Studio Update

Yesterday I wrote a post titled “Nourish.” If you missed it, I just took a few minutes to fill you all in on where I am at personally now as well as where we are at as a family as it pertains to nourishment. There are sure to be many more posts on this topic in the coming months as I can’t shake that word from my heart. I’m cautiously wading into a world that I am just familiar with enough to be slightly nervous to enter.

I figured that I should lighten the mood today and give you all an update on the shop. Between A Happy Trip and homeschooling and just taking the time to keep my family on track, I haven’t found myself with lots of time for keeping the shop rolling. If you’ve been around here for long, you likely know that while I LOVE the design/creative side of handmade, I don’t like the tedium of the construction process.

111814 Shop Update

After I wrap up the orders that I currently have in queue, I will likely shut down the shop for a while. Undoubtedly I will end up with a few random projects that I will likely list on Instagram or through the FB page {because I go on creative binges like that– so if you aren’t already, you should definitely follow me on IG and FB}. In the meantime, I’m on a mission to finish these Zippy!’s in the next week or so.

Zippys in Progress

Much love to all of you today. Are you working on anything creative now? I’d love to see it! Comment with your IG name so that I can keep track of what you’re up to also.

 

Nourish

Nourish

Our family has felt the pangs of malnourishment lately. Lest you think that we’ve fallen to the dark side, let me assure you that it isn’t that grave. Except that it is beginning to feel that perhaps it IS slightly grave and pressing to us as a family. For better or for worse, we Smith’s don’t tend to find a lot of significance in discipline for the sake of discipline. {Please don’t take that any further than exactly what is written– we do find significance in discipline for the sake of growth and betterment}. But discipline without purpose? We tend to eschew that. Most specifically as it relates to anything that is inconvenient.

What I am primarily referring to here is our physical nourishment. Of course, this applies to the spiritual, intellectual & emotional also, but for now I think that I can only handle addressing one of the problem areas at a time.

I’m not going to put on a “I’m a crunchy momma” mask. And that is in NO way a slam on “crunchy” moms. I believe in you. I believe in WHAT you stand for. I believe that you are making awesome choices to put the health of your family at the forefront of your priorities. I’m cheering you on! But I have a child who has extreme aversions to everything that is good for him {and believe me, I’ve tried to be sneaky}. I grew up gagging at the sight of fruits and veggies too. And while, quite thankfully, I actually *like* most fruits and veggies now, it’s still a struggle for me to make myself take the time to eat them. In my brain they are simply superfluous to the GOOD food. You see the problem here, right?

So I subsist on carbohydrates, meat, cheese and sugar and my family comes along for the ride. Occasionally I pull out my juicer and that pretty much rocks, but it’s the exception to the rule. I mean last night for dinner I cooked a ham, whipped up some divine homemade mac’n’cheese, added a side of roasted baby asparagus {see, I did add a veggie THAT time} and polished it off with a homemade pumpkin roll {after all, the pumpkin roll is to send our students on a trip to Nicaragua– it’s dietary benevolence at play here}! But all of us FEEL pretty yechy. I’ve gained a few pounds since summer ended. Jeremy and I are both having skin issues. And the kids, well, let’s just say that it’s nothing short of obvious that they NEED nourishment. Parker’s Go-Go Squeeze’s probably don’t cut it.

What I don’t do is load the kids up on Twinkies and Fruit Snacks and Lunch-ables– but still, I’d might as well. If you do, I’m not judging you. Maybe your kids eat those things AND will grab an apple or munch on a carrot. One of mine will sometimes– one of mine won’t. We all have to pick our battles.

The thing that I’m feeling, this persistent nudging on my spirit, it’s conviction. Conviction that reminds me that just as I go to the Lord of my spiritual nourishment, my children and my family come to me for their physical nourishment. That weighs on me like chains around my neck. So for 2015 and the near future, I’m going to be intentional about focusing on NOURISHMENT. In fact, I believe that my word for 2015 will be “Nourish.”

Guys, I’m not about to say that I’m 100% in yet. I’m not. Really, I’m pretty terrified to embark on this journey. We’ve tried and failed before. I really like grabbing a slice of pizza at the mall. If “eating pizza or Panda Express at the mall” was a legitimate love language, I’d claim that one as my own. Choosing a different path means choosing to find something else that brings me peace and joy. {And yes, I know that I could just opt for a protein bowl at Panera, ok?}

For now, I have a few books on order to help me get started on the journey. I’m even feeling the urge to really nourish my home, so I’m sharing The Nester’s book below too.

 

On a side note, I actually crave almost every single recipe that Angela Liddon posts over at Oh, She Glows! And this coming from girl who could possibly be classified as a bona-fide carnivore. This is the one that I am craving now.

Screenshot 2014-11-17 16.24.55

 

It’s actually from this book. They are both going on my Christmas list. And that will get its own post for another day.

Bringing Back the Scrappy Tutu

The holidays are rapidly approaching. I kid you not, I woke up to 16 degrees outside. I was not amused. However, this early chill IS putting me in the holiday mood {even if I do happen stay in my pjs and shop online this year to avoid the frigid temps}. And while I’m sitting at home in said pjs, it never hurts to have a project to tackle on any given day. Thus, here is one that you can do in one afternoon while you’re watching Elf for the 314th time. That’s not just me, right?!

christ scrappy tutu cover Or you can click here.

Happy holiday creating! But in all seriousness, wouldn’t these be ADORABLE in family pictures out at the Christmas tree farm? For the love of cute!

a happy holiday

One of *Those* Days

10.28.18 Gratitude Changes Everything

Today is blah. At the risk of dropping my banner of positivity and joy, today just feels gray. My mood mimics my view from the studio here. Dead leaves are falling — well beyond their glory days of fiery reds, shiny oranges and happy yellows. Now they are brown and withered and swirling through the chilled air on a slate-sky afternoon.

My nana is in the hospital and I am pushing through with our typical day– carpools and home-school and blogging and keeping up with everything clamoring for my attention, except for the pile of laundry that is begging me to fold it and put it away {please ignore that, Mom–I’m sure that I will do that next}. The thing is, that in the moments when the syncopated rhythm of life is interrupted, it feels wrong to try to keep the time as if there was a never a blip from the metronome.

But the timing is off now, and while I may have to keep pushing through into normalcy, I don’t have to pretend that everything is ordinary. So here I sit and wait. Today I choose to write these thoughts instead of tucking it all away. It’s a start.

As I was sitting here thinking and praying this morning, I flipped through some postcards that I had ordered a while back from Lara Casey. I paused on the one that read “Gratitude changes everything.” How true. It’s not a matter of being un-grateful to recognize the days that aren’t so wonderful, but it is a point of gratitude to let the good seep into your heart and to trust the Lord with all that lies ahead.

Colossians317 Gratitude

Monthly Menu Planning

Hey all. Peyton and I are getting down to the nitty-gritty on our Tuesday whirlwind of homeschooling.  Helllloooooooo,  teaching kids how to learn is going to be the death of me. Oh how I wish that he didn’t have anxiety like his momma. Le sigh. He loves that, let me tell ya. Thankfully there is no complaining coming from the school table aside from him asking me {quite politely, I might add} to move my computer over to my desk while he thinks. The clackity-click of the keyboard is a bit grating when you are trying to concentrate. I get it.

So while I’m here, and because it’s Tuesday, I thought that I would chat with you all a bit about something that’s been happening in our kitchen:  Monthly Menu Planning

Menu Header

As much as I love to plan, I loathe the process of grocery shopping– and honestly, cooking too. The problem is two-fold. A) Tiny kitchen and B) I prefer eating out.

I know, I KNOW. Someday when the kids are older and out of the house, I am going to eschew cooking altogether {ok, not ENTIRELY, but I can dream}. I loved cooking when we had a bigger kitchen and I didn’t have to squirrel away my kitchen gadgets. Also the presence of a dishwasher and a garbage disposal and a large island to prep food on didn’t hurt. Nonetheless, I choose this little cottage and I mostly love it– minus kitchen duties. And seriously, I remind myself almost every day that the previous owners lived here for 50 years and obviously they made do without any remodels. I’ve elevated them to sainthood in my book.

The only problem with all of this non-cooking stuff is that it really isn’t practical to eat out everyday, nor is it wise. Thus, in an effort to hunker down and be responsible, I drafted a full  menu for the month of August {and September And October AND November}. Shockingly, it’s been smashing success. I’ve basically broken the grocery shopping into two trips with a couple of side stops at the store for in-between items, but all-in-all, when I follow the menu, it’s good news.

I keep things pretty simple. First, I have a big manilla recipe folder that I keep the bulk of my recipes in. Each month I start by making a list of the dinner dishes that sound yummy. When considering the dishes, I also try to think of meats that will do double-duty. If we have ham, holiday potatoes, Hawaiian rolls & green beans on Monday night, then there is a pretty great chance that you will see crock pot ham & beans on the menu soon after.

Once I have the list, I start filling in the calendar {in pencil so that I can easily change things around} that I print off blank from my iCalendar with the meals from the list. We aren’t huge eaters, so I try to leave plenty of room for leftover nights and simple meals too. I stick the recipes that I have pulled for the month into a file that I keep handy in the kitchen called “This Month’s Recipes.” In addition to storing the recipes in that file, I also keep my previous few month’s menus for quick reference.

Menu

That’s quite honestly just about all there is to it. It’s simple, but it keeps me well-organized and on-task. And truly, it take some stress off of my plate to know that everything is waiting in my pantry and refrigerator, so I don’t have a great excuse when I don’t stick to the plan.

So that’s how we roll with the menu. How about you? What do you do to keep your meals organized?