Posted in diy

Mason jar shelf

It seems like you can’t browse the interwebs or Pinterest these days without seeing mason jars everywhere. Home decor, organization, and even food storage, what a concept! I have always loved mason jars and have used them in my home for several things like drinking glasses and a pendant light fixture and yes, food storage. I have canned things in the past and also like to ferment sauerkraut and other veggies occasionally.

Because of our little kitchen space has no cabinetry, I’m always trying to get things off the counter tops. A friend of mine has this amazing mason jar shelf that runs floor-to-ceiling in her pantry. It’s only one jar deep but holds all of her Bulk foods, dehydrated food, home preserved foods and looks really nice. So I’ve been wanting to build a much smaller version for a little area on the wall adjacent to my kitchen.

We were helping another friend move last weekend I was able to scavenge a piece of old 1×4 to cut up for the project. I drew it all out and cut the pieces with a jigsaw and then my husband and I put it together yesterday. I was going to use some type of dowel across the front of each row to help the jars saying place like the one at my friend’s house, but my husband had another idea that I liked even better: stainless steel cable. We do have a rustic industrial, vintage vibe going on in our kitchen in general so I thought it would fit right in. I was able to get all of the mason jars that hold our bulk food off the countertop to free up space for…what my husband hopes is not just more stuff. I’m hoping so too. I’m going to try to preserve the space for prep work and maybe just empty space?! In case you’re wondering, the shelf is 18 in wide by 25 in high.

Posted in mom life

Are You An Asshole Parent? I am!

I mean, before a couple days ago I would not put myself in that camp, until a friend told me about this awesome website, assholeparents.com. Their definition is as follows:

“Have you ever suggested your child eat a broken granola bar? Have you ever barred your child from playing with power tools? Have you ever served your child a drink from the pink cup when they wanted blue? Then you, too, might be an asshole parent.”

As a parent of a toddler, I found so much comfort and solidarity in this compilation of pictures of little humans in the throes of meltdown captioned with a #assholeparents hashtag and a sentence describing the insane context for these fits, which only a parent would believe. I encourage any parent to check it out. For those of you who are not a fan of vulgar language, try to overlook the title, it’s worth it.

I had my own asshole parent moment a couple nights ago when I bought my child green tic-tacs at the grocery checkout like he enthusiastically requested, only for him to discover a few minutes later in the car that he really wanted orange tic-tacs. Can you believe I wouldn’t stop at another store for orange tic-tacs?:

This is such a trying part of parenting. It takes everything in me not to scream “STOP IT!” at the top of my lungs when we’re 15 minutes into a blow out tantrum but I just do my best to breathe deep until the storm passes. Like most toddlers, my son is a sweet, creative, smart and loving little person about 85% of the time, so I guess we have to take the bad with the good. I’m not easy to love all the time, either.

Would you reclassify yourself as an asshole parent?

Posted in mom life

Do You Speak Toddler?

Some of my two year old’s favorite words or phrases. Our household will never say these things correctly again, so hopefully he will learn the right words from the rest of the world:

Pea-nucks – small legumes to be eaten by the truckload

Pluto – colorful, malleable dough to be squished and flattened and hid in a corner somewhere until it is a useless dry lump

Mingo – a large pink bird that stands on one leg

Hummee – a spread or dip made of chickpeas olive oil, garlic, and lemon to be consumes by itself with a spoon.

Digger trucks – 1. A very specific type of toy or life size piece of heavy equipment with a long arm that scoops or grasps things, i.e. excavator, power shovel 2. Any video of YouTube that my son wants to watch, sometimes involving heavy machinery.

Pa-mimi – “part of monkey”, more specifically, the pacifier part that used to be attached to a little stuffed monkey. The item we must have on hand at all times or risk a full meltdown.

Big giant man – the Iron Giant, a character from the 1990s cartoon movie with the same name. We talk a lot about the possible whereabouts of the big giant man.

Tractor Surprise – a beloved chain of ag stores that contain, in addition to many other things, lots of toy trucks

Do you have any adorable toddler sayings to share?

Posted in recipes

Toastless French Toast Souffle

I have definitely seen the benefits of good nutrition on my toddler’s health. He has a super hardy immune system. I’m not that obsessed mom that doesn’t allow treats ever or makes her child eat all his veggies. I might have to be if he had a condition like Celiac or juvenile diabetes but we’re blessed to have a healthy, vibrant, and strong two and a half year old that likes most everything.

One super easy recipe that has made it possible to get out the door every hectic, weekday morning with a whole foods breakfast is the 5 Minute Toastless French Toast Souffle. I call it this because it has a taste and texture similar to baked French toast casserole without the bread. I originally discovered this concept from a Whole Life Challenge blog post but have made a modification or two.

The trick is mashing the four whole foods ingredients together thoroughly with a fork inside a coffee mug, incorporating the ingredients in the order listed below. Then you microwave the mug for 1 minute, stir it up and microwave it for another minute. Since every microwave is different, you may need to play around with the timing to get it to the right consistency (like scrambled eggs, you want them pretty well cooked through but not too dry). You can eat it right out of the mug or flip it into a container for the road.

Ingredients:

1 ripe banana

1 Tbsp peanut butter or other nut butter

1 egg

A sprinkle of cinnamon (if desired)

If you give it a try, let me know how it goes!

Posted in reviews

By the Book

I have a long daily commute and so most of my entertainment time has shifted away from television and movies to podcasts and radio. Just a few months ago I discovered a new podcast called By The Book. By The Book is a podcast where Jolenta Greenberg and Kristen Meinzer, two friends with very different personalities, try to gain insight and wisdom by following popular self-help books. They establish the “rules” of each book and then live by them for two weeks, summarizing their experiences and providing a verdict as to whether the book was life changing and whether they would recommend it. Then a week after the episode airs, a mini-episode comes out to share and discuss listener feedback.

Although there is a ton of humor (and some explicit language), the thing that hooked me on By The Book is the vulnerability that both co-hosts display as they process each book’s experience. While their husbands don’t also follow the “rules”, the ladies do include their husbands perspectives on the rules and the impacts the books have on their homes and relationships. Both husbands are so fabulous and supportive that sometimes they steal the show.

Just a few of the books this dynamic duo has lived by and reviewed include: the Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up, the Miracle Morning, Bored and Brilliant, French Women Don’t Get Fat, Men Are from Mars, Women Are From Venus , and Why Good Things Happen to Good People. Even when the authors come from a very different world view than Kristen and Jolenta, they really seem to give each book a shot and look objectively for the strengths. These ladies both have very distinct speech patterns and/or regional accents that I find fun to listen to and I enjoy the way they complement each other. After listening for a few months, they feel like old friends.

Do you have any good podcast recommendations?

Posted in faith

My Prayer for 2018

dear-god-12893522

This year, teach me to be both faithful and courageous.

31077-Mother-Teresa-Quote-Be-faithful-in-small-things-because-it-is-inI want to be faithful in the all the of tiny things you’ve entrusted to my care day in and day out. Help me to lean into my responsibilities and embrace the roles you have given to me. Help me to see even the most mundane chores as acts of worship.

be-strong-and-courageous-orlando-espinosaAlso, show me how to be courageous enough to sign up for your big, scary, exciting adventures. Help me know when to say yes to projects that push me to grow, conversations I’d rather avoid, and new, uncomfortable experiences.

more-like-god

Open my eyes to those things in my heart and life that are holding me back from being a useful vessel for your love and make me more like you.

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Me

Posted in reviews

Why I Love Wunderlist

I am the poster child for the “type B” personality. My car always looks like a rolling lost and found closet, my clean clothes never seem to make it back to the drawers and before I discovered Wunderlist, my life was littered with post it notes. One day about six months ago, while lamenting to a friend about how scattered I always felt, he told me about a book called Getting Things Done. Disclaimer: I did not actually read the book but got a great overview of the system of organization from their website as well as through several YouTube summaries of the book. If you struggle with keeping all the things in your head, check it out:

Getting Things Done

In a nutshell, the guiding principle is that our brains were designed to problem solve and create, not hold onto information. When we try to hold information in our heads, we keep checking back to that information, interrupting our other thinking processes. And we still may not remember. Finding an external system that both captures information and prompts periodic review allows a person to focus on more pressing cognitive tasks with greater efficiency. So that blew my mind. But what system would help me both easily capture and review all the categories of information I was constantly juggling?

I know there are some die hard analog, pen and paper fans out there and for you, I would recommend checking out the Planner Pad or bullet journaling. Before I had a smartphone, I used a Planner Pad for several years and it was so helpful with this process. But now that I use my smartphone for my calendar, I wanted a digital solution so I didn’t have to worry about keeping up with another physical thing.

That’s where Wunderlist came into play.

Wunderlist allows you to keep all your different lists in one place: groceries, errands, gift ideas, work tasks, daily/ weekly/ monthly recurring to dos, movie recommendations, vacation packing lists, etc.

Each list can be ordered multiple ways. When I’m planning my grocery shopping, ill put the store name in front of the item if it’s on sale so i can sort by store:

You can also set priorities and reminders, both recurring and non recurring, to prompt you:

The two features I like best are the quick list input that can be added to your pull down notifications menu and the widget for your home screen. They make it super easy to add, edit, and check off items as well as to toggle between lists.

The lists sync with all your devices and there’s a Google chrome web browser extension for desktop/ laptop use in addition to the mobile apps. It doesn’t integrate into my calendar but I don’t think it feels clunky using it along with my calendar and email. If you use Wunderlist or another digital app to capture your lists, what do you like best?