Monday, January 31, 2011

3 in 30 - February Goals

3 in 30 - January Wrap Up & February Goals

So, what are your "Closing Comments?
I really like the concept of three small goals in 30 days. I was only somewhat successful, i thinkI need to break down my food and exercise plan into even smaller goals and then maybe I will have more success.

What is your overall reaction to this month?
Just being aware of the goals at regular intervals (ie. Fridays) helped me to break down all kinds of other things. Here I am at the end of January and I feel very much on top of things at home again, that I've made substantial steps in the right direction for 2011 and I'm optimistic about the year knowing I'm taking it one month at a time J

Looking Ahead:

What are your three goals for February?
I'm adjusting my goals to fit into 3 categories:
1. Something that needs to be done daily (or 5 out of 7 days)
2. A one time practical job that needs to get done off the overall 2011 list.
3. A personal/creative project - one time or ongoing.

1. Make lunches for EVERYONE the night before.
2. Organize the Office (again), especially the library.
3. Start to work on my writing again.

Plan of Attack
1. Make sure I've stocked the house with items that make it easier. Perhaps even make a "plan" to get me started. Put it on the fridge so I see it.
2. Set a date for Office Overhaul (2 days). Create system for filing, get boxes for the "donate" and "trash" piles, etc. Have a plan for making the room "pretty" so I will use the space and the hubster will not treat it like another "man space". Do a Goodwill run at the end of the 2 days.
3. Pull out my notebooks, etc. Create a "master" journal/file to pull things together and just get to it. Make a vision board, so I am more inspired each day to think on it and write - try to get started the first week, since hubby will be in Boston that week (one less lunch to pack, less fussy dinners, etc).

Hopefully I have not overloaded myself, but I think I can pull these things off this month. J

Saturday, January 22, 2011

3 in 30 Encouragement

It's Words of Encouragement Week... (I was late last week, but made it this week! yay)

So, my goals for January were:

1. Stick to the meal/exercise plan which will help me lose the weight.

2. Drink eight glasses of water a day.

3. Finish 2 of my 10 Winter Goals for work.

How'd it go THIS WEEK?

Point One: Another Choppy Week for me in the food/exercise goal... ahead another week, a fresh new start. I tried to do my xbox kinect exercise program and hit a glitch which rendered me useless. Need to find another way to exercise in the great white north...

Point Two: I've been pretty much on track with this, but need to amp it up a bit more.

Point Three: Another very good week, I got a lot done off my lists despite many meetings that limited my time, and I also managed to get alot done at home too.

Again, in the goal area it's been up and down, but in the living and loving area, I've had another good week. I finished another book, only blew up at the husband once, I visited with friends and loved on my kids, cooked 3 really good dinners (and had leftovers twice) stayed caught up at home, had a couple good thinking/praying/ breathing times...

What encouraged me this week? that first book I read:

By Julie Barnhill

Led me to attend this event that I heard about:

During which I spent some good time with my mom. Always encouraging.



Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Citrus Chicken with Rice and Buttery Green Beans

I don't consider myself a food blogger, however, I do seriously enjoy cooking and I rarely ever use a recipe and even when I do, I usually alter it so much I can only honestly say i was "inspired" by it. My method is to open the fridge and pantry doors, look at what I have that is either a) on the side of almost past due or about to rot; b) in excess (usually due to a sale) and add it to what I imagine it would taste good with. My dad taught me this method and it has honestly rarely ever let me down. Then I usually either check out my collection of cookbooks or Google it, look for a basic how to (so as I don't over/undercook it) and then close the book/ page, and begin.

I'd like to start out by saying that I have no idea how Pioneer Woman does this unless she has someone helping her. It is very difficult to take pics while cooking and it takes much longer to just get the meal finished. I followed her primer from here and maybe it just takes practice. Anyways, here's my humble PW attempt:

Citrus Chicken with Rice and Buttery Green Beans
I had an abundance of leftover clementines from Christmas that were all rough on the outside but soft and sweet on the inside, and I had chicken breasts in the freezer...

I peeled the clementines.

I put them in the blender.
I blended them. (about 1 cup of juice/pulp)

I added about 3 garlic cloves that I pressed with my Pampered Chef garlic press.

I love my garlic press. She is my favourite kitchen gadget.

I added about 2-3 tbsp ground ginger. Fresh grated woud have been better. (just sayin)

added about 1 tbsp soy sauce.

I roughly chopped 2 green peppers and I medium onion.

i put them into my Pampered Chef rectangle stone (I only roast with stones)
with the thawed chicken breasts.

I melted half a cup of butter.

I added it to the clementine mixture in the blender.

I opened a can of pineapple slices.

I poured the pineapple juice in the mixture in the blender.

I blended it.

I put the pineapple slices on top of the chicken and veggies and then
sprinkled with salt and pepper.

I poured the mixture over the pan.

I baked in a 350° oven for 40 mins.
Then i used cornstarch to save time thickening the sauce,
but you can use flour too.

Served over rice of your choice with green beans. Yummy!

Let me know what you think. Y t

Monday, January 17, 2011

A house or a home

For the past year I've been becoming more and more immersed (and blessed) by joining the blogging community. Admittedly many of the sites inspire me in my home-making skills - decorating, organizing, cleaning, cleaning, taking care of my kids and my darling's inspired me to continue to make our house a home.

Which led me to this line of discussion with God at prayer meeting last week...

Is my heart/ my life a house for His presence or a home?

19Do you not know that your body is the temple (the very sanctuary) of the Holy Spirit Who lives within you, Whom you have received [as a Gift] from God? You are not your own, You were bought with a price (purchased with a preciousness and paid for, made His own). So then, honor God and bring glory to Him in your body.

or from The Message

Don't you see that you can't live however you please, squandering what God paid such a high price for? The physical part of you is not some piece of property belonging to the spiritual part of you. God owns the whole works. So let people see God in and through your body.

Am I actively doing the things that make my body, my life and my heart a true home? Yes, He has residence within me, Is it truly a home to Him? Is He comfortable? Is it welcoming, sweet smelling, warm, inviting, easy to live in?

I wonder if this journey He has been taking me on this past year was not only intended to benefit my physical home in practical ways, but also my actual self the spiritual "home" that I am also responsible for? I think yes.

In all the ways that I'm learning to make my physical house a home, I can apply the same truths to His home in me... I can learn and do things to make it appealing to His senses, things to make it more useful or productive, more organized, easier to live in and fulfilling it's purpose. I can also make it a place where all of His family feel welcome...

I don't mean "do things" with my own hands though, I mean to yield to His hands, I mean, he walked the earth as carpenter... perhaps I can take a moment today to sit down with Him and get His thoughts on this home we are making together...

I think I will.

Thanks for hearing my heart today Yt

Saturday, January 15, 2011

January Check In

It's Check in Week... (and I'm late checking in...)

So, my goals for January were:

1. Stick to the meal/exercise plan which will help me lose the weight.

2. Drink eight glasses of water a day.

3. Finish 2 of my 10 Winter Goals for work.

How'd it go?

Point One: Well, to be honest it's been a slow start... The meal/ exercise plan has been extremely choppy, I didn't realize how out of control I've gotten... another week, a fresh new start.

Point Two: I've been slightly better at this one, it won't be a hard one to continue with.

Point Three: Very good, I got probably 4 or 5 items done off my work lists, that feels good to say :)

In the goal area it's been up and down, but in the living and loving area, I've had a pretty darn good week. I finished a book, didn't blow up at the husband, and didn't let my imagination get the best of me and start a fight. I spent time with people I love, we decided that a pet for our family is in the near future, made the most of a major sale at the grocery store, stayed caught up at home, had some good thinking/praying/ breathing times... yep, it's been a really great week, that's my story and I'm sticking to it... :) t

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Snow Day!!!

Today was a SNOW DAY. Our first. I love snow days.

However, we found out at 7 am. The boys were already up... no sleep in today...sigh.

We had Oatmeal and Yogurt for breaky.

I spent a good chunk of the AM surfing:

I surfed across this...again. Ask me how happy this show made me in December? I could watch/ listen to this group over and over and over....and over.

Anyways, back to my Snow Day.

We stayed in our PJs until noon.

I caught up with 3 friends and 1 out of 4 sisters via phone and messaging.

I had a bath.
I read this book.

Motherhood: The Guilt That Keeps On Giving
It was very good. Very timely for me.

We watched TV and DVR; the boys took turns on

I took my homemade laundry soap out to the van. (this is a feat in itself - usually hubby does this)
We had homemade soup for lunch. (the boys preferred KD)

We went outside to enjoy the beauty.
We shovelled the driveway.

It took forever.

The boys quit after 3 scoops.
I broke a sweat. I persevered.

We had a nap.

I had several herbal teas. current favs: Pumpkin Spice and Bengal Spice.

We had chicken nuggets for dinner.

The boys went to Awana. I got groceries and went to a prayer meeting.

Hubby picked up kids from Awana and put them to bed.

I put away the groceries. Had another tea. Read inspiring blogs.

I put out the garbage.

It was an incredible day. Time for bed. J

Now please tell me: How was your day? If you had a snow day, what would you do with it?

Saturday, January 8, 2011

100 Things About Me (you may or may not have wanted to know) Part 2

This is a continuation as I highly doubt my ability to come up with 100 things... anyways, my blogging goal is to have the 100 days finished by my 100th post...totally doable, right?
We'll see, anyways for Part One go here.

Now, go make thyself a coffee (and if you're allowing yourself, have a something sweet to munch on too) and get ready to hunker down for a good read.

Ready...says...go! (i will explain this some other time J)

11. Children

I have very mixed feelings about this subject. I realized after had my own kids, that I am not really a “baby” person. Oh don’t get me wrong, I loved my kids as babies, and though I do frequently consider having another one of my own, I realized that if I’m in the presence of a new mother, I’m not one of those types itching to hold the wee one. Strange to me, because when my boys were “wee”, I was reluctant to share them with anyone, including grandmas or even daddy… I loved my boys as babies, I love em as kids, and I’m soaking up as much as I can of all that is wonderful about children, their curiosity, their passion for life, energy, zeal, innocence…etc. the other thing that is weird, is that I’m actually a children’s pastor, so you think I would be a full out baby/slash kid person, but I'm not. I really just see them as little adult persons that will one day be friends. Maybe that’s why it works...

12. Singing

I love singing. I've always loved it. I don’t remember when I started. I do remember starting voice lessons when I was about 8 and riding my bike from school to her house in the middle of the school day. I loved my first teacher – she was glorious, beautiful in a old Hollywood way, and she had this voice…golly gee I can still hear it in my memory – awe inspiring…and that she believed in little old me…wow. I loved taking the classical stuff – it was so tricky…and loved especially the jazz favourites (these are probably still my favs – think Harry…sigh) I also loved their near relation – music theater and I still imagine myself in each and every one that I see/ hear to this day... I love Glee by the way. It takes me to my happy place, every week. Singing opened all the doors of opportunity in my early days … and then I moved to Niagara... to a gospel style church…sigh…it was fun... but it wasn't the greatest fit for my voice. But it was definitely fun and I was OK with not being the diva – I just loved to sing, still do. Now though, it’s mostly just along to the radio and lullaby's to my boys, but I’m still happy with that.

13. Cheer leading

I was a cheerleader in high school. In Canada in the early 90’s it was not a big deal like it has become today, or like it has always been in the States… but it was a big deal in my town. It was lots of teenage drama. I loved it the cheer leading, not the drama. I loved learning and doing the cheers, doing the routines, wearing the awesome uniform (I promise i will dig up pics eventually)– I had some awesome legs back then…sigh. Anyways, I have no shame in talking about this, I learned a heck of a lot being a cheerleader about leadership, perseverance and kicking. I cried over stupid things as a cheerleader. We had practises at 5 am (that made me cry), and after school (that too)… I was not the best cheerleader on the squad, but I was a very good base – I never dropped one girl, nor do I remember ever shaking when holding a lift… but my timing was sometimes a bit off, and I was self conscious for the first 2 years, I didn't know how to be flirty… I laugh to remember…but I loved it anyway, the pep rally's, the fundraising, the games – now they were fun! both basketball and football. Yep. Proud of it.

14. High School

I enjoyed high school. I was not popular in the pretty girl, or rich or liked to party type way – but I’m pretty sure everyone in my small school knew me, they way we all basically knew everyone else. I was that girl who was in almost every club photo in the yearbook, but not in the geeky way…well maybe I was... but was in denial. I had my own friends and was happy with that. They were mostly from youth group, and mostly went to other schools – so sometimes I was lonely at school, but, I never felt a need to be accepted/pursued by people who I was pretty sure I would not be close to after graduation. Maybe I short changed myself, but I’m OK with that. I really enjoyed all that there was to high school – the activities, the experiences. I also worked a lot at a lot of different jobs, and of course I had to drive my sisters around a lot…I was very very busy in high school, it prepared me for the rest of my life J

15. Bible College/Bridal College

Someone tried to “prophesy” to me before I left for Bible College – they said I would NOT meet my future husband there, so I could relax and focus on school….Ha! Sometimes I’m tempted to track that guy down and tell him at worst he’s a “false prophet” and a best he “seriously missed it”… I met my husband within the first week of school. I did not “know” then that I would marry him and was not looking for love, in fact I was kind of trying to avoid it and really focus on God. I kind of r the spokesperson for the "dating at Bible School is wrong" crowd. I managed pretty well for a few months, until it became impossible... I gladly swallowed my pride and we started hanging out near the end of our first year, and were engaged by the end of the 2nd year. I’m not sure if it was because so many other people were doing it or not (getting engaged) … but who cares? (of course I went loony and we then broke up and got back together over the course of another 18 months…but that’s another for another point) J point is, we met at Bridal ahem Bible College and I’m so glad.

Hubby and Sister in the early days...

16. Friends

My momma always told me that some of the friends I made after high-school would be the ones that would become lifers. I definitely am blessed in the friend category. I love me my friends, I've got a very big garden, and it’s loaded up with some of the loveliest friends around. I've got them crazy ones, them serious ones, the passionate, inspiring ones, the ones who make me laugh, the ones who make me cry, the ones who do both, the ones who kick my butt, the ones who are fluffy and silly and I love em that way, the ones who need me, and the ones who never need me, the ones I see all the time and the ones I barely ever see…ever – but we just pick up where we left off, the mommy friends, the sisters, the artists, the dancers.... The ones who challenge me and the ones who teach me…yes I’m blessed among women, and I wouldn't trade a single one of them. My garden is big, it is full, and there’s always room for more J

17. Mom

My mom is amazing. She’s so much more than words could ever say. She introduced me to Jesus. She gave me life, and then introduced me to real life. Then she taught me (and still teaches me) how to live both lives, my earthly life and the one leading to eternity, with authenticity and grace. Sometimes I picture my life as if I’m the pilgrim in Pilgrim’s progress, except in my version, I see her up ahead of me on that road. Every once in awhile she looks back at me and reminds me to “enjoy it” or “watch for that pit over there, it’s a bad one”, “keep dancing, singing, loving, trying…etc” and then she blows me a kiss and goes on about living hers as fully as she can by example… what’s not to love?

18. Canada

Back in the summer when I was 16 and in Greece, these gorgeous Greek soldiers asked me if I was from America? when I said no, Canada! Their beautiful faces lit up, and I was so happy to be a Canadian… I am still very proud to be a Canadian but for much different reasons. I love that we are known for being a peaceable people, for being funny and not afraid to be different. I love our vast land which I've been privileged to drive and fly across several times. We have this massive treasure that is so beautiful in every season. We have a distinct culture. My favourite part of Canada is the East Coast, oh Lord I would move there if I could take all that I love about Ontario with me too. I love Niagara, it is like this pocket of wonderful hidden somewhere in the middle. More on that later.

19. Not a Beach Person

We went to Cuba on our honeymoon, the first week of June. It was HOT. We are not beach people. We don’t like roasting like meat in an oven, we don't like sand everywhere or salt in our eyes, we don't like laying around doing nothing, we broke a horrible sweat on a 20 minute bike ride, and have a fear of seagulls...OK, that's not true… but we spent 5% of our honeymoon between the "warm as a bathtub" pool and the dining areas. We spent the first 2 blissful nights in Toronto where we saw the stage production of South Pacific (so about 10% of our honeymoon?) the remaining 85% was spent in our AIR CONDITIONED room. We could have just stayed in Toronto. That’s probably what we’ll do for our 25th…or maybe finally go to Europe. All I know for sure is that we are not Beach People.

20. Valentines Day

I love Valentines Day. The most obvious reason is that it is my birthday. I never minded sharing it with Happy Heart Day. I love all things pink and red. I love chocolate and romantic movies and just everything about it. I loved exchanging valentines in school and well, if you have to share your bday with a special day, that’s the best one. Silly husband learned his lesson while we were dating that there is no such thing as “combining” a Valentine and a Birthday present. Nosireebob! Respect the day, respect love. Happy wife, happy life, right?

21. Cooking

My dad was a chef. He was good. Well known in many parts. He was Greek, my mom was not. He was not known for cooking Greek food, mom was. Well, he did BBQ a mean souvlaki. (licking lips now). I love cooking. I don’t always like thinking about what to cook, I love to do it. I love chopping, sizzling, roasting, sniffing, tasting. It’s just mwa! I love making things up. I like cooking things I grew myself in our backyard. I love feeding people. I’m glad I have boys who like to eat. I like experimenting with herbs and spices, especially ones I grew. I especially love making soup. I think that’s my favourite thing to make. I like to imagine myself hosting a TV cooking show once in awhile. I live in my imaginary places a lot. Do you see a common theme? I really am truly content with my reality, I’m not sure why I live in fantasy so much (maybe that’s why I’m so happy? – neuroses, I know…)

I really wanted to make it to 25 tonight, but the kink in my neck is now a burning annoyance and I really need to squeeze in my last of 8 glasses of water too, so I’ll catch you in a few… t

Friday, January 7, 2011

The 3 in 30 challenge.

I'm joining this challenge this year.

This is great. I love to plan, but one of my weaknesses is that I overload myself. By sticking to working on 3 things for the next 30 days, I believe it can be done. I can do it!

If you are new to the whole 3 in 30 challenge, be sure to check it out!

Tammara’s 3 in 30 for January

1. Stick to the meal/exercise plan which will help me lose the weight.

2. Drink eight glasses of water a day.

3. Finish 2 of my 10 Winter Goals for work.

This week has been a slippery one, but every day counts towards strengthening my commitment to myself and eventually witnessing lasting change.

How bout you? What goals do you have for yourself this month?

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Home Goals

Goals for My Home in 2010

1. Redo the Main Floor Bathroom – this includes stripping wallpaper, painting and minor d├ęcor updates.

2. Overhaul the Sunroom

I’m pretty sure this will be a long process over time as resources and time become available. We don’t really even have a plan yet, it could be as involved as tearing the whole thing down and starting from the concrete slab up, to just redoing the roof and painting the floor, to adding a second level deck between the sunroom and the balcony off of our kitchen (thus creating direct backyard access from our living space as currently one must either walk around the whole house or go through a breezeway, thru the garage and then thru the sunroom just to get to the backyard).

3. Reorganize the Garage. Obviously this is something I cannot even begin to think about doing until spring comes.

(I do not have a pic of our garage...and it's too cold to go take one)

4. Enjoy every room (including the “outdoor rooms”, at least every week, if not every day. This includes doing whatever it takes to make the office/library functional and organized.

(remember this's the first pic in that post)

5. Keep up a changing Seasonal Theme or a Seasonal Table.

6. Update the Boys’ Rooms and the Playroom for as little as possible.

I think I’d better stop there, I’ve got just under 12 months to make the most of in my home. J

I'm linking up to The Nester since the Home Goals linky link was my inspiration for this post as well as Melissa's goals at The Inspired Room.

How about you? Do you have any goals for your home in 2011?

Bachelor Apt Makeover by Jodi

Ok, so here's the scoop. I ALWAYS forget to take before pictures. The one and only time I did is for this makeover that my dear dear friend Jodi did, in my house.

This is Jodi.
Rather it is me smootching Jodi.

Jodi is a photographer among many talents. She took the after photos (and probably on my blog any photos that look amazing - she would have taken). To find out more about Jodi look here, here or here.

It's handy having a photographer as a best friend. :)

Back to the reno...

It is actually a bachelor apartment that is over our garage. We currently rent it out to our friend Steve. Before Jodi got her hands on it, it looked like this (the former tenants left it like this actually. I had taken the pictures to keep on file if they ever tried to come back and say we took stuff that we didn't... anyways, yes, it really wasn't much to look at, and after said sloppy tenants, well, it needed serious help, Jodi felt we could NOT let our dear Steve move into it in this condition...
really truly, gross.
See the purple on the wall? ya, the tenant left it partially painted like that...
with the striping on this wall... all i can say is... hmmm.

And after Jodi got her lovely hands on it, speaks for itself.

Remember the bathroom with purple on one side and stripes on the other...


And Steve moved in, and we've all lived happily ever after :)
The End.

I almost forgot to link to Centsational Girls Linky Party which is why I did this post in the first place. Sheesh!

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