Saturday night, while watching Adeline, Dan and I caught up on The Kitchen. Adeline isn't quite into cooking yet, but she loves to clap for the crew along with the audience. It keeps her entertained while we get to watch.
I swear though every time I watch it, I pick up something that is a game changer for me in The Kitchen. (Ha!Ha!) I promise it is a cooking show worthy of being on your radar. Katie's little reminder tip of cleaning up as you go has kept our kitchen clean now for two weeks straight!
We got in two episodes last night and, I used my favorite takeaway for breakfast Sunday morning. As you all know, Dan and I live low-carb or keto. (Please don't police me either with what is and what isn't.) A while ago I discovered the Ole Extreme Wellness Tortillas. They are only 5g net carbs, and we were struggling for something to dip into like soups or turn something into sandwich-like.
We had used them a few times, but they were limp and not crispy enough, like a restaurant style quesadilla. I even tried them in the panini maker. That just made them kind of like cardboard tasting, even with butter.
Until last night when Katie Lee shared this trick, one that I would of never in a million years thought of. Mayo, yep, good old fashion mayo slathered baking side down. Who knew? It makes for a perfect fat.
Top the side up with your favorite cheese, let it cook until it gets golden crispy brown, then slide it out of the pan and either fold it over or add your favorite fillings. This morning I filled ours with scrambled eggs, and the fans went wild.
We now have a new favorite at our house, and I see us using more of these tortillas in the future. Like this Friday I think it will be quesadilla night at the Smiths.
Headspace is how I did it and more precise being in the right headspace. Headspace is my new favorite buzz word. I have heard it it everywhere lately. From podcasts to audible books and social media posts, I mean it's everywhere. When I first started hearing it, I thought about how it applies to me, in my current season of life, in which, so far and still counting have lost 35 lbs.
According to Google, the definition of headspace is as follows:
head·space /ˈhedspās/ noun
1. the unfilled space left above the contents in a sealed container.
2. a person's state of mind or mindset.
"if you're not in the right headspace for this stuff it's going to bore you, no matter how well it's done"
OK, I am talking about the second definition not the first. I just wanted to clarify that for you first.
When I first heard it, I had just started my weight loss journey. For those of you that do not know me or follow me on social media, I have lost 35 lbs., since this past August.
I have done this through a lifestyle change by changing our way of eating. I say our way because my wonderful husband knew that for me to be successful, he had to be all in too. How have I done this?
I have been in the right state of mind or HEADSPACE. I will never forget the day that I started it was August 15th, 2018, at approximately 8:45 AM. It was my annual OBGYN appointment. We women all hate it, and I really hated it this day, because I had gained 10 lbs since my last annual visit.
My wonderful doctor and gently reminded me that in a few years I would be hitting the BIG 50. He went on to tell me, that the older I get, the harder it will be to get the weight off. Like I didn't already know this. Right?
I asked the question. What can I do? He immediately went into how he and his staff have followed the low-carb lifestyle for years. He and his nurse told me about the food that they eat, and how they make the lifestyle work for them. He suggested that I get Dr. Atkins original book and read and understand how carbs work on your body.
I went out to my car and sat there for a few minutes and pondered everything that he said. I was tired of carrying this weight, tired of working hard for it just to come back when life got in the way. I gave myself a stern talk and then called my husband. He agreed with everything that Doc said and said that he was all in.
From that moment I have not looked back. Yes, I have a meal here and there that is off my way of eating, but I quickly get back on. Have I lost it as quickly as I would like? HELL NO! What woman does?
But I will tell you that with the wide world web at our finger tips, there is no reason why anyone cannot lose weight if they are in the right HEADSPACE. It is the number one thing that you need to do anything to achieve a goal or dream. It takes the desire from wanting to doing, and then to fully blown accomplishment.
Being in the right headspace has given me the resources to be successful. I meal plan, I cook (which if you read Monday's post you will now know why our kitchen is always messy) and, set myself up for success when I am on the road for work by planning meals and snacks ahead. I am also blessed to have my husband in my corner too.
If you follow me on social media, then you know that we LOVE to eat out and drink wine often. In this, I have grown up a lot, and that's funny to say when I am 47. What I mean is that I make adult choices from the menu that adhere to my way of eating, and I now drink dry red wine and I LOVE IT.
Part of my want for loosing weight was for our son's upcoming wedding next month. I didn't want to go and try on dresses and just to be pissed off at myself for not loosing the weight like I said I was going to. Raise your hand if you have been here!
I have not done this with a magic pill or a magic wrap. Nor, have I done this spending hours in the gym. I have done this by planning and preparing what goes into my mouth. You have heard the saying feeding the machine, and that is truly all that I have been doing, but with the right choices that work for my body and aide in my weight loss.
I do not track or use an app to monitor my food intake. I do not have the time for that. I knew that I needed something easy, and I like to cook anyway. I do not really call it Keto or low-carb, I call it what works for Amy. I am not strict anything, and yes I eat dessert, actually about every night.
I still have another 30 lbs or so that I want to loose. On average I loose 4-5 lbs per month and that is sustainable weight loss I believe. I also know that we can easily sustain this lifestyle and way of eating.
I will over the next few months share how we make this work for us, and I will also start sharing weekly menus and recipes. I promise it does not have to hard, especially if you are in the right headspace.
I will also say that I am looking forward to moving my body more, now that it is easier and have the energy.
*Disclaimer-I am not a doctor nor a dietitian nor do I play one on TV. What I say here are my thoughts and what works for me.
Which was like last July, we decided not to move into "The Suite." Our son, Dakota, got it all fixed up and now has it rented out to a nice elderly gentleman. We are still living life here on the ridge by the pond.
We love this quirky little cottage, and we hope that life slows down soon so that we can get back to showing it a little TLC. It's a lot of property for us to take care of, but we will muddle through. We have a laundry list of things that we want to do and projects that we have started that need completed.
For now, though we are in a busy season of life. We recently relocated our hydraulic business, No Pressure Services and trust me it was anything but no pressure. I am also running toward the the finish line of tax season at my job.
We pretty much have put everything on the back burner at home, and we barely have enough time to get laundry done and a decent dinner on the table. As I wrap tax season, Dan work's late catching up on repair work or organizing the shop. The days are for sure long, but the end is near.
Instagram and Pinterest are my poison through this life season though. I watch all the feed and drool over all the pins, only left with the want of wishing that we had the time. For now, I will settle for the rare day that I can steal away, and spend it doing normal day to day chores.
Saturday was one of those days. I am one who has to get up in the morning and start my day cleaning. I cannot come home after work or even on a weekend afternoon and dig in. Like my work list, I have a cleaning list, well in my head anyways. In my Superwoman way it's always way too long.
My routine as I go through my chores is to have the TV on and watch Food Network. The Kitchen is my favorite, but I am always up for a little Trisha and Bree too. Today my girl Katie gave me a good tip, or should I say a good reminder.
Please don't judge me for what I am about to say. Our kitchen is always in the worst mess by the end of the week. Like stinky bombshell zone. We get in late every night, and we hurry to throw together dinner, and then we collapse on the couch. The mess gets pushed off till the next meal. OK, well more like pushed over to the side on the counter. You know making a room to make the next meal. Then by the weekend, we have a major mess to clean.
There I said it, the cat's out of the bag. Mom if you read this I am sorry. Oh crap! If Dad reads this, I am really sorry. So now, let me get back to Katie's tip of the day.
When cooking you should clean as you go. WOW, that hit me over the head. How easy is that. Yes, my parents taught me this. Especially, my father. However, though in life I conveniently forgot this little golden rule.
As I was cleaning on Saturday, I gave this a lot of thought. How can I break the habit that we are in and keep the kitchen cleaned all week? As I was emptying the dishwasher, for the second time of the day, it hit me, like an anvil it did. Empty the dishwasher before I even start to cook.
How simple is that? My goal for the week to keep my kitchen clean is to do this one thing. Empty the dishwasher first, before I even lift a finger to prepare the evening meal. I have a feeling that this is going to make a major impact on my weekend.
Don't you agree though, that it is way easier to cook in a clean kitchen vs. a dirty one? I will keep you posted through the week on my progress. Fingers crossed because I have a full week at work.
My hope is that with menu planning, meal prepping, a stocked fridge, and an empty dishwasher is that I should be able to make quick work of my kitchen detail through the week.
Please feel free to share your dirty little house secrets too, and how you have tackled them.
#CleanKitchenChallenge who's up for it?
I love being on vacation, but with all that we have going on at home, I am missing home. Home is where my husband is right now too. It may be mushy but, when we are apart, I always feel unbalanced a bit. I think this week it may be a little worse since I just recently finished a week-long business trip in Atlanta right before we left for Puerto Rico.
I am however enjoying the time with my family. As we walked around Old San Juan yesterday looking at all of the architecture, my creativity motor started revving up. The colors of the buildings are inspirational right now while I am still in the mode of picking out paint colors for the "The Suite."
For the walls, we will be going for more neutral paint colors than the vibrant pinks and blues of the Caribbean. I will be getting color pops from rugs and pillows for the sofa. In a small space like this, the subtle pops will be enough.
Sherwin-Williams is our go-to paint choice. We have tried lots of brands in the past, but none compare. They also have great monthly sales, like right now it's 30% off until July 9th. We use the Cashmere line. It is like an eggshell in traditional paint language, has a nice finish texture, coats well, wears nice and is easy to clean.
I also love their Pro Series trim paint and ceiling paint, because they always make the wall color pop. The trim paint has a gloss finish that highlights the painted walls. We never paint walls without taking the time to paint the trim and ceiling too.
Right now the contenders for us fall somewhere between Dorian, Mindful or Repose Gray. These are all near the perfect greige color, and they pair nicely with other gray colors. When picking the color, we will be comparing it against the kitchen cabinets and the flooring. Again, being that it is an apartment we will keep the same color throughout. It will also probably be the color that Dakota will use
throughout all of the units. It will be important to get it right.
I have also been looking at temporary wallpaper to add another element of texture, and that might make an appearance. I will keep you posted on that.
I would love to hear your thoughts on my color ideas.
Borrowing a line from Shakespeare's The Merry Wives of Windsor, "Why, then, the world's mine oyster, Which I with sword will open.' Act II, Scene II."
I love this line. It's the perfect way to describe how we are starting to live small. Admittedly, we have a long way to go and lots of work ahead of us, but we know what is waiting for us at the end. FREEDOM.
The question that I get the most when asked about our plans is "Aren't you going to miss your views?". Especially ones like this, in a photo that Dan took just the other morning.
I must be honest and answer YES. The part that saddens me is that even though we had it, we never really got to enjoy it. Our life has always been full, and it was too much for us to keep up with on a daily basis.
So in looking at our life as an Oyster, we have so many backyards that we can go and visit. Relax, unwind, enjoy and the real beauty is that we do not even have to maintain them. So we will wield our sword through life, enjoying the views that are around us, because they are vast and many.
We can do this without the drudgery of having to go home and mow the lawn or clean the garage because there will be none.
This week's view is from Puerto Rico. I traveled down here with my Mom to help bring my daughter-in-law Janna, and granddaughter, Adeline, home. This our son, Dakota's last duty station. While Dan and Zack stay home and tend the shop, we are out doing a little adventuring in a place that we as a family have enjoyed these past three years. Getting to show my Mom the beauty that this island has to offer is fun, as well as sharing with all of you.
With Dakota and Janna living here, they have first hand got to experience the island as natives. They have shared with us some breathtaking views and beaches, along with food and drink worthy of one's palate.
Yesterday's adventure was an adventure in just getting there. Evidenced in this picture of Dakota's truck and a ride that Adeline and Great Grandma enjoyed.
Then all of a sudden we were immersed in a postcard beach scene. With this, I leave you with a few photos of our secret backyard for the day.
Enjoy! I promise to share more this week of our time here in Puerto Rico.
Here's to living the best life!
As I eluded in my last blog post, we are doing this apartment remodel on a tight budget and with a small space, we can grab a few higher end finishes. The cabinets are a great example of this.
For those of you that remember the old farmhouse that Dan and I lived in about 5 or 6 years ago they had drawer cabinets and I loved them! There was no stacking pots and pans to the point that every time you opened the cupboard that they either fell on your toes or you had to take them all out to get the one that you wanted. Of course, that pan is always on the bottom. Right?
So from there on out and four homes later we are finally getting drawer cabinets. One of our go-to places for when we are looking for home remodeling is Menards. It's the mecca of home repair. It's a great place to spend a Friday or Saturday date night. We just aimlessly wander the aisles dreaming of all the projects.
We use to, but not quite so anymore. We did, however, go there first looking for cabinets and other items when we decided to kick in this door of downsizing. They recently came out with a new line of cupboards. The neat thing is that they have the look and feel of custom cabinets.
They have drawer options and flip up upper cabinets, soft closing hinges and drawer glides too. Another great thing for us was the fact that if a tenant in the future damages something we can get it replaced. Eliminates the worry of having to replace all the cabinets for Dakota.
They are called KLËARVŪE Cabinetry® sold exclusively at Menards®. The exclusive line gives the look and feel of custom cabinetry without the high price tag. The wall cabinets are 14" deep and are 16% deeper than industry standards. They also have drawers for the sink cabinet too.
For this space, we decided to go with the grey cabinets. It's a color that is more traditional than trendy. Here is an image from Menards website.
They have a place on their website where you can build out the kitchen design. It's called UCreate and is simple to use. Input your room dimensions and place your appliances and cabinets to your liking. It will also compute estimated pricing.
Here is a screenshot of our kitchen design.
The space to the left as you walk in will be the washer dryer area. We are making this space 30" wide in the event that the owner (our son) would like to remove the washer dryer and replace with a stove. The area to the right looks empty, but it will be holding another piece that I will elaborate on later.
But what is missing? Anyone care to guess how we are going to do our cooking? That's right we are not placing a stove in the area. We will be using our Cuisinart Air Fryer, that does like triple duty and an induction plate or two for stovetop cooking. Told you I was serious about all this downsizing. More on another blog post I promise.
The next time I write it will be from Puerto Rico. I will be assisting in bringing our girls home, along with cats, Hank and Cash. Dan and Zack are staying stateside and will keep the remodel moving forward. I hope to have an HGTV moment when I get home to a completely remodeled space. Nah, I don't see that happening. Geez, a girl can wish?
The first room that we are starting off remodeling at "The Suite" is the kitchen. One of the most important rooms but usually the last to get tackled at least in our world. This entire remodel has to be approached in a different way, for a few reasons.
The first being that I refuse to move in till it is COMPLETED! Yes this is a first for us. No more a work in progress home. It also has to do with how we are downsizing. That's another post.
Ultimately, we know that it is not our forever home, but we want some nice amenities and finishes. Remember it is going to be used as our Suite. No more leaving for vacation because we will be a living life it was meant to be ENJOYED! That is our goal.
Last weekend, Demo Dan, along with Zack started tearing out the kitchen. Here is a before photo of the space.
Just like this photo, there will be light at the end of the tunnel and no the green walls and yellow vinyl does not do it for me. Let's not even talk about the cabinets, because they are not even paint-worthy.
Here are a few nice photos of the demo in process. In a space this small, it does not take like to wipe it out.
We have been or should I say that I have been spending an extreme amount of time on Pinterest and Instagram. Time just spent scrolling for the perfect items for the kitchen, keeping in mind though, that ultimately it will be turned back over into rental apartment.
Not that my son doesn't want a nice unit, but he knows that his Momma, has a certain quality and decor taste, and we are on a tight budget. I can handle the budget because normally we are on one. But we must be realistic and realize that not everyone will love our design taste.
I don't know about all of you but I cannot be without a washer and dryer. Even when on vacation our place usually has one. This apartment did not have a washer and dryer and that was our first challenge. Luckily, I found a lot of neat images with laundry units in the kitchen. Like this one from Apartment Therapy.
While strolling through the Menards looking at cabinets, we spotted one of the small stackables like in the picture below from Apartment Therapy. WOW! My eyes bugged out on the price. I could not believe that these little things were $1,200.00. So what does one do when on a budget? Turn to Craigslist, Facebook Market, or spread the word that you are looking for something on Social Media.
Dakota, who is still in Puerto Rico found one about an hour from our house on Facebook Market. It was grandma owned and shortly after she bought it moved to another apartment. This thing still had the blue plastic over the knobs and there was no lint in the trap or in the pipe. We snagged this thing up for $500.00. Can you say Cha-Ching?
I do have a Pinterest board started for the kitchen with some of our ideas. Once I get more items finalized and posted I will share the link.
Stay tuned for next time the cabinets will be front and center.
Those of you who follow me on social media and Pinterest may have read a few of my posts about decluttering and leading a simpler life. I have also blogged about it, especially at the beginning of the New Year.
To say that our life is full is a HUGE understatement because our cups are definitely running over. I do concede that we may be people that like to stay busy, but we are ready to slow down and lead an active and enjoyable life. There is a difference. We want one, where on a Saturday afternoon can mean taking off to enjoy a day at the winery, without sitting there thinking of the 10 million things that we should be doing at home.
One of my boys kindly pointed out one day that I basically have like four full-time jobs. I love the path that Dan and I have taken with the business and its growing. Growing to the point that our middle son, Zack has come home to help us and will one day take on a major role in the business.
With Zack comes Buddy the Bernese, along with all of Zack's household belongings. For now, he is living in the basement but we have a plan for his future living situation. That's another blog post, but the point here is it's more "STUFF".
How many of you when trying to unplug to read a book or sit on your front porch, mentally build a to-do list? Raise your hand, go ahead. That is your "stuff" holding you hostage. To me, it's like a noose around my neck and its been
getting tighter the older I get.
We have this beautiful setting here at the cottage, but for me to go outside it is mentally exhausting. I cannot just sit, I have the porch cleaned and the weeds pulled, well mentally anyways, before I am up and off doing laundry again.
See my problem.
It's an issue because my craziness bleeds into Dan's world. Poor guy and he is great at just letting shit go, unlike his batshit crazy wife. It drives me crazy that the basement is a mess, after 3 floods, with "stuff" that we don't need obviously, because I never venture down there. The garages are overflowing with "stuff" that we have moved like 5 times. Sad to say that I have never been able to
park my car in the garage.
The door gets kicked in here and now with an opportunity to downsize, OK not like a little, but a major. Think of it like a full Swedish Death Cleaning,
while living and at a young age.
Our youngest son is leaving the US Coastguard and is moving back home too. Attention friends who are saddened that their kids are leaving the nest after high school graduation, no worries because they come back home.
It's a great feeling knowing that they want to be close to you too.
It means that you did something right as parents.
Dakota and Janna purchased an apartment house here in Ohio, after the hurricane in Puerto Rico where they are stationed. This is a four unit old house with a nice little one story unit on the back. Basically, we are trading spaces when they come home in July. He and Janna need more space with a family, and we need less
space and stuff to enjoy life.
The beauty is that we are doing a small renovation and we will move in when it is COMPLETELY done. Yes, I said COMPLETELY. Then when we move on to the next chapter, which I am hoping involves a beach, Dakota will have an upscale unit to rent and we will have much less"stuff" to transport.
Do not be afraid for us I cannot emphasize enough how ready we are. Dan and I have discussed this at great length, and we are beyond ready to PURGE. Folks, I caution you this is not a decluttering.
Our plan is to bring you along on this journey. The first part of the journey is checking out our new digs. Keep in mind we have the knack to turn shit into roses as they say. Not that this is shit, it is just a little tired. Sort of like us.
Allow me to introduce to you the "The Suite".
800 SQ Ft of HAPPINESS!
This name choose us because many times we have been in a hotel or cabin and have said, yes we could live in a space like this. Here is our chance.
Stay tuned because I will be sharing with you all the twists and turns, along with all the materials that we will be using throughout the project,
and of course our DIY tips.
No pun intended with the Government shutdown happening. Don't you wish we could all be like the political babies and just stomp our feet and say no we are not doing it and then BOOM nothing gets done. It's not that easy in life, unfortunately. Enough about politics, I am not getting into a political rant today.
My "Saturday Shutdown" is taking the day off, well off from the "day job" I am focusing on our household chores and our little, Adeline is coming to play with Gigi while her Mom gets a much needed day off!
So the reality of how much I get done will probably really not be as much as I have on my mental list. That's OK because I know it will all be here tomorrow and the many days after.
This morning I have bee scrolling through Pinterest. Looking for recipes for some pantry stock. This all plays in to my "less is more" theory. I am trying to cook with some creative things that we already have and only spend on a few necessities that we need. Like coffee and creamer. Priorities right!
But seriously, I have enough orzo to feed a small village. This week's menu will be featuring a soup and a main orzo dish with some orzo. I will supply you with the recipes and photos on social media this week.
The other idea that I have is going through our endless bottles of lotions and beauty supplies. YES, I know you know what I am talking about. Look under that bathroom sink of all the gifts from Christmas past or even the bottles that have just a few bit left but you had to switch because the shampoo and conditioner need to be the same brand. GOT YA! We are going through them one bottle at a time.
We are even giving up toothpaste too! Dan and I both agree that we like regular, plain old baking soda with our Phillips SoniCare toothbrushes. We absolutely love how our teeth feel and as you know there are other things that you can use baking soda for. Here is a link to Dr. Axe and 33 remedies that you can use with baking soda.
Like the government right now, we are on a spending freeze on so many items. With our business just getting off the ground we have a lot of expenses going out for that, especially with the new shop. I am looking for creative ways to downsize and earn extra cash to help pay down debt that we have incurred as a result.
I am packing my Poshmark Closet full and I have discovered a few new selling sites on FaceBook which I will share with you on our page. Every day I am trying to list a few things. All of this comes from reading ideas on the Pennyhoarder.
I recently sold this Indiana Carnival Glass Candy Dish on This and That Vintage FaceBook Group.
Well, I think I hear my girls coming up the lane. It's gonna be a heat wave in Ohio today. A high of 48 and that will turn our life here on the ridge a "Muddy Mess".
Enjoy the day!
Till next time!
Happy Monday All! It's only the 15th of January and I am already two blog posts behind. Please forgive me for this, as you all already know our life is full.
I have been giving some presentations on QuickBooks with our local area chambers, my last one for this month is this week plus we are on the cusp of busy season. Poor Dan is running around like a madman working and piecing the shop together all alone. For some reason my four days a week job has morphed into five or six.
With all of this in our lives, not to mention our children, family, and friends, I have made a decision that I will no longer do work on the weekends, I will also take a day for self-care. Whether it's a mental or a physical break to just be and enjoy the moment that I am in because busy is not a badge of honor I have declared.
I have over the last few weeks came across some really awesome FaceBook pages and blogs about all of this. A lot of our stress in life comes from "stuff", the materialistic weight of all the things that we do not need. Along with our mental mindset of how we are choosing to lead our lives. I really recommend following the pages of Life Simplified and Becoming UnBusy. Here are a few of their posts that have struck me and I have had to share.
This past Friday evening at 6:15, Dan walked down to our basement and discovered 6" of water yet again. This is the third time in less than two years. The sump pump gave out and the majority of the stuff that was down there is now drying out again. The funny thing is I really can't tell you the last time I was down in our basement. So my conclusion is I must not really need the stuff that it holds.
Yet again, this basement is going to suck up more of our precious time because now we have to clean it all up again, but this time we are DISPOSING of the stuff. It will either go to the dumpster at the end of the lane, sold or donated. As far as I am concerned the basement can be emptied and when the kids come for a visit they can use the air mattress. Obviously, nothing down there is an everyday need for us if we go down there so little.
In the five wonderful years that Dan and I have been married, we have moved five times. Our garage is still full of boxes from our past lives and things that we have accumulated from our short time together. Needless to stay I still can't park in our garage.
I think about all the wasted energy from us packing up and moving the same stuff over and over. Then we have the money that we have used renting a storage building. All of that energy, time and money WASTED, that we could have used to share a real adventure together and made a memory for the books.
We are done! Finished! Finto! I don't care if it is just one box, one drawer or one item but every day I am clearing out and eliminating something from our house. Yesterday I cleaned out two drawers, today I listed some vintage glassware online. Tomorrow will be just the same.
To say that we are going to become minimalist, perhaps not, but I would say that we are "cutting the clutter" MAJORLY.
Till next time!
Hello there! We are Daniel & Amy Smith of Triple "R" Creations. Together we are creating a crazy re-fined life, be it re-creating, re-modeling, traveling, enjoying fine food or just enjoying life with our family and friends. All from our crazy cottage by the pond along the banks of the Muskingum River, in Southeastern Ohio. Come in sit a spell and read all about our latest adventure.