Monday Morning Chit-Chat: 30 Day Marriage Challenge

Happy Monday!!  This is my last full-week of work before our family vacation in Hawaii!  Whoohoo!

Today’s Monday Morning Chit-Chat is brought to you by My 1/2 Dozen Daily:

The cutest little pumpkin in the pumkin patch!

On Sunday we took a trip out to the “country” to visit a place called Bates Nut Farm . . . I was warned that it would be crowded but OH. MY. GOODNESS it was insanely crowded – and HOT!  The car thermometer on my parent’s car said 92 degrees!  That is way too hot for autumn.  Unfortunately, we are in for a week of high temperatures – apparently the weather hasn’t gotten the message yet that it’s time for scarves, boots, tights, hats and mittens!!

What are you…

  • Reading: Yup . . . still on “Game of Thrones” . . .
  • Watching: We got caught up on Survivor last night – okay episode, feel bad that the one team keeps losing!
  • Listening to: the sounds of coughing!  The little one and I are both sick with chest colds.
  • Cooking/Baking: Tonight it’s a pre-made tuna casserole from the freezer.  I love it when my past-self has the foresight to help her future-self out with dinner! 
  • Happy you accomplished this week: I got a lot of solid work done at the office.  . . important because I’ll be out for three weeks on vacation at the end of October/early November!  Can’t wait!
  • Looking forward to next week: I’m splurging a little bit on some self-grooming treatments I normally would not do (i.e. waxing/pedicure) for the vacation I just mentioned.  I’ve only been waxed once and it was INCREDIBLY painful but I really don’t want to deal with my bikini-line and I expect to be in a swimsuit a lot on vacation!
  • Thankful for today: my voice . . . today I have laryngitis (a side-effect of that cold) and I can barely talk.  Makes me miss my voice and realize how hard it is communicate without it!! 
  • Bonus question: What time do you go to bed & wake up in the morning? I usually go to bed about 9 p.m. and get up around 5 a.m.  Usually I read a book until I’m sleepy – but that doesn’t take long!  I’m a person that needs a solid 8 hours each night.


I decided to do a 30-day Marriage Challenge (links to a PDF of the challenge).  I really appreciate my husband and all that he does for me/our family.  As a two-parent working-outside-of-the-home family, it’s easy to just be on the go ALL the time.  Because we don’t necessarily have traditional husband and wife roles I don’t always “act like a wife.” To be honest, I’m not TOTALLY sure what I mean by that (and I don’t mean anything derogatory towards women who are stay/work-at-home moms with more “traditional” family roles). Anyway, the point is that I want my husband to know how wonderful I think he is and hey, why not focus 100 percent on my BFF and love of my life for a month?

 I’ll be skipping around the challenges rather than going in straight 1-30 order just because it’ll be easier to do something like bake a treat just for him (#6) on a weekend. I’ll try to remember to update weekly! Anyone interested in  playing along? 🙂


Friday Five: Pumpkin Smoothies for all!

Ah!  It’s FRIDAY!!  How about a Friday Five?

1. We woke up to rain this morning and it was such a cozy way to start the day.  Unfortunately it looks like the storm is over and we’ll be back up to summer-like temperatures in the 80s this weekend. It was nice to break out the tights and boots while it lasted (two days). Right now I’m looking out my office window watching huge puffy white clouds move past on the horizon against a bright blue sky – it’s so lovely to have weather!!

2. I’m super excited for this weekend. DH and I have been talking about buying a house for awhile now and focusing on saving up money.  We many not be QUITE there YET but this weekend we decided to check out an open house for a brand new development being built in a community we’d like to live in. It appears to be in our price range (the website just lists a “starting at” price) and the floor plans are spacious.  It’ll be fun to atleast take a look and see if it might be a possibility.

3. On Sunday we are taking a drive out to the “country” to visit a pumkin patch that I’ve heard is THE place to go in San Diego called Bates Nut Farm.  I also heard it can be a bit of a zoo so we’re going early to avoid traffic on the one-lane highway. I’m hoping to finish a pumkin hat I’m knitting for my little one so she can wear it (at least for a minute or two) there.

4. Ugh, I woke up early this morning with a sore throat and that thingy that hangs down in the back of my throat feels swollen and gross. Since my little one started daycare I have to say that I’ve been sick more times than I have in my entire life!  I’m hoping that I’m building up my immunity and next year will be better. 

5. Next Tuesday is Boss’s Day and my co-workers and I decided to get a little creative about what to do to celebrate our totally awesome boss (seriously, she’s the best). We debated getting a plant for her desk (boring) or taking her out to lunch ($) but then we finally agreed to collaborate on making this:

Pinned Image

Yum!  Pumpkin Spice Smoothies (the photo should link to the source blog if I did it right)! I discovered it on Pinterest, of course. So one co-worker is bringing in the spices, I’m bringing in the pumpkin, banana and almond milk . . . and another co-worker is bringing in glasses and a blender!  I can’t wait until Monday!  And hey, it’s cheaper than a desk plant or a lunch out!

Happy Friday!!


Before I start I just want to acknowledge that today is my baby’s 14-month birthday!  Yay!  Today she waved good-bye to me when I dropped her off at daycare.  She’s becoming such a big girl – independent and curious and so very sweet and loving. Her hugs are THE BEST.  Seriously.  She gave me a minute-long hug this morning and I didn’t want to let go until she did. Her head on my shoulder, her arms wrapped around me . . . smelling her baby soft hair . . . does it get any better??

14 months . . . such a short time on Earth for someone to occupy such an enormous part of my heart.

So today I thought I’d blog about affirmations.  My work put my entire division through a leadership training course in August of this year.  It was not your typical training – it wasn’t really focused on the workplace but on what we do and say to ourselves each day that limits us personally and professionally.  It challenged us to overcome negativity and limiting thoughts and people to become who really want to be.  One of the things we practiced was writing positive affirmations and revisiting our statements daily – or more frequently – to help us stay on track toward our goals.

Two of my major goals is related to personal finance and my immediate family.  I definitely could be better with my money.  Some months I am amazing with my cash.  Other months I fritter it away and spend emotionally or frivolously. September was one of these months for me.

As for my relationship with my husband, I would say that it is very good – but marriage is something I believe you have to work at every day.  Life isn’t a romantic comedy and after you say “I do” on your wedding day there isn’t necessarily a “happy ever after.” We have our ups and downs like every body else and I will say that having a baby has definitely introduced new challenges to our marriage as we’ve navigated the ups and downs of parenthood.

Here are my affirmations for October:

Personal Finance

I am deliberate and thoughtful in the way I spend my money.

I don’t give in to impulse or emotions when I feel the urge to purchase something – particularly clothes.

I save money by eating food at home or I bring food from home to eat at work.

When I am good with my money I feel relaxed, secure, confident and happy.

Relationship with DH

I tell DH something good, awesome or special about him every day.

I speak kindly to him and give him sweet looks and affectionate hugs and kisses.

When I feel negative about our relationship I think instead of what is right.

I always assume good intent with him and his actions.

When I act and think lovingly toward DH I build a stronger relationship for us as a couple and as parents for AJ. This makes me feel loved, cherished, secure, at peace and content.

So, there you have it!  That’s what I’m working on this month! 

Do you write affirmations?

I’m still here!!

I guess I took a bit of an unplanned blog hiatus.  I didn’t mean to but life just got in the way I guess.  But I’ve really wanted to revisit this blog many times over the last few weeks . . . and I’ve been REALLY wanting to comment and socialize with other bloggers, but I felt like I couldn’t until I updated here! 

Here’s an abbreviated version of what happened over the summer:

Celebrated AJ’s first birthday at the park with family and friends:

Happy 1st Birthday!

I made a vanilla cake and cupcakes frosted with raspberry buttercream icing . . . which proceeded to melt on the crazy hot day (but they were pretty while it lasted!).


AJ took swim lessons on Saturdays at the Y and enjoyed ALMOST every minute of it (not so much a fan of the dunking but the “motor boat” song was a definite highlight of every lesson):

Playing at the splash pad before swim lessons.

We took a Saturday drive up to Huntington Beach to visit an old Air Force buddy of DH’s.

Enjoying the sun and surf on the HB pier.

 One Sunday afternoon in September we went to our local Oktoberfest for some brew and bratwurst (well, I enjoyed the brat, DH passed being that he’s a veggie):

AJ enjoyed “dancing” to the music. Cute stuff!

There were other things too but mostly I can sum it up as: trips to the park, trips to the park and more trips to the park. And we worked and cleaned and made meals and saw friends and family . . . Overall it was a good if not slightly mellow summer. 

And now for a Monday Morning Chit Chat post – it’s been a LONG time since I participated and happy to be back! (Brought to you by My 1/2  Dozen Daily).

Captivated by the leaves and sky!

Reading: Yup, I’m still plodding along with The Game of Thrones – about 70 percent through a Book 3 and woah!  FINALLY things are starting to happen and get interesting!

Watching: Real Housewives of Miami on our DVR this morning.

Listening to: Miles Davis – a little jazz on this over cast day puts me in the mood to write!

Cooking/Baking: I prepped spinach and artichoke baked pasta yesterday for tonight’s dinner.  Can’t wait!

Happy you accomplished this week: I’m happy that we had such a good weekend – a great balance of time at home to do chores/prep/laundry while getting in some quality time with friends and with just DH and my girl.  It’s hard to find that balance but this weekend we actually did!

Looking forward to next week: Saturday DH and I are checking out the Open House of a new townhouse development – we are feeling ready to think about buying a home of our own and this will be the first time we actually go check out a property other than just do neighborhood drive-bys.  On Sunday we are taking AJ on her first trip to the pumpkin patch!! 

Thankful for today: A really lovely weekend leaving me feeling refreshed and ready for the week ahead.

*Bonus Question*

Do you “switch out” your purse when the seasons change? No, not really.  In Southern California the season change is very subtle. As it gets cooler I do tend to work in more of my fall and winter clothes but let’s be real, my version of winter clothing is probably a lot different from a person’s who lives in the mid west and deals with snow and other chilly elements!  I’m carrying a black canvas purse right now with leather detailing (a second-hand Coach) and will probably continue to carry it through the end of the year and into 2013.