Wednesday, February 26, 2020

This is Six… Olivia’s Birthday Interview

One of my New Year’s Goals was to start combining the kids’ birthday letter and interview into one post, but I didn’t like the way it looked when I got it all put together so I just decided to continue doing the birthday posts the same way I’ve been doing them all these years.  If you missed her birthday letter you can see it here and today it’s all about her birthday interview!      

I interviewed her this past weekend and this is what she came up with for her sixth!  As always, my commentary is in parentheses.

1.      What is your favorite toy?  “Um, Frozen 2 dolls… and Hatchimals.”
2.      What is your favorite stuffed animal?  “SHEEEEPIE!  You know that, right?”  (Yes, yes I do.)
3.      What is your favorite game?  “Um, this is a hard one.  Hmmmm.  That game where you play with those pretend cupcakes.”  Me: “Your cupcake princess game?”  Olivia: “Mmhmmmm.”
4.      What is your favorite sport?  “Hmm this is a hard one, OH, BALLET!”
5.      What is your favorite book?  “Oh, this one is a hard one. Hmmmm… Little Acorn, NO, I am a Bunny!!”  (She has been obsessed with I am a Bunny lately.)
6.      What is your favorite TV show?  “Um, Masha and the Bear.  I mean Frozen.  Frozen 2.  Sorry about that.”  (Why does she always sound like such an adult?  LOL.)  Me: “Frozen 2 is a movie.”  Olivia: “I guess Masha and the Bear.”
7.      What is your favorite movie?  “Ohhhh, Frozen 2.  Haaaa haaaa.”
8.      What is your favorite song?  “Frozen 2 soundtrack.”  (I’m sensing a theme here.) 
9.      What is your favorite band or singer?  “Oh my gosh.  The person who sings Where the North Winds Meet the Seas.  Do you know her?”  Me: *googles*  “That is Evan Rachel Wood.” 
10. What is your favorite holiday?  “Chriiiistmaaaassss.  Because I get toys.  And because Jesus was born.  That’s the most goodest holiday ever.  Yeah, it is!  Because Jesus was born.  And Lent is probably the second most holiday because that’s when Jesus rose from the dead.”  (Oh my gosh, this girl.  Lol.)
11. What is your favorite season?  “Uhhhh winter?”
12. What is your favorite color?  “Pink.  Ha.  That’s easy.”
13. What is your favorite animal?  “Unicorn!”
14. What is your favorite shirt?  “Ummmm.  When I was little, the Belle one for when I was turning three.”  (Wouldn’t have guessed that.  She never seemed attached to it and honestly didn’t even wear it that much aside from her birthday that year.)
15. What is your favorite fruit?  “Um, raspberries.”  (Truth.  Literally the only fruit she will eat now for two years running.)
16. What is your favorite vegetable?  “Uh, ooooh, broccoli.”  (Truth.  She eats bigger servings of it than I do now!  And it’s pretty much the only vegetable she’ll eat.  She does love okra, too, though.)
17. What is your favorite snack?  “Fruit snacks… which I just ate some.”  (So true.  Our kids would turn into a fruit snack if they could.)
18. What is your favorite treat?  “Bubblegum!”  (This is actually true for the second year running.  Girlfriend loves her some gum.)
19. What is your favorite drink?  “Waterrrr!”  (Just so y’all know she is answering all of these questions like she thinks I’m an idiot for even asking.  Haha.)
20. What is your favorite thing to eat for dinner?  “Ughhhh.”  *makes a face like she’s appalled by the thought of dinner food* (Which is probably true… she and Jacob rarely get excited about anything that anybody cooks, myself included.)  “PEANUT BUTTER AND JELLY!!  Sometimes I do have that for dinner…”
21. What is your favorite restaurant?  “Ummmm nothing.”  Me: “Nothing?!”  Olivia: “Are you going to type nothing??”  Me: *keeps typing*  Olivia: “WHAT ARE YOU TYPING?!”  Me: *keeps typing*  Olivia: “A restaurant that has peanut butter and jelly.”  Me: “What about Mexican??”  Olivia: *nods head in agreement*
22. Who is your best friend?  “Rebecca, Aubrey, and Becca.”  (I was wondering what she would say for this one.  Her best friend, Becca, moved away a few months ago so I wasn’t sure if she’d remember to include her.  I’m so glad she did!)
23. What makes you feel happy?  “Hmmmm… I don’t know.  Are you typing I don’t know?”  Me: “Yes!”  Olivia: “AAAAHHHH.”  Me: “So what makes you happy?”  Olivia: “Maui and Daddy and Jacob and you.” 
24. What makes you feel sad?  “When Jesus died on the cross.”  (Y’all!)
25. What are you afraid of?  “Um, being by myself… and monsters… and dreams about bad things.”  Me: “I never knew that you were afraid of being by yourself.”  Olivia: “Well I am.”  *matter-of-factly*  (She’s always been super independent when it comes to doing things for herself, but she is definitely a people person and loves to be with someone at all times… like, all up on at least one of us at all times when we’re at home.  I never knew she was afraid to be alone, though.)
26. What are you thankful for?  “Uh, you, Daddy, Jacob, Maui, and all my grandparents.  And God, too.  And Jesus.” 
27. What are you really good at?  “Running.”  Me: “Anything else?”  Olivia: “Doing gifts for my family.”  (That could not be more true!  She is constantly making things for us and for all of her friends!)
28. What is your best memory?  “When I was a baby that Jacob holded me.  Cuz he really did hold me.  See in that picture?”  *points to the picture of Jacob holding her on my bulletin board*  Me: “What’s your best memory that you remember on your own without looking at a picture?”  Olivia: “Going to Disney World for 8 days!”  (We didn’t go for 8 days the last time, but you get the point.  Haha.)
29. What do you want to be when you grow up?  “Uhhhh, Elsa and a ballerina.”  (For two years running!)
30. If you could have one wish, what would it be?  “To be a fairy and fly!”  (Sounds about right!!)

Happy birthday week to our favorite gal!

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Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Happy 6th Birthday to Our Olivia Cate!

Sweetest Girl,

Another year has come and gone and you have grown by leaps and bounds yet again.  You’re as tall as ever, your personality is about as big as ever, and your zest for life – you guessed it – HUGE. 

This past year you started kindergarten, and to say that you are thriving is pretty much the understatement of the century.  Girl, you love school so much and you. are. so. good. at. it.  You are reading (on a second – third grade level), you are writing like a tiny adult, you are solving math problems like it’s your job, and you are acing every single assignment that you do.  You can’t get enough of it and you adore coming home and doing homework every afternoon, too… so much that you refuse to use a homework pass even though your folder is overflowing with them. 

You have started pretending to be a teacher at home, often creating your own assignments for us to do, and reading to us “at the front of the class.”  You cross your little legs just like an adult woman would and you hold the book up so your “class” can see the pictures for every page.  I think your teacher has really made an impression on you this year and I wouldn’t be surprised to see you become a teacher one day, too. 

You already have a good little group of friends at school even though your best friend, Becca, moved away earlier this school year.  You were devastated about that, but fortunately, one of your old friends from your old daycare moved over to join you at your forever school this year.  Y’all continued right where you left off and you are the sweetest little besties.  It was perfect timing.

You have your first crush ever this year and it is an absolute hoot.  You sigh and melt at the mere mention of his name and you’ve had all of us cracking up over the love notes and pictures you’ve been making for him.  You’re starting way too early, lady!  Slow it down! 

You sing and hum nonstop and there’s rarely a moment that you’re ever quiet.  I honestly don’t know how you never get in trouble at school… and your teacher this year seems to run a pretty tight ship, so that’s saying a lot! 

You are completely and utterly obsessed with Frozen II and Mommy and Daddy and Jacob are all completely sick of hearing Into the Unknown and Show Yourself.  Every night when you step into the shower you have your own little concert and you just belt those songs out every time.  It’s so funny.

You love princesses, makeup, dresses, Hatchimals, and unicorns and this year you have started crafting like it’s your job.  You don’t care whether it’s painting rocks, making jewelry, designing your own fashion outfits, or what… you will not say no to an arts and crafts kit! 

You love to write and draw and you spend most of your free time at the kitchen table making your creations.  You are incredibly thoughtful and you’re always making cards for people’s birthdays, making handmade Valentines for your friends, and writing letters to send to Becca and your other friends at school.  It’s all completely unprompted and you are adamant about following through and having said gifts delivered.  I have a huge stack of stuff that you’ve made just for me and several of my favorites are on display in my office. 

You are still in ballet and tap and you are loving it as well.  You performed in your first recital this past year and you rocked it, but I wouldn’t have expected any less.  Your next recital is in about three months and you’re already counting it down. 

The biggest milestone this past year for you (besides starting kindergarten) was probably getting your ears pierced!!!!  You had talked about it for years, but always shied away from it when I explained what they have to do to pierce your ears.  This past year you decided you were ready and once that decision was made we didn’t hear the end of it until we finally took you.  Persistence is your middle name and sometimes that gets you in trouble. 

Another milestone from the past year was that we finally turned your bedroom into a big girl room!  You now have your very own full-size bed with a canopy, and from the moment we tucked you in that first night, you started sleeping through the night in your own bed.  It’s been bittersweet to have our bed to ourselves again, and I often miss feeling your little warm body sleeping next to mine after you would creep into our room at 2 AM.  You do still join us if you’re awakened by a loud storm, but other than that, you’re perfectly content in your own bed now. 

When it comes to food, your love for peanut butter and jelly hasn’t just remained… it’s grown even stronger!  I don’t even know how that’s possible, though.  I keep expecting you to wake up one day and realize you’re just SICK of it but you never do.  Cheese dip at the Mexican restaurant is still your other favorite and I’m right there with you on that one.

You still only drink water and that is literally it.  You refuse to drink anything else and that is just wild to me!  So many other kids prefer sugary fruit juices and soft drinks, but you don’t like any of them.  I hope water is always your drink of choice. 

You are still the jolliest little gal I know and I often find myself wishing that I could be as carefree and lighthearted as you are.  I was way more carefree when I was a child than I am now, but I don’t think I have ever been as lighthearted as you are.  I pray that you keep that light as you grow.  Sometimes life is hard, and that positive little attitude of yours will take you a long way when the hard stuff hits.

You are pure joy, lady, and we all just love you so much!  Happy birthday!


Monday, February 24, 2020

20 Simple Changes I Made Around the House that Have Made Life Easier - Part 2

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Last week, I started sharing a few things that I changed around our home last year that have made our lives easier.  My intention was to share all 20 things in one post, but the post got a bit lengthy, so I had to split it into two.  If you missed the first one, you can see it here and today I’m sharing the second half! 

Here we go!

E L E V E N – Created a designated place to diffuse oils downstairs

When I first started oiling last year, I wasn’t sure how much I would like it or if I’d even stick with it, so in the beginning, the diffuser floated around the house along with all of my oils and accessories. 

I quickly fell in love and knew I was going to be in it for the long haul, so I set out to find a permanent home for my diffuser as well as a place to store everything else.  I knew I wanted the diffuser to be in the kitchen since it’s the heart of our home, and I ultimately decided that the kitchen island would be the perfect place.  It’s in the center of the kitchen which allows the mist to spread more evenly throughout the house, and there are no cabinets above that space to get in the way. 

I bought a gorgeous serving basket at Kohl’s to sit in the middle of the island to hold my supplies.  The diffuser is there along with a little glass jar to hold some of the accessories.  That little vignette has become one of my favorite spots in our whole kitchen and it looks so much sweeter there than the tiered tray full of produce that used to be there.

To organize all of my oils, I found a cute little shelf for just $19.99 at TJ Maxx.  I hung it on the wall in the kitchen near the diffuser, and I was able to line all of my oils along the shelves in a manner that allows me to see everything I have at a glance.  I chose to organize my oils in rainbow order (you know!), but you could organize them in alphabetical order, too.  ;o) 

T W E L V E – Added extenders in kids’ closets

The kids both have closets in their bedrooms and each closet has one hanging rack near the top.  Since the racks are so high, neither child could reach their own clothes and that obviously presented a problem every day when it was time to get dressed. 

I found some closet extenders at Target and it was an easy and inexpensive fix that allowed us to add an extra hanging space on their level that didn’t require screwing into the walls or installing anything permanent.  The width can be shortened or extended to fit any closet and it was seriously the easiest thing to set up.  Literally all you do is attach the two hanging bars to the main bar and then you just hang it in your closet.  This took about two minutes of my time and only $10 out of our pockets.  Both kids now have two rows to hang clothes and they can now reach the bottom row themselves.

I keep all of their clothes for the current season on the bottom rack so they can reach what they need, and the clothes for the other season go on the top rack.  When the seasons change, I just swap them out.  Easy peasy and oh so affordable.  I dedicated an entire post to this and you can see it here.

T H I R T E E N – Added plastic pocket organizers to kids’ closets

Another problem we had in the kids’ closets is that we had no good place to store their shoes.  When I would clean out and organize their closets I would line their little shoes up in neat rows but within two days all of them were scattered all over the floor of the closet, rolling under the clothes and disappearing behind other things.  This resulted in lots of “lost” shoes, especially for Olivia, who sometimes can’t even find the things that are right in front of her face.  Lol.

I bought over-the-door pocket organizers for each of their closets and now all of their shoes are right there on the door lined up for them to see.  They can see every pair that they have, and for Olivia, that’s especially great since she has so many different ones from which to choose.

F O U R T E E N – Bought a nail polish organizer

For years I stored my nail polish in our medicine cabinet lined up in tidy little rows.  The problem with that was that I couldn’t easily see all of the colors I had on hand.  I ended up using the same ones in the front over and over because I rarely wanted to take the time to pull each of them out to see what I had.

This was an easy fix – I bought a tiered nail polish organizer, set it up in the same spot in our medicine cabinet, and now I’m able to see all of the bottles at the same time! 

F I F T E E N – Installed a pantry door organizer

Our pantry in our kitchen is small, but it worked for us until we had kids.  Once we had kids, we started keeping aaaallll the snacks on hand, and we got to a point where we literally didn’t have enough room to store all of our food items (a blessing, yes, but a pain, too #firstworldprobs).  I thought about transferring some items to a cabinet since we have so much cabinet space, but my Type A (read: OCD) reeeeaaaalllly needed all of the food items together in one location. 

I found the perfect rack and it has been a complete game changer!  It added a huge amount of useable space and we now have enough room to store all of our food in one place.  My OCD heart is happy.

S I X T E E N – Bought bins for the medicine cabinet

Prior to having bins, we stored all of our medicines and first aid supplies in organized rows on a shelf in our cabinet.  Again, they were organized, but it was impossible to see everything easily which meant that it was a pain to find what we needed when we needed it.  This also resulted in us buying duplicate items when we didn’t need them. 

My initial instinct was to buy some sort of tiered shelf organizer to stand everything on, but I quickly realized that wouldn’t work because of the weird shapes and sizes of some of the items.  Instead, I bought this set of 3 acrylic bins from Amazon and I organized all of our supplies in them – first aid items in one bin, adult medications in one bin, and kid medications in one bin.  Now, we just pull the bin down that we need, and we can easily access everything that we have.  Each item can be taken out and put back easily.  No more hunting ten rows deep for the one item that we need. 

S E V E N T E E N – Bought an organizer for the toiletry drawer

B and I keep our toothbrushes and toothpastes, dental floss and picks, and a few other toiletry items in the top drawer in our bathroom.  Prior to buying organizers, our toothbrushes were stored in a cup on the countertop (which I hated) and everything else was just floating around loose in the drawer.  It drove me insane. 

I bought this set of interlocking trays to organize all of our little toiletries and it fits perfectly in the drawer without wasting any space.  Now each item has its own cubby, it doesn’t slide around, and our toothbrushes don’t have to be exposed on the countertop!

E I G H T E E N – Created a designated space to do daily quiet time and meditation

I used to be really bad about skipping quiet time.  I never had a designated time or place to do it and my devotionals and other materials were often in different places each day.  This often resulted in me skipping altogether because I didn’t feel like rounding up the supplies or finding a quiet place to do it.

Last year when I made over my home office, I bought a chair and a small accent table to put by the window and I declared it my designated spot to do my quiet time and meditation.  I now have a quiet place to sit where I don’t have to worry about being interrupted, and I have all of the supplies I need to be comfortable and successful – a lumbar pillow for comfort, a basket of blankets to snuggle up if I’m cold, and a lamp for extra light.  The little table has a shelf on the bottom where I keep my ever-growing stack of devotionals and self-improvement books and it has a drawer where I keep my prayer list, my daily affirmations, and a pen and highlighter to take notes.

Since I’ve created this space, I’ve been so consistent with both my prayer time and my meditation and it has become one of my favorite things to look forward to each day.  I haven’t missed a single day in 50+ days!

N I N E T E E N – Bought a Makeup Organizer

I’ve been wearing makeup since probably 9th grade or so, and for my entire life I have stored my makeup in a makeup bag… I just threw everything in there.  Each day I had to dump it all out, sift through to find what I needed, and then throw it all back in there. 

Last year I realized just how dumb and time-consuming that was, and I went and bought an acrylic makeup organizer.  Now all of my makeup is organized, easy to find, and I don’t have to sort through it every day.  I store the organizer in my bathroom drawer so it’s out of sight when I’m not using it, and each morning, I just pull out the organizer and everything is right there at my fingertips.  I love the acrylic bins because you can see everything inside, even the small items that fall to the bottom. 

T W E N T Y – Bought an Amazon Echo for my office and the kitchen

Y’all.  I’ve wanted an Echo Dot for so long and B finally gave me the gift of Alexa this past Christmas.  I’m totally kicking myself for not having gotten her sooner.  Is there anything she can’t do?!  She’ll play music by artist or genre or on Pandora, and she’ll even the play lists on your phone.  She can tune in to your favorite local radio station, she’ll set timers and reorder items we’re out of, and she’ll answer cooking questions (and pretty much any other question you have).  Need to know how many tablespoons are in ½ of a cup?  Alexa’s got you!  And the best part is that she can do all of those things for you, hands free!

I love her so much that B got a big Echo for me for Valentine’s Day so we can also enjoy her services in the kitchen while also having the premium sound.  He also gave me a smart plug which allows Alexa to control an electrical outlet of your choice.  I always hate bending down to plug in the bar cart lights but I use them every day because I love the ambiance they provide, so we decided to hook up our first smart plug to the bar cart.  Now all I have to do when I get home each day is say, “Alexa, turn on the bar cart,” and PING, on come the twinkle lights!  Aaaahhhh technology.  Time to wire the whole house! 

But anyway, Alexa has made all of our lives so convenient and the kids are having fun with her, too… maybe a little too much fun since Olivia almost started a subscription for Amazon Music the other day.  Face palm.  Time to turn on the parental controls!!

My goal for sharing this post was to hopefully inspire you to locate your own pain points in your house and try to find some permanent fixes for them to save time for you and to make your lives easier.  Sometimes all you really need are the right tools to be successful and I hope you’ve found a few of them here today. 

If you do decide to find solutions for the pain points in your homes, I’d love to hear from you!  Be sure to tag me in your posts and stories on Instagram @lindsayssweetworld!  I’d love to get some ideas from you, too!!

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Friday, February 21, 2020

Five on Friday - Rothy's, Leopard Dress, and the Enneagram Test

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Whew, what a week!  We had buckets of rain, I had more car troubles (engine light on AGAIN, got it serviced AGAIN, then the engine light came on AGAIN), and I’ve been solo-momming + taking care of Brian while his back heals.  It’s been an odd week, that’s for sure, and I’m so excited to see Friday… and sunshine!  It may only be around for a day or two, but hey, we’ll take what we can get at this point.

Here are some favorites from the week!

O N E – Rothy’s Mary Janes!!

Okay, everyone raves about Rothy’s and I’ve had them on my wish list for a very long time, but due to the extremely high price point, I just haven’t been able to bring myself to pull the trigger. 

In case you’re not familiar with Rothy’s, they are a shoe company that focuses on sustainability and they strive for zero waste in their manufacturing process.  All of their shoes are made from recycled water bottles (so crazy, right?), they are supposedly the most comfortable shoes ever, and to top it off, they’re machine-washable (which is my favorite part)!   

They come in several different fits and loads of colors and patterns including buffalo plaid and leopard (two of my favorites!) and earlier this week they released their newest fit – the Mary Jane.  Oh my word, how beautiful is this shoe?!

BRB – adding the leopard ones to my birthday wish list!  

Wish I could get the navy ones, too!  Total SWOON.

T W O – Leopard Dress

Speaking of leopard, y’all know this dress that I love so much from Amazon that I have in two colors?  Well, guess what?  I just found out that it comes in leopard, too!!!!  This will be on my birthday list for sure!  I cannot say enough good things about it… the fit, the quality, the colors… I love it so much.  And this leopard one is only $22.99.

T H R E E – Enneagram

Over the last couple of years it seems like everyone and their grandma has been talking about the enneagram personality test.  I jumped on the bandwagon last year and took the test, and my results showed that I identify primarily with type 6.  I read a lot of each of the different types and I couldn’t agree more.  Type 6 people are extremely prone to anxiety and that could not be more true of myself. 

As part of my journey to a healthier 2020, I’ve decided to explore my personality type a bit more because I think it could be beneficial in my journey to kicking my anxiety.  A few months ago I started following @enneagramashton on Instagram and her posts are always so fascinating!  I constantly find myself nodding my head every time she posts about sixes.  I pulled the graphic below from her account, and literally every single characteristic listed below describes me perfectly.  Every single one. 

I was also incredibly intrigued by her “What to Say Yes to in 2020” series as well as her "What to Leave Behind in 2020" series because all of the tasks are exactly the things I’m working on in 2020 (aside from the toxic relationships thing... I, thankfully, don't have any of those anymore).  Looks like I had the right idea this year!

I’m going to try to coax B into taking the test because I’d love to know which type he is.  I can see him fitting into the 5 or 9 category, but I don’t feel like either of those describe him as perfectly as a 6 describes me.  I am already guessing that Jacob will end up being a 6 like his momma (bless) and Olivia, hands down, is already a 7.  Girlfriend loves life and is always down for a party.  Not a care in the world.  #MustBeNice

With all of that said, I’ve heard great things about two books – The Road Back to You: An Enneagram Journey to Self-Discovery and The Path Between Us: An Enneagram Journey to Healthy Relationships.  Have any of you read either of these?  Are they worth the read?  And also, just for fun, what’s your Enneagram type?  I seriously can’t get enough of this stuff. 

F O U R – Nana Treasures

My daddy forwarded three old pictures to me this past week that he came across recently.  They were taken in April 2014 when Jacob was just two years old (and Olivia was a newborn) and I don’t think I’ve ever seen them before!  That’s Jacob with my Nana and Papa John, both of whom we lost last year.  Just look at those chubby little cheeks.  My gosh, I miss him being that little.  And we are all missing Nana and Papa John, too.

F I V E – Flashback Friday

This picture of Olivia popped up in my Timehop this past week and it gave me all the feels.  She was just a week shy of one year old when I snapped it and I’m so grateful to have captured that moment of rocking her to sleep one day for her nap.  That pink sheep, or “Sheepie” as we affectionately call her, has been with Olivia since the day she was born, and it was a big brother gift from Jacob.  She still loves Sheepie more than any of her other stuffed animals and she carries her everywhere.  It is so sweet! 

It’s amazing how giant Sheepie looks next to her one-year-old body compared to her five-year-old body.  My, how she’s grown.  Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go dry my eyes.   

Friday Funnies

2019 was the epitome of this and I'm starting to have flashbacks after this week.  Haha.

Y'all!  Why is he SO cute?!

Anybody else missing these memes as much as I am?!  Bring the cat back!  Haha.

I literally LOLed at this one.


On the Blog This Week

Happy Friday, y’all! 

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