Thursday, December 18, 2014

Life Hack

How do you clean your shower?

Up until recently, for me, it meant kneeling, scrubbing, reaching, rinsing...etc. Less fun than a barrel of monkeys anyway. And then it hit me - or maybe I saw it on pintrest a while back, I cannot recall - the mop. The lowly sponge-mop. Aha! The perfect tool for tub and shower cleaning.

And now I feel like a super hero every time I clean the bathtub because it's so much easier....and maybe I'm the last person in the world to have realized this trick, but I like it.

I've been vegetating tonight. Emery's upstairs reading and singing to the girls, and I'm reading mom blogs because it's been that kind of day and I'm all for being alone for a minute.
But Christmas is only a week away, and I wish I were planning out the things I need to cook/bake in the next several days and be able to avoid Kroger on Christmas Eve, but that one's not working out so well yet. Hopefully, I'll get my brain into gear soon. Hopefully, I won't be making 7 trips to the grocery store. Hopefully, I'll have a plan.
Let's just say I didn't succeed on that front with Thanksgiving and I was right there in the thick of it at the store the day before. It really wasn't so bad, in retrospect, but it hurts my pride a little to be so disorganized.

It's awfully sweet to start buying boy things. Oh, I haven't bought much, but I'm watching the clearance sections and I have gotten a couple of cute onsies and a pack of receiving blankets. I like this.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Laptop, portable computer

For the last few years, we've needed to replace the battery in our laptop. Thus, it required it's plug to function for more than 5 seconds. But we've entered a new world...bought a new battery and adapter, and I have golden visions of sitting somewhere other than near an outlet to check my email and whatnot.

Also having our computer functioning again means I feel the pull of getting these crazy Christmas cards done, but you know what? We haven't got a picture. Not one. I don't think I've even taken a picture on my real camera since September. And I just feel like it's not worth it to send Christmas cards if you can't even get a cute picture of your kids.
Maybe I'll just wait till the baby is born and send late-Christmas/birth announcements. "Merry Christmas six months ago and oh yeah, we had a baby!" lol. except it isn't even funny. Maybe I can get my act together by new years? Nobody hold me to that.

I finally figured out that Adele is cutting some molars right now. The light bulb in my head went off, and AHA! that's why you had a fever and prolonged runny nose and general irritability on top of your cough and stuff. Now I get it. I'm thankful for mommy brains that sometimes work.

I hung some pictures today in the girls' room. They make it so nice and cozy. Pictures of us on the wall make a house feel like our home. I like it. I like feeling like home isn't just a in-and-out, no-time to-think-about-it kind of place. I like it to be welcoming and personal...albeit very lived in {Which is to say, give me ten minutes to clean up my house before stopping by!}.

Whilst holed up during this bout of sickness, I've been reading some of my old favorites, Stepping Heavenward and Hinds' feet in High Places. In the latter, the main character "Much-Afraid" is learning to follow the Great Shepherd on her journey to the High Places, and one of the lessons she must learn along the way is: acceptance with joy.
That struck a chord with me. How often when trials come do we want to whine and complain...we our appropriate response ought to be, "Yes, Lord, I'll accept what you've given with joy"----Joy because we know whom we have believed in, not necessarily because of the situation.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Just so you know, I didn't regret the gingerbread house build. it got a little hectic when baby girl lost her self control and started popping the candy in her mouth, and we ended it soon after -- cause, hello, almost bedtime and candy don't mesh. I do regret that I also have no self control and have been popping the sweet-tarts off the roof and road and windows because they're my favorite, and the wonka candy was pretty much the reason I bought that particular gingerbread house set.

My girls are sick. :(
We've been planning for weeks to go to my nephew's birthday party tomorrow, and I hate we'll have to miss. Do you know how many birthday parties we've gone to since Hattie has been around? Two, not counting our own, of course. I was excited. But I guess now Hattie won't know exactly how low-key we do birthdays at our house compared to full-blown character parties, and I don't mind that.

It's been an exciting week for our family. It's a BOY! woohoo! We were very happy to see a healthy, growing boy on our sonogram this week. The name's a secret, so you'll just have to wait.

We moved to our new house two weeks ago. And only yesterday have I gotten around to doing some full-out, much-needed grocery shopping. With an upcoming move, I always cook from what we have until the pantry and freezer are virtually empty. So, as you can imagine, it was an extensive shopping trip. But Hallelujah, we get to shop at Aldi again, it's SO nice to save some moola there!

Happy friday and weekend and december!!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

the gingerbread house

I have been prepping our gingerbread house for decoration after supper. It's one of those activities that you're so eager to begin, but you KNOW that you'll be regretting before the icing is gone.
Oh well, it's tradition. Except this year, I built the house...cause I never get to (hello resident engineer! ) and I enjoyed it. :-)

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Sycamore Bakes: Oreo Truffles

Okay, so this one is a no-bake recipe, but oh is it decadent. And simple. And rich.
I made Oreo Truffles to take to church last night, and they were a big hit.

Oreo Truffles
{Gluten and Dairy free!}

1 package gluten free chocolate sandwich cookies (or Oreos)
1 package vegan cream cheese (or regular cream cheese)
12-ish oz dark chocolate
3tbsp coconut oil

Pulverize the package of cookies. I tried doing this by hand, but finished with my "little chopper" - a food processor would do it beautifully, I'm sure.
Stir in the cream cheese until well incorporated.
Line cookie pan with wax paper. Roll cookie mixture into small balls - you probably don't want these any larger than the size of a chocolate covered cherry. I got a little lazy and started making them bigger, but they get hard to eat.
Put 'em in the freezer for 30 minutes.
Melt your chocolate and coconut oil.
Use a slotted spoon (or a toothpick) to get the balls coated in chocolate.
Put in the fridge and wait long enough for the chocolate to firm up before giving in to temptation.

Makes about 30 small balls. Like I said, I got lazy, so mine turned out about 20 truffles.

The surprising thing to me about this recipe was that even with the vegan cream cheese, I felt like I was eating real candy, like out of a box candy. Light on the inside, rich dark chocolate.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Don't wait for tomorrow.

I remembered some pivotal wisdom today. Don't wait for tomorrow to live the life you want.

For me {today} this translates to:
Don't wait to move to a house before you decorate nicely
Don't wait till you're ready to move to declutter
Don't wait to hang up our paper crafts

Friday, November 7, 2014

Feeling Crafty.

I think pregnancy tends to heighten my need to fulfill a certain crafting quota. It was this way with Adele at least, and thus far in this pregnancy (and I can't really remember any crafting projects when I was expecting Hattie. Mama brain.)

Lately we've been making paper pumpkins, paper not-pumpkins (read: same template, different paper), a scrapbook album for the girls (shh, that's a gift), and today we started on a Christmas tree skirt.

Now, don't get snarky about Christmas getting in front of Thanksgiving because I'm all for being thankful, but I'm also for mindful preparations for Christmas to make December less hectic and more enjoyable. I usually order our Christmas cards in November too.

Anywho, I'm excited for our simple burlap with red stripe skirt, and I just lack using the serger on the edges (because it's much easier than hemming it! and I have a lovely aunt who has just such a machine:) ). And and and, maybe we'll even have a tree this year. We've not had one in the past, but I'm secretly or not so secretly hoping we'll get a little real one…because we already have the skirt, after all.

Hope you're meeting your crafting quota these days, if you're burdened with such a thing.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Of holidays, moving, selfish girl and the usual mashup of thoughts.

Hello, November.
I'm kind of thrilled for you to be here, even on this gray day with spitting rain. {I acquired that term from my husband, before I would have simply and perhaps more desirably said sprinkling.}

November brings a much loved refuge from all the icky Halloween decorations in every store. Sometimes I wish I could hibernate through October because of all those, but I wouldn't really want to do that because October is a lovely month. We drove through the mountains of Tennessee a few weeks ago, and it was so delightful to get to look around and see all the colors of fall from the heights of the mountains. It was an added blessing to a somewhat somber-toned trip altogether, for Emery's mother is dying of lung & brain cancer, and it may have been the last opportunity for us to visit with her this side of heaven.

But I'm still excited for the holiday season. I didn't even mind the Christmas trees on display in Target. I think the childhood wonder of the holidays has come back to me now that I get to experience it with my own girls. "Look mama {pronounced MAM-A by Hattie}, there's Santa Clause!"....even though we don't "do" Santa, she knows he's character that gets talked about this time of year, and that seems fine by her. And old Santa provides a welcome distraction from noticing every Elsa and Anna piece of merchandise that our cart passes. Adele calls out, "Anna" anytime she sees any princess. Lol.
Back to the wonder of season....I realized a while back why I never particularly enjoyed the holidays when I was younger. If I was asked what my favorite holiday was, I would usually say Christmas because I got stuff, by my very self-focused attitude was often disappointed with what I received anyway {Ungrateful.} The holidays for me were times of feeling sorry for myself because I didn't fit in or didn't have a boyfriend to bring to the get-togethers or blah blah blah. Yikes. I must have been terrible to live with.
Thankfully, God changed my outlook on life. He taught me to take the time to invest in others: putting their joy ahead of my own, and I've reaped the blessing of enjoying the holidays. I'm excited about the work and preparations of Thanksgiving and Christmas. Excited to make our home cozy and festive. Excited to teach my little ladies what it means to have Thanksgiving celebrations and to cultivate thankful hearts. Excited to continue to establish family traditions - however simple or maybe cheesy. :)
Speaking of homes, it looks like we may be living in a house again before Thanksgiving! Talk about another thing to be excited about! Our little one-bedroom apartment hasn't been bad for short term living, but I'm certainly not complaining about the prospect of having Windows and the girls having a bedroom and enough space to put out our limited supply of decorations without having to put some fall things away to make room for the pilgrims and leaves. And to have guests, I'm stoked about having guests dinners, play-dates with cousins, friends to tea. These are a few of my favorite things.
Another move is slightly daunting, but at least the vast majority of our stuff is still packed neatly in storage. You know, in my adult life, I've never made a local move. Every move Emery and I have made has been at least 3 hours away from wherever we were living, but we're looking at a 20 minute drive this time and that's so refreshing! I bought a doormat for our potential new house today and a lamp - holla Target clearance! - and, oh, the smile factor is increasing all the time.

So, Welcome November. I'm glad you're here.

PS I'm also glad that there are only 6-ish more weeks until we hopefully will find out the gender of our little - but growing - baby! I'm also hoping that I'll get busy on finding a name for the child after we know whether we're looking at pink or far all I've got are the names that Hattie comes up with for her pretend family. She had a daughter named Symphony yesterday and sometimes says her brother is named David and she's married to Caleb. I asked her what the baby's name should be this week and her response, "Temporary". LOL. That girl. Here's to Temporary Sayre, whom I hope isn't temporary at all.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Oven Mitts

I have a very sweet and thoughtful husband.
And I'm going to shout it from the rooftops.

Today, I asked him to pick up four things at Kroger on his way home from running a few errands. Now I know that he'll usually get everything on my list, but I also know that my man doesn't stick to the list (not unlike his wife, who makes a list of the 10 things and buys $100 worth of groceries)....anyway, it's always interesting to see what he comes home with. Today's extra spoils included GF pretzels and cookies and OVEN MITTS! That dear man.
A few weeks ago, we had discussed needing new oven mitts because I'd burned my hand through one of our old ones. Not acceptable. Except that I speedily forgot the incident and kept using the same old bad one because I guess our others are in storage or something.

But good Emery hadn't forgotten his poor wifey. No, no. He came home with Blue Willow print oven mitts and a matching tea towel, and some day when we have a house they'll coordinate in a lovely way with our china. Sweet man.

It's a delightful thing to be married to such a man.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Random Box

It's a little hard for me to get used to it just being barely light at 7:30 in the morning. I'm missing early sunshine from central time, but on the other hand - my children sleep much later....and I would sleep much later, but my neck thinks it's excessive of me to want to sleep 12 hours, so up I must be.
{There's your run-on for the day.}
What I really ought to have said is that I'm thankful our basement apartment HAS windows, and I can be aware of the outside conditions somewhat - even if the sunlight doesn't come shining in brightly, I'm thankful for windows!

I have bad news. I made those molasses cookies yesterday, minus the ginger because I was out....and Emery didn't even like them. I should probably take that other post down. But I like them because they're so healthy, even if they happen to taste a little healthy.
Last week, somebody made the mistake of posting a picture of cookie cake on facebook, and this pregnant woman almost rushed out to Kroger to find one for herself, but I used a little self-control and made a GF version at home that my family could enjoy too. It was tasty, but alas, it tasted healthy. Of course, I didn't put any icing on, but I missed that certain chemical taste you get in the store-bought ones. Ironically, mine also tasted like whole-wheat, which of course it was not.
In other grocery store blunders, last week I was thinking about buying some bagels and thought, "oh, theses have a lot of carbs." So I didn't buy them and what do you think I put in the buggy next? Doughnuts. Are you kidding me? I was trying to think healthy thoughts and BAM! Krispie Kreme wins the fight. I'll also have you know that the aforementioned brand is the only one I'll patronize that incorrectly uses Ks where Cs ought to be. Because that is an aggravation in my life, especially when it's an educational facility and the name is something like "Kozy Kiddie Korner". Ugh.
(Sorry if you have a business named that. I just made it up.)

Now that those stories are out of the way. I'm glad to report that it's the middle of October. We're going Pumpkin Patching tomorrow. I had hot chocolate yesterday. And we made paper pumpkins that turned out uber cute. I'm glad to meet my fall-crafting quota and move on with life.
Enjoying September and October partially means getting prepared for Christmas. I even went shopping BY MYSELF last Saturday, and it's extremely gratifying to have a few happy Christmases wrapped and tucked away. A bonus feature of buying on the early side is that I have no memory, and Christmas will be just as surprising to me as to those opening the gifts. Score for the win.

Speaking of Wins, Shout out to Ole Miss for having a great season thus far. Hattie can't really understand why the Targets in GA don't sell Ole Miss gear like they ought.

Oh, I also wanted to give an update about my essential oil usage. It's been nearly a year since I bought a set from Plant Therapy off of Amazon, and I've been very happy with my purchase. Granted, I go through phases when I don't use them much, but lately they've been getting a lot of use in terms of peppermint to keep spiders and crickets at bay, and tea tree oil for bug bites, and "Germ Fighter" - which is the same formula as Thieves -for diffusing and hopefully cleansing the air around here of any lingering germs, and Eucalyptus for muscle aches and to keep the sinuses open.
I haven't used as many of the blended oils as I thought I might, but overall, I couldn't be happier.

And cue baby waking up.
Hugs. Happy Humpday.