Friday, September 11, 2015

5 on Friday!

Woohoo!  Another Five on Friday, another end of the week, and that means the weekend!

O     N     E

I'm finally catching up on things! 

I got up to date with Gil's Month Updates.  Which is good because Gil turns 1 on Monday.  Seriously, I know it sounds super trite, but what?  How did that happen?

I also finished Jack's 4th year photo book.  I've posted about this before, but every year I make a photo book for Jack.  I put all my pictures on Shutterfly and then make a cute book about his year.  

This year was by far the easiest, because I put the Shutterfly app on my phone about a year ago.  Every month or so, I do a photo dump onto the app and onto Facebook.  This frees up phone memory space AND means all of my phone photos are already on Shutterfly.  I also do this with my DSLR.  When I upload them to the computer, I also upload them to Shutterfly and Facebook.  

So all of my photos were at the ready.  I think it took me maybe 3 hours total to make this years book and it's SO cute!  I need to start working on Gil's (maybe next week) and then I will order that one too. And Jack just loves looking through his year photo books.  

T     W     O

Jack starts school today.

Praise. The. Lord.

Seriously, Jack and I are best buds.  We are a lot alike.  But that also means we can drive each other crazy.  Plus, he has been really disobedient as of late.  Of course, I realized that he hasn't seen his best friends in a month and a half (and he doesn't have the luxury of texting them like I do).

Here's the little turkey himself.

I think he is going to be SO happy to be out of the house and playing with kids his age.  I can't wait to hear all about it!

T     H     R     E     E

We went camping this past weekend.  We had a blast, and I realized camping is a lot more fun when you know you have an actual home to go to when you leave.

We went with some oldish/newish friends (we knew them from before, but not well) and had a WONDERFUL time!  We went to a "dispersion" campsite.  We were in a national park, but we weren't in a typical campsite area.  We were really far away from any one else, there were no showers or bathrooms, and we didn't have to pay to camp.  But we were able to "car camp" (meaning we didn't have to hike to a spot with our gear).

Bech and I are learning what we do and don't need, gear wise.  We have used two borrowed tents thus far, so we need a tent.  And we want a cook stove.  And we NEED sleeping bags.  We just slept on a camping mattress with blankets, thinking that would be fine because it's been pretty warm/hot in Vermont lately.  But we didn't factor in that we were in the mountains so it got cold at night!

F     O     U     R

Have any of y'all read The Nesting Place?

My sister gave it to me for my birthday last year and I LOVED it.  The author has lived in a lot of rental properties, and she talks about how to make places, even temporary places, your home.  Since we also have lived in a lot of rental properties, the book really resonated with me.  The last two places we've lived, I have made little to no effort, especially in this last place.  It was super tiny, I was very pregnant when we moved, and then I had two little boys and no decorating budget.  

I still don't have much of a decorating budget, but I at least have a little more energy and time!  And I have been going hammer crazy.  The Nester talks in one chapter about how we get so worried about pictures being hung perfectly that we don't hang them at all!  I am conquering that fear and just going for it.

Here's the boys room so far.  I need to paint Jack's headboard white and we need to find some sort of dress up clothes storage (any ideas).  But thus far, I am liking it.  It's sweet and bright and calm (all at the same time).  I like that toys and books are easily accessible.  Their clothes are all organized in the closet and there are a few more toys in there.

But here's my real pride and joy.  I have been collecting prints for the past couple of years, but most of them have been sitting in plastic sleeves.  I rounded up my prints, bought some frames from Michaels (combining current sales with Michael's app coupons), and hammered away.  The wall looks even different today.  I switched around some and added more prints.  It's totally my happy place!

F     I     V     E 

I haven't talked about this on here yet, but I've been trying out some of those home delivery meal plans. Thus far, I've tried out HelloFresh and BlueApron.  My second HelloFresh box comes this next week.   

I really thought I wouldn't like them.  In fact, I only tried because I got free weeks for both.

Here are the reasons I thought I would not like these services:

- I am cheap.  I can get things for cheaper than the cost of the delivery.

- I actually enjoy meal planning and shopping.

-  I can be a picky eater and was worried about not liking what they sent.

Here's how I feel now:

- I can buy meals for cheaper.  But these were really fun.  Fun to make, fun to eat.  And they were a bit of a stress release.  I am going to get one every 3 to 4 weeks.  We eat a lot of veggie meals, so I think I can make our food budget stretch to include a box or so every month.

- Like I said, these were so fun to make!  The HelloFresh meals took 30 minutes or less to make.  The BlueApron meals were more like 40 to 45 minutes.  I got to use some new (to me) ingredients and techniques.

- You get to pick your meals from a couple of options, so if there was anything that I didn't think looked good, I didn't chose it.  But some of my favorite meals were ones I wasn't so sure about!  Go figure!

I'm definitely no food photographer, but here are the shrimp and grits from BlueApron.  I love shrimp and grits.  And these were amazing.  Sure, maybe not as good as City Grocery's, but yummy nonetheless!

Thus far, I would say Bech and I like the BlueApron meals just a tad more.  But we liked both sets of meals a lot.

If you want to check out HelloFresh, use the referral code "QHCEJ7."  You'll get $40 off your first week and I'll get $30 credit.  But if you do it, I suggest making sure you pause the next week or two after your first delivery.  That way you can make sure you like the service before you get another week automatically sent to you (and get charged full price!).

Have a wonderful weekend!

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