Temporary Homes

Vegas

We’re starting to get physically and mentally prepared for what I’m calling our “2015 Adventure,” although I’m sure it will end up being more like our 2015/2016 Adventure.  We leave for Vegas in a couple weeks and after a difficult time finding a place we have decided to stay with friends (who just finished building a gorgeous house) while there.  We saw it for the first time this weekend while we were in town for their wedding (Congratulations again Farah and Phil!) and it is AMAZING!  That leaves us with figuring out where we are going to stay in Vancouver and where we are going to temporarily live when we sell the house.

Vancouver is CRAZY expensive so we might be living in a teeny tiny place while we’re there, but I’m not really anticipating that being a problem.  There is only two of us and our pup, so we don’t need a ton of space.  Plus, it’s only a few months.  I absolutely love Vancouver, so I can’t wait to spend more time there!

I was a little nervous about the whole renting for our main home because we haven’t rented in 10 years, but boy oh boy have rentals changed (or maybe it’s that we’ve grown up and can afford a more “grown up” rental)!  The rentals I’ve been researching remind me more of a luxury hotel than an apartment, and it’s getting me pretty excited for our future temporary home.  We are pretty sure that we want to end up in downtown Minneapolis and there are some pretty cool places to choose from.  I’m ridiculously excited about having the ability to walk almost everywhere.  I’ll obviously need to drive back and forth to work, but we’ll have endless entertainment and dining options within steps of our home and that sounds really appealing.  Living in the midwest this isn’t really something that most people do, and I’ve always wanted to give “city” living a try.  I think it’s going to be hard to downsize while we live there, but it is temporary!

Well that is it for today!  I hope you all are having a splendid weekend!

A Is For Adventure

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Almost five years ago, Jason and I bought the house that we thought we would live in for a long, long time.  I wanted to buy a fairly new and big house with the idea that we wouldn’t need to be fixing things all the time and would have plenty of room to grow.  What have I learned these past few years?  First, I am not the kind a girl that can go without “fixing” things.  I love to make things my own and always want to have a project in the works.  The problem is, when things don’t need fixing, it’s not practical to change them.  Second, we don’t use most of our house on a regular basis.  Seriously, I think we have 22 or so rooms in this house and we use 6 or 7 of them on a regular basis.  All the other ones only get used a few times a year.  Granted, we don’t have kids yet so I’m sure that would change, but I now feel that a better location with less space is way more appealing.

When we first moved in we were on a dead end street with only 2 real neighbors and a beautiful pond view outside our front door.  We don’t have a ton of land and our back yard is all woods, but we figured we wouldn’t really ever mind (turns out we do).  Now our neighborhood is much different.  Our lovely dead end street is now a through street with lots of traffic.  We very often have cars speeding through at 40+ MPH.  Not the end of the world except, I think about how scary it would be to have little kids playing out in our front yard and how that’s our only real space for playing.  We also have a big new housing development that is almost complete across the street which would be nice once we have kids (lots of friends for them), but our lovely pond view, is now going to be an assisted living center view instead.

We started talking a little over a year ago about how it might be nice to look for something different, but the actual process of moving made us not think too seriously, as we now own more “stuff” than ever before.  Our talks got a lot more serious a few months ago and with the housing market being so great in our area, now seems like an ideal time to sell.  So, we started thinking about what we would want instead.  We decided that we would either want to find something to remodel or that we would want to build.  We are leaning towards remodeling, so that we can end up in a more ideal location.  Jason has always been on board with a remodel and really pushed for it when we were looking before we bought this house, but I had the final say and I didn’t want a fixer upper.  My bad, he was right, I was wrong.  Anyway, that leads us to right now.  We know that we don’t want to rush into something new, meaning we will likely rent something for a little while and that we are very motivated to get the process started, but that’s as far as we’ve gotten.  We still need to find a realtor, get the house ready, and get the ball rolling.  Understandably, we’re not super excited for that lovely process, but it will hopefully be worth it in the long run.

In addition to selling our house, finding a temporary home and eventually our new house, I’m also going to be joining Jason this year for his annual trip to Las Vegas for a month and a half and also joining him in Vancouver, BC for a few months full time shortly after that, so I should have lots of entertaining stuff to share in the coming months.  I saw a quote today that really resinated with me and this situation, “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.”  It’s a little scary to make our lives kind of chaotic for the next few years and step out of our comfort zone, but I’m so excited to embark on this fun little adventure to find a home that we’ll enjoy even more than we’ve enjoyed this one.

Have any of you gone through an extensive remodel?  Any tips or suggestions?

{Lovely Pins} Falling in love with Pinterest again…

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Three years ago I, along with many women out there, became completely obsessed with Pinterest.  (Above you will find a few of my very first pins for your viewing pleasure.)  If I didn’t check it several times daily, I would have a panic attack.  What if I missed something!?!  Then somewhere along the way it felt like a chore to keep up and eventually I was going weeks (yes you read that right, WEEKS!) without checking it.  Recently, needing some inspiration for a project, I started pinning again and I feel like I’m falling in love with Pinterest all over again.

(Yikes, this is starting to sound like a cheesy romance novel…moving on…)

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images (clockwise from top left): 1, 2, 3, 4

So anyway, all this was my long way of saying, get ready for some new lovely pins because I’m finding all kinds of them!  (If you don’t want to wait, you can just follow along as I pin here too.)  I’ve been pinning a lot of kitchens…this new job has me thinking about all the fun things I want to do ours to make it more me (I mean us!).

Well that’s it for today.  I hope you all have a lovely rest of the week!

2015 Goals in Progress

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So we’ve all made it a few weeks in to the new year.  This is about the time that those resolutions, or in my case goals,  can start to go out the window.  I thought I would check back in right away to hold myself a little accountable, and then maybe I’ll see where I’m at in a few months or so.  Let’s see how I’m doing!

1) Drink more water: So far, so so…keep working on it.

2) Cook more – eat out less: I’ve kind of been a massive failure at this one.  We’ve been sick for most of the new year and I’ve just had no desire to cook.

3) Eat regular meals: This one has been going pretty well for the most part.  Although, I slack a bit on days that I’m really busy.

4) Try one new healthy recipe bi-weekly: Doing well so far…it’s one of the few meals I’ve actually cooked.

5) Read 4 books in 2015: 1 down, 3 to go.

6) Be grateful everyday for everything I’ve been blessed with and try not to complain too much: Definitely doing well with this one!

7) Try to be more positive and less negative: And, also this one!  Yay!

8) Play piano several times per week:  Haven’t played once.  :/

9) Go to 3 concerts in 2015: Working on it.

10) MORE PHOTOS: I styled some desk shots yesterday.  I forgot how much fun these can be…must do more!  :)

11) Take one creative online class per month: Working on it.

12) Start scheduling my time better: Doing well so far!

13) Stop overextending myself: Working on it.

14) Take one online class per month that is related to my profession: Working on it.

15) Organize my work life and keep it organized: Not doing great, but I’m not giving up.

16) Start using my office again: Haven’t yet…new goal, clean office so I actually want to work in there.  It’s a mess!!!

17) Create a chore chart: Done!  I’ve accomplished about half of the chores on my chart.  I’m blaming it on the sinus infection I’ve been fighting for weeks for not completing them all!  :)

18) Organize EVERYTHING: Working on it.

19) Get rid of things we don’t use/need: In progress.

20) Set aside one day a month to do something fun with my husband, just the two of us: We’re leaving town this weekend, so I’m on track with this one so far!

21) Try to get together with friends for a night out once a month: We have some fun stuff with friends planned this weekend, so doing well here too so far.

22) Spend more time with my sister (and just family in general): We did do dinner and a movie with my sister and her boyfriend one night and I’ve done some shopping and dinners with her as well.  I really want to take a little day trip with her coming up too, so hopefully that will work out.

23) Plan more get togethers with my friends throughout the year: I have a few things in mind, but haven’t put anything into action yet.

24) Go someplace new with my husband (doesn’t have to be fancy or expensive) 2 times in 2015: No plans yet.

25) Evaluate this list monthly to see how I’m doing: Done!

How are you all doing with your resolutions and goals so far?

 

New Year, New Blog

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Happy 2015 blog friends!  I have a little bit of time off this week, so I decided to do something I’ve been wanting to do for years…switch from Blogger to WordPress.  I tried once, but I got so confused I gave up.  This time it was a breeze!  I decided to do something a little more modern and clean, so all of my old posts unfortunately look hideous and out of place (mostly photos).  I don’t really care though because I guess it shows how my style has evolved throughout the years.  I welcome any suggestions and comments regarding widgets or anything else that you’ve found has made your WordPress experience better.

Well that’s it for me today, but I’m super excited to dive into this year and this new blog space!

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Goals for 2015

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Hi everybody!  It hasn’t been a week yet and I’m back!  Hopefully I’ll be able to keep this up in 2015!  I mentioned last Friday that I’ve been thinking a lot about 2015.  2014 was a great year, but I did feel pretty overwhelmed for a good portion of it.  I’m hoping that with some changes and goal setting, 2015 will be one of our best years yet.  I could have gone on and on, but I narrowed my goals for 2015 down (yes, this actually is a narrowed down list) to the list below.  It’s pretty long, but I think it’s very doable.  Everything on it will genuinely make me happier and make my life easier.
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Personal Health & Mental Well Being:

1) Drink more water…I’m usually ok about this (could be better), but over the holidays I barely drank any.  I also drank way too much soda in it’s place, so out with the soda too!

2) Cook more – eat out less…again, was really good about this, but the last quarter of the year I was too busy and as result never felt like cooking.

3) Eat regular meals…this has always been a challenge for me.

4) Try one new healthy recipe bi-weekly…I seem to just make the same stuff all the time.  It would be nice to add in a little more variety.

5) Read 4 books in 2015…I love reading, but I never do it.

6) Be grateful everyday for everything I’ve been blessed with and try not to complain too much.

7) Try to be more positive and less negative.

8) Play piano several times per week…I was playing almost everyday, but again, I got too busy.

9) Go to 3 concerts in 2015.

10) MORE PHOTOS…Compared to years prior, I barely took any pictures in 2014.  I want to not only take more pictures in 2015, but I want to take better pictures.  I also want to start making it a priority to print and do something with them.

11) Take one creative online class per month…I think this will be a really important one to keep me inspired.

12) Start scheduling my time better.

Work

Career:

13) Stop overextending myself…I took on WAY too much at the end of 2014 and it made it impossible for me to keep up (the way I would like to) with my personal life.  In 2015, I need to find a better balance, which may mean letting something go.

14) Take one online class per month that is related to my profession.

15) Organize my work life and keep it organized…no surprise here that I work better if I’m nice and organized.

16) Start using my office again…I’ve gotten sloppy and work from my couch far too often.  It’s not good for my focus or my body.

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Home Life:

17) Create a chore chart…I’ve never done this before and I think it would be really helpful for us.

18) Organize EVERYTHING…We’ve lived in our house for a while now and all the organizing I did at the beginning is coming undone.  Time to get back on track.

19) Get rid of things we don’t use/need…too much clutter!

Relationships

Finally on to the most important ones…

Relationships:

20) Set aside one day a month to do something fun with my husband, just the two of us.

21) Try to get together with friends for a night out once a month.

22) Spend more time with my sister (and just family in general).

23) Plan more get togethers with my friends throughout the year.

24) Go someplace new with my husband (doesn’t have to be fancy or expensive) 2 times in 2015.

And 25) Evaluate this list monthly to see how I’m doing.

Well there is my list.  Are you busy thinking up goals for 2015?

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Out with the old year, in with the new..

Hi everybody!  I hope you all had a lovely Christmas!  With the little bit of down time I’ve had this week, I’ve been reflecting on the year that has past and thinking about the year to come.  This past year has brought some stuff that I didn’t expect, but it still was a great year.  I thought that during the holidays this year we would be either celebrating with our new baby or celebrating being pregnant.  Unfortunately, that isn’t the case.  I didn’t think that my career would go in the direction it did, but it has been really rewarding and I’m excited to see where it goes.

I always get excited for a new year.  There isn’t really anything that changes from December 31st to January 1st, but it always feels like a fresh start.  I hope that this will be a year of exciting things for my little family, but I also want to work on myself over the next 12 months.  I think it’s always important to be improving yourself whenever you can.
Well I need to get back to some quality family time, but I hope to be back on here soon to talk plans for 2015.  It’s nice to get it in writing! I hope you all have a fantastic day!

Anyone still there?

Based on my stats, apparently you still are!  I never meant to give up blogging, but then my life got in the way.  What has been going on in the last 8 months?  Well here are the Cliff’s Notes…I turned 31.  Found out that I have some fertility issues…officially been trying for a cute little one of our own for 13 months now.  Kind of started a company with my sister.  Fell into a job opportunity…then fell again which currently leaves me with 3 jobs (4 if I were actually dedicating myself properly to my sister and my venture as well).  So, after all that and wanting to still have some personal time, blogging slowly became a distant object in my rear view mirror.  BUT, I’m not giving up just yet.  I love this blog and all the opportunities and personal growth it has given me, but this little blog of mine definitely needs a new direction.  As I figure out exactly what direction that is, I hope you all will bear with me.

{Scrumptious} Oat Bars

Happy Friday everybody!  It’s not often that I post a recipe, but this one is just too good not to share.  One of my favorite snacks as a kid were those inexpensive Honey Oat granola bars you could buy at the grocery store, so when I first tried the Oat Bar at Starbucks several years ago during my first trip to visit Jason in Vancouver, I was hooked. 
They are obviously much more delicious then their inexpensive grocery store version, but there is one major problem…I can’t get them here!  They are only sold at the Starbucks in B.C. Canada, so when I had a major craving for one the other day I started doing some googling.  Apparently, they originated from a bakery on Vancouver Island, hence the reason they are only sold in B.C.

I found that the recipes varied greatly, so I just took bits and pieces from a bunch of them to try to create the one that sounded the most accurate to me.  What I ended up with is not only just as delicious as the Starbucks version, it might actually be better.  I hope you all enjoy it as much as me! 

Oat Bars

Ingredients:
– 3 cups organic quick oats
– 1/2 tsp salt     
– 4 tbsp butter
– 1/4 cup maple syrup 
– 1/4 cup liquid honey
– 1/3 cup organic light brown sugar
– 1/2 tsp vanilla

Cooking Instructions:

In a large non-stick pot melt the butter over medium heat.  Next add the brown sugar, syrup, honey, and vanilla.  Allow mixture to get slightly bubbly, and then add the salt and oatmeal.  Many of the recipes I found added cinnamon.  I love cinnamon and tried it both ways but personally didn’t like the addition to this particular recipe.  If you would like to add cinnamon, you could add up to 1 tsp at this point.  Keep over heat for another minute or two stirring constantly (do not let burn).  Then remove from heat and pour mixture into an 8×8 pan sprayed with cooking spray.  Press down firmly, allow to cool completely, and then cut and enjoy.