Tuesday, December 31, 2013

1st 21-Day Challenge: Are You In?

So tomorrow begins a New Year of exciting opportunities and the chance to master all those goals that have recycled on our New Year's Resolutions lists for years. Remember, these should be things that matter to you--not to everyone around you. If we're not careful, we spend so much time worrying about what everyone else is doing, we get lost and we don't progress. So, have a sit-down with yourself. Remember, we're letting things add up--you don't have to be perfect tomorrow. Start with you priorities--START WITH ONE GOAL and do it for 21 DAYS STRAIGHT. Master it! Make it a habit before you move on. I've got my goal--30 min of religious study a day. I need that to gain the right focus for the year and for each day. What matters to you? What is your goal? Ready. Set. Go. Feel free to share them, make them public, or keep them private--the key is not to give up. We've got this--remember, the longest journey (becoming your best self) begins with one tiny step.


Monday, December 30, 2013

F.E.D. (Fast, Easy, Delicious) Recipe: Quick Cheesy Corn Chowder

Here is another F.E.D. Recipe (Fast, Easy, Delicious) family favorite from my mom's side. Everyone in the family LOVES this dinner--and it's for the busiest nights--it's all cooked in under 10 min in the microwave!

Quick Corn Chowder

2 T. Margarine or Butter
1 onion chopped (large or small onion depending on your preference)
2 Cans Cream of Potato Soup
1 1/2 Cups Milk
2 Cans Whole Kernel Corn, Drained
1 1/2 Cups Cheese, Grated (I add extra cheese)
Salt and Pepper

Put butter and chopped onion in large glass bowl, cover. Heat in microwave for 3-4 min. Stir in soup, milk, corn, cheese. Add salt and pepper. Microwave on high 8-10 min, covered. Stir and Serve--delicious with warm bran or blueberry muffins! Enjoy!


Monday, December 23, 2013

New Year's Resolutions: "Let It Add Up!"

So, as most of you probably do, I've already started thinking about some New Year's resolutions. Here is the thing, we spend a lot of time in our society and our lives COUNTING DOWN to things. Might I suggest that those New Year's Resolutions that repeatedly appear on our list of New Year's Goals might actually get checked off this year if we LET THINGS ADD UP! Let me explain: Start with one goal--not three. Start with one goal and spend the 21 days it takes to make it a habit and MASTER IT BEFORE YOU MOVE ON! We overwhelm ourselves with trying to make 3, 5 or even 10 goals all get rolling at once. I know--I teach a Zumba Class. January is always BOOMING and then steadily, as the year progresses, the class often gets smaller and smaller until December is TINY! If we are a little more realistic, start with one goal, master it . . . then another and master it--we'll finally stop seeing the same goals at the beginning of each year and we'll realize that even though it took the entire year, WE ACTUALLY PROGRESSED by slowly LETTING THINGS ADD UP!



Saturday, December 21, 2013

Christmas Decor

Here's a little taste of this year's Christmas Decor--thanks to an A-MAZING husband! :) When we think Christmas, we think country-rustic:

The family room mantel:

The front door

The front porch

Christmas Lights

Christmas Party Set-up

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Baby Girl's Nursery: The Details!

Here are more detailed pictures of our daughter's nursery. My husband did all the painting and woodwork--I'm the decorator. 

We had the bedding made and used it to start for colors.

Her Shadow Box

I matched the fabric and made the bows for the storage boxes, initials and door picture. My husband painted the initials.

The crib and dresser were cherry and from our first son's nursery--repainted they look brand new!


 I found this art free on line, downloaded it, edited it to match the colors of the room and then had it made into a canvas. I also found this frame on discount and my husband painted it for me.

The chandelier was a major debate in our house--my husband--and others--were sure that it would look ridiculous, cheap and gaudy. I made sure I got a very simple, elegant fixture that would be delicate enough for a baby's room--and beautiful. Everyone loved it once it was up. My husband also painted a ceiling medallion for me.

Again, home-made art. I tried to make a canvas of the quote, but didn't like the way it looked--so I came back to a simple print.

We had a built-in to begin with, but with cupboards. I asked my husband to convert it to open storage space--so much prettier!

I love the calming grey of the walls and the very simple pops of pink here and there. I like pink, but didn't want the usual overwhelming look. I love this room--it is so relaxing.

The chair was recovered in a white denim-like fabric with grey piping. The pillow cases were also made to match the bedding.

View from the hallway

When we moved into our home, they had placed hooks on the doors that we didn't like--but couldn't get off without damaging the doors. I ended up making a door hangar and I like it.

I also asked him to add bead board to the backs of the shelves so you didn't see the plain wall-love how it turned out!

I love the look of light mercury glass--found this cute lamp base and added an old, petite shade. Also, the table was originally black--but I loved the fir top--so my husband painted that and cut it down to size to fit the refinished chair.

Again, mercury glass and small pink flower arrangements to give a simple pop of color above the window.

Love the finished product! Still thinking I'll make a few tweaks on wall-art, but otherwise--so happy!

F.E.D. Recipe: Sweet & Sour Chicken (or Russian Chicken)

This will be the first of many "F.E.D." Recipes: Fast, Easy, Delicious and Everyone is FED! We all know we are usually in a hurry, but that doesn't mean we want our families eating things that aren't nutritious and delicious. Here is a family favorite that's been handed down on my mother's side that everyone loves:

Sweet & Sour Chicken (Russian Chicken)
1 pkg. Lipton Onion Dry Soup Mix
8 oz. Apricot Preserves(or Apricot/Pineapple--it adds extra flavor) 
1 8 oz. Russian Dressing
4-6 Chicken Breasts (or tenders, etc.)--I put mine in frozen.  (You can use more chicken as long as the sauce covers it for cooking--and there is some left over to sweeten your rice)!

Directions: Combine Soup Mix, Preserves and Dressing and mix in a bowl. Pour over chicken in a crockpot and cook on low for 4-6 hours, or until the chicken is cooked through but still tender.

Pour chicken and some (or a lot) of juice/dressing over rice (we enjoy long grain or brown rice)! Viola! Delicious!


Wednesday, December 4, 2013

A "Tiny Tidbit for Today"

Did you know it takes 21 days--3 weeks--to make or break a habit? It does. We have 21 days before Christmas . . . what would you like to change about you for Christmas???

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Our Baby Girl's Nursery Preview

We've almost finished our baby girl's room. Key words: grey, white and pale pink. Here's a sneak peak...more pictures and details to follow!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Confessions of an Imperfect-Perfectionist

So truthfully, I have the plague of perfectionism. In fact, at first I wanted to name this blog "Confessions of an Imperfect Perfectionist", but seeing as how I am striving not to define myself constantly as perfect or imperfect, I chose a different title. I have often heard that your greatest strength can also be your biggest weakness--and I believe that. I'll most likely touch on perfectionism and its struggles a lot throughout this blog, but for tonight--just a simple thought: We were sent here imperfect for a reason with an innate desire to be perfect. That is a strength. Wanting to do things perfectly (or even well) is a strength. Letting the fear of failure (ie. the fear of doing them imperfectly) affect you or impede your progression, creativity and/or contribution to life and society is a weakness. My brother shared a great analogy he heard from a fellow missionary while serving a Church Mission in Texas. It has many applications, but it fits this subject quite well. I'm paraphrasing, but the analogy goes something like this: A man spoke about the feeling of having two wolves inside of him constantly fighting for food. One of the wolves was good, one was evil. The man talked about how the wolf that was winning in his soul (or the kind of person he was) depended on which wolf he fed. So, I try to ask myself--am I feeding the weak side of perfectionism by allowing fear of failure to halt or completely block my progression or am I focusing on the strength side of perfectionism which involves giving my best and trying to become better--even on things I can't do perfectly? I ask you the same question--maybe more in relation to your greatest strength and weakness--which wolf are you feeding?


Saturday, November 23, 2013

Welcome to a REAL-LIFEstyle Blog!

So, I'm taking the plunge. Welcome to my blog. This is a place for me to share everything and anything that relates . . . to well . . . anything. This is a fun space, but not just for "style"--which although I love in every form, a pure "lifestyle" blog usually seems to me to be very unrealistic for a real-life sort of person. So, I have happily renamed this a REAL-LIFEstyle Blog and it will include some style, some decorating, maybe even some projects . . . but most of all it will be a forum for sharing REAL-LIFE thoughts, favorite things, ideas, feelings, experiences, and REALITY from this "at-home" wife and mother of three (that makes me laugh because you are hardly ever really at home as a "stay-at-home-mom"), non-practicing attorney, Zumba instructor, designer, fashionista, sports enthusiast, writer and whatever else comes in to play on my journey. So--come along and take what you like, leave what you don't and comment on what moves you. Invite a friend. Hope you enjoy!