goal update {march 2011}

i'm not really sure what happened to march. i feel like i blinked and it was gone. we weren't even particularly busy. i think i didn't realize february was over until march was halfway gone! anyway...

-- help matt purge some a lot of his clothing :: YES, YES, YES, YES!!!!
      we actually did a total gut and reorg of our master closet! detailed post coming soon....
-- clean out the kitchen junk drawer :: yup!
-- clean out my car ::  yup!
-- purge downstairs coat closet :: oops...not so much.

{time management}
-- select one weeknight for "super productivity" :: sort of...going to have to work a little harder on this
-- plan out meals for the week on sunday night :: failed miserably

{blog improvement}
-- begin making my way through the blog design class (not finish, just start) :: nope...that's two months in a row i haven't tackled this.
-- create an "about the chronicles" page for the blog :: and again...two months, no progress.

{scrap studio}
-- clear off the floor!!! :: no
-- order photos from coleman's birthday party :: no
i need to work on making this area more a priority!
{weight loss}
-- exercise at least once each week :: shame on me...
-- lose at least 4 pounds :: i think i lost about 2-3

{faith + spirtuality}
-- finish reading one thousand gifts (while participating in the book club) :: i haven't finished yet, but i've made my way through 9 of 11 chapters.
-- read 4 chapters of the New Testament every weekday morning (as feasible while reading above book) :: i've made more of an effort to work this back into my morning routine. for a while i was putting the book before the bible reading. i've flip-flopped those. i wanted to keep this as a priority and work the above book into my quiet time when possible.

-- work with matt to map out the use of my bonus :: we have reprioritized what we want to spend and pushed aside some bigger projects we were considering.
-- cancel rhapsody & netflix (two inexpensive services that we just aren't really using) :: cancelled rhapsody. after discussing our use of netflix with matt, we decided to keep it for now.

-- write four journal entries :: yes...i've done a decent job of writing. it puts me in SUCH a better place!!!
-- start the creativity boot camp workbook. :: i did actually start, but only completed the first two lessons so far. i like that i decided to choose writing as my medium (for the larger workshop last year where i chose photography).

***thoughts & insights***
the last two months i have really stuggled with working on everything i've set out to accomplish. i think the biggest flaw in my system right now is that i haven't implemented a way of reminding myself of these goals on a regular basis. i think about them once or twice a month...i should be looking at them daily. i will brainstorm some ideas for april.
related posts:
goals for 2011
january goals and january end-of-month progress report
february goals and february end-of-month progress report
march goals

inspired by:
3 in 30, as presented by ap freewriting 101 and the tuckers take tennessee


{15 questions}

one of my favorite blogs is marta writes. when i see a new post show up in my google reader, i get all tingly excited. (yes, i'm a dork like that). anyway...she went on vacation recently and lined up a ton of guests bloggers who all filled out this questionnairre. i thought it would be fun to do my own version...

:: no matter what mood i'm in, i can always go for a: mexican food & music (not necessarily together)

:: my favorite go-to outfit would have to be: for fall/winter it has been jeggings, boots and a comfy but cute top. i'm excited to see what spring brings. i need to go shopping.

:: a good source of inspiration is: etsy.
:: am so glad my parents taught me: (mom) crafty goodness and to value honesty (dad) love of photography & jimmy buffett

:: a song i like to dance to is: anything by usher!

:: i wish everyone knew about: God.

:: the best thing in my makeup bag is: my cover girl simpy powder compact. i don't actually apply it in the morning, but it's perfect for covering yucky spots during the day.

:: my dream spring break vacation spot is: since we're dreaming...a quaint bed & breakfast in tuscany.

:: this may be a surprise, but i am passionate about: i'm not sure that i'm very surprising. what you see is what you get.

:: a favorite book that changed me for the better: the bible (obviously), more recently one thousand gifts by ann voskamp. but i also have to say that i started reading john grisham in high school. i'm pretty sure that lead me to choose my major, consider certain career paths and brought me to my current love of crime dramas (tv, movies, books).

:: one of my pet peeves is: people that drive slow in the left lane.

:: my favorite daily ritual would have to be: morning coffee and quiet time

:: i am trying to be better at: patience. patience. patience.

:: the most recent rad thing i found online was: pinterest

:: i can't live without: my family (if we're speaking materialistically, my camera)


dieting for dummies {3.27}

total weight loss: i'm still sitting at 13 pounds lost...if you're keeping track, you will know i've been there for a few weeks. let's talk about why...

wavering willpower: though i've definitely improved my overall eating habits, i have also experienced plenty of week moments...most of which are associated with eating out. i ate a quarter pounder from mcdonald's for the first time in months (gasp!!!). shame on me.

closet cleanout: matt and i recently attacked our master closet. the main goal on his side was purging. the main goal on my side -- to figure out what fits, especially spring/summer stuff. i'm happy to say that i fit into almost everything in my closet. this is HUGE! the best part??? my "goal" pants (size 4 camo pants from old navy)...not only can i fit in them, but they look good and there is no muffin top!

future of fat clothes??? one thing i'm stuggling with are my "fat clothes". the things that i've grown out of and hopefully will never wear again. i want to ditch them as motivation to stay leaner. but i'm also nervous about getting rid of clothes that might have to be replaced if i were to *relapse*. agh!!! what's a girl to do????

clothes shopping: i went clothes shopping this weekend for the first time in a while...and actually enjoyed it. i was able to confidently make purchases from my favorite store (banana republic).

in conclusion, though i've hitten a plateau (caused mainly by willpower), i'm very happy with where i am but i'm not done!!! i have a tough week ahead (lots of restaurants in my near future), but come next sunday...i need to get back on track and lose the next 7 pounds!


party {radio flyer}

several months before coleman's second birthday party, i finally decided on a party theme (after considering many options). the final decision: radio flyer. he was too young to be "into" anything so i felt like it was up to me to find something that would work for his personality. i love that radio flyer and red wagons are classic and totally boy. that is coleman...classic boy. 

110226 Radio Flyer Party 02
i went with a red & white color scheme.
the banner on the front of the table was created using finger paintings by the birthday boy.
"confetti" is actually red & white cardstock scraps punched into 1" circles
110226 Radio Flyer Party 03
i often see ribbon walls as the backdrops for dessert tables.
for the second year in a row, i opted for a streamer wall (much more economical). but i will be honest...it's labor-intensive and i plan to find something different to use for future parties.
to cover the table, i used a white fabric tablecloth and created a "runner" with solid red wrapping paper
110226 Radio Flyer Party 05
this table is in our foyer, just inside the front door. it was covered with red & white striped wrapping paper. i included a framed invitation and sign. i created a wagon print in 8.5x11 with plenty of white space for all guests to sign. this will be included in the birthday scrapbook.
110226 Radio Flyer Party 06
this small table was the candy buffet. goody bags for the younger children are on the left. clear dishes held various red and white colored candies. paper bags were provided and attendees made their own treat bags to take home.
110226 Radio Flyer Party 07
i purchased basic cupcakes with white frosting and added red sprinkles with toppers i made myself.
110226 Radio Flyer Party 08
my goal was to keep the food simple! this tray contains cherry tomatoes stuffed with a cream cheese mixture. extra was placed in one section to be used on the crackers.

110226 Radio Flyer Party 09
i made sure to include food that would be enjoyed by two year olds, including crackers, raisins, craisins and goldfish. a big hit with the adults was crackers stacked with mozzarella and pepperoni (notice i tried to keep food in the color scheme).

110226 Radio Flyer Party 10
my mom found these great trees on clearance after christmas. she worked with my sister to create this adorable piece! love it. the middle tube is filled with water, which can be changed to any color.
110226 Radio Flyer Party 80 copy
i couldn't resist buying coleman a few radio flyer themed gifts. he seems to like this "retro rocket". we also bought him a radio flyer wheelbarrow. from others he received another ride along toy and a scooter!
110226 Radio Flyer Party 31
you can see in the background that we used one of our wagons to hold gifts. our plastic wagon was in the kitchen holding beverages (including red stripe beer -- very clever).

110226 Radio Flyer Party 04 - Cassidy + Giada + Colton + Meghan
we covered the coffee table and kids table in white paper so the tots could color freely. i also asked each child to color a wagon picture that i would keep and include in the scrapbook.

110226 Radio Flyer Party 149
the coffee table after the party

resource list:
tools: circles punches (1", 1.5", 1.75" and 3")
party printables: designed myself
hobby lobby: white paper lanterns, lollipop sticks (for cupcake toppers), polka dot balloons, small tongs
dollar tree: larger tongs, clear plastic serving dishes
bi-lo: red/white striped plastic serving dishes (christmas clearance)
ikea: white 4x6 frames
bake it pretty: paper treat bags, red polka dot cupcake liners, red sprinkles
if i forgot to list anything, feel free to ask!


party {mickey mouse}

my original plan was to use the same theme for coleman's daycare party. keep things simple, ya know??? but about a month or so before he turned two, he fell in love with mickey mouse clubhouse. i felt bad that it was too late to incorporate that into his party theme. so, at the last minute, i opted to do mickey mouse as the theme at daycare. since i did this in literally 24 hours, i went with generic store-bought items...

110225 Mickey Bday 02 - favor bags
i took the red goodie bags that i already had and added mickey mouse images from leftover cupcake toppers.

110225 Mickey Bday 01 - favors
basic goody bag stuffers...

110225 Mickey Bday 04 - cupcakes
plain cupcakes + red sprinkles + mickey cupcake wrappers & toppers
110225 Mickey Bday 13
party time at daycare
110225 Mickey Bday 11 - Coleman
two candles = two special years
110225 Mickey Bday 15 - Coleman
he wouldn't take the candles or topper off...insisted on just eating around them.
110225 Mickey Bday 26
everyone got into the gift opening!
110225 Coleman + Mariachi Band 01
after the party, the four of us went out to supper. coleman was mesmerized by the mariachi band. they even came over and sang happy birthday to him.


party {elmo 2nd birthday}

our dear friends & neighbors hosted an adorable elmo themed second birthday party for their son colton (born 2.5 weeks before our coleman). in years past (particularly in relation to spencer's birthday parties) i've been against using "character" themes. after seeing this awesome party, i realized that you can make cuteness out of anything!! it was around this time that i was sad coleman didn't fall for mickey mouse a little earlier (so i could've done that as his theme).

so, let's take a look at the elmo party...

110205 Colton's 2nd Bday 01
primary colors were perfect for a toddler's celebration!

110205 Colton's 2nd Bday 03
this decal served as decoration, but also doubled as a "pin the nose on elmo" game.
110205 Colton's 2nd Bday 04
since the birthday boy loved elmo, themed toys & books were set out for guests to play with.
110205 Colton's 2nd Bday 06
fantastic frugal decor idea: use a plastic tablecloth as a "swag".
the elmo visors were a huge hit with my toddler!
110205 Colton's 2nd Bday 09
choosing a character theme lends itself to some awesome goody bag options. these kiddos racked up with stickers, coloring books, handmade crayon rolls and more!
110205 Colton's 2nd Bday 11
cupcakes + sprinkles = pure delight.
110205 Colton's 2nd Bday 12
festive food display
110205 Colton's 2nd Bday 15

110205 Colton's 2nd Bday 16
again...character themes really increase how much matching stuff is possible! loved that she was able to find coordinating juice boxes and sippy cups.
110205 Colton's 2nd Bday 19 - Coleman
my little tot loving the balloons (from the dollar tree!!)
110205 Colton's 2nd Bday 20 - Brayden + Coleman + Colton
coloring books & crayons set out on kid-sized tables provided great entertainment.
110205 Colton's 2nd Bday 42 - Spencer + Colton
the birthday boy (in the white shirt) playing "pin the nose on elmo". (and yes, that's a 12 year old in the middle of the action!).

custom paper elements were designed by design girl 16


celebrate {february}

celebrate {big moments}
  • coleman turned two years old
  • spencer made a new travel ball team
  • holly lost about five pounds
110225 Mickey Bday 15 - Coleman

celebrate {little moments}
  • coleman has started using the potty somewhat (over at aj's, not so much at home)
  • matt and i watched the super bowl
  • spencer showed some improvement in school on his progress report
110212 Coleman doing Valentine art 03

celebrate {struggles}
  • coleman was allergy tested (all clear!)
  • mom had a biopsy (all good!)
  • mom experienced a lot of pain from some shoulder issues (she's still struggling through it)
  • i went to cleveland for two days on a work trip (if you've ever been to cleveland in february, then you won't be asking why this is listed as a "struggle")
110206 Coleman asleep in car

celebrate {family}
  • matt and spencer went to a celtics basketball game (one of spencer's christmas gifts)
  • we celebrated valentine's day (though we really didn't do much)
  • three days of birthday celebrating for coleman
110226 Radio Flyer Party 80 copy110207 Celtics Game 01 - Matt & Spencer

celebrate {friends}
  • all four of us attended colton's 2nd birthday party
  • all four of us hung out at the chandler home and had a great time playing just dance
  • lots of time in the yard with neighbors. enjoying the warmer weather.

110205 Chandlers 06 - Meghan + Spencer + Tim
celebrate {words}
  • read acts, romans, 1 corinthians
  • finished reading james patterson's swimsuit
  • started reading ann voskamp's one thousand gifts and participating in an online book club
  • wrapped up debt free for life
110212 Playing in yard 05 - Coleman

celebrate {home}
  • opened our home to friends and family for coleman's birthday party
  • i hosted a bridal shower for matt's niece
  • our home cycled through from valentine's day decor, to red & white radio flyer decorations, and then to black & white damask with red accents.
110227 Christina's Bridal Shower02


goals {march 2011}

even though it's halfway through the month, i still want to provide a list of march goals!

-- help matt purge some a lot of his clothing carried over from february
-- clean out the kitchen junk drawer carried over from february
-- clean out my car
-- purge downstairs coat closet

{time management}
-- select one weeknight for "super productivity"
-- plan out meals for the week on sunday night

{blog improvement}
-- begin making my way through the blog design class (not finish, just start) carried over from february
-- create an "about the chronicles" page for the blog carried over from february

{scrap studio}
-- clear off the floor!!! carried over from february
-- order photos from coleman's birthday party

{weight loss}
-- exercise at least once each week
-- lose at least 4 pounds
{faith + spirtuality}
-- finish reading one thousand gifts (while participating in the book club)
-- read 4 chapters of the New Testament every weekday morning (as feasible while reading above book)
-- work with matt to map out the use of my bonus
-- cancel rhapsody & netflix (two inexpensive services that we just aren't really using)
-- write four journal entries.
-- start the creativity boot camp workbook. carried over from february.

related posts:
goals for 2011
january goals and january end-of-month progress report
february goals and february end-of-month progress report

inspired by:
3 in 30, as presented by ap freewriting 101 and the tuckers take tennessee


goal update {february 2011}

i'm quite late in reporting on my february goals (which doesn't bode well on tackling march, but oh well). i will begin with a disclaimer that i knew my ability to accomplish much in february. hosting two parties at the end of the month meant a lot of free time was spent planning & prepping. my goals were a little overambitious, to say the least. i wish i had accomplished more but i'm trying not to beat myself up!

-- help matt purge some a lot of his clothing nope :(
-- clean out the kitchen junk drawer nope :(
-- bring home 2 binders from work (to use as home management & recipe binders) yes

{time management}
do laundry at least twice a week. yes. i've done well with this. i've been doing it over the weekend and at least once during the week. i also like starting on it as soon as the workday is done on friday (schedules allowing). then, i will do it again on sunday which allows me to start the work week with a clean (laundry) slate.

{blog improvement}
-- begin making my way through the blog design class (not finish, just start) nope
-- create an "about the chronicles" page for the blog nope
in addition, i haven't been posting as often as i'd like...

{scrap studio}
-- clear off the floor!!! unfortunately this got worse instead of better (because of the parties).
-- order photobook of christmas 2010 photos nope

{weight loss}
-- do the elliptical machine (30 min) at least once a week  nope. i did well at the beginning of the month, but then slacked off.
-- eat out no more than one meal per week doubt it.
-- lose 6 more pounds yes (i think)

{faith + spirtuality}
-- read 4 chapters of the New Testament every weekday morning. in order to do the item below, this has to be pushed aside slightly. it's still a priority, but second to finishing the book.
-- begin participating in the one thousand gifts (by ann voskamp) book club  yes. i'm working on chapter 8 right now (of 11 total). in addition to reading, i've been watching the book club videos, reading the blog posts and journaling.   

-- finish reading "debt free for life". yes.
-- start making bi-weekly mortgage payments. oops...forgot!

-- write four journal entries. yes, because of the book club mentioned above, i've been journaling a lot more lately!!
-- start the creativity boot camp workbook. nope. again, took a backseat to the bookclub.

related posts:
goals for 2011
january goals and january end-of-month progress report
february goals

inspired by:
3 in 30, as presented by ap freewriting 101 and the tuckers take tennessee


dieting for dummies {3.13}

total weight loss: as of wednesday (my WW weigh-in day), i had lost 13. but over the weekend, i came in more like 12.

as i mentioned last week, we recently purchased "singstar dance" for our PS3. both saturday and sunday of this weekend, i did about 45 minutes to an hour of dancing on this. coleman loves it and hops around with me. it's tons of fun and makes the time go by quickly. plus...i can sharpen up my routines and beat spencer the next time we play against one another (shhhh....don't tell).

tip: fruit & veggie prep
prior to joining weight watchers, i didn't eat many fruits or vegetables. it's nothing personal against the little guys - many of them are quite tasty - but i just didn't. that's probably been one of the best things that i've gained out of WW....an appreciation of the them. hopefully that will stick with me long past this diet.

however, i have learned one thing. the easiest way to eat fresh fruits & vegetables (for me) is to make sure i prepare them right away. when i get home from the grocery store, as part of putting the groceries away, i make sure to take the time to clean, chop, and package my fresh goodies. obviously some things don't require thing (like bananas). but things like strawberries, bell peppers, celery, etc....those do. i clean everything, and where appropriate i chop them into manageable sizes. then i usually put some in a plastic container to keep in my fridge at home. but i also put smaller portions in little ziploc baggies so that i can easily grab them before work in the morning. this one tiny step makes all the difference between whether i actually enjoy my yummy fruits & veggies or whether they go bad in my fridge, waiting on someone to grab them.

i'm happy to report that i've been enjoying my newly expanded wardrobe. no, i did not go on a shopping spree. i'm actually able to comfortably fit into lots of clothes in my closet that have been in hibernation for a while. a long while. luckily, some of them are still relatively in style!
plus, when the temperature highs have a 20 degree swing in one day, it makes your wardrobe seem twice as large -- sweaters one day, t-shirts the next; boots & flip-flops all in the same week...gotta love spring in the south.


gifts {the bath}

i could've written...
~ the chance to take a nice, relaxing bubble bath
but instead i wrote...
~ opportunity for solace with an inspirational book
~ patience to repeat the important words
~ warm water over my skin
~ the flicker of candlelight against dark gray walls
~ iridescent bubbles covering my body
~ gentle, soft crackling of the suds, otherwise silence
~ cool wine against my lips
~ gentle heat in my cheeks, remnant of the sun
i will not pretend that i am able to stop and find the gifts at this level of detail often. i'm trying. and i have so far to go. but every so often, in the calm, in the quiet. i am able.

this list makes 300. in my trek to one thousand gifts.


story {clarity}

110205 Chandlers 14 - Spencer

last night, i came home from work emotionally and mentally exhausted. i greeted spencer by biting his head off about something stupid. i was equal in my treatings to both matt and coleman. the only night this week that the four of us would be together and i was acting like a witch. we even kind of got lucky...2 1/2 hours on the baseball field for a scrimmage was cancelled due to rain. instead of finding the gift in that, i was grumpy & obnoxious.

i tried to humor spencer and start chatting with him. coleman was entertaining himself while hanging out on the kitchen counter, busting out everything in one of the cabinets. spencer knew something was up and not-so-subtly decided to entertain himself with my company and his inquiries. we talked about school. about tv. about his crazy brother. there were silly antics involving some of coleman's cabinet discoveries. and i told him about what was going on at work. and he listened. and discussed.

eventually he said "i'm glad you're in a better mood now." what a slap to the face. looking back i can't help but wonder if spencer intentionally set out to *fix* my mood. and how horrible it is of me to put him into that position. instead of focusing on the stresses of the work day, i should've been enjoying my family...the people that i hold most dear.

instead of walking through my front door happy and excited to finally be where i belong...i took my worries out on them. but spencer saw my flaws and worked me into a happier place. whether intentional or not, my attitude (and our evening together) was completely salvaged by the efforts of a twelve-year-old boy.


dieting for dummies {3.6}

total weight loss: as of this morning, i'm up to 12 pounds

struggles: party weekend
last weekend was tough for the weight watching. having parties in our home two days in a row lent itself to lots of nibbling. plus, to keep the house clean, we avoided cooking family meals. friday night, we went out to eat at a mexican restaurant (first time since the diet began!!!). saturday night we ordered pizza. see the problem??? ultimately, it was OK though. not every day can be perfect.

tip: find fun ways to exercise
we just purchased "singstar dance" for our PS3. doing a few of these dances is a blast and definitely counts as exercise!

tip: portion control
i've probably said this already but it's such an important element. when matt fixes burgers, now i only eat half of one and with no bun. and guess what...i don't feel hungry or cheated! so much of watching food intake is just eating a more reasonable amount. eat slowly, noticing when you start to feel full. don't eat just because it tastes good (i really stuggle with this at mexican restaurants!!!).

a few random thoughts:
~ i'm still feeling a little baffled that more of my clothes don't fit any longer. there are definitely a few pairs of pants that i can't wear, but many things are just fitting differently (which i guess is still good).
~ fat free half & half is a lifesaver for my coffee
~ technically at the 10-pound mark i could treat myself to a new piece of clothing. i did pick up a new st. patty's day t-shirt and a cute tank top. not very exciting, but that's ok.
~ for the first time in a long time, i saw the target swimsuit ad and didn't cringe. instead i thought "hmmm, in a month or two, it might actually be fun to go buy a new bathing suit!". crazy!


right now {catching up}

as you  may have noticed...i haven't been around much. i thought it'd take a few minutes to catch you up on my life as it is right now.

<> i am learning to live with allergies - something i have never had before. a couple of weeks of exhaustion, several days of sneezing & watery eyes that were previously foreign to me, combined with a couple of sleepless nights eventually led me to my doctor's door. one shot in the rear and two prescriptions later, life goes on!

<> as you know from my multiple postings, i am now the proud mother of a two-year-old. with that came lots of party planning over the last several weeks. and a house full of friends and family this past saturday.

<> on sunday, i hosted a bridal shower for matt's niece (yes, you read that correctly. two back-to-back parties at our home). lots more planning and decorating and another day full of guests.

<> four days later, matt and i are still trying to reclaim our home. we are getting there. slowly.

<> work has been insanely crazy. it's good crazy, but so ridiculously busy.

<> my mom has been suffering from some pretty severe back/shoulder pain lately. many doctor and hospital visits, tests and plenty of meds. she is trying to mend and we're happy to learn it's nothing super serious (though that doesn't make it any less painful for her).

<> i am three episodes behind on american idol. blasphemous, i know.

<> i am reading one thousand gifts and participating in the online book club. i was staying on track until last week. right now, i think i am two or so chapters behind. i'm ok with that. i'm really trying to take my time with the book, the videos, and my own personal journaling. i'd rather be behind than to rush through it. i've also started my own list, working my way to 1,000.

<> above mentioned book has taken over most of my morning quiet time. this means i have not made the desired progress in finishing up the Bible. though i wanted to stay on track with that, this book is good and it's not always feasible to devote the time during other parts of my day.

<> coleman has turned from an early riser to a ridiculously early riser. though there are still some days when he may not wake until 6:00 or 6:30, it has become all too common for him to wake anywhere from 4:45 to 5:15. there does not seem to be any correlation between his bedtime, medicines, etc. we are fresh out of ideas. this, too, is interferring with my morning readings.

<> we have had some beautiful spring weather during the last several weeks and we have been enjoying it immensely. this week is a bit chillier (highs in the 50s & 60s), but we will survive.

<> spencer's baseball season is in full swing. he is tackling both a travel ball team and a recreational team at the same time. he currently has practice 5 out of 7 days a week. matt and i think it's pretty insane, but we will see how he does.

so, there you have it... my life in a nutshell. no pictures. no fancy words. just life...

<> my *celebrate february* post is ready to go except for pictures

<> i'm really behind on my photo process. hope to work on it some over the weekend.

<> coming soon: my february goal progress and march goals.

<> since i missed *dieting for dummies* this week, i'll just play catch up on sunday.