Chicks as in these little cuties who are stocked at our local Atwoods. If only we had a house that backed up to trees... we might have brought a few of these babies home.
Hot as in, it's not. It's spring. And while I'm sure I have been experiencing better weather than some of you, it's not very spring like this week. Gray. Cold. Rainy, but not in the "Singing in the rain" / "April Showers" way, the Cat in the Hat / Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.
I'm all for rain, if it's going to help flowers grow. But this stuff is killing the flowers that were brave enough to come out last week.
Don't get me wrong, winter is arguably my favorite season, but I'm done with the gray. I had a teaser of 80 degrees, and I'm ready for that. I'll even go for some good thunder stormin, tornado weather. But don't tell J I said that, that means he can't fly!
Who else is ready for a new season?
PS tune in this week for a BIG announcement!
PPS I'm not pregnant. I feel like I should start prefacing all big announcements with that, because people always seem so disappointed when I tell them I'm not preggers. You have to WAIT.
He was fast asleep in his bed when I sat on the floor. He woke up, came over to where I was, and plopped down in front of me. How could I not cuddle with that??
Some of you may have noticed I am taking a mini vacation from blogging. We have some very exciting things happening around here, so I'm just enjoying the moments. I promise I'll be back soon with details. Thanks for being patient!
Even when you know are pretty sure a witch does not live in it. As part of my latest Crazy 8s Challenge, I wanted to do things around the house. And I figured it would behoove me to give you a little update on my first week of this.
If you will remember, I am trying to do something for my house three times a week this month. Sometimes it will be exciting things, like DIYing curtains or a mirror, and other times, it will be a little more mundane. Like what I'm about to share with you.
Last week I focused on three areas in my home that have been overgrowing. Overgrowing with things belonging to husbands, dogs, cats, and spores (gross I know). I figured it was time. Time to (hazardous waste) suit up and get dirty. So I de-cluttered my dresser, de-molded my shower curtain, and de-unorganized my coat closet.
The first two tasks were easy enough, and I'm sorry I don't have before OR after shots. Maybe I will take some later in the day and show off my nice clean shower curtain and my nice (&dusty) clear dresser. Probably not.
The dresser was more of a spur of the moment, Crazy 8s inspired task. It actually happened when I could not find a spot to temporarily place my clean laundry while putting it away. (Or when I could not find a spot to temporarily place my cat when we were cuddling). Either way, I got frustrated. So I not only found a place for all the junk to live permanently (which probably was not the garbage, Babe. Promise. xoxox) but I also got rid of all the the pictures. Put them elsewhere in the house. Cleared that puppy off.
The shower curtain was a problem. We had noticed a little bit of mold on the outside of it in the last few days. We actually were out shopping for a new one (and not finding one we liked) when I decided I wanted to try to kill the mold. So I came home, washed it with bleach in scalding hot water, and it cleaned right up. No more mold. We replaced the shower liner for good measure and called it a day.
Side note. J told me I should not write about the mold. He said "This is R. Simple Life, not R. Gross Life." But it's okay because he barely ever reads the blog.
Now. I thought long and hard about showing you this closet in its before state. I even though about cleaning it up a little and then taking my before picture. But that wouldn't be honest. Not that that has stopped me before :-) So here he is, in all his messy glory, our coat closet.
Yes, we were storing our shoes in a box. And in that green tub. And we were storing old beer bottles (for J's brewing) in there. And our scarves, hats, gloves and mittens had taken over. It was a mess.
We still need a shoe rack. And I personally do not love the hanging cubby holder of outer accessories. But I have yet to find a set of baskets I love, and ditto to a shoe rack. That green tub still holds all our extra shoes, but we did give quite a few away. And in a perfect world, I would have wooden hangers. Shoot in a perfect world, my coat closet would look like this:
Ahh, Martha. Who doesn't love Martha. I don't care that she went to jail, shes still one of my heroes. Anyway, I'm hoping for a more exciting Crazy 8s update next time. Because I just realized how dry this post is. Go grab some lemonade. It will help. How is your Crazy 8s Challenge going?
iGot this in the mail the other day... Any guesses on what it could be?
I'm assuming you're pretty clever. iF my iHint's weren't enough, the big white box on the desk where my computer should be probably pushed it over the edge. We got a new computer!
(Please excuse the mess of cords under the desk, Calvin put them there.)
Yep. We got our tax return and invested in Mac. By buying a nice big computer. And when I say big, I mean huge. You're talking to a girl whose been working on laptops since 2005. This gargantuan Mac reminds me of the drive in. As in, the screen is so big, I could read it from inside my car.
For the first few days, I was still working on my Acer, while transitioning all my work documents to my Mac. But now, I am a big girl and using only my Mac. Well except for this very second, I'm on the laptop so that I can blog from the couch. I needed a break from the office.
I love it. They say once you go Mac...
On a somewhat unrelated side note, I have become a very busy little birdy. Spring is upon us, and not only does that mean that I have lots of cleaning to do, but that also means the weather is nice, the birds are chirping, and I have become oh so very busy. That's all I am going to say on that, but I am going to apologize in advance for any sort of abandonment you may or may not experience in the next few weeks. Hopefully you will never notice a thing, but I can already tell you, you may. It's a very good busy for me though. So let's just be happy, okay?
On a completely unrelated side note, you will hopefully be getting a "How To" post about removing ink from carpet this week. If not, you have a post offering my pen eating dog up to the highest bidder to look forward to. Either way, I think you win!
Last week, a friend of J's made a comment to my lovely husband about my wardrobe. He had noticed that all I wear is navy blue and white. And it got me to thinking... if a man has noticed this is all I wear, it might be pretty close to par. Men don't notice these kinds of things, especially when they are not your husband (who gets asked a million times a day if "this outfit works.").
So I decided to evoke my 8th grade science skills and preform an experiment, the hypothesis being "Mallory only ever wears blue and white."
In order to make things fair, I decided that during this time, I would wear only outfits I wear on a semi-normal basis. Only clothing that I love. My favorite outfits, if you will.
Well, the results were shocking. Take a look.
This what what I was wearing that first day.
Navy Blue & White striped shirt, Ross.
Navy Blue sweater, Express.
Eastern Michigan University sweatshirt, EMU.
Blue and white lettering on the sweatshirt.
EMU's colors are green and white.
Blue and white blouse, Old Navy.
Black sweater, Target.
White Shirt, Old Navy.
Blue and white scarf, H&M.
White fleece, Sports Authority.
Blue shirt, Old Navy.
White and grey sweater, Gap.
So as you can see, I'm very comfortable adding grey or black into the mix... but yes! All I wear is navy blue and white! I'm assuming you are shocked right now. Shocked beyond belief.
Anyone else have such a predictable wardrobe? I guess the bright side is that I know what I like...
We never have them in our house. I never make them. Because if I do, I know I will eat them.
But I wanted them so... I made a batch. With all good intentions of sharing with neighbors, friends, classmates. Good intentions often go awry. They are still at my house. Or at least the ones that are left. I'm taking them to my sister today. Getting them out of my house. Because I love them too much.
I altered the recipe on the lid of the Quaker Oats just a little, but enough that I can call them Mallory's Vanishing Oatmeal Raisin Cookies now.
1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. In a large bowl, beat 1/2 cup plus 6 tbsp softened butter with 3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar and 1/2 cup granulated sugar on medium speed until creamy.
2. Add 2 eggs and 1 tsp vanilla; beat well.
3. Mix together 1&1/2 cups all-purpose flour, 1tsp baking soda, 1tsp cinnamon and 1/2 tsp salt. Add to Sugar, egg & butter mixture. Mix well.
4. Add 2&1/2 cups uncooked oats and 3/4 cup raisins.
5. Drop dough onto ungreased cookie sheets.
6. Bake 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely (or eat while they are still gooey and warm, my recommendation).
Yeilds about 3 dozen cookies.
Enjoy! I'm not usually a sweets person, but the right oatmeal cookie and I'm ready for a cavity. Usually, I'm a french fry girl. What's your Achilles heel?
If you were here a month ago, you will remember my declaration to try new and exciting things, namely CrossFit. The rules were simple -for those of you who wanted to play along- try something new, something fun, something challenging for a whole month. Some things will stick longer than a month, and somethings will not. The biggest rule, however, was to stop if you weren't having fun.
Well, I've thought long and hard about this post. I was very tempted to skip right over the progress report from my last Crazy 8s challenge. Just go on to this months. But then I remembered that all important rule. And it was okay.
You may gather that I failed the last challenge. But I'm not calling it a fail. Because I stopped when I wasn't having fun. I followed the most important rule. So really, you could say I succeeded.
Let's start from the beginning. February 8, 2011, I announced to the world blog that I would be trying CrossFit. An awesome workout routine I had wanted to try for quite some time now. I was pumped. I was excited. The following day, I worked up the nerve and went to the gym (in the evening!) for my first CrossFit class.
No one was there. No instructor. Just two people working out. Obviously doing CrossFit, but on their own. With ear phones in. So I got on the tredmill and ran. Waiting for the tardy instructor. Who never showed up. So I ran and ran, and then worked out on my own. And then I went home, defeated.
Next day, same thing. No instructor. Now I was getting frustrated. I wanted some answers. So I searched all over the CrossFit board at the gym to see if there was a name, email, phone number, anything of an instructor. And I found a website. For Vance AFB's CrossFit.
I went home and checked it out. The class times were totally different on the website than they were on my Group Fitness Calendar. Aha! I had figured it out! So I emailed asking what the best way to learn CrossFit was. No reply. I tried going to one more class. Nothing.
Needless to say, I was frustrated. Sure, I could go online and teach myself the workout of the day and do it on my own at the gym. But I wanted someone to show me how best to warm up. Or the proper stance. Or to critique me when I was doing something wrong. So I decided it wasn't fun.
Sure, I probably could have asked one of the people who were there CrossFitting it up. But, and this might come as a shock to some of you, I am deathly shy at times. I've gotten better, being in the Air Force. I have to be outgoing, otherwise I am in for a lonely, lonely life. But at times (in big groups, around people I don't know but who know each other, and anytime I feel vulnerable) my shyness comes out. And I would rather cry than step out of my shell. Seriously, my eyes water. I'm that shy.
Side note, in 5th grade, we had a play about sea creatures. I played the xylophone. I was not on stage. And I still got tears in my eyes and butterflies in my stomach. I'm just that shy.
So I evoked the "if it's not fun, don't do it" rule and I stopped. I want to do CrossFit, and I will do it eventually. Maybe I'll just ask J's friends who used to do it all the time to teach me. Who knows. But it will happen eventually.
But I didn't want to be a total quitter. So instead of making my February Crazy 8s all about CrossFit, I made it all about Duke. My new goal for the month was to take Duke outside, for a walk, run, or just a Frisbee toss, once a day. Duke was pretty happy about this change of events. Some days we went out 2 or 3 times. Others it was only once. Once or twice, we did not get out at all. But it was nice. And it is something I want to keep up.
It keeps Duke sane. Keeps him from chasing his tail or pouncing on shadows. It gives me that shot of Vitamin D. Plus it's something J and I used to do in Colorado all the time. And while he is not always on my walks with Duke, it's just nice to keep that tradition going.
So I'm sorry for those of you who were hoping for a CrossFit analysis. One day you will get one. But for this month, you get Duke.
Moving right along, onto the Crazy 8s challenge for March! I am attempting to do three things for my house every week. What are these "things" you ask? Well, they can be anything from making a new mirror for my entry way to cleaning out the refrigerator, to finding a dresser for the guest room, to going through my closet and donating my old clothes. After this month, I hope to have a better organized, cleaner, and more decorated home. Wish me luck!
What are you going to challenge yourself to do this month??
So we have entered the last month of the second phase of Undergraduate Pilot Training. April 1st (yes, April Fools Day - I know it will be ridiculous) we find out what aircraft J will be flying for the last six months of training.
There are four possibilities come April 1st. Two of which keep us here at Vance Air Force Base, and two of which move us away. The T-1 Jayhawk is a "heavy" trainer, which basically means those who train on it can go on to fly cargo planes, refuelers, and basically anything else with a crew. If Jon gets this plane, we will stay here in OK until September.
The other plane that would keep us here in good, old Oklahoma is the T-38 Talon. Those who train on this plane go on to fly fighter and bombers for the most part. It is the "jet" trainer for the Air Force.
Next up is the T-44 Pegasus is a training aircraft in Corpus Christy, TX. Yes, that means those who train on this aircraft train with the Navy. It is rare to get anything out of the T-44 other than a C-130.
So, come April 1st, we will know whether we are staying here with the Air Force, or going to Texas to fly with the Navy for 6 months, or to Alabama to fly with the Army for 6 months. I'll make sure to let you know!
In his final portion of Phase Two of UPT, J is learning to fly formation. And for those of you who don't realize what this is...
J flies 10 feet (or less) away from the wing of another student. Not just for a second, for 1.3 hours. He said he is so close, he can see if the other student in formation with him shaved that day or not (which I don't believe, because of those ridiculous helmets they wear). But it is CRAZY close. I'll try to get a few pictures of J flying this close.
Now for a poll: How many of you are jealous of what J gets to do for work, and how many of you are grateful that you will never have to be in command of an aircraft that close to someone else???
Sometimes I get so caught up in design blogs (which are the majority of the blogs I read... one day I'll admit to how many blogs I read weekly..) that I feel like this blog just isn't cutting it. I don't have my bookcase makeover done. I have pallets just sitting against my house. No window in my house has curtains. I haven't found the perfect rug, or figured out how to make it yet.
So I don't post on those days. I don't feel like I have anything to write about. I feel like one more picture of my dog, and all of you will unbookmark me. One more day without an update on the office, and you'll lose interest.
But yesterday, I realized something. This blog is called R. Simple Life. You know what that R stands for? Recor. Yep. ME. And J. And Duke. And Calvin. And one day, hopefully there will be more, but for now this blog is about 2 people and 2 pets.
Not about 1 house. Not about 2 bedrooms. Not about 12 picture frames. Not about 3 pallets. About us. And I'm pretty sure most of my readers (hi Grandma!) will be just as excited to hear about J's flying, or my running, or Calvin's tap dancing (okay, maybe that's a little far) as they are about a new dresser, or a DIY duvet, or a handmade scarf.
Now, don't get me wrong. My favorite things to blog about are things I do with my own two hands. I love to find inspiration in the most common of things. I also like to pass along that inspiration to others who can't afford to buy a console table for their entry way, or to those who don't think they can sew. Interior design is one of my favorite subjects to talk/blog/think about (along with weddings, of course). So I do love to feature DIY (do-it-yourself... I just found out my mom didn't know what that meant. So in case you didn't either...) projects, and decorating tips, and new furniture.
But I also love to talk/blog/think about the fact that J is flying 10 feet or less away from another airplane this afternoon (more on that next week). Or Calvin's tap dancing habits. Or Duke's frisbee, walking, and sleeping schedules. Or my job. Or Oklahoma. Or everything else in my life.
So my apology today is for neglecting my blog on days when I don't feel inspired. For those of you who read this blog just to stay close, I'm sure you would appreciate a picture with 40 words, rather than no post at all. So I will do better. I am promising you that.
My desk is much cleaner than this now, but just to keep it real... Sometimes my desk looks like this.
I know, I know, I know that we are not done with the office. I've still got three quarters to play. But I'm working with a shoestring budget (literally) and things take time. And I'm not the kind of girl who has the determination to think about just one room in my house.
I want to redo my guest room. I want someone to visit. And when they do, I do not want them to feel like I stuck them in Duke's room. Or a storage closet. Or jail.
Nothing has changed since I took these pictures. Well, I take that back. I currently have a napping husband in there, a few more dust bunnies, and Millie has moved next door to live with the little girls there. I believe her name is Natasha now.
But it still is cold. And practically colorless. And there is a dog cage in there. So I've been daydreaming a lot about that room lately. So you can imagine my surprise when I found an image that is exactly what I had been dreaming of.
No joke. This is what I dream about. Beige linen upholstered headboards. Hotel-like duvets. Trunks at the foot of beds. And whatever that amazing thing is hanging above the bed, I dream about that too. I just didn't realize it until now.
Obviously, the guest room is white with white carpet. Part of that equation works. The other part, I'll deal with (and find a big area rug). But I have plans.
I have a door in my garage that I salvaged saved from one of the houses they were tearing down over the summer. I've been planning on using that for a headboard since the day I found that big beautiful thing.
I also have a crazy DIY plan to get that amazing duvet for cheap, cheap. Like a birdy. Those of you who are savvy to the DIY will probably have already thought of this a while ago, but I'm not sharing my idea until I finish it and have a picture to show it off.
I'm on the lookout for the trunk. Well, technically, I got one of these for my wedding. But the thing is, it's maker became a daddy before I got it. (Yes, I am still waiting, you know who you are...) ;-)
As for the side table, I'm thinking about moving one of the ones from our bedroom (and both when we move to a bigger house) into the guest room. Won't actually do that until I make my headboard (for our room) and get/make less wood-y bedside tables for our room, so for now I'm keeping the chair. Or maybe I'll find something else. Who knows.
I also want to bring in some DIY curtains (maybe navy blue? Dark brown? White?) to class that window up a bit. Since the view from it is really just my neighbors back yard. And a dresser. Something kind of antique and old looking.
So what. I'm a room floozy. But they are all my rooms, in my house. So I can think about whichever one I want to. Whose going to be our first guest and send me into a panic-induced crazy makeover of this room??
I am Mallory and he is Jonathan. We are newlyweds, living in Enid, Oklahoma. We created this blog as a way for our family to keep up with us, as we live many miles away. We love the simple life. We don't claim to be professionals, nor to have all the answers, but this is how we do life.