Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Still keepin' it real.

But really, how do you do it?

Ok, ok. Enough about how DON’T do it all.

But I do do (he he, I said doo doo) a lot. And most of it doesn’t come naturally to me.

I’ve posted about the 10-minute sweep before here and planning meals here, so that’s two ways I get stuff done. They’re both forced activities, but I’m learning to embrace them because I’m always glad I have after the fact.

The other thing I’ve noticed is that I prefer to create one big mess, then clean it all up and be done.

For example: that laundry from Wednesday. It was the ONLY clean load I had. But by Thursday, I had three loads clean – and a nearly empty hamper. So now, I’ll fold it all. Then, put it all away and be done for a while. (Can you hear me breathing a sigh of relief?)

I also am learning to cook dinner (which has to be ready at 6:00 p.m.) and make Brian’s lunch (which doesn’t have to be ready until 10:00 p.m.) all at the same time. I drag everything out for dinner and his lunch at once. Then clean everything up at once. And can be done. And I don’t feel like I’m in the kitchen all night long.

Not rocket science here, but if I can figure out enough of these little tricks, maybe I'll never have to say, "Sorry, Ben. Mommy has to clean."

A girl can dream, right?

What do you do to keep up with cleaning and kids? I'd love to know...

Monday, January 24, 2011

Keepin' it real

I get asked this question a lot. And I always give the same answer: I don’t.

I have a lot on my plate – and I like it that way. I keep my plate full of stuff I love: Family, Pi Phi Alum Club, Advising the Ohio University Pi Phis, Book club, blogging, sewing/crafting, entertaining. I LOVE it all.

But that also means I make trade-offs. Like DAILY.

I choose sewing over laundry.

I choose playing with Ben over mopping.

I choose working out over unloading the dishwasher.

I choose driving to Athens for a Sunday over a grocery shopping.

But you know what? It’s worth it.

So if you would have come to my house Wednesday, you’d have see this laundry waiting to be folded in the middle of the kitchen.

Supplies from an icky cleanup left on the floor.

And me, in that big chair with my son. Watching Up.

And I’m OK with that.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Christmas with the in laws

Christmas is being with family.

That's why the Laeng side of the family just had Christmas last weekend.

With nurses, doctors and police officers all in the same family, that's just the way it is.

It didn't' matter that it was almost mid-January. We tend to make our own traditions.

Getting everyone together is hard to do ... but worth the wait for...

cousins playing....

kids opening presents...

and time to spend as a family...

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Resolutions: Planning meals

Meal planning is essential around here. It helps me save money and sanity. I do my best not to wander the grocery story trying to think up what'll be for dinner the coming week... only to forget what I had dreamed up once I get home (not that that's ever happened to me.. nope. never.)

To top things off, I've had less of an appetite since I had a crown put on Nov. 12 and about 1/2 of my tongue is still numb. (Yes, that's more than two months for those of you wondering. My dentist insists it'll come back, but I'm not holding my breath.)

So, back to meal planning it is. I used to do this on Sundays, curled up on my couch, thumbing through my collection of cook books...

But now, I don't have quite so much time. So, I refer to my favorites here.

And found that I actually like this list from Real Simple Magazine. (LOVE that magazine.)

But, of course, I couldn't leave good enough alone... and I had to make some modifications. And ended up with this.

Makes shopping, prepping AND cooking easier. And, honestly, the process of filling out the list doesn't take long at all. I just do it right before I clip coupons and head to the store.

Now, if you're not a meal planner, but are still in search of a good list, you HAVE to check out this list from the website of one of the most interesting books ever, Milk, Eggs, Vodka. Check it!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Fare thee well, Awesome

Last week, Awesome was adopted.

He's in Virginia now, with a couple in their 50s and their 10 year old cream Frenchie named Rascal.

They have their own room -- with a doggie door to a fenced in yard.

They go on walks every day.

And it's a lot warmer there.

We miss you, Awesome.

And Brian reported you weren't so sure when he handed you over. But your new family reports you're doing great. Playing, snoozing, eating and lounging with your new brother. And you get to sleep in your new humans' bed.

Sounds like a good deal.

Friday, January 14, 2011


Please tell me you've been in this situation:
You're just minding your business, flipping through the mail, when all of a sudden, you see the most gorgeous thing in the world and you MUST have it.

You never knew it existed before, and you're floored. HOW could the universe keep you and this object of desire apart for so long?

Please tell me I'm not alone here.

And someone tell Pottery Barn to quit sending me catalogs, so I don't fall in love with $139+ pickling jars. PICKLING JARS?!

Now, you must know that one summer, I kinda' fell in love with pickling. I blame Martha and this story on pickled grapes on NPR. (Yes, I made them. Yes, they were good.)

And while we're on the topic. What about these gorgeous pieces of art? Yarn bells. I need them. I mean, I've been knitting for, like, 5 minutes. Right?

Thursday, January 13, 2011

A new hobby?

What am I thinking taking on knitting?

I guess all I can ask is that you

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Chores for toddlers

I think most parents would agree that the ability of a child to actually contribute to order in the household is a beautiful thing.

Of course, there's not a ton that toddlers are capable of besides the general pick up of toys.... and, to my great joy, using a spray bottle. Even better, Ben LOVES it.

I can't say he's the most thorough housekeeper I've ever seen, but my theory is that he can't really make it dirtier, so I'll take what I can get.
Other things he can help with include:
-- folding kitchen towels in half (I fold make the first fold and he makes the second)
-- putting said towels in the drawer
-- putting away the silverware (minus the knives, of course)
-- filling the dog bowls with food
-- setting the table
-- putting dirty dishes in the sink

It's not a lot, but it teaches him to pitch in and, I'm pretty sure, gives him a sense of pride... especially when he completes task with a loud "I did it!"

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

I have a signature now

Just had to share ... you can get one too, at MyLiveSignature.com ... the ads are kinda' annoying... but you can do it!

Monday, January 10, 2011

What to do?

So... my husband is a very loyal reader over here... even though he might not admit it...

That and I think I might be a bit obvious when I'm dropping hints... but, ask and ye shall receive, right?

I've been on the search for a milk can all summer and winter. I've even had my friends on the prowl.

I'm not 100 percent even sure why. I just know I want one.

Well.... Ta da!

Bri must have told his mom who told her sister who found me one! Yeah yeah yeah yeah!

So, now that I need your help.... what do I do with it now that I finally have it.

Paint it? I had envisioned white, but these colors match perfectly...

Vinyl lettering like this?

Welcome? More "Laeng, Est. 2005" decor like here? Is just "Milk" too obvious?

What about function? I thought this cold be an umbrella holder (the top DOES come off) but, I dunno? Or I could just clean it out really well, then find tall branches/sticks and other stuff and stick them out of the top, sparingly? Like this but on a larger scale?

Opinions, please!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Worth it.

It took about 25 minutes to get my creatures bundled up.

So that we could play in the snow for exactly 12 minutes.

Worth it.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Chair makeover

Ahh... what a difference a few staples and some foam can make....


And matching throw pillows... all for less than the price of one stool... like less than a Target stool...

Want to try it yourself? All you need is foam from Joann's. Unscrew the seat and trace it onto the foam. Cut the foam with an electic knife (like the kind for carving a turkey), then wrap it with fabric and staple it on. Screw the seat back on, and you're done. Easy peasy!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

I go ice skating again?!

We took Ben ice skating the day after Christmas...

Since then, his most spoken phrase has been "I go ice skating agin?"

How can you say "no" to that?

You can't.

So, we took him to Chiller at Easton last week. This time, he wasn't as fearless...

"If you want to play hockey, you have to learn to ice skate first. Ok? You try again?"

He's still not so sure...

But, he totally caught on...

the only bummer is: no group lesson's until he's 3.... looks like mommy'll be lacing up her skates a lot until then...

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Monday, January 3, 2011

Me too!

Do you know The Giver's Log?

Might I suggest you check it out?

It's insprirational, thoughtful, accessible... and lots more.

Often, I find myself thinking "me too"... or "me too, sister. me too."

Check it out here if you've ever searched for balance.

2011 Resolving...

Under construction....

Mucho thanks to Samster Mommy and this amazing post to get me motivated to dust off my HTML knowledge (circa freshman year) and make the improvements I've been dreaming about...

Keep checking back as things change... for the better :)

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Blue and white...

A peek at my fav room this Christmas... and reminders on how to do again next year...
Silver ornaments that look like they're floating. (AKA Fishing line and dollar spot at Target...)

My mantel decor... mostly clearance from last year... love how it sparkles...

Sample sale tree... pre-lit AND decorated... could you ask for anything easier?

Sigh... now to take it down tomorrow...

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