Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 Resolutions, Revisited

I always like to look back at last year's resolutions and see how I did. I'm sharing with you, and plan on sharing my new ones this week! Here is a blast from the past, January 2011:

1. Venture out more into blogging. This means writing more often, including some new topics that I'm passionate about, linking up to parties, and leaving comments. The last two are a little scary, cause I'm kind of shy sometimes.
Hey, I kind of did this one! When I started this year I had about five followers, and now I am super lucky to have  a bunch more. 

2. Continue our voyage into attempting to live more frugally. I want to make use of more free and wonderful resources that are available in our area. I'm contemplating making my own cleaners (which goes hand in hand with my desire for a healthier, greener living). I plan to start utilizing meal planning and coupon clipping more often. I want to save more money in order to continue to stay at home with my little boy.
I did some of this too! I make my own laundry soap and dishwasher soap. I make a great deal of more food from scratch. I tried to make my own bread. I still need to meal plan more often and be more consistent with my coupon usage. 

3. Live healthier. It's really a nicer way of saying that I want to lose weight. I'm hoping to include more new recipes that are healthy and yummy into our diets. I'm on a mission to try new fruits and vegetables, be more active, and feel happier. And I might just buy the Thirty Day Shred with some of my birthday money. I feel a little afraid after typing that last sentence.
I've incorporated new healthy recipes into our diet. My kiddo eats fruits and veggies like they are going out of style. 

4. Become an organization princess. The Martha Stewarts out there leave me in envy. I'm just like them, in believing that everything should have a place. BUT sometimes while cleaning up, I end up with stuff that doesn't have a designated place, and someone is ringing the doorbell and I will *cough*cough*cough shove said homeless stuff just anywhere it will fit for the time being. By "anywhere" I usually mean the computer armoirethat I never use. It is one of my shameful secrets. But this year I'm making up for it. In my mind this means restarting (and sticking to) my cleaning schedule, purging, and organizing even those areas that I don't often address until it is too late. Helloooooooo kitchen pantry, and closet o' mystery in the basement. I'm coming for you.
I am just started working on this one in December. I am looking forward to continuing this is 2012.

5. Make my house prettier. I've been inspired by all those in blogland who live on a budget but manage to make their houses beautiful by using their creativity and imagination. I have a couple of new things that I want to attempt. Perhaps even BY MYSELF..... WITH TOOLS.
It just didn't happen this year.

6. Be brave. Try at least one new thing every week for a whole year. It is easy for me to get stuck in a rut and have one week blend into the next. I'm going to make a conscious effort to do something that may or may not be enjoyable and may or may not make me comfortable. But I am bound to learn something. Hopefully about myself.
I started this one with a vengeance, but started to slack off as the year went on. But I did do one thing this year that was super brave, and that I thought I would never do. I entered into therapy. It hasn't been easy, but I know that in the long run, there will be a very large benefit. 

7. Continue to try and be the best possible parent that I can be. With extra kisses.

I have tried to do this every day. But it is my personal belief that there are just never enough kisses. 

Monday, December 19, 2011

I heart: Old School TV

Do you remember your favorite television shows as a kid or a  teenager? I do. Distinctly. As a matter of fact, I have a list of my very favorite television shows to share with you right now!

1. Full House
This is the first show I ever remember looking forward to each week.  I related to DJ, since I was the oldest of three girls. My middle sister was always being stopped in the store, because they thought she was Michelle.  I loved that it showed a non-traditional family, and that any problem was resolved happily in thirty minutes...... well except for the one episode with Michelle falling off a horse. Plus, Uncle Jessie was cute!

2. Saved By The Bell
I really don't remember how old I was when I watched Saved by the Bell, but I do remember thinking it was the best thing in the whole world. It was even better than neon jellies and Wilson Phillips. I wanted to be Kelly Kapowski. I was in love with Zack Morris. Reflecting on it now, I realize that Saved by the Bell must have been where my love for trouble makers originated. In hindsight, I probably should have stood away, but who am I kidding? This show was five pixie sticks all at once with a chaser of Kool-Aid (which I was never allowed to drink, by the way).

3. Boy Meets World
My oh my.   Cory would rant and do crazy things in the name of love, even if no one else believed. Eric was funny. And the very lovely Shawn Hunter was gorgeous and bit troubled, which meant I totally spent a fair share of my time fantasizing about dating him. I loved that as they got older it showed how strong and important childhood friendships could become.  I watched every single episode, and ate it up. I just adored EVERY. SINGLE. MINUTE. I still watch the reruns when I catch them, and love them just the same.

4. Dawson's Creek
4. Dawson's Creek was my ultimate favorite show as a teenager. Dude..... (*hello 90's flashback*) these people could have been my friends. I felt all of it epitomized my life from the philosophical talk to the longing looks.  High school was dealing with non-stop drama, growing up, and unrequited and sometimes requited love. I was never team Dawson and Joey. I was always team Pacey and Joey...... with emphasis on the Pacey part.

5. Gilmore Girls
Gilmore Girls was on for seven years, and in my opinion it should have been on for at least seven more. I was so enamored with this duo. I wished I was them. They talked fast, and were beautiful, witty, and smart. Rory was always reading these books that I would check out of the library but get bored with after the first chapter. Lorelei was the coolest mom around, and their relationship was one that I envied with every fiber of my being. The characters were unique and Stars Hollow could have easily been my small little town. I loved this show so much, that I may or may not have been inspired by one of the characters names when I named my little boy.

Did any of you love television the way I did? Or was I the only one living vicariously through imaginary television characters? What was your favorite television show growing up? 

Monday, November 7, 2011


Yesterday was my son's third birthday party. I will share the details later this week, but for now...... I am so grateful that my son is growing up with a large support system of family and friends. We are thankful every day to have those individuals in our life. 

Friday, October 28, 2011

Squished Sleeping Quarters

Tonight I am sharing a bed with one sleeping toddler; one television watching cat; two Pillow Pets; one giant green dog, who goes by "Green Big Cup;" and one giant brown stuffed dog, who is named "Brown Big Pup." Seems crowded for a queen size bed, right? But wait, my friends, that is not all. Upon further inspection, I am also in bed with a blue Halloween pumpkin (which has a whole colony of Smurf figurines inside), and five glow sticks. Honestly? I might not get much sleep, and I might be a bit squished, but couldn't be happier.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

22 things

A list is a perfect way to break out of a blogging silence! There are a lot of things in my life that I have yet to do. There are things in my life that I am sure I will never do. But here are twenty-two things that I have done. I might not be so proud of all of them, but those are the ones that are most fun to read, right?
  1. Fallen in love, a couple times
  2. Been pregnant and had one delightful, gorgeous baby
  3. Given up a lifelong dream, for a new one
  4. Gone joy riding in a car
  5. Danced in the moonlight
  6. Had my heart broken
  7. Witnessed a physical fight
  8. And stopped one from happening
  9. Drank alcohol straight from the bottle (ughhhh)
  10. Hugged a stranger (or two, or three....)
  11. Picked up a hitchhiker
  12. Snuck into an abandoned building
  13. Graduated from high school, college, and graduate school
  14. Gotten married
  15. Skipped class to spend time kissing in a car with the one I love
  16. Sang a solo (Thank goodness for fourth grade chorus concerts)
  17. Saved a couple of lives (three cats, and perhaps my own)
  18. Apologized when I should
  19. Forgiven even when it was difficult (mostly)
  20. Gazed at the stars, holding hands with a boy who gave my stomach butterflies
  21. Listened to advice, but chose my own way
  22. Held hands with a little boy, who looked up at me and said, "You are the best mommy ever."

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Smurfy Party Inspiration

Little Logan is going to be turning three in November. When I inquired about a theme, it was his wish to have a Smurf party. I headed over to Pinterest for some party inspiration. I'm thinking of going mostly blue for the color scheme. Here is just a snippet of things that I loved!

 Since Smurfs are blue, how could I not love the all blue candy bar? Also, blue Twizzlers? I didn't even know those existed! Now I must try them!


Pine cone place cards would be perfect for labeling the food at the table with cutesy Smurf-type names. 


I also loved the blue punch. Apparently, my goal is to turn all our party guests' mouths blue. 


And no birthday party would be complete without a cake. Blue velvet cake sounds like a smurftastic way to end the day. 

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Hug Me Tight

As I mentioned in my last post, Logan has been fighting this terrible rash. As a result, I let him snuggle in my bed with me the other night. As he was falling asleep, he asked me to lay down next to him. As I snuggled with him, he wrapped his little arms around me. "I want you to hug me tight, Mama." I was happy to do so.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Don't Be Rash

Just so you know: Before I begin this, I'll tell you the end of the story. I hate reading stories that make me nervous, so I'll tell you the end of the story. They believe that what Logan has will go away by itself and it clearly doesn't hurt. Alright.... now that that is cleared up....

Logan has this..... rash. It seemed relatively harmless looking when it started out. In fact it looked like just one tiny little blemish below his eye. The next day, while I was drying my hair, Logan came up to me and asked, "What's this, Mama?" as he rubbed his elbow. I looked at it. It looked like a couple of bumps. Being the ever diligent ball of anxiousness that I am, I decided to immediately inspect the rest of his body. A couple more on his arm, one on his face, and a couple on his leg. I'm not patient when it comes to medical things, so I phoned up the doctor and procured an appointment for as soon as possible.

At our doctor's appointment the doctor spent a great deal of time examining it. He then looked up and said, "I'm not sure what it is. I'll need another opinion." We wait for a while, and I try to distract Logan with a bead maze in hopes that he will stop trying to jump off the examining table (for fun, of course). Finally, our normal doctor comes in and I get all excited. He's been a doctor since 1986 (yes, I googled him), and he was even my doctor growing up. He spends time trying to look at it. Logan, on the other hand, has lots of plans to talk to him.

Logan: "Hi Dr. F... I have a tattoo. It is Mickey and his best friends.... Pluto and Minnie. Minnie is starting to come off. She is wearing a blue dress..... I don't know why...... Minnie wears a pink dress."

As Logan is talking his ear off, the doctor is examining his arms. He stops for a moment and says to Logan, "Wow, I didn't know that you joined the navy since I last saw you." Logan cracks up, acting like he knows what that means. Anyway, Doctor #2 still doesn't know what it is. They say it looks like chicken pox, but since it is not itchy and not on his trunk, it can't be. I'm sent home with no answers and the instructions to watch him for a couple of days.

The second day, he wakes up and at first it seems like it's all the same. By the afternoon though, it had spread more to his face and his arms and legs. I call back again with the request to have someone call me back and they say we need to come back in. I make an appointment for the next morning.

The third day.we go back and we have another doctor. He looks all over Logan as the rash has spread. He is silent the whole time. Finally he stops, and says, "I'll be right back." Five minutes later he comes back and says he thinks Logan has a Gianotti Crosti Syndrome from the result of a viral infection. It is rare, but it will go away after a couple of weeks, with no lasting side effects. Fingers crossed, that this is what it is!

I'm just glad that he's energetic and happy. He actually has lots of energy. Just today he unrolled all of the toilet paper while I was in the shower, tried to jump off a flimsy Mickey chair, and did so many somersaults that I don't know how he can see straight. I love this little boy, spots and all.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

30 Day Shred: Trying to get motivated

So it's been a little while since I last posted. I've been in sort of a blogging rut. First Logan was sick and then I just slipped into a funk and couldn't seem to shake it. But alas, I'm back, and on my way to hopefully being better than ever. Within the last week, I purchased a new DVD player, and dusted off a DVD I had purchased with money from my birthday all the way back in December.


I haven't actually started it yet, but it's there every day reminding me that I should. I have hopes that in no time at all Jillian and I will be BFFs/ frenemies.  I have tried the 30 Day Shred in the past, but it was before I had a baby. I think I'm procrastinating, because I am less in shape and I know how sore I was at the beginning of the journey. I thought by officially writing it down in this blog, that this will get my booty into gear. Tomorrow, I'm busting out my tape measure. Pray for me. 

Saturday, July 30, 2011

A Little Something Strange

Do you ever have your pet stare at something off in the distance for a long time? When you turn around and look you don't see anything there? My cats do that on occasion, often when I am alone in the dark. I'll turn the light on, thinking there is a bug (which is scary enough for me) and when I look..... nothing. Nothing, at least that I can see. I think I've watched one too many shows about hauntings!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

My Garden the beginning (in pictures)




Mysterious clearance flowers that were dead and came back 

Friday, July 8, 2011

Justine Going Green: Making detergent

At the beginning of the year, I wrote out a list of my resolutions. Throughout the year, I have slowly been attempting to tackle them. One of my resolutions was to live more frugally. I have started to use coupons. Definitely not to the level of TLC's Extreme Couponing, but I am trying to drastically reduce our grocery bills.

One of the more expensive things that you can buy without using coupons is laundry detergent. Once I started using coupons I was able to get it significantly cheaper, but I was still thinking about the chemicals that go into the detergents, especially with a little guy who has sensitive skin. I started looking for a effective way to wash laundry minus the chemicals. I came across this post, from my friend, Andrea over at Jada Roo Can Do. (Awesome blog, by the way, you should totally visit her)! I had read a couple of things about making your own detergent, but when I got a testimony to it being just as effective, I was sold. It was just a matter of going out and getting my supplies.

You can view the recipe I used here, at the Duggar's website. The supplies consist of borax, super washing soda, and Fels-Naptha soap. The hardest part of this whole process was grating the soap. Once it was done, it looked like this:
I had a hard time convincing Logan that it was not cheese. He kept asking, "Can I have some?" He seemed quite perplexed that I would not give him any. I offered him some string cheese instead, which he took, but he still looked at me skeptically.

Next I melted the soap into four cups of water over heat.

I didn't take any pictures of the next bits, but I just directly followed the recipe. The hardest part besides grating the soap was waiting 24 hours to see what it looked like in the end. When I looked at it today it was like gelatin. I filled a clean detergent bottle with half of the mixture and half water. I'll only use about 1/2 a cup since I have a top loader, and I still have an almost full five gallon bucket left to use when I run out. This whole thing was so inexpensive. I got all of my supplies at Walmart, and I think it was around five or six dollars total, but it will clean a zillion (yeah, I know that's not a real number) loads of laundry. I've never been more excited to do my laundry tomorrow morning!

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Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Face vs. Sidewalk

The fourth of July was a family filled day for us. We went to the husband's parent's house where they were hosting a barbecue. The kiddo was able to play with his cousins all day, much to his complete and utter delight. He swam in his pool and even got to bounce around in a bounce house. As the day was winding down, the little guys all got their after dinner burst of energy. They were chasing each other and laughing. Logan went to run down the sidewalk, and just as the words, "Use your walking feet," were sliding out of my mouth...... BOOM!

He landed face first onto the sidewalk. No hands were ever put out to try to soften the blow. There were a few seconds of complete silence and then the scream. Anyone that is around kids for any extended period of time knows that they have all different types of cries. This is the kind you hate hearing.

I felt so bad that he was hurt that I let him eat Popsicle after Popsicle to bring the swelling in his lip down. Once we got home I sat with him and let him watch a television show he never watches, eat M&Ms, and stay up late to watch some fireworks. He forgot about it long before I did.  But that could be because I am looking at this face all the time:

My poor baby. Extra hugs and kisses are in order. And maybe a new toy. 

Monday, July 4, 2011

Naked walls

Commitment phobic. I don't really think most would describe me that way. But I have a deep dark secret.  I have commitment issues when it comes to decorating. All my walls are bare. We have lived in our house for almost three years, and we only have one thing on the walls. That's right...... just one thing. I hope to soon change that. 

Meet blank wall #1. It is a small wall in my dining area that separates the area from the kitchen.

As you can see, it's beige and boring. Please pretend that you don't see those cluttered mismatched frames. But fear not, my friends, I have ideas. Fantastic ideas, because someone else thought of them.

I have a huge love of family photographs. But, I've yet to find an effective way to display them. A wall gallery would solve this problem. 

Here's a smattering of gallery walls that I have been crushing on lately. 

This one? I heart that it adds an accent color. Plus, the chalkboard frame? I wish I could marry it, I adore it so. 
Source: Nesting Place

This picture is from the first home decorating blog, Young House Love, that I started reading. This photo makes me wish for a nice long hallway where I can do this. 
Source: YoungHouseLove
I like this one because all the frames match......
Source: Flickr

and I like this one because they don't. 
Source: House of Turquoise
Finally, for something a bit different and more uniform, I love that these are all equally spaced. 
Source: Parlour
So, what do you think? My mission for the next couple of weeks is to shop around at yard sales to find some really inexpensive frames I love.  Well, to look for frames and for farm related stuff. But that, my lovelies, is for another post. 

Thursday, June 30, 2011

One of my resolutions this January was to become more organized. Now that half the year has flown by, I've realized that I haven't made any progress on this goal. I have been a long time reader of Toni, at A bowl full of lemons. I love her blog. If you haven't looked at it yet, go check it out!

Toni walks you through a 21 day challenge to become more organized. I decided now was the time for me to attempt this. I'll post my progress here, including my horrible/ scary/ unorganized before pictures. Hopefully by the end of this challenge, I will have made progress and have a more organized house! 

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Today's accomplishments

You ever have one of those days where you had big plans to get things accomplished, but it all kind of goes astray? Today was one of those days. I only vacuumed, wiped down counters, and did a load of laundry. The dishes stood clean in the dishwasher, the trash did not get taken out, no closets or drawers were organized. The rest of the day somehow slipped by without me even really noticing. It makes days like tomorrow have an extra long list of things to do, but here is what else I did today:

1. Help a little boy try to dress himself and cheer for him.
2. Create a sensory bin that kept the little guy occupied for about an hour.
3. Visit my mom and my sister
4. Play with one spunky little Chihuahua
5. Have a sing-a-long with my little to the songs on the radio
6. Examine all our vegetables growing and put my fingers in some dirt
7. Write a bunch of blog posts
8. Pet and snuggle two sweet cats
9. Go on an adventure with my sister and Logan
10. Watch my little guy attempt to eat ice cream without making a mess

So, all in all, I think it was a good day, even if the house is a bit messier for it.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Master Bedroom Planning

My master bedroom is in desperate need of an update. We are currently contemplating color schemes, and I think we have finally settled on one. Currently my bedroom is an off white, yellowish color. When we moved in it was NEON green. And that room was dark due to the nine trees crowded very close to that bedroom window. We cut down the trees, and let a little light in, but I think that I wanted the opposite of neon green when I chose the color. So I picked a neutral that was soothing on the eyes. It was a perfectly nice color, but it just wasn't the one I wanted.

I had an idea in my mind of exactly what I wanted, but once I joined Pintrest, it was decided. I know that currently everyone is loving gray, and I am too. I've never met a bandwagon that I haven't jumped on, after all. Ahem....... at least when it came to decorating and popular young adult fiction.

Currently I am loving gray and yellow. Bright, bright yellow. TOGETHER. Gorgeousness, I tell you. When I see images like this:

Source:  Casa Greer

and this:
Source: Desire to Inspire
and even this (I know it has another color too, but it's awesome):
Source: 7th House on the Left
I fall in love.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Meet the house

In July 2008, we moved into a house. What we loved about the house was primarily the potential it had and the location. The location was close to both sets of parents, in a nice area, and had good schools. Sold, friends. Right away we did massive amounts of work to beautify the house. It had been a rental for approximately 20 years, so it had been neglected. I wish I had taken a lot more pictures of the before, but trust me, it looked like it was stuck in the 1980's.

We have since removed the tree, planted lots of flowers, and made a walkway

The basement before

These photos were taken immediately after all the work was finished. It took about a month and then we moved in. We wanted to make it livable before actually living there. We figured all the other upgrades would be gradual throughout the years. Since then, we have done some work here or there, but nothing consistently expect for finishing the basement. 

Stay tuned for more progress......

Saturday, June 11, 2011


Logan is afraid of thunder. The second he hears the booming, he makes a beeline straight for my lap as he says, "HOLD ME, MAMA!" The other night there was a huge thunderstorm. It was about an hour before bedtime (7:30), but I put Logan in bed with me and turned on the air conditioner, in hopes of drowning out some of the sound. We snuggled in bed reading a load of books, and being silly. Only once the thunderstorm abated, did Logan finally fall asleep, grasping his Mickey Mouse tightly with his forehead pressed against mine. It was a simple moment, but it is those moments that make everything worth it.

Friday, June 10, 2011

A new start

For a while, I've had this other blog. It started out as a personal blog, but has since really morphed into a blog where I write about the activities that I do with my little boy, Logan. It just didn't feel like the other stuff that I wanted to write about fit in that blog anymore. So I decided to start a new blog, where I could write about things like home decorating, family experiences, and whatever else I feel like writing about. The title of the blog was inspired by a quotation, by Tad Carpenter, that I recently stumbled across. It says, "What I love most about my home is who I share it with." I don't know who this man is, but it definitely echoes my feelings. So, welcome!