Monday, December 31, 2012

How I make goals that make me EXCITED

Perhaps my main goal for 2013 should be to learn how to apply lipstick like this creeper t-rex. Yes? No?
I have been thinking about goals a lot. A lot a lot. Growing up I was never really into making goals because I felt like, more often than not, I failed at them. It seemed pointless to me. Oh, I finished my young women's recognition for church and I always planned to go to college--both examples of goals that I achieved--but I was never into making goals about the little things.

And by little things, I guess what I really mean are the big things.

Because, really, it's all the little things we do day in and day out that make up who we are now and who we are becoming. It's the way we choose to spend our free time. What we put our work and dedication into. Where our heart and soul drive us. The morning prayers. The family dinners. The daily journals.

But my problem with goals about the little daily things is that I tend to get really worn out with daily goals. I miss one day at the beginning of the year and then I feel like there's a big black mark messing up the perfect year I had in mind. It's silly, I know, but it's true. Setting daily goals at the beginning of the year is dangerous for me.

Luckily, I think I've finally learned what kind of goals I like to make and meet. The concrete kind. The ones that I can start, work on, finish, and cross off the list. If it's a big goal then it always trickles down into my daily life in a really good, healthy way, but I can work on it when I have the time and energy and enthusiasm and I don't get burned out and discouraged when I choose to skip a day.

So I'm picky about the goals I'm willing to even write down. They have to be:

1. Realistically achievable within the time I've set for myself

2. Something I'm looking forward to working on

3. Something that will result not only in a finished project, but a better me

I've thought very carefully over the past several weeks about what I want to accomplish in 2013. Some things I can't control. Some things will change with the end of the school year in the summer and the start of a new one in the fall. Even the weather and the way it changes from season to season can change the reality of my goals. These are things that I've tried to be realistic about and take into account as I consider what goals I'm willing to invest my time and heart and soul into in the coming year.

7 Pretty Pictures (and I can't go to bed)

We're (still) visiting family and for the past few weeks Olivia has been sleeping in our room. It's annoying. Mostly because she has developed this really obnoxious talent: she wakes up two minutes before Bryan and I decide we want to go to sleep. And it's not like we go to bed at the same time every night. In fact, we've been going to bed at different times every night. Bah.

Tonight was no exception. And so, rather than try to go to bed when she's still sort of awake and then tell her to be quiet so she doesn't wake up the baby in the next room and then have a wonderful little "we're all too tired to make any sense" family fight, Bryan and I have surrendered (for now) and are just staying up late(r) while she (hopefully) falls asleep (again.)

(Too many parentheses? Haha. Okay, okay. I'll stop.)

Anyway, since we're being bullied out of going to bed, I thought I'd show you some pictures I like. They're all from Instagram because, well, that's where all of my pictures seem to be from these days. I bought a book to hopefully help me learn how to use my fancy camera better, but in the meantime my iPod has definitely become my fallback. Feel free to judge.

But on to the pictures. Here are some things I like/have to say about them:

1. This past Friday we celebrated our 5 year anniversary. Yay marriage and us. Every year on our anniversary I think, "__(insert whatever we're doing that day)__ is so much nicer than going to a wedding." In fact, that's what I think on most people's anniversaries. Don't get me wrong, weddings are nice. But not going to weddings is nicer.

Anyway, Bryan's family was kind enough to watch Olivia while we went on a little outing on our anniversary. We drove to a cute little nearby town called Lucketts so we could visit some antique shops I've been wanting to go to for a long time. We pass them on our drive every time we come to visit, but we're always in too much of a hurry to stop in. Also, taking a three year old to an antique shop is not a fun time.

Long story short, they had these super pretty glass doorknobs that I wanted to buy real bad. Maybe someday.

2. Bryan and I had just as much fun mentally picking apart the big old fashioned house the antique shop was in as we did looking at all the old stuff in it. In the floor of several of the upstairs rooms they had these vents that went from the floor of one room to the ceiling of the room below.

We had a vent exactly like this in my room in the house I grew up in. I guess maybe it was good for heating (???) back in the old days. Mostly all I ever used it for was yelling things to my parents and siblings downstairs. And secretly/not-so-secretly listening in on conversations in the kitchen below.

3. I love my husband so much. Best five years of my life.

4. This is the cute antique store we went to. If you're ever in Lucketts, please do stop by. It has so many wonderful treasures inside.

5. This is the picture I took of my computer screen after I posted that poem on my blog the other day. Uhh... maybe in my head I look like an old timey movie star in this picture. Maybe I am right?

6. It has been snowing quite a bit here. And then melting the very next day. When you're planning a return trip, that is exactly the kind of snow you want.

7. My sister in law picked up a guitar for the first time in her life today and was already playing better than I ever could after I practiced a lot. My old roommates can attest to how bad I was. A little bit I am so jealous. And a little bit I want to give the guitar another try when we get home. It's been sitting neglected in the basement for far too long.

Well, I think Olivia finally fell asleep again. So maybe now I can go to bed. After I wake up Bryan, that is. He has since fallen asleep in the armchair.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Steal like an artist

Since 99% of Bryan's t-shirts were originally from the thrift store or the kind that companies hand out for free, I decided it was time to finally buy the man some nicer t-shirts. So that's what he got for Christmas. For the few months leading up to Christmas I checked the clearance racks at Target and Old Navy for shirts I knew he'd like and snatched up any that were $5 or less. The result was that Bryan has been wearing a new shirt every day since Christmas and, if I do say so myself, looking so good.

Believe it or not, Bryan was actually very delighted by his new wardrobe. And I double scored by buying him a new pair of jeans... exactly like his old favorite pair of jeans which he had totally worn to the ground. But just in case he was bummed about only getting clothes for Christmas, I also bought him a book off of his wish list.

It's Steal Like An Artist by Austin Kleon. Mostly I bought it because it was only $8 on Amazon. I honestly didn't put a lot of thought or effort into this gift. I just saw it on his wish list, ordered it, and wrapped it up. (Although I did take a minute before I wrapped it up to put a bookmark on the page that says, "Marry well" and talks about how nobody gets anywhere without an awesome spouse--a.k.a. me, Bryan dear.)

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Dear Hair

Dear Hair
a poem and hatred by Katie Lewis

You are ridiculous
I stand in the shower and think of
Mean things to say to you
You're too long
Too thick
Too dumb
Everyone else's hair is fine
But not you
You don't behave
You fall out all over the place
When I brush you you come out all in clumps
When I pull you up you come up all in bumps
You are the worst
Too thick to make good use of bobby pins
Too long to stay up any way at all
And far too miserable to wear down around my face
I hate you in my face
Lately I've been putting you in jail
Wrapping you up and sticking you on the top of my head
Where you can't cause so much trouble
Just sit there
Stay there
And stop taking your revenge by giving me headaches
Stop falling down
Stop poking out over my ears and giving me fairy wings
You're so dumb
But I will say this
Even though you're not bombshell platinum blonde
Or sleek, dark black
Or pretty
At least you are a rad shade of crazy
And even though you are too thick to be good for anything at all
At least I don't have to puff you up to make you look full and luscious
You do that all on your own
And thank goodness
Because heaven knows
I'm not about to do anything at all with you
Maybe I'll learn how to do my hair tomorrow
(Probably not)

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

The Good Life (a.k.a. Christmas Vacation)

As you might have guessed, we've been away on vacation and too busy having fun and being lazy to do important things like blogging or cleaning or showering. Okay, okay, so we have been taking showers. And we probably end up cleaning, like, everyday because with this many people in the house you just have to. But we've still been doing a lot of being lazy and busy. And, boy, has it been good.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Me again

I already wrote a post today, but then I was doing some stuff and got to thinking about something else that I wanted to say. So here I am again.

It always happens during NaBloPoMo because Bryan and my in-laws come back to reading my blog on a regular basis. And I am totally a write-for-my-readers kind of writer. I can't help it. (Not that I would if I could.) I hear that some people don't like their in-laws. I happen to love mine a lot. I'm the youngest in my family, but Bryan still has younger siblings that we tease and bother and older siblings that we can't get enough of. I have nice siblings too, but it's a different dynamic. Anyway, I like my in-laws a lot. And having them read and comment on my blog on a regular basis turns me into a different writer. It's something akin to spending time with my favorite girlfriends and roommates from college. We get silly and funny and--for better or worse--seem not to notice everybody else staring at us while we do ridiculous things.

And I love that.

Never am I happier than when I'm surrounded by people I love who love me back. I grew up with a lot of not-so-fun stuff and, as a result, built a lot of walls. And it probably wasn't until my sophomore or junior year of college until I came to really know myself as me, not just me in the context of something or someone else. And it's no coincidence that that transitional period of self discovery (the very best and happiest kind of self discovery) came when I was surrounded by roommates and friends who were funny and silly and loved from the bottom of their hearts. They made mistakes and laughed. I made mistakes and laughed. And it was okay. It was something I had never really known. Those friends and roommates remain some of my favorite people and Bryan can always tell when they call because we start giggling and talking like idiots and the rest of the world melts away and doesn't matter. This is a lot the way I feel about my inlaws.*

This is also a lot the way I feel about you regular blog readers. I know you like the craft and sewing posts. And I know you're excited for my *someday* book (which makes me love you even more, by the way), but you've told me time and time again that you're here because you like me as I am and not because I have the coolest tutorials around. (Which, frankly, is a good thing because I think we all know that I indeed do not have the coolest tutorials around.)

I've you've been reading this blog for the past couple of years then you know that I've waffled back and forth elevendy billion times about whether to keep my blog professional or personal. It's probably something I'll always go back and forth on, at least in my head, but the other day I read a very simple and candid post on someone's blog about how she was just posting random stuff and then somehow got kind of popular and then felt this kind of stage fright about suddenly feeling like she had to do something impressive every time she got online. I don't know her personally, but I could relate to that sentiment so much. Unlike so many of the craft and sewing blogs out there these days, mine did not start out this way. And if my years of trying to conform and be "professional" have taught me anything, it is that (like she said) that is not really me. I'm thrilled by the idea of finally getting to be "professional" in a book. But here on my blog, here in my life, that is not my reality.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Christmasing & Paying It Forward

First Advent -- Watching You've Got Mail -- Stocking fabric
Stocking scraps -- Christmas shopping with Bolivia -- Olivia's snowmen
Olivia's & Bryan's Christmas trees -- Shoes out for St. Niklaus Day -- Our friends' Christmas tree
Hallelujah--Bryan finished finals last Thursday! Since then we've basically been partying and getting ready to visit family for Christmas. As of this evening, all but one of the Christmas projects I've been working on are FINISHED and only a few more presents need to be wrapped. Bryan, like clockwork, is now suffering from his stress-induced post-finals sickness, but I'm hopeful that he'll be on the mend soon. Luckily he's at least been feeling well enough in spurts to go out and have fun. Olivia has been drawing all kinds of Christmas things, including the snowmen and Christmas trees above. And I have stuck to my guns and withheld from decorating for Christmas other than setting out one nativity set for Olivia to play with and adding a star to the front door. (We also have a little tree up next to the TV, but that is always there. Bryan and Olivia insist on calling it a Christmas tree. I am from Oregon. It is just a regular pine tree.) And to make everything just that much better, we've been listening up a storm of Christmas music on Pandora*.

So I didn't really mean to take a break from blogging, but we've been for reals busy lately getting ready for all kinds of Christmas goodness. And I'd blog about the projects, but, yeah, they're all Christmas presents and I'm not into spoiling Christmas in the name of a blog post.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Taking a break

Even though I'm really my own task master these days and, really, I could lay around and do nothing if I wanted (and, let's be honest, sometimes I do), I really have to remind myself to take a day off sometimes. This morning I started out with at least 20 things on my to-do list. I don't really know how many of them got done. A lot of them, but not all. Instead of checking off all those little boxes, Olivia and I had a grand old time at the zoo with some friends. It was (except for someone whining about wanting to be in the stroller and then not wanting to be in the stroller) a really lovely, relaxing outing. Even the bears were at their best!

We're visiting family later in the month and I've been running around trying to fit in all the craziness now so I can rest and relax once we're there. Which, I think, is a good plan. But tonight as I was peddling away on the old exercise bike, planning to bike for the whole movie I was watching, I hit an hour and realized, "Man, I'm tired." So I called it quits, finished the rest of my little exercise routine, took a shower, and got my jammies on. I had big plans to plunk away and finish off a couple more things on the to-do list, but instead I got sucked in to catching up on all the blogs I've been missing for the past several weeks.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Goodbye, November

Well, the month is basically over now. Time for December! Woot! If you follow me on Instagram (@theredkitchenkatie) then you already know I've been going a little Christmas crazy over here. We're visiting family for the holidays, which means there's only so much time to finish up projects and wrap presents and all fun stuff.

By way of shamelessly bragging, I would like to tell you that I have already done the following things:

-Acquired AND wrapped 99.9% of the gifts we're giving this year
-Made (and packaged) goodies to give to friends and neighbors
-Made (and packaged) goodies to give to Olivia's preschool teachers and classroom aides
-Acquired and wrapped birthday gifts for a certain birthday boy we'll be seeing on vacation
-Made another one of these lovelies
-Planned our meals through the end of December

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Lost: My Groove

Bah. I seem to have lost my groove. Such a pain when that happens. Makes me wish there was a button I could push (you know, like on a home phone) and my groove would start beeping so I could locate it more quickly.

I was so hard core about exercising and eating healthy and not being a whiner about not eating chocolate every single day. Even through the Thanksgiving break I was so good! And then we came home and I just deflated or something. Basically, all I want to do right now is work on Christmas stuff and eat treats and not exercise.

Groove, where have you gone? Please come back before I become a total fatty.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

A (Muppet/Harry Potter) Christmas Carol

So I'm in this book group with a few friends. I was kind of excited when my friend asked me if I wanted to join, but kind of I feel like such a poser because, as it turns out, I never read books. But I guess I thought maybe this would be as good a time as any to pretend that I read books, so I joined.

For the month of December we're reading A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. I was actually looking forward to this since--ahem--I've never read it before and, ya know, it's Christmas time and stuff. The only problem with reading this book for the month of December is that we're meeting for book group super early in December since a lot of us are going out of town for the break. So basically, I didn't have a lot of time to read it. And I already failed at book group last month (i.e. I didn't finish the book even though it was just poetry* and it was really short) and I didn't want to fail again and get kicked out, so today I hunkered down and actually finished the book. Whew.

Then tonight Bry and I watched The Muppet Christmas Carol. Neither of us had seen it before, but last month at book group when we decided we were going to read A Christmas Carol everyone kept talking about it, so I thought I'd better watch it so I could understand all of their analogies when we meet to discuss the book.

Man, movies are never as good as the book. But, that being said, who wouldn't love The Muppet Christmas Carol? It's quite excellent. I'm especially impressed by Michael Caine's ability to be serious and heartfelt amid a host of Muppets. I feel like you've gotta have a pretty good sense of humor to pull that off. Not to mention a snooty British accent.

When it got to the scene with the ghost of Christmas present, Bryan noted that the ghost looked an awful lot like Hagrid, which got me thinking: Harry Potter Christmas Carol! Okay, okay. I know what you're thinking. You're thinking I'm one of those nutsy Harry Potter geeks. But listen.

Snape = Scrooge
Harry Potter = Bob Cratchit
Ginny = Mrs. Cratchit
Ron = Fred (Scrooge's nephew)
Hermione = Fred's wife
Hagrid = the ghost of Christmas present
Luna Lovegood = the ghost of Christmas past
A dementor = the ghost of Christmas future
Cedric = Jacob Marley

It's all there! And they already all have British accents! Someone please make this movie right now.

And, speaking of excellent Christmas films, I leave you with this gem I found at the library today:

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Want, Need, Wear, Read: My List

Yesterday was Olivia's Want, Need, Wear, Read list. Today's it's my turn. :)

Want: Cotton Solids
If working on the book has taught me anything about myself, it is this: I love 100% cotton solids. These Kona solids are such a great weight and they sew up so nice. I think a bolt of each color will suffice.

Oh, and feel free to throw in a lifetime supply of white thread. I burn through that stuff at a ridiculous pace these days.

Need: Toothbrush
As it turns out, I am entirely un-picky about toothbrushes. I do prefer a step above the trash ones they hand out at the dentist, but that's about it. My current toothbrush is looking a little, ya know, so it's probably time for a replacement.

Wear: Color Skinnies
A few months ago I bought a pair of skinny mint green chords and, let me tell you, I am hooked. They are so fun to wear! I kind of wanted to buy one in every color, but I didn't think Bryan would appreciate the effect it would have on our budget.

I'm especially digging the navy blue, mustard, and lavender options. Mmmm.

The ones above are from Old Navy. Size 12, please.*

*When I walked into Old Navy the day I bought my green skinnies I overheard a rather flamboyant employee telling the lady who came in just ahead of me, "These skinny pants run extra skinny!" The lady responded in disappointment, to which Mr. Old Navy replied, "You're the only one who sees the number when you put it on, and if they're taking it off they don't care!" Slightly inapropros, but it still makes me laugh every time I think about it. :) And, yo, it makes me feel better about wearing pants that are at least two sizes bigger than I normally wear.

Read: Mollie Makes
I've seen this UK magazine pop up more and more on blogs lately and it always looks so full of crafty goodness. Bry gave me a subscription to Martha Stewart a couple years ago and I really enjoyed it, but I find I can only take so much of the richy pants craftiness, so we didn't bother renewing. (Though if she was still publishing Martha Stewart KIDS it would be an entirely different story. Miss that mag so much!)

My parents have given Bryan subscriptions to two of his favorite magazines (National Geographic and Popular Science) every year basically since we got married and it has been an awesome gift over the years. Magazine subscriptions are truly the gift that keeps on giving. This one looks like fun.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Want, Need, Wear, Read: Olivia

My mother-in-law has started requesting that Bryan's younger siblings create Christmas lists with the following categories: want, need, wear, and read. I thought it'd make for a fun post and, hey, it's NaBloPoMo, so anything goes.

First up, I thought I'd do Olivia's Want, Need, Wear, Read list:

Want: Sports
top -- bottom

Despite having entirely unathletic parents, Olivia is nuts about sports. She especially seems to love dancing and soccer. A couple of her friends from church are in a local ballet class and I think she would love to join, but her parents are too cheap to sign her up. I think she would also equally enjoy playing on a little soccer team, but she won't be old enough for the local teams until next fall when she's four. (By the way, you should be so impressed by me that I actually know about the local kids' soccer teams.)

Need: Nightstand

Well, actually, Olivia doesn't really need anything. Bryan and I thought about it for two whole days and couldn't come up with anything. We even asked Olivia what she needed and she said, "nuffing." This, I think is awesome. It is a testament to how richly we are blessed that our sweet little girl doesn't really need anything more than what she already has.

Still, I was trying to round out the list, so when Bryan finally came up with the fact that we've been meaning to get her a nightstand, I figured I'd put that here. All she really has next to her bed are books, so this little bookshelf would make a perfect "nightstand"... and conveniently match the rest of the shelving in our house.

Wear: Skinny Jeans

Olivia is finally starting to grow out of her jeans, which means it's time for some new ones. And with her super skinny little legs, skinny jeans are both practical and adorable. I've seen great options at Target and Old Navy, but can't find pictures online. So, I give you these super overpriced ones from Gap. Size 3T, please.

Read: Elephant and Piggie books

I've mentioned it before, but, man, Olivia is nuts about these books. They're cute and funny and they have an elephant, so what's not to love? They're also great because they're non-annoying easy reader books. Win-win. See the bundle HERE on Amazon.

Sunday, November 25, 2012


I have a confession to make. I'm kind of glad I'm not pregnant.

If we're blessed with more children someday, I'll be ecstatic. But right now, the more I get used to only having one child, the more I secretly love it. Maybe this wouldn't be the case if I were a better mom or a more kind-hearted person. Or if I was good at potty training. Or if I loved pregnancy. But since none of those things are true, I'll freely admit that part of me really loves only having one child.

Yes, of course I think newborns are sweet and adorable. Yes, of course big families are super fun. And, yes, at least once a day I feel bad for Olivia that she's so bored out of her mind because she doesn't have any siblings to play with.


If we really ended up having Olivia as our only child, well, I think that could make for a pretty awesome life. I've given it quite a bit of thought. Ahem.

We could have a really luxurious, comfortable house with a big work studio and all the other cool things luxurious houses have, but at a much lower cost since, ya know, we wouldn't need a very big house.

We could go on more big, fun family trips.

We could actually (maybe) pay for Olivia to go to college and on a church mission if she chooses.


I could be done breastfeeding forever.

I could be done being pregnant forever.

We could be the adorable little Gap family with nice clothes and nice stuff because we would actually be able to afford it.

We could give a lot more to the church and to charities because we could actually have surplus.

We could have money in our savings account! (Okay, so this one probably has more to do with Bryan graduating than how many kids we have. But still.)

Anyway, sometimes I feel sad about not having more children yet. But lots of times I feel so awesome about it. And the more life keeps going on this way, the more I feel awesome about it all the time.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Home again home again jiggedy jig

Visiting Bryan's parents for Thanksgiving was nothing short of superb. Still, after seven hours in the car, it's nice to be home again. And, despite the fact that it was lightly snowing for about half of the drive, we had a safe and pleasantly uneventful journey. It's good to be home!

Friday, November 23, 2012

The longer I stay away, the less I miss it


At Olivia's (and her grandparent's) request, we were sent out on a date tonight so they could have happy fun times without us. Well, fine by us! We decided to go grab a bite to eat and then see a movie. Like, in a real theater.

The funny thing about us going to see movies these days is that I never know what's playing anymore, let alone what the movies are about and which one I'd want to see. Bryan, on the other hand, almost always seems to know what's playing, which ones he wants to see, and whether or not I would like his choices. I have no idea how he stays so in the know. It's like he reads the news or something.

Anyway, so he narrowed our choices down to three movies: the Abraham Lincoln movie, the latest James Bond movie, and Life of Pi. The Life of Pi looked kind of trippy, and after watching the trailer, Bryan (who has actually read the book), said that it looks like they changed a lot of stuff from the book, so, no. The Abraham Lincoln movie looked like it was mainly a lot of shouting and shooting. Perhaps historical, but, no. The latest James Bond movie also looked like it was mainly a lot of shouting and shooting, but at least it wouldn't leave me with nightmares about things that actually happened. So the James Bond movie it was.

I have three things I would like to say:
1. James Bond will never die. Ever.
2. I hate movies where the bad guy is insane. But at least this bad guy isn't as insane as the scarecrow guy or the joker from the batman movies.
3. I feel so over movie theaters. May I never have to watch a movie in one ever again.

So, we got there pretty early because, ya know, we're lame and boring now. We got pretty good seats, which turned out to be a bad idea for two reasons. First of all, we sat in the middle of a row and, despite the fact that I used the lavatory right before the movie started, about five minutes after the movie finally started I had to pee real bad. And then I had to hold it for the next two hours. Second of all, Bryan was socially unawkward and left a seat in between him and the group of people we sat down next to. The theater was packed (never go on a holiday weekend) and right before the movie started a guy finally weaseled his way through and sat down next to Bryan. This wouldn't have been a big deal, but the guy had some serious B.O. going on. Eeew eeew eeew. So there we were, trapped in the middle with a really smelly guy. And I had to pee real bad.

Insert two hours of people shooting at each other. (But, of course, they never kill James Bond, despite the fact that he's totally out in the open a bajillion times. Sigh.)

Also, why is it that every spy-ish movie we've seen in the past year or two the spy always seems to die and then come back to life by not dying after all? Don't worry. I haven't given anything away. It happens at the beginning. And, ya know, because it happens at the beginning, it was totally predictable  Actually, I think it even shows it in the trailer. So whatevs. I will, however, spoil the ending by saying this:

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

We welcomed this day of gratitude in with a turkey trot this morning. Bry and I ran the 5K with Bryan's mom and Olivia and Bryan's dad ran the fun run 2K together. It was fun! And Bry and I jogged the whole way without stopping or walking! We're pretty proud of ourselves.

The rest of the day was, of course, spent preparing and eating our delicious thanksgiving feast. Mmm. I've been so good about eating healthy lately and my body wasn't really up for the big meal today, but I enjoyed it all the same.

So grateful for healthy bodies and loving family and wonderful food. Not to mention a whole life filled with endless blessings. I love that we celebrate Thanksgiving as a national holiday. We have so, so much to be grateful for.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Bryan's nose hairs

Actually, that has nothing to do with this post. Except that Bryan is reading over my shoulder while I write this and I can see up his nose hairs.

Anyway, blogger is getting the pictures all out of order (as per usual when posting from my iPod), but, yo, we're on Thanksgiving break now. So there.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Maze (free printable!)

So, my husband Bryan likes to draw mazes. But his are always way too easy. Tonight he finished a sketch of something that wasn't a maze and when I turned it over I found a familiar sight: a super baby cakes maze. After teasing him about it, he insisted that if I thought it was easy than I should try and make one. So I did.

Now maybe this is just proof that it's easier to focus and try really hard and be good at something when you're trying to impress the boy you like. Or maybe I am just the superior maze-drawer in the family.

If you'd like to give it a try without having to run your finger all over your screen, you can print a copy HERE.

Monday, November 19, 2012


Sometimes it absolutely kills me

Sunday, November 18, 2012


I have been busier than I have been in a long time. Mom time, book writing time, church stuff, family time, and lots and lots of exercise. I know everyone wants you to think you can get skinny by only spending five minutes a day trying, but that is such a lie. From the time I change into my exercise clothes until the time I hop out of the shower is close to 2 hours. Every single day. And, by the way, it is paying off. So there.

I have been wearing my hair up in a high bun almost every single day. (Much like my beautiful freshman roommate, but hers are prettier. I am so trying it her way this week.) Since I've been exercising at night and then showering right before bed, the high bun has been a winner since I can both sleep in it and wear it the next day. And it keeps my hair off my neck and out of my face--a must.

I have, for the most part, stayed caught up on my book project schedule. At any given time I'm really either ahead or behind (currently: behind), but I'm still very positive about finishing all of the test runs for each project before we leave for Thanksgiving break in a few days. If and when that happens, it will be AMAZING. Guys, seriously. You have no idea.

I have been wearing these little black flats every day, except when it rains. When I first bought them they were a little too small. Now they are slightly stretched and oh-so-perfect. Cute, comfy, and they go with everything. And they are definitely a few notches up from my regular "I put no thought into this outfit" footwear choice.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Merry Christmas! (Free Printable Pendant Banner)

Christmas is just around the corner, so I thought it'd be fun to celebrate with a new fun printable banner. This year's edition is a fun and simple little pendant banner in two sizes.

Get the free printables and instructions after the jump!

Friday, November 16, 2012


Yo. In honor of my favorite holiday (CHRISTMAS!!!) coming up, I have decided to celebrate by marking everything in the shop down to 50% off for a limited time. No fussy coupon codes, just crazy awesome prices. Enjoy!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Things we're good at

Here's to noticing the little good things too.

This is random, but I was thinking about it tonight. And I think it's true.

I think everybody is good at a lot of different things, but we usually only get recognition for a few of the those things.

Right? I think in general we get categorized by other people as being good at that one thing. She sews. She cooks. She's a nurse. He's a doctor. He's really funny. She's really smart. And it makes sense that we kind of memorize people that way, I guess, but I also think there's a lot of value in knowing the talents--big and small--that we and others posses which so often go unrecognized.

A few weeks ago we went to drop something off at the medicaid office (Yeah, we're poor college students) and while we were there some nice people from United Way were offering free kindergarten readiness testing for kids ages 2-4. We had time to kill while we were waiting, so I went over to check it out. The "testing" basically consisted of a set of questions about your child which you answered. Then the ladies in the booth evaluated the answers and told you what your kid should work on to be ready for kindergarten in X amount of years.

But the funny thing about the "test" questions were that hardly any of them had to do with scholastic things. It didn't say, "Can she read?" or "How high can she count?" or "Does she hold her pencil correctly when she writes?" They were just questions about where she was at developmentally, not unlike the questions you sometimes fill out for your child at the pediatrician. They were questions about how far she could jump and how long she could stand on one foot and if she could repeat numbers we said to her and so on and so forth. We also got a peek at the tests they give to the 3 1/2 and 4 year-olds and I can tell you the questions didn't get much more focused on schoolwork in those sets than they did in the 3 year-old set we got.

Now, I admit, to some degree I was a little disappointed when I saw the questions. I felt like saying, "She's so advanced, but that doesn't even show on this test! She's starting to read! She can count to 30! She's writing by herself! And all you want to know is how long she can stand on one foot?" But then, as I filled out each question, I realized that, actually, I'm really proud of her being able to stand on one foot. And kick a ball. And climb and run and jump and play and remember things we tell her. Actually, those are super valuable skills. And then I got to thinking, "Man, what if I got credit for all of the little menial things I can do? That would be awesome!"

So I decided to jot down a quick list of things I'm good at, but will probably never get much (if any) recognition for. Here it is:

I am good at the following things:

So tired

I have been for reals really busy lately. Crazy amount of exercise. Lots of book project making. And, ya know, being a cool mom and stuff. Tomorrow is looking like another good-but-full day. I'm grateful to be busy with good things.

And I'm totally looking forward to the long break over the holidays.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Cute girl

The writing she gets from mommy.
The drawing she gets from daddy.
Love this girl.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Random pictures from lately

Rad little camera on a rad little shelf.

Pomegranate crime scene.

Highly suspect. (And soo good!)

Made myself this grown-up bento box the other day. I really must do this more often. Who knew having your lunch compartmentalized made it more fun? If only I had cut my sandwich up to look like a kitty and my veggies into shooting hearts. Sigh. Maybe someday.

This girl rocking her scarf.

Took a little family trip a couple weeks ago. It was just a short day trip, but it was so what I had been craving. Just a little time away with my two favorite people in the whole world.

Luckily, Bry is a champion and drives the whole time on road trips. Partly because he's nice. And partly because he's more afraid of me driving. Fair enough.

Pretty hanger wall at The Container Store.