Tuesday, February 28, 2012

We Shall Dine In Color

I have a renovation problem.  Like whoa.

In my next life, in fact, I will be a interior designer.

I hate my dining room.  We never use it.  It's a total waste of space, but I know that in some point in time (in my head anyway) we as a family will sit down for dinner together other than 1 or 2 days a week and we will need that room.

And even if we don't, this room needs my attention badly.

I thought the kitchen/laundry would be next, but let's just say the Hubs and I are not on the same page with a few hundred things, so we'll pause on that project for a moment while I work on getting my way (it's just the cabinet situation - everything else is cool - the granite, the new sink, the tile, the paint - just not the cabinets, which need to be white - they just won't work how they are now - they are dated and if we leave them the same there is no point in doing anything to that room until he is ready to modify the cabinets).  I'm not a control freak (pinky promise).  I just know what I want when it comes to design.  I love my Husband dearly, but he should really leave these decisions up to me.  After all this time and all the things I've done, he's never not loved the finished product.  I value his opinion, yes, of course, just not when I don't agree.  And there you have it.  Our perfect little marriage.

I'm loving the greens, yellows and black and whites right now and was really inspired by the decor in the spa I went to over the weekend.  I love color, always have and I'm not afraid to use it in my house.  I have some ideas rolling around in my head.

I'm way excited.  I came across some amazing furniture that will a little TLC will be perfect for this space. In fact, our next two weekends are relatively free, so I'm going to get started this weekend.

Likely will not use both in the dining room, but see potential for the black metal framed bookshelf in our family room.

I'll do before and afters.

Happy Decorating!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Crockpot Monday - Chicken Parmesan

I've been excited to try this one for a while because I am "one" with pasta.

I just don't eat it as much as I would like because we all know what it can do to the ole' bod.

Enjoy.  I just love this blog too!

Crockpot Chicken Parmesan

Happy Monday!

When You Think Projects, Think Sponge Balls

With the beautiful 65 degree temperatures we had yesterday, we embraced the sunshine most of the afternoon.  It spoiled us and reminded us that Spring is rapidly approaching.  Talk of St. Patrick's Day, Lent, Easter and of course, the St. Louis Cardinals Opening Day (versus the Cubs no less) really gets me all gitty about time outside.

You know those sunny, spring days where it's warm enough to open the windows and just cool enough to take a nap under ALL the covers at the same time your child does?  

You don't nap when your child does?  

Well you should.  

The other stuff will always be there, but the reward of rest means the world (this coming from the to do list overload girl during most nap times).  I was hungover yesterday, so it's much easier to put the to-dos on hold when that happens.

After naps, we headed out to the deck with markers, coloring books and of course, Mia's Black & Decker tool set.  She was convinced her chair was broken and it needed to be fixed asap.

We have about 4-5 gangly lookin' trees in our backyard.  They are hideous eye sores that don't provide anything for our property.  The sit on the top of our hill in the back yard.  The Hubs was super excited to get the chainsaw out and go to town on them.  He started this part of the project yesterday.  Mia and I watched from the deck because who doesn't want their wife and daughter talking to them the whole time they are cutting down trees??  We took in every ounce of Vitamin D we could get.

I'm so excited about this spring because we've finally reached the time in our home ownership at this house that we can start discussing landscaping.  We've done very little to our landscaping or our yard since we've been here.  As you may or may not recall, we bought a short sale property, so it's been project after project (after project, thanks a lot to the creative ideas I've found via Pinterest). 

Once the trees are gone, we will grade the hill, plant some solid foliage and mulch.  It will make a huge difference.

AND, we've taking the plunge this year and paying someone to maintain (treat, not cut) our yard.  We've tried and just don't have the time to put into it.  So, we've decided to pay the experts to fix it.  It's the same company my sister uses and their grass is aaaaaahhhhhhmazing.

Who am I?

Never in a million years did I think I would get excited about having green, plush grass.  Ever.

To the point (geez, talky much?).  In thinking about all these fabulous projects coming up over the next 6 months or so, I clearly need to come up with things to keep Mia occupied, so I've started exploring.

And my first favorite, cheapo, idea was found today.  Thank you Martha Stewart.

Because once it starts getting even remotely warm, what kid doesn't love water?  And the cousins/nieces, are going to love this!

Have outdoor ideas to share?  Please do!  I would love to hear what you do to keep the kids busy outside!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Kinda Suckin' Lately

I'm sure that title will get me all sorts of fun goodies from the "internets."

Not sure what my dealio is.  Just not feeling it lately with the whole blogging thing.  I'm kind of overwhelmed with the negativity and the constant, neverending, back and forth debate between working moms, stay at home moms, working from home moms, single moms, married moms, moms in general.

How many times do we have to cover the topic and say we should support each other, but yet still continue to write about it and disagree, talk negatively about one another, pick sides, the whole nine yards.  Enough already.  No one will ever agree on this topic AND, most of us really don't know each other, so let's stop pretending.  Once we've had the opportunity to walk in each other's shoes then ok, carry on with your opinion.  Until then I think we should set this one on the same shelf with religion and politics.

Questioning if I've taken what I want from blogging a little too far.  I had no idea (and still don't) how big of a deal blogging was/is.  It was just my space for the longest time and then I decided I wanted to grow a little, so I reached out into the blogisphere and Twitterland.  I never was concerned about numbers, still am not really, I'm just someone who likes to write and wanted somewhere to do that.

So bare with me, I'm still here, just taking a small hiatus.

Never know, could have something genius by tomorrow.  After all I am a genius, remember??

Til then, take care of yourself and each other (in the words of Jerry Springer himself)!


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Week Six and Seven

Well that flew by.  I'm a little behind on the updates.  I intended to do my first ever link up last Friday with Kristen for Firm Fridays, but work's been insane and so has life, so I need to schedule my blogging better.

This week marks Week 8 (Week 8, wow 2 months - go Melissa!) of Operation Badass and I must tell you I have bras that fit that I haven't worn since before I got the pregnancy boobs with Mia, so clearly something is working.

I've slowed down the crazy schedule a bit, but I feel good.  Starting to see some definition in areas that have been definition-less for quite some time and the Hubs is noticing and commenting which is always nice.  Areas are getting more firm, more tight and less saggish type situations.

Week Six
Body Pump - 120 minutes
Yoga - 75 minutes
Running - 2 miles
Weight - no change

Week Seven
Body Pump - 60 minutes
Yoga - 60 minutes
Running - Naaada.  Oops.
Weight - lost exactly 1 lb.

I am about 4 weeks out from my first run of the year, so this week I'm going to take advantage of the Fitness Center on my lunch breaks to help assist in getting my runs in.  I am going to would like to run 3x per week for the next 4 weeks leading up to the race.  I'm praying for decent weather so one run a week can be outside.  We all know that running outside is way more difficult than on a treadmill.  Running has been difficult to fit in because I much rather prefer Body Pump and Yoga over treadmill time, but as the first run approaches I just need to keep it up a notch or ten.

So I'm still going strong.  Pretty proud of my bad self to be honest.  I'm looking forward to the summer and maybe I'll be rocking a bikini at the pool this time.  Only time will tell.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Sing A Little Song

Can we just pause for a brief moment?  
I was unable to get on Blogger yesterday because of some malware detection warning 
and like any good computer user I did not click here and come back tomorrow (today) instead.  
All seems ok.  Thank goodness.

Well, it's officially official.  All three of us have joined the 30 Club.  Where does the time go?

Lindsay, the youngest of the three of us, turned the BIG 3-0 this past weekend.  I'm not sure how this has happened so quickly.  All of us.  All of us now in our 30's.

She's my little sister and will always seem little to me.  I still think she should be offered the kiddie menu when we go out to eat.  The girl still needs crayons and a booster seat please!

I'm very blessed by my sisters.  Their existence in my life means the world to me.  I wouldn't be who I am today if it weren't for the both of them.  They are shoulders to lean on and cry on, they are voices that I just need to hear sometimes, they are the hugs I need when I see them.

Lindsay is special.  The baby.  She'll always be the baby.

I've always tried to protect her.  As the baby, she always got away with more and it seemed always had someone to make excuses for her or defend her for some of the things that she would do.  I guess that's normal.  I'm the middle child, so I've always tried to keep the peace and still do.  I'm the "I just want everyone to get along" type and I'll do what I can to make sure that's the case.  There's an eight year gap between my oldest and my youngest, so let's just say they didn't always "mesh well."

She's the artsy daughter.  A dancer, a photographer, a true gem of a person.

She's beautiful both inside and out.

I'm very lucky to have her in my life.

As we all now can officially say we are embracing our 30's, I still can't believe it!  But I do know, as I approach 34 (eeeeeek) this year and my oldest sis approaches 37 (eeeeeeeek) that we are all stronger, wiser and more amazing women!  I'm very proud of my sisters.

Mia, as she rocks her 2nd year of life, is really turning into quite the performer, so for the past few birthdays of family, she's been singing them a little diddy because let's be honest as soon as you say let's take a picture or video she is GAME ON.

So without further adieu here is Miss Mia with a little something special for her Aunt Lou.

Happy Birthday Luda*!  This will be your best year yet!


*As you can see we have a nickname problem in our family AND it also applies to our pets.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Crockpot Monday

Sorry for the MIA last week.  Work was a bit busy and blogging just didn't fit into last weeks' craziness.

Why don't I use my crockpot more?  I mean seriously how easy can a meal possibly be.  Just stick all the ingredients in the pot, stir and let cook all day and bibbidybobbidyboo you have dinner.

My issue with using the crockpot is I want to ensure it's still relatively healthy.  Typically when I think of my crockpot I think of Rotel and Velveeta or those little weenies (or mini hot dogs) in BBQ sauce that my parents always had (vom by the way; if you know anything about me, I can't do hot dogs - you know that show How's It Made, yeah, that).

So, with that I'm going to start a new Monday blog series called Crockpot Monday.

What better day to use the crockpot then Monday?  Am I right or am I right?  Nothing worse than the first day of the week, getting back to the weekly schedule and grind and then having to cook.  After Monday I'm usually ok to cook or so is husband, but the first day of the week is sometimes rough, especially by the evening.

Tonight's menu:
Cilantro Lime Chicken

This was super easy with very little prep (mostly due to my awesome food processor that I am still convinced was the best wedding registry item decision ever) and of course was found via Pinterest.

This can be eaten in taco form, salad form or just by itself.

Share your recipes k?

Have a great week and even better, have an awesome Monday!
**If you're on Pinterest, let me know how to find you.  

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Week Five

Weeeeeeeellllll...if you've been following along the last week, you will know that I wasn't very disciplined in the working out department.

I had some emotional struggles/mom guilt going on, but I did manage to get some exercise in so here's the recap:

Monday - Run - 2 miles
Tuesday - Body Pump - 60 minutes

Weight - we'll find out tonight, since I didn't make it to the gym on Sunday which is normal "weigh-in" day.

And that's it folks.

Not a great week, but not a total failure.

Back at it this week.

Have a good one!

Monday, February 6, 2012

This Weekend I Learned...

that it's not always necessary to plan out what I will be doing during nap time.  I'm notorious for having a project or cleaning or something every single time I am home and I put Mia down for her nap.  With my schedule, I have limited time for the normal day to day "stuff."  I just fit it in when I can during the week and on the weekends I just go to town with laundry and cleaning.

I try to make it a point to relax or watch something crappy on TV; I try to look away from the insanely messy playroom in the middle of the day.  I attempt to not be distracted by all that I think needs to be done during that time.  But no matter what, I work and work from the beginning to the end of that nap time.  Almost always.

I'm trying to be better about taking care of me.  Last week was a rough one on me physically and emotionally, but I'm kinda sorta glad it happened.  I needed a reminder that life moves pretty fast and if I don't slow down, I will regret it.

We had a busy weekend and by Sunday we were all feeling it.  So at naptime, the Hubs and I too decided to attempt some shut eye before showering and heading out to a Super Bowl party.  As we both laid down in the family room, the thumps from upstairs were indicating that someone was not sleeping.  So, I went and paid my little girl a visit.  She immediately told me that she was playing hide and seek as I walked in and saw her behind her curtains.  As I explained to her how much she needs her rest and how important it was for her to sleep (ahem, someone should be listening to their own advice ya think?), she gave me the puppy dog look and the "I'm not sweepy" response.  I just looked at that face.  That adorably cute, just can't get enough of face.  Those big blue eyes.  Those squishy cheeks.  That blonde hair.

I picked her up, laid her down and snuggled right in next to her.  Within minutes she was asleep and she could not have been any closer to me.  Her toes were tucked in between my legs and her forehead rested on mine.

It was a simple reminder that we need to embrace this time and these kinds of moments because we'll never, ever get them back.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012


Yesterday was a challenging day for me.

I went to bed mad, upset, sad on Monday night and Tuesday woke up the same.

My life balance is a struggle.

Some days I feel like I really have it all together and others I feel like I just plain can't figure it all out.

I put a lot of pressure on myself personally and professionally.

I want to be a great Mom.  I want Mia to know that I did everything I could to make sure she was cared for and at the end of each and every single day never questioned whether or not I loved her.

I want her to hear it every single day and multiple times at that.

Pressure weighs heavy on my heart.  Very heavy.

I'm not one to relax often.  I live a life on the go. Always.

Motherhood is no joke.

And some days...

I just feel like a shitty Mom.

I work 8+ hours a day and am often gone before Mia is up.

I work out 3-4 times a weeks, so that means I see her for about an hour or two, if I'm lucky, on those days.

My struggles have been weakening my ability to stay strong.

Yesterday about broke me.

It was one of those days where I was on the verge of tears for most of it and I just wasn't sure I would make it through without totally collapsing emotionally and physically.

I feel better today.

But I'm not afraid to admit that some days are tougher then others.

I'm not perfect.

I will never claim to be.

I know at the end of the day, all of my sacrifices are worth it to make a better life for Mia.

After all, she is all that matters.

The love I hold in my heart for that little girl is not something I need to justify or explain to anyone.

She knows it and I know it and to me that's all that counts.