Thursday, February 23, 2017

OLW Health: Emotional Vulnerability

Click here for more info on where to get your own copy

My plan for my OLW (One Little Word) was to take the first quarter of the year and strictly focus on my physical health. I was completely rocking it for the first month or so. I had a couple weeks of holding on to the back of the wagon desperately with my feet trailing in the ground as it tried to leave without me. Now I'm making a mighty effort and pulling myself back on.

As usual, I have gotten a little ahead of myself and decided to pick out a few books that could be helpful in jump-starting my mental health. I figured it wouldn't be a bad idea to start reading different books and theories on how to do this so when quarter two rolls around I would have an idea of what to work towards.

I did some googling for suggestions. Reserved several books from the library. The first one to become available was Rising Strong by Brene Brown. Essentially it's living with courage despite knowing that you're inevitably going to end up falling flat on your face along the way. And most likely more than once. It's about not kicking yourself, or others,while you're down've guessed it...rising strong.

The key to Rising Strong? Being vulnerable. Putting yourself out there. Not just physically but emotionally too. Risking your heart and having your feelings hurt and being disappointed and disappointing others. 

Wow! Could I have picked a book that targets my weak spot any better. I'll be honest, it's been a tough read. Like it hurts to read because it's so on target and the idea of letting down my walls is scary as heck. Tears of acknowledgment and fear and resistance and maybe a wee bit of panic type hurt.

One of the lessons I'm taking to heart is her use of the phrase, "The story I'm telling myself is..." when confronting myself and others. There are plenty of times when I have caught myself telling Ken, "You think I'm....". Yet if he tries to tell me how I'm feeling I get all up in arms because he doesn't get to tell me what I'm thinking! So, I'm going to try to incorporate this in to our communication and acknowledge that the story I'm telling myself may not be completely accurate but put it out there for discussion.

She also discusses letting go of the armor we have built up to protect ourselves from hurt. Some people lash out when they are hurt (the I'll hurt you back so we both hurt method) and some use numbness and armor (that's me) so they don't feel hurt. I'll be working on trusting others enough to risk expressing my feelings and risking them squashing them. Hopefully that won't be the case. 'Cause we're all in this big messy world together right?

Yikes! Okay, back to my physical health. Time to pack a healthy lunch and get some exercise in.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Laundry Room Ideas

We have been in our house for over 15 years. Over time we have painted, styled and project-ed our way through most of the rooms.

However, there are two rooms that remain unfinished. One is a spare bedroom which has been dry-walled but never taped and mudded. It has turned into the kids TV room. They aren't too concerned with aesthetics so it's okay.

The other room is our laundry room. It is attached to a full bath (which is finished). Considering the amount of time we spend doing laundry it's kind of crazy that we haven't ever gotten around to finishing it. I'm not sure exactly what the plan is yet but I've been stalking Pinterest for ideas. I'm leaning heavily towards black tile for the floors. Here's a few that I'm really love. Links to the sources are beneath each photo.

What do think about black floors? I'm happy with how our black bathroom upstairs turned out upstairs so I think it could work.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

OLW Health: Quarter One

This picture has nothing to do with my post but it's pretty.

As I posted in my One Little Word post earlier this month, I am focusing on HEAL this year. After working on living my word the past few weeks, I've decided to update that word to HEALTH. I think it better expresses my desire to establish a healthy way of living. It's a word with a future, not just a goal.

I'm breaking it down by quarter so I can strongly focus on one aspect at a time and build up to all around health. The first quarter will be focused on Physical Health.

Some of my first quarter goals for 2017:

  • Lose weight - I know, I know. So cliche. I've made a good start on this goal and am working on watching my calories and eating a well rounded meal. If you follow my Instagram you may have seen photos. It's pretty repetitive but at this point it's working for me and I'm okay with eating it. Generally, my lunch and dinner consist of a veggie (usually tomatoes), a small portion of fruit (strawberries or an apple), 3-4 oz of meat (steak, pork, chicken breast) and a light carb (Melba toast is my favorite). And the trick... journal it all. That way if you cheat and grab an extra snack you still feel accountable.
  • Pain management - I frequently hurt and ache. All over. My joints and muscles/tendons complain when I don't do enough and if I do too much. I know much of this is due to not doing enough to keep them limber and strong. In the past I have tried to start off working out as if I had never stopped. This usually ends in pulled muscles and more pain. This time around I'm going to build up my endurance. And I need to remember to stretch. 
  • Fatigue - Lastly, I'm working to rid myself of fatigue. I realize this might not be completely a physical goal. I'm certain some of it is mental/emotional (that's a different quarter). Step one though is to feed my body healthy foods and have healthy activities as a base. I'm already starting to feel more energetic most days. 
Ultimately, I am striving to make my body healthy and strong. And hey, I wouldn't mind feeling confident enough in my legs to comfortable wear shorts again. Get ready lunges, I'm coming for you. (Ick).

Have you set your one little word yet? If so, how are you planning to incorporate it into your life this year? Have you started?

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Greenery: Accessories

You  may have heard by now that the Pantone Color of 2017 is Greenery. Perhaps you've wondered how you can incorporate this vibrant and happy green into your life. No? It wasn't really on your mind? Well, don't worry I have some ideas for you regardless. Let's start with accessories and how you can just dip your toe in the Greenery trend.

Here's a few cute things I found.

1. Green diamonds. Yes, please. Small, sparkly and just a pop of color. Ken bought me a similar style ring with blue diamonds this Christmas and I love it. 

2. This cheerful scarf ushers in Spring.

3. I have yet to own a pair of Tieks but I have heard nothing but good things. These comfy shoes come in a pretty green too. Looking for a brighter shade. They have one.

4. A pop of color on your wrist is a good way to work in the color. There are tons of wrist band options for Apple and Samsung watches too.

Other accessory ideas: hats, bracelets, funky socks/tights, earrings. So many little ways to bring in the green.

Pantone 2017 Color of the Year

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Parenting: Not All Sunshine & Butterflies

Real life photo - no filter
I know we try to always put our best face forward. Especially when posting in a public forum. We share the happy moments, the fun outings, the pretty pictures of our kids and homes. And when things aren't going so pretty, we just deal with them behind the scenes. Okay, most people. I've mostly given up on Facebook as it seems more and more people overshare and use it as a place to rant.

With that said, I have something to share. I made a conscious decision to keep this blog positive. There is a ALOT of negativity out in the world. I wanted this to be a small space of happy. When things started not being so happy, I stopped posting. I detached myself from my online presence, and my in person friends.

I'm making more of an effort to start connecting again. With these connections, I find that a lot of moms I know share my story. Maybe you can relate too?

When my kids were little, I thought I was doing pretty okay as a mom. My kids were reasonably well behaved. The had manners and said thank you. I had my mom-fails but they were young and seemed to be resilient. They got along well with others and made friends. I made sure they knew they were loved. I encouraged them to be themselves and tried to make sure they didn't try to change to impress others. I'm sure they can both recite back my "pep talks" by memory.

Now, they are older and I have more and more days where I think maybe I really messed up. I tried so hard to always hold on to an even temperament (not so successful some days.) As a friend and I discussed we were always "fine" even when we weren't. I thought I was being reassuring, but I think instead when they are feeling not "fine", they believe something is wrong with them. I didn't give a good example of how to handle their emotions. I probably justified "signs" that things weren't going well with a rationale of hormones, middle school drama, high school pressure, etc. Why? Because as previously stated, I don't do emotions well. I have a super high, gargantuan wall around them. Built to be durable and withstand mighty attacks. (Yeah, yeah, I have my own childhood issues)

Now they each are finding their own challenges and some days I think to myself that maybe I'm not really so good at this parenting thing. I wonder if anyone is really a great parent. We work hard to not make the same mistakes our parents did, and instead we make new ones.

My point is, I don't have all the answers. I'm pretty sure no one does. And I'm also pretty sure that those who think they do are just mistakenly confident or very deluded. I'm going to stick by one of the same pep talks I give my kids. You are doing okay as long as you are doing your very best. So, each day, each situation, I will just need to ask myself if I'm doing my best.

I turned out more or less okay, so hopefully my kids will survive their childhood as well and go on to become healthy, happyish adults who can torture themselves over raising their own children. No rush on that last part!

Thursday, January 12, 2017

18 (And a Half) Years

I usually try to take pictures of the kids each year around their birthdays. This year Bailey was already in Nevada for school. He couple of trips home have been whirlwind weekends.

Winter break for school is almost an entire month so we finally had time to take pictures. And, even more surprisingly, he was cool with doing it too. 

It has been wonderful to have him home for the past month. He has been working hard to make money during this break. Jobs on or near campus have been tough to find. And the dogs are being excessively spoiled. 

Thursday, January 5, 2017

3 Favorite Cardigan Sweaters

I'm really, really not a fan of the traditional cardigan sweater. The word cardigan kind of makes me cringe. But with that said, there are a few I have been wearing non-stop this winter.

1. GNW Long Cardigan

This isn't exactly the same as the one I have but it's the same brand and style. My mom bought me mine for Christmas and it's more of a knit fabric. It's super soft and comfortable. I can wear it layered over jeans on the weekend or throw it over my dress pants during the week.

2. Mixed Knit Layered Sweater 

I purchased this one just before Christmas and love it. It has a more tailored feel and the shorter length still keeps you warm but is stylish enough for work too.

3. Multi Wrap Open Front Sweater

This cardigan is amazingly versatile. It is longer in front and shorter in back. I have worn it loose, one end thrown over my shoulder, tied in front, crossed and tied in back, and used a bangle. There are several videos for inspiration on YouTube and I also found some inspiration here.

I also have a Simply Vera Ruffled Cardigan from a few years ago that is in the rotation. I couldn't find a picture online anywhere and didn't have a picture of me wearing it. I tend to be behind the camera, not in front of it.

There are a few others I have seen online or while shopping but haven't invested in. I haven't been strictly following my capsule wardrobe but I do try to limit how many pieces I have in my closet at one time.

Do you have any cardigans that you are loving this year?

Monday, January 2, 2017

Year in Review

I look back at my post from last January 1st and realize that a lot has changed this past year.

A few of my goals were realized but lots remain to be worked on this year. Here's a recap of the big events in 2016 courtesy of my cell phone.

Mariner's Event

First run of Aristocats: Scat Cat Alley

Dining chairs received a makeover

Anique excelled in 6th grade

Ken celebrated a milestone birthday

Anique got braces

New puppy, Jordan. Now known as Jordan the Destroyer

Second performance of Aristocats: Scat Cat Alley. Makeup done...

Anique and Maddy humored me with a photo shoot a few days before they turned 12

Cousins went skating for Anique's birthday

Anique and Ellie made Maddy a cake for her birthday

Anique played trumpet in the 6th grade band

Anique started playing lacrosse

Senior prom for Bailey and Ellie

UNLV Freshman Orientation
A little sight-seeing while in Nevada

A view of the campus

Anique played goalie
Mermaid hair for Anique
I spend too much time on the couch...
Ellie and Bailey graduate from High School
School is out. Anique is done with 6th grade.
Took the dogs and family on a few summer hikes

Bailey and I drove to Nevada to move him into his dorm 
Bailey turned 18 and got his first tattoo

Celebrated Bailey's birthday by visiting the Stratosphere

Bailey is all moved into his dorm room

Anique started 7th grade

Re-covered the office storage boxes/benches

Painted and updated knobs on an older dresser

We tried to make bath bombs at Craft Night

Anique was the Queen of Hearts for Halloween

Ken and I attended a masquerade ball

Anique did a fantastic job on these mini-pumpkins

Bailey comes home to attend a concert with his dad. Lily gets her cuddle time in

Bailey snapchats me this photo because he thinks it makes him look like his dad. Hahahahahaha!


Rainbow ombre tree this year

New display arrangement for the Christmas village

Christmas Eve and this is the best picture I can get of the kids in their new pajamas
Congratulations if you made it through this horribly long post! I'm not so good with a cell phone camera but find it's good for capturing the unscripted moments.

Here's to 2017 and a bright, happy, full year!