October 27, 2018

Friday Favorites: Fall

Hello again! I thought I'd share some Friday Favorites again... Today, here are five favorites for fall! Say that five times fast!

1. Maybe this one is a little too practical, but our heated mattress pad is number one on my list today. It suddenly got cold around these parts and this has kept me nice and cozy at night. I think this might be the one we have.

2. This one surprised me because I'm not a huge fan of Halloween (it's always been a bit too scary for me)... But I am a huge fan of Disney. Also, I'm not a huge fan of the Nightmare Before Christmas (again, too scary for me)... But I am a fan of LEGO BrickHeadz. So after a lot of debating, I got myself the Jack Skellington and Sally BrickHeadz set. And I'm so glad! I have a smallish collection of Disney LEGO BrickHeadz so I'm happy to be able to add them to my collection.

3. I'm super lucky to have a hubby who loves to cook and bake... Especially because I CAN'T cook or bake. LOL. Usually every October, my hubby makes me a pumpkin roll. I'm still waiting patiently, but it is definitely a fall favorite. I think this is the recipe he uses.

4. As the weather gets cooler, I've pulled out my favorite boots. My mom got me a pair of Tommy Hilfiger riding boots a few years ago and I love them. I especially love the two-tone look. But wait! The cuteness continues because my mom found a mini version for my little girl! The smallest size is still too big for her, but I'm hoping she will be able to fit into them next fall and we can be boot buddies!

5. This last one is something on my wish list right now. I've been eyeing some "Be Kind" sweatshirts lately. They just speak to me. This one is on etsy, but I've seen some other designs on some pop-up shops like jane.com and groopdealz. I haven't quite decided which one I want to get. I just love the simplicity and great message. Perfect for my school counselor life.

So there you have it, my five favorites for fall. What are you loving right now?

October 22, 2018

Fancy Pants

Woo hoo! I'm making progress on my 18 for 2018 list

Earlier this summer, I purchased this pair of pale pink pants. I wasn't sure they were "the ones," but I finally wore them to work and I LOVE them!

Just a few notes about these pants:
1. they aren't really PANTS... they are JEANS...
2. they are considered ANKLE length, but I'm short, so they are just right in length
3. I was worried about the fact that they refer to them as "SUPER SKINNY," but they fit pretty comfortably

I pair them with black shirts (surprise, surprise) and I'm pretty happy with how they look.

So they fit. CHECK.
And they look good for work. CHECK.
#2 is done!

September 29, 2018

Friday Favorites: Back to School

I'm trying to get better about posting here... really! I thought I'd try adding a Friday Favorites segment. Today, I'm sharing a little Back to School edition.

1. I mentioned in my last post that I recently ordered a new lunch box - this one from Ju-Ju-Be. We have one for our daughter and I really love it, so of course I had to order one for myself. It's pretty spacious, smooshes down when not in use, comes in lots of great patterns, and most importantly, keeps things cold! The bag has quite a number of non-food uses too, but we currently use one for all the snacks in our diaper bag and my new one is my daily lunch bag for work. My love for all things Ju-Ju-Be continues to grow and this is just one of my favorites!

2. Hello Trello! If you haven't discovered Trello yet, you don't even know how much easier your life could be. Organization and productivity is my jam and Trello makes it possible! It is an amazing website/app that helps to keep all the things organized. I love that you can have as many boards as you need (I have them for work, home, and planning whatever projects I'm currently working on). A bonus is that you can share Trello boards so easily. And their functionality just seems limitless! My explanation of Trello could never do it justice, so I highly recommend checking it out! Oh, I forgot to mention the best part... Trello is FREE!

Image result for printing with hp instant ink

3. Another awesome tool I use is HP Instant Ink. As you may know, I'm an elementary school counselor. What you might not know, is that my hubby and I also do some tot-school types of activities at home with our daughter. That means, I like to print a lot of things! HP Instant Ink makes it possible for me to do that without ever stressing out about how much ink I'm using up. HP Instant Ink is a monthly subscription for printing a select number of pages. What that means is if you print a full color poster or two lines of black and white text, it counts as 1 page and it doesn't matter how much ink you use up. The plans are very affordable, and it is so much less stressful than looking for good prices of ink and having it on hand, because they ship ink to your door as you are running low, so you always have ink on hand. I like the flexibility too, because you can buy more pages if you run over your plan (which I have never had an issue with) and they roll over your unused pages! Now, all I ever have to worry about is making sure I have enough paper and cardstock!
If you're interested in trying it out, use this link or referral code j6TMs for 1 free month!

4. I feel a tiny bit silly writing about a stapler, but it truly is one of my favorite school supplies. If you haven't used a PaperPro stapler yet, you are missing out! Again, sounds silly, but this stapler is a game changer. You can literally staple a huge stack of papers with a single finger. I've had mine for over 5 years now and haven't had any problems. The one pictured about isn't the exact one that I have. Mine is PINK, like all my other desk supplies to prevent them from walking away. (PS. This tip actually works.)

5. So this is a bit random, but a lacrosse ball is on my list for a Back to School favorite. They are wonderful for rolling under your tired feet at the end of the day for a foot massage! This can be useful anytime, but I like to add it to my Back to School favorites, because for me, that's when I start being on my feet a lot more and need the extra TLC at the end of the day. You can use the ball on other release points too. Have you tried something like this?

So that's it! Five Friday Favorites today... What are your favorites for Back to School? I'd love to hear!

September 10, 2018

Currently... September 2018

Hi friends! Here's what I'm up to lately...

WATCHING: Disney Movies!
We've been watching a bunch of different Disney Movies lately with our little girl. We've planned a trip to WDW in December, so we've been doing a little movie countdown with a new movie and themed snack every 10 days. So far, we've watched Finding Nemo with Goldfish, Winnie the Pooh with Teddy Grahams, Dumbo with popcorn, and Toy Story with alphabet cookies. 

READING: nothing.
After making some good progress on my reading goal for my 18 for 2018 challenge, I took a bit of a break. The start of the school year has kept me pretty busy, so taking a break from reading just seemed natural right now. I do have a few books lined up and waiting though... I just can't decide what to start up next!

LISTENING: to the Harry Potter series on audio
We started listening to the audio books this summer when we took our road trip to Ohio. I had heard such good things about Jim Dale, the voice behind the Harry Potter audio series and all those good things are so true. It wasn't actually the plan to start listening to Harry Potter at the 20 year anniversary mark, but it all fell into place. Loving it!

EATING: lunches packed up in my brand new lunch box
I've been in the market for a new lunch bag and decided to get another Ju-Ju-Be. That's right... Another one... Our daughter has a Ju-Ju-Be lunch bag and we absolutely love it. In fact, I like to borrow hers from time to time, so I decided I should probably get my own. :)

DRINKING: coffee with almond milk
I've been trying to lower my sugar intake, so I've been experimenting with various ways to sweeten and add cream to my daily coffee. Right now, I'm trying vanilla almond milk. It's okay... If you have any recommendations, I'd love to hear them!

WEARING: lots of black dresses :)
I think I'm just most comfortable in simply black or black and white dresses. Now that school is back in session, I'm back to my normal wardrobe. Last week I wore these four favorites which I will probably rotate again this week...

Image result for target a new day ruffle sleeve tie waist dress
I have this one from Target in black, of course, but I wish I had gotten all the colors!

Merona Women's Striped Knit Swing Dress Black Stripe Sz XS NWOT
Another Target dress... This one is from a couple of years ago. I actually have it in white (with black stripes) for when I want to mix it up from my usual black and white. LOL. I absolutely LOVE that this has pockets. Again, I should have gotten the other color!

product photoproduct photo
These Old Navy dresses are inexpensive and are great staples to have in your closet. I got these over the summer on super sale, but they are still available! 

I'm always on the hunt for flattering and affordable black and white dresses, so if you know of any great ones, be sure to send them my way!

MAKING: a blanket
I've been working on a big project lately - a memory blanket for my little girl. I've been cutting up little tiny baby outfits and planning out the layout right now. It's tedious work, but lovely to look at! I'm hoping to start sewing soon!

We'll be celebrating our 10th anniversary in December and decided to take a trip to the Happiest Place on Earth! We are SOOOOO excited!

TRYING: to make blogging more of a habit
I've been so bad about blogging. Sadly, it just isn't part of my routine anymore. I'm trying to get better... Really! Blogs aren't really a thing anymore though, are they? Oh well... I'm hoping to add more content soon. Please leave me comments and love to keep me motivated.

WANTING: all the Ju-Ju-Be bags
Okay, confession time... Ever since I ordered my new lunch box, I've become a little obsessed about Ju-Ju-Be bags again. We have a few pieces, including a diaper bag and some organizational bags and I just want MORE, MORE, MORE! Check out this video or this one for inspiration...

FEELING: exhausted
The first week of school was just a little crazy. We had crazy thunder storms at dismissal on the first day of school and the days have just continued to challenge us. Our daughter keeps saying "mommy works after 5:00!" when our school day ends at 4:00. If she's aware that I'm working late, you know it's a problem...

ENJOYING: watching our daughter start school
Our daughter started Pre-K 2 last week and she is absolutely loving it. It is so much fun watching her. She loves learning which makes it so much more enjoyable. Plus she has an AMAZING teacher (who is actually a parent of one of my former students) so it has made the transition so easy for us. It is just wonderful to watch her as she has been growing up into a little person :)

August 20, 2018

The Lego Castle

It's done! Finally! I'm just thrilled and tickled pink by it!

It's been almost a month now... and I'm just that bad at posting on my blog! Oops! Anyway, last month, Hubby and I completed the 4,080 piece LEGO Disney Castle. You may recall that it was gifted to me for Christmas - two years ago - and in January of 2018, my sweet husband and daughter carved out a little corner of their play room to create a LEGO station for me. 

Quite honestly, I don't believe it ever needed to take this long to build. Hubby was pretty insistent that we share in the joy of building and make the fun last as long as possible... That meant that we only worked on the castle together, took turns building, and did small sections at a time, only building once every few weeks.

It. was. torture. 

But in the end, it was all worth it. 
Also, I secretly love that item 1 on my 18 for 2018 list was the first to be complete. 

July 31, 2018


Earlier this summer our rose bushes were in full bloom and I enjoyed every bit of it that I could. I started clipping the beautiful pale pink blooms and adding little clusters of fresh flowers around our house.

I snapped this photo and sent it along to my good friend Naki, who used the photo as inspiration to make a gorgeous card! Naturally, she inspired me to make a card as well (although it just took me a lot longer...) 

Before I talk to you about my card, let me just mention how sweet Naki is... Not only did she recently send me her beautiful card to me for my birthday, but a few months ago, she sent me a bunch of crafty goodies, (including the stamp set that I used on this card), as encouragement to start stamping again! The stamps featured here are actually ones that I had been eyeing for a while, so it was extra special to receive them in the mail!


Paper: Artist's Loft 140# Watercolor Paper, Gold Foil Sheets, Neenah Solar White 80# cardstock, Texture Cuts wood Sheets 
Stamps: Circle Scribble Flowers (My Favorite Things), Perfectly Preserved
Ink: VersaMark
Embellishments: 4mm Marshmallow Sequins (Pretty Pink Posh), crepe paper, washi tape (Sugar Paper for Target)
Tools: Pierced Rectangle Stax Die-namics (My Favorite Things), Simply Said Hello die (Avery Elle)

July 16, 2018

A Cars Card

I'm a bit behind in posting this, but wanted to share anyway... For Father's Day this year, I decided to make a Cars themed card for Hubby. I've mentioned before that our two-year-old loves the Disney Pixar movie, so I thought this would be fitting.

The card I made was pieced together by various punched shapes. I don't make a lot of punch art, but I found this to be quite fun to piece together like a puzzle.

I only had a quick opportunity to snap a photo before the card was discovered and given love from our little girl. She squealed with joy with the prospect of giving the special card to her Daddy (along with a gift bag with a trophy on it, which she proudly announced was a Piston Cup!). In the end, both Daddy and Daughter were thrilled!


Paper: Basic Black cardstock, Neenah Solar White 80# cardstock, Pacific Point cardstock, Real Red cardstock, Summer Sun cardstock
Stamps: Alphabet Rotary Stamp, Gorgeous Grunge
Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black
Embellishments: Enamel Stars (Freckled Fawn), Black Licorice Glittered Gumdrops (Your Next Stamp)
Tools: 1/2" Circle punch, 1 3/4" Circle punch, 2" Circle punch, Full Heart punch, Heart to Heart punch, Itty Bitty Shapes Punch Pack, Large Oval punch

July 2, 2018

18 for 2018 Update

As we enter July, I should be halfway done with my 18 for 2018 list. So here's an update!

1. Build LEGO Disney Castle
I go through spurts of building and then not building... but I've made 75% progress on the castle! It's coming together quite nicely!
progress: 75%

2. Find pants that fit and look good for work
I actually ordered some pants from Old Navy and thought that I liked them... But when I went to wear them, I decided I didn't like them as much as I thought. Is this negative progress?
progress: 0%

3. Create artwork for our home
I brought out the canvas that I want to use... That's progress, right?
progress: 5%

4. Get e-mail inboxes to zero
This is big, guys! I've gotten three of my four ginormous inboxes down to ZERO! Hooray! Now all I have to do is tackle my work e-mail.
progress: 75%

5. Konmari
I'm going to say I'm about 50% done with this one. My house feels about 50% lighter. Is that a good assessment?
progress: 50%

6. Make a card organizer
Honestly, I haven't even thought about this one...
progress: 0%

7. Paint a room or closet
When I wrote my 18 for 2018 list, I was really excited for this one, but my hubby keeps telling me how ridiculous this is. I've been trying to look at paint colors and recently got the okay to paint our hall closet - the tiniest and least obtrusive space in our home, so it's a go! 
progress: 0%

8. Read 4 new books
Believe me when I tell you that I am a slow reader. So I'm pretty proud of my progress on this one. I finished my first book and am almost halfway into my second book. 
progress: about 35%

9. Start Project Life
Still waiting on #15.
progress: 0%

10. Sell stamps and craft supplies
Now that summer is here I'm really going to focus on this. I promise!
progress: So far, only 5%

11. Clean the attic
progress 0%

12. Make something from Pinterest
Still thinking on this one...
progress: 0%

13. Complete an ASCA course
Oh, I kind of forgot about this one... Oops! I need to just sit down and whip this out.
progress: 50%

14. Finish 2016 & 2017 photo books
Nothing new here...
progress: 12.5%

15. Set up the Craft Room/Office
My hubby also recently hung up my ribbon racks, which has really gotten me itching to start crafting again! Next up is hanging my pegboard, figuring out a system for my punches, and organizing my stamps. It's coming along! Hooray!
progress: I think about 50%!?

16. Make 12 cards
I have officially made 2 cards! Woohoo! 
progress: 17%

17. Organize my School Counseling Curriculum
Right now, I'm in the midst of rearranging all the furniture in my office to make space for a second counselor. So although I actually making pretty decent progress on this on the last update, it's been at a bit of a standstill right now. I'm confident that I'll be completely done with this by the end of the summer. 
progress: still about 30%ish

18. Write 18 blog posts Change my name
I decided that I needed to change this. Since completing the 18 items on my list is the whole point of 18 for 2018, it seemed silly to have one the items write about them as I complete them. I decided to revise this to change my name because this really was a goal of mine this year and I felt like it was getting ignored because of this list. My hubby and I will be celebrating our 10th anniversary at the end of the year, and I think it's about time that I take his name. After all, 10 years seems pretty official, right? I've made the decision and printed out the paperwork that I need to complete, so I'm going to go with 25% progress! Ha!
progress: 25

Last time I posted a similar long and boring post about my 18 for 2018 progress, I got a huge burst of energy (accountability!) and got to work on a bunch of stuff. So here's hoping for another burst! And thanks again for the accountability :)

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...

Related image

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. 

Image result for how to talk so little kids will listen

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 to 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! :)

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 (not really in our kitchen, but something we would love). 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 on 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!