10 Favorite Foods

Day 7 of the 31 days blog challenge asks me to share my 10 favorite foods. Oh man, I do love food. Mmmm mmmm mmmm. Get in my belly is kinda my motto. Ha ha. I’d say appetizers are one of my favorite ‘meals’. I do enjoy sweets but if you were to ask me what my favorite sweet is, I say something more like tiramisu¬†or cheesecake. I don’t gravitate towards cake or ice cream although I think Coldstone is delish.

MY TOP 10 FAVORITE FOODS

 

  • chips and salsa
  • cheese and crackers
  • avocado
  • shrimp
  • cherry tomatoes
  • my friend Lisa’s Nicoise salad
  • edamame
  • apples
  • eggs — any kind of eggs really
  • movie theater popcorn

Can we be besties? Do you like any of my top 10 foods? Do tell ūüôā I also enjoy wine and a good G&T alongside¬†some of my favorite foods.

How The Local Honey Got It’s Name

Day #3 of the 31 day blog challenge asks the meaning of my business name.

tlh-logo

It was around 5 years ago that my brother and I brainstormed on a possible stay at home business. He’s an entrepreneur and always loves a good business venture. At the time when we were talking about this blog, we were focusing on activities in and around the area and things that would draw in local families. I paid to have a logo made and the blog set up how I’d like it to be seen. Later on that year, I went back to work part time which turned into full time during tax season. That became ‘enough’ of a time filler for me and I didn’t blog much. I am still part time but I really do love and miss writing, sharing, projects, organizing and cooking. I am looking to revamp this blog and share the parts of it¬†that my readers seem to love. So local was obviously geared towards my audience and honey was a sweet way to pull people in. Hence, ‘The Local Honey’.

The Local Honey was born because of my focus on my local community. Now I feel that the name is still inviting but I’d like to focus on a larger demographic and not just stay focused on local activities and events {although I do love this little community of mine!}.

 

20 Things and Challenges

Well hello and Happy New Year! New year, new goals – right? I know that for some people the fresh year means a clean slate. Time to start anew. Others are just looking to change their holiday habits {reintroducing exercise and sugar detox mostly}. Others aren’t looking for quick fixes but lifestyle overhauls. I think the key to success is baby steps but I also think that some challenges thrown in are fun.

 

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The Daily Quotes

I’m currently doing a couple of different challenges.

  • A 7 day healthy eating challenge with my sister in law. If you know how much sugar I’ve inhaled over the past month, then you know¬†how much my body needs a reset. #imissmyicedcoffeewithvanilla #whatsthatgreenstuff
  • A 31 day challenge with Rachel Hollis over at The Chic Site. I signed up for this one a few days ago and I am getting daily email updates. It’s a lot of the basics – eat better, drink more water, move your body and I love that she added in journaling 10 things you are grateful for at the end of every the day.
  • A 31 day blog challenge. This just popped up on my Pinterest feed today so I am a day behind but you have to start somewhere, am I right? So each day has a topic. Follow along, it’ll be fun ūüôā Click here for the full 31 day list.

20 things about me:

  1. My full name is Gabrielle Erin, I went by Erin up until I was 15 years old. I changed towns and schools so I figured I would just make the switch. I was always correcting Gabriel {the boy version} to Gabrielle and then asking teachers to call me Erin. Of course it was immediately shortened to Gabby.
  2. I am the mom to two boys – ages 11 and almost 14.
  3. I love Instagram {click to follow me}. It’s my favorite form of social media.
  4. I love home decor.
  5. I work part time for a tax office that also does financial planning.
  6. HGTV is on in my house a lot. Fixer Upper is my favorite.
  7. My husband is a firefighter.
  8. I am super emotional.
  9. Sometimes I wish I was less emotional. It’s draining.
  10. I am taking a class on anxiety and depression this month because of my intense emotions.
  11. I think taking care of yourself is HUGE.
  12. I love walking and I try my best to get out for 2-4 miles a day. I love my FitBit and aim for 10k steps a day.
  13. I always walk with my pit bull rescue, Ollie.
  14. I couldn’t survive every day life without my village of girlfriends. They are instrumental in my sanity. Seriously.
  15. I am a big sister to two sisters and one brother.
  16. I have 2 adorable nephews and a set of twin nieces on the way. I love being an auntie.
  17. My house is home base for the holidays. I love it.
  18. I love organizing. It makes me feel so accomplished.
  19. Lake Tahoe is one of my favorite places and it’s only 1.5 hours from my house.
  20. Fall is my favorite season {if you already know me, then you are well aware of this}.

Thank you for stopping by! I wish you a goal kicking 2017.

My Addiction …. To Fixer Upper

First off, Hello! My Mac Book was on the fritz for months. It was sloooooow which made me very unmotivated to use it and then it just broke. But I was too busy to deal with it. I hosted my annual craft fair, my sister got married, I was in charge of the wedding decor {which was so much fun}, then the holidays and having houseguests plus hosting the holidays came around. I put the very idea of fixing my computer on the back burner. I knew it needed a new hard drive. Thankfully the stuff was salvaged on my old one. Replacing the hard drive and backing up the old one cost me 1/3 of what a new one would have cost and this thing is running like a dream. I am thrilled. Big thanks to Cody at Staples for making it happen. Seriously. I had a crush on him for a day cause he was so awesome. Now on to more important things.

I have a confession, I might be addicted to Fixer Upper. I am guessing most of you that read this will know exactly what that means but in case you are a little out of the loop, Fixer Upper is the hit HGTV show featuring the power couple, Chip & Joanna Gaines. They are this super team that redo old houses in Waco, Texas. They also have 4 young children, own a farm, a store, a bed and breakfast and are opening a bakery. The list seriously keeps growing {I am convinced that they never sleep} but if you watch their show, you will love them. They are adorable. They are artists. So I love them. I have an addiction. My Magnolia t-shirt and hat have been ordered. The addiction is real people.

So why has this show become such a hit? Well first off, they do a lot of remodeling at a super good price point. Obviously a lot of this is location and availibility. They are super talented in how they rework old homes and make them new again. Joanna also has the ability to decorate using old and new but without anything feeling overly fussy. The homes look clean, simple and homey when they are done. All of these are features that suck me right in.

Over the years, I have painted. A LOT {that is a whole other addiction – I don’t have time to count the amount of layers of paint in my house right now. I’ll save that for another post}. What I always come back to is neutral colors. I love adding color but I like to do it via accessories and not paint. I think because I have really realized that with my own style, I am especially drawn to the show. Another design element that I am loving as of late is the rustic/farmhouse/industrial look. I love how all of these elements can be pulled together and look like they actually belong together.

Our house is 11.5 years old. We are the original owners. We picked decent upgrades BUT I would love a refresh. Of course what I want and what we need are two very different things but hey, I’m a thinker so I have ideas. We have hardwood throughout most of the downstairs. It’s a light maple. I don’t like it but there is nothing wrong with it so it stays. We have cream cabinets and granite that is on the darker side. I want white cabinets with a much lighter granite. I want hardwood that is a very different color and style. I want to paint everything grey. Again, it’s a want. I’d completely reconfigure my kitchen. Seriously. But financially it doesn’t make sense and we have other priorities.

What I do get to do is a room redo. We have a small front room. It was shown in the model as a formal living room. That’s how it started¬†for us but we really didn’t utilize it as that. Then it was an office that was more for looks and I didn’t use it as I have a thing with doing all crafts and computer work at my kitchen island. I like to be in the hub of the house. About 18 months ago, we converted it to a kids space. We used to have a play room but the kids out grew the space and we wanted a guest room. Well, now it’s a game room of sorts for the kids. They have a TV and an X Box but it’s open to the rest of the house. Its become my project now that the holidays have passed {I always need a project to pull me through the after Christmas let down when I am sad cause my family all goes back home.}

I worked hard to condense my craft supplies and sold a large bookcase as I launched myself into this redo. This space currently holds a tv stand, small bookcase, cheap futon and 2 large dog crates. It has carpet that we hate and the next project is to install hardwood which will match our existing hardwood. I painted the room over the weekend. The color that I have in most of my house is called Faded Burlap by Valspar. I love this color. It’s a creamy beige that doesn’t seem to have pink or yellow undertones. It’s perfect. Click here to see a sample. The dog crates are there to stay as we have 2 big dogs that sleep inside but they have to be crated at night. I’d like to add a couch and a chair or two but I want to hide the crates behind the couch. I will probably repaint the TV stand as we need that for storage for the game console and TV. I also hope to repaint the bookcase and steal a matching bookcase from my son’s room. I am thinking of putting them together and adding a top to make them look like they are one piece. Another thing I’d LOVE to do is install barn doors going into the space. It’s wide open and loud when the kids are playing, especially when they have friends over. I also want to encourage them to have friends over as they get older so I am hoping that by giving this space some privacy, they kids will want to be here, Does that make sense? Also, if we have friends over, the kids can have a hang out space while the grown ups¬†hang in the family room and kitchen. We don’t want them to have TV’s in their room so this is the solution.

Now on to the fun stuff .. the style I have in mind is very much Fixer Upper. I guess I should tell my husband that I want barn doors now eh? ūüėČ At least I am not asking for shiplap.

My inspiration mostly comes from HGTV and Pinterest. I also find myself drooling over Instagram photos.

 

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barn doors –¬†source

 

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color scheme –¬†source

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Jenga on display – source

domino

giant dominos – source

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sign and gallery wall – source

PLAY Pillows

pillows – source

So long story long, I {heart} Fixer Upper.

For the Love of Decorating

Yep, I am on a new color obsession kick. Which means that I find things in this color and decorate! Woo hoo!! My husband loves when I fall in love with a new color {insert sarcasm}. I have always been drawn to navy but after using it in some mantel decor before July 4th and then of course for July 4th when I went all red, white and blue, I decided that I wanted navy to stick around for awhile. So I did what I do, I became obsessed with finding things to change up my decor.

Read on for my favorite and quikest ways to change decor on the cheap. Click on the links for photos.

Throw pillows: I recommend either using pillow covers or scouring places like Marshall’s, Ross, HomeGoods, Stein Mart, etc. for pillows. Target often has cute¬†ones but they are usually a bit more expensive. I actually picked up this cutie at Kirkland’s. I am {in love} with arrows and this saying so it had to come home with me. Ikea and Bed, Bath & Beyond have cute pillow covers for a reasonable price. I have also found some on Very Jane and Etsy. Someday I might let you peak at my linen closet. I could start a rental business for throw pillows. I’m both proud and embarrassed by this admission. Pillow covers will free up your linen closet.

Printables: I am all about quotes. They make me happy. They add a touch of whimsy. They are a cheap way to spice up your decor. I almost always have a few of them framed in my house. Guests always comment on them. One of my go to spots for printables is of course Pinterest.¬†Click here to be redirected to my Pinterest boards. This is one of my recent finds. It is over at Etsy. It’s an instant download for cheap! Click here to buy it. Also, I often times download prints to my computer but then upload them to Costco for printing. Ink is pricey and some of these take a lot of ink. I’d rather pay a couple of bucks for one then use all of my own ink. The quality is usually better as well.

navy

Shop your home: Yep, just like I said. You’d be surprised at what you will find around the house that can be re-homed to change up a different space. I do this with vases, candle holders, frames, plants, flowers. You name it, I’ve moved it.

Paint: OK, this is a semi cheap way to change up space or even to give a refresh but it can be time consuming.

Rugs: I love the small rugs that go in front of a door. I don’t do large area rugs personally. Not because I don’t love them because I really do. I wish I could have them but I have 2 dogs and 1 cat. I sweep often and it looks like I could make a whole new animal with the amount of hair. So rugs don’t do super well in my house. They become dirty and often times my cat decides to throw up on them.¬†Seriously. #catsmakemecrazy The small rugs are easier to throw in the wash.

Curtains: These can add up but if you search, you can find them¬†at a decent price or if you are super crafty, you can sew your own. I am not ‘sew crafty’. Ha ha. I am witty though ūüôā I recently found a deal at West Elm. I wanted these curtains. They are not cheap and I need the 96′ length which is not standard. Warning – Long story ahead: I decided I wanted to see them in person so I went to West Elm. They had the mustard chevron ones on display and on clearance. I asked if they had the blue in the back. The had one panel but called another store and had a second one shipped to me. They cost me a total of $30¬†for the two {which included the shipping of the one} when they would have cost me $100 on-line. For whatever reason, they cost more on-line and were on clearance in the store. I don’t know why and I don’t care. I got them for a phenomenal price. Another place that I have shopped¬†for curtains because they have the size I need and the price is right is Ikea. I’ve also found some lovely prints at World Market.

So there you have it, my personal tips on redecorating. Also, a can of spray paint can change up things you already have.

Here is a peak of what I used in my re-do.

IMG_3528

Rug – Marshalls – $10.00
Table Runner – HomeGoods – $9.99
Hello Sign – Hobby Lobby – it was a gift
Frame – Michaels – $7.99
Flowers – Michaels – $6.99
Curtains – West Elm – $11.97/each + $6 shipping

Happy re-decorating ūüôā

 

Life

Hi friends,

There have been so many nights that I have laid in bed and drafted blog posts in my head. Then daylight comes and another day slips away without so much as a note from me. I won’t bore you with excuses about how busy I am because we are all busy. I will say that I pay annually to maintain this blog because I truly enjoy writing, so why don’t I just write already? I think I need to start sharing my real life instead of always spending hours constructing the perfect post. Don’t worry, I will still share fun decorating ideas and recipes as those things are so much a part of who I am and what I love BUT I will also share some of my day to day musings and life happenings. I also plan to incorporate more organizing ideas and inspiration into my posts. My brother tells me that I have a knack for this organizing thing and that should share my talents. Highest compliment ever ūüôā

I am a bit of a sharer. A talker. A listener. I know not everyone in my circle is as expressive as me and I am always treading the line of being careful of not sharing my business at the consideration of others but sometimes I feel like that means that I am holding back on sharing me. Each of our stories and opinions are as individual as we are.

This particular post is about as personal as I can get. On June 3rd, my dad passed away. There is a whole book that can be written on the history with my dad. There were some rough years but the before and after those years¬†are forever engrained in my head and heart. I remember a man that would do my hair and make me oatmeal before school. I remember a man who fought super hard for custody of his 4 children. He fought against my mother who suffers from mental illness and a very messed up system. He fought for us and lost when he was the obvious safe parent. I didn’t realize until going through his personal belongings that he fought even after we were all grown. That divorce followed him for twenty years. My mom caused a lot of stress in his life but he didn’t hold it against her. He pitched in money to send her Christmas presents. She never knew. As a mom and a wife, I have a very different perspective and appreciation for him. How he fought for us. He was ornery but loving. He was sarcastic and witty. He was extremely generous. He was Grandpa to my boys and my nephews. We lived close to him so he had been a constant in my boys lives. He taught my oldest how to fish. He taught us all the love of food {although my butt and thighs say I could love food a little less. Ha ha}. Every occasion involved eating. Dad loved to treat us to meals out. He always wanted to give me money for holiday meal shopping. He brought way too many pies to Thanksgiving. He always had cash in his wallet to give to his grandsons, sometimes it was a dollar, sometimes it was $20. He called to check in often. He was the one I looked forward to telling about our adventures. He was my oldest son’s ‘person’. The one he felt the most comfortable being his true self with. He was my husband’s friend. He was my dad. He had cancer.

My dad had cancer. Fuck cancer. I don’t have enough explicates to express my anger towards this heinous disease that steals the lives of so many. He turned 67 the week before he died. He spent his last birthday in the hospital hopped up on pain meds. He spent his past few months as someone who he was not. He had prostate cancer several years ago followed by surgery to remove his prostate. Then he has a small stroke. Then he has a quadruple bypass. Then he has a foot infection cause by diabetes that left him less mobile then he would have liked for the last two years. Two years ago we found out through elevated PSA levels that the prostate cancer had gone to his bones. He tried every medication to no avail. Each one started to work and his numbers went down and then they would start to climb again. His foot would begin to heal and then it would become infected again. He was limited in what he could do. It was a vicious cycle. He was in the hospital for various infections a lot. His eating habits were bad which in turn caused him to gain weight. At Christmas the signs that things were changing had begun but they became even more apparent earlier this year. He stopped driving. My dad was the guy that would jump in the car and just take off. Each of his kids has a little of that in them. We are explorers. He stopped leaving¬†the house for things other then doctors appointments. We couldn’t even get him to come to dinner at our house and we live 4 miles away. He would’t even let us drive him here and then back home. He started to need more assistance. On Easter, he cut his ankle. I spent a few hours in the ER with him. He had lost weight. I knew this wasn’t good and I tried to just be strong and supportive. My dad didn’t do well with emotions and I am incredibly emotional. I cry at everything. It’s pretty much a running joke at my house. “Is mom crying yet?” Happy, sad, mad – I cry.

On May 4th I went to an oncology appointment with him. My aunt, our family friend and his nurse, and I were there. The oncologist explained that we had exhausted all options. We were looking at 6 months. I sat in the corner, unable to look at my dad and just cried. I felt like I couldn’t breathe. I had to let my siblings know how the appointment went. We are big on sending each other group texts to keep each other in the know. I didnt know how to send that text. He¬†had just come out of a week long hospital¬†stay for elevated potassium levels. The week of his birthday he went in for a bladder infection. It turned into a lot more. He came home that Sunday, May 31st. He was done fighting. He told us it was over. He knew he¬†wasn’t going to get¬†better and as his best friend said, “If he didn’t have bad luck, he didn’t have any luck at all.” Sadly that was true. he was tired of fighting. I can’t say that I blamed him. He spent a couple of days at home surrounded by his loved ones. By Wednesday, we were all at his bedside. All four of his kids, our significant others, a¬†couple of his¬†grandsons and his sister. We talked to him. We made bad jokes {because dad taught us sarcasm and bad jokes}. We held his hands. We told him we loved him. We told him that it was OK to go. Our last words with him were that morning and then he didn’t talk again. He went peacefully surrounded by those that he loved. Being there in the moment that someone leaves the world is an incredible honor. It was also incredibly hard. When babies enter the world, you are eagerly awaiting their first cry. That signifies that they took their first breath. We cheer when this happens. ¬†It means that they are alive! When someone is dying, we wait for them to take their last breath. ¬†It’s crazy how our arrival and departure into this world are so completely emotional in very different ways.

The last few months were stressful. It was full of what ifs and tears. I didn’t know how to care for my dad and my own family and myself. I felt stressed about what I should and shouldn’t do. What I could and couldn’t do. Thankfully we had an angel of a caregiver step in and take the reigns. This helped us just be able to visit him. I started grieving the moment I heard the 6 month diagnosis. I didn’t know how to be normal. I cried every time I was with my dad. So I avoided any real conversations with him. When he started to talk about giving away his belongings, I had to step away with a giant lump in my throat. I didn’t want every conversation¬†to be emotional. I cried. A lot. I cried at the grocery store when I bumped into a friend. I cried in my car. I cried in bed. I cried. A lot. I didn’t want to be sad. I wanted to enjoy the time with him. The Monday before he passed, I quickly rattled off why I was so grateful for him and how much I loved him. I was glad to have that moment even though it will never be enough. I was trying to say what I had to say in¬†that moment because I knew I probably wouldn’t have another chance. I was right.

I am grateful that he didn’t suffer anymore then he already had. ¬†I am also incredibly sad that I didn’t have more time with him. I am sad that I can’t call him and tell him about our trips this summer. That my boys can’t tell him how they both caught fish. I am sad that my boys feel his absence. I am sad that my boys can’t have sleepovers at Grandpa’s. ¬†I am sad that he won’t be here as I navigate the teen years with my boys. I know I could have used his guidance. I am sad that his diabetes essentially went away and his foot healed when he lost weight from cancer. I am sad that it was too late. I am sad that he didn’t get to take my son on one final fishing trip. I am sad that he won’t see my little sister get married in November. I am sad that his future grandchildren won’t get to meet him. I am grateful that he knows that his kids are in relationships with good people. People who loved him like a dad. I am grateful for the time that we did have with him.

I recently posted a quote about grief on Instagram. Instagram is often my outlet for expressing how I am feeling. A stranger commented that she had lost her dad and that she felt like she had multiple personalities as she was grieving. I totally get that. I am happy and fine one minute and the next, I am crying and sitting in a puddle of grief. Grief is a hard thing. It brings you to a low place. ¬†Then you rebound and are living life and feeling happy. I know grief changes shapes. I know I will be OK. I know my family will be OK but we are in all feeling and dealing in our own way. I have had two friends lose their lives¬†in the last 4 months. Heart attacks at the age of 51 and 43. Heart attacks that left widows and young children fatherless. 2015 has been rough on my own heart. It’s also made me wildy aware of how precious life is. How we need to take care of ourselves. How we need to love hard. How we need to take deep breaths and let go of the petty things. How we need to take care of our own physical and emotional well being. I am a work in progress but I am highly aware of how lucky I am. I am grateful every.single.day. Grateful for the people who fill my life. At almost 41, I am not old. I am also not young. I am in the middle. I see how quickly life passes us by. Grab every moment. Savor every memory. ¬†I will ride this wave of emotions for a long time. Many of us have already felt this loss. Losing a parent is a really weird thing. It’s like losing a part of yourself.

This year, I will serve too many pies at Thanksgiving, it’s what dad would have done. I will love hard. I will allow my dad’s memory to be a constant in our family. I will honor all conversations and stories that can be shared about his life and who he was. I will wipe the tears and embrace the emotions.

To my friends who see my ramblings on social media, I am OK. I like to share my feelings because it is who I am. Sharing makes me feel a little lighter, even if the content is sometimes heavy. I have sad moments but I am allowing myself to feel them. I am also living my life and feeling lots of happy moments and creating happy memories as well. I am incredibly grateful for the people that lift me up and support me. I feel loved beyond words.

In my opinion, the best way to support someone who is grieving is by just being there. Let them express how they are feeling. Give a hug or a listening ear. Nothing that you can say will change how they grieve.¬†We grieve because we love. It’s a process. There isn’s a solution.

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Big hugs to all of you. Make a happy memory today and be grateful.

Spring Fever

Yes,¬†Punxsutawney Phil¬†apparently saw his shadow so we now have 6 more weeks of winter. My allergies tell me different. Ah-choo! The temps in California have been anything but winter like. I live in Northern California where the temps have been in the low 70’s. We had our windows open today. People are skiing in nearby Tahoe in short sleeves, kids are swimming in their backyards here in my little town. I was in Southern California over the weekend and the weather was in the 80’s. It’s February people. And we are in an awful drought. But — people have Spring Fever. I am guilty of going and getting a pedicure and wearing capris & flip flops.

I also did a little freshening up around the house. I said goodbye to my red pillows and accessories from Christmas and then Valentine’s. I made a trip to HomeGoods and picked up a few specks of green to add to what I already had. I am feeling the whole less is more lately. I have lots of Spring decor but I am not quite feeling the pops of pink that comes with Easter so we are staying with the green. A few throw pillows, an occasional green candle {which it’s¬†really hard to find one that doesn’t smell like melon or grass, neither of which I like}. I bought some cute green throw rugs for the kitchen and shopped my house for some other pops of green.

Here are some fun finds in my current color obsession {If you’ve followed me for long, you know my obsession changes often.}

This little green table is just adorable. She found it for $6! Wow! Score eh? {all sources are under the photos – click to be redirected}.

Green TableSource

For a beautiful and natural centerpiece, how about apples and hydrangeas in a clear vase. Perfection.

 hydrangeasSource

This bathroom. Sigh. I have a thing for guest bathrooms or I should probably say, redecorating them. This shower curtain is a Pottery Barn beauty but she found it at Goodwill for 50 cents. What? Shut the front door. That is crazy {and lucky}.

green+and+blue+bathroom+1Source

Pillows are my go to for a quick room refresh. Someday I might show you my closet full of throw pillows. I may or may not need an intervention. Anyway, I love these cuties. Especially the one with a bit of burlap.

pillowsSource

This green stove is just swoon worthy. It would certainly make a bold statement in a kitchen.

green stoveSource

This is the wreath that I have on my front door. It was a bit pricey for me but I really loved the simplicity of it. I love that it is not seasonal so it feels perfect for so many months out of the year. I did have a coupon as well which helped. Plus with my Red Card I saved another 5%.

boxwood wreathSource

So there you have a few fun items that I am loving right now. Do you have Spring fever or are you ready for more cold days?

New Year — New Goals

I prefer to call them goals and not resolutions. Resolutions seems so predictable and are often {OK, almost always} broken. I’m also trying to come up with my word of the year. I was torn between two but starting this post gave me the clarity that I needed to settle on one. The two I love ¬†are ‘breathe’ and ‘focus’. I love them both but I have chosen breathe as my 2014 word. I might have to repeat it to myself a million times but hopefully I can get it to stick. ¬†Both apply to my main goal of being more present and less stressed. If I can remind myself to just breathe in stressful situations then the focus comes. Or so I have been reminded by some of my super smart Facebook friends ūüėČ

I’m playing over at Pinterest {and this is where focus or the lack of comes into play} and I found this great list of goals. I think it’s a great way to assess goals and by writing typing them out, I can maybe be a bit more accountable. I love this quote that I found on Pinterest. Little things are much more achievable and can still make us feel like we succeeded.

Focus

I also found this list over at Run Lucas Run. I think we will wrap up our Winter Break tomorrow as a family by having a yummy dinner and then we can each fill out these lists. There are actually two lists to download, one is for grownups and the other for kids. The kids version is so much more simple. Lucky kids.

2014I’m getting a jump start on mine to share with you.

A BAD HABIT I’M GOING TO BREAK:¬†Getting so worked up about things that really aren’t worth it.
A NEW SKILL I’D LIKE TO LEARN: Canning¬†
A PERSON I HOPE TO BE MORE LIKE: This is a loaded question, there are so many people that inspire me.
A GOOD DEED I’M GOING TO DO: Dedicate more time to Hands 4 Hope
A PLACE I’D LIKE TO VISIT: The Oregon/Washington Coast.
A BOOK I’D LIKE TO READ: Fly Away by Kristen Hannah
A LETTER I’M GOING TO WRITE: Be more consistent in the letters I write to my boys.
A NEW FOOD I’D LIKE TO TRY: Eggplant — it kinda freaks me out.
I’M GOING TO BE BETTER AT: Using my time wisely/Gardening more/Being patient/Exercising and eating better ¬†for my mental and physical health {not aiming for perfection but being better}/spending less and saving more/blog more

There you have it. My 2014 goals. Do you set goals or resolutions? I’d love to hear them and how you stick to them as well.

Cheers to a New Year. I hope 2014 is a good one for you!

 

 

Parenting, My View from 10 Years in the field

My sis in law has made me an auntie to a super cute little guy. He turned 1 on March 10th and I have provided her ‘mommy advice’ since day one. ¬†I don’t claim to be an expert by any means but I’ve been around the mommy block. Twice. Plus I have lots of mommy friends. I hear lots of stories, tips and insight. I take it all in. Because you never know what tricks other mommy’s have that could be the magic cure for your parenting er, situation.

Maverick

I love this sweet picture of my cute lil nephew.

I have two boys – they are polar opposites. The things they have in common:

  1. Same parents
  2. Daddy’s chin dimple
  3. Stubbornness
  4. The love of being in the water
  5. Sugar

I’m pretty certain that is it. They do not look alike. One is white blonde and fair and the other is dark blond and tans in two seconds. They have the most different personalities and likes. One likes to try new things and is quite the explorer, the other swears by carbs and meat and Legos and his iTouch. Seriously. Night and day is happening in my house.

¬†BrothersAren’t they cute?

What I’ve learned:

  • No two children are the same.
  • Parenting styles are different. That is OK.
  • It’s OK to ask for help. We are all human and parenting is a hard job. Period.
  • Be consistent. {The hardest thing but it really is worth the results!}
  • Love them.
  • Follow your gut.
  • Holding babies too much won’t spoil them. Plus it goes by fast. Enjoy those snuggles before they are are so big that carrying them kills your back. Trust me.
  • A good night of sleep makes all the difference in a good day or a bad day. Sleep train but use whatever method works for YOUR family.
  • No two parenting books are the same. Take what you can from them but they are not the Bible.
  • All babies start out with their own personalities. You will see that your parenting style will need to be tweaked with each child. My oldest requires me to be more firm and constant while my youngest is more sensitive so less firm works just fine.
  • Be honest. When they ask questions, give them answers. Again, they all process different so use words they will understand. Never shut down their curiosity. Communication is a door you will always want to leave open.
  • Give them freedom but also set limits. Tricky uh?
  • Love them even when they are naughty.
  • Teach them forgiveness.
  • Show them that even though people are different, we all deserve to be treated with love and respect.
  • Hug and kiss them every time you say goodbye and every night before bed.

I know the list can go on and on but these are some of my best bits and pieces. What parenting advice do you have to share? I’d love to hear it.

 

2013 – Healthier Me?

So it has begun – a New Year. A fresh start. Well it seems that so many of us have New Year resolutions. I’d like to not burden myself with such a heavy load as a “Resolution” cause then I just feel like crap if I let myself down. Right? Who’s with me? Fist bump. Come on, you know you wanna!

ability

This is how I am feeling. Like there is a constant noise in my head pulling me in several directions. ¬†I feel like I need to slow it down. Not try and do so much but one of my biggest obstacles is taking care of me. What I mean is diet and exercise. I have many friends that are so disciplined about these aspects of life and then there are so many like me. Always struggling. Food is SO DAMN GOOD. If I try and become obsessive about my diet, it will backfire in a hot second leaving me feeling even yuckier. So the best way for me to go about heating healthier? Not think of it as a diet but a series of healthy life changes. Will I quit my iced coffees with milk and vanilla? Nope, no way. That would just make me so sad. Can I lay off the pastries and bread? Yes, doable! Can I stop the holiday baking frenzy and thus stop eating my way through the holidays? YES! Reason #1 why I am happy December is behind me. Honestly, I don’t have a weakness for much but those White Chocolate Peanut Butter Krispies? So help me if I find one of those laying around.

I have been feeling ‘pudgy’ lately. I know I have packed on some pounds over the years. Back in 2006, after a year of nursing I was sitting at a fabulous weight and feeling great. Yep – nursing, chasing a toddler and hauling around a baby were the best diet and fitness routine ever. But I stopped nursing and the weight slowly came back. And then some. I don’t feel obese but I don’t feel healthy. I watched a video of my baby’s 1st ¬†birthday last week and I was reminded of just how much my body has changed. I was not the mom who held on to the baby weight. It fell off. Seriously. When I saw the video, I very much wanted to be back at my after baby weight. Talk about motivation.

I had to laugh as this has been on my mind and then yesterday I got the latest issue of Us Weekly and the cover was talking about Kourtney Kardashian’s amazing 40 pound weight loss. Oh yes, tell me all about celebrities who drop the weight. When they have nutritionists, chefs, personal trainers and various cash incentives at their disposal. I have myself. My own want to be healthy has to surpass my lack of will power. OK — so here I am, sharing my innermost thoughts with all of you. No fads, no unrealistic goals. Just the need to be healthier. I’ll be 40 in 2014. Wouldn’t it be nice to be super healthy as I cross into a new decade of my life?

A friend is trying to get a group of us to do a 1/2 Marathon in October. My husband laughed. That kinda irritated me but he’s right. I hate running {and I try to NOT say the word hate}. I’m more motivated by my girlfriends then I am by training for a marathon. BUT I can try right? I’m thinking of my friend James that is active and ran a 1/2 Marathon and said he’d never need to do that again. That might be me. I’m the girl who flunked PE as a freshman in high-school cause I wouldn’t dress down for the mile. Yep, that was me. So embarrassing to admit. OK, so goal #1 – find a 5K, sign up and train.

Now onto the other part of getting fit. I really enjoy what I get from yoga both mentally and physically however, the studios I love are HOT and the heat and the flow together often times makes me super nauseous. I have tried different methods to alleviate this {going 1st thing in the morning, on an empty stomach, a light stomach, etc} nothing really squashes the nausea. So I think because I do love the feeling I get from yoga, that I should try different styles of yoga. So goal #2 is to try various workout program. Yoga, Pilates and whatever other things come my way.

So here we go 2013 — let’s do great things together!!!