Thursday, June 23, 2011

Do it!!! {I'm yelling at me, not you, don't be sad}

I don't exercise. Ever. {This is not going where you might think it's going. I'm not bragging. I'm confessing}
 I chase after my girls, and am constantly carrying one of them up and down the stairs, and we go on lots of family walks. But no real, put your spandex on, work it on out guuurl, exercise.
 It's sad. and lazy. and not healthy.  

Through no doing of my own, just sheer luck and good genes, I've always felt decent enough about my body. But I know eventually things are going to catch up to me...on the outside and the inside. I want to be healthy and feel strong. I want to be able to keep up with my girls for a long, long time. 

When I stumbled across this chart, I knew it was time to get up and get moving!
It's a series of three plan's, each 20 days long. A starter's plan, and then step one, two, and three; each progressively getting harder and adding in things like jogging, weights, ect.  
They're designed for pathetic people like me who do nothing, so for all of you other exercisin' fools out there it's probably going to look pretty lame. 
I accept the lameness. Gotta start somewhere. 
The idea is to do each day without fail, and if you miss a day, you have to go back to where you left skipping ahead.

I'm going to print it out and put it up somewhere that everyone in my house can see it. I'm even going to tell my 3-year old about it and have her help me cross off each day, because trust me if anyone in a 5 mile radius isn't doing something they're supposed to, she will RAT YOU OUT, PEOPLE. 

I also found this super cute chart to remind me to drink water!
Print, stick on the fridge, and check off each glass you have.
Go get yours here

So there it is. I have two arms and two legs and am blessed to be able to walk and talk and move with complete free will. And I'm not demonstrating my thankfulness for that by using all my free time going to perezhilton and watching real housewives reruns. 

I'll keep you posted on my progress. If all goes well I'll be putting up the Step One chart 20 days from now.   Any one want to join?? It doesn't get much easier than this plan folks. seriously. 

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Ramble Jamble

Remember that post I promised on organization and quick cleaning tips?

This aint it.

These are just some random bits that are really neither here nor there. But I've had a lack of adult conversation lately and must now inflict these things on you.

 * * * *  (Those are lucky stars. You may count them)

Things that bother:

100+ degree heat. It has been hot as satan's balls around here lately. Maybe hotter. I don't know. Whoever created the commercial below can check and report back to us, because that person is surely going to end up someplace rather toasty-roasty someday if you get my drift.

Those stupid, gross Charmin toilet paper bears. I can't even watch the commercials. I have to change the channel. Dumbest commercial concept ever. I can't even talk about it. We know what toilet paper is for. It's not really an optional product. We don't need giant fun-colored bears demonstrating it's use. UGH. here.enjoy.

people that let their kids climb up the slide at the playground, after you've told your own kid a thousand times it's not ok to do that, and they totally don't get why other kids can do it but not them.

-feeling like I can never get caught up on laundry. Ever. It is the one thing that constantly keeps me from feeling like my house is in good order. I'll wash the clothes all the live long day, that's easy....but they never get put away. And I feel like I'm constantly trying to figure out which clothes the girls have outgrown, and which ones I should store away because it's not the right season. If I had more expendable income I would without a doubt hire someone to come twice a week and do all my laundry.

Things enjoyed:

- my hilarious boyfriend Jeff Lewis is coming back in July...finally. But you're married, you say. And he's gay, you say again. He's my boyfriend and stop interfering in our love.

- getting free diet coke's alllll summer long....If you have Kangaroo gas stations in your town, you must go get their refillable travel cup. It's $6.99 for the cup, but then you can refill it as many times as you want all the way until September. You don't have to wait in line, you just roll in with your cup, fill it up yourself, throw a head nod at the cashier and roll out. Trust me, I have been working that cup hard.

-My church (where my husband is the worship and music pastor) has a dinner every sunday after the 6pm evening service. Delish free clean up...handsome hubby and the band rocking's a win.

-These cat's. I will have one someday. My husband has been warned. I will name her Prune. 

Sunday, June 19, 2011

I never thought I'd say....

I love it when you kiss...

other girls :)

You are an amazing, kind, patient-to-the-moon-and-back, 
father and husband to this motley pack of women.

Love you forever and ever {plus 6 whole days, says Charlotte}
Happy Father's Day


Thursday, June 16, 2011

Close to home... Architectural Digest does Folly Beach

Charleston has so many beautiful beaches, and it's common to see write-ups and pictures of the amazing, multi-million dollar houses on Kiawah Island, Seabrook, or Isle of Palms.

But Architectural Digest recently did an editorial of a house on Folly Beach...definitely the more casual, eccentric, trippy-hippy, 2nd cousin twice-removed in the ol' Charleston beach family.

Houses on Folly tend more towards modest bungalow's, low maintenance rentals,and cottages a bit more shabby than chic.

But mixed in are the occasional gems, and this eclectic ocean front home was fun to peek into.

The colors and patterns were chosen to remind the couple of their trips to India

They owners wanted it to feel like it had been a part of the beach for a long time, so they wanted no Sheetrock or drywall...every room is lined instead with whitewashed wood planks, some vertical and some horizontal for added interest. 

So un-stuffy and bright. 
Completely has a beach house vibe without the theme-y feel or kitsch.

Pretty as a Peacock...

pretty as a peacock some color inspiration from our fine feathered friend...

Almost the weekend, friendlies!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Organization Motivation

Summer is a great time for simplifying and dealing with less!

Less busy schedules (hopefully)....less clothes (definitely)...and maybe, just maybe, less stress from messy spaces.

So, as I said here yesterday, I'm going to take a couple days and talk about ways to get and stay organized...especially with kids. But before we can even get that far, you have to figure out what's going to make you actually want to do it! That's truly the hardest part.

Let's get some motivation- what will get you at least a little pumped up to clean and organize?
Here are some things that do it for me...

 One, it's knowing that taking a few seconds to wipe off the counters, or doing a quick vacuum, makes me feel like someone could pop in for a visit unexpectedly and I'll feel ok about how the house looks.
I know my friends and family will love me regardless, and not think any less of me if my house is a hot mess when they come over. But I do it for me. I enjoy having company, and I'm proud to show off my home.

{And please understand this pride has nothing to do with the size, age, or type of home you have! When we first got married we lived in a 379 sq foot studio condo in Greenwich, Connecticut. T-I-N-Y. Insanely tiny. Like the if you get in a fight someone had to leave the condo and go ride the elevator up and down to cool off because there's no place else to go, kind of tiny! And I was just as proud to decorate it and show it off as I am our 4 bedroom home today).

Two- I also feel like keeping a tidy home is a very small way of expressing my thankfulness that God has always blessed us with a roof over our heads. And I want to use that blessing to provide a relaxing, clean, place for friends and family that come to stay or visit. 

Three-Another thing that motivates me is probably not my husband's favorite {sorry minks!}
Getting something new or changing something up decorating-wise in my house is enough to push me to want to clean the laundry up off the floor, or mop the bathrooms. If I just bought a cute new set of rugs for my bathroom, I don't want to just throw them on the dirty floor and be done with it. Having something pretty in  my bathroom  makes me want to make the whole room look better to go along with it. It doesn't have to be something expensive...even just having a vase of fresh flowers to put on my dining room table makes me want to clean off the clutter and wipe it down.

Four-soaking up inspiration from pictures of beautiful, well-planned spaces. I could do this all day. As long as you don't let staring at pictures of amazing homes get you discouraged or jealous! Big or Small, owned or rented, your home is wonderful because it's filled with wonderful people. And it's not about magazine's about having a comfortable, lived-in, loved-in, space 
that you really want to come home to.

 I'll be back tomorrow with some really easy baby-steps towards giving your home a fresh, clean start to summer :)

Monday, June 13, 2011

An organized house...needless or necessity?

So I would definitely consider myself a lover of well organized spaces. I can't get enough books, magazines or pictures like this...

porn. straight porn for me, people.

Notice I did not say "keeper of always well organized spaces".
I try. But with a husband, a toddler, and a newly-crawling 8 month old {in order of messiness}...things aren't perfect. And although I would love to have my home look like a magazine all the time, I know that's not realistic. And even if it were, I don't want a home so pristine looking that friends and family feel like they can't relax in it.

But...BUT...I still believe that having a clean, organized house will help you to be less stressed, less frantic, and just enjoy being at home more.
You may completely disagree, but this..
and this...
...annoy me. a lot. 

Seeking unrealistic perfection in your home is ridiculous and exhausting. But I don't think there's anything wrong with striving to keep a good amount of order and neatness in my home, or that it has to be done at the expense of my family and kids.

I know for a fact that both myself and my husband are more relaxed when we're watching t.v. at night in a picked-up living room. There may be stray cheerios tucked in the seat cushions and hand prints on the screen, but the toys are tossed into a basket that hides them, the rug got a quick vacuum, and it just feels...better.

Even my 3-year old Charlotte seems to play for longer and enjoy herself more when her playroom is decently organized, and every bin and basket isn't tossed upside down on the floor with toys everywhere.

If you remember the day The Key was lost, that stupid missing car key led me to clean out, throw away and organize a bunch of spaces in the house that sorely needed it. And it feels SO GOOD to know my junk drawer has been downgraded to more of a 'random odds and ends' drawer and I know exactly what's in there. And I don't have to spend 20 minutes looking for my chapstick because I finally dealt with the drawers in the bathroom.

I'm not obsessive about it {mostly}and before I did all that cleaning I wasn't laying awake at night thinking about how awful our bedroom closet was. In fact, our dirty, messy bathroom vanity drawers have been irking my for months, but not obviously enough for me to stop watching Real Housewives of OC and go do something about it! {work that couture, Alexis. work it}
But for me it's kind of like when you have something coming up {like a deadline, or a meeting, or a trip} and you didn't realize how much is was causing you stress until that thing is over and done with.

Right now there is a pile of laundry the size of mt. rushmore in my kitchen waiting to be folded and the sink is full of dishes. And I've ignored them and gone about my day and done all the same things I normally do. But I know when the clothes get put away and the sink is empty I'll feel way better about it.

I'll feel better about everything in general, actually. I don't know why, but when my house is messy I feel more stressed about other things too...small things annoy me more, I get in arguments about dumb things with my husband, and I start to feel like my whole life is a bit off-kilter.

All in all, I guess what I'm saying is that I do think it's possibly to be organized, even with kids and a busy schedule. {and being organized will help take some of the stress out of that schedule!}

I am by no means an expert, and there are plenty of areas in my house that I'm not exactly opening up the drawer/closet/room and showing off to company. I actually want to challenge myself this summer to get even more organized. To really figure out what systems work for my family, cut down on needless junk, cut back on spending by living with less {hello, 10 different kinds of shampoo hiding out under my sink, nice to meet you}, and overall just trying to have more simple, easy, organized days and less crazy, messy, stressed ones.

Over the next couple of weeks I'm going to be sharing some of my favorite easy, practical ideas for keeping a bit of order in your home.  I'll let you know which ones are working out for my own family and some before and afters {hopefully!}of cluttery spaces I want to tackle this summer.

What is the one room or space you wish you had the time / energy / motivation to clean and organize???

Friday, June 10, 2011

Friday Faves

Things loved this week...

what, what!?

don't let a skinny wall go to waste

an old-y from Martha
I will do this soon

stop it Martha. let someone else have a good idea.

Have a wonderful Weekend!

Thursday, June 09, 2011

How to get Shade for your peepers AND help those in need {especially women and girls!!}

Summertime means sunglasses, and you could make a HUGE difference by wearing these ones, people!

TOM's revealed their much hyped new one-for-one product line...Sunglasses!
Staying in line with their buy-one-give-one promise, for every pair of sunglasses purchased, TOM's will give the gift of better vision to someone in need...targeting developing nations around the globe.

Read some of these facts, and you won't want to settle for any old pair from Target anymore...

Of the nearly 284 million people in the world who are visually impaired, almost 90% live in developing countries. It's a vicious cycle -- poverty and disease can lead to vision loss. And blindness and poor vision keep people trapped in poverty.

Two-thirds of people who are blind are women, in part because many families in developing countries are more likely to pay for eye care for male family members. By providing easy to access local eye care, we can help more women and girls around the world get sight saving and restoring services.

Blindness and visual impairment is the seventh-largest health disability in the world. But in most cases it can be prevented or treated. In fact, available solutions, including medical treatment, prescription eyeglasses or a 15-minute cataract surgery, could impact 80% of people afflicted with vision impairment and blindness.

There are 3 different styles...I would totally wear them all


Which ones do you like?

Go check em out here 

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Of Things Lost and Found...

This was a weekend of things gone missing.

Some were found. And some were not.

And a few things were stumbled upon that I didn't even know were gone. Like my everlovin' mind.

Lets go back.

Our main car, the family car, the one with the girls car seats, the necessary vehicle to transport this jangled mess of a family...has just one key. One. Ridiculousness in and of itself. We've been telling ourselves since we got the car that we needed to get another one made. But it's the kind with a microchip in it and they're expensive and we'll get around to it and blibbity blah.

To raise the stupidity stakes even more, the top loop of  The Key where it should attach to a key ring got broken somehow. So there it sits. A lone, detached, little key. Dutifully being passed around from me to my husband and back again, from purse to bag to counter top, a thousand miraculous times without being lost.

Until Friday. It disappeared. And I desperately wanted to get the girls out of the house and go somewhere.
And in the witching hours between 10 and 1, when anything that's worth doing has already been done {in a 3 year old's mind at least} and the time until naps stretches out before me, as long and hot as a WalMart parking lot in the midday Carolina sun...that 'anywhere' was typically McDonald's. A DietCoke for momma and yogurt parfait for the smalls. A 15 minute drive, quick, but a break none the less.

And I couldn't. Find. The Key.

 I looked everywhere. Quite literally tore the house apart and put it back together again. Since it was not only my potential misplacement, but also the possible finding-and-hiding of said key by a sneaky toddler, there was no place too insane to look.{the freezer?? the toilets!??} And as I looked, I organized and cleaned each and every drawer, each closet, every toy basket...I figured I might as well get something good out of losing The Key.

I looked in the car, in the diaper bag (not once, not twice, but THREE times). I even became convinced that I might have somehow thrown it away, and I put on gloves, went outside, and picked through our giant trash can piece by piece in the middle of the driveway, all the while yelling through an open window to Charlotte "No, mommy is the only one who can play in the trash! Now stay inside and don't poop on the carpet!!" {we're potty training}

I'm known far and wide in my neighborhood as that classy girl, and I get invited to all the swanky get-together's and pool side parties.


Long story short semi-medium in length, My husband came home, reached into the diaper bag (the one I checked THREE @!%#$'n times) and pulled out The Key. It had somehow become lodged in the corner of a bottomless pocket and hadn't fallen out despite my vigorous shaking and dumping out of all it's other contents.
Of course.

He probably mistook my blank silent stare as one of exhausted relief and undying gratitude so great in measure that it would surely lead to certain nocturnal enjoyments for him later on.


So if you're still reading...I lost a key...and found a reason to clean.
 And I seriously haven't felt this organized since we moved into the house.

I also lost my job. It wasn't misplaced so much as it fell victim to the kind of tough times being felt by many in my boss' industry. He is honest and caring and terribly hardworking, and I love his family to bits. I hope the changes he's having to make will bring about new growth and success for them.

But friendlies, it's all ok.  There is lots of this...

and heaps of this...

So now is the time to start something that I've been wanting to do for the past 4 years. Building up, slowly, slowly to it. And I wasn't quite prepared to fully chase this particular dream yet, but it looks like I'm at the top of the high-dive people, and I've got to jump..ready or not.

I'll tell you more about it later, but it involves doing this...

By way of starting this...

Lost a key, found a better house.
Lost a job, found a better dream.
Life...Life is a twisty, crazy, messy type of thing isn't she?

{must be a's beautiful and a bitch all at the same time}

See you on the flip side reader-roos.  xoxo - B

Friday, June 03, 2011

Tina rock my socks

A mother's prayer, by Tina Fey

“First, Lord: No tattoos. May neither Chinese symbol for truth nor Winnie-the-Pooh holding the FSU logo stain her tender haunches. May she be Beautiful but not Damaged, for it’s the Damage that draws the creepy soccer coach’s eye, not the Beauty. When the Crystal Meth is offered, may she remember the parents who cut her grapes in half And stick with Beer. Guide her, protect her when crossing the street, stepping onto boats, swimming in the ocean, swimming in pools, walking near pools, standing on the subway platform, crossing 86th Street, stepping off of boats, using mall restrooms, getting on and off escalators, driving on country roads while arguing, leaning on large windows, walking in parking lots, riding Ferris wheels, roller-coasters, log flumes, or anything called “Hell Drop,” “Tower of Torture,” or “The Death Spiral Rock ‘N Zero G Roll featuring Aerosmith,” and standing on any kind of balcony ever, anywhere, at any age. Lead her away from Acting but not all the way to Finance. Something where she can make her own hours but still feel intellectually fulfilled and get outside sometimes And not have to wear high heels. What would that be, Lord? Architecture? Midwifery? Golf course design? I’m asking You, because if I knew, I’d be doing it, Youdammit. May she play the Drums to the fiery rhythm of her Own Heart with the sinewy strength of her Own Arms, so she need Not Lie With Drummers. Grant her a Rough Patch from twelve to seventeen.Let her draw horses and be interested in Barbies for much too long, For childhood is short – a Tiger Flower blooming Magenta for one day – And adulthood is long and dry-humping in cars will wait. O Lord, break the Internet forever, that she may be spared the misspelled invective of her peers And the online marketing campaign for Rape Hostel V: Girls Just Wanna Get Stabbed. And when she one day turns on me and calls me a Bitch in front of Hollister, Give me the strength, Lord, to yank her directly into a cab in front of her friends, For I will not have that Shit. I will not have it. And should she choose to be a Mother one day, be my eyes, Lord, that I may see her, lying on a blanket on the floor at 4:50 A.M., all-at-once exhausted, bored, and in love with the little creature whose poop is leaking up its back. “My mother did this for me once,” she will realize as she cleans feces off her baby’s neck. “My mother did this for me.” And the delayed gratitude will wash over her as it does each generation and she will make a Mental Note to call me. And she will forget. But I’ll know, because I peeped it with Your God eyes. Amen.” 
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