Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Mother's Day (A Pinterest Post)

I really love sharing these Pinterest posts with you about the first five things that pop up when I do a Pinterest search.  Today I'm sharing what popped up when I searched - Mother's Day.  Most of us know this day is coming up on Sunday, May 8th.  Not that we're expecting anything - <wink>!

Slippers make a great gift and they are even better when filled with little treats and gifts! Perfect for Christmas or any occasion. #payless #ad #solestyle:

Um that says Merry Christmas. - Does anyone else see that?  I live in NC so fuzzy slippers are not something that I would go crazy over for a holiday in May.  BUT if you are in Canada then maybe?

TrackR bravo is a small, coin-sized tracking device that you can attach onto any device or belonging.  Download the Free TrackR app - then use the distance indicator, separation alerts, phone finder, and Crowd GPS features to find your Lost Belongings in seconds!:

Ermagherd this is so for me.  Everyday.I.lose.my.crap  Not kidding - ask my husband!  Every day I'm like - OMG where are my keys.  I could so use this.  Could you?

Take our quiz to find out what type of DIY Mom you are. Share your results with your friends!:

Some moms may like this but I personally am not for this.  I know I'm your mom and I don't need an adjective palate to tell me the traits of a mama.  Just sayin'.

Footprint Bird Art for Mother's Day! "Grandma's/Nana's 'tweet' hearts":

I think this is pretty stinkin' adorable!

mother's day mug by kelly connor designs knitting bags and gifts | notonthehighstreet.com:

Bahahaha well of course I would give that to my mom I mean mum.

Do you have any cool ideas on gifts for moms this Mother's Day?  I'm still working on my gift to my mom and for my husband's step mom. Maybe I'll show it in a post next week!

Monday, May 2, 2016

Checking in: Spring Bucket List 2016

Remember this list?

Numbers one and two were completed in March.  Yippeeeee!

Numbers three, four, eight, and eleven I will be moving to my summer bucket list.

Wondering why exactly number five has not been completed?!?!?  Perhaps, it is due to the awesome weather we have had!  Maybe we can accomplish this in May!

Number six - a very costly job is completed.  I'm so glad it is finished but so sad my bank accounts are at a depleted and defeated number!

Number seven is all finished!  Celebration and sobs because it was also a huge expense.

I'm working on number nine very slowly!

It is OK if ten doesn't get completed until 2017.

My goals for May include -

1.  Budget order
April was heavy on expenditures so I'm hoping to make amends in May.  My little job ends on May 11th so I hope to beef up my cleaning business and keep all unnecessary spending locked up!

2.  Read a book
I haven't read a book in three months.  It is certainly time to change that.  With this weather there is no excuse to not have some down time on my porch in the sun with a good book.

3.  Help my mom open the pool
My mom has a pool but let's face it - it is pretty much for the grandkids.  We utilize the pool every single day in the summer.  I hope to get it all ready for opening maintenance the first week or two of May.

4.  Date Night
We need one.  We haven't had a night out since Savannah in March.  

5.  River time
Because it is free - I'm ready to lay out on the bank (and read) while the kids build silt castles.

6.  Plant some flowers

7.  Plant my garden

This takes precedence over the flowers because it saves on our grocery bill.

And now it is your turn to share your May goals with me!

Sunday, May 1, 2016

May 2016: The Great Reset!

Hello May!  I like to start some months with a total - overall - reboot of sorts.  May gets to be the lucky winner for being my reset month for the summer.

After being sick last week and not liking myself because of it I'm working on three areas:

What I eat

A couple weeks back I realized my diet was crap.  I'm one of those girls who will work out to indulge.  In case you didn't know already - that is a really bad reason to work out.  When I was a tad younger I worked out to work out and ate right when I did.  Now it seems like logging a good hard work out should be rewarded with sugar.

Sugar is not my friend (no matter what my sweet teeth tell me).  It makes me feel gross, look gross, and sets me up for bad situations (it can totally wreck your immune system.)

This week I am taking on a challenge slash lifestyle change that basically will be giving me a huge need to "release" frustrations and beg for some motivational help.

Alright, let's just do this thing.

Hello, my name is Amanda and I am a


I want everything in this picture...including the cake!

I eat too much damned sugar.  This has been in the back of my brain - somewhere around my cerebellum I guess - for a while.  Now it is right between my eyes - Amanda, you eat too much freaking sugar.

So I'm cutting it out.

The excess, non naturally occurring kind at least.

I'm not doing this to be trendy or whatever - I'm doing it for myself.

Over the past year or so I have noticed changes in myself that I just do not like.  Most can be chalked up to being nearly half a decade from my twenties (ouch, that hurts).  My skin isn't like it was, my middle isn't where it should be (and its too late to claim pregnancy).  Though my energy level is good I think it could be way better.

Then there are hormones and blood levels that scream at me - you're in your thirties take charge now.

Last week I was sick and for the first time in my life I felt I was a 34 year old facing the daily struggle of an 84 year old.

Sugar helped my body get sick (among other factors!)

So sugar must be killed.

The good news is this detox and lifestyle change will have HUGE benefits including and not limited to:

1.  Even more energy
2.  Stronger immune system
3.  Decrease in body mass (maybe I'll get those final six pounds off!)
4.  Better complexion
5.  Healthier me which means a stronger mommy and wifey

I am confident I can do this.  I have a bit of a nutrition background and have a good idea of what all I'll be doing but at the same time it is way easier to instruct another person on all the important keys to success than telling yourself you have to.

You must know I'll be very ornery realizing that my beloved Bear Claw flavor ice cream is a bad guy.  We won't discuss how this will effect my weekend beers or wine.  Let's refrain from asking about weekend baking too.

Of course I know you're allowed to live a little and indulge in a bad boy here and there but I like to keep all focused and let no bad guys get passed me.  I guess it is part of being a Scorpio.

If you're interested in taking this challenge slash lifestyle change then email me at abrownieworldblog@gmail.com and I'll give you the daily dish on what is happening that day to push us all forward.  NO, I'm not doing this on my own.  I'm doing this through a local health care center because I have to and because I want to.

Are you an active person?  I am a very active person.  It is annoying to me how I cannot sit down.  Can we say adult onset ADD?

Sitting down on the couch after a day of work - isn't happening.
The kids are gone for a few hours so I can rest?  No way I have stuff to do.
It is a pretty day - lie out in the sun!  I would rather do something that makes me sweat.

Though this side of me is annoying I also appreciate it.
But I want to do more.

I haven't been in the gym but ONE time in two weeks.  Look, I enjoy being outside to get my exercise but the stuff I do outside cannot compare to the work I do when I'm in a room filled with equipment and boring, muted television screens.

Though I cannot go back to five days of working out per week I can fit in three trips each week.

I will do this.  I will charge that Fitbit back up and have it on Monday morning.

Sleep is something I dream of.  There is a common theme among us mommies - we all are tired.  I think we're more tired than we ever imagined.  Being a mom is draining (and rewarding) especially when you're children are younger and need you for very important things (like counting Matchbox Cars or making the 47th Play Doh cake of the day).

I can admit to being so tired that when the kids do go down for the night I stay up longer.  That is my ME time - no matter how tired I am I want to be able to veg out and watch an non cartoon or Teen Nick show.

Another reason I stay up when I am dead tired is to see my husband.  During the week we see each other for about 5 minutes a day.  If I can stay up until 11:30 then we can see each other for about fifteen minutes before I pass out (from being tired or the way his feet stink - he needs new shoes!)

Sleep deprivation is real and it is killing me.

Some nights I only get 5 hours of sleep and though many can run off that I need a minimum of seven.  I swear in my twenties I could run off four easily.

This week I'm going to make a point of resting.  I will intentionally locate a time in my afternoon where I can close my eyes (with super glue) for a minimum of 15 minutes.  This will be the hardest thing in the world for me to do considering my three year old will more than likely wage a war against me looking like I may be asleep.

The benefits of good sleep and rest are immense for keeping ourselves healthy - our body needs us to rest so it can efficiently complete all the metabolic processes and for our brains to have better focus.  More rest keeps us from getting sick and helps us maintain a healthier weight.

Let's be honest - I think the majority of us can totally go for this reset - it is May and May is bathing suit season. <wink>

I shared this post on Motivational Monday with A Fresh Start on a Budget!

Friday, April 29, 2016

H54F: Awe April

This week around the world of Brownie has been pretty meh but also pretty cool.  There wasn't anything super exciting going on or anything horribly earth shattering but it was a nice seven days!  This is why I love blogging we celebrate the bad times, good times, and uneventful times together.  We're a great bunch, ya know!

My 5 -

1.  The yard is sewn.

I shared on Tuesday that the grading was completed on our property and the grass had been sewn.  I'm so happy about this!  It has truly been a long time coming.  

2.  Help from my mom.

My mom and her husband were super helpful on Saturday and Sunday for my husband and I to get the work done outside.  Saturday morning her husband (my kids refer to him as Papa) took them out to breakfast and to a mower dealership.  While he did that my husband was able to go to the local feed mill and get straw and supplies he didn't opt to purchase at Lowes.
On Sunday the kids went to church with my mom and then she called to let me know they would keep them until dinner.  We all ate dinner at my mom's that evening.  Not only did I have childcare for us to complete our work but we also got a free dinner, total score!

3.  Bulbs are growing.

A couple weeks ago my husband and I planted some bulbs in one of our flower beds.  On Monday I noticed they were sprouting.  This is so exciting for me.  I correlate this to expecting a baby or a puppy or whatever you like.  We plant it and wait and then suddenly you see some green coming up out of the dirt and it is the most exciting thing!  I'm a dork.  I'm aware.

4.  My son's words.

My little three and a half year old man is so busy with his words lately.  This week he has thrown some new-for-him phrases at me like-
"Mom, I have good news and bad news.  What do you want first?"
(Turns out it was two pieces of "bad" news about something fictitious.)
And he also likes to tell me I am adorable when I ask him to do something - example?
"H, pick up your toys."
"Awe mom you're adorable."

5.  Count downs.

8 days of school for me
10 days til the beach
27 days until my daughter is out for the summer

Check these posts from the week!

Tales From The Pasture This week was a focus on confidence and growth
Around The Home  A lot of producivity going on over here!  It is all highlighted in this post!
What's Up Wednesday  Is anyone else finding it hard to believe that April vanished so quickly?
Raising A Girl  I'm really proud of this piece I put together on raising my daughter in this day and age.  The focus of this installment was teaching kids the value of working.  A lost art?

Here are my top pins this week!  You can click my Pinterest link over on the sidebar to access my boards!!!

Sugar Detox Diet: Breakup With Your Love (Sugar!) In One Week | YourTango#.VG8sZ-XI4T0.facebook#.VG8sZ-XI4T0.facebook#.VG8sZ-XI4T0.facebook:
You can guess what I'm about to start!  There were several of these pins all pinned up to my board 2016 Good Health this week.  More info on this coming Monday.

Blast these upbeat ditties in the background of your next tidying task, and it'll be over before you know it! Try not to sing and dance around your kitchen — we dare you.:

You guys know I have a my own cleaning service.  I am always rocking out when I clean - I may need to add this grouping to my clorox fun time.

Yes, I agree.  Yes, I have - about a million times this week.

Motivation № someone said: 30-day ab challenge. I just had to repin this because I've been doing it for only 4 days now (and at only 10 reps instead of 25) and already I'm seeing definition. And I've tried pretty much every ab workout on pinterest and haven't seen these kind of results.:
Look - it gives you fun ideas of things to do along with the exercise!  Sounds perfect for summer break.  Maybe I could even plan out that "me time" - maybe.

That's the only bs I need:
Skippy that!  2 weeks to go!

Have a terrific weekend!!!

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Raising a Girl: Instilling Work Ethic

Choosing your battles is a very key element to raising your daughter.  I'm learning this every.single.day.

At this stage in her "growing up" - we could start every day in an argument that would never end.

She never wants to get up in the mornings.

She never wants to wear what I lay out for her.  When I give her the freedom to pick her own outfit she whines for me to pick out something instead.

Simple chores I get a case of defiance thrown at me.

Yes, every minute could be a battle....if I let it.

Over the weekend I did something foreign to me as far as my parenting experience (to this point) goes.

My husband and I were busy working on our property.  There were tons of things that needed to be completed inside the house (dishes, laundry, beds, kitchen counters, etc).  I decided now was the time to give my daughter more freedom mixed with work.


Yes, indeed.

Working with kids I'm finding that something is lost among many of them. It is called work ethic.  I remember being in junior high and high school just yearning for my own money.  There were things that money meant and the biggest one was freedom.  I had my first job at thirteen.  This girl wanted to work.

Today, I work with a lot of teenagers and they are doing all in their power to not work.  The ones that do have typical teenager jobs (cashiering, fast food, child care) complain that they hate working.  Even the ones who tell me they don't have to do anything at their jobs are hoping they can just quit and not work again.

I am baffled to say the least.

That is also worrisome if you think in terms for the all too near future.

What caused this?  Did we exchange teaching the importance of work with hand outs from mommy and daddy dearest?

This mama refuses to allow her kids to lack any work ethic.

My conversation with my daughter on Saturday went like this:

Me:  C you want to make some money?
C:  Yeah.  What do I have to do?
Me:  I'll make you a list of chores to do while I'm outside working with dad.
C:  OK!  Can I help make dinner too?
Me:  Yes.
C:  Awesome!

She lit up like a Christmas tree.

I made her a list of ten chores.  These were ten things that I would have been working on had I been inside on Saturday.  The list had things on it like:  Unload the dishwasher, fold one basket of laundry, make up all beds, clean the kitchen counters, keep an eye on your brother, etc.

After I walked outside she never came out to complain.  The two times I ran in to check on her she was diligently working on her list and her brother was content.

She finished the entire list.

This mama learned a valuable lesson on Saturday too.  My kid is growing up and she wants more freedoms. Maybe I haven't seen her for the capabilities she has.  Maybe I have limited her.  If I give her tasks and distance myself - she can do it on her own.

Not only is this helping her grow but it helps me out in the long run too.

I think back to when I was eight and a half years old. I had my weekly chores of dusting, vacuuming, and doing dishes (no dishwasher).  Ha!  I remember running in the store for my mom and pumping her gas too (that made me feel so grown up!) We can chalk it up to that being a different place and time.

But maybe that is a scape goat for not parenting to our fullest and giving them the baby steps of freedom they need.

Sure, I won't send her into the grocery store to get things for me.

But I will have her do that laundry and help with dinner more.

She can get used to vacuuming and mopping on Saturdays.

And she can keep on earning that allowance - the old fashioned way.


Wednesday, April 27, 2016

WUW 4.16

What we're eating this week...

Salmon, chicken, sandwiches...how is that for creativity?  I totally quit my food posts last month because I hit a road block when it came to cooking.  Unfortunately, that road block is still up and running.  Oops.  I do suggest you check out Cup of Tea Blog for her weekly posts.  I adore it when she links with with Come Home for Comfort and Polkadotty Place once a month to share recipes.

We ARE eating our weight in berries, pears, and apples.  Alright and maybe some Bear Claw ice cream too!

What I'm reminiscing about...

I just do not find that this question pertains to me.  I don't reminisce very much.  Hmm maybe I should think of my own question for this one?!

What I'm loving...

The warm weather!  We are in the 80's now and this girl is super happy.

What we've been up to...

Property and yard work is what we have been up to.  I have high-lighted it a lot in the blog lately; don't worry I'll refrain from doing that here.
I did get sick this week and that was no good.  I haven't been sick in ages so I was afraid it would be a lot worse than it was.  Luckily some good meds and I was good as new.

What I'm excited about...
I get excited about weekends, grooming the horse, Southern Charm on Bravo, going to the river, planning my garden, shopping for flowers, emailing my best friend, coffee, and electric lemonade, watching my daughter succeed at her riding lessons,

What I'm watching and reading...

Southern Charm, RHO-Dallas (though it is horrendous), Nashville, The Middle, The Goldbergs, and yay for Kimmy Schmidt being back!!!

I'm currently reading nothing.  That needs to be changed.  I cannot find anything that peaks my interest right now.

What I'm listening to...

Whatever has a good beat.  There is no song I'm just tripping billies over right now.  Anything that sounds like a song you would rock out on the beach to is all me.

I can admit to being in love with Britney Spears' song Work B**ch.  It is not child friendly at all and only plays in my ear buds when I'm working out.  Trust me when I say it will push you.

What I'm wearing...

I often think I should be taking pics of my outfits but I fail.  A few favorites are my little black shift dress, my blue maxi, and my sailor skirt.  But I have to admit my favorite thing to sport is my 11 year old denim shorts that are so ripped and torn with a tank top....my happy clothes.

When those sandals break my heart will too. There's a bit of my Walmart shorts I am loving.

And we cannot forget my Walmart shorts - OMG I love these too much.

What I'm doing this weekend...

I have no clue.  After I pay bills I will cry.  That is a for sure.

What I'm looking forward to next month...

My beach weekend with my BFF!  Catching a baseball game.  Maybe sneaking off to the lake for a date night?!?!?

What else is new...

My last day of work *school wise* is May 11th.  Its so bittersweet!  I love everyone there and the kids.  I will enjoy having the end of the school year to get to participate in my kids' end of year activities.

My cleaning business is growing!  My goal is to take on two more houses in May!

I hope your April has been terrific!  Here's to May!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Around The Home: Productivity!

Last week I shared how we were knee deep in grading and excavating work around the house.  This week I'm so excited to reveal that it is completed!

We spent the weekend fertilizing, seeding, and covering the immediate yard.  The rest of the property is seeded and fertilized.  Now we await the rain which should be coning in tomorrow and Thursday.

To say I look forward to grass is an understatement!  I cannot stand having red mud around my house - not a red mud fan and never will be!

Our next project will be building our garden.  I'm seriously looking forward to having my own little crop of tomatoes, peppers, cukes, and maybe some berries again!

How are your projects coming along around your home?  Are you planning a garden for the warm months?  What will you be planting?