Tuesday, January 29, 2013

DIY Menu Board



We are doing a little more kitchen organizing around here.  Today this involves our Menu Board.  Such a simple project, but it does help things run a little smoother around here.  Because I teach piano lessons during the craziest part of the day, I usually prep dinner around noon.  We also have a lot of different diets/allergies in our family and planning is a must.  There is rarely a last-minute-grab-something-and-call-it-good night.



All it took was a little frame from IKEA, some vinyl lettering, and cute paper (oh and a dry erase marker).  My daughter went through our paper stash and picked something out for January - snow flakes.  What a fun idea - we'll switch it out for holidays.  I do know that light simple colors make it easier to read the board.



Mr. G, my son, is very concerned about dinner. He's our carnivore, so I always try to list the meat part first.  He also hates pasta, which my daughters happen to like.  He needs to get himself ready for it a couple of days ahead. 
 I didn't write Sunday down because we are usually trying to do something special on those days.  Sides are usually a salad.


I hot glued super duper magnets on the back and popped the hinge off of the frame.  


I've already caught my kids checking it out just to see what the plan is.  In my dream world, someone would look at it and try to help make dinner for me.  For right now, though, I'm just happy that it is planned.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Our Garage

How embarrassing.  Almost a year ago exactly, I blogged about how we were going to get our garage organized.  How silly of me!  I should know better than to make it public and therefore have to admit that we haven't touched it in over a year!  So I don't throw my husband completely under the bus, we did have a new baby, and he did have the busiest year of his career that we have ever lived through.  We're talking 80 hours/week as the norm!

Anyways, I was pulling into our garage and dreaming of garage organizing.  I dream of having things off the floor and hung up on the walls.  I have learned that my husband and I have very different organizing styles and the garage is his domain.  So, because I love him more than the garage, right now I can just dream.
And no, I am not posting a picture of what our garage looks like right now.


This is a sponsored post.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Fit Fridays - Goals and Sacrifices

How were you at drinking your water this past week?  Did you make a conscious effort to up your intake?  Did you carry a water bottle around with you?  I know I did - and it might be just because I posted about it here, but that is why I post about it!


I am a goal oriented person, no surprise on that one.  I think in fitness and in being healthy it is crucial to set goals.  Have you ever woken up early to work out and then didn't really know what to do?  Have you decided to "eat healthy" and then had no idea what that means?  I think you need to have a plan!  You need to make a goal.  Years ago Trainer Momma posted these two questions:

  1. What is my fitness goal?
  2. What am I willing to sacrifice in order to achieve that goal?
Every person is different and therefore, your goals will be different - but make them!  Then you will make progress.  They can be to loose weight, to tone up, to lose your baby weight, to run a 1/2 marathon, to eat more veggies, to cut out processed food.  You get the idea.  You need to decide what you actually want!
Then, the next point is so crucial.  What are you going to sacrifice?  I've had too many people tell me as I have passed by the candy bar that it just isn't worth it to them.  They enjoy the candy bar too much to pass it by.  That is fine, but then don't complain to me that you need to loose weight.  You kind of need to give something up to get something in return.  And if you have deemed your return as "better,"  then it is worth it to you.  If you have more excuses than sacrifices, then I am sure that you will just stay where you are and will not reach that goal you have.  Sacrifices could include: waking up 30 minutes earlier, turn off the TV, cut out soda, be a little sore, go to bed earlier, cook at home instead of eating out.  

I think once you set your goals and decide what you are going to sacrifice in order to reach those goals, you are more than half way there!

Right now, my goal is to tone up.  I have to sacrifice sleep by waking up earlier or free time during baby J's nap.  I'd like to see the scale stay below a certain number, which for me means sacrificing eating whatever I'd like.

What are your goals?  What do you sacrifice to make it work?



Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Life With Instagram

I am getting in the swing of instagram and really love it!  I am laurel_macd and would love to have you come follow along.  My stream is sure to be filled with my kiddos, my latest home projects, our outings, our crafts and general happiness.  Come say hi - I need some more friends to follow too.


G. LOVES basketball and that is where we are a lot.


A lunch date with my girl (and my baby).


These granola bars did not last long!


Winter crafting with kids.


This baby is the worst sleeper I have ever had!  There are many naps with the two of us cuddling.

Thanks for even caring about my life!  It is fun to share with all of my bloggy friends.


Saturday, January 19, 2013

Outdoor Furniture

See this?
It is freezing here!  I look in our backyard and it is all white and brown.  This has me dreaming of summertime and outdoor living!

This year, I'd love to get some outdoor furniture on our upper patio.  Something kind of lounge-ey.  You know, for all the hanging out I do :)  What would work best?  A bunch of chairs, a couple of couches, a coffee table?  I'm not sure and I have a while to dream about it.

Meanwhile . . .


OR . . 


I can dream. . .

*This post is brought to you by Alan Ward

Friday, January 18, 2013

Fit Fridays: Drink Your Water!!

Hello Friday!  My kids are off school today AND Monday, which means a 4 day weekend around here.  How did you do at taking your vitamins?  As I thought about healthy habits to get into, that seemed pretty easy.  The next tip is also easy, I believe.  This is a re-post from a while ago.  I read it and thought, I still believe this.  I still do this.  I still think it is important.

Really, can a drink define you?  I've been with groups of different women where we tell things about ourselves.  I'm always surprised how many people mention a drink - usually a diet soda!  Have you read anything about the sugars they use in soda?  Is it really OK to replace calories with chemicals?  Not in my body!  After reading and researching, my take on diet caffeinated drinks is saved for another post.  And believe me, I have had a pretty big habit of diet caffeinated drinks in the past.


If a drink does define you - choose water!  Drink water and LOTS of it.  As you begin to live a healthy lifestyle, make this a habit!  Every day, I drink a gallon of water, easily.  I also try to exercise daily, which makes drinking water easier.  Water can suppress your diet like no other.  I start off the day with a full glass of water.  If I am kind of hungry and I know I just ate an hour ago, I drink water.  More often than not, I'm not that hungry.  Being dehydrated can make you tired and zap your energy - who needs that?  Water clears up your skin!  As a middle aged woman who gets acne AND wrinkles, I need all the help I can get!  It also helps with cleansing your body and flushing out toxins. That's just a few of the benefits.

I have a water bottle within my reach 90% of the day and am constantly filling it up.  Actually, I usually have one filled upstairs and one downstairs.  I have them in my car.  I smuggled them into the movies today.  My kiddos start out their mornings with water bottles, too.  I don't put any fruit in them - I do love the taste, but it is too much work!  We drink our water straight up!  I think one of the best things you can do for your body is to drink your water in.

So your challenge -  Spend a day tracking how much water you drink!  A gallon a day - I'm interested to hear if any of you drink that much and what difference do you see?  Who is up for it?  It is so much more fun to not do this alone!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Quick Organizing Tip:


Using Command Hooks on the inside of your cupboards frees up a lot of space.  Plus, it makes things easy to grab (a must when you are usually holding a baby).

Quick and Practical - Yeah!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Fit Fridays - Vitamins

I think I have made it very clear that I strive to be healthy.  I am not a fanatic, but I make very conscious decisions in regards to my health.  I am pretty passionate about it.  I know that I am the most successful at what I do when I have a partner in crime.  Because of this, you are all becoming my partners!  Every Friday, I will try to have a post up in regards to living a healthy balanced life.  That's my plan, hopefully it will last.

So, this week I want to talk about vitamins.  Every morning, I crack open our cupboard and this is what I take:


Let me sort it out for you.

  • a pre natal vitamin - I am still nursing baby J.  When he stops, this will become a multi-vitamin.  When I went to see my first OB-GYN, she asked me what medicines I took.  I told her that I didn't take any.  She called me on it and told me that EVERY women should at least be taking a multi-vitamin.  I have ever since.
  • Calcium Chews - because baby J might have a dairy allergy, I have eliminated all dairy from my diet while I am nursing.  I take these chews to cover my basis.  I have noticed that my nails are much stronger taking these, which is an added bonus.
  • Vitamin D - a couple of years ago, I had my hormones checked.  I was told I was low in Vitamin D and that I should take supplements.  When I don't have these, I am very sluggish - abnormally so.
  • Fish Oil - have you read the benefits of fish oil?  They contain those great omega 3s.  I know we should have more fish in our diet, we just don't get it.  So, I take a supplement.

As a reminder, I am not a doctor.  I do tell my doctor about the vitamins I take and she approves. 
My challenge to you is to take your vitamins EVERY day until the next Fit Friday.

Who is up for the challenge?  What vitamins do you regularly take?


Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Organizing Tips

I love to organize.  I love to take something chaotic and bring order in it.  I love cleared off counters and little bins in drawers.  I love making to do lists and crossing things of.  I even love the process of thinking of how to make things work for our family.  Right now, I am dreaming of custom closets.  Since I need my husband to make that happen (and he agrees that our closets are a mess), I can only dream and plan.

This time of year, it seems that everyone is on an organizing kick.  Here are some of my past tips that have stood the test of time.

 Using Velcro:


Snack Bin:

My Cleaning Game Plan:

Using Bins:

Our Toys Organization:

Using Hooks

This is just a couple of ideas to get you started.  I have a feeling that there will be a lot of organizing posts in 2013!  I'm taking back my home!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Grateful Sunday


It is time for me to start counting my blessings!  I am grateful for:

  • Anthropologie candles
  • baby cocktail cucumbers - M. just pops these in her mouth
  • still getting Christmas cards from my dear friends
  • cozy nights in front of the fireplace
  • a shellac manicure that is still going strong
  • dance parties in our PJs
  • choosing to smile!
What are you grateful for?

Friday, January 4, 2013

So, It's 2013

Source: etsy.com via Laurel on Pinterest

 I like the idea of one word to focus on for the year.  I have been tossing back and forth "deliberate" and "happy." Maybe I can make my word "Deliberately Happy."

I don't want my life to happen - I want to be very deliberate in what I choose to spend my time on and what takes me away from my family.  I don't want to be a victim to not being able to say no.

Who doesn't want to be happy?  Sometimes, though, I feel if I am happy then that means that my life is easy.  Actually typing those words makes it seem silly, but it is how I feel.  In 2013, though, I will let myself be happy.  And just because I am happy doesn't mean that all the different food issues in our house will go away.  It doesn't mean that my husband will be around more often.  But I will choose to be happy!

OK, so 2013 - let's do this!



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Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Quick and Delicious Salsa

Do you know that salsa is the #1 condiment in America?  Actually, I don't know that for sure, someone told me that about 15 years ago and I just believed it.  I'd like to assume it is true.  I sure is #1 for my husband and I.  We are salsa addicts!  Our favorite is fresh pico de gallo, but in the winter time, the tomatoes are some what lacking.  This is our FAVORITE winter salsa recipe!  I've made it for years and feel confident in its delicious-ness!


Quick and Delicious Salsa:
3/4 cup chopped red onion
1/2 cup minced fresh cilantro
1 can diced tomatoes and green chilies, undrained - I always use Rotel
1 can diced tomatoes with lime juice and cilantro, undrained - again Rotel
1 garlic clove




I just give the cilantro a very rough chop.




The red onion also gets a very rough chop.




Throw everything into the blender and pulse a couple of times and DONE!!  It has a little kick to it, which is what I like in my salsa!  It seems to get hotter with time.



You should know that my hubby is a San Diego boy and takes his Mexican food very seriously.  He'd rather eat at home with this salsa then go get any restaurant salsa.  I just have to heat his tortilla chips and he is putty in my hands.




This adapted from a Cooking Light recipe from 2002.  If you are a calorie counter, here are some nutrition facts:  serving size 1/4 cup, calories 17, fat 0g, protein 0.2g, carb 2.8g, fiber 0.3g.  






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