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Out of my Element

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Phew!
So the last few weeks have been quite an adjustment for us. We moved, the kids switched schools, and my husband started a new job. Oh, and we're living with my parents. Did I mention that? (I talk about the move here and here). It's a lot to take in. It hasn't been bad- just stressful. When everything is new, new, new at the same time it can get to be overwhelming. Thankfully, children usually adapt pretty quickly, and mine certainly have in this case. My husband is settled in at his new job (and is loving it! Hooray). So where does that leave me?

I don't know what to do with myself. My days are kind all jumbled together with the kids being in school and me not being in my own house. What do I do? Keep myself busy and be my usual, neurotic self? Or do I just pull the yoga pants back on and laze around? Lately, I've been going with the second option.

Part of this has to do with the kids' schedule- it's a bit weird. You'd think that since they are in 3rd grade and kindergarten that they would go to the same school. But you'd be wrong. Here, the kindergartners have their own school called a Kindercenter. One of the downsides to this is that the parents must provide transportation one way, which sucks. I'm not used to that. Ayden has always ridden the school bus to and from school with no problems. Now I send him off in the mornings and then have to get Lily ready for her afternoon session. This takes a while, because she's a moody little diva most days and takes her sweet time getting ready. Then I drive her in the opposite direction of Ayden's school every day around noon, and she rides the bus home with her brother at 3:30. I know it seems silly, but this little mid-day trip to drop her off every day makes me feel like I'm boxed in and can't leave or do anything during the day. I know it's not the case, and I have plenty of times for errands and whatnot, but I get anxious thinking that something will happen and I won't be home in time for them to get off the school bus. Silly, silly, anxiety ridden mommy- maybe one day I'll get adventurous.

So what am I doing with all of this time while I'm "stuck" at home?

Nothing, really. I'm not blogging, that's for sure. It's hard to find the "time" and space for it, since I don't have my office or desk here. Usually I'd be on it for a good portion of the morning with my calendar and planner sprawled out in front of me, blogging, emailing, tweeting people, jotting down notes and ideas and getting blog posts and pictures edited. Now, everything is just kind of everywhere, and I haven't looked at my planner in weeks. Staying organized is quite the challenge. It's really hard to stay on your normal routine when you're out of your element.

I need to get moving! I need some motivation.
Exercise has pretty much been out the window since summer vacation.
My yoga mat misses me. My butt and thighs have begun to jiggle again & I don't like it.
My sewing and quilting stuff is packed away in a storage unit. No crafting for me :(
I haven't been reading & can't focus on anything when I pick up a book.
TV and movies don't even really interest me right now.

My goal this weekend is to get organized and start on a "new" routine next week- something similar to what I was doing when I was in my own house. It's going to be a bit of a challenge, but I think I'm up for it. I need a challenge right now- something to push me to get off my butt and do something.

How do you stay motivated?
And organized?
Have you ever been in a situation like this where you were out of your element?

Wish me luck!

Birthday fun and a giveaway! $150 Paypal cash

Friday, September 20, 2013

This week was filled with birthdays.
Amber, Sarah, and my son Ayden all celebrated their special days this week.

I can't believe my son is 9 years old.
I can't believe I'm old enough to have a 9 year old!
I can't get over how big they both look. They are like, kids, ya know?! Crazy.
 

We did our usual, which is Red Robin for the birthday boy or girl's dinner choice. We like to take advantage of the free kid's meal, ice cream sundae, and the singing of their birthday song. The kids love it! This time it was especially great because we got to include their grandma, grandpa, uncle, aunt, and baby cousin. It's been a couple of years since any of the extended family got to come to a Red Robin birthday dinner with us, so it was a lot of fun and was really special for everyone. We had a blast!

Later we went home for cake- my favorite part.
I love these kids.

Now, in honor of Amber's birthday celebration, she's hosting a giveaway that I was lucky enough to be a part of. How does $150 in Paypal cash sound? 

Sounds like a pretty freaking sweet birthday treat to me!

This giveaway is brought to by all of these awesome bloggers:


Enter on the Rafflecopter widget below.
Open internationally- void where prohibited.
Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway


Easy back-to-school dinner- mini pizzas!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013


I don't know about you, but ever since the kids went back to school a few weeks ago, my evenings have been a blur and dinnertime has been creeping up on me. Between after school snacks, homework, and chores, dinner has been somewhat of a free-for-all lately. Anyone else experiencing this?

Thankfully, Pillsbury has my back.
With the help of their Grands! Biscuits, dinnertime was a quick, delicious hit with my kids!


My kids love pizza, so we tried out these Grands! Mini Pizzas from Pillsbury.

Ingredients

1 can (16.3 oz) Pillsbury® Grands!® refrigerated biscuits 
1 cup pizza sauce 
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (8 oz) 
1 package (3.5 oz) sliced pepperoni

Press each biscuit into 6-inch round. Place on 2 large or 3 small greased cookie sheets. Top each round with pizza sauce, cheese and pepperoni.

Bake at 375°F 10 to 15 minutes or until bottoms are deep golden brown and cheese is bubbly.

The kids really liked these little mini pizzas, and the recipe made a lot of food (8 Grands! Biscuits in one canister = 8 mini pizzas!) Thankfully grandma and grandpa helped eat some of these too (and loved them!) We will definitely be making these again, and I think they'd be a hit for birthday parties or sleepovers, or any occasion where you need to satisfy your kids' appetites quickly and easily. I'm thinking next time I'll have to get some more toppings and let the kids create some different flavor combinations, like ham and pineapple, and I'd love a little veggie pizza for myself.
One of my favorite things about this Pillsbury Grands! Mini Pizza recipe was that there was virtually no clean up afterwards, which is a major bonus for me on a busy school night. All I had to do was wash the cookie sheet and voila- I had a clean kitchen,  and the kids were full and ready to start on their homework (yay).

Make sure to get this and other Pillsbury Grands! recipes by downloading them here. All of these recipes are quick, easy, and kid-friendly, and can be made in 30 minutes or less- perfect for us busy moms with school age children. I can't wait to try the Grands! Unsloppy Joes and the Grands! Taco Melts

Yum!
So what do you think?
Are you ready to try your hand at some quick & easy mini pizzas?
Your kids will thank you!
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective. The content and opinions expressed here are all my own and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of General Mills. Compensation was provided by General Mills via Clever Girls Collective.

Ask me your gel nail questions!

Friday, September 13, 2013

I had a brilliant idea.

My DIY Gel Nail post has been viewed over 120,000 times, and I get a lot of questions emailed to me and in the comment section. Some of them are repeat questions that I want to address here anyway for everyone, because I know if one person is asking, they surely aren't the only person out there with the same question. I figured I'd do a little Frequently Asked Questions post discussing anything and everything having to do with gel nails. How does sound?!

So here's how it will work:

Leave me a comment here, on this blog post (the one you're reading right now!) if you have a question about gel nails, and I'll do my best to answer it for you in my upcoming Gel Nails FAQ blog post. I will also go through all of the comments and emails I already have and compile a list for you guys so you can get all of your burning questions answered in one place. Are you confused on a step? Want to know if you're doing something wrong in the application process? Or just have a general question about doing your own gels? Ask away. If I don't know the answer I will do my best to find the answer for you, and maybe I'll learn a thing or two in the process as well.

If you can't leave a comment or don't want to ask it here, you can also email it to me (click on the little envelope icon at the top right of my blog header). Make sure to say something like "gel question" in the subject line so I won't miss it!

Make sure to check out all of my gel nail posts & get your questions in!



Can't wait to here what you guys have to say!
And also- I posted a sneak peek of the Gelish MINI fall collection I just got :)

Here's the thing

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Remember a few weeks ago when I got all crazy thinking that when the kids both went off to school in the fall I'd have so much more time to myself? Yeah...I don't know what the hell I was thinking there.

A lot has changed since I wrote that post about being bummed out.

Let's see, oh, right...my husband lost his job. And then we moved- the weekend before school started.

So we're in a different city and state.
The husband just started a new job.
The kids both started new schools.
And I'm running around like a chicken with its head cut off most days.

Here's the thing- we're staying with my parents right now, and we're completely OK with it. Is it something I love to broadcast to the world? No. But that's the reality of our situation, and we are actually much happier where we're at now. We are so fortunate to have this option and not have to "stick it out" where we were at any longer. We were all pretty unhappy there and didn't really want to invest anymore time into trying to make it work.

Now, we're closer to family (that's putting it mildly- we're VERY close to family now!) and so far it's working out just fine for everyone. It's not forever though, and we aren't the first people in the world to have to do this. (If it feels like I'm reassuring myself of this I totally am, because it's hard not to feel like a loser or something when you're 29 and have to move your entire family back into the house you grew up in!). Seriously though- it's not a big deal. Anyone in this type of situation shouldn't feel like they are a loser, and I've had to realize that sometimes it's OK to need help, right? Our situation is just temporary while my husband gets busier at his new location and builds up his clientele again. In the meantime, we're saving money and enjoying not being so isolated and far away from everyone we know. Most of my closest friends live within 30 minutes of me now, and the same goes for Shayne. We have a much better support system here and I can already see a huge improvement in my own mood. And the kids get to see Grandma & Grandpa every day now, rather than just 2 or 3 times a year.

And another huge perk- my husband no longer hates his job!
So yay for that.

Having to send your husband off to his job everyday knowing he absolutely loathed his place of work wasn't a great feeling, and I hated the fact that he had to put up with so much crap there. It took all of my self control not to waltz in there before leaving town and give them all the finger.

A perfectly manicured finger, that is, since I just got the entire fall collection sent to me from the lovely people at Gelish MINI!!!
 
Look for some upcoming posts about the new Gelish MINI colors!
Anyone else ready for Fall to get here?
My boots sure are!

A quick update & back to school fun

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Hey strangers!

Today is the first time in the last 5 days that I've had time to get on my laptop and think about blog stuff. We've been crazy busy, and there's been a lot of stuff changing around here!

The kids and I got all moved over the weekend. My husband still has some tattoos to finish & some loose strings to wrap up, so we won't see him for about another week or so. In the meantime, we're at my parents' house and the kids and having a blast being at Grandma & Grandpa's house- especially since we've only been able to see them a few times a year because we've been living so far away. Now they get to see them every day! And it really is a nice change for me, because I hadn't really made any friends in our town and I was feeling very isolated and alone the last few months over there. I was really miserable and it was getting almost unbearable at times.

Yesterday was Ayden's first day of 3rd grade, and had kindergarten orientation.

Today Lily had her first real day of school.

And then the kids rode the bus home together today for the first time.

It's so crazy that my kids are now going to same schools I went to.

I apologize in advance for the lack of regular blogging right now but we've got a lot of new stuff going on and it's going to take us a little bit to get adjusted.

Hope everyone had/is having a great back to school time!
Anyone excited that it's almost Fall? I can't wait to dig out my boots.

Oh, and make sure to enter this giveaway- enter to win $200!

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Melissa Swenson and Lulu & Sweet Pea