Thursday, May 14, 2015

Cozy Minimalist: Week 1

Did you ever take an independent study class in college?  I did.  It was on gender studies for my psychology degree and I was given a whole year to complete it.  I was planning to spend almost a month as a nanny in Memphis one summer and figured that would be the perfect time to wrap it up.  Except I didn't.  Literally, I used up the entire year to complete that dang course.  #senioritis


I recently came across a brilliant independent study course, The Cozy Minimalist, that is a lot more fun.  With no "required readings."  And, guess who teaches it?  THE NESTER.  I know.  What could be more fun?!

If you're not familiar, The Nester is actually Myquillin, known for her window mistreatments, her It Doesn't Have to be Perfect to be Beautiful decorating mantra, and generally being amazing at styling her home using ideas and resources that are great for any budget.  She writes a blog you've probably heard, The Nesting Place.  

 The Cozy Minimalist, is made up of four online courses, narrated by Myquillin and her decorating friends.  She encourages you to choose one room as your focus throughout the course, and to use what you already have in your home to make the space what you've always wanted it to be.    The first session was packed full of useful information about where to begin and what to do when you first start redecorating a room.  She also leaves you with a weekly challenge.  

Week One's challenge was to Quiet the Room by removing clutter, minimizing furniture, and leaving only basics in the room.  

I am focusing on The Artist Formerly Known as the Office, Turned In-Home Medical Procedures and Supply Room, Turned Home School Room.  And, now I want it to be an office again. Because why not? {Actually, I need a space to do and store officey things. I think.}
Here's a little video tour of the room in it's before state and, most recently, as the homeschool room:

{PS.  There is nothing that ever prepares you to hear yourself speak when recorded.}

And, now, as the 'Quieted Space.'
I ended up taking everything out besides the IKEA shelf on the wall and the white board.  The white board is staying, and I really didn't want to take down the shelf considering it may stay, too.  Neither, in my opinion, really affected my ability to see the room in a more natural way.  Also, because the function of this room is changing, I removed all the furniture.  The sofa will likely not be making a return to this space, though the IKEA Expedit shelving unit probably will.  

While this space is nice and quiet, I can't so the same for the living room next door.  He's looking awfully noisy all of the sudden.

If you have any interest in completing this course, follow the link below!

code: abbymullins

And, if you enter my name at checkout, you'll save $10 and I'll earn $10!  #winning

Be sure to check back to see how the room evolves!

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015


Oh, that blog title can mean a number of different things right now.

But, I am mainly referring to my legs.  At night.  When I sit on the couch with my pint of ice cream watching Chopped or Cupcake Wars or any other show pertaining to food.  (Seriously, food is on my mind ALL.DAY.LONG.)  

Apparently, restless legs are a common pregnancy woe, and they are - quite literally - running me ragged every night.  I will be on the couch and it's like my legs want to do exactly what I don't want to be doing at 10:30pm.  

Running a marathon.  Jumping jacks.  High knees.  Kickboxing.  

I'm not even kidding, I just spastically thumped the floor with my right foot, and I set off one of Faith's toys in a basket in the cabinet across the room!  OMIWORD.

Then, when I finally make it to bed, my legs decide to settle and it's my arms that are causing all kinds of trouble.  Because, by nature, I am a tummy sleeper and I tuck my hands under my body, so I don't usually even think about where to position my arms when I sleep. 


I can't so much do that anymore because hello, 25 week baby belly. 

There is a lot of flailing going on.

I guess that is all.  Just thought you should know.

Happy Wednesday.

vvv I can relate. vvv

Monday, May 4, 2015

The New & Improved Teacher Anchor from C.Jayne Teach!

Don't you just love when one of your *favorite* products is made even better?!  

Though I've always been smitten with C.Jayne Teach products, Chandra really listened to teachers when it came to improving the best selling Teacher Anchor™.  She combines style, functionality, and organization into this amazing product that seriously makes your life as a teacher so much easier.  

Here are some of the improvements she made to the 2015-2016 Teacher Anchor™

-The Anchor will ship immediately!  No pre-selling, just shipping in 3-5 business days beginning May 1st!  Yay!

-The binder now comes with the option to not only personalize but also to choose your color!  I've attached an image of all of this year's options.  Of course our signature navy and red solid binders are still available too, but personalization was a big request!  

-The spiral bound planner now includes the "student data sheet set" within itself.  If you remember, last year I included those separately, but decided to just make a section of blackline masters within the planner itself, so they're always easily located!

-Speaking of sections, the planner now has dividers to separate the 5 main sections of the planner: monthly calendar, weekly calendar, grade book, blackline masters, and the Common Core!

-The cover is super sturdy and durable now.  It's made of synthetic plastic, which is lightweight but virtually non-tearable!  I've been carrying one around since before Christmas to test it out and it still looks brand new.  Plus the shiny metallic dots on the cover just make me happy (see photo).

-New forms and pages have been added to the planner including more "notes" pages, a professional development planner and log and allergy record to name a few.  

-The planner this year is not hole-punched.  I found that lots of teachers were using it outside of the binder and just using the binder for student progress monitoring.  So we eliminated the three holes so that it can be used alongside and not within.  Also this is helpful for teachers who just want to use it and purchase it alone (which is totally do-able!).  

In addition to the Teacher Anchor™, Chandra also sells the BEST desk pad for organizing your notes and lists all in one place!  I used this ALL THE TIME.  I even loved it so much that I ordered them for my principals for Christmas after they commented on how useful and pretty they were!
Of course, she sells an amazing number of other products, too, including this 'Pep Talk' tumbler! You can check out all of her amazing products HERE

Be sure to stay up-to-date on the latest with C.Jayne Teach by liking her Facebook Page and following her on Instagram @cjayneteach.  You can also sign up for her newsletter HERE.  

Would you like to win your own Teacher Anchor™? 

All you have to do is 'like' C.Jayne Teach and The Inspired Apple on Facebook for two entries!  

Complete the Rafflecopter below for your chances to win!

Good luck and Happy Monday!!!!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

The Comedy that is Grocery Shopping with Children

I remember when B and I were newly married, and I absolutely loved going to the grocery store.  I'd have my list printed out (in perfect, probably color-coded, penmanship), coupons neatly arranged inside my purse, and the challenge of spending $50 or less on a cartful of groceries.  

I, literally, just laughed out loud.  

Those. Were. The. Days.

Though these days are, albeit, far better days, there's something to be said for being able to grocery shop without an entourage of little people.  Which is why I'm on the Jesus Feeds 5000 Grocery Shopping Plan (i.e. I only shop once a month and PRAY it lasts and lasts and lasts until the next month).  I'd say I'm fairly successful, with the occasional run for must-haves, like Sunday morning donuts or a package of diapers.  I can never predict how many of those we will need a month.  The donuts and the diapers.  

List-making is a lost art.  I meal-plan on the fly and cross my fingers that I've picked up the correct ingredients or have something easily substitutable on hand.  When I don't, cereal is always a nutritious option.  

And the budget.  $50.  Is that even possible anymore?!  Granted I'm shopping for a family of five (baby counts...he makes me very, very hungry), I have one in (A LOT) of diapers, and inflation.  The economy is always good for driving up the grocery bill.  

But, back to the issue at hand: SHOPPING WITH CHILDREN.

I decided I would attempt to photo-document some of our shopping experiences for your viewing pleasure.

Here we go.  Everyone is together.  Faith has a bow in her hair and Becks is still within arms reach.  All is well.  

Walking next to the cart has already become taxing on his 6-year-old legs as we enter the produce section (immediately inside the doors), so now Becks is hitching a ride, and I'm trying to navigate the Titanic without hitting the iceberg [lettuce].  

What's that?  A sample?  You know how this goes: Moooooooom, can I please have one?!  (A note on samples:  I will only let him have one if I can see who is preparing it WEARING GLOVES, and it's not in a covered display where 1000x people have put their germy fingers.  GROSS.)  Also, Faith is now playing with my keys. This is an important part of our story, so remember those keys.  We've been in the store roughly 5-7 minutes at this point.  

The sample was for strawberry shortcake.  Even mama was in on this one.  Faith wasn't a fan.  

Best idea Kroger has had in awhile: grab & go deli meats and cheeses.  'Cause ain't nobody got time to wait in line at the counter these days.  

Not the best pic, but now you can see Becks is driving, Faith has since lost her bow, and the only reason we're standing at the seafood counter is so Becks can see the lobsters.  The Kroger employee thinks I'm nuts. Hiiiiii, just checking out your lobster selection.  Thanks!

Crucial part of the trip: I take a picture of my keys that Faith has thrown on the floor in the frozen food section.

Faith is over it.  Me, too, sister.  Me, too. 

Here I am losing my children.  Becks has decided that pulling the cart backwards outweighs his interest in my selection of Cool Whip.

I don't even know how or why we ended up in the clothing section of Kroger, but Becks is attempting to convince me he needs a green shirt for some reason.  Negative, buddy.

The checkout process was much too intense to take pictures, but it was right as I was about to walk out the door that I realized I'D LOST MY KEYS.  And, honestly, I'm fairly certain that after I took the above picture of the keys on the floor, that I actually just left them there.

Which is why I do not advocate taking pictures while you grocery shop with your children.  #fail

Thankfully, some sweet person chose not to steal the Odyssey and returned my keys to the service desk.   Which is a darn good thing because LOOK AT ALL THAT SPACE.  Groceries, stroller, and my spare carseat because...well...Faith's condition requires an entire carseat change on occasion.  #poop

So, there you have it.  The comedy of shopping with children.  

And I only managed to spend a quadzillion dollars.  

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, April 20, 2015

From the Maternifiles: Second Trimester Update

So, we're beyond the halfway mark!  Woo hoo!  22w3d today with approximately 123 days to go.  At my 20 week scan, baby boy was measuring about a week ahead (though my due date remained the same at August 21), so it wouldn't surprise me if he comes a wee bit early.  By August, I'm sure I'll welcome him at any time ;) 
This green shirt is my fav right now, which is why I've worn it no less than 27 times in the past 2 weeks.

I've settled in comfortably to Trimester Two, enjoying the surge in energy and freedom from nausea, insomnia, and most food aversions.  (Thyme still does it for me, though!  Bleh!) Also, I'm very particular about laundry detergent smells, which is why I sent a group text out to my family with the pic below to see who wanted to take almost full bottles of Tide off my hands.  Only Gain for this girl these days.    

Honestly, If it weren't for my insatiable appetite, growing waistline, and the nightly jumping jacks on my bladder, I wouldn't even know I was pregnant. I really do feel great. 

Easter dress at 20weeks vs the unitard.  Remember the unitard?  No?!  Read all about its original purchase >>> HERE.  

I've gained around 30lbs so far, which puts me on track to be as big as a house in August - just as I predicted.  I'm 5'9" and started out at 135lb after I finished the Whole 30 in November, so while you may not believe me, 'tis true! I never trust retailers when they recommend purchasing maternity clothes in my pre-pregnancy size.  Pregnancy doesn't happen for me like that.  I go from a small to a large, just like your favorite french fry order.  

With my doctor's permission, I've been trying to work out again since I was pretty averse to working out the whole first trimester.  Little walk/jogs around the neighborhood or a prenatal workout video on Youtube are getting me up and moving these days. It's a shame there's no one around to enjoy the hilarity of me holding my belly while I do squats. {PS. I like cardio, so if you have any favorite online videos to recommend, let me know!}
You all, that sweet little profile is Beckham ALL OVER!  Can't wait to meet him!

I also purchased a Garmin Vivofit 2 that has a built-in activity monitor, urging me to get up and move if I've been sitting idle too long.  It also counts steps, calories burned, notes sleep patterns, and daily mileage.  Unfortunately, it does NOT beep at me while I'm eating ice cream or Oreos. Garmin needs to get on that.

And, here's the latest pic of baby boy bumpin' out today. Told you. Just call me the Notorious BIG. Can you even imagine August?! 

Happy Monday!