Friday, April 24, 2015

five on friday

five on friday
I had a slow week this week. I was the real life version of that grumpy, looking sideways emoticon. Last night, during dinner, I asked my kids to share something interesting about their day. Lani said, "Well. I wasn't grumpy this morning." Surprised, I said, "I don't think you're ever grumpy in the mornings. Are you?" She said, "I guess I hide it well." Evie said, "Oh, she doesn't." I jokingly said, "I guess this bullying is going on behind my back." Evie said, "Well, you and Lani are about the same" [grumpy/temperament-wise]. I said, "Oh, and you just wake up like a little angel cake; don't you?" She laughed one of those deep, gutteral laughs. Ha. Somebody help my husband. We're a bunch of moody ladies here. ;)

I'd like to share a few links I came across this week.

1. Maggie Massey shared her work space for Workspace Wednesday on the Studio Calico blog. I really like it. Her space is located in her family room so she can be close to her family while she crafts. Mine is, as well! See my work space here.

2. Elsie from A Beautiful Mess shared a tour of her home on video. It's beautiful! She's so successful and she still seems so very sweet. (Other successful bloggers seem arrogant sometimes!) Emma, Elsie's sister and business partner, also shared a tour of her home. Love it! Emma also shared plush pillows she made using official documents- like her wedding certificate. It's too bad my sewing machine terrifies me.

3. Do you like peeking inside of people's cabinets and junk drawers? Me, too. #nosy. Sasha from Lemonade Makin' Mama shared a peek inside of her kitchen cabinets and drawers and whoa. She's organized. Her home is lovely!

4. Elizabeth from Dear Lizzy shared an envelope album this week. It's so pretty. I've been feeling envelopes lately. I'm sharing an envelope book tutorial next week using this artistic kit. Related: tiny, envelope books from Cerri using Julie's tutorial (super cute).

5. This week as I pondered my routines in the morning and in the evening (which leave little to the imagination as to how I spend my time), I happened to listen to Andy Stanley's Your Move podcast episode: Ask It, Part 3- Time Over Time. It was immensely inspiring and thought-provoking. In this episode he discusses how to make the most of our time. He made 4 observations. I'm sharing my favorite quotes from each observation:

a. "Investing small amounts of time over time is cumulative" or "summative." He listed exercise and eating right as examples. "There is no benefit in one installment." Also, "there is no consequence in missing one." "In the key areas of life, it is the single, constant deposits that make all the difference in the world."

b. "Neglect is cumulative, as well." "Neglect is easy and neglect is costly." "When we choose to neglect what's important, it's costly."

c. "Random has no cumulative value." "There is no cumulative value in the random things that we opt for over the important things."

d. "In the areas that matter most, you can't make up for misspent time." "You can't pull an all-nighter" to make up for misspent time.

He quotes from the Bible: "'Therefore, be careful how you walk' or how you live 'not as unwise men, but as wise' ... 'making the most of your time.'" [Ephesians 5:15, 16] "Time is your most valuable asset." "It's your most valuable commodity."

Finally, he poses this question: "Where do you need to begin making consistent deposits of time?"

(To note: I realize you may not be religious. However, I think this topic is universally applicable and I think his message is inspiring. :)

Hope you have a great weekend!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

establishing an evening routine

evening routine
Establishing an evening routine is one of my goals for April. Last week I sat down and wrote down my evening priorities and what activities I would like to get done.

Step 1 of establishing a routine (any routine): write down your priorities and that which will enrich your life.

There are things that are a given/obvious priorities:
  • kids have homework to do
  • dinner needs to be prepared and eaten
  • exercise (this is obviously not the only time to do it, but this is when we do it)
  • kids need to get ready for bed (they need to brush their teeth, get into their pajamas, etc.)
These are things that we do without fail (well, I try to weasel my way out of exercising sometimes). I thought about what I could do to make some of these things run more smoothly. Having a plan helps immensely. For example, I plan our meals one day a week- usually on the weekend. I very rarely don't know what's for dinner on any given weekday. That removes the guesswork. (I don't know about you, but meal planning requires so much energy!) I also have some sort of plan for my exercise routine, which again eliminates the guesswork. Establishing a basic plan for evening priorities will make for peaceful ones.

These are life-enriching evening activities, which I want include as part of my evening routine (yours may or may not coincide with mine):
  • reading
  • reviewing the day's accomplishments
  • reviewing my to-do list and calendar for the next day
  • having my kids tidy their room girls' room gets done typically when I can't take it anymore and they need to "Clean it now. Sohelpme!!" I want to change that dynamic. A little tidying in the evening will eliminate crazy mom mode. The life-enriching activities require that I make them a priority. If I don't, they won't happen. I will get stuck doing the true priorities and overlook those things that bring me peace and joy. (Yes, my daughters having a somewhat clean room brings me much joy). In order to make these activities a priority, I need to map out my afternoon/evening. I need to have some sort of time schedule in place.
evening routine
Step 2 of establishing a routine (any routine): determine a time sequence.

So... after several drafts, I came up with a basic outline of what I wanted my late afternoons/evenings to look like:

4:00 snacks, homework, chores
5:30 dinner, cleanup
6:30 exercise
7:30 snack ("dessert")
7:45 kids brush teeth, tidy room, get clothes ready for school
8:00 kids' bedtime, prayers
8:30 shower
9:00 review day's accomplishments, review tomorrow's to-do list and calendar, read
9:45 wash face, brush teeth, floss
10:00 bedtime

Again, this is a basic, flexible outline. This is the ideal, but I realize that most days won't happen exactly like this. I'm aiming for this though.

Step 3 of establishing a routine (any routine): create a checklist and refer to it often.

I picked up an inexpensive frame, put my checklist in it, and use a dry erase marker to check off what has been done. (I was using a protective sheet, but the dry erase marker was burning the plastic after so much use). The evening routine is still foreign to me. I have to work at it, which is why this visual reminder is useful.
evening routine

Step 4 of establishing a routine (any routine): stick to it.

Though I have been working on my routine sporadically, I intend to truly stick to my routine in May. (I'm making it a goal then). I will be using this daily tracker to log my progress. Tracking your progress will provide an incentive for sticking with a new habit. Seeing those bubbles marked is strangely satisfying.
evening routine
**I'm sharing pictures of my morning routine. I hadn't established my evening routine when I took these pictures. :)

I know that sticking to a routine- in this case, an evening routine- will be very rewarding.

Read more about when I started going cuckoo for cocoa puffs about routine here. I share helpful articles for establishing an evening routine here.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

workspace wednesday // things i'm working on*

workspace wednesday // things i'm working on*
I'm working on starting my 2015 memory book. I'm looking through pictures, papers I've collected (receipts, pamphlets, paperwork from my daughters' schools, etc.), my tweets, and my Instagram feed to piece together the last few months. It's much like I'm a detective solving a mystery.

I'm working on getting used to my new craft space. You may remember that my work space was behind my couch (see here). Well, Juli has been climbing on top of the couch reaching for whatever she can on my desk and making big messes. It was funny until it wasn't. We moved the shelves to the opposite side of the dining area against the wall. I'm not used to it, yet... I'm giving it 1 month. I'll move it back and continue to fight with Juli about it if I still don't like it by then.

I'm working on staying within my points (calorie count). I'm learning to eat meals/snacks which don't leave me feeling hungry- those which are point worthy. I'm referring to this list of high protein meals/snacks.

I'm working on spring cleaning. I'm using this checklist, but don't like it as much as I liked this one.

I'm working on sticking to my recently established evening routine. I will be talking more about it tomorrow. (I shared a list of helpful sites for establishing evening routines here).

I'm working on planting vegetables including those for a salsa bed. Jesse made 2 raised garden beds this past Sunday. We had purchased the materials on Saturday night and he made the boxes Sunday morning. I didn't even know he could make something like that so fast. I told him that, and he said, "You must not know what I do for a living." ha. I told him he was holding out on me, and I have all kinds of projects lined up for him.

I'm working on reading every day. I have been skipping days here and there and then "making them up" by reading the next day. That's not the point, self! (I shared tips for reading more books here).

I'm working on enjoying exercise. I go to a Zumba class on Tuesdays and Thursdays and I really like that class. I'm struggling with the rest of the week though. Monday I worked out to this DVD, muted her, and played other music. It was slightly more enjoyable that way. (Read about overcoming exercise challenges here).

I'm working on sorting through my clothes. It's time to get rid of some things. I think it'd be really cool to do that capsule wardrobe thing that's been going around. Heard of it? I was introduced to it here.

I'm working on putting the finishing touches on the envelope book, so I can share the tutorial next week. I like it so far.

*This post was inspired by Rachel's.

See my first "I'm working on..." post here.

See other Workspace Wednesday posts here.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

greek yogurt 52 ways: #11 tiramisu

For this project, I thought it would be fun to tweak some of my favorite desserts- the desserts I like to order at restaurants. Tiramisu is one of those desserts I like to order. I started searching for "Greek yogurt tiramisu" recipes and came across this one. Though she opted to omit ladyfingers, I wanted to include them. I couldn't find them though! I searched high and low and couldn't find them. When I find them, I will be repeating this dessert.
greek yogurt 52 ways: no. 11 tiramisu
I modified the original recipe. For this dessert, combine 6 oz. of Greek yogurt blended with coffee and a tablespoon or two of mascarpone cream. Dust the top with cocoa and cinnamon. Finally, top with dark chocolate chips. Easy, right?
greek yogurt 52 ways: no. 11 tiramisu
I had this for lunch yesterday and I wasn't hungry even after a few hours- it was very satisfying is what I'm sayin'. I think that the full-fat yogurt made a big difference in satiating my hunger. And happily, it was yummy and decadent.
greek yogurt 52 ways: no. 11 tiramisu
Have any Greek yogurt, dessert recipes you'd like to share? Leave your recipes or links in the comments. :)

If you try a recipe I share, be sure to let me know! Use the hashtag: #greekyogurt52ways.

**This year I'm making Greek yogurt 52 ways. Read about why I'm doing this project right here and read about the health benefits of Greek yogurt right here. See all of the ways I've incorporated Greek yogurt into my dessert or breakfast so far here. I recently completed a 52 sandwiches project. Read more about that project here.**

Monday, April 20, 2015

envelope book / handmade u kits

I put a kit together for each of the Handmade U attendees. (They were on my work space last week- see here).
envelope book
Each kit makes a tiny, envelope book, which I'm thinking would be cute to hold gift cards or money. The idea is to personalize the book with pictures and notes and give it in lieu of a card.
envelope book
I will be sharing the tutorial for the book soon, and maybe put a couple of kits in my shop. :) I was thinking it would make a pretty "card" for Mother's Day.
envelope book
I asked Shelley from A Flair for Buttons if she would send me buttons from her shop to include in each of the kits along with her business card so the attendees would know where to find her badges. She did as you can see. You know how much I love her buttons. I use them in my projects faithfully.
envelope book
envelope book
envelope book
Hope you're having a happy Monday!

See more artistic kits here.