This month started off warm and has ended up being a bit chilly at times (not to mention rainy!). As much as I love summer, I do prefer this gradual transition to the hotter months.
We've playing on the deck, taking walks in the (light!) evenings with Jon, splashing in water with toddler rain boots, and (to my surprise!), doing some home projects.
We moved into our house over a year ago, and after painting the rooms and cabinets and hanging a few things, we stopped working on it. I kept wondering if maybe our house would stay that way forever (maybe we would never get the motivation to complete new projects), but then this month, it just started happening (as, I argue, it usually does!).
We finally got curtains in the living room (so that we're not putting on a nightly show for neighbors anymore) and hung pictures (Michael's had a 3 for 1 sale on frames!) and shelves. Each simple change makes me smile, and I love how our house is coming together. We even became adults and did some outside work. Maybe next April we'll do a few more projects.
The language and words of toddlerhood make our lives so much better. I love being able to have conversations with Liam. I know that blog readers find my child every bit as fascinating as I do. So I'll tell you that he tells himself "No" quite loudly if he is doing something he shouldn't (like standing on a chair). But he'll follow it up with "yeah, yeah, yeah" if he thinks we should allow it. He asks for what he wants and is obsessed with the moon (he pronounces it "moan"). One of my favorite words he says is "purple," and I can't quite capture how he says it.
After finishing the last two books of the Outlander series, I thought I would have series withdrawal and find everything else mediocre. However most of what I read this month was fabulous. I especially loved Leaving Time and could spend an inordinate amount of time watching elephant videos. In every other conversation, I refer to The Power of Habit.
Other reads: Dad is Fat (I enjoy the light reading and laughs of celebrity nonfiction, but the writing style and structure is just not my favorite).
Liam Reads: Kitty Cat, Kitty Cat, Are You Waking Up?, Kitty Cat, Kitty Cat Are You Going to Sleep?, Have You Seen My Dragon (For this last one, I follow Janssen on Instagram and LOVE her book recommendations!).
I finally jumped back on the meal-planning train. Meal-planning has been an intense learning curve for me. I am learning to plan leftovers for Jon's lunches better thanks to Plan to Eat. Plan to Eat makes my grocery list take one third of the time! I LOVE it! I plan to incorporate some of the comments from Anne's recent post as I plan our menu this week because I need some good, spring dinners. What we cooked this month:
- Chocolate Chip cookies (always!): For some of what I've learned, see this post.
- For small group, we did a Chipotle spread and made this marinade for our chicken. It was unbelievable (it makes two batches, and I used the second batch a few nights ago).
- I'm still obsessed with this pizza crust from The Nester, mainly because pizza crust is almost always last minute for us!
- We're totally into this baked oatmeal (it is the best!). We make it occasionally after Liam goes to bed as a treat.
Links and Tidbits (There are a lot, and they're so good!)
- Elise's podcast is one of my favorites. She is super professional but also very relatable and so creative. I loved the podcast on creating each day (episode 39) and her interview with Jessica Turner of The Fringe Hours (episode 56).
- This article discusses the trend of fast fashion--inexpensive clothes and constant style changes. It was really helpful for me to see how much pleasure shopping--and especially getting a deal--brings our brains. (Found through Becoming Minimalist)
- I loved seeing how a new hair part can change your look (even more than a haircut!). There are some great tips here!
- I've been grappling with the language of faith and struggle lately, and I loved Addie's post.
- This articulates one of my pet peeves when talking about money--acting like there is one solution or one thing to save on. The truth is, we all have our blindspots financially, and also, as this article says, there are many ways to get it right. (Found through Modern Mrs. Darcy, which has a gorgeous new design).
- Elise blogged about her fitbit, so I decided to borrow Jon's and try it out. I've learned two
things. First, I get more steps that I would think. But to really get enough steps, I do need a daily walk. This can be hard with an opinionated toddler who wants to walk on his own (and I love letting him!), but I do need intentional daily exercise. The sleep log was also enlightening/depressing (#nightweaningdropout)
- I totally agree with Haley about how getting rid of possessions is the only way to conquer clutter.
- Though I generally don't follow celebrities, I'm a little obsessed with the Duchess of Cambridge (who just had a baby girl today!). I shamelessly stalk her and love her maternity looks. If only I had looked that good in maternity dresses! (#whalejokes) Maybe if I had a tailor. Or generally carried a bouquet. But probably not. Also, the mostly-alliterated captions on this slideshow are too funny!
- In the midst of our small home improvements, I found this blog and loved perusing the archives.
It seems like lots of grocery stores are having Mexican food sales for Cinco de Mayo. We are having fajitas tonight, and I'm super excited!
What have you been into lately?