Friday, September 30, 2011

Day 4 of 30 Days of Me

Day 4--Favorite Book

Sunshine by Robin McKinley
Deerskin by Robin McKinley
Hero and the Crown by Robin McKinley
Spindles End by Robin McKinley
Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
Poison Study series by Maria V. Snyder
Spy Glass series b Maria V. Snyder
The Book of Mormon by God
The Harper Hall series by Anne McCaffrey
Chalice by Robin McKinley
Enchantment by Orson Scott Card
Go, Dog, Go by Dr. Seuss
Our Best Bites (a cookbook)
Abhorsen series by Garth Nix
Alanna series by Tamora Pierce
A Bear Called Paddington by Michael Bond
Nutcracker by ETA Hoffman
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
Chronicles of Narnia by CS Lewis
Make Way for Ducklings by Robert
The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey

This list is getting ridiculously long. Books are by far my favorite of all favorites, don't you think?

If you love books or if you'd like to read more, you should sign onto Goodreads. I love reading reviews that my friends have written and getting ideas on what to read next (and that list is way long).

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Poetry, anyone?

Happy are all my days
Though the skies are all grey
When I get in the car
And start to see stars
A smile jumps to my face
While my heart starts to race
You're my favorite performer
My very own seat warmer

On the way home, I asked Jared what I should blog about tonight. "Butt warmers." I cannot deny that I was waxing eloquently about them while waiting to pick up Kaelyn.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Day 3 of 30 Days of Me

Day 3: Favorite Television Show

I honestly never used to care about what was on TV. This is probably due to the fact that we didn't have TV growing up. We watched movies. TV was for vacation. Maybe. You know, Sesame Street and Reading Rainbow (in our teens even). In college, I couldn't believe how many fellow students watched their shows or had several seasons of whatever.

It wasn't until I was married that I started to watch any sort of TV. We watched American Idol with my sister-in-law. And we occasionally watched Dancing With The Stars. Still not that much. Oh yeah, Lost was in there somewhere but I stopped watching it when it wasn't going anywhere and it was the same stupid stuff over and over again.

Then earlier this year, Kaelyn was having a really cranky period and wanted to be held all the time. So I watched Hulu. And I watched tons of episodes of random shows. And I really started liking some shows. Now we have cable and a DVR. Some shows I watch on my own. Some with Jared.

Psych--too hilarious. We can't wait for the next season to start.
Castle--I got Jared hooked on this one.
Rizzoli & Isles--I started watching this show because of Isles. I wanted to know if I'd like her here because I didn't like her on NCIS. (Interestingly, her character, Kate, is who my mom says I am most like on NCIS.)
NCIS--I started watching because of my mom.
NCIS: Los Angeles--I wouldn't say we watch it religiously but we do record it and watch it. So more of a favorite than some shows and less of a favorite than others.
What Not To Wear--Jared sometimes watches this with me. This is the only fashion show I watch because it is actually something I can apply.
Bones--When I first watched this show, I didn't like it. Then I saw an episode that I liked. And now I like it.
Dancing With The Stars--Most of the time I have no idea who the celebrities are. But we still enjoy the show.
Warehouse 13--My father-in-law said once that he liked to watch this show. Having never seen it, I looked it up. Watched whatever episodes were on Hulu. And then kept watching it.
Heroes--We were really really sad when it was canceled.
The Pretender--Jared and I watched all the seasons and movies way back when. I wish they had done the final movie and finished the story line.

As always, I'm probably missing a few that I just can't bring to mind right now. They must not be high on my list of favorites if I can't think of them though!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Under Shelf Organizer

Those who are {still} friends with me on Facebook know that my mini project for the kitchen was thwarted yesterday. I was even commended for using the word thwarted.

My project remains thwarted today.

So I completed another project instead.

And I am happy.

This is what one cupboard started like. It's an odd angle because I'm showing the mugs into the back corner of this odd-shaped cabinet.

This is another cupboard. Earlier in the year I had rearranged cupboards and gotten the corner shelf for the dishes. What that meant is that I had to remove the second shelf. I hated all that extra and wasted space above the cups but what are you gonna do, you know?

Enter the undershelf organizer basket. I got it from Meijers and it cost under $10. I'm being lazy and not checking the actual price. I totally was hoping that it would fit. Edit: It cost $6.19.

It does and it's awesome! I moved Kaelyn's dishes (and cups and bottles) into the basket and moved some of those mugs with the cups. Back where they belong. Sigh of relief, everyone. Sigh!

The odd shaped cupboard. Empty space! And yes... a lone mug.

And a few more mugs. We have 11 mugs. I am tempted to get rid of some of them except we actually use all of them when we have family over in the winter and we have hot chocolate or tea.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Simplifying Works

I just finished a friend purge on Facebook. What I thought would only be 2 or 3 people ended up being nearly 40 people that I unfriended.

I have learned over the years that it is best to surround yourself with people who have qualities that you want to emulate, have similar standards, and will support you when you need it. Today I realized that there were a few people whose statuses were almost always negative. Why would I want to choose to be surrounded by that? I don't want my time to be wasted by reading yet another status about how their life sucks or they don't want to be awake ever or rants with swear words on other people being idiots. So I got rid of them. I also got rid of some never-on people.

It got me thinking about how just that little act (which actually took a lot longer than it should have because my laptop sometimes likes to go in super slow motion like an action movie with epic fighting except not as cool) is simplifying my life. An even better way to simplify would be to delete Facebook but you know that's not in any way realistic.

Sometimes you evaluate your life and add a few goals that may be kinda big but you feel good about going down that path at the stage in your life. That was me a few months ago. In order to work on those goals, I have to get my life in order and simplify where I can. I am learning that sometimes it takes extra work to get things to be simplified. Seems a little backwards but don't we all know the saying that it always gets worse before it gets better.

The book that I am currently reading (one of the books...) is titled "Organic Housekeeping" and it's by Ellen Sandbeck. In the introduction, Ellen talks about how she really is an organic farmer and it's kind of a fluke that she's writing a book about housekeeping. She introduces the concept of your home being an ecosystem and that you can have a home that is low-maintenance and as self-sufficient as possible.

There are some problems I am having with housework that I was thinking up some solutions to solve these problems. This book helped with that. It also made me think deeper on issues that I had only scratched the surface of. It made me evaluate where I am vs where I want to be.

Now, I don't want you to think that the easy way to simplify housecleaning is to not do it. That would be a big mistake for several reasons. You're more likely to get sick. If you're not organized, you waste time, energy, and money looking for or replacing items you can't find. When you eventually do clean, it is a day or week or month long affair because it's been so long since anything has been done.

Housekeeping isn't the only thing that could be simplified. How many books or toys do your children have? How many clothes are hung in the closet, folded in the drawers, and still there are piles around the room? Do we have a lot of seasonal decorations? Are there things we haven't touched in the last year that is just taking up space?

It's not even all about how much stuff we may have. Do you have a place for wash cloths? How are your cleaning supplies organized? Are they easy to get to and grab what you need for whatever job you're doing? Do you have visitors and you're a shoes-off household and you need some place to keep their shoes and coats and purses?

Simplifying your life is making things work for you. Since we all live in different places with different people, not all solutions are a one-size fits all. If you try something and it doesn't seem to be working out, don't give up! If it is making your life more complicated and harder, I have absolute confidence that there is a solution somewhere that would ease that difficulty and it would be easy to maintain.

And what do we do after we simplify? Enjoy life! Live your dreams. Play with our children. Try new things. Go on a date.

I'm really not sure what I intended on writing when I started this but it sure wasn't what it ended up being. Someone must need it.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Pinterest #5

Good guesses on which movie I own! Valerie (who probably knows everything we have) got it right with Muppet's Christmas Carol.

One thing I haven't talked a lot about lately is my workout routine. I might not've said anything since last Thanksgiving when I ran a 5K with some family members. My mom has kept up on running on and off since then. I have kept up more off than on. :-\ But I did turn my workout more to strength training so that was part of it.

Recently I joined a gym and have really been loving it. I got a few free personal training sessions which I really loved. Mostly I have taken group fitness classes. Now it's time for me to develop a better workout plan instead of just doing something each day. One thing that I'm going to include is running again. My family is considering running a 5 miler on Thanksgiving this year. It's a little daunting to be facing that in two months but I think it's very doable. So look for more information on how that's going!

Where is this going on a Pinterest day? I have a board that I keep pictures that inspire and encourage me in the world of fitness. This is important for anyone but the reason it is really important to me is because I can't track progress by a number on a scale. It's easy to think I'm not getting anywhere but if I look at other markers, I feel motivated to keep it up.

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I don't know if I'll ever do what it takes to lower my body fat percentage enough to show abs like that, but wouldn't it be cool?

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I definitely notice this quote as being true. I never feel physically blah on a day that I go. Even when I'm sore, I feel empowered and capable of doing great things.

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Man is nothing else but what he makes of himself. Another quote I like is "you are what you eat". You are what you do. And if you're fine with what you do, that's great. But if you want to be somewhere and you aren't doing anything to get there, then you will never get there.

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I have been in a few core classes now where we've done elevated pushups. Not nearly this elevated but they are hard! I'd like to be able to do them better.

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And lastly, I love going to yoga once a week. We don't do anything like this in the class I attend but one day maybe I will increase my level of skill to be able to do something close to this.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Pancake Art: Autumn

To celebrate the beginning of Autumn (which today was a better day than yesterday because more blue skies + less low dark clouds and sky = happier Suki), today's pancakes was a tree with autumn-like leaves.

I wish colors came out truer on my camera but I haven't really figured out lighting stuff yet. I'm slow. The leaf colors are red, orange, yellow, and green.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Happy Autumn!

Autumn is probably my least favorite season of the year. At least in the Winter you have Christmas (!!!!) and snow. And you know the good stuff (Spring and Summer) is on its way.

It's not all bad, sure. But today is not being a very good first day of Autumn for me. I won't complain further because there are people with worse problems than me. Today was just life and that combined with the grey clouds just equaled rough.

Last year, I put up my bats for Halloween really late. And then didn't take them down until Thanksgiving. Maybe even later. Over the summer I decided that I should do some seasonal and holiday decorations. I didn't say for certain but I guess I always thought "for fall" because here I am sitting and typing today thinking "let's decorate for fall".

There are a few problems I have with decorating. I don't really have any surface to decorate. Lots of people decorate a mantel. Don't have one. Or a coffee table. Strike two. Side tables. Nope. Kitchen island. Nada. Eventually all of that will change but it won't change for Fall decorating.

Here are my two ideas: banister and front door wreath. I have another porch idea but probably not until mid-late October. Maybe now that I've put this out there, I'll do something sooner rather than later!

Do you do any seasonal decorations? Give me some ideas!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Day 2 of 30 Days of Me

Day 2 - Favorite Movie

I have three categories for movies. On the bottom you have movies that I really wish I never had watched. The middle section are all the movies that I watched and enjoyed for a one-time viewing. At the top of the scale is what is known as "Movies Suki Watches More Than Once".

There is a reason we don't own many movies. The majority of movies that I watch fall in the middle category. Why buy a movie I'll only watch once? So how about another list of "favorites"? Let's see how well my brain is working tonight...

The Muppet's Christmas Carol
Batman Begins
The Dark Knight -- Although, I usually can't actually watch it the whole way through. I get disturbed easily which is why I don't watch very many (if any) horror or action movies. Not even TV versions. Still love it though.
(I promise that I'm not a Christian Bale creeper!)
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead
Miracle on 34th Street
(Hahaha, I asked Jared which movies I've said I'd watch over again. He came up with less than I did.)
Cinderella -- My favorite Disney movie. I like all versions.
Singin in the Rain

So not a complete list. And guess how many of these we own? One. You can guess which one.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A favorite food to hate

I did the unthinkable today. I didn't even tell Jared I was going to do it. Maybe I didn't want to psych myself out or something even though this was on my list of things I wanted to accomplish this year.

It is common knowledge that I don't really do favorites. It may also be equally as common knowledge that I have a favorite food to hate. I really don't think of myself as picky but there is one food that I have never liked. Fish. And dill pickles. But I'm talking about fish tonight.

This recipe came up in my meal plan and so I vowed to at least try it. I ask Jared to try things he hasn't liked in the past--often several times in different ways--so I thought I should do the same.

This is the first time I have cooked fish in our married life. It will probably not be the last.

What Suki Thought
Yuck. The crunchy outside part was good. The fish texture is barf worthy. It was easy to prep and cook. I ate it all. It was tilapia, by the way.

What Jared Thought
"I would eat it again." That can be arranged. I have more fish.

What Kaelyn Thought
Cantaloupe and corn is yummy. So are brownies.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Family and Craft Room Mood Boards

A few weeks ago when I said on Facebook that I knew what direction I wanted to take my family and craft rooms, some people asked for pictures or wanted to know what I was thinking. Since then, I have been working on gathering these pictures. It may not look like much, but in some cases deciding just what to pick wasn't easy! Some things I already knew. Some things I still haven't gotten even close to what's in my head so there is no representation of that yet.

First, let's talk paint colors.

The first and the last pictures are the same. I recently painted my family room this color. You saw the paint can here. I still love this color. It was such a good choice! It is Subtle Touch by Behr but I had it color matched so I could use Dutch Boys paint. I have a smaller can of Dutch Boys paint (color matched from Behr's Gentle Rain) that is waiting to be used. I'll let you guess in what way.

The craft room is going to become one of the turquoise-y colors. I don't want one too green or too blue so it will be hard to narrow down the color. I am really liking the color on that cabinet though.

As an accent color for something in the next collage, I want a yellow. I'm leaning towards any of those three yellow but I don't know... maybe I'll change my mind by the time I get to that step!

I just realized that maybe I should have started with taking pictures of my current spaces and sharing them with you. Oh well, just use your imaginations and maybe I'll do that soon!

1. I love this ABC vision chart. I will find a place for it somewhere in my house if it ends up not working for these spaces.

2. This grey rug was one of my favorites in the many I looked at. It also looks awesome in yellow. I just haven't decided whether I want that pop of color on the floor or not.

3. Lovely pillow! For one day when we have good furniture.

4. I super duper love the yellow on that night stand. Maybe I need to go with that color... also, I love the shape and can see that as a side table.

5. I know these are cards or stationery or something. Just look at the color and pattern on the top one and think "rug runner".

6. I showed Jared this picture of crates on the wall. His response "that's really weird". It is just what gave me the idea for what I want to do. Not as weird but I think it'll be awesome.

7. I couldn't find the picture of the bench I wanted. I had seen it about a month ago but apparently didn't save it anywhere. It was PERFECT (and already in someone's house). Anyway, this kind of shape but painted yellow (hence the paint colors of yellow) for the entry way. My mom asked if it would have storage. The answer is no because of how small the entry way is. Anything with bulk would make the space feel even smaller. Plus, there will be picture #6 crates.

8. My very original family room inspiration picture was this one. I love the colors but how it's not overwhelming. It's too much for Jared. But one thing I still love is the mismatched furniture. There's a sofa, two different types of chairs, a coffee table. There is a bench there somewhere as well. Oh! And the window seat. I LOVE window seats. I still may do that faux built in with window seat. Because I love it.

9. I'm really drawn to this picture and I'm still not sure why. It doesn't fit at all with the rest of my inspiration pictures! But I do love the color combo with the printed rug.

10. Floating shelves! These are for my craft room. Shelving is almost non-existent and what is in existent is definitely not pretty. I don't know if Ikea has the size that I need for my space but Ana White has plans that I can modify to build my own if I need to.

11. This is the big focus wall for the family room. I have been collecting picture frames for over a year now. I don't have enough yet because I'm looking for specific sizes and apparently some of these sizes aren't "normal".

12. This art will DEFINITELY be going somewhere. And yes, it will definitely be a DIY. I really like the simplicity.

EVERYTHING ELSE. Yep. As you can see, no pictures of a sofa, desk, play area for Kaelyn, or anything else for the craft room. I'm still working on it. Slowly. Very slowly.

OH WAIT! The picture of my lamp didn't make it in the collage. I must have this lamp. I already told Jared that.

Oh that quality isn't good! Just know that I adore this lamp.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Kaelyn's New Shoes

This morning it was raining as we were leaving the gym. Since our regular gym was being remodeled, we have been going to another location. This other location does not have a parking garage with a covered walkway into the building. And it was raining. Kaelyn said "wet!" Also, her shoes have holes in them so her socks got wet. (The holes are supposed to be in the shoes....)

I took this as an opportunity to get her some cooler weather shoes while grocery shopping. Instead of tennis shoes or anything of the like, I got boots. They were the only option acceptable to me. And fit her foot. We also got her a pair of black shoes for Sundays. I don't have a picture of the whole boot, but she's cute enough that you don't need to see it. :)

Oh yes, I got her two shirts on clearance. $2 each. She wanted to wear them as well as her new boots when we got home. (The shirt on the bottom was the one she was wearing already.)

I asked Kaelyn if I could take pictures and she said "shoes!" and pointed down so I took a picture.

Then I started her on some model poses. I showed her a pose and she put her own spin on it.

She's a natural, isn't she. ;-)

This one with arms up was her daddy's favorite picture.

Purse + walker = shopping. 

She couldn't stop posing to just push the "cart" with her purse.

But she does pose really cute.

She loved me taking pictures! Normally she just tries to get the camera but today she actually cooperated.

I asked if she wanted one with Mommy. She put her arm around me neck and smiled for the camera. Love this little girl!

Not what I was planning on posting tonight but it was too cute not to share.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Pinterest #4

I showed off how I organize my jewelry a few weeks ago. I don't think I have enough. I don't even wear jewelry that often. Mostly because I don't usually wear clothes that is jewelry-worthy. Yeah, I'm working on that one too. Slow process.

Here are some necklaces I would love to add to my collection.

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I'd love more pearls but I'm not sure about an all-pearl necklace. This one is so simple and lovely.

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How can you not love this fun necklace! This would be more of an everyday wear for me.

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I know why the caged bird sings.

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Can you tell my style tends to be simple and pretty?

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Then again... I like the look of chunky necklaces. I just don't know that I can pull them off. My oldest sister does and looks amazing in them. Here's how to make one! What I have in my head is different but that's the beauty of making your own.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Pancake Art: Carter Bugs

Anybody with a little girl with clothes from Carters probably knows where today's inspiration came from!

Here we have a bug...

and some flowers!

And a cutie pie enjoying her pancakes with syrup. Yup, her mouth is stuffed!

The bug is right below the table line. Oops.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Adult time!

There are good things about iPhones. The blogger app is one of them. I am posting this solely so there can be no lording over me that I missed posting.

I am having adult conversations and totally enjoying it!!!!! Yay Melody and Courtney and some other people!!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Speaking Words of Wisdom

Sometimes I look at people younger than me and think "was I really like that when I was that age?" or "how did I not feel young then?"

As a leader over the young women at my church congregation, I have many opportunities to observe the youth. How they act, what they wear, what they like, what they think about different topics, how they work together, what they do when they don't like an activity, how they react to different teaching styles... You get the idea.

Last night was one of those times when the youth surprised me. Most of the time, that is a good thing.

There were two parts to our activity: performing service by cleaning the nursery toys and then a relay obstacle course. We had about 15 extra minutes so we had they youth sit down and we talked for a bit. I led this part of the evening so I started by asking if they'd heard of the Word of Wisdom. Only a few raised their hands. Maybe the others didn't know, maybe they weren't listening, maybe they were lazy. I asked one of the 12 year olds to explain it. I love what she first said. The Word of Wisdom contains guidelines by which we live our lives.

Predominantly it talks about eating and exercise but I loved what that young woman said so I took it further. I asked them what activity we did first and how doing service was good for our lives. One girl answered that it taught us charity. In other words, we can learn to truly love others by serving them.

When I asked about the rest of the evening, I got so many answers! And they were all good. "We exercised." "We faced trials and overcame them." "We worked as a team." "Some teams finished first but everyone still finished."

I love the wisdom of our youth! I wish they demonstrated it more but these moments stand out more and I appreciate those moments.

And now for a completely random fact: I just wrote this on an app.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

HHC Mural: Part 4

Wow! For some reason I thought I had finished blogging about the mural. Good thing I checked.

Day 10!! This was a Saturday. I begged and pleaded asked Jared to watch Kaelyn for as long as it took for Kimmi and I to finish the mural. We got there at 9 or 10 am. We didn't leave until 5pm.

This is me working and Kimmi not. One ladder + only top panels to finish = only one person working. Look at that small brush! We were painting the black puzzle piece lines and used different sizes of small paint brushes.

Yes, I paint awesome when I'm not looking.... **You probably shouldn't stand on a ladder like that. Just sayin.

This was the very first square finished!!! Doesn't it look awesome!

Finished side panel 1

Finished side panel 2

Finished side panel 3

Finished side panel 4

The Brain Coral

The Crab

Hiding Fish

Still working on black lines... Oh, like that nice red border on that center panel? Take masking tape (or painters tape) and tape a square. The space between your tape and the edge is where you are painting. Paint over the edge of the tape with your undercoat. In this case, the primer white paint. This prevents your colored paint from bleeding under the tape and creating sloppy lines. After that dries, paint your color. Do a second coat if needed. Peel off the tape. Admire!

The Fish Scene 

The cleanliness of my car.... this stuff lived in my van for weeks.

The cleanliness of the painting grounds.... This was probably after both the yellow and the purple paint spilled.

The almost last step of the mural was the name and logo. Kimmi did the name--free hand style. Then I did the logo because I had the more steady hand (except we weren't expecting to be there so long AND we forgot our water bottles so my hands were actually pretty shaky by this point). For the logo we used a "stencil" because Kimmi wanted it to be theirs.

Another view of me doing the logo. And Kimmi doing nothing be default.

I've got one more post to completely wrap this mural up. We spent 24 hours in the last week alone. That is 39 hours that Kimmi spent here. 39 hours that I spent here. Except I worked more like 29 of those hours with the remaining 10 spent with Kaelyn. That is a total of 69 hours!