Friday, March 20, 2015

Friday Favorites - 3/20

Happy Friday!

I have to be honest, this week has been heavy.  I heard some heart breaking news about a friend on Monday and the news hit very close to home.  My thoughts and prayers have been with this friend the entire week and remembering back to those early days of my own very raw grief has been hard.

Despite that, I thought it would be fun to post about some of my favorites from this week.  End the week on a lighter note, ya know?

So, here are a few of my favorite things that I wanted to share with you.


Marzetti's Simply Dressed Strawberry Poppyseed dressing

Towards the end of last week, I got this craving for a big, fruity salad.  I took matters into my own hands and headed straight to Kroger to pick up what I needed to make it {grilled chicken, strawberries, Craisens, nuts, and feta cheese}.  I normally shop the sales, clip my coupons, and make sure to stay within budget, but I lost all my inhibitions and totally went for it.  This dressing was so worth the splurge and really made the salad total perfection!  GET SOME!


Women's Statement Necklace - Coral/Gold (18")
I've had my eye on THIS necklace for months now.  Now that I have some birthday money burning a hold in my pocket, I made a beeline for the jewelry section when I was at Target today and was so sad that they no longer had it in the store.  I'm so excited that it's still online and it's currently in my shopping cart.

Women's Fashion Necklace- Silver/Mint (19")

I did spot THIS cute thing though!  I am loving mint green for spring and this needs to be mine.  Also in my shopping cart, but I may just buy it at my local store.  I'm not sure I can wait long enough for it to ship to me.  


Pinterest Told Me To Wear Orange, White, Denim, and Leopard.......Pinterest is So Dang Smart.

I haven't really thought a whole lot about clothes these days, mostly because I'm a little bummed that I haven't done much with any of this baby weight that I need to loose.  But, when I saw THIS super cute outfit on a fun fashion blog that I follow, I knew it was "pin-worthy."  I'm not sure how these hips will do in some white jeans, but I'm loving the look and hope to try it out for myself soon!


Savannah is growing up so much that is makes me want to freeze time.  So, when she wakes up from "rest time" and wants to snuggle with me, I try to take total advantage.  She loves ballet so much that she wanted to sleep in her outfit.


This middle guy has been a total hoot lately.  In the past couple of months, I feel like his little personality has just exploded.  I've seen the strong-willed side for quite some time, but I'm seeing more and more of his silly and funny side.  Even folks from church have commented that he's much more talkative.  The kids were watching Frozen the other day and Brady was getting a total kick out of the Mickey cartoon that plays at the very end of the DVD. I wish I could have gotten this at a better angle.  Good ole Mickey slapstick cartoons...gotta love 'em!


Since I have fewer opportunities for one-on-one time with Davis, I try to seize them when I can.  This picture was during "rest time" for the older ones.  I had just fed him and he was chilling on the floor when I decided to lay on my side next to him.  I propped him up on his side and we just flirted with each other.  It was so priceless.

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What were some of your favorites from this week?

Linking up with:
Andrea for Friday Favorites

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Wednesday, March 18, 2015

When to Hire a Professional for Home Projects

I used to think that my husband and I were pretty adventurous when it came to DIY house projects.  After all, we've always lived in old homes and each one included the phrase "needs a little TLC" in the listings.  Need I say more?

But the longer I'm a home owner, the older I get, and the less energy I have, I'm convinced there are some jobs that should be left up to the professionals.  While I do think there are lots of occasions when doing it yourself is respectable and worth the challenge, I also think there are times when it might be wiser to hire someone else to tackle the job.

Here are 5 scenarios when you might consider not doing it yourself and calling for backup instead.

1.  When doing the project yourself doesn't save you all that much
Many people opt to D-I-Y because they hope to save money.  That's usually the case with us.  But, sometimes the professionals might end up being able to do the job for the same or only slightly more than you could do it yourself.  Before jumping right into the project, write up a thorough cost estimate for doing it yourself {and consider doubling it to be on the safe side} and then get a few estimates to compare.  Pros may be able to get better pricing on materials and they don't have to worry about renting or buying any expensive tools that might be needed.

Keep in mind that your time is worth something too.  If the professionals aren't charging you a whole lot more than what you think it will cost to do it yourself, then consider whether it's worth your time to save just a little bit of money.  That brings me to #2.

2.  When time is a factor
In our experience, most home improvement projects end up taking twice as long as we anticipated.  Sometimes it's just nice to have the project completed quickly.  Let's face can be a challenge to life amongst an unfinished project.  Or maybe it it is necessary to finish the project because of some circumstance or deadline you have.

We currently only have 1 functioning bathroom in our home {we're gradually working on finishing our upstairs bathroom}, so it's not really feasible to do without running water in our bathroom.  Luckily, we haven't had any major plumbing issues, but if we did, then you better believe we'd be calling the plumber.  Speaking of plumbers...

3.  When quality really does matter 
I will confess that I'm a bit of a perfectionist.  I tend to have an eye for details and flaws tend to stick out to me when the average person won't even notice.  My husband is the complete opposite, which has been a challenge at times when he's working on home improvement projects.  There are some projects that don't require detail and there are some where quality really does matter.  If inspections are needed, then that's something to consider as well.

Kev and I have basically come to an agreement that we don't take chances with water.  We call pros when we are dealing with bigger plumbing/tile projects.  We recently hired a gentleman to tile our upstairs shower for us.  Kev had never tiled a shower before and we both agreed that we didn't want for our bathroom to be his first experience.  We just didn't want to take that risk on a shower where it will get daily use.  It was worth every penny knowing it was done right {and done very quickly}!

Detailed carpentry or "finish work" is another one that Kev won't tackle.  Thankfully, my father is fairly good at it {he's where I get my perfectionism from} so he's helped us a ton.

4.  When safety is a concern
We recently had a really tall oak tree removed in our backyard.  It was slowly dying and Kev decided that he just wasn't comfortable trying to do it himself.  Heights are not his thing, and it was fine with me!  The guys who did the job had all sorts of harnesses and pulleys.  I could tell they knew what they were doing, so their risk was minimal.    

Yet another reason why I'm fairly confident we won't attempt to replace our own roof.

5.  When it would prevent conflict in your marriage
This might sound silly, but sometimes paying a professional is better than paying a marriage counselor.  :-)  I had to admit this, but we have had far too many heated arguments/fights over home improvement projects.  I'm growing in this area and learning more and more about how to let go of my perfectionism {sometimes I just have to leave the house when Kev is working on a project}, but I'm also convinced that some home improvement projects are just not worth the possible disagreements.  Maybe the projects are just so big that there would be too many opportunities where conflict could continue to arise?  Or maybe if you are pregnant and hormonal?  :-)

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When do you think it's worth it to hire a professional?

Linking up with:
Ruth for ThriftyThursday
Carrie for 
Think Tank Thursday
Allison for 
Handmade Hangout

Monday, March 2, 2015

March Goals

I don't know about you, but I'm so ready for spring time!  It's been nice having some snow days these past couple of weeks, especially since it means having Daddy home, but I really could use some warmer weather.  How about you?

I mentioned in my 2015 goals post about my plan to do more specific monthly goals.  My hope is that I can get some traction by posting them and then updating you all at the end of the month.  Let's face it, sometimes yearly goals sound lofty and generic, but hopefully these monthly goals are more specific ways I can focus my efforts and get some things accomplished.

So, here's my plan for March goals.

1.  Have a date night with Kevin.
Kev and I are overdue for a date night.  We attended a marriage conference at our church last month which was really good, but we need some intentional time alone this month.  It's going to be a busy month, so this date night may have to be an at-home date night.  Either way, this one needs to happen.

2.  Paint the upstairs bath closet.
After a long hiatus, we're making some progress on the upstairs bathroom for the kids.  The shower tile is up and I want to get the linen closet painted this month before we move on to hanging bead board.  The shelving has been put up in the linen closet, but I need to paint it before I can load it up.

3.  Research new pediatricians.
Since we changed our health insurance at the beginning of the year, it's been an adjustment getting used to how our new insurance company works.  Our pediatrician is considered non-network {bummer!} and it has been a pain submitting my own insurance claims.  I'm learning a lot about how complicated the health care and insurance system are and it's also made me more desperate to see if we can find an in-network pediatrician so that I don't have to deal with all of the paperwork.  I hate to switch, but I want to start researching options. 

4.  Do another freezer cooking session.
Last month, I spent a couple of hours one afternoon doing some freezer cooking.  I made 6 meals {5 of which were slow cooker meals} and it was a huge help throughout the month.  I'd done a little bit of freezer cooking in the past, but I'm going to try and do it at least one afternoon a month from here on out.  Having the baby has made cooking dinner more of a challenge, so freezer cooking seems like the ticket to less stressful meal prep.

5.  Take Brady out for Mommy/son date
Kev and I are trying to be more intentional about having one-on-one time with each of our children.  Kev took Savannah out last month, so I'm planning to take Brady out for some fun this month.  It should be really nice to have time to focus on just him.    

6.  Research options for gym memberships.
I'm really getting the itch to rejoin a gym.  For the past couple of years, I either haven't had the time to even think about working out or we haven't had the money in the budget.  I really want for this to change.  My goal is to get some prices for some gyms in the area, so we can see if it might be possible to squeeze it into our monthly budget.   

7.  Finish reading Life Interrupted.
I've been reading through this book with a friend from church.  It's been a good read and I still look forward to discussing it together, but I'm planning to go ahead and finish it up this month.  I don't like to be reading too many books at once, so I'd like to finish this one up so I can feel free to start some others.  I know, I'm a weirdo!  :-)
8.  Work a minimum of 10 hours each week on the blog.
I'd really like to get back to more consistent posting, but I also need to be realistic.  In the past, I've stayed up way too late at night in order to work on blogging, jeopardizing my sleep and leaving me fatigued and groggy the next day.  I want to work intentionally on blogging, while also keeping my family and my own health a higher priority.  When I spend those 10 hours will probably change from week-to-week, but I want 10 hours to be my goal so that I can get some consistency back.

There you have it.  I'll report back at the end of the month to let you know how I did!

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What are your goals this month?

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