By now I am sure many of you have been inundated with the rules of quarantine. And by that I mean a slow and steady trickle from experts you’ve never heard of before, internet gurus, and self-proclaimed blue ribbon business owners, life coaches, and social media marketers wanting you to listen in and give their methods a try.
Here’s what they have to say…
Be productive, now is the time to grow.
Be mindful, don’t put pressure on yourself.
Learn a new skill, don’t take this slow-down for granted.
Self-care, plan activities to rejuvenate yourself and your mind.
Be realistic, but don’t allow that to stifle your dreams.
Eat healthy, stress affects your immune system.
Treat yourself, eat what you want, but with moderation and care.
Help your kids learn, complete the virtual learning from instructors bogging your inbox.
Don’t worry about your kids missing out, they need you right now to grow through this.
Keep your kids on track with school; these are good life lessons.
Finish those projects, now is a time to get ahead while you are inside.
Leave the projects, now is a time to focus on you, on wellness, and keeping stress in check.
Realize the world will never be the same, don’t let that affect you.
Plan for when things go back to normal, now is the time to forge a new path.
So, in summary…do this, but not too much…its ok, but not ok…try that, but don’t dive in…it matters, but it doesn’t.
This noise is enough to make any person dealing with the outside world in a positive and healthy way go off the deep end. In the end, this ‘help’ isn’t helpful at all. It leaves people to question their sanity and their way of doing things, compare their lives to that of others, and feel like they come up short in every aspect.
That brings me to this…pandemic or no pandemic…I stand by my original…YOU DO YOU. Whether that means you are productive or not. And I’m not talking about just making feel-good decisions so you can pacify the time or ignore the world around you. But rather do what you need to do right now to be ok. Fall back on extra grace, give that to those around you, and by all means make sure you give that to yourself first.
If you want to learn something new, go for it! If you need to chill, do it! If your kids need a day off from virtual school, take it! If you need chocolate, eat it! If you want to work out, lift it! If you need to know all the things, research it! If you have to or need to or want to work, clock it! If social media is driving you mad, hibernate! If you need to feel heard, reach out!
I’ll be over here doing just that. And, in the middle of it having good and bad days, difficult and easy moments, sad and happy times, and practicing a lot, and I mean A LOT, of grace.
I am giving myself more grace than ever and working on things ever so slowly. Which means while juggling kiddos, projects are taking more than a hot minute to complete.
One project I finished was this mini-book wall. If you have wanted to try one, you can head to my Instagram page, and click BOOK WALL on the highlight reel. It will give you a mini-tutorial so that you can do your own. This would also be super adorable in a playroom or child’s room using colorful books too…if any of my local friends want help with one when this is over, I’m your gal! And, if you just want to pacify the time by watching it, or skip by entirely, that’s ok too. Because, the whole point is to just have YOU DO YOU.
Stay well and Stay…In The Moment,
I am under the full assumption that it is safe to say….UGH. I have posted this to all my social media accounts @inthemomentrestorations on IG and inthemomentrestorations on FB, rolled around in that feeling for awhile, and oftentimes still return to that angst accompanied by a variety of anxiety induced symptoms that unfortunately no amount of coffee or wine will cure. But, that is quickly followed by the realization that we, in fact, are not alone. And choosing a we-are-in-this-together mentality fostered through a deep gratitude for all the little blessings during that day is a much better way to navigate through this; even if it takes more effort.
There are many things we cannot do right now. The flip side to that is there are many more things that we can continue to do and start to do this very moment. And the beauty of that is, inarguably, they all…each and every one of them…begin with kindness, an attitude of encouragement and support, and foster a greater sense of community. Look at that list again, because those are the things that matter, are the important tenants of humanity, and I am grateful to give them just a little bit more focus over the next weeks until they become so deeply engrained in my daily practice that I come out of this situation a much better human than in which I entered it.
DISCLAIMER: That does not mean that anxiety will disappear, that I won’t (or haven’t) lost my marbles with my 3 kiddos, or that my days will be so very Mary Poppins that PBS will be knocking on my door with a contract for a 10am kids programming time slot. It does mean that I am looking for ways to help, make an impact in the lives of others, sustain the economy of small business, and be a productive human being. We can all start small, think big, and lend a hand…and if we do it together, the benefits can be huge.
Because I am small business, I gravitate to those articles, news reels, and discussions that surround how these events we are experiencing impact small business particularly. They all focus on how we can help…planning to purchase once places reopen, transitioning to online goods and orders, spending dollars on gift cards now to increase cash flow. And by all accounts, I agree that these are amazing ideas. But what if our income is already greatly impacted by the closings, social distancing, and rescheduling of events? What if financial support is not something you can offer? You can still make a big impact for these businesses and places now, as in today and tomorrow, so that when they reopen, consumerism reaches them first, arrives more quickly, and generates more clientele…all things they are depending on.
So together, let’s get to work! Choose to work on one of your favorite businesses a day, pick your top 5 and go, begin on one platform or another…just start! Imagine the ripple of one small act magnified, because that is truly what this will do and it costs you a few moments of your time…something we have a little bit more of this week.
Click the link to your guide…5 Ways to Support Your Favorite Small Business…free and completely virtual .
Stay...In The Moment
So….I am not sure when it started, but choosing a Word Of The Year is a big thing. I don’t necessarily stick with one word for a full twelve months, but rather a general idea of how I would like to approach the year. In any case, I still jump on the WOTY bandwagon because starting anything on a positive note, in particular an entire new year, is always as Martha would say, a good thing.
For 2020, my word is neither glamorous, nor does it invoke anything worthy of fuzzy feelings, but to me it resonates deeply across many different areas of my life. It’s totally unsexy and although I am drawn to it, also want to run away from it because it pushes me to be uncomfortable in all the ways possible. But I guess any kind of new year’s resolution or word of the year is supposed to challenge your boundaries and push your limits so that you arrive at the next year a better version of you, right?
My word of the year…CLEAN. Yes, you read that right…CLEAN. And while I do have visions of clean toilets and bathrooms because my boys are 8 and 6 years old (boy moms everywhere, I know you can relate), it is really more about cleaning up. Cleaning up all…of…the…things. The visible and invisible messes. Getting back to basics, finding joy in the simple things, and prioritizing the actual important things versus the things that are immediate fires needing attention that won’t even matter in the long run.
To take things down a dark road, we have attended more funerals than weddings over the last six months. And none of those were for 96 year olds that lived a full life, with beautiful memories, going peacefully with family members by their side. They were for middle aged or less than middle aged folks with kids and dogs and Saturday night dinner plans. And that made me realize two things…ONE, I have it really good, I mean really good…our kids are healthy; we live in the richest country in the world with more opportunities than most can imagine. And TWO, no one is immune to death, to surprise, to a world of uncertainty and the journey through loss. So, what do I do with that? I can either let fear choose the path I will lead, or I can clean up the things that don’t really matter and focus all my energy on the people that do…notice how I didn’t say things.
So my word of the year is CLEAN…keeping it clean, cleaning up my thoughts, energies, and actions to direct them at the people that matter, the opportunities I want to fight for, the journey I want to walk. Because we are all on borrowed time, and if last year taught me anything, I would rather exit this world knowing that I lived each day as though I had a clean slate; no skeletons in the closet, I didn’t sweep things under the rug…but rather lived unapologetically me…in a clean way in every aspect possible.
Stay...In The Moment,
The last time I announced our holiday plans, both the 2019 VIP Holiday Event and 2019 Holiday Event that immediately follows it, both on Friday, November 8th, we had tons of heat and lots of rain. Now as we arrive on the last day in October…snow. Wisconsin seems to be seriously confused about the seasons and clearly didn’t miss a golden opportunity to dress up as winter for Halloween this year. This seems fitting as we move forward and dress up the entire shop for the Christmas season…beginning this Sunday!
If you are new, or in case you missed it last year…we close the shop for a full week, beginning Sunday, November 3rd, to roll out all the holiday goodies. Then we re-open on Friday, November 8thwith a huge celebration sharing with all of you the new goodies and joy of the season. So, we’ll run down what you can expect, because things got amped up this year!
We invited our vendors to take a larger part in the holiday season…which means you’ll see new displays, a quaint village vibe, and get lots of new ideas for gift giving this season! There are two opportunities to join us on the big night…the ticketed VIP Holiday Open House from 4-6pm and the Holiday Open House from 6-8pm. The entire evening is always full of magic, but we pull out all the stops for our VIPs. Tickets are on sale now for $44 (click the shop section), and you receive so much more than just early entrance including a swag bag valued at $90, extra tickets for our raffle, refreshments and treats, plus first dibs at all the holiday stock! This is one of the best days of the year to enjoy the season without the rush, to support amazing small businesses, relax with your besties, and get your season’s greetings on!
Grab a buddy and join us; we can’t wait to see you!
And until then…Stay…In The Moment,
I recently came across this article…
The condensed message is the reminder that you are worth more than to sit at a table of women that would inadvertently make you the topic of conversation once you leave. It briefly touched upon the excuses that it’s just what women do and what we put up with to belong. But let me remind you that those are just that; excuses.
And then came my questions…Why do we think its ok? Why do we continue to go back, to sit there and not seek out better? What makes us see this as the only option or the right one for that matter? Why do we not think we are worth more? We are the only ones that get to determine that, have to find sincerity in that, and wholeheartedly hold onto the undeniable truth that we in fact, are worth more. We are the only ones that hold the power in the here and now and in the future as well.
And what I have learned in my human experience is that if we are not in that place, it’s hard to give that to others…which is what we should be doing. The girl next door winning has no bearing on my ability to succeed…because we are not even in the same race. So, while I might give you a harsh dose of reality if you ask my opinion about something, I am still going to high-five you and tell you that you can do it, whatever it is that you are dreaming about. The reason is that you are the only person that can determine your success and I have no ability to reasonably ascertain your commitment and no measurable superiority to be in charge of judging you. And that goes for everyone.
After going down that reasoning rabbit hole, what resonated with me most was this quote from Brene Brown…
“Our worth cannot be determined nor negotiated by other people.”
And if we break it down it is really just that simple. Your worth is determined by you, no one else. There are people who inherently know this and are willing to sit with you; you just have to find them. Or better yet, be one of them, start your own table where everyone wants to sit because they feel valued even if they don’t yet believe it themselves.
I have basically won every pet argument my hubs and I have ever had…including the birds that call our backyard home. But, why chickens? Because this lady here is generally allergic to everything living, including the 3 dogs and 3 cats we had at the time the chicken idea was born. So it made complete sense; we couldn’t get any more dogs or cats, but I wasn’t, by some miracle, allergic to chickens or eggs. So rationale would have it that it just made sense that our next set of pets would be so awesome that they literally make breakfast.
As of this year, we have raised three sets of chicks on our own, built two brooders, converted one shed into a coop, and built one run and an expansion off of that. And let me tell you, if we lived one toe out of the city you better believe we would have a few more chickens and a lot more projects. I am totally not here to convince you to jump on the backyard chicken bandwagon…we did it before it was trendy. But, I will tell you that I have convinced more people to have them than not because when you are passionate about something that kind of feeling and excitement is just plain contagious.
We live in Wisconsin, so we do research before getting any new breed so that they can weather the winter well, carefully monitor their coop and everything that goes in there, including treats, and try to hand raise each batch of chicks so they are more like golden retrievers than descendants of dinosaurs. Our last batch was our group of white silkies. These ladies probably get the most attention on social media because they are the fluffiest, most awkward and easy-going batch we’ve had. They run funny with their feathery feet, fight between themselves because that’s what siblings do, and take way too many dirt baths to keep their pristine white fluff in primo condition.
I could go on and on…but I am going to do a quick Q & A for the most frequently asked questions below…for all of you that just wonder and for those of you that will read this and start planning out the perfect plot for chickens to erect once spring arrives.
Q. Are you in the city?
A. Yup! Each city has ordinances regarding livestock and fowl; and if not, you can petition to write them. Just check your local government for the rules.
Q. Do you heat the coop?
A. Nope…chickens do all their own heating and cooling through their feathers.
Q. What do they eat?
A. We buy ours the organic chicken feed. Some of their favorite treats are dried mealworms and dandelion leaves. But their absolute favorites are cilantro stems and strawberry tops!
Q. How many eggs do you get?
A. Chickens lay really well up to 3 years and slow down after that. They also slow down in winter when they use energy to keep warm and during their first big molt around 18 months. Other than that, the breed will define how large an egg and how frequent they lay. Think an average of 1 egg a day per chicken at the peak of their performance.
Q. How did you plan your coop?
A. GOOGLE. And we had a shed on our property in the perfect spot already. So we modified that…insulated, ventilated, added a chicken door and windows and built a run off the front and the side. We modified old cabinetry that we mounted to the inside for storage and nesting boxes as well. Trust me when I say there are a million different ways to set up a coop and more than enough free plans online to get you started building your own chicken Taj Mahal.
Q. What happens after they stop laying eggs?
A. Nothing. No, we are not going to eat them or send them to pasture. They still serve a purpose and there is a chicken hierarchy…its literally called THE PECKING ORDER. Because our coop runs well and they are our pets. They will just continue to live in the coop and help keep the peace between the new ones…the silkies are still like puppies and need a little extra help knowing how to act.
Believe me when I say we get that last question A LOT. I guess it is just human nature to wonder whether or not we will end up eating our pets. Short and long answer to that is NO. It’s not our thing, we just never really had an interest in raising meat birds…although I wouldn’t say no to you inviting me to Buffalo Wild Wings. And when asked if we would do it all over again, I would say YES. If you ever meet my hubs in person, he will tell you no…but just search his browser history and you’ll find chicken swings, backyard run, coop expansion, and can I feed my chicken XYZ. So secretly he loves each and every one of our feathery friends, including these fluffy ladies with the awkward swagger.
If you are thinking about chickens, keep going! If I missed a question, let me know. If you made it this far through all the chicken fodder, bless you! And, if you just want to live vicariously through us and our backyard pets, thats great too...
Stay...In The Moment
There are very few things I run screaming from, but our kitchen before the remodel was a close one. Everything needed a cosmetic lift; from the plexiglass mounted over the heavy weight wallpaper to the apartment-size sink which was more shallow than a baby pool. Not to mention the sizing was off; there was no triangle of space to prep food and clean up and the tile under our feet had a settling crack that ran the distance of the room. And with three small children this is where we literally spend half our time…because kids, especially boys, have hollow legs and they swallow everything whole and in mass quantities.
But this kitchen taught me a few hard lessons about perseverance and patience and reaffirmed what I already knew, I am stronger than I look. It may not be a love of design, home repair, or décor that drives us, but in us we all have those characteristics. It just sometimes takes a really big challenge to bring it all out. And if we aren’t careful, it’s easy for us to compare and forget how far we have come. It truly is about the journey, for in that we find out who we are and who we still want to be…and those challenges are often times the vehicle to get us there, whether we like it or not. Case in point…I did not like this kitchen.
What I do like now about the kitchen most isn’t the after photo either. It’s remembering how I ended up having to remove the tile when my hubs threw his back out in the middle of demo, the way I learned to tile with heavy, oversized porcelain, how I taught myself how to skim coat to cover all the damage from the wallpaper, and the process where my hubs and I learned to trust each other, flex with our opinions, and rally together to get it all done.
It’s never a great idea to live in the past, but sometimes it’s nice to visit to see how far we’ve come. And when I need to do that, be reminded of all the amazing possibilities that are sometimes hard to see, all I have to do is look at the before photos of this kitchen. Because if this space can do anything, it can remind me that it’s never about where you start…but rather the journey to where you will end up that makes all the difference.
Stay...In The Moment,
So it seems as though I am already planning for the holiday season, and fall has yet to arrive. With unseasonably high summer-like temps and unreasonable amounts of spring-like rain I don’t really know what season it feels like, but it is definitely not fall. And I am waiting for sweater weather along with the rest of you, all in the midst of planning things like ornament displays, window themes, and all our holiday events while wearing tank tops and flip flops. Let me set the record straight that I am not sad about that last part…tank tops and flip flops may just be my love language.
And with that, so is the upcoming holiday season…I love giving and all the warm, fuzzy feels that it brings. What makes it even better is that I get to do it all two-fold…at home and in the shop. Double everything…double decorating, quadruple the trees, and twice the celebrating!
If you are one of those that enjoy all of that too, our VIP Holiday Event on November 8th is also LIVE as of yesterday. If you joined us last year, you can expect DOUBLE everything this year! Our swag bags are bigger, we have an attendance raffle for that evening, and our vendors are pulling out all the stops to bring you one good, cozy evening of fun, friends, and maybe a few extras…
refreshments, beverages, and all the warmth of the season that gets you past the weather and into the full joy of the season. If you missed it last year, we’d love to have you…our doors are locked except for our VIP guests, you get first dibs on all the seasonal goodies, and a relaxing start to the most wonderful time of the year!
We hope to see you there, and regardless of the weather all our new sweaters will be out in full force for that event… cheers to that! And if you are looking for tickets to the VIP event...hit the SHOP tab or head to Facebook for all our details on the 2019 VIP Holiday Event and 2019 Holiday Open House.
Stay...In The Moment
Life has its seasons...and with each of those seasons comes a beginning and an end. The week has been particularly difficult as we came to the end of our canine season...our little Payton crossed the rainbow bridge on Wednesday, September 25th just shy of his 14th birthday. He is our 5th fur baby in the last 5 or so years because they all aged together. And I know many of you know the heartache that goes right along with this...but while it is ok to be sad, I am trying to find the glad in all of it instead. He gave us 13 years of grumpy old man attitude, 13 years of Frito smells, 13 years of crooked teeth smiles, 13 years of snuggles, 13 years of happy fits, and 13 years of imperial shih tzu shade. And for all of those things, I am grateful.
Of course I wish that his life was longer and that he was still here, but that's just not life. And with this end of season will come a beautiful new beginning. I may not know what that is yet and what out there is waiting for us, but I am sure that it is good. And yes I realize its ok for me to be all up in my feelings and the storm that is currently raging; but you know what? I would rather look for the rainbow. Because it was a beautiful rainbow that brought us that sweet fur baby in the first place, and I'll bet my bottom dollar that there is another rainbow waiting for us. We just have to believe that a new season is on its way, a rainbow is waiting, and when we are ready for it, we will be able to see it. Because while life has its seasons, its ups and downs, happy times and sad moments, it always has a rainbow...and Payton wouldn't want me to shut my eyes so tightly that I miss those beautiful colors and the promises that come with that.
Hoping all of you open your eyes and find that rainbow too...it's out there, we just have to look for it.
Stay...In The Moment
My middle kiddo eats well, and I mean WELL. There is nothing he won’t try and he often grabs fruits and veggies first. But for my other kids, I have taken the not-so-high road for years and just hidden extra healthy stuff. And no, I am not ashamed…you gotta do what you gotta do. And with my kiddos eating more and more and more by the minute, getting smart with snacks helps us to be able to be more relaxed with food on the weekends, at sporting events, and when we are rushed for time. What I am about to share with you packs an extra protein and fiber filled punch, because both are needed for our boys who seem to need five square meals a day.
Behold…Ch-Ch-Ch-Chia Balls. See what I did there? Please tell me you are now singing old Chia-Pet commercials! These little energy goodies can be customized according to your families likes and made ahead of time for the week. The only drawback? They need refrigeration, not necessarily to keep them fresh, but to keep their shape…see the underlying less-messy-when-chilled warning.
So let’s make some!
1 Cup Peanut Butter
¼ Cup Melted Coconut Oil
¼ Teaspoon Himalayan Salt
½ Cup Cocoa Powder
1 Tablespoon Vanilla
½ Cup Raw Honey
¾ Cup Hemp Seeds
¾ Cup Chia Seeds
1 ¼ Cup Quick Cook Oats
Extra Cocoa Powder or Powdered Sugar (Save to roll in)
Dump in a bowl and mix until combined...very scientific, I know. Chill at least 2 hours until set. Scoop and roll into bite-sized balls. Roll into Cocoa Powder or Powdered Sugar…Keep in mind that the Cocoa Powder is a much healthier option, but can be bitter.
You can also add your favorite mix-ins such as raisins, craisins, sunflower seeds, M & Ms, peanuts, butterscotch chips, chocolate chips, etc. If your kiddos aren’t thrilled with chia seeds or hemp seeds, you can swap them for flax seeds or adjust the amount of each you put into the mix.
So here’s to keeping our kiddos fed…whether they know they are eating the good stuff or not. And cheers to you mamas and papas who are also eating these with coffee…because that’s what you’ll find me doing! And if you are not a mama or a papa and kids aren't even on your radar that's ok too...because adulting is hard and chocolate just plain makes things better.
Stay...In The Moment
Wishing summer to last longer doesn’t make fall arrive any later than it has planned. This was evident by a temperature of 52 degrees this morning. Now, don’t get me wrong…I enjoy all the seasons. I just really like the lax schedule of summer, the later nights, and the lack of homework. And because all of that changes when the kids go back to school, this mama of three just needs to reign in the simple to be able to experience the little joys in life in the middle of all the chaos.
My fall décor is no different…you’ll notice I keep things extra simple, use mostly what I already have on hand, and swap things out to make it look new again. Some may call it cheating…I call it using my resources wisely (and keeping my sanity).
Today, I shared my fall table on Instagram (@inthemomentrestorations) . As with all things, I chose all the pieces carefully. If you’ve been following me on social media for any length of time, you’ll notice the same ironstone plates I have used in a dozen settings, the same wood centerpiece I used in the summer, the same napkins that I have used for over a year…you get the point.
All I added were some cute crocks, sunflowers, mini pumpkins, and wood bowls…and if you made it this far through this blog post, it will probably be a safe bet that you’ll see some of these things again, some of them in the shop (because when I purchase for the shop, sometimes I purchase extra for myself), and some of them in other places of our home. My motto has always been for both us personally and what I bring in the shop for inventory…’If we can’t use it six ways ‘til Tuesday, it doesn’t come home with us.’ And while I have no idea where I came up with that, you probably can venture that it basically means we don’t bring anything home that we can’t use in multiple ways over and over again.
It’s just better for us financially, mentally, and doesn’t give us an emotional attachment to things; rather it just gives those things a utilitarian purpose. So, whether it’s a Monday or a Saturday that you decide to bring new goods in your home, I hope that you can style up a beautiful fall table, use it in many different ways, or repurpose it on a regular basis. Because by all accounts it really helps keep things a little more simple; allowing you to find the joy in each and every season…even if they come too early and are also followed by winter.
Stay...In The Moment
As we head into the full swing of fall, it’s a bit bittersweet remembering how the beginning of summer felt. And while we cannot take the pool days, beach visits, and bike rides until dusk with us through the rest of the year, I can share with you one thing that worked with our kiddos this summer and that we still use…and I must warn you, it’s totally parent related, not fun at all, and feels a little like bribery. But with a 10, 8 and 6-year old, sometimes you just cling onto anything that makes your life easier like a life raft of sanity.
So here goes…I made and implemented a system for electronic time using tickets. Now, I realize I am not genius, I surely am not the first parent that has done such a thing, and no one will be comparing me to Einstein any time soon. I am ok with that; I am still over here reveling in the glory that it actually worked and continues to work. And that is what I am sharing today; a system that works for my kids, that I am thrilled sets its own boundaries, and sometimes gets them to give me an extra hand with all the extra things around the house (you know, those things they think a magical fairy does, like clean the toilet).
If you too struggle with setting boundaries with electronics, having your kids hound you begging to use it, and a general lack of compliance with chores then hang in there…this may work for you too. I’ll lay out what we do below and you can tweak it to what works for you, because no two families are alike and certainly that goes for kiddos too.
I get that this system isn’t for everyone, I also get that it may appear that we are control freaks and super old-school. I am completely fine with all those opinions. The fact of the matter is that one of our kiddos has issues with electronic usage and allowing the random use of electronics can create a lot of chaos…think rainbows and sunshine to hell in a hand basket in 3 seconds flat. But, the beauty about this system is that you can use it for whatever fits…extra allowance, monetary rewards, prizes, a special outing, whatever incentives your kiddos respond to best.
And the beauty of it? It teaches good work ethic, a better mentality about where and when to spend…I mean, I have to show up and actually work to get paid…and then I have to choose carefully about where I spend that money. These are all things we want our kiddos to do to grow up and be an employee someone would be willing to hire. I’ll consider that last one a bonus because I genuinely look forward to the day when I can see them adulting and doing it the way that makes any mama or papa proud. So we’ll start here because baby steps always count.
Stay...In The Moment
So while I have committed to dropping a blog post each Thursday, I haven't really explained that in order to come up with content for said blog post, I will have to dip into my personal life and all the things that come with it. If you know me personally, flowers just really aren't my jam...but food, heck yes. People say they love me when delivering coffee, my favorite candy, coffee, did I mention coffee?
Donuts used to also be really high on that list, but after going gluten free over a year ago, I've moved on to bacon...which by all accounts can be deemed just as amazing as donuts as far as deliciousness goes.
This summer I was introduced to 'Million Dollar Bacon' and then my sister's bacon bouquets...and that's it...my life has been changed forever by the power of pork. So, I am putting the recipe below for those of you whose lives need to be changed by that power, those of you that are gluten free, or those of you who just love a good breakfast meat...I am not here to judge, I am just here to pass along a life changing snack.
And, if my hubs is reading this, I am ready for a bacon bouquet delivery any day of the week.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
1 Pound Thick Cut Bacon (Plain or Smoked)
½Cup Pure Maple Syrup
¼Cup Brown Sugar (Light or Dark)
¼- ½Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper (Optional)
Stay...In The Moment
What is it about the start of school? For me it’s just one division, a long fence to which the following regularly play in my head over and over and over…
Conversation ONE with myself…
Yay!! Freedom…cue all sorts of music, cheers, and a general feel of optimism.
Followed by…Ugh, why are my kids growing so fast and how are they another grade further along and year older?
Conversation TWO with myself…
Whoooohooo! Routine, because the casualty of summer has been slowing causing my parental nerves to twitch and now we can all get back to doing the things and knowing what’s ahead.
Then instantly…Oh, heaven help me! Now I actually have to be on time for something….and the homework and activities and the packing lunches and…
Conversation THREE with myself…
Yasssss! Here’s to us getting up, starting the morning right, eating breakfast together and heading out the door at a reasonable time to start the day right!
Immediately afterward…see above…I actually have to be on time. Also, the amount of hustle required to get a preteen girl and 2 boys age 6 and 8 out the door for ANYTHING is, in itself, like an act of congress.
But here we are again…at the beginning of it all. In what seems like the beginning of something and the end of another, the exciting expectations for what the school year will bring and the downfalls of letting the summer magic go. This has never been more real than this year…as we head into two different schools, middle and elementary…as I am able to walk the halls in the school where I once had kindergarten (cue cheesy mom music and the groans of preteen daughter now attending said school and having to tag along down her mother’s memory lane).
So if you too are riding the fence, straddling the line, and generally feeling all the feels that a new school year brings, I’m right there with you. Cheers to you parents, grandparents, friends of those who have kids, and students because whether we like it or not, it’s here and I fully intend to walk that fence line until at least second semester!
Stay...In The Moment
So, admittedly its been over TWO MONTHS since I dropped in, said hello, and did all the things a wannabe blogger should be doing...but LIFE, LIFE with KIDS, and buddies, the MAYCEMBER of it all! All of the things seemed to converge in the middle of May and haven't slowed down one bit. In the midst of not 1, but 5 home projects, life at the shop and custom work, kids sports and activities, and reigning it all in with the 3 kiddos, I'm just lucky to come up for air.
In all fairness, it's all good stuff, so no complaining from me...but that also means that things like this sweet little space of the 'interweb' (if you're local, you'll get this funny) get overlooked from me. So we'll kick it off again with a Coffee Talk (Head to the facebook page for the original and click below for our Costco edition) from my pal Kristin and I...we are going on location this summer...a fancy word for letting you know we are fitting this in and doing all the mom things, business things, and daily grind right along with it. That will mean I will check in more often, something I hope you are excited about too. And as always, drop your suggestions for new videos in the comments section...new ideas are good and that way I am able to connect with each one of you a little bit better.
Stay...In The Moment
To me its all about those little things...because the little things add up and make the best memories. It's about those little Mother's Day gifts in that photo, when a friend invites me to coffee or breakfast, when my hub stops in the shop on his way home from work, and when my littles ask me to play a board game with them...these are the things that fill my cup. And to view it from the eyes of little ones is even better...they just have a way of being so real, and so certain, and so completely wrong all at the same time...and then on other occasions, their honesty is the best medicine on earth, something more of us should try on a regular basis (although we could phrase it in a more kind and gentle way). Here's a close up of one of my favorite gifts this year...
If you want the little in your life to fill one of these out, I made my own version for use in the shop (we had them available at our Mother's Day event...just in case other moms wanted to age rapidly in the eyes of their 5 year old too). And you can click below for the printable version...and yes, there is an option for Mom, Dad, Aunt, and Uncle...because if there's one thing I've learned, everyone needs a little in their life to fill one of these out.
Stay...In The Moment,
Ok, ok...it's technically not Wednesday anymore. But, over on Instagram, I post one of these motivational-work-on-me-get-to-the-goal-type quotes to stories every Wednesday.
The one I posted this week is a big one for me...one I try to teach my kiddos and really get them to understand...
'The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it.' -Henry David Thoreau
We all have limited resources, its just the world we live in. We all only have 24 hours in the day, and there is a limit to what we can do in that 24 hours. Our resources are finite, when they are used up, they are gone. And while this sounds like I am getting to place of sadness...it's not exactly a bad thing. This also helps people make a choice on what they will place value on, what they will give of their time and resources and it can mold who you are, make you do great things with those resources and even better, create some for those around you that seem to be unable to do so...because if you use your resources wisely, you can multiply their value.
And in teaching my kiddos, I explain that essentially by saying YES to one thing, you inherently are saying NO to another thing. We live in a world where hearing the word NO is a difficult thing and saying it can be even more difficult. But its not a bad thing...it can bring you to a place where you use your resources and your time better so that you get the most value out of both of those and become truly joyful with the life you are creating. All you have to do is choose carefully.
Stay...In The Moment,
We played some predictable games like Baby Bingo and Hush Baby, but my favorites were matching adult to baby animal names (I mean what actually is a PUGGLE anyway!?!?) and the encouragement cards we filled out. Each guest was instructed to write a note of encouragement to mom and dad and then seal it in an envelope that they can open up at any time they are needing a little boost. On the outside of those envelopes, we held them up to our foreheads and then drew a baby on it...needless to say, most had limbs that were unattached and heads floating in mid-air. Such a sweet and funny takeaway for the newbie mom and dad, especially on those nights where you get less than 2 hours of sleep!
If any of you have an upcoming baby shower, give some of these printables a try...
Stay in the moment...
I get asked all the time, why here, why now, why a shop, how do I fit it in, how do I manage that…and the list goes on. The truth is, it really is all about balance and the fact that most often that doesn’t really exist. I prefer to think of life more as a buffet for a couple reasons. Bottom-line, food is amazing, but it also gives a pretty good idea of how I make it all work. I can try really hard to fit all the food groups on my plate, but if I’m honest, there just simply isn’t enough room. This small business thing is no joke and we are only given so many hours in the day. Just like that dinner plate can’t hold everything, neither can my schedule. Some days I fill it with dessert, other times the salad bar. Notice how sometimes dessert is first? I just make sure I make room for all the food groups, just like I make time for all my commitments even though I know it won’t happen all at once. I am sure your schedule is no different. There are so many demands for your attention, the daily grind. It is so easy to get wrapped up in one area, like the dessert station, and problems can grow if you are not sure of where your belief system lies; the why behind what you do. Once you find that, giving certain things priority at specific times and letting others go isn’t as difficult. For a little peek at my why and the shop in which I do that in, grab a cup of coffee and join my buddy and I for a little chat…
Stay in the moment...
Ah, the bathroom. What once used to be a sanctuary, is now a place that needs to be cleaned 3 times a day, right before company comes, and also at the end of the week. Because, kids. For so long, I really rallied against all the mess, the dirty chaos of little boys’ poor aim and a girl who apparently is not aware that toilets flush. And then, this year, this mama just decided it’s so not worth it. They are little for such a short period of time, and while they try, no amount of coaching will correct this disaster overnight.
As the saying goes, ‘If you can’t beat ‘em, join em!’ Instead of including all the amazing bathroom refresh ideas I had in mind, we embraced the mess, used a little sarcasm, and put up some fun meme-worthy bathroom quips. If you are in this same camp and can no longer fight the good fight when it comes to all things kid bathroom, you are in the right place. Click below for our same printables. Now get yourself some pretty frames and embrace that little kid chaos as best you can until its an acceptable time for wine.
Stay in the moment...
If you are here, it means WE MADE IT! We have gone through so many changes over the last year; too many to count. And whether you are here for the first time or have been on this journey with us from the very beginning, all we can say is how excited we are for this new chapter and how thankful we are that you are here!
Our business has expanded, our ability to serve you at our brick and mortar, online, and even in your home or venue of choice has grown, right along with our hearts and the community in which we live. And our hope as we finish out 2018 is that we can exceed your expectations in all of these categories.
Check back often…we are thrilled to expand our online shop and offer both shipping and in-store pick-up, provide you with a glimpse into our life at home with the kiddos, dog, cat, and chickens through the blog, and offer you printables and other goodies to style your home as we reach out to you in your inbox.
And we couldn’t be happier that you decided to join us!
Stay…in the moment,
Why a paint line? Because I had that 30 seconds of free time one day a month ago and decided I should take on a new adventure because I am lacking in that area. Because I probably have gone off the deep end of the ocean and now I have no excuses not to finish a project. Because our community is full of amazing makers that need more than what a hardware store can offer (sorry, hardware stores are still my favorite big box vendors…seriously I am not normal). Because, believe me when I tell you, many of my clients and friends are creative artists on their own and need a place to talk out all things paint. Because I hand-mix my own formulas and colors so often I need a better and bigger selection right in our own town. Because I go through paint faster than snow melts in Texas.
Have I convinced you that you need a paint line too? No worries…you don’t need one, that’s why I adopted one! I could sit here all day and tell you that there are a million paint companies, some better than others at quality, some better than others at creating a status…but essentially you probably already knew that. And, while I can say I love the packaging and all-things-cute that this company does, they also do a stellar job of creating a product that I love using. Yes, I tested, retested, put it through the ringer, beat the dead horse, and re-questioned all things paint on many different surfaces for what felt like an eternity. So, now that I’ve done the dirty work for you…stop by, pick up supplies for your next project or pick out your favorite color so I can help you finish yours. Or just visit to take a peek at all the prettiness this stuff can create (and how pretty it looks just sitting on a shelf).
It all begins somewhere. For us it was a move, but there is also more to the story because there is always a real person behind the story. So we’ll head off those questions early and try not to bore you with the details. When I am not working on my little business…I am a grown up (most of the time), mom (that's what my 3 amazing littles call me), and lover of all things home improvement, DIY, farmhouse, and the paint counter. In truth, that is where the magic happens people. Oh the possibilities, and the beginning of angst for the hubs and 1 am mornings for me. It has taken some time, but I have gotten better at narrowing down my likes, painting a space once, and deciding on what fits well within the space I am given. And now that I have gotten to that place, I get asked all the time...how do you do that? Truthfully, I love it and could spend the entire weekend in the garage, but we all know that life with littles does not just happen in a garage. And life with your loved ones requires you to be present, I mean really in the moment, and not just physically in the space.
It’s all in the tag line, right?!?! And really it is. I named my little business not for something I am great with (shudder with naked public admittance of problem), but for something I struggle with each day. It is truly difficult for me to stay in the moment, because 90% of the time, I am already in the next moment…whether that may be plotting my next move, dreaming of my next project, or planning the next redo. And then, once I make it to that moment, I am already off and running because I have to complete that next big thing, as in right now. Here I will attempt to chronicle some of those projects, and hopefully, stay in the moment long enough to enjoy the small things, the little rascals, and the things that happen in everyday life that make it all worthwhile. I hope you join me on this little adventure.
Stay In The Moment,
Jennifer Kalista is the face behind In The Moment Restorations offering everything from the likes of design services and paint color recommendations, to custom furniture restoration and handpicked home decor, lifestyle goods, apparel and more.