Monday, December 30, 2013

One Little Word: Discipline.

One of my favorite bloggers, Ali Edwards, has been doing this "One Little Word" thing for years now--I've been a loyal reader of her blog for many years and I have decided, now that I am a real-life blogger myself, I would participate.  My word for 2014: Discipline.





(Teoría) Concientizar (Práctica) Integrar que requiere Disciplina / Internar monólogo, detectar obstáculos, Manejo y resignificación, Organicidad, Creación.

*explore* Discipline for you do best what you do most!


Why Discipline you ask?  Because that is what my life is in most need of.  I am a bit of a dreamer, in that I always have a bunch of ideas for everything, but I spend way more time dreaming than actually doing.  And a lot of that is just because I am not very self-disciplined.  I'd much rather zone out on the couch at home in the evenings than exercise, tend to a garden or do activities with my son.  I'd much rather press snooze 87 times than get up that extra hour early to get done what needs to be done.

There are so many things that are going to take a lot of discipline in the new year.  I need to be more disciplined when it comes to exercise, money, family, time management, and figuring out this new role I'll be playing as a mother to my daughter.

A lot of my blog is about forcing myself to be disciplined anyway, so I am totally excited about my one little word this year!

Friday, December 27, 2013

Encouraging Healthy Eating with Fun Food.

I am really into the idea of making mealtime fun for kids--plus it's a great conversation piece.  I am so envious of the fabulous Bento Boxes you see for kids on Pinterest and other blogs, but it seems like doing fun luches takes an awful lot of supplies, time, and planning--all things that I am currently deprived of.  (Although improving all of that are legit goals for the new year).

We had been having some trouble with Marley at mealtime--particularly dinner & breakfast.  (We're not really with him too often at lunchtime, but I know he gets fed an awful lot of McDonalds on other occasions, so I doubt they have the same problems).  In any case, I set out to purchase more healthy options at the grocery store  & make mealtime more fun for Marley.

The first day of this plan involved staying up late looking at Pinterest & all of the fun meal ideas for breakfast & lunch....then I went to the grocery store with healthy options in mind.  I thought I did well until I saw the bill was about $100 more than one of my usual solo grocery trips (shopping with the kid or husband is an entirely different story).

I leaped out of bed when my alarm went off the next morning to make my son some delicious happy face pancakes with fresh fruit, fruit rollup hair & the best happy face I could make--only to have him still detest it.

Motherhood can be crappy like that.  I jumped through hoops and was so excited for the reaction I was looking for, only to have him push it aside and demand chocolate donuts or nothing.  That day, he ate nothing, but other days I would have ran to the Quicktrip to get him what he wanted.  Needless to say, I didn't make pancakes the next day...

Thursday, December 26, 2013

What I've learned from Holiday Anxiety.

Now that Christmas is Over for another 365 days, I can confess: I kinda hate Christmas.  This year, it started as just a nagging feeling that we never have enough money and that I'm kind of a disorganized mess.  I forgot my secret santa presents (that I actually planned out but ended up doing 1/2 ass because of my unwillingness to take the time to do the projects.  We felt dissatisfied with our gift decisions and guilty about not having the money to get anything for anyone--Call it Pregnancy Hormones/Fatigue/Pressure, or whatever you want to call it, but I know it's none of those things and that I always feel that way.

The anxiety really hit about an hour (or maybe two, or three--depending on if you count the time I woke up at 3:30 to my old dog wanting to be let out of the house & stayed awake (after first hiding the Elf-on-the-Shelf in the medicine cabinet in our room) while lying in bed.  Chris and I had mixed feelings about the amount we spent on Marley, whether he was going to be happy, whether he got too much.  We were on edge about the whole thing for a few days.  Everyone had really gone over the top with him and I had major fears about his recent meltdowns on what should be a day of being grateful.

It turns out my son woke up and gave me a hug before he even showed interest in any of his gifts and once he did, he went one by one, playing with each one and pretty much got bored of opening before he even got to all of the smaller, more thoughtful things I got him---books, coloring stuff, things he enjoys but doesn't come with voice control or a big box.  The rest of the day he acted wonderful showing off his gifts, remembering who gave him what and being pretty grateful for everything.  My kid is pretty awesome & all of my anxiety clearly wasn't worth it because everything went well with him.  It was my own inadequacies that made me have anxiety. . . 

Despite the nice breakfast and homemade gifts from Marley,   I seem to always fall short when it comes to the Holiday thing.  And it sucks to suck.  So as my anxious thoughts had time to settle, I got a few ideas to help me out in 2014 so that maybe I can just avoid this feeling in the future...I spend a lot of time looking at Pinterest.  I am relatively crafty, but not nearly as crafty as my Mother-in-Law who is Martha Stewart on extra-strength caffeine pills.  But I have an eye for photos and paper-crafting, I have a college degree and some pretty good computer skilss--plus, a husband who can build/make anything, I should be spending more time doing and less time mindlessly surfing the internet. 

As for what I learned, and how I plan to be more prepared and less anxious next year, in upcoming weeks I'll write about just how these things are going to work out:

Spread the Love--a year long Holiday budget & planning method.

Featuring the 12 days of Christmas.

These goals/plans will fit right in with my other goals for the year focusing on becoming more organized and less time starved so that I can do all of the things that I want to do.  (More on that later).

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas Breakfast

I love having breakfast parties at our house.  Breakfast is relatively easy to make and you have all day to clean up.

Here's a peak of breakfast at our house this Christmas Morning!

Old School Hand-Me-Down table cloths and placemats, table confetti found for about $2 at WalMart, a basket of fruit and some candles.

We cut up a bunch of fresh fruit the night before.  I made Crockpot French Toast from a recipe I found on pinterest.  Chris made eggs, bacon, and ham in the morning.  We bought some additional pastries at the store & used real dishes.  I love going a little over the top because I know everyone really appreciates it!

Merry Christmas

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Preschool Christmas Snack

Through this together this morning for my son's preschool party. Fruit trays are super cheap & I've been able to throw something festive together for each season--the trick here was to use the green apples to hold everything together!!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Christmas Breakfast Ideas.

Here's a fun fact: I suck at cooking.  I hate doing it & most of the time I get complaints.  There are about a dozen things I can make and make well and that's about it.  

In my opinion, Breakfast is the cheapest & easiest meal to make, so it's the way I prefer to entertain at the holidays.  Depending on the size of your group, you can make a little, a lot, sweet, salty, & fun, all without spending a ton of money.

Fruit Kabobs: 

Strawberries, bananas, & any other berries you can find, donuts holes & mini donuts or try mini cinnamon rolls (pre-made) poked on a kabob. Super easy & Super cute!

Homemade Parfaits: 

mini-mason jars (I actually got these used at Goodwill)+vanilla yogurt (its sweeter than plain--I find more people like it that way)+berries.  Put granola on the side (I used a granola cereal pre-mixed with raisins).

Cereal Treat Balls: 

You make these just like you make Rice Krispy Treats by adding marshmallows & butter, but you can really use any cereal.  (Tip for any crispy treats: add some extra marshmallows right at the end that don't melt all the way!).  Lay in a pan or use your hands to roll into dough. (Use Butter on your hands to keep from sticking too much).  I think its fun to have a variety, so I bought a mix-pack of individual serving cereal and made up the whole batch).

Cereal & Milk.

Bacon, Sausage, Pancakes (w/ chocolate chips & cool-whip) & loaded scrambled eggs--eggs w/ cheese & veggies scrambled up.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Our Scrapbook: Playing Catch Up: May 5-12, 2012 Project Life

One of my long-time hobbies is Scrapbooking.  I used to use paper & scissiors until I learned how much I could do using Photoshop Elements, and how much quicker & easier it is to get a page done here & there without having to take out & put away an entire arsenal of supplies.

For 2014 I'm thinking about going back to paper for a "Project Life" album just because I enjoy paper and scissors, but my biggest problem is that I take A LOT of pictures!  This is the main reason I am so behind on my scrapbooks!

I started digital in 2010 and actually have that book printed out on my shelf.  2011 is done, but not printed & I am working on 2012 & 2013 a little at a time.  (I'm not going in a "specific" order, but recently came up with system that works to keep me a little more organized--more on that in another post).

Today I'm sharing a page to add to my 2012 album of random snapshots taken during our week.  My current style of catch-up Project Life has me trying to pump these out as quick as I can and when i get a chance, so they tend to be pretty simple & lack a lot of journaling.  Nevertheless, I like to think that the photos tell their own stories.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Salt dough ornaments

Easiest recipe ever:
1c. Salt
4c. Flour
1 3/4c. Water

I used my kitchen aid mixer to knead the dough a bit, then we rolled out & cut with cookie cutters.

Bake @ 350 for 30 mins.

We used acrylic paints & my 3 year old did a great job of not making too much of a mess!!