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New Year Organization

*I meant to have a great “welcome 2013!” post this morning, but time got away from me.  And one of my goals for this year is not to stress too much when things aren’t going exactly to plan.  So I made a new plan :) This post is from my other blog, So You Think You’re Crafty, from a few years ago that I think you might enjoy.  It’s  been a system I’ve been using for years and I love it.  Sorry for the 2011 date on it.  I’ve updated my binder(everything is basically the same except the date), but not any of the pictures :)*

So I’m sure a lot of you get the itch around January to re-organize and get your life back in order like I do.  My problem is that right around October, my motivation seems to go right out the window and all our daily routines go to pot. I’ve tried a lot of things in the past, but this one has helped me out the most.

It’s my “House Happenings” book.  I got the idea from my wonderful friend Sarah.  She is perfect.  Like 100% without flaw.  I’m not kidding.  A few years ago, when I asked her how her house always looks so nice and how she still has time for everything else, she shared her secret.  She pulled out a plain old 3 ring binder and forever changed my life.  When I put mine together I changed a few things to fit my family and our home a little better(and I tweak it every year), but the key point is the same…maintenance.

Spend 15 minutes a day focusing your cleaning on one major room/area of your house with a last minute “attack of the hot spots” (areas that seem to breed disorder & clutter) right before bed, as well as one day a week to different “chores” you have to do.  That way you spread your weekend load throughout the week and just maintain it as you go.  I’m not saying my house is now spotless and ordered all the time(I do have a 4 yr old) and that every little thing gets done, but it’s a heck of a lot better.

Here is what’s inside my book.

I have it split up into 9 categories –  Routines, Calendars, Menus & Recipes (for the upcoming week), Church Info, Missy’s Notes, Abbi’s Notes, Brad’s Notes, Budget, & Goals.

Under “Routines” I have a morning and evening checklist…

and a daily checklist.  It has a daily “chore” or theme that the day focuses around (Monday is the wash day, Tuesday meal planing, Errands on Wednesday, Thursday is paperwork and letter/thank you note writing, Friday is for any needed home projects, Saturday is a family fun day, and a day to relax on Sunday).

I also have a checklist of what to focus on for each of the 15 minute cleans under this section. It may take more time than the 15 minutes at first, but once you get it to where you want it the maintenance is easy.

The other sections are all pretty much self explanatory.  It’s a fantastic way to keep everything together so anyone in the family can be on the same page.

Do any of you have a system your family uses to stay on track?

Heartbreak

Well, today was the day that we were going to meet our new daughter.  The day that Abi was going to become a big sister.  But sometimes life takes some very unexpected and heartbreaking turns.

Wednesday afternoon we got the call to come on down to Las Vegas as they were going to be inducing the baby in a few days. But on Thursday afternoon we got another call that the birth mother had changed her mind and decided to keep the baby.  She had severed contact with our adoption agency so there is no way there will be another change for placement.  The agency advised us to try to move on and just head home.

We are obviously broken-hearted, but know that this is a major decision for the birth mother to make.  One that we will never fully comprehend, and one that we can not bully her into making in our favor.  We just pray that she will be able to take care of and provide for that baby.
We know that good things are headed our way in the future and we are managing to stay upbeat. Like I had mentioned before God is good and I know He has a plan for our little family.
Best,
Missy

I Am The Face

Today is a day that has a lot of personal meaning to me and my little family.  It is Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Day.

Iamtheface_BoyGirl-300x2961

I’ve shared a tiny bit about why I started  my other blog, So You Think You’re Crafty, in the about page over there and in interviews and conversations I’ve had.  But I’ve never shared what lead to that discussion I had with my sister and BIL about blog stalking and starting my own.

At the time Abbi was just over a year old and sleeping all but 6 hours a day (she was a FANTASTIC napper) and I had just found out we were expecting our 2nd baby.  We were so excited and I loved having all that extra time while she slept!  I could read and sew and cook and craft and keep my house clean and get ready for the new little one.

Then my world came crashing down.  I miscarried that baby.  We were heart broken.  All of the sudden, that wonderful free time became crushing to me.  I no longer had the motivation to do anything but dwell.  Dwell on the fact that little one we wanted so much wasn’t coming.  All I could bring myself to do was blog stalk when I was alone and pretend everything was ok when people were around.

A month or so later I visited my sister and her family for a week and we started talking about all the blogs that I had discovered.  That conversation and brain storming session about what SYTYC could be like was a turning point for me.  All the sudden I had a plan and the motivation to actually DO something to work my way out of my depression.  I got right to work getting So You Think You’re Crafty up and going.

We hadn’t given up on adding to our family, but with the 3rd miscarriage came a diagnosis of “unexplained recurrent pregnancy loss.”  We realized that maybe God had another plan for blessing us with a sibling for Abbi so we started the adoption process and paperwork.  For the past 3+ years, and through two more miscarriages, we’ve been waiting.

But good news!  At this very moment my husband and I are waiting for the call to head out to Las Vegas, Nevada.  And when we come home it will be with a little sister for Abigail.

God is Good.

 

Daddy’s Dairy

A while ago Design Mom started a column on her blog about loving where you live.  I decided that’s a good idea.  In the past 4 years we have lived in 5 states and visited a few others.  We figured we would be in each place for a while and would have plenty of time to see things.  But we never got around to seeing more than the one or two main touristy things in the area.  So I’m going to join Design Mom in the quest of loving and learning about the places I live and visit.

Up the street from us there is this little hole in the wall ice cream shop.  We never thought much about it.  But then we were talking to some friends the other day and they told us we were totally missing out.  We finally decided to see what all the fuss was about at this little shop called Daddy’s Dairy.

Oh. My. Goodness you guys. If you like ice cream and you’re in the south-of-Boston area you HAVE to stop here.  They have 120 flavors of soft serve ice cream.  120!!  Take a look at the menu.

 

I decided on Chocolate Raspberry and it was heavenly.  It was a vanilla ice cream with raspberry jam and raspberry filled cups.  So good you guys.  This little girl really liked her Cotton Candy and ate every last drop :).

 

Do you have a favorite local ice cream joint?

DIY iPhone Prop {tutorial}

Last week Abi and I flew from Boston to Salt Lake City to visit family.  I knew that I needed something to help entertain her for the long flight so I downloaded some movies onto my phone. Then I realized there was little to no chance of her willingly holding the phone long enough to make it through the movie and there was no way I was going to do it for her.

So, true to form, I hopped on Pinterest to see what they have to say about phone props.  I couldn’t really find any tutorials that I liked, but I did find a picture of one that looked easy enough.

I was so excited and got working right away creating and documenting the process.  Then I accidentally deleted all photos on my camera because sometimes I’m awesome like that.  I plan on making a few more of these in the very near future, but until then here is a little run down with a few sketches of what I did.

First I found a piece of fabric in my stash about 8×10 inches.  I folded that in half – right sides together – and sewed one short side and the long side shut. Then I turned it right side out.

Next I filled the bottom inch or so with uncooked rice. Then I sewed two lines of stitches with about an inch of space between them.

Then, fill the last section with rice, but instead of closing it up with the seem parallel to the two that you just did, sew it perpendicular to those seems so that you create a triangle.  Does that make sense?  You can kinda figure it out by looking at the finished photo above.

And that’s it!  A prefect solution that gave me (and more importantly, the other passengers on the plane) some piece and quiet for a little bit.

 

Sarah’s Salad {recipe}

When I was in high school I worked at a restaurant/banquet hall called the Lion House in downtown Salt Lake City.  I loved it because we were allowed one meal per shift and their food is delicious.  One of my favorite dishes was their signature salad.

Sarah's Salad

So, once I moved and wasn’t working there anymore, but the cravings for the salad hadn’t stopped I had to see what I could do about recreating it.  I had seen the chefs make it enough, and it’s a very simple salad, it didn’t take too many tries to get it right.  Here’s what I came up with:

Sarah’s Salad Dressing Recipe (good for about 1 head of lettuce)

1/4 cup Mayo
1/4 cup Miricle Whip
1 teas sugar
dash of salt & pepper

Combine it and spread over the top of the lettuce.  Do not  mix to coat the lettuce until ready to serve (the greens wilt quickly).  Top with bacon, swiss cheese & green onions.

So simple and sooo good.

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