Tuesday, May 7, 2019

May Goal's

I like to make a list of goals for each month. This helps me to stay focused on what I need to accomplish around the house and there's the added thrill of marking things off as done.

 I did pretty well on my goals for April and I am hoping to do as well or even better for this month.

1) Spring Clean the house

It's the perfect time of year to get this done now that all the rain is finally over and the sun is shining. Something about opening all the windows and letting the sun in makes me want to clean the house. With the girls finishing up school over the next two weeks we should be able to knock this out rather quickly.

2) Read four books

I picked up three new ones from the library yesterday and I have a slew of unread books at home to pick from. I think, if I get the three library books done I'll start on the next of The Dark Tower series.. may mean just 3 1/2 books read but we shall see.

3) Go out to see G-Pa at least once

I really enjoy visiting him and as an added bonus my mom who lives there as well to be able to take care of him.  I've recently started researching our family history and I want to go out there and pick his brain on things he remembers about growing up in the 1930s and what he may remember about his aunt's and uncles.

4) Spend more time with Mike

It's weird, he works from home and I am a full-time housewife but we rarely spend time together that isn't in front of a tv watching shows together (granted it is a favorite pastime of ours lol). It's a marriage survival technique we've learned over the years with both of us being home 24/7.  But it's also because in the last few years I have really withdrawn into myself while I was dealing with my bioplarism and I want to change that.

5) Finish the ripple blanket 

I'm honestly not sure if I can fully finish it but I am going to try my hardest too. I'm just so slow. But I really want to move onto a baby blanket project for a friend so I need to get it done. I'm almost at the halfway point, if I really buckle down  I think I can do it.

6) Clean out the entertainment stand

This was the only one left over from last month... I will get this done. I will. Promise.

7) Lose some weight

I'm not going to put a number on this, that always derails me, but I do want to lose some.

8) Plan a summer homeschool group trip to a local state park swimming pool

This was the first year Hayley and I have been really active in our local homeschool group and I want to keep those connections up over the summer. And there's nothing better than getting kids together to bake in the sun while swimming.

9) Create a letterhead for my homeschool group

This kind of ties in with number 8 but is also needed for a lot of other things the group plans to do and may help open 'doors' for us for certain field trips over the course of next year.

And I think that's it.

What are your goals for the month?

Friday, May 3, 2019

What We Ate This Week 5~3

How has your week been? Ours has been pretty good, it was kind of slow getting back into a routine after our trip to New Orleans but it's nearly summer and being slow is okay. Kyla has had testing all week so we've been getting up a little earlier so she can have a good breakfast before heading off to bake her brain over the LEAP.  Which means this self-proclaimed night owl is just about ready to die.  Y'all I don't do mornings. Never have. Even when I worked outside the home mornings were the bane of my existence. I'll be so glad when the next two weeks are over and school is out.

We had a good week of meals. Lots of easy light and less spicy type foods. After those three days of eating all that rich Cajun and Creole food, our systems were really thankful for it.

Sunday: We stopped and had Jimmy John's on the way home. If you've not had Jimmy John's before it's a scaled down but a much better version of Subway. There are fewer options but that lets them focus on getting what they do offer perfect. It's one of my favorite sandwich places.

Ham and Provolone with lettuce, tomatoes, and mayonnaise.
What makes this sandwich is all the ingredients stay cold and crisp and the bread is nice and soft.

Monday: We had Cabbage Spaghetti, it's kind of like an unstuffed cabbage roll I guess. I found a recipe for it when we were doing the Keto diet and have tweaked it a bit to make it fit us. Now that we are no longer doing Keto it is still a regular thing on our menu because it's just so good. 

Tuesday: Steak, potatoes, and steamed broccoli. It was wonderful to have fresh veggies again. This is one of our fall to meals during the summer. Our local grocery store runs great deals on new york strips and ribeyes so we always stock up. 

Wednesday: I baked some chicken strips and added yellow squash with rice as a side. We also had fresh pineapple and strawberries to munch on. 

Thursday: Mike cooked red beans and rice for us while I was out running errands. I don't do many preboxed/packaged meals but he found this great red beans seasoning package that's made here in Louisiana and y'all... it was better than Granny's cooking.  

Friday: We are going out for crawfish tonight! The price per lb has finally dropped to just under $5 a pound which is really good for this time of year. Later in the season when the crawfish aren't so big the price will drop more but now is the best time to get them. 

Crawfish from our boil at home last year. 

Saturday: Not sure what we are going to have tomorrow. I have some chicken that I can thaw out and cook or we may thaw at hamburger patties and bbq instead. 

What did you have this week?

Thursday, May 2, 2019

April's Goals...Did I Finish Them?

Can you believe it's already the fifth month of the year? I mean didn't we just have Christmas like yesterday? Why is it that the older you get the faster time seems to flow? I need it to slow down just a bit.

When I figure out how to make that happen I'll let you all know. Till then let me get my update in on April's Goals.

1) Clean out unwanted or old clothes from everyone's closets and donate to local charity house accordingly. 
Done, done and done. I got rid of two large boxes of good clothes, all given to a local second-hand store. I also cleaned out all of our under-clothing drawers and got rid of all the old and worn out stuff.

2) Clean out the pantry, wipe down shelves and reorganize.
 Done!  I thought I had a picture of the after but looks like it's been deleted. But I rearranged everything and it's so much better now. It's like my own little private grocery story, all neat and front faced. *happy sighs*

3) Clean out entertainment stand. 
Sadly this still hasn't been done. I think I've talked about getting it done nearly every week now but it still sits there taunting me. The outside doesn't look so bad, it's just what is behind those doors that needs to be done.
I will get this cleaned up in May even if it kills me. 

4) Work three days a week on my current blanket project.
I didn't manage three days a week but I did get a lot of work done on it so I am going to count this as done.

5) Read three books
I read four! To check out the book's I've read so far this year head on over to my 2019 Reading List.

6) Doctor's appointment for Hayley and Kyla (plus no doctor's visits for me)
Both girls had their doctor's appointments come and go without issue. We were dealt a heavy blow concerning Kyla's eyes but we are rallying around and facing it head-on. As for me... well despite my best attempt of ignoring and hoping it gets better I ended up at the doctors twice. Once for acute bronchitis and another time for a stupid rash that demanded steroid creams.

7) Finish Hayley's Africa Notebooking session
Done. We now only have a little bit of spelling and language to do and she will be done with her fifth-grade year.

8) Find Summer Dresses
Done!! I found six awesome dresses. Wal-mart has these adorable sleeveless t-shirt material dress so I picked up two. I also found four more dresses at Ross Dress For Less. I love shopping there for dressier items that are just a step up from Friday Casual. And their prices are amazing. I got four gorgeously pretty yet simple dresses for $50.

One of my new dresses, it has little white birds all over it and is a dark navy blue. I just love it! 

9) Get out to see my Grandfather at least once.
Technically I didn't get out to see him till May 1 but I'm going to count it because I thought it was April 30 all day that day. We had a very small celebration for his birthday Wednesday night.

So all in all not too bad of a month. Now I have to sit down and figure out what I want to accomplish for the month of May.

Did you set goals for April, what were they? If so did you finish them all?

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Playing Catch up

Can you believe it's already Tuesday evening? The last two days have been a blur of activity for me. I missed Happy Homemaker Monday with Diary of A Stay at Home Mom but will still make the rounds on everyone else who posted.

If you're interested in seeing what we ate last week you can check out this post. I'll have this weeks menu recap up on Friday.
My weekend consisted of amazing food like this from Dennies on Saturday night.
Crawfish etouffee, fried crawfish, and crawfish bisque

We got home late Sunday afternoon from our trip to New Orleans (I'll have a great post later this week on fun things to do there that won't break your bank). It's always wonderful to be home after time away, even if it means your lugging suitcases upstairs, doing three loads of laundry, mowing the yard, and calming the dogs who think they've been abandoned despite having a great dog sitter all in the first few hours of being home. There's still nothing like taking a hot shower in your shower or crawling into your bed at the end of the day.

The trip while fun was stressful because of Kyla's eye condition. The news we received wasn't the best and it's left a strain on all of us as we continue to move forward. I have to say I'm profoundly proud of how well Kyla is facing her illness and that she doesn't stay 'knocked down' for long. She's got so much fight in here, the world better watch out because she's going to take it by storm.

*I haven't yet written about Kyla's eye condition, I will...but it takes a lot out of me to focus on it. For now, I'll leave you with this, she has a degenerative eye disease called RP. There's no cure, no real treatment, just faulty 'bandaid' type fixes that don't last*

Monday was spent with me at the doctor's office for the second time this month. Sometime last month I had an allergic reaction to something and it caused a godawful rash under my arm. After weeks of not being able to get rid of it with over the counter medicines, I caved and went to see my doctor. She gave a wonderful steroid shot and some steroid cream and now 24 hours later I'm almost rash free.

But the highlight of yesterday was the family trip to the movies to see Avengers: Endgame. Y'all it was so very good!! It was so much fun to see how excited Hayley got watching the movie, she was twitchy and jumpy and so hyper throughout. She is begging to go see it again, I told Mike he is in charge of all second viewings.

Me and my girls, we are more excited than we look I promise
Which brings us to today. I spent most of my day paying bills, cleaning the house, and reading for hours. Mike and I are wrapping up our night watching an episode of West World. Afterward, I think I'm going to curl up with my crochet project and watch a documentary or movie and then it's an early bedtime. Was up much earlier than I am used to this morning and I can feel it.

So that's my week so far, how is yours going?

Saturday, April 27, 2019

What We Ate This Week 4~26

This week was an odd one for our menu. I only cooked four days out of the week because of our trip to New Orleans. I wanted to leave the house with an empty fridge so had to cook accordingly.

I have this thing with not having any leftover food sitting in the fridge while we are gone. It's partially because I know that if it's there for more than two or three days we won't eat it when we get home but it's also because I like the leaving the house clean and that clean extends to the inside of my fridge. 

Yes, I know I'm a touch odd.

Sunday: Mike and I found ourselves kid free after a long day of working on his parents rent house property so we went out to eat. We opted for Hibachi again. I might be slightly obsessed with their strip steak and scallops. 

Monday: We had a late Easter ham, the last of the fresh garden butter beans, and mashed potatoes. 

Tuesday:Mike wanted some Cajun-Creole food so we had Dirty Rice. I cook ours a little different than most by adding smoked sausage links in with the ground beef. So yummy. For a side, we had country-style green beans. 

Wednesday: We had fried catfish fillets, fries, and hushpuppies. I was hungry and kind of forgot to take a picture before diving in. There's nothing quite as good as the first fish fry of the year except maybe the first crawfish boil. 

Thursday: We hit the road as soon as Kyla was out of school and stopped to eat at a favorite joint on the way *out of Louisiana. Big John's has some of the best burgers you'll ever eat. They aren't fancy but they are good.

Friday: Our first night in New Orleans. So many amazing food choices to choose from it's always hard to just pick. We ended up somewhere new, The Gumbo Shop on St. Peter. It was so good, like better than good. I chose to go with the Creole Combination Platter and wasn't disappointed. We topped off dinner with a bread pudding smothered whiskey sauce.  

Left to Right: Shrimp Creole, Jambalaya, Crawfish Etouffee 

: We aren't quite sure where we are going to eat yet. We may eat at Deanie's, which we consider a must eat for anyone who has never eaten in New Orleans before but Mike's also found a place that a lot of local's swear by called Seither's Seafood. And with food that looks like this, I may push him to go. 

Blacked Shrimp Po-Boy

What did you eat this week?

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Just Wear the Shorts or Dresses

This last week a friend of mine shared this post on Facebook by Kelly Olson and Kelly was kind enough to allow me to share it here. Kelly is a health coach and an Advocare Distributor and seems so bubbly. Her words really struck a chord with me as I read them.

Just wear the shorts.
Do you have something In your closet that you love?
I mean ABSOLUTELY love.... on the hanger.
When you go to put it on, you talk your self out of it.
It’s too tight
it’s too fancy
it’s not fancy enough
my arms are showing
my legs are showing 
My stomach looks weird
So you hang it back up or you shove it in the back of a drawer til next time and then the cycle continues...... NOPE. Not anymore.
You get ONE LIFE. Quit worrying about what people THINK ABOUT YOU.
No ones looking, NO ONES TALKING ABOUT YOU. (And if they are... THEY DON’T MATTER!)
you look fabulous.
OWN IT. SMILE. ENJOY THIS LIFE with your eyes and heart WIDE OPEN.

For years I have found a million reasons why I won't wear summer dresses around the house much less in public. The only semi-legitimate issue was the thigh rubbing I suffer. I say semi-legitimate because it's an easy fix, they make wonderful undershorts for skirts but I let this excuse overshadow other more flimsy ones instead of facing my issues. 

Behind this flimsy excuse, I was worried my stomach looked too big from a side profile, my upper arms to red and bumpy, my legs to chalky white, it felt too dressy to be walking around the house in and so forth. 

Kelly's words hit home and hit hard. She's right, we only have this one life to live, this one life to embrace what makes us happy. 

Today I bought six dresses and I love them all and I can't wait to wear them all summer long. I also ordered a couple of sets of these short leggings to wear under them so I have zero excuses to not wear them. 

I'm going to embrace this summer and the things I love. 

What about you? Do you put off wearing something you like because excuses that aren't really valid?

Monday, April 22, 2019

Homemaker Monday ~ 4/22/19

Hello! I hope your Monday is going brilliantly. It's been wonderful so far here. The weather is just gorgeous, the temperature is amazing and the sun is out. After such a long rainy winter I'm loving all this beautiful sunshine. 

I'm hooking up with Sandra again this week for her Happy Homemaker Monday Series. For all those stopping by to say hi, thanks! 

The weekend was long but fun. Mike spent all day Saturday working on his parent's rent house yard, the previous tenants hadn't mown it in what looked like a year. Sunday he spent a few hours back at the house helping clean up the place and then it was date night. We went out for dinner, window shopped, then came home watched some movies and enjoyed each others company without kids around. 

This week is going to be a short one as far as being home for us. We leave Thursday afternoon for New Orleans and won't be back till late Sunday.  Kyla has an appointment with her retina specialist on Friday and then we are taking the rest of the weekend to enjoy the trip. 

On to the week's plans. 

The Weather...

Monday: Mostly Sunny, High of 80, Humidity 37%, it is absolutely gorgeous out today, I think I may go take a nap in the hammock later

Tuesday: Cloudy, High of 80, Humidity 63%
Wednesday: Cloudy, High of 80, Humidity 66#
Thursday: Thunderstorms (100% chance of rain), High of 71, Humidity 86%
*In New Orleans Friday through Sunday*
Friday: Showers (40% of rain), High of 79, Humidity 74%
Saturday: Mostly Sunny, High of 80, Humidity 70%
Sunday: Partly Cloudy, High of 82, Humidity 66%

Reading This Month...
  • Ghost Wall by Sarah Moss 
  • The Book of the Unwinding by JD Horn
  • The Little Shop of Found Things by Paula Brackston
  • Tarnished City by Vic James
Movies or Shows I watched over the weekend...

For Streaming Saturday I watched Definitely, Maybe a cute romantic comedy starring Ryan Reynolds. 

I also watched The Silence and Mama with Hayley, she's currently wanting to enter the world of horror movies so we started with something she could handle. She loved them and wants more. 

And Mike and I watched a few episodes of WestWorld. 

On my TV this week...

Historical Docs. on YouTube
Switched at Birth
Captain America: Winter Solider
Avengers: Age of Ultron

*I'm working my way through the Marvel movies in chronological order, the hope is to get them all done before going to see Avengers Endgame. I have ten to go and nine days to do it in. Yes the movie comes out this weekend but we won't go see until the following Tuesday, less crowded.*

On my to-do list...
  • Clean out entertainment stand
  • homeschool
  • prep house for the weekend trip
  • call insurance about rates
  • figure out where one of my curriculum orders got delivered to. Say's it arrived but I don't have it and Hayley needs her math book despite what she thinks lol

I got Hayley's blanket fixed last week so that's one less thing I have to do. 

Really happy with how well this fix looks. 

This week I plan on continuing working on the ripple afghan. I'm getting closer to being done. I may actually get it done by the first week of May if I really buckle down on it. 

Looking forward to...

Sleep? Does that count? It's been a long weekend with many late nights and I'm dragging today. I'm also looking forward to the weekend in New Orleans. It's always a fun family trip. 

Our last trip to New Orleans during Christmas last year. 

Looking around the house...

All my daily chores are done thank goodness. The blinds are open letting in that wonderful sunshine. Mike's in his office working and the girls are both gone so it's quiet. 

From the camera...

All the rain from the last few months has our local river up really high. It's crested at 46ft higher than normal levels. Thankfully we have nice levees that keep it all back and we are still 10ft from flood levels. 

Song of the moment...

P!NK has a new album, Hurts2BHuman, releasing on the 26. One of the songs on the album is Walk Me Home. 

I'm so in love with this song and the video is brilliant. It is so artistic, which is no surprise coming for P!NK. I love how they've 'cut out' all the dancers so it looks like she's floating at times or how it's just the shadows of the dancers next to her. It gives it such a stunning effect. 

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Streaming Saturday: Definitely, Maybe

Each Saturday I  highlight a movie or documentary from different streaming services that I have found interesting. Picks will range from mainstream movies to lesser-known documentaries

Streaming Service: Netflix
Movie: Definitely, Maybe
Genre: Romantic Comedy

This was such a cute movie and I don't know how I haven't seen it till now. 

Ryan Reynolds plays a father, Will Hayes, going through a divorce. After a hilariously funny incident at his daughter's school, she demands to know the story of how he fell in love with her mom. Her hope is that if he tells her the story he will remember why they got married and they won't get a divorce. Will finally gives in and tells her the story but with one condition, the women in the story have their names changed and she has to guess which one is her mom.
I laughed, cried, booed and cheered on the characters as Will related his story of falling in and out of love with three women over the course of a few years. The best though, at least for me, was the daughter's reactions to different tidbits of her father's journey.  The movie reminded me a little of The Princess Bride with the way she always broke into the story to share her dismay and hopes on who her mother might be. 

Definitely, Maybe is a feel-good movie. I love that it shows you can truly love more than one person in your life and that even if it doesn't work out it doesn't mean it wasn't real or that it was a mistake. It also shows that it's never too late to fall in love again. 

If you're looking for a fun movie to relax with and giggle at, I can't recommend this one enough. 

Friday, April 19, 2019

What We At This Week 4~19

It was a really good week of eating at home. The girls and I had one eat out meal while Mike was gone but the rest of the time I cooked or in one case heated up store-bought pizza. However, I was horrible and forgot to take a single picture of what we ate. So what I'll do is share and link to the recipes I used this week.  Which I guess is better than nothing right?

Sunday: Slow-cooker creamy lemon chicken recipe by Dinner, then Dessert

There's something about spring that makes me crave citrus in my dishes. I love the fresh taste that the lemon gives this dish and with it being in a slow cooker it's really simple to start it at the beginning of the day and not have to think about it again till dinner time. I usually serve it with a strach and a veggie.

Image from Dinner, Then Dessert

Monday: Pan-fried pork chops, asparagus, and roasted potatoes

The only picture I managed to take this week was of the asparagus.
I may have slightly overcooked them but there wasn't a one left by the time dinner was done. 

Tuesday: Pancakes (regular and chocolate chip), sausage and bacon. I've been using this recipe from This Gal Cooks for chocolate chip pancakes for years now. I always make a few for me before I add the chocolate chips for the girls.

Wednesday: Pizza...tried to cook two, one ended up burning thankfully neither Kyla or me ate much so the one was perfect. Just no leftovers but that's okay.

Thursday: The girls and I ate out before Kyla headed home to her dad's and step-moms. We all wanted something a little different which wasn't a big deal. We ate at the house, so hitting the drive-thru was pretty easy beings they are all on the same road. I opted for Sonic, Kyla wanted Chick-Fil-A and Hayley is a Raising Cane's girl through and through.

Friday: Instapot Cream Cheese Spaghetti recipe by Plain Chicken, this has quickly become a family favorite. It can be cooked on the stove top but I love the ease of the instant-pot because fewer dishes y'all.

Image from Plan Chicken 

Saturday: Mike will be home from his business trip and it's a 50/50 chance we will end up going out as a family or curling up and watching movies all day together. If we stay home I plan on cooking hamburgers and fries.

What did you eat this week? Any good recipes to share because I'm always looking for more.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

A Slow Thursday

Today's been a rather slow day. We got some early morning showers that seemed to last all day. Thankfully so far it hasn't been as severe as they thought it was going to be for our area. 

I worked on my monthly goal list today. 

The closets have been cleaned out, the pantry has been cleaned and reorganized, and after I get Kyla from school I'll knock out the entertainment center. 

The pantry before the cleaning. 

I also remembered to call the OMV today about Kyla's learners permit. She took her driver's ed class about six months ago and I know legally she can take her road test to get her actual license. But I just don't think she's quite ready yet. She is doing really good and I even let her drive the two-hour span from our home town to Pine Bluff, Arkansas a few weeks ago on our way up to Bentonville. While she is gaining confidence in her abilities, as am I, she still has a lot to learn in regards to driving while having retinitis pigmentosa. That I just feel 16 is way too young to be turned loose on the roads with no supervision in the car. 

I think I'm going to spend the rest of my evening between the pages of The Book of the Unwinding. 

It's the second in the Witches of New Orleans series by J. D. Horn. The series deals with different types of witches from the greater New Orleans area, your typical witch, voodoo witches, and swamp witches and the failing magic that seems to be happening all over the world and what lines they are all willing to cross to save their own magic. If you like sci-fi fantasy type books, this one is great. And the author's knowledge of the French Quarters is amazing. He really put in the work to get it right. 

I'm about halfway through this second part of the series, it's a hard to put down kind of book. 

What are your plans for the evening? Anything exciting? Let us know in the comments below. 

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

What I'm Crocheting

It' s been a busy week so far and it's only Wednesday. My days always slip away from me when Mike is gone on business. I'm counting down the days till he gets home and passing the time crocheting. I had a few readers ask me to show the ripple blanket I'm working on so I figured I'd show it and a few of the other projects I have going.

This was my first ever completed project (I've only been crocheting a little over a year and am still a little slow so an afghan this size took a lot of time lol.

Hayley immediately claimed it as hers and has slept with it on her bed every day since. Until last week that is. She brought it downstairs looking forlorn and plopped it in my lap saying look. 

One of the first squares I ever made has come loose. So it's now a top priority to fix, I was able to get the correct yarn today and now I have to figure out a way to fix it without taking the whole thing apart. *lesson learned...tie better knots*

The next project is my Christmas Ripple Blanket. My mother gave me this great crocheted owl basket and the yarn that is in it for Christmas.  I haven't decided what I'm going to do with the blue skein yet but the green and red were just screaming for a simple Christmas themed afghan. 

I love owls and love having them nestled all over my house.
This one has a permanent home in front of our fireplace. 
I'm moving a bit faster on this afghan, though learning the ripple stitch took a lot of trial and error. I am loving the simple colors and the repeating pattern that is emerging. I'm about 1/3 of the way done with it. If I sit down and actually focus on it I hope to be done by the end of next month. I need to get it finished so I can start on a baby blanket for a friend. 

Then last, but not least, are the stuffies I am working on. The grey body and black head will one day be a really cute penguin, the variegated yarn body will be a floppy cat, and the little brown blog...well that's the poop emoji I'm making for one of the kids in my family. The emoji one is nearly done I just need to add the eyes and mouth. I'm going to scour my files, folders, Pinterest boards and notebooks for the other two patterns and hopefully turn them up. *take away lesson here....always remember where you save your patterns*

Y'all getting the detached penguin head to balance on its body was loads of fun.

My biggest issue is making myself sit down and crochet. I get distracted really easy and even though I love doing it I have a hard time remembering to do it. I keep the ripple blanket at my feet by the couch and it's helped so far. 

Do you craft? 
How do you keep yourself motivated while working on projects?