Monday, January 31, 2011

New York City Chocolate Show

I guess I shouldn't talk about New Year's Resolutions and then immediately launch into a post about chocolate. That's not very nice.

I attended this fabulous event in Chelsea with my friends Heidi and Hailey (way back in November) and we thoroughly enjoyed it. My favorite of about a million samples were: chocolate covered wasabi, chocolate covered bacon, and a dark chocolate with sea salt. Mmmm.

If you like chocolate, you are going to love these...





Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Good News for your iPhone {Blogger goes mobile!)

I am pleased to announced that my photo-heavy blog will no longer be crashing your iPhone. Hooray! Blogger introduced mobile web templates. You will still have the choice to view it in web mode, but at least now you will have an option. And now for your viewing pleasure:

If you have a blogger blog, you should do it too so MY iPhone won't crash when I read YOUR blog.  But you have to upgrade to the new "Blogger in Draft" upgrade (amazing!) from your dashboard, scroll all the way to the bottom of the screen and you'll see it under "Tools and Resources." Then do this: 

Monday, January 24, 2011

Resolutions {only a month late}

Ah, New Year's Resolutions. By now you probably have an idea of whether or not yours are going to work for you. I have been thinking about my personal goals for the coming year, and I've realized that resolutions for me are all about balance. Finding, or rediscovering balance in my life. It's taken a lifetime to figure out what I need personally, and six and a half years of marriage to know what we need daily as a family to stay happy. I feel as though it's a never-ending journey.

My New Year's resolutions for this year are combination of goals that I know bring me balance and happiness, and goals that I hope will bring me greater balance and happiness. If my new goals help, I'll keep them. If they don't bring the balance I'm hoping for, I'll scrap them and try something new.

Over the years my problem has been that I only set big goals. There's nothing wrong with that, but I find there is a disconnect for me unless I plan on a very basic level. So my goals this year are manly small ones that will lead to a greater outcome. I use an iPhone app that twice daily reminds me of my to-do list, and I plan make myself an abbreviated, nifty little 5x7 reminder card that will go on my fridge and in my closet so I can see it everyday throughout the day, for I am a visual learner. I'm excited.

  • get dressed and ready to go out the door after breakfast (regardless of whether we are actually leaving. This gives us flexibility so we can leave, and helps us set patterns for days when we actually do need to get out the door first thing.)
  • do the hard things first (this has been a paradigm shift for me. I used to try to work up to the hard stuff or push it off until absolutely necessary, but I've learned that if I take my day by the horns and get the crap I don't want to do first, then I have the rest of day to do whatever I want. Guilt free.)
  • leave the house with ten minutes to spare (in NYC you never know what you're going to get with your building elevator, public transportation, and other issues along the way, and ten minutes seems to be a good buffer. It means that we are often rather early, but we are almost never late. That is a good feeling.)
  • prepare the night before (I struggle with 'level 2 planning,' so I'm often running out the door with my stroller on fire because I didn't plan ahead for 9-12 "oh, that will just take a second" tasks. We pack lunches, lay out clothes, prepare the stroller/diaper bag, set out the mail that needs to be taken out, etc.)
  • Using and weekly budget review meetings with Kyle (helps us avoid the "how in the world did we go over budget last month!" conversations, and helps with our long-term goals of paying off student loans, saving money for our 'hope for a house' fund, and of course saving for fun things like vacations and much-needed camera & laptop upgrades, etc.)
  • end the day with a vacuumed floor (we do this after dinner), clean counter tops, and an empty dishwasher (so that we can start the day with a clean home and keep it that way)
  • continue deep cleaning on Tuesdays, light cleaning Fridays and
  • continue the mantras "do it now, or it won't get done" and "keep it clean before it gets dirty" (both have changed my life for the better) and add "simplify"
  • Schedule time on my calendar for sewing, crafts, and blogging -I got this idea from Melanie (I have a million projects swirling in my brain and I never seem to get most of them done because I don't make time to sit down and do them. What a pity. I think it's a brilliant idea to make time for fun activities like you make time for boring ones like paying bills and laundry.
  • download/edit/blog photos every day
  • Do something in NYC without kids at least once a week (this could be a date night, going to Trader Joes after Kyle gets home from work, a photo shoot, or swapping babysitting so that I can go shopping in Chelsea or do some photography projects during the day)
  • Read from a book every day (the idea is to get off my computer and back into my scriptures, novels, old text books, or one of my new magazine subscriptions-yay!)
  • Send cards to immediate family members for birthdays and anniversaries
If you're still reading this epic post, I'll tell you a secret. Ok, it's not a secret, but I'd love suggestions. There are two goals I want to make that I am hoping will bring my life better balance- meal planning and running. Any tips on how to juggle a running plan and 2 kids? And any of you have any brilliant tips for meal planning that don't involve extensive graphs or flow charts?


I'm still here {but is anybody else?}

It's been a while. If there is anyone still reading this, pat yourself on the back for being a loyal cyberfriend. I'm lucky to have you after all I've put you through. The neglect, the waiting, the disappointment. Will you still be my friend?

There are good things to come. That's a promise. Pinky swear style.

{and if you care to know, here's what we've been up to: Ella has been potty training, Jones has been teething, Kyle has been working, and I've been trying (and failing) to keep it all together here at home while we have been entertaining visitors, fighting off nasty colds, and trying to get organized. I made some pretty aggressive resolutions with regards to my pictures and this blog, so when they kick in at some point, watch out, world }