SIMPLE LIVING


Live Simply. Sounds easy enough. Unfortunately, this is rarely the case as we are bogged down with materialism almost daily. I am guilty of shopping weekly at Marshalls, HomeGoods or wherever else my debit card may take me. Weekly - probably more like daily to be honest. I am guilty of buying 'this or that' because its 'just SOOO cute' or would 'look adorable' somewhere in my house. But really, is that a reason to to bring it into my home? In the grand scheme of things, its kinda overwhelming. 

These thoughts all began when I finished painting a little hallway leading to our garage and laundry room. I took it from drab and dirty thanks to our three dogs and gave it a fresh face lift to walk into after a long day's work. It just looked so simple after I rehung the calendar board I bought about six months ago. This too came from Marshalls and I have yet to use it other than my printed out work schedule. 😂 I mean its a cute calendar, I should really invest in expo markers and get my moneys worth out of it. 


Anyways, back to my point - just one wall hanging and my mindset was changed. I began looking around the house and realized just how much unnecessary stuff we had laying around. I felt as if we were living in clutter with knick knacks littering the house. I found myself feeling angry and anxious looking at my home instead of feeling proud and content. I had crossed the line between decorating to excessive REALLLL quick! I made it a point to gather at lest ten items from each room I no longer found useful. 

Surprisedly, the process was pretty stressful! More so mentally than anything. I really didn't want to part with these things and I was having back and forth arguments about why I should keep stuff I hadn't touched in months! The biggest transformation came from our master bedroom. A few months ago, we bought new bedroom furniture for Christmas. It only took a matter of weeks for my spending habits to litter it with junk that serves absolutely no purpose. Don't get me wrong, I love a good bowl and decor tray just like any other housewife but my point is, it has to have a place in order to avoid the Goodwill bin. Our bedroom sanctuary was in need of another makeover and I can tell you it looks and FEELS so much more comforting already!

 
                                                    
 

One of the first things I made sure to do was find a place for everything I use almost daily. Instead of keeping the euro and throw pillows on the floor all day, I just made the damn bed. And if anyone knows me, this is a HUGE accomplishment. Making the bed will kill me one day, I swear it will be my cause of death! It is my most feared chore. But it made such a difference!  Not only did it make the room look more clean and up kept but it made me feel good too! It made me feel proud to have nice things and a nice home to live in. The momentum continued to my night stand that is constantly being abused. After working late hours I literally just throw my stuff everywhere, taking a 'I'll do it in the morning' approach. 

------> Insert bowl and decor dish here. Again, I bought these and they just accumulated so much crap they were pretty much overflowing. After cleaning out receipts, coupons, gum! and whatever else was living at the bottom of that bowl, it looks so much better! I literally had three more candles next to the one showed, and for what reason other than living in excess? It didn't make any sense. 😦 

To be honest, our bedroom and the rest our house will probably have more clutter days than I'd like to admit and it will probably take a little more self talk on my part at Marshalls to 'put the room spray down', but I'm hopeful. I'm hopeful that as our household evolves, I will discover the beauty in simple living and the potential to live a less cluttered, more happy life. 



TODDLER TIMES

This week has been nonstop on the go! I headed back to the working grind on Tuesday and ended up working until almost 5AM. There was just so many people to be seen, it seemed like the patient rooms were never empty. I had to be at school at noon Wednesday so I came home and slept right up until it was time to go. Discussion postings? Yeahhh, that would have to wait.  

After class, my best friend was going to an event with her husband and I was super excited to be watching my godson while they were out. I arrived a little before they left and she gave me the run down as she was finishing getting ready. My godson was at daycare so I was even more excited to pick him up. Excited and also extremely nervous! My heart melted as I stepped into his classroom and he ran to me yelling my name! That was the best feeling! It literally warmed my heart! We had such a good night but let me tell you what a learning experience it was. I learned a lot Wednesday evening. 

Five Lessons a Toddler Taught Me:


  1. Carseats - they have more buckles then I know what to do with. As I sat my godson in his seat, everything appeared suddenly so foreign. I've put him in his seat a hundred times before with his mom present but now that I was flying solo I was up creek without a paddle. Thankfully, little man led the way and like clockwork put his arms where they needed to go. I lifted the left buckle and he slid his little arm right where it belonged. Same for his other arm. Funny how the smallest task seemed so big!
  2. Dinner - ladies and gentleman, news flash! Dinner is not a formal event for a toddler. He was ever so happy to eat cheese sticks, yogurt and bananas while I was worried about fixing him a three course meal! Once again, he led the way as I scrambled around the kitchen looking for bowls and forks for him to use. Instead he just ate where he stood without a care in the world. 
  3. Bath time - where more water ends up on you then the actual child in the bathtub. Armed with a cup and a giraffe loofa, he was the one giving me the bath instead. A solid five minutes was even dedicated to him dumping water on his own head. Hey, he's still breathing and he's HAPPY, I must be doing something right. 
  4. Disney movies - after getting jams on, we watched Finding Nemo. I knew my godson was smart but this kid knew more words to the movie than I did! I'm not sure which was more animated, him or the actual movie itself! It definitely brought a new element of surprise with jumping, pointing to the tv and him shouting 'oh no' and 'Nemo' throughout the movie. 
  5. Love - the most important lesson of all! Throughout the night, he was just so loving in everything he did. Even at two years old, I could see excitement and passion as he played with his toy animals and their new puppy. After all had settled, he snuggled up next to me and I covered him up. Little kids are so innocent and love so hard at even such a young age. It made me question what exactly hardens us along the way to adulthood? 

I've been around children many times before. I used to be a preschool assistant for years before entering the medical field. I've been in charge of four toddlers before, why did watching ONLY one feel like a life changing event? Well, truth be told, it felt different. It didn't feel like a job, it felt real. I felt new feelings that were never there. Why? Who knows? Maybe because I love my godson more than I could ever put into worlds and seeing him grow before my eyes makes me all mush inside. Maybe because that night a thought crossed my mind about someday putting my own kids to bed. I just know that it was very special for me to spend time with him and to live in the moment just for the night. 

MARCH MADNESS

It seriously pains me to see that is it almost the middle of March! Where has this year gone so quickly?! Life has been so hectic the last few days, sadly almost routine like. My husband has been out of town, so it seems like this week has blurred right through my mind. Work. Eat. Sleep. Work. Maybe the gym. Homework. Sleep some more. Work some more. You get it. I'll be so glad when I finish school in August and have a little bit more free time on my hands. Maybe I'll actually know what day it is! 

St. Patrick's Day was a special day to our family not just because we're Irish but because it was also one of our pup's birthdays. And being the dog obsessed mom I am, that is a special day indeed! 

Cash 'Moo' Morgan was born on March 17th, 2011 and we welcomed him into our family when he was just six weeks old. Shortly after I moved to AZ where my husband was stationed, I began to have puppy fever. Jimmy and I searched high and low through ads looking for the most perfect breed! After finding an advertisement for 'Border Collies', we decided to go check them out for ourselves. When we arrived at the address, a lady who didn't speak a word of English motioned us to her backyard. What I thought was a bunch of trash laying on the ground was actually a dark blanket full with about ten or so teeny, tiny puppies! We were immediately happy to rescue one from the hot heat, in fact I wanted them all! Jimmy of course stated we needed the 'most active one' (mannn, did we regret that choice in Cash's early years). And after paying the lady $20, we took our little black fur ball home; he's been my first born ever since! 



Turns out Cash wasn't a Border Collie like he was advertised. Our vet believed he's a mixture of black German Shepherd and Chow because of the dark spots on his tongue and his sharp facial structure. He's grown into a hefty dog weighing over 100 lbs. He enjoys shredding paper and eating anything he can get his paws on (note the flip flop above). Cash's unique qualities include biting his own paw nails when they get too long - which makes me happy as I don't have to fight to clip them. He's turned into such a handsome lad and only takes up half of our king size bed with love.  💙

While I wasn't out celebrating with the Irish, I was handling business as usual at the ER. We have a group of rooms set aside for patients who need a higher acuity of care. St. Patrick's Day just so happened to be the first night I was assigned those rooms. To say the least, I saw my fair share of drugs and alcohol. And since it was from a nursing point of view, it was quite the learning experience for me. 😷 I also had my first encounter with burns. Thankfully, they were manageable and the patient turned out to be just fine. I can still smell the singe and the smokey aroma. Is it too out of line to say that I was craving BBQ for the rest of my shift?! 

I do work mid day so most nights I don't leave work until around 3AM. Most people would scrunch their nose at these hours but I throughly enjoy them. Gone are the days that I have to wake up at 6AM - and being such a pleasant, morning person (enter sarcasm here), I am happy to take my sweet time starting my day a little later than most. Though sometimes when I am finished my shift and I'm driving home I am WIDE AWAKE! This was definitely the case this morning.


Even though my feet were achy and my legs throbbed, I could not sleep.  I decided a bath might help ease my mood. I could relax and hopefully find some peace. I mean honestly, when do you ever get a chance to take a bath at 3AM? YOLO. 

One of the key selling points when buying our house was our giant soaker tub in the master bathroom. I fell in love with it and have lived in it pretty much ever since! I am a bath-a-holic, the bigger the bubbles the better. I have a collection of different bubble baths, soaps, bath bombs, and oils hidden under the sink like a true addict. Its satisfying to mix and match different scents and take it all in without a care in the world. Pair it with a candle, or two, perhaps even three and its a recipe for perfection! 

As far as the rest of the weekend goes, I'm spending it with family because I don't have to go back to work til Tuesday! We're going to have a belated St. Patrick's Day dinner at my parents. My mom always cooks corn beef and cabbage with red potatoes. Jimmy and my dad will be home too so it will be nice to spend the day with them and the rest of the fam-bam. Also, Spring Break is officially in session as of this morning! A nice seven day hiatus from discussion postings, homework and group projects is just want I needed. 😊 Hallelujah! 

I hope this finds everyone well and that you're enjoying your weekend as much as I plan too! 



*Disclaimer - I would never release any private information regarding the patients that I care for due to the HIPPA privacy rule and the respect that I have for patient care/my career as a registered nurse. I will/would never respond to anyone inquiring for such information or personal details. I am also in no way, shape or form affiliated or being paid to advertise products that I display on my blog unless I state otherwise. I enjoy said products and my opinions are in fact my own. Thank you! 
SaveSaveSaveSave

SPRING HAS SPRUNG!

While the Northeast has been getting dumped on with snow, we have been getting showered with rainfall! Looks as if Spring has come a few days early. 

I must admit, warm weather runs through these veins of mine, but it is really nice to have a bit of a weather change come our way over the past few days. I've been able to wear rain boots and a messy bun everywhere I go without looking like I've purchased a first class ticket to the hot mess express.

Recently, I undertook the task of landscaping our entire front yard. Walking through Lowe's, I scoured the garden center for anything that might make our front walk show some sort of life again. I swear in a past life I was a florist of some kind and I promise almost weekly I'll return post nursing retirement. I'm obsessed with anything 'garden' so you can imagine my excitement when I stumbled across the clearance rack and discovered over ten cases of dried up Snapdragons! I felt like an addict as I literally tossed every marked down, wrinkled flower I could onto my pushcart. It pains me to admit that I actually stared down an elderly women for the very last case. Enter shame here. 😳 

It may have taken me three hours and a round of heat stroke to get them all planted but I couldn't be more pleased with the end result. All of this rain has them blooming so radiantly! 

snapdragon flower
snapdragon flower

My Snapdragons weren't the only thing blooming at lightening speed this early in the year - check out those cluster tomatoes! I can't wait to throw these in some sort of salad, preferably one with pasta. Nothing beats the taste like a fresh off-the-vine tomato. If you were thinking I bought these plants along with the Snapdragons, I'd say you were dearly mistaken - we acquired them in very a special way thanks to three spoiled dogs. 
One day while my husband and I were playing ball with them in the yard, I noticed this dark, leafy plant growing right out of the dirt. With three dogs and the spared graphic details, some areas of our yard grows much quicker than the rest. This tomato plant, I kind you not, was smack dab right in the middle of the greenest patch of grass in our fenced in yard. Baffled how it got there, I immediately went to the garage and dug up this vulnerable plant. Later that day in Publix as I eyed the grape tomatoes, I was struck with horror as I realized how much the dogs love eating these bright red fruits! 

I am the worst/loving dog mother ever - I most definitely need an official class on how to separate my dog from a human as I see them as just the same. Therefore, I give them whatever I am cooking or eating, including grape tomatoes. As this theory was formulating in my head, I tracked down my husband in the grocery store and found myself regurgitating how this 'poop plant' came about in our back yard. He was quite skeptical of my theory, up until the other day when a second 'poop plant' appeared in the same dark green patch as the first one did! 

 grape tomato plant
 grape tomato plant

After replanting this second tomato plant, I am happy to say that they are blooming and growing as if they hadn't ever been moved. Even though it took a few days for the bewilderment to wear off of how these plants potentially came about, I am pleased to say that I can't wait until they start to yield ripened tomatoes. I mean honestly, would I rather eat food that has an au natural flair or something sprayed daily with pesticides? At least I can say my 'poop' fruits are homegrown! 🍅😉

Happy Spring everyone!  



ONCE IN A LIFETIME

I hate to admit that I haven't been as regular in writing posts as I would like to. Life is just too busy these days and its happening so quickly that this blog has kinda been pushed to the side for a moment. And thats okay, I'm still here. I'm taking in each and every second that I can and truly trying to live in the moment.

I must admit, it isn't easy working and going to school - both at a full time pace. I don't know who's idea it was, but we thought having my husband do the same was a good one. Did I mention we work pretty much opposite of each other? So I officially turn into a stage five clinger 99% of the time when we are together. Probably not one of my best wifely qualities. Then we thought heck we've made it this fair, we might as well throw three LARGE dogs into the mix and just cross our fingers and hope for the best. It amazes me that the house isn't a pile of smoking rumble by the end of the week at times.

Thank God for friends though. I swear they are the glue that keeps the rest of your life together. Recently, I took a break from this chaotic life of mine and I was in two weddings. Well, they were about five months apart but none the less it was such a magical time to experience with my closest friends. Friends that I have known for as long as it took me to know what a friend actually meant. Best friends. Both of them made such beautiful brides to put it so generically. They were more than beautiful! Call me crazy but they were more like majestic - something right out of a movie.






To stare at these newly wedded women it makes me realize how lucky I am to be surrounded by such great people. I think it's such a blessing in life to truly find your place in a crowd and to be able to call it home amongst all the happening things going on. I remember feeling such a warm, genuine light feeling while standing next to both of them at the alter. Happiness for them overtook me and I am just so excited to see what life has to bring both of them, their spouses and their families. It's so hard for me to find words to describe how much I love not only these brides but the people I'm surrounded by in these photos. As a group we have all come so far as individuals while making each other so much better people in the process. There are countless memories, stories and inside jokes that bring a smile to my face - even currently as I'm writing this.

They say you only get one once in a lifetime friend, I find that not to be true. I've found a group of lifelong friends, some that are not pictured, some that even live distances away but have supported me just the same no matter what life has thrown at me, exactly as this group has. I didn't really have a direction for this posting, but I know that I am extremely lucky and blessed to have the relationships I do. I know that at any given time I am never alone and that I am loved, and what a privilege that is in this life to have.