June 4, 2018

Currently... June 2018

I can't believe this... It is June! JUNE! Already! I was seriously JUST working on my May update post (which I never finished... hehehe). The last few months have just flown by! Here's what I'm up to lately...

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I don't know if I've mentioned it before, but our daughter is OBSESSED with Cars. She calls it Movie Cars. We actually don't watch it the movie that much, but she talks about it constantly. She sleeps with a little "Liting MaKeen" Tsum Tsum plush, pushes a little Duplo Tow Mater all over our house, wants to make everything a race, puts on a pretend seat belt anytime she sits down, and calls every single slick looking car that she sees on the road a "Movie Car." The girl makes me giggle so much. 

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READING: for my 18 for 2018 challenge
I re-started reading How to Talk so Little Kids will Listen and am finally finished! (I told you I was a slow reader!) I read the original, How to Talk so Kids will Listen and Listen so Kids Will Talk. I highly recommend it - and have loaned out my copy already. This one is a great follow up that shows how to use the same skills with some younger examples. I'm not saying that living with a toddler is a breeze, but we get through some difficult times a little easier when we use these tools. 

LISTENING: to A to B Podcast
I recently discovered this podcast and listened to it straight through from episode one. I love that it is more like listening in to a fun (and sometimes frank) conversation between two friends, one who is a professional organizer and one who is the opposite. I wouldn't call her a hoarder, by any means, but let's just say that it is difficult for her to let go of many things - including some things that seem like trash. Lol. I love the conversations, because as I make my way through Konmari-ing my house, I feel like sometimes I am a lot like Autumn and other times much more like Bethany.

EATING: more chocolate...?
That sounds silly since the last time I did an update, I posted that I was eating LESS chocolate! LOL! Both are true. I am eating more Lindt chocolates than I was back in March, but I'm still pretty good about not eating out of the candy dishes that seem to be everywhere at my school. Now donuts... that's another story...

DRINKING: more water
I've been trying to stick to a goal of 2 bottles of water during the day at school and 2 bottles in the evening at home. Now I know that I'm still not getting nearly enough water... but at least I'm getting better about my water consumption. This coming from a girl who used to ONLY drink water... sigh...

WEARING: pants, or at least trying to
I'm still on my hunt for pants that fit and have been ordering various pairs that I find online. I still haven't found anything that I love. Who would have thought that finding pants would be such a challenge?!?

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 more! 

PLANNING: our summer!
I suppose you could argue that June is just a tad too late to be planning your summer... lol. We only decided a couple of weeks ago that we would be traveling back to Ohio for the summer. Mainly to see our families, but also to see my best buddy's sweet baby girl! Our daughter is just mesmerized by her. She requests to call her almost every day and has been picking out her old toys and too small clothes to share with her. It's so sweet. We can't wait to meet her!

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: to sleep in
Our little girl is an early riser like my hubby. She climbs into our bed (which of course requires that she climbs over me because climbing into bed on her daddy's side, when he is already awake just doesn't make sense for a 2 year old) and sits in between us with a bunch of stuffed animals (which requires multiple trips up and down from the bed and over her snoozing mommy) and looks at her books. Her favorites right now are Elephant and Piggy books. She lets me sleep (or try to sleep) for a while, then gets out of bed when her daddy decides it's time for breakfast. I usually sleep for another hour until she comes back in and gently says "Mommy, it's time to wake up!" It's so sweet and I wouldn't trade it for a thing, but sometimes I do wish I could get that extra hour without being climbed over a dozen times. Hehehe.

FEELING: productive!
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 so I 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! 

ENJOYING: my quiet time
The good news is that next year, we are getting a second full-time counselor at my school of over 825 students. Bus, we will be sharing my office. My office isn't tiny, by any means, but it isn't huge either. I've had practice sharing it with my interns this year, and have had to share it once before with a second full-time counselor when we hired my awesome sidekick for half a year. I'm trying to be optimistic, and hoping that I'll get lucky to have another counselor that I can work so closely with and share my breathing space with for a second time. For now, I'm appreciating my quiet time and personal space. 

I'm sorry that I've been struggling to include pictures in these long posts. The posts are motivating for me to reflect on my life, as boring as they may seem for others... I'm hoping to have some better content soon!

May 15, 2018

Crafting with a Toddler: Mother's Day

Happy Belated Mother's Day! Hope your day was wonderful!

I'm excited to share that I finally had a chance to pull out some crafty goodies and create something! And with my two year-old daughter, no less!


Let me walk you through the fun and challenging process...

Step 1: Decide on a whim that you should really make Mother's Day cards with your toddler... Realize that you haven't created a card in over a year and really have no idea what supplies you even have!

Step 2: After moving a bunch of boxes around, rediscover your stash as you try to find just the right stamps to use. I knew that I needed something that our little girl could color along with a simple sentiment. I decided on these airplane stamps because our daughter LOVES vehicles right now.

Step 3: Select a simple color palette and decide on a rough design. Stamp the large images on white cardstock. Cut into "coloring pages" and leave out with some "special crayons" in the color palette for the little girl to discover.

Step 4: Enjoy the coloring! My hubby stays home with our girl during day, so he encouraged her to color away! She was so thrilled to color the airplanes and to use the "special crayons" (standard Crayola crayons in specific colors, which seem very special compared to her big crayons). She even colored some extra paper that we later slipped into the cards.

Step 5: Fussy cut your beautifully colored images. Wrestle the little banners out of your baby's hands. It all worked out since now the banners look like the wind caught them. Hehehe.

Step 6: Assemble the rest of the card after your little one has gone to bed. We're lucky cause our daughter goes to bed at 6pm!

Paper: Dapper Denim cardstock, Neenah Solar White 80# cardstock, Sunshine and Sparkles Designer Series Paper, Strawberry Slush cardstock, White Vellum cardstock
Stamps: Messages for Mom (Stampin' Up!), Thanks for the Lift (My Creative Time)
Ink: Dapper Denim
Embellishments: Washi Tape (Target), Baker's Twine (Target)
Tools: Heart punch

April 2, 2018

18 for 2018 Progress

Alright guys. It's April! Already? So, now that we're a quarter into 2018, I should be a quarter done with my 18 for 2018 list. Right...? Ummm. Not so much... I thought I'd share my progress anyway. Let's see how things are going!

1. Build LEGO Disney Castle
I actually started this one a while ago and made a good bit of progress. And then suddenly, I just stopped... but I've made exactly 25% progress on the castle!
progress: 25%

2. Find pants that fit and look good for work
I did find some pants from Lands End that I'm interested in trying out. I'm just waiting for a good sale since I missed the last big one! Does this count as progress?
progress: 25%???

3. Create artwork for our home
I won't be able to start this one until I finish #15, but, I've been organizing my pins, which has been helping me get a better idea of what I want to make.
progress: 0%

4. Get e-mail inboxes to zero
When I posted my list, I shared with you how embarrassed I am to tell you the condition of my mailboxes. Let me just tell you that I have four e-mail accounts - Work, Personal, Hobby, and Family. I've gotten our family inbox down to ZERO! Hooray! So that's 25% progress! Right on track! And actually, if you are talking about actual number of e-mails, I think I've made about 60% progress! 
progress: 25% or 60%

5. Konmari
The big picture idea of Konmari puts items into 5 big categories: Clothes, Books, Paper, Komono (miscellany), and Sentimental Items. So if you disregard the fact that the Komono probably amounts to about 60-75% of the stuff in your house, and just go with the 5 big categories, we could say that I'm 50% done because I've finished clothes, books, and am halfway through paper. But realistically, I think I'm only about 20% done since Clothes, Books, and Paper are only a fraction of all the stuff in my house.
progress: 20% or 50%

6. Make a card organizer
progress: 0%

7. Paint a room or closet
progress: 0%

8. Read 4 new books
I re-started reading a book. That makes me sound kind of lame, but really, this is huge since I'm not a big reader. I read How to Talk so Kids will Listen & Listen so Kids will Talk last year and really enjoyed it. I even shared it with one of the teachers at my school with the hopes that it will help her communicate better with her students. I decided to read How to Talk so Little Kids will Listen as a follow up (and hopefully to teach me some better ways to communicate with my own Little Kid.) I'm only into chapter 2, so I haven't made much progress on this one, but I do think this is a book that you read slowly so you can practice the strategies as you read.
progress: about 7%

9. Start Project Life
I'll be able to begin once I'm done with #15.
progress: 0%

10. Sell stamps and craft supplies
I've sold 3 (yes, count them, 3!) stamp sets so far. Which means a teeny bit of progress, but progress nonetheless.
progress: 5%?

11. Clean the attic
I won't be tackling this one until after I'm done with #5
progress 0%

12. Make something from Pinterest
I'm still in the process of cleaning out my pins. Why I decided I needed to go through ALL. MY. PINS., I have no idea! So... I'm still deciding what I want to make. Plus, I really think my office needs to be ready for me to get crafty...
progress: 0%

13. Complete an ASCA course
I've actually made progress here! I've slowly been reading the articles and such and am happy to report that I am about half-way done with one of the courses! Hooray!
progress: about 50%

14. Finish 2016 & 2017 photo books
I've made progress here as well! I just ordered one of the 2016 books that I've been working on. I have about 7 more books that I want to finish, so I'm about 12.5% done... ugh. It sounded a lot better when I said that I finished one. Hahaha!
progress: 12.5%

15. Set up the Craft Room/Office
Okay, so in the midst of doing my Konmari, organizing my paper has helped me to organize my desk area and files, which means I've made a teensy bit of progress.
progress: let's say 5%

16. Make 12 cards
Geez. It seems that there is a lot riding on #15...
progress: 0%

17. Organize my School Counseling Curriculum
So I've been organizing both my electronic and paper lessons in my office at work, and I think I've actually made a pretty decent dent. Honestly, If I just devoted an afternoon to it, I could get it all done. The problem is... there aren't any free afternoons!
progress: about 30%ish

18. Write 18 blog posts
Technically I've just written my 5th post, which means I've made over 1/4 of the progress for this item, but since my original goal was to provide updates once I completed each item, you could argue that I've  made 0% progress.
progress: 0% or 28%

Sorry that this was a lengthy (and probably boring post since there were no pictures!) I had planned to add photos, but I've just been so busy! Quite honestly, this is more of an accountability post for me... So, thanks buddy, for being my accountability partner! :)