Author: Janna

Random Ramblings

I just got back from a sisters weekend in Portland.  Some people like to make fun of the fact that my sisters and I dedicate  one weekend each year to spending time together, but it’s one of my favorite traditions (besides cousin’s weekend…hello!) and something I truly cherish.

This year was special because my little sister was running the Portland marathon and we decided to make our weekend out of it.  The food in Portland….oh em gee…the food.  Let’s just say my paleo lifestyle was out the window for a few days as we dined on made-from-scratch breakfasts at Mothers, wine and tapas at Andina, and multiple desserts at Papa Haydns.   And it was soooo worth it.   But of course the biggest news was the marathon and I couldn’t be more proud of my sister.

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But let me just be completely honest for one hot minute.  Cheering someone on at a marathon is NO JOKE.  We ran our little butts all over that town just trying to make it to the next check-point and wave our sparkly pom poms.  In retrospect…I should have trained for this.  My other sister and I made a pact that we wouldn’t let on how extremely tired we were after the race because dude…..she just ran a marathon.   Who are we to complain?  But duuuuuuuuude.  I was  kind of dying.  We took our job so seriously that at one point we thought she passed by us (thanks to the not-so-accurate tracking provided by the race website) so we started sprinting down the course trying to catch her.  Yeah, I don’t know what we were thinking either.   Then all of a sudden, we hear this yelling from behind us….”I’m back here!  Wait!”  Turns out she hadn’t passed us and she totally saw us running down the course and wondering what in the H-E-double-toothpick we were doing.

At least she witnessed our dedication.  Right?

Well curiosity got the best of me and when I got back to Missoula I mapped our run/walk around the Marathon course that day.  ELELVEN miles.  Yep.  ELEVEN.  I do not feel bad for feeling tired.  Or for the dessert that night.

So note to self:  The O’Connell girls don’t half ass anything.  You ask us to cheer you on in a marathon?  Sure.  And we’ll run a damn near a Half while we do it.

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Did you know that it’s common practice these days to only put ONE space after a period?  ONE.  I don’t know when this happened and why I wasn’t informed, but I’m still the dinosaur putting TWO spaces.  And I don’t really want to stop!  I feel like I just got slapped across the face because my mind. is. blown.  ONE space?  What the hell!

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I’m officially declaring myself coocoo for coconuts.  I haven’t really met one variation that I didn’t like (except coconut water, that stuff tastes like armpits).   Coconut milk, coconut cream, coconut flakes, toasted coconut flakes, coconut flour, coconut sugar, coconut meat, coconut oil.  Yep.  I want all the coconuts.   My favorite little treat lately is peaches, cinnamon, canned coconut milk and coconut flakes:

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Also, I’ve been using coconut oil as face moisturizer for over a year now.  I feel that’s long enough to finally admit that I love it, and that it works just as well as the super expensive stuff (probably full of chemicals) that I was using.  I feel like my skin is well balanced now (not too dry, and not too oily).  There are only two drawbacks I would warn you about if you want to try this:

  1. The first time you put it on your face, you will be hesitant.  It felt very very wrong and weird.  You get over it eventually.
  2. If you cook a lot with coconut oil (I pretty much use it and avocado oil exclusively), sometimes in the summer when you put it on your face you’ll run to the kitchen to see what’s burning.   Or so I’ve heard….

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My official stance on hunting season is that it’s freeing, it’s productive, it’s welcomed….but it’s lonely.

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These boots.  I must have them.

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I don’t talk about my job a lot here….it’s not the most interesting topic (Deploying Wireless Solutions?  Upgrading User Interfaces?  Anyone, anyone?  Bueller?)  and I know people from work read this.  But I just have to say that lately I’ve been feeling like I need more.  I’m so incredibly lucky to get to work part-time at a job within my chosen career path – a part-time project manager position is rare, mostly because projects aren’t part-time.  They are moving forward and changing every day.  So much can happen while I’m gone that if I don’t stay connected on my days off then I can be behind when I get back.  It’s a double-edged sword I guess.  The root of the comment here, however, is that I’m at a point in my life where I don’t want to spend time on things that aren’t necessarily fulfilling.  Lately I’ve been feeling a little unfulfilled with my work and I’m trying to figure out if it’s a phase or if I need to explore other opportunities.   Life is just too dang short to spend your days doing something that you’re not passionate about…even if it’s only on a part-time basis.   Maybe it’s just a phase.  I’ll just have to see.

dividerEach morning Abby asks “where goin today momma?”  And if I don’t say “Momma’s going to work” she asks me the following questions (always in this order):

We goin to park?

We goin to gym?

We goin to brewery?

Um……I guess you know where I spend my time.  Busted.

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After several conversations with my girlfriends regarding the Diva Cup , I decided to take the plunge and purchase one.  I wish I could tell you the story of my first cycle using this new contraption but it’s probably not appropriate.  But I will say this.  The first three days are a freak show.  The last few days are a slightly less freaky freak show.

Unsurprisingly, I am still undecided about the longevity of the Diva Cup in my life.

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The hardest part about trying to stick to a Whole30 lifestyle is giving up sweets and chocolate.  I don’t do very well at it because damnit I like chocolate.   But lately I’ve been making a treat that I don’t feel too guilty about and I thought you might like it too.

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Banana Smoothie

  • 1 ripe banana (the riper it is, the sweeter it is)
  • 1 cup coconut almond milk (this is my favorite cuz it’s sweetened with coconut cream instead of sugar like most non-dairy milk). But you could use any form of non-dairy milk.
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1 tablespoon almond meal
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa
  • ice

Throw it all in a blender and you’ve got a cold, frothy treat that’s also pretty darn good for you.

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We’ve kinda been all over the place today, eh?  Marathons, coconuts, diva cups, deep thoughts, and smoothies.  As always, thanks for reading all of this nonsense.

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Xoxo,

Janna

Stitch fix review – September

I’m trying something new today because (1) I think it’s fun and (2) I’ve found similar reviews super helpful.  If you don’t like the idea of Stitch Fix, or watching me try on clothes, you might want to check back next week for a new post.  If you DO like both of those, carry on.

I assume you have all heard of Stitch Fix by now so I’ll spare you the details.  You can read all about it on their site, but the short version is:  it’s awesome.

Here’s how a review works – I show you what was sent in my Fix, try it on, and then give a review of why I did (or did not) keep the item.  It’s kinda corny, kinda fun.  I’ll just throw the disclaimer out there now – that I think taking pictures of oneself is probably one of the most awkward things ever.  In fact the only way to make it more awkward would be to then post said pictures on the Internet.

This was my second Fix and I was pretty stoked to tear the box open.  I’m not sure how I waited the four hours until nap time on Monday when it arrived.

After my first Fix last month, I left a note for my stylist mentioning that I wanted some fall tops that could easily be layered.  I think she did a pretty good job with that and I can tell that she’s been stalking my Pinterest board.  I pin a lot of stripes because I like the way it looks (and I like stripes in general), although I’m beginning to think that maybe they aren’t for me.  You’ll see what I mean in a minute.

I may have squealed a little bit when I opened the box because whoever my stylist is has obviously picked up on my love for neutrals.

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So let’s get this party started!  First up….

Sweet Rain – Thomas Striped Raglan Sweater — $58.00

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I like the idea of this sweater (the color, the stripes, the material), but I did NOT like it on.  The sleeves were too short to be full-length and not short enough to be considered 3/4 length.  Am I unaware of this hip new trend or were the sleeves just too short?  It looked weird and felt unintentional.

The whole thing felt too short through the torso anyways, but maybe I’m just used to wearing longer tops.  At any rate, I couldn’t quite get comfortable in it.  I think the pictures make it look cuter than it was – although they did make me give this sweater a second glance.

VERDICT:  Returned.

Tart – Jenny Scoop Neck Striped Knit Top — $68.00

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More stripes.  So….I actually took this top off and thought:  “yeah, I’m keeping that.”  But when I started editing these pictures I had second thoughts.  I mean, it’s cute, kind of, but $68 cute?  I’m not sure.  That’s a LOT more than I normally spend on a shirt and honestly this one was kind of “meh.”  The neckline is a little weird and I’m not sure how I could pair a necklace with it (which it seems like it needs?) since the shirt itself is so busy.  Maybe I’m just not built for stripes.  At any rate….even though I originally thought I’d keep it, it’s going back.

VERDICT: Returned.

Liverpool – Rizzo Pull-On Skinny Ponte Pant — $98.00

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These pants threw me for a loop.  I couldn’t quite decide whether to keep them or not.  One one hand, they are sooooo soft.  And stretchy.  And don’t have buttons or zippers.  And they fit perfectly.  But on the other hand, they are basically just a glorified tight/jegging that have pockets sewn on.  FAKE pockets at that.  Fake pockets that don’t do much for my bum (they seem like they’re placed too far apart).  AND $98 dollars seems a little expensive for tights (even glorified ones).  Right?

But these are more than tights – they’re thick like a pant so you don’t have to feel like a teenage girl who is just wearing thing see-through tights as pants.

In the end I decided that a good fitting pant is hard to find and I would likely wear these a lot.   Plus you usually wear a longer shirt with skinnies so it’s not like my butt is going to be showing much.  Oh, and did I mention these look awesome with heels?  I just forgot to take a picture.

VERDICT:  Kept!

Sweet Rain – Leandra Cable Knit Caccoon Cardigan — $58.00

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Again, I was on the fence about this one.  First of all, the material of the cardigan is cable knit so you can see through it at times to whatever is beneath (a colored shirt or bare skin).   I wasn’t sure how I felt about that.   Second, it fits just a little strange….the arms are kind of like….how do you say it….a flying squirrel?  What’s the fashion word for that?  But it was a little different to get used to because the cardigan feels a little wonky and tends to want to fall off of my shoulders.  But it’s the perfect length, drapes nicely, and is an awesome layering option.  I like cardigans and layers, especially this time of year.    In the end, I decided it was different enough and comfortable enough that I could overlook the cable knit holes.

VERDICT:  Kept!

Octavia – Betty Chevron Infinity Scarf — $32.00

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Chevron?  Yes.   Scarf?  Yes.

VERDICT:  Kept!

Overall I’m still excited about Stitch Fix.  I think for the most part, the items I’m getting are a reflection of what I’ve told them I like (in my Style Profile and Pinterest Board).  But I am starting to question my ability to wear stripes and I asked them not to include any in my next Fix.  I also asked for some color (getting crazy, I know), and some fancier items for the Holidays.

One thing I have noticed is that I am spending more on clothes than I normally do.  I’ve kept three items from each fix and it usually ends up being around $150.  That’s quite a bit more than I have spent on clothes in the past and it’s probably not something I want to continue to do each month.  I may re-evaluate how often my Fix comes (maybe every other month?) or try to limit my purchases to only items I really love.  It’s easy to get excited about something and get caught up in the moment with it (you only have three days to decide what you want to keep and what you’ll return).  So that’s something I’ll be thinking about more as time goes on.

Oh, and I thought I’d share one last thing – with each item in your Fix you get a style card.  It basically shows you styling options for that item (what kind of shirt to pair the pants with and jewelry/shoe suggestions).  I’ve found them helpful and wanted to find a way to keep them organized so I could easily find them.

So far the best system I’ve come up with is to punch a hole in the card and put it on a ring, like so:

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Then I just hang the ring on my jewelry hook for easy access.  Like so:

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It’s easy to grab when I’m getting dressed and maybe need some ideas on how to pair things.

So there you go – wasn’t that fun?

Are you interested in trying Stitch Fix?  Here’s a referral link where you can find out more. (Note, I get a $25 credit if you sign up through my link.  Here’s to more scarves!)

Xoxo,

Stylin’ Janna

Faux real this time

A few years back I spent wayyyyyy too much time with an iron and some wax paper.  Remember when I made this faux capiz shell light?

Honestly I can’t really believe that I did that.  Ahhhh….the blissful pre-child days where you had a good 4 hours to spare ironing wax paper!  Ha!  You fool!

Anyways, while I do still love me a capiz chandelier, I was growing tired of this faux version.  And truthfully, three years later, it was starting to get a little wonky – it no longer laid flat and some of the circles were starting to curl.  So I’ve been “on-the-lookout” for something, anything really, to replace it with.  I knew I wanted something girly and feminine in the room though because overall I try to keep a masculine feel to it…not like the Hubs cares, but I’m sure he doesn’t want floral explosion going on in there.  Wait, neither do I….

I was mostly looking in second-hand stores and on Craigslist for something that I could re-purpose but nothing ever really interested me.  So one day (probably after another discouraging house hunt), I browsed Overstock and found this little gem:

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via Overstock

Voila’.  I loved it.  It was simple, elegant, and a little bling-blingy (but not overly so).    Sometimes you just have to wave the white flag for finding that perfect thrift find, and succumb to the fact that the Internet has everything we need (where’s that sarcasm font when you need it?).

A week later, she was up!  P.S.  Have you ever installed a heavy light fixture by yourself?  It gets…..entertaining…..to say the least.  I had 3 pillows teetering on top of three boxes, all stacked on the bed so the chandelier could rest on them while I connected the wires.  You’ll be glad to know that I ALSO had an emergency backup plan in place (a friend was to call me 20 minutes after I started) because the Hubs was gone all week hunting and I was terrified that Abby would wake up from her nap and I’d be electrocuted.  Yes, I’m paranoid….and yes the best time to install blingy chandelier’s is when your husband is gone.

Enough blabber.  Check it out!

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I realize now that I was SO over that capiz chandy….because I LOVE this one.  So so much.  In fact, instead of Taylor Swift keeping me up at night, now it’s this blingy-bling on my ceiling that I can’t stop staring at.  It’s the little things.  Or, is it the blingy things?  Same diff.

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An oldie but goodie

Did you know that I started this blog in 2011 as a New Years Resolution?   It was about that time that I really got into reading other blogs and I was in awe of the projects, stories and everyday life people were sharing.  I started to learn that there was this big ‘ol world in the Blogsphere where you could connect with someone halfway around the globe.  You could learn how to make something new.  You could get the confidence to do something out of your comfort zone.  You could shed a tear while reading a post written by a person you’d never met.  It was so exciting, comforting and fulfilling in a weird sort of way, and I wanted to share too.  I wanted to make connections.  And I wanted to inspire other people.

Anyhoo, the other day I was going back through some of my posts (I got suckered in by the “Related Post” widget that pops up at the end of each post) and had a grand old time re-reading some of my earlier entries.  Forget inspiration, turns out I can be quite funny too, amiright?

I ended up coming across the story about el Sheepo, whom I would gladly forget about except that he is lying right next to our computer desk, so he stares at me incessantly when I write, and I was cracking up.  Since I have quite a few more readers than I did back in 2011, I thought I’d reshare it today.  Seems fitting since it’s hunting season and all.

So whether this is your first, second (or third?) time reading this post, enjoy.  (Please excuse the poor pictures and red kitchen!  Both have improved since then!)

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The first question The Hubs asked when I told him I was going to start a blog was:  “Oh great.  Are you going to use it to talk bad about me on the Internets?”

Who me? Do what??

Honestly!  I see no reason to use this medium to complain about The Hubs.  Yes, it’s a place for me to talk about events happening in my life, voice my opinions  and discuss whatever else I deem important.  But to air my dirty laundry?  I don’t think so.  That’s what girlfriends and wine are for.  Of course there are times where I may pick on him…just because he gives me such great material….but I would never write about anything private between the two of us, or dish on something that was hurtful.  I’m not heartless!  I know where to draw the line.   So, know that when I write things that seem to poke fun of him; it’s all done with the best intentions and probably to get a laugh out of someone (myself included).  Because I know that some of you out there can relate to what I’m saying.  And laughter is the best medicine, right?

That being said though…I did warn him that this particular topic would come up.  And it’s ok because he already knows exactly how I feel about the situation.

The situation I’m about to discuss is serious.  It involves my kitchen and a sheep.  I know…I know.  You’re confused already.

Let’s back up 17 years:  The Hubs is a teenager.   He draws a coveted Bighorn Sheep tag.  And I say coveted for a reason….some of the other phrases I’ve heard people use to describe pulling a Bighorn Sheep tag in Montana are:  “nearly impossible,” “if you’re lucky enough to draw one,” “you’d never have a prayer of drawing one.”  My personal favorite?  It’s the hunting equivalent of Willy Wonka’s Golden Ticket.  Ok I just made that up.  But it’s true.  Another article on the Internet said an Illinois hunter paid $245,000 for a Bighorn Sheep tag.  Craziness!  So you get it right?  These things are pretty rare?  Coveted one might say.

So Little Hubs gets a tag.  Little Hubs goes out hunting and sacks a huge Ram.  Little Hubs is proud.  His Dad is proud.  His Mom is proud.  His sister is proud.  Everyone is proud because who, at such a young age, gets a Bighorn Sheep tag and shoots a huge ass ram to boot?  The Hubs.  That’s who.   All of this proudness resulted in a shoulder-mount of this coveted ram.   Yes.  That means hair.  And eyeballs (The Hubs says they’re marbles, but honestly it doesn’t really matter because eyeball or marble, they still follow you around the room all creepy-like).

Do you see where I’m going with this?   Do you remember me saying kitchen earlier?

Am I starting to sound (a) rational or (b) kinda like the mean wife who hates the coveted ram?

I can’t decide either.

Why don’t I take this opportunity to introduce you to the man ram of the hour?

There he is in all his glory folks.

Let me just set something straight before I go on.  My issue isn’t with the sheep itself (even though sometimes I feel like Harry from Harry and the Hendersons….wanting to look on the other side of the wall to see where the rest him is!).  But really…I get it.  It’s a big fricken deal to get a tag for one of these.  And it’s a big deal to The Hubs…so I have to respect that.  Did I ever think I would have half of an animal hanging on the wall in my house?  Ha Ha.  Get real.  I’d never even eaten wild meat until I met The Hubs.  Honestly, I prefer an antler mount (where you just show off the antlers…so no eyeballs) to a shoulder mount.  But like I said, I guess I get it, and I’ve resigned myself to the fact that “yes Janna, you will have half of a dead animal hanging on your wall.”

So, my issue is with the current placement of the sheep.  Remember this post where I showed you my spoon collection and hutch?  Something was lurking in the outer fringes of those shots…

Are you thinking “maybe it’s ok…it’s not like it’s front and center of everything.” ??

Actually my friends….it is.

Mr. Sheep has a front-and-center view of everything I do:  cooking dinner (breakfast/lunch/snacks), washing dishes, unloading groceries, eating, entertaining guests.  You name it.

In fact, to the untrained eye (unlike myself), he’s probably one of the first things people notice when they enter our house.  Here’s a shot down the hall through our living room (where the front door comes in).

Maybe you’re starting to see my side of the story.  I’m not sure where or how  “coveted  ram” fits into my decorating style.   In my defense, it was hung before I moved in…so I’ve kind of gently decorated around it for the past 5 years.  And it’s not exactly one of those things you can demand be removed…it would be like telling Charlie to give back the Golden Ticket.

The other issue is –assuming sheepo has to stay— that there really isn’t a better place to hang this thing in our house.  Our kitchen has really tall walls (that extend up to a loft above the kitchen) so there’s plenty of wall space.  In reality I guess I should feel lucky that the sheep got hung here instead of “in-yo-face-style” on our standard 8 ft walls in the living room.  I should also consider myself lucky that I came along when I did, because I know that The Hubs still considers parts of this wall to be prime real estate for future hangings.

I’m imaging a big wall clock here….The Hubs imagines his latest elk rack.

I’m not kidding.  There is currently a debate in our house about where his Elk rack from last season should go (something about how it’s the biggest he’s ever gotten….measures really big…..yadda yadda yadda).  Maybe I’ll write about that someday.  Ooooo….maybe I could do a poll and see where my readers think it should go!  Stay tuned….

So there you have it.  My biggest decorating dilemma.  Should I embrace the sheep and make him part of my style (you know, Santa hats at Christmas…camo in the fall)?  Probably not.  For now…I’ve chosen to pretend it’s not there live with it because (1) it could be worse (I think) and (2) I don’t even notice him staring at me anymore.  Plus, it’s always a little amusing when someone new comes over and I see them notice it for the first time.

The best I can hope for is moving into a new house someday where I will decide be an active player in the placement decision.  Wait, no.  It will have to be a requirement that we have some sort of rustic den or man cave in a new place.  Isn’t that where all the animal heads/racks and beer fridges should go anyways?  Not in a kitchen.  No no.  Far, far away from the kitchen where I’m actually trying to eat.  (Have you ever tried eating something with a big bowling-ball eye staring at you the entire time)?

Gosh.  I feel like maybe I have aired a little bit of my dirty laundry here.  I guess it’s just another day in the life of a hunting wife.  Trying to find balance between somewhat of a stylish home and coveted sheep heads.  Ugh.

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Since writing this, the sheep head has obviously been taken down (not in any way, shape, or form, due to the post mind you).  You can read about that, here.

target hack: DIY Rolling baskets

Let’s do a project today, shall we?

Awhile back, I started to notice a trend…a trend that I fear is here to stay (at least for awhile):   toys.  Toys, toys everywhere!  It honestly drives me nuts.

In about ten minutes Abby can stir a toddler tornado, which leaves every toy scattered across the room.  IMG_6002

A very very small and random sampling of said trend.

And while I acknowledge they are a necessary evil, I still want to feel like an adult who lives in a semi-nice, semi-clean, semi-uncluttered house once in awhile.  So I’m learning to be OK with toys as long as they can be contained.

Our house is such that our living room needs to house several toys – we don’t have a dedicated playroom and I don’t want all of Abby’s toys up in her room.   We spend most of our time on the first floor and reality is that toys need to be there if I want to get anything done so Abby can have fun.

I picked up a couple of these baskets from Target, but they weren’t quite doing it for me.

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They just needed something.  I really wanted them to have a lid to completely keep things out of view, but that didn’t seem easy.  So I decided to prop them up and give ‘em some wheels.  It would give them just a little somethin’ somethin’ while at the same time giving me some added functionality.

This project was really very simple and doesn’t require any fancy tools.

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Here’s all you need (quantities listed are for one basket):

  • (1) Basket (wicker worked well, but a wire basket would be cute too)
  • (1) Wood cut-to-size for a platform (it should be the same dimensions as the bottom of your basket).  Perhaps a 2″ thick piece to make it extra chunky?  That would be cute too!
  • (4) Caster wheels of your liking (I used these)
  • (4) 1.5” Screws (make sure you account for the width of your platform here) and a cordless drill

Now, because I’m cheap resourceful, I decided to make my own wooden platform out of scrap wood I had laying around.  This took some additional time because I had to kreg jig the pieces together to make a sturdy base.  You could just buy a piece at Home Depot and have them cut it to size for you.  Bada bing, bada boom.

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Next, simply attach your castor wheels to the platform with the provided screws.  I used a small template to make sure I was placing them in the same spot all the way around, but that’s just the perfectionist talking.  It certainly isn’t necessary.

Lastly, all I did to attach the basket, was set it on top of the platform, place a screw through the bottom of the basket, and screw it directly on to the platform.  I did one in each corner….so four.

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In all, this project took about an hour, and I have to say they’ve held up great.   And yes, I can say that because I made them way back in February.  Ha.  Let’s just say I wanted to provide adequate testing prior to sharing them with you, mmmkay?

Even with a toddler pulling them all over the house and occasionally sitting in them we really haven’t had any issues.  And I have to say, the wheels actually make it a heck of a lot easier to do a quick toy pickup…I just pull that basket around the room with me, fill it up, and push it right back under the table.   Much easier than lugging the whole basket around in your arms, in my opinion.  Fashion AND function….they’re a double-threat.

How do you contain the clutter at your house?  Or have you mastered the secret jedi skill of not caring?

random ramblings

I started writing random ramblings awhile ago to talk about a bunch of, well, random things all at once.  They typically have no rhyme or reason and reflect whatever I’m thinking about that week.   Sometimes they’re long, sometimes they’re short (uh hem, that’s what she said), but they are always fun to write and hopefully read.   So sit back, grab your cup ‘o coffee and let’s chat.

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First up:  Taylor Swift.

I’ll be damned if that little pop star isn’t keeping me up at night.   Seriously.  It’s 11:30 p.m. and all I can think is:  “players gunna play play play play play…..haters gunna hate hate hate hate hate.”

{here, dad}:

I can’t explain it.  Maybe I like the cross-over version of Taylor Swift?  Maybe it’s the Oula dance?  Who knows.  All I know is that I can’t shake it off.   (see what I did right there?)

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I come from a long line of clean-car freaks fanatics.  Growing up I was never allowed to eat in the car.  Ever.  No gas-station-treat-stops on road trips.  No snacks around town (although I wonder if my mom secretly let us when my dad wasn’t there, because HELLO.  How can you have THREE kids and NOT let them eat in the car?!).  As teenagers we were required to keep the cars clean, and wash them or vacuum them if we made a mess.  To this day, I bet my dad washes his cars once a week, if not more (you know if they maybe it sprinkled rain or they accidently drove down a dirt road).   I still notice my dad picking crumbs or little specs of debris out of the car after we’ve ridden with him.   His cars are immaculate and he keeps them forever (because why wouldn’t you keep a car forever if it looked brand new?).

Anyways, a small portion of the clean-car gene definitely got passed on to me.  I prefer to wash my vehicle by-hand (although I can’t tell you the last time I’ve had that luxury).   I like the inside dust, crumb, dirt and dog-hair free.  I don’t like any items left in my car after we go somewhere…even if it’s just around town.  That stuff needs to exit the vehicle.  Pre-child I could spend a good 2 hours cleaning my car to perfection.  Post-child, I get as much time as it takes Abby to eat a sucker.  It’s not perfect, but I’ll take it.  I’ve learned to live with a few cheddar bunnies here or there, and I’ve resigned to the fact that my car won’t always shine like the top of the Chrysler building.  But I have my limits, which I’ll get to in a minute.

Let’s talk about the Hubs.   I’m pretttttty sure the last time his truck was cleaned out was in 2011 when I cleaned it out for his birthday.   He drives his truck like a truck should be driven:  mostly on dirt, in puddles, through bushes….basically wherever he wants.   He’s got a good collection of Montana Racing Stripes (scratches) along the side of it.  The inside has dirt, rocks, gear, dust, stains and garbage.  All of this used to bother me but I acknowledge the fact that not everyone cares about that stuff.  And that’s cool.  Now I just climb on up in the cab, sit indian-style and don’t sweat it.  But what does drive me nuts?  Is how he uses the passenger floor as his garbage.  Done with that wrapper?  Sweet, just crinkle it up and toss it on the floor.   Water gone?  Crush that bottle and throw it on over.  And, nope, it doesn’t matter if I’m sitting right there in that seat or not.  Seriously.

So last week when Abby inhaled a juice box, crushed it, and threw it on the floor of MY car?  ohhellno.

I pulled the car over.

She looked at me like I was crazy but I knew I had to nip that in the bud right then and there.   We don’t have too many rules; I’m a pretty laid back parent.  But that sh&t ain’t gunna fly in momma’s car.

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I don’t care how big of a diva you are, kid.  You won’t throw trash in my car!

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So, we’ve been looking for a house.  And looking, and looking and looking.

Turns out house hunting isn’t as much fun as I thought it might be.  I was convinced that Missoula just didn’t have the type of house that I needed wanted.  Then one day I got a little frisky and searched for houses that were almost twice our budget.

Yep.  Missoula has those houses.

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In other news, I’ve started playing the lottery.

Just kidding.

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I think I need an intervention because I actually had this thought today:

“You know, it’d be really cool if I built a fridge to go with Abby’s play kitchen for her Christmas present this year.”

Am I nuts?  Have I blocked out the chaos of last year?  I think I need to re-read this post, or someone, please talk some sense into me.  The sanding…my god the sanding….

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Ok, so Abby has been watching Daniel Tiger (which I actually think is pretty cute because it’s like the “new” Mr. Rogers).   Any clue what I’m talking about?  No?  Ok.

Well Daniel Tiger does this thing where he rubs noses with his mom/dad/the screen/whoever, while saying ugga mugga.  Just as a way to show affection or hug I guess.  Anyways…..Abby has been saying, “Momma, Ugga Mugga!” and then getting really close, rubbing our noses, while saying really softly, “ugga mugga.”  It is THE.  SWEETEST.  THING.  It melts my heart every single time.

Kinda like this (without all of the really weird stuff edited in):

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And with that clip, my friends, we may have hit an all-time low here on twsst.  (I hope you didn’t watch the whole thing, it was extremely weird….but it was the only thing I could find with an ugga mugga in it!).

Thanks for reading all of this nonsense, I’m always amazed that anyone reads this blog, but I’m so grateful that you do.

Ugga Mugga,

Janna

(shake it off, shake it off!)

archery season opener: hunting-widow edition

Sweet Jesus the summer went by fast.  So fast that apparently I didn’t have time to blog about anything at all.  Obviously we have some catching up to do, and catch-up we will since it’s officially Archery Season….bow season….hunting season…whatever.  All I know is that I we have a lot of time on my our hands these days and I’m loving it.  This euphoria usually lasts about 3 weeks and then I get completely bored, overwhelmed with being a single parent, and cabin fever sets in.  But for three glorious weeks I bask in the fact that time is on my side.  Time to do whateva I want.  Time to do laundry (ok, it’s sad that I listed that first).  Time to clean the house.  Time to workout.  Time to cook.  Time to write.  Time to take that graphic design class I signed up for in April.  Time to think!    All I know is that I will not be frantically packing (and unpacking) bags for weekend getaways.

So to get me back in the blogging mood, I decided to document opening day, hunting-widow edition. To do this I snapped a photo each hour throughout the day.  Not necessarily on-the-hour, because surprisingly it was sometimes hard to remember to take one before the hour was up…but it’s kind of a cool way to tell a story through pictures.  And it sorta kicked off our hunting season (which admittedly is drastically different from a hunters) of being a Party of Two (ok, three if you count Summy).

I learned that I take a lot of pictures of my kid and food.  Clearly, I’m fascinating.

You know I’m dying to write a caption or give you a backstory to some of these…but, no, pumpkin, no.  I’m not going to.  A picture speaks a thousand words right?  So I’ll let them do the talking for once.

And hopefully, this will be my giant leap back into writing and sharing.

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If you need me I’ll be freakishly organizing and purging our house, along with feverishly planning projects I can “surprise” the Hubs with (who doesn’t want a tile backsplash installed while they’re away?  hello.).