This and That

Archive for the ‘Everyday Living’ Category

In life we have to make hard decisions.

Decisions that affect not only our lives but the lives of our families, friends, and even strangers.

We can not predict the future or know how events will play out.

All we can do is get the best information available, weigh the pros and cons, and decide.

But there is one more thing we should do…

One more step we should make before making a hard decision…

It should really be our first step in the whole decision making process…

Prayer.

We should bring all our problems, questions, and decisions to God and prayfully ask for His guidance and wisdom.

I do not do this enough.

I need to do this more.

I will do this more.

Will you?

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My oldest will be a future Tour de France Winner.

He is such a strong bike rider and he got to show off his excellent riding abilities at his preschool Trike-a-Thon.

Ready to take off on his Lightning McQueen bike and bright yellow helmet.

And he’s off…

This bike race had hills, tunnels, and a straight away.

He was so amped!

He was so determined and working so hard. We were so proud of him!

After the race most of the kids sat with their families for a picnic, but not our boy.

He took off running around the track, because why not?

He ran around the track at least ten times. My kid has lots of energy!

We had a great morning and my boy proved what an amazing athlete he is and is going to be.

Oh, and my youngest had a great time too!

I am having writer’s block.

Well not writer’s block per say, but blogger’s block.

I did do writing today. I submitted a query to a children’s literary agency for a children’s picture book I wrote. It was three paragraphs long and it took me all afternoon.

Having to explain why your book should be published in three paragraphs is SO hard. Explaining why a literary agent should take me on as a writer is AMAZINGLY hard especially since this blog is my only real writing experience.

But I did it. I submitted my query with my little book.

Of course I won’t hear anything for at least six to eight weeks, if I hear anything at all.

I have to start somewhere….right?

Sorry I don’t have anything more interesting to blog about.

Hopefully tomorrow will be better!

Jami

I go through this list every week. This is the list of things I want to accomplish for my family and for myself. This list never gets fully accomplished and at the end of every week I am disappointed about the items that were pushed to the back burner.

My weekly list includes:

Things for my family:

  • Caring and spending quality time with my kids together
  • Spending quality time with each child individually
  • Having alone time with my hubby
  • Making sure we do fun family outings

Household things:

  • Cooking yummy dinners that also challenge me as a cook
  • Keeping the house from looking like a pig sty
  • Maintaining the family budget and savings goals
  • Keeping the dirty clothes pile or ironing pile from reaching the ceiling

Things for myself:

  • Blogging five times a week
  • Writing my, not-yet but hope to be someday, book
  • Exercising three times a week
  • Doing my bible study homework
  • Seeing or at least chatting with my friends a few times a week
  • Getting some alone time maybe once a week

Anyone else have this list?

The items that usually get the shaft are the things for me: exercise, writing, seeing friends, and alone time. It’s in a woman’s, a mother’s nature to sacrifice herself for the family. The perfect example of this is the show The Biggest Loser. The women on that show all have the same story. They are moms that gave it all for their family, left nothing for themselves, and now they are obese with multiple health problems.

It’s a battle to tell ourselves it’s okay to be selfish sometimes, to make the things for us a priority, or to ask hubby to take on the main care giver role a couple of hours on the weekend so I can have a break.

Recently I asked hubby to help me clean the house on the weekends so during weekly nap time I might have time to exercise, or write, or read. He agreed of course because he is wonderful.

So this is my new initative: to be a little more selfish; not to always let my stuff get the raw end of the deal. My goal is to remember that besides being a wife and a mother I am an individual with goals and desires that deserve to be met.

Can I get an amen?

Any mom out there succeed in this struggle? Any tips or advice?

I got a special invitation from the SoCal Blog Crush group to attend the opening of the OC Style Week at the Irvine Spectrum and though I have never been to a fashion show  I was super amped to go. Being a mom of two young boys, fashion isn’t on my daily radar so I need all the help and advice I can get. This was my first professional media experience so I wanted to look my best.

What do you think? I’m showing off my first media pass and I am pretty stoked about it!

Walking up to the show in front of the Ferris Wheel was quite a sight.  A huge LCD screen, a professional DJ spinning music, eight fashion company booths, and a huge candy bar.

Blog Crush had their own media booth filled speciality food from the Nordstrom Cafe Bistro. Let me just say this food was AMAZING!

I brought one box home for hubby but I ate it the next day instead. I just had to have more of that yummy goodness! Hehe!

The host of the show was Nick Verreos, from Project Runway, and he did such a great job. He was funny, animated, and thoroughly entertaining.

Doesn’t he look great in those hot red pants?!

We even got the pleasure of a visit from him to our booth where we gabbed about fashion, blogging, and the up coming Project Runway show, of course.

What I enjoyed most about the show was that it showcased companies from Nordstroms, to Macy, to H&M, to Target. Which means the prices went from high to low; and for a mom on a budget it was great to see some fashions that I knew I could afford.

So if you live in Orange County I highly recommend checking out Style Week at Irvine Spectrum and Fashion Island; it will running until Oct 8th.

To see the list of events go to http://www.StyleWeekOC.com

I used to be hip you know?

Yep, totally and completely hip. Well…maybe not hip but I at least knew what was in fashion and made attempts to keep up with the trends. This is all in the past because I am no longer hip. I must admit it out loud to myself and to everyone -I am not hip!

Why am I not hip anymore you may be wondering? I was wondering the same thing last week as I looked through old photo albums of myself. How did I become so out of fashion? Something must have changed, I thought. Hmmmm what could it be? What could it be??

WHAAAAAAAAAA! WHAAAAAAAAAA!

The cries from both my three year old and one year old can be heard from the back of the house  and then I remember the reason. I had kids!

That’s why I have none of the latest fashion pieces hanging in my closest right now. That’s why I have had the same shirts for the past four years. That’s why instead of strutting around with the most fabulous hair style, my hair is in the classic mom uniform of pulled back ponytail. Because I have kids.

My kids have taken away my fashion instinct, my savvy style, and my chic wardrobe. Sure they have given me love, affection, a sense of purpose, blah, blah, blah. But I miss my stylish outfits and my perfectly brushed hair that flows down past my shoulders. Oh the good old days.

Why can’t moms be stylish you may be wondering. Well in my world, everyday my shirt gets pulled, tugged, and grabbed. I am splattered with food, smeared with mud or sand, and always have snot and tear stains somewhere on my clothes. I can’t let good clothes be abused in this way.

So for now I wear unstylish, unfashionable, non-chic clothes and I  just look forward to the day when snot isn’t a daily addition to my wardrobe.

If you have ever wondered why I dress so awful, this is my explanation and please don’t judge me. I realize how bad I look. I’m just too tired and stressed out to care. One day I will dress great again, but today is just not that day.

As I have mentioned many times, hubby and I LOVE food and as such food is usually the number one culprit when we go over budget. But I have learned that meal planning is a great effective way to stay on budget. Over the weekend I plan out what dinner meals I am going to make each day of the next week. Then when I go to the store all I buy is the ingredients for those meals. It also takes the stress out of deciding what to make for dinner at five o’clock every evening.

Before meal planning I would go to the store and basically buy everything just in case I was inspired to make this or that or something brand new during the week. Our pantry and refrigerator would overflow with food… food we didn’t eat or need…until it was too late and then the food spoiled.

Now, I know that meal planning may sound boring and if you don’t ever change your weekly meals then yes it will be boring. But as long as you have enough different meals in your recipe book to rotate each week it won’t get dull. Also every couple of weeks I try a new recipe and add it into the rotation.

Meal planning really helps keep your budget on track and under control. It also has helped hubby and I put food in the proper priority in life. We eat to live, we don’t live to eat

Some additional tips:

  • Only make one complicated recipe a week (complicated meaning uses a lot of ingredients). Making too many complicated recipes in one week can put you over budget.
  • Only make one expensive meal a week or every other week. You can’t cook filet mignon every night and stay on budget.
  • Don’t forget to assign one night a week as left over night. Besides getting rid of extra food this too will keep your food budget down.
  • I normally don’t get creative or complicated with breakfast or lunch. Because who doesn’t love a big bowl of cereal in the morning? No need to fix something that’s not broken!
  • I always buy generic brands. They are usually just as good as name brand items just cheaper.
  • Utilize frozen vegetables and fruit. Sure fresh is best but fresh can be expensive…very expensive. Frozen still gives everyone the nutrition they need and a thawed strawberry still tastes like a yummy fresh strawberry but at sometimes half the price.
  • You may have to go to more than one store. My main grocery store has super expensive fruits and vegetables. I shopped around and found a different store that has better prices. So I go to two grocery stores every weekend. Now, I do not advocate going to four or five stores because who wants to do that and who has that kind of time. But you may have to go to two to keep your budget on track and find the good deals.

Can’t wait to hear how this helps your budget. Leave a comment and let me know your thoughts.

Credit for teaching me meal planning goes to my mom. Dave Ramsey also promotes the power of meal planning and has tips on his website www.daveramsey.com