Monday, June 15, 2015

Book Review #6

I received this book from Blogging for Books for free to write a review on it.

When I was looking for a book to review, this one caught my eye instantly. I've been on a healthy kick recently and really have been curious as to what is in foods that we eat every day.
I recently gave up drinking my favorite flavored coffee creamer because it had so many ingredients in it that I couldn't pronounce! If it had words that I couldn't understand or pronounce, why was I putting that into my body EVERY. SINLGLE. DAY? And sometimes multiple times a day? Therefore my quest for coffee creamer began. Pinterest became my friend and I book marked tons of recipes on DIY coffee creamer.
None of them worked for me.
So I went to google and to online forums to find a premade, all natural coffee creamer. (Thinking there was no such thing.) Much to my surprise, Coffee Mate makes a brand called "Natural Bliss" and there are three flavors that I can find locally. (apparently there are MORE than three!! Including caramel...I need that in my life. Like right now.)

 They come in the small bottles and are more expensive...but the ingredients. They had me sold. :)
Those are the type of ingredients I can handle with a clear conscience :)
Anyway, back to this book.
It was an interesting read on every day things you eat and drink and use including coffee, deodorant, laundry detergent, cool whip etc.
Each subject has a list of ingredients along with what that actual ingredient is! This book definitely helps enlighten you on what you put in/on/around your body.
While I may not read the backs of every single thing I use or eat, I am making little changes in my daily life slowly.
Definitely check this book out to learn more. :)

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Whirlwind Road Trip

The last weekend in April, Brandon was able to ask off for two days so we could join his family and extended family down in Florida for the celebration of his grandpas 80th birthday.
Thankfully, we decided to split up the trip down there and drove half way to Charleston, SC on Friday and the rest of the way on Saturday.
With two small kiddos it was a good idea to split the trip in half. The 6 hour drive took us about 8 hours total. It was so nice to take our time and stop when we wanted/needed.
Isaiah kept talking about going to "Charlies house"! It was so cute to see how excited he was to go on a road trip. 
He would ask us when we would go on a road trip and we would have to keep telling him we were *on* the road trip right now! The most common phrase we heard was "I don't want to go home!!"-and we had to assure him that we were not headed home for several days :)
Saturday morning isaiah slept til 7:30 which is an hour and a half more than what he normally sleeps to on any given morning so that was a nice little surprise. :) once we ate breakfast at the hotel we got on the road again.
We were blessed with very safe travel mercies and escaped heavy rains and tornado watches and warnings.
We arrived at Brandon's aunts house where we were graciously housed and fed for the next two nights!
We had a great time catching up with family and just being out of the car!
Sunday we went to church and then the party followed immediately after. It was held in a screened in pavilion which made for a beautiful breezy afternoon protected  from the downpour that ensued half way through.
It was a wonderful time celebrating Howard's 80 years of life. So glad we were able to be there for it.
It was also nice to be in summer type weather for a day :)
The day went by quickly and once the festivities were over we headed back to our abodes and just relaxed for the rest of the evening.
We headed back home early on Monday morning around 6:15 and spent about  17 hours on the road. It was a long day and the kiddos did so well. When we had about four hours left they started to just be over the whole road trip thing. Who can blame them??
One of our stopping points was the beach-isaiah was so thrilled and it was the perfect place for him to stretch his legs for a little bit :)
This was James' first experience of the ocean :)
It was a nice little stop and I'm glad we did that.
We found a great little coffee shop for our next real stop which was more than worth it. The kids needed more attention and time to stretch since we were doing so much in one day!
The kiddos did so well considering we spent about 16 hours on the road coming home-we had about an hour or so near the end that was just screaming and whinning, but man, they really did well :)
Needless to say, we were all so very glad to be home!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Book Review #5

The Barefoot Queen

I had no idea what this book would be like when I got it and quite frankly it was not my favorite.
This is a story from the view of a freed Cuban slave and her best friend who is a gypsy set in the 1700's and the book was slow going. I had a hard time connecting with the characters and the goings on.
I can see how this story would appeal to some, but for my taste it was a bit too dark with it containing many scenes of abuse towards the women in this book. The way the abuse and violence was written was in a very casual manner and that just ruined the book for me.
The Barefoot Queen is definitely written very well-just suited to a mature audience and one who doesn't mind reading graphic portrayals of that type of scene.

Monday, March 2, 2015

De-cluttering

Okay. Deep down inside (and it shows outwardly as well), I am a pack rat.
There's a problem that comes with that, unfortunately. Clutter.
I hate clutter.
If you asked my mom 5 years ago she would say "what?! You hate clutter? Never. Look at your room!"
Well, a lot has changed in 5 years and having a house of my own has more than likely changed my perspective on clutter.

Brandon and I go thru phases where everything is nice and clean, everything has a place and then...boom. Things are not in their place and I get stressed just looking at our room or our living room. So we get into cleaning mode and tear the room apart and put it back together-then we can breathe.
It's wonderful!

One of the recent snow days we had resulted in a more organized and clean kitchen! I finally got to the point where I couldn't stand looking at our kitchen. Ours is small and we don't have a pantry and we have very limited cabinet space.
So Brandon and I worked on tackling the top of the fridge first and then the pots and pans and the tuppaware.

Often times when we do this type of thing I can be irrational and just want to get rid of EVERYTHING! And start over.
But that just isn't practical. Which is why I am thankful to have a very level headed husband beside me when we do these types of projects :) he reins me back in when I have the impulse to trash everything we own and gives me alternatives and brain storms with me on how we can make it better. How we can use our space wisely.

We downsized our plastic storage containers and got rid of some pots and pans and other containers that we either don't use or really just don't need. It was so freeing.
All of the things we got rid of went into a big pile on the kitchen floor.

It was then bagged up and put in the basement until our $.50 yard sale my sister and I are having at the end of this month! 
Everything is now so much more accessible and orderly looking. It makes living with a tiny kitchen in a rental a little bit more bearable :)
Our next project is our "pantry". I am hoping to be able to use some of our household budget soon to buy organizing containers to help contain the mess and make it look less of an eye sore :)
It's pretty unsightly.
I am thankful for our cash system (more on that later) and our budget because I KNOW that we will have the money soon to be able to slowly decorate/make over our house! It's quite exciting :) It might be a slow process but it's definitely worth it.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Snowy days

Recently we have had our fair share of snow and sick days, which means we have been stuck in the house for a couple of weeks! The first snow we got was almost 10" inches of fluffy white stuff and I thought isaiah would be excited to go out and play in it.
So, I spent about 25 minutes bundling both of the kids up and putting james in the ergo baby carrier and making sure we didn't have any skin showing. By the time we were headed out the door I had worked up a sweat.
Isaiah thought the snow was cool. Until he stepped into it. It came above his knees and he couldn't walk by himself. I probably heard the phrase "hold you mommy!!" (Aka- "hold ME, mommy!") twenty times in the short time we were outside.
I found our beach boogie board in the basement and put isaiah on the boogie board and pulled him around on that for approximately  1.5 minutes at which point I just let him sit on it and  eat freshly fallen snow.

He thought that was the best thing ever and was content staying there eating snow for a while, which was great because I was determined to stay out there longer than the amount of time it took us to get ready to play in the snow . ;)


After that one adventure out into the snow, isaiah had no desire to go out again. Therefore I resorted to Pinterest for indoor activities for toddlers.
Let me tell you-I think we could do several activities a day and never exhaust the endless ideas out there!
We did all sorts of things. Since we had so much snow we piainted snow.
He transferred water from one container to another with a water dropper.
We also used a teaspoon.
We made cloud dough. (2 parts cornstarch one part hair conditioner)
We washed out trucks and cars in bubbles.
We dropped colored vinegar onto a bed of baking soda. It fizzes and is really cool!

We have lots of other ideas too and I'll bedefinitely incorporating these into every day life. They keep him entertained so well!
Pinterest is the place to go to figure out WHAT to do with your kids when stuck inside for days on end :)

Monday, January 26, 2015

Book Review #4

Love Without Limits
I had seen Nick Vujicic's story on Facebook and other news sites and such and was always intrigued by his sweet story-I was excited to be able to read the book about his journey.
Nick Vujicic was born with out arms and legs and yet while reading this book and I am sure even meeting him in person, you wouldn't even notice. His personality really comes out in this book and its upbeat, honest and real. This book lets you be in on all the little details on his love story with his beautiful wife Kanae and along the way they give some advice, tips and pointers for keeping your eyes on Christ thru it all.
The trials and bumps in the road that he and his wife faced during their story and the ways they overcame and trusted God are surely inspiring.
This book takes you along with them in a very real way from the Nick telling about past failed relationships to him and Kanae being united as one in marriage. It's such a sweet story and I highly recommend it!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

A day in my life

I've seen a lot of other "mommy bloggers" do posts where they document their every day life in pictures and I've always found those posts so interesting. 
So, I got the notion to try it out myself. Not that I consider myself a mommy blogger, because I am not. I just thought it would be fun and totally doable.

It wasn't. 

These photos took me about three days to take and I STILL never remembered to take photos after lunch time :p

And. My days aren't that interesting. I tried documenting on a week that would show what a normal day for me looked like at home with the boys. So here it goes. :) 

Another disclaimer. I'm not funny.



My days start out at 5 am usually. I crawl out of bed and go down to the basement to do my insanity workout.
I don't get it done every morning so sometimes it happens midday-especially of i have a child who decides that as soon as i leave the room, he needs to wake up too.

Around 5:45 or 6, I come up the stairs and have my coffee and read/talk to brandon/get his lunch ready before he heads off to work.
(Usually James decides to go back to sleep)
Brandon leaves at 6:30 and I head into the kitchen to do dishes and try to clean up before the kids wake up.


Around 7-7:30 isaiah wakes up and we get breakfast and I make a smoothie.
 
After breakfast around 8 I clean the kitchen floors and sweep.  It's amazing how i can do this every day and they STILL need to be done every day. Sad.
I spot clean my floors. I don't know why.
Once finished with that rag-I throw it on the top of my basement stairs along with all the other random dirty laundry I'm too lazy to take down the stairs.

James decides he wants to wake up and eat next. So I feed him and try to avoid the unavoidable spit up. Doesn't matter where the burp cloth is-he will miss it somehow and I will get covered.
Next it's usually story time for isaiah. We almost always read the same five books that happen to always be downstairs-they just never make their way upstairs to his room so they have automatically become our morning , noon and evening story time books.
I walk into the kitchen to get the broom to sweep the living room after noticing it really needs a good sweep.
Wait!!! How are there already dishes that need to be done??
They never.ever.end.
I grab the broom anyway and go sweep.
Isaiah is usually trying to be a big help. Usually.
Other times he does this.
Next I go get the laundry from the basement to fold. It's probably been sitting down there for quite some time.
Laundry gets folded and I leave it there until nap time when I can put it away. I don't know why I do that-because I then spend the rest of the morning refolding items. Weird thinking/processing on my end.
James gets in some playtime and by this point in the day I completely forget about documenting my day and my whole "plan" is pushed to the back of my mind and I realize I won't be like those other "mommy bloggers". and that's okay with me. I'll just stick to reading their great blogs and not try to replicate them.

My days are plenty exciting for me and probably only me and I'm okay with that :) every day is different and I don't always stick to a routine. That's just life. And life with 2 kiddos :)