Winter Necessities

I’ve always had very dry hands and dry lips during the winter months. I always just assumed it was just what happened in the cold. Yes, hands can get dry and chapped in the winter. Yes, the same problem happens with lips. But this winter, I’ve noticed a difference and I’m making a pretty big assumption that it comes down to two changes that I made: water intake and Vaseline.

So, as I wrote about here I’m making a big effort to drink more water. More and more and more water. I have now made it part of my morning routine that I can not drink anything else until I finish off one full water bottle. In just the few weeks that I’ve been doing this, I’ve noticed that I’ve been having less headaches. (Although I did have one last night….it did not last long and in the past it probably would’ve lasted through today.) Have I been dehydrated all these years?!? Is that one of the causes of my frequent headaches?!? Honestly, I don’t know. And it’s only been a few weeks. And yes, I’ve still had a couple headaches. But, they haven’t been as frequent or as severe as I’ve had the last few years. So, the water routine is staying!

I used to be a lip balm addict. I would go through entire tubes of lip balm in just a few months. That’s….probably not normal. But, I realized the I was using the lip balms so often because my lips always felt dry! Was it the wax in the balm? I don’t know. But, I’ve switched up my routine here as well.

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These Vaseline Lip Therapy containers are awesome! They are also great because I can quickly add some moisture…..and I use them on my hands for a little extra moisturizing if needed….or on my girls when they have chapped skin. And the rosy lips one has a light rose scent which is pleasant as well.

What products are your necessities for surviving the winter in the midwest?

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Fighting the Cold

It seems that pretty much everyone is fighting a cold right now. I’m hoping that spring comes soon because I think we all need to get outside. We need to be able to throw open the windows and air everything out. But in the meantime……what are your go-to cures when faced with a cold?

For me, when I feel a cold coming on, I reach for Vicks, lots of water and tea, vitamin C, and soup. Specifically? Egg drop soup.

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Yep. Egg drop soup. Comforting. Warm. And, I found a fantastic one that delivers to us and they put a healthy amount of veggies in their egg drop soup….and shrimp which I wasn’t expecting but was a delicious addition.

When you feel a cold coming on, what do you do to try to stop it?

Mama Loves Organizing!

I really love organizing. I really do. And I love organizational containers. !!!!!! I love finding new ways to organize what I’ve already organized. Oh man. It makes me so happy.

I want to show off some of the new organization in the living room. We have lots of Legos. Lots and lots of Legos. Each girl got at least two new Lego sets for Christmas. It’s great because I love Legos and Ryan loves Legos and we both love that our girls love Legos. But, especially now that big girl has shown more interest in following the directions in the different sets, we needed a new solution instead of the one large box that just held every piece. That led to big girl literally digging through the box. Legos would fly everywhere. I would find them all over the floor….carpet….everywhere. My fear was that I was going to vacuum up one of the pieces and then we would discover that it was an essential piece to whatever the girls wanted to build.

So……I found some containers at Target and the girls and I began the great Lego-organization-of-2018.

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Look at that! So beautiful! So organized! So color-coded!

Not only is it lovely to look at, but it’s already making it easier for the girls to build what they want. They can easily and quickly find the piece(s) that they are looking for.

Do you love organizing as much as I do? What are your favorite organizing hints? Do you have a favorite organizing container?

Winter Checklist Update #5

One of our favorite investments that we made when we bought our house in the suburbs was purchasing a family pass to Brookfield Zoo. We realized that if we went to the zoo for the Halloween activities, for the Christmas lights, and for the New Year’s Eve countdown, it just made financial sense to buy a pass. We don’t have to pay for parking and after just a few trips to the zoo during the year we’ve actually broken even on our investment. Plus, I like that we don’t have to make a whole day trip to the zoo if we don’t want to. There are many times during the summer when the girls and I might just pop over to the zoo for an hour or two and then head back home. If we don’t see everything, it’s ok. We can come back and check it out.

The New Year’s Eve countdown is great for kiddos. It’s at 8:00pm which is late enough for my girls to feel like they are actually staying up late. But when we get home, it’s not super late.

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It was really really really cold so we didn’t walk around and look at the lights too much but that was quite ok since we went to Holiday Magic earlier in the season. We were able to take a couple quick pictures before heading to the car….which we did very quickly because baby girl does NOT like being cold….she has inherited her mommy’s tolerance (or rather, intolerance) for cold…..

The list thus far:

New Year, New Goals

I’ve never really like the idea of a New Year’s Resolution. The word resolution just sounds so, well, resolute. Set in stone. And if you slip once or twice….it’s a failure, right? Well, knowing that I won’t stick to resolutions without feeling like a failure…I choose to make goals. Goals that I know will make a better year. Goals that I know I will be able to accomplish. And goals that I know that I won’t always stick to, and that’s ok because it’s the end result that’s most important.

My goals for 2018:

  • Try to stick to my training as much as possible. Yes, Princess Challenge weekend is slowly getting closer and closer. But, I also want to be sure that I keep my training going so that I’m ready for any spring races as well. Maybe this is the year that I finally do the Shamrock Shuffle. …
  • Read more. Finish reading the ever-growing pile of books. Buy more books. Actually read those books. And then….buy more books.
  • Be more organized at dinner time. I want to actually use our crock pot this year so that my go-to meal for the kids isn’t “snack tray”, leftovers, or soup. Although those meals are fine, I need something else.
  • Try not to read the comments. This one is pretty self-explanatory. I think everyone would be happier if they just read the post/article/whatever and then had a real conversation with a real person….face to face.
  • Drink more water. Drink more and more water. I’ve made it a goal to fill up my Camelbak every morning and then I have to drink all of it before I can have anything else. My hope is that this will do a lot to start my day hydrated and might help to control some of my headaches. We shall see…..
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    Drink More Water!

    What are your goals for 2018? How do you keep yourself on track and accountable to yourself?

Winter Checklist Update #4

Before we had children, we would drive down to spend Christmas Eve with my side of the family, then on Christmas Day we would get up and drive to spend Christmas night and then next day with Ryan’s side of the family. We knew that when we had children, that that tradition would need to change. Now, we travel to my side of the family the weekend before Christmas and we travel up to Wisconsin after Christmas.

So, we have now gone to Mimi and Pa’s house…..

And Granny and Pa’s house…..

Christmas Eve, we make cookies (or, this year, make a gingerbread house), go to Christmas Eve Mass, drive around and look at Christmas decorations, then come home. Christmas Day, we spend in our jammies, watch Christmas specials, and eat breakfast casserole. The girls have all day to play with toys and we can all relax. Our Christmas traveling allows us to see family for Christmas and also allows us to be home for Christmas.

The list thus far:

Winter Checklist Update #3

Traditionally, on past Christmas Eve’s, the girls and I have made cookies on Christmas Eve to leave out for Santa (and for us to eat since Santa doesn’t really need two dozen cookies). I usually just buy some cookie dough and we use the sprinkles that I already have on hand to decorate the cookies. This year, however, we changed it up a bit.

When I went to the Wilton Outlet Sale (seriously…check this sale out if you are able), I picked up a gingerbread house kit. I thought that this would be a fun project for the girls and I to conquer during our Christmas break. (The first time that I attempted a gingerbread house on my own, the walls were held up with cans of soup on the inside of the house……)

Was it the prettiest gingerbread house ever built? Um. Of course not. But, we had a lot of fun putting it together and adding our own touches (so many marshmallows!!!!). And, it was actually really easy to put together so a great project to do with kiddos.

It’s not our typical “making cookies” adventure. But, it was fun and then we got to eat it.

Bonus: the house stayed up until we tore it apart to eat it! That’s a victory right there. 🙂

The list thus far: