Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Making a List

Yes.  True.  Lists.

I've started the Christmas lists.

Anyone else?

What's the hot Christmas gift?

What do you want this year?  Truly?

Do you shop Black Friday? 



Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Running. Really.

I don't like to rush into things.  If I start a new hobby I have this fear if I buy the appropriate gear I will quit the hobby.  Is that normal?

I blame my father.  He gets manically obsessed with something and then he quits and never looks back.  I'm like that.

I knit with chopsticks for about a year because I thought the appeal of making those fuzzy starbella-style scarves would wear off.....  so I bought some needles that look just like chopsticks....  still making scarves six to ten stitches at a time....  will never graduate beyond them. 

So I've been running.  Ok, call it jogging.  Or waddling.  Or whatever. 

I like running.  It doesn't require a lot of gear or skills.

I have good New Balance tennis shoes that kept my feet from aching during my last pregnancy.  They aren't any of the hip new colors.  They are old school and orange and white.  I have customized happy-feet insoles that keep my knees and ankles on straight.

I have ipod tunes.

I have a good bra.

Summer running gear is easy.  Winter is a little trickier.  I have decent smart wool socks (puma in the summer) and some ancient roffeflex running tights.  Fleece, dark green.  I have my trusty black beanie.  But then I get stuck... what to wear?  The story of my life.  So I splurged and bought myself a running shirt.  It's a sporthill one kinda like this one but a different color and with a coupon of course.... it is the first clothing I've ever had with a thumb hole.  I love the thumb holes. 

So my new shirt (pale turquoise green) makes me a super-sexy runner-girl and it kept me warm and snuggy all fall.  And then it got colder....  and darker.....  And I had to add my black shell to stay warm and now I'm invisible.  And a flashlight because my headlamp isn't bright enough to illuminate my feet.  And that is bad. 

So my husband thinks I need a nice reflective vest.  And I do... it is hard to run in my shell... a vest is better.  But I feel like the running shirt was a big commitment and getting more gear might jinx things... 

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Friday, September 20, 2013

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Monday, September 16, 2013

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Friday, September 13, 2013


When you have two (or more) kids there are certain new rules you have to follow.

No one tells you this.

It's a secret club.  I think we are all afraid if we tell you the truth then you won't have more kids... and we will be alone in our misery.  Labor is like that.

Well here are some pointers on surviving with two kids or more:

1.  Once a week, have a "get dressed from the laundry basket" party.  Saves on folding.  Bonus points if it is the CLEAN laundry basket.

2.  Make pancakes.  I make a giant batch of pancakes and freeze them and tell myself it is to have delicious, wholesome, healthy hot breakfasts all week..... then we have pancakes for dinner three nights in a row.  My kids love Brinner.  I love bacon.  Win-win.

3.  Repetition is your friend. Taco Tuesday is a good thing.  We do a series of dinner items over and over.  Tacos, followed up by "tortilla pizzas".  Chicken tenders/rice.  Tapas (What do YOU call leftovers?).  Crockpot stuff.  Spaghetti (Hot makes it on Thursdays).  Noodles of any sort (with jarred white sauce or parmesan or homemade red sauce or just butter).  Do I love to cook interesting new meals?  Yes.  Do I know someday there will be a season for that?  Yes.  Do I accept the current phase is not that season?  Mostly. 

4.  Lower your standards.  All of them.  If the kitchen counter is free and clear of papers (even if it is only once a week) you are a winner.  Big Win. 

5.  Streamline everything.  And make lists.  Ok... that won't always help but streamlining and making lists is just fun.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

We are FINALLY getting into a Routine.... sort of....

In spite of the weather we have moved to "fall schedule" around here.

Sweet loves to be early to school so he can play with his buddies on the playground.  And it works for me because I can get to work earlier.

So it means we need to leave the house about 7:45 and be out the driveway by about 7:50.  This makes drop off around 8:00 and I'm to work before 8:15 as long as I'm not in charge of Bugsy and daycare....

Working backwards give us this schedule:

6:00  Alarm One
6:30  Alarm Two  I usually try to get up by 6:15 so I have a little dorking around time to unload the dishwasher, stare out the window, fold laundry, drink coffee.  If I know it is going to be a balls-to-the-walls morning (BTTWM) I set up the coffee maker on the timer the night before
6:45  The drop-dead latest I can be in the shower.  On a good day I also manage to slap a little tinted sunscreen on my face and some eyeliner. 
6:50-6:55  Rise-n-shine my little dumplings.  With daylight earlier this is easier.  I rarely have to threaten a half-cup of frozen marbles in the bed.  The kids like to bring their clothes in front of the pellet stove to get dressed once it gets cold.  I usually set the 5 minute timer for this or they just dork around.  I also try to be dressed before the dinger goes off and have breakfast on the counter.  Or we put a playlist on the ipod and they get a song per activity.
7:00  Breakfast.  I believe in breakfast.  I believe breakfast should have some protein and some fat so it lasts past 10:00am.  I've tried making a breakfast schedule.  I've tried "Monday Eggs" and "Tuesday Toast" kinds of things....  I struggle with it.  I've lowered my standards.  If my kids want chicken nuggets or pepperoni hot pockets for breakfast... well, ok.  Not perfect, but better than nothing.  During breakfast I try to get lunches packed and hair fixed.  Sometimes it works.  My 7-year-old likes a packed lunch and she likes to do it herself.  Sweet.
7:30  Everyone must be brushing their teeth by 7:30.  About now I start yelling instructions in groups of 3.  "Teeth-Waterbottle-Shoes" or "Snacks-Sweatshirts-Library Books" I try to shove my lunch/work/stuff in a bag and remember my cell phone.  Sometimes we sneak in some homework.... spelling words or reading.  My kids know if they start unpacking their backpack from the night before at this point I will not be happy.  They are so aware of it I don't even have to get mad....  It happens about once a week.

We have this by the door to remind us:

Backpack, Water Bottle, Lunch, Snack,
Homework, Hat, Mittens, Sweatshirt

Monday:  PE Shoes (JN)
Tuesday:  Library Books (JN)
Tuesday:  PE Shoes (DJ)
Wednesday:  Library Books (DJ)
Thursday:  PE Shoes (JN & DJ)
Friday:  Show-n-Tell (JN)
Friday:  Treat Shop

After School
Empty Backpack, Hang up Gear,
Put away Shoes, Snack, Homework,

Wednesday, September 11, 2013


Blogger Elle said...
What's wrong with those Kraft Pimento spread jars. My mom supplied me with a six-pack as a birthday present and I stinkin' love them. Between those and spaghetti jars, our glassware is well outfitted AND easily replaceable. I have a hodge-podge collection of glasses. I think there are 6 now. All mismatched. The only requirement is that they be some shade of blue. I love 'em. It's who I am. Mismatched and in varying shades of blue.
12:35 PM
Oh let me be clear....  I prefer mis-matched because it is easy to ID everyone's glass.

My mom finally broke all the glassware from Arby's (you know what I'm talking about... we had the entire Flintstone's collection....) and got lovely plain glasses... now she is spending all of her time trying to figure out how to designate them so we don't drink each other's booze-n-cokes and so we can each keep a water glass out all day....

I should photograph my current glassware collection.... just to make you laugh.....

Tuesday, September 10, 2013


Does anyone else do ipsy.com??

My sister got me a subscription for my birthday last year and it has been very entertaining.

This month I got fake eyelashes.  WTF? 

And a browbone highlighter.  I love browbone highlighter... I particularly love the one called arch'de triumph by Soap & Glory.  Target carried it and doesn't anymore.  We just got Ulta here so I bought one there on Saturday morning... and got one in my ipsy bag when I got home. 

My mom got me a Sephora Sun Safety Sampler this year after I oogled hers for years.  Pretty awesome.  You can see a good review of it over here

I like sunscreen.  I'm in search of the perfect high SPF tinted sunscreen.  I like Dr Brandt's.  The Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Cream is ok.  The Garnier one made me a little greasy.  And I like Aveda tinted moisturizer.  Anyone have something else they love?  I was loving the spf moisturizer from Clinique but daytime moisture AND a bb cream seems like overkill.

I tend to be pretty low maintenance about makeup and skin care but I like to think of it more as classy & elegant & simple.  The Hepburn Approach if you will....

I love my clarisonic (a fantastic Mother's Day-Birthday-Easter gift from my mama).  I tend to use simple (read:  cheap) liquid cleansers with it. I used to buy masks and stuff... now I usually just use a pinch of baking soda.  Is that terrible? If I meet a goal here in the near future I'm getting myself some Josie Maran Face Cleaner Oil.

When I stop aging gracefully and decide to start fighting it I will be more diligent about using Boots #7 intense serum.  I might also try their BB cream.  Do they have a bb cream?  They do but it looks like the spf is only 15.

I've been playing around with bronzer and highlighter stuff every since I saw this post.

And I love, love, love Nars blush.... in orgasm.

And I've been wearing grey eyeliner since my mom got me my first one in 6th grade.  It was Jafra.  Who remember Jafra?  But sometimes I branch out to black or green or navy. 

I look great in a nice two-tone brown eyeshadow.  I can pull it off (as long as the lips are neutral) and I use a bit of brow highlight.  I also have learned to finish the look with some brown eyebrow pencil if I really want to look polished.  (Ok, right, not often)

I really, really want to be a mascara wearer.  It looks so nice.  I never wear it.  I smear it.  But I try.

Finish with a decent gloss on the lips.  Done. 

Or, the speed routine:  smear on bb cream, dash on a bit of blush, maybe a dash of bronzer in summer, eyeliner, brow highlight.  GO.  There's a lip gloss in the car, just GO. 

Monday, September 09, 2013

Room Cleaning Cards for the Girls

We clean the bedrooms up on Friday night.  Reward is movie night.  Works great.  My son (age 9) likes to clean by the "clock face" method.  He picks a point to be 12 (usually his desk) and works his way around the clock face.  I say, "Is your room done?" and he says, "No, but I made it to 9 o'clock."

The girls, on the other hand, moan and weep and get overwhelmed.  The first step was to par down the gear a little bit (still have a ways to go) and to get rid of the box spring and get a platform bed to create easy storage under their bed.  But it was still a battle.  I tried the timer.  I tried sending them after one type of item at a time.  I considered boxing all of their gear and letting them live minimalist.  Then I decided to try a ring of cards.  Below are my cards.  There are 9 of them counting the cover.  I made each card a full-sized sheet of paper and printed them "8up" on cardstock.  Cut, hole-punched at the top corner and put on a ring.  Andulus font (my current favorite... along with Calibri, of course).  So far it seems to be reducing the battle. 

Time to Clean Your Room

Step 1

Get Ready

Put a smile on your face.

Start at the door and work around 
the room for each step.

Find all of the trash  and toss it.

If you see things that belong in other rooms 
put them in the hall.

Step 2


Clear out the toys/books.

Fluff the pillows.

Pull up the blanket and fold it back.

Turn off bedside lights.

Put away anything on bedside table that doesn’t belong.

Take water bottles to the kitchen.

Step 3


Dirty clothes downstairs.

Clean clothes stacked for mom to help put away.

Step 4


Put all the books away (in the right places) 
with spines tidy and facing out.

Step 5




Stuffed Animals

Baby Gear

Step 6

Kitchen toys

Dress up

Step 7



Step 8





I love you. 

Thank you

for keeping your room clean.

Sunday, September 08, 2013

Saturday, September 07, 2013

Ripping DVDs and other techie sounding things......

I am often defeated by technology.  I have yet to get a smart phone.  I see the advantage of texting but I don't embrace it.  I have a netflix streaming subscription.  I watch Duck Dynasty online.  I send my husband reminder texts via cozi.com. 

Yes, I have accepted the fact that vhs tapes are dead.  I have discarded every vhs tape.  Let me emphasize the I in that..... just so you know my HUSBAND has not joined me in the modern world.  He has a box of tapes in the garage.  And, yes, I kept an old vcr in a plastic tub labeled "Old Electronics" for that just-in-case moment when he wants to watch "Far and Away" on vhs instead of netflix. 

So, after graduating from vhs to dvd (and even, gasp, sometimes BLUERAY!!) I'm beginning to wonder about digital versions of movies.  We have a few (Pirates of the Caribbean and the Jurassic Park 3-pack) digitally and the kids can watch them on the ipod, laptop or Kindle.  I have even been known to fork out a few bucks to rent one digitally from Amazon.

But when it comes down to it... we still haul along the portable dvd player and the case with all the dvd's.....  But I think that might change.  We have a Kindle Fire.  We have a newer ipod (touch) and an older ipod.   And I'm eyeballing the Nexus tablet pretty hard.  For long car trips (over 2 hours or so) I'm ok with embracing technology and watching a movie but it turns out my kids have moved beyond that and would rather read or play games.... electronically, of course.  So now I'm toying with the idea of ripping a few dvds to digital and going that route rather than the portable dvd....  one device, many uses.

Has anyone had success with this???


Friday, September 06, 2013

3 things you should know about me.

1.  I like the eggs to be in a checkerboard pattern in the carton.
2.  I eat my pizza crust first.
3.  I often read the ending of a book before the beginning.

Thursday, September 05, 2013

40 After 40

So I was thinking it would be a good idea to do a list.  A 40 after 40 list.... or is that too cutesy?  Anyone?

The only thing on my list so far:

1.  Learn how to use a slim jim.

Any other ideas?

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Family Culture


Just in time for back to school.... ok, well, it was posted in July and I'm just getting caught up....

Anyone else working on Fall Goals and Back to School Rituals???

Friday, August 23, 2013

Accept The Burden of Uncertainty

From my beloved 99u.com...

The wonderful thing about math is certainty. Every math problem has an answer. But entrepreneurship is different. There are no laws that bind the problem set. There are infinite paths to contemplate when creating something new. Even worse, the paths keep changing.

The most difficult part of starting something new is the processing power you must allocate to compute the onslaught of issues you’ll face that have no answer. Every solution is indefinite. Every way forward is liable to become obstructed by some unforeseen impediment. As such, the leader’s greatest fight is against uncertainty. You can compartmentalize just about everything, but you can’t unplug from uncertainty.

And know what? Uncertainty is a bitch. It plagues every plan you hatch, and it eats away at any attempt for peace of mind. For me personally, uncertainty caused the greatest amount of interference as I attempted to live my life while starting Behance.

I remember many occasions when I valiantly fought to disconnect – Christmas, the week of my wedding, my honeymoon, and even the birth of my daughter. And while I was “there” for all of these moments, 20 percent of my mind’s processing power was preoccupied. It wasn’t any specific deal or issue that stuck with me. On the contrary, it was the stuff I didn’t know, the “unknown unknowns.” There was no map for the voyage ahead, so I felt the need to live and sleep with an eye on the compass.

Click here to read more......

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Blurred Lines

Anybody else think Robin Thicke is the love child of George Michael and Robert Plant??

The song Blurred Lines is all over the radio and when it comes on we all bop along... like you do with silly summer songs (Hey.... Macarena....) and I yell, "More Cowbell" and my kids don't get it.

And the line "What rhymes with hug me?" cracks me up. 

But it turns out there is controversy.... as always.  They are calling it "Rapey."  It might mean something.  Maybe it is the video?  I haven't seen the video.

Does this make sense to anyone?  Can you explain it to me? 

And does anyone else keep thinking the guy's name is Richard?  Because that would be funny....

Thursday, June 20, 2013

The Right Tool for the Job....

We had some fun at our house.....

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Emergency Evacuation List

I'm back at it with the emergency prepper stuff for fire.  I attended a meeting by the officials from Colorado Springs (BEFORE the Black Forest fire) about the urban interface in Helena.

Scared the crap outta me.

It isn't if... it is when.  The good news was... my house didn't burn in the scenario.  But let's be real.  Our day is coming.

So I am back to working a plan.  It is my duty to head up the evacuation.  Hot's job is such that he won't be available to help and he will need the peace of mind knowing we have a plan and are getting out.

I believe in a written plan.  Because if I don't have a list I run around like a chicken....  it is just the way I am.  So here goes... draft 1:

Before the fire:
make sure insurance coverage is adequate for replacement values
decide where you will go if you evacuate (me... I'm taking the kids and going to a hotel with a pool and HGTV)

2 minutes:
cell phone

5 minutes (above plus):
cats (in carrier... carrier is currently on top of the upright freezer in the garage)
portable hard drive
personal document envelope/file box*
household binder**
cell phone charger
cash in house (there isn't much but....)

20 minutes (above plus):
comfort packs***
plug in old school telephone (located in desk hutch)
turn on sprinklers
put evacuation sign on the door

30 minutes (above plus):
safe contents
binoculars (2 pairs)
photo album box (hoping to get all of these scanned)
spare car keys

*personal documents envelope/file box may include:
phone/contact emergency list
medications/allergies list
copy of drivers license
ss cards (or copies)
birth certificates
marriage certificates
vaccination records
pet records
financial account info
wallet content copies
recent utility bill (for proof of residency)
insurance policies
household inventory (include photos/serial numbers/etc)
flash drive backups

Ok, wait, funny story..... I was trying to think about the household inventory and the best way to manage it and I remembered the last time we evacuated.... I ran around with my camera on video documenting all the tools (and serial numbers) in the garage.  So instead of a household inventory I'm going to create a video inventory and keep a copy on a flashdrive and keep it somewhere else... maybe my office.

**household binder may include:
Ok... well MY household binder has contacts/emergency info etc and a lot of the things listed above for the file box... it has my current bills so I can fend off boredom after the adrenaline wears off by paying bills. Ok, wait, I confess....it also includes cleaning schedules and books I want to read.  Hmmm.  Oh... but in the back pocket are the pages I will put on the (2) doors when we evacuate.  There are mixed opinions about doing this... if you put a big note on your door saying you have evacuated that might be an invitation to looters... so think about this one carefully.  Our neighborhood is pretty sparse and we don't have much anyone would want to steal so I go with the sign.  It is printed on nice yellow cardstock and the tape is in the cupboard just above where it lives.

We have evacuated.
Contact Us
(Lists our various phone numbers)

***comfort packs:
One of the things I've learned is... once the adrenaline wears off you are bored.  So our comfort packs have stuff to do and things to make us happy.  And, yes, even if there is a wildfire, Target will still be open... you can buy most of this stuff later so don't stay in harm's way packing it up.

stuffed animals/favorite blankets
small toys
change of clothes
personal care items

Other things to plug into the list if needed:
um... what else can you guys think of?

Sunday, May 19, 2013

New Glasses

Stackable Double Old-Fashioned Glasses, Set of 4

The last of myy original four "Davenport Warehouse" rocks glasses finally broke and I spent a few months shopping around for replacements.  (Yes, generally I let my kids drink from empty Kraft
"pimento spread" jars....).  I got some new glassware in Bozeman a few weeks ago.....  so far, so good.  Nice for milk, juice, water, wine, or mint julips....  And they stack and for about $2/glass they aren't too precious to let the kids use (ok... let's be real... and for me to take out of the dishwasher.... that's where most of my dishware dies.... in the transition from dishwasher to cabinet....)


Wednesday, April 17, 2013

This. This is my dad.


He cut the top out of his cap to accommodate his hair.  He thinks he invented something.  None of us have the heart to tell him it is a v-i-s-e-r.

It makes him crazy his hair won't get any longer.  He doesn't get the concept of deep conditioning and regular trimming.

He does shower every night and then put on the same dirty jeans every morning.

Yes, he's wearing an Orvis flyfishing shirt.

I've only seen him wear cowboy boots once.... when required for an O-mok-see.  He kicked off his tennies, put them on as he got on the horse and took them off before he got off the horse....  He has no idea that a new pair might actually be comfortable.

You can call him Doctor.

He is still smiling.... even after getting sucker kicked by a cow and being boss-man to a crew of idiots (hey.... you do get what you pay for....).

This best advice about cows?  "Raising cows won't make you any money, but if you raise cows you can't go anywhere because you have to take care of the cows so you won't spend any money either...."


Tuesday, April 16, 2013


I'm in a fashion mood.



I don't want to talk about anything depressing today... at least not yet.

So let's talk about shoes.

Part of my mother-in-law's fire evacuation plan includes loading all of her shoes in a laundry basket and putting them in her car.  Seriously.  It's the one collection she values and could never replace.

My favorite shoes are still my classic black Dansko professionals but they really need to be replaced.  Go ahead and click the shoe picture to see what is on the Dansko site....  make a suggestion for my replacement...... I got them at Sole Sister's....

I also have red mary janes (Dansko Diana) but I'll tell you a secret... they aren't my most comfortable shoes.  Dansko makes other red mj's that are cuter but I didn't pay much for these at 6pm.com

I also love Born.  I have two pairs of Born.  The boots (purchased on zulily.com) are fantastic and comfy.  I wish I had purchased the 9.5 instead of the 10.  The heels are Ofelia Bay Vintage t-strap... super comfy and, at sierratradingpost.com  ...  they were a bargain with a good coupon.

born boots  Born-Ofelia-Bay-Vintage-T-Strap-Shoes-For-Women

Cowboy boots.  Turns out this short heel and square toe is the current style.  I still want a pair of turquoise ones (if you follow me on pinterest you will see the obsession) but these are pretty awesome.  And, of course, I got a bargain at zulily....

Johnny Ringo Black and Zebra Ladies Boots

Of course I have a pair of chucks... but I've evolved from my classic black hi-tops.  I now have pale pink low-tops.  My girls think I am a really cool mom when I wear them.

And I got a pair of Tom's for my birthday.  Love.  Yes, they are floral.  Sole Sister's. This is one pair of shoes I would strongly recommend you try on in person.  There is a lot of difference in fit between the different fabrics etc.  I went for fun, funky & most comfortable.  There isn't much arch and they fit more like slippers.  With my narrow feet and high arches I don't think I could walk 100 miles in them but they are surprisingly comfy for the long haul and as close to ballet flats as I may ever get. 
Oahu Women's Vegan Classics side
These are my summer shoes from last year.  So comfy.  That strap has velcro on it....  so you can snug them on if you need to move fast.  They replaced my beloved leather Keen slides that they don't MAKE any more.....  J-41 Sonoma Mules....  Paid $25 at Sierra....
I really want a pair of Chaco Zongo sandals but haven't made the move yet.  The best price I've seen is about $32 for these. 
Chaco Zong X Sport Sandals (For Women) in Meadow/Chive
And I love flip-flops but my arches are so high they usually cause me pain.

That pretty much covers my shoe selection.  There might be a few pairs lurking in the bottom of a tub in the garage.  And I have some runners, muck boots, heavy-duty hikers & a pair of old Solomon water shoes that I wear for painting that I didn't mention. 

What are you wearing?  What are you shopping for and why?  What is your dream shoe? 

Monday, April 15, 2013

Go Fish.

My boys went fishing last Friday with a friend.  They had a great time and came home with lots of stories.... Today I finally got photographic evidence....

Tuesday, March 05, 2013


My sister loves this site for her fabulous actions.

I love her for all the posts about cute lunches.

The lunches are adorable but also doable.  I love Biggie and her bentos but her food is complicated.  These lunches are cute and simple.  And actually stuff my kids would eat.  And actually stuff I might have on hand.  (Ok, true, I haven't had raspberry bushes since we moved to this house and kids don't eat chokecherries.... so maybe not all garden-fresh... but.....)

Yes, I entered to win the Planet Box lunch box... because that is one AWESOME and EXPENSIVE lunch box.  My middle child would love it.

My middle child.  The tuff one.  My darling Fifi.  She adores all things small and cute.  Her idea of super exciting is sandwiches cut into little rounds.  Imagine what she would do with cucumber slices in the shape of her name. She adores lunch box notes.

Time too pinterest for inspiration... and maybe finally buy those alphabet cookie cutters I've been eyeballing for years.

Thursday, February 14, 2013


This was just posted on facebook by a cyber-friend of mine.....  I completely agree....
 In honor of Valentine's Day, here are some things I love: baseball, Motley Crue, reeses peanut butter cups, wildflowers, red shoes, dangly earrings, the beach, beer, scented markers, lip gloss, vintage bottles, handmade quilts, turquoise, post its...
 I would add:
aviator sunglasses, hooded sweatshirts, red wine, dark chocolate, porch swings, good books, down pillows, muck boots, baby ducks, pizza, daisies......