Sunday, January 30, 2011

view on sunday

reading the sunday paper
              cutting coupons for the grocery list
                                living vicariously as the first lady
                                                dreaming of an interior space based off of this chair.

what are you up to today?

Thursday, January 27, 2011

winner winner

chicken dinner.

I WON my first online giveaway!  YAY!

The other week I entered to win a giveaway on Sophisticated Pie for a $35 gift certificate to CSN stores.  Imagine the look of surprise on my face when a few days later I received an email from Elizabeth herself telling me I had won!

Now, what to choose, there are just way too many choices:)

Happy Thursday!

do you enter online giveaways?  have you ever won?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

on my bookshelf

As a child I always had my nose in a book. My parents could not purchase books fast enough.  In fact one of my favorite places to visit was right next door to where my mother worked, the local bookstore.  I would mosey through the racks of books, eyes fixated on the colorful bindings and cover photos, trying to discern just what story would be my next favorite.  Though many times my choices included the every popular Babysitter's Club and Boxcar Children, every once and awhile classics would slip into my hands.

I was not alone in my love for reading.  My mom and dad both fostered in me an appreciation for words and stories that is still ingrained in my today.  Every night, for years, my mom would cozy up next to me in my little twin bed before I was swept away by magical dreams and read to me.  And one thing I'm grateful for is that she did not stop when I was able to read on my own.  She kept on and the book selections grew to more insightful and difficult chapter books, but we shared this time, together, allowing the story to create a bond between us that only we had.  It was such a special time and to this day, reading with children tops the list of my favorite things to do.

It shouldn't come as a surprise, I suppose, that this love for literature and the written word, shaped my college experience.  I was an English major.  Not so amazing if you do not want to teach or allow it to position you well for a career in law, business, marketing or journalism.  But to me, sentence structure, the etymology of words, the creation of an idea, the ability to speak through writing took over my heart and then and there I decided on English.

There's the history...let's move forward to the present time. You will never walk in our house without seeing stacks of books lingering about.  In fact, the hubby often wonders at this love for reading.  Here are the books that I am in the midst of right now.  Right now I am enjoying being able to hop back and forth between books, some I'm almost finished with and others I'm just starting.  I think it will be enjoyable to give you a review on finds I find noteworthy and give you updates regarding which books are on the bookshelf. Plus I would love to hear what you are all paging through...I always need new ideas!

Marathon by Jeff Galloway
Spoken From the Heart by Laura Bush
Helper by Design by Elyse Fitzpatrick
My Life in France by Julia Child
In Defense of Food by Michael Pollen
Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli (one of my favorite children's books)

On my nook (the top book in the photo)

A Praying Life by Paul Miller

What's on your bookshelf? Have a favorite read from 2010?

Thursday, January 20, 2011

happy birthday

Today is my amazing hubby's birthday.  He's 32.

I did what any good wife would...allowed him to plan his day and went along with it.  So we headed to the club to hit golf balls in the golf simulator, went to lunch, picked up all sorts of sugary candy at the store and headed home for some movie time.

I feel so lucky to be married so such a great man. Not only does he encourage me daily and boost my self esteem, but he often tells me I'm gorgeous, he still loves to hold my hand and be goofy with me, and most of all he makes me a better person, daily.  Minute by minute, I'm being sanctified through my marriage and he makes sanctification not so difficult, most of the time!

So here's to my amazing, gorgeous, fun loving, tender hearted, strong and solid, jesus loving, faithful, selfless, leader of a husband.

Happy Birthday Baby!

you're the best blessing I have.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


I love me some Aveeno.

I used to be exclusively an Oil of Olay person, but then I met Aveeno Positively Radiant Day Lotion and my life changed.  Seriously.  This lotion makes my moisture starved skin feel so radiant...ergh, moisturized.  Guess they got me with their advertising:)  Seriously though, it's thicker, so you can feel it moisturizing your skin from the outside in.  It's not greasy, smelly, or sticky.  It's just right.

Only downside, it's kind of spendy.  The only good deal I could find online was at  A 2-pack for ~$27.  If you are like me, that price is way too much for face lotion.  Or at least it seems like a lot.  I know that the 2-pack would last me at least 6 months if not more.  But then in slides Costco.  Those who know me, know how much I love me some Costco.  Ah, Costco and their deals and coupons and savings.  I love it.

Imagine my surprise when I opened January's coupon book.  I've been praying they would bring back the face lotion.  You see we score our Aveeno Active Naturals Body lotion there for $14.99 for a 2-pack before the coupon all year long, but they took the face lotion away.  But it's BACK and at $19.99 for a 2-pack.  What a deal.

So back to why my eyes lit up like the northern lights this month...inside was a $4 coupon....Yay! Praise the Lord!  He heard my cry about lotion...He loves a great deal too!  That means we can get our body lotion and face lotion with a $4 coupon each. Down to $10.99 and $15.99.  Steal of a deal.

Now if they could only start carrying my other Aveeno favorites...

I love me some Aveeno, and January, and Costco...(and the hubby, of course)

Monday, January 17, 2011

new planner, new year

Every year I find myself struggling to find the perfect fit when it comes to organization and planning out our life on paper.  I'm a pen and paper kind of person, I cannot switch to using an app on my phone.  I've tried, believe me, even google calendar is too much trouble.  If I do use an app I just end up with piles of lists and paper all over the place because at the end of the day, whether I like it or not, I'm still going to write all that stuff down.

Maybe I need to enroll in list-makers anonymous...wonder if there is such a thing for those of us who cannot keep up with the times and switch to managing our lives online.  Although I'm pretty sure I'm not alone.  At least this LMA club would be fun...who wants to join?

Alright back to the topic at hand, or should I say the topic that fits perfectly IN my hand?  I think I've found a winner.  But first let me explain my dilemma.  For years I loved my Franklin Covey planner; not only could I keep my life in there but I also kept everything else in there: credit cards, money, lists, etc.  Only negative, it was kind of bulky to carry around all the time not to mention when it was bursting at the seams b/c I had neglected to go through it for eons.  So that didn't work.

Then as part of my homemaking group (not as archaic as it sounds) where older women pair with younger women, so we can feed off their vast array of knowledge, a woman shared about her system of organizing her calendar.  See she used a regular old notebook and printed off monthly calendar pages which she moved each week to another page.  I tried this for 6 months.  I liked so many parts of it EXCEPT carrying around a giant notebook.  Even a small notebook would have been tricky.

So what's a girl to do.  I knew that I wanted something that had monthly pages and weekly pages, was small enough to fit in my purse and left room for customization for the week.  I also wanted it to be fully contained.  Random tidbit, I actually keep all of my old calendars.  I have them all the way back to my freshman year of high school.  I know that's kind of ridiculous, but seriously it's the best representation and diary type thing that I keep up with.  So many events archived, kind of like why I blog, but different really.

So back to the planner or more rightfully labeled agenda.  I hit the jackpot when I landed at momagenda.  I'm not a mom but they had something for those of us who are not...the myAgenda.  Seriously it's the best of both worlds and you can try it before you buy it.  They are genius over there on that site, I tell you, genius.  You can print off what the agenda has in it...a week at a time to see if you like the format.  I did that for a couple of weeks and what would you know I was hooked.
{image from momAgenda}
So I got me one in bright shiny silver.  I'm in love.

Here in the city you can swoon up close and personal at these retailers:

Epitome  --  Edina, MN  (in the Galleria)
Watermark Fine Stationery  --  Wayzata, MN 

And if you love a deal like I do, you can score 35% off on their website plus an additional 10% off by following this link:

use discount code:  mom56746

Saturday, January 15, 2011

things i love

I love hearing from others regarding what they have found works for them, products they like, etc.  It's so much easier to take someone's word for what works and what doesn't rather than going about things by trial and error.  I tend to find I usually agree with most suggestions and not only is my time saved, but our money is as well.

So I thought it would be fun to weekly or bi-weekly throw out my favorites when it comes to beauty products, household items, cleaning products, deals, etc.  So won't you join me in helping each another find great quality items that will not only last but will make life a little easier...sounds good to me!

ps...I need your help too.  Anything you'd like to hear about?  Every week I'm going to be looking forward to hearing from you and what you have found that works well, because this woman would love to have things tweaked for the better:)

let's chat favorites soon, sound good?

Friday, January 14, 2011

the flynn

seriously, i'm in love...

anne m cramer

with the flynn skirt.

seriously swooning over this stunning skirt
and would love to get my hands on it.

anne's son was my buddy colin's friend at school.
i admit, anne's style always left my mouth on the ground in awe & in pure envy.
but she's far to kind for envy.  so i'll swoon and extend accolades instead.

check out anne m cramer for more impeccably styled clothing

Thursday, January 13, 2011

boot camp

I'm not talking about a Jillian and Bob type boot camp.  No running over things, up things, or under things.  And no, not like a bear hunt either.  Actually nothing like anything the words "boot camp" conjure up.  Instead I'm chatting about boots, the ones you put on your feet.

Whenever I see "put together" women wearing tall boots, short boots, booties, etc. I'm so inspired.  I happen to think that we all have that inner fashionista inside of us but I don't seem to always  have the confidence to pull it off.  But on the other hand, sometimes I (we?) just need to take the plunge.

The other night I scored two amazing deals on boots.  I've been on the lookout for the past few months for some black boots.  Flat if possible, not too trendy, just to wear with my jeggings and leggings, and inexpensive without being cheap looking.  A tall order because I really am pretty frugal and yes, if you just caught on I also just admitted that I have caved to the trend and now own both -eggings!

But back to the boots.  Boy oh boy are they beautiful.  They you might ask?  Oh yes, one cannot pass up an amazing deal.  So I purchased 2 pairs.  I know, I know but they were such a good deal.  A flat pair of taller black boots and a pair of tall brown boots with a heel.  Yup, with a heel.  I'll say it again, with a heel!

You may be wondering what the fuss is about, but until I found these I just didn't do boots with a heel   I have a pair from college that has a taller skinny heel and for some reason when I wear them I just feel...a little, well out of my element.  Scandalous, maybe?  So I've avoided.  That is until I set my eyes on these:

They remind me of a pair my mom had back in the 80's.  I love the chunky heel.  They are by Born Crown, a division of Born.  I love me some comfortable shoes, boots, slippers.  In fact most of the shoes in my closet could have also lived one day in my grandmothers.  Full of Born, Clarks, Naturalizer, Sofft, etc.  Call me crazy, but I just love for my feet to be comfortable.  Maybe that's a sign of aging.  Ah, well had to happen some time.

But back to the beautiful brown boots.  I found these at Marshall's.  Unscathed.  That never happens, but they are in mint condition, one pair left in my size.  Again that NEVER happens.  So I scooped them up.  Actually I scooped them, then put them back, left for a bit and came back to scoop them up.  $200 boots for $49.  Past season, whatever.  These are classic.

But back to what I really went in for.  Black boots.  I found these:

Steve Madden Criskros.  So incredibly comfortable and so out of my comfort box, I mean they have zippers.  But I put them on anyways, because they were only $34 and a girl needs her some black boots.  Much to my surprise, I fell in love again and these I scooped up and didn't turn back until they were bought and paid for.  Once I came home I pounced online to see just how much I saved and then I realized they still MAKE these.  $80 at Steve Madden, $60 at Piperlime, and $70 at Zappos.  $100 boots for $34.  Not bad, not bad at all.

So that was my first session of boot camp. Finding out what I like, playing around a bit, and coming home with a bit more in my bag.  Just like real camp, only minus the kum-bah-ya around the campfire.

So tell me, do you have a favorite pair of boots?  Anything you avoid?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

will you pray...

for our friends 
who are dealing with an accident
involving a family member 
who is now undergoing surgery.

will you beckon the throne on their behalf
and ask for miraculous healing
because He is able
and for faith and trust to believe
He is good, even if healing doesn't come.

will you pray with me, 
thy will be done Lord,
petition for me, asking boldly at the foot of the cross
it's been a hard year for my friends,
Jesus, show them who you are

comfort them and hold them
in your loving arms, in your perfect will
Lord, you are worthy, you are good
all the time Lord, all the time.


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

why i run.

Running has become my ultimate stress reliever.

If you perused the Infertility section you will notice that back years ago I had Doctor's tell me that I was too stressed.  Not a surprise, I'm sure many of you carry extra stress as well.  It's a stressful world. 

First thing I tried to do to combat it was to run.  At first I didn't love to run at all.  I was that kid in grade school that would do anything to try and get out of having to run a mile in gym class.  Yes, I was that person.  But as I grew up, running took on a new meaning and in 2009 I trained for my first half marathon.  It was great.  But then with the fertility stuff and pure laziness, exercise went on the back burner.  Plus I didn't really enjoy the after affects of exercise, more on that later.

Now days though, I can't imagine that I ever hated running.  Don't get me wrong, my love for running and exercise is cyclical.  Sometimes I'm training hard and other times my butt enjoys being stationed on the couch.  But then my butt gets the best of me, because we all know exercise is the key to improved health, a toned body, and good mental condition...and a great butt.  Which I do not have yet, but am working towards:)

Seriously, you will feel better if you do as Blue Cross Blue Shield says...Groove your body, 3 times a day.  I have to admit last year grooving that much was not appealing, but then this past summer I was diagnosed with Asthma.  I never even thought that was possible and yet I'm sure my hubby knew I had it the whole time we were married.  But now the hacking cough and wheezing is gone and exercise, especially running, is back on the top of my list.  It wasn't just the asthma though, it was the low good cholesterol reading for the first time and the Pcos in combination with my pesky but amazing PCP telling me I need to exercise 5 times a week.  She said it more than once, and in a very stern way.  So it's back on the workout wagon I go.

Join me in running.  Whatever your goal, just make one and we'll work towards them together.

Check out my run tab at the top for more info on races, gear, etc.

"let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, 
and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 
looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith"
Hebrews 12:1