Tuesday, December 27, 2011


I am having an inner debate about this blog.
I wonder if I should continue.
I suppose when I started, I did not realize how much I do not know.
I did not realize how truly time consuming it is to maintain a blog. 
So I want to just take a moment to say I am not gone, just on hiatus until I figure out where this space fits in with the rest of my life.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

It's beginning to {smell} a lot like Christmas!

Oh, man! Not to be weird but: My house smells amazing
The aroma of a fresh cut evergreen alone is wonderful but this potpourri totally brings the eau de Christmas up a notch.
It literally smells like you're living in a giant apple pie... or something...
Hmm, anyway, I just kind of randomly threw things in the pot that I had on hand that also happen to smell nice so here's my recipe but don't go out and buy stuff if you don't have it. {I'll asterisk what is vital to the mix.}

* 3 cinnamon sticks
* 1 TBSP ground cloves (can also use whole cloves)
* at least one citrus fruit, cut or sliced
(I did one cut up lemon & one orange, sliced)
2-3 bay leaves
dash of nutmeg
dash of pumpkin pie spice
a pinch or two of dried lavender flowers
and I can't remember for sure but I think I added a dash of garam masala, too

Add all above ingredients to a sauce pan and cover with cold water.
Bring to a low simmer and continue simmering throughout the day,
adding more water when it gets low.
I used mine for two days before tossing it into the compost pile.

Monday, December 5, 2011

our advent calendar

I'm a little late in posting this, but you can still do this project! Just shorten it by a few days, maybe 12 Days of Christmas-style.
I've never made an advent calendar before but I kept seeing so many great ideas on other blogs & on pinterest.
I knew my four year old would love it too so I figured, why not?
This is such an easy and inexpensive project. I had a friend use her Cricut for the numbers and I found some pretty snowflake stickers to decorate the paper sacks. Each bag has a little activity, treat and/or small gift. Some, such as the bird feeder project contain the supplies needed.
Here are the activities that are in our bags this year... {advent}.
I am so excited about this and five days into it, so is my daughter! Our first activity was dancing around to Christmas music, so after dinner, we lit a candle & shimmied. Now she thinks every bag has a "party".
My hope is that this becomes a tradition of ours. It's a great way to focus on our little family during this otherwise hectic season.

Friday, December 2, 2011

These are a few of my Favorite Things

Ah, to be Oprah. I'm pretty sure if her show was still around, attending one of her Favorite Things episodes would totally make my {100 list}
A new car? Sure! Trip to Australia? Hell yes! Thanks, Oprah, you're the greatest!
One of my favorite home decor blogs, The Nester, is having a link party where we share some of our favorite things {under $30} and here, my dears, are mine:

Avalon Organics Lavender Facial Gel & Daily Moisturizer 
I am religious about my facial cleansing routine and have been using these two products for years. My skin loves them!

No more guessing when a recipe calls for a certain weight of an ingredient. Also, it just looks pretty on my counter. Mine has a red arrow though... yes, it matters.

I don't wash my hair every day and this stuff not only makes it look decent an extra day or so, the tropical scent smells amazing!

Oh, truly this is my obsession. 
And I can't find it in stores anymore. I've settled for plain but I'm so tempted to buy the 24 pack off Amazon!
I love the name and love the color. It's a perfect peachy, gold, pink color. 
I like it year-round but it is especially chic in summer. {I've always wanted to say that!}
It is a splurge for nail polish at $17 a bottle but it's high quality and doesn't chip forever.

Another splurge but this stuff is amazing! A little dab under your eyes and you look way more rested than you are. I have a serious problem with dark circles and this makes a huge difference.

I'm a list girl for sure and I love me a good fine point pen. These don't bleed and the color is nice and dark.

I don't watch tv so I get the entire season from the library and have a marathon.
My husband thinks I'm a crazy person when I watch Community cause I'm laughing so hard I can't breathe half the time. {Ken Jeong is awesome!
And who doesn't want a silly husband like Phil Dunphy?

Starbucks Tall Soy Latte with One Raw Sugar
That's my drink and they make it the best by far. Yum!

The I Ching
A friend gave me this a few years back and it is packed with wisdom. 
You throw 3 coins six times to determine which hexagram to read. Each is about a page and a half and there are 64 possibilities. Each hexagram is ancient Chinese wisdom that "teaches us to be led by our superior qualities." I like to throw a hexagram and read it over my coffee in the morning. 
It is a peaceful way to start the day.

An addiction, an obsession.
But hey, it's free!
And seriously, the creativity of some people is astounding!

Well, there you have it. A few things I can't live without.
What do you love???

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Meal Planning is my Lifesaver

Many years ago I dabbled in meal planning. I'd lovingly pore over my cookbooks and plan on cooking seven! new dinners each week. Inevitably, way too much food ended up going to waste and every meal besides dinner was a crapshoot. It wasn't a very productive habit, nor was it very organized, so eventually, I fizzled out. 
I recently got back in the the game though as part of an overall plan to bring some order and sanity to my life. I decided it would be more efficient to plan all meals and snacks so I would know exactly what to shop for and also so that at say, lunch time, I knew exactly what we'd be having rather than spending an hour staring at my cupboards trying to figure out what I could throw together. 
I plan a week's worth of meals and snacks each Thursday so I am well stocked and prepared at the start of the week. I also use the planner to keep track of my water consumption to make sure I'm guzzlin' throughout the day.
I put together a meal planning template and would like to share it with you...
Use it, love it, change it to fit your needs, whatever... have fun!