Saturday, February 6, 2016

The 2016 Book Groups I'm Joining

I just wanted to share a couple online book clubs that I'm joining in with on the blog today.  I love books, I love community, I love hearing what other people think about what they are reading, and I love a good book list.  I'll be joining a grown up book group for me and a read aloud book group for my family.  Some of the books on the lists I have read but most are new to me.  Take a peek, you may want to join in.

The Deliberate Reader 2016 Book Club

Reading Together A Family Exploration Book Club

I also am starting with a couple friends an in person mothering book group.  It will be fun to talk face to face and share ideas and thoughts about what we are reading.  More on what we are reading for this soon.

You can find my 2016 Book List and reading goals here.

You can find my latest picture book (Hansel and Gretel) sharing here.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Yarn Pom Pom Wreath

Here is another wreath, because, well you know I love wreaths.  This one I did this last winter and never got around to sharing it with you.  This winter I happily paired it with this pom pom garland, something I made around the same time last year.  

This was such a fun wreath and one that I had wanted to make for a a long time.  I'm made a bunch of poms with my pom pom maker.  My maker is this one.  I tied each pom pom to the wreath with yarn. They slide around the wreath a bit when handled, but when it is on the wall it isn't a problem.  I nice wintery wreath.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

February Monthly Goals

This year I will be setting and sharing my monthly goals here on the blog.  In January I chose 5 areas to work on and each month I will set specific, measurable goals in each of these areas to keep me on track.  I also will choose one miscellaneous goal. If your interested, you can find my yearly goals here.

Since we will be working on and moving into our new home this February most of my February goals will surround this very time consuming and exciting goal.  Since I know we will be spending a lot of extra time working on this goal, I have limited my goals in the other categories.  

Family ||

  • Read 1 chapter from a read aloud book 5 nights a week with my kids.

Home ||

  • Purchase home
  • Finish all work on home
  • Move into home

Healthy Living ||

  • Meet with new doctor for regular check-up
  • Drink 12 glasses of water a day
  • Exercise 3-5 times a week

Connection ||

  • Go out with another family

Blogging and Etsy Shop ||

  • Follow new blog schedule
  • List new items in Etsy shop

Post a morning and evening routine, share on the blog, and work on following it.

January Goal Report

Just reporting on my January goals.  February goals coming later today.

Family ||
  • Have individual evening chats with kids 3-4 times a week. (I did a few chats, nights are so hard for me, I'm definitely a morning person.  Most of the time I'm just trying to get everyone in bed. I still want to work on this.) 
  • Focus on one child a month. (Yes!)

Home ||
  • 15 minutes a day to simplify (Worked on this.)
  • Begin work on Sherwood house. (Yes!)
  • Make a list of work to do on Sherwood house (Yes!)

Healthy Living ||
  • Join new gym with childcare. (Yes!)
  • Exercise 5 times a week. (I worked out 2-3 times a week.)
  • Drink 12 glasses of water a day (I worked on this, but will be working on this again this next month.)

Connection ||
  • Have one family over for dinner. (No, we scheduled it but had to cancel.)

Blogging and Etsy Shop ||
  • Follow new blog schedule (Yes!)
  • List new items in Etsy shop (No)

Work on following a simple morning and evening routine. (No, I thought about it a lot.)

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

The Fairy Tale Project || Hansel and Gretel

In January we read through of few of these lovely Hansel and Gretel picture books.  Like many fairy tales, this is an eerie, fearful tale.  Proceed with caution.  

Hansel and Gretel by Rika Lesser illustrated by Paul O. Zelinsky
Loved the illustrations in this version of Hansel and Gretel.

Hansel and Gretel by Susan Jeffers

Hansel and Gretel by Cynthia Rylant
Cynthia Rylant is one of my favorites and I love her rendition of this fairy tale.

Hansel and Gretel by James Marshall
A fun version of the tale

Hansel and Gretel by Holly Hobbie

Hansel and Gretel by Neil Gaiman
Each illustration is like the cover, alternating full page illustration with full page text.  I really enjoyed the writing of this version of the story.
Hansel and Gretel by Will Moses

Hansel and Gretel by Manju Gregory

Hansel and Gretel by Nadia Higgins

Friday, January 29, 2016

Simple Homemaking || The Kitchen Sink

This little area of the home is central to homemakers.  We log a lot of hours here at our kitchen sinks.  We clean and prep, we scour and scrub, we fill and rinse.  This little area is a powerhouse of activity.

We are still living in our town home and our kitchen is small.  Not as small as some, but there is no real area to spread out.  Cupboard space is a hot commodity and I have to think through what is absolutely essential to have on hand.

The Essentials | I always have out hand and dish soap.  My favorite is Mrs. Meyer lavender scent.  I love having these out and close at hand.  I use microfiber dishcloths and I use one a day.  I start with it at the beginning of the day and launder it at the end of the day.  I use a long handled scrub brush to rinse dishes, a quick rinse goes a long way in the dishwasher.  I also use  a nylon scrubby and a stainless steel pad for all the hard to clean pots and pans.  I store these under the sink.

Washing Dishes, A Daily Practice |  Each day I wash dishes throughout the day.  I usually do the dishes after breakfast, while I'm preparing dinner, and before bed.  Below are a few tips on daily dishwashing.

|| I will load the dishwasher once a day and run it once a day.
|| If I have extra dishes that day, I try to fit all the smaller dishes into the dishwasher and save the larger pots and pans to wash by hand.
|| I never run my knives or wooden cutting boards through the dishwasher.
|| Even if the dishwasher is not completely full, I will still run it once a day.  This saves us from running out of spoons and bowls and keeps the whole system moving forward.
||  I have a child unload the dishwasher as a daily chore.  I'm also working to have family members rinse and load their own individual dishes.

When I Get Behind || During the week I'm pretty good about staying caught up with the constant flow of dirty dishes but after a busy night of being out or on the weekends the pile can grow.  If I only have a couple of minutes or I'm feeling overwhelmed I have a few tricks to get it done.  Sometimes I'll set a timer for 5 minutes and just get as much as I can accomplished.  It is amazing what you can do in 5 minutes and it makes the whole process feel less daunting.  Sometimes I will just scrub out the big pan or wash off the cutting boards.  This decreases the pile by quite a bit and makes less work for the next day.  Taking advantage of small chunks of time has been a saving grace in this stage of life.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Simple Words || The Road Downhill

"May you have warm words on a cold evening,
A full moon on a dark night,
and the road downhill all the way to your door."