Friday, March 12, 2010

Planting Seeds - Day 1

Yesterday, the Little Diva and I started planting all of the seeds that we bought earlier this week.  She filled the trays with the "Jiffy-Mix" seed-starting soil (which we conveniently used with the seed-starting "you can plant directly in the ground" tray/cups) , and I helped her water everything.  Then, we added all of our new seeds, one veggie/fruit/spice at a time.  First, we added our tomatoes, then carrots, strawberries, chives, and last of all, cilantro.

Now, anyone who has been in my life for long knows that I do NOT have a green thumb.  I can't even keep a basic ivy plant alive in my house.  The only thing that I have ever been able to sustain and keep alive were some tulip bulbs that I planted in my backyard once when we lived in Iowa, and I really can't take full credit for that.  They just arrived on their own every March, and if they were lucky I would remember to water them until they finished blooming.

So, with that in mind, we shall see how this gardening thing goes HAHA!  The Little Diva can't wait for the "green plants" to show up, and she made sure to check them and see if they were there yet today.  She loves it so much that I am going to try my very hardest to keep my poor plant habits from surfacing! Wish us luck!!


Friday, March 5, 2010

Budgets, gardening, reading, and progress!

So, I'm actually making progress on my 101 in 1001!  I have sat down and began to formulate a budgeting system for our expenses.  Currently, it's a work-in-progress, but at least it's something, which is more than I can say about before.  Also, I paid off my student loan, which is great because now I don't have to throw money at that thing anymore. Just need to pay off the cars, and we're set!

I sat down with the Little Diva today to decide on what we wanted to plant in our "garden."  After doing some serious searching to find out what we could and should grow in our backyard pots, we made some big decisions.  We will officially be attempting to grow carrots, strawberries, tomatoes, potatoes, and (for my choice) chives, cilantro, mint, and basil.  I'm actually just as excited as she is to see how this turns out!  I've been saving eggshells to make our starter plants, like this:  We are going out to buy all of our seeds and supplies next week, and I will keep everyone updated on how that goes :o)

Currently, I'm working on finishing this month's photography book, Beyond Portraiture by Bryan Peterson .   This has been a fantastic book (as are all B. Peterson books that I have read so far), and I have actually almost finished reading it in just over 3 sit-downs!  I love all of the ideas he has in this book for how to approach strangers and rarely have them say no to a photo op.  He goes through so many things including setting scenes, backgrounds, how to "see" what a photo could be.  Loving it so far and can't wait to finish!

Potty-training of the little Munky is in progress, but we'll see how that goes.  Currently, she just thinks it's hilarious to continually say "poopoo" and strip her pull-up off, have a seat on the potty for about 2 milliseconds, and then proceed to jump off and chase the dog around the living room butt-naked. We have our good days and bad days, but I'm letting her do it her own way since trying to do it my way with the little Diva took me almost 5 months.  So, we don't push, just leave the potty out, and she goes when she feels the need to. So far, it seems she's progressing because now she no longer will leave on a dirty diaper longer than the time it takes her to tell me it's wet.  By the time that I get back with a new one, she's already stripped herself down and having a seat on her little Ikea potty.  I highly recommend those by the way, Ikea potties.  I have three of them placed stratigically all over the house, and it has been amazing how much she attempts to use them!!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

101 in 1001.... Updated 2/26/10

So, I know, I know, it's been a VERY long time! I promise that I will try harder to keep up with this blog and be more present in the following days. I have a ton of plans and ideas floating around in my head, but it's just a matter of finding the actual time to accomplish any of them.

In an attempt to try and follow-through with some of these plans and reach some of my goals, I have decided to do the list of "101 things I want to accomplish in 1001 days." I'm not sure where this concept actually originated, but I was inspired by my fellow photographer friend over at Just LauraLu.  She had such an amazing list of things that she wanted to do, and I realized, "wow" I really should think about my goals and expectations of the coming years.  I think when we write our thoughts down it makes them more tangible, and we work harder to reach them.  Therefore, I have officially started my 101 in 1001, and I will be keeping track of my progress, good or bad, within this blog.  It should be interesting....

So, here's my list so far, but it's still in progress!

101 in 1001

1. Start a little backyard garden with my daughter

2. Take a trip to Paris

3. Make a trip to the UK

4. Payoff one of our cars completely

5. Update and continue to keep up with my family/sewing blog

6. Drink at least 40oz of water everyday

7. Build a photojournalism portfolio

8. Dedicate one night per month to “date night”

9. Start using all of the scrapbook stuff that I own and actually MAKE a scrapbook for the girls

10. Walk at least 5 miles every week

11. Be able to speak at least 5 full sentences in German before we leave here.

12. Put my oldest daughter in swimming lessons

13. Learn how to ski

14. Teach myself to knit

15. Find a church that my family loves

16. Go a full 7 days without logging into Facebook

17. Read 1 new photography book every month

18. Go to a photography convention

19. Set-up a “real” budgeting system for our day-to-day expenses

20. Save and invest enough to equal a 30% down payment on our next larger home purchase

21. Produce at least 200 stock photography images

22. Payoff my student loan

23. Set-up photography classes in Wiesbaden, Stuttgart, and K-Town

24. Upgrade my camera to a 7D or 550D

25. Make my youngest daughter’s quilt for her bed

26. Do something special for my husband everyday

27. Keep my grocery bill healthy and under $75/week for a family of 4

28. Potty-train my youngest daughter

29. Take a trip to Prague

30. Take a trip to Rome and Naples

31. Take a trip to Amsterdam

32. Read every book on this list:

33. Read the Twilight series, so I can try to understand what all the hype is about

34. Take my 4-yr old to see a movie at the theatre for the first time

35. Schedule a family outing at least once a week

36. Uninterrupted (no computer, no phone, etc…) playtime with my girls for at least one straight hour everyday

37. Make a trip back to the States to visit family and friends

38. Get my office and files completely organized

39. Implement a better ordering system on my website

40. 101 more clients in these 1001 days

41. Sew over 50% of both of my daughters’ wardrobes for one summer season and compare to the usual costs

42. Have one Christmas devoted to handmade gifts for family and friends

43. Take my oldest daughter ice skating

44. Add money to each of the girls’ savings accounts every month, no matter whether it’s just a $1 or $100.

45. No more purchasing meals that come frozen or in a box

46. Beat Super Mario Bros. on the wii

47. Actually have a daily schedule

48. Go to my oldest daughter’s very first dance recital

49. Teach my younger daughter her ABC’s

50. Get my oldest daughter to all of her soccer games and practices every week

51. Have a girl’s night out or day out at least once a month

52. Have “me” time at least 30 minutes every day