free date with my husband
  • visit Easton's great-aunt and/or great-grandma
  • call 2 different friends
  • invite another couple/family over to our home
  • write at least one blog post
  • do one craft project
  • deep clean one part of my house
  • re-organize one part of my house
  • make a new dinner recipe
  • make a new dessert recipe
  • take Easton's monthly milestone pictures
  • weigh and measure Easton
  • send an email to Easton for the future 
This month, I accomplished all of those goals! This blog post is just barely making it into January and was the final thing to check off. I'll write another post next week sharing what I did for some of those and what my plans are for them in February.

Weekly Goals:
  • email with pictures to Easton's grandparents
  • phone call to my brother
  • me-time
  • take Easton's weekly milestone picture
  • exercise 3 times (yaaa....that hasn't been happening yet this year)
Then I also have tried to designate each day of the week with a different focus. I've tried cleaning schedules where you do one task each day, but that just doesn't work for me. I'm either in full-on cleaning mode or I'm not. So this new approach helps me to have one main focus for the day and know that if other things get accomplished too that's great, and if they don't it's okay too.

Mondays - Errand Day (grocery shopping, library, post office, etc. I try to save up errands for this day so I don't waste lots of time throughout the week going out to multiple stores)

Tuesdays - Sewing Day (go to my mom's house and sew for at least 2 hours--working on a quilt right now!)

Wednesdays - Cleaning Day (I alternate every other week with what I clean and add in portions of my deep cleaning and organizing projects for the month)

Thursdays - Project Life Day (devote at least 2 hours to working on my scrapbook albums. Unfortunately, I was only able to do this 2 of the 4 weeks this month)

Fridays - Creative Day (this was meant to be more open-ended to work on whatever I felt like whether it was my monthly craft, or more Project Life, planning, cooking, baking, etc. So far, this day has been filled with my part-time job and basketball. Hoping to be able to re-focus this day for more of a relaxed day)

Saturdays - Monthly Day (work on those monthly goals)

Sundays - Family Day (church, watching football, spending time chilling together, going out to dinner with my parents, getting ready for the next week by meal planning and figuring out our schedules.)

Daily Tasks
Each day I strive to:
  • do my Bible reading and a devotion
  • take a picture of something from my day
  • take a picture of Easton
  • take my vitamins
  • read for 20 minutes
  • drink 8 cups of water
  • do my Bing rewards (if you're curious, ask me! It takes me 5 minutes each day to earn points and I can redeem $10 in Amazon gift cards in one month).

To keep organized with all this as well as meal plans, meetings, appointments, to-do lists, reminders, basketball, etc. I use an Erin Condren Life Planner.
This is my second year owning and using one and IT IS MY FAVORITE! No this, is not a sponsored post, but I love this planner a lot. So if you are searching for a great do-it-all planner, check this one out! I will do another post with more details about my planner and how I use it. Everyone has different styles of how they like to plan and it took me a couple months last year to figure out my system. But it helps me stay so organized, plus its super pretty and fun with all the stickers! Oh, and yes even therapeutic, but that may just be me. 😃

You may think that seems like a lot! Too much to try to accomplish for a new mom. And to be honest, some days it is. Some days, I get us fed and dressed and that's about it. And I'm learning to be OK with that. After this first month, I did pretty well on accomplishing it all. I wasn't able to get to Project Life a couple weeks and totally didn't read at all one week, but other than that I was able to catch up on things here and there. All the snuggles, books read, and play time that happened in place of it was so wonderful. Each day, week, and month will be different as he grows and his needs change. His nap times will fluctuate and his independence will progress. But I'm the kind of person who needs goals in place so that when I do have those free moments I know exactly what I want to do. If I didn't write all those things out in my planner each week, I would waste a lot more time watching TV or browsing social media.

So yes, maybe its' too much sometimes, and maybe it's a bit backwards to plan for all these things I may never realistically have time for, but it works for me and it helps me to stay creative. (And to my brother, if there's any chance in a blue moon that you are even reading this, yes I know you are rolling your eyes and laughing at my OCDness with being organized and goal-oriented.) But to anyone else who chose to stay with me for this long post about my desired plans for this year, I hope that maybe some of my goals sparked some ideas and inspired you to try and work towards something new. My method may not work for you, that's okay. Find what works for you and find ways to enjoy the little and big moments of 2017!

Whew, and now I'm off to bed. So goodnight to January and hello February!

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Scavenger Hunt Housewarming Party

Last June, we moved into our new home. It's crazy to think it's already been over a year that we have lived here now. Little by little we are working on projects to make it more personalized and exactly how we want it.

After we moved in and got settled, I wanted to have a Housewarming Party so our friends could see our new place. As I was still new to the area, our circle of friend was pretty small and didn't know each other well. I didn't want just an awkward gathering of people all standing in one room staring at each other. So I turned to Pinterest for some fun ideas for a housewarming gathering.

Sadly, I found only a handful of ideas and none of them really interested me. So I came up with my own idea! We decided rather than lead each group of people through the house and show them every room, we would let them explore for themselves while on a fun mission. My husband and I created a scavenger hunt and it turned out really fun! It also cost us just a few dollars to put together.

Here's what you will need:
  • paint chips, a different color for each couple/person x 2 (one for guest, one for gift)
  • random, cheap White Elephant-type gifts that you already have around the house or go to the Dollar Store. We had a mug, candle, picture frame, SPAM, magic towel, photo coasters, mini package of coffee, and a few others I can't remember.
  • wrapping paper

We had two of each color of paint chip. One of each pair was used as the postcard to invite our friends. In a sad moment of blogger failure, I forgot to take any pictures. It was a basic invitation written on the 3 tones of paint colors saying When, Where, and to bring their invitation with them as the bottom color on their paint chip was their clue for a game.

We wrapped each random item, cut the bottom hues of each second paint chip and taped it on the gifts as a tag. Then my husband had a lot of fun hiding the gifts throughout the entire house. They were all visible without having to open any cupboards, drawers, etc. When our guests arrived, we explained the game. They would give themselves a tour of our home while searching for a wrapped present with a paint chip tag matching the bottom paint chip of their invitation. They were all so excited and immediately started exploring.

Once all the gifts were found (we had to help with a few of them), the fun continued with a White Elephant gift exchange. All the wrapped gifts were placed on the table. Going around the room, each person got to choose to open a new gift or steal someone's gift. We went around the circle two times and allowed multiple steals. Everyone enjoyed it and I think it was a really fun way for friends to see our new home without the awkward "and here is the other bedroom" tour.

And of course, what is a party without some good food? Well just plain boring that's what! I made Butterfinger Cookies, Pink Lemonade Cupcakes and Berry Ka-bobs.

I found these adorable striped straws and couldn't resist adding them to the cupcakes to look like little cups of lemonade!

Fresh berries are always a hit in the summertime.

This party was the first time I got to use my water canister. I love it and definitely need to have more parties so it can come out of the closet more often!

The whole spread, complete with a chalkboard menu.

Have you ever thrown a housewarming party? What fun things did you do?
Or have you ever been to a fun housewarming party and what did they do?

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Summer Fashion: Maxi Dress

Summer is my favorite time of year! While I love shopping for clothes any time of the year, summer clothes are also my favorite to wear. I love racerback tank tops and sun dresses the most. Anything that allows me to get (slowly) tanner and wear my super comfy Rainbow sandals is a big win in my book. This love for summer clothes can be dangerous however. Dangerous for my wallet. Especially if Target has a bajillion cute items at the same time. Oh!
Then it's all over.
Summer Fashion Chevron Maxi Dress homeiswheretheheartis8410.blogspot.com
Excuse the grainy cell phone picture
I try to show restraint. And by "try" I mean avoid going in the stores with the cute clothes and tell myself I have plenty already and still love them so I don't need more. Well it usually works. But then, there's some adorable, must-have, on-sale summer dress that calls screams my name and I give in. This summer was no different. And the cute clothing item in question this time was this beautiful, coral and gray, chevron striped, racerback, maxi dress. All my favorite things combined into ONE garment! How could I NOT buy it?

Summer Fashion Chevron Maxi Dress homeiswheretheheartis8410.blogspot.com

So I did! :) I did use a 15% discount mind you because, well, that helped justify it...even though I honestly needed no justifying since I'm not on shopping probation or anything. Once it came, I loved it even more than seeing the picture online! Don't you love it when that happens? For those of you wondering, the dress is from Kohls and is Lauren Conrad brand. My exact dress is no longer available online but you can find similar ones here and here.

Summer Fashion Chevron Maxi Dress homeiswheretheheartis8410.blogspot.com

One of the things I love about maxi dresses is how versatile they are! With the right shoes and accessories they can be dressed up for a nicer event but with flip flops they are just as good for a casual summer day. Another thing I truly love about them is that it pretty much feels like you are wearing pajamas all day! Soooo comfy. So far I've worn it to my husband's basketball awards banquet, the awards ceremony at school, and my dear friend's bridal shower. I'm planning to wear it to church this Sunday.

Summer Fashion Chevron Maxi Dress homeiswheretheheartis8410.blogspot.com

What's your go-to summer fashion?
Are there certain aspects (color, print, style) of clothing that make it hard for you to resist?
Do you ever feel the need to justify buying cute clothes even when no one else needs the reasoning but you?

Monday, July 7, 2014

Chalkboard Pantry Door

My last post was about my making chalkboard labels for organizing your pantry jars. After that, I figured it was an obvious transition to show you my pantry door makeover! You may remember from my Home Photo Tour that I have a corner pantry with a cute skinny door next to my fridge. And if you didn't...well here's a refresher:

Chalkboard Pantry Door homeiswheretheheartis8410.blogspot.com

I've known ever since moving in that I wanted to paint that door and do something fun. As I mentioned last time, I am loving the chalkboard trend and so the idea came to me (most likely via Pinterest, because let's be honest I am a total copy-cat and not an inventor of awesome ideas) that I would paint the door and the top middle panel would be a chalkboard. The only question was, what color to paint it? My dishes and kitchen is full of colors. I didn't know should I try to match something I already had or go with something totally new? And if I'm matching, WHAT item/color do I match it too???

Chalkboard Pantry Door homeiswheretheheartis8410.blogspot.com

 And so, like with most of my projects, that one question with no good answer meant that I pushed it to the back burner for a good procrastination simmer. Well thank goodness for friends who have different personalities than you! My wonderful friend of many years came over for a weekend of projects! Seriously, she came to help me paint and get things done. How awesome is that? Aren't you all jealous that I have a friend like that!? If you're not, you should be! This girl is awesome!

Chalkboard Pantry Door homeiswheretheheartis8410.blogspot.com
We initially set our sights lower with the only task to accomplish being: Paint the Master Bedroom (blog to come about that soon when a couple more items get finished). However, like I said, this girl is awesome, and once she gets going, she is on a roll! We got not just one, but four projects done that weekend! And we had time to boat on the lake for 3+ hours! I'm really thinking she needs to move across the street...help me persuade her!

Chalkboard Pantry Door homeiswheretheheartis8410.blogspot.com

Once I mentioned my idea for the pantry door, actually I don't think I even finished saying the words, she said "Let's do it right now!" Oh but hold on there girl, what color? See this is where things come to a halt...."the same color as your Kitchen Aid!" 

Chalkboard Pantry Door homeiswheretheheartis8410.blogspot.com
Oooooooooo. I liked it. No, I loved it! We were just about to jump in the car and head to the store to buy paint when I suddenly remembered that I still had more than half a quart of paint from when I did my little entryway table. Hmmmmm...that could work.

Chalkboard Pantry Door homeiswheretheheartis8410.blogspot.com

  It was almost a perfect match to my Kitchen Aid, which is Pistachio by the way. So without further delay, we started painting! We did two coats and then taped and covered with newspaper so we could spray paint the chalkboard. I did three coats of the chalkboard paint.

Chalkboard Pantry Door homeiswheretheheartis8410.blogspot.com

The next morning we (and by 'we' I mean my husband) put the door back on. I was so excited at how good it looked. I seriously could not stop smiling. I was also smiling because we spent $0 to accomplish this project since I already owned both paints from previous projects.

Chalkboard Pantry Door homeiswheretheheartis8410.blogspot.com

But then we didn't stop there. I grabbed the prints and frames that I had bought several months ago to go in my kitchen. I used some of my patterned cardstock to mat the pictures, framed them, and then asked hubby if he would hang them.
Chalkboard Pantry Door homeiswheretheheartis8410.blogspot.com

Aren't they so cute? I love the vintage look of them and the pops of color! I ordered these prints from All Posters. They are several more to choose from and it was hard to pick only three of the cute prints, but I have limited wall space in my kitchen so I had to stop at three.

Chalkboard Pantry Door homeiswheretheheartis8410.blogspot.com

Ta-da! This little corner just makes me so happy! So glad my wonderful friend came and helped me get this done finally! Just think how productive I would be and how much more decorated my house would be if she lived here! She was quite intrigued by the (much) lower housing costs here compared to where she lives...(I'm using every persuasion I've got).

Chalkboard Pantry Door homeiswheretheheartis8410.blogspot.com

I update the chalkboard every week with the meals we will be eating for the upcoming week. My hubby loves it so he can know what food to look forward to. I really need to practice some fun fonts and handwriting now that I have a big chalkboard.
Chalkboard Pantry Door homeiswheretheheartis8410.blogspot.com

Thanks so much to my friend for all her inspiration and help!

Do you have a friend like mine who is so different from you that its helpful?

What projects have you procrastinated on for SO long and then finally did?

Do you have any fun artwork in your kitchen?