Currently {august twenty ninth}

this weeks themes:
needing, missing, reading, hoping, playing

First, I'd like to apologize for my absence.  I feel like my days are pretty full and I don't have too much time to myself.  What time I do find, I'm walking on my treadmill while watching Netflix. I really do intend to be more present.  As soon as I find a few more hours in the day...  Also, no graphic this week... I haz the lazy.

a) Needing some good recipes.  Every week I scour through Pinterest and my cookbooks preparing the weekly meal plan.  I always need simple.  And with the price of beef being so insanely ridonkulous, the choices are somewhat limited.

b) My son has decided that he is going to forego playing basketball this year.  I am already missing games.  I'm not missing the money spent getting into the games or the money spent on gas going to all the games/practices though.  I had asked him to give it one year, but ultimately it's his decision and I'll respect that.

c) Reading:  I'm still reading Book of Life by Deborah Harkness.  In fact, I have to renew it at the library because it's due back tomorrow.  Good news though.  I'm ahead on my goal for the year so yay!

d) I am hoping to somehow squeeze in some sewing time.  It's going to be a three day weekend so possibly I could get my crafting on.  I've also been working on some knitting for my best girl's sister who is having a baby!  Yay babies!

e) The youngest has been asking to go to the beach.  She even packed up a bag the other day.  I think one day next week I'm going to pack up the cooler and take her an hour north to the lake.  She'll enjoy playing and I'll enjoy watching her.

Watching:  Still watching Lost Girl.  I did catch up on the last few episodes of True Blood.  I was not impressed with this season.  It was just lacking something.

next weeks themes:
loving, craving, demanding, questioning, worrying

Currently link up is hosted by Harvesting Kale and OT & ET.

One & Two & Ready... Go

This weekend we got to experience our kids in their first marching band competition.  It was actually just an exhibition.  A preview show of what to expect from the bands this season.  Each band ran through their show while marching then they played just the music while standing still.  The Butler County Marching Band is the second largest band in the state of Kentucky with 155 marching members.  My son plays the snare drum, and while my daughter normally plays the flute, she is only in 8th grade so can't formally march on the field.  She is in the "pit" and plays the keyboard.

Preparations for the show began many hours before the actual show.  It's a huge undertaking.  Practice run through the show, eating, dressing, hair/make up, and motivational speaking.  I was awed.

A few other bands played before them, but to be honest, it was mostly a blur.  I was just excited to see them hit the field.  The band director not only does high school band (marching, pep, concert, etc.), he also teaches middle school band (6th, 7th, and 8th grades) and beginning band to 5th graders.  He deserves to be knighted and probably needs a huge pay raise.  These bands are good and I'm not just saying that because my kids are in them.

Their show is entitled "Stained Glass" this year.  Moments before they walked onto the field, the sky began to change colors.  Pinks, purples, blues.  We'd been watching the radar for an hour.  A nasty storm cell was moving our way and I thought for sure they would not get to perform.  Instead Mother Nature gave them an amazing backdrop.

About 15 minutes after they were done, amid chaos of packing equipment, gathering kids, changing from uniforms to regular clothes... the bottom dropped out of it.  We nearly died because my husband is an asshat who kept refusing to pull over even though I knew (and he knew too!) damn good and well, he couldn't see a thing in front of him.  He finally relented and pulled over at a little gas station in the middle of nowhere.  We got snacks and let the heavier rain pass by.

It was chaotic.  It was a mess.  It was their first performance of the year.  It can only get better from here.


Currently {august twenty first}

this weeks themes:
calling, lighting, making, watching, planning

a) I haven't been calling much this week.  I don't do much talking on the phone in general.  I think I expended my phone call quota when I was a teenager.

b) Lighting?  Hmmm.  Actually I've been non-lighting.  The temps here have been soaring into the 90's with high humidity.  It's gross out there.  So I've actually been keeping all the curtains closed and keeping as much of the sun's heat blocked out.

c) I am making good on my plans to begin more exercising.  I've been walking every day and sticking with it.  This FitBit is a huge motivator.  I've even been drinking more water and I hate water.  The coolest thing is the sleep tracker.  Tells me how many times I'm awake at night and when I was asleep.

d) Watching:  Lost Girl on Netflix because I've never watched before on SyFy and what the hell was I thinking?!  I love it!  My husband is pissed about this new tablet because I've been chillin' in the bed with my earbuds in ignoring him and Netflixing.

e) I'm in the planning stages of a bathroom remodel.  I actually did some measuring yesterday.  It's a pretty small room so it won't be too pricey, but we are going to put in a window so... yeah.

Reading:  The Book of Life by Deborah Harkness.  This is the third book in this trilogy.  I guess I came a little late to the party because I just read A Discovery of Witches (2011) and Shadow of Night (2012) at the beginning of the year.  I read a lot of YA classified books so these were a nice departure.  I'm glad that I happened upon this one in the new addition section at the library.

next weeks themes:
needing, missing, reading, hoping, playing

Currently link up is hosted by Harvesting Kale and OT & ET.

This Meeting Will Now Come to Order...

The weekend was pretty much filled with rain.  Some more rain, and then flooding.  Fun times.  Good news is that we needed the rain.  Just not so much at one time.

We decided on Saturday to hit up the AT&T store because my husband has been having trouble with his Galaxy S3.  It hasn't been wanting to charge.  Not to mention there are several little burn spots (he's a welder) and a slightly cracked screen.  We had a few upgrades on our plan so we stopped to see what we could make happen.

I don't want to talk about his phone because he *gasp* decided to go with a different Android brand.  Even though it's a very nice phone and I'm semi-jealous (you can just tap the screen twice and it unlocks).  The absolutely wonderful saleswoman, Amanda, mentioned that he could also get a tablet for only $0.99.  Ninety nine cents y'all.  So he went with her suggestion and got a LG G3 and the LG G Pad 7.0 with the special offer.  He plays fantasy football and while I love me some football, I hate that he is always stealing my computer throughout football season.  Now he has his own.  And it was 99 cents!!!

It's no surprise that I got distracted by all the shiny new phones.  I was still pretty pissed that the last guy didn't bother to tell me that if I waited just a couple of weeks I could get that new Galaxy. Instead he let me buy the S4 and I have been longing the S5 ever since.  I made an executive decision and got the S5.  Bonus points... special offer with that purchase too.  A Galaxy Note 8.0 for $50.

I have an iPad, but I'm a little ashamed to admit that my 3 year old has monopolized it.  We call her Rogart because she Bogart's it.  It's so pretty and shiny.  I don't know what to do with myself.  I thought it may make typing out some quick posts easier, but the Blogger app...  *sigh*  It's nothing short of horrible.  Picture quality is pretty funky as well.

I couldn't find a case for it that I really liked so I sewed a sleeve for it myself.  I wasn't going to pay someone else to do something I could just as easily do.

I liked that fabric combination so much I decided to finally use that pleated hobo bag pattern I bought months ago and make myself a matching bag.  Because why the hell not?!


I lurve it.  I want to hug it and pet it and squeeze it and call it George.  However, it took me ALL DAY LONG to complete it.  Making them for the shop is still up in the air.  I won't rule it out though.

I also got my FitBit in the mail this weekend!  Yay for kick starting my own ass into getting more active.  I'm going to give it a couple of weeks before posting about it though.  I'm still learning the ins and outs.

Currently {august fourteenth}

this weeks themes:
searching, wearing, needing, moving, eating

a) My current searching and eating subjects kind of go together this week!  It's no secret that I love to meal plan.  This goes nicely with the fact that I am a list maker.  I find that not only is it handy to know exactly what I am cooking for dinner throughout the week, I also tend to save money.

You can find this FREE printable here as well as many other printables for a home management binder, which I also use!

This week the things I am searching for are recipes for food we will be eating next week.  I like to mix it up and try new things, but sometimes I add in old favorites.  For example, this week I am going to make pesto chicken lasagna rolls again.  I love pesto.  I also love recipes that are yummy, but simple to make.  Bonus points for ones that are also inexpensive.  Currently that means anything without beef because that shit is expensive.  My one little pound of ground beef will have to work.

b) I'm having to wear actual "out of the house" clothes now.  Boo.  I'd like to just be in my yoga pants all day, please and thank you.  But no, I have to pick up the son from basketball practice three nights a week and he frowns upon me showing up in my comfy clothes.  Teenagers and their embarrassment.  Gah.

c) I am needing more hours in a day.  Since establishing a new cleaning schedule I have found that I do get everything done, but I also don't have much time to be lazy on the internets.  I miss you internets.

d) I ordered a FitBit.  I am very much out of shape and am not too pleased with my body in general.  I should eat healthier and drink more water.  But what put me on the path was that I saw some ridiculous BMI chart that told me I was overweight.  I know, I know... I shouldn't really listen to a chart on the internet.  I am 5' 1" tall and weigh 138 lbs.  Definitely not "overweight" by any means.  However, I still look like I am about 4 months pregnant with my little spare tire that seems to just lurve me like no other.  I don't hold myself accountable for what I eat/drink and that's going to change.  I'm going to get moving.  I'm not getting any younger and it's beyond time to start taking care of myself.  I wanted to order the scale to go along with it, but 1) it was $130 and 2) I am more interested in losing this belly than what I weigh.

Reading:  The Night Circus by Erin Morganstern - I can barely put it down.

Watching:  Not much.  Waiting for the Fall seasons to kick in so I can DVR the shit out of everything.

next weeks themes:
calling, lighting, making, watching, planning

Currently link up is hosted by Harvesting Kale and OT & ET.

Stupid Simple Chicken Quesadillas

Another Pinterest find.  I would not know how to cook without Pinterest.  We'd all be eating the same meals over and over.  I do love a physical cookbook though.  The original recipe can be found over at Six Sisters' Stuff right here.

This recipe really is stupid simple to make.  You need just a handful of ingredients to get started.

What you'll need:
-- 3 to 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (I used 3, made 6 quesadillas and still had chicken left over)
-- a can of Rotel tomatoes and green chilies, undrained (the can I used was 10-ish ounces)
-- a package of cream cheese
-- a couple of tablespoons of butter, melted
-- tortillas
-- shredded cheese of your choice, we used Monterrey jack
-- toppings/salsa/dip of your choice

Simple to make too:
-- Spray your slow cooker with non-stick spray or, if like me you don't have any, smear some Crisco on the bottom and around the sides.

-- Put the chicken in, add the undrained can of Rotel, and then cream cheese.  I chose to slice up my cream cheese.  Put the lid on and set your slow cooker to low for 6-8 hours.
Do not be alarmed if you come back in a few hours and your cream cheese still looks exactly the same.  'Cause it will, but it's ok.  The next step will fix that.

-- Once the chicken is done, shred it and put it back in the slow cooker.  Mix all those ingredients together and let sit for a bit so the chicken will absorb some of the juices.  It's still going to be a little watery so use a slotted spoon to put chicken in tortillas.

-- Take tortillas and spread cheese on them.

-- Put a spoonful or two of the chicken mix on one side of the tortilla.  At this point, you can add any little do-dads you would like.  We ate ours "original" for this first attempt, but my husband and I both agreed that next time we will definitely add some jalapenos or banana peppers.

-- Fold tortilla in half and brush with butter before placing in a pre-heated skillet.

--  Cook for a few minutes on both sides until the cheese is melted and TADA! All done.  Wait a few minutes for them to cool then cut them in half and serve with salsa, sour cream, or whatever your heart desires!


Wax On, Wax Off

Holy hell... I haven't posted in what feels like F-O-R-E-V-E-R!  I can't believe how busy we have already become since school started!  I've barely touched the computer in days.  Most of my days have been spent getting the filthy house cleaned after a Summer of being lazy.

See here's the thing... I'm not domestically inclined.  And I'm lazy as hell.  That combination usually leads to an overwhelming mess that adds up quickly.  Last year, I implemented on myself a cleaning list.  I thought it would help me to get shit done.  It did for the most part, but still needed work.  The chore charts that I had made for the kids weren't really working either.

A quick Pinterest search turns up a plethora of weekly cleaning schedules.  Cleaning schedule sounds so much better than chores, doesn't it?!  I found one that met more of my needs from Uncommon Designs.  It was colorful, but wouldn't suck every last bit of ink from my printer.  The problem was that it didn't really cover all that I needed like a place for monthly cleaning.  You know... those items that just don't need to be done that often, but still need to get done and if you don't have them on a list, you will just forget and they NEVER get done.  Yeah, I needed a spot for that.  And they spelled vacuum wrong and it was bothering me.

My cleaning schedule...

Download this version here.

I also adapted this list for the kids.  They have every day chores like making their beds, brushing teeth, emptying or loading the dishwasher, and laying out tomorrow's clothing choices.  Their weekly chores rotate between them and revolve around pet care and taking out the trash.

As you can see there are no Friday, Saturday, or Sunday items.  Because everyone needs some time off work, right?!  I've found that getting everything done during the week leaves not much left to do on the weekends anyway.  It's nice to not feel overwhelmed with all the housework.  Small tasks each day get everything done and still leave time for other things.  Unless you are like me and abandon your cleaning for the two months surrounding Summer break from school.  I do not recommend that approach.

Also available in a blank version here or both versions here.  I used Photoshop Elements to adapt my list.

Currently {august eighth}


this weeks themes:
craving, cleaning, daydreaming, growing, reading

a) I guess maybe it's because of the school year starting that my subconscious has been poking me in the stomach hard for some Lucky Charms.  I usually try to avoid the more sugary cereals.  We stick to Cheerios, but for some reason I've been craving those little dehydrated marshmallows!  So much so that I bought a box and then hid them from the kids.  I'm a bad parent.  A bad parent with a full bowl of LUCKY CHARMS!

b) I have been on a cleaning tear around the house this week.  I'm planning on writing a little diddy about my cleaning schedule.  Handy that Pinterest is, I tell ya.  I've always been a list maker so having a set list of daily items to check off makes me feel... spessshul.  ("Special" for you spelling and grammar nazis, of which I am a card carrying member.  Except when I'm trying to convey my Southern-ness.)

c) Daydreaming about a completely renovated house.  More specifically, a renovated bathroom.  The current situation is no less than disturbing.  We get by, but I'm completely mortified if a guest asks to use the bathroom.  Paneling, peeling dark brown paint, duct tape... yes, duct tape.  You just can't make this shit up.

d) Seeing my kids before their first day of school, it finally hit me how much they are growing.  I can't get over how quickly the time has flown since I was gingerly walking them into their first elementary school classes.  Now they ask if they can just open the door, tuck, and roll so **I don't have to stop to let them out.

e) Reading:  Allegiant (Divergent #3) by Veronica Roth.  I don't know how I feel about this one yet.  I'm about half way through.  I'll reserve true judgement until I've read the whole thing.

Watching: Witches of East End.  Missed a couple of episodes and now that the kids are in school, toddler nap time means DVR time!

next weeks themes:
searching, wearing, needing, moving, eating

Currently link up is hosted by Harvesting Kale and OT & ET.

**I totally stopped to let them out.

First and Last

A few short months ago I was teary eyed and sad because my son was graduating from middle school.  Just the mere idea of him starting high school was too much for this mama.  Then I realized that this also meant my oldest daughter would be starting her last year of middle school.  Ack.

Today was the day.  *insert that music from Jaws*

First day of high school.  He said he wasn't nervous.  In fact, he's like his father that way.  Any ol' shoulder shrug will do.  Meh.  I took him last weekend for a hair cut.  He walked in a 14 year old boy, walked out a 14 year old young man.  When his youngest sister saw his freshly cut noggin, she said, "Whoa Bubba."  Then stared at him with the stink eye for the entire car ride home.

Last first day of middle school.  Not excited.  This was her, "I am smiling!" face.  She was upset with me because I wouldn't let her wear the outfit she wanted to wear.  The pants had holes and the shirt was a tank.  Holey pants may be all the rage, but not for this mama.  She has purple and pink hair.  I think it's fair that I set limits on the holey pants.  I'm not sure when exactly she turned into a young woman, but she can stop it.  Stop it right now.

Baby sister wanted to "Take a pishure tooooo mama!!  Rowy in the pishure too!"  After I got back home and put the SD card in the computer, I had a little laugh at her holding my wallet and phone.  It looks as if she's on her way out the door to work herself.  Except... no shoes.

My Plum Paper Planner!

I nearly forgot to tell y'all about my new planner!  I was seriously bummed when I couldn't purchase from a previous company.  In a quest to find a new planner that would cover all the things I needed, I became easily overwhelmed.  So many companies.  So expensive.  I happened upon a planner company called Plum Paper Designs through Etsy.

So many choices!  So not expensive!

Behold the beauty that is my planner.  Ignore the retro yellow Formica table.  For real though, it's my sewing table and I love it.  Back to the planner...  There are so many different cover designs that it was seriously hard to chose just one, but I ended up going with this one.  The front and back are covered with a sturdy plastic so no worries about the edges getting crumpled and bent.  Oh and you can have it personalized too!

One of the issues I was facing with my current planner was that it only runs through the end of August.  Most planners are in 12 month format and start in January.  One of the great things about Plum Paper is that you can add up to 6 months to your planner!  Because you can specify your planner start date, I was able to get a planner that starts in September of this year and runs until the end of next year.

I also opted to purchase sticker sheets.  They are built right into the planner so you don't have to worry about searching around for your stickers.  They fit perfectly in the monthly layout part of each month.

There are four options for the weekly layout.  I chose to have the day broken up into morning, afternoon, and evening.  We have so much going on at various times I think this layout will work well for trying to keep up.  At the beginning and end of each month is a full page notes section for any extras I need to write down. There is an option to add more note pages if two aren't enough for you.

In the back is a two pocket folder to keep... well, whatever you need to keep.  I've got some extra note pages that I use to make my grocery lists and the band practice and competition schedule in mine.

I wish that I had just gone ahead and ordered it to start in August.  I can't wait to use it!  The one and only issue was that it took quite a while to ship.  The shops policies do state that it will take 3-4 weeks before shipping though.  And considering just how many options and choices you can make, it's not that bad.  I ordered my planner on June 12th and it arrived on July 10th.  I sent a message to the seller because I was afraid it would arrive while we were camping and they replied within a few hours and the planner arrived before we left.

If you are looking for a new planner to purchase for the upcoming (very quickly upcoming) new year, check them out on Etsy.  I will definitely be purchasing from them again!

*I was not paid, asked, or encouraged to post this.  I just really, really like my planner!

Poops

I know this is the most interesting blog post title you have ever read, isn't it?

I've had many things happen to my older kids that seemingly happen to all young kids at some point in their lives.  Falling off beds, picking noses, seeing parents naked.  But never the things my toddler did today.  Ever.  In one day, she decided to go head first into the "things that inevitably happen to parents" list.

I should have known when she was quiet.  Toddlers + silence = total world annihilation.  She came walking into the living room from the direction of the bathroom.  The oldest daughter looked at her and asked, "Oh my gawd, what is on your arm Rowan?!"

I was afraid to look, but being the stellar parent that I am, I looked.  You know what it was.  SHIT.  All over one arm.  I guess I should be... a) glad that she had pooped in the toilet, and b) glad that it was only a few smears on one arm.  Instead of the horrific mess it could have been.  But seriously...  she played in her poo.  *gag*

Not at all related to the post, but look at that innocent, sweet, sleeping baby.
Second on the list today... money.  She has become very interested in quarters, nickels, dimes, and pennies. If she finds one she immediately asks for her piggy bank.  However, occasionally she decides to put them in her mouth first.  I immediately yell at her to get them out of her mouth.  Today was no exception.

She was sitting in the floor in front of the tv.  I heard the change.  I told her three times to get the change out of her mouth.  In the blink of an eye, it happened.  She jumped up, ran to me, while gagging/spitting up.  As I swung her around to give her the Heimlich, she swallowed.

This happened 10 minutes before my husband got home and about 30 minutes after the pediatricians office closed.  I can't contact them until Monday.  I haven't contacted the emergency room yet.  98% of the people I asked suggested that all they will tell me is that it will pass on its own.  Many of them had done it themselves as children.  She isn't showing any signs of being hurt or that it is bothering her.

Now we are officially on Poop Watch 2014.