Friday, November 29, 2013

Five Things Friday: Fave Bloggers

Good morning! Did y'all have a nice Thanksgiving? Are your bellies still filled with delicious food? Mine sure is! I thought I'd share with you some of my favorite blogs as it is Five Things Friday again! 

1. Paige is the sweetest lady, with a wonderful gift for photography and creativity! She lives in Georgia with her sweet husband and four daughters, all of which have wonderful gifts of creativity themselves!  

2. Sasha lives in the Pacific Northwest with her sweet man and two kiddos, who are really probably older than being called kiddos at this point, but I've been following her for a while and I feel like they can't be growing up too fast yet. She has the best Etsy shop of things she creates herself and I'd like to move in and have a water color date with her, while something we baked is in the oven!

3. Steph lives in North Carolina with her Hubs and three adorable bear cubs! She inspires me as a woman, wife, mom, and friend. I hope one of these to bump into her on our travels through Charlotte!

4. Emily also lives with her sweet family in the PNW and has a wonderful creative spirit about her that I just adore. To have a few tidbits of that gift would be such a pleasure! 

5. Kim lives in Texas with her husband and children, Will, Harry, and Kate (love her choice of names!!!)! She also inspires me as a woman, wife and mom. She has a real love for her family that she proudly shares! You can also visit her site, The Nurtured Home, which is dedicated to posts on family life, marriage, home life, things along those lines. 

I follow a lot more blogs, some of which you can see on the right hand side of my blog, but these ladies are at the top of my daily go to sites. Do yourself a favor and check them out! 

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

the truth is in the pudge

It's official. I am more pudgy today, when my sons are 15 months, old than when I was about 30 weeks pregnant… besides the massive stomach, of course. Yesterday we took some family pictures and when we got home and put them on the computer, I was horrified. I'm not fat. I'm not overweight, especially for my height, but my goodness, the pudge! The past couple weeks I've felt more pudgy but didn't really take too much notice. I am so busy running with the boys, taking care of the house, going to physical therapy a few times a week, that I spent very little time in front of a mirror. So, I didn't really see the pudge, even though I kinda felt it. 

So, after seeing yesterday's pictures I knew something had to be done. We don't pig out on junk food, but we aren't completely clean eaters, which if you follow regularly, you will know I couldn't handle the Whole 30 diet. My plan, for now, unless something better comes my way, is to have eggs for breakfast, a mid-morning piece of fruit, salad and some sort of meat on top (grilled chicken, lean meat), a light mid-afternoon snack, a healthier-choice dinner, sometimes with carbs, but a very limited amount. And I am debating my evening glass of chocolate milk. If I keep it, it won't be a large glass and it won't be every night (at least I hope not). And water, water, water!

I am not taking away all carbs, all sugars, all of anything. But instead I am trying to reduce as much as possible and eat as whole and clean as I can without making myself a mad-woman. I am also not taking away date lunch/dinner once a week with the Hubs. Just much wiser choices. I am not going to go crazy with it, and I am not going to kill myself with exercise. I am going to try to do my best to add some sort of exercise in though. Even if it is just jumping jacks at each set of commercials during a favorite evening show. It's better than nothing. 

I think I can stick to this plan. In fact, I know I can. I just hope I can see enough of a difference doing it this way. My goal is to do this until Christmas and then I am going to enjoy the festivities (within reason, of course) and when the parties are over, go back to eating as whole and clean as I can, until I reach my goal. I am not looking for a particular number, because it is not the number that is freaking me out. It's the look and feel I am going for… a bit less pudge! 

I doubt I will have any updates along the way, but instead just a post right before Christmas to let you know how it is going with a possible before and after, or part of the way there, picture. If you have any tips for quick and easy exercises or snacks and meals I can work in, please let me know!!! 

Monday, November 25, 2013

Momma Mondays: God, You are penciled in.

God, You are penciled in. I am ashamed to write that, but it is the humbling truth. When I was single and then even at the point that I was married, but not a momma yet, I would make the time to actually leave the house and all I was doing to go to Church. I would attend Mass or pray in adoration in the quiet of the Chapel. Some days it was one or the other and some days it was even both. When the boys arrived I still did my best to get to Mass with them each day. It wasn't always daily, but it was the majority of the time. I made sure I kept it a priority, while still keeping motherhood a priority, being sure it didn't take away from either of my babies' needs… or the needs of the home. But now it is getting very hard to take two squirmy, talkative boys on my own. They seem to be at an age that they don't understand to be quiet and they don't want to stay still in their stroller for 40 minutes. I don't want to be lazy, but it is just too darn hard with only two hands. I still try a few times during the week though. Buuuutttttttttt, whether I go to Church during the week or not (Sundays are always a given, plus the Hubs is with me), I need to be sure to leave set time for prayer in my day and a lot of times it means actually writing in my daily planner, pray, rosary, spiritual reading, quiet prayer… whatever it may be. It is pathetic that I am not so connected to Him that it has become a given, but sometimes I allow the dailiness of life to get in the way instead of making Him a main natural part of that dailiness without writing it down. 

Do you have tips for keeping your little ones quiet in church? I am hoping to order this one of these days. My Dad sent me the link for it and I also happen to know this man's sweet daughter, so it should be good. How about a daily devotion or favorite prayers that you keep in your days? How do you make sure to fit Him in your day? 

Saturday, November 23, 2013

A Little DIY

In case you are looking for something to do this weekend, I have an easy and cheap DIY project for you! I have always loved bulletin boards, but never really liked the look of the cork. I've thought of covering them before, but it was years ago when I was a young teenager and probably would have put an awful pattern on it, or something that certainly would not look good in our home. And then it was thanks to the sweet blogger extraordinaire, Paige, that I realized it would look fabulous if it was done with a neutral fabric. I made a small version a while back, but it never fulfilled my desire to have one as large as Paige's. So this week I made a quick trip to the local craft store, with a 40% coupon in hand and bought a large cork board and a yard of linen-like fabric to cover it. It is such a super simple DIY, and I could easily tell you how it is done, but I want to make you go see Paige's fabulous blog to see how it is done! Since this only went up recently, I don't have it filled yet… soon though!

And in case you want to see a few more shots of her photo board or her jewelry board that is just like it, you can check out these links as well.

An Embarrassingly Simple DIY Jewelry Board

Friday, November 22, 2013

Five Things Friday: On the Go

I don't know about you, and I hate to admit this, but I don't always make time to really get myself ready for the day. Some days I am lucky to just get out of my pjs and throw my hair in a ponytail… no shower in the am. But, I have some tricks that help keep me rather fresh for only having spent 4 minutes getting ready.

1. My favorite deodorant! I have not tried, but I can guarantee it would keep me feeling and smelling fresh for days, shower-less. 

2. Olay wet cleansing cloths are wonderful to give your face a quick clean and a pick me up without needing to get out your soap and splash water all over your face, risking getting your hair wet when you don't have time to dry it!

3. Number three is really a two parter, but we are keeping it as one for the sake of the five-things. There are two things that help keep my hair with some body and oil-free, and the first is actually baby powder. You have to make sure you really work it in so you don't leave your hair looking like you have white powder in it or even with a grayish tint! I have enough natural grays that I make sure to really work it in so they are not accentuated! And the second thing is dry shampoo spray. It's not very expensive and is another option for keeping my hair looking good for a shower-less day.

4. When I don't get a good night's rest, which is most nights due to a lack of being able to sleep, I tend to have dark circles under my eyes in the morning. So a little under-eye concealer always helps with that.

5. And to perk my eyes up a bit and not look so sleepy, mascara! Almay's Get Up and Grow seems to be my favorite so far. I've tried the expensive kinds and many cheap kinds but they all seem to make my lashes clump, thick (not in a good way) and spidery.

So when I am really quick and on the go, this is my go to for looking and staying fresh! Do you have any quick tips to share?! 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Life Lately

My life is filled with little bits of craziness. I don't have any lavish blog, wardrobe, career, or hobby, like a lot of lovely bloggers out there, but these little men make each bit of the craziness of my life lavish! Take a peek into our life, full of love and little adventures!

Gussy adores his brother. There are fights on occasion, but these two boys love each other.
The men of the house, big and little, are really into smoothies.
 Mr. Sweetness, my little Gap Baby.
 These three make my life complete and keep me laughing.
 Sometimes Momma entertainment just doesn't cut it for these boys. And sometimes, Momma needs a break to get things done.
The most highly coveted toy in our home: the scoop. With it comes much entertainment and many fights. 
 Though our little men are naturally caffeinated, Will enjoyed his imaginary cafecito with his Papi on Saturday morning.
 These needed a pick me up. They're not done yet, still need some embellishments, but gold is always better!
 Love being his second shooter! We attempted a family photo on our own. The boys didn't know to look at the camera since we were both in the picture with them! We'll try again.
 We made a trip to a local goat farm since we have little men in our home that are strictly goat milk boys.
 I found my cotton fields. Not peak time, but it was still a joy to happen upon some!
 I love my little men! 

There are very few pictures of the three of us. I am thankful for this candid one. I hope to get more with my little men soon… When we shoot our Christmas card photo.

 This makes me crave salads.
 This little man loves to open the shades for me every morning. I love him. And I love that he knows to do this!
 We have a hugh Taylor Swift fan in our house. Morning dance party to his favorite of her songs!
 And speaking of Taylor Swift….
 A visit to the Hubs at work. Break time or hard at work? Hmmm… 
 This boy is filled with sweetness!
 He's a thinker for sure. He makes this serious face and then a moment later bursts out in laughter. He knows exactly what he is doing.

 Cozy morning breakfast with the fam!
 I love this handsome guy. He keeps our life cool.

 Getting prepped for 2014! Love the hint of gold foil!
 Conversation with the Hubs… Me (after what feels like the 10th football game of the day): "Don't you ever get tired of watching football?" The Hubs: "Do you ever get tired of Hallmark movies?" Me: "Ah. Good point!" And from there I went back to my 3rd movie of the day. 
 Major perk of taking the Hubs car to physical therapy!
 These two are not just brothers, but truly the best of friends.
 Mr. Sociable himself.

"Okay guys, which one of you is my favorite? Who ever gives me their cookie first wins! Go!" - jimmy

 Secret Santas are out in the mail! My sister-in-law is always the one that arranges this and I offered to take it off her hands and give her a break from it this year. I was happy to help and happy to have fun being the elf this year!
 This is the best eight dollars I've spent in forever!
 They grow up way too fast.

Oh Will. He is always such a character.
 This little man is forever smiling.

 Another picture from our cotton field adventure!
 Welcome back cuties! How I've missed you!
 Hello sweetness. You brighten my day.
 Skyping with their grandparents, great-grandparents, and great-great uncle! 
 As if they aren't squish-able enough already. 
 Oh and this sweet boy. Though I get frustrated being the only one he will go outside with, he keeps a smile on my face. And he is a sweet companion and guardian for the boys.
 While we are on the puppy pictures. We had to say goodbye to this sweet pup of 14 years, who was the Hubs co-worker. He greeted the Hubs each morning when he arrived and sat by his desk in the office. The Hubs is really going to miss this sweet boy. I had to make sure I had my last goodbye with him that morning.
 Oh this sight. How lovely. Actually, though it wasn't the best appointment, I got great relief from it! And I graduate therapy tomorrow because of it! Woo hooo! Now only neck/back therapy for this Momma.
 One more of one of the sweet boys I spend my days with!
And last, but not least, home.
If you are still with me after that load of pictures, thank you. I felt the need to catch up with ya'll.
Life with littles keeps me busy, busy, busy.
I want to craft, be artistic, make things, read, blog, the list goes on. But I seem to just end up wanting to plop down on the couch when I am out of work… which is really never. I just slack at that point.
I promise the next life lately post won't be so picture soaked!

neat and bright

I posted this picture on Instagram and Facebook a little while back and a sweet friend asked me, "How does your house look like that? So neat and bright?"
While I do live in a home with a large white couch and upholstered dining room chairs, truth be told, chances are here is what you may walk into if you randomly stop by our home during the day.

It's not so neat. Aaannnnnddddd, I'm not so neat. It drives me crazy when there is stuff out all over and more and more I am becoming a slight minimalist with less clutter out, but I am not a neat freak. I wish I was. The Hubs on the other hand, he is. He is beyond neat. Beyond. So in any picture you might see that is extremely neat, it is only because I try to work hard to keep it that way for him. But most of the time, I fail miserably. I wish I could be like him, but at the same time, I'd drive myself to the looney bin. Seriously. Between all the housework, taking care of the little ones, and anything else that is random that pops in, it's not easy to keep a perfectly clean and orderly house. And if you are capable of doing that, I applaud you, because I can't. 

At the end of the day after the boys are in bed and the dinner dishes are cleaned, I clean the kitchen and then the boys toys all go away (we reduced it to only one basket now). The dining room is always neat because we just eat our meals in there. The kitchen stays neat for the most part because I try to not let things pile up in there. Sometimes a pile ends up on my side of the desk, but for the Hubs sake, I have been trying to be real good about no piles on the desk either.

The den/family room is where I am found when I am relaxing. That is also where my piles end up. I usually end up with a tote bag filled with my papers, magazines and books, or I will have the things I am working on that day in the corner on the couch, like in the picture below. Even this I am trying to do my best to limit. I have been making sure to put that away in my closet each day, even if I know I am going to be using it the next morning. And in this room really the only mess is the boys toys, which go away at each nap time and then for good at bedtime.

Unfortunately, our bedroom gets the brunt of things. The laundry that is folded and waiting for me to put it away sits in there, anything random. It goes in there. A lot of times you will find a laundry basket and a few random things, or a pile on the dresser. This is the sore spot. I have to work harder at not keeping anything out in that room. Sometimes it is hard because the boys love love love to go in there and get at the electronics, my makeup, jewelry, clothes, all the things they shouldn't get at so during the day I will just toss things in there to do later, when they are asleep and then night time comes and I am still working, but have yet to get to it and the Hubs comes home to piles in there, waiting for me to sort and put away. So that is my danger zone right now. Bed and bath. I will conquer that one of these days. Right now it is neat and tidy (except my bathroom drawer that the little men attacked before the Hubs so kindly child-proofed for me.)

I also put things on the stairs to go up and put away and don't clear that off each night. That should be my New Years resolution is to clear the stairs every night. Whether is is linens to go in the linen closet, the boys laundry, things for the attic, anything, it goes on the stairs, behind the gate, so the boys don't get at it. I am usually running here and there all day with them and whenever I go upstairs without them, they get upset so I try to avoid it, thus the piles. So my goal, along with keeping the bedroom pile free and the bathroom without my makeup on the counter or brush out, should be to clean the items off the stairs each evening.

So, though I truly do try my best amidst the craziness of keeping a home and two little men in check, our house isn't always so neat and bright. Don't be fooled by the angle of instagram or Facebook photos. And if you have any encouragement or tips for avoiding piles or organizing, please send them my way!