Monday, June 17, 2013

Our Engagement Pictures!

Back in April we traveled out to Asheville to have an engagement session with our fabulous photographers, Phil + Kristen Photography. We packed for the weather to be warm...well it did not turn out to be as warm as we wanted. But we stuck to the plan and used a good dose of imagination (and our Northern blood didn't hurt either.) It was a beautiful day and our pictures turned out even more beautiful. We cannot wait to work with them again on our big day.

We had so much fun and they all turned out FABULOUS. I had so much trouble just picking a few of the hundreds we have to share with you. I hope you enjoyed!

All photography was taken by Phil + Kristen Photography.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

It's Summer, Y'all!

Today is my first day of summer vacation!

I slept in until 9:30 (!!!) and still have not gotten out of bed - luckily I prepared myself for this last night before bed by bringing my computer and cord so I would be prepared for a full on lazy wednesday.

At first I felt a bit guilty about laying in bed all day...mostly because today is Wednesday and I just indulged in this very act on Saturday blaming it on a similar reason - Friday being the last day of school! But today TRUELY starts my summer vacation.

I have such a long list of projects and things I would like to do this summer...I may be over ambitious...I may decide to just plain relax...I am realizing that I haven't had an entire summer off since I was fifteen! This may be my last entire summer off for a while, too. We will see what next summer brings...but until then...I am going to sit back and relax today away!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Dr. Oz 3 Day Detox Cleanse - Day 1...sort of

So it is 11:00 and I am finally getting to bed. I should be sleeping (I am NOT someone who gets up at the first ring of the alarm...or the fifth) but instead I just have to blog about starting the Dr. Oz 3 Day Detox Cleanse! It has to be brief because I do need to go to sleep and have had a very busy night and weekend!

We went to Asheville this weekend to get our engagement pictures taken - super excited to see how they turned out! We got home today around 5:30 and then jetted off to the grocery store to get supplies so we could begin our cleanse we have been planning! It took three stores, a conversation with a store manager, some frustrations about "oh! I could have gotten that cheaper here!" and some back and forths, and two hours. We spent MUCH more than anticipated...Dr. Oz says it will cost about $16 a did many blogs I read about the cleanse. So we thought...alright sixteen dollars a day times three days times two of us would be around $95. Yup...did NOT happen... over $170 (and we had 1 avacado, 1 lemon, 1 lime and the lavender oil already!) We do think there are already a few things we over purchased - kale, raspberries, and blueberries - and there were a few items that we will have some or a lot left over so that price does not reflect what we will use - flaxseed, coconut oil, almond butter, vitamins and probiotics. But still...$75 more?! That is a LOT more than we expected...but more on that later.

Once we got home it was already 8:00 and Hari was staaaaarving (despite the fact that we lived it up today in the food department knowing that at dinner time we would be sipping our meals through a straw for the next 72 hours) so I began his first dinner smoothie. Forty-five minutes later we were both trying our first smoothie.

While sipping on dinner I made both Hari and my drinks for breakfast and lunch tomorrow. It took me about an hour to make the breakfast and lunch drinks - not to bad. The lunch drink made a ton! I hope other blogs I have read are wrong and it doesn't make me gag...

Initial thoughts...
-All of the drinks smell HORRIBLE!
-I wish it was cold  *note to self
-I am so glad I bought smoothie straws
-I am glad I did not add as much cayenne pepper as instructed to the dinner is not spicy at all...will add more tomorrow night!
-Dinner drink is not TERRIBLE! Yay!
-One drink down...eight more to go!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

What's in our box? - Week 1

The day has come! Today was the first pick up of our CSA and we are very excited! We decided to let you know "what's in our box" each week so you can get a feel for what Sandhills Farm 2 Table is all about and what our CSA is all about as we begin this adventure! We also will share our menu (and recipes!) each week.

This week we had...
-3 Vine Ripened Tomatoes
-Hydroponic Bibb Lettuce
-2 Sweet Potatoes
-Elephant Garlic
-1 Green Pepper
-2 Grapefruits
-1 Lemon
-1 Jar of Blueberry Jam

This being our first week, we do not have our menu entirely planned...we're going to have to get used to shifting our menu from a Sunday-Saturday rotation to a Wednesday-Tuesday with pick up day being on Wednesdays.

Because of this, thoughts of travel for the weekend, and ideas of a cleanse to begin next week...we only have planned two meals. Tonight we had Peanut Chicken Lettuce Wraps. They were DELISH! I will share the recipe A.S.A.P! Tomorrow we are having Sweet Potato Latkes with Chicken and fresh garden salad.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

The Organization Carries On...

So my 31 Day Challenge may have ended at the start of this month...but that by no means meant I was done! I have so many projects I'm in the planning stages or middle of execution - I can't wait to share! The challenge really inspired me to revamp how we life.

I found out last week that come this summer we will be having a friend stay with us for a few months...this really put the fire under my but to kick into cleaning and organizing gear. I finally tackled the clothes mountain on the guest bed. It took me all day...but it is gone! And it's not coming back. More on that soon...

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Not quite the end of the 31 Day Organizational Challenge

March is over, but my organization is far from over! As you know, I participated in the 31 Day Organizational Challenge with Org Junkie. Here are the Before and After Pictures of the room I chose to closet!

At the beginning of the challenge I took pictures of my entire apartment...because let's face was a mess of disorganization. Well, let's just say I bit off more than I could chew...which I kind of knew from the beginning...since I took before pictures of just about every room!

This was a horrible month to do this challenge...for starters I began the challenge a week late. We were then out of town every weekend for the rest of the month...the first weekend we were in Charlotte, the next in Asheville, and then the following in Tampa...then the month was over! Boy did it fly! But my lack of time did not discourage me at all...but it certainly cut into my high expectations. I was able to begin small...and I do NOT plan on stopping here.

I started in furthest corner of my closet. Here are the before pictures...

I already had my closet (somewhat) organized with my clothes neatly organized by type...I know many people like to organize by color...but that just doesn't work for my mind! On my side, obviously the longer side, I start with skirts (short, then long), then long sleeves, short sleeves, dressy tank tops, cotton tank tops, sleeveless dresses, spaghetti strap dresses, thick tank dresses, short sleeve dresses, and long sleeve dresses. My sweetie's side has his short sleeves, then long sleeves, then dress shirts.

I also have three sets of drawers - one large set with socks, underwear, and bathing suits - a drawer for each; another large set with running shorts and t-shirts with a drawer for shorts, and a drawer for each of us with our work t-shirts. The third set of drawers is home to Hari's undershirts, socks and boxers.

Last I have three different hanging shelves - one for my shoes, one for Hari's shorts and pants, and one for our linens, winter hats and gloves, and other "closet things" (like a heating pad!)

The worst part was all of my jewelry still in boxes from the move, my flip flops all over the floor, and just the lack of my things being put away. Which led me to...

The make over...

I focused on adding more storage as well as making it pretty - because my closet was NOT pretty (and who doesn't like pretty things?) I purchased a cube shelf from Lowes with three cloth cube drawers. I bought a pink large and pink small bowl from Hobby Lobby for my jewelry. I found a plate rack and plates at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore to add some attractive vertical storage for my toiletries, nail polish and sunglasses. I already had a coat rack as well as a hanging jewelry holder. I hung these two racks to hang and display my necklaces.

Last I cleaned up the floor, put my scarves in one of the cube baskets, wallets and small bags in another, and flip flops in the last - this is not a permanent home for the flip flops as they are still a little messy in there - all of them have to be taken out to get to the ones on the bottom! - Any ideas for this?

My favorite part of this project is all of the pretty flowers I incorporated and the amount of storage I was able to put in such as small area! I also love how I was able to do it on such a resonable budget (under $95!)

Cube shelf - $44.97 from Lowes - my "splurge!"
Floral cube baskets - $6.99 each from Lowes
Pink flower bowls - about $22 (cannot find the receipt!) from Hobby Lobby
Plate rack and plates - $3 for plate rack and $1 per plate all from Habitat ReStore
Coat rack for necklaces - already had!
Necklace organizer - already had!

The Official 31 Day Organizational Challenge Questions:

1. What space did you decide to organize and why?

I tackled my closet. As my first post of the challenge declared...I needed an organizational makeover all over my apartment! I moved out of state in August so even though all boxes (yes, all with the motivation of this challenge...they are now all unpacked!!!) are unpacked...the house is by no means put together and organized yet...but what house's all a work in progress...ugh, as usual I have babbled on without answering the question...

I chose to tackle my closet. I picked my closet because it was the furthest corner of my house. So often we organize what people (guests) see and not what we have to deal with and function with every day. I figured if I organized my closet with the motivation of this challenge the motivation of guests would work for the rest of the apartment! This way I can also work my way out organizing all the way! :)

2. What steps did you take to ensure you completed the space with the 31 day timeline?

This was a VERY tough I said, this was probably the worst timing for me to take this on...but that actually gave me some extra motivation since I had three vacations - including a week long vacation - in there! I had to work on organizing after work and in the small moments I had. I worked in small chunks until the job was done...and accepted that I only had the time I had. I put my ideas in a notebook and made weekly goals for myself.

3. What was the hardest part of the challenge for you and how did you overcome it?

The absolute hardest part of the challenge was time! As a teacher - time is always the hardest I suppose I was used to this. I started the challenge a week late, I was out of town for a total of 12 of the 23 days (remember, I started 8 days late!) Just about all of the days I was in town for the challenge were work days! I said...time was the hardest part!

I overcame time as a factor by working when I had time. I used my weekly goals to chunk what I needed to get done in the time I had. Each time I saw progress I was motivated to keep going!

4. What did you do with the "stuff" you were able to purge out of your newly organized space?

This project did not require all that much purging. Most of the things in my closet need to be rearranged and to find a home. There were a few clothing items I found that I no longer wore - those were donated to Goodwill. Everything else found a home within my closet - and a few other things in our other closet (don't worry - they belong there!)

5. Tell me one of your proudest moments during this challenge?

The proudest moment I had in this challenge was completing it! Standing back and looking at what I had accomplished felt so great. It felt even better when my fiancé went in the closet and simply said "Wow! Look at this!" It is so pretty and functional - I really don't want to leave my closet now!

6. Explain any organizing "tools" you used to help you create additional space and to establish some limits and boundaries? 

My crate style shelf (and that entire area) has created so much space and didn't take up a lot of room! Vertical storage is great! The shelf creates nine smaller spaces that create boundaries and specific places for specific things. I was able to add three drawers to put "messier" things like scarves, flip flops, and wallets/small bags neatly and together. On top I added the plate rack for more vertical organization that provides distinct areas for small items.

7. What is ONE piece of organizing advice you've learned on this journey that you could encourage someone else with? 

Do I really have to just pick one? Okay...I think one of the best thing I have learned and can share with others is just do it! Pick a room, area, even simply a shelf (start small!) and start! Once you get going you will get momentum and want to keep going. When you see your beautiful (yes, organization is beautiful!) area you will be so motivated to keep going, I promise!

There we have it! I am so excited to have finished this task. I cannot wait to spend April on our bedroom...and maybe even another space...what should it be?

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Early bird catches the...goat?

I woke up at the crack of dawn this morning, yet I have not gotten out of bed or accomplished anything today...why you might ask? Because of goats. I have been full out, tears streaming down my cheeks, laughing out loud at these videos...and I cannot stop watching...if you need your day on.

Time to get out of bed and get something done today!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Day 2 of the 31 Org Challenge

Today is the second day of me being in the 31 Day Organizational Challenge...first thoughts...I already need to be shortening that name because it is a finger full to type!

Today personally feels like it is day one since all I was able to accomplish yesterday was my before pictures. I did peruse a lot...but didn't decide where I should start. After posting those horribly embarrassing and revealing pictures of my house...I know every area could use a bit of organization!

Then again...I do not know what I am going to be able to get done today because we are going to take the long hike up to Raleigh to register today! I fear that I am going to see great things and get great ideas while doing so...I hope I remember that I am registering, not shopping! I will have to wait for these things! ;)

Well today's tasks: decide what room I will tackle first, get some ideas, register for really fun stuff (don't buy anything.)

Friday, March 8, 2013

Day 1, 31 [23] Day Organizational Challenge

Day 1 of the 31 [23] Day Organizational Challenge!

So as I said earlier, I stumbled upon the 31 Day Organizational Challenge today. The challenge did start on March 1st, but it is never to late to get organized...and why put it off because I am 8 days behind the crowd? So I will be doing the 23 Day Organizational Challenge...I have faith in myself I can make up for lost days...with two vacations in I guess now it's the 15 Day Challenge...don't worry...I'm not going to let that scare me!

I was unable to post before pictures previously because I couldn't find my charger. But I was so pumped I had to get started right away! So I let it charge a little and then click clicked away. I must point is Friday, the end of a long week, I did not clean up at all before taking these's how it was, as is. Oh my. With much hesitation to let you in on my are the before pictures:

Would you look at that mess! How completely and utterly embarrassing. Alright, now that I feel like there are naked pictures of me on the internet (I could be exaggerating a tad)...where to start?

Oh, and the charger? I quickly found one in my dresser...but knew it wasn't the one I was looking for - my charger has been lost a new one was purchased...and just like that the original one appeared like a Vegas showgirl in an empty box! So I have two chargers. Anyway, I found one...just to find the other one right above the plug I used...

That's it, I'm taking a stand!

Hari and I moved to North Carolina a few days shy of 8 months ago. Although majority (give or take one or two "junk/to sort" boxes) of boxes were finally unpacked in November - don't judge that it even took that long - I still feel like we are packed up and not settled. It usually takes me about a year to settle in to a place...that was a problem in college since I was moving every year...but I am annoyed by our unsettled house.

Confession? Hari and I can be a bit messy...not dirty, cluttered. Last night after my student's BIG performance (read about that here) my coworker (and co-author of my teaching blog) came over for a celebratory drink...because I was not prepared I had not cleaned up before hand...I was MORTIFIED to invite someone into our house in this state...good think I love her and she didn't judge least she said she didn't. So here is a [even more embarrassing example of our clutteredness that Benita witnessed last night...the contents of our coffee table: Whole Green Catalog: 1,000 Best Things for You and the Earth, Zumba DVDs, scissors, an empty heart shaped Valentine's Day chocolate box, pliers, a cloth napkin, SkipBo, a Wii Remote, two (why?!) candy being a Christmas dish, a few Valentine's from my students, a vacuum attachment, an Avon catalog, a bottle of lotion, a sharpie, a Hobby Lobby receipt, DVD player remote, lesson plans, and two combs.

Today I have decided to take a stand against this STRESSFUL chaos - would you believe me if I told you  I enjoy it when things are neat, organized, and in their place? I know I have a split personality...any way, I had another work day today (believe me, I do actually teach...I just happen to blog on days I have work days, I promise!) and when I got home I felt gung-ho (as I always do) to do a project. I scoured my Pinterest boards for which project I wanted to do today...and all I could think was how badly I wanted to organize...and I stumbled upon this...

So...without further ado...

Introductions and before pictures coming soon...because (really, Katie?!) I can't find me camera charger...and my camera is dead, dead, dead (and my super supportive fiancĂ© wasn't able to take pictures of my babies at their production last night because of it!) I mean what kind of cruel trick is that...I go to organize my home and my camera charger is missing...because of lack of organization! Just more proof of my desperate need to organize our new home...

Saturday, February 23, 2013

A Squeaky Clean Toilet (without the Unnatural Goo)

"Cleaning the toilet is my favorite job!" - said no one ever.

But it is a job that has got to be done! And it's one of the few jobs that I have been doing the non-natural way for a long time, mostly because I hadn't figured out how to do it the natural way. So scrub after scrub I continued to clean the toilet with the thick blue gunk that just couldn't be good for my gal pal, Mother Earth. Until I tried this...

I clean just about everything with vinegar...the counters, the windows, the bathtub, you name it, I probably clean it with vinegar. I also use baking soda for many things...carpet cleaner, to unclog sinks, the to clean the stove...anyway...another thing I now use these two wonder products for is...

All Natural Toilet Cleaner!

1. Empty the toilet of all water. To do this, turn off the water line and pour a large bucket of water (I use a 5 gallon bucket I use for mopping) in the toilet. This causes the toilet to clear, without filling up again.

2. Sprinkle baking soda around the inside of the toilet. Be sure to coat the entire area including the upper rim.

3. Using a spray bottle, spray the entire toilet with vinegar. Allow to sit for about 15 minutes. Clean with toilet brush, turn water back on and flush.

Happy Cleaning!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

We're Joining a CSA, Y'all!

We are bursting at the seems in excitement for our CSA to begin in April. I have been wanting to join one since my senior year of college...oh, I might have gotten ahead of myself, you don't know what a CSA is? Let me fill you in :)

CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. Community Supported Agriculture is a way for community members to pledge to support one (or more) local farms. The members share in the risks of the growers while receiving the benefits of their food production. Members subscribe for a season, receiving a share each week containing varying amounts fruits and vegetables. Many CSA's also have shares with herbs, flowers, eggs, meat and value added products (honey, jam, bread, etc.) CSA's create a community between consumers and producers and support the environment, local economy, and eating healthy and local foods.

So back on track...We decided to join the Sandhills Farm to Table Cooperative. We chose this mostly because of it being in county, most of the CSA's we found were about 45 minutes away (defeats the local draw, huh?) Starting in April we will be getting a box of produce each week. Something to consider if you are thinking about joining a CSA is that you do not get to choose what you get, you get in season, local produce. "You get what you get, and you don't throw a fit," as my second graders would let you know. If you are a picky eater and you don't like to cook, it might not be for you. But I, for the most part, love love love vegetables and love cooking and trying new recipes (and sharing them, too!) So that being said, we are eagerly awaiting our first pick up in April.

The adventure begins in 68 days...we can't wait!