Tuesday, February 26, 2008

From Frumpy to Fabulous - Day 15

Adding Coziness and Tranquility to Home Life

I used to attend a Home Group at this wonderful woman's home.  Her house exudes warmth, love, and peace.  You just feel and know that Jesus lives there with them.

I hope that people feel and know that Jesus lives at my home too.  My home is just messier and more cluttered than hers.  Mine is cluttered with more than stuff - some of my clutter is people.  She and her husband are empty nesters.

I have a 3 1/2 year old with indulgent grandparents and that means lots of toys.

I know there are things I can do to make my home more inviting, cozy and comfortable.  I especially want these things for Surferman.  I want him to be happy to be home.  I want him to long for his castle.  I want to provide him a peaceful refuge from the things of this world.

Please pray for me - for my attitude.  Often by the time Surferman gets home I am wanting to be rescued; to be taken away from it all.  I want to have dinner ready, the table set, Grom showered and ready for bed, the house picked up.  Lord, help me, please.
My soul, wait silently for God alone, 
For my expectation is from Him.
He only is my rock and my salvation; 
He is my defense; I shall not be moved.
In God is my salvation and my glory; 
The rock of my strength, And my refuge is in God.
Trust in Him at all times, you people; 
Pour out your heart before Him; 
God is a refuge for us.

Psalm 62:5-8 NKJV

Monday, February 25, 2008

From Frumpy to Fabulous - Day 14

Going Out
or Don't go out frumpy

I ran into an old friend at the grocery store today.  She was frumpy.  I know that I have dressed as bad (if not worse) and gone to work.  YIKES!

Being fabulous is not about having lots of expensive clothes.  It's about being polished and put together.  It about being comfortable in your clothes.  

Sunday, February 24, 2008

From Frumpy to Fabulous - Day 13


Until I was about 35, I indulged the terrible habit of nail biting.  My nails were always bit to the quick.  U G L Y!

When I was pregnant with Grom something changed.  I guess it was the hormones or whatever, but my nails started growing and I stopped biting them.  

So now I have these nails on the ends of my fingers and I generally don't know what to do with them.  They grow and I chop them off.

I've splurged for a manicure a few times.  The polish never lasts and everytime I look at my hands I get startled and wonder how I got someone elses hands.

I read Emma's recommendation of Neutrogena Instant Nail Enhancer, tried it and love it.  I don't have to be precise in it's application and it makes my nails look nicer.  Perfect.

I also like using Satin Hands from Mary Kay.  It makes my hands feel so soft.

Daily, Aveeno Moisturizing Lotion, keeps my hands hydrated.  I'm not real good at lotioning though.  I just heard that it contains petroleum products which are supposed to be really bad for us.  Hmmm... 

My biggest hand problem is that I continue to gnaw on my cuticles.  Maybe if I take better care of my hands I won't get hang nails and rough cuticles and I can stop that habit too.

What's for Dinner - Week of February 25th

Apricot Apple Sauce

Tuesday - Library Night
Salmon Quiche - Quiche in a Bag recipe 
(make 2 more veggie quiches for freezer)
Garlicky Green Beans

Wednesday - cKc / OT Study
Potato Corn Chowder

LEFTOVERS - Clean out that freezer!

(make 2 additional for the freezer)

Dinner out with Surferman's Dad

My Parent's cook dinner!

See what others are eating at Organizing Junkie's Menu Plan Monday

Thursday, February 21, 2008

555 Book Challenge

There's a book reading challenge out there.  I understand it started as 8 books of 8 different kinds in 2008.  That's 64 books.  Or over 5 books a month!  Even with overlaps (books in more than one category) I don't have a chance.  I wish I was that kind of reader.

One of my Frugal Families friends suggested a 555 Challenge.   Five books, Five categories, Five Overlaps.

I want to read more and watch less TV so I'm in.

Christian Fiction
1.  ISRAEL My Beloved - Kay Arthur
2. Leota's Garden - Francine Rivers (reading now)
3. What a Girl Wants - Kristin Billerbeck
4. (Something) by Karen Kingsbury
5. Blessed Child by Ted Dekker and Bill Bright 

Parenting / Non Fiction
1. Shepherding Your Child's Heart - Ted Tripp
2. Mommy, Teach Me - Barbara Curtis
3. Prayer for My Child - Tim A. Spilman
4. Something about container gardening - I want to grow lettuce and such
5. The Five Love Languages - Gary Chapman

Fiction / Classics / Books I Should've Read in High School
1.  A Wrinkle in Time - Madeline L'Engle
2. Prince Caspian - C.S. Lewis
3. Uncle Tom's Cabin - Harriet Beecher Stowe
4. Around the World in 80 Days - Jules Verne
5.  Bridge to Terabithia - Katherine Paterson

Books of the Bible 
1.  Isaiah
2.  Revelation
3.  Daniel
4.  Genesis
5.  John

Mysteries (these will be Books on Tape - maybe that's cheating?)
1.  T is for Trespass - Sue Grafton
2.  Tough Cookie - Diane Mott Davidson (listening now)
3. The Cat Who Had 60 Whiskers - Lillian Jackson Braun
4. Dead Heat - Dick Francis
5. Sticks and Scones - Diane Mott Davidson

From Frumpy to Fabulous - Day 12

Reading for Pleasure

I enjoy reading.  I go in spurts.  I'm in a spurt right now.  

There are so many great books.  I managed to miss a lot of Classics in High School and College.  I have parenting books to learn from.  Cookbooks count too, right?  I like to read fiction before bed.  

Unfortunately, I have needed to use my before bed reading time to spend some (last minute) time with God reading His Word.

But now that I'm almost fabulous, I'm getting up early and being so blessed reading the Bible.  And I have time to do some reading for pleasure.  I'd have more if I'd turn off the stinking television.

I made a list of books that I want to read.

Who are your favorite authors?  What kind of books do you like to read?

I'm on my way to being fabulous with Emma's help.

Waiting for the Peloton

The Tour of California is racing in front of my house today. I'm waiting for the Peleton (don't I sound smart?), the big group of riders.  The weather is ugly today.  I feel bad for the guys as they ride over 100 miles in such crummy weather.  

I'm not a bike rider, but this race makes me so happy.  It's the third year it has coursed right by our house.  Last year Grom napped through it.  This year he's waiting eagerly for the bikes.  We're watching the live coverage on the computer and looking at the familiar landscape trying to figure out exactly where they are.  Grom keeps looking out the window and then at the computer and saying, "The bikes are almost here" - for the last hour plus.  

So while we sit and wait - we had some fun with letters.

Pewter Uppercase Letter M Y
P U R Pewter Uppercase Letter S U I T

Pastry Cutter O Pastry Cutter F . full stop One
To make your own letter collage, check out this fun website.  About half way down there is a link that says "entry form" where you can make your own words.

Edited to add...
The bikes finally showed up.  I tried to video the Peleton to share on my blog, but it didn't translate well.  My joy is missing from the footage.  It makes me smile to see them.  Can't explain it.  It's just so cool to see them pass the house.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

My kid cracks me up.

Driving home...

Grom: (sudden uproarious laughter)

Mom: What?

Grom: We can take pretend donut holes in the shower.

Mom:  What?

Grom:  Isn't that silly?

Mom:  No, that's odd.

Grom:  No, brilliant.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

From Frumpy to Fabulous - Day 11


Shopping for undergarments and pajamas brought a few new clothing pieces into my closet too.

I'm experiencing tops that a cut a little to low to wear anywhere but at home.  I found a couple of camisoles (one white, one black) that hopefully will make some of my shirts more wearable.  I think it's funny that I wear 2 shirts to be decent, but that neither of those shirts are modest alone.

Another wardrobe problem I have is tops that are too short.  I'm hopeful that the camis will help that problem too.

My closet needs a good weeding.  I have a knack of catching spilled food on my front.  I'm plagued with stains.  It's time to get rid of the ones that I can't get the stains out of.

I find that my day starts smoother if I think about what I'm going to wear the night before.  The easiest way to ruin a day is to find out that all your pants  (or at least the wearable ones) are sitting wet in a washer somewhere.  I'm not good at getting the laundry done.

Onto other fabulous news... 3 days in row of waking early and having time in the Word.  I'm looking forward to the day when I've lost count.

From Frumpy to Fabulous - Day 10


I have more money invested in make up than I'd ever admit.  Bare Escentuals is my face paint of choice.  It makes my skin feel great and I like that it's a "natural" product.  My face is actually clearer when I wear it frequently.

If I keep getting up at 5 am, I'll have time and no excuses.

And by the way... 2 days in a row - up before 5:30 am.  YAY ROBIN!

Works for Me Wednesday - Preschool Books

Preschool Books.

Grom, the best 3 1/2 year old in my world,  loves books.  We go to the library weekly and load up.  We've also done very well at garage sales and with Freecycle.  He has quite a few books.  We had to get them under control.  I was tired of bedtime meltdowns because I wouldn't (couldn't) read a book he wanted to read.  

Quickly I found out that his books seemed to fall into 3 basic categories.
  • Story Books
  • Activity Books
  • Activity Books (need supervision)
I like to read story books at night before bed.  Classic books are best.   Books like "Katy No Pocket", "Corduroy" and "Blueberries for Sal" build vocabulary and are interesting.  Unlike books written about television shows.  If I try to limit Grom's TV watching why would we want to read about TV shows.  We keep our Bible story books with the story books but are quick to start each book with "This is a true story.  It REALLY happened" to make sure Grom knows these stories are from the Bible.  The story books are kept together so Grom can easily choose his books for the night.

Grom takes activity books to bed with him at nap time.  These are books that have windows and doors that open, or music to play.  They are something to do rather than something to read.  Alphabets, shapes and colors are often the subject.  They are not fun for me to read because they are really made to be played with.

Surferman and Grom have a lot of fun with the activity books that need supervision.  Grom has some great pop up books.  They are probably a little old for Grom, but they are really cool.  He and his dad have boy time and read them and see how they work.  These books are kept out of Grom's reach.  The pages are delicate and it's sad when I can't repair one of the elaborate pop ups.

Sorting the books has really cut the bedtime meltdowns, and that works for me.

And as we're always looking for a great book - leave your favorite children's book or books in your comments.

Monday, February 18, 2008

From Frumpy to Fabulous - Day 9


Walking is my exercise of choice.  

In the past, I found that if I could find someone to drag along with me that I was much better at being consistent.  I have had some great walking buddies in the past.  

I'm stuck for a little while.  Grom doesn't like to sit in the stroller and his tricycle just doesn't go fast enough.  I know it's a season.  Soon enough he'll be riding a bike and I'll be begging him to stay where I can see him while I'm walking.

For now... it looks like I'm doomed to a treadmill or getting out of the house before Surferman leaves in the morning.

I am getting up at 5 am this week to spend time with God.  I should also have time to get myself around the loop or to do some time on the treadmill.

I love to exercise.  I love to exercise.  I love to exercise.... think I can convince myself?

Emma's helping me be fabulous.  Read more HERE.

What's for Dinner - Week of February 18th

Monday - Chicken Vegetable Soup - Bread

Tuesday - Baked Tofu and Veggie Chow Mein

Wednesday - Bread Soup - Salad with Tofu Ranch Dressing

Thursday - Lentils and Rice with Zucchini

Friday - Waffles

Saturday - Lentil and Rice Burgers

Sunday - Tech Team Appreciation Dinner (YAY GEEKS!)
(melty cheeses on potatoes, broccoli, salami, and more)
Caesar Salad
Chocolate Fondue

Tons of menu plans can be found at Organized Junkie.

Baked Tofu

Baked Tofu is really yummy. It's chewy and almost meaty. Tofu is versatile and can take on many flavors.

Firm Tofu
Marinade - teriyaki, italian dressing, dijon mustard & herbs, your imagination is the limit

Drain the liquid from a package of tofu.
Slice the block of tofu into 1/2 thick slices.
Line a baking sheet with a tea towel or clean kitchen towel.
Place the tofu in a single layer.
Cover tofu slices with another tea towel and a smaller baking sheet to press as much liquid out of the tofu as possible.
Let tofu sit for 30 minutes (or so).
Put pressed tofu in a swallow container for marinading (is that a word?)
Cover the tofu with choice of marinade.
Cover dish and refrigerate 2 hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 350F
Arrange tofu slices in a single layer on a sprayed baking sheet.
Bake about 1 hour until firm.

Serve hot or cold.

Honey Baked Lentils

A new family favorite from Frugal Families.

1 cup lentils
2 cups water
2 T honey
2 T soy sauce or tamari
2 T olive oil
1 inch fresh ginger - peeled and minced
1 clove garlic - minced
1 small onion - diced (I used 1/4 cup dried onion)
salt and pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients in an oven proof dish.  Cover with lid or foil.
Bake at 350F until tender - about 90 minutes. 

Tofu Ranch Dressing

Finally! A healthy way to enjoy ranch dressing. 2 tablespoons has about 30 calories.

Surferman loves it. Grom thinks it's better than "real ranch"

6 ounces silken tofu (or soft tofu, drained) (comes in a box)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon canola oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon chopped fresh Italian parsley (I used dried)
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons cider vinegar

Combine all ingredients in a blender container. Blend until well mixed.

Adapted from a Dr. Weil recipe.

From Frumpy to Fabulous - Day 8

Cultivating a Meek and Quiet Spirit

I don't think I was surprised when Emma posted this as one of my steps to fabulousness.  Maybe a little overwhelmed by the idea.  Definitely stumped by what I'd write about it on my blog.

Last night I decided that I was getting up at 5 am.  That the most important thing I could do in my conversion from frumpiness is to spend time with God and in His Word.

This morning I started in 1 Peter 3.  I wandered all around the New Testament and was really blessed by the verses God took me to.  Showing me how to cultivate a meek and quiet spirit.

Thank you Jesus!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

From Frumpy to Fabulous - Day 7


It looks like I'm going to have to dig into the clothing budget envelope to be fabulous.  

My "new" nightclothes were purchased before Grom was born.  He's 3 1/2.

Yay!  A good reason to do some shopping. 

From Frumpy to Fabulous - Day 6


Oh no!  Hair!  My hair is a problem.

I saw the same hairdresser from 1987 to 2005.  I loved Margaret because she knew me and knew my hair.  She knew what my hair could do and would do.  She also knew what I would do.  Margaret was a talented cutter, colorist and therapist.  She knew when I really wanted change and when I was acting impulsively.  I followed her from salon to salon.  And then... she stopped cutting hair.

Since then I've been a drift.  I tried a gal for awhile.  She wasn't great, but she was nice enough and she tried.  At the end of the last cut she gave me (which was super uneven and choppy - not on purpose) she said that she hoped I was happy with my cut because she felt like she didn't know what she was doing because she was pregnant.  Maybe she should have disclosed her loopiness before she started cutting my hair.

I'm still looking for a stylist.  Guess I need to find one if I want to be fabulous.

To read more about this challenge, click HERE.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Got me some culture

I'm just back from the Opera.  

That is something I never thought I'd say.  A mommy friend arranged a Girl's Night Out and 6 of us went to Tosca.  We were supposed to dress up.  I don't dress up much.  The other mommies were beautiful.  I wore silver shoes.

I'd heard of Tosca and am generally up to try new things.  If only attending the opera was on my list of 101 things to do.  Why did I go to the opera?  Plain and simple, I succumbed to mommy pressure.  I love these mommies and if going to the opera allows me the chance to spend some time with them... I'm there.

I wasn't familiar with the story, and it was in Italian.  They had words above the screen so that us non Italian speaking ignorant people could figure out what was going on.   It was a tragic love story.  I guess a lot of operas are tragic love stories.  I enjoyed the sets, the costumes and the singing.  Everyone died.

I don't know if it was because it was not in English or if I was having attention deficit tonight due to too many delicious appetizers pre-opera, but I had trouble focusing.  

I thought about the opera company (from Europe) and what it must be like to tour the United States doing the same opera night after night.  
I thought about who would fill in for the leads if one of them were to get that cough that is going around.  
I thought about how old most of the people at the opera were.  
I thought about how much I had paid to sit in that seat and how I should start paying attention. 
I thought about...  well enough of my rambling thoughts.

Bottom line, it's was nice to get together with the gals, but next time I'm looking for culture in a vanilla yogurt.

From Frumpy to Fabulous - Day 5

I'm not one to talk about my unmentionables.  Just know they'll be getting a good decluttering and an upgrade on my way to fabulousness.

To read more about this challenge, click HERE.

Monday, February 11, 2008

GeMoOrgNo - Kids Clothes

GeMoOrgNo (Get More Organized Now) was a challenge I participated in last November. I blogged about something organized everyday. It was a great challenge and I had a lot of fun. I have more ideas that I want to share.

Grom sometimes wants to dress himself. I set up this closet organizer (under $10 at Ikea) with clothes for a day. Each cubby has everything he needs - bottoms, top, tighty whiteys, socks. All Grom has to find is shoes. Rain Boots or Crocs go with anything right?

The top cubby holds "Dirty Boy Clothes" or play clothes. Grom thinks it's going to be a great day when I let him wear clothes from this bin. He's probably right. Both he and Surferman have "Dirty Boy Clothes" and something dirty always happens in them.

Don't laugh at my art work. I needed a way for Grom to see if the cubby holds shorts or long pants.

When laundry is done, I reload the cubbies. It's been helpful for Surferman too. Before I thought Grom should have a hat that read "My Daddy dressed me".

From Frumpy to Fabulous - Day 4

Spiritual Reading

Here's what Emma has to say about it.

A gal can't be fabulous unless she's been washed in the water of the Word.  I know this.  I've experienced this.  I want it back.

Surferman and I have been better about getting up earlier.  Now I just need to get up even a bit earlier.  

Lord, Help me.

I have been enjoying my fabulous journey.  I've had some sweet times sharing my heart with my Father.  I'm working on drinking that water.  Struggling with the skin care.  I went to an Arbonne "party" tonight.  Do you think $300 worth of skin stuff would be motivating or foolish?   I haven't decided.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Sometimes I'm a fun mom...

Pudding Fingerpainting!

At first Grom thought I'd gone nuts, and then he had a lot of fun.

We did it again when his friend was over. It was more fun the second time because he knew what to expect. I'd do it again.

What's for Dinner - Week of February 11th

Stir Fry Chinese Veggies with Baked Teriyaki Tofu, Shiitake Mushrooms & Shrimp
Brown Rice

Pizza and Salad

Oven Roasted Chicken
Veggies - Curried Greens (if the bag of greens stay good this long)
Mixed Grain Pilaf

Chicken Vegetable Soup


Dinner Out?

Sunday - Family Dinner
Veggie Burgers
Green Salad
Sweet Potato Fries

Need some more ideas of what to cook for dinner?  Check out all the meal plans at Menu Plan Monday - hosted by An Organizing Junkie.

From Frumpy to Fabulous in just under 3 weeks

I'm ready to be fabulous - inside and out.  

I enjoy the blogging Emma does at Charming the Birds from the Trees.  She encourages me in my role of wife and homemaker.

She's transforming herself from frumpy to fabulous in the next three weeks and I've decided to join her in the adventure.  I'm jumping in a little late - today is day three.  Fortunately I think I can catch up.

Day 1 - Prayer

I used to write the things and people I was praying for in my brain book.  I never liked my last brain and we never had the relationship I have had with other books.  Silly, I know.  I abandoned that book last week and have a new one.  So far we are getting along great.  I have a section dedicated to prayer.  I'm going to pray through that section every morning.

Day 2 - Water

I bought one of those water bottles with a straw in it for my desk at work.  I plan to fill it up when I get to work in the morning and finish it off before I leave.  It's 4 cups.  Another in the afternoon and a third between dinner and bed and I'm more than set.

I like to add Alacer Electro Mix to my water.  It makes it tasty and helps to hydrate me.  A splash of juice also helps the water go down.

Day 3 - Skin

I was doing great at washing my face.  I know that nightly washing keeps my skin clear.  I have the supplies.  Just need to do it.  Put on lotion after showering is also a must do for me.

I wonder what's in store for day 4?