Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Neighborhood hunting
While we were home for christmas last month my husband and I went looking in so many neighborhoods to try and decide where we will begin our home search when we finally move home someday.  It has prompted a lot of conversation between the 2 of us about what we like in a home.  So I wanted to make a record of some of my favorite home features that we have seen.  Here are some of them

Space for kids to put their bags and coats after school is a MUST.  If there is not something existing, I'd want a space indoors, or in the garage where we could create a "mud room" type of thing.
Because lets face it, their stuff won't end up in the coat closet.  
Opening a closet door is just too much for kids ;)

This one has a creative solution for no laundry room in the main house.  Instead of putting the laundry in the garage, they covered the porch and put it in there.  I'd much rather pull my clean clothes out there, than on a dirty garage floor if Its not possible for it to be in the main house.  And in the summer it would not make the house hot to run the clothes dryer.
 outside view of enclosed porch laundry room.  Its also a good idea for a mud room for the kids to dump their stuff after school.

This picture shows 3 of my favorite features -

  • Hard flooring for walkways, but wall to wall carpet in the family room/living room.  (I know it will need to be replaced every 5 years or so with kids, but the comfort is worth it to me.  And if it is just the 1 room, it won't be terribly expensive to replace.)
  • I LOVE built ins.  I think they really class up a home.
  • A family/living room that is large enough for 3 couches.  We have a family of 6 now, so we need plenty of room for us all to sit down and relax together.  (I don't care about a formal dining room, or having both a living room and family room.)

 I am not afraid of upgrading stuff.  In fact, I think that sounds like a lot of fun.  So if something is functional, but looks outdated, I am all about buying it so long as the space allows for us to dream up something awesome when the time is right.

This was something I liked for a kitchen space not large enough for a feee standing table and chairs.  Put in a built-in table and benches for a work station and the kids to hang out while Mom works

This picture show 2 more of my favorite features

  • the 3 sided wall with windows to allow for a round or oval kitchen table
  • a bar counter in the kitchen for kids to sit at and feel like they have Mom's attention even when she is busy doing dishes or making dinner and still be out of her way :)

 built in desks in the kitchen are awesome and help Moms stay organized with their menu planning and reminders for school.

A BIG kitchen NO-NO in my mind is tile countertops (not so bad for bathrooms)   The grout gets food stuck in it, cookie dough and pie crust don't roll flat and  eventually the grout get stained in the well used areas of the counter.  NO THANK YOU!

I LOVE architectural features.  So attic rooms are very charming and visually interesting to me.
Saw this and LOVED it.  Especially because you could add this to just about any home with a little extra flat outdoor space.  If you put it in the front yard think of all the neighborhood kids that would floc to your house when you roast hotdogs and marshmallows for FHE.
 As far as the outside goes, again, I like dimension and character that is visually interesting.  So I love Trim and architectural detail.
 This house reminds me of the home in the "Father of the Bride" movies.  Love the movie, love the house.  Cute fence and…

 …Gables are a huge plus in my mind.  

 I also like brick or rockery on the bottom of the house.

I guess I am not very picky about bathrooms.  Just so long as there is

  • storage
  • a grown up sized shower (I don't want my butt to touch the side of the shower when I bend over that is gross to me for some reason.
  • a bath tub somewhere in the house for little kids
  • And they are easy to clean.  If we bought something with an outdated bathroom that had bad grout around the toilet or tun, that would be priority 1 on the renovation list.

Obviously no home will have all of these features, but it is fun to dream.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Quote Worthy Quotes
This is by far one of the most inspiring talks I've ever heard to empower me as a struggling mother.  It is 5 years old and I keep going bak to it because it is just that good.

Here is the transcript if you prefer to read her talk
and here is the video link if you prefer to listen while you work

The whole talk is wonderful but my favorite parts begin at the 15 min 30 sec mark (nothing happens in a family unless it is important to the mother), 17min 50sec mark (Julie's 3 lists to prioritize her time: essential, necessary and nice-to-do), and the 26min 50sec mark (there are 3 shifts of a woman's day and you can't work all 3.)

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Here is a slideshow I made for an RS activity this weekend.  
The photos and instructions are directly form the original website

Survival Bars - Kizoa Video Maker

Thursday, October 8, 2015

I have been so glad that my husband told me to bring my sewing machine with me on our adventure.  Since the spring I have been doing a lot of sewing.  I make 3 quilt tops for a friend who was donating Quillows to thMabuhay Deseret Foundation.  And recently I saw someone post on a Facebook page that they were wanting to donate a bunch of small quilts for babies at a local hospital.  So I got my scraps together and built these beauties

 I LOVE the blue white and yellow.  I might make this again with a border that is more fun.
 Some cute fabrics I picked up when my mom was in town.  And check out the mitered corners!

I'm so glad that some of the extra quilt blocks from Danny's blanket were able to go toward charity.  I actually messed up so badly on the # of blocks I needed for danny's blanket that I had enough to make 3 sail boat blankets this size!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Six sisters rocks

A friend invited me to do their healthy living challenge and it is awesome.  You earn points for stuff like exercising, eating veggies, drinking water, not eating after 9pm, weightless, contacting teammates…  But no point loss, so its straightforward and simple.
Everyone starts by contributing $20 into a jack pot and report their starting weight.  Then every week they report their weight and healthy living points.  There will be 1 winner for the weigh loss category and another winner for the healthy living points category.

I am really horrible about eating my veggies so I've been trying to do better and I found some great veggie recipes on the recipe section of their site.  I'm so excited and can't wait to find more time to surf their website and all it has to offer.

Here are the veggie recipes I've tried and loved

and here is their healthy living challenge.  Maybe at the end of the challenge I will post my points/total weightloss.  I'm still loosing baby weight from my pregnancy, so it will probably look more impressive than it really is.  I'm still really proud of myself for being 1 1/2 weeks into the challenge and I haven't given up yet :)

I think after the holidays I will see if my family wants to do the challenge with me so I can refocus on being healthy after my inevitable holiday junk food binge :)

Monday, June 15, 2015

So I've been doing A LOT of adjusting this past year, hence the lack of posting.  Moving to a new country, going from a huge house in the woods to a condo in the city, and finding out that you are expecting a surprise Baby takes an emotional toll on a person and invades any space in their head for executing anything creative.
But eventually I found my footing again, just in time to make this awesome quilt for the new baby.

And this cute little guy is a fairly big project in and of himself :)

I got my quilt inspiration from a book in our town's library back in Maine.  I wish I had the tittle, but somehow that information has been lost along the way.  Sorry

I had lots of friends help me with the quilting and they all wrote their names on the trim for me like I did for Toby's Quilt

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

I often think it would be fun to find a project to bridge the gap between raising young children and having all my kids in school some day.  I think it will be fun to finally have time to myself, or go out and get a job outside the home.  But at the same time, I want to be available to the kids if they need me on a day that they are sick/go on a field trip/volunteer in the classroom.  Also, I insist on begin home when they get home from school/attend their sporting events/performances.  Where can one find such flexible employment?

Before we found out that we are expecting baby #4 my husband and I were giggling with the kids about writing a book series about all of our family adventures.  They thought the titles could be a twist on the little house on the Prairie books, but themed according to our military posts.

  • The military house in the windy dessert
  • The military house by the sandy beach
  • The military house in the big woods
  • The military house across the ocean
  • The military house: home at last (I REALLY hope we get to move home to be near family next)

Then one day my husband and I sat down with the kids to make a list of their family memories that would make good book ideas/plot lines. It was so fun to think back on the past and giggle about even the stuff that wasn't funny as it was happening.

  • Maggie Meowing
  • Gwen hurting Baby Maggie
  • Gwen learning to sit up
  • Jumping on the bed
  • The long and annoying move to the Philippines/the long trip around the world
  • Gwen torturing Maggie through their lives
  • Maggie walking in Mom's blind spot
  • Going to Masons house
  • The long road trip to New York
  • Who did this!?!?!
  • Visiting Grandma's house
  • Maggie Drowning
  • Gwen's bookshelf/nursing
  • Gwen making messes (DVD's, pantry, clothes in bedroom)
  • Gwen's b-day/bad guy daddy
  • parent torture times
  • pig pile on poppa
  • Gwen's funny run
  • hilarious moments of the lee family
  • Gwen's annoying noises
  • Gwen squishing Mom while Maggie nursed
  • Gwen piling toys on baby maggie
  • Maggie making new friends at school
  • Gwen's birth
  • Maggie's birth
  • The accidental baby
  • Gwen at the Weinstein's for Thanksgiving
We have SO many story lines to choose from, and our family blog has hundreds more.  But the idea of writing chapter stories seems very daunting to someone who's writing experience just consists of journal writing for the past 8 years.  So I may explore the idea of picture books or something smaller scale.  In an effort to explore the idea of writing a little more I have been looking up some how-to guides on line.  Here is what I've found to get my thinker thinking more about where to begin.
  • The following is on outline explained from Writing children's books for dummies online
    • Beginning
      • Plot points
      • Character Development
      • Pacing
      • Character Development
      • Pacing
    • Middle
      • Plot points
      • Character Development
      • Pacing
      • Character Development
      • Pacing
    • End
      • Plot points
      • Character Development
      • Pacing
      • Character Development
      • Pacing
  • And this link has some basic tips on setting up a productive working environment
    • Stick to a writing schedule
    • Find a good writing location
    • stay organized
    • Prevent distractions (turn off the phone, close out your email notifications)

Eventually, if I'm still interested in writing a book when baby #4 rolls into pre-school, (We should bw moved back to the states by then) I think I will sign up for some writing courses.  For now I just want to get our ideas down to make sure they don't get lost over the years.