Nuggets: Relationships

Today I am linking up with The Blended Blog for their nuggets of advice series. Today’s topic appropriately on Valentine’s Eve is    relationships.

Last week I blogged about  how I keep my marriage strong. You can read that post Here

But what I wished I mentioned in last week’s post was that the relationship I cultivated with my husband’s son has created in many ways the foundation of our marriage. I do not want to get into any identifying specifics about my stepson on my blog so I’ll speak generally. My number one tip in creating a relationship with a love interest’s child is to build a relationship with that child’s other parent. So about a year into my relationship with my future husband, I called his ex-wife to introduce myself. In my mind she had every right to know the woman who was spending time with her child. She was receptive to that initial conversation and over time we built a relationship and it has been such a blessing! I think one of the worst aspects for a child of divorce is to spend a lot of time missing the other parent. Building a good relationship with my stepson’s mom has meant that at least in the big days in his life there isn’t a “team mom” and a “team dad” but rather a “team R”. ( R is my stepson) We have co-hosted birthday parties, celebrated church events as a family and sit together at school functions. I am NOT taking credit for this–both my husband and his ex wife have done their parts to make this relationship work. 

My husband and I now have a two year old daughter and his ex wife has been a part of her life. She visited us in the hospital the day she was born and has attended both of her birthday parties. You can never have too many people who delight in your child so we welcome her presence in our daughter’s life. 

This was fun. I’ll be back tomorrow for the Show and Tell Tuesday. And I will be back on Feb 20th to share my work out strategies with this link up. 

Workin’ it Wednesday: Marriage

Good morning. I think I may have ghosted my blog! Haha, good to be back and linking up with Erika and Shay for their monthly Workin’ It series. Today’s topic is marriage.

I have been married for not quite five years so I am far from an ‘expert’, my marriage is definitely a work in progress. But I do have a couple of tips that have served me well.

Treat your spouse as you well as you would an acquaintance.

Hear me out. We would all try to not be snappish if a coworker or our child’s teacher asked us a question or to perform a favor. But yet that is an ‘okay’ response for a spouse!?! Again if we were spending time with our Pastor would we spend it with our eyes glued to our iPhone? Of course not. Our spouse too often is the last to receive the basic courtesies we extend to the bit players in our lives. We say our spouse is the most important person in our life, our actions should match that sentiment.

Your mess is not less irksome than his mess.

I think a basic truth in life is that someone else’s mess is always more of a bother than one’s own. This is important to remember when you’re living in close quarters with someone else so it applies to roommates as well as spouses. My husband comes home from a long day of working on his feet, strolls into our living room, sits down and takes off his heavy work boots and then leaves them. Right there. On our living room floor. Will walk away and the boots are: STILL THERE. Every. Single. Day. Drives me batty. But I need to remember that my habit of taking my shoes off at our back door and then walking away drives him equally crazy. Especially as it becomes a big pile of shoes within a couple days. In my mind his shoe habit is far worse: muddy job site boots in our living room. In his mind my habit is worse: cluttered pile of shoes creating a safety hazard on our back staircase. In truth we are both right. So when I begin stewing about his work boots, I remember how much my shoe pile annoys him and I check myself. 

Comparison is the thief of joy:

Truth. Don’t compare marriages. People share the good bits on social media and very rarely the difficult ones. I posted this picture on Instagram a couple of days ago:

It is a Nordstrom Rack bag that my husband handed to me upon returning home from errands. He has picked out some clothes for me as a sweet surprise. But what I have no photo of is the empty toilet paper roll in our bathroom, the unrinsed cereal bowl in the sink, or the annoying car show he was watching at top volume. 

And now some happy pictures.

I look forward to reading other people’s tips today. Marriage is hard work and I need all the help I can get! 

Show and Tell Tuesday: Splurge vs Steal

Today I am linking up with Andrea for her Show and Tell Tuesday series. Today’s topic is splurge vs steal.

I immediately experienced a hiccup with today’s topic: evidently I don’t photograph myself in my outerwear so please bear with the crummy photographic evidence I’m using to prove my points! 

I definitely believe in splurging in a good winter coat. I live in Wisconsin so a heavy coat is often necessary from November through March and sometimes into April! If I choose a classic style I can get away with wearing it for multiple years and can therefore justify a heftier price tag. Case in point is this coat:

It is Kenneth Cole and I fell in love with it at the store but wasn’t thrilled about paying over $1000 for a coat so reluctantly walked away. Returned a few weeks later and saw it was on sale for $700 which was still pricey but felt more doable so I pulled the trigger and have never regretted it. It has been a true investment piece as I purchased it in , gulp, 2008 and am still wearing it, has been well worth it!

Now what I absolutely positively will not spend money on is winter scarves! I mean $10 is more than I typically want to spend! So yes my $700 coat routinely gets paired with a $3.00 scarf. A cashmere scarf would be lovely but I simply cannot be trusted with that kind of responsibility–I have left scarves (and gloves!) throughout the Milwaukee area. As soon as they hit the vinyl of a booth I become an amnesiac and have no recollection that I had arrived at the restaurant appropriately accessorized for the weather. So I tend to stock up at end of winter clearance sales at places like Target or Kohls. The scarf pictured below was under $5.00 from Target and has been long lost.

Again I apologize for the poor pictures. No idea why I let my hair look like that in the first pic–I want to reach into my screen and throw that disaster into a ponytail stat. And the bottom picture!?! Why am I so angry!?! Yikes!!!! 

Look forward to seeing other people’s splurges and steals. I’ll be back next month to discuss my loves. 

If it wasn’t photographed, did it happen!?!

I just reviewed my photos from the weekend and realized there are, uh, no photos from my weekend. At least not bloggable. I will try to do better next week! I do want to be ‘in the moment’ and not be so focused on capturing it that I miss out on experiencing it. But I do want to document some everyday moments as I don’t want to forget anything. Need to work on finding that balance. 

Friday night was a cozy evening in watching a documentary about Glen Campbell on Netflix. Which segued into seeking out Glen Campbell performances on YouTube. What did we do preinternet when ALL the information on every topic wasn’t so readily available!?! Hard to remember, but am just happy that it exists now so that my husband and I can indulge in these tributaries of spontaneous interest such as : I wonder what Glen Campbell’s cover of the Green Day song sounds like? 

Saturday was full of errands rewarded by a steak dinner at the end of the day. I won’t bore you with the play by play of said errands but will mention it included shopping for a new mattress. My goodness there are a lot of options! We are tempted tempted tempted by a moveable platform. 1) Because we enjoy on occasion watching movies in bed so it seems like being able to prop ourselves up would be a delightful viewing option AND 2) It would help with my husband’s snoring. 

Sunday was church and football. I taught Sunday school which I always enjoy. The football game was a disappointment ( we’re Green Bay Packer fans). But I am so thrilled they got as far as they did this season, in October the playoffs seemed like an impossibility. And I have in laws in Atlanta who are Falcons fans and I am legitimately thrilled for them to be in the Super Bowl. 

Oh and I lied, there is one picture! My parents came over for an hour or so to play with J before they went to a matinee of the symphony. J relished the grandparent attention and spent the hour ping ponging between grandparent laps.

Hope everyone has a great week!!!!

Tuesday Talk

Good morning! Today I am joining ( belatedly) a new link up: Tuesday Talk with Erika and Ashley.

Apparently this is an open discussion to discuss anything! So I am going to get super vulnerable and share something horrible that happened to me recently. It all began innocently enough when I was cleaning the kitchen after dinner and realized that I did not have quite enough detergent for running a load in the dishwasher. Not a big deal at all as I live near a Walgreens so it it like a 1/2 block walk. Maybe not the greatest logistics for resale value of our home, but truly super convenient on an almost daily basis for ‘forgotten’ items. So I popped over  to pick up the detergent. Admittedly I was NOT looking my best–hair and make up were decidedly not done, but after the events that transpired I think I need to begin listening to my mother and not run even the briefest of errands without a full face of make up. 

Why? Um, because the clerk ( a young ditzy girl) cheerfully asked me if I was 55 or older as it was ‘senior citizen’ day so there were discounts. Now at 43, I was not super thrilled to be asked if I were 55, but at that point I was still giving her grace as judging ages can be tough and her job probably encourages her to promote the deal, etc. However, when I shook my head and gently told her that I was not in fact 55 she responded by gasping and saying, “REALLY?”!!!! Um, not okay. 

You don’t expect a simple errand to become a soul crushing experience but that one certainly was–I returned home in tears. 

The core issue is: words matter. We all, (including myself!!!) need to think before we speak. 

The good news is that I have become much more diligent about my skin care regimen!!!

Friday Favorites

After a long hiatus, have decided to resume blogging. The impetus to come back was my two year old daughter. For nearly a year she has referred to sheep as ” a baa”. Now if we are looking in a book and I ask her to show me the sheep, she will correctly point to the sheep so I knew she knew the word, but if I asked her what it was, “a baa”. The other night we were reading and I turned to a page that had many farm animals pictured and she began to excitedly shriek and point “a sheep'”, “a sheep”. I am thrilled she is FINALLY using the correct word but a little sad that we’re over “a baa”. My long winded point is that these phases and quirks feel like they will last forever but sadly they don’t and the blog is a great place to document them. Plus I miss the interactions I had with you guys!

I am participating in the Friday Favorites link up sharing my faves of the week. 

One: SNOW!!!!

This is not something I usually long for living in Wisconsin as a typical January provides us plenty but so far we have had a snowless month. Until yesterday! It was truly just a dusting, but enough for little J to get out and play. It was cold so we only stayed out long enough for her to get rosy cheeks. We are still in the phase where it often takes us longer to prep for the activity than it does to participate in said activity! 

Two: New Appliances!

A new fridge is far from glamorous but as you get older priorities shift. A new fridge is evidently not only privately exciting to me, because I sent enthusiastic photos to many of my friends and have now blogged about the fridge. 

Three: Sibling Love

Okay, maybe not the very best picture that I have of them together. But their sweet relationship is definitely one of my favorites. J loves sitting on her brother’ slap while he eats his after school snack. A snack which he happily shares.  Disregard the mess behind them ( now that I’ve drawn attention to it, haha!). I like to keep clutter off of our dining room table but in doing so it migrates to the buffet. Sigh. 

Well, this was fun! I look forward to catching up with everyone. Have a great weekend!

Let’s Talk: Recipes

Today Andrea and Erika are hosting their monthly Let’s Talk link up. Today’s topic is recipes. Am always on the hunt for tried and true recipes especially seasonal ones so am eager to see what everyone shares. 

Little secret? Sometimes on a Monday morning after a fun weekend I transition to the rigors of my week with a fun treat. Today is no exception.

I made my favorite easy autumn dessert yesterday: pumpkin chocolate chip cookies. So today instead of my usual steel cut oatmeal with fresh fruit breakfast, I had a cookie with coffee and a good book. Hello Monday! 

Full disclosure I found this recipeonline  maybe 10 years ago. I wish I could link to the original source and give the baker a high five for creating a recipe that my pumpkin-disliking husband actually likes! But unfortunately although I have found mayn’t similar recipes, can’t definitively find ‘my recipe’.


1 cup of canned pumpkin

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup vegetable oil

2 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon milk

1 egg

1 tablespoon vanilla

*1 bag of chocolate chips (12 oz size) 

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Combine the pumpkin, sugar, vegetable oil and egg in a large bowl. In a separate bowl stir flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. In a small bowl or cup dissolve baking soda with milk. Add flour mixture to your bowl of pumpkin mixture. Add the baking soda/milk to bowl next.  Add vanilla, chocolate chips and nuts. Drop by spoonful onto a greased cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes. I generally then take them out of the oven and let them continue baking in the cookie sheet for a couple of minutes.

These cookies are truly a delight, so soft. My family looks forward to them all year round but my self-imposed rule is to only make them in October and November. 

*My family loves lots of ooey gooey chocolate so I go heavy on the chocolate chips! Could easily cut the amount in half and still have a delicious ‘diet’ version, haha!

I hope you enjoy these cookies as much as I do!