Friday, December 31, 2010

The best laid plans.....

Wellll......Italian Crockpot Soup was put on hold and instead we dined on saltine crackers, OJ, a little bit of brown rice, and gatorade, sigh. Woke up to my youngest emptying his tummy on our bed and spent the rest of the day giving him baths, cuddlying with him, scrubbing floors and doing laundry.

After the boys were bundled up in their nice clean, aired out bedroom for the night, I did take the opportunity to make some gluten-free bread in our toaster oven (still waiting for the proper wiring for our "real range"). Note to self: Fill mini pans no more than 3/4 of batter or it will rise and burn where it pushes it's alluminum foil cover against the top of the oven. I'm looking forward to making some french toast in the morning, snacking on some cinnamon bread drizzled in butter, and pairing some cheesy bread with our lunch tomorrow.

It's almost impossible to believe that today is the last day of 2010! Where did it go? This weekend will be a week of celebrating all we've accomplished this past year and looking foward to what we will take on and accomplish over the next 365 days!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A Day Of Produce and Food Prep......

I have a horrible habit of fluctuating in ........well, some of my habits. I KNOW that eating healthy, local, and organic is the absolute best for my health and the health of my children, but sometimes those other goodies look so yummy and convenient. Then BOOM I'm on a downward spiral, cutting corners, and even allowing my babies to ingest yuckies.

So, another goal and habit that I must master this next year and forevermore is a good meal plan and health habit that I'll stick with and am able to keep my family on track with. In my perusing online for hints and motivation to get things going right I came across and Community Supported Argiculture. What a wonderful idea! Roger and I are looking into two farms in our area that participate in CSA and I'm hoping it pans out. From Juneish til Novemberish, a big ol' box of fresh organic produce every week for around twenty bucks each week. What better way to put us in line for great habits than to have a box of produce each and every week to consume?

On the eatrealgood website there is a wonderful menu planner/meal maker that you can use free of charge. You can type in the fresh produce you have on hand, add any filters (Gluten free and 5 ingredients or less for us) and wahla, you have a long list of wonderful recipes to choose from. Pick the dishes you want to do and shoom, there's a shopping list of all the things needed. So, this morning I created a menu to get us through to next week and went to shopping! Then spent a few hours prepping produce, filling the refrigerator crispers and making some new dishes. So much fun! Not to mention YUMMY!

Today's trial was Pork Chops, Apples, and Green Beans. It was DELISH! Unfortunately I forgot to take a picture, but if you can picture salt and peppered browned chops, with apples fried in butter with a touch of brown sugar and cinnamon, and a side of wonderful green beans. The boys weren't sure their favorite fruit was supposed to be in their dinner, but they tried it and ironically chose the green beans as their favorite part.

Tomorrow is going to be a busy day helping with the family business so it'll be a crockpot meal or two tomorrow....looking forward to a yummy Italian Stew and can't wait til my oven is hooked up again so I can bake up an awesome sounding Tomato Chicken with Green Beans. Here's hoping to a wonderful start to some great habits!

The master artists of our house.

A Wonderful Christmas Wonderland.....

.........though not a Winter Wonderland....

We had an absolutely wonderful (though mostly snowless) Christmas this year. We celebrated over four days, visiting friends and family, sharing gifts and holiday joy. My favorite day of course was December 25th. We spent a fantastic day at home simply enjoying our children and keeping our family and new traditions the center of the day as opposed to commercialism, others expectations, or busyness. It was a wonderful day watching our babies unwrap Christmas in a whole new way!

The boys had a blast decorating our tree a couple weeks back and mama dear even let go of her perfectionism and didn't micro-manage the ornament placement. I was even the proponate of purchasing a "fake tree" and actually enjoyed it immensely (no pine needles in the carpet fa lalalala la la lala!). After the boys decorated the tree, Alan declared it ready for the "perfect star" to be placed on top. Roger picked him up, Alan placed the star, and.....flop! The tree top was too weak to hold up the vintage star topper that I like so much. Well, a tree must have a star, so the boys and I created a "gingerbread star"from cardboard, lots and lots of glitter, buttons, and a little ribbon. (Again, mama is making positive strides and let go of her perfectionism-obvously something I'll be making goals to work on and conquer in 2011). I love the star, and as we were boxing up the ornaments and packing away the tree my four year old Alan declared that our star needed to be set on top of the mirror in the living room-so there it sits for now.

We even enjoyed a sticky evening building a tiny gingerbread village. Every year I declare to myself that the boys and I are going to make gingerbread, and design and build a wonderful gingerbread house decorated with perfect lil' gum drops and m&m's. Again, I pushed the foolish perfectionism aside and bought a kit for us to put together. The boys had a BLAST and I loved the wonderful silly time working with them, their childlike ideas, and goofy lil' sayings. They work together so interesting-like. I was a good girl and simply glued the pieces together, and put the gooey colored icing where the boys directed and they placed all the candies. They were so proud of their accomplishments and they did a fabulous job! Not sure if Alan stuck his hand in some icing or stole a piece of candy here. :P
I have completely enjoyed the past few days of mostly uninterupted time with my boys and fully intend to make this the norm. I am a stay at home, working mom but have discovered recently just how much I have allowed stuff, activities, and poor time management take away valuable, quality time with them and me personally. Another goal to tackle in 2011! This mama is ready to tackle some goals, new priorities, and habits this near year!

Monday, August 9, 2010


I just recently came across the quote,

"Decide what you want, decide what you are willing to exchange for it. Establish your priorities and go to work." -H.L. Hunt

It truly resonated with me as I'm heading off to FLING (my company's annual home conference in Pennsylvania). What is it that I want out of life, out of my business, out of my family, out of things around me? What are some of the things that really truly don't matter to me? That, right there, may be the bigger, actually, more important question!

What is taking the place of the things that I NEED to be doing? What is getting in the way of what I truly want and need? I do find myself so often doing things that are not a benefit to my business, are not positive for my family, and sometimes things I downright dislike. So many of us do this exact thing way too often. But why?

Because we lose focus, or we get focused on the wrong thing. A good friend once likened it to a child playing with a ball, the ball gets away and rolls into the the street and the child chases after with no attention to his surroundings, only the ball. Or another friend who campares it to being distracted by the next shiny bright thing....."ooooo, shiny!......"

What are ways that we can keep our focus and ensure we are focused on the proper things? First, write things down. Lists, journals, ambitions-keep track and reference back to them regularly. There is no better way to see where you are and where you are going than to look at a reference point, land mark, and/or map (list, journals, etc...). I love my dream board, love the ideas and goals that are portrayed there and as long as I'm looking at that dream board and keeping it in mind, along with my 30 minutes of developement a day, things happen! My focus is on track, sometimes the track changes, but it changes because I make the changes in light of where I am and where I need to go...all because I am observing and staying on top of things.

Second, 30 minutes of self/business developement every day. There is always a way to squeeze in 30 minutes of "reading" somewhere, sometime. There are days when I'm swamped and I'll pull up a few YouTubes of Zig Ziglar or another great motivational speaker and listen while I pay bills or make dinner...any way you get 30 minutes in works. And trust me, it truly does work. I've ridden the discouraging waves of "developement starvation" to amazing momentum on the wave of constant immersion.

And third, choose your mentors. Find people in your industry, workplace, surroundings, that you look up to, are where you want to be and stay in contact with them. Sign up for their newsletters, read their blogs, pop on their social media sites. Being surrounded by like minded people and excited people is a HUGE boost to keeping you solidly on your way.

And most importantly, if, or should I say, when, you do lose your focus for a time or realize that you've been focusing on the wrong target-there is no better time than RIGHT NOW to re-evaluate and get back on target! Get focused, "Decide what you want, decide what you are willing to exchange for it. Establish your priorities and go to work."

Monday, July 19, 2010


How do you show respect to those around you? Do you mean to show respect and hit the mark? How many times have you intended to show respect and realized after time that you missed the mark?

So many times we can have the very best intentions, yet hurt someone if our actions do not line up with the words we use with them. We can so often get caught up in the "best of intentions" when dealing with people, especially those who ask for advice or "obviousyly appear to need advice"(which in reality is when we should most often keep our advice to ourselves).

It is indeed, very easy for us, especially those who are self-employeed and/or in network marketing to assume and feel as if we have all the right answers because, "it worked right for us." But does what worked for us guarentee success for others? Unfortunately, no. Yet at the same time there is a plethora of wisdom to be had from those who have already been where we are. Where is the balance? My wee brain is full of rambling thoughts and ideas along these lines and I really must get them all organized and in order before I spout them off here, but it's definitely food for thought...something to think about before you offer any hard advice or push your ideals on someone looking for some help.

One thing I have really found helpful is the idea of "duplication". When someone does ask for help or advice, is the advice given actually something that can be duplicated? Is what worked for me through an issue or problem, something that another person can actually implement? Of course this answer can be very subjective as well. So, regardless of who is offering advice and what kind of advice is being offered it should always be offered with a lot of thought, a ton respect, and of course a healthy dose of tact.

More "respectful thoughts" to follow I'm sure....

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Happy Birthday!

Another 365 years have passed in the life of me.....what are the things I've accomplished? What are the things I missed? What are the goals I reached or failed to reach? I like to look back, and more importantly, forward on my birthday at what has occured, didn't occur, and why.

It's such a busy time right now with us being mid-move, but I've still been doing a lot of reflecting over my last 365 days. Did I complete everything I wanted to? Hmmm...unfortunately no. Did I reach every goal I strived for? Uhh, no. Did I reach some goals? OH YEAH! Did I accomplish things I wanted to? ABSOLUTELY! And most importantly I never let the things I missed shadow over the things I didn't miss.

It is tremendously better to see a "missed"opportunity as the beginning of another opportunity instead. So mid-summer has become my re-assessment time, to look back over my paths, roads, detours, jaunts, and flights and see where they have taken me and landed me and from there decide which direction to travel over the next 365 days.

My mind is a whir of thoughts and reflections this evening, but one of my goals for this new year is to be better "planned" day by day, even hour by hour. Someone I truly look up to in my company sits down and plans out her week once a week, she attacts her list of things to do, sticks to her schedule/calendar, ticks off goal after goal. That is one of my new goals for this "new year! :-D

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


Today, I'm sitting here typing in this little box because I made a commitment to blog daily for a full month. But I can't think of much to all! I really like my new dishsoap dispenser? Is that really blogging fodder? An unused oil bottle and spout-looks pretty darn cool with it's orange soap on the new shiny sink by the snazo new faucet. But does sharing about my new use for an old bottle and making up words like "snazo" constitute a blog entry?

Hmmm, but that does give me an idea. Is anybody interested in how we're revamping things and making do in our new kitchen?

Let's see, we took an old hutch that was rather ugly from our current kitchen, painted it a "Cherry Coke" red and hung it on the wall over the existing miniature sink in the new kitchen. Miniature sink meaning about the size of the sinks you find in small travel trailers....itty bitty-but instead of changing out the entire sink and cabinet we decided to make do and installed a snazo new faucet-meaning it's shiny, pretty and the faucet is it's own removable handheld spray nozzle.

Said sink and cabinet have the strangest back to them and actually have a raised area above them, but no counter or anything on it. So we wanted to put a raised backsplash/shelf the entire length of the cabinet/counter area. But what to use? It's only 8 inches deep, custom counter 8 feet x 8 inches? I can only imagine the cost! Wandering the aisles at Lowes I come upon PVC "boards" for making trim work for outside your house. PERFECT! Thirty bucks and we have a sleek, water proof mini-counter that I know won't absorb any splashes or germs.

The island for our new kitchen is actually a base/counter in our current kitchen that we'll be placing a new countertop on and some snazzy white beadboard on the back to freshen it up. Wah-la, storage, place to prep food, and eat. Perfecto!

It has certainly been fun wandering aimlessly through stores looking for ideas, spending alot of my spare time flipping through magazines and my design and decor books for ideas and inspiration. My poor husband is truly tired of hearing my newest, "I was thinking!" or "Look what I found as an idea!" But I'm sure he'll enjoy our new space when it all comes together and I can cook him a proper breakfast (I think he's tired of cereal and eating on the go as well). I really never thought I'd be this excited about setting up a kitchen...maybe I need to get out more? ;)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Boys will be boys....

I shouldn't be, but I am always amazed and ammused by our two little people and the way their wee minds work and how they perceive things and learn through everything around them.

My 4 year old is getting very efficient in dressing himself from top to bottom but will occasionaly struggle if his clothes are "inside out" and is quite happy when we help him to get his clothes "inside in" for him. His younger sibling recently bent over and stood on his head in the kitchen to peer at me from between his knees and said, "Mama, I see you and kitty and I'm upside down!" As he stood up he continued, "Now I'm upside up!".

Today we were discussing the coming of a new cousin in late fall and that two different aunties have babies in their bellies. My eldest responded, "And you too mommy, you're a girl too. So you have a baby in your belly too!" Oh dear, I assured him that no, Mama does not have a baby in her belly. "Oh, Ma-Maw (Gramma) doesn't have a baby in her belly either because she is a Ma-Maw."

The eldest, more so than the younger, has a pretty particular nature about him. I think he has a bit of his Great-Grammie's orderly genes in him. There has been some digging and repiping by the water company across the street from us and each night he looks out our windows and exclaims, "Mama! Look at the mess! We need to go clean that up!" I can't complain too much, he's a wonderful picker upper and LOVES helping his mama clean up. Just recently as I was dusting, wiping, and cleaning he grabbed a wipe (baby wipes work great for lil' helpers) and took himself all over the house wiping down whatever he felt needed it while saying in his cute lil' singsong voice, "We're going to make this place shine!"

Our youngest loves to win whenever possible and with an older sibling around he doesn't get to do that too often. We live on the second floor so each return home is a "race" (a slow and steady race) up the stairs, usually with the 4 year old reaching the top and turning to say, "I won!" as he looks down on the rest of us. His younger brother used to pout and fuss because he wanted to win, and we assured him that he was a winner and to keep going. He now loves to get to the top before us and will exclaim, "Brother win me and I win you!" Their grasp of the english language is SO adorable!

And my favorite of the recent "conversations": The four year old of course has begun asking the seemingly constant and endless "why" and "what" questions. "Mama, what is the sun?", he asked at bedtime recently. "Well," I explained, "it is the great big star in the sky that shines during the day and makes it really hot here on earth." "Oh, what is earth?" he questioned. "It's where we live, planet earth." I stuttered to explain. "But where is earth?" he asked again. I answered, "Well earth is the planet we live on and is in outer space with the other planets and the sun." His eyes light up and he says, "We live in outer space!" I start to re-explain, "Well, no honey, we live here on earth, not in outer space." He looks at me matter of factly and says, "Earth is in outer space. I live on outer space." How can a mom argue with such logic!?

Monday, July 12, 2010

Itty Bitty Kitchen

I was pretty sure I had a small (9' x 12') kitchen (with large dining room) where we live now. But now I'm working to contain my kitchen in a 7' x 10' space, with no dining room to speak of....hmmmm?

But we're doing it. If you set your mind to it, you can do it. And in the process you can have FUN! :-D I've been setting my mind to alot of things lately and WOW, it's quite amazing what a great plan and positive mindset can do for taking on, setting and achieving goals!

I've been reading "Think and Grow Rich" by Napolean Hill through this year along with watching and listening to various other motivational speakers like Zig Ziglar and Michael Clouse. It is amazing the difference taking the time daily to immerse myself in some personal growth reading/listening/watching. It is also sadly amazing the stagnation that occures when I don't keep on task and focused.

It also is not surprising that this "immersion" can be easily spread to other aspects of my life. If I am not taking the time daily on tasks, information, and thoughts that center around my family and their well being, I can easily see the lack in our relationships and our attitudes towards each other. If I don't take my daily GOD time I see my relationship suffer which greatly effects ALL other aspects of my life.

There are so many things that are always jostling and demanding for our time, but it basically comes back to putting our minds to something and doing what we want/need to do! How on earth am I going to function in a 7' x 10' kitchen with no dining room? With a little ingenuity and fun-that's how. How am I going to find hours a day to focus on the things that ground me and grow me? With a little ingenuity and fun-that's how!

Sometime this week I'll start posting pictures of the before and after as we head into the new place. Exciting times! :-D

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Peace, Calm and Serenity

Heard an awesome message this morning from a rather wise man. It is wonderfully ironic how timely of a message it was as well. My husband and I have been thinking, praying, talking, discussing, and praying again and again, about changes in our family, our lives, our business, our lifestyles, our whole shabang. We have slowly been filtering things out that are really unnecessary, some things that are harmful in the long run, and looking at our lives from a different angle. It's been very enlightening to say the least.

So today, our wonderful pastor talks about "Spiritual Ballast" using an illustration of a sailboat and it's keel and ballast. See, I KNEW water and boats were straight from GOD! :D A sailboat must have a keel and ballast in order to be righted if tipped. Idealy, supposedly, and according to our avid boater pastor, a correctly ballasted sailboat can be completely tipped upside down in the water and will right itself. Quite amazing when you think of all the mast and sail that would be underwater!

Apply that to a personal, human mindset-I want ballast in my life! I need, want, must have that ballast that runs under the surface; very seldom seen, not flashy or high tech, a simple utilitarian stableizer to keep me rightable when everything around is stormy and choppy.

It's not the fancy schmancy things in life that keep us righted. It's not the showy, technilogical things that can return us to our feet. It's not even "right people" who can set us on track. It's the things we keep ourselves centered on, our faith in GOD, the positive habits we set ourselves on. It's the things under the surface that keep us righted and on track.

The highest advanced sailboat with all the latest and greatest technilogical hoopla, high end bits, and best of everything available on board can't withstand a storm without having a proper keel and ballast. Just some food for thought I.....thought I'd share. :D

On a side note: This 'blogging daily challenge' is a little more, ummmm, well, challenging than I originally thought it might be. But I shall keep on a' blogging, 27 more days, and I complete my challenge with flying colors and have a new habit to call my own!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Day two blogging challange...

Here's hoping my blog doesn't fold up and implode or explode as I am actually posting two days in a row! Again, my goal is to blog daily for an entire month in an effort to get into the habit of regular blogging.

Today's post is all about moving. Seems like it's been in the works FORever, but in reality it's been less than a month. In one month we have moved A LOT of stuff out of my parents home and started moving them into their place. We've moved a decent amount out of our home (with quite a bit more to do), done a ton of brainstorming and creative musings. It's actually been a fun experience playing with all the ideas and possibilites as we get set to move into our new place and get settled.

It's going to be an experience living so close (practically on top of) so much family in a "relatively" small space, but I really think it's going to be a fun experience.....most of the time. Monday should start some real down and dirty "moving" and working in the new kitchen. Pictures will follow. :-D

Friday, July 9, 2010

Oil, Life, and Generalities...

All this talk about oil and the catastrophe in the Gulf has everybody thinking about ways to slow down, cut back, detach ourselves from the use of oil and petroleum products. Laying in bed last night I had this amazing revelation/reminder pass through my tired mind. All the products in my small home business are Petroleum Free! No oil, no petroleum by-products, the products in my small business are not contributing to the "oil issue".

That felt really great to realize. But what else can we do? As awesome as it sounds to 100% detach ourselves from oil and the whole business is it really possible at the drop of the hat. Practically and in all reality, no, but being responsible can truly make a huge difference. There's the age old concept of walking places-not doable for every person and every destination, but taking the chance of sounding cliche', every little bit really does help. My husband has been wanting a flat panel TV for a couple years. He started saving his change from every transaction, grocery store, hardware store, etc... Anytime he receives any change it goes in his pocket (you won't find him in front of you at the store sorting through his change to give the cashier exact change).

The concept elluded me, I thought it was a pretty silly idea. How on earth was he going to get a flat panel television with a quarter here and a few pennies there? It was going to take FOREVER. (You can see my notable lack of patience trait here). In a week or two we will be moving into a new home and once we are settled my dear hubby will be heading out to buy his new flat panel tv. No scrimping and saving. No huge investments, just a little bit here and there, going a long way in the end. Now that the concept no longer elludes me, how can I apply that to my lifestyle surrounding my energy usage and responsibility?

I know my personality and lifestyle won't be making any huge drastic changes like "going off grid" (though reading the stories of people who have is very exciting and motivating). But I can still take some of those same ideals and practices and apply them to my current habits and routines. A million little changes soon add up to a flat panel tv.....or a large change in responsible energy usage/earth care.

What small ways are you making a difference in your part of the world

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Potty Training, Soap, and Trains

One small boy with NO interest in leaving diaperhood behind, who hates soap, and LOVES Thomas The Train. How on earth would I ever get him interested in potty training and going to the bathroom IN the bathroom EVERY time? Thanks to my friend Judy W., I am in the process of reading, Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. Hill is quite the amazing writer with a lot of great information and encouraging biographies.

Well, dear Mr. Hill began writing about our minds accepting anything we tell it over and over so I decided to take his advice and apply it not only to my fledgling business but also to my son's slow attempts to potty train. We began telling him over and over that he COULD put all his pee pees in the potty all the time. Thankfully Mama didn't give up after a day of mishaps and now three days into determined potty training we are getting somewhere!

Now soap....getting my son to wash his hands thoroughly is quite impossible. We have the most wonderful foaming hand wash at our sinks, but alas, he would pump it onto his hands and then directly into the faucet flow and rinse them off and considered himself "washed" and ready for his "go potty in the potty, have dry pants, and wash my hands!" reward (imagine that in the sing song voice of a toddler :) ). For some reason I decided to have him check out my Bella Bar (not your typical bar of soap) on day two of training and wahla! we have a winner. This boy will suds himself to the elbows if I let him, he even cleans the sink while he's at it, "Come back here you silly slippery soap! I'll get you slippery soap!"

It's definitely been an interesting few days of a potty training journey, but it's very encouraging as he is getting prouder and prouder of himself.....I don't have a thing to do with how proud he feels. :P So, hanging on a hook in our wee bathroom is a new Gordan Train Engine for the day he gets it 100% right all day. He was SO close today and I wouldn't be surprised if tomorrow IS the day!

So, who would have thought a wee train, some extreme encouragement, and great soap would be the key to potty training success! :-D

Monday, February 22, 2010

Time, Time, Time....

Where on earth does time go? It's been three months since I last posted. Am I a busy person or simply don't think about blogging? Maybe a combination of both. :) It's been an intersting winter and start of a new year here in Pennsyltucky. Most of the big storms which have been crashing through the "south" have drifted by us with hardly a few flakes blowing by here. I've missed the big piles of snow but my husband has appreciated the "not plowing/worrying about snow removal" part of less snow.

My life as a mom/wife/business woman has become a whir of Thomas The Train, Potty Training, Candles, Roller Skates, learning to communicate and grow a marriage, powerpoint presentations, and house cleaning/organization....what is THE key to organization anyway!? It's my goal EVERY year as people are talking about "New Year's Resolutions" to become more/better organized, yet I seem to fail at it most every year. Here's hoping/praying/working at making this year a success at becoming organized and on top of things....which means doing away with procrastination, oye, procrastination-what a curse!

So, enough "blogging" for me already. :) Stop procrastinating and get your day moving already Bev! :)