Tuesday, October 22, 2013

5 Favorites Vol.3: Podcasts

If you are my husband, co-worker or friend in person, you have probably heard me utter the words,

"So I was listening to this podcast the other day.."
"Oh!  This reminds me of something I heard on a podcast once."
"I learned on a podcast that.."

I love me some podcasts.

I consider myself a constant learner.  An ADD constant learner.  I will be totally engrossed in a subject for an entire day or week, and then completely switch, usually half-way through a book / website / blog / podcast.  There is just so much to learn!!.. I tell my husband who I just "know" finds this part of me endearing.

Right honey?

Anyway, I thought I would share with you guys my favorite podcasts in case you haven't heard of them, and/or you are looking for a new way to be entertained / educated / feeling productive during down time.

(By the way, my favorite times to listen: in the car, out for walks with Mia, and doing chores around my house.  When a new podcast is aired for one of these I usually immediately pick up Mia and say "Do you want to go for a walk??" 

 She readily obliges  Listening and strolling the neighborhood with this kid is my current favorite activity.)

1.  The Simple Mom Podcast

This podcast is hosted by a blogger / writer named Tsh (not a typo, pronounced phonetically) who pretty much calls up a friend of hers (usually another blogger / writer), and they talk about absolutely anything - kids, family, traveling, favorite things, blogging and writing books, what they're reading, organization, marriage, etc.

She has 3 (I think?) kids and I consider her like a mom mentor who I can sit with and listen to her talk about life.  She is super wise and humble, and also founded the multi-writer blog www.simplemom.net, which covers all sorts of topics but has an undertone of keeping your life simple and the important things at the forefront.

2.  The EntreLeadership Podcast

This is one my fellow co-workers are probably annoyed about the most because it's usually where I get all of my work, managing people, and leadership inspiration and tips.  It is basically about Dave Ramsey's company and the culture, policies, norms, expectations etc. they have created to make work an awesome, successful place to be.  There are also guest interviewees on each podcast that also cover similar topics.

It is great for the entrepreneurs out there too..totally motivating to go start your own business, and be altogether awesome.

3. New Moms, New Babies & PregTASTIC Online Radio

These two podcasts are pretty much one in the same - they are a group of women, often the same ones in each podcast at a different stage in their motherhood, talking about what their podcast names would imply - PregTASTIC is all about pregnancy, and New Moms, New Babies is all about new motherhood, and everything having to do with babies during the first year.

Even though I am a card-carrying member of a mommy group, this is like being a part of another one that you can tune into anytime (until you have run out of episodes at least).  There are often guest experts on to answer questions, or birth story episodes...all of these were particularly great for me to listen to before I had the baby.  

4. Dollars and Roses Podcast

This one is a very new podcast, but I have really enjoyed it and learn a lot from it. It is a husband and wife blogging team who interview other bloggers about their success in blogging, and some episodes are just their own blogging tips.  They are super successful bloggers, and while I understand blogging (and the road to blogging success) to be much different for every type of blogger out there, I have really enjoyed their take on things.

5. Freakonomics Radio

This one is a must-listen for any podcast listeners out there.  If you don't know what the book "Freakonomics" is about, you also need to check that out too.  Whoa.  What an eye opener.

I really like this podcast because they are sometimes short and sweet, and sometimes a little longer, but I *always* walk away learning something so interesting I need to talk about it with the nearest human being.  They take things in life and have the resources and connections to get the back story, extra details, etc. that make you think about life and how the world works totally differently.  At the very least I would look them up and download one episode with a subject you find intriguing.

And there you have it - my five favorite podcasts.  Grab one of these, and as Tsh sometimes says at the beginning of Simple Mom...get your laundry basket and start folding.

Let me know if you have any podcast suggestions - I'd love to hear them!!

And of course, don't forget to go check out all the other Favorites over at Hallie's!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Mia's Nursery

[This post is dedicated to the employee at Home Depot who, when I asked him where the wallpaper glue was he replied, "Oh, are you wallpapering your grandma's house?"  I told you - wallpaper is back!]

Alright.  As many of you probably know, we did not know the sex of our baby until she came out.  This of course poses all sorts of planning issues (which I think are totally worth the surprise!), one of which being the decorating of the nursery.

And since the room looked like THIS:

Do you notice the Baby Blue?
On the Ceiling?
On the baseboards?
In the closet?
On the doors?
On the Trim????

Dear baby Jesus.

I scoured Google images and Pinterest for the best gender neutral nursery ideas I could find, but ultimately only found the same ol' greens and yellows.

Since I was looking for something a little more "cool," I kept looking.  I ended up watching countless episodes of Ask Genevieve on HGTV on my laptop, and stumbled upon a playroom / guestroom combo episode that totally inspired me.  I remember her describing the room as "childlike, but not baby" and that hit the nail the head...the exact description I was intending for our nursery.

After all, the baby is only a "baby" for what..2 years?  I am not about to re-do this room so soon after all this work.

I also started thinking about the idea of a black-and-white theme and adding in pops of color, instead of choosing a color for the walls and having to live with it indefinitely.  With black and white, I could add in any colors I wanted.  

Lastly - because of that Ask Genevieve episode, I had my heart set on wallpaper with letters and numbers on it.  Which, was by far the most intense internet search I've done since buying wedding dresses over the internet days.

But I finally found the perfect wallpaper...from a company in the UK that cannot be found anywhere else. Paying for something over the internet in another currency- Check.

Next it was time to paint and wallpaper!  I was just papering one wall (thank goodness), but I have never wallpapered before and I knew nobody who had except my parents (way back from 1993 of course), but they live in South Dakota (of course).

So I rounded up my good friend Kim, a generous soul, and we learned how to wallpaper by watching this handy video 10 times, and then just doing it.  (Nike if you'd like to sponsor me, my contact info is here.)

Plus, I couldn't have covered up the rest of all that hideous food-splattered baby blue without my friends Ashley and Liz.  Thanks guys!

As far as furniture goes, I went with the mix-matched look because I like to mix-match, and I like to save some moolah.

[I apologize in advance for the quality of these photos!]

Crib: Baby Mod, Walmart
Drawers / changing table: Maggie's Thrift

Hanging wall shelf: IKEA
Bookshelf: IKEA, found at a yard sale
Baskets: IKEA
Metal Truck: Gift

Mounted hooks: IKEA
Picture Frames and frame shelf: IKEA
Fabric in the top frames: Etsy
(Immediate family from SD and GA in smaller frames)
Rocking Chair: Walmart
Lamp: Cost Plus World Market

And there you have it.  I have added in some pinks and other girly things little by little now that Mia is here, and am glad I have the flexibility to easily change the room colors to whatever and whenever I want. 

If you have any other creative gender neutral baby ideas I'd love to hear about them!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Healthy Granola Recipe

{Update: If you are here from the lovely Pinterest and happen to have the symbols "?m=1" at the end of this url, please delete them and press enter to reload the page, or click here for much more viewing pleasure!}

Happy Fall everyone, and especially those in the Southwest!

It is finally -finally- time to keep the windows open at night, go for walks *during the day!* and enjoy this beautiful weather.  You know what I'm talking about...doing all those things the rest of the world has been talking about and posting pictures of on Instagram for the past 4 months.

Apparently it was the hottest summer on record here in Phoenix.  Going from an average of about 110* to highs in the 70s is  a  w  e  s  o  m  e  !

Mia and I spent some time outside today..don't mind the long sleeves, these 75 degrees felt chilly I swear!

And now it is time to share one of my favorite, easy, pretty healthy go-to recipes.  

I love granola because:
--It is great mixed with yogurt which makes for an awesome snack or breakfast food
--Oats are believed to increase your milk supply if you are breastfeeding  and I will attest - I definitely notice a difference after I eat them.  For some awesome healthy oatmeal options, check out my five favorites here.

I also added a little "Fall Holiday Flavor" to my granola this time and added in some pumpkin pie spice instead of just regular cinnamon.  I'll admit that was a pretty great decision.

Here's the list:
:: 5 cups rolled oats
:: 1/3 cup coconut oil (I use the flavorful kind for this type of recipe - unrefined 
:: 1/3 cup honey (or I might use real maple syrup if I'm out of honey)
:: 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice (or just cinnamon works)
:: 1/2 tsp vanilla
:: your extra add-ins (I eyeball these measurements): 
---> 1/2 cup (or so) of pecans (or any nuts you like - I often add sliced almonds to my mix)
---> 1/3 cup (or so) sunflower seeds (I like the salted to add an extra saltiness to the mix)
---> 1/3 cup (or so) pepitas (pumpkin seeds - again I do the salted kind)
---> 1+ cups raisins, added after you bake

Of course you can add any amount of what I consider "add-ins", just remember if you add *a lot* more, you might want to up your oil/honey/spice amounts.

1. Pre-heat oven to 350*
2. Mix all ingredients together except any dried fruit you are using
3. Spray your biggest cookie sheet with Pam (or you can use some coconut oil)
4. Pour mixture on the pan and bake for 18 minutes (or until golden brown), taking the pan out to stir every 6 minutes.  Stir in your raisins / dried fruit and let cool.

Strange numbers maybe, but after many trials and errors this is the exact timing for my oven to give me this:

Healthy, Simple Granola Recipe

And now for some full disclosure: I started making granola from a recipe I got from my dear friend Coriena who I used to live with at Maggie's Place.  After many experiments, it has transformed into this version which I now pass to you.  Enjoy!

And Happy Fall Ya'll!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

7 Quick Takes

Linking up with Jen over at Conversion Diary for some awesome Quick Takes!

1. This is my first Quick Takes post.  After reading many Many of these from my blogger-friend types like Ana, Grace, and Lauren, I thought it was time to try it out.  And if you know anything about my vocab, you'd know that "quick" is used more than a million.

"First I need to quick call my dad."
"Okay you get on Netflix while I quick go to the bathroom."
"Can you quick hand me that pen?"

While my grammar needs some work, apparently I prefer things on the "quick" side.
The 7 Quick Takes are right up my alley.

2. I was sitting at my computer at our kitchen table the other day, and heard Mia start fussing in the background.  I left her on her back playing with those dangling toys of hers, and it is not uncommon for her to get bored at exactly the 15 minute mark and require my assistance entertainment.  I was in the middle of reading something so I thought, like any responsible parent, "oh she'll be fine for a minute, I'll be right there."

Four and a half minutes of (mild) fussiness later I stand up and look over at her, and she's like:

Whoops.  Poor little Mia..

3. Did you notice that Bumbo seat on the floor in that above pic?  I will use this quick take to pat myself on the back for that.  Everyone knows we all love to use them on tables and counter tops like we Aren't Supposed To.  So, I will give myself 1 pretty parenting point for following directions, warning materials, pamphlets, those red exclamation signs, etc. that comes with the packaging like a good parent.

Well with the previous minus point, I am at least even.

4. It is finally Friday!!!  This is a momentous occasion, people.  My loving husband has been away for the past 5 (full) days (and nights) on a work trip (I could've used "business trip," but it just sounded so...briefcasey).

Add in that I have come down with a crazy un-fun virus, and this pretty much sucks.

Not that I get the Mom of the Year award or anything..I know many, many single moms (or moms and dads with tough schedules) out there who do this without blinking.  I have stepped into their shoes for just an instant, and gained some deep respect for them.  And I only have 1 little babe to take care of! and not let her get folded up into toys and whatnot!

5. Did you know that you can make your own Someecards?  Like those super hil-ARious ones with the old fashiony photos and sarcastic lines?  

One little example (I did not create):

Go to Someecards.com, friends.
I am working on a "work" project with them (I swear!) and decided I would prefer to be paid full-time to create these.  It's super fun, you should try it.

6.  For those of you who are Catholic, it is possible you threw up a "hey" to my homegirl St. Therese in a novena like fashion.  If you have no idea what I'm talking about, feel free to skip. :)

Anyway - my novena life has officially changed by a website called www.praymorenovenas.com.  After you sign up at their site for the most recent novena, (they stick with the official feast days of course) they email you every day not only to remind you to pray that day but it includes the novena prayer itself in the email! Genius.

Needless to say, this was the first time I've actually finished a novena in years.  Welcome to my super geeky Catholic side.

7.  Well friends, you wouldn't believe it, but Joel and I both decided, within a week of each other, and without telling each other till later, that we were joining the world of Twitter.

After zero previous conversations about Twitter, joining Twitter, tweets, anything starting with the letters tw, nothing.

And both of us using our middle names in our handles. Weird.

But what a strange and fun world it is!  I feel like such an oldie! I had to ask my friend how to use it today.  I am 28, people, not that old.

But it's fun, and funny!  I have really enjoyed it.  Ok now I am even sounding like an oldie.

So, follow me (and my husband if you want some fitness-related inspirashe)

Do the capital letters matter? I have no idea...If I have to ask Google one more thing about Twitter..uugh, I feel so old.

Happy Friday!