Friday, February 5, 2016

ON DOING THE CHORES I HATE

 
In our house, like most homes with two parents, we divided up the chores. I do all the week day planning- baseball practices, dance, parent teacher conference, Scouts. I do the cooking and the inside cleaning up. The husband plans out weekends-what we're doing, barbecuing, cleaning the garage. And there are daily chores that each of us do-I make lunches for everyone and do the laundry, he takes out the trash, scoops the yard, and, when needed, shovels snow. The kids have their own sets of chores too, and we flow very well. A bit traditional, but so are we.
 
My husband willingly does the chores I hate. I hate taking out the trash. I don't like scooping the yard (but who does?). And I really don't enjoy anything to do with snow. I've tried, truly. I see how much "fun" people have in the snow. But I just don't get it. So luckily, I don't have to be out shoveling, in the cold, slipping because I do not own proper snow boots, getting calluses because I do not own proper gloves.
 
Most of the time, that is.
 

 
We woke up to about two inches of slushy snow this morning, with huge, wet flakes tumbling down steadily. The woods were all shades of winter wonderland and the car windshield was covered in fluffy snow. I started hoping. "Any minute now, I'll get a call that it's a snow day," I thought. Because I work for the school district that my kids attend, it would mean a day off for all of us! The one perk of snow is snow days. I kept checking my phone to make sure it wasn't on silent and I hadn't missed this gift of a Friday off.
No call. Just the announcement on twitter from the Superintendent that it was, in fact, normal hours today.
(I should note here that the military base is only asking emergency personnel to come in. School children though, you better show up today and be happy about it.)
 
And guess who is away right now? Here's a hit: it's not me. 
 
 

 
 
 Right now, my husband doesn't have a job that requires deployments, and yet, he's still away for weeks with training, and when he's home he works long hours. Part of a military life is sometimes, you're stuck doing it all. I know that there are lots of people out there who this is an everyday thing for, and I applauded you. But with military life, there is a distinct awareness that you are doing this on your own because of an absence. You're stuck taking out the trash, scooping dog poop from the yard, and shoveling snow. You're stuck taking off work and using all your sick days when a kid has a fever. You're the one that has to explain to teachers at Parent Teacher Conference Night that your spouse is not going to make it. Again. And explain to your children, that no, Dad will not be home tomorrow. Or the next day.
But this is part of the life. You kiss them good bye, you take care of your kids, you wait for the phone calls, you shovel the snow, and get it done without (much) complaining. It's one of the hardest parts of military life. Not the chores on your own. But knowing you CAN do all that yourself. It's both empowering and frightening. To look at your life and see how different it could be. To look at your life and remind yourself to love all these moments and appreciate what you get everyday. Even the hard things-the sticky kids, the phone calls instead of face to face time, and even walking to school in the snow on a shoveled path.
 



Thursday, February 4, 2016

WHAT I DIDN'T WEAR WEDNESDAY

spring dreaming

 
Oh friends. I didn't post a WIWW post this week because I couldn't get a decent picture of my outfit, and because I have a head cold, and I am uninspired fashion wise, and it's supposed to snow again tonight and all I wear is black pants and knee high boots and I'm dreaming about SPRING and maybe wearing this outfit.
I'm definitely dreaming about getting Jenna Dewan Tatum's haircut. It's on my list! 
 
 
Shop the look:




Flat shoes
modcloth.com



J Crew j crew jewelry
factory.jcrew.com



Essie nail polish
macys.com



Tuesday, February 2, 2016

ROASTED AND SPICED BUTTERNUT SQUASH


 This butternut squash is SO GOOD. The blend of spices plus the sweetness of the squash make for an extra delicious dish. Plus, it's simple! Cut, put it all on a baking sheet, bake, DONE.
 
 
So much spicy goodness!
 
Butternut squash is a weekly dish at our table during winter months. The kids don't love it, which is a shame, except that the husband and I get to ALL THE SQUASH. If they'd rather eat carrot sticks instead of this deliciousness, that's on them. I will happily eat it all for them.
 
 
 

Roasted and Spiced Butternut Squash

Ingredients:
1 large butternut squash
2 generous tablespoon olive oil
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp smoked paprika (regular paprika works too!)
1/2 tsp curry powder
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon mixed dried herbs such as oregano, rosemary, thyme (I use this)
Salt and Pepper, to taste

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
With a fork, puncture the butternut squash all over. Place in the microwave for one minute, remove and peel (the microwave method makes this a lot easier. You can also but precut butternut squash, they have it at Costco!). Slice in half and scoop out the seeds. Dice into 1-2 inch chunks.
Place the cut up squash on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and all spices and herbs; toss until well coated. Roast in the oven for 30 minutes, until squash is slightly browned. Eat it.

Monday, February 1, 2016

FEBRUARY B+ GOALS

Can you believe that it's already February?! It's time to check in with my January B+ Goals and reveal my new ones for this month! It may be a short month, but I've got big(ish) goals.
 
First lets check in with last month:
-I managed to get up at 5:30 most mornings and workout at least four times a week. I made Friday a rest day so I sleep until 6:00 on Friday mornings, but I get up and run on Saturday mornings as a trade off. Going to bed by 10:30 was more challenging, I still need to work on this. But I did much better than I had been! I also implemented an idea from Better Than Before, which is once it's 10:30 I say to myself, "It's past my bedtime." This way I'm at least I'm acknowledging that I'm staying up later then I'd like to be. Grade: B
-I finished Better Than Before! I've made a big effort to give myself time to read in the evenings and finished three books this month, including two on my reading challenge list. Grade: A
-And while I've cut back on social media, I'm going to keep on working on this. I'm been much more conscience of what I'm posting, but I'm still checking things too often. Grade: B-
 
Also I mentioned that I was doing a Whole 30. We ended up choosing to do a Whole 14 instead because my husband had to travel this month. While we didn't finish out the month officially, it really helped us get back on track so it accomplished something! Grade: C
 
In February 2016 I'm focusing on:
 
1. Keeping my car clean. Look, my car isn't a toxic waste dump or anything. It's not full of clothes or uneaten food. We're actually very good at bringing in all our things at the end of the day as we get out of the car. But I need to work on keeping it cleaner, especially the exterior. It's HARD to keep a car clean when there is snow and salt on the ground, but guys I nearly ran into a pole in the school parking lot because I could barely see out of my back window. I also have a bad habit of stuffing unwanted papers (i.e. gum wrappers, ads from the mail box, grocery lists) into the side pockets of the doors and leaving them there for about 52 months. So the goal is do a decent cleaning once a week-inside and out.
 
2. Get a haircut. Self explanatory.
 
3.Work on active listening. I'm a multitasker. I can work on several things at once; a typical evening involves me answering math questions, making dinner, getting someone into a dance leotard, and checking on Etsy orders all at the same time. And you know what? I get stuff done. I'm actually incredible good at "half listening" but managing to retain all that information. But that doesn't mean that this is a good thing. I need to focus on stopping what I'm doing and letting people know-especially the smaller people that live in my house-that I am focusing on them and listening to all they say.
 
4. Daily Chores. I have a list of daily chores that I want to get done every day. I've broken it down so I can do a couple things each day, and no housework on the weekends. I've done schedules before that work sort of well, but none of them really seemed to be ideal. I made up my own little chart and am trying it out this month. If it's a winner, I'll post printouts here!
 
5. Figure out a work plan for the Etsy shop. I've been overwhelmed by the Etsy shop lately. It's doing well-which is great!- but also crazy since I'm working/raising two children to be good citizens/trying to pay attention to my husband. I need a solid plan about when I work on the shop!
 
That's it for this month! Done is Better Than Perfect, ya'll. I'd love to hear about your goals for the month too! Don't forget to check out Teaching Sam and Scout and Sarah R Bagley to see their goals too.
 
 
 

Friday, January 29, 2016

FAVORITE THINGS: JANUARY 2016

 
This January has been a good one! After our crazy busy holiday season, this has been a month of getting back on track, working on goals for the year, and settling into our routines.  I've been  working hard, reading good things, and loving more.
But let's be real, I'm ready for spring and don't need any more snow ever again this season.
 
 
 
 Here is a round up of my favorite things this month:
 
Favorite Things For An Organized Life:
 
 
This day planner was a stocking stuffer from the husband. I love that it has a year, monthly, and daily squares to fill in. // And this Moleskin cashier journal is perfect for keeping track of orders and inventory for the shop. // Ink Joy pens are my favorites and I love these pencils for pattern work.
 
Favorite Beauty Things:
 
 
I got the Urban Decay Naked Smoky eye palette for my birthday and it is the best ever, the end. // I've been oil cleansing for awhile now and I love this cleansing oil. It's by CoCo Lavish and it's amazing.//  I first heard about hair primers from The Small Things Blog and picked up this one on a whim while I was at the drug store one day. It's a total game changer. It cuts my dry time, it keeps my hair smooth, and it acts as a barrier to hair products so my hair doesn't feel heavy or sticky. Love it.
 
Favorite Thing I'm Wearing:
 
 
When we were in New York for my birthday, I went to J. Crew to browse and the husband bought me this coat as an extra birthday gift (He's a keeper, guys). This coat is beautiful and warm and maybe the most grown up thing I own. This cut is no longer available (online at least) but J. Crew has lots of beautiful wool coats here.
 
Favorite Things I Read:
 
Books:
At the Water's Edge by Sara Gruen
Circling the Sun by Paula McLain (reading challenge book)
Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin (reading challenge book)
 
Websites:
 
Favorite Things I'm Listening To:
Adele 25 (When We Were Young, especially)
 
Favorite Things I'm Watching:
Downton Abbey (Of course.)
Making A Murderer (CRAZY PANTS.)
 
 
It's snowing-AGAIN-so we'll be snuggling, watching movies, and baking these last few days of the month.  Hope you had a lovely January!
 


Wednesday, January 27, 2016

WHAT I WORE WEDNESDAY

 
Guys, all this snow and coldness is making me delusional. Like, crazy. Today I tried to tell myself that I could wear ballet flats to work. And you know what happened? I stepped in icy mud surrounded by a snow bank on the way into dropping off Ava at preschool. In leopard print ballet flats. Because I guess I'm trying to give myself pneumonia because at least then I wouldn't have to leave my house in the snow, with a puffy coat, and children with mittens (oh my GOD have you lost another mitten?!), because I would be on bed rest and that sounds amazing, right?
No, I guess it doesn't. So I put on boots instead.
Also? I need a haircut like yesterday.
 
Blazer: H&M
White Button Down: Target (this cut is in store only)
Belt: American Eagle (15 YEARS ago #soold)
Pants: Old Navy
Boots: Mod Cloth (these are out of stock, but there are a ton of cute boots here and they are having a huge sale!)
 

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

READING LIST: WHAT WE'VE BEEN READING IN JANUARY

 
 
Carson Ellis is one of my favorite illustrators and I immediately snatched this book up when I saw it on a shelf at our local bookstore. The story about different homes is sweet and funny and the illustrations are lovely.
 
 
 
 
 Do you follow Humans of New York? You should. Brandon Stanton is a photographer and story teller who photographs individuals and then tells a story from their lives. Stories is a completion of the webpage. I finished this in one lazy afternoon; the stories and photographs are equally beautiful, tragic, funny, and touching.
 
 

I finished Better Than Before (check off one of the B+ Goals for this month!) and I absolutely loved it. It totally resonated with me-figure out your personality tendency and build your goals from there. Reading about people's tendencies was fascinating; I could immediately see not only myself but my husband and best friends crystal clear in the descriptions (I'm an upholder-by FAR, the husband is a questioner.). By knowing my tendency, I've been applying a lot of her other ideas to my life and it's a game changer. I highly suggest this book if your looking for a way to figure out better habits and how to stick to them!
 
I've started the next book in my Reading Challenge and will probably be finished with it soon; it's a good one!
 
What are you reading?