8,000 Days of Marriage

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Today my hubby and I have been married for 8,000 Days! I found out this fun fact through our shared calendar. He had marked it forgetting that we share a calendar and I asked him about it. He is sweet like that to note this fact! He likes countdowns and to know how many days of something- not just months or years.

Here we are on one of our recent date nights. He loves taking selfies with me!! Teehee ūüôā Our date night these days are sometime planned, and sometimes spontaneous when our kids are busy and we go for a walk or out to eat!

Early on in maybe in the 1,800 day range we had a lot of what we called “At Home Date Nights”. As I put our little kids to bed, John would go pick up dinner at somewhere that had a to-go-option- so like Texas Roadhouse or Outback. Not fast food. Then we would set up a card table and have a Dinner Theater. You know, turn on a movie and eat our dinner! It was fun! And felt special and intentional and creative!

While John was in seminary (2,500 days) we had date nights in seminary class! Each semester I would visit one class night with him! It was fun to see where we would go, and learn firsthand with him! One semester, the seminary offered a Marriage and Family class and I went to every single class, through the Lords provision of a babysitter. In one of his last summer semesters, I went to a Hebrews class with him on Monday afternoons. The kids went to my parents and we would get a Sonic Lime-aide and head to class! Seminary dates signified exactly where we were in life. We learned together and took every moment we could find to be together!

The Days of 4,500 brought Date Days!! John has always had a day off during the week. So once the kids were older and in school, those days off became our date days! We would do exciting things like grocery shopping and errands! We would always do something special for lunch. Some days we went to the movies or on walks. And when we started homeschooling, we began going to Starbucks for Parent- Teacher Conferences ūüôā Date Days were productive! We worked together to plan our days. We enjoyed one anothers company.

As the kids got older and Rachel could drive themselves to youth group, (Day 7,000 or so) our date nights turned into Wednesday Nights. Sometimes we did errands or we went back to getting take out and eating at home in our Dinner Theater! Sometimes it was a Frozen Yogurt treat and we spent time working through finances or ministry stuff. Wednesday Date Nights were weekly. Always went by a little too quick. A breath of fresh air in the middle of the week.

Many days…many ways to spend time together! I encourage you friend, find a date time with your hubby in your schedule! Be creative! Do small things and plan big things. Take every opportunity to be together!

 

 

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Laundry In a Day!

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I hear from a lot of families that they are overwhelmed by their never ending laundry! I have a tried and true system that my family has used for years and it works!!! I wish I could take full credit for this system I am about to share with you. I can’t!!! I was gone for a week and my hubby was holding down the homestead, and while he and my daughter were doing the laundry, they figured out a time saver. We have done it ever since!

What do I learn from that? 1) Men have a different thought process and they can help you stream line some household chores. 2) It’s good for Moms to go away every so often to allow others to do what you always do! But back to laundry! Laundry Cover Pic

A few helpful tips to begin:

  1. Each of us have a hamper in our rooms/ bathroom.
  2. I do laundry once a week. I chose Mondays. A day that I am mainly home either in the mornings or afternoons. I find the one day of laundry very helpful.  Why do I want to do something that is overwhelming Every. Single. Day. Of. The. Week? One day laundry also prevents those loads you start in the morning, head out all day, and come home to the mildew smelling load of laundry in your washer! Yuck! You don’t want your favorite shirt to have a mildew smell.
  3. I have a small to medium size laundry room- just in case you think I can keep all my laundry  in there because it’s huge and I have a cool folding counter. I do not have that!
  4. I do all our family’s wash together. It saves on water- I live in the desert ūüôā My family helps with the process on both ends so I am not enabling anyone, and my kids know how to work the washing machine. Besides water saving- I see it as a way to serve my kids too. I can’t help them by doing their homework, but I can help them by washing their clothes.
  5. We use the same bath towels all week and have a designated place to hang it up in the bathrooms so they dry out between uses.
  6. Try to re-wear items of clothes if you have just worn them for a short time. Putting clothes into the hamper/ basket is easier in the first place, but creates more work on laundry day. The capsule wardrobe system we use helps with keeping laundry more manageable as well.

The System:

Monday Morning: Family puts their laundry and their Collapsible Laundry Hamper down the laundry shoot! Even the littlest of kiddos can help with this step.

I sort the laundry into the typical piles- lights, darks, and towels. I usually separate out jeans and the clothes that I don’t want to go in the dryer. I find that pile very helpful as I try to sort it out of the wet washer I miss something I want to hang or lay out to dry. Keep some hangers handy! Laundry Pic 2

Wash and dry as normal.

And this is where the system really comes into play. Are you ready? As I take the loads out of the dryer, I sort each item into each family members designated laundry hamper/basket. At the front this feels like it takes more time. But, it is saving me the time in the long run of putting all the clothes from the dryer into a laundry basket. Folding the clothes from the basket and sorting into each family member piles, and then taking the piles and carrying them upstairs to put away. Because, really let’s be realistic. Isn’t this the step that the laundry becomes overwhelming? The pile of clean laundry that is on the table, waiting to be folded is moved to the couch when its time to eat, then it’s moved from the couch to the chair because someone wants to sit down on the couch and eek if anyone drops by for a visit, you then move the clean laundry to the corner of your bedroom…you get the idea! That is a lot of different times touching that same pile of laundry.

Let me continue with the system-

At the end of time doing laundry. I have four hampers/baskets. My hubby and I share a laundry basket. My kids each have their hampers and one basket for the towels/miscellaneous. Basket Pic 2

I take up my basket into my closet. I take each item out and fold and put into my dresser or hang up. Done. My kids are old enough they take their hampers and put their clothes away. I don’t monitor when they put it away- I just expect the dirty clothes and hampers to come back again the next week. If your kids are younger you can take each basket/ hamper into their rooms and fold and put away. Have your little kids help with this! It is an easy chore for them to put things away in their drawers as you fold. Done!

So to sum it up::

  1. Sort laundry;  wash and dry.
  2. From the dryer sort clean laundry into each family members designated hamper/basket.
  3. Take hamper/baskets up to room to fold and put away in dresser or to hang up in closet.
  4. Put hamper/ baskets back to where they belong.

It’s not rocket science. It’s simple. All my laundry stays in the laundry room. It’s all done in one day.

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Whole 30 Days 15-21: Craving vs. Hunger

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by Laura

When was the last time you were truly hungry? ¬†I’m talking stomach aching, get me to the ¬†drive thru, “if I don’t eat right now…” hungry? ¬†Before Whole 30, I don’t even think I allowed myself to be hungry. ¬†I ate a great breakfast, was ready for my 10:00 snack along with the kids, ate lunch, when the kids went to pre-school/nap the mid-day sugar snack/reward came out, we have dinner time, then after dinner was dessert and more snacking. ¬†What!? ¬†Was I eating all day?! ¬†I guess so. ¬†Every 2-3 hours I was eating something.

The sugar in the foods I was eating was leaving me wanting more, more of the same taste, more of the same chemical response, more fuel on the fire of sugar dependency! ¬†Now keep in mind, I thought we were eating pretty healthy. ¬†Lots of vegetables and good proteins, whole wheat as much as we could, not too much processed or frozen. ¬†After Whole 30 has caused me to be a label reading FREAK. ¬†I’ve realized there is sugar in EVERYTHING. ¬†My “natural” lunch meat for the kids-sugar, our favorite “healthy” granola bars-so much sugar, our ketchup has sugar, our diced tomato can has sugar, our rice cakes have…sugar. ¬†I craved food, but I didn’t need food nor wait until I was hungry for it. ¬†MIND BLOWN.

DSC_0058

Eva, getting a taste of craving.  

Once the sugar was eliminated and my snack options were WAY limited and discouraged, I felt hungry. ¬†What did I want to eat? I wanted to eat real food. ¬†I didn’t “crave” it either, I just knew I needed to eat. ¬†Seeing the chips and oreos I had stashed in the garages’ “no-touch” bin did not sound good at ALL. ¬†I was feeling hunger in the purest, least psychologically and chemically dependent way I have since I was probably a child. ¬†Speaking of children, this has rolled over to the kids too, they are rarely asking for snacks, and they don’t ask for specific snacks either.

Whole 30 can make some people really hungry initially. ¬†Hey!¬†¬†We’ve subtracted filling foods like grains and dairy, and so it’s hard to figure out what you add. How much should you¬†eat when your burger is wrapped in lettuce-there’s no cheese, bun, mayo…to help fill you up? ¬†It took me a little while to find a balance of how much to eat, but I don’t even feel hungry between meals or after dinner now. ¬†IT IS WEIRD.

So, the lesson this week for me was. ¬†Cravings are not real hunger signs.¬†Don’t get me wrong, my cravings are not gone, they are different now, they are more like wants. ¬†I want a scoop of ice cream with hot fudge dripping down the side, I want a Starbucks Mocha, I want to eat the scones I made for my husband’s Bible study yesterday. ¬†No longer do I feel compulsion or enslaved to food or eating, and that is such a gift from this whole 30 experience. ¬†To feel and experience the difference now will help me next month as I evaluate eating habits with more¬†freedom from Whole 30.

Thanks for going on this journey with me.  This has been one of the most eye opening, educational experiences I have participated in.  I DARE you to find a friend, find a Facebook support group, and just try it.  You just could change your life.

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Fish Taco Bowls With Peach Mango Salsa

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My daughter has recently gone gluten, dairy, and soy free and we have been enjoying the challenge of adjusting some of our favorite foods to fit the dietary needs! Since she is a young adult it’s fun to see how she is invested in finding good meals to eat! Her and I love to Pinterest back and forth with ideas! After she ate these Fish Taco Bowls- she told me she wanted them for her birthday dinner. Her birthday is almost a year away so I asked her to please remind me when it is closer! I am tickled that she liked them that much though!!!

Fish- We use Cod, but Talapia would be good too! We heated it up in a little bit of Olive Oil and let each family put on the seasoning of choice in their Taco Bowl or use our Easy Baked Fish Recipe.Fish Taco Bowls

Rice- our favorite is Jasmine Rice .

Black Beans. See our Easy Black Bean Recipe

Garnishes of choice::20160119_180916

Sweet Corn Niblets or Mexicorn

Red Onion

Guacamole

Peach Mango Salsa- I think this makes it!!!!! And I especially like that I can buy this Salsa fresh in the deli section of my local Win Co Foods.

Sour Cream or my substitute of choice- plain Greek Yogurt, which my dairy free daughter can eat!

Last Step-Layer it all together in a bowl and enjoy! My mouth is watering!!!

 

 

 

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Spring Trends

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By Angela

As a Jewelry Lady I take my Fashion Trend cues from Premier Designs!  The designers do a great job of keeping us up to date!  I tend to be a classic girl at the core, but love adding in something from all trends to keep things fresh! If we are talking Fashion/ Jewelry Personality I would have a bit of a split personality!

Trend 1: Boho Beauty- The Ultimate 70’s throwback! Think Southwest-inspired patterns, flowing layered looks and rich pallets of red and earthy hues! This trend will be a fun way for the casual/ sporty girl to think outside the box!

Trend 2: Pop of Polish- Contemporary silhouettes, bold graphics, perforated metal patterns and fun enamel details that bring in a classic touch. The women who has a lot of classic pieces will find pieces to compliment what she already has in her jewelry box from this trend!

Spring 2016 Trend

Trend 3: Unforgettable Romantics- Playful yet sophisticated! In jewelry you are seeing pieces with aurora borealis finishes, faceted beads, vibrant stones and artfully feminine chains. The gal who is drawn to the Rose Gold Jewelry will like this one.

Trend 4: Modern Organics- Cool, calm and timeless. With notes of blue and grays and browns, the minimalist will really like this style!

Here is a fun video Premier posted to see a sneak peak of some of the jewelry pieces in the trends!

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