Monday, January 27, 2014

Meal Plan Monday #2

Last week worked out perfectly with our meals, so today I am sharing what I thought about each dinner and our plan for this week!

To refresh your memory, here is the post with the menu from last week.

The Hawaiian Chicken Sandwiches were very good.  The recipe called for cheese, but we didn't think that was necessary.  My husband and I had one small sandwich without cheese and one small sandwich with cheese.  We both agreed, it was better without.  Saving on the calories doesn't hurt either :)

The Venison Tacos are something we have had before, although we didn't have lettuce in the house...they would have been better with lettuce!

We moved things around a little bit and had the Bisquick Chicken on Saturday.  That worked out great because we had family over and it made plenty for them and we all agreed, they were tasty!

And finally, the Chicken and Potatoes were SO good.  This is my new go-to meal.  It was so easy, so yummy, and so easy to clean up.  All three together in one meal?  #winning

Here is the plan for this week.  We are having some easy meals this week and two nights of leftovers because I know Tuesday, Friday and Saturday's meals will make a large amount.

Here are the recipes for the pot roast, the frozen meal, (I have the scalloped potatoes and ham) and the honey lime chicken.

What's on your menu for the week?  Can we come over for dinner?!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Product Review: Hair Products

One of the types of blog posts I've thought about doing was a "product review" type post. So, here's the first installment!

I know that not everyone who reads this blog has long hair, or any hair for that matter. (Hi, dad!) But I thought I would do a roundup of some of my favorite hair products. My hair is pretty long, but most of these items are great for just about any length of hair!

The first item is something that was given to me as a birthday gift from my bestie and I have loved it every day since I started using it. It's called "The Wet Brush" and you can find it here.

This brush is awesome!  Since my hair is very long it can be hard to brush through.  I used to use a large tooth comb to get through it AND then a brush, but I haven't even picked up my comb since I got this.

Pros: easy to use, works the way it is supposed to, small and compact
        *You can even get this in a smaller size, which would be great for kids with long hair

Cons: you can't use this with a hair dryer (I haven't even attempted) but it has a rubber type coating on it, so it seems like it would melt under the heat

Recommend?: Highly
Alyssa's Star Rating: 5 out of 5

Next I'd like to talk about this little number: 

I originally heard about this deep waver from Mandy over at House of Rose.  When I saw how cool her hair turned out, I decided I needed to try this thing for myself.  I did a little looking around and found it for the least expensive price on Amazon.  I just tried it this past week and I love it.  I usually only wear my hair straight or curly.  This gives me a different option which is always great.  

Pros: easy to use, decently priced, heat settings so you don't burn your hair!

Cons: it's kind of big (bigger than a curling iron) so if you don't have a lot of storage, this may not be for you. However, I would make room for it if I were short on space, it's that great!

Recommend?: Highly
Alyssa's Star Rating: 4 out of 5 

Next up is this product I heard about from my hair stylist.  This stuff will change. your. life.  

I only use this "on special occasions" because I'm...frugal!  It's kind of pricey.  I get it through my stylist and I'm not sure what I paid for it or what she pays, but whatever it is, it's worth it.  I use it when I wear my hair straight and I can't even explain to you how soft and smooth my hair feels when I use this oil.  As smooth as a babies bottom.  No, smoother than that!

Pros: everything about it! 

Cons: the price, but again, so worth it!

Recommend?: Highly
Alyssa's Star Rating: 5+ out of 5

Need a good updo?  This won't help! 

So, I got this a few weeks ago and tried to use it.  I've seen a bunch of sock bun tutorials and it sounded like instead of using a sock, this was a better route to go.  It seems like the sock gives you a messy sort of bun look and I wanted to try to get a "cleaner" look.  I guess I can't give this a 100% fair review because I think I know what the issue was, I just haven't had a chance to fix it yet.  I have pretty thin hair, especially when I've freshly washed and dried it and used the amazeballs oil I mentioned above.  When I went to use the "hair styler" you could see it under my hair.  I got the medium size and I think that may be the problem.  Hopefully I can go back and exchange it for a smaller size soon and find out if that makes it better.  However, this styler is also very rough so it kept getting caught on my hair and it didn't look smooth up in the bun.  But, I'll try again and maybe I'll even try the sock trick someday so I can really compare the two! 

Pros: inexpensive and gives you a new look from the same "messy pony" you are used to 

Cons: didn't work with my hair, but it may work with other types

Recommend?: Not at this point
Alyssa's Star Rating: 1

This is pretty much a no brainer, but I wanted to include it! 

A few months ago my 18 month old decided to put the plug part of my Chi into the toilet.  I really didn't want to buy a new one, but my husband wasn't able to fix the plug and I did have that Chi for almost 7 years so I bit the bullet and bought this one.  I think this makes my third Chi and I would buy another one if something ever happened to this one.  Chances are if you have hair that you straighten once in a while, you've tried a Chi.  It's nothing new, but since I'm rounding up hair products, this one belongs here!  

Pros: lasts forever (well, until someone puts it in the potty!!!) pretty designs, sometimes they come with a carrying case that you can put the Chi directly into when it's hot, available for a reasonable price (especially around Christmas time and with a coupon at Ulta), can be bought locally if you have a store that carries flat irons, small, travels well

Cons: none that I can think of!

Recommend: HIGHLY
Alyssa's Star Rating: 5+

So, for rounding up five products most of them got a great rating.  Only one failed my test.  Not too shabby, if you ask me.  Not too shabby!  

What are some of your favorite products?   What couldn't you live without and what would you mind if you never used again?  Share below in the comments.  

Don't forget to enter my giveaway, it's ending soon!!  

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Who doesn't love FREE?

Thank you so much for helping me make it to 100 likes on my Facebook page! Simply enter with the Rafflecopter Widget below and your name will be in the drawing. Remember, you must like "Journey with the Jeffers" on Facebook to be eligible to win. I will announce the winner in one week. Good Luck! My next giveaway will be when I reach 250 likes, so please keep sharing. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, January 20, 2014

Meal Plan Monday

Welcome to Meal Plan Monday!!

So this week I started meal planning.  This has got to be the is the easiest thing ever and I can already tell how much smoother our lives will be by planning our meals each week.  Eventually I want to meal plan by month, but that will take a little more prep work and practice, which is why I'm starting with weekly planning. Hopefully after just a few weeks, I'll be ready to move on to monthly planning.  This morning I tossed a crock pot freezer meal I had on hand into the slow cooker and then sat down to make my grocery list for the rest of the week.  I noted each meal for the rest of the week in my planner and on a printable I found via Pinterest. As I chose the meals and made my grocery list, I looked to see what food we already had on hand and what ingredients we needed for other meals.

quote found here

I write the meals in two places for a few reasons.  For one, each printable I found has room for notes or grocery lists.  This way if the meal you planned requires you to buy something the day of, you will see that item on your list and know you need to pick it up.  If you can't get to the store that day, you can also switch the order of your meals and go a different day.  That's another thing to take note of, your list isn't written in stone, be flexible.  Find what works for you and don't get frustrated if every week you have to move things around.  The world isn't going to end if you have Taco Tuesday on Thursday!  The printable is also helpful so both my husband and I can see what is planned for dinner that night and we know what needs to be prepared.  This way either of us can start cooking whenever we need to.

quote found here 

I'll be honest, my husband is the cook in our family, so this list is pretty much perfect for him! Haha!  But, what can I say, I'm a lucky girl!  He really loves cooking and he is great at it.  He can make up a meal with pretty much anything we have on hand. Speaking of which, have you every seen the show on Food Network called Chopped? If you haven't, it's a cooking show where the contestants don't know what they will be making until the beginning of each round. They have a mystery basket and they open it to find out what ingredients that will have to use.  I'm 99% sure my husband would be amazing on that show.  In fact, I've been tempted to hold my own version of chopped where I put together a few baskets for him and he has to cook something for us.  Sounds like a good time to me!

(chopped judges competing in a challenge) image found here

Okay, back to the topic at hand!

I write the meals in my planner so that I can have them on hand for the long term.  My printable sheets get tossed after I use them for a few weeks.  I don't just write one week on them, that seems wasteful to me.  I can write one week on the first line and when that week is up I can just cross each meal off and write the next week's meals below it.  Then I toss the list, so when it's gone, it's gone and I don't have a million sheets of paper lying around.  My planner will be here all year so I can easily see what we had three weeks ago and I can start to repeat meals we liked.  I can also see what we had last week and make sure we don't have the same meals over and over again.  The planner will come in handy for monthly meal planning as well.  I will plan a month at a time in there and then I'll transfer it to the weekly sheets as we go through the month.  I think I'll also put stars next to the meals we really loved so I have a quick reference of my go-to meals.

this is the planner I have and I love it, find it here

Each time I do this I intend to share my meals here on the blog along with links to most (if not all) of the recipes.  At some point (maybe monthly) I will come back and share my opinions on new recipes we tried.

To get you started, I found two great FREE printable planners for you here and here. That second link is great, it has one printable that starts on Sunday and one that starts on Monday.

Here is our list for this week:

Monday: Hawaiian Chicken Sandwiches (this was a freezer meal I had previously prepared) Recipe
     *More on this meal and the site in a future post

Tuesday: Venison Tacos (just like any other tacos, but we use venison meat)

Wednesday: Pizza (I have dinner plans, so the boys will be on their own with pizza)

Thursday: Bisquick Chicken Strips (need a gluten free option, this is a good one) Recipe

Friday: Parmesan Crusted Tilapia

Saturday: Chicken and Potatoes (need an easy peasy meal?  This is your answer!) Recipe

Sunday: Leftovers

Do you meal plan?  If so, what method works best for you.  What are your go-to recipes?

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Organizing: Craft Paper

For as long as I can remember people have told me I am good at organizing.  It's something I love to do and in another life, I would be a Professional Organizer.  I would love to go into peoples homes and help them organize their pantries, craft supplies, office areas, closets, cars, etc.  I would not be opposed to going to office buildings and organizing file rooms, desks, and supply closets.  Not only would I not be opposed to it, I would love it!  Maybe even so much that I would do it for F-R-E-E.

image found here

I really think that having everything in it's place makes life so easy.  Yes, it takes time to find a place, decide what to put there, pick a container (if needed) and put the items in their spots.  But once you have that area figured out and in an order that makes sense for you and your needs, it's done.  From then on you don't have to do anything other than remember to put things back in their place.  Sometimes you may not put an item back immediately after you use it, but you will eventually and you will know where it goes.

For my first "installment" of my "organizing series" I am showing all of you how I organize my craft papers.  I have a six drawer system which my mom got me a few years ago for Christmas.  Side note: Remember how I said people have told me I'm good at organizing?  Some of those people also know how much I like to do it and they know the way to my me organizing supplies and I'll love you forever!!  The drawer unit I have it just like this one.  I'm pretty sure my mom got mine from Hobby Lobby and it has held up great, so I highly recommend it.

First I separated all of my craft papers into piles to decide how I needed to organize them.  I tried to keep the number of piles to five so I would have one extra drawer for supplies (mainly the wheels for the unit since I didn't intend to use them).  

Next I pulled out this great label maker.  It's the Brother P-touch Home & Hobby Label Machine.  I created labels for each of the drawers.  If you are interested these are the categories I came up with for my storage drawers: Travel, Holidays, Seasons, Dogs, Family, Friends, Patterned Paper, and Plain Card stock.  Some drawers have more than one category in them, either because they go together or because I only had a few of one type of paper and plenty of room in the drawer for multiple categories.  The drawers are clear so it's easy to tell what I am running low on.  Also, these drawers pull all the way out so when I'm working on a project, I can pull one drawer out completely and bring it to my desk to look at all the paper at once that I may need for that particular project.

Then I labeled the drawers and filled them up with all of my paper.  (I just noticed I forgot an "e" and it has since been fixed, can you spot it?  One million bonus points to you if you can!)  Another great feature of this storage unit is that it fits 12x12 paper.  If you do any kind of crafts, you know this is great.  I mix 8.5x11 with the 12x12, so this eliminates having two separate storage units.  

Storage Unit, I hope you're ready for your close up!! 

What have you organized lately?  I know getting organized is a popular New Year Resolution, so I'm sure there is some organizing going on out there! Spill all the details below in the comments! 

Thursday, January 9, 2014

I be up in the gym...

...just working on my fitness.  Said best by Fergie.  Don't remember? Watch this to jog your memory!

I know so many people who have made a New Year's resolution to either eat healthier, exercise, exercise more, compete in different physical activities, start to be healthy, loose weight, gain muscle, bench press more, etc.  All having to do with being healthy.  I think it's great.  I wish all of them luck.  I think it can happen, as long as you try.

photo found here

I joined the YMCA one year ago, on January 1st, not because of a resolution, but because they were waiving the joining fee! I am happy to say that in the last year, exercising has become part of my life.  I miss it when I don't go.  I feel guilty when I'm not there.  I try to go at least three times a week.  Sometimes I only make it there two times.  Some weeks I'm there five times.  I can honestly say I love it!  I don't set crazy expectations for myself and I feel like that is part of the reason I enjoy it so much.  I'm not on a scale weekly figuring out how I did or what I need to do better.  I know I still have work to do, but I go and I just keep going.  

photo found here

So, this year I decided to "turn it up a notch". I guess you can file this under "resolution" since I'm making this change at the beginning of the year. I have decided to register for five classes a week.  I have also decided to follow the T25 (more info here) workout program.  I heard about T25 from someone I met at the Y and I love it. Well, I guess love is a strong word since sometimes when I finish a workout I feel like puking!  So, maybe T25 and I have a love/hate relationship?  Yes.  That is closer to the truth.  Some of you who follow my private Facebook page saw this little snippet of my workout plan and I've decided to share it here, with more detail.  

Another reason I've decided to do more is because of a little something called "Tough Mudder"...don't know what that is?  Click here.  Along with a few 5k's and some other "novelty events" the tough mudder is on my calendar this year.  Eeeekkkk!  I'm super excited but even more scared!  Wish me luck. 

So, this is my plan.  Follow along if you'd like.  Pick something from my schedule and let me know if you did it.  Ask questions for ideas of what you can do if you don't have these exact programs available to you. 
My point: GET MOVING!  

So on Monday and Friday I take Zumba.  For those of you who don't know, this is a fun dance class.  It is so easy.  You don't have to be an award winning Broadway dancer to get this class.  The moves are simple and you will catch on so quick because the instructor will repeat them over and over again throughout one song.  I have taken this class with men and women alike.  People who are in their teens to those in their 60's, maybe even their 70's, let's just say I'm pretty sure some of the women I've had in my classes could be someones Grandma!  At the YMCA, they turn the lights off and have rope lights around the room and a disco ball in the corner.  I think it's to make newbies feel like no one is staring at them.  It's welcoming, really, and not intimidating AT ALL. 

Tuesday and Thursday I take what is called Strength and Resistance.  I have an awesome instructor and her classes are usually wait listed.  However, this session, I'm in!  We use weights, a step (like in step aerobics, but not for the same purpose) and a mat on the floor.  So we are up and down a lot, she gets us moving right away with a quick warm up.  Then we just follow along with whatever she asks us to do.  We may do lunges, crunches, squats, v-sit extensions, burpees, push ups, overhead presses, triceps extensions, bicep curls, etc.  I like this class because it's always something new.  (In the summer, I will substitute one of my strength and resistance classes for Boot camp because I love that class, as long as it's outside.  I don't know why but I just do better outside during Boot camp.) 

Wednesday is my "easy day".  I take Yoga.  It's actually called Power Vinyasa Yoga and this is the first time I'm taking this type of Yoga, so I'll have to report back on this one and let you know how it is!  

Then Monday through Friday, after we (my kids and I) get home from the Y, I make the kids lunch and while they are eating I set up T25 in my basement.  I turn on all my electronics, put in the correct disk for that day and pause it right at the beginning so it's all set to go.  (Sometimes my kids don't nap very long so every minute counts!) Then I put them down for their naps, head downstairs and complete my T25 workout. 

Again, if you're not familiar, this program was designed by Shaun T from Insanity and Hip Hop Abs.  It is LITERALLY 25 minutes.  That's it!  Who doesn't have 25 minutes??  Even if one of my children wake up five minutes into my workout, I will continue until I am done.  Unless they are crying/screaming at the top of their lungs, there is no harm in leaving them in their beds for 20 minutes.  Moms and Dads need "me time". This can be yours!  If you don't have the time during the day, 25 minutes before you go to bed isn't that much to ask for.  Neither is setting your alarm clock 25 minutes earlier in the morning.  <----said alarm="" also="" anymore="" back="" doesn="" even="" for="" girl="" goes="" her="" how="" know="" me.="" nbsp="" on="" p="" report="" set="" t="" the="" this="" to="" who="" will="">

to do list found here (other great free printable lists included on this site)

Here are some tips: 

1.  First and foremost, put your workouts on a calendar/to-do list.  This works for more than one reason. A) You have planned to workout and put it in your schedule so there is no reason to skip it.  B) You will see it on paper so you know when you did workout and when you will workout.  There is no wondering when you'll give yourself a day off and when you'll be working yourself to the core.  C) You can look back and see how far you've come.  Is there anything more satisfying than crossing things off of a list?  No.  No there is not.   

2.  Give yourself some time off.  It's important.  Just as our bodies need exercise, they also need rest.  Get sleep and drinks lots of water! 

3.  Pick activities you know you can do.  Why push yourself overboard when you're just trying to accomplish a simple goal?  If you haven't exercised in 20 years, don't try to run a marathon next week. However, if you are conditioned and just completed your 100th 5k, go for a half marathon.  Why not?  You need a new goal to work towards! 

4.  Cross off your workouts as you complete them.  As mentioned in #1, this is so satisfying.  I love to cross things off a list.  Heck, sometimes I even write things on my to-do list that I've already done, just so I could cross them off.  Kidding!  (Sort of.)

5.  If you miss a day decide ahead of time if you will be playing catch up or just skip that day and move on.  There is no sense dwelling on the past.  Life happens, things come up.  As long as you don't miss the last 100 days, you can allow yourself a pass now and then.  I actually just experienced this the past two days.  I was sick and there was no way I was going to be able to make it to the gym or to complete T25 at home. Yes, these were days #3 and #4 on my new plan.  No. I'm not going to make myself make them up.  I'm moving forward.  If I get an extra workout in this weekend, great.  If not, I'll be making up for it over the next 9 weeks.  If I feel like taking an unscheduled day off, I'll look back at my calendar and remember that I already had two of those.  (T25 is a 10 week program and I have every intention of sticking with it for 10 weeks.)

So, for those of you who made those resolutions, I'm right there with ya!  Let's be each others shoulders to lean on.  Check back with me if you start any of these programs and let me know what you think.  Ask me questions.  Comment below with your progress.  What resolutions did you make this year? 

PS: I'm not a doctor or a fitness coach, not even close.  All workout plans should be discussed with your physician. 

Linking up to House of Rose

Friday, January 3, 2014

Decorating a Nursery

Bare with me when it comes to pictures on this blog...we have a decent camera, but I don't know everything about it or photography for that matter.  That's another to-do on my list, learn more about the camera, learn more about editing!  For now, I hope you'll understand and stick around!

Now on to the nursery "reveal"

When we found out we were having another little boy, I wanted to go a different route than your usual blue room. After all, we did a blue room for our oldest son and it had a sports theme. There is only so much blue this mom can handle. So I picked up a few different fabric samples at our local craft stores and got to work. These are most of the samples I picked out.  Side note: Did you know you can get a tiny piece of fabric cut and it will only cost you a handful of coins?  I never knew that, it's a great way to get samples and head home to decide which colors look best for your project.  Then you can use the leftover scraps for smaller projects!

Question: Which one do you think I went with?

Answer: None of them!

At the time I was planning this, grey and yellow was a popular color scheme for all kinds of rooms, so I ended up jumping on that bandwagon and I couldn't be happier with my decision. We started with the Valspar color called Gravity. I don't have any before pictures of Liam's room. Just imagine a plain empty box. It had tan walls, the color we picked for the rest of our houses when we were building it.

This is a smaller room, it's about 10 feet by 10 feet, but it has a nice sized closet and it works just fine for a bedroom.
(shelves found here, frames found here)  

Liam was born on June 8th, 2012 and this room was completed in July of 2013. I'm not kidding! Most of the room was done by the time he was born, there were just a couple finishing touches I was waiting to do until I had everything I needed. Like these picture shelves I use for books and the frame collage wall. I knew the supplies I needed were at Ikea and the closest location is over 3 hours away from us, it's a tragedy, I know. I sure hope Wisconsin gets an Ikea location someday. Soon. Who doesn't love meatballs and table lamps on a Tuesday afternoon? Anyway, that's a different blog post all together.

His "monthly photos" also wouldn't be complete until he was a year old, so that wall used to have placeholder art. Framed fabric and a drawing made for Liam by his big bro.

(alphabet wall inspiration found here)

My absolute favorite part of Liam's room is the alphabet wall. While I was pregnant and planning this room, I kept a list in my purse and as I found letters on the cheap, I would buy them and cross them off the list. This entire wall of "art" cost MAYBE $25. That's a steal if you ask me.  I waited until different letters went on sale at Hobby Lobby. After I had purchased all the letters, I laid them on the floor and kept moving them around until I had a  layout I liked.  I took a picture so I would remember the layout and got to painting/decorating. I made a note of which letters needed to be spray painted and with what color and gave those to my hubby to take care of. The ones that needed to be painted by hand I did myself . We got 4-5 different samples sizes of grey paint when we were trying to choose a color for the walls, so I just used the leftover paint from those. Then I added dots or stripes. I also tried to do different things to keep it interesting. An embroidery hoop for the "o" with fabric inside, colorful string wrapped around the "e", and chalkboard paint on the "l" so I could add a little something extra to it.  I've always thought about painting zebra stripes on the "z". What do you think?

My husband and I were actually hanging all these letters the day I went into, labor, or what ended up being false labor.  But four short days later Liam was born!  We used command strips when we could and small nails in other places. A few of the heavier letters required an actual anchor and screw. If you have little ones who are mobile, I highly suggest using a good anchor system if you have heavy letters towards the bottom. Luckily we don't have anything too heavy near the bottom of our alphabet.

(push pin art inspiration found here)
(Who's that hiding?!)

This string and push pin art is the easiest thing on the planet! It takes just a little bit of time, but anyone can do it. I just channeled my inner middle school girl and planned out the "bubble letters" as we used to call them. Then wrapped the same colored string I used on the letter "e" on the alphabet wall.  I was trying to find something that would be safe above his bed (he can't reach the pins or the string).  I also wanted something that was long to take up the large wall, so this was a good solution.

My mom and I spent an afternoon sewing those amazing chevron curtains that you can see a few photos up along with the curtain for the closet where the door used to be. We do a lot of rocking and reading to our kids and since I planned to log a lot of hours feeding Liam I always wanted a tv in his room. Since a dresser with one on top is not the safest and also because we don't have a lot of space in this room, I thought of mounting the tv in the closet. Not your usual solution, but it works great for us. My husband removed the door and we hung a window curtain rod we had on the inside of the closet above the door frame so it was hidden.  I tied the curtain with some string and hooked the string to a small cup hook which is also hidden inside the closet.  (I have a project on my list of an interesting way to hide those cords hanging from in the closet, hopefully I'll be writing about that soon!)

(corner pieces found here)

One of the last and final touches was adding crown molding to the room. My husband, bless his heart, tried over and over and over again to get the crown molding cut correctly and installed. Unfortunately he just couldn't figure it out. Even after we read the instructions John over at Young House Love posted and watched countless videos online. We also bought the exact same tools John suggested. It just wasn't going to happen. My dreams of crown molding were almost shattered when we found these corner pieces that matched our crown exactly.  They are super easy to use and made my husband happy! Your crown just slides right into the pieces and boom! You're done. Instant upgrade. I'll have more pictures of these bad boys when we install crown molding in our master bedroom. Can't wait for that.

A few notes.  The dresser is from Target (so is the crib) and came with cheap white wood pulls.  We replaced them these, I believe they were from Lowe's and came in at under $2 each!  It was an inexpensive upgrade and now the dresser matches the crib great!

I used a clear acrylic magazine holder for a shelf.  It's just turned sideways and anchored into the wall.  So simple and practical!

(Light found here)

The light is also from Ikea.  I love it, it's so different and really makes the room feel personal!

I started with this room first here on the blog because I feel like it's the most "done" in our house. I feel like rooms can always be changing or evolving as your taste changes so I wouldn't even call Liam's room done. In fact, there are already a few projects I have on the back burner that I want to do over the next year or two since he's getting bigger.

Here's our little dude now...


Linking up to: Tatertots&Jello 

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Here goes nothing...

It's a New Year and I've got plans (along with everyone else, which is typical for a New Year).  But for me, this seemed like the perfect time to start fresh.

I've been tossing around the idea now for a while of starting to write blog posts again.  Sitting here typing this is A LOT more intimidating that I thought it would be or than it was last time. When I started this blog in 2010, it was to keep family in the loop of the growing baby we had.  Not many of those family members had Facebook and if they did, they weren't on much.  Then I feel off the blogger wagon and only read blogs.  Every blog I read seemed way more interesting than anything I could even think to write about, so I stopped.  I gave up essentially. 

This time I want the blog to be a mix of everything under the sun.  I have more expectations this time around.  I have bigger goals for myself this time too.  So, here I am, putting everything in writing.  Committing to myself (and my readers) to do this thang!  I love writing and I love memories.  Making memories, sharing memories, looking back at memories.  I'm a sentimental person.  I have tons of ideas of what I want to write about this time and here they are:

Personal life: my children, my husband, my family.  We are growing and changing and learning.  Since I last blogged, we had another child, we have taken vacations, and we have completed some amazing projects at our house.  I can't wait to take a trip down memory lane while I write all about these things and everything we encounter in the future.

Creating: craft projects, projects with my kids, handmade presents for others, fun photo shoots with my kids, decorating my home.  These are things I love to do and I get compliments from others when I do them.  I like to be crafty.  It makes me smile!

Goals: volunteering, exercising, food planning, Paleo, organizing.  I hope this new year will bring new opportunities for something else I've been thinking about lately.  Volunteering! I have a few organizations in mind, stay tuned to hear who I've chosen to work with.  Share your favorite charity with me and I'll add it to my list to research.  I have already been working out four days a week for the last year, time to kick it up a notch this year!  Food planning, everyone wants to do it, I'm going to do it and I'll share everything along the way so you can do it too.  Paleo, I hope my husband is on board with this one.  Do you know about Paleo?  Share what you know, I'd love to hear it.  Finally, organizing.  Everyone who knows me, knows I'm an organizing freak.  I'll share my tips with you and let you know what works for this family of four.  Plus I have my own list of things I need to organize and one is a HUGE project that I hope I get done this year!  

Blog plans: grow this thing!  This is my own little corner of the internet and I intend for it to grow.  I want to have "followers".  I want to do giveaways.  Because if you know me, you also know that I love me some giveaways!  I enter them often and sometimes I actually win. I may even write some general/mix it up type posts where I'll write about anything.  A new hair product I think you may like, a new recipe I tried, a new place to eat, etc.  I would love to be featured on another blog.  I want to participate in a "link up party".  I want to have my own "button".  These are all things I'll write about as I learn about them.  I also want to learn how to design this little blog!  I've been reading blogs for some time now, so I know what some of the terms mean, but as far as actually using them goes, I'm a newbie for sure.  I also am committing to writing two blogs a week.  Do I think weeks will go by that I don't make that goal?  Yes.  Do I think there are weeks when I may blow that goal out of the water?  Yes.  But, it's a goal.  And what's the saying...

This blog has a new location too.  It's now at add that to your reading list, would ya?!

Well, that pretty much sums it up.  Hello 2014 and Happy New Year everyone.  I hope you enjoy this journey with me and follow along.  If you have a question or comment, please leave it below.  I will always respond to every comment that lands here on Journey with the Jeffers, that's a promise!