Thursday, March 23, 2017

Shoes 4 J: 2 dream the impossible dream

I realize not everybody has a Johnny, but I do... and I am desperate to figure out how to keep this kid shoed.

He trashes everything.

So, I am polling the masses. What brands are the best for this kind of kid?

I go back and forth between super cheap shoes that I can just buy many times a year or pricer shoes that I only have to buy once or twice. But, please if you will, peep J's current sitaution.

He is wearing these Cat & Jack sneaks for school right now but only because the office called as I was on my way to Target last week to let me know that the sole of one of shoes tore completely off. Those shoes happened to be his mass shoes which he was wearing because his other school shoes were wet or something weird typical. See below.

The sole-less shoes were Zara which I got for cheap last summer. As for dress shoes, these Land's End boots have been the only boy shoe hand-downable in this family, but I haven't had the same luck with the brand's regular sneaks. The boots are quality and worth the $$ if you're in the same spot as I am but I digress...

I thought a nice little photo pictorial would do you good.

Johnny's play shoes

Johnny's sneakers

Johnny's 3 month old school shoes

These slip-ons that lasted him from September to December

So, what's the verdict? Am I just being too optimistic? Should shoes only last a kid a few months? Converse seem to be the brand that wears the longest, provided they aren't caked in mud. (I realize that's asking alot -__-) But maybe there is a secret you know that I don't and if that be so... lay it on me.

All Shoed Out/This Kid/Womp Womp

Tuesday, March 21, 2017



-Trying not to neglect my entire life reading through Lilac Girls. I just finished today and it was great. I think I can use a little break from all things concentration camp, but I've learned a lot and the realities of women in the war are sobering. I highly recommend the trifecta All the Light We Cannot See > The Nightingale > Lilac Girls. All different perspectives from different wartime experiences, all really wonderful reads.

-Working on refining my daily schedule with game-changer advice from a friend. Advice as follows: don't schedule according to time, order according to task. For example, instead of trying to sit down to do some reading everyday at 10, plan on doing it after the baby goes down for a nap (knowing that time with likely vary a bit every day), or plan on folding the laundry after lunch, instead of whenever the timer dings or at 11:05, etc etc infinity. I don't know about you but this is so genius to me. I am not naturally a scheduler but I thrive on plans. But, life, plans, LOL. I think that just giving myself a game plan of tasks I want to accomplish in succession vs time will be really, really helpful.

-Speaking of tasks, Jenna pointed out my v v specific list on my laundry room chalkboard. You're welcome for allowing you into my refined world of utter perfection. I've been working towards assigning myself a special job of the day in the hope that as the weeks cycle through, I can at least give a little time to a lot of things. So... along with my laundry of the day, I mapped out a *thing* of the day. Here is a lil' reminder in case you forgot to get this tattooed on the back of your hands:

Allow me to translate. Monday's are for catching up on whatever, as we all know (why do I feel so much better just to write this down??) It's always dependent on whatever the weekend brings but if I know my goal is just to catch up in any way that's needed, I can saddle up with a bit more direction than I would if I don't plan for it. And by plan I just mean write it on my chalkboard. Hay!

Tuesday: Spend some time at the desk, pay bills, sort through mail, file something etc.
Wednesday: Organize something. Anything. A drawer, a cabinet, the unmatched sock pile, whatever.
Thursday: Garden in any way, shape, or form. Pull three weeds or uproot a tree, depending on my time and ambition.
Friday: Another something. This means just taking care of whatever random task I've been avoiding. Mailing a package, calling to make a doctors appt., responding to an email, cutting Pete's fingernails, buying dishwasher tabs... you know, all the super hard stuff.

Anyway, that's my list. Having parameters but lots of freedom helps me not pull the old "I don't have time I can't do annnnything (paralyzed, frozen, etc). Because I can always do a little bit, and even sometimes a lot.

-Being conscious of bringing outside beauty in. Mostly with big clusters of this earthy wild sage that grows on our hillside. I love it on our kitchen table. It makes the room smell like springtime and herbal tea. And cute, because Target vase. Speaking of Target, why is Target always killing it?

-Wanting to thrift some cute chairs for ^^^ table. We currently have an old rolling desk chair at it I can't handle the fug. Thinking something mismatch-y and cute like would be attainable for not too much $$

- Feeling defensive and kinda like a whiner. Last week a photo I posted on IG was deleted for, I assume, **inappropriate content**. After I ranted about it I felt a little silly, like I probably should have just let it go, but I also feel like HEY! Leave me alone.

Have you ever had a post deleted? It is creepy! Creepier than my kids bums, for sure.

- Wanting to kick Francis out of our room. He has started to be up so, so much and I think it's mostly because I am right there. My only hesitation is that I'm not ready to move Joe into the boy's room because he is such a good sleeper- still clocking 13 hour nights and 3 hour naps some days. I'm building my arsenal (sound machine + tequila) and searching for a random closet I can stick Francis in for now (just kidding! relax! not really).

- Kirby and I went to a local brewery on Saturday and started jonesing for summer traditions. Remembering that there is nothing better in the summertime than beers and taco trucks near the beach. Can't wait!!

See you soon xxoo

Friday, March 17, 2017

Quickie laundry room make-over


It is what it is, folks.

A few weeks ago I was hemming and hawing over our laundry room space and how to make it more functional. Remember? One day I even took an entire door off all by myself only to find out that you can't just flip doors around to swing the opposite direction. Who even knew??

Anyway, after one morning of spending hours researching shelving systems to fit our tiny space I realized we had an old IKEA shelving thingie we had used at the old house just sitting in our garage... and in an inspired 10 minutes or so, I got me a pretty functional laundry room sitch for free. I rifled through some old bins and baskets and badda bbbbbing. About $30 of IKEA later (two shelves for above the washer, a simple rug, and a few more baskets), I've got me the space of my v basic dreams. It's bright and airy and there is a place to put everything. Plus, cheap. Instead of laundry bins for each kid I keep two rotating baskets for whosever laundry day it is. That load gets folded and put in the basket > kids empty basket and replace > no laundry hanging out all over my house or the laundry room in weird piles. I also have a bin for outgrown clothes in need of storage or Goodwilling, a basket for dry clean stuff, and things that need to be stain treated/are too gross to put back in our drawers but I can't bring myself to toss them.

For the first time since we've lived here things are all tidy up in the laundry room. (Don't you love when things just come together??)

Taste *n see.

(no laundry room is complete without a salvaged bucket with the kid warning on it)

Since IKEA doesn't sell much online, I collected some links for your laundry room e-organization which you've all not asked me for. But, HEY, maybe a little sprucing up for springtime is in order (it feels good, ya'll). Some similar goods and must haves + things I would like...

Laundry soap / Similar runner / Smaller rug here

Cool shelves here... and here... and I kinda love you shelf here / Brackets tho (with these so prettay)

Storage (gah loving these!!) and here

Hamper / Cutie binsbasketscontainers, crates y mas

Dryer balls / Linen Spray / Clothespins / Chalkboard

And a gorgie little vase, for happiness.

Happy weekend, my beebs!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Tiredness makes everything tired

I am sitting down to punch out this post because I am tired and it's honestly all I can think about (cry laughing emoji for real!!). It's nobody's fault except for mine (and DST). Last night I watched the clock turn 9:30 and I thought to myself- go to bed, and then my alarm buzzed on my phone at 9:55 saying go to bed for a full 8 hours of sleep and I gave it a glance and turned right back to Nick and Vanessa weeping into each other's arms in that Finnish great room. And then I watched approx 38 min of ATFR and now... tired. So tired!

Yesterday, as if he could see into my soul, the priest I see regularly for confession asked if I was happy. The question was oddly unrelated to my confession so I knew it was what I needed to be asked. I told him I wasn't, and I told him I felt like shit (got a laugh out of us both). Grumpy, snappy, impatient, spiritually lazy... you know. He suggested that maybe my Lenten mortification should be to get more rest, as backwards as that sounds. He said if this were a conversation between monks maybe the advice would be sleep less... push yourself further, mortify. "That may be the answer for the monastery," he said, "but it isn't for the housewife." 

The one in the middle of the world, with actual people depending on them, lovingly present and kind and all.

So, I say this to you- don't be like me! Don't get a bucket full of wisdom and go home and dump it out. Even if it is for the Bach (although I realize the challenge I was up against...) and maybe rethink your own version of sacrifice. I am realizing that it's maybe more sacrificial for me to peel myself off of the couch at 9:30 and go to bed when I know I should than it is to rise early. A good morning starts the night before, right? Right! 

I'm hoping to re-gung-ho myself this afternoon because this just will not do. Anybody feel me?

On a more glass half-full note, you know what IS making me happy? This.

Last week our wisteria bloomed and it's absolutely breathtaking, despite all my sniveling. I wish you could all smell it through the screen.

I have been trying to spend as much time as possible outside lately which is... not hard. More and more lately have I been finding myself totally overcome with gratitude for our home and it's insane natural beauty. At night with the window open, the smell of the flowers just pours into our room. I am finding new moments all the time to fall in love with this place.

Annnnnd I can't believe I wasted a post on being tired!! Lol. Gosh, what am I complaining about? OPEN WINDOW, SMELL FLOWERS, GO TO BED. Can someone come kick me in the ass?

Thanks for letting me hash out my trivial dilemmas, guys.


Monday, March 6, 2017

Formula formula plus a giveaway


Cute? Yes. Formula guzzling with no resistance? No.

And while he may be just, like, normal in that he doesn't like food you make by mixing powder and water together, we (read: I) could really use a solo night or two somewhere/anywhere and so BABY. TAKE A BABA.


The local grocery store offerings have failed so I'm poking around in a new direction. Does anyone have suggestions? This site is helpful re: picking through options, as was this (although "make your own" is like eyeroll city for me) and this. But you all know you're my favorite polling place so... suggestions??

When Joe was a baby I did start off by buying black market German formula off of ebay but I don't think I am committed enough to go that route. We are just talking a bottle or two or thirty every now and again. Is that too much to ask, bb? (Fave mode btw)

Anyway, this is nothing more than a late Monday morning whine but I DO HAVE A GIVEAWAY! Would you like $50 to spend at On everything and anything, formula or not? Me too.

Enter thusly!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Blah blah books

It's Fat Tuesday and I've got one simple make-a-dessert goal on my mind so I'll make this concise.

Topic: books

In general, I am not naturally a list maker but I try try try to be because it makes everything better and simpler. Still, my natural state of whimsy rebels because I crave spontaneity and while I can't have much of that by way of household life, I can have it by way of books. And while I love me a good book list, I tend to just flit from book to book depending on what inspires. Anyway, I am loving my current stack so I've gotta share.

In an effort to try to integrate a little practical/spiritual reading every day (even for just ten minutes), I've got some goodies to share. This morning I found the book Rosa, What's Your Secret? sitting on my microwave and I've honestly not been able to put it down today. Kirby brought it home last night (it was written by the sister of a friend of his) maybe expecting to just add it to the shelf but I AM GOBBLING. It was written in Spanish and translated into English, so you've def got to read it with that in mind. I find that the culture of Spain permeates her beautifully simple and direct advice on managing a large family. Filled with lightheartedness, practicality, and joy... all the things I am after in family life. I am so, so inspired! Already taking mental notes on how I want to incorporate Rosa's wisdom into our family's habits. I think you will be, too. Gah. It's good.

I am also reading through the homilies of St Josemaria in Friends of God. Each homily is so rich that I give myself a few days to get through them. I just finished reading the homily titled "Time is a Treasure" and I could probably use it as mandatory daily-basis reading for the rest if my life, it's so good. Just lookee here...

"There are no bad or inopportune days. All days are good, for serving God. Days become bad only when men spoil them with their lack of faith, their laziness and their indolence, which turns them away from working with God and for God. 'At all times I will bless the Lord.' Time is a treasure that melts away. It escapes from us, slipping through our fingers like water through the mountain rocks. Tomorrow will soon be another yesterday. Our lives are so very short. Yesterday has gone and today is passing by. But what a great deal can be done for the love of God in this short space of time!"

So.... O_O

Ok, ALSO, ALSO Love is Our Mission. I know it's basically so vintage being that it was a preparatory catechesis for the 2015 World Meeting of Families but dayummm it's so good. Constant, thoughtful lessons on what it is to be a family. Which, you know, applies. As evidenced below.


I just finished reading The Nightingale which was totally riveting. I love how it echoed the timeline of All the Light We Cannot See and thanks to the both of them I am now thoroughly enamored with France + WW2. I just grabbed Lilac Girls from the library after a very refined 30 second Google search confirmed it might be right up my current wartime France alley.

But to give myself a little breather from all the crying I am flying through The Royal We which is totally fun and light and perfectly borderline too embarrassing to admit I am reading. There is no concentration camp or incomprehensible human suffering so it's a nice little vacay before I start LG.

Anyway, that's where I am at! Where are you at?? Any suggestions? Tell me it all!

[insert well-styled photo of my books that I don't have] BYE

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Dat laundry flow

Because I've got my eyes straight up, all up on that prize, I just revamped my laundry flow.

You're on the edge of your seat, I'm sure.

We want to start working towards the girls handling their laundry soonish so in an effort to do that AND because it just made sense, I decided to put us on group laundry rotation. Up until now I had just been doing all the laundry 3x a week, but this led to a big pile for everyone to put away those days and a lot more sorting for me. Now our schedule is as follows:

Monday/Thursday: Girls
Tuesday/Friday: Boys and misc laundry room shiz
Wednesday/Saturday: us

I realize this gives me more laundry days overall but the amounts are much more manageable (maybe only a load a day compared to the 3 or more that I had been doing). I also was needing to come to grips with the fact that I needed a laundry day over the weekend and, as much as I hate laundrying on weekends in general, our grown-up clothes are so much more appealing to wash on a Saturday than my kid's. No offense, kids.

On the days that we are home, or if afternoons are chill, I am having the girls manage their wash. They can pop it in before school in the morning, I can switch it out midday, then they fold and put away in the afternoon. Not only is this THE BOMB, but I'm hoping to God it inspires them to wear only 1 measly outfit a day and stop stuffing clean things into the hamper when they "clean up." So help me, baby J.

Anyway, is this post a SNOOZE or is it a snooze??

The most exciting thing of all is that I got a new washing machine and it comes on Friday. My current machine is from 1972 and while it works like a horse and is cute, it doesn't give two shits about stains. When Kirby told me to just go ahead and get a new one I actually cried. And then I went and bought the biggest, most gigantic machine I could squeeze into our laundry room. And I can't wait. (***the things that make me happy cry w/ 7 kids LOLOLLLLLL***)

It's so big I could probably stuff 4 children inside of it. Don't worry, I won't.

Another revamp I'm trying to get at is a little folding table set up with a basket for each family member underneath. I'm thinking maybe a situation like this?? So that I can fold > place in bin > that's it. Love this industrial hamper, too. I currently have one similar to this but in the XXL version which is... a lot. Also, how cute are these?? (So much cheaper than the West Elm version). What to do... what to do...

ANYWAY THAT'S THE STORY OF MY LAUNDRY. I'll keep you posted bc I'm sure you can't wait.