April 28, 2014

Weekly Obsession: Bones on Netflix

     My husband and I just finished watching the season 5 finale of Bones on Netflix. I am addicted to this show, have been for a while - but the farther along it gets, the closer Bones & Booth. I really just want to skip ahead in the series but I know I can't. This is definitely my obsession this week. Because after he left for work, it took all my strength not to go to the next episode. We watched the first and second episodes of season 6 and then he left for work. We don't get a lot of TV time, but when we do - we watch either Bones or Law and Order: SVU.

PS - David Boreanaz is damn fine! Had a crush on him since Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Picture from Twitter

In the comments: what is your favorite show right now?

April 22, 2014

Snap of the Week: 012

I knew the second I took this that it'd make a great post card. Something I'm in need of for my pen pals - but this one will probably just be for her parents.

In the comments: are postcards easy to come by in your area?

April 21, 2014

Weekly Obsession: Routine

     As I told about in my last post, I've spent the last few weeks trying to find my routine again. We have two new roomies and when they moved in my routine got completely thrown off and really messed with my head. My routine is not only important to me, but to my kids too. I'm noticing as things get back in order my kids are sleeping better and behaving better as well.

     My days have a pretty easy to follow routine, but there is one simple thing that if it gets thrown off - everything does. If I can't keep up on laundry, my whole house becomes a disaster (at least in my mind). So adding two people to the work load was like derailing a train. They were very helpful, don't get me wrong. We all felt like we were constantly cleaning until I figured out how to get things back on track.

     My day during the week when we have an extra toddler in the house is structured like this (this is just a general schedule but it stays pretty much the same):
7 am - woke up by the 2 year old and both kids get changed and fed
8 am - turn on cartoons and do morning clean up (start a load of laundry, fold what might be in the dryer, do breakfast dishes)
9 am - wake up the rest of the house and help get them out the door for work and other such things (and get the roomies air mattress off the floor)
10 am - finally feed myself before the extra 2 year old arrives at 10:30
11 am - get the kids set up to color, play with building toys or puzzles, or go outside to play
12 pm - get the kiddos lunch and feed whoever else is home
1 pm - get a movie going for the kiddos
2 pm - nap time (even daddy takes a nap most times) while I do afternoon clean up and keep up on laundry
3 pm - my free time: pen pal letters, edit photos, make digital pages, work on a DIY/craft project
4 pm - our extra toddler is picked up and our own kiddos wake up and we try to get outside for play time again
5 pm - get dinner going (if it hasn't been in the crockpot all day) and eat
6 pm - dinner clean up, more laundry and bath time for kiddos
7 pm - an episode of Curious George is turned on for the 2 year old (we've been through the seasons on Netflix about a million times but it's part of his routine and he won't give it up)
8 pm - bedtime for kiddos and more laundry and extra clean up
9 pm - more of my free time and possibly an episode of Bones or Law and Order SVU with the hubby
10 pm - get hubby off to work and get back to my free time
11 pm - start thinking about bedtime for myself while enjoying my free time and doing more laundry
12 am - time to be in bed for sure most nights

In the comments: how structured is your day? and your kiddos?

April 17, 2014

Real Life: New Roomies

     If you've been wondering where I've been, it's been a crazy month or so. I'm surprised I got the posts written that I did. For a week we had my grandparents staying with us to make my grandfather's multiple doctor appointments that week easier to get to. Then, a close friend who I've been trying to get to move closer to me for a while now called me up. She told me that she was going to be homeless and was desperate. So my husband and I agreed to let her and her boyfriend come to stay with us for a while. They arrived the day before my grandparents left, which was also the day before we left for up north to visit my in-laws. When we got back the job search started and here we are three weeks later. One has a job and the other is close to being employed and we are discussing adding them to our lease. The past three weeks I have spent trying to get back into my routine and getting my house back in order. My OCD has put me through several mental breakdowns because of all of their belongings coming in and not meshing well with our belongings at first. Now we have things sorted out, my house is clean, and I am back into my routine with the kids as well as with cleaning. I am happy to say that right now there is laundry running, dishes in the dishwasher getting clean, a clean and orderly house, and two kiddos napping. I am caught up on pictures and only two letters away from being caught up on all my letter writing to this point. I will be soon caught up on my digital pages and taking my daughter's seven month photo when she wakes up. The little girl we babysit on a regular basis turned two today and I will be taking pictures of her tomorrow if the weather cooperates.

"Life is like a camera... focus on what's important, capture the good times, develop from the negatives, and if things don't work out... take another shot." - author unknown

     I did notice while I was away losing my mind that I had a few comments come in. Could it really be that people actually read these ramblings? I am going to start making a larger presence for my blog on social media so please be sure to follow me on Instagram as mrsbixby and/or Google+ if you enjoy keeping up with me and my little family.

In the comments: do you have a routine in your home that helps to keep you sane?

April 2, 2014

2014 Digital Project Life Blog Circle: March Update

Welcome to another stop in the 2014 Project Life Blog Circle. If you have been following along then you would have come from over at Lisa's blog. I had the most time to work on photo editing and page spreads when we went on vacation up north. It was a pretty productive weekend and I was caught up by the time we got home. Please take the time to head on over to Kristi's blog and see what she's been up to.

In the comments: I didn't expect to get so much done on vacation, when are you the most productive?

Craft Time: Bunny Planter

     I took some inspiration from the leprechaun hat and decided it would be cute to turn a few of the small planters into little bunny rabbits for Easter. We used three small planters, three cotton balls, three pipe cleaners, and some white paint to make these little cuties. All things that I already had on hand.

     First we painted two coats of white paint onto the planters. Once they were dry we hot glued the cotton ball tails on and bent the pipe cleaner ears leaving a small bit of pipe cleaner to insert into the hole in the top. Once they were inserted we put a small amount of hot glue where the pipe cleaner met the hole for good measure.

In the comments: do you have any ideas you'd like to see with these cute little planters?

April 1, 2014

Snap of the Week: 011

Bedtime stories with daddy up north.

In the comments: do your kiddos have their favorite parent sometimes?

March 31, 2014

Weekly Obsession: Patchwork Love

     We spent a weekend in northern Minnesota recently and my mother-in-law sent home with us a breathtakingly beautiful patchwork quilt for our daughter. I wish I had the time and skill to make something this amazing. This was her first time doing patchwork and I guess she had to take it apart several times in places. Maybe when the kids start school I'll have a chance to learn how to quilt.

In the comments: do you know how to do patchwork or quilting of any kind?

March 25, 2014

Snap of the Week: 010

Deklyn standing next to Great Grandpa Wayne's robot. It's almost as tall as him.

In the comments: how many generations are still around for your kiddos?

March 24, 2014

Weekly Obsession: Dropbox

Here I am trying to avoid sweets and lose weight and DropBox is telling me to 'grab a snickers'.

     I am really loving that all of the photos on our phones go straight to DropBox and from there I can automatically import it to my hard drive when I import photos from an SD card. We also recently decided to put our huge collection of music on DropBox so that my husband and I could access it on our phones or laptops easily. The amount of space we were given for free works just fine for us. Even with over 6,000 songs being synced as we speak we still have over 20 GB of free space left. If you take a lot of photos on your phone I highly suggest using DropBox, I've already seen a friend of mine lose all the photos of her twin boys first year when she lost her phone.

In the comments: do you have a process for getting your photos off of your phone?

March 18, 2014

Snap of the Week: 009

Waiting for the zoo gates to open for behind the scenes weekend. :)

In the comments: have you ever had a chance to experience behind the scenes at a zoo?

March 17, 2014

Weekly Obsession: Spring is Near

The ice melting is a true sign of spring and warmer temps.

     Is anyone else sick of this nasty winter? Way too cold all the time... and this snow. No thank you. So my obsession this week has been finding projects, recipes, and things to do around the house to remind me that spring is near and it's going to be OK. This has included lurking around on Pinterest looking for Easter and spring crafts, grilling recipes, sweets with orange or lemon, and smoothies. I got out for our first walk of the year with our new double stroller. Oh man did that feel nice - and my brother got to ride his new-to-him bike too.

March 13, 2014

Taste This: Three Ingredient Orange Cream Swirl Fudge

     Found this one over at A Pinch of Glitter and I love anything orange cream so I jumped at the opportunity to make this one. Only three ingredients, pop in the microwave and throw together, and the perfect reminder that warm weather is on it's way. My white fudge for the swirl didn't seem to come out to the right consistency but I'm thinking it needed to be heated a bit longer. This recipe was definitely worth the five minutes for someone who's getting very tired of winter.

March 12, 2014

Craft Time: Leprechaun Hat Planter

     I've seen this cute little craft all over Facebook and Pinterest. I bought the cute little terra-cotta pots to do it more than a year ago and I finally got the motivation to just sit down and get it down. I'm glad I did because it didn't take me long at all. I was able to get a couple of bonus paper shamrocks (from over at Meaningful Mama) made up while I waited for the paint to dry between coats. I attempted tracking down the original source of this cute little hat craft with no luck.

     After a quick trip to the store I came home with 57 cent green acrylic paint, a 47 cent foam brush, and some 88 cent pipe cleaners. I don't remember how much the little pots cost me so long ago but I know I found them at Michael's on sale.

   It's a pretty straight-forward project. Paint the pot green, add a hat band (pipe cleaner), and add a buckle (pipe cleaner). Took me maybe twenty minutes not counting drying time. When I originally saw this project pipe cleaners were not used but after wandering the store looking for supplies this is what I landed on. It turned out better than I expected.

March 11, 2014

Snap of the Week: 008

I love that you can see the snowball he attempted to throw at Daddy falling apart mid-air in this shot. Add the smile on his face and it's wonderful.

In the comments: did you get a chance to play in the snow this winter?

March 10, 2014

Weekly Obsession: Lindsey Stirling

     Over the last week I have been listening to Lindsey Stirling almost non-stop. The first time I had seen her was in Pentatonix's cover of Radioactive. If I had cable, I may have seen her first on America's Got Talent. I have taken the time to sit down over the last week and just play through her YouTube channel non-stop. A lot of her music is very calming to me but still has enough spunk and energy to get me through my day. Please do check out her YouTube channel, you won't regret it.

March 6, 2014

Taste This: Pizza Nachos

     When my husband found this recipe for pizza nachos on TaylorMade's site I was a little hesitant. But now that we have tried them, oh man is that amazing. I'd rather eat this than pizza most of the time now. It's quick and easy and you are in complete control. We like to add lots of cheese and discovered the last time we made it that if it's left in the oven just a little bit longer it ends up like a pizza nacho omelet. This was an amazing discovery for someone with bad teeth who was struggling to eat the crispy chips. I highly suggest you give this recipe a try. We also added crumbled sausage this last time and that was pretty tasty. The seasoning and garlic sauce makes this dish so don't omit that if you can help it.

March 5, 2014

Clutter Buster: Laundry

     A lot of people have a laundry problem. I did for a long time. You know that problem where the house would look pretty darn clean if only you could get a handle on all the clothes, dirty and clean, around the house. After we got our new washer/dryer unit in our apartment I started to get a handle on things. People laugh at me when I tell them this, but I do laundry every day. I took note of where dirty clothes gathered in my house and made sure there were baskets in those hot spots but otherwise all dirty clothes hit the washer right away. In the morning I check both baskets, one in the bathroom and one on my husband's side of the bed, and put those clothes in the washer. Every night I add the dishcloth and every other night I add the hand towel from the kitchen. Once a week I wash the bedding and same for the towels.

     When the washer is full, I run it. I wash on cold so I don't have to worry about separating colors. I set a timer on my phone to be sure it goes in the dryer when it's done. Then I wait for it to be nap time or bed time for the kids - or at least the toddler. Once he is asleep I fold, hang, and put away everything without ever letting it hit a basket or flat surface. If it hits the bed, table, floor, or laundry basket - I have an excuse not to take care of it right away. If I leave it in the dryer, it has to be done so I can keep washing every day.

     These two rules have saved me from the never-ending laundry monster I dealt with for quite a while and I know a lot of others do too.

1. wash at least one load every day - try not to worry about separating
2. never let the clean laundry hit a flat surface or basket

In the comments: how often do you do laundry in your house?

March 4, 2014

Snap of the Week: 007

He doesn't get to hold her often so when Uncle Stephen holds his little niece he feels really special.

In the comments: do you have a sibling 10+ years younger/older than you?

March 3, 2014

Weekly Obsession: Photoshop Elements 12

     Having recently acquired my wonderful MacBook Pro I also purchased Photoshop Elements 12 and have spent the last week re-learning Photoshop. I was previously using Photoshop CS4 on my old HP. I've been trying to learn new shortcuts and little tips and tricks in PSE. So far I am missing text justification and layer grouping so if anyone knows how to do this without purchasing an add-on please let me know. I am loving the photo bin feature however. Great for digital scrapbooking.

In the comments: do you use PSE 12? What are some of our favorite tips/tricks?

March 2, 2014

2014 Digital Project Life Blog Circle: February Update

     Welcome to another stop in the 2014 Project Life Blog Circle. If you have been following along then you would have come from over at Ashley's blog. I decided to participate in this blog circle as a way of motivation. And I'm glad I did, because in the last two days I have placed all of my photos into templates. I felt pressure to get it done though - and was angry with myself for not finishing the pages completely. But then I realized this is the perfect time to show you my process. The pages I am uploading now have no text, no embellishments, no stamps - it's just the pictures and my base. This took me two days of working on it here and there and now I can go back and add bits and pieces. Part of the reason for my scramble this month was because I spent a good chunk of time scanning old prints this month as well as trying to catch up on old edits. I am half way through November of last year. YAY! By the end of this month I am determined to be caught up on my past edits through December of last year, finished with the February pages, and current for March. The plan is to make a page every time I clear a memory card. And every time I clear a memory card, I have automator on my MacBook set up to download my pictures from mine and my hubby's phones through DropBox as well. This way nothing is missed. I don't know if this is a little ambitious or not. I guess we'll see how things go. I think I can do it. Hope you enjoy a sneak peek at my family's February. Please be sure to head on over to see what Kristi has been up to this past month.

In the comments: do you put too much pressure on yourself? Even things that other people seem not to care so much about at the time?