This is a Facebook post I made on my personal Facebook page last week.  If you notice the day at the top it says Thursday.  I wrote this post the very day before the tragedy in Connecticut.  Like everyone around the world... the news made me sick to my stomach and like every parent in the world I couldn't stop staring at my child since the tragedy occurred.  I was going to blog about my post later that evening, but time got away from me and I knew I'd get around to it sometime this weekend.  Little did I know how much more it would actually mean from when I had originally posted it.  Before I continue let me please say as millions have already said... the parents and families of those lost in this horrific tragedy will forever be in my heart and prayers. 

So my two days of "disasters" (and we all know why I'm putting that in quotes now) began on Wednesday morning... my little man had been sick for a few days and so had I.  Just your basic run of the mill colds... nothing that was alarming in any way.  Wednesday morning had been our best morning yet, so Grandma asked if we were up for going to Costco.  I got my son and myself ready and the three of us loaded into the truck.  I literally pulled out of the driveway and my little guy had a coughing attack so I put the truck in park and tended to him quickly... then all was well, I put the truck in drive, drove to the end of my street... and my poor baby started vomiting non-stop!  I quickly put the truck in reverse, backed up and pulled back into our driveway... I grabbed what I could to help him and then my mom helped out (thank God for Grandmas) as I ran inside to get a towel.  Nothing was salvageable... so to speak... meaning there was major clean up after all was said and done.  I grabbed another towel and laid it over my shoulder and grabbed my baby out of his car seat and took him inside.  I ran the tub and cleaned him up... The whole time that boy of mine never cried and just wondered what was going on.  That was the first time he had a real vomiting episode like that and not just "baby" spit up.  Poor thing.... So anyway that was "disaster" number one.  Yeah sure... no big deal right?  Well add being sick and pregnant on top of it all and it wasn't that much fun.

"Disaster" number two... The next morning I took my cat to get groomed... yes I said cat.  They wanted us there at 7am!!!  My son doesn't wake up typically before 8:30am therefore NEITHER DO I!!! So having my cat at the groomers by 7am was not exciting for my pregnant sick self whatsoever.  I dropped him off... went home for only about 20 minutes before getting the phone call that he was ready to be picked up.  All this time my son was sleeping peacefully (at least one of us was).  So I went to go pick up my now not so furry fur ball (don't worry Grandma stayed with my little man each time I left) and all was going well... That is until I smelled something not so good in the air halfway home.  My poor kitty decided to use his crate as a litter box!!!! NOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I couldn't get home fast enough... Luckily the crate held it all in (along with his very fluffy tail... bleh) and my truck did not get dirty.  So as soon as we got back to the house straight to the bathtub I went again... this time with my cat.  Luckily he doesn't hate water and I dropped him in a tub a quarter full of warm water, soaked him down as best I could then let him jump out onto a towel and dried him as best I could.  Then came cleaning the crate.  Sigh.... So yeah... not really all that bad... but add in being sick, pregnant... and oh yeah did I mention my husband had been out of town since the previous Monday?

So after all was cleaned up... my son woke up (perfect timing) and our day "began".  I was making his breakfast and thinking about how I was going to list my complaints on Facebook as soon as we sat down and let everyone know how much the past two days had sucked.  Something happened to me though... as I was preparing my son's breakfast and watching him play and watch some morning cartoons... I'm not quite sure what it was but my spirits were just lifted in a way... I thought of all the events that had occurred in the last 48 hours and all I could think to myself was... how much worse it could really all be.  You see I'm not a stranger to tragedy... we lost my father in a horrible plane crash when I was a little girl and although I was incredibly young I remember every single detail of that horrible day.  I know what it's like to have someone one day and have them ripped from your lives the next.  It is because of this knowledge that I have forever since seen and treated life differently.

Some people I know think I take it to an extreme... I even have friends that think I live too much in the "what if" and may possibly need therapy.  When my friend mentioned that to me I discovered that I DO live in the "what if" but you know what... I was proud of that.  Sure... I'm definitely not saying someone should live in a hole their whole lives AFRAID of the "what if"... but that's not how I am.  I'm simply AWARE of the "what if"... knowing that it probably won't happen but that it very possibly could.  It's because of that frame of mind that I don't let an hour go by without telling my loved ones what they mean to me, that I don't voice my gratitude out loud for all my blessings, that I don't soak up simple every day moments KNOWING they are amazing and that it's those simple moments that will live on forever in my heart if it should all be taken away from me in a blink of an eye.

The original name of this post was going to be "Do You Complain Too Much?"... I was going to name it that because sometimes all I see on Facebook all day long are complaints about life and "woe is me" type of posts... and every time I see them I shout out at my computer screen "You're alive!", "You're healthy!", "You're not in the hospital with a sick child or family member afraid they may lose their lives!!".  I literally think those thoughts to myself right before I'm about to complain about something so incredibly mundane... and you know what... unless it's one of those horrible things I just listed or something along the same lines.... IT'S ALL MUNDANE!  If you can get up the next morning and have a semi-normal day with your husband and children there to kiss and hug... Then there should be nothing to complain about.  Sure... LIFE. IS. HARD.  It's supposed to be and everyone has their own individual trials and tribulations that they go through and yes sometimes it's worth an aggravated grumble or two... but when you feel like things just suck and you wish your life were different... just remember the "what if"... What if your life WERE different... and not for the better but for the worse?

It may not always be easy but one should try to be more grateful in life... even for the bad things that happen to them... because in hindsight, aside of course from tragedy, it's probably not all that bad.  If you've got a cold, be grateful you don't have the flu.  If finances suck, be grateful for peanut butter and jelly.  If your child is misbehaving, be grateful your child is there, right in front of you, misbehaving... rather than not there at all. 
Do you have goals or maybe resolutions for the new year?  Have you failed in the past at keeping those goals or resolutions? I certainly have... I think one of the main reasons that I haven't been very successful in the past, is because they end up just being this nagging thing in the back of my head that I ignore.  This year I'm taking a different approach. 

My first step is to stop calling what I want to achieve this upcoming year "resolutions".  This word, in my opinion, puts a time frame/limit on attaining my goals which is a quick way to fail at doing so.  So this year I'm going to create a vision board or you could call it an inspiration board.  Now I'm certainly NOT the one to come up with this idea... I've heard it of it plenty of times from many people, as I'm sure you have, but I have yet to actually do it.  So I've bought my poster board and I'm ready to go. 

There are a few approaches you can take in doing a vision board.  You can take your old magazines and cut out pictures that are related to your goals, you can draw them if you're artfully inclined, you can use stickers, markers, crayons, or just simple words if you're a minimalist.  I'm still a major kid at heart and mine is going to include all of the above!  So now you know what to use.... what about what to actually put on you board?  This obviously is going to differ for everyone... so just open your mind, sit quietly, breathe and meditate on this for a while... or you may not have to.  You might have everything you want to do already at the forefront of your mind... that's great!  For those of you who don't... do not make this a grueling process... just let it come to you.  It can be things that will perhaps take all year to achieve, half the year or just a few months.  Are there any habits you may want to form or perhaps habits you may want to break?  Your board is your canvas.... and it's for YOU only... so put ANYTHING you want on it!!

Now you may ask next... how is this going to help me?  I don't know really... for all I know it may not.  But if you're anything like me... SEEING something every day, that I created with my own two hands would be a total inspiration!!  There is also this thing called the Law of Attraction.... have you ever heard of that?  Here is the Wikipedia definition: "The law of attraction is the name given to the belief that "like attracts like" and that by focusing on positive or negative thoughts, one can bring about positive or negative results.".  I cannot tell you HOW MUCH I believe in the law of attraction and how much I have benefited from it.  Creating a vision board FULL of positive and beautiful goals sends a message out to not only YOU but the Universe on a daily basis that THIS is what you want... and not only CAN you do it but you DESERVE it as well!! 

So... are you going to create a vision board for 2013??  I am!!! I'm probably going to start on mine tonight and I can't wait to share it with you!!!  I may even be inspired to show you by video!!!  I'm so excited!!! Happy December everyone!!!

So it's been a little over two months since my last post and I swear there's a reason for my absence!!  How does another move and a whole first trimester of pregnancy sound?  Okay so doesn't sound like much in that one sentence so let me give some more details!  My sister ended up getting transferred across country (go figure we arrive and she leaves!) and needed to sell her house.  So we quickly found ourselves a new rental home and got all moved in and are STILL unpacking boxes!  We love our new house and it's in a WONDERFUL neighborhood FULL of children.  We are hoping that we stay here for at least a couple years before having to move yet again.  We are making it feel like home even though it is a rental like I vowed to do a while ago... nothing wastes time more than waiting for what you really want.... Live in the moment... Live in the now.... Right??  So pictures are being hung and bedrooms are being decorated!  Including the nursery!!!!!

Yes you read correctly..... WE'RE PREGNANT!!!  Boy oh boy has this been a tough first trimester!!!  I have been MAJORLY sick with morning sickness which has been the MAIN reason for my absence.  Looking at a computer screen was just something I was NOT able to do until recently.  Not only because of my morning sickness but only recently did the symptom of dizziness subside!!  You always hear how every pregnancy is different.... Uhhhh YEAH!  This is NOTHING like what I experienced with my son.  I not only had morning sickness (which unfortunately is still lingering) but for the entire first trimester I had this horrible stomach ache that lasted 24/7!!  So I had all these herbal remedies ready for morning sickness and instead I was dealing with a stomach ache that I could do nothing for!!  At first I was concerned but our Midwife said all was fine and all was normal!!  So there you have it!!  I've been thinking of you EVERY day and have been very anxious to get back to y'all!!!

So let's talk about some more fun details!!  Did I say "Midwife"?  Well yes I did!!  When we were back in Kansas talking about the possibility of getting pregnant again, my husband wasn't 100% on board with a Midwife and a birthing center (even though I was), so we decided the best scenario would be a Midwife who delivered in a hospital and that's exactly what we found here in Arizona!!  What's even more special is it's at the same hospital where we had our first son! YAY!!

So... I'm not 100% yet but I can definitely get on the computer now and I'm psyched about the holidays coming up aren't you!?!?  Thanks for sticking with me and thanks for all the new "likes" on Facebook!!  How awesome is that?!  Welcome to all you newcomers... I hope you like it here!!!
Well Hello!!! By the way does anyone else think of the line "And all I could say was 'Hello' " every time they say "hello"?  You know from An Affair to Remember... No? Okay never mind ;) Ahem anyway.... I'm so excited to share so much with you in the near future!!!  We are semi settled here in Arizona!! I say "semi" because our living situation is currently with family and only temporary. 

Arizona so far is so much more than I expected!!  Yes I am from here and yes I've always dreamed of owning a mini farm but I hadn't quite caught the Homesteading/Farm to Fork bug until I got to Kansas.  Coming home I'm so incredibly psyched to find so many resources, events and local businesses supporting the Homesteading and Farm to Fork movement!  I have so much to learn and I can't wait to share all my findings with you!!

As I said in my Facebook post I've come up with a new Homemaker's Schedule for my Lil' Man and I.  It may sound like a lot but I think it'll flow nicely.  Remember my schedules are always a work in progress... On some days there may be a reason for our schedule to completely fly out the window and if that's the case... so be it.  I do not stress about keeping to it.  I use it as a guideline for a handful of reasons but the most important being... I've got a large lazy bone in my body and if I don't have a schedule in front of me I'm ashamed to say there may be no getting me off the couch.

So make sure you stick around!  I'm going to have TONS of awesome stuff to share with you right here from ARIZONA!!! Yay!!!
Phew!!  Well we have arrived safely in Arizona to our new home!! It's so exciting to be back in the desert and at the same time it hasn't quite hit us yet!!  There is so much I have to do!!  Find doctors, dentists, vets, and come up with a new daily routine!

We are currently living with family so that's why I need to tweak our daily routine.  The hardest part about this move and living with family is realizing that we are NOT on vacation and that's where a routine will come in very handy for us.  I'm expecting a few behavioral changes in our boy because of all the changes but hopefully nothing too extreme or permanent.  That's the other difficult part about living with family is that I will have to put SOME restriction on the level of spoiling everyone will want to do. :)

I'll also be in search of local children's activities and venues which I know will be somewhat difficult because where we are is not quite as family oriented as where we just came from.  Still... Kansas provided me with some excellent ideas!  I'm also considering starting my own Meetup mom's group that will hopefully reach out to like-minded mamas like me as far as crunch goes.  We'll see if I follow through on that!

I am SO excited to explore what Arizona has to offer as far as homesteading goes... Yes I'm from here but I had not yet caught the homesteading bug prior to our departure from here so I have PLENTY to learn!!!  So far I've found a few "You Pick" farms that I'm very excited about especially after our blueberry patch experience in Kansas!! Thanks for sticking with me through the move!! See ya on Mindful Monday! Mwah!
Well folks... we just found out yesterday that we will be going back home to Arizona! This is going to be great for my little family but I still find it bittersweet! I mean... my son wasn't born here in Kansas but he had most of his firsts here!! I'm having a very hard time letting that go!  He took his first steps here, he started talking here... he became a little boy here!  I'm tearing up just thinking about it!!  I have a million pictures and videos so I know I'll be bringing all those memories with me but still!!  What I have to do is take a moment to realize he is still my baby boy and that he has plenty more "firsts" to experience.  It's hard to remember that sometimes... but I've come up with a mini list of firsts to look forward to in Arizona... more words and conversation, first day of school, t-ball, first Karate lesson, etc.  We have a million more memories to make and maybe... just maybe if I'm having baby fever so bad it might be time to put another bun in the oven if you know what I mean ;). 

I'm going to love showing y'all around my home of the desert.  The thing I find most entertaining is when I was younger I used to think you couldn't grow anything in the desert and if I ever wanted a veggie garden, I'd have to live somewhere else.  Well I was way wrong and I can't wait to get back and experience a much earlier Spring harvest next year!!  There are HUGE benefits to being in the desert!!  My father in law actually has the best garden ever!! And I've personally grown some awesome zucchini!!  This past weekend we went blueberry picking and I got a bit sad thinking about how we may not have awesome things like that to do back home but I was wrong! I got on the u-pick website and saw that there are TONS of u-pick farms near and around where we'll live... from peaches to pumpkins!  So exciting!!!! 

Now I wasn't born in Arizona but I lived there since I was 5 years old till we moved here to Kansas.  There is something about being in the place where you're from.  There's an energy to it.... the smells in the air and even in the dirt.  It might sound strange but when you're from the desert... you love all the desert encompasses... from the heat, to the dirt... I love it all.  The same I'm sure goes for everyone and where they are from.  So that's our little family update... we are headed home!  Nothing will change as far as my passions go though... in fact... there's no problem owning chickens where we're going!! YAY!!  However it might still be a while before we own them because we'll still be renting for a bit.  Also... I have to admit... I'm going to LOVE being closer to the coast!!! I mean yeah sure... it's still about 10 or so hours away but pffttt!  That's nothing next to being half way across the country!!!!  I never knew how much I'd miss the ocean even though I never lived anywhere near it!!! LOL!!!  Just knowing that it's a days drive away is comforting... and OH!!! ANOTHER FIRST!!! My son's never been to the ocean!! WAHOOOO!!!!  You better believe you'll eventually be seeing ocean pics on Wordless Wednesdays and our beautiful Arizona mountains of course!!

Since we won't be here much longer... tomorrow we are headed to a Swedish town a few hours away from where we live!  My husband is Swedish so it's going to be SO exciting!!  Back when we were in Arizona I used to subscribe to a Swedish catalog where I'd get holiday trinkets from and come to find out the catalog's store was in Kansas!!!  How ironic is that?!  So look out for some neat pics on my Facebook page tomorrow!! Have a blessed weekend everyone!  MWAH!
So since my last post I've realized that maybe I jumped the gun in my decision to stop posting all together.  After receiving a few messages from my readers... I spoke with my husband and I discovered that the reasons I started this blog aren't quite where I ended up in the here and now... where I've ended up is even better.  Yes... I started this blog to share all things regarding homemaking with a little touch of sustainability and that is still what I am very passionate about and will continue to write about.  However... what I didn't realize was happening was that this blog... I... was becoming a friend... a best friend... a sister, a helping hand, a mentor and in some cases... maybe even a mother.  I didn't realize how much my thoughts and words might be helping someone else.  Believe me I'm not saying I'm the great and powerful Oz... I'm saying... I just didn't know.  I didn't know that I was helping. 

So... here's the plan.  I've found a happy medium that I think will work perfectly.  I will be posting on Saturdays... maybe Friday night's... Either way the weekends will be my time to post all my reflections, my favorite things, projects and recipes.  Wordless Wednesdays will stay because I love photography and although I'm an extreme novice... I'd like that to change so the more photos I take the better.  Words to Ponder will now become Mindful Mondays (which I'll go ahead and start in this post since it is technically Monday as I type)... who doesn't need an inspirational quote every now and then right?  Something to make you think long and hard and appreciate everything around you.  So three times a week there will be new content on this blog. 

I think this is a perfect plan... I felt a little piece to the puzzle missing when I made my previous decision... so when I realized that some of you might need me, I guess I realized... that I need you too. 
Anyone who has never made a mistake
has never tried anything new.
~Albert Einstein~
Kashi cereals under the umbrella brand of Kellogg are using genetically engineered grains... so much for "natural".  Read the article here.
So I've got lots of stuff going on right now which is keeping me pretty darn busy!!  I'm with family and attending graduations left and right!!  I just got an email letting me know that Weebly now has a mobile app which means I can post from my phone!!  Even still it's gonna be pretty hard to keep up this month but I will do my best!!! 

A quick few updates... I'm not doing the "no poo" currently but not because it wasn't working... it was working GREAT... but I had a large bottle of expensive, toxin free shampoo sitting there staring at me every time I did my no poo rinse.  SO... I decided to finish it up and more than likely I will continue the no poo once my shampoo is all gone.  Or I might even creating my own shampoo who knows!

Something funky is going on with my face and I'm not quite sure what the cause is... I'm breaking out a bit and getting rough patches on my cheeks and I think it is due to a new tinted moisturizer that I started using.  However... during the same time I was also using the oil cleansing method and using a calendula infused grape seed oil as a moisturizer.  SO... I've eliminated all three of those things and I've completely cleared up.  I'm gonna stick to cleansing with honey for now because I know it works and it's a lot quicker than doing the oil cleansing method.  I'll save the oil cleansing method for a deep clean once or twice a week.  I'm going to try using jojoba oil as suggested by Crunchy Betty for a moisturizer but there's a lotion recipe that I've been wanting to make that I think will be a great lotion from head to toe but I just have to get a few ingredients still.

So I'll update when I can!  Now that I have the Weebly mobile app I may make short and sweet updates more often!
I've posted in the past about menu planning for your family... Well we are still doing it and it's working GREAT for us and saving quite a bit of money.  The way we do it is MUCH more simplified than I think the way most people do it.  We have a different meal for each day of the week and just continue that exact week throughout the whole month... So basically we what we have is the following:


Veggie Fajitas w/ Beans & Rice


Veggie Tacos w/ Leftover Rice


Black Bean & Caramelized Onion Quesadillas


Spaghetti w/ Salad and Bread




Grilled Veggie Sandwiches w/ Chips & Baked Beans


Mushroom Stroganoff w/ a Potato Dish
For the most part we've kept each month the same... which I know some people would consider somewhat boring but our goal is mainly saving money.  Month to month we may change a meal or two but for the most part we enjoy what we have planned out!  Another benefit to keeping the same meals week to week we can buy in bulk at Costco and things last well into two months most of the time with the occasional weekly trip to the store for the fresh ingredients.  Oh and on Fridays we usually make some yummy and sweet baked goods for weekend desserts.  This method works for us and we love it! 

However... if you want more variety I found this EXCELLENT blog where she not only plans an entire week of menus for you but she also gives you the shopping list for that week as well!!  When money is better for us to where we can change our menu on a weekly basis I'll definitely be using this method, although I will probably be throwing most of my own recipes in there.  For those of you who would do the same she has a cute printable to write out the week's menu and shopping list.  I haven't tried any yet but when we do decide to switch up a meal or two I'll probably look on her list of recipes to see what she has!  So here's the blog for those of you who just want all the planning done for you!  A great idea!  Oh... and on a side note... a friend of mine takes a couple of days (typically a weekend) and cooks up the weeks meals and freezes them.  This is very intriguing and I may try this after doing some more research! I'll definitely share with you if I do!