Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Whirlwind Adventures

This past week as been crazy! We have officially been on the market for a week and have had showings everyday but Sunday (thank goodness)! While the feedback as been mostly positive (yes, we know the house still needs some updating and work) it is still frustrating to see the line, "seriously interested" but no offers have come in. Grr! Praying for patience while God's will/plan to be done!

The hardest part about this is not being able to relax in our home anymore because I don't want to have to clean up a mess! Jon has been so a huge help with keeping up with the dusting and spot cleaning (because to be honest that is where I'm falling short)! I'm the lights, decorating/staging person. I focus on making the stuff in the house look good more than the making sure everything is in its place.

The other downside is Duncan! Our wonderful (crazy) dog-child who is normally crated at home can't be there during showings because he'd go bananas and scare annoy people which ain't good when trying to sell your home.

So, Duncan's been on several adventures lately: he's been able to make an appearance at my work place (I'm so thankful that they have graciously allowed this), he's been on a lot of walks and car rides; he's been to both of his "grandparents" houses, and even had a lovely coffee date with me on Peoria's most scenic drive, Grandview Drive where he had he's first Starbuck's Puppuccino! Granted the presentation could have been better, its just some of their whipped cream but they put it in a lid and not a cup so I had to put my finger on the sip-hole (?) to keep if from dripping out. But he loved it!

I'm still hoping to check out how pet "friendly" our outdoor mall is but last week when I would have tried it it rained the entire time we were out of the house and I had a meeting (poor Duncan had to be crated in the car) so I was able to have something to pass the time.

Jon even took Duncan on a walk in one of the local state parks but said he'd probably never do that again because Jon had little "flea-like" bugs all over himself and is now worried about Duncan, but he rubbed him down and we just did Duncan's monthly flea and tick last week.

Praying that these adventures will be coming to an end soon through an offer that has yet to come!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

We Are...


We made our official decision in late February! After looking at the house my sister, Julie, is currently living in and who is closing on a new home herself in May. So, the move won't happen until Julie closes and moves (or our house sales). But as soon as she is out of there we are in! (My sister's house is owned by our family, and is a rental right now for her, with us planning to buy it down the line).

We've been keeping this under wraps while we worked to finish up projects and start the downsizing process and were ready to be listed for sale which as of yesterday, we are officially on the market! Eek!

Our current home is 2,240 square feet, the home we are moving to is 1,100 square feet! We've not had too many people asking if we are crazy for this because the location is so desirable. The school district is one of the best in our county and its getting harder and harder to buy in the area. But the fact that we are choosing to downsize so drastically has to be confusing for some. Especially, since we are a culture of bigger is better!

Jon and I have planned on one day moving out to where our parents are but we weren't expecting it for at least another 5-10 years. But now is the perfect time for us to move really, its still just us two and the dog, Duncan. So, we don't need to worry about fitting a bunch of baby/kid stuff into the home yet; just all the stuff we've gathered over the past 4 years. Yes, we hit another milestone this past March, we've owned our home for 4 years now!

In preparing for this big life change, all the research, blogs and articles I've come across are reassuring me that this is the right move for us. We have been working to maintain and make improvements to our current home and not really enjoying life or saving for the future (besides my lack of a decent job for almost all of that time). There has never not been something that needed fixing or worked on. Jon, bless his heart, does the best he can but he has no real interest or passion for home improvements. I'm excited for him to not have to worry about as much; the new house is basically turnkey and about 40 years newer! And when Julie moved in 5 years ago it had recently been remodeled and updated.

The average house size in 1970 was 1,500 square feet and families were larger than the average of today. Having a family is totally do-able in a house smaller than that. I've seen it done! I babysat for a family that had 4 boys in a very small, 2 bedroom, 1 bath home (probably smaller than 1,100) for many, many years!

Although we got an awesome deal on our current house, we bit off more than we could chew. The house was all but abandoned and definitely neglected by the previous owners; it needed a lot of updating and still needs updating/renovations. And trying to maintain a house that is too big for 2 can have its downsides. I'm a terrible housekeeper, even when I had tons of free time. However, we are definitely leaving this home in better shape and condition than when we bought it!

The house we are moving into is also located in my hometown. Which is in the middle of nowhere, and has less than 1,000 residents. This will be interesting! I guess I'll get to live my childhood musing of being a "townie."

Please pray for us as we follow this new path God has placed before us. Pray that our home will sell quickly and that we will be able to break even! We already have a showing coming up soon!!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Coconut Love

My love affair with coconut oil continues to grow. If you missed my first dip into the oil, you can read about it here!

Easter Sunday, I woke up to get ready by taking a shower, luckily, I remembered that I was running low on shaving cream before I got in the shower. Shaving cream is usually an item I tend to buy in bulk because I use a lot of it, but I had no back up shaving cream! ARGGH!

While searching for another can that I knew would magically appear before my eyes, I did stumble across an opened-but-not-completely empty jar of coconut oil! Granted it is the refined kind and not extra-virgin, that is beside the point. I remember seeing on Pinterest something about using coconut oil as a shaving cream instead of the actually cream... I was desperate and so decided that I'd attempt it.

OMG! It's been the smoothest shave of my life (or in recent memory)! I had to shave Sunday and Monday so I can't say if using the oil effects how long I can go between shavings but so far this morning I'm still feeling silky and smooth. I can't remember the last time my legs felt this awesome after shaving. I just used normal lotion on my legs, instead of doubling the oil. I'm still using coconut oil as my main lotion after showering.

I'm trying to get in a good bi-weekly routine on the weekends of adding some oil to dry hair on Saturday nights and then just shampooing it to rinse it before bed. I'm getting close to a hair appointment to trim it and doing a coconut oil treatment seems to help keep it soft, smooth-ish and glossy in between trims.

TMI but I've also used in on my armpits, which get irritated super easy, so far so good with that as well, but I'll need to keep track of its progression.

And I've even tried a baking soda face night scrub followed by coconut oil, it was too much work and I was afraid it make work against my normal face care products. So, this didn't last more than a few nights but I'd love to see if I could try again on a prolonged experiment.

Have you tried using coconut oil for your skin care or have you discovered another use for this miracle oil?

Monday, April 21, 2014

Where does the time go?

As usual time seems to go into warp speed around mid-April and keep fly until early June! This year is no exception! Here's what is up and keeping me busy this days:

1. BSF: Study of Matthew (2 more class nights and 1 Sharing Night!). I'm not going to be a leader next class year and this decision was a hard on to make but definitely one that needed to be made.

2. My best friend, Samantha is moving....across the country to Arizona...this week! This has been a whirlwind for her, she interviewed and expected a job with Arizona State University and told them she could start in 3 weeks. Will its been 3 weeks almost. Luckily, I was able to have girl's weekend with her. She lives 2 hours from me, so no other options. We slumbered in the form of a party, Friday evening and Saturday we headed up to the Chicago suburbs to visit another sorority sister, Lesley and did some shopping (blew my budget). And then we drove back to Champaign, where Samantha lives and then I drove 2 hours home.

It was a wonderful time with my friend and we almost weren't able to have this time. The goodbye was extremely difficult. I don't have many friends and she is my best and closest girlfriend. So, even though I'm selfish in not wanting her to leave and jealous of this new adventure in her life, I couldn't be more proud and happy for her! Plus, I now have a warm place to visit in the dead of winter! :)

What exciting life changes have you been experiencing this Spring? Change always happens this time of the year!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Another One Bites the Dust!

I have finally finished Alice in Wonderland!! For such a short book and a classic I definitely was on the struggle-bus in reading it! After several false starts and long gaps in the actual reading of the book, I have finished! I love the Disney movie version for a while and decided I needed to read the book (another goal is to try and read books that were turned into movies that I love).

Overall, the book was okay, but not one I will probably read again on my own. It was a total acid trip much like the Disney movie. I found it difficult to follow which made it hard to keep wanting to read. However, I do like that it does feel like a real dream sequence, if you are lucky enough to remember your dreams; it is a close to Alice in Wonderland. My fault is that I'm not a huge fantasy book reader, so books by Tolkien and King have been a lot harder for me to get into.

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers by J.R.R. Tolkien
The Lord of the Rings: Return of the  King by J.R.R. Tolkien
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
The Shining by Stephen King
Doctor Sleep by Stephen King
11/22/63 by Stephen King
Jane Austen Collection  (have read Pride & Prejudice)
A Room with a View by E.M. Forster
Beautiful Creatures Saga by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl (I've read the first two books but stalled on the 3rd)
Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll (have started but never finished, several times)
Sherlock Holmes Collection by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

I've been in a reading rut lately! Whomp, Whomp! I'm in a weird phase of wanting to read but not being able to really dig into a book. And there's not been a whole lot of extra time for leisure book reading lately. Bible Study Fellowship is winding down for the class year and I'm doing another book study with a mentor.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Last Minute Dinner Party

The title is a bit misleading but for me last minute was being today on Sunday that I should expect my parents, sister and her 3 beautiful daughters for dinner tonight (Wednesday). Uh...okay?

My original menu was going to be Taco Bar...however upon stating this (luckily before going to the store), I was shot down because that's what they are having Thursday night! Uh...okay? Regroup!

Regroup Menu (which I didn't share because I wasn't gonna let them deter me again):
Whole Chicken in the CrockPot with potatoes and carrots!

I've made a whole chicken in the crock before and love it! However, its never when Jon is home and eating a whole chicken by myself isn't as easy as it used to be. But I did try something new this time:

I made a rub of Lawry's seasoning salt - 2 tablespoons, onion powder - 1 teaspoon, and garlic powder - 1 teaspoon. I rubbed this on the bird last night. I also cut potatoes into quarters and an onion (I diced half and quarter the other half).

This morning I place the potatoes and carrots on the bottom of the crock and the quarters of onion, along with a handful of the diced bits.

I cut a lemon in half; quartering one of the halves and placed the quarters into the bird and squeezed the juice of the other half on top of it. I filled the sides around the bird with more potatoes and carrots and poured a little water into the side of the crock.

Hopefully, this turns out as delicious as I hope! (and so I don't need to order in reinforcements)


Thursday, April 3, 2014

April Showers...

April Showers...

Bring May Flowers, but we are flooding now! Here's what I would wear if I had unlimited funds an a rainy day in April!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Happy Easter

Happy Easter

Easter is upon us and what better way to celebrate Christ's death and resurrection than by getting a new "Easter Dress!" It's a tradition I still love doing and can't wait to have kids to be able to continue it with them!