Happy Saturday!

Today went by WAY too fast!  I spent the first part of my morning lounging in bed with the laptop listening to my children argue over who gets to pick the next cartoon and trying to figure out what dessert to make for my husband to take to his UFC Fight Night with the med from our church.  He signed me up to make a dessert and I completely forgot about it until this morning! As I was trying to decide what to make for that I realized “OMG” our church potluck is tomorrow afternoon! So instead of just one thing to make I ended up with 3.  But that’s OK. I LOVE to bake. Especially when it’s for other people.

What did I bake? Oh I know you are dying to know! I made a double batch of Oreo stuffed chocolate chip cookies. Half for tonight then half to take tomorrow. I know extreme right? I was trying to think of “Manly” desserts. Although honestly nothing about desserts in general speak “Oh now THAT’S a manly dessert right there!”. So I went with something I knew my husband would go crazy over. Chances are if J liked it then everyone else would too.
I also baked Butterfinger Brownies AND I sliced and de-seeded Jalapenos because I am going to make bacon wrapped stuffed jalapenos to take tomorrow also. I completely forgot how much my skin HATES jalapenos.   It’s pretty bad when your nose starts running just because of the fumes, and your hands get swollen and red thanks to those spicey jalapeno juices!  All I have left if stuffing and wrapping them.  Wonder if I’ll have time to do it tomorrow before the potluck? Hmmm….

I will definitely post pictures later. And the recipes for the brownies and the stuffed jalapenos can probably be found at Restless Chipotle. They are her recipes.  R.C. is a blog run by my mother Marye Audet-White.  You can find many amazing recipes there for sure!
How’s your weekend going so far?

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Whew!

   This week feels like it has just flown by. I’ve definitely lazed around since the 4th.  I am usually a great lover of holidays. They are an excuse to get together with family and friends to have a good time and make happy memories. I don’t know about you but I really like happy memories! This 4th of July was unusually lazy. J had to work, my original plans fell through, my sister was at camp and to be honest I was feeling kinda down. So what did I do? I talked to my mom.
    I ended up taking the kids to Mom’s and we still did absolutely nothing, but we did nothing with other people.  My  mom cooked, my step-father grilled and J met up with us over there for dinner after he got off work. We had a good time but missing family members were definitely missed.  By the time we should have left to go watch fireworks none of the adults felt like going anywhere. So we let the older kids (17- 19 year olds) take the littles out back to light sparklers. While all us grownups sat around the table and talked and joked.

   This is my crew, don’t let the cuteness fool you. From left to right: B (3), G (8) and A (10).
Yesterday I took my crew to the lake and I  layed on the beach while the older two kids swam and the youngest played on the beach making sand pies and bird baths. I am determined to make my legs not so white. So far it’s a success just a little slow.
   It was a very pleasant and relaxing afternoon. It surprises me when I take all three kids out in public and we don’t end up having to leave early. They actually listened with minimal complaining when I asked them to play with B for a little bit. I mean really I didn’t have to threaten to sell them to the gypsies once! This is what I call progress.
  Today we are continuing on with the theme of “Lazy”.  The kids and I are spending the day watching movies and then when J gets home tonight I am going to make chicken wraps for dinner and we will pack it up  picnic style and head back out to the lake and spend family night out there instead of in the house. We havn’t told the kids yet, they’re in for a surprise since J is generally not a fan of anything outdoors!  I think it’s a nice change-up and since J will be with us I think I will take my camera along and snap a few nice photos.

  How was your holiday? Did you do anything special? What is the happiest memory you made on this 4th of July?

A Coffee Bar?

I originally found this on pinterest. Of course I repinned it into one of my own boards! This is the perfect space for coffee addicts to have their own place in the home. Thankfully I wouldn’t have any disapproval from my husband since his thoughts on coffee mirror my own.

Click the image to visit The Vintage Wren where this genius space was originally discovered

I really hate having to dig out all the needed items every morning to make coffee.  Actually J makes the coffee way more often than I do.  So when I DO make the coffee I really hate having to dig it out. I would really like to have a space that is dedicated to that heavenly energy giving life substance.  Though, I don’t just want a space for it. I want a space that is attractive to look at. A space that is enticing and uses its “coffee induced wiles” to beckon to me. ” Erin you want to visit me  don’t you? Look at what I can give to you. I have coffee…..” Yup I’m sold.

I think there are a few changes I would make to the setup, only because of personal prefferences. I LOVE the cabinet, so I am really hoping to find one of similar style on Craigslist or at a local thrift store. I’m not big drip brewing  coffee pots, so I’m thinking I need to buy a nicer coffee press maybe one that makes more than 3 cups of coffee. Though I would definitely consider adding an espresso machine! Mainly because I have always wanted one.  I really like this shelf, maybe with these hooks mounted underneath the shelf for coffee mugs.  I would probably paint them one of my accent colors though.  Then I will eventually purchase some canisters from The Jar Store for keeping my coffee beans as fresh as possible. I really like this Apothecary Jar.  For just a little over 1$ you can’t beat that! They would be really nice to hold coffee beans, and sugar. Then I would need to perhaps find some pallet matching mugs!

What do you think?  What would you change to add to your personal style?

I’ve Done It!

I really really have done it! I have made the first… no second? …. thir- you know what we’ll just say I made ANOTHER step toward organizing and decluttering my home. I am very excited because now I can see everything I have in my cabinets. And my counters are mostly cleared off. I still need to get rid of a few things but having taken 5 full trash bags to the curb, I am sure you can imagine my delight.  The most shocking thing is that my kitchen is unbelievably tiny so the fact that I had that many things I could dispose of was really quite mind blowing!

My mind has been stuck in “Home of my own” mode.  I know we’re not there yet. We still have quite a way to go but I am excited and when the time does come I want to be ready.  Since I’ve been working on decluttering the kitchen that is kind of where my mind is today.   About a month ago a friend of mine introduced me to Design-Seeds. It is a website that contains color pallets! It makes it really easy to view colors together and see how they coordinate. Each color in one pallet is pulled from a single photo. Like this:

I really like this color pallet. I do believe this is the one that I shall choose. It feels very warm and welcoming,  I can totally picture myself preparing meals that is painted the first color, that says “Seeds” on it. I really wish they would name their colors.
I would add accents and details based on the other four colors. I.E. curtains, towels, dish rags, ect.

I find both love and amusement in trying to put a room together around a color pallet.

  • Kids cups are important.   I want them to be cute and not very breakable.
  • “Grown up” Glasses are just as important. Personally I find myself feeling less adult-like when I drink from plastic cups
  • Coffee Cups and Saucers are definitely a category of their own. In my house coffee is sacred!
  • Towels and Dish rags
  • Pots and Pans
  • Canisters
  • Pot holders
  • Tableware

What are your necessary kitchen items and accessories? What works for you? What definitely does not work for you? What makes your kitchen welcoming to you?

Trendy Tuesday

Everyone needs a cute but grungy outfit or two to wear while cleaning. Seriously. Have you ever had one of those days where you get up, take your kids to school, start your daily routine only to be called by the school because one of  your kids is sick? Or discover you have no more toilet paper in the house and have to run to the store? Or my personal favorite “OMG I forgot to deposite my paycheck!” and you have to run out immediately to do said errand.  Personally I really dislike wearing jeans and a nice shirt to clean. It’s just not comfy and it makes moving a little more difficult.  So I tend to wear my pajamas. I really dont care if I get them messed up no one besides myself or my family ever sees them anyway, right?

I think It would be nice to have a cute “cleaning” outfit to wear for everyday so that when those unexpected errands DO come up I can just grab my bag and go and know that I already look decent enough for public viewing. I really really hate looking like I just got out of bed. It tends to make me feel like I should be contained behind a glass wall at the zoo. So I think that I will begin a weekly post called Trendy Tuesday. Beginning today.

(Side Note:I really have an addiction to Polyvore. Honestly  I place all blame for this addiction on my mother. She’s the one who introduced me to this website. Basically, you can sign up then create outfits piece by piece. I love it.)
Here is this week’s outfit:

just because
This outfit consists of:
    • a cute but messy hairstyle (I’m a sucker for messy ponytails!)
    • Light and natural make-up. Just enough to make you look fresh and ready to take on the day!
    • A natural(ish) and shiny lipgloss. I LOVE this pink one by Terry Terrybly.
    • Small jewelry accents. You don’t want anything that is going to be hard to manage while you really are going about your daily chores
    • A Cute tanktop that you feel attractive wearing. Nothing fancy.
    • I nice pair of sweats that are both flattering and comfy. It’s important that they look good and hug your curves in an appealing manner.
    • Everyone loves a good pair of chucks. They look good and they’re easy to function in.
    • Last but not least a bag that is functional and doesn’t look out of place with the grungy/cute look you have going on.
I hope you enjoyed this week’s Trendy Tuesday.  I had a lot of fun writing it!

Not Exactly a Failure

It’s important to break up potential frustration with incredible cuteness. (This is my 3 year old)

We started our chore lists today! I really am kinda excited. However I have made an unfortunate discovery. My 10 year old not only resembles me in looks but also in the motivation to clean. So far it has taken her more than an hour to clean the kitchen. A task I know very well she is perfectly capable of completing.  I believe I will observe her habits during cleaning and see if I can find a way to bring more motivation to her. Perhaps I will make it a race between brother and sister. Whoever finishes their chores first gets some sort of extra privledge? Hmm it’s a thought.
Moving along.  I need to begin the decluttering process.  I stumbled across this on Pinterest:  A Thorough Spring Cleaning Checklist it comes from “The Complete Guide to Imperfect Homemaking“. It’s like a bootcamp for cleaning, if you ask me. However it may be exactly what I need to get a good head start on getting this house in shape!  I think that if I focus on 2 small rooms or 1 large room daily it may not be quite so overwhelming.  Kelly (The Author of the blog) also has a series of posts for organizing your home in 31 days and that looks worth looking into also. The problem with that is, I would really like to get something largely noticable accomplished in a week.  She has many posts that look highly beneficial to take the time to read.
These seem to be her most common tips. I really like them! Perhaps I will see what I can do to put them into action.
“Some tips for organizing your own kitchen:

  • Make it pretty.  Pretty spaces are fun to keep tidy.
  • Have less stuff than you have room for. If every space is filled, your whole system will break down the first time you come home with something new.
  • Be creative.  You don’t need expensive organizing tools in order to have an organized kitchen.”

I don’t feel like I accomplished everything I set out to accomplish today. The unfortunate truth is that I am not Mary Poppins, who only needs to snap and items magically return to their places. Nor am I the proud owner of a self cleaning house. I am simply a mom who is easily distracted (Seriously, I would much rather take the kids to the lake than clean.), and would rather waste away reading about how to clean and organize my home than actually put what I read into action. I have become determined to make my house into a home that has a warm comfy atmosphere and pleasant appearance. A home that is something that I can be proud of and I can see evidence of my work.

A New Hope

Nope I am totally not making a Star Wars refference. Today marks a historical moment. Seriously, this one will go down in history! Ok, perhaps it’s only going down in my personal history book but thats beside the point. I have made the greatest step forward. Wanna know what I did? Yeah, you know you do.  I made chore lists!  Three of them. One for myself and one for each of the older kids. I contemplate picking up some picture frames so that I can use them as “Dry Erase” boards that are not only re-usable but somewhat attractive to look at!
Here’s how I structured my lists:

  • Daily Chores
  • Weekly Chores
  • Monthly Chores

Not too complex right?  I added boxes next to each chore so that they can be marked as completed. That always helps me see how much I have actually accomplished. Otherwise I find myself feeling overwhelmed with the prospect of cleaning a room.  It also makes it easier to visualize a starting point.
The 3yr old can’t read yet  so I am thinking about making a little star chart for her so she can put stickers on it every time she finishes one of her “chores”. I got lucky with her. So far she actually LIKES to clean! Strange right? I know, she’s under survelance. I am not really sure how thats going to develope but so far she is disgusted by her body being dirty at all. She has to wash her hands as soon as they get dirty EVEN if it’s chocolate. (In this case I try to encourage her to lick her fingers clean but she’s not having that at all.) These are definitely behaviors I would like to encourage but not to the point of them being extreme.
For now, I would really like to spend the next couple of days getting a head start on getting the house cleaned up.  That way I can tear it apart again. There’s just something about cleaning a room so you can make it a mess and then make it cleaner than it was when you started. I suppose perhaps I am a little on the strange side also.
If you are interested in viewing my chore lists you can Download Them Here