Category Archives: Life goals

Real Talk… Time Saving Mom Hacks

Mom Hacks
Hacks. From shining your stainless steel with baby oil to the million uses for paper towel tubes – there’s a hack for almost everything. All of them have the same goal – to save TIME! So, let’s learn how to save some!

I’m a working Mom of twins who is essentially single (my husband works 12 hour shifts). I am also a tad obsessed when it comes to efficiency. It is a dichotomy of sorts; raising twins and being efficient. But…it can be done! So, let me share some of my favorite tips:

Time Analysis
First and foremost, you need to understand where you are wasting/ spending most of your time. Always looking for your keys? Invest in a key hook. Re-washing funky loads of laundry? Make laundry switches a part of your morning/ nightly routine (or, even better…enlist your husband to take over laundry 100%). But, the most important thing is to look for any patterns that result in time wasted – find just one and tackle it!
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The “On the Way” Principle
This one is easy and just entails a mind-set change. You’d be surprised at how much ground you cover in your home throughout the day/evening. I’d be willing to bet that you walk by your bathroom or laundry room at least 10 times a day. Why not make the trip worthwhile? Here’s what you do: keep your eyes open, observe what is in your surroundings. An old sock lingering in the hallway? Next time you walk down the hall, pick it up on your way to the laundry basket. That lone Lego under your foot…ouch! Put it in your pocket for the next time you pass the toy box. You’d be surprised how much the “On the Way” principle can limit or fully eliminate the amount of clutter in your house!

Bath Time
Your kids are young, it’s not safe to leave them in the tub unsupervised. As I sit and “watch” them, I feel like I am wasting so much time. Then it hit me! I could be cleaning the bathroom right now! I clean the toilet, floor, sink and mirrors all while my kids have a blast in the tub. Win-win-win!

For You Pumping Mamas
All the gear associated with pumping is unbelievable. Cords, flanges, membranes, tubes and bottles oh my! I pumped exclusively for my twins for 11 months. It was such a challenge! I’m going to give you two time-savers here…The first: only wash your pumping parts once a day. After you pump, put them in a big Ziploc bag and put that in the fridge. Then, at the end of the day – wash them. Next, buy a good hands free pumping bra. While you pump you can do many things with both hands! I chose to work and read. I even got into doing small crafts while pumping like a mo fo! Or, set an alarm on your phone and catch some zzzzz’s while you pump (but, don’t lay down)!

Potty Training
Oh the dreaded potty training phases! With my twins, it was double trouble! My son trained easily. My daughter…not so much. I was set on training them at the same time – regardless if they were both ready or not. Big mistake. I should have just gone with training him (since he was ready) and then training her at a later time. But, what’s done is done. I’ve spent loads of time cleaning underwear before throwing them in the washer. I couldn’t imagine throwing poopy pants into my sparkling washer. No way! There are three solutions to this poopy problem: 1) Keep a bucket of bleach water and dawn soap filled up. Throw them in (as soon as you can) and deal with them at the end of the day. 2) Get the soiled pants into water as soon as possible. It wipes off pretty easily if you catch it early. 3) Throw the underwear away. Sometimes it isn’t worth the effort. Also, stick a panty liner or pad in their underwear – this will help with small leaks/ accidents.

Take Advantage of the Dawn
Wake up 15-20 minutes before everyone else each day. Before you sleep the night before, have a plan for what you want to accomplish. You’d be surprised how much you can get done in just a few minutes. Or, take that time to meditate to prepare for the chaos that is about to ensue! I did opposite of this when my twins were babies. I stayed up 15-20 minutes longer and wrapped things up for the day. Saved my sanity!

Lost Souls
Kids and their shoes…they are constantly getting lost. I was spending WAY too much time going on shoe searches. Then I came up with a very simple practice: Shoes go on in the car and they come off before we exit the car. I put a small basket on the floorboard of my car and I fill it with a few types of shoes per kid. Then, when we arrive at our destination – we put their shoes on. When we arrive back home – we take their shoes off. Never a lost “soul” again! Remember to keep a few types/ styles – that way you always have choices. I do keep one pair of crocs per kid inside the house; just so we have the option for impromptu walks or backyard jaunts.

Showers
If your kids are old enough, opt for a shower instead of a bath. It will afford you a bit of time to get some things done while they shower. But, only if they are old enough to not drown. My kids are 3 ½ and this works fine for us.

Phone Time
Do most of your calls in the car. Remember, always hands free and safe!

Instant Pot
Just get one.

Tablecloth On the Floor?
Yep, you read that right. Get a vinyl tablecloth and put it underneath their highchair. Then, roll it up and add it to your compost pile.

Pastry Cloths
Instead of using bibs, try out pastry cloths. I’m a fan of the IKEA sleeve bibs – but when they grow out of those, the pastry cloths work wonders! They are long enough to tie behind their heads and cover their knees. Then, throw them in the washer. They’ll be stained, but don’t fret!

Dishes Galore!
This one is non-negotiable…run and empty your dishwasher every night. Every. Single. Night. Then, instead of putting your dishes in the sink – just do a quick rinse and put them in the dishwasher. It is way less effort!!

Indoor Movie Theater!
When things get way out of control…and it will, I promise you. Put the kids in their car seats on the floor in front of a movie/ show. Strap them in and give them a snack and soothing toy. Car seats don’t have to just be for the car! But, remember to avoid neglecting them for too long – especially if they have a short attention span.

Color Assignment
If you have more than one kid and they are constantly losing things or fighting over things – just assign them a color. I assigned “green” to Gwen and “orange” to Owen (note the “G” and “O”). They naturally choose the items that are associated with “their” color and they are happy about it! It also saves time when trying to organize their personal items.

Bibs for the Babes!
You’ll save “loads” of time on laundry and outfit changes by using bibs. Switching out a bib instead of switching out an ENTIRE outfit is so much faster and easier!

Set up Multiple Changing Stations
This works well if you have a large house. You’ll spend way less time commuting through your house if you just put a changing station on each floor; or just add one more if that is too overwhelming.

Magic Erasers
Enough said.

Eat Outside
We try to eat outside as much as possible. It will save tons of time on cleaning and the frustrations with mess!

Paper Plates
Don’t fret about the waste, you can recycle them if you scrape off the food. Dishes…yuck.

Don’t Let it Dry!
Stuck on mess takes way longer to clean than to just clean it before it dries. I keep a separate rag for their eating surfaces and I only use non-chemical cleaners for those areas. Then, when your kids get older you can have them help you clean up!

Laundry
Just do it every day. Avoid laundry piles and don’t worry about folding the kids’ clothes – just throw them in bins for organization. I have a bin for pants, underwear, and pajamas – never fold those. I do hang up shirts, but that isn’t the most efficient. If you want to get really obsessed – go and buy a giant pack (or two) of white socks – all the same. Then you never have to pick out socks or find their match!

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Online Grocery Ordering
Clicklist has saved me so much time! Order your groceries online (you could do it while they bathe) and they’ll bring it to your car at the store. GENIUS!

Outing Bag
Keep a bag fully stocked in the car. Never waste time packing a bag. My favorite supplies are diapers, wipes, empty Ziploc bags (for garbage or soiled clothes), sunscreen, clothing changes, water bottles, hand sanitizer, blankets (muslin…they are small), and snacks that last. I loved my roll-up diaper caddy for when they were little. Now, we just have a backpack.

Potty Stops
I rarely take my kids into public restrooms. Instead, I bought a fold up potty that I keep in the car. Pull over on the side of the road, bust that out and use hand sanitizer. Done and done! If you have boys, even easier – they can pee in the gutter or grass. Dogs do it!

Childproof
Never spend time chasing the kids down in an unsafe environment. If you childproof everything, you can get things done while your little ones roam safely in your castle!

One of my favorite mom memes just because.

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This guest post is written by Leslie Killinger, full-time mom, wife, employee, artist and friend. She has twin toddlers and makes life look like a breeze.

I died…

Last week my life changed forever, I died.

Ok I didn’t completely and literally die, but after this last weekend I will never be the same. It all started a little over a year ago I began my healthy life crusade. Working out was a regular part of my schedule, I even found a tribe of women working out and supporting each other. We hiked and I shared part of my journey here.  I was preparing and planning for my very first Spartan race; hiking and weight lifting to prepare myself physically, especially hiking around with Baby K on my back. I could handle a little 3-5 mile obstacle course, no big deal! Ugh if I only knew then what I know now… I could not imagine what a life changing event I was in store for.

The original plan was to go with a group from Tribe, but this summer has thrown all of our schedules off and no one else was able to attend. AJ had previously volunteered with me at a race so we both had a free race coupon to use. His original plan was for a Beast or Super Spartan. Knowing I would be alone, I registered for my very first Spartan.

I knew going into the race there would be obstacles I was not ready to overcome, the rope climb is my ultimate nemesis. Even knowing this and knowing the 30 burpee penalty per failed obstacle, I was going to finish! My goal was to come in under 5 hours.  I know, 5 hours for 4 miles? Yes, 4 miles of up a ski resort mountain and back trails, cleared specifically for the race. Oh yes and 20 obstacles and doing 30 burpees per failed obstacle, this was going to take some time.

Race Map

To my surprise (and complete gratitude after the fact) AJ registered Friday night to race with me. He wasn’t doing it for him but for me! In reality, going into it I was not certain how nice I would be able to be. This might make or break our marriage. We would come out of this more in love or I’d be so raging angry and cranky I would say not nice things to him causing a rift in our relationship. 

Pre-race face

Morning of the race we were running late but arrived with time to spare. 8:30 am we climbed over the Spartan starting wall to begin our very first Spartan Sprint. Up the mountain we started, over 5 foot hurdles, yes while still going up the slope of the mountain, further up we went still. The first mile was the longest drudge to the peak. It was not a straight up climb nor was it a well worn path. There were some more walls to climb over but these I did on my own since they were on level ground. Although I did smack my ribs pretty hard on either these walls or the hurdles when I broke the mouth piece off of the camelpak I was wearing ugh! Bruised ribs SUCK! Over another wall, under another and through a third, yep through it, there were holes.

Miles 2 and 3 blurred together for me.  Hiking up and down hilly, rock covered, sprain your ankle terrain, intermixed with obstacles designed to push you to your physical, emotional and mental limits, you bet I lost track of what mile and obstacle we were at. Obstacles such as crawling under a cargo net in swamp mud fit for any wallowing pig. Then make it thru the crawl and slush thru a few more mucks of water to a dunk wall. Down into a pit of water, scramble up, back down into another and up again until the third time you’re down in deeper water facing a wall you now have to go under, the dunk wall. After the mud it was actually refreshing.

Back up the mountain we went to the slip wall. You’d think having a knotted rope to climb up a slippery wall (remember all the mud and water we just went thru?) would make it easy. Sure I did. I got right on up there, grabbed the rope and scrambled up the wall. I was about to pull myself up to the top when someone next to me lost his footing and slipped. I lost my concentration and footing as well. Then I felt the ribs, again. I was going to fall, until someone behind me stopped me. Someone was below me helping me to stay up, AJ up top reached his hand out to help me over the top and I made it! Dang slippery wall. There were more variations of walls and other obscene obstacles. Some were a cake walk for me, others… not so much. There was a sandbag carry, just like it sounds. Grab a heavy bag filled with sand, lug it up and around the mountain a bit and drop it back off. The Hercules hoist, using a rope and pulley system hoist a heavy bag up to the top of the rigging and back down again. Don’t let the bag free fall to the ground… not cool, or part of the challenge. The plate drag. This was cleverly designed on the side of the mountain with little holes dug into the path. All in all those were the easy ones for me, and the ones I enjoyed. Oh yes and lets not forget the bucket brigade. Fill up a 10 gallon bucket to the designated fill line (probably about 2/3 for the women) with small pebbles and carry it in front of you up and down the mountain. The biggest burpee maker of them all was the spear throw. You get one chance to throw a spear at a hay bale Spartan target. The spear has to stick. ONE. CHANCE.  Yep I came close but you know the saying… horse shoes and hand granades…

I learned very early in the race, this is not a place for “every man for himself” mentality. This is a place for first timers and experienced Spartans to come together, uplifting, supporting, cheering and helping each other all along the way. I cried so many times and for different reasons, heck sitting here thinking about it I still get a little teary. There were people who had finished their own race come back over and help AJ finish my burpees for the rope climb! I was so beat down I didn’t have the capacity to do more than 5 burpees without feeling like I was going to pass out. They knocked em out like it was nothing. Strangers boosted me up and pushed me over obstacles. Some held out a hand to help me up. Others gave me a conversational distraction from my fear of heights atop the A-frame cargo net. Another kind soul named Katie stopped and helped encourage me thru the barbed wire. Most people were rolling thru, we were crawling; that rolling crap for that long makes me dizzy.

My EVERYTHING was challenged and I came out on top! I still can’t believe it myself. I have officially conquered the mountain and finished a Spartan Sprint!

Let’s recap the obstacles:

starting wall: CLEARED with assistance
hurdles: CLEARED with assistance
walls: CLEARED
OUT: CLEARED
Mud Crawl: CLEARED
Rolling mud/Dunk wall: CLEARED
Slippery Wall: CLEARED with help
Barbed wire: CLEARED
Spear Throw: failed
Rope Climb: failed
Sand Bag: CLEARED
Plate Drag: CLEARED
Herc Hoist: CLEARED
Olympus: CLEARED with help
7 foot wall: failed
Inverted Wall: CLEARED with help
A-frame: CLEARED
Twister: failed
Bucket Brigade: CLEARED
Multi Rig: failed


Fire Jump: CLEARED

I died. I have been reborn over the fire and now…
I AM A SPARTAN! AROO!!

I’m not quite ready for a beast or super but there are other venues this summer for Spartan Sprints…. maybe! I said never again when I finished this one and I’m already looking at the schedule for this year! Oh man I’m in trouble!

Part of me will never be the same and I am glad for that. If it doesn’t challenge you it won’t change you right? I have been changed. The Spartan community is a unique creature in itself as well. I ended up finding out the names of most the Spartans who helped me on the mountain. Part of me will never forget them. They and that mountain were part of an experience I do not wish to soon forget. 

What is something you’ve done and conquered? Did it scare you? Would you do a Spartan?

Check 3 and 4 off of my 40 by 40 list!

I’ll Show You My Fellow Blogger!

This month we wanted to mix it up a bit and introduce you to some other bloggers out there.  There are a lot of blogs out there in the far reaches of the internet. How do you find someone you can relate with? How do you know if a blog is a good one to follow? How do you choose to start a blog, let alone what you write about? Hopefully our fellow bloggers will be able to give you a guide in the right direction. At the least you’ll find a new blog to follow and expand your own blogger friend universe. Without further ado let me introduce you to my fellow blogger, Ashley Meir from The Rad Mommy (head on over and give her a like or follow on these other social media platforms:

Facebook
Instagram
Pinterest


Can you tell our readers about yourself and your blog?

My name is Ashley Meier and I am a blogger at The Rad Mommy as well as a wedding and portrait photographer. My blog is essentially a mommy blog that focused on empowering and inspiring entrepreneur and working moms.

Describe how did you first get into blogging.
I really like to write and was looking for a creative outlet. I love business and I love being a parent, so why not combine the two :0).

Can you tell me some of your strengths that really helped you in blogging?
I have experience with website design and maintenance, and also do a lot of blogging with my photography stuff so I think that helped. Also, just knowing how to find a following on social media has been huge, although I am still growing and finding my exact niche.

How would you describe your blogging style?
I am a conversational and informative blogger. I want my readers to get something out of what I am writing and delivering. I am also exploring podcasts and videos to help with that.

What type of networking do you think is better to enhance your traffic to the blog?
I think Facebook Groups are huge, and then just connecting with like-minded people who do what you do, and want what you have to offer.

What do you think is the best service a blogger can provide to his readers?
I think it depends. Whether that’s light reading, education, products or services; it really depends on what the blog is trying to achieve. There is a need for it all.

What would be your ideal working environment? On the beach in Costa Rica 🙂 . I just love working on a computer with a big monitor and a cup of coffee or glass of wine close by.

How do you manage time to run your blog efficiently?
Scheduling posts and not biting off more than I can chew. I am still getting in my rhythm but those two things have helped tremendously. Also just staying focused!

What do you think is the best strategy that worked well for you to get more traffic to your blog?
Writing about viral topics has yielded the biggest results for me thus far. And then having other people become my cheerleaders and share my content.

How do you want to improve yourself in the next year?
I want to truly define my niche, whether that will be working on getting high amounts of traffic or developing resources like webinars and courses for readers.

What was your greatest failure and what did you learn from that?
Not sure yet 🙂 . I think blogging can just get tedious and discouraging because it doesn’t happen overnight. But, I do see the reward in sticking with it, like anything in life.

Tell me about your proudest achievement.
When I had a post go viral! It was SO fun to see my numbers go up while looking at my “live” analytics.

Who has impacted you most in blogging and how?
Everyone and everything. Being a parent and being a business owner.

What is your greatest achievement outside of blogging?
I am a mom to two little girls and I run a super successful wedding and portrait business. I am on to my next dream of creating the life I want by working my way into the blogging worlds.

How do you think I rate your blog as an interviewer?
I think you will like it and hopefully find some good resources from it.

What do you do in your spare time?
I drink wine, travel, ride my bike to breweries, exercise and hang out with friends – all while mommin’ of course.

Where would you like to be in blogging five years from now?
I would like to have bloggers blog for me, so I can sip cocktails on the beach and focus my efforts on the content, instead of the marketing aspect.

What was the most challenging moment in your blogging journey so far?
Just seeing how slow growth is, and working really hard on content that doesn’t always get high traffic.

Can you name some of your favorite bloggers and explain why they are your favorites?
My favorite right now is Melyssa Griffin. That girl is on her game and I learn something from her every time I read her stuff. There is no fluff there.

What inspired you to start your blog?
I wanted an outlet and wanted to start designing even more freedom into my life.

How do you motivate yourself to keep the blog up and running?
I am still pretty new to the blogging life, but I think just focusing on consistency and then letting myself rest if I am not feeling it. Having expectations but not ones that make me feel like I am chained to it.

Can you tell me about few sources from where you get products for review on your site?
Just things I use. This is not really my blogging focus but might be at some point.

What do you find the most frustrating aspect of blogging?
The tedious work of formatting posts, designing graphics, scheduling social media posts, etc.

In the future where do you hope your blog will take you?
I really hope it can turn into my full-time job so I can officially step away from photography. I love photography, but long term I see more of myself in the inspiration realm of things.

Have you met anyone interesting/famous on your blogging journey?
Not yet :0). But I did run into David Spade one time at the Cheesecake Factory (but that was like 12 years ago, lol).

Do you have any specific goals for the rest of this year?
Create some content, define my niche and start making more money on the blogging side of things.

What is the biggest difference in your life post-blogging?
I have a lot more to do!

Did you have any professional help or did you created the blog yourself?
I created everything myself. I am into this DIY thing.

How active are you on a weekly basis? How often do you communicate with your followers?
I have about two posts a week, and am constantly posting on social media several times a day usually. Most of it is scheduled though.

How much time do you spend blogging?
Yikes! Not sure yet. Probably about 10 hours a week right now.

What do you think is the best social media strategy for getting more visitors to a blog?
I think it depends on where you want to focus your time. Long term I am thinking Pinterest might be the way to go though, because Facebook and Instagram are limiting the audience reach.

Would you encourage other people to make their blog?
Absolutely! It is a great outlet. But know a direction you want to head before investing too much time, and don’t expect to be an overnight success.

Is blogging your profession or just a hobby?
It is both my profession and my hobby. I am building a business here 🙂 .

A lot of people think that blogging is an easy way to make money online. Do you have some tips for those people who are interested in making money from the blog?
It is NOT easy, but it is doable. I think you just have to be focused on what you want to do, and head there. You will constantly be evolving though, so don’t expect to have all the answers right away.

 

Thanks so much Ashley for letting me interview you. It is a pleasure getting to know you behind the scenes of your blog.
I have learned a few things from this interview and hope all of you have as well. Do you have a fellow blogger you’d like to introduce us to? Link up with us below!

 

Monthly link up every third Wednesday!

Friday Find

This week’s find comes from in the woods where the deer roam, ticks may bite and waterfalls flow into the rivers. Trees branches above provide shade on the forest floor for any and all roaming the many trails winding around the land. It is on one such trail I found something incredible today. 


This beautiful waterfall was a stop along the way to finding what was deep inside. Over the last year I have been on a journey to find a stronger healthier me. Today I found part of her with the help and support of my local Tribe. I packed baby K on my back in his Tula and headed off into the woods. An hour and forty minutes later we had traversed many inclines, crossed creeks, and traveled 4 miles. The journey was smooth goon at times, others it was arduous. 

The trail was a trial of my endurance and in the end I came out the other end of the trail a new person. I have a new bench mark of what I can accomplish. My perseverance was tested and I passed. Although no one could do it for me, I could not have done it without some of my Tribe. These ladies did not carry me or baby K but the did use their words of support to lift me up. 


Today I found my inner trail hiker, my inner beast, my inner strength. 

I’ll Show You My… Resolutions!

That’s right ladies and gentlemen, we are doing a New Year Resolutions post! Follow along in our series as we show you bits and pieces of our lives and who we are in our Mommy & Lifestyle Blog Collab. This month Katie, Tracy and I are joined by Dara and Jamie.

Each New Year seems to bring with it hope of revitalization and renewal of ourselves whether it be mentally, spiritually, physically or all of these aspects. Some of the more common “goals” seem to be to lose weight, quit smoking, eat healthier, quit sugar, read more, spend more time with the family, etc. Usually by the end of January most people have quit their New Year’s resolutions.

I am no exception! For the last few years we have sat down as a family to write out our personal and family resolutions. Each year a few of our goals are met but for the most part we have forgotten or lacked in one way or another. This year I have chosen a different approach. First AJ and I sat down and discussed things we want to improve upon as a couple and as parents.

  • planning out Family Home Evening (FHE) for each quarter
  • consistently saying prayers and reading scriptures as a family each night
  • say yes more often
  • slower to anger
  • focus more on the whos than the whats

Some of my personal resolutions are linked to my 40 by 40 goals.

  • continue working out to get into better shape and a healthier weight (my ultimate goal is currently 175 lbs but I will see how my body shapes out as I get closer)
  • participate in and finish my first Spartan race
  • read scriptures daily in my personal study
  • find and make more “me” time
  • make memories instead of stressing about cleaning
  • including more whole foods with meals (yep means more meal planning)
  • get pregnant – yes I said it, now hopefully it will manifest!
  • read more! in addition to spiritual enlightenment I want to read one self-improvement and one novel per month… realistically it’ll probably be once a quarter…
  • be able to interpret for ASL

I really am looking forward to finishing a Spartan race this year. Most of the time I am elated and can hardly wait… other times the thought terrifies me. I look back over the last year and realize I have become stronger and may be able to handle it. This incoming year shows much promise and room for growth. Whatever 2017 might hold I am waiting with open arms to embrace my future!

Tell me some of your resolutions or goals for 2017. What are you focusing on this year? Do you make New Year’s goals?

 

Revisit 40

I had a reality check moment the other day. I was filling out a survey and I had to select which age group I belong in. My age wasn’t in my normal bracket, I had to check the next box! Oh man, only 5 more years until I’m officially in my 40s!!

Which reminds me, how is my progress on my 40 by 40 goals? What?! I have not been putting a great effort into my completing my list. Sure, one here and there have been accomplished. The point of creating the list was to have life experiences. Let’s take a look at the goals and my progress. If you see something on my list you can help me with, please let me know!

1. Get to a healthy body/lifestyle. I am still a work in progress. I have reached my pre-pregnancy weight from Baby K. 

2. Complete our family. Still no news on this front. 

3. Run and complete 5k. Done in combination with #4.

4. Complete a MudRun/FunRun/WarriorDash race. DONE. I “ran” an Insane Inflatable 5k a few months ago. 

5. Go on a cruise.

6. Visit at least 1/3 of the LDS temples, in America. 

7. Be free of unsecured debt and have rainy day fund built up comfortably. 

8. Travel to Jerusalem.

9. Read all Jane Austin’s novels. 

10. Go sky diving, at least once.

11. Go to a major league sports game with AJ.

12. Go to a movie alone.

13. Go camping with just the husband. 

14. Visit the beach/ocean/shore on the East Coast. We visited the Chesapeake Bay last month, walking on the beaches there, water from the Atlantic…

15. Attend a show on Broadway. Does Rockettes count?

16. Go to a concert in a park.

17. Write a letter to myself to read in 10 years.

18. Go scuba diving.

19. Learn a foreign language, fluently. 

20. ID and permanently remove a bad habit. Bad habit TBD.

21. Visit and help out at a food kitchen. 

22. Go to a mystery dinner. 

23. Learn to crochet. 

24. Organize all my old pictures and put them with my new ones into albums/scrapbooks.

25. Take a dance class. 

26. Actually make at least half the crafts on my Pinterest craft board.

27. Send notes/cards for every birthday, anniversary and event during one year for all my close friends and family.

28. Randomly send 12 “just because” gifts to unsuspecting friends/family members.

29. Donate my hair. DONE

30. Learn how to play the guitar. 

31. Learn and be fluent in ASL. In progress

32. Take a weekend trip to Vermont during the fall.

33. Go rafting and/or canoeing down the Delaware River.

34. Hike part of the Appalachian trail. 

35. Be more self-reliant on fixing my car. 

36. Really learn how to sew on my sewing machine.

37. Visit one of the Seven Wonders of the World.

38. Learn to surf, and do it.

39. Start a garden to grow own produce, and keep it up.

40. Take time out of my day, at least once a month to catch up with an old friend, via phone, visit or letter.

Meet Our Team Captain

Team Salisbury was founded SEVEN years ago today. As a celebration here are 22 questions I asked AJ about us and me. 


1. Where did we meet?

On the phone while you were working at Wachovia. 

2. How long did we know each other before getting married?

I’ll go with 7 months (he’s right)

3. What is my favorite sweet tooth craving?

My specially made ice cream tacos

4. What is your favorite physical feature about me?

I gotta keep it clean and be cliche and say your eyes. 

5. What is my favorite color?

You have one? Pink? I don’t know, green?

6. What is your favorite memory of us?

When we went camping two summers ago. 

7. What is your favorite quality about me?

Humor

8. If you could change one thing about me what would it be?

Really? 😬 your temper

9. What is one thing you think I can’t live without?

A car

10. What do you think I do best? (My talents)

Empathize well with others and very charismatic. People trust you more than you think. 

11. What is my favorite movie?

Princess Bride

12. Where did we get married? 

Orange County (California) somewhere… I keep thinking about Anaheim. 

13. If we could live anywhere where would it be?

I know you’d want to live in Germany. 

14. What do you think I love most about you?

When I help around the house. 

15. What one thing could I eat for every meal?

Pizza. 

16. What is my biggest pet peeve?

People leaving trash in your car.  No wait liars. No being ignored!

17. What is the best present you have given me?

It doesn’t matter but the best ones are unexpected at random times. 

18. Who takes longer to get ready for the day?

You. Definitely you. 

19. What one food can I not stand eating?

Cherries

20. What color are my eyes?

They’re different colors. You call them green but they have other color flecks in them and they change color. 

21. What’s my favorite type of music?

Country 

22. Who’s movies do I never want to watch?

Will Ferrell. 
Most of these are pretty accurate. What a great man. I’m so lucky to have him. 

Revisit 40

Remember this post from last year? Well I have had a birthday and moved one year closer to being 40! EEK let us not think on that too long… stop it!

Ok well I did update it with a few things I had accomplished here.

Reading over my list I realize some have been forgotten. I am printing this list tonight and hanging it somewhere as a reminder.

I did sort of complete 27. Send notes/cards for every birthday, anniversary and event during one year for all my friends and family. Okay I sent birthdays to my immediate family members this year. Hey that is one heck of a start if you know how my family is! This may need to happen in more depth next year to include close friends and anniversaries of family members as well.

39. Start a garden to grow own produce, and keep it up.
This one won’t be as easy as I imagined. Our ground is packed solid with rocks. The ground is dirt not soil conducive for growing produce. I did plant a small pellet garden this last year as a test run. We were able to get a zucchini and two tomatoes out of it before the deer ate at it. Those deer are brave. I had the garden against our deck. This will be difficult to do at this house but I will continue striving.

40. Take time out of my day, at least once a month to catch up with an old friend, via phone, visit or letter.
Again, I attempted this but did not complete it every month as planned.

With all of these goals and aspirations fresh in my mind I contemplate them and their purpose. Will I be a failure if I do not complete the task I have set before me? No that is not why I am doing this. I want to challenge myself out of my own comfort zone; to explore the world around me. If I never complete #27 fully to the letter I will be okay. I accomplished something I never otherwise would have. This is the purpose of 40 by 40. Live life unchained.

40 by 40 update

I’ve been thinking about my 40 list. Some of these things are in progress

#6: I am trying to find a way to track the temple visits. I might also make that just temples in USA, not worldwide as I do not see myself traveling internationally any time soon.  Below is a map of all the temples and using it I am going to mark off all the ones I have been to.

united-statesunited-statesAs you can see from the city names on the map, I haven’t actually been inside and participated in services in too many of the temples. I have seen a lot of them from the outside but have not been inside for ordinances. I’m just thankful we don’t live in the mid west. At least we have a temple being built in Philadelphia, slightly closer to home than our currently assigned temple in DC.

29. Donate my hair. This is actually something I am currently working on, does it still count?This one is done! On Halloween I had an appointment to get a trim, my hair was getting gangly and too much was falling out, signs of a much needed trim. I wasn’t ready for the full monty so to speak so it was just a trim, until I let myself, Katie and my mom talk me into just getting it done.

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Before – check out that length!
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My donated hair braid.
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After, I was in shock still at how short my hair is now.

40 Things to do Before I Turn 40

I had started a list after reading a few other blogs and posts online recently but my unfinished draft was somehow lost and never saved for me to finish so now I am going to just start this post all anew.

I sometimes ponder on my life; what I have accomplished, what I never finished and what I want to accomplish. At this point in my life I don’t think I will be getting my doctorate in music. Yes I know I have a lot of my life still in front of me but I am on a different path now, and I am okay with that. Still there are some things I would like to do before I hit 40, sort of a mid-life bucket list if you will. So here are 40 things I want to be able to say I have done before my mid-life crisis hits.

1. Get to a healthy body/lifestyle (I have a “number” in mind but as I reach that goal it may be too low or too high depending on how my body changes and develops as I work toward this goal).
2. Complete our family. We have two beautiful girls and a third child of unknown gender developing. If we have more or we don’t, I want to be finished by the time I am 40. I do not want to be raising my kids and having grandchildren over to visit at the same time.
3. Run and complete 5k.
4. Complete a MudRun/FunRun/WarriorDash race.
5. Go on a cruise.
6. Visit at least 1/3 of the LDS temples
7. Be free of unsecured debt and have rainy day fund built up comfortably. We live on what we have and are doing ok, but definitely not where I would like to be.
8. Travel to Jerusalem.
9. Read all Jane Austin’s novels. I love to read but haven’t found time for it, especially any of the classics.
10. Go sky diving, at least once.
11. Go to a major league sports game with AJ. I use to attend Angels games all the time when I lived in California but haven’t been to anything since moving out here or getting married.
12. Go to a movie alone.
13. Go camping with just the husband. Between kids, the dog, work and technology we don’t really get much “alone” together time. This would be a great way to reconnect with each other and nature.
14.  Visit the beach/ocean/shore on the East Coast.
15. Attend a show on Broadway.
16. Go to a concert in a park.
17. Write a letter to myself to read in 10 years.
18. Go scuba diving. AJ and I went snorkeling this last summer in Catalina so I figure scuba diving is the next option.
19. Learn a foreign language so I can fluently speak it.
20.
ID and permanently remove a bad habit. Bad habit TBD.
21. Visit and help out at a food kitchen. Don’t get me wrong I do volunteer work but just never got around to doing this one.
22. Go to a mystery dinner. Seems like they would be fun… even better if I solve it right?
23. Learn to crochet. I remember watching my Grandma crochet and I was never really interested in learning but now that I’m grown and have kids I absolutely wish I had learned.
24. Organize all my old pictures and put them with my new ones into albums/scrapbooks.
25. Take a dance class. A “classic” dance class, I’ve done the stuff they teach at the gym. I mean like ballroom, swing, salsa that kind of dance class.
26. Actually make at least half the crafts on my Pinterest craft board.
27. Send notes/cards for every birthday, anniversary and event during one year for all my friends and family.
28. Randomly send 12 “just because” gifts to unsuspecting friends/family members.
29. Donate my hair. This is actually something I am currently working on, does it still count?
30. Learn how to play the guitar.
31. Learn and be fluent in ASL.
32. Take a weekend trip to Vermont during the fall.
33. Go rafting and/or canoeing down the Delaware River.
34. Hike part of the Appalachian trail. Like really hike it, rucksack and all. Possibly a two-for-one on the camping…
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35. Be more self-reliant on fixing my car. More than just an oil change or tire change, I want to learn about my car and what it needs.
36. Really learn how to sew on my sewing machine.
37. Take a real trip and visit at least one of the Seven Wonders of the World.
38. Learn to surf, and do it.
39. Start a garden to grow own produce, and keep it up.
40. Take time out of my day, at least once a month to catch up with an old friend, via phone, visit or letter.