The End Has Come

I didn’t really ever think about how I would handle this day.  I always just assumed The Fine Art of Jugglery would be in my life forever and never gave it a 2nd thought, however a decision has been reached this weekend to make some changes.  I have been blessed with an amazing family and it brings me great joy to announce my husband Nicholas will be helping me with our blog The Adventures of “But Mom”.  Due to the demands on our time right now, The Fine Art of Jugglery will no longer be updated.

I have spent a crazy amount of time thinking and re-thinking this decision.  However, every good thing must come to an end at some point in order to make room for bigger and better things.  The Fine Art of Jugglery has taught me a lot over the last year, and the lessons I have learned I will take with me on the journey ahead.  Those of you who would like to continue to follow our family, please head over to The Adventures of “But Mom” and follow us there.  I thank you all for the time we have shared together.  See y’all on the flip.

Tuesdays Tasks: Spring Cleaning Your Living Room

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So this month has been “Spring Cleaning” month in this house.  I am not one of those super neat freak moms who expect a spotless house, I am however into this whole spring cleaning thing because it will help us get organized and make our lives easier, generally speaking.  I have already given you the break down of the Kitchen cleaning.  Now we are on to the Living Room. 

The living room is the spot in the house that scares me the most.  It is where we live… literally.  We are in this room sometimes 15-16 hours a day, and it is the place where everything happens, but also the place everyone sees.  Living in an apartment that is really too small for the 4 of us plus our dog, it has been a definite chore to keep up on the cleaning, however, I have found (at least part of) the solution. 

Our living room consists of our actual living room and a dining room which is currently being used as a playroom.  So I basically started at the top. 

  • Cleaned the ceiling fan and wiped the ceiling and walls with a damp cloth.  This is 1 days work, and a bit more work than some of my other cleaning tasks, but, it was so worth it. 
  • The next day I spent time on the window and the balcony door.  I also wiped down the vertical blinds. 
  • The third day I rehoused everything that didn’t belong in the living room (clothes, my brush, etc) and I attempted to organize the toys, with a 20 month old THAT is a losing battle. We have been teaching her to put her toys away and she has done so 2 nights in a row… we’re making progress.
  • Finally a good dusting of all surfaces, and a move (almost) everything to vacuum.

 

Feeling pretty good about the kitchen and living room… Next up… the dreaded bathroom.

Monday Motivation!!!

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Today is Monday.  The start of the week.  A chance to start over and get stuff done.  I always think Monday’s are wonderful days because I know I have 5 days to get stuff done. 5 whole days to accomplish that which needs to be accomplished.  I am starting a series on Monday Motivations.  Motivation is something we all need, it helps us stay focused and get the job done.  Being a WAHM it is even MORE important to have motivation, to stay focused and to get the “work” things done, so I can get to other (just as important) priorities in my life, my husband and the kids.

I have found that when given the opportunity to make goals for 1 week, and the ability to “forgive” or “start over” on Monday again.  I can find the motivation to get through my Weekly To Do List.  So let’s start by making our weekly to do list, and let’s use Mondays to motivate us… 5 whole days to accomplish lots!!!   

Tuesdays Tasks: Spring Cleaning The Kitchen

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This month I am doing our Spring Cleaning.  I normally am not one to obsess over how immaculate our house is, however, lately I have been feeling the need to do better for my family.  I am becoming more aware of what goes on in our home, what cleaning products I use, what food we eat, and I’m working toward changing our lives 1 tiny baby step at a time.

So last week I chose to clean the kitchen.  In our apartment, it is the first room you walk into, and tiny as it may be, it still needs extra care.  I will give you my checklist in the order in which I cleaned.

  • Clean off the fridge.  This means take EVERYTHING off and wipe down the top, throw away old stale or out-dated food and reorganize neatly again.
  • Wipe down cabinet fronts and hood over stove.  I also cleaned out the cabinets and got rid of stale or out-dated food and tried to make some sense out of it all.
  • Clean appliances and counters. I took apart my stove and soaked the drip pans and took the plate out of the microwave and cleaned it all really good inside and out.  I also cleaned the coffee maker and took everything off the counters and wiped them down really well, let them dry and then reorganized them.
  • Clean the oven.
  • Cleaned the sink until it was shinny
  • Sweep and scrub the floor

There are 6 bullets there, It took me 6 days to do this as I added 1 bullet per day to my list of things to get done.  This split up the work and made it easier to tackle, as I have said before, I love crossing things off my lists.  I honestly broke those points down even further so I could cross more off my list and take advantage of that feeling of accomplishment to power my day. 

Organizing A Weekly To Do List

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This week I have started something totally new.  I was trying to plan my week out, however, I can NOT be tied down to a strict schedule… it backfires. Every. Single. Time.  So, this week I have started a “weekly to do list”.  This is a list that I write stuff down on that I need to get done or would like to get done that week.  It is so much easier for me to tackle a list when I don’t have a definite time to have to do everything, and often times as I get to crossing items off I continue to do as much as I can because, well let’s just face it, accomplishing something feels good.

I write down things in different categories, such as: home, blog, business, family, kids, and personal.  Knowing that I only have to tackle 3-4 items in any given category in a weeks time makes it much easier to get stuff done, and since we all have that on-going “to do list” in our heads, I find if I write the long list out on a separate sheet of paper, it gives me the ability to pick from the list to add to me weekly list, and this means I get to cross the item off TWICE… That is an AWESOME feeling!!!

I’ll let you know next week how well this works, however, so far I have already crossed 4 things off my list.  It is crazy the amount of motivation you can get once it is on paper and you know you can cross it off when it’s done.  What things would you add to your Weekly To Do List

5k Training: Week 2

I am getting back on track in the morning with my 5k training.  Sunday I will be doing the 4th day and on the “skip” days I have decided to do the 30 Day Shred with Jillian Michaels.  I’m excited because I am able to do activity.  I did the shred for a while before I got pregnant with Brianna, and it was hard, but doable. 

So, this weeks schedule is:

Sunday: 5 minute walk, 3 minute jog, 5 minute walk

Monday: 30 Day Shred

Tuesday: 5 minute walk, 4 minute jog, 5 minute walk

Wednesday: 30 Day Shred

Thursday: 5 minute walk, 5 minute jog, 5 minute walk

Friday: 30 Day Shred

Saturday: Rest

That is my training this week.  63 days until my 1st 5k!!!

This Weeks Menu Is…

So, lots has changed (yet again) in our household, and as we are getting ready to go into a new week, my wonderful husband has decided to join me on my Weight Watchers journey.  This was a bit against his will, however, he is being a good sport about it and actually getting involved in the process which is more than I expected honestly.

I had, however already went shopping for the week prior to all this happening, so we are watching portions a lot this week and will be having some “Not so Weight Watchers” meals.  I will say, the wonderful thing about weight watchers is they do give you the ability to eat pretty freely, you just have to track your food and stay within the point zones and you can also earn points for activity making it easier to deal with.  So our meals for this week are:

Sunday:

French Toast and Sausage Patties

Egg Salad sandwiches

Chicken Taco’s

Monday:

Breakfast Sandwiches

Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup

Chicken, Bacon, Ranch Velveeta Cheesy Skillet

Tuesday:

Egg Scramble

Tuna Salad Sandwiches

Chicken with Pasta

Wednesday:

Blueberry Pancakes and Sausage Patties

Spaghetti

Sloppy Joes

Thursday:

Eggs, Sausage, and Toast

Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup

Sausage Sandwiches

Friday:

Cereal and Toast with Peanut Butter

Egg Salad Sandwiches

Pizza

Saturday:

Egg Bake

Chicken Tacos

Spinach Salad with Grilled Chicken

 

All chicken will be cooked Sunday the Chicken Tacos in the crock pot and the rest in the oven.  This is the only real “Prep” work needed for the week.  I am anxious for next week when I can start making much better meals.  Stay tuned… this is sure to be interesting journey.

New Dish of the Week: Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Pancakes!!!

Tuesday was National Pancake Day, thus, we had breakfast for dinner that day.  I was hoping to post this earlier, but, well, life happened.  So, I was contemplating what kind of pancake creation to make, and chocolate just kept popping in my head.  I was just going to make regular chocolate chip pancakes, and then I started looking in the baking cabinet and what happened next I can totally NOT be held accountable for.  The recipe is unbelievably simple. 

 

Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Pancakes:

3 cups Complete Pancake Mix (the one that you just add water to)

1/4 cup Chocolate Hazelnut Spread

2 cups Water

1/2 cup EACH Chocolate Chips & Peanut Butter Chips

Nonstick Cooking Spray

 

Easiest recipe EVER

I warmed the 1/4 cup chocolate hazelnut spread with 3/4 cup of water in the microwave for about 20 seconds just to get them to combine.  Mix the water, spread, and pancake mix in a bowl until all big lumps are out (do not over mix).  Heat pan over medium low heat, spray with nonstick cooking spray (I sprayed a tiny bit between each pancake I made) pour about 1/3 cup of batter in pan, swirl slightly to make a more round pancake.  While pancake is cooking, drop a few chocolate chips and peanut butter chips onto the pancake and push into batter (I used a teaspoon to add an extra bit of batter to cover the chips so they don’t make direct contact with the pan when you flip the pancake).  Cook until edges look dry and bubbles form on top of pancake, flip pancake and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes. 

 

We slathered ours with butter and poured Maple Syrup on them as well and they made for a super rich treat, Yumminess I must say!!!

And here they are!!! 

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Feeling Alive & Finding Happiness: “Me Time”

I think it goes without saying, no matter who you are life keeps us pretty busy.  Moms, wives, single working women, college students all of us have our “jobs” and we tend to get busy and neglect the most important person, ourselves.  I find this to be true of myself and I am taking steps to change that.  It is very true, if you don’t take care of yourself you can’t truly take care of others.  This can be said of moms, wives, and even those who work or go to school will find their productivity lacking if they don’t spend some time taking care of themselves.

Now that I have told you what you have heard over and over again in countless blogs and magazine articles, I think their are some things that will help all of us to make the time and actually start taking care of ourselves.  First off I think taking care of yourself means something different to everyone.  Their are the basics: exercise, sleep, proper diet, but we also have a mental and emotional side as well that need to be taken care of.  These sides definitely mean something different to each person, so the first step is to figure out what make you feel happy, alive, and like you are living with a purpose in both of those areas.  Maybe emotionally you long to help people, maybe you need to feel needed, or maybe you need to feel like you can get away and just “be” without having to do for people.  Mentally maybe you would like to learn a new skill, maybe you would like to visit some places to learn more about a topic of interest (think museums or taking classes some where), or perhaps you find your mentally stimulating happiness through your career.

Once you know what makes you feel alive and happy in these areas, you can start working toward those goals.  Maybe you really want to help people but don’t know how or where.  What steps can you take to find places to help? How do you want to help? Who do you want to help?  Make a list of the steps you need to take and commit to doing 1 step everyday or at least part of a step each day. 

My personal goals are helping people through blog posts, helping my children develop and learn, learning how to be a better blogger, and exercising to relieve stress and get in some “me time”  What are your goals???

New Directions

I think one of the most difficult challenges in life is learning that you can never really predict or plan anything.  I think a lot of us (especially wives and moms) have this need to have control over, well, everything, only to be disappointed when things don’t work out as planned and it is beyond our control.  Direction in life is another challenge, at least for me.  I get excited, think I have this figured out, and then BAM life shoves our family in yet another direction, giving us detours and obstacles in the way of where we want to be.

I spent quite a few sleepless nights, just going over and over in my head where life was taking us, and what the next step should be… then one night while talking to the hubby after the kids had gone to sleep, it hit me.  I questioned my thoughts at first, but after careful consideration, I have decided this blog needs to head in a different direction.  I am going to keep this blog and it will be for all my fitness, house organizing, and basically general posting. 

We (and I say WE since the hubs is somewhat helping me with this) are excited to be working on a new project.  A new blog which will be ALL about parenting.  The actual details are still being worked out, but I promise you, my Fine Art of Jugglery followers will get a sneak peak before we actually go “Live”.  

For those of you who don’t have children, or who have grown children, this blog is going to be restructured into a blog catering to women.  It is my hope to turn this into a community of women, young and old, parents and those who are not parents, working women and those who work at home to share ideas and help each other through the amazing life we have been blessed with. 

I am excited about the new project and the new direction THIS blog is going in.  I hope you will all follow me still on my journeys as I still seek to perfect my Fine Art of Jugglery.