May 13, 2019

Roses Again

Our daughter received a fun little paint with water set for Easter. I mentioned before how she has been enjoying doing little "art projects." Painting is sometimes one of the things she chooses to do. She has inspired me to get out my watercolors too and I recently sat down to paint some roses. 

I scrolled through some old photos on my phone to find just the right inspiration and came across this one again. You may recall that the same photo inspired me to make a card last year. Apparently I still love this photo. I think that may have also been the last time I brought out my water colors. 

Our roses just started blooming last week and we have been thoroughly enjoying the hint of pink in the morning and the heavenly scents. We have been loving having fresh flowers from our garden in our home. Our little girl has even been asking for her own roses for her bedroom and requested to take two small vases of flowers to her teachers last week.

I am no gardener and will be the first to confess that I have killed many a cactus in my lifetime. It was my hubby's idea to plant three pale pink rose bushes to celebrate the birth of our sweet baby girl three years ago. I never expected for them to be so gorgeous and bring such happiness to our home. It is extra sweet to see our daughter so joyful about our roses that we planted just for her. 

May 6, 2019

Currently... May 2019

Hi there! Has 2019 been flying by for you? Last month was a blur, especially because I spent half of the month sick - I honestly can't remember what was happening while I was so out of sorts. I'm feeling better and trying to get back into the groove of things. Here's what is going on with me (at least for now!)

Cars 2 Poster.jpg

I've told you before how our daughter loves Cars. For her birthday, she asked for Cars 2 and Cars 3 (we had been watching Cars 3 on Netflix and the original Cars on DVD, but had never seen the second movie). Let me tell you, Cars 2 was a winner! She loves the fact that they travel, especially when they go to Japan, and loves the spy movie action. It's a favorite around our house. 

READING: Little People Big Dreams Board Books
Our daughter loves to read. She takes two books to bed with her every night and "reads" in bed until we tell her lights out. We've collected a few books from the Little People Big Dreams board book series and they are currently her favorites. She asks us to read them to her constantly, offers to read them to us, and always has two of them stacked next to her bed. The illustrations are mesmerizing and the stories are engaging. They have been a huge hit around here and we are excited to add to our collection!


LISTENING: to Young House Love has a Podcast
I've been a long-time fan of YHL; in fact, I used to read their blog back when they were "This Young House!" I always enjoy their podcast antics and love hearing what they are up to. 

EATING: mini marshmallows
Somehow our daughter is convinced that mini marshmallows are a "special treat" so we munch on them as dessert after dinner on days that she has good table manners. They are so special to her that they are on front and center display in our glass cabinet. Being three must be so joyful!

DRINKING: various teas
I finished off my favorite English Rose Tea that I shared with you previously and now am on the hunt for a new favorite. I've just been trying out whatever sparks my interest, but haven't found anything quite as lovely yet.
WEARING: a lot of black
You know I love black. I've been reading The Curated Closet, which has encouraged me to feel even more comfortable wearing what I love. 

MAKING: wedding signs
I've been working on some weddings programs, menus, signs, and more for a good friend who will be married at the end of the month. I am so loving how everything is turning out so far!

PLANNING: to fix up the blog
I know this blog is due for some major updates. Now that I'm sort-of back to blogging regularly, I think I really need to get to it!

OK For Kids
TRYING: essential oils
I really have no idea what I am doing, but we have recently started trying this OK for Kids essential oil line and our daughter just loves it. She loves to put "beach on her feet" as part of her after-bath routine. 

WANTING: to write some better posts
I may be being hard on myself, but I honestly haven't had many blog-worthy moments. I'm trying to get back into the groove of things so that I can share some of my life but it's honestly just as exciting as I've been able to share. Haha. I've been cleaning out some photos and such and found some stuff that I never had a chance to blog about, so I'm hoping to find time to share some blasts from the past. Stay tuned :)

FEELING: curious...
I've started to become more and more interested in Instagram. I don't really do any social media, but I keep getting drawn to various IG accounts. I'm thinking I should join at the very least so that I can follow some of my favorites... What do you think? Should I make the plunge? Or is it too dangerous? Will I never look up from my phone again? LOL!

ENJOYING: "art projects" with our girly
Recently, our daughter has been carrying armloads of papers, stickers, and all sorts of other goodies, and says "Are you ready to do an art project?!" They mostly consist of drawing something, adding stickers,and taping pieces or paper (or sometimes whole notepads) together. I love her spirit and she inspires me to want to do REAL art projects with her soon!

Hope your year has been enjoyable so far. I still can't believe it is May already! What's new with you? Do share!

April 22, 2019

Six Books

Hello! I promise that I haven't gone missing... I've just been sick for the past couple of weeks and it has been kicking my butt! We are finally on Spring Break and I've been able to rest a bit. I'm back today with an update on my 19 for 2019.

It doesn't seem too long ago that I posted about finally finishing my 4 books for my 18 for 2018 project. This year, I challenged myself to read 6 books. And I'm done!

Remember when I told you I wasn't really a reader? Guess what! I've become a reader! Granted, I mostly read kids books, but I'm reading... In fact, I finished one of these books in 3 days. THREE days! It used to take me an eternity to finish a book. And here I am a quarter of the way into the year, having read 6 (actually 9) books.

Here's what I've read so far:

Book 1. 
by Marie Kondo

I've mentioned before that I'm a fan of Marie Kondo. I decided to read the manga version earlier in the year. It was a fun and quick read. From a marketing standpoint, it's pretty brilliant, since you can basically understand the whole method without reading the full book. 

Book 2.
by Liz Braswell

I can't tell you enough how much I love this series. I'm sorry if you're tired of hearing it. What amazes me is that each book is written in its own unique way. I can't explain. You'll have to pick them up and read them for yourselves!

Book 3. 
by Myquillyn Smith

I got this from the library on a whim. I wanted something to read while I figured out what I wanted to read next. I used to follow The Nester's blog when we lived in our apartment and always enjoyed her outlook of looking for temporary fixes in our temporary home. I really like the way she talks about the order of making a room in this book. I've always wanted a rug in my space, but now I'm desperately needing one in our home! 

Book 4.
by Neil Patrick Harris

I like Neil Patrick Harris and was curious to see what his book would entail. It is exactly what I would expect from him - the magic, the humor - it's all very him. Hahaha.

Book 5. 
by Serena Valentino

You know I love a good twisted fairy tale, so I was excited to read this one. It was more of a pre-quel and a glimpse into the life of the villain. This one had me on an emotional roller coaster in an unexpected way!

Book 6.
Better than Before: What I Learned About Making and Breaking Habits
by Gretchen Rubin

I'm a fan of Gretchen Rubin's podcast, Happier, which prompted me to read her book, The Happiness Project, last year. My hubby actually gifted me with The Four Tendencies for Christmas, but I wanted to read Better than Before first.

Other Books I've Read:
These are other books that I've read cover to cover. I just didn't include them in my official list because of the format of the book. Clearly I'm into home organization and decorating right now!

by Toni Hammersly

The Home Edit: A Guide to Organizing and Realizing Your House Goals
by Clea Shearer & Joanna Teplin

The Adventures of Robin Hood
by Roger Lancelyn Green

So this is a real novel, but the reason why it didn't make my official list is because I didn't read it for myself. Most evenings, we read a few pages from a classic novel to our daughter. She is amazingly interested and our novel collection is growing. We love these Puffin Classics because they look so beautiful on our bookshelf.

So there you have it!

The six, no, NINE books I've read so far this year. Perhaps I will be back again with an update of even more books... What have you been reading and loving lately?

April 1, 2019

19 for 2019 Progress

It's April, which means it's time for me to share my progress on my 19 for 2019 list!

1. Be the ultimate villain
I'm making good progress on this one! I only have 2 more villains to go - Captain Hook & Jafar. But did you see that there is an expansion pack?!? So excited for more villain goodness...
progress: 67%

2. Get a mani/pedi
I'm currently working on growing out my nails. They were kind of a mess and kept splitting during the winter months. They are finally growing again!

progress: 0%

3. Replace clothing basics
I haven't quite started this yet, although I've kind of started to mentally take inventory of what I need to replace
progress: 1%?

4. Make a capsule wardrobe
I mentioned that I've done a lot of purging of my closet and I'm living with just a handful of favorites right now, but it's not an official capsule wardrobe. Recently while we are in the middle of weird spring weather (you know the days that are cold, but not so cold that you need all the layers) I sometimes feel like I don't have enough clothes... I might have to rethink some of my options here.
progress: 0%

5. Read 6 new books
I've been on a reading frenzy lately and am already halfway through my sixth book!
progress: 83%

6. Find a planner I like and use it
I've been super busy at work so I haven't had a chance to even think about this. For now, I'm still using Office365 and using it the best that I can.
progress: 0%

7. Make a home binder
I've actually started putting things together in a binder. I'm still trying to test things out and then need to finish labeling stuff. So far it has been really nice keeping everything together!
progress: 50%

8. Fix or replace something old in our house
Nothing yet...
progress: 0%

9. Sell some stuff on ebay
My hubby and I have been working on this and we have already sold some items and we're still going strong! Since I set my bar low and the goal was just to sell SOME stuff, I'm happy to announce that I've officially checked this one off my list!

10. Get a new plant
progress: 0%

11. Decorate the play room

While we're still in the midst of selling stuff on ebay, we've been using the play room area as a sort of sorting and staging area... Eventually we'll be able to take back the play room and decorate it!
progress: 0%

12. Hang up artwork and photos
I made a little print for my husband for our anniversary and we hung it up right away. Other than that, we haven't hung up anything else, although we have some plans...
progress: 10%

13. Organize photos
Nothing yet...
progress: 0%

14. Make 2018 photo books
I'm about halfway done with one of them, so hooray for progress! Not sure how many photo books I had intended to make, but I'm going to go with two - one for the year and one for our Disney trip.
progress: 20%??

15. Update our family blog

I recently went on there and updated the format of the blog. I think I'm liking it...? More updates will be made soon!
progress: 50%ish

16. Make a quilt

I haven't touched it yet!
progress: 0%

17. Try a no spend challenge
Hmm... I should start thinking about this one soon...
progress: 0%

18. Save an extra $500
Since selling stuff on ebay, I'm happy to say we've put the extra money in the bank already!

19. Take a vacation
We just bought our tickets for our trip to Japan, so it's official!
progress: Can I count that as 25%?

So there you have it! My progress so far this year. I feel like I'm leaps and bounds ahead of where I was last year. How is your list coming along?

March 25, 2019

Spring Things

Today I thought I'd share a few spring things that we've been collecting for our little girls' Easter basket along with a few wish list items... She is three and is extremely practical. She doesn't usually ask for a lot, so we sometimes have trouble figuring out what to get her! These are the things she is loving right now.

Llama Llama Easter Egg & I Spy Little Bunnies
Our daughter LOVES to read! She takes two books with her to bed every night and will lay in bed "reading" until we tell her lights out. Some of her favorites are the Llama Llama board book series and the I Spy Little Series. These were no brainers for us.

Yum Earth Gummy Fruits
She received some of these Yum Earth gummy fruits from a friend for Valentine's day and has been wanting them ever since. We found a big bag of bunny shaped ones and thought they were perfect!

We love a cute little suit like this one. We'll probably gift her some swim lessons too.

Our daughter adores "zippy jammas," as she calls them. I adore the way these short sleeve ones look like a little rash guard swim suit. 

Our girl has wild hair that falls right into her face. I haven't tried these Ryan and Wren clips yet, but I've heard good things about them and they look so well made. We got her a few of her favorite colors.

Piggy Paint
"Painty nails" has been frequently requested around our house. This will be our first brave attempt at trying out nail polish!

Jump rope
Our little girl recently told us she wants to jump rope and then proceeded to use my husband's belt to attempt to show us how. We're not sure where she picked this up, but we're game for a simple toy, especially if it keeps her from whipping dad's belt around. Yikes.

Disney Princess Band-Aids
Because what three-year-old doesn't love Band-aids?
PS. If your child ever puts bandages on a stuffed animal friend and it gets completely stuck in their fur, rub lotion in it to get it off then wash as directed. Trust me. We've tried it and it works!

What are you adding into your Easter Basket? I'd love to hear!

March 18, 2019

A Practically Perfect Party

How embarrassing... I never posted this LAST YEAR!!! Oops!
I guess it's better late (really late) than never!
Back in January of 2018, we celebrated our sweet daughter's second birthday with a little party.

We were all pretty excited, since this would actually be her first birthday party... Two years ago, we had a fun "One-derland" themed party prepared and hubby and I both started throwing up the night before the party. Yuck! So when she turned two, we were determined to celebrate! We loved our "One-derland" theme, but wanted something different for her second birthday. I still managed to re-purpose quite a bit from the party that never was...

Being the crazy Disney fanatic that I am, we chose Mary Poppins as our theme. Hubby and I like to choose a theme that is meaningful to us, but has a bit of Disney whimsy. Every evening at our house, we read a little bit of classic children's literature and the story by P.L. Travers was one that we read last year. We love combining Disney and the original classic (which is what sparked the theme for the first birthday as well). 

This easel was a birthday gift from my parents. I decided to add a bit of chalk art and a nod to Bert's chalk paintings.

We served a spread of tasty desserts for her "Spoonful of Sugar" celebration:
Admiral Boom's Cannon Balls - melon balls
Mrs. Brill's Vegetables - veggie tray
Spoonfuls of Sugar - chocolate spoons dipped in sprinkles
Bert's Chimney Sweeps - chocolate dipped marshmallows on sticks
Mrs. Cory's Stars - shortbread cookies
Michael's Strawberry Ice - Italian ice
East Wind Jell-o - blue Jell-o with whipped topping, topped with an umbrella
Jolly Holiday Penguins - penguin shaped gummies
Mary Poppins Corn - kettle corn
Cheese Umbrellas - Babybel Cheese with straw umbrella handles
Uncle Albert's Cherry Cheesecakes - mini cheesecakes
Jane's Lemon-Lime Tarts - mini lemon and lime desserts

The funny thing is that our daughter didn't even eat sweets at the time! But we sure enjoyed sugaring up all the other kids! Hahaha!

Above the drink station were some adorable paper kites, but I completely forgot to get a photo of them! The fun labels say "Something is Brewing," "Rum Punch (but without the rum, so just plain punch)" and "Barley Water". The glass bottles and straws are from my dedication to Starbucks coffee, and recycled from the first party. My mom tied a different red bow to each bottle so people could keep track of their drinks. We also brought out an assortment of beautiful and dainty tea cups that my grandmother passed down to our daughter.

For dessert, my hubby made Merry-Go-Round cupcakes and a special cake for the Birthday Girl.
I re-purposed some of the giant flowers from the "One-derland" party and added some daisies in the spirit of Mary Poppins.

This cake stand belongs to my dear friend. It's actually one of those three-tiered cupcake stands. I took it apart, and configured it to use just the bottom and top tiers, then added some paper and ribbon embellishments. 

I'm not sure what we were thinking when we decided to have black icing for our daughter's first bite of cake, but she did really well with it - she's a very neat little eater! Also, are we evil parents for depriving her of sugar for so long?! It wasn't even a real cake - it's banana bread under there. My hubby added chocolate covered blueberries and a candy daisy in the fashion of the famous hat.

Other decorations included a giant silhouette of our daughter in our entryway. It sat above the present table alongside framed silhouettes from our trips to Disneyland at 8 months old and Tokyo Disneyland when she was 18 months old. We may be crazy for taking an 18 month old on a 24 hour trip to Japan, but that's a story for another day...

We set out a little mailbox where guests could write a birthday wish for our little girl. These adorable cards were from a time capsule gift from a sweet friend of mine for her first birthday. We didn't make much use of it for the original intention, but the bird cards were perfect for this theme! 

Also, I am so terrible about taking photos and forgot to take a photo of our hallway lined with a city skyline to resemble the rooftops of London. Or the frame on the bathroom mirror to resemble Mary constantly checking out her reflection. I love adding little details in unexpected places!

I made this mini hat headband for the birthday girl, with some random supplies I had in my craft room. She was pretty excited when I let her wear it! It was so fun to make... I secretly wish I could make tiny hats for tons of other occasions too!

I also re-created the famous parrot umbrella! I used a dowel rod, handkerchief, felt, ribbon, paint, and hot glue. It sat in our window with the cardboard carpet bag that I saved from my first trip to New York when I went to see Mary Poppins on Broadway many years ago (scroll to the top to see)!

For favors, I had these berry baskets, leftover from the first party, and added some tuppence (chocolate coins), a handmade bird feeder ornament, since our daughter loves birds, some sidewalk chalk, and a giant balloon, all references to either the original story or the Disney version. Of course I forgot to photograph the final product... (this is the lame, late night photo I took when I was asking my friend, Naki what else I should add to the baskets!)

I hope you enjoyed this very belated post and the very haphazard photos. I never claimed to be a photographer! Haha. I'm hoping to be back soon with details from this year's party! 
TTFN (ta ta for now!)

March 11, 2019


I did it! Finally!

It's not very exciting, but I promised to post an update, so here it is...

One of my goals last year was to complete an ASCA U course. I told you that I was still working on completing my 18 for 2018 list (see #13) and I've kept my word. 

The truth is, I'm a little embarrassed to tell you that what I started last year actually expired (Eeks!) and I had to start from the beginning again. But I did it! I hunkered down and completed the training! I am now an official Trauma and Crisis Management Specialist. Sounds fancy, doesn't it?

Feels good to have another thing checked off the list! 

The crazy thing is now that I completed one of these, I kind of want to do another one... Hmm... It's interesting how these lists are making me want to accomplish more! 

How about you? Is there anything that you've been wanting to do? Today is the day to start! I'm cheering you on!

March 4, 2019

Currently... March 2019

How have you been, friend? Here's what's new with me!

WATCHING: Ralph Breaks the Internet
As you may know, we are huge Disney fans around here. Our daughter was so excited to see this movie because she wanted to see the princesses in different clothes. She cracks us up. I'll have to admit that there are some parts that I wasn't sure about for her, but she loved it all the same. I'm still in awe that Disney was able to figure out a way to animate what the internet is like on the inside! 

READING: As Old as Time by Liz Braswell
I recently shared that I'm reading the third book in the Twisted Tales series. I just finished it and loved it! What should I read next?

LISTENING: to Cultivate a Good Life
I only just discovered this podcast and am just a few episodes in. You guys, it is SO good. It has given me much to think about. My favorite episodes so far? Episode 004: Kids + Technology and Episode 006: Check Your Marriage Temperature.

EATING: waffles
My daughter gifted my her daddy a mini waffle maker for Christmas (she makes me laugh so much) and he has been spoiling us with waffles on special mornings. At first he thought it was a totally lame gift, but I think he secretly loves it. It makes her smile to get waffles, which she claims is one of her favorite foods (along with donuts and soup) and it makes him smile to see her eat her breakfast with such enthusiasm. 

I shared this just last week that I'm enjoying tea in the evenings to relax after a long day of work. Currently, I'm enjoying this English Rose Tea from Republic of Tea.

WEARING: Dr. Seuss inspired outfits
Last week our school celebrated Read Across America and we have been wearing some fun outfits. I love spirit weeks. It seems strange to think of it this way, but it is kind of a no-brainer for when it comes to outfit planning if it is spirit week. The photo above is my fellow school counselor and I twinning on Thing 1 Thing 2 day.

MAKING: time to read
I just recently blogged about how I'm not a reader... Since then, I've been reading up a storm! I've already finished 3 books within two months and am halfway into another! I think I'm going to try out these Villains books next...

PLANNING: a trip to Japan
We're heading to Japan this fall and we are so excited. We are going to celebrate the Shichi-Go-San festival with our daughter. I know it's a while away, but we are starting to make our plans!

TRYING: to keep up with blogging! 
I know I haven't been very good at blogging (for several years...) and I'm trying to get back into the habit. I hope that one day I will have more inspiring and encouraging content for you... For now, I'm just trying to keep up with my life!

WANTING: a good night's sleep
Our little girl has recently been waking up a lot in the middle of the night. We're trying to figure out the best formula to get her to sleep soundly through the night. 

FEELING: a little tired...
see above

ENJOYING: lots of puzzles
Our daughter is on a huge puzzle kick right now and we are having so much fun! We recently got this 4 in 1 box of Thomas Kinkade Disney puzzles. After completing a 750 Dumbo puzzle, these smaller ones seem much more do-able! 

So... what's new with you? 

March 1, 2019

Friday Favorites: Snow Day

I know it's March, but last week, we enjoyed a snow day here. Outside it was wet and yucky with snow, followed by freezing rain, followed by rain, so we spent the day indoors. I thought I would share some of my favorites for a lazy day at home on the blog today...

1. Cozy Pajamas. I feel like this one is kind of a no-brainer, but staying in pajamas all day is my favorite thing to do on a lazy day! Our daughter even requests to stay in her "jammas" regularly. I really like the loungewear from Uniqlo - they are comfy and a good price point.

2. Our three-year-old daughter is obsessed with puzzles and has been begging us to do a "big puzzle with tiny pieces." We realized that we only have two sizes of puzzles in our house - 24 pieces and 1000 pieces. We pulled out this puzzle that I got at Disneyland a few years ago when we went for their 60th Anniversary Celebration. It was a ton a fun for our family to do together! I'm also a big fan of the Disney Fine Art puzzles. The Toby Bluth ones my favorite, although his puzzles are hard to find! Since completing this puzzle, we've been searching for a more reasonable sized puzzle to do with a three-year-old. I think we will try our hand at 300 pieces...

3. We also love to spend some time reading. On this particular snow day, we all snuggled up in our bed with a book. My husband is currently re-reading the Hobbit, I'm halfway into the third book in the Twisted Tales series, and our daughter sat with a stack of her favorite Llama Llama board books (she loves these and these). It's so nice to cuddle up together and sweet to see our little girl enjoy "reading" independently.

4. A snuggly blanket is a must for a cold day indoors. My hubby gifted me a weighted blanket for Christmas and it is lovely to sit under while reading or lounging on the sofa. The one we have is 12 pounds, which I really like since most that we have seen are 15lbs. One not so great thing is that it isn't machine washable... We haven't found a cover for it that we like yet, so we are just careful and usually have a thin blanket underneath it. I've been considering getting a smaller and lighter one for our daughter as well.

5. Recently my hubby and I have been enjoying a cup of tea in the evenings. It's especially nice on a cold day indoors! My current favorite is this Downton Abbey English Rose Tea. It's beautiful to watch as it steeps and has a lovely rich flavor.

So there you have it! Five of our favorites for a cozy day indoors. What are your must haves? Hope you are staying warm!

February 26, 2019

19 for 2019

Last year I embarked on a challenge to complete 18 things for 2018.
I learned a lot from that challenge and although I'm still working on that list, I've created a new list for 2019!

1. Be the ultimate villain
Hahahaha. Let's start off with something fun. My hubby got me the Disney Villainous game for Christmas and I just love it. (Have you noticed that I'm on a villains kick right now?) The funny thing is that I am actually REALLY BAD at the game. Hahaha. I am good at almost all things Disney, but he kicks my butt at this game. Every. Single. Time. My goal this year is to beat him at least once with each villain. This will be a fun challenge!

2. Get a mani/pedi
Who doesn't love a good pampering? I want to either get a mani/pedi or give myself one - that counts, right? - because that sounds maybe a little more realistic and do-able.

3. Replace clothing basics
I've done a lot of purging of my clothes and realized that I need to start replacing some of my basics - like camis and layering tees and that sort of thing. Nothing fancy. Just all that stuff that is really boring to buy.

4. Make a capsule wardrobe
The idea of a capsule wardrobe sounds fascinating to me. If you know me, I usually wear the same outfits on rotation every week, so I basically have a capsule wardrobe. Hahaha. I want to work on refining it and making the contents meaningful.

5. Read 6 new books
I had a similar goal last year to read 4 new books. Since then, I've been hooked on reading! This year, I've upped the challenge and hope to read 6 new books!

6. Find a planner I like and use it
I've always loved the idea of writing things into a daily planner, but sometimes I'm not very good at keeping it up. Right now I keep everything in my Office365 calendar and it works pretty well, but I don't know if that's the right thing for me. I want to find something useful that will help me stay organized and be more productive. I'm not exactly sure what that will look like. It might just be some tweaking to what I already use or a brand new paper planner... We'll see!

7. Make a home binder
I'd love to get all my papers organized into a reference binder of some sort.

8. Fix or replace something old in our house
There are lots of things in our home that could use a bit of sprucing up - both big and small. Our driveway, the back door, the interior doors, the entire bathroom (haha), the closet shelving, the sofa, the piano... the list goes on... If we can fix or replace one thing, even a small thing, I'd call it a win.

9. Sell some stuff on ebay
After doing a lot of decluttering and organizing, we've found a lot of stuff that my hubby and I are ready to let go of. We donated a ton of it, but we kept a handful of boxes in our closet that we want to eventually sell on ebay. This is the year!

10. Get a new plant
I've been longing for more greenery in our home. Should be simple enough. Just gotta find something that I can't kill...

11. Decorate the play room
When our daughter turned one, we designated the spare room as a play room and cleaned it up so it was usable. It really is a great play room, but it doesn't have any decorations nor is it very cute. I'd love to spruce it up a bit - maybe with a fun Disney vibe! :)

12. Hang up artwork and photos
There are a few blank walls in our home that are still begging for something. I have some idea of what I want up there, I just gotta get around to doing it.

13. Organize photos
This one might be one of those things that I regret putting on this list, but I really want to sort through our photos. We still have some boxes of old photos to organize as well as lots of digital photos that need to be purged.

14. Make 2018 photo books
Last year my goal was to get caught up on 2016 & 2017 photo books. I'm not done yet, but I thought I'd go ahead and add 2018 to my to-do list to keep me from getting too far behind. One day I am sure I will have a better system for this!

15. Update our family blog
I've talked before about how we have a private blog where we post photos of our girly to keep our families in the know of what's happening in our life. I've done a mostly good job of posting sort-of regularly for the past 3 years. I think it's time for a bit of sprucing up though.

16. Make a quilt
Last year, my daughter stole my blankie from me. We knew this would happen eventually... Since stealing mommy's blankie, she has been asking when she would get a blankie of her own. I've had this dream since before our little girl was born to make a quilt, so that has kind of been the push that I've needed.

17. Try a no spend challenge
I'm not exactly sure what this will look like for us either, but I'd love to try out a no spend challenge and just see what that is like for us.

18. Save an extra $500
Perhaps this will come out of the no spend challenge or from ebay sales (fingers crossed!) Either way, it would be nice to put aside some extra money for a rainy day or maybe the next item on our list...

19. Take a vacation
Can't wait for this one! I think we will be heading overseas this year!

So that's it! My 19 for 2019 list. And of course, I will do my best to chronicle it here on the blog (along with updates as I still finish up my 18 for 2018 list...) How about you? What's on your list for this year? 

February 18, 2019

Four Books

Guys. I am not a reader. I hate to say that. But reading is not really my thing. I love books. I love knowledge. And I love the idea of reading. But most of the time when I sit down to read, I wish I wasn't reading. I'm slow. And I need to really focus and concentrate. And usually my mind wanders so I have to read something over and over.

Still. I do my best to give the love of books and reading to our daughter. Let me say this. Our daughter LOVES to read. We literally take away books from her as a punishment. And it works. So whatever we are doing, it works.

In 2018 I focused on one reading goal. To read 4 books. That doesn't seem like a major number, but trust me, it took me all year to read just four books. I tend to read books that I already know that I like. Really, this translates into me reading the Harry Potter series over and over again. So this year, I focused on reading 4 new books. And I loved them.

Here's what I read:

Book 1.
How to Talk so Little Kids will Listen 
by Joanna Faber and Julie King

If you spend any time at all around kids and haven't read this I highly recommend it. No little kids around? Read How to Talk so Kids will Listen and Listen so Kids will Talk by Adele Faber (that's Joanna's momma). I read both and they are so good.

Book 2.
The Happiness Project
by Gretchen Rubin

I listen to Gretchen Rubin's podcast and enjoy the way she thinks about things. She talks about her books pretty frequently so I was tuned into this one. I actually considered doing my own Happiness Project this year... I loved her writing so much that I have more of her books on my reading list!

A Whole New World: A Twisted Tale (Twisted Tale, A) by [Braswell, Liz]
Book 3.
A Whole New World: A Twisted Tale
by Liz Braswell

I am a huge Disney fan and also love twisted fairy tales. This book is amazing because the author writes a twisted tale of the Disney story. In fact, there are parts of the book that are written from different points of view using scenes from the movie. I just loved what she did with this.

Book 4.
Once Upon a Dream
by Liz Braswell

I loved reading book 3 so much that I had to read the next book in the series! This one was a little harder for me to get into. But mostly because I didn't understand what was happening at first... Once I figured it out, I couldn't put it down! Can you guess that I already started reading the next book? :)

February 11, 2019

18 for 2018 Update!

I'm doing a bit of reflecting... I know I'm not always good at keeping up around here. I work full time, have a toddler running around, and am always in the middle projects. On top of that I'm BAD at taking photos. Not such a good combo for an aspiring blogger... Hahaha

Today I'm sharing my updates from my 18 for 2018 list...
Can I tell you that the results aren't great? But I'm not beating myself up for it. At all! In fact, I'm still doing a 19 for 2019 list, which I'll share soon... and compelled to continue working on finishing up my 18. Maybe I'm a little crazy.

Anyway, here's my 18 for 2018 recap!

1. Build LEGO Disney Castle

2. Find pants that fit and look good for work
DONE! See them here! I actually recently cleaned out my closet (AGAIN) and while trying on some of my clothes, I realized that my clothes look infinitely better when paired with pink pants. True story.

3. Create artwork for our home
I started on this over the summer and then I just stopped... 
progress: 50%
But upon reflection, I've decided to go a different direction with this piece, so we're really back at 0% 

4. Get e-mail inboxes to zero
DONE! ish! Although I still have a ton in my work inbox, I've been able to get my personal e-mail accounts down to almost 0! Hooray! I call that a win!

5. Konmari
You may recall that I started this process a while back and intended to start from the beginning again. But honestly, when I went to re-Konmari sections, I felt frustrated with myself because I felt like I could be using my time for something less redundant. In 2018, it just didn't seem the right time, but guess what... THIS YEAR...? I've got the urge and did all my clothes again. And although it's out of order, hubby and I recently tackled the kitchen too, right before our little girl's birthday celebration. I'm kind of all over the place on this one, but progress is good!

6. Make a card organizer
I would probably be a much better friend if I would just make my card organizer and send cards already. 
progress: 0%

7. Paint a room or closet
I actually picked a color. Now I just have to get my hubby on board to let me destroy a space in order to make it pretty. :)
progress: 0%

8. Read 4 new books
DONE! I did it! I'll share a post about my reading soon!

9. Start Project Life
I'm longing to pull my materials out, but I just haven't started yet... Currently my office is being used as a storage space, so there is very little to be done in the world of crafting...
progress: 0%

10. Sell stamps and craft supplies
Very little progress here. I listed a couple sets but more will be listed soon!
progress: 10%

11. Clean the attic
I actually went up to the attic BY MY SELF recently. I decided it's not my favorite place. LOL! This one will be on the back burner for a bit...
progress 0%

12. Make something from Pinterest
I'm actually in the midst of a pretty big project...
progress: 25%

13. Complete an ASCA course
I have no excuses. I still haven't started up again!
progress: 50%

14. Finish 2016 & 2017 photo books
I've finished a few. I'm making slow progress, but progress nonetheless!
progress: 25%

15. Set up the Craft Room/Office
I had made some good progress here, but then like I said, we decided to use the space as a storage room and so we're back to a disastrous state... One day... 

16. Make 12 cards
I haven't made any new cards since the roses... BUT my little girl is super into being crafty right now and has been writing cards and letters to her favorite people. I'm sure we will soon be making cards together!
progress: 25%

17. Organize my School Counseling Curriculum
I feel like I've gone a little backwards here even though I've made progress. We got some new materials so I need to rework a few things. The year has been crazier than expected, but soon, I will be done!
progress: about 75%

18. Change my name
This is a real struggle here. I need some major help! Every time I think I'm going to change my name there seems to be some crazy obstacle - like travel plans that were made under my maiden name and who knows what else... The application is filled out. That's a big first step, right?!?
progress: 25% 

So that's it! My giant To Do list that didn't get finished, but I LOVE it. I learned some good lessons - like I shouldn't make goals that require dependence on my Hubby... or dependence on other items being checked off the list first! I'm still proud of myself though. There's quite a lot that got accomplished, even though they weren't completed. I'm happy enough about that. :)

How did your 2018 go?

February 4, 2019

Happy 2019!


It's February!

Did that sneak up on you like it did for me?

You know, I've been thinking... I think MY New Year seems like it actually starts in February. I really don't start thinking about the New Year until mid-January... Maybe because the holidays are crazy. Maybe because the last few years we've been traveling right after Christmas. Maybe because our daughter's birthday is in January and we're always consumed with that.

Whatever the reason, it seems for me, the New Year starts in February.

So, Happy New Year to you! :)