Thursday, November 29, 2012

A Happy Medium

I have a confession... I have recently fallen prey to something I swore would NEVER enter my life, the worst four letter word I can imagine... D-I-E-T. Gasp!

I have never had an issue with weight, and at this very moment I am still comfortably inside the "suggested" weight range for my height and build, but I have not been happy with my body in a while. When the baby weight did not come off quick enough for me, I decided it was time to cut out sweets and carbs. Do you know where that got me? Even more unhappy and ashamed. Not ashamed because I was eating "healthier" but because for the first time in my life, food became the number one thing on my mind. Is it because of my inching closer and closer to 30? Is it because I know I will never look the way I did when I got married, before three kids? Is it because I fear I won't fit the image people expect from a fitness instructor?

This is insecurity at its finest folks, where a comment from my three year old (asking if I have a baby in my tummy) sends my emotions straight down the toilet... Where I get defensive when my five year old asks me why I hide in to closet to get dressed now... Where my husband asking to take me shopping sends me into a rage because I don't want him to see the double digits on my jeans. Yes, I have allowed Satan to creep his way into my life via my own self worth. Well from this point on I am giving it to God. I don't know what the happy medium actually looks like... I am sure God wants us to care for these vessels he gave us, but I KNOW he doesn't want us to turn it into an idol in our lives. I have to end this cycle before it begins, after all I have these two watching my every move.

I want them to realize how fearfully and wonderfully they were made.

Girl Behind the Blog- Most Embarrassing Moment

Hey Yall!

I know it has been way, way too long since I posted. Epic fail on the 21 Day challenge to myself. Although I got a lot done, I didn't finish everything on my list and wasn't able to sit down and blog about any of it!

Anyway, I am did another vlog for Girl Behind The Blog at 5oh Wifey. I love Ashley because she is a fellow Police wife and mom and Christian, so I feel like I can relate to all of her posts. So today they are sharing embarrassing or funny moments. I have plenty of those I could share, but for me there is nothing worse than embarrassing myself in front of the hottest guy I know... my husband! I don't even know if he remembers this story but it sure sticks out in my mind. I hope you can imagine how silly I felt at this very moment.

Ok, so I totally screwed up the ending for this one, but I can't for the life of me figure out how to edit it.

P.S. A close second was when I messed up on a dance routine for drill team, while we were performing in front of hundreds of people, in DISNEY WORLD!!! Wow, glad that I never had to see any of those people ever again.


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

21 Days of Unfinished Projects: Day 7- Freezer Clean Out

Well, this post is about 12 hours later than I had hoped to post it! I have been SOOO under the weather today! Anyway, I finally got my "chore" for the day done.

I remembered to get my before picture!!! Yes, lots of severely frost bitten venison in there.
After: Frozen fruits and veggies each have their own bin. We have been in the process of adjusting our diets to include more fruits and veggies... frozen is the next best thing when you cant get fresh!
The white bin holds our extra bread, below that is our red meats and on the very bottom is our chicken. When I worked in the restaurant that the bottom of the freezer is the safest place for uncooked poultry. The only thing in the door is our ice packs, I also plan on storing our seafood there when I go grocery shopping... which needed to be done yesterday!
So tomorrows post will probably be a little late as well but this weekend I will get back on track, I promise!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

21 Days of Unfinished Projects: Day 6- Clean out the Fridge

The fridge is one of those things in the home that I probably don't clean out as often as I should. I sometimes forget how much use it gets on a daily basis. Don't get me wrong, I throw out old food when I go to the grocery store and wipe up any spills that may happen, but as for deep cleaning... it slips my mind. Because cleaning and organizing do not come naturally to me, I hit up the Internet (pinterest mostly) for tips and tricks to help me get a system I can stick with.

I started by clearing out all old/expired food, then I took inventory of what I had left and thought about what I normally keep in my fridge. I went to Target with my list and purchased a few containers to help with organization. I had never thought of using plastic/glass bins in the fridge so I had to start fresh this time. When I got home, I pulled everything out and soaked the shelves and drawers in the bathtub while I wiped down the inside. After everything was sanitized, I started figuring out my shelf arrangement. Now there is a place for everything and everything in it's place. I just hope everyone else can keep it this way!!!

You will have to forgive me for not having before pictures, I got home from the store at 4 and had dinner date at 7... I was eager to get everything done in time and forgot.

From the top: I put the leftovers front and center so we remember they are there for lunches the next day. Also on the top shelf is my Velveeta box filled with baking chips and coconut shavings. All of our birthday candles are in a small glass vase so they don't get lost. The shelf below has bins for our lunch meats and cheeses.

We used to keep all of the lunch stuff mixed in a shallow drawer, but I keep so much of it on hand that we needed a some bigger containers. I decided to keep the drawer out all together to give more shelf space.

Just below that is another container with all of our salad dressings and a lazy susan with the condiments.

On the very bottom is where I plan on keeping my mason jar salads once they are prepped. I also read in my Internet research that the best way to store asparagus is in a cup of water, so that's what I did. Not much changed in the fruit and veggie drawers.

I picked up a few glass milk jugs to help keep them cold through all of the opening and closing of the door. I put the eggs in the top door shelf to keep them from getting squished.

The very bottom has containers with the kids snacks and my bar-b-q sauce packets (I'm kind of obsessed with Chick-Fil-A's BBQ)
 I am hoping that with everything compartmentalized it will be easier to pull everything out for a nice wipe down... And maybe, just maybe we will be able to keep it up!

Monday, November 5, 2012

21 Days of Unfinished Projects- Day 5: Kelli's BOWtique Pt.2

Well, now that we have a surplus of bows, we need somewhere to put them. So I went shopping around the house (my new favorite things since REAL shopping is impossible with 3 kids).

I took the glass out of an unused frame, did a few measurements, and glued some strips of ribbon on it for clipping the bows.

Now we have all of our "fancy stuff", as Brooke likes to call it, at arms reach in the kids bathroom. Brooke spent a few hours in and out of the bathroom working on her "styles".
Unlike yesterdays project, I was able to get this one done during nap time!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

21 Days of Unfinished Projects- Day 4: Kelli's BOWtique

This is how I spent my evening...

Watching Drop Dead Diva, knee deep in flowers, bows and hot glue!

Making these bad boys...

for my two little girls.

Yes, my awesome sister made me aware of the "supplies" section on Etsy, where I went nuts ordering bows and flowers in bulk. I think it is safe to say the girls now have a bow to match pretty much any outfit they wear. For less than $1 a piece, they were worth the time it took to glue the flowers together and add a clip to the back. They had been sitting in a box for over a week, but now they are one more thing checked off my to-do list!

Come to think of it, I may do one more bulk order of roses, bling and some feathers and make some for Christmas presents... off to Pinterest to get some ideas!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

21 Days of Unfinished Projects- Day 3: Master Closet

I have a tendency to want to do projects around the house that are most important to me, go figure! But lately I have been trying to work on things that will benefit the other people in my family as well. One particular area my husband has really been wanting to change is our closet. My hero is not a small guy, but he was shoved back into the most narrow end of the closet. I took the day to pull everything out, sorted all of my clothes (any woman knows, you don't dare donate your husbands favorite 10 year old t-shirt) and rearranged a bit. Now I would love to knock out all of the existing shelves and do a 100% custom build but that is not in my expertise or budget! For now, this will do.

Before: Hubby's cave... no wonder he felt claustrophobic in there!

Before: I hate that this is so messy, but I am trying to keep it real! Shoes everywhere, bags of clothes that no longer fit on the floor and random junk on the top shelf. Not my proudest moment!

Before: Crisscrossing shelves and rods made for a very dysfunctional space. Oh and the mismatched hangers, chaos!

After: I took the far end of the closet, it isn't bad at all. I shopped the house for supplies. I love these felt hangers from Home Goods, they are very sleek and grip the clothing nicely so things aren't falling all over the floor ( I know my side looks a little sparse by girl standards but I am between maternity clothes and my normal size, so I am trying to make do with what I have.

After: Matt has room to breathe now! I took the hanging rods from the kids old shared closet (which was a bust if you forgot).

After: His work side. The shoe shelf is also from the shared closet.

After: I got this book shelf from the old play room. I made myself give away any shoes that didn't fit... but I have since gotten a pair of rain boots and new tennis shoes. If I keep my rain boots in the garage, I think I may be able to fit the tennis shoes in there somewhere. A tip for holding your boots up straight, roll a thick magazine up and stick them in the shoe. No more creased ankle I know this is a very large number of heels for a SAHM, but in my defense, my husband bought 90% of these without me even being there (great taste huh?). Have I mentioned how much I love him??
This was another project well worth the time it took to put together!

With the new season starting, are you ready to purge old items and make way for new stuff?

Friday, November 2, 2012

21 Days of Unfinished Projects- Day 2: Re-organize Kithchen Cabinets

One of the many blessings that we got in this house was a large kitchen with quite a bit of cabinet space. When we moved in, I set everything up in a way that mimicked they way my mom organized dishes in my childhood home. It had been tested and approved, so it had to be the best solution, right?

 I spent that last 31 days following a series on Domestic Fashionista called 31 Days of Creative Homemaking. In Ashley's post about her kitchen layout, I realized that my ow kitchen is not as efficient as it could be. Not that moms way of doing things was wrong, it's just that her kitchen was laid out differently. I wanted to put everything in the spot where I would use it most. Then I began the great shuffle. Poor hubby woke up in another dimension! (Have I ever mentioned how great he is at putting up with my crazy antics? He just shrugs his shoulders and say "whatever you like best honey". I heart him!)

Anyway here are some pictures of my final layout.

I moved all of our dishes to the cabinets near the table. I put the everyday stuff on the lower shelf and the extras for parties up higher. I also put the silverware in the drawer below. I wanted it to be close to the eating area to make it easy for the kids to set the table.

For the most part I just cleaned out the pantry. After removing expired food items I organized everything so that there is nothing on the floor and so that I had room on my top shelf for all of my white platters and serving dishes.

I moved the cups next to the refrigerator. I did have them over the washer but then we were having to walk around the island, across the kitchen to get our drinks. We don't use the glass cups as often as we used to because they tend to get broken from little hands picking them up, so those are higher up, along with my stemware for special occasions.

In the cabinet below the cups, I put the storage containers. I like that they are right next to the fridge and the table. I usually serve dinner "family style", so all of the left overs can be packed up straight from the table. We also pack daddy's lunch at the island which is right next to this area so that is helpful.

Above the stove/oven is all of my baking supplies and spices. These were relocated from the cabinet by the table, it is nice to have things within arms reach while doing prep at the island or cooking on the stove.

Under that area are all of my pots and pans, pretty self explanatory. To the right are all of my candles and vases. I put them there mostly because they are the only space big enough to hold the tall items and because my gas shut off valve needs to be easily accessible. I used the broiler to make some salmon and the heat didn't seem to effect the wax at all.

Next to the dishwasher are two thin cabinets, I used one for all of my dish washing supplies and the other for my tea pot, pitchers and drink mixes.

Before the big move, under my island was not utilized very well. I had my trash can and cleaning supply bin down there... why?? So after a nice long scrub down, I moved my appliances and dutch oven down there. I always do my prep in this area but for some reason I was lugging my heavy Kitchen Aid across the room every time I wanted to bake. just having to lift it up is much better in my opinion!

Last, I moved my plastic bags and foil into a drawer, before they were in a skinny lower shelf but it was always a mess with bags all over the place and boxes falling over themselves. I hope this works out better for us.
I didn't think this project would ever end but after several hours and my Pandora Dance Cardio Mix... it is done! And I actually have a few empty cabinets and drawers! I had to catch myself going to the old layout when cooking dinner but I am sure after a few times unloading the dishwasher, we will all be used to it.

Have you ever changed up your kitchen to work better for you? Do you feel the need to?

Thursday, November 1, 2012

21 Days of Unfinished Projects- Day 1: Cloth Diaper Review

We only have 21 more days until Thanksgiving!!! That is three weeks y'all! Knowing that the holiday season is fast approaching, I have been wanting to get some projects done, and in a hurry. I figured the best way to hold myself accountable is to blog them all. So please if I miss a day, come rush my front door with your pitch forks and torches... I need to get my home to a complete stage so that I can focus on enjoying the holidays with family and starting our new business.

The first project I have been meaning to do is my cloth diaper review. I had promised it so long ago but never took the time to sit down and write it out. I am not a pro at reviewing products by any means, but i had so many people mention how much they learned from my first CD post, I figured I needed to finish the job.

They always say, "save the best for last", but I am the kind of girl who eats dessert before my dinner (rebel I know!). So here is my number one favorite... Jungle Roo!

Why do I love them? Well, for starters I have never had a single leak from these diapers. They have SO many snaps which is very important for diapering long term. Jungle Roo's fit from 10 lbs up to potty training. I love that the waist band can overlap, not just for fit but also when I am out and about I can roll up my diaper and secure it like you would a disposable. Also on the minky styles, there is this awesome extra strip of fabric just inside the leg elastic that prevents "blow outs". The only con I have is that I only have three of these :(. I would love to see some super cute flowery girl patterns but it is not worth the trade off... I will explain later.

My second favorite, Royal Fluff. These are awesome because they are a) really cute and b) very functional. They have the most snap options, I started using them at 10 lbs but they probably would have worked well from birth. They also have a very tailored pocket opening which is visually nicer than some others. I got my small wet bags from them as well. They have held up great which is more than i can say for my BumGenius pail liner from Babies R Us. The only thing that puts these a half step behind first place is that they don't have the extra protection from blow outs (not that we have had any major leaks from these either.)

Next are my SunBaby diapers. These I have had the longest. They are the best for getting started as they are good quality at GREAT prices. They offer some lovely designs but it does take close to 2 months for your order to be delivered. Another downfall is that there aren't as many snaps and you can't overlap the waist flaps (poopy diaper opening up in the wet bag... no fun!). In the top of the picture you will notice that extra white fabric poking out, that is from the pocket opening. It isn't very pretty but doesn't effect the overall function of the diaper. One feature that I would love to take from this diaper and add to the others is that the PUL (outer water-proof) fabric overlaps to the inside of the diaper about 1 inch. This is great for my tummy-sleeper because it helps protect her clothes from "overflow" (of the pee variety) while  sleeping.

My biggest disappointment has been with these beauties. Lotus Bumz have the cutest selection by far, the only thing is that this uncontrollable adorable-ness comes at a price. I don't know if the cotton outer absorbs moisture or if I have a defective bunch, but these are always leaking! This makes me really sad since they were he ones I looked forward to trying the most. I even got all my Baby Legs just to match these dipes. I still use these when I know she will be up for me to change her often but they are not really sleeping or outing approved. I am ordering some new, super absorbent inserts to try in these... maybe Elliot is just a REALLY heavy wetter?? I hope this fixes the problem because I really do love all of the fun patterns, plus they make up a third of my stash! Besides the cuteness, the structure is really good as well. Great amount of snaps and tailored look, I just think the outer fabric choice was less than optimal.

I know it sounds lame but for Christmas, Ellie Grace is getting new inserts and some more Jungle Roo and Royal Fluff diapers. She will only be 5 months so I don't think she will mind.

Do you cloth diaper and have a brand I should try? I would love some input!