Coming soon…

My new bullet journal!

For the past few years the adults in Josh’s family have taken part in a Secret Santa event using the extremely helpful Elfster website. We have a $50 limit and we’re free to wish for anything we want.

Here’s a little something about me:

love stationery. 

And this bullet journal craze has got my name written all over it: notebooks, colored pens, washi tape, stickers, fancy lettering, cute doodles etc. Yes please. 

Visit the official Bullet Journal website for more information. 

So, you may have guessed, I asked for a notebook, some pens and mini ruler as my Elfster gift. 

I’ve decided that I will start the weekly/monthly logs in January, so right now I’m deciding what pages to have and sketching things out. 

So far I have my title page:

and I’ve started on a birthdays page:


The beauty of a bullet journal is that it is always a work in progress, if I don’t like something I can always try again and just update the index to reflect the changes. 

Leave a comment if you’ve started a bullet journal, or are interested in one. 

Until next time,

Laura x

J2’s Kitchen

Problem: J2 LOVES our kitchen, he will not stay out, no matter what we tell him.

He also LOVES playing with the toy kitchens at his Grandparent’s and Great Grandparent’s houses.

Solution: Get him one of his own.

Now, there are tons of toy kitchens out there, of all sizes, designs and, more importantly, quality. J2 is a busy boy, he loves to run, jump, crash into things, fall down, bang things together, climb… I think you get the idea. We needed a kitchen that would survive him.

After doing lots of research and reading reviews, I settled on the KidKraft Vintage Kitchen. It’s sturdy, bright, and has lots of moving bits to keep J2 interested.

Josh and I picked it up on the Monday before Christmas and left it in the garage with the intent of assembling it on Christmas Eve.

As you know from recent posts, we are all sick, and we have been for a while. This turned out to be more of a problem on Christmas Eve when I sent Josh to bed at 8 because he had a migraine and was pretty much out of commission.
Two hours later I decided to get started thinking, ‘It won’t take too long, it’ll be like an Ikea bookshelf, easy!’

Nope.

I started out with this:

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And what followed was this:

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SEVEN HOURS LATER…

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VICTORY!

Yes, it took me seven hours. During those seven hours I put J2 back to bed once, fed J3 twice, and did some cleaning to keep myself awake.

I ended up going to bed at 5am, and got up again at 8am to start our Christmas Day celebrations with some cinnamon roll waffles.

J2 LOVED the kitchen, so it was definitely worth it, it’s the first thing he plays with in the mornings, and the thing we have to drag him away from at night.

Until next time,
Laura x

Note to self: In future, take a look at the instructions at least 24 hours before something’s needed!

Christmas Decorations on a Budget

One day, when we have all the money in the world, and it will happen, I will decorate our dream house from top to bottom, family and friends will feel like they’ve accidentally ended up at the North Pole!
Sadly, that day is not here, not even close actually, but that’s not going to stop me from decorating the way I want to.

Here’s a bit of backstory:
In December 2014 my parents and my Nanna came to Texas to visit us for the first time; we were both working, I was pregnant with J2, and neither of us were feeling very Christmas-sy. We had a few ornaments for the tree, and a small village, but, like Mother Hubbard’s cupboards, our apartment was bare. That was when my mother decided to use some of the wrapping paper she had bought to make a paper chain for our little tree.

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Admittedly, at the time, I thought it was a waste of paper… sorry Mum.

Jump ahead two years and it’s time to decorate the new apartment. Everyone’s sick, there’s a surprising amount to unpack and, again, I’m not feeling Christmas-sy.

I hastily put up the tree, threw the lights on and then stared at the box of random ornaments. We have knitted ornaments from my Nan Betty, sequined ornaments made by my sister, strings of beads, and one piece of silver tinsel. Then I opened another tin and found the little paper chain, I draped it on the tree and realized that when it’s not surrounded by clutter it actually looks quite charming.

Fortunately my mother bought the biggest rolls of wrapping paper available, so even after using them for two years we still have enough for a few ornaments and probably another two years!

I took the lights off the tree, and disassembled it to make it easier to distribute the lights evenly.

I had a couple of adorable little helpers.

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Then, once naptime rolled around, I spent 30 minutes making the paper chain longer so it would cover the tree. It still didn’t look very festive, I needed a few ornaments and a topper, Pinterest to the rescue!

img_9610I remembered that a few years back I found a tutorial to make 3D snowflakes and decided to use that as the topper, I made a basic cone to place over the top of the tree, cut a slit in the top and used some super glue to keep the ‘star’ in place.

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This one was very simple, just three strips of paper with the ends glued together to make a ball.

dscn2865-2I concetina’ed a square of paper then folded it in the middle and glued the edges together.

img_9764This one came about through braiding three strips of paper together, it naturally curled around into a spiral, so I just looped it on a piece of string, et voila!

I made two of each and, all in all, it took me little over 2 hours, and would’ve been quicker if the boys had stayed asleep.

 

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The end result, a simple, yet charming little tree.

I had lots of fun thinking of ways to decorate, and next year I should have some more to share!

Until next time,
Laura

 

 

Our Anniversary

Eight years ago, on December 20th, Josh and I said “I do.”
We spent our first anniversary in Houston, our second in San Antonio, third in England, then everything kind of went to hell with visa issues and delays, so we didn’t get to celebrate number four. Five was a low-key, little-finances-available celebration, and the next two were kept small due to me pregnant and not feeling ‘up to much’.

This year was going to be different.

We’re in the same country, Josh has a great job, we’re financially stable, and I’m not pregnant! We had planned to leave the boys with their cousins, go to the movies, then onto The Cheesecake Factory for dinner and, most importantly, dessert.

Then, two days before, both of the boys fell ill.

They’ve got coughs, runny noses, they occasionally run a low fever, and yet they’re still pretty cheerful. This did mean that we couldn’t, in good conscience, leave them with anyone else. This also meant that our plans were, officially, scuppered.

When Josh got home from work we did drive down to TCF to pick up some cheesecake, but the place was packed, there were no parking spots, and we decided to salvage what time we had left.

We ended the evening in our pajamas, eating Red Robin, ordered via DoorDash, while watching Brooklyn NineNine.

There’s always next year.

Wow, so sorry!

It seems like someone has been sick here for at least the past month, with both of the boys being ill for a week or so. Sadly this has meant little time for anything other than looking after them.

And now I have to end it early as J2 just woke up from his nap crying.

So…

Things were a little crazy today, the boys were pretty demanding and I barely got anything done around the house, let alone set up to successfully write and publish a post. 

I have been working on the decorations here and there and managed to snap a few photos of the boys playing with the lights, so, hopefully, I might have something by the weekend!

Yep. That is all I did today!

My First Gym Visit…

… for about 6 years.

We are in our third year of living in our current apartment complex, and today, for the first time (now singing For the First Time in Forever) I visited our little gym. It is free to use and very well kept, the only excuse I had, and it was a poor one, was that our old apartment was on the other side of the complex… but now we live just across the road!

Josh got in from work, we ate dinner (BBQ pulled pork sandwiches with mashed potato and vegetables) and Josh gave J2 a bath while I fed J3. Once J2 was in bed I dug out my workout clothes, grabbed a pair of headphones and headed out the door. I then came back inside because I’d forgotten my water, but then I was off!

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SW stands for Stilt Walking… only kidding, it’s Slimming World.

Our gym has two treadmills, two ellipticals, dumbbells, a rowing machine, and a couple of weight machines. I, being a novice, stuck to the treadmill, but this wasn’t an ordinary treadmill, it was an iFit. I could watch YouTube videos, use it to control the TV that was mounted on the wall, plug my iPhone into it and play music without using my battery, it even had built in fans! I spent my hour watching Critical Role.

Now, I didn’t get on the treadmill just to faff around with all of the options. I eventually chose to do a ‘trail’ that lead up the western coast of South Africa. It was 3.02 miles long, and the elevation changed throughout the workout. I stuck to a consistent pace of 3mph, but I ran at 5mph a handful of times, and it was a lot easier than I expected! I felt so good in fact, that I could’ve carried on for a while longer, or gone for a walk along the bayou, but my phone ran out of battery almost as soon as I left the building (I didn’t know about the charging thing until I got there.)

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Instead, I headed home and walked in to find Josh holding J2, and J3 still awake in the living room.

So, while I was having some ‘me’ time, Josh wasn’t having the most smooth evening at home. J2 had refused to go to sleep, he kept leaving his room, no matter how many warnings he received, Josh even gave him some more milk and let him drink it in bed, but to no avail. J3 had been in the ‘frog bouncer‘ all evening, bouncing himself and giggling away.

As soon as J3 knew I was there he started fussing for food, so I rushed and took and shower, grabbed my pajamas and went to the boys’ room to put them both down. After about 30 minutes of singing Twinkle, Twinkle, and feeding J3 while soothing J2, they were asleep! Then I managed to get my after picture!

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And then the evening was my oyster!

Time…

I have no time. I feel like for the past few days we’ve been driving at 250 miles an hour and when I put on my brakes all I want to do is sleep. Like. Right. now.

So, I’m going to. I would love to stay up and write super exciting, funny articles, but not getting a good nights’ rest is really affecting me day to day.

So, Goodnight! xxxxx