5 for Friday

Happy Friday!  This week has flown by with the MLK holiday plus 1.5 teacher work days.  Personally, I’m really excited about the weekend.  Only mildly bummed that we will have rain {last I checked!} on most of Saturday.  Here are 5 things on my mind this Friday…

{ONE}

How precious would a kid-sized rocking chair be!?!?!  Check out the following link to see one.  I saw this on zulily this morning and thought it would look great on our front porch.  No, I didn’t buy it.  One can dream, right?  We actually sit on our front porch a lot in nicer weather, and H doesn’t really have a “his size” chair that goes with the other furniture out there.  He has a little chair on the back deck though.

{TWO}

Chia seed pudding…so…I made some of this last night.  I nibbled a bit when I first got up this morning.  I used chia seeds (2tbsps), skim milk(1/2 cup), dash of cinnamon, and few chunks of pineapple.  I got to say that I wasn’t blown away.  I like something a little more substantial to chew, and yogurt is really my I-already-eat-a-squishy-breakfast-item.

Have you tried this?  What recipe did you use?

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Here’s POPSUGAR’s Recipe – {Photo from POPSUGAR}

{THREE}

I actually ordered clothes from Forever21.  Two parts of that statement are unheard of.  Me ordering clothes online, and me ordering from Forever21.  I haven’t shopped at that store in what feels like 21 years.  While reading The Honeybee’s blog, I was inspired to check the website out.  I ordered this pink shirt, this anchor print tee,  plus a swimsuit.  I haven’t got the swimsuit yet, but I really like the shirts.  Only one thing to note, I’m probably going to wear a thin camisole under the anchor shirt as it is pretty see-through.  I wore the pink shirt yesterday and loved it!  It does tell you on the site that the pink shirt is a different line of theirs and needs to be ordered in a half size smaller than you typically would.  Mine is an XS.

{FOUR}

I’m giving up a never-ending battle tomorrow with dog grooming.  Roscoe is off to the groomer’s Saturday morning for a pedicure/nail trim.  The Mr. is going to take him, and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that this will be $10 well-spent aka the Mr. and I won’t have a ridiculous argument about when to cut them, how much to cut, just doing it in general…you get the idea.

{FIVE}

I don’t believe I’ve mentioned it, but our dear pooch has had some ridiculous behavior over the course of the last two to three months.  Two of these incident involve scratching up our dining room table.  Naughty naughty.

In an effort to take the eye away from these scratch marks, I’ve been in pursuit of a few nice table runners.  I don’t want to do placemats as there are like 8 seats at the table {we had sets of 4 for our other smaller table…which I should really give away to someone come to think of it!}.  I found the best prices on runners at IKEA!  Unfortunately, they do not ship these items.  You have to be in store to buy them.  Extra sad face as some of these are priced at 7 and 10 dollars!

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Images from IKEA

Any ideas for inexpensive table runners?

I hope you have a wonderful Friday!  I’m off to a faculty meeting and lunch out of the school building.  Adult-like lunches at restaurants with coworkers are a rarity around here, and I’m excited NOT to be packing a lunchbox. It is definitely the little things!  🙂

Natalie

Lynyrd Skynyrd Speaks

Hi everyone!  I can’t get my mind wrapped around the fact that it is a Tuesday night instead of a Monday night.  I’m sure I’ll be confused all week after the MLK Jr. Day off.  After a somewhat false start at the trampoline place {totally sold out!}, we hit up Target for a few quick buys with my gift card.  Then, we went over to a local “bounce house” to let Holden jump for joy aka get that boy energy out!  He had a blast.  I, however, would have much rather gone to the trampoline place and got to jump around too.  I’m pretty sure the workers would have frowned on me climbing on the bounce houses.

After a little over an hour, I pulled the plug on Holden’s plan to jump ALL DAY.  We headed to the mall to do a quick return and then to Great Clips for a hair cut for H.  They are absolutely wonderful with him!  So patient!  I always tip 25% there.  We {mostly me} appreciate the kind kid treatment.

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What a busy but fun morning.  All this before noon!  The rest of the day kind of fizzled as H snoozed away the afternoon, and I was a bit mopey and tired myself.  I tried to read a book.  Then, I tried some other productive things.  No luck.  Oh well.

To be quite honest, I’ve had a hard time recently when I have quiet, down time.  Instead of relaxing myself or doing something active/productive, I find myself paralyzed by my thoughts.  I think on this.  I think on that.  I run that scenario with that situation and then switch to another.  EX-HAUSTING!  And so very annoying.

To be quite honest again, I sort of feel like I’m just drowning in my thoughts sometimes.  Since the fall, I can’t seem to hit the reset button.  Some things happen that trickle into your everyday and don’t let you go.  No matter how hard you desire to shake them lose.  I pray about it.  I read tips about it.  I talk with others about my feelings {eww}.  I try to do this.  I try to do that.  Today, I got the urge to go for a run.  Now, it was a relatively nice day.  However, I typically only seek out an outdoor run after a long work day if the weather is *just right.*  This is definitely true if I’m not feeling 100%.  It is oh-so-easy to talk yourself out of a run.  For whatever reason, I did it.  Left work.  Threw on running clothes.  Felt a good bit about guilt about not racing to pick up H from daycare {this is all day, every day feeling.  go me.}.  Took the dog to alleviate said guilt by validating exercise with Roscoe exercise.  Ran with no course/route in mind.  Ran at a pretty crappy pace.  Whatever.

Had the best run ever.  Why?  Clear, real peace.  Just like that.  It came on almost like a wave as I started out.  Then, {as my lovely iPod shuffled a random mix of rap, Christian music, and some Carrie Underwood for good measure} Lynyrd Skynrd’s “Simple Man” came on.  That was it.  Total clarity.  Isn’t it funny that you can think the same thoughts, write the same words in a journal, even read actual words that Jesus Christ said…until it is the right time and the right medium, it means nothing.  And in just a run, just a song…it meant everything.  Same message.  The lyrics are listed below.  Here is a link to a YouTube video if you’d like to hear it for yourself.  I listened 3x to it while I was running and each time I become more sure that that run was where I was supposed to be, that song was exactly what I was supposed to hear.

“Simple Man”

Mama told me when I was young
Come sit beside me, my only son
And listen closely to what I say.
And if you do this
It will help you some sunny day.
Take your time… Don’t live too fast,
Troubles will come and they will pass.
Go find a woman and you’ll find love,
And don’t forget son,
There is someone up above.[Chorus:]
And be a simple kind of man.
Be something you love and understand.
Baby, be a simple kind of man.
Oh won’t you do this for me son,
If you can?

Forget your lust for the rich man’s gold
All that you need is in your soul,
And you can do this if you try.
All that I want for you my son,
Is to be satisfied.

Boy, don’t you worry.
You’ll find yourself.
Follow your heart,
And nothing else.
You can do this,
If you try.
All that I want for you my son,
Is to be satisfied.

Baby, be a simple, be a simple man
Oh, be something you love and understand
Baby, be a simple kind of man

Library and Living Museum Visits

Good Sunday morning to you!  I’m up nice and early thanks to a couple early morning leg aches for the little one.  I’m thinking it must be growing pains.  Possibly, he just ran around like a crazy guy with the animals too much yesterday.  We so wanted to get out of the house yesterday and just enjoy the outdoors, but it was kind of chilly for a little dude to be out for very long.  We settled on a trip over to the Virginia Living Museum in Newport News, Virginia. We got there a little before 10 and stayed until just about 12.  Holden had NO interest in the Story Time going on when we first got there.  He wanted to see the “ANIMALS!”  🙂

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The solar fountain was so cool.  As you angle the solar panel towards the sun, the water would go higher.  It stopped completely when the panel was pointing away from the sun.

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The family expert on birds, trees, animals in general, life…;)

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Some gobblers – 1 male with lots of ladies following him around

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The Mr. said this was just about the oldest deer ever.  Check out those crazy antlers!

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We enjoyed lunch at Chik-fil-a afterwards, and we stopped by Bass Pro Shop for the Mr.  I confess that I really hate a Bass Pro Shop, but….  Holden loved to look at all the animals, fish tank, boats, ATVs…basically a boy child heaven.

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After all this excitement, we had one tired turkey of our own.

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What a fun-filled day!  We still made it home in time for the Mr. to do some yard work while I went to the gym.  Here are some pictures our playtime at the library and our “creations”

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To round out this post, I wanted to leave you with some good quotes for those that are blessed to work with children or have children in their lives…

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Source

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Love this one as well!  Source

Have a great day of rest!

Natalie

5 for Friday

Well, I’m one day late with this post.  I received some very exciting news last night and got totally distracted researching on the internet.  One of my fave things to do!  Anywho, here are 5 things on my mind right now…

{ONE}

Reality checks! – Over the holidays last few months, I’ve put on more weight than I ever have before.  2014 was quite a year,  but the fall really knocked me for a loop.  I was truly shocked when I stepped on the scale last Sunday.  I’m not sure why I was so shocked though.  I knew my clothes were fitting me differently.  Now, I would be really upset if I had to buy new clothes!  I’m still rocking several jeans from high school that I LOVE, thank you very much.  I like being able to fit in my sister’s hand-me-downs.  This was just not okay.  I’m way too tight to buy a whole new wardrobe just so I can eat dessert every night and comfort myself with chocolate and peanut butter.  I got back on track big time this week by keeping a food diary through myfitnesspal.  Your account is free, and the site as so many food items already in its “library” that you can search through.  There is also an app for your smartphone.

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{TWO}

Organization! – I/We had a much smoother week due to lots of prep the night before.  I packed lunches and made breakfasts the night before.  I also picked out my outfit and H’s outfit the night before.  Gym clothes were laid out in the bathroom, so I could jump right in them in the morning.  Made it to the gym both Tuesday and Thursday morning.  Hip hip hooray!

Here is an article about how to start your work day off right that could be helpful to you as well!

{THREE}

Greek yogurt – I’ve been enjoying Greek yogurt a couple mornings a week for breakfast.  I use plain nonfat and then mix in my fruit.  Yesterday, I was a little extra hungry, so I added 1/2 cup of Cheerios.  The crunch was very satisfying.  This healthy yogurt parfait picture below looks delicious.  Click here to see the recipe by Cookin’ Canuck.  

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{photo from Cookin’ Canuck}

{FOUR}

Library Visits – We had a nice library visit this week on a chilly afternoon.  Although they had removed some of the fun toys from the kids room (probably due to kids wreaking havoc while mom/dad checked their smartphone – seen it happen time and time again), we had a great time building robots, towers and rocket ships.  We also used to touch screen computer to find some letters that matched.  Not to mention, I got my books and DVDs along with H’s.

{FIVE}

As I write this, I’m sipping coffee.  However, all this week I converted to green tea.  I did this much of last week as well.  I’m really liking it and feel like I’m doing something “good” for myself in the morning.  I’m also shaving time off my morning routine as all I have to do is boil water.  I caved in today for medicinal purposes.

An interesting image in the tea v. coffee debate…

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Found on Pinterest – Link Here

I hope you have a lovely Saturday!

Natalie

Can this be fun?

Happy Monday!  I can happily report to have been in my PJs since 5 o’clock!  🙂  Unfortunately, I also have to report one slight sick toddler boy and one more-than-slightly sick man in this house.  Our Saturday included lots of organizing and cleaning.  I hadn’t gotten around to dealing with the old toy v. new toy situation brought about by H’s wonderful Christmas.  I also tackled a little reorganization of all H’s old clothes and toys that we are storing in an extra bedroom.  I really, really had been putting that off, and {quite honestly} I didn’t really organize it like I would like {i.e. by size}.  We also did floors, bathrooms, dusting, and several loads of laundry.  I ended the day with a garage cardio workout before we headed out to eat at Reginella’s in Virginia Beach.  The Mr. consumed the largest plate of spaghetti with meat sauce that I’ve ever seen.  Holden enjoyed some garlicky broccoli with cheese ravioli, and I had a vegetarian calzone.  I thought mine was great.  I truly haven’t had calzone since probably high school or maybe college.  The servings were ridiculously large, so H and I were able to take ours home for lunch the next day.  I can’t believe it, but the Mr. cleaned his plate.  Wow.  Here are some pictures of our Saturday…

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Little tea kettle action – This thing gets a workout in the cold, winter months!

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Our Christmas gift that is also keeping us warm!  I think it makes the room looks so homey.  A lot of ladies worked hard to hand-stich this “bow tie” pattern quilt.  

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Saturday morning homemade waffles

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Molasses are my favorite, but I had almond butter for more protein with my breakfast.

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Apparently, you need “gobbles” to go potty.

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Excavator doing some avocado hauling-

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Reorganization of H’s art supplies/learning toys 

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My I-don’t-want-to-take-time-to-go-to-the-gym workout and workout area

Workout courtesy of Pinterest.com search for “at home cardio workout”

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Actually, it was a pretty good cardio workout.  Bonus!  I wasn’t that sweaty, because it was freezing in the garage on Saturday.

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The cutie I sat by while I looked at another cutie across the table-

It’s hard to believe that we had such a fun time mostly cleaning and organizing on Saturday, but it’s true!  I love these weekends at home.  They are much needed after a long {to me, not the Mr. 🙂 } hunting season and the busy, travel-filled holidays.

Hope you had some fun this weekend too!

Natalie

Belated Birthday Wishes

It was the Mr.’s actual 30th birthday this past Thursday, and I confess I was not super celebratory.  I’m blaming it on our previous weekend’s sneaky plans that you can read about here, and I’m thinking first week back to school in 2015=a grumpy me.  Grumpy me usually thinks about myself, woe is me, I have so much on me, why is this the way MY life is going…blah.blah.blah.

So…in an effort to make amends, I’d like to wish my husband belated birthday wishes through this cyber spot.  He is without a doubt my other half, my best friend, my biggest supporter, my political opposite, and a wonderful dad.  I’m ever so thankful he was born thirty years ago as of January 8th.

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Despite my grumpy self’s occasional whine internally and externally this week, I’m so happy to share this life, our life with you.

Love you.

Natalie

Five for Friday

I hope this post finds you well!  Here’s 5 things on my mind this afternoon…

{ONE}

It is certainly a sickly time around most places that I frequent.  H’s daycare was closed today due to lots of illnesses among the children and staff.  Of course, we didn’t leave him home with the dog, so the Mr. was also off today.  Since Holden was up coughing around midnight, he did the doctor duty and took H to be checked out.  Possibly the “croup,” possibly nothing…basically a wait and see game.  Yuck.  Even though Holden had been up since 4:45ish, I was sad to leave the guys all cozy with their books and a fire in the fireplace this morning.  Not excited about work=me.  Not to mention the chilly temps we have had here!

{TWO}

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Don’t you like how my rental car {yes, I’m still sporting the rental car that I wrote about here.} warns me that it’s cold outside?!?!  I realize this temp is extra cold, but it actually started warning me when the temps dropped below 40 degrees.  Do I really need to ride everywhere looking at that!??!

We’ve had really yucky stomach bugs ever since we decided to let Holden move in with us.  I mean, really really bad stomach bugs.  I would absolutely love to bypass it this year for our whole household.

I left work a little early, so the Mr. could make his day a little brighter (I kid only.) by visiting the dentist.  Yay for being an adult and all this serious stuff like pediatrician’s offices and dental insurance!  When is summer?  When does flu/cold season end?  Am I drowning in clothing layers?  I feel like I haven’t seen my toes {except for that quick shower} in weeks!

{THREE}

Valentines Day – I’m looking forward to disinfecting cleaning this house tomorrow!  It’s supposed to be super chilly again, and it doesn’t seem like the yard work that we had in mind is going to get done.  I’m thinking some cleaning, a library visit, and maybe some returns to be made are on the books for tomorrow.  As a reward, I’m going to put up the Valentines decor after I’m finished {by “I’m” I mean we, the Mr., H, and I} cleaning.  🙂  I’ve been plotting up some good ideas for Valentines Day and H’s birthday coming up in March.  Here’s the treat I’m thinking of doing for the kids at his daycare…if they don’t get us all sick!  Those little carrier monkeys!

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I found this photo on Pinterest.  By the way, I clicked “Popular” on pinterest and “thigh tattoos” came up.  Are they really considered popular?!?!?  Of all places, that would be just about the last one!

I picked up the hearts below from Target {right by the front doors}.  I’m not sure how I’m going to incorporate these into my existing stuff, but I thought they were cute and guilt-free as I had a Target gift card given to me by a student for Christmas.

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{FOUR}

Puzzles!  The Mr. and I have been working on our puzzle almost always together.  I took a break last night to fret/plan H’s kid birthday party which will be at OUR HOUSE.  That is another post entirely.  We’ve made some pretty good progress, and I like that we do it together.  I confess that it does tend to make me very sleepy.  Here’s a cure for insomnia…do a puzzle!

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{FIVE}

Books-I’ve put several self-help books on hold at our local library, but I did treat myself {thanks again students who give good gift cards} with a new book from Barnes and Noble.  I am just about finished with The Aviator’s Wife and enjoyed it.  i’m not sure I would call it a relaxing read, but it was fascinating.

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Amazon Link

I hope you have an amazing Friday and weekend!

As a bonus…here are some recipes for what to do with canned sardines!  We are having them tonight, and I confess I’ll just eat them out of a can.  I’m not sure if it’s the price or the healthiness of them that seduces me, but they are the “superheroes of the seafood world” as the website above says.  Judge not until you try!