Thursday, November 8, 2018

No.196: Around Here in November

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WEARING //  my cool weather favorites on repeat, now that Virginia finally has a chill in the air: my L.L.Bean pullover, Athleta hoodie and J.Crew quilted vest.

MAKING // new soups or stews for our weekly Soup Night.  The original idea was that it would help with the grocery budget, which hasn't really happened.  Silver lining: there is something so cozy about having Mark and the boys come home from activities to something warm on the stove.   

BRAINSTORMING // presents.  We have six birthdays in the fall, so I generally have to dig deep for good Christmas ideas afterward.  I sat down the other night and got a good start on the kids, but could not come up with quality ideas for extended family members.  I have to get my act together!    

READING // Being Mortal (SO good!), Don Quixote (humorous and easier to read than I expected) and Estrogeneration (both fascinating and terrifying).

STARTING // a 30-day running streak on a whim. Five days later, I'm having second thoughts, hah!  My main concern is injuring myself with the increased load, so I think I'm just going to it play it smart and go by feel.  The end result may not be exactly how I envisioned it, but I hope it helps me get back into a routine in time for winter (when I usually hibernate).  

SELLING // my 75th piece of clothing on Poshmark!  I'm really enjoying this little side biz, even though sales have suddenly dropped to a trickle.

LISTENING // to Up and Vanished, although Season Two is a little less exciting to me than the first one.  I just found a new podcast called Someone Knows Something that I hope to start soon.  Cold cases are fascinating to me.

ADMITTING // defeat as I finally concede that the past few months have totally kicked my butt.  The breaking point was yesterday when I received an email from our photographer, letting me know that the memory card holding all of our family photos was corrupted and she lost everything.  It's not really her fault and they're just photos, but it hurt and I cried.  I'm waving the white flag.  Fall, you win!  Looking forward to slower days ahead.    

Monday, November 5, 2018

No.195: Intentions for the Beginning of November

My oldest ran his first 5K with me yesterday and we had so much fun.  I wasn't feeling great, but managed to keep up and only lost to him by 30 seconds.  We're both excited to run another one together in the spring.  There's nothing like a race to reignite my passion for running!  With my hormonal issues and fall just being a crazy season, running felt like a chore and I started to dread it.  I'm thrilled to get back into it - I feel more like myself already.        


  • vote!
  • keep up with a 30 Day Running Streak
  • order birthday gifts for M, J, and P (and then we're done for another year, whew!)
  • start ordering gifts for Christmas
  • start thinking about what to do with the kids for Advent
  • catch up on snail mail correspondence
  • make 10+ sales on Poshmark
  • organize all of the kids' summer clothes and put in their appropriate bins
  • decide on a cookie for the co-op cookie exchange party
  • organize Sophie's closet
  • make homemade granola
  • finish reading Estrogeneration
  • read 50+ pages in Don Quixote


    If you're reading on your phone or in a reader, be sure to click over to see what I checked off the list!
    • finish painting the headboards and add the topcoat
    • decide on a rug for the front hallway
    • send out Halloween packages (I sent books to my two littlest buddies)
    • finish reading Estrogeneration
    • get the generator serviced (at over $700, this one gets pushed to the back burner until after Christmas.  Fingers crossed we don't have a blizzard anytime soon!)
    • call to have someone look at the dishwasher (we had the septic tank serviced instead)
    • increase Poshmark inventory to 85+
    • take out and work on my quilt using Memere's fabric (100LT #13)
    • buy lightbulbs for the dining room chandelier
    • look into supplements (I ordered magnesium and have a list of others to consider too - thanks for all of your help, blog friends!!)
    • give myself lots of patience and grace as I continue to fight through this hormonal mess (a work in progress, but I'm feeling better)

    What about you?  What do you hope to accomplish in the next two weeks?

    Friday, November 2, 2018

    No.194: What I Learned in October

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    I am definitely a do-er.  I like being productive and feel most like myself when I'm juggling multiple balls in the air.  (#crazylady)  But for whatever reason, I'm in a season of rest, of just trying to keep my head above water.  I'm fighting for my physical and mental health.  I'm in a season of quiet.  It's not my favorite, but I know it's necessary.

    Magnesium was recommended to me to help with my hormonal issues, so I bought this stuff.  My new evening routine is a teaspoon of magnesium with a Nuun tablet (which helps with hydration and electrolytes), mixed in cold water.  I can feel a huge difference already!  I'm less agitated, my heart races less and it's made PMS symptoms almost non-existent.  Incredible.

    It's that time of year again!  I had so much fun choosing photo cards for my Basic Invite post and I'm anxious to pin one down once we get our family photos back from the photographer.

    As I have improved in my running and picked up speed, I've also noticed an occasional ache in my groin/thigh/bum muscles.  After a little research, I believe the issue stems from my hips, which is crazy because who gets a runner's injury in their hips?!  Apparently this gal.  I need to be better about adding specific exercises to my routine every week.

    I've been in homemaking mode around here, dreaming about decor and improvement projects, making mood boards and wishlists.  And then reality sets in - we had our septic tank serviced ($$$), we got a quote for the generator repair ($$$) and we have some dental work ($$$).  Throw in six birthdays and Christmas and all those home decor dreams went up in flames, hah!  Oh well.

    The little boys have my childhood headboards in their room, but they were looking pretty beat up.  I bought this chalk paint and have been slowly working on them (I just have the sealing left to do!) all month.  I'm hooked!  The paint is so easy to apply, washes off with soap and water and doesn't stink.  If a coat looks streaky, you just add another layer.  So easy!

    Enough said.  I'm afraid for my grocery budget.

    Your turn!  What did you learn this month?

    Thursday, November 1, 2018

    No.193: New Habits, Little by Little: Cooking at Home (October 2018)

    Fall is finally here!  We've officially instituted our weekly Soup Night and unintentionally started a breakfast for dinner night too.  We're just as busy as ever, but slowly falling into a routine.  Praise God for that!   

    Week 66 (cont.): 
    Monday, October 1: Refrigerator Clean-Out Night
    Tuesday, October 2: pasta with homemade meat sauce
    Wednesday, October 3: roasted chicken thighs and veggies
    Thursday, October 4: pulled pork quesadillas
    Friday, October 5: paleo chili

    Week 67:
    Saturday, October 6: homemade burgers and fries
    Sunday, October 7: leftover chili
    Monday, October 8: breakfast for dinner - crepes
    Tuesday, October 9: one pan autumn chicken dinner
    Wednesday, October 10: french onion meatball subs
    Thursday, October 11: My Birthday! burgers and fries from our favorite local spot, cheesecake
    Friday, October 12: tortellini soup with italian sausage and spinach

    Week 68:
    Saturday, October 13: Birthday date! Mark and I ate at a little Mexican restaurant - steak fajitas and nachos supreme
    Sunday, October 14: "perfect pot roast"
    Monday, October 15: D's birthday! Burger King and cheesecake after CCD
    Tuesday, October 16: Refrigerator Clean-Out Night
    Wednesday, October 17: tacos
    Thursday, October 18: breakfast for dinner - eggs, bacon and cheddar, chive & ham biscuits
    Friday, October 19: cheesy brats and curly fries

    Week 69:
    Saturday, October 20: sheetpan chicken legs and roasted veggies
    Sunday, October 21: white chicken lasagna soup
    Monday, October 22: garlic-parmesan sausage and veggies
    Tuesday, October 23: we had Wendy's after having our family pictures taken
    Wednesday, October 24: frozen pizzas and salad
    Thursday, October 25: one pan autumn chicken dinner
    Friday, October 26: breakfast for dinner - crepes

    Week 70:
    Saturday, October 27: "perfect pot roast"
    Sunday, October 28: out for burgers after evening Mass
    Monday, October 29: we packed sandwiches and chips to eat in between the boys' activities
    Tuesday, October 30: chili dogs with this sauce
    Wednesday, October 31: Halloween! tomato soup and jack-o'-lantern grilled cheese sandwiches

    Wednesday, October 31, 2018

    No.192: My Latest Reads // October

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    My Rating: ★★

    There is ecstasy in paying attention.  You can get into a kind of Wordsworthian openness to the world, where you see in everything the essence of holiness, a sign that God is implicit in all of creation. (p.100) 

    Anne Lamott is a bit of a quirky writer, but I liked this book from her about writing.  While I'm not a fiction writer nor do I have any aspirations to someday be published, there were still plenty of inspiring moments.  I also have a handful of new tips to share with my kids as they mature in their writing too.

    THE QUEEN OF HEARTS by Kimmery Martin
    My Rating: ★★

    “The other thing that I loathed was the complete inability of most people to think critically. They accepted as gospel all kinds of things without ever objectively examining for themselves why they so fervently believed them.”

    My dear friend Shelly sent me her copy of this book in the mail and I couldn't wait to get started!  She described it as Grey's Anatomy in book form and I found that to be a pretty accurate description.  I liked the first half of the book better than the second half, but it was well paced and I flew right through it.  Solid three stars.

    THE STORY OF ARTHUR TRULUV by Elizabeth Berg
    My Rating: ★★

    He stops his rocking to look over at her. “But what we need are readers. Right? Where would writers be without readers? Who are they going to write for? And actors, what are they without an audience? Actors, painters, dancers, comedians, even just ordinary people doing ordinary things, what are they without an audience of some sort? “See, that’s what I do. I am the audience. I am the witness. I am the great appreciator, that’s what I do and that’s all I want to do. I worked for a lot of years. I did a lot of things for a lot of years. Now, well, here I am in the rocking chair, and I don’t mind it, Lucille. I don’t feel useless. I feel lucky.” (53%)

    The Story of Arthur Truluv is a sweet book about a new widower who befriends a hurting teenage girl.  It's sort-of reminded me of A Man Called Ove, but with a much less curmudgeon-y main character.  I flew through it in days.  This book also made me miss my grandmothers so much.

    CALLING ME HOME by Julie Kibler
    My Rating: ★★

    The heart is a demanding tenant; it frequently makes a strong argument against common sense.

    Calling Me Home is the author's response to learning a piece of not-well-known family history: her grandmother once fell in love with a black man in a time when a relationship was both forbidden and dangerous.  It's was one of those books that was just so incredibly sad and heart-breaking, but in the best way.  I cried at the end and I rarely do that.



    Books Read: 57
    Fiction: 34  // Non-Fiction: 23
    Kindle Books: 34  // Paper Books: 23
    Original 2018 books "to-read" total on Goodreads: 443 // Current "to-read" total: 425
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