He's unleashed the beast!

Well, I went from having the most hideous floor in Fargo...

...to having the most to-die-for-GORGEOUS floor thanks to my amazing hubby and all his skills...

No more linoleum, no more duct tape transition, no more scrubbing things that won't come off...hello beauty, seamlessness, and low maintenance!!! Six and a half years was well worth the wait for this!!!

So...of course I'm now on the verge of exploding with new ideas for how to organize and redecorate our home. It may be small, but it's comfy cozy (with the exception of the basement) and now on the brink of become oh so beautiful. Here's what I'm already planning (Jim would be rolling his eyes right now if he were reading): repaint the kitchen some shade of latte/mocha to complement the floors and woodwork, the "not-so-bad" 60s countertop is now the eyesore, the broken kitchen faucet might need replacing, build the wall storage / cubbies / lockers for the back door space, split our sectional into two separate pieces and rearrange the living room, find a rectangular (maybe upholstered) ottoman (make on my own?) and recover the throw pillows on the couch, paint the master bedroom and sew my own custom designer bedding, add something fun to Josiah's room (maybe paint a stripe pattern of some sort?), and the office...OH, the office...the most challenging space in our house. Two small businesses + a home office for our family in one small 10' x 10' (at best) bedroom = disaster! I've been collecting ideas on Pinterest for months, and now one of my favorite blogs (I Heart Organizing) has been posting a plethora of home office organization projects all month. Hmmm...do I take notes? No, I pin! Actually, I'm pretty sure the author is my identical twin in terms of personality and interests, only with blond hair and living in Wisconsin. LOVE how she creates such beautiful, functional, and clutter-free spaces. May need to follow her lead, unleash my totally type A side, and start making lists of all the things we need in our office. Get ready for a whole slew of posts on home improvement projects!

Now, if someone could just clean up my house after our flooring installation so I could get started that'd be great! Any takers? :)


Game on!

So many things going on in my brain right now I don't even know where to begin! I am just SO excited that 2013 has started off on such a positive note. Shortly after I posted my New Years Resolutions a Facebook Friend posted that her theme for 2013 was going to be SIMPLIFY. Love that! That's totally the mode I've been in for the last 6 months and plan to continue in, probably forever since it applies to life in general. After seeing that I decided I needed a theme for my resolutions. Luckily I took a much healthier approach this year (loving that it's a lifestyle, not a checklist), so picking mine was almost instantaneous...HEALTHY BALANCE! Healthy balance in eating, exercise, work vs. personal life, organizing/cleaning vs. hobbies, time for myself / family / friends...it just fits everything! Thank you Kari for the inspiration!!!

The other thing I'm SO excited about is applying that Healthy Balance to my physical health. Yesterday we started a Biggest Loser competition at school, and (fortunately / unfortunately) I weighed in higher than I thought. Ouch!!! Major wake-up call! I was already gung-ho to start, and now I'm ALL in. No wonder I feel crummy and super self-conscious all the time! I know I'm not the most unhealthy person ever. We don't eat chips and other processed foods that regularly, I don't drink a lot of alcohol or have a mocha every day, and I don't smoke. However, I have never monitored portions, balanced my food groups, or been active other than walking all day long at my job or with Josiah in our neighborhood. Apparently turning 30 ends the time in life when your body can handle all that. Thank you Lorraine for  starting BL at school and now getting me going on learning how to calorie count and find some good resources on healthier eating. Woohoo!!! I'm totally on a roll toward my resolution #1: be healthier!

Here's what I have so far:
  • Count calories --- thank goodness Lorraine introduced me to the My Fitness Pal app! What did I do before my iPhone!? Click here for the website!
  • Exercise --- 3 days a week at school with my "Biggest Loser" friends, and either at home on the weekend or maybe a gym. Family Wellness is so appealing with their pool and classes, and even though it's right by our daycare it's SUPER far from our house. Anyone use Anytime Fitness???
  • Pull my family into this clean eating plan. Jim's in his non-golfing season (not by choice), and Josiah is growing like a weed and on a mission to be "stronger than Dad." May need to do a share from Bluebird Gardens again this year!
  • Sites for recipes:
I would LOVE to hear your comments on how you've been successful in your weight management endeavors as well as your sources for recipes and info on eating healthier!


Just have to brag a little...

After a summer of allowing myself to only finish projects I permitted myself to start a new project in September. Instead of focusing on the little life that didn't arrive as planned, I decided to celebrate the little man who I do get to spend time with every day. I have wanted to make him a "big boy" quilt, and just sew a quilt in general for SO long, and I treating myself to starting this project turned out to be GREAT medicine for the soul. I never would have completed it without the help of my friend Lori, who walked me through step by step, let me invade her home and use her machine, and ironed my strips while I sewed. I ended up enjoying it so much that I now have my own machine! 

Here it is!!!

And here's the second project I started and my mom completed (I designed and cut, and she sewed and appliqued). This was one of Josiah's Christmas presents from Grandma Kathy and Grandpa Blake! He also got 3 eye patches and 2 headlamps, and when we went to Barnes and Noble we picked up the Melissa & Doug pirate costume. Who wants to come for a playdate?!

Hmmm...now which sewing project should I tackle next: bean bags, minky blanket, pillows for Josiah's room, "floor poofs" for my classroom, quiet books for car trips, burp cloths to stash for baby gifts, or the door knob silencer from Pinterest...

New Years Resolutions?

One of the things I love about New Years Resolutions is that everyone (or maybe not everyone) takes some time to consider how to improve their lifestyle, family, focus, health, career...and on and on and on. I have always been one to want to learn more, try more, and do more, and consequently have realized that I'm a great starter, but not a great finisher. So this year, knowing this, I vow to try to plot my New Years Resolutions on a course of things that are lifestyle changes and not a checklist, because, let's face it...I don't think I fulfilled last year's resolutions. I can't even remember what they all were, to tell the truth. I need to come to the realization that life isn't about getting things done, it's about enjoying where you are and who you're with. Someone tell me that about once a day, please!!!

So since I wasn't overly successful last year, I have been mulling over what to do this year for awhile. Ironically, reading a friend's blog post (last year) about her resolutions was what inspired me to attempt them for the first time in years as well as begin my own blog (thanks, Molly Wobbema!). So this year I'm going to be a little less ambitious and a little more practical.

Here's my original list...going to need to ax a few!!!
1 - Be healthier: attempt to exercise more than just following Josiah around on his bike.
2 - Finish 1 Blurb photobook for 2012 and start working on 2011.
3 - Organize the office and the basement (I actually did the rest of the house last year!).
4 - Only bring home school work that can fit in my totally gorgeous Ju Ju Be Giga Be bag (see earlier post for more on that).
5 - Plan monthly time with friends so that I actually see them on a regular basis instead of randomly.
6 - Hang out with my hubby. Keep working on my golf game in the summer and learn to play Race Horse / Pinochle in the winter. Maybe learn to enjoy an occasional movie...
7 - Finish a book before buying a new one.
8 - Go to bed before midnight (I'd say 11:00, but I need to work my way back gradually).
9 - Mary Kay: Begin to work my business to match my career goals (Become a team leader, finish All-Star Consultant Status in June, and facial 50 new women)

Time to get serious...the reality of life is that there will always be things to clean out and/or organize, so let's nix those... Since my "theme" for 2013 is SELF-improvement, not career, let's get rid of those as well... Now, let's combine and reword the other ones to not be something I have to check off, but rather things that will focus on a happy, healthy, wholesome way of living...

Here's my final list:
1 - Be healthier --- exercise and balance those food groups!!!
2 - Make time for things I enjoy --- Blurb books, sewing, blogging, and cooking
3 - Plan monthly times with friends, or weekly if possible
4 - Hang out with my hubby and DO something together
5 - Establish a consistent bedtime and get out of bed time to support all of the above!!!

If I can implement those I think I'll feel like I've achieved some degree of balance instead of running around like a chicken with my head cut off. Yes, I'll still tackle any number of home organizing / decorating (already planning to paint our master bedroom this summer, among other things), and, yes, this plan will go out the window during certain times of the year (conferences, end of school, back to school...hmmm, might be a pattern there...might need to consider a "leave work at work" resolution sometime), but I need to focus on what's truly important and cut myself some slack on the rest.

Happy New Year!!!