Oct 30, 2014

Day 27: 31 Days to a Blissful Fall {Make Caramel Apples}

Every year around this time, for the past few years, I have made caramel apples. Once I had a taste of "embellished" apples at a MOPS meeting, I was hooked! Nothing makes a caramel apple better than mini chocolate chips and marshmallows!

Today I got the daycare kids involved and then we enjoyed it for a Halloween party treat. 

Now I'm going to go enjoy mine!!!

I hope to catch up my 31 posts, if not by tomorrow then over the weekend. So many ideas, so little time! And I will be finally updating the index for this series now, so you can find all the posts here!

Oct 29, 2014

Day 26: 31 Days to a Blissful Fall {Fix What's Not Working}

When I brought in the baker's rack to swap out the wash basin that I was using for our coffee station, I was kind of married to the idea of having the coffee maker and supplies in that corner of the kitchen. I liked the idea of a "coffee station", it was functional and everything was together, and it got an appliance off my counter.

But the coffee maker lid couldn't open underneath the shelf above it in its new home with the baker's rack, which has meant that every morning I've lugged the coffee maker and the coffee canister to the kitchen counter to make coffee, and back again when I'm done. I threw around ideas of finding a coffee maker that was more conducive to that spot, but ours is working just fine for our needs and I'd rather spend money (and gift wishes) on other things.

Last night I decided to finally took some time to work on styling the open shelving (which is now all up except for a couple nails for extra support!). As I moved things around and decided what should go where and how the shelves could be best utilized (without freaking Brad out that I'd maxed out the weight on them with stacks of dishes...sigh), I decided to try moving the coffee station. I'll do another post with better and more detailed pics and explanations of what's where (from my camera, not my iPhone as these are), but I'm so excited how it's coming together that I had to share!

Moving things around made room for other things, and overall I think this is going to be more functional. I have a few more things to tweak, and also hope to get full kitchen pics soon! But it was a great lesson in not forcing things to work where they simply don't. If it's not working, fix it!

Oct 28, 2014

Twitter Tuesday!

This is the last week I will be the co-host of the Twitter Tuesdays Linky Party. You can continue to link up every week at The Ultimate Linky! Thanks for coming and linking up with me! There are two linkies in this party! You can do just one or both linkies if you wish. On the first linky, you will link up your Twitter URL for your Twitter account so that you can be followed. On the second linky, link up the URL of a tweet you would like to be retweeted.

Please follow me and Tammy from The Ultimate Linky on Twitter, add the button to your sidebar or party page, and then link up and follow the directions for who to follow/retweet! If you are the last three to link up, your links will be manually added to the beginning of next week's link-up so that you get your follows. You can always follow more if you decide to! We also would love any shares that you could give to help spread the word about this party!

We would also love if you took a second to tweet about this party!!

The Ultimate Linky
You can also link up one tweet that you would like to have re-tweeted. This is the same concept as above except you only have to tweet the two links above yours. I will make sure I tweet the last link(s). Social media parties every day of the week!

Oct 27, 2014

Day 25: 31 Days to a Blissful Fall {Play}

There's nothing quite like the relief you feel when you think you're a horrible person for this or that thing, and then someone else shares that they do or feel the same thing. Do you know what I mean? When I was in MOPS a couple years ago, we were having discussion time at our table and one of the questions we were to discuss was something like, "What is one thing you least like about being a mom?". One brave mom said, "I hate to play," and then one-by-one, the rest of us agreed, "I do, too!". #totalrelief #maybenotabadmom

I love my daughter. I love my daycare kids. I can color 'til the cows come home. Build with blocks? Sure! And I love observing kids in play, watching them interact, learn, imagine and create.

But somewhere along the line I forgot how to have Barbie and her friends carry on a conversation for more than two minutes. Cars and "boy games" are totally off my radar and I can only "vroom vroom" for so long. As a childcare provider that's a really tough thing to admit!

So when I was trying to get some things done yesterday (as usual), especially while the weather was nice enough to be outside and knock out a couple projects out there, I was less-than-enthusiastic when Faith asked me to play. I even tried to convince her to play outside while I worked out there, but she dropped her head and said, "You never play with me."

Can't argue with that.

So I sucked it up, and even if just for a little while, we played Lego Friends.

Baby steps. But this girls is growing fast so I need to get my butt on the floor and make this a regular occurrence! And I think that even short play-times with our kids have a big impact on them and how engaged they feel we are. They need to know we spend time focused on just them, no distractions. So this fall while you're being mindful of relaxing and enjoying the important things, don't forget to sit down and play!

Oct 26, 2014

Day 24: 31 Days to a Blissful Fall {Simplified Fall Wardrobe Part 2}

It's only taken me a couple months but I finally have my capsule wardrobe put together (part 1 of this is here) and photographed! The only things not pictured are the tanks I use for laying under the shirts, some basic colored tees that I haven't been wearing as much (so they're in a drawer until I decide if I miss them or not), three puffer vests (which I forgot to photograph) and then clothing that I wear to slob around the house in (yoga pants, t-shirts, hoodies, etc.). I have limited everything through this process, even the sloppy stuff, and plan to continue to do so as I become even more aware of the things I wear the most.

Here is my capsule wardrobe for this fall...

Shirts (most to be layered with tanks which are not pictured)

Cardigans, chambray shirt and jacket for layering

Maxi skirts, skinny jeans & leggings

Dresses & scarves

The scarves are a great way to switch up a look and add color and pattern, so I'm able to keep my basic pieces more simple for mixing and matching.

 Shoes (riding boots and flats)

I do have a couple pair of black boots/booties with heels, but I rarely wear them because heels hurt my legs and feet. I'm not quite ready to part with them but since they're not part of my basic wardrobe they're not pictured here. I also have a couple pair of strappy heels (black and silver) that I hang onto just in case, but I don't wear those, either. (I just don't want to have to buy dressy shoes for one day should the need arise again.) 

With all the tops, sweaters, jackets, dresses, bottoms and shoes (and the vests I didn't picture), I have 36 pieces of clothing in my capsule wardrobe (counting 3 identical pair of black leggings). I still feel like I could purge a little more. I love the mix-and-match aspect of the wardrobe, the fact that what's here I really love and wear often, and the simplicity of paring it all down! It makes it a lot easier when going to get clothes out of my closet, and helps keep everything more tidy!

I'd love to hear if you've created your own capsule wardrobe!!!

Oct 24, 2014

Day 23: 31 Days to a Blissful Fall {Trick or Treat!}

Kim, Mya, Faith, Madi and Lily
Last night Faith, I and some friends went downtown to the annual Halloween Hysteria for trick-or-treating and Halloween fun. Faith and I (sometimes with Brad, some years with Kim) have been enjoying this event since she was two. Over teh next week we'll attend two trunk-or-treats and then of course, Halloween. I'm not a fan of all the candy. In fact I usually donate or toss a lot of it, especially as Christmas nears and the next slew of sugar treats is about to arrive. We usually limit the treat-getting to three events but decided to try the college trunk-or-treat this year as well. For me the events aren't about the candy at all, but for the togetherness, the social atmosphere, and the festive holiday fun. Faith won't be of trick-or-treating age much longer so I guess I better enjoy these moments while they're here!

Faith as Aurora (from Maleficent)

Oct 23, 2014

Day 22: 31 Days to a Blissful Fall {Pantry Floor Organization}

The floor of our pantry has been a source of stress for me as far as organizing goes. Until now, I've just sat the larger items directly on the floor or used rolling carts, but the carts don't always hold what I need and since the pantry is right by the back door and we have a yellow lab, dog hair, leaves and dirt/debris slide under the pantry door often. Bleh! 

I wanted something to corral the larger items and keep them away from the mess, so I had Brad attach casters to some fruit crates that I had purchased at a garage sale. They fit under the lowest shelf well, and do just what I needed them to do!

I like that I can roll them out to get something or put it away, and then roll them right back! I use them to store large containers of vinegar and baking soda, extra coffee and baby formula, Brad's protein powder, and anything else larger that doesn't have another place to go.

At some point I may paint or decorate them, but for now this is working just fine!

The rest of the pantry is in need of a semi-annual clean-out, so maybe that will be a weekend project!