Feathering My Nest

What I’m Into ~ June 2015 Edition

What I'm Into ~ June 2015 Edition

 

Happy July, friends! Are y’all having a good summer so far? I’m wishing that these summer days would slow down a little. It feels like it is flying by much faster than I’d like – but I guess that’s just a challenge to be present and soak it all in!

 

It’s that time again – time to join the lovely Leigh Kramer in rounding up what we’ve been into in June. I love checking out all the awesome blog posts to find new ideas for books to read, movies to watch, and things to enjoy! Grab a glass of lemonade, curl up in the air condition, and check them out!

 

 Pretty Things ~

 

I could give up shopping, but I'm not a quitter! ~ justoneoftheboys.com

 

I saw this sign at a local consignment boutique, and I just had to snap a picture for Instagram!

 

Purple GUESS booties ~ justoneoftheboys.com

 

 

And speaking of consignment stores, I found these purple GUESS booties on clearance at one of my favorite local consignment shops for only $8! They were begging me to bring them home – and I just couldn’t resist! Now I can’t wait for cooler weather so I can wear them!

 

Vintage train case turned into a makeup case! ~ justoneoftheboys.com

 

 

I’ve been looking for a better way to store my makeup. I don’t have very much in the way of cosmetics, but I was outgrowing my little antique bowl. I hated that brushes and blush would fall out of the container, and it was leaving me feeling disorganized – which is not now I want to start the day.

 

I started browsing Pinterest for ideas, but nothing seemed to fit my needs. It was then that I remembered a vintage train cases! Many of them had small mirrors and trays – perfect for a retro woman on-the-go! I found this one on eBay. It’s faux leather, and in awesome condition! Someone replaced the fabric in the bottom of the case – it’s rather groovy now – but once I set my plastic tiered organizer inside, I couldn’t see it any more. It’s been the perfect solution to my makeup organizing woes. It has plenty of room for my small-ish collection, and a little more room to grow. *Wink* And I couldn’t be more thrilled!

 

Date night decisions - boots or wedges? ~ justoneoftheboys.com

 

We had a couple of date nights this month! I sent out a plea for help on Facebook and Instagram one night when I couldn’t decide which shoe to wear to our mystery date with a group of friends from church. I ended up picking the boots because I learned that our date was outside, and I didn’t want to be teetering around in heels when I didn’t know what we were going to do. We ended up going to an awesome little airport that also has a restaurant attached. We watched bi-planes take off and land as we devoured burgers and visited. What fun! Have you ever been on a mystery date?

 

What I’m Read in June~

 

Scary Close, by Donald Miller – I was excited to finally get my hands on his newest book! I’m introverted by nature, and tend to be pretty guarded – too guarded – to protect myself from the hurt of others, but this helped me to see that I am not gaining anything by keeping people from getting close to me. It was an eye-opener, for sure!

 

Still Alice ~ justoneoftheboys.com

 

Still Alice, by Lisa Genova – Wow. This one really got to me. I felt as though I was getting an unveiled look into what it must be like to have Early Onset Alzheimer’s Disease. I’m a stickler for reading the book before seeing the movie, so now I’m excited to finally see the film soon!

 

The Life-Chaging Magic of Tidying Up ~ justoneoftheboys.com

 

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, by Marie Kondo – Now I know what all the fuss was about! This was a fabulous little book – so challenging and inspiring! I wasn’t even through the book yet when I purged a large portion of my closet. I have been hanging on to clothes and jewelry that I never wear. Even though my things were well organized, I didn’t realize how much the “clutter” of having more things than I need was affecting me. I love walking into my newly purged closet and seeing ONLY the clothes that I enjoy wearing. There’s also something much less stressful about knowing that whatever you pull out of your closet is going to feel good, look good, and boost your confidence.

 

Dear Mr. Knightley, by Katherine Reay – This had been sitting on my Kindle for several months, but it wasn’t until my friend Crystal from Money Saving Mom recommended this book to me that I finally started reading it. It was perfect to read by the pool when the boys began swimming lessons. It was heartwarming, thoughtful, and kept me engaged through the last page. It was just light and fluffy enough for summer, while inspiring me as a writer!

 

 

Reading in July ~

 

What I'm Reading - June 2015  justoneoftheboys.com

 

Love Walked In, by Marisa de los Santos – I’ve spent the last 10 nights trying to read this book before bed, but I kept falling asleep and losing my place! I picked it up this morning on our way out the door for swimming lessons, and by the time our hour was up, I thought the story was pretty promising!

 

The Husband’s Secret, by Liane Moriarty – I finished (and LOVED) Big Little Lies over Memorial weekend, and decided to dive into this one in July!

 

Americanah, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – I keep hearing over and over again what a wonderful book this is – so I used our Audible credit for the audio version to listen to this month! I recently watched Chimamanda give a commencement speech online, and was so moved, that I had to move it up on my to-read list!

 

Stories I Only Tell My Friends, by Rob Lowe – I’ve had this one on my radar for a while. I enjoy celebrity memoirs, and I’ve heard this one is especially good. I remembered recently while ordering other books from the library – so I just added it to the ever-growing stack. So many books, so little time!

 

The Kill Artist, by Daniel Silva – This one comes highly recommended by my friend Ashley. She loves spy books, and it sounds like this is the first one in the series. I loved the Bourne books, so I’m excited to step into this series!

 

A Monster Calls, by Patrick Ness – Our oldest has to do a book report over the summer and hand it in when he starts middle school in August. The book has to be over 150 pages, have literary merit, and be written between 2005 – 2015. We looked up lists of the best YA books, and this one piqued his interest. He flew through it, and was excited to get started on his book report – so I had to add it to my list to read this month!

 

Feathering My Nest ~

 

I finally tackled our middle son’s room this month. I’d only put it off for nearly *cough* four years *cough*! I had procrastinated because the former owners had put up a wallpaper border (blue flowers, btw) near the ceiling, and THEN painted the rest of the walls up to the line of the wallpaper. When I steamed and removed the flower border, it left a definite and unsightly line of demarcation.

 

That’s when I got out the spackle and filled in the area around the line, and the other areas that needed a quick layer.

 

Boy's room mid-project - rock wall, hanging ladder ~ justoneoftheboys.com

 

Then I sanded the whole room – and ended up with gray hair to show for it! Thankfully it washed right now. Whew!

 

DIYers gone wild! Gray hair! ~ justoneoftheboys.com

 

I put up a few paint samples around his room, and let him choose his favorite. He chose this gorgeous color from Benjamin Moore – Hudson Bay.

 

I love Benjamin Moore colors, but I’ve always been so impressed with the durability and coverage of Behr’s Ultra primer and paint in one, so I had it mixed at Home Depot. I finished it in one day, and applied a few touch-ups the next morning before moving his furniture back into place. Now he has a brand new room!

 

And look how good his Ninja Warrior equipment looks against the new wall color!

 

Navy blue boy's room! A rock wall and a hanging ladder are a great way for little boys to get out their energy! Benjamin Moore Hudson Bay ~ justoneoftheboys.com

 

I’ll be sharing more about Aiden’s room makeover soon! Next up, Quinn’s room is going to get a fresh new look! I just might get started weekend!

 

What about you?

 

What have you been up to lately? Have you read any good books? Watched a fantastic movie? I can’t wait to hear about it!

 

As always, thank you so much for spending a little bit of your day with me. Your encouragement and comments mean the world to me! You can also find me on FacebookInstagramPinterest, and Twitter. I’d love to hear from you!

 

Until next time,

*Hugs*

~ G

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What I’m Into ~ November 2014 Edition

It’s here! It’s here! The November Edition of What I’m Into is finally here! I love this link-up hosted by the lovely Leigh Kramer! Fix yourself a cup of hot cocoa, curl up in front of the fireplace, and check out the other awesome link-ups this weekend. That’s what I’m doing right now!

Our Little Corner of the World

A little laundry time…

What I'm Into Nov laundry

A little hot tea in my jammies…

What I'm Into Nov pajamas

A little writing here, a little bling there, a little dark polish that’s perfect for fall…

What I'm Into Nov 1

A few science experiments… (Pop Rocks and Sprite)

science experiment

And a whole lot of snuggling…

What I'm Into Nov Snuggles

Between the Pages

What I'm Into Nov As You Wish

As You Wish, by Cary Elwes – Favorite book of the month! I listened to this book with our Audible credit – and I can’t recommend the audio edition of it enough. Cary Elwes, (aka Westley) takes us on the journey to filming the much-beloved classic movie The Princess Bride. I love this audio version – Cary Elwes does incredible accents, and most of the movie cast lent their voices to reading their own memories from this amazing movie! I laughed until I cried during stories about Andre the Giant and Miracle Max! It has pretty clean language. Fair warning – it may have contained the d-word (as my boys call it) once or twice, but my two oldest boys have enjoyed listening to it with me as we cook and clean up in the kitchen, and when we’re in the car running errands. If you loved the movie (I still haven’t read the actual Princess Bride book yet!), I’m betting that you’ll also love As You Wish!

Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces that Stand in the Way of True Inspiration, by Ed Catmull – This was a fascinating look into Pixar – the history, the ups and downs, and the things that have made it great! I’m not a boss in business, but it gave me some ideas for cultivating creativity and teamwork in my own family!

Sheltering Rain, by Jojo Moyes – I’m a big Moyes fan, and my friend Jan was nice enough to lend me her copy of this book! It wasn’t my favorite book by this author – that title still goes to Me Before You – but it was still enjoyable.

Yes please

Yes Please, by Amy Poehler –  I feel like I’ve been waiting for this book for years! It was an awesome look into her early life, her work on SNL and Parks and Rec, and laugh-out-loud funny!

Food: A Love Story, by Jim Gaffigan – Looking for more laughs? Check out Jim Gaffigan’s newest book! I listened to this on a road trip, and he kept me in stitches – and made me pretty hungry!

On my Nightstand

I’m about to dive into several books this month:

A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes from My Kitchen Table, by Molly Wizenberg

Delancey: A Man, a Woman, a Restaurant, a Marriage, by Molly Wizenberg

#GIRLBOSS, by Sophia Amoruso

Save the Cat, by Blake Snyder

What are you reading this month?

Screen Time

My Beloved and I went to see the new Hunger Games movie on opening night with my siblings. The six of us plus a few of their friends really enjoyed the first installment of Mockingjay, and I can’t believe we have to wait a full year before we get to see the second half! Mockingjay was my least favorite book in the trilogy, but I was pretty impressed with the movie. Go figure!

We also saw Jon Stewart’s directorial debut – Rosewater.  Wow. The true story of a journalist who was imprisoned and tortured while covering the 2009 elections in Iran. We were the only two people in the theatre, which was pretty sad considering this is still going on all over the world.

Interstellar – Whoa. Buckle your seat belts, folks. This movie is a wild ride! I can’t tell you more than that – but it left me wanting to see it again!

Top Gear and Top Gear US are huge favorites in our house full of men. Joe and our boys have been watching past episodes whenever they get the chance – and I enjoy watching it, too!

And we’re still catching up on this season of Homeland. Let me just say this – If the Taliban lays one finger on Inigo Montoya (Saul), so help me, I’m never watching it again!

On the Blog

Once upon a time

I shared how forever can finally begin!

Chapter 12 ~ My New Friend

My New Friend ~ Chapter 12 of Our Story

Chapter 13

She Began to Twirl Once More ~ Chapter 13 of Our Story

Building Your Nest Together - Williams Sonoma

What I wish I’d known all those years ago about registering for my wedding! Don’t make the same mistakes I did!

Coming Up

We’re going on our honeymoon! After being married for four years, we will finally get away together, relax, recharge, and celebrate the wild roller coaster of our life together so far! Hawaii, here we come!

How about you?

What have you been into this past month? Have you read any good books? Seen any must-watch movies? What shows are you watching these days?

I’d love to hear all about it!

Have you signed up to have my new posts delivered straight to your inbox yet? Just go to the Subscribe Now section to the right – and you won’t miss a thing! It’s as easy as that – and nothing makes me happier! Don’t forget – you can also find me on FacebookInstagramPinterest, & Twitter!

Until next time,

*Hugs*

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Building Your Nest Together: Wedding Registry

Building Your Nest Together - Williams Sonoma

I practically floated around the store that day, pausing here and there to use my magical little scanner with its beeping red light. I was only twenty-years-old, and there I was choosing things for our wedding registry. It was the start of the rest of our lives!

Pots and pans. Curtains. Blender. Lamp. Drinking glasses. Throw pillows. Steak knives. 

Because of our generous friends and family, we would have all of the things newlyweds think they should register for as they began their new life together.

But then, life happened.

Over time, the pots and pans wore away and my decorating style evolved. The towels frayed, knives rusted, and I only used the milkshake machine once. I had scanned and beeped away to my little heart’s content, but I had neglected to think about things that would last forever.

I was recently asked if I had any wedding registry advice for an excited couple, and I jumped at the chance to share what I wish I had known back when I was a preparing to build my nest!

It’s thirteen years later, but I still wish that I had invested in quality rather than quantity.

I have always been a frugal girl, and as much as I love a good bargain, I wish that I could go back and tell myself that it would be wise and not a waste to invest in things for our home that were sure to last a lifetime.

Cutlery

As a young bride, I had no idea how much nicer it would be to have quality knives in my cooking arsenal. My Beloved says that good knives are comfortable to use, durable, and they won’t rust. I love that food preparation has never been easier (or safer!) since we invested in a few excellent knives, and sharpen them regularly.

My dad always says, “Take care of your things, and your things will take care of you.”

 

Kitchen Aid Mixer - Williams-Sonoma

My middle-of-the-line appliances didn’t fare very well. The blender gave out on me, the toaster died, and the hand mixer couldn’t manage all of the recipes I had wanted to tackle.

I know a family who has used the same Kitchen Aid mixer for twenty years, so when it was finally time for me to look for a new one, I knew exactly what I wanted. I have never had an issue with my little red machine. It mixes pancake batter for our family’s Saturday morning pancakes, and has whipped egg whites for a fancy Pavlova dessert.

Hard-working, easy to use, and fun to look at – what’s not to love?

Le Creuset

Eight years (and several failed pots and pans) later, my friend Joanne carefully handed me a heavy package. I couldn’t hold back the tears that filled my eyes as I unwrapped her gift.

Le Creuset.

My fingers touched the raised letters on the lid, and I lifted it to find the most beautiful cast-iron braising pan. In red, my favorite color, of course.

“This is for a fresh start. It’s something that will last you forever.”

I cook absolutely everything in my braising pan. It makes the most delicious roast chicken, scrambled eggs, and fruit crisp. I love it so much that I asked for a similar oval Dutch oven last Christmas!

My friend was right – these really will last forever. Her gift, and her friendship, are things that I will cherish for the rest of my life…

 

Kitchen - Wedding Registry

You can find these ideas and more at Williams-Sonoma.com. And be sure to check out their Wedding Registry resource page if you are planning your own big day!

Just remember one thing – Styles change and trends will come and go, but quality is what you need as you begin feathering your nest together. In your marriage and in your home, invest in those things that will last a lifetime.

How about you? What advice do you have for couples who are setting out on this new journey together? What was your favorite thing from your own wedding registry? I’d love to hear from you in the comments!

Are you on FacebookInstagramPinterest? Twitter? I can’t wait to connect with you! And don’t forget that you can get my new posts delivered straight to your inbox – just go to the subscribe button on the right!

*Hugs*

Until next time,

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Happier, Healthier You ~ November

A Happier Healthier You - justoneoftheboys.com Oh, how I have missed our HAPPIER, HEALTHIER YOU posts! Why did I stop sharing my goals and updates? To be honest, I was having a hard time near the end of my Beloved’s deployment. I wasn’t taking very good care of myself by then, but I had been doing what I could to get through those last rough deployment days. The weight of the stress, fear, and trying to be tough really wore me down – and I felt as though I crawled across the finish line when he wrapped his arms around me when I waited for him at the airport.

We pretty much hibernated for the two weeks that he was home – and I loved every minute of it! We played with the boys, had family movie nights, snuggled, and soaked up the time that we were all together. We even started designing a piece of furniture that he is now building!

I realized lately that even though I have been keeping up a few of the habits I developed when we were sharing our goals and progress together, I have fallen behind on other things.

Working out? Nope.

Early morning quiet time? Not happening.

Staying away from sugar? Umm…Excuse me…while I…finish…chewing this TWIX bar…from a trick-or-treat basket…

It’s time to get back to it – and I hope that you’ll join me! Let’s get back to encouraging and challenging each other to take better care of ourselves! Our loved ones need us!

 This Month’s Goals ~

  • Stay hydrated with water and coconut water
  • Eat a healthy meal each morning
  • Buy myself new socks to wear with boots for the winter
  • Get my heart pumping with exercise at least 4 times each week
  • Get up early most mornings to enjoy quiet alone time before the busy day begins
  • File my nails and care for my cuticles – and polish them with fun colors
  • LIMIT SUGAR
  • Have board game nights with the boys
  • Curl up in bed with a book by 10pm most nights
  • Write two special posts for the blog: Not Wasted Time, and Chapter 12 of Our Story

What about you?

Who’s with me? I super duper missed our little community of friends helping and encouraging each other to take a little time for ourselves! I would be so thrilled if you would come on this journey with me!

I’ll be sharing pictures of my progress on Instagram and Facebook throughout the month! And even Twitter, if I can figure the darn thing out! Have you signed up to have my new posts delivered straight to your inbox yet? Just go to the Subscribe Now section right under the picture  on the right – and type in your email address. You won’t miss a thing, and you will make my whole day! It’s as easy as that!

Let’s get back to taking better care of our bodies, hearts, and minds – so we can better care for those that we love! Let’s finish out this year healthier than ever!

*hugs*

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The House of Memories…

When I moved to a rural community with my family when I was ten years old, this house jumped out at me when we would drive through the nearby town. I loved the red front door, the diamond-shaped window, and the storybook character that seemed to flow out of its eaves and gables. When it came on the market during the first year that my ex-husband I were newlyweds and looking to buy a house, I knew it was meant to be. It was my house of dreams. It was perfect. And it was mine.

It was my home for just three years. Our two oldest sons were born while we lived here, and I had been heartbroken when we moved away. My sister and sister-in-law told me last week that it was back on the market. When my mom let me know that there was going to be an open house on Sunday, I decided to take the boys to see the house they were too young to remember.

The House of Memories

My pretty French doors – I was so happy to see them!

Facing the memories - my boys

I used this double French doorway to set up the bouncy swing that both boys enjoyed when they were babies. I spent hours watching their little Flintstone feet run, jump, and play! So many memories…

Facing the memories - boys

I stood in my old kitchen. Sure, there were a few changes. The curtains were different, the stove and refrigerator were new, and the floor had changed… but it still felt a little like coming home. There was the sink that I picked out for my first Mother’s Day to replace the mustard yellow one from when we moved in. Ah, the light above the sink that made the room glow with warmth in the early morning hours when I started my day. The cabinets where my little ones used to play. My red walls…

Facing the memories - the kitchen

My mind traveled back to standing there the day we brought Camden home from the hospital. I was exhausted, nervous, on top of the world, full of love, and unable to take my eyes off my little one – bundled up in his green receiving blanket. I swayed back and forth as I held him, introducing him to all of the rooms in his new home.

Camden and Ginger

I remembered removing the old wallpaper in the kitchen, and how I had finally found the perfect shade of red for the walls. After Aiden was born, I worked during their naps to paint the trim a shade of cream. So warm and homey, this room became one of my favorites in the whole house.

Facing the memories - little boys

Next I went to visit my bookshelves. How I loved filling this room with my collection of stories!

There used to be a small used bookstore just up the street from our house. It was run by the local Mennonite community, and the proceeds of the store went to help with their mission work around the world. I would put the boys in the stroller, and walk to the store to gaze at the beautiful antique books for sale. Sometimes I would gather up the books I was finished reading, and trade them in for credit toward purchasing some of the antiques for my very own.

Oh, how I wish that I had pictures of when my books lived on these shelves…

Facing the memories - the library

Then we went upstairs to see the room that had been Camden and Aiden’s nursery.

My oldest son’s middle name also happens to be the name of a star, and before he was born I arranged glow in the dark shapes on the sloped wall in the shape of his constellation. I painted his middle name next to the star sharing his name. It broke my heart to paint over that little labor of love when my ex decided to sell the house. I couldn’t find any trace of my constellation, but as I touched the wall, I knew it would always be there. All of the love and hope that I had poured into this house, my little house of dreams.

Facing the memories - the nursery

But sometimes hopes and dreams don’t quite turn out the way we had planned.

I was incredibly sad to leave my home eight years ago, and I had no idea where my life’s journey would take me next.

We went from this 1940s Tudor home to a 1950s Mid-Century Modern house. Two years after we moved, my trio of little men was complete when Quinn was born. He was only a few months old when my marriage fell apart.

I worked so hard to salvage our little family, even after everything…

I became a single mother, and silently wished that someday I could scrape up enough money to buy back my little Tudor house. I wanted to erase all of the painful memories in the past.

But then someone very special came into my life, and I began to dream new dreams…

As I walked one last time through the house, I was flooded by beautiful memories and sorrow. Joy and agony. The dreams I had for my little family in that little house, and having them broken forever.

Just like that constellation in the nursery, the painful moments of my past will always be there, but I am forever thankful for second chances. I am so blessed to have my Beloved in my life. And I am grateful that I can now turn the page on that chapter, and move on in my story. My counselor had once suggested revisiting places in my life that held painful memories, and allow myself to see that those experiences really are in the past, and that they no longer hold power over me. When I told my counselor this week that I had gone back to visit the house, she said that she was so proud of me – and I think that I’m actually a little proud of myself, too.

One thing I learned by walking through that red door again last week, was that even though I was glad for this look back into the past, I have so much more to look forward to in the future. I am excited to live fully and whole-heartedly in our new home, one where our entire family can chase our dreams together, but I will always treasure those tender moments with my precious little ones in that house. It is no longer my house of dreams, but it will always be my little house of memories…

house 012

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A Happier, Healthier You ~ Week #23

A Happier Healthier You - justoneoftheboys.com

Happy mid-week, everyone! Are you taking a little time for yourself today?

I have been behind this week with another round of back pain that has traveled up my head causing a bad headache as well. I realized that I haven’t had any coconut water for about a week , but I don’t know if that’s what has caused it to come back. It’s the only thing that I’ve been doing differently, so I am back to sipping coconut water, using my foam roller, and rubbing EO into the sore spots.

Hopefully I’ll be back in fighting form in the next day or so!

A Happier, Healthier You ~ Week #23

I’ve shared with you a little bit of how I’ve had trouble sleeping while my Beloved has been deployed. Apart from the general worry about his safety and missing him, sleeplessness is one of my least favorite things about deployment. I don’t have trouble falling asleep. In fact, I often nod off while trying to write a post, reading a book, or watching TV. My problem seems to be that I don’t stay asleep. I wake up easily – and often my heart is racing when I am startled awake.

I was becoming exhausted. I tried so hard to not show my Beloved how frazzled I was becoming while we were on the phone. He could tell something was wrong, and when he gently told me that he was worried about me, the tears fell.

“I feel like a rubber band that is pulled so tightly, like I could break.”

Nighttime is probably the hardest time for me when Joe is gone. I gaze at his empty pillow and wonder what he is doing right then, worrying and praying for his safety.

It wasn’t until I met for coffee with my lovely friend Crystal a couple of weeks ago that I finally had some ideas to try for getting more sleep. She suggested drinking Traditional Medicinals Nighty Night Tea. It’s different than other sleepy-time teas by promoting deeper sleep, not just putting you to sleep.

Basket of teas

I also took her advice and ordered the Badger Night Night balm for my feet, and started to use the Stress Away Essential Oil. I’m an EO newbie, but this seemed like a good place to start!

I had such a refreshing time of catching up with Crystal, laughing, and encouraging each other – and I am so grateful for her friendship and her help!

I usually drink the tea 1-2 hours before I go to bed. I’m often sipping on it while reading or blogging at night, and it makes for a relaxing way to unwind before bed!

Nighty Night Tea

Since I started drinking the tea and using the lotion/EO, I have been sleeping SO much better! I don’t wake up groggy, like I do when I take Benadryl, but I feel like I am finally reaching a deeper sleep cycle! Yay!!! I intend to keep it up for a while – at least until he gets home and I can quite literally rest easier.

Last Week’s Goals ~

  • Stay hydratedI did better at this during the week. I kept my water bottle with me at all times, and that seemed to help me remember to drink. However, my back/neck have been hurting the last couple of days
  • Exercise at least 4 times this week. I only exercised 3 times this week, but a couple of them were pretty long workouts!
  • Continue using Nighty Night TeaBadger Balm, and EO before bed to help me sleep better.
  • Write. Write. WriteOh boy, did I write this week! I introduced a new series where I respond to questions and comments from you – my readers! This week’s post addressed negative comments that I had received about Our Story. 

Dear Ginger

  • Finish my next deployment project – Yikes. I’m kind of dreading it already! It’s not finished. The sewing machine kept jamming up, so my Tribalwoman friend took the rest of the fabric home with her. She’ll send it back my way once she is finished. That’s a true friend! Because I couldn’t finish the patio cushions, I started painting our bedroom with the leftover paint from our bathroom. We love the new color in our bath so much that we decided to bring it into our bedroom as well!

Painting in progress

Painting progress

  • Sit and watch a movie for my own enjoyment – No superhero or animated movies allowedThree words. Pride and Prejudice! The long version!
  • See my counselor, talk to her about dealing with stress while my Beloved is away, and discuss reinforcing healthy boundaries in my lifeWe talked mostly about reinforcing healthy boundaries in my life. My therapist was helpful, like always, and she gave me several things to read over until I see her again next. 
  • Enjoy girl time with my Tribal Woman this weekendCutting out cushions and fabric, sipping tea, touching up her roots, saying the lines of P & P along with the movie, and giving each other a hard time over the correct pronunciation of APE-ri-cot vs. APP-ri-cot, or-REG-ano vs. or-ree-GAWN-no. I love my time with her!

Measuring out patio cushions

Patio cushions - work in progress

Measuring out fabric

  • Read Boundaries, by Cloud & Townsend.
  • Curl up in bed or on the Story Chair by 2200 most nights to rest and relax before bed. I was in bed by 2200 MOST nights, but I did stay up quite late for two nights. One night I was writing my Dear Ginger, About the Other Woman… post, and the other I watched Pride & Prejudice with my Tribalwoman friend.

This Week’s Goals ~

  • Stay extra hydrated with coconut water for my back!
  • Exercise at least 3 times this week.
  • Write. Write. Write. Among other things, finish and share a very special In Her Shoes post for this Friday.
  • Finish ordering school books and prepare for upcoming school year.
  • Try to sneak in a long-distance date with my Beloved – depending on how well the internet is working.
  • Use my foam roller and ice for my back every day until it feels better.
  • Care for and polish my nails.
  • NO SUGAR!!!
  • Curl up in bed or on the Story Chair with a book by 2200 every night.
  • Work on my next deployment project… Stay tuned!

How are you taking a little time for yourself? I would love to keep in touch this week as we work together to take better care of ourselves! You can find me on Facebook and  Instagram, and don’t forget to check out our Pinterest group board ~ Taking Care of Ourselves!

Let’s do this, my friends! I’m going to try really hard to take better care of myself while my Beloved is deployed, but I could use your help. We can take just a little time to care for ourselves, and we’ll be stronger wives, moms, and friends because of it! You’re not alone… We can do this together!

*hugs*

 

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The Master Bathroom is Finished!!!

Luxurious Master Bathroom Makeover - Check out the before and afters!

 

It was three years ago when I first walked into our future master bathroom. I was met with harsh lighting and Roman/institutional/prison-esque column wallpaper, but I was also met with the three-headed spa shower of my dreams! I couldn’t wait to turn this unique house into our home, and I pushed the wall treatment out of my mind…until now.

 

With my Beloved away on deployment, I figured that this was the perfect time to tackle a few projects around the house! I shared here how removing the wallpaper was actually helping me to take better care of myself, believe it or not! It took me about three weeks of working on/off during this project by myself, and I couldn’t be happier. Fair warning – I am not a photographer by any stretch of the imagination,  but I’m thrilled to finally share with you my labor of love!

 

From this…

 

1891 (Large)

To this…

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Ahhhhh… Do you hear that sound? It’s my happy sigh!

 

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A little bit modern…

 

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A touch of vintage…

 

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A dash of global-inspiration…

 

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A nod to my Beloved’s military service in the Air Force with a photo that HE took…

 

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A little more nautical and aviation love…

 

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The fluffiest of spa towels right alongside a Turkish Peshtamel…

 

Decorating with Fluffly White and Turkish Towels

 

 

And another little dose of classically modern lines…

 

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I found several bargain treasures, but I also enjoyed shopping for accessories in our own home!

 

We still have plans to improve the lighting in the room, (along with a bit of drywall repair saved for my hubby), but that can wait. I am LOVING the peaceful and updated feel in our new-to-us bathroom, and I can’t wait to share it with my Beloved when he comes home!

 

Thank you so much for coming with me on this journey! Your suggestions, tips, and encouragement have meant the world to me!

 

This project really has been a labor of love. The fulfillment and happiness I receive from shaping this house into our home feels as though I am somehow paying tribute to my Beloved and our family by keeping productively busy while he is away. Blending our styles and making this house into our nest, one room (and bargain treasure) at a time… there really is no place like home!

 

Sources ~

Paint: Home Depot – Benjamin Moore Dark Pewter mixed in Behr Premium Ultra Primer and Paint in One

White towels: JC Penny – Brook Micro-Cotton Bath Sheets and Towel (on clearance!)

Peshtamel/Turkish towel: Marshalls (similar)

Soap Dispensers: Target – Threshold Oil Can (on sale!)

Round nautical mirror: Marshalls (similar here but Marshalls is WAY cheaper!)

Middle Eastern table: Local estate sale

Garden stool: Kirkland’s clearance (similar here)

Silver spray paint (garden stool): Lowe’s – Rust-Oleum Hammered Antique Pewter

Towel bars, rings, hooks, and toilet paper holder: Lowe’s (but I can’t find them on the website)

Porthole clock: Estate sale

Engineered print: Office Max (for the grand total of $3.90)

 

On to the next deployment project! Stay tuned…

*hugs*

 

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Week #21 ~ A Happier, Healthier You

A Happier Healthier You - justoneoftheboys.com

It’s finally July!!! Have you been setting aside a little time for yourself? How are you taking care of yourself this week? Are you painting your toes a fabulous summery shade? Did you get a haircut? Are you trying to drink more water? Reading any good books lately? I’d just love to hear all about it!

My Beloved has officially been away for one month. Time is moving so slooooooowly, but I’ve been trying to keep my hands and heart busy while I am missing him.

A Happier, Healthier You ~ Week #21 justoneoftheboys.com

The Fourth is his favorite holiday, so it was hard on us to have him be away – but I tried to make up for it with the boys. We started out the morning by having friends over to play. My friend and I were able to chat over a cup of tea while our SIX boys ran out their energy!

Quinn and I took a little nap to get ourselves ready for the late night ahead, and then we got this party started! My dad came over for the fireworks, so we ordered pizza, made lemonade, and had a picnic outside before we started lighting firecrackers.

Fourth of July with Grandpa

Let me state for the record – I HATE FIREWORKS. Hate them. Sudden bursts of loud noise, fire, and danger just aren’t my bag. The quote of the night came from our 8 year-old, “Just remember, guys, Mom is only doing this because she loves us!”

I certainly do.

Fourth of July

Eh? What did you say? Speak up! I had a mishap with one firework – one of those that are supposed to be silent and just turn into a snake. You know the ones? I lit the first one, and it worked exactly like it was supposed to. The darn naughty dog pooped out a snake. As I lit the second one – BOOM! It blew up in my face. Thankfully, I didn’t have any burns, but my hearing isn’t quite back to normal yet. The pain in my left ear is getting better, but my hearing is still a little muffled. I’m sure it will get better soon – but I might be asking you to speak up until then. 😉

After we set off our collection of fireworks, we drove to my sister’s place and watched city fireworks from her lovely balcony. Everyone was just a little tuckered out by the time we came back home!

Fourth of July - wiped out!

We went to a local water park with most of my siblings on Saturday, and everyone had a blast! I loved having extra eyes and people to help swim or go on the rides with all of the boys, and it was so much fun to be with my family!

This week I also started tackling getting organized for the school year. I shared on Facebook and Instagram how I am moving our schoolbooks upstairs to our mid-century modern credenza. Instead of serving martinis Mad Men-style, I think we’ll store art supplies in the ice box. 😉

Credenza

I finally finished painting our master bathroom! I added the final touch ups on the walls yesterday, so today I am rehanging the towel bars and light plates. I can’t wait to show you more very soon!!!

Dark Pewter Bathroom

Speaking of the bathroom redo, I found this robin’s egg garden stool at Kirkland’s for a steal! I had been looking for a stool like this, one that didn’t break the bank. This one was the wrong color, but was also 25% off the clearance price! I’m pretty friendly with the spray paint aisles at Lowe’s/Home Depot, so I snatched it up!

Garden Stool

I first tried out this shiny silver spray paint, but that doesn’t look quite right. I think I’ll try it again with Rust-Oleum hammered metallic paint. now I just need to decide if I’m going to go with pewter or bronze! I’d just love your advice for me!

Oh, and I’m trying out a new (asymmetrical) haircut!

Asymmetrical bob haircut - justoneoftheboys.com

Last Week’s Goals ~

  • Stay hydrated with water, sea salt water, and coconut water. I’ve been slipping and need to be better about drinking water throughout the whole day.
  • Finally order myself the tea from Amazon that I’ve been meaning to for months. I have a gift card burning in my pocketIt’s supposed to be delivered soon! 
  • Continue working out at least four times this weekI think that I need to tweak my workouts, but still chugging along! 
  • Do not set my alarm to get up early – and let myself sleep in a little, if that is what my body needs.
  • No sugar except on the weekend. I kind of, sort of, maybe, possibly, allegedly, might have had 3 oatmeal cookies for breakfast the other day. 😉
  • Prepare the bathroom walls to be ready for paint – and find the perfect paint color. – Deployment project!
  • Write. Write. Write. Among other things, finish the next chapter in Our Story. I have been writing, but haven’t quite finished the next chapter of Our Story
  • Continue using oil cleansing to wash my face, and coconut oil as my moisturizerLoving this!!!
  • Read a book that my counselor recommended to me – Battlefield of the Mind. I bought it, but haven’t started it yet. So many good books, so little time!
  • Curl up on the Story Chair or in bed by 2200 each night to read or relax before falling asleep. I did this almost every night. 

This Week’s Goals ~

  • Stay better hydrated with water, sea salt water, and coconut water.
  • Continue working out at least four times this week.
  • Try drinking Nighty Night tea, using Nighty Night Badger Balm, and Stress Away EO to see if I can sleep better at night.
  • Write. Write. Write.
  • Finish putting our master bathroom back together and share on the blog.
  • Decide on the next deployment project to keep me busy!
  • Whip up coconut oil for easier use and find a shorter jar to keep it in.
  • Enjoy a little sugar in my tea each morning, but don’t overindulge in sweets.
  • Try to sneak in a little long-distance date with my Beloved. *crossing fingers for a good internet connection*
  • Curl up in bed or on the Story Chair by 2200 most nights with a book or TV show to wind down from the day.

How are you taking a little time for yourself? I would love to keep in touch this week as we work together to take better care of ourselves! You can find me on Facebook and  Instagram, and don’t forget to check out our Pinterest group board ~ Taking Care of Ourselves!

Let’s do this, my friends! I’m going to try really hard to take better care of myself while my Beloved is deployed, but I could use your help. We can take just a little time to care for ourselves, and we’ll be stronger wives, moms, and friends because of it! You’re not alone… We can do this together!

*hugs*

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What I’m Into ~ June 2014 Edition

What I'm Into ~ June 2014 Edition

I’m sorry for being a little late with my What I’m Into post! I’ve been keeping busy with, well… what I’ve been into this month! As always, I’m linking up with the lovely Leigh Kramer and sharing a quick review of the month of June. Be sure to check out the other links in this series – it’s always my favorite part of the blogging month!

 Deployment Project #1 – Removing Wallpaper

Much of what I’ve been into this month has revolved around deployment projects. I am trying to keep my mind and hands busy while my Beloved is away this summer. The first big project on my list was removing the gray striped wallpaper in our master bathroom! We have been wanting to tear it off the walls since the day we moved in – so this was an easy pick for my first big project.

Removing wallpaper - justoneoftheboys.com

Our steamer made easy work of removing the striped paper. Even Aiden wanted in on the action. He was a big help!

My wallpaper removing helper! - justoneoftheboys.com

In the end, I settled on Benjamin Moore’s Dark Pewter – and I L-O-V-E it! The darkest gray with a hint of blue and green…mwah! It needs a few touch ups, but this is the view that I woke up to this morning. I believe that our new bathroom and I will get along beautifully. I can’t wait to show you more – stay tuned for a full reveal!

Dark Pewter ~ justoneoftheboys.com

Time with Friends ~

This month my beautiful Kiwi friend Joanne came to visit – and even had me color her hair. Yikes! She didn’t turn out bald, and she’s still speaking to me – so I’d say it was a success! I also went out to sushi, saw a Shakespeare in the Park play, and saw The Fault in Our Stars with my sister and friends. I soaked up this girl time like a sponge!

Joanne and Ginger 2

I’ve had wonderful messages from friends and family telling me that they’re thinking of me, praying for Joe, and letting me know that I am loved – and that has meant the world to me! Thank you so much!

Deployment Project # – Get Healthy!

Exercise, staying hydrated, and clean eating have been big priorities for me this month! I get up early most mornings and attack the day by doing AKT in Motion 10 minute workouts. Streaming them on my laptop in my living room, I start off with Anna Kaiser’s fun dance cardio workout, then work on my arms, and then I finish by working on my abs. By the end of the 30 minutes, I am drenched in sweat – but it feels so good!

Week #20 b

Anna Kaiser Technique

The boys and I are keeping up with our running most days. We don’t run far, but it sure is nice to be working through the miles once more!

Running

The combination of AKT workouts, running, and clean eating is making me see changes in my body. My shoulders have more definition, my waist is slimming, and I am feeling so much stronger.

Workout softened

Currently Reading ~

Love Does, by Bob Goff ~ I am loving my morning quiet time book…

Love Does, by Bob Goff ~ justoneoftheboys.com

Top Secret Twenty-One, by Janet Evanovich ~ I look forward to each new Stephanie Plum book, and this year’s release is not disappointing! I’m not quite finished with it, but it has all of the wonderful ingredients for a thrilling ride with everyone’s favorite bounty hunter!

Top Secret Twenty-One, by Janet Evanovich ~ justoneoftheboys.com

On the Blog ~

We have had wonderful In Her Shoes guest posts! I love hearing how this series is touching lives all over the world. A big thank you to each of our guests sharing their exquisite stories with us! Be sure to check them out by clicking on the photos…

In Her Shoes ~ The Broken Shoes

 

In Her Shoes ~ The Invisible Battles

In Her Shoes ~ Finding Joy in Motherhood

In Her Shoes ~ Suffering in Silence - justoneoftheboys.com

I also shared a behind the scenes look into how & why I write, and a peek into what I’m working on…

Behind the Scenes ~ My Writing Process

That about wraps it up in my little corner of the world… I need to go do a little paint touch up before I head to bed. Thank you so much for visiting me today!

I’d love to know what you’ve been into this month! What are you reading? Have you seen any good movies lately? How are you keeping busy this summer? I’d love to hear all about it! I love to make new Facebook buddies! You can also find me on Instagram & Pinterest. Won’t you be my neighbor? 🙂

Wishing you a fabulous July…

*hugs*

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Week #20 ~ A Happier, Healthier You

A Happier Healthier You - justoneoftheboys.com

Happy Monday! How was your weekend? Did you find a way to take a little time for yourself? I would love to hear all about it! If you’re just joining us, we are working on taking better care of ourselves this year – becoming a happier, healthier you! It wasn’t until earlier this year when I realized that I could give myself permission to take a little time for myself. Taking better care of myself means that I will be taking better care of the ones I love! Everybody wins, but I went 32 years without realizing that. I am so happy to be on this journey with you!

A Healthier, Happier You ~ Week #20

I’ve been trying to stay busy while my Beloved is deployed this summer, and this past weekend I started tackling my first big deployment project – removing the wallpaper from our master bath. I watched old episodes of What Not to Wear on my iPad while I worked, and I had fun!

Removing Wallpaper - deployment project! ~ justoneoftheboys.com

Aiden helped me finish up this morning when the boys came home from a weekend with their dad. I had only a small part left, and he was a big help!

My wallpaper removing helper! - justoneoftheboys.com

Now I need to do a little clean-up around the trim and mirror, fill in a couple of holes, and prep the walls to be painted. Eeeeeek! I love painting! I’ll be trying to find the perfect paint color this week. The stone tile has a gray and slight purple-ish tint to it. I’d love to find a paint color that would be soothing and spa-like, and that will complete our little master retreat. Do y’all have any suggestions for me? Do you have a favorite soothing paint color? I would love to hear any advice that you have for me!

I absolutely love pouring myself into making our house a home, especially while my Beloved is away. It helps me to keep my mind and hands busy while Joe is deployed. I still worry and think about him every minute of the day, but I feel so much healthier when I take the time to do something for me. Doing projects around our house is a big way of accomplishing that for me, and our bathroom looks better already!

Last Week’s Goals ~

  • Stay hydrated with enough water, sea salt water, and coconut waterThis reminds me that I need to go grab another glass of water. How are you staying hydrated this summer? 
  • Relax and watch a movie or TV show just for me. A mom of 3 boys can only take so much American Ninja Warrior or Mythbusters before needing a little breakI watched quite a bit of What Not to Wear on the iPad this weekend while steaming/scraping wallpaper off our bathroom walls. It was fun to revisit some of my favorite episodes while tackling a deployment project. Yay for Netflix!
  • Exercise at least 4 times this weekCheck! I even had an exercise buddy one morning last week! Love getting healthy with our boys! 

Exercise with my boys - justoneoftheboys.com

Our boys are trying to convince me to try out for their favorite show – American Ninja Warrior. Their confidence in me is so sweet, and I’ll treasure it forever, even if I never become a Ninja. I’m still doing AKT in Motion videos almost every morning (6 out of 7 days last week), and I’m still loving the results that I’m seeing from these quick and challenging workouts!

Fitness - Becoming a stronger & healthier wife, mom, and woman every day!

  • I would say no sugar except on weekends, but I’ve heard about some delicious mint brownies that a friend will be bringing to my house on Wednesday evening when we host our small group. I think I’ll make an exception for dessert on Wednesday! 😉 The mint brownies were spectacular! I will say this for giving up sugar, when I do have it – it’s such a treat!

Mint brownie - justoneoftheboys.com

  • Be up by 0600 on weekday mornings to exercise and enjoy quiet time before the day gets crazy, but see if my body needs to sleep in a little on the weekend. I was up early most mornings, but there were a couple of mornings where I slept until 0630. I think my body really needed to sleep in those mornings. I’m still not sleeping super well, so I might try to catch up on sleep this next week.
  • Write. Write. Write. I worked a little on a project, but not enough. I need to focus more on writing this week. 
  • Finish up my last school projects/paperwork – deployment projectWhew! Glad to be finished with that! 
  • Work on removing the rest of the wallpaper from our master bathroom – another deployment projectYES!
  • Enjoy girl-time with friends next weekend. Shakespeare in the Park, anyoneI had a fabulous weekend! In addition to working on my first big deployment project (the wallpaper), I had sushi with a friend, went to Shakespeare in the Park with a group of friends, and then we went out for frozen yogurt. It was such an enjoyable evening!

I also had a wonderful time with my sister this past weekend! We went to see The Fault in Our Stars on Friday night, and then we spent Saturday afternoon lounging by her apartment pool. That was such a relaxing time – chatting, resting, dipping into the pool, and flipping over to get our backs. I didn’t realize how much I needed that time with my sister!

Retro red and white swimsuit - perfect for a busy mom! -justoneoftheboys.com

Going to the pool meant that I got to wear my retro swimsuit! Never before have I had a swimsuit that I actually looked forward to wearing! It covers up everything that I want, but I also feel comfortable and classic. That, my friends, is a first! If you’re struggling to find a swimming suit, I highly recommend trying something vintage-inspired! I found mine on Amazon, but they are currently out of stock. I’ve seen many fabulous swimming options at ModCloth.com.

Retro red and polka dot swimsuit - justoneoftheboys.com

  • Be curled up in bed or on the Story Chair by 2200 most nights this weekI was curled up in bed by 10pm almost every night. 

 

This Week’s Goals ~

  • Stay hydrated with water, sea salt water, and coconut water.
  • Finally order myself the tea from Amazon that I’ve been meaning to for months. I have a gift card burning in my pocket!
  • Continue working out at least four times this week.
  • Do not set my alarm to get up early – and let myself sleep in a little, if that is what my body needs.
  • No sugar except on the weekend.
  • Prepare the bathroom walls to be ready for paint – and find the perfect paint color. – Deployment project!
  • Write. Write. Write. Among other things, finish the next chapter in Our Story.
  • Continue using oil cleansing to wash my face, and coconut oil as my moisturizer.
  • Read a book that my counselor recommended to me – Battlefield of the Mind.
  • Curl up on the Story Chair or in bed by 2200 each night to read or relax before falling asleep.

How are you taking a little time for yourself? I would love to keep in touch this week as we work together to take better care of ourselves! You can find me on Facebook and  Instagram, and don’t forget to check out our Pinterest group board ~ Taking Care of Ourselves!

Let’s do this, my friends! I’m going to try really hard to take better care of myself while my Beloved is deployed, but I could use your help. We can take just a little time to care for ourselves, and we’ll be stronger wives, moms, and friends because of it! You’re not alone… We can do this together!

*hugs*

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I’m Ginger ~
I'm a wife to my Beloved, mom of three boys, bookworm, survivor of a broken heart, and Kansas Girl. It is my desire to encourage you. No matter what storm you're going through right now, you are not alone. I promise.
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MY GIFT TO YOU!