Giveaway!

Hello my friends!  I’m hoping that it just escaped your attention that in my last post I announced a giveaway.  I haven’t received any entries yet and I’m SHOCKED because Spoonflower is just so darn awesome!

So, I’m extending the deadline for entries out another two weeks to 11:59pm on Tuesday, March 18th.  Click here to go to the post with the giveaway entry instructions!

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So some things have changed since we last talked…

move

We moved.

Old house: owned, 40 years old, major renovations needed, 2 stories, 2500sqft, enormous corner lot, 45 minute commute (for me)

New house: rental, less than 5 years old, no repairs needed, 1 story, 1100sqft, itty bitty postage stamp lot, 1.5hr commute (for  me)

What I’m loving: NO MORE REPAIRS!  One story.

What I’m tolerating: 1100sqft.  1.5 hr commute.

She sleeps in the sweetest positions.

Abbie sleeps in the sweetest positions.

How can you not fall in love with this??

How can you not fall in love with this??

The day she came home.

The day she came home.

Aurora and Widgit... also known as sweet n sassy.

Aurora and Widgit… also known as sweet n sassy.

We have a new addition.

Her name is Abbie and I am head over heels.

It was NOT an easy transition.  The dog (Lita) adjusted fine other than giving me the “another one?!?!” look when we brought Abbie home.  Aurora (our chubby longhaired Maine Coon mix) was fine within a day and immediately tried to start bathing Abbie.  Widgit (our white/tabby problem child) was an absolute nightmare.  She hissed and growled and became abusive (to the cats, to us, and to the house) and it lasted for weeks.  Things have *mostly* calmed down now.

vegan

Hubby and I did a two week soy-free, grain-free vegan detox at the beginning of the year.  I actually enjoyed it so much that I’m trying to maintain it.  I’m doing what I refer to as the 80/20 plan meaning that 80% of the time I’m a soy-free, grain-free vegan and 20% of the time (or 4 meals a week) I can eat something I normally wouldn’t (like fish or quinoa).  I keep getting on the wagon and then falling off and then getting back on again but I’ll tell you this – I absolutely 100% feel better when I’m ON the wagon.  (If you’re wondering why we’re soy-free, you can read more about that here.)

What major changes have happened in your life in the last 6 months?  I’d love to hear about them.

Back in the Saddle… Or am I?

So… I’ve been debating.  Do I want to return to blogging?  I can’t honestly say that I have the answer to that 100% figured out.  I enjoyed it for the most part however, if I’m being honest, it’s a lot of work.  More so that you would ever think!  And I’m writing an itty-bitty-hardly-anyone-knows-it-exists blog!  I can’t honestly even begin to imagine the kind of work that goes into blogs like Young House Love (one of my faves, btw).  While some could argue that Sherry & John (from YHL) blog for a living (which they do) they also have a kiddo running around.  AND, they’re DIYing enormous projects!  I’m lucky to get a tiny craft project done.  Let’s face it.  We’re busy.  Or, at least, 99% of us are.  If you’re part of that 1%, you’re doing something seriously wrong.  There is absolutely no excuse to be bored these days!  So, like I was saying… blogging takes a lot of work.  My original reason for blogging was because I was bored at my job.  But, I’ve been at a new job now for over a year and I’m no longer bored.  I thought I might try to make a tiny bit of spare change by offering ad space on my blog but honestly, I think that’s going to make for more work – and I quit blogging because of the amount of time it was taking me.

While I know that the argument could be made that I can always blog sporadically I just don’t think I can do it.  I’m pretty OCD.  I live and die by a schedule (or so it seems).  I don’t do things all willy nilly.  I need a PLAN.  I need an OUTLINE.  Strange as it seems, blogging “when and if I feel like it” would actually cause me more stress then blogging 5 days a week.

Am I coming back?  I don’t know.  Part of me misses blogging and wants to recommit but there is definitely a voice in the back of my head saying that I’ll be burned out again in a few weeks.  I don’t want to do things in half measures.  Either I’m going to blog, or I’m not.  Simple as that.

Anyone care to weigh in with any words of wisdom here?

Sidenote:  funnily enough, I wrote everything before this sentence I drafted back on September 24, 2013… I obviously haven’t had either the time or the desire (or both) to get back into blogging.  And then something funny happened.  I got featured on another blog just this week (you can see that here).  Honestly I have no idea how the author found me considering I haven’t blogged since July but I digress.  So here’s the thing… that ONE feature post gave me more blog views in a single day then I’ve had in the entirety of my blog to date.  How crazy is that?  I’d be lying if I told you that I’m not excited about that.  So… now I’m back to considering blogging again.  What do you think???

Checking In

Well if you were an avid reader then I owe you an apology for just dropping off the face of the planet.  I just got so completely overwhelmed with my life that something had to go and it had to go NOW!  So, I dropped the blog.  It’s been nearly 3 months!  I still am not 100% sure if or when I’ll start posting again but I just wanted to check in and let you know that I’m not dead.  J  Hope you’re all doing great.  HUGS!

Ever just have one of THOSE days???

So this basically sums up my day Sunday…

crappy day

 

52 Tips to Make Life Easier

Lets face it – we could all use a few tricks up our sleeve to make things easier from time to time.  One of the blogs I subscribe to (DIY Home Sweet Home) compiled this list of 52 Tips to Make Life Easier and I think it’s worth reading.

You’re welcome!

52 tips to make life easier

Those that say you can’t take it with you never saw a car packed for a vacation trip. ~Author Unknown

So Changing My Marbles will be on hiatus for the next week or so while my hubby and I get some much needed R&R in The Ozarks.

Just to make you jealous, heehee, here are some pictures of the loveliness that we’re about to experience…

The Ozarks (1)
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The Ozarks (2)
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The Ozarks (3)
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The Ozarks (4)
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The Ozarks (5)
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The Ozarks (6)
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The Ozarks (7)
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See you next week!

Beauty, to me, is about being comfortable in your own skin. That, or a kick-ass red lipstick. ~Gwyneth Paltrow

I’ve seen this article posted on about half of my friends Facebook feeds in the last week.  Finally, last night right before bed, I took the time to see what all the fuss was about.  I watched the YouTube video and I got it.  I bawled.  If you haven’t watched it, click on this link here and go do it now.  I’ll wait.

Dove Real Beauty

Really – go watch it!

Are you moved?  Did you cry?  It’s ok if you did.  I certainly did.  I know without a shadow of a doubt that I am more beautiful than I realize.  This is something I struggle with Every. Single. Day.  It doesn’t help that I’m overweight but I think that every woman has this same struggle.  Only a very small percentage of us actually see ourselves the way we are.

They say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder.  What do you see when you look in the mirror?

 

Window Shopping Wednesday

Alright my friends… we’re continuing on with our trip through West Elm.  If you remember, last week we looked at their furniture and this week we’re going to look at linens.

This weeks featured shop:  West Elm Bedding, Rugs, Curtains and Bath Linens

They offer this pintuck duvet cover in several colors but this one (slate) is my favorite (although I do love the color ‘sea’ as well).

Organic Cotton Pintuck Duvet Cover + Shams - Slate

This ikat set would look fantastic in a teenage girls room.

Organic Winter Ikat Duvet Cover

This striped duvet cover screams ‘bachelor’ to me – but in a well dressed, swanky sort of way. 

Rivulet Stripe Duvet Cover + Shams

I think this sort of southwestern look is coming back, and I have to say… I kinda like it… which I find strange because it’s not really ‘my look’ at all. 

Kew Wool Dhurrie

I don’t know if it is or not but this rug just looks so soft and plush.  The pattern rocks too.

Rif Wool Rug

This line of curtains is called ‘luxe’ and I have to say… they definitely live up to their name.

Luxe Window Panel – Ivory

I love the woodgrain texture of these towels.  It’s a great way to add a bit of detailing in a usually overlooked area of the bathroom.

Organic Woodgrain Towel

These hand towels just make me smile and think of a lake or beach house.  I love that they’re monogramable too. 

Hammam Stripe Hand Towel

Thanks for shopping with me today!!!

Recipe Review: Orange-Chicken Rice Bowl

I think I’ve mentioned before that I stink at making Chinese food.  Sometimes, however, I stumble across a recipe that does most of the work for me, like this one

orange-chicken rice bowl

Orange-Chicken Rice Bowl

Serves: 4

INGREDIENTS

  • 1lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips
  • ¼ cup Asian Toasted Sesame Dressing
  • ¼ cup orange juice
  • 3 cups frozen stir-fry vegetables
  • 3 cups hot cooked long-grain white rice
  • ¼ cup chopped salted peanuts

DIRECTIONS

  1. Heat large nonstick skillet on medium-high heat. Add chicken; stir-fry 5 to 7 min. or until done.
  2. Stir in dressing and juice. Bring to boil. Add vegetables; cook 5 to 7 min. or until heated through, stirring occasionally.
  3. Serve over rice; top with nuts.

THOUGHTS

  • The flavor of this dish is great, but I prefer mine with more sauce so I think next time I’ll double the sauce contents (the dressing and orange juice). 
  • I’m not an enormously huge fan of broccoli in my Chinese food and most frozen stir-fry mixes are at least 50% broccoli.  I think next time I’ll use half a bag of stir-fry mix and half a bag of frozen bell peppers and onions. 
  • This is definitely a quick and easy weeknight meal. 

You can view all of the recipes I’ve posted by clicking here.