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2016--Where did I end up??

Where did I end up???

I started off the year with a plan to take a look at just who I am and what I am made of, both tangibly and intangibly.


What can I get rid of?

Things that don't bring me joy would be a good place to start perhaps this means more restraint on my Target runs.

So many trips to Goodwill were made this year, BST boards, and our local shelter.

I ended up spending less at Target this year, but there is still room for improvement. I am trying a new budgeting system that will hopefully help me track my spending needs vs. wants more accurately. Crazy how that red cart just seems to fill itself right up!

Pounds. They are always on in the "toss it" pile.

I am actually down 4 pounds from this time last year, but down 11 pounds from my highest during the year.  I am pleased with that and hope things continue downward to my goal.

What can I add?  Time with loved ones-More time with my hobbies-Workouts

I think I could always use more face-to-face time with loved ones…

Summer of Sanity - The Closing of 2016

Holy moly did this summer go by fast! Maybe it's the fact that I was back to work the first week of August.  Gone are the good ol' days of seeing double digits in the month before heading back. Thanks mandatory testing schedules, not!

Let's see where we ended up...well I can say that I wanted to get a lot more done this summer and follow a little bit more structure, but who am I kidding?

June was insane.  The boys both attended camp for the week all day while I hung out with Cora and enjoyed being outdoors and having only 1 child.  The next couple of weeks were rounded out with baseball ending (whew, that was a rough t-ball season) and family visits.

The pool we bought was the best money I ever spent.  We used it a lot, and I can't even begin to tell you how much nicer it is to go into our backyard versus lugging three kids to a community pool for a few hours. Unfortunately upon installation, I messed up and ripped the bottom, completely my fault, and while it held th…

Candied-Walnut & Grape Salad (Dewey's Knock-off)

It's been awhile since I have posted a recipe, but the minute I tried this salad at recent event I was at, I knew I must replicate it at home. My big break came when I discovered a citrus vinaigrette already bottled.

Dewey's Pizza is the original creator and below you'll find my knock-off if you don't have a location near you.

Ingredients: Mixed baby greens
A handful or two of red grapes, cut in half
A handful of crumbled Gorgonzola, or add to taste
A handful of Candied Walnuts (I used these by Fresh Gourmet)

*this yields 2-3 servings, add ingredients as desired for a larger serving size

Dressing:Maple Grove Farms Citrus Vinaigrette
Added Honey to taste

Assemble as you would a normal salad. I separated some of the dressing out and added honey, about 1 1/2 tsp, to make it a sweeter and cut the vinegar taste a bit.

Granny Smith apples might also be a great addition and the Gorgonzola cheese may be substituted with a blue cheese.

Sorry if my vague measurements bother you.…

Kitchen Reveal!

This is nearly 2 years overdue, but I'm finally able to share my new kitchen! It was completed the first week of November 2014 and well, the months since have been a blur. We have already used it to host 2 Thanksgivings, a Halloween party, and 4 Birthday parties, as well as our everyday use.

Reflection:
I am a pretty indecisive person and I was proud how quickly I made decisions with this project. I am 97% happy with it and that other 3% is totally livable with what things I would change. It hurt to spend all of that money but I feel like we have made it back tenfold so far and the room is serving the exact purpose I wanted it to.  Even the Mister agrees that it was worth it so that's always a good sign.

My Favorite Things:
- The Sink
- Soft, self closing drawers
- Abundant counter space
- the open concept
- The paint color: North Star by Sherwin Williams









The company was great to work with and our vendors were too.

So the 3% I'm like 'meh' about:

1) I wish we'd…

My Content Journal - Status Update

So this year's main goal has been to reevaluate the contents in my life.  You can read all about that here, but my content journal has been helping do so along the way.

This little journal hasn't been the life saver that some other bloggers claim it to be, but I have none the less found it very enjoyable to keep.

I originally set it up with a monthly day to day front page to keep track of workouts.  Those became rather bare this spring, but I'd like to incorporate them again.

I found that a weekly set up works best for me.  I also have realized that I have zero whimsical artistic ability.  I wish it would look nicer like some of the other stylish ones online, I've accepted that this is my own work and I kinda can see improvement week to week. For each day I just do a simply entry.  Mostly it is a quick jotted down line or two of what I did or how I felt.  I also do a monthly recap of the events.

Other content pages I've included are:
Birthday party planningPacking &…

Craft Closet Makeover - The beginning

While I have no regrets, our third child came at the expense of me losing my craft room.  I have been a little too busy to craft anyways the past 2 years, but now seems like a perfect time to reclaim a space for myself.

Thankfully, our house had just the spot.  We have a decent size room, I'd say 14x14 at least in our basement that is overrun with storage.  Since we are officially done with babies in this house I have been able to get rid of so much stuff that we were hanging on to for the kids to use.  No extra clothes need to be stored. No baby equipment, and no more toys! It is so refreshing and still on point with my Content theme for the year; getting rid of contents in my life that no longer serve a purpose and filling my life with more things that I find joy in.

There is a nook carved out in this room for a closet and that is where I'll be transforming a space for me.  I'm centering the theme around this old yardlong chalk pastel that I've had for years.  I for…

Summer of Sanity 2016

Ok ya'll, it is time for my 3rd installment of Summer of Sanity, where I try to figure out how to stay sane with my 3 little ones all summer. I've been doing this the past two years with really good success, but then again how can the summer not be a success?

I've found myself once again thrown into SAHM status and am trying to balance all that I want to get out of summer vacation for the kids and myself.

Now usually my good intentions go by the wayside once we are about a week into it, but I still find it helpful to have some direction of where we're at this summer.

So far this summer, June is once again packed full of baseball finishing up, camp, and family visits. The flip side is that July is wide open.

For the kids, my goals are for them to just enjoy their summer.  I bought our first "big" pool that is no longer inflatable with hopes that we'll actually get some decent weather to use it.  It's been a very chilly spring for us here and last summ…

Springtime in Paris - A 2 Year Old's Birthday Party

A spring birthday set up the perfect backdrop for my little girl's 2nd birthday.  I wanted something girly and light with colors so a "Springtime In Paris" theme was born.  It was set in stone when I waltzed into HomeGoods and spotted this perfectly fitting 3 panel screen that was just made for a little girl and a Parisian theme.  It already matches the colors of her room and will be perfect in it when it transforms to a big girl room later this summer.

Decor: I really had to reign it in on the decor.  Paris and Spring themes are everywhere and I didn't want to go overboard. I borrowed some Eiffel towers from friends that already had them in their home decor and picked up some pastel linens and floral plates. She had received a stuffed poodle for Christmas so it was a great fit and then I picked up some Macaroons, also from HomeGoods.  I am putting these in the decor section because that was the only purpose they served, woof, they were not pleasant to eat but were pr…

Star Wars Party x2

Both boys are prime ages for Star Wars so we went that theme for their birthday parties.  They are both school age now, which means "friend" party vs. "family", which is as it should be.  Alex's party was a simple one and I'll include it on here because moms out there need to know that a party doesn't have to be over the top for the kids to have fun.  It's no secret that the parties I through are mostly for me anyways because I enjoy them.  Cameron's party was a little more traditional.
Alex: We simply told him he could invite 3 friends to see the Star Wars movie together in the theater.  This was a huge success.  My house stayed clean and he loved being able to go to the movies finally with his friends versus just us.  We did go along too, but mostly because we wanted to see the movie too.  We treated the boys each to a drink and candy or popcorn as well as covering the cost for their ticket.  I had favors too which consisted of 1 Star Wars c…

Craft Beer Advent Calendar

Men can be difficult to buy gifts for.  Somehow my own list is never ending, but theirs is hard to crack open.

The solution I came up with this past Christmas for my brother was a craft beer advent calendar.  I bought 24 beers that were of local craft variety and assembled them as shown below.  It was a hit for my brother who got to enjoy some new types of beer and it filled my crafting bug.  Pro tip -- make sure to keep the 6 pack carriers and ask the store for a box that they all came in, therefore you will be certain your package sizing will be perfect.



This might even be a cute summer idea with different seasonal varieties of beers for Father's Day in the summer.


Crafting on Steroids - Silhouette Cameo

I have finally joined the world of my coveted crafty friends!  Santa was good to me and got me a Silhouette Cameo and I am so excited! This little lady is going to hopefully bring my crafty butt out of hibernation.  Well, perhaps time in general was the gift I really needed, but in the mean time this is going to make life way easier.

Here's me acting like I'm 5 on Christmas Day.

And here's my first project.


Instantly this machine has surpassed my previous love with other cutting machines. 

I'm overwhelmed to say the least on all that this beast can do.  Popcorn and YouTube tutorials are in order first but I am sure I'll learn quickly.  Hopefully I can even revive Scrappy Pants on my Etsy store someday.  This will definitely be a helper there.

My Content Journal - Bullet Journal

A new year is upon us and I'm excited to start a new organizing adventure.  As part of my effort to manage the content in my life towards more contentment, I needed to find something to keep it all together.

What am I adding? -- My Content Journal

Usually I am annoyed by Pinterest notifications, but when I saw a friend of mine created a new "bullet journal" board I was curious as to what that even was.  Basically it is a notebook planner that you customize as you go.  It is perfect for list makers who still enjoy pen and paper along with a dash of creativity.  Sounds right up my alley.  I have no idea if it will stick with me throughout the year, but it is worth a shot.

My bestie always starts off her year with a disciplined goal setting strategic plan for the year and I am happy to join her with my own planning tool for the year.

I'm not crazy about bullet journal as a name for it, so I'll be referring to mine as...My Content Journal.  Seeing as Content is my wo…

Hello 2016

Happy New Year! I last left you with how 2015 ended and was pondering where 2016 would begin.

Maybe I do have a word for this year's goal after all:

This past year I did a decent job keeping mindful of the world around me, but I found that I there were still some things in my life that needed tossed or added to.  This has led me to decide to work on evaluating the contents of my life so that I can become content with it.

Just like a good ol' family recipe chalked full of ingredients, that is what makes me who I am, but this year I plan to take a look at just what those ingredients are.
What can I get rid of?
Things that don't bring me joy would be a good place to start perhaps this means more restraint on my Target runs.Pounds.  They are always on in the "toss it" pile. What can I add?
Time with loved onesMore time with my hobbies Workouts What can I replace?
Screen time with family timeNegative Energy/People  with positive onesPoor Food Choices with nutritious …