The Bobsleddies 2014

Photo Credit: HDR Cafe via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: HDR Cafe via Compfight cc

Happy New Year!  Just like with my goal-setting posts, I like to look back before I look forward — it’s hard to know where I should be going if I don’t take a minute to figure out what’s working and not working in my life.  Starting last year, I created a mini “Best of the Blog” series that I named “the bobsleddies” after writing out the abbreviation BOBSD (Best of Beauty School Dropout) in my blog planning notebook.  The second annual Bobsleddies awards begin now!

Today I’m sharing the 5 most popular posts of the year. Tomorrow I’ll dig into the archives for some of my other favorite posts.

  1. Freezer Meal Workshop and Wildtree giveaway (giveaway now closed — sorry! — but if you’re interested in freezer meal cooking or starting a freezer meal club, this is a must-read)
  2. Healthy homemade pancake mix (I use this mix almost every weekend.  Saturday = Pancake Day at my house.)
  3. Our next adventure begins (where I announced my husband’s job change and our move)
  4. Business casual capsule wardrobe, Summer 2014 (my obsession paring down my wardrobe to the essentials begins, inspired by Un-fancy and Project 333)
  5. What we’re reading these days, January 2014 (a combo adult & kid book review post)

So, apparently you guys like it when I write about cooking, books, and minimalist fashion.  In 2015, I hope to resurrect my Cooking School series, and I’m still wearing capsule wardrobes, so I will write about that some more, too.  I continued my holiday tradition of borrowing a few books from my mom’s bookshelf over the holidays, so I hope to be able to report back about those books soon.

I also want to give a public Thank you & High Five to my top five commenters.  Tamara, Lisa, Danielle, Jan and Stephanie.  You guys rock.

I know sometimes commenting can be a pain, but I really do love hearing from each and every one of you.  If it weren’t for the interaction with others, I’d probably be doodling and making lists in a notebook instead of publishing all my thoughts here.

I’m excited to start a new year and a fresh calendar.  I’ll share my goals for the year in an upcoming post — it’s okay that I don’t have them totally finalized yet, right?

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Favorite Things Giveaway (blog hop)

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Today I have an amazing giveaway to share with you. Some of my blogger-friends have teamed up to offer great giveaways to nine (!) different winners this holiday season.  Each of us is giving away some of our “favorite things” to make your holiday season a little sweeter.  Find all the other great giveaways (and meet some of my favorite mom/craft/lifestyle bloggers) here:

1. Ellie: Ellie Petrov / 2. That’s me! / 3. Shelly: DIY Mama / 4. Karen: Book Delight / 5. Lisa: Expandng / 6. Dean: Mrs. AOK / 7. Jana: Jana Says / 8. NJ: A Cookie Before Dinner / 9. Kathleen: Kapachino

my-gift

You’ve all heard me yammer on about how much I love the simplicity of Project Life scrapbooking.  The gift I’m giving away is a Project Life kit with a teal mini-album and your choice of a Maggie Holmes (pictured) or Amy Tangerine 100-card kit (which is probably enough cards for 2 mini albums!)  The mini-album is great way to try out Project Life without committing to scrapbooking for a whole year – it would make a great vacation album or even a baby book.  The PL cards also make great gift tags or card-making supplies.

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a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

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Fitness in the Fall

Fitness in the Fall

It’s officially COLD outside here in Missouri and the holidays are right around the corner. For me, that means food! I’m not just talking about the pumpkin pie, stuffing, and Christmas cookies… don’t forget about all those other yummy treats that make an appearance during the holidays: tins of Topsy’s popcorn, homemade Chex mix with bacon, and perhaps a few extra glasses of wine.I don’t mind treating myself to a few extra goodies during the holidays, but I try to balance it out with some extra exercise. During most of the year, I love to get outdoors and walk, hike, and bike in the beautiful Missouri Ozarks where I live. But the temperatures hit 10° this week so I’m having to get creative with some indoor workouts. I don’t belong to a gym so I truly do have to get creative.

Join me at Missouri Women Bloggers where I share how I stay active through the winter months.  I hope you had a great Thanksgiving!

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Perspectives on Motherhood and Writing

MW Sarah

My interview about Perspectives on Motherhood and Writing is up today at Emily C. Gardner’s lovely blog, Primitive Roads.  I loved thinking through the answers to Emily’s questions, so check out the post if you’d like to read more!  And now I’ll ask you some of the same questions:

How has your current season of life impacted your writing? What is your writing battle cry?

See you at Emily’s!

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What I’m Into, July 2014

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It’s the end of July… what a busy month for me: we moved and my baby turned one!  (I’ll have a birthday party post soon, I promise.)  Just to lighten things up around here, I thought I’d join in on the What I’m Into fun.  To see other posts like this, check out Leigh Kramer’s What I’m Into link-up.

Wearing…my summer capsule wardrobe, inspired by the blogs Unfancy and Kapachino.  I created it almost exclusively out of clothes I already owned, and it is making it exceedingly clear to me that I need to go shopping!  But I’m trying to be good and hold out until fall.  (That’s part of the capsule wardrobe concept — you only shop 4 times a year.)  I really want to blog about it, because there isn’t a lot out there about capsule wardrobes for people who work in a business environment, but I haven’t quite figured out how to photograph everything.  I’ll work on it.

ListeningShazammed recently: Come Get It Bae, Pharrell Williams, I’m Ready, AJR. Favorite new podcast: Marriage Start-up.  Favorite radio show: Old School Lunch Hour…90’s rap and hip hop, need I say more?

Watching…When do people find time to watch TV?  Seriously… I’m not one of those no-TV snobs, I actually like TV!  I miss it.  Other than my beloved SYTYCD, I haven’t watched anything in weeks.  I never even finished Season 2 of Orange is the New Black!

Reading…Shotgun Lovesongs by Nikolas Butler and Crossing to Safety by Wallace Stegner.  Everyone raves about Crossing to Safety, but can I admit that I’m enjoying the other book more?  It just has a more compelling storyline.

Fitness-ing…I started Mutu recently to work on my diastasis recti (ab separation) problem.  It’s slow going, but I think it is helping.  I’ve also been taking advantage of the beautifully cool weather we’ve been having, and running a couple days a week on my lunch break.

Thankful for…my sister, who I can call or text about anything from figuring out what to make for dinner to major life-stress-freakouts.  She is awesome, and always calms me down with some practical and funny advice.

Planning…to move more of our stuff and get more permanently situated in our new home very soon, since my son will be starting preschool there in mid-August.

Cooking…lots of food on the grill, still loving my freezer meals, and these apple muffins!

Drinking…Mount Hagen Organic Cafe instant coffee.  Yes, I said instant.  Because of the two-house living situation that my husband and I are in right now, there are a lot of mornings when I’m the only coffee drinker in the house and it just seems like a waste to make a whole pot of coffee.  This stuff is amazingly good for instant coffee.  And it’s awesome for iced coffee, too.  I also started brewing kombucha again.  I need to get some juice to flavor it — it’s pretty strong straight up!

Looking forward to…working from home a couple of days a week starting very soon!  I think I’ll be super productive without so many interruptions at the office, and it will be awesome not to have to commute every single day.

What have you been into lately?

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I’ll have tea with no sugar and a wardrobe intervention, please

The end of another month is here already, and its time to talk about what I’ve been up to this month!  To see other posts like this (or to join in the fun!), check out Leigh Kramer’s What I’m Into link-up.

Wearing…the same things over and over. Yawn! I seriously need a spring/summer wardrobe update, since I was exclusively in maternity clothes last spring and summer.  What is even in style these days?  Lace?  Big oversized tops?  I’m so clueless.  And how in the heck do you dress stylishly for summer in a business casual office?  Even Pinterest doesn’t know!  (I think I need a cardigan intervention.) I’ve got a Stitch Fix coming soon and Banana Republic gift card burning a hole in my pocket!  To be continued…

Listening…Shazammed recently: Tree to Grow by The Lone Bellow, All of Me by John Legend, and Down to You by Session Americana.

Watching…season finales of a few shows. Oh my goodness, the Scandal finale was good! It almost seemed like it could be a series finale, which would make me sad.

Reading…mostly kids books (Penguin in Peril and Brimsby’s Hats — whoever recommended these on their blog, you win), but I just started Found by Micha Boyett after winning it in a blog giveaway and we’re reading The Meaning of Marriage by Tim Keller for my church small group.  I also got The Nesting Place decorating book for myself, which I’m looking forward to diving into.

Fitness-ing…I’ve been running a couple days a week and doing some physical therapy work for my core. I have a separate post coming about this soon, but for now let’s just say that I am in full-on attack mode against the baby belly. Because of that focus, I haven’t been able to do a lot of my normal workout stuff. I miss it! Hopefully I will be back soon.

Thankful for… finally getting a (very positive!) resolution to my husband’s job situation.  We’ve known a change was coming for a while, but we didn’t know what it would be, so it is wonderful to finally just know.

Planning…what we need to set up a second household! I am a minimalist at heart, so I love the idea of having only half our stuff left in our house.  We will have to get some extra beds, though.  =)

Cooking…lots of veggies and rice as I participate in the Spring Reset (a three week elimination diet, but my main concern is getting my sugar consumption under control. So far it’s going really well, but oh my, the cravings are strong!)  Chicken coconut curry, chopped salad with lemon tahini dressing (I could drink this stuff!), and an improvised veggie noodle stir fry with Gado Gado (Thai peanut) sauce have been favorites.

Drinking…tea! We broke the glass carafe to our coffee maker recently, and haven’t replaced it yet. In the meantime, I’ve switched to drinking hot tea in the mornings and I’m really enjoying it. I will never fully give up my beloved coffee, though.

Looking forward to…my husband graduating from his masters program. He won’t actually finish classes until August at the earliest, so we’re still trying to figure out if he will be able to walk in the May graduation ceremony.  He’s been slowly chipping away at his degree for 8 years, so I can barely even remember what it’s like to have a spouse who isn’t working full time and taking 1-2 classes a semester.  (Yes, it is the Bataan Death March of masters degrees — 96 hours!)

What are you looking forward to in May? What’s your favorite part of your spring/summer wardrobe?

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Why you should celebrate your birthday all month!

Umm… apparently you people really love pancakes!  In other news, March is my birthday month!  Today I’ve got a guest post from Steph, a fellow birthday-loving, March-birthday blogger.  (Is it a Pisces thing?)  Enjoy!

Hello Beauty School Dropout readers! I’m Steph and you can normally find me over at Life According to Steph blogging about recipes, books, my three pugs, my card of a husband, and life in general. Since Sarah and I are both March babies, we’re trading birthday posts this month and today I’m here to share with you why I celebrate my March 15th birthday all month.

1. Birthdays are the reason we’re here.

I will never regret a day of getting older (and I turned 37 this year) because it’s a privilege denied to many. It seems like something that should be celebrated more than one day a year. I truly love celebrating it.

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2. More celebrations = more cake.

I tend to choose strawberry cakes unless we’re talking about my mom’s chocolate cake with buttercream icing. I try to schedule something fun to do every week. While they might be things I’d do in any given month, I always add “birthday” in front of them to make them seem more special.

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3. A month-long celebration means a month of gifts from me to me.

My birthday month happily coincides with Free Iced Coffee Mondays from Dunkin Donuts, so I’m automatically winning. I save up gift certificates from Christmas to spend in March as well. I always buy myself an Essie nail polish for spring and a new pair of Sanuk yoga mat flip flops for summer in my birthday month. Then I might pick a big gift, like a nice bag, sneakers or shoes. I space them out so it seems like a steady stream of awesome all month.

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4. While material gifts are lovely, the best gift of all is the gift of time.

I’m normally very good about taking time for me. However, I’m also a person who can be obsessive about making sure my To Do list is done. During the month of March I’m more likely to give myself permission to let things slide and spend more weekend afternoons doing one of my favorite things – reading.

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5. The week after my birthday is always the first day of spring.

More daylight, warmer temps, green…it’s only right to continue to wave the celebratory flags especially after a winter like this one. Why not ride the birthday wave throughout the month?

What about you? How do you like to celebrate your birthday?

SMD

Life According to Steph / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

Anyone who knows me knows that I think we should all celebrate our birthday month, not just a birthday.  Hop over to Steph’s blog and give her some birthday love, too!  

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Traveling Traditions

Photo Credit: felixtcat via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: felixtcat via Compfight cc

For my post this week at Missouri Women Bloggers, I decided to mix it up and write about something other than holiday traditions.  Since so many people travel over the holidays, I decided to write about all the funny little rituals that I have while traveling.  I have very particular food, beverage, and entertainment choices when I’m on the road!  (Spoiler alert: ginger ale, peanut butter filled pretzels, and gossip magazines may be involved.)
Join me at MoWB to find out what that fat mouse billboard is all about!  Do you have any “traveling traditions”?
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Missouri Holiday Traditions

Photo Credit: davedehetre via Compfight cc

Kansas City Plaza lights.  Photo Credit: davedehetre via Compfight cc

This week for my post about traditions on Missouri Women Bloggers, I thought it would be fun to make a list of some of the annual holiday events that happen around Missouri.  I haven’t been to all of them, but I can vouch for the awesomeness of the lights at Silver Dollar City in Branson and on the Plaza in Kansas City (and the real live reindeer at the holiday village in my tiny hometown!)

If you’d like to see my whole list, join me over at Missouri Women Bloggers.  What fun holiday events are taking place where you live?

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Merry Christmas to YOU — a giveaway!

Merry Christmas giveaway
I am so excited to participate in this giveaway with Katie of Cardigan Way, Lesley of Barefoot on 45th, Cara M. of be, mama. be, Mimi of State of Hospitality, and Cara of Little Did She Know.  Katie and Cara M. are the instigators of this whole thing, and they happen to write two of my favorite blogs.

Katie
is a keen observer of the world, and she sees the good, beautiful and true in a way that most people only wish they could.  I learned the word lagnaippe from her, and I just love its meaning… a little something extra, like the 13th donut in a baker’s dozen, a little gift to brighten your day.  Actually, that’s a good way to describe how I feel when I see a new post from her in my blog reader!

Cara
is the real deal when it comes to writing.  She’s one of those people who can put into words the experiences and feelings that you’ve had, but just can’t seem to explain.  She’s funny, too — that quiet, deadpan kind of funny that you can miss if you’re not paying attention, but if you do catch it, it leaves you quietly smiling to yourself all day.
These ladies put together a pretty great giveaway, if I do say so myself.  I would really love to win all this stuff, but since I can’t, I would love for one of my awesome readers to win.  Enter here:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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