Thursday, February 28, 2013

13 in '13 February Update

Here is my monthly update on the 13 goals I set for myself for 2013. Check out the whole list here! 

I also made some fun new graphics to go along with my goals. 

Once again I paid myself first and put 10% of my paycheck directly into savings. I also paid myself last and put half of what was left in my checking account into savings on the last day of the month. 
I had a good reason and a bad reason for this not getting done during the 6 week Resolutions in Motion link-up I participated in. 
So I sold it. It was a handshake deal. We hadn't even put it on the market. It was pretty amazing. Then they had to back out before I got to the title company to sign papers and get their earnest money. It was a bummer, but it's okay. We are having the estate sale this weekend, so after that we will really get the ball rolling on this one.
I'm up to 2 and a half. I added Grave Surprise by Charlaine Harris to last month's Janet Evonavich book. It's more cupcake reading, but I read for fun so I am okay with it. This is a slow start to my yearly goal, but March = spring break and hopefully I can get some good reading time in!

Thank goodness I am teaching an after school Zumba class, or I fear that I wouldn't be any where near my 12 hours for this month. This month I did 11 hours and 15 minutes. Boo on me. Spring break is next month so I really have no excuse to not get closer to 15 hours.

In January a friend of mine and I started the Couch 2 5K program. (Have you heard of it? It's awesome.)  Then her house was struck with a horrible stomach bug and I was struck with a horrible case of the lazies. We just picked it back up again this week, and we started at week 3. 

How are your resolutions?

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Dream house part 2

Last week I took you on a tour of the pins of furniture that would be in my dream house. This week I decided to dream a little bigger and give you a tour of what the rooms in my dream house would look like.

My dream house would have a laundry room. In our current home, our washer and dryer are in the garage. Don't get me wrong, it's better than not having a washer and dryer, but it is such a pain to have to go out to the garage when I need to do laundry.

My current kitchen is small. It has all the normal stuff, but I am dreaming of a large kitchen where both of us can be in there without feeling cramped and would have tons of storage space. Big windows are also a must.
My dream house would also have a true master bathroom. Our house has one, sort of. The toilet started leaking so my husband turned off the water to it, so we really can't use it. Boo. Clearly I need a giant tub and giant windows in my master bathroom.
What's in your dream house??

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

My Mom's Recipes: Pinterest Challenge

Last week the lovely Katie and Sherry announced the Winter edition of my most favorite link-up, the Pinterest Challenge. This time they bringing in Megan and Michelle to co-host with them. The basic idea is to take something that you have pinned and do it. I love this link-up and I have only missed one (the first one) since they started it. However, there has not been a lot of time for DIY in my house lately. During the week, I have just been too tired to do much when I get home from work, and lately my weekends are spent organizing my mom's estate. But it was my mom's estate that actually inspired my project for this challenge.

My mom was a pretty good cook. I can't actually think of anything I really didn't like that she made. One thing I really regret is not spending more time with her in the kitchen. I wasn't really interested in cooking until I moved out on my own. I lived a little over an hour away, and it was never on the top of my list to make it to her house for a cooking lesson. Of course I would call her up when I had a question, but I really do wish I could go back in time and change my priorities. (I think I just got a little too serious for a Pinterest Challenge post...)

While going through my mom's kitchen I found a few of her index cards with recipes written on them. My mom had once joked with me that you could always tell which recipes were the best ones because they were covered in splatters from cooking. Three of my favorites were the most difficult to read. I knew I wanted to do something with them. 

I love this idea from Spoonflower.
recipes turned into towels
Turning hand written recipes into tea towels
But for right now, this is more my speed:
Framed recipes for the kitchen; very special, particularly if they are handwritten by family members! Will have to get mema to write a few for us
The pin didn't take me to a website. 
I gathered my three favorite recipes, scrapbook paper, frames, paper cutter and double sided tape.

Then I cut the paper, used a small piece of double sided tape to attach the card to the paper and put it in the frame.
Having these in the kitchen is a little way to keep my mom in the kitchen with me.

The three recipes are apple butter, banana nut bread, and her pie crust. I shared her apple butter before. (It's worth the click!) Here is the best banana nut bread recipe ever. (She also has a version with whole wheat flour and honey, but here is the original recipe.)

Mom's Banana Nut Bread
2 1/2 cups flour
1 c sugar
3 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
3 TBS. vegetable oil
3/4 cup milk
1 egg
1 cup chopped nuts
3-4 ripe bananas

Mix all ingredients  scraping the sides often. Pour into greased and floured loaf pan (9x5x3). Bake at 350 for 55-65 minutes.

Do you have any family recipes?

Monday, February 25, 2013

It's Monday

I started to write a heavy-ish post for today. But then I needed to laugh instead. Happy Monday y'all!
Pinned Image
This has been repinned from me over 100 times in less than a week.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

5 in 5 Week 4

1. Follow our meal plan for the week. 
I planned. I shopped. I did okay at this. We had leftovers one night and another we celebrated with pizza and beer. (More on that to come later!) I give myself a green. 
2. Organize my desk at work. 
BTW: Those are not gross old Styrofoam cups in the before picture. They were used in a class activity but I hadn't put them away yet. So its not like I have stacks of moldy coffee cups or anything on my desk.
You can see that there is still some work to be done, but it is much better than it was at the beginning of the week. I even stayed a little later on Friday to make sure it got done so I could make it green for my blog.
You can also see my beautiful Erin Condren Life Planner on my desk in the "after" picture.
3. Make my Modcloth return. 
It's red, but not for lack of trying. I missed the return deadline. I guess I will try Plato's Closet or something for the two dresses that don't fit me correctly.
4. No drive thrus. 
I am making it mostly green, because when I went to get gas, I did run into the convenience store and get a soda. I also got a coffee from the grocery store one morning when I was buying a frozen lunch on my way to work. Technically I didn't drive through, but I still got something extra instead of making my own coffee or waiting until I was home for a soda. 
5. Have everything ready the night before. 
My clothes were always picked out. My gym bag was always packed. My lunch not so much and I didn't blow dry my hair twice. A solid effort, but orange was earned. 

My goals for this work week:
1. Work out 2 times outside of the Zumba class I teach. I really need to get past week 3 of C25K.
2. Have everything ready the night before. Including packing my lunch each night! I have done pretty good with packing my gym bag and picking out my clothes, but lunch has been harder. 
3. Go to the bank. I hate going to the bank. 
4. Work on kitchen "art" I've got this idea for some recipe cards that were my mom's. 
5. Have everything ready for the next day before I leave work for the day. Objective written, lesson materials organized, front table cleaned, my desk organized etc.

What are your goals for the week?

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Dream House... part 1

I had Monday off. Back in the day, an extra day off during the week meant an extra day of fun. Now, it means an extra day to do laundry, clean the kitchen and other super fun grown up stuff. One of the tasks I assigned myself was washing the cover on our couch. As I was struggling to put it back on, I started thinking about how nice it would be if someday I owned a couch that didn't need a slip cover. Here is a secret I have been keeping from you all: pretty much every piece of furniture in our house was given to us. Most of it was when we were in college and before we knew each other. (We did buy a brand new mattress last year though.) Honestly, we could probably afford to replace a lot of our furniture. Both of us have decent full time jobs and we don't have kids, but we have been choosing to use our money in other ways. We both have emergency funds and we have gone on a pretty nice vacation every summer. Both things I am so happy we have/did. But as I was wrestling with that slip cover I started to think about my wish list:

Let's start with the sofa:
One thing that we have actively looked for is a dining set. Our current table was given to my husband. Right now we have 2 matching chairs, one random wooden chair and a folding chair around our table. What I want is a regular height, dark, real wood table. It needs to have a leaf to make it larger and I love the look of the farm house style tables
And finally our master bedroom. Despite what these pictures show, I don't think white is the best color for bedding. 
What does your dream home have in it?

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Resolution In Motion: The Big Reveal

6 weeks ago I joined a link-up called Resolutions In Motion to help kick start my 13 in '13. I chose one of my 13 goals and decided that by the end of the 6 weeks, I would get it checked off. I chose to work on #2: Clean out the garage. My thinking in choosing that one first was simple: it is not that fun and it is going to be hard, so I might as well tell the world I am going to accomplish it. Then I posted some unflattering before pictures so that I would shame myself enough into getting after it.

The result?

That's my car.

In the driveway.

If I was able to park in the garage, my car would be in there. So, I guess I failed at accomplishing my goal. I really did think about it, and I did get some stuff taken out, but my main focus has been my mom's estate and getting her house sorted and organized for our estate sale. I have spent a few weekends up there working on that project instead of doing things here at our house. And a less valid excuse: it's really hard to clean out a garage in Oregon in January and February. I mean it's cold and rainy outside. Yuck.

So what I am saying is that I didn't clean out my garage... yet. I made some progress, but its not enough for me to take "after" pictures of it. If I did, I would have to load the pictures in picmonkey and do a whole bunch of arrows pointing out what I did. Not so much of a good "after" if I need that many arrows. But, blogland, I still really want to get my car in the garage. It is still a priority for me. Just not the top one right now. One positive, I can still use my cute little garage graphic in future posts :)

Monday, February 18, 2013

Spokesmodel Available for Hire

This weekend, The Mister and I watched the NBA All-Star Game. I was sort of/mostly paying attention to the game (while reading blogs, cleaning up from dinner etc). What caught my eye was the commercials that the NBA players were in.
I seriously doubt Blake Griffin is driving around LA in a Kia, and I don't think Shaq has ever met a product he wouldn't endorse. But, it got me thinking about what products I would be more than willing to be a spokesperson for:
MultiVites Gummy Vitamins for Adults 
The peach flavor for sure. I mean berry and orange are okay, and if it was an all or nothing deal I would still pimp them out, but the peach are the bomb. (Seriously, I just called them "the bomb." Who am I?

 Juicy Pear and Apple Jelly Belly
These two flavors are hands down the most delicious. If you don't think so you are wrong.

Arm & Hammer Cat Litter
I have two cats. Kitty litter is a daily part of my life. This stuff works. 

Sanford Pencil Sharpener
A lot of my teacher friends have switched to electric pencil sharpeners. I still like this kind. Mine just got replaced at school and let me tell you, there is nothing better than a freshly sharpened pencil. (For reals, who says stuff like that?)
Psych is about to start their 7th season. I just finished season 3. I can't believe it took me this long to start watching this show. It's funny and doesn't take itself too seriously. Clearly I don't take myself to seriously either.

What products do you want to be a spokesperson for?

Sunday, February 17, 2013

5 for 5 Week 3

I don't really know if you all like reading these goal posts. (I like reading other people's goals, but I'm nosy.) They really do help me stay on track and focused. 

It's that time to look back at the 5 goals I set for myself and see how I did. Spoiler alert- not so good.
1. Work out at least 2 times outside of the Zumba class I teach. 
I got one other workout in. That is still 3 workouts in a week. :)
2. Get all my materials ready for the next week before I leave on Friday. 
 I know what I am doing Wednesday through Friday in class. And that's ready to go, I think. Tuesday I kind of know what I am doing. Ugh.

3. No fast food. 
I stopped for coffee 3 times last week. And we had Taco Bell for dinner one night. That is what I get for not meal planning. 
4. Make 2 returns. 
I did the in store return, but I still haven't sent my package back to Modcloth. 
5. Ship the grandfather clock off. 
Finally, I get a real green one. This was probably the most important one I had to do, so that gets me a bonus point right??

Last week was not my best at accomplishing goals.  Here are my 5 for this week. Here's to helping me stay on track!
1. Follow our meal plan for the week. After last week's Taco Bell dinner, I decided that I need to get back to meal planning. 
2. Organize my desk at work. The Mister got to see my classroom on Saturday when I had to run in to grab my iPod. He made me promise to clean it.
3. Make my Modcloth return. If I don't do this soon, I will be stuck with 2 dresses that don't fit. 
4. No drive thrus. I have another evening event this week at school, so I need to pack my own snacks. Not driving through to get coffee will be hard that day.
5. Have everything ready the night before. Clothes picked out, lunch made and gym bag packed. The Mister asks that I also blow dry my hair before bed. 

What are your goals for the work week?

Monday, February 11, 2013

My Mom Was A Hipster

We spent another long day working on my mom's estate. It is a really weird/hard/emotional thing to go through an entire houseful of stuff that belonged to your parents. There are pictures and things that I want to know the story behind, but unfortunately there isn't anyone to ask. Trust me, this is not a fun task that we are doing. Through it all, I did start to notice something.

I think my mom was a hipster.

1. Outdated, working electronics.
I have 2 record players, 2 35mm film cameras with lenses & tripod, 3 typewriters, a Polaroid camera, and a Betamax video player. (Who besides for hipsters has a Betamax??)

2. Record Albums.
Oh my word do we have record albums. If my mom was a true hipster there would be some Smiths in the mix, but if you want some Neil Diamond, Neil Sedaka or Chaka Kahn, I think I have it all. (I actually haven't looked through all of them, but there is tons.)

3. Kitting and Sewing stuff. 
Yarn for days and not 1, not 2 but 3 vintage sewing machines complete with tables. There is also a ton of hand knit hats and scarves.

4. Retro kitchenware
Canisters, jars, Pyrex etc. There are patterns that include flowers, mushrooms etc. Many of these items would fit perfectly in a hipsters kitchen.

I am kicking myself for not taking pictures (I googled for all of these). I'll be headed back there next weekend, I wonder what I will find next time.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

5 for 5 week 2

Last week was the first time I linked up for 5 for 5. It actually really helped me stay on track. I kind of wanted to get coffee but I remembered I had this goal and I really wanted to make it green this week :) Check out how I did!
1. Be ready the night before. That means pick out clothes, pack my lunch and get my bags ready for the next day before I get in bed. 
I did really well with this, and it made my morning so much easier. I will admit that Thursday night I didn't get my lunch packed because I got home late from Bunco night, but other than that I had my clothes picked out and my gym bag packed each night.
2. Try Kickbox Boot Camp at my gymI've been meaning to try it out since it started last month.
Oh my word. This class kicked my butt. SO HARD! I have a doctor's appointment on Wednesday, but if I am back in time, I will do it again.
3. Finish choreographing my Justin Beiber Zumba song. The middle schoolers have spoken. I actually have it half done. I need to finish and practice before I can teach it.
I finished it. I taught it. The girls loved it. Boom.
4. Send stuff to print for this unit. We are supposed to submit things we want copied to the print shop our school district runs. Monday is the start of a new semester so I am starting all over. I would love to have everything for this first unit sent away this week.
Um, not so much, I sent some things, but not everything.
5. No coffee shop. I do love a treat of fancy coffee, but I have noticed my "treats" happening much more frequently. Making coffee at home is cheaper and less calories.
I didn't stop once during the work week. Saturday morning I did drive through McDonald's and get a caramel mocha.

Not too shabby for my first 5 for 5! Here are my goals for this work week:
1. Work out at least 2 times outside of the Zumba class I teach. Classes at the gym or running...
2. Get all my materials ready for the next week before I leave on Friday. I have a really cool system that I started the year using, but it kind of fell apart.
3. No fast food. No stopping for something. None. 
4. Make 2 returns. One is a Modcloth return. (I am so sad about this. I love the dress, it just doesn't fit) the other is an in-store return of these flashing light things I bought for a dance at my school but we didn't use. 
5. Ship the grandfather clock off. As you all know, we are working on my mom's estate. My grandma's grandfather clock needs to be shipped to Oklahoma. I have some shipping quotes, I just need to set it up.

If you want to link up, follow the button. It goes up on Monday!