Monday, January 31, 2011

Last Goal

Written by Shannon Leigh

My last goal for 2011 is to sew more.

Since Ru was born most of my sewing projects took the back burner. I just haven't had the time but this year I'd really like to cook up some new projects.

On the menu?
- a bunch of pillows
- a few curtains
- a few dresses
- a couple of quilts that I've had in my brain for quite sometime
- other various projects

I'll be sharing as I finish (I'm sure many of them will end up on Ain't too proud Monday, but meh? You win some, you lose some).

Ain't Too Proud Monday

Written by Shannon Leigh

I kind of hate lazy susans. They are like a backless cave that swivels.
Tonight I will CONQUER you...

Friday, January 28, 2011

This Morning's Events.

Written by Shannon Leigh

Woken by a sick baby at 3am.
Hold sick baby for most of the night.
Baby is feeling better this morning.
She is playing while I am on the phone.
Turn around and she is playing in the dog's water bowl.
She is soaking wet.
Water all over the place.
Wipe down mess.
Take soaking wet baby to changing table to change her soaking wet clothes.
Baby is flailing arms.
Baby knocks over my coffee to the floor.
Luckily it's on the rug.
Rush rug to the sink.
Decide baby needs a bath because of dog water incident.
Take baby's clothes and diaper off and sit her on the bathroom rug while water is running.
Pick baby up to put her in the tub.
Notice she peed all over the bathroom rug that I washed YESTERDAY.
Must wash rug AGAIN!
Give baby a bath.
Almost finish with bath.
Baby POOPS in the tub.
In my clean tub that I just washed YESTERDAY!
Clean up poop.
Clean up baby.
Feed baby breakfast.
Baby sneezes all over my face.
The blast from the sneeze startles me and I drop the spoon of baby food on my clean clothes.

Baby-6, Mommy-0.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

This year I will read...

Written by Shannon Leigh

I enjoy reading when I have the time.
However, I have LOTS of hobbies (I'm trying to pair them down) that get in the way.
But in 2011 I have vowed to read the Lord of the Ring series including the Hobbit.

I am sure that I'll love them...
I'll keep you posted.


Monday, January 24, 2011

Ain't Too Proud Monday

Written by Shannon Leigh

This was during a shopping trip at Target during the holidays (note the Santa shirt).
I COULD NOT for the life of me stop my 9 month old from biting the shopping cart handle! She denied my efforts of distracting her with toys, paci, EVERYTHING. She must have liked the cold metal on her gums. Since I couldn't stop her I thought might as well photograph it and text it to Matty.

Thank heavens for sanitary wipes.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Recipe Box Redo

Written by Shannon Leigh

To help simplify 2011 organization is KEY. Matt and I have decided to take a couple nights each week and simplify certain areas of our home. It's going to be awesome and it's going to make my life so much easier!

Starting small: recipe box redo

Another goal for 2011 is to cook more, so naturally I really need my recipe box in tip top shape.

A few years ago my mother-in-law gave me a beautiful wooden 4x6 recipe box.
She made copies of all of Grandma Ruby's recipes, color coded and all.
I really love the box and since she gave it to me I have kept all of my recipes in this box. However, they were completely unorganized.
It may not look that bad to YOU but trust me peeps, it was bad!
The problem was that my old recipe cards were on 3x5 cards instead of 4x6's.
I had dividers but they were also the 3x5 size and they weren't personalized. They had titles like "light meals" HAHA yeah right, like I have recipes for light meals.
The big cards would swallow up the the small cards, including the dividers, and leave me searching for a recipe for all of eternity. My husband, God bless his soul, couldn't find a recipe card if his life depended on it (is it just me or do all men lack the "looking" gene).
So I decided to take matters into my own hands.
I made my own dividers out of old album covers!
DONT worry, being an avid record-listener, I only used covers of maimed albums or those that didn't have records at all.
I am LOVING the colorful/graphic result!
I also took on the painstaking job of rewriting my small recipe cards onto large ones, and now LOOK how perfectly organized they are! Talk about satisfying!
It's the small things, really.
I can't take complete credit for the idea. I was skimming the internet for ideas and came across THIS Etsy shop. I loved the idea so much that I decided to take on the project myself. But if you need a new recipe/address box this is the place to go!

I used label tape to make my own divider labels but you could just glue on a white piece of card stock and handwrite them as well.

To make your own you will need:
  • Album covers
  • sharp scissors/paper cutter
  • label tape or white card stock
  • sand paper
How To:
1. First make a template. I used the back of an album and just traced a 4x6 card. I then cut a half 2 in. circle that I could move to different locations on the card (left, center, right).
2. Then I decided which section of the album cover I wanted on the face of the divider. Then I traced, and cut. Using the paper cutter for straight edges.
3. Once they were cut out, I sanded the edges a bit to get a worn look.
4. I then labeled each divider with label tape.
Easy as pie!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Focusing on What I've GOT

Written by Shannon Leigh

In 2011 I have vowed to focus on what I have.

More often than not this world reminds me of all of the things that I'm lacking. But this year I'm going to give thanks for all of the things the Lord has given me.

I'm doing away with the "I wants," "I wish," and "If only" kinds of thoughts.
I'm simplifying my thoughts see? I'm still keeping my 2011 theme.

I need to focus on my talents and how I can better serve the world with them instead of focusing on the many talents I wished I had. I'm embracing the way that the Lord has made me, personality and all. I am who I am and I'm vowing to be ok with that.
I'm not going to be embarrassed by who I am or make any apologies.

To be clear, this is no excuse to accept my sinful thoughts and actions but I'm going to spend more time allowing the Lord to do the changing and less time striving.
What does this mean for me?
- Remembering that my life doesn't consist of stuff.
'And he said to them, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.'" Luke 12:15
- Being content with the Lord's timing not mine.
- Accepting my family for who they are. Matt and I are night-and-day-different but instead of getting frustrated I'm going to embrace our differences.
- I love photography. Period. I always have. I am vowing to let the Lord lead me in my career and give him the glory. I've been blessed already and I can't wait to see what 2011 holds.
- I have the most adorable, perfect little girl (I'm slightly biased) in the entire world and I am going to focus on her and bringing her up the best way that I can.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Ain't too proud

Written by Shannon Leigh

To show you THIS.
It was supposed to look like this.

I was going through the pictures on my phone.
Some of the pictures/videos had me rolling.
Kind of like my utter failure cake.

A month ago I fell into our crawl space (long story).
I thought I broke my leg.
I didn't.
I did get a NASTY bruise though.
It got WAY worse before it got better.
It still hurts and it's still bruised.
It might be permanent.

Good thing my short shorts days are over.

They love each other

Written by Shannon Leigh

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


Written by Shannon Leigh
{print via HERE}

As promised, I am back to lay out another goal for 2011.

In keeping with my simplify 2011 theme, I have vowed to menu plan, cook more and eat out less.

Sounds pretty simple right?

It's funny really. I love to eat, it's one of my favorite things to do. I also like instant gratification, thus the issue with eating out. That and the fact that Chinese food tastes so good.

I like to cook but I have a hard time finding the time. Err, scratch that. I have a hard time making the time. If I really want to get better at it I must make it a priority.

So far, I've done pretty well. I have menu-planned and cooked multiple meals these past two weeks and even froze some for the busier nights. PROGRESS!

A few things I LOVE about cooking more:
- Expanding my repertoire. I like learning how to make new things and mastering them (although I don't master them until AT LEAST the third try).
- Lots of yummy new recipes. In fact, while I was at my sister's a few weeks ago, I raided her recipe box and filled my computer with dozens of recipes to try. She's a great cook and I trust her taste. So far every recipe has been great.
-Sending my husband to work with homemade dressing and tupperware full of home cooked food. I think he likes it too.
- Cooking is a lot easier on me and my clutter-phobic husband now that I have been picking up after myself! My messiness is kept at a minimum and dishes are washed and put away long before the meal is finished.
- Prepping ahead. This clearly goes along with simplifying. For example, chopping onions/other frequently used items ahead and storing them in the fridge/freezer.
- Making things we like and keeping them in stock all of the time. I've been making homemade dressing and croutons - we eat a lot of salads.
- Making my husband smile.

A few things I find challenging about cooking more:
- prepping ahead. That means I have to pry myself from work/playing with Ruby/sitting on the couch and actually DO IT. That means I have to plan a bit, which I'm not really wired for.
- not getting discouraged when a meal is a complete and utter failure, which happens more than I'd like. Oh well, I guess it's all about learning right?
- My recipe box is a mess and completely frustrating- time to simplify!
- Menu planning and shopping - need I say more? We've even made it more complicated by throwing ALDI (gasp) into the mix. We get staples and produce there and fill in with the grocery store. GREAT on our budget, not so great on my nerves. But the pennies add up and THAT makes me happy.

Overall I'm super pumped about my new endeavor and plan to share lots of great recipes with you all when I find time between planning, cooking, and eating!

Monday, January 3, 2011

The Year to Simplify

This post is a nod to "helping myself help myself," So bear with me.

My life is kind of crazy.
I have a lot going on in my life right now and even MORE going on in this crazy head of mine.

When I get overwhelmed I get stuck in this paralized state and then NOTHING gets done. It's really rather pathetic. It's one of the things that I really dislike about myself. It gets on my nerves and it's GOT to stop.

This year instead of creating more problems for myself I'm going to SIMPLIFY. I don't think my nerves can handle another hectic year.

So what does it MEAN to simplify?

Well for me there are few things that I will strive to do in order to minimize stress and worry and maximize productivity and satisfaction.

1. Seek the Lord first.
It's simple really. Instead of finding my worth in worldly things I MUST continually find my worth and satisfaction in the Lord alone. He is my delight, my safe harbor, my identity. If I can remember that first, I won't be disappointed or discontent when other things in life don't go as I plan.

2. Pick up after myself.
To many of you this is a very simple concept. To me? It's my worst nightmare. My brain JUST DOESN'T work that way. But when things are put away where they are supposed to be, I will spend much less time stressing and rushing and more time being productive.

For example. THIS is what happens when I can't find the shirt I am looking for.
This is how the closet looks now. It's amazing. I can actually FIND what I'm looking for. It's looked like this for almost 2 weeks now and I need you all to hold me accountable for the rest of the year (and my life).

3. Menu Planning
I currently DO this, I just want to get better at it. More on this later.

4. Grocery shop with Matt over lunch or in the evenings.
HOLY COW! This has already CHANGED my life. I hate grocery shopping (if you've read my blog for awhile- you'll know this about me). I hate grocery shopping even more with a 9 month old in tow. Ruby is a good girl- it's not that she screams and throws fits- it's just that everything takes 4x's longer. AND it's physically taxing. So I met Matt over his lunch hour a the grocery store. We split up and conquered. I was completely done (2 stores mind you) in under an hour.

5. The IPhone
I was adamantly against the smart phone for a really long time. I liked the idea of being unreachable. But THEN my business grew beyond my wildest dreams and I REALLY needed to stay on top of client emails. NOW I can check emails and answer them in seconds. Plus, it's a tax write off:) The calendar functions perfectly too. It keeps me organized and on top of everything.

So there you have it. These are the ways that I'm gong to simplify this year. HOWEVER, I am open to suggestions. What are YOU doing to simplify your life in 2011?

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Looking Forward

Written by Shannon Leigh

I am really looking forward to 2011.

I'm faithful that the Lord with fill this year with blessings beyond measure.

Although I'm very much looking forward to 2011, I'm so grateful for 2010.
2010 brought so many wonderful things.
To name a few...
  • A sweet little gem named Ruby.
  • A small business that grew into a not-as-small business.
  • Matt really taking off in his career as an attorney and feeling like the firm God has provided is the perfect fit.
  • A new nephew named Kade.
  • Closer relationships with friends & family.
  • Getting to see my sweet husband as a father and falling more in love with him.
I could go on and on...

I have a very small list of resolutions that I will be sharing sporadically throughout the month of January. They aren't anything crazy, just a list of goals for the coming year.

Hope the new year brings much refreshment to you and yours!