Thursday, April 30, 2015

The 2000 Things Challenge

Life is busy/hectic and lately I have felt like after a FULL day I was coming home and in a FUNK. There was too much to do between cooking and cleaning!!! I was/am feeling overwhelmed so I've enlisted some help in a few areas of my life so that I can put my focus back on what is really important FAMILY!
  • We've started to utilize Amazon Pantry again. (Posted about it HERE) and I have even done a few deliveries from PeaPod.
  • Every other week we continue to get the ingredients for three meals delivered to us via Plated-- Which I'm pretty much obsessed with! While I still have to cook with plated (which I enjoy) it removes the question of "What's for dinner???" and they deliver all the ingredients I need. Another bonus on top of all of that.. it was started by a former Marine!!! I'm all for supporting a veteran owned business. If you haven't tried this food delivery service I HIGHLY recommend it and wrote a full post on it here.
But Cooking aside I'm struggling with getting my home affairs in order. I feel like I'm always surrounded by so much STUFF and with three kids that equals a mess. So about two months ago I embarked on a Challenge... THE 2000 THINGS CHALLENGE

Doesn't need a ton of explanation... basically I'm purging BIG TIME and 2000 items WILL depart my house by June... I'm currently at about 815 so I still have a lot of work to do in my last month.
I've been making it a practice to do weekly runs to Salvation Army so there is no second guessing the items that we are getting rid of. I've found this to be a HUGE relief! With each box that goes out my door I find that I'm a little less stressed and I feel a little less like things are closing in on me!
I highly recommend this to everyone! Here is the PDF that I am using.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

The Sofa Search Begins...

Recently we welcomed two beautiful additions into our happy home:

Yes... I'm talking about those gorgeous chairs. I LOVE these chairs and I think that they are a perfect addition to our loving room... but there is only one problem... they do NOT match our light green sofa...

So, being the practical lady that I am... I have decided that we are going to invest in a new sofa!

Here are our requirements:
  • Under $1000
  • NOT white... We do have Three children here
  • Width of 81"
We will, of course, need to do some research in person but here are a few of the sofas that I'm currently mulling over.

Melody Sofa in Beach - $899... Color might be TOO light. This is the sofa that we currently have though!... In the green

Parker Sofa in Copper Cashmere - $699

Benny Sofa in Thunder - $899

Cameron Square in Platinum Gray Velvet- $899

Stockholm in Gray - $899
And of course I would find one outside of my budget...

Abbyson $1395


Sunday, April 12, 2015

Weight Check

I don't know about everyone else but as we are transitioning out of that time of year where bulky sweaters, leggings, black tights, and tunic style shirts are no longer "in season" I'm beginning to realize that some of the weight that I took off after having Gibson is creeping back on... and no it isn't just in my head...

I mean I was semi-irritated that I was asked when my due date was the other day... Ahh not pregnant THANKS! But once a THIRD person has asked me in the span of two weeks... I even started second guessing if I were preggers or not...

Spoiler alert... Thanks to a Japanese pregnancy test I can confidently say I'm not...

With my negative results I've determined that it is time to take some action.

With warmer weather means the opportunity to get back out and run again. I even managed to get two runs in on my international work trip.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Kitchen LOVE- updated IKEA play kitchen

To say that I am excited about our new play kitchen is an understatement!


The back splash went in a few weeks ago and I LOVE it. It wasn't the most economical of choices but totally worth it in my mind. I purchased five Smart Tiles from Home Depot.
They were sooo easy to install as they are ADHESIVE!!! All I had to do was peal the backing off and stick to foam-core poster board.

After I had the tiles perfectly lined up to fill in the open area between the counter-top and top cabinet Matt used a staple gun to affix the foam-core to the kitchen. 

Total cost for the "tiles" came to almost $40 .... again not the most economical option but the ease made it worthwhile.

Here are more photos of the kitchen

Love the play food from IKEA.

More food stored underneath

Adore that the burners really light up.

Again it is pretty much perfection!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

2015 White House Easter Egg Roll

So Matt and my dad really took one for the team and they took all of the kiddos to the White House Easter Egg Roll on Monday.

Looked like no one was scared of the Easter Bunny this year... In fact I'm sure that Hunter was his biggest fan after a very successful Sunday.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

On the road again...

I'm happy to announce that I am...

On the road again. I'm excited to be back working with Secretary Carter and we are currently in Asia. In my new position I will be on the road a lot and I feel so blessed to have such an amazing support system back home. With three kiddos being on travel impacts everyone and both Matt and my mom really step up to the plate and keep everyone on schedule and, more importantly, happy. I truly wouldn't be able to do what I'm doing without the support of my family behind me!

I also take my travels as an opportunity to teach the kiddos about other cultures. This started when I would travel a lot when Emma was younger. Before a trip I hit up Amazon and purchase children's books about each of the countries that I will be  visiting and one storybook from each. While I'm at each location their nighttime stories mirror where I am in the world. When I come home I'm always sure to bring gifts with cultural significance.

Traveling also makes me cherish the time that I do have with the family at home. It tends to make me feel the need to overcompensate however and go big.... probably unnecessarily. Above all they just want to have time with their mama. They don't need big fun activities. Just cuddles and play-doh time works for them... Well maybe not Emma. She is supper happy with cuddles and movies after the boys go to bed!

My goal is to set a work life balance which continues to allow for me to pick-up the kids from school in the afternoons and spend a few hours before bed together... I mean that is what is truly important to me and even in the high-paced work environment that I find myself in I need to stay mindful of the clock. It is easy to get sucked into 12 hour days and look up and it is 6 p.m. and you get home in enough time just to tuck in the kids.... That is what I'm going to attempt to avoid! My mom and Matt are such saints when I'm on the road that I don't want to have to overly lean on them while we are back home!

Anyway... enough of my rambling! I'm excited to be back on Team Carter and to have the opportunity to work with not only Secretary Carter but also his AMAZING wife. Now back to work....

Monday, April 6, 2015

2015 Easter

I hope that everyone had a wonderful Easter yesterday! We started the day digging through our Easter baskets, relaxed as a family, did a ton of cooking, attended church, and of course went hunting for the eggs that were hidden by the bunny!
Here are some photos from the day! It was such a blast because Hunter is at the PERFECT age for this! He really enjoyed running around the yard and filling his basket! Emma was so great with him!

Sophie even helped him out! 

Gibson was also in on the action! What a cute bunny!

Gibson found an egg...

My mom hates photos but I even managed to get a great one with her.

It was a great day!

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Simplify 101: March 2015 Re-Cap

Here is a recap on what my goals were for the month of March...

March was a super busy month!

We had family in from out of town for over half of the month, celebrated Gibson's first birthday, rocker style, took Emma and her friend to NYC for a weekend, and I started TWO new jobs! haha that brings my job count, over the last 2 months, to FOUR! I'm excited to report that I'm now in a position that I plan to be in for some time... more on this tomorrow when I share my goals for April. 

Here is how the month went...
  • The Merge: I literally took NO action in the boys room this month... with the exception of removing all stools and baskets that Hunter could stand on as he started turning on the light at 5am to wake up Gibson every morning! 
  • Pantry touch up: no action taken 
  • Spending time with friends: I hosted a play group one weekend and had the chance to catch up with friends during Gibson's party 
  • Celebrate Gibson's first birthday... Success! 
  • Spring cleaning... printed a list from pinterest and still need to organize the supplies 
  • Easter Planning- I do not have a single Easter decoration up... but I do know that I will be hosting Easter dinner and I have slowly been accumulating items for baskets. I cannot believe that Sunday will already be Easter... does anyone else feel like Christmas JUST ended??? 
  • Bench for end of bed... This is NEVER going to get done
  • Enjoy time with Family- We had a great time when my sister-in-law came for a visit! I loved our trip to the zoo and all of the family dinners. It is always such a joy to see all of the cousins playing together. We also had a great 3 days with Matt's Dad and his mom was also here for 5 days! Lot's of Family for the month of March which is always awesome!
  • Summer Camp Planning- I'm not at 100% with this but getting there 
  • Play Kitchen- Victory! This one is DONE and I will share a full post next week. 
  • Blogging- One of my goals for the year is to do 15 blog posts a month and I didn't meant that goal as I only posted 14 times... so close
  • Work Out... hahahahahahaha
Here are a few photos for the month!