March 5, 2018

Currently... March 2018

Yes! I'm so glad to be able to post my currently list for you today. It certainly has been a while... Anyway, here's what has been going on lately:

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We are big Studio Ghibli fans around here. And we've slowly been introducing our daughter to movies that we love. Ponyo is one of them and our girl is quite a fan. She loves the part where Ponyo declares "Ponyo loves Sosuke!" and loves to say "Ponyo loves me!"

Baby's Big World: Women Who Changed the World
READING: Board Books
I haven't started to tackle my reading list yet, but we do quite a bit of reading around here. Our daughter loves reading and quite the collection of books. We recently found this book which has been such a hit. The pictures are adorable and we love the message. 

Our daughter loves this page and pointing out Frida Kahlo's "pretty flower hair clips." 

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LISTENING: to the Happier podcast
I mentioned this podcast before and I'm quite a fan. I started listening to podcasts in the shower a while ago and it has really helped with keeping me from feeling overwhelmed. You know how your thoughts run wild when you have a few free moments to yourself in the shower? Well I'd often feel overwhelmed from all the thoughts. When I started listening to a podcast during this time, I was no longer running through my never-ending to do list and it helped to focus my mind and also relax me. I rotate through a few different ones that I enjoy and Happier is one of them.

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EATING: less chocolate!
I'm not exactly sure how I managed to do this, because it wasn't even anything that I consciously tried to do... I've stopped grabbing candy and chocolates from all the candy dishes at work. I still eat chocolate, and have a particular weakness for Lindt truffles, but I'm not constantly eating Reese's cups and Twix bars and haven't been purposefully walking by candy dishes all day long. I'm feeling pretty good about it, too!

DRINKING: coffee floats
So glad I've cut back on chocolate because I don't feel quite so bad that I drink a coffee float every night. Hehehe. My hubby treats me to one every evening after our daughter goes to bed. YUM. Makes my day!

WEARING: some fun Dr Seuss inspired outfits!
Last week was Dr Seuss week at my school and we had a fun spirit week. Above is my Sneetches themed door and you betcha I dressed up like a Sneetch! I actually love spirit week because I enjoy wearing creative outfits while having specific parameters to wear. I would honestly love having a spirit week every week. The truth is, I am not so good at opening my closet or dresser and thinking "What should I wear today?" and have ALL the options. I'd rather be told "Wear Silly Socks today!" and figure out an outfit around that. If you're curious about our Sprit Week, here are the days we celebrated:

Many Colors Monday (wear as many colors or as much of one color as you can!) - I wore a rainbow Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious tee, except I messed up... I should have saved this for Wednesday!
Fox in Socks Day (silly socks day) - I wore Mickey & Minnie socks and a Mickey Mouse dres
Read Me Shirt Day (wear a shirt with words or book-themed shirt) - I wore a Nintendo alphabet tee
Thing 1 Thing 2 Day (twin day) - my intern and I dressed up as a star bellied Sneetch and a plain bellied Sneetch!
Books, Blankets, & BEAR (Be Excited About Reading!) (pajama day) - I had planned to wear my Olivia PJs, but school was canceled on Friday!

MAKING: progress on my 18 for 2018 list
I managed to set some pretty big goals for myself, most of them requiring me to toil away for a while, so I've been working and making progress! I can't wait to share once I complete my first one! 

PLANNING: my days strategically
Or at least trying to! Work is so crazy that I have to be a master at productivity! I've been getting better at putting everything (including filing and organizing time) into my calendar. I've also been using Trello to keep track of my To Do, Today, and Ta Da lists. These three lists really help me focus on the main goals for the day, not get so overwhelmed with my ever-growing To Do List, and celebrate my accomplishments and feel like I'm actually being productive even when my days are super hectic. Right now I'm working on trying to force myself to plan out the next day before I leave for the day so I can start my mornings ready to be productive. If you have any awesome productivity tips or resources to recommend, please share! 

TRYING: to clean up my pins
This seems kind of like a slight procrastination tactic when it comes to my 18 for 2018 list, but I am actually feeling more refreshed and inspired as I clean out my pins. Its interesting to see how my style has changed so much since I first started pinning and which things I must REALLY love, since I've pinned them about 8 times. Hahaha. I also had this random secret pinboard that I just pinned anything and everything to. I've been working on organizing those pins and I love that my things are much more functional. Plus, I'm getting prepared for # 12, right?

WANTING: our new fridge to arrive already!
Last week our fridge died. As in, we woke up one morning and our refrigerator that was working the night before was no longer cold. So after tossing everything out, hauling my mini-fridge home from work, and doing some quick grocery shopping, we searched and searched for the perfect within-budget and within-space-parameters fridge. We knew we didn't want a built-in ice-maker or water filter and were pretty sure we wanted a side-by-side, so our options were pretty limited and made for quick and easy decision making! The only down side was that there was a two-week wait for delivery! So, we'll be living with a toddler and a mini-fridge for another week!

FEELING: guilty about missing Girls' Day
Hinamatsuri, or Girls' Day, is a Japanese celebration on March 3rd. We completely missed it! Hubby and I discussed bringing down the whole display and strategically planned when it would be brought down and packed up to maximize our enjoyment, while minimizing the destruction of our toddler, but we completely missed it. Our beautiful Hina Doll set (pictured above) is mine from when I was a little girl and my father carefully packaged and shipped it to us last year from Japan. It is absolutely gorgeous and so meaningful to us to put on display. I'm feeling pretty guilty that we didn't do it this year, but at least we have many more years to celebrate...

ENJOYING: my little package of goodies that my friend Naki sent!
My sweet friend Naki recently sent me a little package to help motivate me on my 18 for 2018 list (see #16) Although I'm not quite ready (or able) to start crafting yet, I've been admiring my new goodies and trying to brainstorm some ideas... and hoping to get crafty soon!

So how is your March starting off? Do tell!

February 26, 2018

The Dollhouse

Nevermind the fact that it is nearly March... Today I'm going to share some photos of a Christmas gift that my Hubby and I worked on for our daughter. After a lot of talking and planning, where half of us was adamant that a dollhouse was the perfect gift and the other half was initially quite reluctant, the first half won! 

We decided to makeover this very pink dollhouse by Melissa and Doug. We thought this was a good starter dollhouse and we loved that it came fully furnished with sturdy pieces, which would hopefully hold up to someone who likes to test out the furniture. We didn't love the color, but we figured that was easy enough to fix.

We are so lucky that our little girl goes to bed at 6pm every night. It gave us lots of time to sand, prime, and paint all the pieces. My hubby sanded and primed the entire house, then I followed with several coats of white paint. I added some dark gray trim and my Hubby cut, painted, and installed the new black shutters to give the house a little more dimension. We left the chimney and roof as is because we really liked the color. 

I also primed and painted all the furniture. We went with basic white for most pieces, except for a gray chair in the living room to mimic our very own gray chair and butcher block counter tops in the kitchen. Most of the style of the house is just what my dream house would be like - all white with gray and black accents. We went back and forth on if we should make the house look like our current house or *our* dream house. Clearly, Mommy's Dream House won out.

We felt like we needed a couple more pieces inside the house, so we painted a block of wood that we purchased from our local craft store to make a dresser. I also cut a piece of fuzzy fabric from my stash for a blanket and found a mini tree among my crafty goodies. Our girl is quite smitten with the fact that it is always Christmas at this house.

You can't tell at all in these photos, but I also painted faucets and handles on the appliances so they are a bit realistic. I also added wood flooring and tile which were simply printed our color printer and adhered with Mod Podge. You can't see in the photo, but I went with a hex tile for the bathroom floor. Hubby and I had discussed wallpaper and artwork, but decided to keep the walls simple and white for now. We are hoping to add more decor elements as our daughter gets older.

I also carefully painted new people for the house to resemble our little family. Each of us is wearing one of our favorite "signature" outfits. And our little girl is carrying her Monkey. Our basset hound, really does have a heart shaped marking on her neck, although not quite so pronounced. 

We've loved watching our little girl play with her new dollhouse We noticed that she likes to have Daddy give the dog baths, have Daddy and Mommy eat giant cookies at the table (ravioli from her kitchen set), and have Daddy play games on the TV. She also loves going to sleep and having Santa (from her Playmobil advent calendar set) visit the house. And remember how I said she likes to test out the furniture? As expected, we've already caught her trying to walk up the steps. Hahaha!

We've had so much fun playing too, and I'll even catch hubby setting it up all cute when he helps clean up. We hope this dollhouse will bring our family many years of enjoyment!

February 19, 2018

18 for 2018

Hello! I'm back! 

Is anyone familiar with the Happier Podcast with Gretchen Rubin
I'm pretty much obsessed. 

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I discovered the podcast earlier last year and listened from episode one until I got caught up.
Have I told you I'm obsessed?

On episode 147, they introduced the concept of "18 for 2018" and I was hooked!

My "18 for 2018" has gone through a few revisions, which is why it is nearing the end of February and I'm only now ready to post something. 
I'm hoping that posting it here might give me a little accountability... *maybe?*

So without further ado, here's my "18 for 2018!"

Explore this magical LEGO® replica of the iconic Walt Disney World® Resort, featuring a highly detailed facade, an array of Disney-themed rooms and 5 Disney minifigures.
1. Build LEGO Disney Castle
Last Christmas, my hubby gave me this awesome set. It has been sitting in our house for a full year now without being opened. It's about time this thing was built! My sweet hubby even set up a little corner of the play room for me so I have a place to build!

2. Find pants that fit and look good for work
This one sounds funny, but I haven't been able to find pants that I like for several years now. You may recall that before I was pregnant, I was really sick... since then, I've struggled to find pants that fit. That being said, I wear a LOT of leggings. 

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3. Create artwork for our home
I've been dreaming of doing a big abstract painting for our living room or bedroom. I've been gathering inspiration on this Pin board.

4. Get e-mail inboxes to zero
I'm embarrassed. I can't even tell you what my inbox number looks like. This will be a big task, because I'm also talking multiple inboxes...

Image result for the magic art of tidying up Image result for spark joy

5. Konmari
Several years ago I read the popular book and you guessed it, I fell in love. We started tidying right away, but life happened, and we were never able to finish the whole process. Since then, I read the sequel and have been doing bits and pieces in spurts. I never feel like I can get through the whole process, but I'm hoping that we can finally Konmari the whole house!

6. Make a card organizer
I am REALLY bad at mailing cards. Even when I made cards all the time, I was still really bad at mailing them! I'm trying to resolve to be better and am hopeful that having a system to organize my cards and important dates like this might help.

7. Paint a room or closet
Since moving into our home two years ago, we still haven't painted a single wall. I'm hoping to spruce up this place a little. I also have a secret wish to paint my daughter's closet pink, which is why closet happens to be an option here.

8. Read 4 new books
My reading list is constantly growing, so I'm hoping to at least read a few this year. I am a painfully slow reader, so four is a pretty realistic goal for me. Here are some of the books waiting on my list... If you've read any of these, I'd love to hear what you thought!

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How Not to Hate Your Husband After Kids by [Dunn, Jancee]Reading People: How Seeing the World through the Lens of Personality Changes Everything by [Bogel, Anne]I Know How She Does It: How Successful Women Make the Most of Their Time by [Vanderkam, Laura]

9. Start Project Life
Is Project Life even cool anymore? I ordered some PL kits and albums before our little girl was born and I've yet to get started on the growing pile of photos. Sometimes just getting started on something like this is overwhelming because of my perfectionist tendencies.

10. Sell stamps and craft supplies
When we moved into our house and I was setting up my Office/Craft Room, I purged a lot of my craft stuff. I'm hoping to be able to find new homes for several boxes of stamps and craft supplies. If you're interested, check out what I've listed so far...

11. Clean the attic
I'm not even sure if this makes sense for me to include it on this list, since ultimately, all the boxes in the attic should come down at some point during my tidying spree (see #5). I've added it though, because honestly, I feel like I could totally just pretend the attic doesn't even exist and go on with my life. 

12. Make something from Pinterest
I have so many projects Pinned that I will probably never think of again, but I'm determined to do something crafty from one of my Pin Boards this year. I've actually been trying to go through my Pins recently to clean up a bit and brainstorm some ideas.

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13. Complete an ASCA course
You may know that I'm a school counselor by day. I'm hoping to complete one of their specialist trainings this year. You know, before they become outdated or obsolete...

14. Finish 2016 & 2017 photo books
Aside from PL being on my To Do list (see #9), I also love making Shutterfly photo books. I desperately need to finish my albums from 2016 and 2017. Has anyone used Chatbooks though? I'm intrigued by their designs, especially their Rifle Paper Co. and Kate Spade series.

15. Set up the Craft Room/Office
I've organized, re-organized, and triple organized my craft room/office multiple times now, but it is continuously our catch all for all the things we don't want our little miss to get into. There are still some unfinished projects, like organizing my ribbon and adding a pegboard, so this year, my goal is to get the place completely set up, taking into consideration how we use the space.

16. Make 12 cards
I've been itching to start getting crafty again. I think that the last card I made was this one, but I honestly can't even remember! 

17. Organize my School Counseling Curriculum
Last year, I purchased a bunch of supplies to get my curriculum organized. I'm hoping to organize the curriculum both physically (books and print outs) as well as electronically (lesson plans and digital components). The good news is I have all summer...

18. Write 18 blog posts
That's right guys, I want to keep you posted on my progress, so I'm planning to write at least 18 blog posts! (Yay me, I'm already making progress on this!) But hopefully, I'll be able to include some additional content in here as well. For example, I'm planning to share my a recent birthday celebration and a handmade Christmas gift soon... so stay tuned!

So there you have it! My 18 for 2018. Did you notice a pattern in my list that shows I'm itching to get crafty and creative again?! I challenge you to make your own list if you haven't already!