Monday, January 25, 2016

Rose garden January update

2016 first quarter goals, getting the master bathroom redone, and getting a rose garden started here.
The bath is well underway. 
The rose garden spot has been picked.
The bricks have been relocated. 
The newspaper is down to kill the weeds/grass.
Coffee grounds and egg shells are periodically being thrown in as organic fertilizer.
The plan is that three roses bushes will sit in front of two Carolina Jasmine vines (yellow) and two Confederate Jasmine vines (white) that are recovering from being severely trimmed back last year but usually grow up the white fencing.
Next step soil will be purchased and spread and then some type of mulch or hay will arrive and be waiting ready for the rose bushes.
That's the plan, at least.  

Thursday, January 21, 2016

master bath

 For some reason, I have been struggling making my 2016 goals and I think I've decided to mentally break this year in quarters. The first quarter is going to be focused on getting the rose garden up and running and finally finishing the bathroom.

I'm feeling a strong pull to get the home office up and running well but I think its just because I'm stuck in the master bathroom. It has been put off, pushed back and gone for long stretches being ignored, so the pink steamer and I absolutely can not stop now and re-direct energies to the office. And its just not the office's quarter.

"I am doing a great work and I can not come down" Nehemiah 6:2. Maybe its not as serious as Nehemiah but, when I am on the ladder, this is what I am telling myself. 

Much like the guest room re-do,  my focus has been pulled away by other things, getting house ready for a week worth of company, I'm working overtime, and life in general is getting in the way and its taking some time. Meanwhile, everything is in disarray, dirty and out of place and the ladder has been in the way for weeks. I can't take it out and put it away yet. Its so fun and rewarding to get a project done, but also frustrating when in the middle of it. 

And I keep wondering why I don't just suck it up and hire someone to do this for me.... for whatever reason, I haven't. Proverbs 14:23: "there is profit in hard work" and "let him labor, doing work with his own hands... " Ephesians 4:28. One of my friends has made this bathroom work into a spiritual life lesson. I can't go that far myself, but I think about that correlation when I'm on the ladder. For whatever reason, I am still on the ladder doing it myself and not coming down.

There is some success to report. Currently, there is almost no wallpaper left on the wall. Only one small spot remains. I have started to go back over everything to get the patches of glue that remained. Then I have to go over it once again with a little sandpaper and then it will be ready for a primer. I am planning (hoping) this will all be done by March.(yikes! a deadline!)

I have picked the color (I  think) which is a major accomplishment. Even picking a color took some work. I originally thought I was painting yellow. I swatched a least six yellows but couldn't find the right one, then moved onto blue. Again, after putting up several test spots, couldn't find a blue. Next was grey.... and.... finally....a color has been picked.

I have also made some other decisions. There will be white fluffy bathmats and shower curtain. I already have the curtains and curtain rods.  The curtains are a light gold colored with medallions and match the ones in the attached bedroom (like these but in cream and gold). 
I also got my first gift for the new bathroom. My friend got me a candle and some handmade soap.
So...2016 projects continue.
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Monday, January 18, 2016



The damage from one church craft fair and yard sale. I spent a little more than I usually would, but it was for charity and I couldn't ask for a discount. Plus my cousin was in charge of organizing the event and I wanted it to be a successful event. So....

Stained glass butterfly: $2

2 mini muffin tins with 24 muffins each $4

2 ice cube trays $1

2 soaps. $1 for a big one ($4.99 at TJ Maxx)  and $.25 for the little square one that is  $7 from l'occitane

A little silver lamp with a fuzzy cream shade for my kitchen $5. I had plans of spray painting the lamp a bronze color, but the silver is growing on me.

A handmade plaque with a cross made from barb-wire $10. My original thought was it was going in the upstairs guest bathroom, but it is currently in my dining room.

2 tall and very heavy iron candle sticks $4

Friday, January 15, 2016

Weight Watchers Chicken Salad

I have been making this Weight Watchers Chicken Salad forever and everyone loves it and no one knows it Weight Watcher recipe. I deviate a little from the recipe (no carrots in mine or ginger).  

Its the best recipe, one that has developed into just chopping and throwing it in.  I have long since stopped measuring, just add what looks good to you....
chopped apple
chopped grapes (I add both green and red)
chopped Walnuts
chopped celery
chopped red onion
chopped chicken (I use rotisserie or baked chicken breast)
a little mayo
a little greek yogurt
a little salt and pepper
and that's it.  

Monday, January 11, 2016

few things I'm loving right now

Trader Joe's mini mint ice cream sandwiches
I've seen some people complaining about the lack of chocolate chips in them, but I think they are just perfect. They are the perfect size. Two bites. And they are delicious.

Liz Earl Polishing Facial Cleanser
I'm not sure how it works, but it smells like mint and feels thick and creamy, then you wipe it off with the muslin cloth that comes with it and your skin literally feels polished. I love it.

That's it
A fruit bar that only contains fruit and nothing else. I love it. I wish I could find them more accessible. They are at Starbucks for $2.95 each, or order them on line for a lot less. This was my first on-line order and they went fast.

Ensure High Protein Drink
Very high amount of protein (25g) and just so easy for a snack.

My new coffee cup from target.
It was $4.99 and I tried to get more on clearance after Christmas, and surprise. They were gone. I hear they have pretty cute Valentine mugs out now.

Apple chips.
I can honestly eat the whole bag at once (then feel sick). It is just apples cut and fried like potato chips. They are delicious.

Friday, January 8, 2016

2016 Goal Setting

I've been using Lara Casey's  power sheets method of goal setting for the last three or four years.  She walks you through her goal setting here (and here is another example also using the powersheets and here is an abbreviated version not using powersheets). I blogged about my 2015 goals here  and had big plans for making 2016 goals. In fact, thought the goals would be made the last few weeks of the year.  But so far... not much.....

For the first time, I am still struggling through the process...

Looking back, 2015 was a  great success. I blew through a lot of the goals I had set. Some you can actually see the results and some are more personal without real measurable results (like exercising regularly and setting up a night time routine).

Some of the highlights of the most visible, I:
read 47 books (47?!)
got the garage cleaned out and the door fixed
got the guest room up and running
fixed the fireplace
had a huge yard sale (HUGE)
filed the empty spot in the kitchen
Went to Tennessee in June

Went to California in September

The things I have in mind for 2016 are still kind of scattered and random and all over the place.  I can't get them to fall into a neat little line.  Its a lot of things at home that I still want to accomplish, like:

Finally get the wallpaper off in the bathroom. I've been struggling with this for a while. Its about 85% done, but I then have to face down the spots of glue that remain and the spots of sheetrock damage and then start painting. Even though the wallpaper is almost off, its still a big job, and a tiring one.  After the painting, I'll put up a curtain rod, curtains, new rugs, etc....

Get the home office up and running. (basically do to the office what I did to the guest room in 2015).

Paint the upstairs bathroom.

New nightstand. I've been struggling finding the right one. I think I've decided I need two or three enclosed drawers.

I cut some mature Carolina Jasmine way back last year and it is just growing back. While it is still coming in,  I want to put rose bushes in front of it. I've already got the stones in place and started putting down some potting soil and I've been looking at these catalogs forever and it surprisingly makes me a little too excited that one of the first roses for the new bed will be from England. I've also got another spot for some climbing roses.

So.... work on 2016 goals slowly continue.....

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Monday, January 4, 2016

Reading list for 2016: The short list of plans

  1. Are you Fully Charged by Tom Rath
  2. The Finishing School  by Valerie Woerner (there is a book club too)
  3. Once a Great City by David Maraniss
  4. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
  5. Jane Erye by Charlotte Bronte (my best friend who is a high school English teacher recommended this when I asked her what classics I should read)
  6. Extreme Ownership by Jacko Willink
  7. Wake up Happy by Michael Strahan (reading this now)
  8. Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson (true story of an American hiker who stumbled upon a village in Pakistan who befriended him and he ended up building 55 schools in Pakistan)
  9. Law Man by Shon Hopwood (also a true story)
  10. More than a Hobby by David Green (Another true story of the founders of Hobby Lobby)
  11. Fervent by Priscilla Shirer
  12. The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Simple Woman's Daybook- Sunday Jan. 3, 2016

Outside my window:
Cooler weather arrived and I am pretty over the moon about it, although its been gray and raining too. Its still much more enjoyable than the 80 degree humid Christmas weather.

I am:
Fighting a little fever, sore throat, congestion and generally not feeling energetic. I had the last 3 1/2 days off which I've mostly spent snuggled down on the couch in front of a fire.

I am Listening to:
Currently, the dog snoring on his pet bed  and the burning fireplace. All is quiet.

I am watching:
I just watched War Room movie on Amazon. It was only $5.99 to rent but its 75% off until Monday  (here). So I paid $1.25

I am watching, part 2:
The birds at the feeder in the back yard. There are a lot of them today. The dog has been joining me in the watching, but with more interest.

I am planning:
2016 goals with Lara Casey's goal planning series here and some books I want to read in 2016.

I am planning, part 2:
Because I don't feel good, I've been slow to start putting Christmas away. It also takes extra time to organize by color, so I am deep in the middle of that and the house shows it. I am slowly getting the bins down and going at it, but they are all sitting on my dining room table, making the house look a little chaotic and unorganized.  

I am reading:
I'm between books, which is rare. I'm awaiting The Finishing School to arrive, and after seeing War Room, I'm starting Fervent.

From the Kitchen:
I'm in  the Hallway: The last of the New Years Day left over blackeye peas, cabbage, ham and cornbread was eaten for lunch. I put beef stew in the crockpot yesterday and packaged up for lunch at work. Since I've been feeling under the weather, a friend brought me some chicken gumbo for dinner.

"I have heard there are troubles of more than one kind, some come from ahead and some come from behind. But I've brought a big bat and I'm ready you see, now my troubles are going to have trouble with me." Dr. Seuss

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Saturday, January 2, 2016

sephora monthly subscription

When I got the email from Sephora one morning that they now had a monthly subscription box for $10 a month. I dropped everything and went to the site to sign up. Apparently, they went fast.  A co-worker tried to get one a few hours later and they were already sold out. 
I can honestly say this is the best monthly box I get. Two months in, and I LOVE it.

November box:
  • Josie Maran Argon Oil, which I already know and love and use all the time, including most recently, on a steam burn on my thumb (from making asparagus soup) after the skin began to peel.
  • Stella McCarthy's perfume I loved it. Very strong rose scent. its one of my favorites. I would buy a full size but my complaint is it does not stay on long.
  • Bite Beauty Lip Pencil in Rhubarb. A red that I've been wearing almost every day in December.
  • Makeup Forever primer
  • Buxon plumping lip gloss in Dolly. A sheer pink that smells like peppermints that immediately went into my purse and I use it every single day over the red lip pencil.
  • Electric Blue eye liner pencil from Sephora.
December box:
  • Viktor & Rolf's perfume: Flower bomb. I loved it. (I know I keep saying I love it, but I do! I loved everything in the boxes)
  • Fresh Seaberry Moisturizing face oil. I love all oils and glad I got to try this one, but Josie Maran is still my favorite.
  • Smashbox full expose eye shadow duo. Probably my favorite thing in this box. I had never used their shadow before and after trying it, I'll be looking for a palette.
  • Dr Brandt pore exfoliator. I have used this before and I really like it so glad to have another little one.
  • Nude Skin Care serum. What I love about this is it came in seven different sample packets, enough to use twice a day for a week. I love being able to try it out for a whole week.

Friday, January 1, 2016

The books I read in 2015

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  1. Yes, Please by Amy Poehler
  2. Every Bitter thing is sweet by Sara Hagerty (she has a blog here)
  3. I'll drink to that, a life in Style with a Twist by Betty Halbreich
  4. Choosing the Simply Luxurious Life by Shannon Ables
  5. Hebrews (a Bible Study) by Lisa Harper 
  6. Orange is the New Black by Piper Kerman
  7. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
  8. Carol Burnett, this time together by  Carol Burnett
  9. Quiet Strength by Coach Tony Dungy
  10. The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo 
  11. Positive Moves by Angela Langsbury
  12. Bossy Pants by Tina Fey
  13. The Daniel Plan by Pastor Rick Warren
  14.  Can We Talk (Bible Study) by Priscilla Shrier
  15. Ann Landers Letters to my Daughter by Margo Howard
  16. Lessons from Madam Chic by Jennifer L. Scott (she has a you-tube channel here)
  17. Change your Clothes and Change your Life by George Brescia
  18. Style and the Successful  Girl by Gretta Monahan
  19. Bread and Wine by Shauna Niequist (she has a blog here)
  20. The Woman I Wanted to Be by Diane Von Furstenberg
  21. The Hoarder in You by Dr. Robin Zasio
  22. The Best Yes by Lisa TerKeurst
  23. The Fringe Hours by Jessica Turner
  24. You are a Bad Ass by Jen Sincero
  25. In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day by Mark Batterson
  26. Lessons From Madam Chic by Jennifer L. Scott
  27. Nourished by Rachel Randolph and Becky Johnson
  28. Hosea (Bible Study) by Jennifer Rothchild
  29. Deuteronomy (Bible Study) by Kay Arthur
  30. Every Girl Guide  to Diet and Fitness by Maria Menounos
  31. Empty Mansions, the Life of Hughette Clark by Bill Dedman
  32. How to Use a Journal by Jim Roth
  33. Lean In, by Sheryl Sanberg (also gave one to my niece)
  34. For the Love by Jen Hatmaker
  35. Gray Mountain by John Grisholm
  36. 10 Steps to Success by Mary Kay
  37. We Laugh, We Cry, We Cook by Rachel Randolph and Becky Johnson (their blog here)
  38. Goodbye Survival Mode by Crystal Paine (she has a blog here)
  39. Audacious by Beth Moore
  40. Polish your Poise by Jennifer L. Scott
  41. Positive Dog by Jon Gordon
  42. Shelter for the Spirit by Victoria Moran
  43. The Residence by Kate Andersen BrowerImage result for in a pit with a lion on a snowy day quotes
  44. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  45. So We Read On by Maureen Corrigan
  46. The Story
  47. The Early to Rise Experiment by Andy Traub