Monday, December 14, 2009


Steps 6-10:

6. "Get back in the kitchen!" I love to cook. I love to bake. I love people to eat my food. But these days I rarely cook a meal. Baby B and I like to eat dinner between 5pm and 6pm, but the hubby doesn't get home until seven or later. Throw in the fact that the hubby never really gets excited about food, and I'm left not caring too much about dinner. I could eat ramen or cereal every night. I'm tired by the evening, so it's just so easy to be lazy. I know that we need to spend more time eating together as a family, and I know that Baby B needs to be exposed to a wider variety of dishes. I'm trying to create a list of meals and recipes that satisfy all of us and can be put on a sort of rotation. I figure that fourteen meals and four batches of baked goods could be thrown on repeat to last us a few months. My goal is to complete the meal plan by January first so that I can get started on the right foot. Here's to 2010 full of home-cooked meals!

7. "Keep your girlfriends." Check. I definitely enjoy my girlfriends. In fact, I get a barrage of phone calls every evening... they all seem to be extroverts and big talkers. Go figure!

8. "Make time for yourself." I love this one. Right now I'm lucky to have most "nap times" at my disposal. I take long baths, and I read. I also read myself to sleep at night. I guess that's how I love to spend my "me" time. In 2010 I'm going to keep a list and try to read 100 books. I'm not sure how many I usually read per year, but I'd like to see it reach 100. I'm stocking up on good books and potential titles right now!

9. "Don't take it all so seriously." I'm pretty good at this. I take food and sleep seriously. Other than that, I'm pretty good at rolling with the long as those punches don't come from the dogs. One of these dogs is making me crazy lately, and I'm pretty sure the neighbors can hear me screaming at him everyday. If I have a stroke, you can be 99% sure it's because of him.

10. "Don't wish for someone else's problems." I don't think I wish for other people's problems, but I do occasionally wish for other people's blessings. Ultimately, I know that any time I spend wishing away my life is time spent wasting my life. The truth is, I just need to be more disciplined about distracting myself from these torturous thoughts. Really? Am I THAT shallow? Am I THAT insecure? No. They're just fleeting moments of weakness. So float away, please.

There are many areas in which I seek to improve. As a housewife, it's so easy for me to let things slide. My husband never complains, and my baby never cares. But I want better for them. I want better from me. So in 2010 I'll record my efforts and enjoy my know, until it all gets derailed by the arrival of baby #2. (No, I'm not pregnant...but it's a-comin'! I'm so excited! :))

Distracted from The Job

In my quest to become a better mother, wife, and homemaker, I have been reading lots of books on the subjects. Leave it to me to try to INTELLECTUALIZE the phenomenon of the "homemaker" as opposed to CREATING it. Anyhow, my most recent read was "Happy Housewives" by Darla Shine. Although the book was clearly written for the upper-middle class housewife, she managed to keep it hilarious and searingly honest. Let's just say I have a lot to live up to... a LOT.

Darla gives us ten "easy" steps to become completely blissful in our roles. Let me just say that I'm pretty happy with my life, so I look to her more for advice on how to improve in my role.

1. "Please stop whining!" Check. I don't whine about my lot in life. I just don't.

2. "Be proud!" I'm working on this one. I'm hoping that as I start improving in the domestic CONSISTENCY in practicing them, I'll be more proud of my role. I like to see concrete accomplishments, and that's the difficult part of this job. Nothing is measurable, and few feats go noticed. I need to become more at peace with this reality.

3. "Stop looking like a housewife!" Hmmm. Uhhhh. Yeah.... I haven't worn velour out in public lately. Does that count? We'll just put this on the old "New Year's Resolutions" list.

4. "Make your marriage a priority." Ironically, this one is hard. Ryan and I have a very easy, comfortable relationship. There's no friction, ever. Having said that, I think we need to be more committed to a date night. That's a challenge when we're on a budget, and we have a tiny tot. This one makes the list of things to work on, too.

5. "BOND WITH YOUR HOME." Okay, folks. THIS one was the reason for my post. I have TOTALLY lost touch with my home. We have gotten so involved in playgroups and playdates that we're barely ever here. Most days I feel like all I do at home is bathe, feed B, feed the dogs, do laundry, and try to keep enough dishes clean to make it through the next day. Not good. To make matters worse, the less time I spend "bonding" with my home, the more neglected it becomes and the less I want to be there. Thus, the cycle repeats. I plan to create a schedule for home maintenance and execute it diligently in the new year. Then, I will schedule several days a week in which we stay home and enjoy ourselves and all this ol' stack o' bricks has to offer. I can assure you, we have lots of "stuff" and mounds of projects to keep us busy!

I'll post #6-10 tomorrow. I think I have strep throat, so I need to drink some tea and watch CSI Miami right now. (Well, I actually NEED to go to bed, but I'm pretty sure the tea I've been drinking has caffeine in it, so CSI Miami it is!)

Friday, December 4, 2009

A Holiday Dress

It sure has been a while since I've slipped into a fancy dress for the holidays...or at all for that matter. There's something about a beautiful dress that gives me a confidence that I cannot find on a daily basis. In fact, I love them so much that I actually ADORE dress shopping. These days, I buy most of my casual clothes online. I have an idea of my size, and I just go with it. But a dress, ahhh, modeling a cocktail dress or a formal gown in a fancy dressing room with salesperson in waiting is definitely an experience to be enjoyed.

Since I don't really have an occasion to wear such a garment this winter, I'll just do some online browsing and tell you what I'd LIKE to be wearing this season.

The not-so-classic black dress:

This one is perfect for my beautiful sister-in-law:

I love the color and the detail on this one:

Ahhh, and finally, these last two are from one of my favorite designers who manages to fit my body so well, Kay Unger:

Phew, our lack of occasion just saved us A LOT of money! This whole "fantasy" web shopping thing could be the way to go!

While these dresses are from Neiman Marcus, I have learned that Target has actually featured a new collection of holiday dresses that are very affordable. In fact, I saw two of them in person last Saturday, and they were actually quite lovely as well.

Enjoy your holiday parties, especially if they involve a great dress!