Week in Review

Well, these last few weeks were unexpectedly exhausting. We had a million and a half things going on, then I managed to get sick on top of it all, so things have just been plain crazy around here. We are more or less back on top of things again, so here are a few highlights from our last few weeks:

– We’ve (mostly) finished our kitchen projects and I can’t wait to share! I still have one more thing to knock out before I can take photos and share, so hopefully within the next week or so I’ll be able to show you phase one of the project (we are starting on phase two this weekend!).

– Have you read Young House Love’s new book yet? I am a little over halfway done and I’m taking my time because I want to savor the experience! It’s so good!

– I love September and all the fun that comes with it, but goodness I’m glad it’s over. Our September was SO busy and I’m looking forward to a more restful month this month. We did get to soak up a few quiet moments in September and I appreciated every one of them, but there weren’t nearly enough!

– I’m loving football season. There’s just something special about cheering on the Aggies every Saturday that makes my heart full. It’s even more awesome this year now that Jackson is also running around the house shouting “Aggies! Fight! Touchdown! Tackle!” the whole time they’re playing. I think he’s going to be a football fan! And, of course, who doesn’t love football food?!


A few of my favorites…

– I MUST make this. Are you kidding me? I’m drooling.

– As a teacher, this whole conversation really resonates with me. I want to be very conscious of it as Jack gets older!

– I can relate to this Instagram account on so many different levels. I laughed so hard!

– On that note, have you seen my friend, Dana’s, new Instagram account Parks & Mad Men? SO FUNNY. She even made it on Buzzfeed!

How to be smarter.

Capsule Wardrobe Update: Month One

I shared about a month ago that I was going to start a capsule wardrobe. I had been feeling pretty disenchanted with my clothes and frustrated that I didn’t really feel good in anything I had, so I decided it was high time to change it up a bit. So, where am I at with my capsule wardrobe? So far I love it! I can honestly say I don’t miss anything that I’ve pulled out of my closet and I find it so much easier to get dressed in the morning. I haven’t had a single day where I’ve had to try on multiple outfits before leaving the house (which used to be a very regular thing for me!) and I feel good in what I’m wearing every day.

Now, that being said, I also had an interesting revelation about this project – I don’t intend for this to be a forever thing. I don’t know how much thought I had put into that before starting this whole thing, but I think all along I have subconsciously been thinking of this as a year-long project. I want to go through each season with a capsule, but after that I think I will go back to a “regular” wardrobe. I see this as a fantastic opportunity to really pare down my closet, and I don’t think I’ll ever go back to having as many clothes as I did before, but I don’t want to limit myself to a specific number forever. If nothing else, this project is just a really amazing opportunity to “re-set” my closet back to only clothes I love, and from there I may build it back up a little bit and allow myself to be more free with it, but I don’t ever want to go back to buying clothes I don’t absolutely love!

Another interesting (and surprising) thing has been how much I actually use the clothes that I didn’t count in my official number. As a high school teacher, there are lots of themed spirit days, football days, and other events where I have specific t-shirts to wear that I wouldn’t wear any other time. So, while I guess it’s technically cheating, I find myself pulling from that section of my closet at least once a week, sometimes more. But once football season is over, that will be dramatically reduced, so I still feel like they shouldn’t be counted in my actual number (plus, I wouldn’t really choose to wear them if it wasn’t for work – it’s almost like a work uniform!).

Perfect example of a work-related shirt that gets pulled out on the regular.

Also, I find it interesting how loose I tend to be with the rules. I’ve learned that when rules like this are self-imposed, I’m less likely to follow them strictly because I know there’s no consequence for not following them! That doesn’t mean I’ve been pulling from my storage for clothes to wear, but it does mean I’ve swapped a couple of things out since I started and haven’t hesitated to grab something if I need it. For example, I didn’t have a pair of sneakers in my wardrobe and on the first day my class went to bowling practice for Special Olympics, I knew I would need some. So, I pulled them out. I also am seeing a few holes in my capsule (like for shirts that I can wear with leggings to school…have to be fingertip length!), so if I find anything that works I won’t hesitate to purchase it and swap out a shirt in my closet for a new one. It’s not supposed to be about restricting myself and making things miserable, it’s just about challenging myself to build a better wardrobe – so if there are ways to improve as I go, I have no problem with that!

So as a whole, one month in, I can say that I’m still so incredibly glad I decided to try this out and I haven’t once missed my bigger wardrobe. It’s been so freeing to let go of all the old clothes that I don’t really love (or that didn’t fit right, or that were just in bad shape) and only have things in my closet that make me truly happy. I’m still a little concerned about how it will all work out once it starts to get colder…Texas weather is so unbelievably unpredictable that it’s basically impossible to know if I’ll need more cold-weather clothes or if what I have will suffice. I guess we’ll see in the next few weeks!

The Husband Project: My Experience

I’ve always loved doing sweet little things for Corey to surprise him and make him smile. Acts of service is definitely one of my main Love Languages, so it’s also how I enjoy showing love. Over the last year and a half-ish since having Jackson, though, I have to admit that I’ve fallen behind on the job of showing him love in specific and intentional ways. So, when I heard about this book, The Husband Project, I knew it was the perfect way to kick-start me back into making him a priority on a day-to-day basis.

I’ll admit, when I first started reading it there was a part of me that scoffed at the idea of doing all of these sweet things for him with nothing in return. Isn’t marriage supposed to be all about give and take? But then I kept reading, did some praying, and decided that I needed to stop being selfish and spend some time focusing on making him happy just for the sake of making him happy. And of course, just as I suspected, I didn’t end up regretting a single second. It was so worth it, and I quickly noticed that the more sweet, unexpected things I did for him, the more he did for me in return. Within a couple of weeks I felt like we were closer than ever and we were suddenly both seeking out more ways to make the other smile on a daily basis.

I journaled in the book throughout the whole experience, and I thought the best way to share what the challenge was like for me is to share a few of my thoughts from my favorite challenges.

  • “30 Minutes is all it Takes” – I struggled with the idea of giving him 30 minutes all to himself when he got home from work…I worked all day too! I’m exhausted too! Where are my 30 minutes? But I offered anyways, and he actually chose to hang out with me and talk instead of being alone, and he was particularly grateful later that night when I offered to clean up from dinner for him.
  • “E-flirt.com” – We used to text each other throughout the day pretty often but this year has been so busy that neither of us has time. I did send one random, sweet text on this day, though. Even though he didn’t have time to respond to me, one of the first things he said when he got in the car at the end of the day was how much he appreciated it.
  • “A Little Hands-on Attention” – I surprised him with a back rub while we were watching television. He loves them and I rarely do it, so he was thrilled. I think the exact quote was “this is unexpected and amazing!”
  • “Stress-be-Gone” – I put his clothes away for him after washing them, and he actually seemed to feel bad that I did it! It showed me that maybe sometimes I do stuff like that for him and then make him feel guilty (“well, you were never going to do it so I figured I’d just do it myself…”) and that’s not fair. This one was a big eye-opener for me!

I was definitely surprised by the challenges that made the biggest impact (it was often the small, easy challenges!) and I had so much fun planning each day. It was an awesome way to reset my brain and get me thinking about what I can do for him instead of worrying about what he’s doing for me. I feel so much happier in general now that I’m spending more time on making him happy, and it just feels so nice to really focus on our relationship for a bit.

Now that I’ve gotten started on this, I don’t want to stop! I’m trying to think of more sweet things I can do for him to keep the momentum going.

Would you ever do this project? What little things do you do to make your spouse feel loved?

Week in Review

– This new school year is kicking my butt! I’m absolutely loving my new school and the kids I’m working with, but I come home so exhausted at the end of the day and I’m so overwhelmed by all I have to accomplish. I’m hoping things settle down soon because I can’t keep going at this pace all year long!

– Have you heard of The Husband Project? I just completed it this past week and it was such an awesome experience. I don’t want it to be over! I ended up with a free copy of the book because I heard about their blogger challenge and I jumped at the chance to try it out. I’ll be sharing more about it in the coming weeks, but I’d love to hear your thoughts!

– September is the month of birthdays for us (we’ve got four family members plus countless friends who all have birthdays this month!) so it feels like a non-stop celebration around here lately. We went out to Corey’s favorite restaurant a couple of weeks ago for a 10-course tasting menu with a bunch of friends (it was a surprise), and ended the night with putt-putt. It was a blast, and I’m so glad I planned it!

– Here’s a sneak peek at the complete chaos that has been happening in our kitchen over the last few weeks. I’ve been painting my little heart out and it’s led to a major transformation. I can’t wait to share!


A few favorites…

– Thank goodness I don’t have this problem at our Trader Joe’s!

Quality time vs. Quantity time…what side of the argument are you on?

– “Why would I want more when enough is all I need?”

– American behaviors considered rude in other countries. Number 9 would get me in a lot of trouble!

– I love this photography series – who doesn’t love a little peek into someone else’s home?

– I kind of wish I was having another baby soon just so I could get one of these adorable nursing covers!


Our Fall Bucket List

If you’ve hung out here for any length of time you know I’m a big fan of bucket lists. We always do them throughout the Christmas season, and I usually create one for the summer (and I always forget to actually post an update on that one!). Now that Jackson is getting older and starting to enjoy more of the activities and various seasonal things we do together, I want to start creating small lists for each season so we can make sure to really get the most out of all of the fun things that go along with them.

Last year we did a pretty good job of embracing fall (our adorable pumpkin patch photo below is still one of my all-time favorites!) but this year I want to do even more – Jackson is at a perfect age for so many fun fall activities, and I want to soak up one of my absolute favorite times of year. So, here’s our fall family bucket list – my goal is to cross ’em all off by December 1st!

  1. Go to the pumpkin patch
  2. Carve or paint a pumpkin
  3. Have a football-watching party (or just go to one!)
  4. Order Chinese food and watch a scary movie on Halloween
  5. Take a family photo decked out in our Aggie gear
  6. Go to some high school football games
  7. Go one at least one outdoor adventure to soak up the amazing weather
  8. Make some homemade soup!
  9. Go on a hayride
  10. Make some chili
  11. Visit a winery
  12. Soak up the fall foliage
  13. Burn fall-scented candles
  14. Go to a Halloween festival
  15. Go to the farmer’s market
  16. Go through a corn maze
  17. Get some fall-themed books from the library for Jackson
  18. Make a list of what we’re thankful for as a family
  19. Watch It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown
  20. Drink hot chocolate (crossing my fingers it gets cold enough for this one!)

What’s on your bucket list this fall?