Friday, March 29, 2013

Taking a little break...

I've felt extra busy these days.
I know I've chatted about this before.
But, I've felt a call to give some things up.
I've felt that call before...
but, I've said "no".
This time I'm saying "yes".
I've decided to take a little fast/cleanse/detox
(it's like Lent....but 40 days late)
from certain things in my life.
Mostly media.

I am going to take a break from:
Facebook
Instagram
My Blog
Pinterest
and...
my sewing business

I was feeling like the window was starting to close...
I only have 6-9 years before all my kids are 18.
I want to have the time to invest more in them.
To play that game of Monopoly.
To bake cookies for them and their friends.
To sit and chat.
To look them in the eyes.
To be more present.

I'd also like to spend more time with Sweetie.
Play more ping pong and cribbage.
Sit and hang out.
Chat more.
Have a connection together beyond the kids
so that when the kids leave, we still have us.

I want to get get out from behind the Media
and actually live my life.
I tell my kids to do this all the time,
maybe I should too.

Facebook and Instagram were not really a problem for me.
My blog takes some time.
Pinterest is my go-to activity when I have minutes to blow.
My sewing business is probably the most time consuming
and the thing that occupies my mind.
The thing that is always tugging at me for more time.
The thing I love (almost) the most.

I will still use Facebook to communicate
with certain people.
And, I will continue to use it for scheduling events
(book club, small group...).
I will use Pinterest to enjoy inspiration from
all the pins that I have already found.
But, for April, I will not be "exploring" new pins.
I will only go on Instagram to check up on my girls.
No Blog and No Sewing Business for April.
I will still sew for my family and home.
But, I will say "yes" when Lucy wants to sew with me.
I will put mine aside so that I can help her.
I will stop what I'm doing to help Daisy look up
youtube videos for tips on how to juggle a soccer ball.
I will sit and listen intently to MJ when he wants to tell
me all about his Clash of Clans game or MineCraft.
I will still have my Coffee Date with God every morning.
My days have been clearer and better since I added that back in.

I will pray and ask God for direction.
I usually do things my way.
I know exactly what I want and when.
I can just see God shaking his head at me and saying,
"if you would only ask me what my plans for you are!".
I'm a super slow learner.
But, I am going to dedicate April to slowing down.
I'm not going to slow down on time with friends and family.
In fact, I will be filling more of my time with that.
Life is about relationship.
I still want to cook and clean.
(Sweetie is relieved)
I want to have people over more.
I want to continue my journey toward simplifying...
April will be spent doing lots of that.

Hmmm.
I think that's about all I have on my mind for now.
I may be back on May 1st...and I may not be.
I just don't know...but I'm open to anything!

I'm off to live my life!
Love!  Tiffany

"By every small choice we make for good - by every small surrender - we are reaching toward our transformation".
Small Surrenders by Emilie Griffin

Friday, March 22, 2013

The Bathroom and some other stuff...

 I got the wainscoting painted!
 This was my Tuesday project.
 We finished up school around 1pm...
I gathered all my supplies and dug in.
 First, I taped everything off.
Then I started painting. 
I couldn't believe what a pain this was to paint.
I've been used to painting finished wood.
I like painting over finished wood.
This raw stuff (pine) just soaks up the paint!
My girls are always wanting to help me paint.
I can be a bit of a control freak...so I always say "no, sorry sweetie".
As I started the project they were asking again...
 At first I said, "no"...but as time went on...
I was calling..."Girls!!!".
"Anyone want to paint???".
They couldn't believe their luck.  Ha.
 Whooops...grabbed the wet door frame.
 Sweetie and I are thinking we need one more coat of paint.
It didn't totally get into all the creases.
I'm also thinking of taking down my decorations.
The flower garland could not have more dust on it.
The fashion plates are a little high and a little too far to the left.
I want to visit my favorite shop...
Ramshackled Treasures in Zimmerman...
for some awesome wall decor.
In other news... 
I've been using my "notes" and my "reminders" on
my iPhone since early February.
The problem is...my notes/to do lists aren't staring me in the face.
The other problem is...when I go on my iPhone to
add a "note" or a "reminder"...
I get extremely side-tracked and I find I am
wasting a ton of time.
So...this week, I brought back the paper and pen/pencil.
I am loving seeing my master list and crossing things off.
I still use my "notes" and "reminders"...
but, now I right the stuff on my paper list and then
when I go on my iPhone, I have my list to show me
what needs to be done or added.
It's been a productive week.
 This week I've been reading...
"Six Ways to keep the Little in your Girl".
I've been enjoying it.
Some great tips for moms of tweens.
 On my list for the past few months has been to find
and extra set of Full Sheets for Lulu's room.
I got her some pink sheets back in December
when she got her new bed...
but it's good to have two sets for washing day.
I hit Marshall's once or twice a month
and just haven't found any that will work.
Then, Thursday...I saw these beauties.
Perfect!  (and only $16.99)
 I also found this little treasure of a book...
The Scarlet Letter on clearance for $1.00.
The Penguin Classic Deluxe Edition books are beautiful!
Love the art work and the ripped edges on the pages.
This is the 6th book that I have found on clearance at Marshalls in the past couple of months.  That's the problem with Marshalls...you go in for sheets and you leave with something else.
The kids and I met a bunch of friends out at the Childrens Theatre Company today to see "Jackie and Me".  We already read the book.  They did a great job!  What a special story.
We also brought a lunch and spent a little time at the Minneapolis Institute of Art.
A wonderful day.
And then...I came home to...
Les Miserables!!!
I had pre-ordered it on Amazon.
What a treat.
One of the greatest stories of all time.

Now...I'm trying to catch up on laundry.
And, I need to get the bills paid.
Have a wonderful weekend!
Matt is taking the kids ice fishing tomorrow afternoon.
I'm hoping to have all my "work" done so that I can spend the afternoon at my sewing machine.

Love!  Tiffany

"Our story is nearly told.  Time passes in Holland just as surely and steadily as here:  in that respect, no country is odd".
Hans Brinker or the Silver Skates
by Mary Mapes Dodge

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

A Scrappy Fabric Tutu!

 A friend requested this item back in...October.
Oh my.
I am THE worst with special orders!
That's why I typically shy away from them.
They sit on my To Do list and just keep getting shoved down
until they reach the complete bottom and proceed to haunt me.
I told myself..."today is the day!"
 I gathered up six 7 fabrics.
(I ended up adding a hot pink gingham too)
 I cut some 1" elastic 22" long and attached the ends.
Then, I cut up 34 strips of fabric that measured
(approx) 2 x 25" each.
 My pile of fabric strips.
 After knotting them to the elastic, I trimmed the ends.
 A fun little pile of triangles.  Hmmm.
 The Scrappy Fabric Tutu!!!
Christine...sorry it took so long!!!
I hope you (and Ainsley!) like it:)

Love!  Tiffany

"We'll enjoy coffee in the morning, sweet tea in the afternoon, and a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon on the porch at night, while the sun sets over the coastal fields."
Seven by Jen Hatmaker

Monday, March 18, 2013

Food...Tomato Cucumber Salad

 We had a wonderful weekend down in Rochester MN attending Lucy's State Swim Meet.  
Lucy and I have been getting the Cucumber Tomato Salad at Noodles for awhile now.
My mom actually brought the ingredients with this weekend and we enjoyed for lunch...twice!
It is so good.  Here is how she made it:

Yaya's Tomato Cucumber Salad:
Tomatoes
Cucumbers
Cheese
Olive Oil
Montreal Steak Seasoning

Slice or cube up your tomatoes and cucumbers.  Toss in some cheese...(we had provolone, but we thought crumbled ricotta or goat cheese would be great too!)  Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with the steak seasoning (we use this in everything).  Toss and enjoy!
 We left for Rochester on Friday after lunch...
 I was really cleaning out the 'fridge last week!
I had thawed some of Sweetie's walleye and I pan fried
that up in some olive oil and coconut oil.
Served with veggies and dip.
 Not quiet enough for our family of 5...
but we pounded some veggies until we were full.
 Lucy and I enjoyed some Auntie Anne's pretzels down in the subway of downtown Rochester.
 Breakfast...oatmeal, brown sugar, raisins, and blueberries.
 This was a college flashback moment.
Oh my goodness.
My girlfriend Carolyn and I used to make these every morning.
We scrambled our eggs (with a touch of milk) in a
styrofoam (i know...yikes!) bowl in the microwave.
Placed them on top of a toasted and buttered (white) bagel
with lots of salt and pepper.
It's still so good.
 Lucy swam in 4 events.
 Yaya and I got in a little shopping.
Cutest little gift shop...Tangerine.
We also stopped into a drug store (Eagle Drug) and the 
sweetest little lady (she was an owner), literally, popped out of an office door to say hello.
She told us story after story until the stories started repeating themselves and we started to see where this was going.  After hearing 9 stories about her life (3 stories told 3 times each), we left that drug store with a 
"bing bang boom!".  (That was one of her signature phrases and Yaya and I got some mileage out of it over the course of the weekend.  I think Lucy was ready to slap us...but we thought we were so funny.)
If you're in the downtown Rochester area...you must stop in to see her.
She was an absolute treasure!
 Our little dinner (picnic) spread out in the Concierge Lounge.
Tomato cucumber salad, celery and peanut butter, cheese sticks, crackers, cheese, salami, leftover pizza, applesauce, clementines...
 Have you ever come back to your hotel room to a sign like this one???
After watching Lucy swim, we went back to the hotel and saw this on our door.  We immediately grabbed a maintenance guy that happened to be in the hallway and asked him what this was about.
Our neighbor in the hotel came out of her room and was very concerned.
The maintenance guy didn't know much about it but asked if we knew anyone in the hotel that might have done this.  We didn't stay at the same hotel as the swim team, so we didn't think anyone would have done this.  I mentioned that my parents were staying in our hotel, and that sometimes my mom has been known to play pranks, but I didn't think she would do this.
After a call from management etc...
...short story long...my mom (Yaya) totally made this sign.
Yep...she's a stinker.
She also corrupted my kids by plastering signs in the elevators that said:
"Please do not press buttons as they may stick...Management".
Oh my goodness.
 Another breakfast...
and then enjoyed some fresh fruit from the concierge lounge.
So good to be home!
This morning, I woke up at 5:22am feeling refreshed.
I decided to get up and have a coffee date with God.
I also got some laundry done, emails checked, lists made.
I have been feeling behind and overwhelmed lately.
Time to get busy and get caught up.

Enjoy the fresh snow and the fresh snow to come!
(if you're in Minnesota)

Love!  Tiffany

"She used to sit in a little rocking chair in her room upstairs and watch the birds".
The Color of Water by James McBride

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Sewing Wednesday...

 Wearing my new skirt!
 Since it is still winter here in Minnesota (28 degrees today),
I've had to wear my jeans under it.
Those holes have not helped matters...
it is FREEZING here!!!
Yesterday with the wind and the big snow flakes...
I thought I was inside a snow globe...Brrrr.
 I made a few girls skirts!  This is a size 10.
 This is a size 12.
And this is another size 10.
Check out my Etsy shop!
More to come!
I have been itching to get my hands on my sewing stuff lately...
but last weekend was crazy busy with Grandma Max's Memorial,
and this week has been crazy with prepping
my lesson for our Co-op.
I am teaching a class on the awesome country of Latvia.
More on that later.
Now...I'm off to pick up that swimmer of mine.
Ata!  (as they say in Latvian...goodbye)

Love!  Tiffany

"I shopped at Goodwill for their clothes and for their Christmas gifts..."
The Color of Water by James McBride

Monday, March 11, 2013

Monday Food Day...

 Last week did not include some of my best food moments.
Sweetie was traveling all week and then the weekend
was filled with celebrating the life of
Grandma (GG) Max.
She loved sweets...so in honor of her...
we consumed some sweets.
Above, is a photo of Lulu's meal on the go in between
theatre class and swim team.
Havarti Cheese slices, whole wheat pretzel sticks,
a clementine, 2 cookie dough balls.
(she's like her mama...we just LOVE cookie dough!)
 Tuesday is our tradition of ordering Sarpino's pizza.
(Buy one get one free on the large pizza)
 I was fairly burnt out by Thursday last week...
and, after dropping the kids off at class, I headed to Starbucks.
Grabbed a coffee to go (after purchasing glue at Target)
and headed home for 3 dreamy hours of sewing.
 I made a green drink.
 I made some whole wheat french bread for toast and eggs.
 After Grandma's burial, the family (30 of us) went out to lunch at Axel's
in Mendota Heights.  Amazing.
 Popovers with butter and maple cinnamon butter.  Oh my.
Iced tea.
 Greek salad and French Onion Soup...my favorite.
 When I purchased my coffee on Thursday...
I got a surprise of getting a free Tazo tea the next 3 days after 2pm.
You'd better believe I cashed in on a Chai!
Then, my sweet sister-in-law gave me her coupon,
and, I cashed in again!
 My Green Drink:
2 cups of spinach
3 carrots
3 ribs of celery
1/2 a cucumber
1 pear
1 banana
2 tbsp chia seeds
3 cups of water

Blend and enjoy!
 I really love this green drink.
The pear and the banana give it just a touch of sweetness.
 That recipe makes (4) 16 oz jars.
My mom and I drank them all weekend to keep things moving.
And, boy, does this drink keep things moving!
 Loving the chia seeds.
 All things in moderation.
The chocolate fountain with:
marshmallows, strawberries, brownie bites, pound cake,
pineapple, bananas...heavenly.
And, of course some cake.

Hope you all enjoyed what was on the table last week!

Love!  Tiffany

"Our house is your house.  Sit down and eat".
The Color of Water by James McBride