Personal Initiatives for 2016

I’m sure a lot of people have already given up on their New Year’s resolutions. If you made a resolution to better yourself, keep going! I don’t really make resolutions, but there are a few personal initiatives I have for the new year.

1. Finish settling into the house.

My biggest pet peeve with the state of the new house is that there’s nothing on the walls yet. It’s nerve wracking to put the first holes in brand new drywall. For now, our large decorations are leaning against the walls roughly where we think we’ll want them and our smaller ones have either been stashed away or placed on a shelf. More than just decorating though, I’m looking forward to getting some additional organization systems in place, like adding shelves in the laundry room and putting up hooks. Settling in is also going to include putting in a yard, landscaping and either a deck or patio.

2. Be smarter about vegetables.

Typically the vegetable is the last part of the meal that I plan… last as in everything may already be cooked and on the plate before I think about vegetables. Usually we end up throwing spinach and tomatoes on the plate and calling it a salad. I want to make more use of our steamer and add variety to our vegetable options. Which really means I just need to get better at planning ahead!

3. Get back to carb counting well and better manage my diabetes. Continue reading

Coffee Bean Dress Refashion

I picked up this coffee bean print dress in the same thrift store trip that I picked up the jumpsuit that got new life as a dress last year.

Obviously I took my before pictures before we moved. It had a collar, a couple of awkward front buttons and strings to tie the back.

But the print was perfect… I mean it’s coffee beans. Continue reading

8 Things Not to Do As a Guest In Someone’s House

It’s easy to think that everyone treats their home the same way you treat yours, but that’s not a safe assumption to make. It’s always best to err on the side of overly polite when you visit someone. There are things that you may do that drive the person you’re visiting crazy, but they’re too polite to mention it.

Here are some things to not do when visiting someone else’s home:

1. Do not go to the side door, back door or door from the garage to the house. Especially if it’s your first time at someone’s house. Go directly to the front door. This is the main entrance to the house and the place where you’ll typically find the doorbell and welcome mat. When you’ve reached the back/garage door entry point with a family, you’ll know. Also, the last thing you want to do is stand in the rain at someone’s back door because they’re upstairs and can’t hear you knock, but are listening for the doorbell.

2. Do not take more than 2 steps into someone’s home without asking if they’d like you to remove your shoes. I say two steps because that’s far enough to close the door behind you but doesn’t typically get you off the rug or tile at the door and onto carpet. This goes for any flooring choices. We have all solid flooring on our first floor and you still aren’t allowed to wear shoes in my house. If the hosts says not to worry about it, then don’t. But if they’re a shoes-off house like mine, they will truly appreciate it. Continue reading

If You Aren’t Flexible, You’ll Break

If you aren’t flexible, you’ll break.

That’s what my mother said when I called to explain the changes in our Christmas plans.

We’ve been planning for months on having Christmas at our new house with some of both or our extended families. There would be 11 people at our house for dinner and a nice time was to be had. We’d gotten all of the food, determined the best configuration of the dining room to seat 11 people, planned the schedule to spend a little time with my relatives, a little time with Brad’s and some time with all of us together. Then it all changed.

In the same day, I had two phone calls that led to my conversation with my mom about being flexible. One of my relatives dropped out. Then it was determined that Brad’s mom wouldn’t be able to make the drive up to our house since she’s recovering from surgery. So, we changed our plans. My mom and her husband came over on Christmas Eve, spent the night and had Christmas morning with them. Then we packed up all of the food that we got, took it down to Brad’s parents’ house and I made Christmas dinner for 8 people. I’m pretty proud of the meal I made.

Continue reading

A Sneaky Kind of Christmas and Trip to Frankenmuth

Maybe it’s the fact that the last several weeks have been hovering in the 50 degree range, or that we’ve been crazy busy, it just seems that Christmas snuck up on us.

We waited until the last minute to finish getting gifts for people. Last night I finished wrapping them. I guess we’re ready for Christmas though.

We did have the opportunity to get a little more in the Christmas spirit by visiting Frankenmuth, Michigan with my mom and her husband.

Frankenmuth is known for being Christmas Central. We started our visit with a trip to Bronner’s Christmas Wonderland, the store that has everything Christmas. They seriously have ornaments for everything.

The entire town is Bavarian themed. I love the look and feel of the whole town. After Bronner’s we walked up and down the main street. We checked out several different shops featuring fudge, cheese, taffy, quilts, toys and clocks.

Making fudge

Herman the German is a statue who serves fudge in a shop

The clock shop was one of my favorite places to visit. They had intricate Black Forest cuckoo clocks and lovely grandfather clocks.

We wrapped up the day with dinner at the Bavarian Inn. The place was incredibly charming, the service was great and the food was excellent. The Frankenmuth chicken was the highlight and their potato puffs were addictive.

Some of the things we weren’t able to heck out on this trip but would like to see in the future were Michigan’s oldest brewery and the Frankenmuth distillery.

Where’s the most Christmasy place you’ve ever been?

(Most of the pictures in the post are Brad’s.)