Friday, October 31, 2014

Just thankful…

Here we are, on the eve of the most thankful month of the year. I try to maintain a grateful heart year-round, but the month of November usually finds me more reflective than the rest of the year.

A few things I’m thankful for (in no particular order) in my little world:

~My Savior, Who forgives me and carries the shame and guilt away.

~My sweet husband, whose love for me amazes me every day.

~Our girls ;)


Miss Livie, who at 16 months old already has an opinion about her clothes and bats her eyelashes at her Daddy when she gets in trouble.


And tiny Miss Katelynn, who even though she isn’t due to make her appearance yet, has already stolen our hearts. Early in the pregnancy we had a few little scares and I wondered if I would ever get to meet her. Now we are only about 12 weeks away from her arrival. God is good to us!

~My Keurig coffee machine and all of the wonderful cups of coffee and tea it provides me throughout the day ;)

~Our cozy (albeit somewhat messy) home. Thanks to our toddler, there are lots of happy messes popping up everywhere.

~My new Swiffer WetJet, which makes mopping so much easier on this pregnant gal, and Murphy’s Oil Soap, which makes cleaning all of my antique knotty pine cabinets a breeze.

~My clothesline.


These are just a few things that immediately spring to mind,  I’m sure there will be more in the coming days.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Keeping it Real


One of the lovely (or not-so-lovely) things about our online “life” is that we can portray only the best and only the prettiest parts of our real life. Our houses are always clean, the children are always dressed and happy, and all of the meals for the week are planned. It is easy to get caught up in maintaining that rosy, perfect picture, afraid to admit that we truly are human and don’t really have it all together.

  Earlier this week on a Facebook group I’m a member of, a thread “Worst Housekeeping/Housecleaning Confessions” was started. It was such a blessing to me to read through it and see that I wasn’t the only one(!) who didn’t have a spotless house. I’m not the only one who struggles to stay on top of things, yet has laundry piled high waiting to be washed and a fridge that needs to be cleaned out.

So when you feel overwhelmed, remember you aren’t the only one who has sat down and cried your eyes out because of the state of your home and because you feel like a failure as a homemaker. The real world and real life are messier and more disorganized than blogs and Pinterest would lead us to believe.

A trick that I’ve learned to help me when I have the housecleaning blues is to do one thing in each room that is noticeable. That gets the ball rolling and there is a difference (even if it’s small!) in each space. For example: in my bedroom, I’ll make the bed. In the living room I’ll make sure the couch and coffee table are straight. Little things like that will help me see where I want to go and give me motivation to get there.

I am a huge list maker. I make lists for everything. And I make lists when I clean. Checking things off of a list gives me an adrenaline rush (I know, I need to get out more) and sometimes my lists are ridiculous, depending on how airheaded I am that day.

I have also started using a timer extensively, thanks to the FlyLady. It is amazing to me how much I can get accomplished in 15 minutes of focused cleaning. I highly recommend doing this. In her book Sink Reflections, she gives the following “formula” for cleaning with a timer:

Set a timer for 15 minutes and work as fast as you can in one area until the timer sounds. Don’t get distracted and move until time is up. Set the timer for another 15 minutes and move to another area, even if the first isn’t finished—you can come to it later. Continue in this manner until you have cleaned for 3 sets of 15 minute intervals (a total of 45 minutes.) Set your timer for 15 minutes again and take a break.

This method has really worked well for me, even if I have to go back to an area a few times to finish it. I’ve found, however, that 15 minutes of focused cleaning is usually almost all that I need for most areas.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

One Dish Meals—my favorite thing to make!

Lately the creative juices have been running dry about what to cook for supper. I’m pregnant, so my tastebuds have a mind of their own, my energy levels aren’t what I wish they were, and living in the city means restaurants are close by. 

At this stage in my life, recipes that are quick and easy to prepare, don’t require many dishes (have I mentioned my cute little antique 50’s house doesn’t have a dishwasher?) or crockpot recipes are very, very appealing to me right now.

So, having said all that, I tried a new recipe this week for Sunday dinner.  A friend had just made it and raved about it so I decided to give it a go. I bravely tried a new recipe and invited my in-laws over for dinner—breaking one of the oldest rules in the book: Never try a new recipe out on company!

The recipe was one that I had seen floating around on Pinterest and Facebook for a little while.  You bake chicken breast with green beans and potatoes and it looked pretty fast and easy. I was a little skeptical, but when my friend went on and on about it, I thought I’d give it a try.

It turned out amazing!!!! The chicken was so moist, the green beans were the best I’d ever had (which floored me because there was no bacon in it), and the potatoes were perfect. I made some cream cheese chili corn to go with it and Overnight Sourdough Rolls (recipe forthcoming) and my husband pronounced the meal “The BOMB!” My in-laws loved it and my mother-in-love said she was going to add it to their menu.

It turned out so yummy that I ended up making it again for supper the next night, but with center cut pork chops instead of chicken. I wasn’t disappointed. The results were just as delicious. I will have to be careful and not make it too often, lest I burn the husband out on it.

It took only about 15 minutes (maybe!) to put together and it baked for an hour and a half.  My kitchen didn’t get destroyed, it didn’t mess up every dish in the cupboard and I had time to get things done whilst it baked. Win, win, win, all the way around.

The only thing that would have made it better would have been if I’d remembered to take pictures. I will next time! You’ll just have to take my word for how yummy it looks.

Here’s the recipe:

Oven Baked Chicken, Green Beans & Potatoes

4 chicken breasts (I used boneless, skinless, and the next night I used center cut pork chops!)

2-3 cans of green beans, drained OR fresh green beans

1 1/2 lbs-2 lbs small red potatoes, quartered

1 package dry Italian dressing mix (I used Good Seasons)

1 stick (or 1/2 cup) of butter, melted


Preheat oven to 350*F.

Place chicken down the center of a large baking dish (I used an 11X14 Pyrex). Place the green beans on one side, the potatoes on the other. Sprinkle the package of Italian dressing mix over everything and drizzle with the melted butter.  Cover in foil and bake for 1 1/2 hours or until chicken is done and potatoes are tender.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Fall is here!!!!!! Well, sort of…

We’ve been given a glimmer of hope the last few mornings—the weather has been lovely and cool. The summer heat can’t last forever, we’ve had a promise and a taste of cooler weather and I CAN’T WAIT!!!!!!

Fall is my very most favorite time of year. Hands down. The cooler, less humid weather makes me want to clean and organize everything, sew and craft like crazy, and redecorate every room in the house. Some of that might just be a bit of early nesting starting up. The challenge for me is not getting a dozen projects strung out and unfinished before exhaustion sets in…I’m still working on keeping things balanced and knowing my limits.

I love to open all of the windows in the house and air out all of the stuffiness that has built up during the summer months. I feel like I can clean the best when the windows are open.

Ok, so fall makes me feel like Wonderwoman. I may not be her, but it makes me feel like her ;)

Another reason I love fall is that is the only time of the year I can get my favorite candle—Candied Caramel Pecan by Better Homes and Gardens. HEAVEN in a jar. It makes the house smell amazing.  The only downside to it is that it gets my husband’s hopes up and he thinks I’ve been baking.

Also in the latest breaking news for our little family:


It’s a little sister!!!!! We are being blessed with another princess and we can’t wait to meet our Katelynn Avery. I’m thrilled that the girls will be so close in age, they will always have a best friend and tea party buddy.

Well, I have to get back to the real world and laundry. I can’t prolong my break any more, lest Mt. Washmore grows any larger. I am convinced that the laundry multiplies whilst my back is turned.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Back again…

You know those days (or weeks, or months) when time seems to speed by and you forget about or are too busy for non-essential activities (like writing blog posts)? I’ve been in one of those seasons it feels for quite a while. My life has been full of lots of excitement and surprises over the last few months. But I’m back, at least for right now.


Our Livie is 14 months old now. I can’t believe our baby is becoming so grown up. She can walk, but is very choosy about when she does. She has an ever growing vocabulary and is constantly keeping us on our toes and entertained. Livie is handling being weaned much better than I thought she would and hopefully she will be completely weaned by the end of the month. It has been a very sweet time for us nursing, but it’s time move on.

Why? Because….



Yep, our little family is growing again! Peanut is expected at the end of January. At the end of this month we should find out if we are getting another Princess or if Daddy is getting his Hunting Buddy. This baby was *quite* a surprise, but we are so excited about it. I never thought I’d have two under the age of two!


Morning sickness with a tiny toddler was a challenge I wasn’t looking forward to, but I survived. In the midst of it we dealt with a nightmarish stomach virus (Jacob and I) and Livie has been battling terrible sinus drainage. Thankfully we had help and made it through. It is times like these that make me realize just how much I need the Lord’s help, and make me call out to Him even more.

Now I’m trying to get back into a routine. I didn’t cook much at all during those crazy weeks of morning sickness and everything else so I’ve been trying to cook and eat at home more. I’ve really had trouble getting back on my feet this time. Our little Tornado makes housekeeping a challenge, to say the least. Some days I’m just thankful that my husband has clean clothes for work the next day.

I’m getting there, and with the Lord’s help, things will even out soon ;)


Thursday, February 20, 2014

Cupcakes and Balloons Bishop

This is a repost from a post I wrote yesterday on my sewing blog. Enjoy!

Smocking is one of my very most favorite things to do—I’ll admit I’m addicted to it. My husband jokes that if I haven’t smocked something in a few days I become hard to be live with. I don’t know if I’m that bad, but smocking is very relaxing for me.

My latest smocked bishop was a first birthday dress. The birthday girl’s mother saw a smocked bishop that was perfect for the theme of the party. However, the design was discontinued and a dress in the size they needed couldn’t be found anywhere. Like most of my projects, when they can’t find what they want, they call me.

She sent some photos of the original dress and asked if I could make one like it. I said that I could, but as with all garments made with only a photo for reference, it wouldn’t be identical, but I would get it as close to the original as I could.

  The dress is made from pastel green batiste, with a three inch deep hem. It turned out so precious! There is a bright cupcake in the center with balloon bouquets on either side, with ribbon bows.There is a tiny pink hearts border around the top, and a light purple scalloped border around the bottom. It almost made me forget my dislike of picture smocking when it was finished, it turned out so sweet.

I also made a pair of Vivianna Bloomers from the batiste to match.

I’ve been promised pictures of the birthday girl in her dress and when I receive them I’ll share.




Monday, January 13, 2014

Time flies when you are having fun...

And I have been having loads of fun with my sweet Livie since she was born.
 My computer died in October and put a hiatus on my blogging, but Christmas came, and I'm set up again ;) .

Our Olivia is nearly seven months old! She is crawling, pulling up on everything, and has SIX teeth. She didn't stay a newborn very long at all. Here are a few photos of her over the last few months.

 This week Jacob and I will be celebrating our third anniversary. I can't believe we have been married for three years already.  It seems like it was just last year! It has truly just gotten sweeter everyday and I cannot imagine how wonderful it will be in 10,15,20, or even 50 years ;)

Now that the holidays are over and I have a computer again, I hope to start blogging regularly again.
Happy New Year!