25 July 2014

2014 Goals: July Update




We are now much closer to the end of the year than we are to when 2014 started! How that's even possible is beyond me, but the days and weeks just keep flying by. And this half of the year always seems so much busier than the beginning of the year, making time tick by that much quicker. Between birthdays, holidays, the shortening of days, and other activities that keep us occupied, the tale end of the year will be here before we know it.

July was ... well, it was okay. Right from the beginning, plans fell through, and things didn't go exactly as we had planned. The first hurricane of the season was "scheduled" for the weekend of the 4th, cancelling our plans of hotel stays, beach visits and concert-goings. Bummer. We still saw fireworks, but they just weren't the same. We dealt with plenty of doctors' visits, a lot of weekends spent at home soaking up the sun and heat, and a few more botched plans for movies out, summer library parties, and MOPS playdates that just didn't work out for us.

Although it wasn't exactly what we were hoping for this month, July wasn't all bad -- let's see how things went:



Last month I mentioned that being six months through the year, it was now easier to focus on daily/regular goals without having to constantly remind myself of what they were and what needed to get done. I'm pretty sure I jinxed myself with that one! All month long, if things were not written down, right down to "Wash laundry // make bed // take shower" then things just didn't seem to get done. Thankfully, I have a daily planner, which works well and allows for plenty of room to write down those tedious, mundane tasks that most people seem to just remember they need to do.

Up until this point, most months I spent time focusing on myself by getting myself a little treat here or there. Some new clothes, new nail polish, or a coffee break out solo. In July, I took care of myself in a different manner -- I finally went to see a psychiatrist! Over the past few months, my doctor kept switching up my medication every time I went to see him, for one reason or another. Either I was constantly tired, feeling nauseous all the time, or on edge. Nothing seemed to be leveling my feelings out or helping me cope throughout the day. And I just wasn't satisfied with that. So psychiatrist it was! And after just that initial meeting, I was already feeling enthusiastic -- and like this was the right step to take. Moms -- you NEED to take care of yourself, first and foremost, before you can ever take care of your little ones the way that they need and deserve!

Schedules around here got better, as well, now that I am focusing more on the family time we spend together. The kids have been waking up earlier and earlier -- and although I normally cherish that early morning quiet time to myself, I have gotten used to little feet and loud noises first thing! All that means is that by 8am, we are all fed, showered, dressed and most of the chores are done for the morning, leaving us plenty of time for errands, play dates and outside time. M and I have been making more of an effort to head to bed at the same time, and sleep in together on his days off, instead of me setting my alarm 7 days a week. The extra sleep has been nice -- although, once again, it means a loss of morning quiet time. You win some, you lose some.

And again this month, the house has been getting plenty of attention! I did a little diy project for our bedroom, painting a wicker table for one corner of our room. I've cleaned and tidied, gotten rid of and avoided buying unnecessary items, as well. I finally finished deep cleaning all of the rooms, taking care of things that weren't where they should be, wiping down and washing spots that don't often see a wet rag, and going through all the nooks and crannies, finding lost items, tons of cobwebs and messes I never realized existed. And I've really gotten into a regular routine -- if only I could convince the kids that there was no reason for making messes just 5 minutes after I've cleaned a room. (Yeah, right!)

July came and went. It wasn't exciting. It wasn't eventful. But it didn't burden us, either. We weren't left with feelings of regret or resentment towards July -- and in fact, we were left with smiles from some pleasantly hot and sunny weather. We may not have followed through with the plans we had laid out, but we filled our days with other plans, other memories, and a different kind of agenda. July -- you weren't good. You weren't bad. You just ... were. However, I have high hopes for August. And I know they won't go disappointed!


24 July 2014

Horseradish Burgers

We sort of got in a rut around here -- cooking and eating the same old thing over and over and over again. And I for one, got a little tired of it. Since I had a stack of older cooking magazines that I had never really looked through, just sitting in my pantry, I dug them out recently, flipped through the pages and found a few new recipes to toss into the mix. A little something new never hurt anyone, right? We've tried rhubarb pancakes {which were awesome} and some different barbecue sauced chicken recipes, too.

But the one thing we love, and are always on the look-out for are good burger recipes.

As much as I love a burger, there has to be something a little ... special about it. Whether its mixing bbq sauce in the meat, and covering the burger with bacon and pepperjack cheese, or stuffing the inside of the burger with cream cheese and sliced jalapenos {which is one of my favorites} -- we like our burgers zesty and with a little kick.

So I was pretty excited when, in those magazines, I found a Rachael Ray recipe for some horseradish sauce. Although it was shown as a dipping sauce for some fries beside the burger, I knew it would honestly go better on TOP of the burger. And that's just what we did -- a little cheese, some romaine -- and a spoonful {or four} of that creamy kick!



Yum!


Recipe:

1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 TBSP dry breadcrumbs
1 cup sour cream
2 rounded TBSP horseradish
1/4 cup finely chopped chives

Mix the applesauce and breadcrumbs together and let sit for 10 minutes. Then stir in the sour cream, chives and horseradish. Season with some salt and pepper, and load it onto those burger buns!

Beware -- this recipe makes a lot of sauce! So unless you have a houseful of people, you'd be best to cut it in half or even thirds! I stored the rest in the fridge, and plan to serve it up alongside some steak later this week!

If you are looking for something fun to dress your burger up with this weekend, you should really try this sauce. I don't think you'll regret it!

22 July 2014

Gilligan Should Have Packed Ice Cream

Man Crates recently contacted me to write a post about my 4-5 do-or-die essentials I would want/need anywhere I may be in order to "survive" -- and since I often find myself daydreaming {usually while the kids are throwing epic tantrums over absolutely trivial things}about being stranded on a beach-y deserted island, a la Gillian's Island, I thought, "Why not?!". I've noticed a few other bloggers who took the "items I just can't live without" approach, but I decided to go a different route.

So you see, if I was stranded on a desert island, and just so happened to have packed my "survival" essentials to bring along, because, you know -- everyone plans for the just-in-case situations these days -- here's what I would make sure to bring along:



1. Mint Chip Ice Cream. Seriously -- a lifetime supply. I can live without meat, if I have to. I could do without bread, even though its one of my major weaknesses. But a life {or a year -- however long it takes someone to find me!} without that minty delicious-ness? That's just cruel.

2. An endless library's worth of books on kindle {and an endless battery, of course!} Heck, I would take that here at home as it is, as long as I had all the time in the world to read. Of course, my kids don't let that happen these days ... so its okay when a battery dies and I need time to charge it. But on the beach? Let me read forever!

3. This water filtration pen. Sure, ManCrates said matches weren't necessary. But I'm on the beach. Surrounded by water. I can eat all the fish I want. Have all the ice cream at my disposal. But what am I going to drink? The crystal clear water {after it's filtered, of course!}!

4. A Hammock. Some days, there is nothing better than hanging a hammock, laying back with something cold to drink, and enjoying the little breeze as the sun goes down.

5. My Nike Flip Flops. It may sound crazy ... but these things are super comfortable. I've had the same pair since college -- they last forever! Great beach wear, easy walking footwear in case I decide to "discover" where I'm stranded ... and they are sturdy enough to kill a decent sized bug. Win-Win in my book!

With a water filtration device, I could eat my ice cream {and fish} and drink water til the cows came home. Kick back in a comfy place to enjoy the breeze and the view, read endless books, and just enjoy. I'm sure I'd miss my family -- it really would be mighty quiet compared to my house. But wi-fi connection might just be a little too much to ask. After all, I'm requiring a never-ending kindle battery {Amazon ... get on that!} so we better not get too greedy, right?!

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Man Crates is a great new company who have compiled a few "gift boxes" to send to men, or any survivalist/beer drinking/athletic women who might be interested, all sent in a wooden crate. Instead of your every day "another necktie?!" or coffee mug with a kid's face on it type of gift, these crates are stuffed with all the jerkies your beef {and other meat} eater could enjoy. Barware, shaving gear, and some pretty awesome "Zombie Apocalypse" survival crates. There's a little something for everyone! Check 'em out the next time you need a gift for that man in your life who already has everything!

21 July 2014

A Laid Back Kind of Weekend



I've really gotten used to these laid-back, no-plans, stay-at-home kind of weekends we've been having lately. While normally I would love to get out and about, as I am *not* a homebody, the weather has cooperated for the most part, and there is always plenty of cleaning around here to do to keep me busy if I should get "bored". So, we kept the pattern going this weekend, and outside of church, and a couple minor errands, stuck around the house. We played outside and enjoyed the cool, breezy weather. We played in the sand. We cleaned and watched movies. And Sunday?! Well, Sunday we did NOTHING. We went to church, visited my father-in-law at work, and all napped in the afternoon. No cleaning. No nothing. It was nice! But today is Monday ... which means back to "normal" -- cleaning, errands, and Lord knows what else!


18 July 2014

Blogmopolitan Quiz pt. 3

It's been a pretty laid back week around here. We haven't done much of anything, other than enjoy the sunshine, and get out the play-doh, leaving us with little inspiration for writing. It's life ... sometimes it just happens. So I figured, why not play along with Erin and have a little fun before the weekend kicks off?! She's got her third installment of the Blogmopolitan Quiz up on her blog, so if you'd like, snag it, fill in your answers, and post to "play along"!



Seriously, put me on the beach ANYWHERE, and I'll be happy forever. {As long as it has a public library, and plenty of mint chip ice cream!}