Find Good In Every Day

One mom's attempt at finding good in every day of this chaotic world.

My “Good” This Week March 29, 2011

Filed under: Daily Blog — Robin @ findgoodineveryday @ 8:29 pm

Now that I finally got my pictures off my camera, I feel like I have so much to share.  Instead, I will list some random things that are making me smile this week.  The below things are keeping me going during this last week of March…  motivating me to make it to April this weekend!

1.  My sister and I finished the Charlottesville Ten Miler this past Saturday and beat our pace goal!  I am so proud of her (and myself), and it was great to be able to run it with my best friend/sister!

2.  My nephew is adorable!  He is so intent on watching Mason and Cooper, and I can’t wait until he’s running around being silly with them.

3.  I love coming home after a long day and cooking in the kitchen with my music playing.  We just got a new iPhone player so I can finally listen to my music without a loud screech in the background.  Yay!  Whether I’m dancing and singing along by myself or have the whole family in there with me, it’s just a great way to unwind.

4.  So far, I’ve cooked some delicious meals this week, and Mason has been gobbling them down and asking for seconds.  She’s usually so picky, so this is a great accomplishment!  (wine-marinated flank stead with mashed potatoes and asparagus on Monday and then slow cooker chicken tacos on Tuesday)

5.  Cooper got a haircut!  His shaggy hair was driving me insane, so I finally forced the issue much to Jeremy’s dismay – he was hoping to keep it long to resemble Han Solo.  Below is his before shot.

6.  I’m still hoping spring is around the corner.  This weekend is the beginning of April, and I am hoping we can start to see the reality of that.  Some 60 degree weather would be perfect.  We need to get more use out of our new goal!

All my good this week is motivating me to exercise more, visit my nephew more, dance more, cook more, cut more (huh?), and stay positive about what is to come.  What’s your “good” for this week?

I’m participating in Nain’s Motivation Monday.

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Our Quick Makeover

Filed under: Daily Blog — Robin @ findgoodineveryday @ 8:04 pm

A couple of Fridays ago, Jeremy and I played hooky.  The weather forecast was gorgeous, and we needed to get a few things done.  Ok, and we really needed a break and we really wanted to spend some time together.  We considered it our “date day” since we don’t often allow ourselves to have too many “date nights.”

We talked about our options for the day:

1.  Long walk on the mall in DC

2.  Visit grown-up museums

3.  Bike Ride

4.  Shopping

5.  Yard work

All of them were appealing except for #5 naturally.  While we were sitting in the living room talking about our options, we brought up the fact that we had given ourselves a budget of $600 for new window treatments in that room.  I looked around the room and determined that our rug was filthy and I was sick of it; I wanted fresh new pillows for our couch; and I wanted to create a seasonal mantel (inspired by one of my fave blogs, The Lettered Cottage).  I presented the idea to Jeremy who said that if we could do all of that and new window treatments within our $600 budget, he’d be up for it.  And so our makeover day began!!!

First off, we headed to Home Goods.  I always hear about people getting great deals at this store, and while I have shopped there several times, I have never been on the hunt for something specific.  It seemed like a good place to start.  Unfortunately it was a bust in terms of the living room, but we did find a new wreath for the front door ($30).

Next up Rockville Pike, we went to World Market.  I absolutely love this store!  I always get so inspired in there.  Jeremy and I know that when we finally finish our basement, that will be our first stop for decor.  It’s just a fun place.  And lo and behold, right when we walk in, we’re face to face with several rug options and a big SALE sign for all rugs!  Score!  We settled on this diamond weave jute rug (on sale for $115).  I was a little hesitant about the jute at first, but it’s actually much softer than I expected.  I also fell in love with this kimono print micro jute rug (on sale for $30) and knew it needed to be in my kitchen STAT!  Luckily Jeremy obliged.

In the pillow section, Jeremy’s eyes landed on some yellow ones pretty quickly.  I did love them, but I had wanted to get some pattern into that room since everything else is so basic.  I found some awesome yellow floral pillows, but Jeremy wasn’t feeling it so back on the shelf they went.  We ended up with the yellow ones (2 for $25) because we knew they would match our chair perfectly, and the large brown buttons on them would blend well with our brown couch.

In the curtain area, we immediately fell in “like” with some sheers.  They had the burnout effect and a felt green bird on them, and we appreciated the playfulness and the lightness of them.  We knew we didn’t want blinds, and I knew I wanted something lighter than our current dark brown sheers that had faded so badly from the sun.  Unfortunately they did not have any of these white sheers in stock, and I can’t even find them online, so obviously not meant to be.

All in all, though, World Market proved to be a great resource.  Still on the hunt for window treatments and mantle accessories, we decided to break for lunch at our favorite restaurant, Matchbox.  This was the true “date” time of our “date day.”  We enjoyed a lovely conversation over delicious food.  Just what we needed.

With just a couple of hours left before we needed to pick up the kids, we were off to Crate and Barrel.  We had high hopes for window treatments there.  And boy, were we right!  As soon as we entered the curtain area, we immediately fell in love with these Marimekko sheers.  They were a little more pricey than I had wanted to spend (as compared to the World Market sheers we had just seen), but considering we were still way under budget, and the curtains were going to anchor the room, we knew we had a winner (4 panels for $180).  Unfortunately, we couldn’t have immediate gratification and had to have them shipped to us (free!)

We had gotten everything we wanted except for my mantel makeover.  Jeremy had given me the rule that it had to be stuff that would not just be stored away in a seasonal box when it’s time on the mantel was over.  Since everything out there now is Easter based, I was at a loss.  Oh well.  I think I’ll just keep my eyes open during other shopping excursions this spring and hope I can find a few gems.  Heck, we only spent $380 of our $600 budget, and that included a new rug for the kitchen and a new wreath for the front door.  I think there’s still room in my budget for when I find just the right knick knacks!

Our “date day” had been wonderful.  While it would have been nice to take a walk on the gorgeous day, we have so much fun decorating and searching that I could not have come up with a more perfect way to spend my free day with my hubby.  And to top it all off, we got to make the most of the afternoon with our kids in the backyard!

Oh wait!  I guess you probably want to see pictures, right?  Did you really think I’d write this entirely too long post without Before and After pictures?

Kitchen Before

Kitchen After - don't you just love the pop of color?!

Living Room Before

Living Room After - So much more light!

Another Before

 

Another After

Yay for quick makeovers!

 

Making The Most Of It March 23, 2011

Filed under: Daily Blog — Robin @ findgoodineveryday @ 2:23 pm

I’ve been waiting on blogging this week, hoping to be able to share some cool images from our fun times last Friday, but my computer keeps freezing up any time I try to download the pictures from my camera.  So alas, you’ll have to make do with this stock picture today.

I chose lemons and lemonade because that is just how we felt last Friday.  It wasn’t quite officially spring, but it sure felt like it!  Jeremy and I took the day off to enjoy some time alone together and to get a few house things done.  (More on our last-minute makeover to come!)  It could not have been a more gorgeous day.  And to take full advantage of it, we picked the kids up from school and went straight home to play in our backyard.  This will be the first spring and summer we can fully enjoy our backyard, and I can’t wait.  We got all of our patio furniture out of the shed and even built the kids’ soccer goal (pictures are stuck on my camera).  Just having things set up in the backyard improves my outlook.  Instead of a barren wasteland, it now looks like an outdoor room just waiting for us to come “live” in it.

We spent all evening in the backyard and even had our Friday night pizza back there.  I can’t wait for more of that to come.  Right now, we’re getting through another cold and rain spell, but I’m hopeful beautiful, sunny spring is just around the corner.  I want to make the most of it!

 

Ticking Clock March 16, 2011

Filed under: Daily Blog — Robin @ findgoodineveryday @ 11:33 am

I have been lucky the past two years to be able to leave work at 3pm in order to pick Mason up from preschool.  This helped us avoid costly after care and gave me some extra time at home to get things done like cooking dinner, laundry, grocery store runs, etc.  It also allows me some extra time with Mason and sometimes Cooper.

The difficult part is that the agreement with my boss was always that I would continue to be “on call” and to work from home until 5pm.  When things are really busy, I even have to bring Mason to the office with me because certain parts of my job cannot be done at home.  And when days are super busy, I am stuck at my desk at home while Mason plays by herself, watches some TV, plays on the computer and ALWAYS begs me to hang out with her.  It’s hard to say no, but I can’t say yes.

Needless to say, this arrangement has been a blessing and a curse.  A blessing because I sometimes (rarely) get to spend some extra time with my kids.  A curse because Mason is constantly wanting attention from me when I am at my busiest.  While I had hoped it would relieve stress, it has been a stressful couple of years.  I have made the hard decision to put Mason in after care starting at her summer camp in June and continuing into her first year of kindergarten.  Yes, it will cost us more, but I hope that by doing this, my time with her and Cooper will be dedicated time – not the kind of time where I’m checking my email constantly, answering phone calls or rushing out to the office for a quick task.  And isn’t uninterrupted time with my kids priceless?

Now that the decision has been made, the clock is ticking on the time I do have.  Knowing our evenings will become a little more frazzled in terms of picking up kids at two different locations, getting dinner ready, taking baths and doing our bedtime routine (all in a 2 1/2 hour period), I am dedicating myself to shutting everything off at 5pm and focusing on my family while I have the time.  Monday, we got to play in our backyard.  Tuesday, we did puzzles together.  It’s been wonderful!

Last week, the kids were playing around in our bed while I folded laundry.  I pulled out the camera to capture the moment.  And then decided to use the timer and got in the pictures myself.  Below is evidence of the fun we had.

 

Trivial March 14, 2011

Filed under: Daily Blog — Robin @ findgoodineveryday @ 7:32 pm

Just days after I posted my goal to raise money for an iPad, a tragic earthquake and tsunami devastated parts of Japan.  Words cannot express how much this has impacted my heart.  The tragedy continues as aftershocks plague the already hard-hit areas and as a nuclear meltdown threatens the emotionally and physically tired, hungry, and lost survivors.  It is all just beyond epic proportions, and I am praying for everyone affected.

As I started my de-cluttering over the weekend, piling up stuff and then more stuff to sell or donate, I couldn’t help but think about how lucky I am to be choosy over what I keep in my house and what I get rid of.  It’s a privilege that some will never know and that those in Japan have lost.  I have excess while they have nothing.

It is my understanding that money is a much more helpful donation than anything else since the organizations dedicated to helping in the aftermath need funds to support their efforts.  Donating money allows them to allocate funds where they are needed most.  My “stuff” isn’t going to save lives or feed the hungry or build shelters.  So I am dedicated to making a donation from the sale of said “stuff.”  Over the next few months I will be selling things through Craigslist, eBay, and  yard sales.  All of my earnings will be donated to an organization aiding in the Japan relief effort.  Everything I want just seems so trivial now since there are so many people who need everything.

With this post, I am participating in Nain’s Motivation Monday.   I hate to say I am motivated by others’ loss, but that’s how it is, I guess.

I am motivated to help.  I am motivated to support.

 

Getting My Groove Back March 11, 2011

Filed under: Daily Blog — Robin @ findgoodineveryday @ 1:39 pm

This past week has been a great cooking/baking week.  I started it off last weekend with some delicious homemade bread.  Do you remember those bread makers for which every couple feels the need to register come wedding time?  Do you remember using it maybe three times in that first year of wedded bliss before it got stuck in storage collecting dust for many years to come?  Well, I fished mine out of storage, cleaned it up, and made some bread!

10 minutes until fresh bread!

I used one of the Hodgson Mill boxed mixes made for bread makers, and it was a good start to get back into the groove with the thing.  Nothing too complicated.  Having the smell of fresh bread throughout the house was just what we needed on a rainy Sunday.  And as I flipped through the recipe/instruction booklet that came with the bread maker, I as reminded of all the things we can make using it.  Pizza dough, cinnamon rolls…  the list is endless really.

 

Finally – fresh, warm, delicious rye bread!

What you don’t see is the meal that was made to go with the rye bread.  Not only did I have the bread maker out, but I also had my trusty slow cooker.  I made a delicious beef and green pepper dish that we served over egg noodles.  It was delicious, but I forgot to get a picture.  I also can’t find the recipe online.  It was from the Rival Crockpot cookbook and involved steak, green peppers, soy sauce, ginger and onions (and probably a few other ingredients I’m forgetting.)

So Sunday’s dinner started the week off well with delicious food.  I was feeling good.  Monday was just grilled chicken, rice and salad – always a favorite in our house.  Tuesday is typically our Tex-Mex day.  All day I could not figure out what to do.  I bought all the ingredients for tacos, but in the end decided to put a little twist on it.  I pulled out a can of Grands refrigerator biscuits, molded them into my muffin pan and then filled each with my pre-made taco beef.  I put shredded cheese on a couple of them, but left most plain.  I popped them in the oven for about 15 minutes while our rice and corn cooked.  When they were done, everyone was excited to dig in.  Jeremy dubbed them “Meat Muffins.”  While that may not sound appealing to some, let me tell you – they were awesome!

Yummy!

Mason had turned up her nose a bit when I told her what I was going to do, but she has not stopped talking about these things since.  She keeps asking when I’m going to make them again and why didn’t we have any leftovers (um, because we all scarfed them down!)  Go Meat Muffins!

I finished off the week making my absolute favorite M&M cookies from Cookie Madness.  These cookies rock!  I made them for a dinner date we have at some friends tonight, which will help get rid of some of them or else I would eat the entire batch!

All in all, it was a good cooking week.  I feel like I’m getting my groove back.  I am inspired to pull the bread maker out again this weekend.  Not sure what I’ll make yet, but I’ll be sure to share if I’m happy with it.

 

 

De-Clutter! March 7, 2011

Filed under: Daily Blog — Robin @ findgoodineveryday @ 2:16 pm

I am linking up again with Nain for Motivation Monday!  (And actually doing it on Monday too!)

I was puttering in the basement last week while the HVAC guy was working on our furnace.  (Yay for regular heat again!)  I finally opened a Rubbermaid bin that had been sitting at the bottom of the stairs for months.  Inside was a bunch of maternity clothes that I had lent my sister.  Considering we have decided that I will never need maternity clothes again, I figured I’d finally catalog what I had so that I could attempt to sell it.  I got pulled away from it to pay the HVAC guy but knew I wanted to complete the task eventually. Over the weekend, I finally got that chance.  And I even pulled more maternity clothes out of the attic.  I also pulled a few other baby items that I knew I could sell and put it all up in an email to our local mom’s listserv.  Within minutes I had sold our two sets of baby monitors, and I’m hoping to sell a pregnancy pillow this week to an interested mom.  Nobody has bitten on the clothes yet, though.

But I’m motivated!  I want to de-clutter my basement that has been overrun by broken toys, unused items, and lots and lots of crap!  So what, you ask, is going to motivate me to do this?

 

The iPad 2!!! I'm in love!

 

I have determined that I NEED the new iPad 2.  I’ve been waiting for this, hoping it would come with a camera and hoping it would be cooler than the first.  And it arrives in stores on Friday!  I don’t think I’ll have saved enough money in time, but it will be mine soon.  Oh yes, it will be mine.

Jeremy and I have lots of “stuff” to get rid of.  Old iPods, an old iPhone, a really old laptop, an old digital camera…  We’re hoping to get eBay savvy this week and get rid of these hopefully high-ticket items.  But more than just that stuff, we want to get rid of stuff we don’t use anymore.  My friend mentioned having a yard sale this summer that I could join, but if it doesn’t happen, I think I’ll have to hold my own yard sale.  I have so much stuff that is not worth selling on eBay or Craigslist but is worth more than to just donate.  (Sorry if that sounds bad!)

So technology is motivating me this week to de-clutter.  We even have an iPad Fund jar.  It’s good to have a visual to see our progress and push us towards our goal.  Better than just knowing we earned a certain amount, and it is sitting in our bank account.  I like visuals.  The iPad Fund jar will motivate me, and my cleaner, clutter-free basement will motivate me!